Your morning briefing: What you should know for Wednesday, December 2

Sean Morrison
·4-min read

Coronavirus tier system comes into force as England’s national lockdown is lifted

Anew tougher tier system of Covid-19 restrictions for England has come into force, as the national four-week lockdown is lifted.

The measures, which came into force at midnight, were approved by MPs in the Commons last night with the support of 291 votes to 78.

More than 55 million people in the country are being placed in the top two strictest tiers, with London in Tier 2.

The rules are tougher than in the previous tier system England was face with before its second lockdown began in November.

Debenhams customers stuck in huge virtual queue as store offers 70% ‘fire sale’

The Debenhams website has been overwhelmed by hundreds of thousands of shoppers searching for bargains after the chain collapsed.

Customers were forced to wait to enter the website after a queue system was triggered due to “exceptional demand,” the department store said.

The chain is launching a 70 per cent off pre-Christmas “fire sale” clearance in what is expected to be the last ever sale across its remaining 124 stores.

It comes after last ditch attempts to save the chain collapsed on Tuesday morning. JD Sports, which was tipped to rescue the 242-year-old department store, said was no longer interested after Arcadia, which is worth £75million a year to Debenhams, collapsed.

Zoom and NHS contact tracing app top list of Apple’s most popular downloads

Zoom, Microsoft Teams and the NHS Covid-19 app were among the most popular downloads from Apple's App Store in the UK this year.

The impact of coronavirus was evident across the top free list on iPhone for 2020.

Zoom ranked number one and Microsoft Teams at seven, as people turned to video conferencing technology to work from home, stay in touch with family and continue schooling.

Taking the second spot was the NHS Covid-19 app which was released late September as a tool to help alert users if they have been in close proximity with anyone who has tested positive for coronavirus.

US attorney general finds no voter fraud that would overturn result of election

Attorney General William Barr said no evidence of widespread voter fraud has been found that would change the result of the presidential election in the US.

The comments, from one of Donald Trump’s most ardent allies, come despite Mr Trump's repeated baseless claims that the election was stolen and his refusal to concede.

Mr Barr said US attorneys and FBI agents have been working to follow up specific complaints and information they had received but found no evidence that would change the vote’s outcome.

Before the election, Mr Barr had repeatedly raised the notion that mail-in voter fraud could be especially vulnerable to fraud during the coronavirus pandemic as Americans feared going to polls.

Gordon Ramsay and Tom Felton among TikTok’s most popular in 2020

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and Harry Potter actor Tom Felton were among the most popular on TikTok’s list of most-videos of 2020 in the UK.

The most-watched video on the social media app, a lion walking through a safari park, has been liked more than 20 million times.

Meanwhile the biggest trend on the platform was #blindinglights, which saw NHS workers and families dance to The Weeknd song Blinding Lights during the country's first lockdown.

That’s according to the social media firm’s review of the year.

On this day…

1697: The new St Paul's Cathedral was opened.

1804: Napoleon was crowned Emperor in Paris by Pope Pius VII. On this day one year later, he defeated Austro-Russian forces at the Battle of Austerlitz.

1814: French aristocrat the Marquis de Sade, whose perverted lifestyle gave the word sadism to the language, died in an asylum.

1859: John Brown, the anti-slavery campaigner whose soul marched on in the famous song, was executed for treason in Charleston, West Virginia.

1901: King Camp Gillette patented the safety razor.

1907: English footballers formed the Professional Footballers' Association.

1923: Greek-American operatic soprano Maria Callas was born in New York.

1927: Ford's Model A went on sale as a successor to the Model T.

1954: Four years of anti-Communist witch-hunts in America came to an end when its instigator, Joseph McCarthy, was condemned for conduct unbecoming a senator.

1990: West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl won the first all-German election since 1933.