All posts by Naomi Tucker

Americans earned an additional $1.1 trillion last year thanks to stimulus checks and other aid 


Us residents gained an excess $1.1 trillion in 2020 thanks to stimulus checks and other pandemic help from the federal government, a new report finds.

Very last year, complete individual cash flow for the country enhanced 6.1 percent owing to so-referred to as ‘transfer receipts,’ the U.S. Bureau of Economic Examination (BEA) uncovered in preliminary success produced on Wednesday.

Transfer receipts include assist like the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES Act), which despatched $1,200 economic effect payment to virtually all citizens.

According to Bloomberg, this boost in cash flow is the most ever in the U.S. because at the very least 1930, and outpaced any progress observed in wages or home values.

A report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Assessment released on Wednesday found that Us residents gained an more $1.1 trillion in 2020

Arizona and Montana were states with the highest change in personal income at 8.4% and Wyoming was the state with the lowest change at 2.4%

Arizona and Montana were states with the maximum change in private revenue at 8.4% and Wyoming was the state with the cheapest change at 2.4%

The BEA assessment located that 2020 was at the very least the next straight 12 months of expansion for personalized revenue right after it also rose 3.9 percent in 2019.

Transfer receipts have been uncovered to be the leading contributor of the increase in personal profits in every point out, accounting for the entire $1.1 trillion.

Aid from the CARES Act far surpassed other types of guidance these as state unemployment insurance plan compensation, Medicaid payments, Medicare benefits and Social Safety checks.

Arizona and Montana tied for the states with the maximum alter in personalized revenue at 8.4 per cent. 

The other three states rounding out the top rated five are Utah, Idaho and Rhode Island, respectively.

Conversely, Wyoming observed the the very least modify in individual money at just 2.4 %, the assessment uncovered.

The Cowboy State was carefully followed by Connecticut, Alaska, North Dakota and Wisconsin, respectively.  

The report also seemed at wages, which rose by just .3 percent in 2020, the smallest maximize considering the fact that 2009, when the Excellent Recession hit. 

The Mideast – manufactured up of Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania – saw the finest decline in wages at 1.4 percent in overall.

Earnings reduced in various industries with the most important losses noticed in solutions such as lodging and the arts, and the major improves had been in scientific and technological products and services.

The BEA also found that home money diminished 1.1 p.c for the U.S. very last year after escalating 1.3 % in 2019.

The increase in income was found to be entirely due to 'transfer receipts,' which includes stimulus checks and other aid from the government under the CARES Act (above)

The enhance in cash flow was found to be totally thanks to ‘transfer receipts,’ which involves stimulus checks and other assist from the government underneath the CARES Act (over)

Governmental help from applications these types of as economic releif payments much outpaced advancement in wages, which increased .3%, or assets income, which decreased 1.1% (file picture)

It will come on the heels of news from the Office of Labor that unemployment claims fell by 97,000 past week to 684,000.

In the meantime, the four-week rolling common declined by 13,000 from the earlier week’s typical of 749,000 to 736,000.

Economist predict that unemployment statements will go on to fall even even further as much more Americans are vaccinated and restrictions on businesses are lifted.  

‘For the first time considering that the pandemic began, new claims for jobless added benefits have dropped down below the 700,000 degree,’ Bankrate.com senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick advised U.S. Information & Earth Report. 

‘This is probable a signal of even much better factors to appear for the nation’s battered financial state and the hundreds of thousands of persons who are jobless, underemployed or have left the workforce but would like to function.’ 



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Russian threatens to block Twitter within 30 days over ‘banned content’


Putin vows to take down Twitter: Service will be blocked in Russia in 30 days if it does not delete ‘banned content’

  • Russia has vowed to remove Twitter in a month in a row about ‘banned content’ 
  • Watchdog suggests web-site unsuccessful to get rid of material about suicide, medicine and little one porn
  • But critics say transfer is designed to prevent opposition leaders organising protests 
  • Arrives a working day after Alexei Navalny posted his very first update from within jail 

Russia has threatened to block Twitter in just 30 times unless the web page acts to take away what the govt refers to as ‘banned content’. 

Vadim Subbotin, deputy head of watchdog Roskomnadzor, stated on Tuesday that the ban would come into impact until Twitter taken out the material, which he stated contains youngster porn and facts on kid suicide and medicines.

But critics say the crackdown is actually an endeavor to halt Putin’s political opponents organising rallies, as they did in a range of cities previously this 12 months.

Subbotin issued his threat just a working day right after Putin’s principal critic, Alexei Navalny, posted his very first update from inside jail – sharing an graphic of himself with a shaved head.

‘Twitter is not reacting to our requests as they ought to. If the problem carries on then it will be blocked in a thirty day period without having a court docket buy,’ Subbotin stated. 

It comes a week after Subbotin declared that Twitter’s internet velocity would be slowed down except if it eliminated the offending written content.  

In the meantime Twitter is also staying sued in Russia for allegedly failing to delete content encouraging little ones to be a part of anti-Putin protests.

Twitter explained at the time that it was apprehensive about the influence on absolutely free speech even with Russian legal guidelines exclusively outlawing children attending protests. 

Russia has also railed against social media web sites for censoring state-managed media this kind of as RT, which have been branded propaganda web pages by international governments.

Again in January, Putin personally accused social media giants in January of ‘controlling society’ and ‘restricting the appropriate to freely categorical viewpoints.’

Around 9million Russians are imagined to use Twitter, just eight for each cent of the country’s overall populace, although it is the favoured means of interaction for Putin’s critics which includes the likes of Navalny.

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has revealed he has a 'freshly shaven head' in a message from a prison colony in Russia which he today likened to a 'concentration camp'

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has exposed he has a ‘freshly shaven head’ in a concept from a prison colony in Russia which he currently likened to a ‘concentration camp’

The dissident is a prolific person of social media, generally Instagram, when his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh commonly posts on Twitter.

He utilizes the web sites to bypass Russian censors which have banned him from Television set and the airwaves, and boost anti-corruption investigations into Putin.

Navalny’s most-modern, printed times after his hottest arrest in Russia, accused Putin of setting up a palace on the country’s Black Sea coastline utilizing embezzled state resources. 

Putin denied the allegations but they were plenty of to spark some of the most significant protests from his leadership considering the fact that he became president in 2000.

The transfer in opposition to Twitter is portion of ongoing attempts by the federal government to tighten manage around social platforms.

In 2014, the authorities adopted a legislation requiring online expert services to keep the personal information of Russian end users on servers in Russia and have because tried using to make Facebook and Twitter to comply with it.

Equally providers have been continuously fined, initially compact quantities of all-around $50 and previous year the equal of $63,000 for not complying.

Vladimir Putin past yr signed a further more array of laws offering Russia new powers to limit US social media giants that ‘discriminate’ from its media.

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Covid-19: Slow walkers FOUR TIMES more likely to die from infection, study warns


Pick up the pace! Slow walkers are FOUR TIMES more likely to die from Covid-19, study warns

  • Researchers used UK Biobank data and compared walking pace to Covid risk
  • They found that normal weight slow walkers were at a greater risk of death
  • Obese fast walkers were at less risk of Covid than normal weight slow walkers 
  • The team says this is because they have a better cardiovascular system 

People who walk slowly are at a four times greater risk of dying from coronavirus and twice as likely to contract severe Covid-19, a new study has warned.

University of Leicester researchers studied 412,596 middle-aged UK Biobank participants and the relative link between body mass, walking pace and Covid-19.  

People walking slowly but of a normal weight are 2.5 times more likely to develop severe Covid-19 than normal-weight, fast walkers, the team discovered.

They also found that slow walkers were 3.75 times more likely to die from the virus that put most of the world in lockdown and has led to millions of deaths.

For the study, a slow walker was defined as someone who moved at three miles per hour, while a fast walker moved at more than four miles per hour. 

While the reason for the findings remain unclear, the researchers suggest that fast walkers may have a healthier cardiovascular system, regardless of their weight. 

People who walk slowly are at a four times greater risk of dying from coronavirus and twice as likely to contract severe Covid-19, a new study has warned. Stock image

WALKING SPEED: HOW FAST IS A FAST WALK

For the study researchers created a definition of slow and fast walker.

They found that habitual walking pace, based on self reported survey:

Slow walker –  under 3 mph

Steady/average – 3-4 mph 

Brisk – greater than 4 mph

An Olympic level speed walker can move at 7.7 miles per hour and the fastest marathon was run at 12.4 miles per hour.

They’re not a patch on Usain Bolt, who ran the 100m at 27.33 mph – although over a much shorter distance. 

All of the data came from the UK Biobank, a large and long-term study of genetic predisposition and environmental exposure that started in 2006.  

Tom Yates, lead researcher for the study and a professor of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and health at the University of Leicester said it has already been established that obesity and frailty are ‘key risk factors’ for Covid-19 outcomes. 

‘This is the first study to show that slow walkers have a much higher risk of contracting severe Covid-19 outcomes, irrespective of their weight,’ he said.

‘With the pandemic continuing to put unprecedented strain on healthcare services and communities, identifying individuals at greatest risk and taking preventative measures to protect them is crucial.’

According to the research normal weight slow walkers are more at risk of both severe disease and death than obese fast walkers.

Furthermore, risk was uniformly high in normal weight slow walkers and obese slow walkers, according to the team behind the study.

Professor Yates added that fast walkers have been shown to generally have good cardiovascular and heart health, which makes them more resilient.

These external stress factors include viral infection, but this hypothesis has not yet been established for infectious disease.

‘Whilst large routine database studies have reported the association of obesity and fragility with Covid-19 outcomes, routine clinical databases do not currently have data on measures of physical function or fitness,’ said Yates.

‘It is my view that ongoing public health and research surveillance studies should consider incorporating simple measures of physical fitness such as self-reported walking pace in addition to BMI, as potential risk predictors of Covid-19.’

University of Leicester researchers studied 412,596 middle-aged UK Biobank participants and the relative link between body mass, walking pace and Covid-19. Stock image

University of Leicester researchers studied 412,596 middle-aged UK Biobank participants and the relative link between body mass, walking pace and Covid-19. Stock image

Doing so could ‘ultimately enable better prevention methods that save lives.’ 

Researchers noted a number of limitations to their study, saying that although self-reported walking pace has been shown to be associated with cardiorespiratory fitness within UK Biobank, it is subject to possible reporting bias.

They say that given this and the observational design, no definitive causal conclusions can be derived from their results.  

The findings have been published in the journal International Journal of Obesity. 

OBESITY: ADULTS WITH A BMI OVER 30 ARE SEEN AS OBESE

Obesity is defined as an adult having a BMI of 30 or over.

A healthy person’s BMI – calculated by dividing weight in kg by height in metres, and the answer by the height again – is between 18.5 and 24.9. 

Among children, obesity is defined as being in the 95th percentile.

Percentiles compare youngsters to others their same age. 

For example, if a three-month-old is in the 40th percentile for weight, that means that 40 per cent of three-month-olds weigh the same or less than that baby.

Around 58 per cent of women and 68 per cent of men in the UK are overweight or obese. 

The condition costs the NHS around £6.1billion, out of its approximate £124.7 billion budget, every year.

This is due to obesity increasing a person’s risk of a number of life-threatening conditions.

Such conditions include type 2 diabetes, which can cause kidney disease, blindness and even limb amputations.

Research suggests that at least one in six hospital beds in the UK are taken up by a diabetes patient.

Obesity also raises the risk of heart disease, which kills 315,000 people every year in the UK – making it the number one cause of death.

Carrying dangerous amounts of weight has also been linked to 12 different cancers. 

This includes breast, which affects one in eight women at some point in their lives.

Among children, research suggests that 70 per cent of obese youngsters have high blood pressure or raised cholesterol, which puts them at risk of heart disease.

Obese children are also significantly more likely to become obese adults. 

And if children are overweight, their obesity in adulthood is often more severe.  

As many as one in five children start school in the UK being overweight or obese, which rises to one in three by the time they turn 10.  

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Tucker Carlson ridicules new service ribbon created for National Guard members in DC


Fox News host Tucker Carlson has argued that the menace from QAnon conspiracy theorists is overblown, ridiculing a new support ribbon for National Guardsmen who deployed to the U.S. Capitol considering that January.

‘Guadalcanal may well have been terrible and bloody, but it just didn’t justify its personal ribbon,’ Carlson claimed in his monologue on Friday evening, referring to the bloody Pacific theater marketing campaign in Planet War II. 

‘The Imperial Japanese weren’t as fanatical as Trump voters and not fifty percent as harmful,’ the conservative commentator included sarcastically.

On Friday, the DC Nationwide Guard discovered a new ‘Presidential Inauguration Support Ribbon’ for Guard members who have surrounded the Capitol in a ring of high protection considering the fact that January.

Fox Information host Tucker Carlson has argued that the threat from QAnon conspiracy theorists is overblown, ridiculing a new company ribbon for Nationwide Guardsmen deployed in DC

In all, some 26,000 National Guard troops deployed to DC before, during and after President Joe Biden's inauguration. The mission was extended this week after being set to expire

In all, some 26,000 Countrywide Guard troops deployed to DC prior to, through and following President Joe Biden’s inauguration. The mission was extended this 7 days following getting established to expire

The 'Presidential Inauguration Support Ribbon' features blue, white and red bands and a miniature of the Washington, DC flag in the center

The ‘Presidential Inauguration Help Ribbon’ features blue, white and crimson bands and a miniature of the Washington, DC flag in the center

In all, some 26,000 Countrywide Guard troops deployed to DC for President Joe Biden’s inauguration, as opposed to the approximately 7,800 Guard users who participated in Donald Trump’s 2016 inauguration.

The Emergency Company Ribbon currently exists to recognize Guard customers who provide in a non-war emergency or crisis, but the new ribbon is precisely dedicated to those who participated in the DC deployment. 

‘Other federal decorations are also remaining considered’ for the DC deployment, Air Pressure Lt. Col. Robert Carver, spokesman for the Virginia Air Countrywide Guard and director of Joint Endeavor Power-DC Joint Information and facts Heart, instructed Armed service.com in a statement. 

Irrespective of the violence on January 6, when 5 persons died together with a Capitol police officer and a woman shot by cops, Carlson argued that the menace from QAnon is overblown, and that its adherents seem like ‘gentle’ persons. 

‘Do you ever observe how all the terrifying web conspiracy theorists — the radical QAnon people today — when you really see them on digital camera or in jail cells, as a large amount of them now are, are maybe variety of puzzled with the improper strategies, but they’re all variety of gentle individuals now waving American flags?’ he mentioned.

‘They’re not torching Wendy’s. They are not looting retail shops. They’re not capturing cops. No, that is not them, it truly is the other individuals accomplishing that,’ he claimed, referring to scenes from Black Life Issue demonstrations past summer months.

Last summer, demonstrators in Atlanta set a Wendy's on fire after Rayshard Brooks was fatally shot by cops during a confrontation in the parking lot of the restuarant

Very last summer months, demonstrators in Atlanta established a Wendy’s on hearth just after Rayshard Brooks was fatally shot by cops during a confrontation in the parking whole lot of the restuarant

Thousands of Guardsmen have surrounded the Capitol due to the fact the lethal riot on January 6, but so significantly even further threats have failed to materialize. 

Most just lately, bulletin by U.S. security businesses this 7 days claimed an unidentified group of ‘militia violent extremists’ talked over strategies to ‘take regulate of the U.S. Capitol and take out Democratic lawmakers on or about March 4.’

March 4 is the day when adherents to the farcical QAnon conspiracy theory thought that Trump would be sworn in for a 2nd phrase in place of work. Right until 1933, March 4 was the day of the presidential inauguration. 

QAnon is an elaborate conspiracy concept whose adherents believe Trump is locked in a mystery fight with a world-wide cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles. 

In his monologue, Carlson skewered media protection of the purported menace, which never materialized, ridiculing MSNBC in unique.

‘So why was not there any individual there? Where was the QAnon fight? ‘What?!’ stated MSNBC. ‘What QAnon fight? No one seriously believed there was likely to be a QAnon struggle,” claimed Carlson.

The Capitol Law enforcement have requested the Pentagon to increase the National Guard’s mission in Washington for an further two months, a U.S. defense official instructed Reuters on Thursday. The mission experienced been set to end on March 12. 

The Capitol Police have asked the Pentagon to extend the National Guard's mission in Washington for an additional two months. The mission had been set to end on March 12

The Capitol Law enforcement have requested the Pentagon to prolong the National Guard’s mission in Washington for an more two months. The mission experienced been established to close on March 12

National Guard walk on the Capitol grounds on Thursday, March 4, the day that US secruity services had warned of a plot to attack the complex, which never materialized

Countrywide Guard walk on the Capitol grounds on Thursday, March 4, the working day that US secruity providers experienced warned of a plot to assault the intricate, which in no way materialized

Carlson in his monologue accused security services of seizing on random on the net reviews to justify the massive armed forces presence in the nation’s funds.  

‘Remember, the FBI just isn’t concerned with what is actually basically heading to come about. They are concerned with what just one or two random individuals create on the net or place on TikTok,’ he additional.

‘And as extensive as what those people put on TikTok justifies extra ability for the men and women in charge, the FBI, their slavish servants will set it in a terror warn and scare the crap out of the country to justify even a lot more electrical power for their bosses,’ he ongoing. 

Federal prosecutors have charged far more than 300 individuals for involvement in the storming of the U.S. Capitol in January. 

People arrested incorporate customers of armed militia teams this kind of as the Oath Keepers and the A few Percenters. Trump supporters sporting QAnon flags and components had been aspect of the mob that stormed the creating.  



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Nicky Campbell describes how he was saved… by his dog


MEMOIR

1 OF THE FAMILY   

by Nicky Campbell (Hodder £20, 240 pp)

Each early morning, nothing at all soothes my blood force like the effectiveness of our poodle-cross, Fizzy, playing mother to a soiled sock.

She digs one out of the laundry bin with no fail immediately after breakfast and nestles it in her dog basket, crooning as she pushes the blanket all over it with her nose. Sweet, humorous, affectionate, foolish, adorable . . . a pet sums up all that’s excellent about household daily life. Even when issues are terrible, puppies make almost everything far better.

Radio 5 Live presenter Nicky Campbell appreciates that extra than most, right after his Labrador Maxwell served him by restoration from a breakdown. In 2013, overcome by a damburst of melancholy, Campbell collapsed in the street outdoors Euston station. He describes it with detached, journalistic precision: ‘I could not bear everything, so I gave up. I was on my knees on the small patch of grass in the vicinity of the entrance . . . I was sobbing with my hands cupped spherical my deal with.’

Nicky Campbell reveals how his Labrador assisted him to get well from a breakdown in a memoir. Pictured: Nicky Campbell with his pet Maxwell

This shorter memoir is a tribute to 12-calendar year-previous Maxwell, who loved his learn patiently as he pieced himself back again with each other. But it is not a uncomplicated celebration of an remarkable pet: as a substitute, Campbell traces the faultlines in his own existence all the way again to his childhood and examines how they splayed him apart.

What is distinct is the fragility of his restoration. He’s retaining it collectively, but with string and sticky-tape instead than superglue. The intensity in his descriptions of fifty percent-buried miseries reveals he has not concluded grieving for some of the losses in his life.

He refers typically to the doggy he experienced as a boy escalating up in Edinburgh during the 1960s, a Jack Russell identified as Candy.

The dog’s loss of life, aged ten, carries on to haunt him: there is an agonised account of how the spouse and children arrived back from a excursion to uncover Candy shut to loss of life at the kennels. They had no choice but to have the canine set down.

The then 11-year-outdated Nicky pleaded with his mom and dad to position a observe in The Scotsman’s obituary column: ‘Candy Campbell. Dearly beloved dog and brother of Nicholas, place to sleep after a brief health issues . . . I will never forget about him simply because he was sort, loving and beautiful.’

But this innocent mourning normally takes a darker twist, as the boy is not able to let go of his grief: ‘For ages immediately after . . . I woke up crushed by thoughts of his last moments, when he would have appeared for me and I wasn’t there.’

Nicky’s mother and father and lecturers determined he was ‘a delicate boy’ but, in retrospect, it’s achievable to see the foreshadowing of psychological ailment.

His breakdown, when it came just about 50 % a century later, would be brought on by information experiences of cruelty to animals in Africa, specially elephants, that still left him emotion indignant and powerless.

Nicky (pictured) who was adopted as a baby, didn't feel ready to trace his birth mother until his career as a Radio 1 disc jockey and TV presenter was well established

Nicky (pictured) who was adopted as a newborn, did not really feel prepared to trace his birth mother until his vocation as a Radio 1 disc jockey and Tv presenter was perfectly established 

Campbell was adopted as a little one, a reality his loving parents in no way tried using to cover, but he was 14 in advance of he commenced to wonder seriously about his beginning mother and father and why they experienced not felt equipped to increase him.

It was not right up until his career as a Radio 1 disc jockey and Tv presenter was nicely founded that he felt completely ready to trace his birth mother. In his memory, that choice is bound up with Candy’s dying — he talks about likely dwelling to Edinburgh to gather his beginning certificate and observing the location ‘where Candy’s chair applied to be by the window . . . I blinked away the tears’.

His start mom, Stella, was an single nurse in Dublin who had an affair in her mid-30s with a substantially youthful man. When Campbell fulfilled her, almost her initially query was, ‘Do you like puppies?’ He remembers experience aggrieved that she was not a lot more impressed by his superstar and admits he hoped his media achievement would establish an outward indicator of what a superb baby she experienced presented up.

He would hardly be the initially star whose profession was a single extended reproach to the persons who should have shown additional appreciation.

ONE OF THE FAMILY by Nicky Campbell (Hodder £20, 240 pp)

One particular OF THE Household by Nicky Campbell (Hodder £20, 240 pp)

For the previous 10 years, Campbell has co-presented, with Davina McCall, ITV’s Extended Shed Family. The series reunites individuals separated by a life time, frequently youngsters with the parents who gave them up — in a lot of instances unwillingly — for adoption. 

Stella experienced no uncertainties about what she did and several regrets. She knew her unstable mood swings produced it hard for her to consider treatment of herself, enable alone a baby (in point, two toddlers: Campbell learned he has a 50 %-sister, Esther).

At to start with he located her complicated and putting on. Right after the first novelty of their reunion, he saved her at arm’s duration.

Steadily, he came to realize that she suffered from manic depression or bipolar condition and, additional slowly and gradually continue to, realised that he had the very same sickness — perhaps inherited.

His working experience raises thoughts, which he scarcely addresses, about no matter if household reunions need to be engineered for television leisure, despite the fact that he does point out that the people today who bare their life on Extensive Shed Relatives are offered qualified help.

As his own tale testifies, nonetheless, the soreness of forced separation from time to time under no circumstances heals and can bring about psychological difficulties many years afterwards — very long after the cameras have moved on.

In Campbell’s circumstance, the really like and stalwart assistance of his wife Tina and 4 daughters have sustained him. The unconditional adoration of Maxwell the Labrador is a each day blessing, way too.

There is a sturdy feeling during this e-book, nevertheless, that his battle has not yet been gained.



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NBA-starved New Yorkers return to Knicks and Nets games for the first time in a year


New York’s basketball-starved NBA admirers bought a style of normalcy amid the pandemic on Tuesday night as about 2,300 whole spectators witnessed games at Madison Sq. Back garden and Barclays Center for the first time in virtually a calendar year.

Governor Andrew Cuomo just lately loosened coronavirus limitations on indoor sporting gatherings, approving crowds at 10 p.c capacity even though requiring that all staff and spectators obtain a damaging COVID-19 examination and provide documentation in 72 several hours of the match.

The Brooklyn Nets ended up even far more prudent for Tuesday’s get above the Sacramento Kings, welcoming only 300 fans at 17,700-seat Barclays Middle, sending out at-residence tests kits, and administering a nasal swab for antigen speedy tests at the gate. 

Meanwhile in Manhattan, 2,000 followers bought an added dose of familiarity as the Knicks blew a significant second-50 percent guide in a reduction to Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors.  

‘The Knicks pretty much won, but it would not have been a Knicks activity if they did not drop,’ lover Ben Soffer informed the New York Post on Tuesday night time.

Followers get there early prior to the commence of the match between the New York Knicks and the Golden State Warriors at Madison Sq. Backyard, which experienced not welcomed spectators due to the fact previous year

People line up outside Madison Square Garden to attend a Knicks game amid the pandemic

Persons line up outside Madison Sq. Garden to go to a Knicks video game amid the pandemic 

Madison Square Garden had not hosted any fans since the pandemic swept the US last year

Madison Sq. Backyard experienced not hosted any supporters due to the fact the pandemic swept the US previous year  

In Manhattan, 2,000 fans got an extra dose of familiarity as the Knicks blew a big second-half lead in a loss to Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors

In Manhattan, 2,000 followers received an excess dose of familiarity as the Knicks blew a significant 2nd-half lead in a decline to Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors

Nets fans eat at Barclays Center between plexiglass dividers during Brooklyn's win on Tuesday

Nets followers consume at Barclays Middle between plexiglass dividers throughout Brooklyn’s acquire on Tuesday

To be truthful, the Knicks’ 15-17 record below new coach Tom Thibodeau is a marked advancement for a workforce that hasn’t been to the postseason due to the fact 2013. (Even with their struggles, the Knicks commonly rank among the the NBA’s top-10 groups in attendance)

But Tuesday’s end result notwithstanding, the minute was a welcome reprieve for restless Knicks and Nets enthusiasts who have been forced inside by the pandemic and a the latest string of snowstorms.

‘The night was fully electric,’ Soffer continued. ‘Only actual Knick fans were there — wholly die really hard.’

NEW YORK’S INDOOR SPORTING Occasion COVID-19 Rules

In order to host enthusiasts at sporting situations, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is requiring that venues do the next: 

  • Institute a 10 per cent potential restrict in arenas and stadiums
  • Make certain all employees and spectators get a damaging COVID-19 PCR examination in just 72 several hours of the party
  • Mandate facial area coverings, social distancing and temperature checks for all those people in attendance
  • Mandate assigned, socially distanced seating
  • Obtain contact facts from all these in attendance to aid notify call tracing endeavours
  • Satisfy increased air filtration, ventilation and purification specifications
  • Be certain retail, foodstuff services and athletic pursuits abide by all condition-issued guidance 

(Resource: Governor.ny.gov)

‘I skipped the camaraderie, I miss out on viewing everyone,’ Knicks fan Anthony Donahue explained to AFP. 

An additional Knicks enthusiast, Kastriot Rukir, told the Article that it just ‘felt awesome to get out of the home,’ calling the night ‘one of the best evenings in a prolonged time.’ 

As for the COVID-period basic safety safety measures, seats were roped off, fans all appeared to be masked and distanced, and as Soffer described, there was an ‘unbelievable volume of hand sanitizer.’

‘They took a lot of precautions,’ Nets supporter Michelle Gall told AFP. ‘We had to be tested twice, once on Sunday – yet again as soon as just before we came in.’      

The Knicks did not mail followers at-residence testing kits, but instead labored with a pair of testing organizations to speedy track the verification procedure. 

Both of those groups needed face coverings, but the Nets went a action even more, banning ‘single layer cloth masks, neck gaiters, bandanas, and masks with valves or vents.’ 

The Nets also pushed the distances in the stands from 6 to nine ft, and turned on the air method quite a few situations an hour in purchase to vent as considerably as attainable.   

As a year ticket holder for close to two many years, Donahue received priority for the remarkably sought-soon after tickets which have been advertising on the secondary current market for as higher as $5,127, according to TicketIQ.com.

Donahue arrived a few hours prior to the 7:30pm suggestion-off, in part to make sure their wellbeing declarations and negative Covid assessments — inside the earlier 72 hrs — ended up in buy.

‘I have to breathe the Yard air,’ claimed Donahue.

Ahead of the get started, the socially distanced group paid tribute to the 29,000 New Yorkers killed by coronavirus with a moment’s silence.

A range of frontline well being workers were invited to show up at as attendees.

Fans were distanced and many were masked, although a few exceptions could be seen

Enthusiasts ended up distanced and lots of had been masked, though a number of exceptions could be seen 



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Surface of Mars looks maroon… but it’s just NASA’s camera on the blink


Mars as you’ve got by no means witnessed it in advance of: Surface of the Pink Planet seems maroon… but it is just NASA’s digicam on the blink

  • NASA’s Perseverance rover has taken a collection of breathtaking photos of the vibrant area of the Mars  
  • Rover, which landed past week, was the first to online video its have landing and has taken a lot more than 23,000 photos 
  • The uncommon pictures were the consequence of the camera’s not still owning calibrated as it arrived in to land 

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Ever puzzled what it would be like to get marooned on Mars? Very well, these images may well offer a clue. 

They show the surface area of the pink planet using on a fairly unusual hue. 

But although its maroon visual appeal is surely out of this environment, it is simply due to the cameras on Nasa‘s Perseverance craft not nonetheless having calibrated as it comes in to land. 

Perseverance last 7 days turned the 1st rover to movie its have Mars landing and has taken far more than 23,000 shots. 

Al Chen, of Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said: ‘These video clips and these pictures are the stuff of our desires.’  

 New illustrations or photos from Mars shot by the NASA Perseverance rover have revealed the outstanding colour of the pink planet’s surface area

The Mars Perseverance rover touched down on Mars for the first time this month and has been taking photographs of the plant

The Mars Perseverance rover touched down on Mars for the 1st time this thirty day period and has been taking photos of the plant

Those who have always wondered what the surface of Mars looks like have had their questions answered with the latest pictures

Individuals who have often questioned what the surface of Mars looks like have had their questions answered with the hottest photographs

Some of the new pictures have revealed the surface of the red planet taking on a rather strange hue

Some of the new photos have exposed the surface area of the red earth using on a instead peculiar hue

Since coming in to land  last week the Perseverance rover has taken more than 23,000 photographs of the planet

Considering the fact that coming in to land  final 7 days the Perseverance rover has taken additional than 23,000 photos of the planet 

But while its maroon appearance is certainly out of this world, it is merely due to the cameras on Nasa’s Perseverance craft not yet having calibrated as it comes in to land

But although its maroon visual appearance is absolutely out of this environment, it is just due to the cameras on Nasa’s Perseverance craft not yet acquiring calibrated as it will come in to land

Al Chen, of Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said: ‘These videos and these images are the stuff of our dreams.’

Al Chen, of Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, explained: ‘These movies and these illustrations or photos are the stuff of our desires.’

As well as picking up the unusual colour, the pictures provide an insight into what the planet's surface looks like

As nicely as choosing up the uncommon colour, the shots give an perception into what the planet’s area appears to be like like

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UK hits 15MILLION jabs landmark as Tories demand lockdown curbs scrapped by May


What are the UK priority groups for vaccinations? 

1. Residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults

2. All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers

3. All those 75 years of age and over

4. All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals (not including pregnant women and those under 16 years of age)

5. All those 65 years of age and over

6. Adults aged 16 to 65 years in an at-risk group 

7. All those 60 years of age and over

8. All those 55 years of age and over

9. All those 50 years of age and over

10. Rest of the population

The UK hit the landmark of 15million people vaccinated today as Tories demand faster easing of lockdown – with Boris Johnson set to order the reopening of all schools from March 8.

The total given jabs passed the huge figure – enough to have covered everyone in the four most vulnerable groups – with ministers praising the ‘amazing’ effort.

The PM hailed the ‘extraordinary feat’, although he stressed no-one was ‘resting on their laurels’ and the focus was now on reaching the top nine categories by the end of April. 

‘Over two months this country has achieved an extraordinary feat, administering a total of 15 million jabs into the arms of the most vulnerable people in the country,’ Mr Johnson said in a video posted on his Twitter feed.

He added: ‘It has been a truly national, UK-wide effort. We have done it together.’

The number was crested after England administers another 429,497 first doses in 24 hours, plus 2,186 second doses. Scotland added 50,601, while Wales gave 22,555. Even without the daily figure for Northern Ireland it means 15,058,859 people in the UK have now received vaccines. 

But the breakthrough will heap pressure on Mr Johnson to bring forward the timetable for relaxing the restrictions that Conservatives fear are doing huge collateral damage. 

The Coronavirus Research Group, which includes around 70 MPs, is calling for coronavirus restrictions to be lifted entirely by May, when around 32million people in the top nine categories should be covered. 

The premier is due to unveil his ‘roadmap’ on February 22, with all primary and secondary schools now expected to return from March 8.

At the same time people could be allowed to sit and chat on park benches with a friend, and have picnics with their household ‘bubble’ – something that is currently banned. 

The current thinking in No10 is that the beleaguered hospitality industry could lift its shutters from the beginning of April.

In a break from previous rules, the 10pm curfew and the requirement to have a substantial meal with alcohol will be abandoned. Restrictions on sports such as tennis and golf, where social distancing is easier, are likely to be eased in April. 

The local ‘tiers’ system that was in place before the blanket lockdown is being ditched, with England due to move as a whole through the next phases of relaxation.  

Scientists have been urging a much more cautious approach than Tories want, warning that infections remain high and the threat of variant strains emerging that can dodge vaccines is too great. 

In interviews this morning, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab dismissed the CRG timeline as ‘arbitrary’. 

He said ‘our priority will be schools’, but warned it is too early to be sure what will be possible as more data will come in over the next week. ‘It is absolutely right that until we change the rules we need full compliance,’ he said.  

Government sources told MailOnline the ‘hope’ is that all schools can be reopened on March 8, but it will depend on the information that comes in over the next week.  

In other coronavirus developments today: 

  • Mr Raab left the government scrambling to head off another row as he suggested ‘vaccine passports’ could be needed to go to the supermarket in the UK;  
  • Former Prime Minister Tony Blair reiterated his calls for a global coronavirus vaccine passport scheme as Spain said it is open to Britons going there this summer;
  • Epidemiologist professor Tim Spector said there is a case for regions of the country with lower infection rates to unlock more quickly; 
  • Pfizer has suggest that it does not need to change its vaccine as it is effective against all current known coronavirus variants;
  • There were claims that some care home bosses are threatening staff who refuse to have the jab with the sack;  
  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock clashed with senior Tory Sir Charles Walker over the ten-year jail terms facing those who flout new quarantine rules, with Sir Charles saying the policy was ‘disastrous’ and a repeat should cost the Health Secretary his job;
  • The head of Heathrow warned that the airport is not ready to roll out the hotel quarantine scheme set to be imposed from tomorrow;
  • AstraZeneca said it would expand trials of its Oxford vaccine to children as young as six while Janssen, another pharma firm, said it may start testing its jab on newborn babies and pregnant women;
  • Police said officers would be carrying out spot checks on drivers today to see if they were making ‘non-essential’ trips to visit lovers on Valentine’s Day;
  • A video emerged of militant teachers boasting about how they used threats of strike action to keep classrooms closed, fuelling fears that hardline unions will seek to derail plans to reopen schools;
  • Documents emerged suggesting the Wuhan laboratory at the centre of global suspicion over the pandemic planned to experiment on live bats;
  • Additional surge testing began in Middlesbrough, Walsall and Hampshire after cases of the South Africa variant of Covid-19 were identified.

Boris Johnson hailed the ‘extraordinary feat’ of vaccinating 15million people today, although he stressed no-one was ‘resting on their laurels’ and the focus was now on reaching the top nine categories by the end of April

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said the focus was now on reaching the top nine categories by the end of April

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said the focus was now on reaching the top nine categories by the end of April

Lockdown misery is set to end by Easter, with people finally free to drink in beer gardens and dine outside restaurants again. Diners are pictured above at a restaurant in Dundee, Scotland in July last year after restrictions were eased

Lockdown misery is set to end by Easter, with people finally free to drink in beer gardens and dine outside restaurants again. Diners are pictured above at a restaurant in Dundee, Scotland in July last year after restrictions were eased

Under Boris Johnson’s ‘roadmap’ for a steady return to normality, No 10 plans to allow the beleaguered hospitality industry to lift its shutters, most likely on Tuesday March 30 or the following day. Customers are seen enjoying a pint in Scotland last July

Under Boris Johnson’s ‘roadmap’ for a steady return to normality, No 10 plans to allow the beleaguered hospitality industry to lift its shutters, most likely on Tuesday March 30 or the following day. Customers are seen enjoying a pint in Scotland last July

Confusion as Raab says vaccine passports could be needed to shop in UK 

The government was facing more confusion over ‘vaccine passports’ today after Dominic Raab suggested they could be needed to get into pubs and supermarkets in the UK.

The Foreign Secretary appeared to contradict a series of other government statements as he said the idea was ‘under consideration’.

The comments risked provoking anger from Tories who are already deeply alarmed about the way the pandemic has hammered civil liberties.

Aides scrambled to clarify that Mr Raab had been responding to a ‘hypothetical’ question and while ‘vaccine passports’ are being looked at for international travel, they are ‘not being considered domestically’.    

Ministers have revealed that work is under way on a system that could allow foreign travel to resume, with Spain the latest country to say it is ready to welcome Brits who have had jabs.

But the government has repeatedly said such documents will not be introduced in the UK, suggesting it would be ‘discriminatory’. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said just last week that the move is ‘not on the cards’.  

According to the latest figures, there were 13,308 new positive cases in the previous 24 hours – down 27 per cent on a week earlier. Hospital admissions fell by 26 per cent to 1,741 over the same period, while deaths were down by the same proportion to 621.

The vaccination programme continued to surge towards its target – up by 544,603 to a total of 14,556,827. It means 26.9 per cent of the adult population has now received at least one dose.

The steady fall in new infections, and estimates that the critical R rate of infection now lies between 0.7 and 0.9, has increased the restlessness on the Tory backbenches over the economic and societal damage being caused by lockdown.

This weekend, 63 Tory MPs have signed a letter to Mr Johnson urging him to use the vaccine to ‘give us permanent immunity from Covid-related lockdowns and restrictions’.

The letter, organised by Mark Harper, the chair of the CRG, argues that ‘just like Covid, lockdowns and restrictions cause immense social and health damage and have a huge impact on people’s livelihoods’.

Urging the reopening of all schools on March 8 and of hospitality by Easter, the weekend of April 4, the MPs say: ‘All restrictions remaining after March 8 should be proportionate to the ever-increasing number of people we have protected. 

‘The burden is on Ministers to demonstrate the evidence of effectiveness and proportionality with a cost-benefit analysis for each restriction, and a roadmap for when they will be removed… Once all nine priority groups have been protected by the end of April, there is no justification for any legislative restrictions to remain.’

They conclude: ‘This should be a moment of unity – for our country and our party – as we look ahead with confidence, hope and optimism for a much brighter future, as we reclaim our lives once and for all.’

Sir Graham Brady, chair of the powerful Tory 1922 committee, heaped more pressure on today, insisting that the ‘balance of the argument’ has shifted on lockdown and it is doing more harm than good.

‘When we were asked last March if we would stay at home for three weeks to save the NHS and tens of thousands — maybe hundreds of thousands — of lives, our answer was a resounding ”Yes!”’ he wrote in the Sun on Sunday. 

‘After three lockdowns and a jumble of tiers and restrictions that have changed more than 60 times, the balance of the argument has shifted.’ 

Sir Graham said that a ‘new assessment of costs and benefits’ needed to be made, saying that vaccinations means ‘the risk of death will have been reduced by 90 per cent’.

‘Protracted or repeated lockdowns kill people as surely as the virus,’ he wrote. ‘The cancers that have gone undiagnosed, the two million screening appointments that have been missed, the people whose despair drives them to suicide. 

‘The consequences of what we have done will be with us for years, decades, to come — most especially for the children whose mental health has suffered so much…

‘All this is before we add the sharpest economic downturn in history into the mix.’ 

One in six children might never catch up after Covid lockdown 

One in six children may never be able to catch up on lost school time during the pandemic without the right support, England’s children’s commissioner has warned.

Anne Longfield said measures needed to be in place ahead of plans for schools to reopen next month for children who have been struggling with learning at home.

It comes after the Government is said to be considering a number of options – including summer schools, extended school days and shorter summer holidays – as part of catch-up plans for pupils who have missed out on learning due to Covid-19.

Ms Longfield supported these proposals, telling Sophy Ridge on Sky News: ‘Part of that really needs to be as well about helping children to build back those social skills and that confidence.

‘There’s a group of children who won’t make up the time they’ve lost, these are the ones who started behind, who are struggling.

‘Potentially about one in six children, if they don’t get that level of support and boost, won’t ever catch up during their time at school.’

She said she hopes to see primary schools reopen sooner than secondary schools – with the Government proposing a reopening date of March 8 – as trends across Europe show they can be managed.

Ms Longfield said: ‘Those children are less able to work at home remotely, that their parents need to be there because they need a greater level of care and support to learn.

‘And they’re much less likely to pick up that level of infection or indeed potentially transmit.

‘There are exam years as well that we need to look at for older children, but certainly for primaries there seems to be trend that actually smaller entities can be back open and can be managed.’

However, Mr Raab rejected the call for all restrictions to be lifted when the nine most vulnerable groups have been given jabs, branding the idea ‘arbitrary’.

Mr Raab said the Government would not be making a ‘slightly arbitrary commitment without reviewing the impact that measures have had on the transmission and the hospital admissions of the virus’.

‘But we share the ambition to get out of lockdown to transition to a better place for economic reasons, for jobs, for livelihoods, for the most vulnerable in our society, and for everyone’s mental health,’ he added.

Mr Raab also risked sparking a fresh row by saying ‘vaccine passports’ could be needed to get into pubs and supermarkets in the UK.

The Foreign Secretary contradicted a series of other government statements as he said the idea was ‘under consideration’.

Ministers have revealed that work is under way on ‘vaccine passports’ that could allow foreign travel to resume, with Spain the latest country to say it is ready to welcome Brits who have had jabs.

But the government has repeatedly said such documents will not be introduced in the UK, suggesting it would be ‘discriminatory’. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said just last week that the move is ‘not on the cards’.

The dramatically different position from Mr Raab came in an interview on LBC radio this morning.     

Pressed repeatedly on whether ‘vaccine passports’ could be needed to get into pubs and supermarkets in this country, he said: ‘It is something that hasn’t been ruled out. It is under consideration. But of course you’ve got to make it workable.’

Mr Raab said the ‘modalities and mechanisms’ of how people could prove they have been vaccinated were all being looked at.

‘You’ve got to know that the document that is being presented is something that you can rely on,’ he said. 

Speaking during a visit to the Teesside plant where the new Novavax vaccine will be manufactured, Mr Johnson said: ‘Our children’s education is our number one priority.

‘But then, working forward, getting non-essential retail open as well, and then, in due course, as and when we can, prudently, cautiously, of course, we want to be opening hospitality as well. I will be trying to set out as much as I possibly can in as much detail as I can, always understanding that we have to be wary of the pattern of disease.

‘We don’t want to be forced into any kind of retreat or reverse ferret’.

Echoing Mr Hancock’s claim that Covid could become a ‘treatable’ disease, Mr Johnson predicted we will have ‘to learn to live with’ coronavirus.

According to the Sunday Times, the government is drawing up three options for the easing of restrictions, depending on progress tackling infections and emerging data on the effectiveness of vaccines.

Millions of over-65s being invited for jabs next 

Millions of over-65s and clinically vulnerable people are now being asked to book appointments to receive their coronavirus vaccination as Britain’s breakneck inoculation programme enters its next phase. 

The Government is officially expanding its vaccine rollout beyond the top four priority groups, and is on track to offer the jab to all of the most vulnerable people by tomorrow – with official figures showing that more than 14.5 million people have already had at least one dose.   

Almost 1.2 million letters were due to have landed on the doorsteps of over-65s and the clinically vulnerable by yesterday asking people to log onto the national booking service, NHS England has said.

A further 1.2 million are due to arrive this week, with those to receive a letter able to choose from more than 100 vaccination hubs or almost 200 pharmacy services. 

The slowest timetable would not see shops and hospitality fully open until August. 

Millions of over-65s and clinically vulnerable people are now being asked to book appointments to receive their coronavirus vaccination as Britain’s breakneck inoculation programme enters its next phase. 

The Government is officially expanding its vaccine rollout beyond the top four priority groups, and is on track to offer the jab to all of the most vulnerable people by tomorrow – with official figures showing that more than 14.5 million people have already had at least one dose.   

Almost 1.2 million letters were due to have landed on the doorsteps of over-65s and the clinically vulnerable by yesterday asking people to log onto the national booking service, NHS England has said.

A further 1.2 million are due to arrive this week, with those to receive a letter able to choose from more than 100 vaccination hubs or almost 200 pharmacy services. 

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation defines clinically vulnerable people as those with conditions including chronic respiratory disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis and severe asthma. 

Until now, the national vaccine rollout has been aimed at the over-70s, the clinically extremely vulnerable, and NHS frontline staff, care home residents and workers. 

However, some regions have already started vaccinating people aged between 65 to 69, with NHS England previously saying that people in this age group could get a vaccine if GPs have supplies. 

In interviews this morning, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said 'our priority will be schools', but warned it is too early to be sure what will be possible as more data will come in over the next week

In interviews this morning, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said ‘our priority will be schools’, but warned it is too early to be sure what will be possible as more data will come in over the next week

Top Tory Sir Charles Walker warns Matt Hancock that ‘Boris should sack you’ if he makes another gaffe like the 10-year jail terms fiasco 

Simmering Tory tensions over lockdown came to a head in spectacular fashion last week when venerable backbencher Sir Charles Walker encountered Health Secretary Matt Hancock in the Commons.

Sir Charles passionately believes that measures to limit the spread of the virus risk causing more harm than they prevent, particularly in terms of mental health.

By contrast Mr Hancock has consistently argued that the protection of the NHS should be the over-arching priority.

Sir Charles was enraged by the chaos over messages from Mr Hancock and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps over whether people should book a summer holiday – and by the decision to impose a ten-year jail sentence on people who flout strict new quarantine rules, a rule introduced without MPs getting a chance to vote on it.

So when Mr Hancock addressed a private meeting of the backbench 1922 Committee, of which Sir Charles is vice-chairman, he let rip at the Cabinet Minister, telling him that the Prime Minister’s ‘legs have been cut from underneath him as a result of the interventions’ by Mr Hancock and Mr Shapps, adding: ‘If the PM is let down again by his Secretaries of State, he should remove them from Cabinet’.

With ‘vaccines coming out of our ears’, as Sir Charles has put it, impatience on the party’s backbenches is growing.

By last night, a total of 63 Tory MPs had signed a letter from the party’s Covid Recovery Group urging a swift exit from lockdown – easily enough to wipe out the Prime Minister’s majority if they voted with Labour.  

The simmering Tory tensions over lockdown came to a head in spectacular fashion last week when venerable backbencher Sir Charles Walker encountered Health Secretary Matt Hancock in the Commons

The simmering Tory tensions over lockdown came to a head in spectacular fashion last week when venerable backbencher Sir Charles Walker encountered Health Secretary Matt Hancock in the Commons

Sir Charles passionately believes that measures to limit the spread of the virus risk causing more harm than they prevent, particularly in terms of mental health; Mr Hancock has consistently argued that the protection of the NHS should be the over-arching priority

Sir Charles passionately believes that measures to limit the spread of the virus risk causing more harm than they prevent, particularly in terms of mental health; Mr Hancock has consistently argued that the protection of the NHS should be the over-arching priority

Their views were summed up with the line: ‘The vaccine gives us immunity from Covid but it must also give us permanent immunity from Covid-related lockdowns and restrictions’.

While the increasingly powerful group looks likely to be granted its wish for all pupils to be allowed to return to the classrooms on March 8, the issue which has most divided the Cabinet has been the fate of the hospitality industry – and specifically whether outside dining at pubs and restaurants should be allowed in April.

Last night, senior Government sources indicated that the group’s demand for what’s been dubbed ‘alfresco April’ to start at Easter, the weekend of April 4, was also likely to be met.

But the divide between the economic ‘hawks’ pushing for as much commercial activity as can be safely allowed – led by Chancellor Rishi Sunak – and the more cautious doves’ has opened up again.

Mr Hancock and Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove led calls to wait until late April or May to reopen the hospitality industry, arguing that it would be wrong to ‘casually dine al fresco’ until the data was clearer on the vaccine’s impact on transmission.

But the hand of the hawks has been strengthened by new data indicating that the Pfizer vaccine starts to work in as little as two weeks, reducing the symptomatic infection by around 65 per cent in both young adults and the over-80s. Data on post-vaccine transmission levels could be presented to the Prime Minister as soon as tomorrow.

Mr Sunak was joined by International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng in calling for a fast easing of lockdown.

One source said: ‘The difference between the two camps amounts to about three weeks – basically between the beginning of April or the end.’

Sir Charles was enraged by the chaos over messages from Mr Hancock and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps (pictured) over whether people should book a summer holiday – and by the decision to impose a ten-year jail sentence on people who flout strict new quarantine rules, a rule introduced without MPs getting a chance to vote on it.

Sir Charles was enraged by the chaos over messages from Mr Hancock and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps (pictured) over whether people should book a summer holiday – and by the decision to impose a ten-year jail sentence on people who flout strict new quarantine rules, a rule introduced without MPs getting a chance to vote on it.

By last night, a total of 63 Tory MPs had signed a letter from the party's Covid Recovery Group urging a swift exit from lockdown – easily enough to wipe out the Prime Minister's majority if they voted with Labour

By last night, a total of 63 Tory MPs had signed a letter from the party’s Covid Recovery Group urging a swift exit from lockdown – easily enough to wipe out the Prime Minister’s majority if they voted with Labour

Last night, senior Government sources indicated that the group's demand for what's been dubbed 'alfresco April' to start at Easter, the weekend of April 4, was also likely to be met

Last night, senior Government sources indicated that the group’s demand for what’s been dubbed ‘alfresco April’ to start at Easter, the weekend of April 4, was also likely to be met

And a Minister added: ‘We are in the endgame now. Firemen damping down a blaze always stay longer after it’s out. You don’t want the fire smouldering and then reigniting. 

‘We’re all firemen in the Cabinet. We want to put the fire out, but won’t stop [lockdown] until we are absolutely convinced that it is’.

No 10 has been angered by the perception that they have been ‘held captive’ by over-cautious scientists on the Sage group of advisers. 

One source said: ‘It is not true. We are all working as hard as we can to get back to normal. Do not confuse uncertainty for lack of a plan’.

A handful of Ministers and scientific advisers have been drawing up the ‘road map’ for Boris Johnson to unveil this month, with the wider Cabinet likely to be talked through its broad points in advance of the announcement on February 22.

With Mr Johnson’s target of vaccinating the most vulnerable 15 million people by tomorrow within reach, the Prime Minister has ordered a celebratory ‘starburst’ – a blitz of Ministerial visits – to target vaccination centres in a final push to encourage all vulnerable people to get the jab.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) report today suggested suggested there were 695,400 Covid-19 cases in England alone by February 6, down 31 per cent from a fortnight ago in yet another firm sign the second wave is in retreat. This equates to one in eighty people having the virus

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) report today suggested suggested there were 695,400 Covid-19 cases in England alone by February 6, down 31 per cent from a fortnight ago in yet another firm sign the second wave is in retreat. This equates to one in eighty people having the virus

The drive includes a renewed effort to persuade care home workers to take up the jab by ‘appealing to their altruism and public service’, emphasising it not only protects them, but the people they work with.

But the pressure on the Government over the economic impact continues to mount from the backbenches: just yesterday, Nickie Aiken, the Tory MP for Westminster, says theatres in London’s West End had warned that they needed between four and five months’ notice before reopening, while, former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said the hospitality industry needed at least a month to gear up.

Sir Charles has become a rallying point for backbench discontent. He declined to comment on any remarks made behind closed doors at the 1922 Committee, but he told The Mail on Sunday that introducing the ten-year jail penalty without allowing proper debate in the Commons was a ‘really low and underhand thing to do’.

He said: ‘The idea that we are going to lock people up for ten years in a prison system already full to bursting is just not credible’.

One Tory MP said privately: ‘Charles has a very good point. The absurd ten-year jail sentence stuff undermines our credibility and saying no summer holidays for people was pretty demoralising.’

But a government source defended Mr Hancock and Mr Shapps, saying ‘enhanced border measures’ were vital and that it was only wise to be cautious about booking holidays. 

MATT HANCOCK: I’ve danced a little jig at the joy the jab’s giving

By Matt Hancock for the Mail on Sunday

Just over two months ago, grandmother Margaret Keenan, then aged 90, received the world’s first clinically authorised coronavirus vaccine at University Hospital, Coventry.

Since that magical day, more than 14.5 million people have joined Margaret in getting protected – that’s over one in four adults across the country.

We have thrown everything at the vaccine rollout and the whole project has shown a can-do attitude at its best. Now we’re homing in on our target of offering a vaccine to everyone in the four most vulnerable groups by tomorrow.

This monumental operation across all parts of the UK has given hope and comfort to so many families. Mine is no different, and I’ve danced a little jig as I’ve seen for myself the joy it can bring, as my grandfather, mum, dad, step-parents and in-laws and many loved ones have each in turn had their jabs these past few weeks.

Just over two months ago, grandmother Margaret Keenan, then aged 90, received the world's first clinically authorised coronavirus vaccine at University Hospital, Coventry

Just over two months ago, grandmother Margaret Keenan, then aged 90, received the world’s first clinically authorised coronavirus vaccine at University Hospital, Coventry

I’d like to thank everyone who has played a part in this exceptional national effort – demonstrating the best of British at our time of crisis.

I’ve been thrilled to see the level of enthusiasm people have shown to get protected, with nearly all over-70s having had their first dose. This is a take-up beyond my highest hopes.

Because we have made such huge strides in protecting those at greatest risk, we are now in a position to extend eligibility even further and offer invites to over- 65s this week.

This will mean that millions more people in England will be eligible for vaccines and benefit from the protection it provides. 

‘I know people in their late 60s who have barely left the house for months and have been looking forward to this moment so much. 

Since that magical day, more than 14.5 million people have joined Margaret in getting protected – that's over one in four adults across the country

Since that magical day, more than 14.5 million people have joined Margaret in getting protected – that’s over one in four adults across the country

And meanwhile we will keep working to reach the people in the four most vulnerable groups who have not yet come forward. 

If you live in England, are 70 and over and haven’t yet got an appointment to get vaccinated, please contact the NHS, either online through the National Booking Service, or if you can’t get online, by phoning 119. 

I know there are some people who might have concerns. We’re determined to do everything we can to address any questions about the vaccine because we know it is safe, and we want as many people to take up the life-saving chance to be protected against the Covid-19 virus.

This weekend the Government published the vaccine uptake plan, setting out how we will boost vaccine take-up in all our communities, with a particular focus on vulnerable and under-served groups.

This matters to us all. The fewer people who are left unprotected, the safer we will all be, and the more securely we will be able to release restrictions when the time is right.

This programme offers a clear pathway out of the pandemic. Meantime, while the vaccinators and volunteers do their work, we must all answer our country’s call, and follow the rules that will keep this virus at bay.

Is this finally proof the vaccine is working in Britain? Covid deaths among over-85s plummet by 41% – almost twice as fast as un-vaccinated people over-65s – as new figures show just 1% of people have refused to get the jab

By Tom Pyman for MailOnline 

The number of Covid deaths in over-85s is falling twice as fast it is in younger Brits, raising hopes that the UK’s vaccine drive is clicking into gear, with just one per cent of the population refusing jabs.

The Government’s target of administering 15 million doses is set to be hit this weekend, amid a backdrop of falling cases and deaths, with pressure growing on Boris Johnson to present his ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown.

The supreme efforts of volunteers over recent weeks now appears to be paying dividends, with the number of fatalities among the oldest age group now falling on average by some 41 per cent a week.

By contrast, the number of weekly deaths is falling by 22 per cent for those aged under 65.  

Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, a risk expert from the University of Cambridge, told the Sun: ‘There is a statistically significant difference between the age groups. A substantial amount of this difference will be vaccines.

‘And, by the end of the month, it’s going to be quite dramatic. It is quite tricky to spot as deaths are falling everywhere — it’s just that in older groups the drop is much faster than others.’

Meanwhile, data from the Office for National Statistics reveals just one in every 100 people offered a Covid jab have turned it down.

The Prime Minister said today he is ‘optimistic’ he will be able to begin announcing the easing of restrictions when he sets out his ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown in England on February 22. 

A woman receives the AstraZeneca Covid19 vaccine at an NHS vaccination centre in Ealing, west London yesterday

A woman receives the AstraZeneca Covid19 vaccine at an NHS vaccination centre in Ealing, west London yesterday

 Speaking during a visit to the Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies plant in Billingham, Teesside, where the new Novavax vaccine will be manufactured, Mr Johnson said: ‘I’m optimistic, I won’t hide it from you. I’m optimistic, but we have to be cautious.’

He said his first priority remained opening schools in England on March 8 to be followed by other sectors.

‘Our children’s education is our number one priority, but then working forward, getting non-essential retail open as well and then, in due course as and when we can prudently, cautiously, of course we want to be opening hospitality as well,’ he said.

‘I will be trying to set out as much as I possibly can in as much detail as I can, always understanding that we have to be wary of the pattern of disease. We don’t want to be forced into any kind of retreat or reverse ferret.’ 

Health conditions that make patients in Priority Group Six eligible for a vaccine 

A blood cancer (such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma)

Diabetes

Dementia

A heart problem

A chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including bronchitis, emphysema or severe asthma

A kidney disease

A liver disease

Lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (such as HIV infection, steroid medication, chemotherapy or radiotherapy)

Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or psoriasis (who may require long term immunosuppressive treatments)

Have had an organ transplant

Had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA)

A neurological or muscle wasting condition

A severe or profound learning disability

A problem with your spleen, example sickle cell disease, or you have had your spleen removed

Are seriously overweight (BMI of 40 and above)

Are severely mentally ill

 There is variation in uptake between age groups, however, with five per cent of those offered the vaccine aged 30-49 deciding not to receive it, compared to two per cent for the 50-69s and less than one per cent for the over-70s. 

Furthermore, Professor Anthony Harnden, the deputy chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), has said the uptake of the coronavirus jab among care home staff remains ‘far too low’.

Prof Harnden said that nationally only 66% of care home staff had taken up the offer of a first dose.

‘If they are to stop potentially transmitting to those vulnerable people who they look after and care for deeply, they need to take the immunisation up. The message needs to come across loud and clear,’ he told the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

However, he rejected suggestions that the vaccine could be made compulsory among staff if they wanted to carry on working in care homes.

‘I would much prefer to be able to persuade by the power of argument than to force people or to make people lose their jobs because they didn’t take up the vaccine.’ 

His comments come as the Government launches a fresh drive to encourage people to accept a vaccine amid continuing reluctance among some groups.

Ministers are confident they will achieve their UK-wide target of getting an offer of a vaccine to those most at risk from the virus – including all over 70s – by Monday’s deadline.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he hoped a combination of vaccines and new treatments will mean Covid-19 could be a ‘treatable disease’ by the end of the year.

However, there is concern in Government at the rate of vaccine uptake among some communities – including some ethnic minorities.

Mr Hancock issued a direct appeal to anyone over 70 who has still not had the jab to contact the NHS over the weekend to book an appointment.

‘I am determined that we protect as many of our country’s most vulnerable people from this awful disease as soon as possible,’ he said. ‘Vaccines are the way out of this pandemic.’

NHS England said the top four priority groups in England – people aged 70 and over, care home residents and staff, health and care workers and clinically extremely vulnerable patients – ‘have now been offered the opportunity to be vaccinated’, while Wales said those groups had been reached.

NHS England said people aged 65 to 69 can now get a vaccine if GPs have supplies, while Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said they had already begun contacting some over 50s.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she expects many in the 65-69 age group to have had their first jab by the middle of this month after the vast majority of older people were vaccinated.

In Northern Ireland, the Department of Health is offering everyone over 65 a vaccine by the end of February as it works its way through priority groups four and five, although it is expected to help the UK meet its overall target.

Fresh Government drive to encourage people to accept jabs

The Government has launched a fresh drive to encourage people to accept a vaccine amid continuing reluctance among some groups.

Ministers are confident they will achieve their UK-wide target of getting an offer of a vaccine to those most at risk from the virus – including all over 70s – by Monday’s deadline.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he hoped a combination of vaccines and new treatments will mean Covid-19 could be a ‘treatable disease’ by the end of the year.

However, there is concern in Government at the rate of vaccine uptake among some communities – including some ethnic minorities.

Mr Hancock issued a direct appeal to anyone over 70 who has still not had the jab to contact the NHS over the weekend to book an appointment.

‘I am determined that we protect as many of our country’s most vulnerable people from this awful disease as soon as possible,’ he said. ‘Vaccines are the way out of this pandemic.’

After that, the jab will be offered to people in priority group six, which is made up of those aged between 16 and 64 who have serious underlying health conditions.

This latter group, made up of some 7.3 million people, includes patients with conditions varying from morbid obesity, dementia and arthritis. 

Overall, uptake of the vaccine has been high, with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) reporting a 93% take-up rate among the over 75s in England.

The DHSC is now seeking to work with community organisations and charities in England to address the concerns that are making some reluctant to get the jab, while seeking to dispel ‘myths’ circulating on social media.

At the same time it is looking to raise awareness of how the vaccines are being made generally available, especially among ethnic minorities, homeless people, asylum seekers and those with disabilities.

Around 30 ministers are taking part in visits and virtual meetings, including Home Secretary Priti Patel and Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi.

‘We recognise that some groups feel more hesitant about getting a jab, or have more barriers, both physical and mental, preventing them from accessing one when it’s offered,’ Mr Zahawi said.

Mr Hancock, meanwhile, expressed the hope that coronavirus will become ‘another illness that we have to live with’ like flu.

‘I hope that Covid-19 will become a treatable disease by the end of the year,’ Mr Hancock told The Daily Telegraph.

‘If Covid-19 ends up like flu, so we live our normal lives and we mitigate through vaccines and treatments, then we can get on with everything again.’

Danny Altmann, professor of immunology at Imperial College London, said he agreed with the Health Secretary’s comments about the UK potentially living with coronavirus in the future in the same way as the flu.

Matt Hancock said he hoped Covid-19 will become a treatable disease by the end of the year.

Prof Altmann told Times Radio: ‘I agree with the ‘by the end of the year’ part, I think the jury’s out on what the future will look like.’

On news of the number of coronavirus patients in hospitals going down, he said: ‘We’re all following the data in the UK and from Israel, who are a little bit ahead of the curve in terms of vaccinations, and seeing those transmission graphs absolutely being quashed.

‘We can’t easily pick apart how much of that is lockdown, how much is vaccination, but it’s certainly both of those things.

‘I am cautiously optimistic that we are winning finally.’

The move comes as it was announced on Friday that more than 14 million across the UK have now received their first dose of one of the approved vaccines.  

Covid deaths among over-85s plummet by 41% – almost twice as fast as un-vaccinated people over-65s 

The number of Covid deaths in over-85s is falling twice as fast it is in younger Brits, raising hopes that the UK’s vaccine drive is clicking into gear, with just one per cent of the population refusing jabs.

The Government’s target of administering 15 million doses is set to be hit this weekend, amid a backdrop of falling cases and deaths, with pressure growing on Boris Johnson to present his ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown.

The supreme efforts of volunteers over recent weeks now appears to be paying dividends, with the number of fatalities among the oldest age group now falling on average by some 41 per cent a week.

By contrast, the number of weekly deaths is falling by 22 per cent for those aged under 65.  

Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, a risk expert from the University of Cambridge, told the Sun: ‘There is a statistically significant difference between the age groups. A substantial amount of this difference will be vaccines.

‘And, by the end of the month, it’s going to be quite dramatic. It is quite tricky to spot as deaths are falling everywhere — it’s just that in older groups the drop is much faster than others.’



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How do I love thee… passionately!


E book of the week 

Two-Way Mirror: The Lifestyle Of Elizabeth Barrett Browning

by Fiona Sampson (Profile £20, 336 pp)  

Throughout her life span, Elizabeth Barrett Browning was our most common lady poet still, these days, even the most passionate poetry lover would battle to quote more than a couple lines of hers.

If you’re familiar with her tale, it can be probably because of The Barretts Of Wimpole Road. 

This 1930 engage in, which has been filmed three times, is an irresistible slice of melodrama about the romance in between Elizabeth and the dashing poet Robert Browning — a like affair which was opposed by her tyrannical father, who needed Elizabeth all to himself. As the trailer for the 1957 version gasped, ‘Behind the doorways of a happy, respectable property surge the conflicts of darkish, hidden passions!’

Born into a rich spouse and children in County Durham in 1806, Elizabeth was the oldest of 12 siblings. A fiercely clever youngster, she started writing at the age of six and never stopped.

‘Literature was the star which in prospect illuminated my future day . . . it was the spur which prompted me . . . the incredibly soul of my staying,’ she wrote at 14.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s father disinherited her when she married Robert Browning. The participate in The Barretts Of Wimpole Avenue (pictured listed here in the film edition) depicts their appreciate tale

Presently immersed in Milton and Shakespeare by the age of 8, Elizabeth taught herself Greek, Latin and Hebrew. Her very first collection of essays and poems, revealed at 20, obtained little focus, and her vocation was interrupted by upheavals.

Her mom Mary died in 1828 and Elizabeth, who was now struggling from a collection of mystery pulmonary diseases, was so distraught that her own health and fitness worsened.

The Barretts moved to London in 1835 and, 3 yrs afterwards, Elizabeth posted The Seraphim, And Other Poems, which produced her identify.

Even with her disease, Elizabeth became the darling of London literary culture, holding up a energetic correspondence with fellow writers and in some cases acquiring them at the spouse and children house in Wimpole Street.

A uthor Fiona Sampson, a sympathetic biographer (even if Two-Way Mirror is, annoyingly, written in the existing tense) calls Elizabeth ‘a large personality crammed into the compact body of a diminutive body’, much from the stereotype of a Victorian invalid.

By her mid-30s all thoughts of romance and children ought to have seemed an not possible desire — until eventually, in 1842, she been given a letter from the poet Robert Browning, who wrote flirtatiously: ‘I love your verses with all my coronary heart, pricey Miss Barrett.’

During her lifetime, Elizabeth Barrett Browning (pictured) was our most popular woman poet

For the duration of her life span, Elizabeth Barrett Browning (pictured) was our most well-liked woman poet

Following 4 months and an exchange of 30 letters, Elizabeth authorized Browning to check out her. The working day following their to start with meeting, he wrote declaring his really like. Elizabeth dismissed this, but they ongoing to satisfy in key. Browning, who was 6 decades youthful, proposed and they started to speak about a long run alongside one another. She even reduce again on the day by day 40 drops of laudanum (a very addictive mixture of liquor and opium) which she took for her nerves.

When she claimed she feared he would mature tired of an invalid spouse, he assured her his like was so powerful he would even settle for a sexless marriage: ‘I would come when you allow me, and go when you bade me — I would be no additional than a single of your brothers.’

The most significant obstacle to their marriage was Elizabeth’s father. In The Barretts Of Wimpole Street there is a robust implication that Edward Barrett’s love for Elizabeth verged on the incestuous.

Fiona Sampson dismisses this, although there is no doubt Mr Barrett was determined that all his small children need to be dependent on him. It was not a question of disapproving of her suitor he would never ever have agreed to Elizabeth marrying any one.

The Barrett sons at the very least experienced their operating lives, but to be denied marriage and motherhood for Elizabeth and her two sisters, Henrietta and Arabella, was to condemn them to a suffocating everyday living of genteel spinsterhood.

Two-Way Mirror: The Life Of Elizabeth Barrett Browning by Fiona Sampson (Profile £20, 336 pp)

Two-Way Mirror: The Daily life Of Elizabeth Barrett Browning by Fiona Sampson (Profile £20, 336 pp)

In September 1846, Elizabeth and Robert have been married, with Robert’s cousin and Elizabeth’s devoted maid as the only witnesses — the two females getting prudently stopped on the way to buy smelling salts for the bride. Elizabeth returned dwelling just after the wedding, expressing almost nothing to her father.

A 7 days afterwards, having smuggled out two scenarios of her possessions, Elizabeth, her maid and beloved spaniel Flush slipped out of the household in Wimpole Avenue and established sail for Italy with Robert Browning. On hearing the news, Mr Barrett declared she was lifeless to him, and hardly ever spoke to her again.

In opposition to the odds, the couple’s 16-yr relationship was to verify a substantial success, a union of the two heart and head. After a number of miscarriages Elizabeth gave birth, aged 43, to a much-beloved son, Robert, known as Pen. The Barrett Brownings settled in Florence, and the Italian weather was great for Elizabeth’s well being.

Even with her fragility, Elizabeth was a charismatic female of solid thoughts: committed to the abolition of slavery, passionately interested in Italian politics and one-minded about her work.

The author Anne Thackeray, who fulfilled Elizabeth in the 1850s, referred to as her ‘the greatest female I ever realized,’ stating: ‘She is very, quite compact . . . her eyes are vivid and full of daily life, she has a manner whole of appeal and kindness.’

Elizabeth’s stunning Sonnets From The Portuguese, written during her courtship with Browning but not printed until finally 1850, expressed her feeling of question that her everyday living experienced been so reworked by like. The collection contains her most well known poem, which starts: ‘How do I really like thee? Let me rely the approaches.’

Her stock was now so high that when William Wordsworth died, she was spoken of as a feasible successor as Poet Laureate. In the stop Alfred, Lord Tennyson obtained the work and we failed to get a female Poet Laureate until finally Carol Ann Duffy in 2009.

Aurora Leigh, an epic novel created in blank verse which arrived out in 1857, is regarded as Elizabeth’s masterpiece. Its most important theme is how girls can attain independence in a world dominated by males, and it failed to shy absent from controversial matters these kinds of as the Victorians’ cruel cure of ‘fallen women’ who were being the victims of sexual violence.

It was an instantaneous bestseller — the to start with edition offered out in a fortnight — and was to influence writers these types of as George Eliot, Emily Dickinson and Oscar Wilde.

Elizabeth died in Italy at the age of 55, with her beloved Robert by her facet. Tributes poured in, with 1 newspaper calling her ‘the Shakespeare among her sex’, still inside a couple of a long time her poetry experienced fallen out of trend.

Fiona Sampson, herself a poet, thinks that Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s function is due for a renaissance, and factors out that many feminist scholars are rediscovering her usually startlingly contemporary composing. Elizabeth’s was, she concludes, a ‘triumphant life’.



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