Categories
TV and Movies

Lady Colin Campbell cruelly attacks Phillip Schofield for ‘living a lie’ before coming out

LADY Colin Campbell has launched a scathing attack on Phillip Schofield as she cruelly accuses him of "living a lie" before coming out.

The 70-year-old has lashed out at the presenter, 58, after their on-screen row on This Morning.

The tense war of words between the pair kicked off on the ITV show last week over Lady Colin Campbell's controversial tell-all book on Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

After Phillip branded it "tawdry and undignified", Lady C slammed him as "ignorant".

But in a nasty turn of events, she has since reignited their feud and accused married Phillip – who bravely came out as gay earlier this year – of "living a lie".

When asked on FUBAR Radio’s Access All Areas what her opinion of the presenter is, the royal author replied: “Who? Is that something to eat, drink or flush?”

She added: "What do I think of him? Well let me put it this way…

"All I can say is anybody who’s spent most of his life living a lie is not somebody I admire.

“I gather it was very difficult… Now I don’t believe in outing people by the way, and if he wanted to lead his life privately and as a liar, that’s perfectly okay.

"But then don’t set yourself up as some arbiter of the truth when you’re the absolute opposite!”

The former I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here also claimed Phillip was left "looking like a fool" after he verbally "attacked" her on This Morning last month.

The controversial royal author said: "It got tetchy from the very beginning if I recall correctly.

"He attacked me and thought he was going to ambush me and that I would end up looking like a fool and he’s the one who ended up looking like the fool that he is.”


This Morning is facing 15 Ofcom complaints after the pair's row on June 23.

In February, Phillip fought back tears as he revealed he is gay on This Morning alongside best pal Holly Willoughby who read out a statement he had written.

The presenter – who married Stephanie Lowe in March 1993 – said he had felt "overriding guilt" over the impact it would have on his wife and daughters.

A spokesman for Phillip Schofield declined to comment.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Lifestyle

MLS stars stunned at state of £52 for sandwich and banana in special dining area at Disney World ahead of tournament

MLS stars were left stunned after their £52 "room service meal" was a tragic sandwich and a banana at Disney World.

League athletes are staying at the resort while they prepare for the MLS Is Back Tournament which gets underway in Florida next week.


 

Staying isolated from the rest of the public, food resources are obviously limited with little option but to eat in the dining room or their room.

Toronto defender Omar Gonzalez showed off their makeshift menu that included "House brined cracked pepper turkey breast, smoked gouda, honey mustard, medianoche bread."

Although it sounds delicious, in reality their food was a far cry from the mouthwatering menu on offer.

Alongside a picture of the menu, Gonzalez showed off his depressing sandwich and lone banana camped underneath a slice of bread.

His order was supposed to be the "house roasted prime new york strip loin, horseradish creme fraiche, brilliant-savarin cheese, black batard."

It comes served with a "red roasted potato salad, shaved sweet onion, dijon mustard and black pepper."


LADBROKES 1-2-FREE Simply predict Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City scores this coming weekend and win £100

He sarcastically commented "Yummm" while fellow MLS player Eriq Zavaleta replied with a picture of his dry sandwich.

Lunch comes at a staggering £52, while dinner is £60 and breakfast costs £36.

It is worth noting that the players won't be footing the bill but the MLS teams themselves.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Lifestyle

Sting hints at shock WWE return at 61 for ‘last ride’ against Undertaker in cinematic match at WrestleMania 37 – The Sun

WWE Hall of Famer Sting has hinted at a shock return to wrestling following rumours of a comeback match against The Undertaker at WrestleMania 37.

The 61-year-old was forced to retire from the ring in 2015 after suffering severe neck injuries during a bout with Seth Rollins.


Yet Sting teased fans that he could be set to lace up his boots once more following his comments on social media.

The former WCW legend responded to a throwback photo of him on a motorcycle on Twitter by asking fans who wants to take a "last" ride with him.

The WWE Universe have since tied the "Last Ride" wording to speculation on a long-awaited dream match between Sting and The Undertaker following the Deadman's recent documentary of the same name.

One fan tweeted: "Sting vs Undertaker One Last Match."

Another replied: "wow Undertaker SHOTS FIRED."

A third added: "Sting v Undertaker is the match so many of us would still love to see. Could be a classic even today."

If there was a ‘Taker situation at WrestleMania, I would listen to that phone call. I could get in condition and I could pull it off

The two icons were kept apart at their wrestling peak and have since become one of the most-rumoured matches of all time.

The latest speculation would see Taker forced to step out of retirement as well after WWE confirmed last week on SmackDown that he was done as an active wrestler.

The 55-year-old announced the decision during the final episode of his documentary, The Last Ride.

Yet he also confessed that he would consider a return "in case of emergency" and if boss Vince McMahon was "in a pinch".

The Undertaker's last WWE bout was the acclaimed cinematic face-off with AJ Styles in a Boneyard Match at WrestleMania 36.

And WWE Hall of Famer Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler recently shared his belief that these style of matches will allow the Phenom to clash with Sting.

He said on his podcast: “Now in this style, we could easily have The Undertaker in the match that they’ve always wanted to have forever, Sting.

“Can you imagine watching that in that cinematic style that the Boneyard Match was done in? It could be done. That was a perfect location for the Boneyard match in a cemetery.

“The Undertaker and Sting can be done in any kind of setting and it could be amazing.”

Despite their ages and numerous injuries, Sting told Sports Illustrated last year that he could still wrestle Undertaker should the opportunity arise.

He admitted:  “If there was a ‘Taker situation at WrestleMania, I would listen to that phone call.

“I could get in condition and I could pull it off.”

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Celebrities

Lorraine hits out at Donald Trump Jr posing with elephant's tail

‘What a w****r!’: Lorraine Kelly launches scathing attack on Donald Trump Jr posing with sawed off elephant’s tail after trophy hunt

  • The presenter hit out at Donald Trump Jr, 42,  holding a sawed off elephant’s tail 
  • Lorraine, 60, wrote: ‘what a w****r’ on Twitter
  • She commented on a post about a petition to ban lion ‘hunting trophies’ from entering the U.K. 
  •  Donald Jr. and Eric went on the hunt back in 2012 during a trip to Zimbabwe
  • They posed with a leopard carcass and elephant’s tail
  • Lorraine’s followers said they were ‘shocked’ by the presenter’s language due to her usual friendly demeanour
  • The Trump brothers denied at the time any wrong doing and proudly argued  they are hunters
  • Back in September, PM Boris Johnson vowed to ban imports of hunting trophies from endangered animals 

Lorraine Kelly hit out at Donald Trump’s son on Twitter on Thursday, after a photo emerged of the 42-year-old holding a sawed off elephant’s tail after a trophy hunt.

The daytime presenter, 60, wrote: ‘what a w****r’ on a Tweet which posted the picture alongside a petition to ban lion ‘hunting trophies’ from entering the U.K. 

Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, 36, went on the hunt back in 2012 during a trip to Zimbabwe, where they posed with a leopard carcass, buffalo and elephant’s tail. 

Furious: Lorraine Kelly hit out at Donald Trump’s son on Twitter on Thursday, after a photo emerged of the 42-year-old holding a sawed off elephant’s tail after a trophy hunt

The post Lorraine commented on read: ‘This is the coward @DonaldJTrumpJr son [email protected] just after he’d cut off the tail of an elephant, the greatest animal on our planet. 

@BorisJohnson is still allowing these people to bring trophies back into the UK please sign https://change.org/p/michael-gove-ban-lion-trophy-hunting-imports-into-the-uk… #BanTrophyHunting’.

Lorraine shared the post alongside the scathing comment: ‘What a w****r’. 

Upsetting: The daytime presenter, 60, wrote: ‘what a w****r’ on a post which posted the picture alongside a petition to ban lion ‘hunting trophies’ from entering the U.K

Trophy hunt: Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump went on the hunt back in 2012 during a trip to Zimbabwe, where they posed with a leopard carcass and elephant’s tail

‘I don’t think I’ve ever known Lorraine to swear!’: Some were shocked by the TV star’s outburst as she is known for her friendly demeanour.

Some were shocked by the TV star’s outburst as she is known for her friendly demeanour. 

One wrote: ‘Surprised at your language Lorraine’, while another follower commented: ‘Yes Lorraine. far too polite.’

A third fan typed: ‘I don’t think I’ve ever known Lorraine to swear. She’s right though!’ 

Meanwhile, Made In Chelsea star and animal lover Ashley James was just as infuriated as she commented on the presenter’s post: ‘What begins with C and ends in u*t’. 

Controversial: Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump denied at the time any wrong doing and proudly argued that they are hunters  (pictured holding a leopard carcass in 2012)

It’s disgusting! Others felt just as passionately about trophy hunting

Others wrote: ‘Breaks my heart why would anyone want to do this ! Only people with more money than sense would do this ! Maybe he should be hunted to feel the pain and fear he has inflicted on these poor animals!’.

Another follower typed: ‘Oh my God such disrespect to such a proud animal I just despair’.  

Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump denied at the time any wrong doing and proudly argued that they are hunters.  

Don denied he leaked the photos over Twitter back in 2012:  ‘Not a PR move I didn’t give the pics but I have no shame about them either. I HUNT & EAT game’, he said.

‘I am a hunter’: Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump denied at the time any wrong doing and proudly argued that they are hunters (Don pictured with a buffalo)

‘I AM A HUNTER I don’t hide from that,’ he wrote to another critic at the time. 

Back in September, PM Boris Johnson vowed to ban imports of hunting trophies from endangered animals. 

The Prime Minister pledged to stop callous hunters bringing the heads, skins and other parts of animals shot for pleasure into Britain, declaring: ‘We must end this barbaric practice’.  

Not a fan: The President previously said he does not share his sons’ taste for hunting (pictured L-R : Eric,  Barron, Melania, Donald Trump, Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. in 2015)

It comes five months after an exposé in the Mail on Sunday revealed the cruelty and horror of South Africa’s lion farms.

An investigation by former Tory peer Lord Ashcroft exposed how up to 12,000 lions bred in captivity are destined to either be shot by hunters or killed in slaughterhouses.

Trophy hunters’ kills are exempt from international controls supposed to stop the parts of endangered animals from being imported or exported. 

Change: Back in September, PM Boris Johnson vowed to ban imports of hunting trophies from endangered animals

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Revealed: Areas at England most at risk of local lockdowns

The cities and towns ‘next in line for lockdown’: Government releases roll call of at-risk areas with high Covid-19 infection rates – with Bradford, Barnsley and Rochdale top of the list behind Leicester

  • Bradford, Barnsley and Rochdale all have high coronavirus infection rates with 50+ positive tests per 100,000
  • Barnsley Council today ruled out a local lockdown and said cases are coming down but urged ‘extra care’
  • Leicester will not be allowed to loosen restrictions with rest of England on July 4 and schools are closing 
  • Government is under fire for not sharing exact numbers of positive tests, denying councils exact information
  • Official statistics are not mapping all test results from testing sites run by private contractors   

The areas most at risk of local lockdowns like the one being imposed in Leicester could be Bradford, Barnsley and Rochdale, according to official data.  

Statistics for the week ending June 21 show those areas had the highest Covid-19 infection rates in England, each with more than 50 positive tests per 100,000 people.

Barnsley Council has today called for ‘extra care and vigilance’ among its citizens because of a high infection rate and the risk of a local outbreak.

But it ruled out a Leicester-style local lockdown and said case numbers are now starting to return to normal levels. The infection rate there was 54.7 cases per 100,000 people two weeks ago, almost a third of the 140.2 in Leicester.

Other areas at risk include Bedford, Oldham, Rotherham, Tameside, Blackburn with Darwen and Kirklees, which all have more than 30 cases per 100,000 people.

At the other end of the scale, in the week from June 15 to June 21 – the most recently available data – West Berkshire, South Tyneside and the City of London all recorded zero cases per 100,000 population.

And the infection rate was lower than one, on average, in South Gloucestershire, Wokingham, Gloucestershire, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Redcar and Cleveland, Torbay, Lambeth and Portsmouth.

The Government has come under fire today for not publishing detailed numbers of cases for local areas, missing off tens of thousands of ‘Pillar 2’ test results received from private contractors that run public testing centres. 

The official decision not to publish Pillar 2 data, which now make up the vast majority of confirmed cases, could be missing out more than 80 per cent of cases from public information. 

Even local councils and public health officials say they aren’t being given the right information and are battling to find out what’s happening in their areas.

One NHS doctor working in Yorkshire called the discovery ‘another Tory scandal’ and said: ‘Covering up what is happening is about as dangerous and stupid as it gets’.

Public Health England publishes some weekly data from Pillar 2 tests but not detailed numbers. Its most recent report shows Bradford, Doncaster and Barnsley currently have some of the highest rates of infection in England outside of Leicester (shown in red)

As data emerged showing its high infection rate, Barnsley Council today moved to squash rumours of a local lockdown there.

It has called for ‘extra care and vigilance’, Sky News reported, but denied measures like those seen in Leicester will be necessary.  

In a joint statement, the council’s director for public health Julia Burrows and lead councillor Sir Steve Houghton said: “The number of cases is Barnsley is higher than the national average. We are seeing transmission in the community across the borough, and like many places across the country have had clusters and outbreaks in a handful of care homes, schools and workplaces, as we expected would happen.’ 

MORE LOCAL LOCKDOWNS ARE JUST ‘WEEKS AWAY’ 

Leicester-style localised lockdowns are ‘just days away’ from being imposed after dozens of towns and cities saw coronavirus cases surge in the past week, it was claimed today.

Bradford, Doncaster and Barnsley are said to be at the top of the Government’s list of potential Covid-19 hotspots as the virus continues to run rampant in Yorkshire.

Former Government scientific adviser ‘Professor Lockdown’ Neil Ferguson, of Imperial College London, said these towns and cities were ‘clearly of concern’ and suggested they could be next to roll back the draconian curbs.  

Parts of Kent, the North West of England and more than a dozen London boroughs are also being kept under review after clusters of cases in the last week.  

Professor Ferguson told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning: ‘Absolutely, it’s inevitable we will [see more lockdowns]. We’re relaxing lockdown rules and that means that contacts in the population are going up.

‘That’s a variable process that will vary from place to place and that means there will be some places where there are too many contacts and we get clusters of transmissions what’s critically important is that we detect those early and adopt the measures necessary to locally reduce transmission again.’

On whether Bradford and Doncaster could be next to lock down, Professor Ferguson said: ‘Those are areas where, not as high as Leicester, but they have some of the highest number of cases per 100,000 of the population.

‘They’re clearly of concern. I think there are a set of measures being introduced in those areas to track down transmissions but whether we need more measures will depend on whether we can pull case numbers down.

‘A second national wave is an agglomeration of small outbreaks like the Leicester one merged together across the country that’s exactly what we want to avoid by snuffing out those small outbreaks when they are just sparks, when we’re not seeing a national large increase in case numbers.’ 

They said the clusters have ‘started to ease thanks to local control measures and we are seeing the early signs of a return to the reduction in daily cases’, which means ‘we do not believe at this stage any further measures will need to be implemented such as the ones seen in Leicester’.

Leicester is facing schools and non-essential shops having to close again as lockdown rules roll back to stricter measures this week.

And pubs in the city will not be allowed to be reopen this weekend, nor will people be allowed to visit friends and relatives.

The city is setting up a new testing centre in the Humberstone area in the east of the city, where cases are spiking, in a bid to try and get on top of the outbreak.

The Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police, Simon Cole, told the Press Association: ‘The challenges is there’s a major public health crisis here in Leicester.

‘We’ve had twice as many cases in the last week here in Leicester than the whole of London has had so clearly for policing we need to work with partners, we need to work with local communities and between us we need to get that infection rate of Covid down all across Leicester and Leicestershire.’

Asked if the data suggested that there were particular areas of Leicester that needed more policing than others, Mr Cole said: ‘We’re trying to make sure we’ve got a presence all across the area because this is about where people live, it’s about where people work, and it’s perhaps about where people have been gathering so we need to be in all those kind of places. 

‘We need to make sure, with our public health colleagues that the message reaches people in all those different communities across the city and parts of the county too.’

Police have pledged to stop and fine drivers trying to flee the city after it was put under a fresh lockdown following a spike in Covid-19 cases in the city. 

Officers will carry out spot checks on vehicles leaving locked-down Leicester and could turn them around if their journey is not essential, it was revealed today, as confusion reigned because some areas in the city limits are in lockdown while neighbours are not.

Leicestershire Police is also threatening £100 fines amid growing concerns that residents may flee for the county’s open pubs, hair salons or other attractions while patrols will also break up mass gatherings in the city after they were partially blamed for a spike in coronavirus cases in June.    

Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed lockdown measures will be extended in the East Midlands city for at least two weeks after a dramatic surge in coronavirus cases, with non-essential shops closed again and schools shut from Thursday.  It will not be reviewed again until July 18, according to Government documents.

Leicester City Council and Public Health England issued a map on Tuesday detailing exactly which areas in Leicestershire will be subject to the lockdown, with the boundary extending to Birstall to the north of the city and Wigston to the south.

But those living on a street in Scraptoft last night said they were ‘totally confused’ by the Government’s lockdown boundary, as it leaves half the road under strict lockdown and others free to enjoy the nationwide easing of restrictions on July 4.  

Kathleen McDonagh, 77, who lives a few metres inside Leicester’s lockdown border with her daughter Mary, 56, faces a wait of at least two weeks before she can enjoy relaxed Covid-19 measures and be able to head to the pub, hair salons and restaurants.

The pair will also have to wait before they can visit with their children and grandchildren, enjoy a cup of tea at The White Horse, or attend mass at the nearby St Joseph’s Catholic Church.

Meanwhile, Veronica Cayless, 77, who lives in a house opposite the McDonaghs, is excited to restart her life alongside most Britons on what has been dubbed ‘Super Saturday’.   

Her home falls outside the extended lockdown boundary, which was announced on Monday amid a spike in Covid-19 cases in Leicester. The city accounted for around 10 per cent of all positive cases in Britain over the past week.

The true locations of new coronavirus cases have stirred up a row over the data being shared by the Government.

A Financial Times investigation has revealed that the way the Government’s data is being published means tens of thousands of positive coronavirus tests cannot be located on a map.

This is because Pillar 2 tests – done by private contractors in drive-through centres, mobile testing centres and at-home swabs – are not all broken down into local authority data.

As a result, although the official website confirms there have been 312,654 cases of the coronavirus confirmed in the UK so far, they are not all accounted for. 

The nation-by-nation breakdown lists only 197,032, missing off 37 per cent of them for which the location is not published.

When it was announced that a local lockdown was being considered in Leicester, public data showed only 77 cases of Covid-19 had been diagnosed between June 13 and June 26.

But the Department of Health has since revealed that there are, in reality, more than 944 cases that have appeared in the past fortnight.

The reason for the stark difference is that the Government is not disclosing cases found through ‘Pillar 2’ testing, which is swab tests done on members of the public.     

Even councils – tasked with protecting their citizens from local flare-ups of Covid-19 – do not have easy access to the data.

A Written Parliamentary Question, for which the answer was posted on Twitter by Labour Shadow Health Minister, Justin Madders, revealed that Deloitte – a private company running public testing centres – is not required to share its data locally.

The Government’s answer said: ‘The contract with Deloitte does not require the company to report positive cases to Public Health England and local authorities.’

Official testing data showed a rise of just 77 cases of Covid-19 between June 13 and June 26, when the news of the looming local lockdown first broke, but the Department of Health has since confirmed there were actually 944 but not all the data was published

Officials in Leicester were furious that they had not been given detailed data by the Government until the early hours of Monday morning, when lockdown rumours were rife.

Sir Peter Soulsby, mayor of the city, said on Monday: ‘We’ve had considerable difficulty in getting the data out of the Government until very recently and we’re only now getting the opportunity to analyse them properly.’ 

Public health director for Leicester, Ivan Browne, told BBC Radio 4: ‘Information has been challenging all the way through this. 

‘So what we now have, as of the end of last week, is we now have postcode data that allows us to map in that kind of level… we do know where we’re seeing the positive cases which helps us to map it and therefore to take action in the appropriate areas.’ 

Health Minister for the Government, Nadine Dorries, said local authorities had been able to access the data with an ‘authentication code’ since June 22.

But she added in a tweet: ‘It isn’t publicly available yet, but that will hopefully change soon.’ 

WHICH AREAS HAVE THE HIGHEST COVID-19 INFECTION RATES? 

Source: Public Health England data for June 15 to June 21

WHICH AREAS HAVE THE LOWEST COVID-19 INFECTION RATES? 

Source: Public Health England data for June 15 to June 21

There are now growing concerns that the Government is still not sharing the full picture of local outbreaks, leaving councils under-prepared.

Dr Clive Peedell, a cancer doctor working in the NHS in Yorkshire, said on Twitter: ‘We have another Tory Government scandal on our hands. 

‘Failure to publish Pillar 2 results (public test results) is truly shocking. Covering up what is happening is about as dangerous and stupid as it gets. A public inquiry is urgently needed.’

Liz Kendall, Labour MP for Leicester West, said: ‘Pillar 1 is tests in hospitals. This is published. Pillar 2 is tests from drive through centres and home testing kits done by commercial labs. This is not made public. Leicester was only given this data very late in the day.

‘According to [Financial Times] a PHE source says decision not to publish this crucial data was made by Ministers. 

‘We urgently need to know whether this is the case and ensure in future, all data is fully shared. [Because] whats happening in Leicester could be happening elsewhere.’

Claudia Webbe, the MP for Leicester East, said the Government was ‘drip-feeding’ the truth to the city and that there had been ‘delays & inefficient testing data’.

But she agreed: ‘The reality is clear the rate of infection is high,’ and backed the decision to put the city back in lockdown.

Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, MP for Tooting in London, said the incomplete data being given to councils ‘leaves them unable to analyse infection rates’.

Professor Kate Ardern, director of public health at Wigan Council told the Financial Times: ‘If I don’t know who is being tested, and getting positive tests, in the community because one of the major elements of the testing system isn’t currently sending me complete and reliable intelligence… it actually hampers our ability to get ahead of the curve on outbreak management.’

Ian Hudspeth, a chairman at the Local Government Association, which represents councils around the UK, said: ‘It is clear that more precise, granular information is needed in order to help councils track down and isolate any specific outbreaks or clusters. 

‘This data needs to be provided promptly and shared quickly, with both district councils and upper tier local authorities, to ensure the swiftest and most effective response.’

He said it was vital that responses are ‘proportionate’ and the public understand why they are happening – and that police-enforced lockdowns should be a ‘last resort’. 

Despite the row over data, Prime Minister Boris Johnson today denied that the Government had kept it secret from local councils, insisting in Prime Minister’s Questions that it was shared.

His opponent, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, accused the PM of letting coronavirus run wild in Leicester during a ‘lost week’.   

In the Commons, Sir Keir said: ‘At the daily press conference on June 18 the Health Secretary said ”there’s an outbreak of Covid-19 right now in parts of Leicester”. 

‘Yet it was only on Monday evening this week that the Government introduced restrictions. That’s a delay of 11 days during which the virus was spreading in Leicester. Why was the Government so slow to act?’


Labour leader Keir Starmer (right) accused Boris Johnson (left) of being ‘slow to act’ and said local officials in Leicester were left believing there were only 80 positive tests per week, when the real figure was more than 940

Mr Johnson said the Government ‘acted decisively’ and ‘put on the brakes’ in Leicester.

‘Actually the Government first took notice and acted that was going on in Leicester on June 8 because we could see there was an issue there,’ he said. ‘We sent mobile testing units shortly thereafter.

‘We engaged actively with the authorities in Leicester, with public health in Leicester, with everyone responsible in Leicester, in the way we have done with other areas that have had similar issues.

‘Unfortunately in Leicester, it did not prove possible to get the results that we have seen elsewhere so on Monday we took the decision, which I hope the right honourable gentleman approves of, to go into lockdown in Leicester.’

Jess Phillips, Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley and shadow minister for domestic violence, tweeted: ‘Boris Johnson is just lying. It has been incredibly hard for local authorities to get data and information from the beginning of the crisis.’  

More local lockdowns are ‘just DAYS away’ PHE sources claim, as experts warn Bradford and Doncaster could be next to be hit by restrictions after Leicester 

Leicester-style localised lockdowns are ‘just days away’ from being imposed after dozens of towns and cities saw coronavirus cases surge in the past week, it was claimed today.

Bradford, Doncaster and Barnsley are said to be at the top of the Government’s list of potential Covid-19 hotspots as the virus continues to run rampant in Yorkshire.

Former Government scientific adviser ‘Professor Lockdown’ Neil Ferguson, of Imperial College London, said these towns and cities were ‘clearly of concern’ and suggested they could be next to roll back the draconian curbs.  

Parts of Kent, the North West of England and more than a dozen London boroughs are also being kept under review after clusters of cases in the last week.  

Public Health England and Department of Health sources told Sky News they had earmarked 36 Covid hotspots in England where lockdowns could be ‘just days away’. 

But the Government is yet to officially confirm which areas are most at risk of outbreaks. And the full extent of local infection rates is also still unclear because of a huge gap in the data given out to the public and what is known inside Number 10.

The Government does not disclose coronavirus cases found through ‘Pillar 2’ testing, which is swab tests done on members of the public. Only the results of hospital patients and healthcare staff tested for the virus are being made public, despite accounting for just a fraction of overall cases. 

For comparison, Leicester officially recorded just 80 new positive tests between June 13 and June 26, according to the Government’s official testing data. But health secretary Matt Hancock revealed that there were in fact 944 diagnoses made during that time, when Pillar 2 testing was included. 

Local councils and public health officials say they aren’t being given proper testing data and are now battling with the Government to find out what’s happening in their areas.  

Peter Soulsby, mayor of Leicester, said he had tried ‘for weeks’ to prise testing results from the Government, which delayed the city’s lockdown. But Boris Johnson refuted these claims in the House of Commons today, claiming ministers had been forthcoming with swabbing data for all local authorities in England.

Bradford, Doncaster and Barnsley are said to be at the top of the Government’s list of potential Covid hotspots as the virus continues to run rampant in Yorkshire (shown in red)

Public Health England data shows Leicester’s infection rate is twice as high as the second-worst-hit city of Bradford

Former Government scientific adviser Professor Neil Ferguson, of Imperial College London, said Bradford and Doncaster were ‘clearly of concern’ because the Yorkshire cities have some of the highest numbers of cases per capita in the country

Professor Ferguson told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning: ‘Absolutely, it’s inevitable we will [see more lockdowns]. We’re relaxing lockdown rules and that means that contacts in the population are going up. 

‘That’s a variable process that will vary from place to place and that means there will be some places where there are too many contacts and we get clusters of transmissions what’s critically important is that we detect those early and adopt the measures necessary to locally reduce transmission again.’

On whether Bradford and Doncaster could be next to lock down, Professor Ferguson said: ‘Those are areas where, not as high as Leicester, but they have some of the highest number of cases per 100,000 of the population. 

‘They’re clearly of concern. I think there are a set of measures being introduced in those areas to track down transmissions but whether we need more measures will depend on whether we can pull case numbers down.

‘A second national wave is an agglomeration of small outbreaks like the Leicester one merged together across the country that’s exactly what we want to avoid by snuffing out those small outbreaks when they are just sparks, when we’re not seeing a national large increase in case numbers.’ 

Professor Ferguson said the UK was too slow to ramp up testing, which left the country playing catch up with the epidemic. 

Data compiled by Public Health England (PHE) shows Havering and Wiltshire have seen the biggest week-on-week increases in confirmed Covid-19 infections (300 per cent). In comparison, Leicester has recorded a 5 per cent jump in cases – going from 39 cases registered between June 13-19 to 41 in the following seven-day spell

Pictured: The lockdown zone in Leicester, which has left some Britons in lockdown while their neighbours are not

He added: ‘ I think without doubt we didn’t ramp up testing fast enough and therefore we were relatively blind in late February, early March about truly how much infection was happening in the community in this country brought in from Spain and Italy and other countries. 

‘It was only once we started hospital surveillance we got a good handle on that and from that point onwards we acted very quickly, it was just a little too late.

The 36 ‘at-risk’ areas in England

  • Havering 
  • Wiltshire 
  • Wandsworth 
  • Gloucestershire 
  • Ealing 
  • Hammersmith and Fulham 
  • Doncaster 
  • Plymouth
  • Barking and Dagenham 
  • Westminster 
  • Milton Keynes 
  • Wakefield 
  • Haringey 
  • Medway 
  • Hounslow 
  • Brent 
  • Harrow 
  • Kensington and Chelsea 
  • Slough
  • Suffolk 
  • Redbridge 
  • Sandwell 
  • Enfield 
  • Tower Hamlets 
  • York 
  • Sunderland 
  • Wigan 
  • Windsor and Maidenhead 
  • Leicester 
  • Gateshead 
  • Isle of Wight 
  • Richmond upon Thames
  • Portsmouth 
  • Redcar and Cleveland 
  • Derbyshire 
  • Walsall 

In Scotland,  Lanarkshire and Dumfries & Galloway are also experiencing a surge in cases.

‘We were one of the most heavily seeded countries with infection in Europe, while we introduced lockdown measures around the same time as European countries, a little later than some, the epidemic was more progressed.

‘Per 100,000 of the population yes we’re one of the worst affected European countries. I would say before we make international comparisons, just bear in mind that we’re still very early into this pandemic.

‘Lessons can be learned from what happened in the UK up till now but I would prefer to focus on the next six months right before looking back in earnest.’ 

Other scientists and public health officials have warned of more localised lockdowns after it emerged parts of Kent, London and Scotland are still experiencing clusters of the virus. 

Professor Deenan Pillay, a virologist at Universtiy College London, told the Guardian: ‘I am expecting there to be a number of Leicesters. The base level of infections going on in the UK is still much higher than it was in other countries in Europe when they started to release their lockdowns,’ he added.

Jeanelle de Gruchy, president of the Association of Directors of Public Health, told the newspaper: ‘We need to be cautious on easing lockdown because we are not out of the woods yet. Leicester is a sobering example of that. It should make us cautious about being too gung-ho in easing different measures.’  

Infections have risen in the Medway, the West London boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham and Ealing, and Lanarkshire and Dumfries & Galloway in Scotland. 

Figures show these areas experienced an increase of 10 or more weekly infections between June 18 and June 25 – but this is likely to account for just a fraction of overall cases because the Government does not make Pillar 1 testing data available. 

For example, government data shows the UK has officially recorded 311,965 Covid-19 cases since the crisis began to spiral out of control in February.

But PHE has only revealed the area-by-area data for 63 per cent of the infections – meaning the location of 115,000 confirmed cases is missing.  

The massive disparity in figures is seen clearly in Leicester. Leicester City Council (LCC) claims there has been 3,216 laboratory-confirmed coronavirus cases across the city since Britain’s outbreak began to spiral out of control in February.

Local officials revealed 944 of those Covid-19 infections were diagnosed in the past fortnight — meaning the city’s epidemic has grown by roughly 70.6 per cent since mid-June. This equates to roughly 977 coronavirus cases for every 100,000 people.

But that data given to the LCC, which takes into account the results of all tests carried out across NHS, Public Health England and commercial laboratories, is not available to the public.

Data shows how Leicester’s coronavirus outbreak has grown over time. The numbers compiled for England only include pillar one swab tests, which officials say are only given to patients with a medical need or key workers

Government-released data shows Leicester has only recorded 1,056 cases of the coronavirus since the pandemic began — a third of the figure obtained by LCC. It revealed only 366 new infections have been confirmed in May and June.

Data on the results of pillar one tests analysed by The Daily Telegraph shows Leicester last week recorded the second-highest amount of cases across England – behind only Kent (101).

However, the rate in Kent – the upper tier local authority with the most diagnosed cases (5,591) – has dropped 16 per cent week-on-week.

Nine of the 36 authorities where Covid-19 cases are rising, including Sunderland, Portsmouth and York, recorded no new cases between June 13 and 19.

How a large BAME population, poverty and crowded households may have contributed to Leicester’s spike in cases 

Government officials, local politicians and scientists are divided over whether Leicester is experiencing a real surge in cases or whether better testing is simply finding more of them where it wasn’t before.

It is also not clear whether there are any characteristics of Leicester which make it more likely to see a surge in cases, or if random chance has meant the first ‘second wave’ is happening there. Experts say many of the risk factors in Leicester are the same in all major cities in England.

The mayor of the city, Sir Peter Soulsby, said on BBC Radio 4 this morning that a report sent to him by the Government ‘actually acknowledges that it’s very likely that the increase in number of positives identified is a result of increased testing, and that actually there’s perhaps nothing of any great significance in those results.’

Director of Public Health for the city, Ivan Browne, said: ‘Interestingly it [the surge in cases] is very much around the younger, working age population and predominantly towards the east part of our city. We started to see this level through our testing programme.

‘Young people work in many industries across the city so at this stage what we’re trying to do is gather as much epidemiological information as we can to really try and get underneath and have an understanding. I don’t think at the moment that we are seeing a single source or a single smoking gun on this’.

It was always likely that surges in cases would be seen in cities first. There are more people, raising the risk, and those people are more likely to live in densely populated areas and come into contact with strangers on a regular basis.

Dr Shaun Fitzgerald, from the University of Cambridge, said: ‘There will be differences in the ease with which people can maintain physical distance between densely populated areas and rural environments – so it isn’t surprising to me that we may see localised flare-ups, which in turn may need suppressing through delayed easing or temporary re-introduction of some constraints on some movements and activities.’ 

Leicester also has high levels of deprivation, which affects people’s lives in ways that put them at risk of catching the virus. 

Dr Simon Clarke, a microbiologist at the University of Reading, told MailOnline: ‘In deprived areas people are more likely to have to go to work, less likely to be able to work from home, and more likely to use public transport. They can’t distance themselves from others.’

The Samworth Brothers sandwich factory in the city reported over the weekend that it had diagnosed cases of Covid-19 among its staff.

Food processing factories are a higher transmission risk because cold environments allow the virus to survive for longer on hard surfaces and make people’s airways more susceptible to infection.

Dr Clarke added that the types of work people do may increase their risk.  

‘Blue collar cities are now at higher risk than places like London and Manchester which have more financial services,’ he added. 

They all recorded either one or two cases the following week, hence why they were included in the list of areas where outbreaks appear to be growing.

Doncaster – a town in South Yorkshire – recorded the biggest actual spike in coronavirus cases over the two-week period, going from 11 to 32.

The London boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham (seven to 18) and Ealing (five to 14) also witnessed big jumps in the actual numbers of cases.

Thirteen other London boroughs are also experiencing a rise in coronavirus cases, according to the analysis of the figures by The Telegraph.

Official figures do show the number of infections are dropping, however. The average number of lab-confirmed cases has dropped to 894 – the lowest since March.

It emerged today that one in seven children have tested positive for the virus in Leicester, according to The Telegraph.

Prevalence is now thought to be 15 per cent among under-18s in the East Midlands city – almost three times higher than the rest of England. 

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: ‘We have been working closely with our local partners, providing them with the resources and tools so that they can take swift action to deal with any new local spikes in infections.’ 

Government officials, local politicians and scientists are divided over whether Leicester is experiencing a real surge in cases or whether better testing is simply finding more of them where it wasn’t before.

It is also not clear whether there are any characteristics of Leicester which make it more likely to see a surge in cases, or if random chance has meant the first ‘second wave’ is happening there. Experts say many of the risk factors in Leicester are the same in all major cities in England.

The mayor of the city, Sir Peter Soulsby, said on BBC Radio 4 this week that a report sent to him by the Government ‘actually acknowledges that it’s very likely that the increase in number of positives identified is a result of increased testing, and that actually there’s perhaps nothing of any great significance in those results.’

Director of Public Health for the city, Ivan Browne, said: ‘Interestingly it [the surge in cases] is very much around the younger, working age population and predominantly towards the east part of our city. We started to see this level through our testing programme.

‘Young people work in many industries across the city so at this stage what we’re trying to do is gather as much epidemiological information as we can to really try and get underneath and have an understanding. I don’t think at the moment that we are seeing a single source or a single smoking gun on this’.

It was always likely that surges in cases would be seen in cities first. There are more people, raising the risk, and those people are more likely to live in densely populated areas and come into contact with strangers on a regular basis.

Dr Shaun Fitzgerald, from the University of Cambridge, said: ‘There will be differences in the ease with which people can maintain physical distance between densely populated areas and rural environments – so it isn’t surprising to me that we may see localised flare-ups, which in turn may need suppressing through delayed easing or temporary re-introduction of some constraints on some movements and activities.’ 

Leicester also has high levels of deprivation, which affects people’s lives in ways that put them at risk of catching the virus. 

Dr Simon Clarke, a microbiologist at the University of Reading, told MailOnline: ‘In deprived areas people are more likely to have to go to work, less likely to be able to work from home, and more likely to use public transport. They can’t distance themselves from others.’

The Samworth Brothers sandwich factory in the city reported over the weekend that it had diagnosed cases of Covid-19 among its staff.

Food processing factories are a higher transmission risk because cold environments allow the virus to survive for longer on hard surfaces and make people’s airways more susceptible to infection.

Dr Clarke added that the types of work people do may increase their risk. ‘Blue collar cities are now at higher risk than places like London and Manchester which have more financial services,’ he added.  

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Wild brawl breaks out at Arkansas steakhouse over social distancing

Wild brawl breaks out at Arkansas steakhouse as man is smashed over the head with a bottle amid row over customers coughing and not keeping their distance

  • Fight at steakhouse in Little Rock, Arkansas, on Saturday was caught on camera  
  • Customers began arguing after one woman accused another of sitting too close 
  • The same woman was also accused of deliberately coughing on other customers
  • Two men then shoved each-other before one broke a bottle over the other’s head

This is the moment a wild fight broke out at an Arkansas steakhouse after two customers were accused of ignoring social distancing.

Seth Crews, who filmed the brawl and whose brother can be seen trying to break up the fight, said it all started when one woman accused another of sitting too close.

Staff at the Little Rock eatery said the same woman – who can be seen standing up in the video without a mask on – was deliberately coughing on others. 


This is the moment a wild brawl erupted in an Arkansas steakhouse after two women (left) got into an argument about coughing and social distance, before a man wearing a USA shirt (right) came over and escalated the row

As the video starts, the accuser – who can be seen sitting down wearing a mask – can be heard saying ‘you got to move, you got to be six feet away from me’.

The two can be heard arguing back and forth, with the mask-wearing woman adding at one point ‘of course I’m yelling, you’re getting spit on me.’

The altercation then takes a drastic turn after a man wearing a ‘USA’ shirt walks over and gets involved.

At first he begins yelling at the seated woman, but quickly turns his attention to a man who is stood at the table with his back turned.

The two appear to swap words, though it is not clear what is being said.

Crews, speaking to local station KARK, said the man in the shirt then began pushing the other man – the boyfriend of the mask-wearing woman – in the back.


The man in the shirt can be seen saying something to another man who has his back turned (left), before he grabs a beer bottle and smashes it over the man’s head, sparking a fight (right)

The footage does not clearly show a push, though at one point before turning around the boyfriend appears to lurch a little – as if shoved.

As he turns he reaches for a glass bottle on the table, and a moment later brings it down on the other man’s head, sparking the fight.

Other customers then come running over in an attempt to separate the two men, as the mask-wearing woman can be seen hitting him in the head.

The scene descends into chaos as the footage ends.

Police were called and took statements from those involved including restaurant staff, though KARK says nobody has so-far pressed charges.

The steakhouse refused to comment on what their social distancing guidelines, and whether they were breached.

Police were called to the steakhouse, in Little Rock, following the fight on Saturday – but say that so far nobody is pressing charges

Crews added: ‘I think if just someone is telling you to stay away from them, you probably shouldn’t get near them.

‘And maybe if you don’t want to get Coronavirus, don’t go to a restaurant.’

The US is currently seeing a wave of coronavirus infections, particularly in southern states and California, as governors attempt to ease out of lockdown.

Daily infections have now topped 40,000 per day, with disease expert Anthony Facui warning they may soon be over 100,000 per day.

‘Congregation at a bar, inside, is bad news. We really got to stop that right now,’ he said.

‘I think we need to emphasize the responsibility that we have both as individuals and as part of a societal effort to end the epidemic that we all have to play a part in that.’

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Lifestyle

Henrikh Mkhitaryan staying at Roma next season as Arsenal give up on swap deal for Kluivert

HENRIKH MKHITARYAN will join Roma on a permanent deal from Arsenal, according to reports.

The Armenian international has spent the season on loan with the Serie A side, making 19 appearances in all competitions.

 

Mkhitaryan, 31, had initially agreed a loan extension to see out the rest of the season after it was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

LADBROKES 1-2-FREE Simply predict Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City scores this coming weekend and win £100

And journalist Fabrizio Romano suggests that the two clubs have come to an agreement over a permanent switch with Mikel Arteta seeing no future for the former Manchester United man.

Mkhitaryan told the club's website following his extension: "I'm very pleased.

"I'm happy to extend my stay here, because I still have things that I haven't achieved yet that I want to achieve.

"I'm looking forward to it."

But any talk of a swap deal with the highly-rated Justin Kluivert has been quashed.

Reports in Italy claimed that Arsenal were hoping to use Mkhitaryan as a makeweight to land the Dutchman with Arteta keen on bolstering his squad on the cheap.

Roma value the winger, 21, at up to £36m and would play hardball because they have to pay ten per cent of any fee over £18m to his former club Ajax.

 

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Couple who brandished guns at protesters are under investigation

St Louis prosecutor considers charges against lawyer couple who brandished firearms at protesters outside their mansion after ‘fearing for their lives’

  • Mark McCloskey, 63, and his wife Patricia McCloskey, 61, were seen touting an AR-15 rifle and a handgun as protesters marched by their home Sunday
  • The city’s lead prosecutor has said they are now under investigation
  • St. Louis prosecutor Kimberly Gardner said Monday she was ‘alarmed’ that ‘peaceful protesters were met by guns’
  • It comes despite police saying there would be no charges brought against them 
  • An attorney for the couple insists they acted lawfully on their property
  • He claimed they are supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement 
  • The lawyers were the only ones to file a police report after the confrontation 

The leading St. Louis city prosecutor is considering pressing charges against a Missouri lawyer couple after they were seen brandishing guns at protesters outside their $1.15million mansion. 

Mark McCloskey, 63, and his wife Patricia McCloskey, 61, were seen in multiple videos and photos on Sunday evening touting an AR-15 rifle and a handgun as protesters marched. 

The couple claimed they ‘feared for our lives’ after the protesters allegedly broke down the gate into their private community and threatened them. 

The pair were the only ones to lodge an official police report about the confrontation citing ‘threats of harm’ and police said Monday they would not be charged. 

Yet St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner announced Monday that she was working with police and prosecutors to investigate the lawyers for possible threats against the crowd. 

Scroll down for video 

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner said she was ‘alarmed’ that ‘peaceful protesters were met by guns’ and that she is investigating the McCloskey couple despite police saying they were the only ones to file a report and there would be no charges against them

Armed homeowners, Patty and Mark McCloskey, stand in front their house along Portland Place and confront protesters marching to St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson’s house on Sunday

Patricia McCloskey drew a firearm on protesters as walked in front of her house on Sunday 

‘I am alarmed at the events that occurred over the weekend, where peaceful protesters were met by guns and a violent assault,’ Gardner said in a video statement Monday evening. 

‘We must protect the right to peacefully protest, and any attempt to chill it through intimidation or threat of deadly force will not be tolerated,’ she insisted. 

‘Since learning of these events over this weekend, I’ve worked with the public and the police to investigate these tragic events.   

‘Make no mistake, the circuit attorney’s office we will not tolerate the use of force against those exercising their First Amendment rights, and will use the full power of Missouri law to hold people accountable,’ Gardner warned. 

While the couple has had support for their actions they have also met with backlash. 

The pair are both personal injury lawyers and run McCloskey Law Center from inside their extravagant home. The company’s website was taken offline on Monday afternoon because of the large influx of emails and the couple has said they have been forced to board up their office.

According to St. Louis Today, a Democrat running for a state Senate seat also refused to take a donation from them and instead donated it to the gun safety campaign group Moms Demand Action. 

An attorney for the couple has insisted that they ‘acted lawfully on their property’. 

Albert Watkins said on Monday that the couple are long-time civil rights advocates and support the message of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

He said they grabbed their guns when two or three protesters – who were white – violently threatened the couple and their property and that of their neighbors.

‘Their actions were borne solely of fear and apprehension, the genesis of which was not race-related. In fact, the agitators responsible for the trepidation were white,’ Watkins said in a statement. 

‘The peaceful protesters were not the subject of scorn or disdain by the McCloskeys.

‘To the contrary, they were expecting and supportive of the message of the protesters.

Gardner also issued this statement about the investigation on Monday evening

‘The most important thing for them is that their images (holding the guns) don’t become the basis for a rallying cry for people who oppose the Black Lives Matter message,’ he added. 

‘They want to make it really clear that they believe the Black Lives Matter message is important.’ 

Video of the McCloskeys went viral Sunday night after they were seen aiming the guns at demonstrators who walked by their palatial property in the wealthy Forest Park area at around 6pm on Sunday.

Protesters were en route to Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home to demand her resignation after she released the names and addresses of residents who had suggested defunding the police department. 

The video of the couple’s standoff has been viewed more than 13million times as of Tuesday with some supporting the pair’s right to protect their private property and others claiming that they broke the law by threatening a peaceful protest. 

At one point, the pair seemed to be unknowingly pointing their weapons at one another other while trying to keep protesters away from their home – dubbed the Niemann Mansion. 

In the video, demonstrators chanted ‘Let’s Go’ as the couple stood their ground at their front door, patrolling back and forth. 

Mark McCloskey could be seen carrying a firearm as protesters entered his neighborhood

About 300 protesters had gone through a gate into this closed-off community and were marching in front of the McCloskey home, which is pictured center. The family said they were having dinner outside when the demonstrators arrived 

The private road entrance to Portland Place where protesters allegedly broke down a gate Sunday

One video posted to Twitter of the demonstration shows the woman holding her gun at a protester who is wearing a t-shirt that reads, ‘Hands up, don’t shoot’. 

The individual appeared to be trying to get people to move away from the house at the time. 

Patricia McCloskey  is seen moving closer to the protesters speaking to them as some stand and argue back. 

Other demonstrators are heard shouting at everyone to ‘Go’ as the woman continues waving her handgun at them from her front lawn and Mark McCloskey watched from the front door with his rifle.  

Police said Monday that people in the crowd yelled threats at the couple and that the McCloskeys would not be charged. 

They added that they are still investigating but labeled it a case of trespassing and assault by intimidation against the couple by protesters in the racially diverse crowd.

St. Louis police confirmed they were called to Portland Place at around 7.20pm on Sunday night for an incident involving trespassing and assault 4th intimidation after the McCloskeys issued a ‘call for help’. 

‘The victims stated they were on their property when they heard a loud commotion coming from the street. When the victims went to investigate the commotion, they observed a large group of subjects forcefully break an iron gate marked with “No Trespassing” and “Private Street” signs,’ police said. 

‘Once through the gate, the victims advised the group that they were on a private street and trespassing and told them to leave. The group began yelling obscenities and threats of harm to both victims. 


Husband and wife, Mark and Patricia McCloskey are both personal injury lawyers

‘When the victims observed multiple subjects who were armed, they then armed themselves and contacted police. The investigation is ongoing.’ 

In interviews Monday, Mark McCloskey compared the protesters to the storming of the Bastille and branded them ‘Marxists’ and ‘terrorists’ who were part of a revolution that did not really care about Black Lives Matter.

He noted that he had previously represented a black man who was the victim of police violence. 

He also said that the only pulled out his gun from his house when the protesters smashed through a gate into their private property, sharing pictures of the destroyed gateway. 

‘A mob of at least 100 smashed through the historic wrought iron gates of Portland Place, destroying them, rushed towards my home where my family was having dinner outside and put us in fear of our lives,’ he said.  

‘This is all private property. There are no public sidewalks or public streets. We were told that we would be killed, our home burned and our dog killed. We were all alone facing an angry mob.’

His claims appear to stand in contrast with a livestreamed video from a protesters that shows them walking through the open and intact gate and immediately being met with an armed Mark McCloskey. 

According to the NRA, state law does not prohibit the open carrying of firearms, but does prohibit exhibiting ‘any weapon readily capable of lethal use’ in an angry or threatening manner in the presence of one or more persons. 

Exhibiting a weapon in this way would likely be a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison and a fine not to exceed $5,000. 

According to the St. Louis American, however, the ‘Castle Doctrine’ allows people to use deadly force to attack an intruder on their property. 

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Terrified staff at coronavirus-hit Wrexham factory beg bosses to shut down and warn it's 'impossible' to trace 300 staff

TERRIFIED staff at a coronavirus-hit food factory revealed they begged bosses to shut it down after 166 tested positive.

Worried workers at the plant in Wrexham, North Wales, warned it will be "impossible" for public health officials to trace 300 missing staff who may have the deadly virus.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates


Staff say they are afraid of catching the bug while working near each other on packing lines in chilled rooms.

Management at Rowan Foods in Wrexham, North Wales, have so far refused workers’ demands to close down while health officials try to trace the missing employees.

The plant processes food for retailers including Tesco, Waitrose, Morrisons, Asda, Aldi, Sainsbury’s and Greggs.

One female worker, who did not want to give her name, said: “I am sick with worry.

“I’ve asked my bosses if we can shut down until the infections have come down, but no one is listening. They care more about the firm making money.

“I now know dozens of friends and colleagues who have had it and I guess it’s only a matter of time before I get it too.”

The worker, from Poland and in her 20s, said she is one of many young women in a similar situation.

CORONAVIRUS CRISIS – STAY IN THE KNOW

Don't miss the latest news and figures – and essential advice for you and your family.

To receive The Sun’s Coronavirus newsletter in your inbox every tea time, sign up here.

To follow us on Facebook, simply ‘Like’ our Coronavirus page.

Get Britain’s best-selling newspaper delivered to your smartphone or tablet each day – find out more.

“We worry like mad that we’ll fall sick too,” she added. “Surely closing the factory down now is the sensible thing to do until the virus is back under control.”

She also said that although most staff wore gloves while working, few bothered with masks.

Another worker, a male, also from Poland, said it will be “impossible” to trace the missing colleagues who may have the virus.

The man, who did not want to be identified, said most of the factory’s 1,000 workers are recruited from Eastern Europe on the minimum wage and many quit after a few months.

He said: "Most workers only last a few months but back home there is always another plane load waiting to take our places.”

It comes after Leicester has been forced back into more severe lockdown restrictions due to a spike in cases there.

Cases have also risen in 10 more towns and counties in the past two weeks – leaving officials afraid of more local lockdowns.



And in Wrexham, during lunch and cigarette breaks outdoors in the grounds of the huge factory in an industrial estate two miles outside the town yesterday, staff huddled just inches apart beneath a cycle shelter.

Social distancing was not evident and none seen by Sun Online journalists wore gloves, masks or other PPE.

Many appeared to be lift-sharing as they arrived at work. Up to four workers emerged from vehicles pulling up outside the plant and were told by security staff to keep two metres apart as they made their way inside.

Public Health Wales say they are trying to trace more than 300 staff who may have contracted the virus.

In the first week of April, staff at the plant walked out in protest amid concerns over Covid-19 working conditions.

Police were called more than once to the plant after workers walked out.

There are no plans to close the site, following "a detailed two-day inspection by the Health and Safety Executive" last Friday, a spokesperson for Rowan Foods said.  

The spokesperson added protective equipment is on site for anyone who wants to use them and the factory has safe workable conditions.

They said everyone on site was tested last week, adding: "We are aware that Public Health Wales has previously said that it is trying to trace 300 missing employees. 

"We are extremely puzzled by this as we provided the Public Health Wales testing unit with a list of nearly 300 colleagues who were not on site and would not be for some time, for reasons such as shielding, maternity leave, long term sick and isolation."

 

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Lifestyle

EasyJet to close its hubs at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle airports

EASYJET is to sack up to 5,000 staff and close its hubs at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle airports.

The devastating announcement was made today as the airline admitted the rest of its UK network is “under review”.

The airline will still continue to run to the airports, even if they no longer operate as hubs.

Pilots union BALPA said 727 cockpit crew faced the axe – around one in three of easyJet’s 2,300 pilots in the UK.

EasyJet is expected to lose between 4,500 and 5,000 jobs across its entire network – around 1,900 UK employees are due to go, including 727 pilots.

Airline bosses gave the grim news to union chiefs of pilots and crew, and devastated staff were left gobsmacked.

An easyJet spokeswoman told The Sun: “As part of our update to the market on 28 May 2020, easyJet set out that it may need to reduce staff numbers by up to 30% as well as optimise its network and bases as a result of the pandemic.

“easyJet has today started formal consultation on proposals with employee representatives including Balpa and Unite on all of its UK based pilots and crew. 

“The proposals include the potential closing of three of its bases in the UK – London Stansted, London Southend and Newcastle. These airports would remain part of easyJet’s route network."

EasyJet told how it won’t reach expected revenue levels post lockdown until 2023.

Johan Lundgren, easyJet CEO, said: “These are very difficult proposals to put forward in what is an unprecedented and difficult time for the airline and the industry as a whole.

"We are focused on doing what is right for the company and its long term health and success so we can protect jobs going forward.

“Unfortunately the lower demand environment means we need fewer aircraft and have less opportunity for work for our people."

EasyJet currently has 163 aircraft in the UK at 11 airports, serving 546 routes and flying more than 52 million passengers a year.

The aviation sector has been severely hit by coronavirus, with BA losing£20million a day.

Bosses want to axe 12,000 staff and ‘fire and re-hire’ the remaining 36,000 staff on lower wages.

Unfortunately the lower demand environment means we need fewer aircraft and have less opportunity for work for our people

Brian Strutton, pilots union Balpa general secretary, said: “We know that aviation is in the midst of the covid-19 crisis and we had been expecting easyJet to make an announcement of temporary measures to help the airline through to recovery.

 “But this seems an excessive over-reaction and easyJet won’t find a supply of pilots waiting to come back when the recovery takes place over the next two years. "

Last November, easyJet acquired Thomas Cook's slots at Gatwick and Bristol airports for £36million.

Meanwhile, The Sun understands Virgin Atlantic’s future is “bleak” as it emerged yesterday they can’t afford to pay staff for holidays.

Airline insiders admitted it is “touch and go” if Sir Richard Branson’s carrier will survive the coronavirus pandemic meltdown.

Staff were reeling last night after being told bosses will not top up monthly furlough salary payments with annual leave taken.

Virgin said: “Any annual leave you have accrued while on furlough leave is to be considered taken.”

Bosses went on: “When you return to work your remaining annual leave allowance will be your usual annual entitlement, minus any annual leave you have already taken this year, which includes annual leave accrued and taken during furlough leave.”

Rachel Clarke, head of people services at Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays, told staff: “We recognise this is a different approach to the government guidance, and we understand this is a big ask

“We’re asking for your help with annual leave, because unfortunately, as we strive to safeguard the future of the business, it’s just not affordable at this time."

The airline is planning to re-start passenger flights from July 20.

Staff who get the boot from the airline after that date will receive redundancy in August on a contractural minimum of 28 days notice.

Around 8,000 Virgin workers were furloughed at the start of lockdown, with staff paid 80 per cent of their salaries up to £2,500 a month for three months. 

The scheme has been extended until October but cash-strapped Virgin has to contribute to the scheme from September.

Virgin was contacted for comment.

Source: Read Full Article