Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Friday evening. We'll have another update for you tomorrow morning.
Playing SLOTXO Nowadays, only one mobile phone can participate in the game. Online slots for any game
1. South Africa makes its own version of Moderna jab
South African scientists say they have successfully reverse-engineered the Moderna vaccine and made their own version, after the US company said it would not enforce its patents. The Cape Town scientists, backed by the World Health Organization, said the project was part of a global push to help low and middle-income countries become self-sufficient in producing enough vaccines.
2. Anger at Bank boss pay rise warning amid Covid inflation
Unions representing key workers who kept the country running during the pandemic have branded a warning from the Bank of England not to ask for big pay rises as "outrageous". Bank governor Andrew Bailey, who earns about £500,000 a year, warned pay hikes risked entrenching high inflation. Inflation is due to average at about 6% in 2022, far above the Bank's target of 2%, amid high energy prices and ongoing supply problems in the pandemic.
3. China's zero-Covid Winter Olympics begin
The Winter Olympics are officially under way in Beijing, with a laser show in the opening ceremony and the Olympic torch placed in a giant snowflake. But almost all of the city's residents are excluded, as China aims to maintain its strict but successful "zero Covid" policies. Only members of the ruling Communist Party or staff from government-controlled companies are being invited to watch the games in person, and even they have to abide by strict testing and restrictions.
4. Johnson's position 'untenable' after lockdown parties - MP
Another Tory MP has said he has submitted a letter of no-confidence in Prime Minister Boris Johnson over his role in lockdown-breaking parties at Downing Street. Aaron Bell said the PM's position was "untenable" following the "breach of trust". The BBC is aware of 17 backbench MPs who have sent letters of no-confidence, with 54 required to trigger a leadership election.
5. Firm gives staff free holiday as pandemic reward
A recruitment firm says it is spending more than £100,000 to take all its staff on a four-day all-inclusive holiday to Tenerife, to thank them for their work during the pandemic. Yolk Recruitment's bosses said the company had been through its hardest-ever year in 2020, but bounced back with its most profitable year in 2021 as the jobs market "went into overdrive".