Coronavirus live news: UK starts vaccinating 12- to 15-year-olds; China reports 49 new cases | World news

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Campaigners have issued fresh calls for a windfall tax on companies that prospered during the pandemic, after research highlighted six firms that increased their profits by a total of £16bn.

The outsourcing firm Serco and online clothes retailer Asos were among the companies whose global profits more than doubled over the last financial year, while one investment trust, Scottish Mortgage, saw its returns grow to nine times the average of preceding years.

The report, from Tax Justice UK, highlights six companies that it says made “excess profits” during the pandemic and argues that they exemplify trends under Covid, where some firms and individuals increased their wealth while others suffered:

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China reports 49 new cases, down from 66 the day before

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UK starts vaccinating 12- to 15-year-olds

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