Welcome to your early-morning news briefing from The Telegraph – a round-up of the top stories we are covering on Friday. To receive twice-daily briefings by email, sign up to our Front Page newsletter for free.
1. Exclusive: Neighbours ‘pinged’ through walls by NHS Covid app

Neighbours are being told to self-isolate because the NHS Test and Trace app is "pinging" people through walls, it has emerged.

Figures show more than half a million alerts were sent through the app last week – the most since records began – raising fears of a "pingdemic", with businesses, transport and schools brought to a standstill. Read the full story.

2. Triple lock tweak plan could see pensioners lose out on £200 a year

Rishi Sunak has been urged to tweak a key metric used for the pensions triple lock under a proposal that could see pensioners lose out on £200 a year.

The Chancellor faces a difficult decision over uprating the state pension this autumn, with concerns that the Covid pandemic has skewed economic data in a way that could force an "artificial" pension spike under the terms of the triple lock. Read the full story.

3. France could be put on travel red list as beta variant fears grow

Ministers are considering adding France to the travel red list, The Telegraph has learnt, with officials ordered to conduct a "deep dive" into data concerning the spread of the South African/beta variant. 

Senior Whitehall sources said the proposal was discussed at a meeting on Wednesday as part of the review of international travel, which saw the Balearic Islands demoted to the amber list only a fortnight after turning green. Read the full story.

4. Women can be sacked for wearing hijab in customer-facing jobs, highest EU court rules

Women are allowed to be sacked by employers for refusing to remove their hijabs, Europe’s highest court has ruled.

EU judges decreed that businesses can ban employees from wearing a headscarf under certain conditions if they need to do so to project an image of neutrality to customers. Read the full story.

5. At least 50 dead and dozens missing as severe floods strike Europe

The waters of the river Meuse were filled with broken parts of houses on Thursday as they raced, churning and twisting, through the Belgian city of Liege. 

Street signs and a green door flashed past while day boats overturned and sank, watched by a handful of residents who had ignored the authorities’ pleas to seek higher ground as devastating flash floods swept through Europe, killing at least 50 people. Read the full story.

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