Today's top headlines from The Telegraph

Monday morning UK news briefing: Tax rise plan

Children able to overrule parents on Covid vaccine

Children as young as 12 can overrule their parents who object to them receiving a coronavirus jab, the vaccines minister has admitted. Nadhim Zahawi said that if any 12- to 15-year-old wants to be vaccinated and is judged to be “competent” then their wishes would override parental concerns. Campaigners called the move “deeply concerning” and accused the Government of showing “incredible disregard” for children’s health. For new university students, those who forgo the vaccine may find themselves alienated as nightclubs plot how to deal with the spectre of new restrictions. It came as it emerged that vaccine passports could be required for theatre visits from next month under government plans that hospitality chiefs said would be a “further nail in the coffin” of many live venues. Ministers are proposing adults over 18 will have to show they have been double jabbed to enter large venues.

The pandemic has brought new impetus to Florence Nightingale’s ideas, with ventilation proving a vital strategy for reducing transmission of the virus. The government is spending £25 million on 300,000 carbon dioxide monitors to be fitted inside classrooms in England to identify areas of poor ventilation and lessen outbreaks this term. But do we really need that to know that opening a window is good for our health? Luke Mintz explains the multitude of benefits from the low-tech solution.

Sarah Harding dies: Tributes to Girls Aloud singer

The world of pop has been rocked by the dea-th of singer Sarah Harding at just 39. As one fifth of Girls Aloud, she helped revolutionise British pop and bring respectability to a corner of the music world where little had existed: the reality TV talent contest. It was just over a year after Harding revealed she had been diagnosed with advanced breast can-cer. Read her Telegraph obituary. Ed Power argues that Girls Aloud were one of the great chart acts of their era and broke new ground.

Matt’s latest cartoon

  • Matt imagines the Taliban learning of Boris Johnson’s tax grab plan in his latest cartoon.

Also in the news: Today’s other headlines

Trimble warns Biden | The chief architect of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement has warned Joe Biden to abandon his support for the Northern Ireland Protocol, arguing the US President risks “causing civil unrest” by siding with the EU against Britain. Lord Trimble has written to President Biden claiming his administration also risks creating “political uncertainty” and “damaging the Northern Ireland economy“. Associate Editor Camilla Tominey has our exclusive on the former First Minister of Northern Ireland’s personal letter to the White House.

Around the world: Taliban claims total Afghan control

The Taliban has announced that the last pocket of resistance in Afghanistan, the Panjshir Valley, has been “completely captured”. Colin Freeman explains how the Panjshir, an area of rugged mountain territory north of Kabul, was the stronghold of the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan, a militia group formed to oppose the Taliban take-over. And view a gallery of more striking pictures from the weekend.

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