News Daily: Emergency coronavirus meeting, home energy failings and US race

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Virus plan finalised

Image source, Getty Images

Coronavirus is likely to present "a significant challenge" for the UK, but the government and NHS will "stop at nothing" to fight it. That's what the prime minister is expected to tell a meeting of the emergency committee Cobra later. The official plan for how to tackle the virus will be finalised at the talks and could include asking newly-retired NHS staff to return to work. Closing schools and cancelling major public events have not been ruled out, and there are plans for a public health campaign encouraging people to wash their hands for 20 seconds or more.

The Cobra meeting comes after the number of UK cases jumped to 36. That includes the first positive result in Scotland and a second person in England with "no relevant travel", meaning it's unclear how he caught the virus. Labour says there are growing concerns about the PM's handling of the outbreak and "serious questions about capacity in our overstretched NHS".

Globally, the virus has killed more than 3,000 people. The BBC's head of statistics has analysed the chances of dying from it.

Energy inefficient

Nearly two thirds of UK homes - that's more than 12 million - fail to meet long-term energy efficiency targets, meaning they pump tonnes more CO2 into the atmosphere than necessary. Householders also spend more on energy bills than they would if those homes were more efficient. The BBC has analysed data from Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) which you might be familiar with if you've moved house recently. They look at how well a property is insulated, glazed, or uses alternative measures to reduce energy use.

One expert, Dr Tim Forman, from the University of Cambridge, said only a national project of a scale not seen since World War Two, would be enough to help the UK meet its 2050 net zero carbon target, which was signed into law last year. Ministers say they know the country needs to go "much further and faster" and are investing more than £6bn to do that.

What do you know about saving energy at home? Take our quiz to find out.

Presidential race

Pete Buttigieg has announced he is ending his campaign for the White House. The 38-year-old former Indiana mayor became the first openly gay presidential candidate from a major party when he announced he was running for the Democratic nomination. The BBC's North America reporter Anthony Zurcher says Mr Buttigieg came from nowhere to become a serious contender, but couldn't turn his early success into a national wave of support. His departure helps clear the field for a one-on-one fight between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. Read more on them and all the candidates hoping to unseat President Trump.

Mr Buttigieg's decision to drop out comes ahead of Super Tuesday - the most important date in the race to pick the Democrat nominee. We explain Super Tuesday for you here.

'We're not on the sidelines any more'

By Hazel Shearing, BBC News

The celebration is deafening as Meg Stovell and her teammates leap from the sprung floor into each others' arms. "It feels amazing," she shouts as Tina Turner's Simply the Best blasts from the speakers. Weeks of intensive sessions perfecting everything from somersaults to song lyrics have paid off: the Bournemouth University Falcons are the student cheerleading grand national champions.

Cheer, a Netflix documentary series about cheerleading in the US, has taken millions of viewers on a college team's tumultuous journey to the national competition in Daytona Beach, Florida. So how does student cheerleading compare in the UK?

What the papers say

Most papers lead with the latest on coronavirus in the UK. "At last, Boris stung into action" says the Daily Mail. The paper claims criticism of Mr Johnson's handling of the situation prompted him to "break cover" on Sunday and visit a Public Health England laboratory. The Guardian, meanwhile, believes the country is "edging closer to the point where containment becomes impossible". The i agrees the virus is moving to the "next phase". Elsewhere, there's a mixed response to the resignation of the Home Office's top civil servant, Sir Philip Rutnam. "Good riddance" says the Sun, accusing him of turning on Home Secretary Priti Patel who, it says, is determined to deliver big changes to the immigration system. For the Times, the episode raises "troubling questions for the government about its approach" and it urges ministers to work with civil servants rather than waste energy trying to overthrow them.

Daily digest

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If you see one thing today

If you listen to one thing today

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If you read one thing today

Image source, Julia and Danil


10:00 Grenfell Inquiry resumes, with testimony from the architects who designed the tower's cladding system

14:00 Formal negotiations between the UK and EU on their future relationship begin in Brussels

On this day

1969 Supersonic airliner Concorde makes its maiden flight. Watch the relieved pilot's reaction.

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