Category Archives: WORLD NEWS

Dog the Bounty Hunter hands over ‘campe site evidence’ in hunt for Brian Laundrie to FBI


Dog the Bounty Hunter says he’s turned over evidence found at a makeshift Florida campsite to the FBI as he continues his hunt for Brian Laundrie.  

The reality television star joined the manhunt for the boyfriend of the late Gabby Petito on September 25th – weeks after she was reported missing and Laundrie returned from their cross-country roadtrip by himself on September 1.

Two days after Brian was reported missing on September 17, Petito’s remains were discovered in Teton County, Wyoming. 

Ever since, Brian has been named as a ‘person of interest’ in the case.

The nationwide manhunt has seen Dog the Bounty Hunter, whose real name is Duane Chapman, become a popular figure in the search after he set up his own private tip line, which he says has had more than ‘2,000 calls with 20 percent leads.’

On Monday morning, Chapman told Fox & Friends that his team has handed materials he discovered at Fort Soto Park over to the FBI in the hope that DNA testing confirms Laundrie’s presence. 

‘Friday, we found a makeshift, a very primitive camp that had some promising things around it so we’ve gathered up all those things with gloves and baggies and turned them over yesterday to the FBI,’ Chapman said. 

‘We’ve got tips from here to Tennessee and beyond,’ he said regarding the search for Brian Laundrie. ‘So we are going over those tips today.’  

According to Fox News, Dog the Bounty Hunter has turned over all the evidence he collected at Fort Soto Park to authorities in hopes they can test it to prove that Brian Laundrie’s DNA was on the times

Brian Laundrie, 23, who was reported missing last week, remains a person of interest in the disappearance and death of fiancée Gabby Petito

Brian Laundrie, 23, who was reported missing last week, remains a person of interest in the disappearance and death of fiancée Gabby Petito

 After repeatedly saying that he ‘doesn’t’ coordinate with cops’, Chapman contracted a private search-and-rescue K-9 team to get his search underway on an island called Egmont Key, which is off the coast of St Petersburg, Florida. 

The search has been centered around Florida’s Fort De Soto Park in Pinellas County, where the Laundrie’s went camping with Brian between September 6-8 and were seen leaving without him.  

Chapman is now interested to work with law enforcement and has confirmed that an off-duty officer has joined his team the past few days.

‘The team is now assessing evidence and evaluating next steps,’ the statement states. 

He also confirmed that former Navy SEALS and Marines are helping his search.

The latest update come as Chapman has increased the reward for any information leading to Laundrie’s arrest. 

His team also discovered a used campsite and a discarded can of Monster soda last Wednesday.

Dog the Bounty Hunter told Fox News that he turned over evidence from makeshift campsite to the FBI and local authorities

Dog the Bounty Hunter told Fox News that he turned over evidence from makeshift campsite to the FBI and local authorities

Police and coast guard boats are spotted trawling the waters around Fort de Soto Park in Florida, near St. Petersburg, where Brian Laundrie went camping with his parents after returning home from a cross country road trip without girlfriend Gabby Petito

Police and coast guard boats are spotted trawling the waters around Fort de Soto Park in Florida, near St. Petersburg, where Brian Laundrie went camping with his parents after returning home from a cross country road trip without girlfriend Gabby Petito

A map shows the Fort de Soto Park campsite's location, the Laundrie family home and the Carlton Reserve where authorities have focused their search and Laundrie's parents say he was headed

A map shows the Fort de Soto Park campsite’s location, the Laundrie family home and the Carlton Reserve where authorities have focused their search and Laundrie’s parents say he was headed  

The team confirmed to Dailymail.com on Friday that $10,000 has been added to the reward money, which was set at $170,000 before the increase. 

Most of the funds were donated by private individuals supporting Gabby Petito’s family.

Meanwhile, the investigation was thrown a curveball by an alleged sighting of Brian in North Carolina on Saturday.

A hiker in the Appalachian Trail said ‘there is no doubt in [his] mind’ that he had a nighttime encounter with Brian Laundrie on Saturday morning after Lisa Chapman sent him an audio recording of Laundrie’s voice and he recognized the voice as that of the man who asked him for help.

Dennis Davis said he encountered Petito’s boyfriend on a deserted road close to the trail close to the Tennessee border – 700 miles away from where the 23-year-old was last seen near his home in North Port, Florida.  

Davis, 53, who is an engineer from Florida, says he spoke to a man who waved down his car on Waterville Road, near the Appalachian Trail and close to the border of North Carolina and Tennessee.

Dennis Davis, pictured, says he saw Brian Laundrie on a deserted trail along the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina on Saturday

Dennis Davis, pictured, says he saw Brian Laundrie on a deserted trail along the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina on Saturday 

A hiker near the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina claims he had a nighttime encounter with Brian Laundrie on Saturday morning, weeks after the fugitive boyfriend of slain Gabby Petito was last seen in Florida

A hiker near the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina claims he had a nighttime encounter with Brian Laundrie on Saturday morning, weeks after the fugitive boyfriend of slain Gabby Petito was last seen in Florida

Gabrielle Petito, 22, from her Instagram page, is seen with boyfriend Brian Laundrie, now the sole person of interest in her murder

Gabrielle Petito, 22, from her Instagram page, is seen with boyfriend Brian Laundrie, now the sole person of interest in her murder 

He says the man pulled up alongside Davis and made a bizarre request for help as he asked for directions in order to drive west to California using only back roads.

Davis, a dad-of-four, suggested he simply take Interstate 40 which runs east to west across the country from North Carolina all the way to California.

‘There is no doubt in my mind I spoke to Brian Laundrie — none whatsoever,’ Davis told the New York Post.

‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’s daughter sent me an audio file of Brian’s voice and the voice was the same I heard.’

Davis was hiking the Appalachian Trail himself and noted the man he believed to be Laundrie acted nervously.

‘He said ‘Man, I’m lost.’ I said ‘What are you trying to find?’ and he said ‘Me and my girlfriend got in a fight but she called me, told me she loves me, and I have to get to California to see her.”

‘I said ‘Well, I-40 is right there and you could take it west to California’ and he said, ‘I’m just going to take this road into California’.

‘He was worried and not making sense,’ Davis added.

He did not immediately recognize him as Laundrie but is certain it was him.

Despite lighting being poor because of the night, he believes there was enough lighting from the car’s headlights to make a positive identification.  

Davis told Laundrie his best way to head to California would be to take Interstate 40 which runs for more than 2,500 miles from North Carolina

Davis told Laundrie his best way to head to California would be to take Interstate 40 which runs for more than 2,500 miles from North Carolina

Petito and Laundrie had been travelling on a cross-country trip together since July 2, when they left New York. Petito was reported missing on September 11

Petito and Laundrie had been travelling on a cross-country trip together since July 2, when they left New York. Petito was reported missing on September 11

The man he believed to be Laundrie was driving a light-colored pickup and was wearing a bandana on his head.

It wasn’t until later, with Davis having looked up photos of the man on his cellphone that he realized whom he had just spoken with.

Davis claims to have made several calls to the FBI and to 911 in the hours after the encounter but frustratingly nobody has yet called him back.

‘Law enforcement is probably getting millions of leads on this guy, but I am not some goofball out there doing drugs in the middle of the night, I am a highly educated professional. ‘And I know that was the guy. There is no doubt about it.

‘We have this lead but no one’s doing anything, not even a phone call.

‘Obviously, as a father with a daughter, I want to do whatever I can to help the family find closure and get this guy off the streets,’ Davis said.

Chapman also recently received a tip that framed Brian’s sister Cassie in Fort De Soto Park, on September 6, contradicting her revelation in which she said she had not been in contact with her brother since he returned home from his trip with Petito. 

Laundrie’s whereabouts are unknown since September 14, when his parents said he left the family home in North Port, Florida. The Laundries added that their son told them that he was heading to a nearby nature reserve and only had his backpack.

Timeline of missing Gabby Petito’s case

  • July 1: Gabby Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie left Blue Point, New York for a cross-country road trip
  • August 12: Police in Moab, Utah respond to a domestic incident involving the couple
  • Aug. 21: Petito’s father, Joseph Petito, has his last FaceTime video call with his daughter who was in Salt Lake City, Utah 
  • Aug. 24: Petito is last seen at a hotel in Salt Lake City with Laundrie
  • Aug. 25: Petito makes final call to her mother, Nicole Schmidt, saying she was in Grand Teton National Park
  • Aug. 25 or 26: The couple chats with the owner of a shop called ‘Rustic Row’ in Victor, Utah for about 20 minutes 
  • Aug. 27: Video of Petito’s van was taken by blogger Jenn Bethune, of Red White & Bethune, around 6.30 pm at the Spread Creek Campground
  • Aug. 29: The day that Wisconsin TikToker Miranda Baker claimed that she and her boyfriend were approached by Laundrie at Grand Teton National Park and asked them for a ride at 5.30pm; Schmidt says she is not entertaining this claim and believes it possibly factual
  • Aug. 30: Schmidt receives the last text from Petito: ‘No service in Yosemite’
  • Sept. 1: Laundrie returns to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida in a van without Petito
  • Sept. 6-7: Laundrie and his parents visit Fort De Soto campsite in Florida
  • Sept. 11: Schmidt reports Petito missing to authorities in New York; Petito and Laundrie’s van was impounded by police in Florida that same day
  • Sept. 12: Grand Teton National Park rangers search for Petito
  • Sept. 14: Laundrie issues a statement about Petito’s disappearance through his lawyer; Also on this day, Laundrie allegedly left his parents’ home for a hike
  • Sept. 15: Laundrie is officially named a person of interest in Petito’s case
  • Sept. 17: Laundrie family attorney confirms his whereabouts are unknown
  • Sept. 18: North Port police and the FBI start searching the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County for missing Brian Laundrie
  • Sept. 19: Bethune realizes she has video of Petito’s van around 12am and submits the FBI with the footage 10 minutes later; Officials announce a body was found near Grand Teton National Park that matched Petito’s description in the afternoon
  • Sept. 21: Coroner confirms remains found in Grand Tetons belong to Petito. Her death is ruled a homicide but her cause of death is still under invesetigation
  • Sept. 20 – 22: FBI and North Port police continue search for Laundrie in Carton Reserve 
  • Sept. 22: Neighbors say they saw the Laudrie family pack up their detached camper on the day Gabby was reported missing. DailyMail.com photos show the camper was back in the driveway two days later, on September 13 
  • Sept. 23: FBI issues an arrest warrant for Laundrie for ‘use of unauthorized access device’ for fraudulently using a Capitol One Bank debit card that was not his between August 30 and September 1 to spend $1,000; A probe is launched into the police handling of the Utah police incident on Aug. 12; Laundrie’s parents visit their attorney in Orlando 
  • Sept. 25: Dog the Bounty Hunter joins the search for Laundrie 
  • Sept. 26: A funeral is held for Petito in Holbrook, New York, and her family launch a charity to help parents find missing children 
  • Sept. 27: Manhunt for Laundrie in the Carlton Reserve is scaled back after 10 day search doesn’t find him. Dog the Bounty Hunter says Laundrie and his parents stayed at Fort De Soto Park from September 1-3 and September 6-8 – and that on the latter visit only the parents left 
  • Sept. 28: Laundrie’s mom is accused of using a burner phone to contact her son Sept. 29: Documents reveal Laundrie’s mom canceled a reservation for the Fort De Soto Park campsite for two from September 1 to 3 and booked for three from September 6 to 8; FBI seizes surveillance footage from site; FBI investigates lead Laundrie bought a burner phone on September 14; Dog the Bounty Hunter searches the area near Fort De Soto finding a recently drunk can of Monster Energy at a makeshift campsite deep in the woods 
  • Sept. 30: Bodycam footage from a second officer at the August 12 incident is released showing a distressed Petito admitting Laundrie hit her; FBI agents collect more evidence from the Laundrie home 
  • Oct. 1: It emerges Laundrie’s sister had contact with him after she said she did 



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Seven men are found guilty of the murder of law student Aya Hachem


7 adult men have been discovered guilty of murdering regulation student Aya Hachem – who was gunned down as she shopped for groceries in a botched travel-by execution.

The 19-yr-aged was shot in the upper body from a passing automobile in close proximity to her dwelling in Blackburn, Lancsashire, past Could 17.

She was not the meant concentrate on of the capturing, which came after a lengthy-functioning feud among rival tyre firm house owners Feroz Suleman and Pachah Khan.

Suleman, 40, Kashif Manzoor, 26, Ayaz Hussain, 35, Abubakr Satia, 32, Zamir Raja, 33, Anthony Ennis, 31, Uthman Satia, 29, were being right now located guilty of murder at Preston Crown Courtroom.

Their co-accused Judy Chapman, 26, was cleared of murdering Aya but identified responsible of manslaughter immediately after a 12-week demo.

All seven guys ended up also convicted of the attempted murder of Pachah Khan whilst Chapman was acquitted of the attempted murder of Mr Khan.

The 19-year-old was shot in the chest by a gunman in a passing car near her home in Blackburn, Lancashire, on May 17 last year

Seven persons have been observed responsible of the murder of regulation student Aya Hachem (remaining and appropriate) who was gunned down as she shopped for groceries in botched push-by execution 

Feroz Suleman (right), 40, and Kashif Manzoor (left), 26, were among the men found guilty of murdering the teenager

Feroz Suleman (right), 40, and Kashif Manzoor (remaining), 26, were being among the the males found guilty of murdering the teenager

Abubakir Satia

Uthman Satia

Jury at Preston Crown Court also found Abubakir Satia (still left), 32, and his brother Uthman Satia (right), 29, guilty of murder

Ayaz Hussain

Judy Chapman

Ayaz Hussain (still left), 35, was also located responsible of Ms Hachem’s murder. Judy Chapman (ideal), 26, was cleared of murder but found responsible of manslaughter

The court docket beforehand read the travel-by taking pictures was organised by Suleman, who experienced been embroiled in a bitter feud with his neighbour and business rival Mr Khan.

Suleman hired Raja, a hitman from Manchester, to have out the shooting for the rate of £1,500.

Raja, of no mounted address, refused to fully participate in cross-evaluation and later pleaded responsible to manslaughter.

On his behalf, his authorized group argued it was hardly ever his intention to destroy and he experienced established out on a mission to ‘scare or intimidate’ Mr Khan and his employees at Quickshine Tyres.

A Toyota Avensis driven by Ennis with hitman Raja on board drove earlier Quickshine Tyres on three occasions shortly just before the deadly fourth journey.

Footage from CCTV cameras captured Suleman stood outdoors his premises up coming doorway at RI Tyres with a ‘ringside seat’ to the taking pictures.

The 1st shot hit the front window of Quickshine and the 2nd was allow off as Lebanese-born Ms Hachem walked by – hitting her alternatively than the meant focus on.  

Nicholas Johnson QC previously informed the jury Raja, the man who he claims fired the shot that killed Aya, fled to Portugal by means of Dublin 9 times following the incident.

3 times afterwards Anthony Ennis, the guy accused of remaining Raja’s driver at the time of the hit, flew to the continent on his brother’s passport, it was heard.

Prosecutors say a meet up concerning the pair in which they to begin with pretended not to know every single other but later embraced in a ‘brotherly hug’ was caught on CCTV.

The shooting was the culmination of a long-running dispute between Suleman, the owner of RI Tyres, and Mr Khan, the owner of Quickshine Tyres, after the latter began to sell tyres having previously only washed cars. Pictured: Police at the scene previously

The shooting was the culmination of a lengthy-jogging dispute involving Suleman, the owner of RI Tyres, and Mr Khan, the operator of Quickshine Tyres, soon after the latter commenced to provide tyres owning previously only washed autos. Pictured: Law enforcement at the scene previously 

Nicholas Johnson QC instructed the jury at Preston Crown Court docket: ‘They believed they experienced obtained absent with murder. Property no cost.’

By this phase, other suspects Feroz Suleman, Judy Chapman, Kashif Manzoor, Abubkar Satia, Uthman Satia and Hussain Ayaz had all been arrested.

Ten days soon after he had travelled to Portugal, Raja returned to the United kingdom in a automobile he had hired with Ennis in Portugal, Mr Johnson instructed the court docket.

Mr Johnson claimed the feud in between Suleman and Mr Khan started off in 2019 when Quickshine started offering tyres future door to RI immediately after formerly only washing automobiles.

This resulted in ‘bad blood’, it was heard, and a plan was hatched to kill Mr Khan and/or a person else at Quickshine.

The courtroom read Aya, an aspiring solicitor, was going for walks along King Road in Blackburn at 3pm on May perhaps 17, 2020, when she was hit.

Aya, a second-yr college student at the College of Salford, died in healthcare facility from a one gunshot wound a small time later on of an ‘irreversible’ cardiac arrest.

Her distraught parents reported she was the ‘most faithful, devoted daughter’ who savored shelling out time with her spouse and children.

Ms Hachem's father Ismail - a former soldier - arrived in England ten years ago as an asylum seeker before being granted British citizenship in 2019

Ms Hachem’s father Ismail – a previous soldier – arrived in England ten decades back as an asylum seeker prior to staying granted British citizenship in 2019

Aya and her family ended up also acknowledged to be seriously concerned with Blackburn’s asylum seeker and refugee local community.

She herself experienced fled war-torn Lebanon for a new existence in the Uk and had passed her next calendar year exams soon just before her tragic demise.

She was a trustee with the Children’s Modern society and received Pupil of the Calendar year at Blackburn Central Large University in 2016.

In a touching tribute on line at the time of Aya’s death, Noreen Hussain said: ‘Aya Hachem was particularly the form of youthful female I would appreciate for her to aspire to be like.’

The Asylum and Refugee Community (ARC) Venture wrote in a Facebook publish: ‘With fantastic sadness and heartache we have to share with you that we have missing Aya, beloved eldest daughter of Samar and Ismael from Lebanon.

‘Aya, a single of our have, shed her daily life in a horrific senseless assault, randomly caught up in a capturing outdoors Lidl, King Avenue, Blackburn as she walked past at about 3pm on Sunday.

‘Aya, a gorgeous 19 calendar year previous younger lady from Lebanon, experienced just handed her 2nd yr law examinations at Salford University and experienced a dream and ambition to study worldwide legislation. Aya and her relatives are substantially beloved in our ARC group.

‘Our hearts and prayers are with them at this agonizing time primarily all through this holy month of Ramadan when Aya and her family members ended up fasting.’

Ms Hachem's family flew to Lebanon for the teenager's funeral which was held in Qlaileh. Pictured: Her coffin is carried by relatives

Ms Hachem’s family flew to Lebanon for the teenager’s funeral which was held in Qlaileh. Pictured: Her coffin is carried by family

In a assertion issued soon after the verdicts, Aya’s heartbroken relatives claimed: ‘We thank God for the justice that has been served today.

‘To our expensive attractive angel in heaven we know you are in a superior and far more wonderful place. God chose you from among numerous and blessed you with martyrdom.

‘We are so happy of you and we skip you so substantially – our life are difficult without the need of you. This is God’s decree and praise be to God for this. You will stay in our hearts permanently.

‘You beloved lifetime and despite all the struggles and boundaries that we faced in this region, it did not prevent you contributing to your group and charites which includes the Kid’s Culture and fundraising at Salford College exactly where you have been finding out to turn out to be a barrister.

‘God chose you as an angel in his heaven. Heaven is yours and may possibly God give us the persistence immediately after your murder. We enjoy you.’

Her father Ismail Hachem – a former soldier – arrived in England ten yrs back as an asylum seeker ahead of staying granted British citizenship in 2019.

Ms Hachem’s relatives flew to Lebanon for the teenager’s funeral which was held in Qlaileh.

The 7 gentlemen will be sentenced on Thursday. Chapman will be sentenced at a day to be verified in Oct.



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Anti-vax Arizona family wants COVID-19 jab after losing beloved 47-year-old matriarch to the virus


St Louis on Friday announced the return of a mask mandate after Missouri saw a statewide surge in COVID-19 cases thanks to a tiny superspreader town run by an anti-masker mayor where the current rate of infection is ten times the national average.

St Louis’s decision follows that of Los Angeles County, which on Sunday ushered in the first major return of compulsory face masks.

In St Louis, masks will be mandatory in indoor public places and on public transportation for everyone age five or older, even for those who are vaccinated. Masking outdoors ‘will be strongly encouraged,’ especially in group settings.

Dr Marc Johnson of the University of Missouri School of Medicine has blamed the small tourist town of Branson for the state-wide surge, calling it ‘ground zero’ for the high infection rates.

‘Branson has a lot of country-western shows,’ he told Daily Beast. ‘No Vaccines. No masks. A bunch of people indoors and air conditioning, tightly packed, listening to music, possibly singing along, i.e. a superspreading event.’

Mayor Larry Milton (right) of Branson, Missouri, is seen with Missouri Gov. Mike Parson in a Facebook photo posted June 7. Milton is passionately opposed to mask mandates and vaccination passports

Branson, a town of 11,000 people, makes its living through tourism, and has passionately rejected calls for mask mandates

Branson, a town of 11,000 people, makes its living through tourism, and has passionately rejected calls for mask mandates

Branson attracts tourists with its shows, theme parks and family-friendly museums

Branson attracts tourists with its shows, theme parks and family-friendly museums

Visitors ride on go-karts at an amusement park in Branson on June 29

Visitors ride on go-karts at an amusement park in Branson on June 29

Johnson, who oversees a statewide program to monitor COVID-19 via wastewater samples, said they first spotted the Delta variant in Branson on May 10 – which quickly spread to surrounding towns.

‘By week three, it was already pretty much everywhere,’ he said.

The last sample from anywhere in Missouri that did not contain the Delta variant was on June 7.

Delta was followed by a spike in cases within three weeks, wherever it appeared.

‘It’s pretty scary,’ Johnson said. ‘I don’t know that the Branson is what seeded the entire outbreak in Missouri.

‘But I always suspected.’

As the rest of the state shuts down, the town that caused the trouble is continuing like the pandemic never happened.

The a vacation town of 11,000 people situated 40 miles south of Springfield, has business booming as the mayor – elected on an anti-mask platform – vowed to resist any public health orders.

‘First, let me state clearly and for the record: I will not support another government mask mandate, nor will I support a vaccine mandate,’ he declared on Facebook on July 13.

Monica Mileur packs grocery items into a box at Union Loafers restaurant in St Louis in April 2020, when the original mask mandate was in place. It is now back

Monica Mileur packs grocery items into a box at Union Loafers restaurant in St Louis in April 2020, when the original mask mandate was in place. It is now back

Nurses and doctors are pictured in Springfield, Missouri, on July 16. The state is dealing with a surge in COVID cases, and bracing for the deaths to follow

Nurses and doctors are pictured in Springfield, Missouri, on July 16. The state is dealing with a surge in COVID cases, and bracing for the deaths to follow

‘I didn’t talk about freedom and liberty during my campaign for Mayor simply as a way to get elected. I championed those values then, as I do now, because I believe that each individual should have the right to decide for themselves how to best handle their own medical decisions.’

He added: ‘I DO NOT believe it’s my place, or the place of any politician, to endorse, promote or compel any person to get any vaccine. That’s a decision that should be made by each individual in consultation with their doctor and their family.’

He closed by saying, ‘Be good to one another. Be good to those who visit our town. Don’t let temporary disagreements drive us apart forever. Whether you are masked or not, vaccinated or not, make smart decisions… Be aware of those around you who may think differently than you do about the issue. Be courteous, be thoughtful, be Branson.’

The infection rate for Branson and surrounding Taney County is 19.3 per cent, and there are 54 new cases a day in a county population of 57,000, which is 10 times the national per capita average.

More than two-thirds of the population are unvaccinated, The Daily Beast reported, including the tourist information person.

‘It’s not happening,’ she said when asked by the site if she had got her shot.

‘Have a blessed day.’

Branson is known for the ‘world’s largest toy museum’, the Titanic museum, Silver Dollar City theme park and Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner.

Only 40 per cent of Missouri’s population are fully vaccinated – making the state 12th worst in the nation for vaccine takeup. Alabama is the worst with 33 per cent fully vaccinated; Vermont is the best, with 67 per cent.

The decision comes as both of Missouri’s urban areas are seeing a big uptick in cases in hospitalizations that began in rural areas of the state, especially in southwestern Missouri around Springfield.

The Kansas City Star reported Friday that medical leaders in that region appear to be on the verge of calling for a new mask mandate there as well.

Dr Fredrick Echols, acting director of health for the city of St Louis, said more than 500 residents of the city have already died from COVID-19, ‘and if our region doesn’t work together to protect one another, we could see spikes that overwhelm our hospital and public health systems.’

Missouri has averaged 542 new cases a day over the last week, and five deaths a day.

The state’s positivity rate is 14.4 per cent, on a rolling seven day average, according to the Missouri health authority . By contrast, in New York City it is currently 2.2 per cent.

There were 1,632 people hospitalized as of July 20.

In Springfield, 200 miles to the south west of St Louis, hospitals are readying for a surge in admissions.

Mike Parson, the Republican governor of Missouri, announced on Thursday that 10 advanced life support ambulances, 20 medical professionals, two ‘strike team’ leaders and a logistics specialist were being sent to Springfield.

Their role will be to help with transporting patients in a city where hospitals are near capacity.

It’s also home of Branson’s Famous Baldknobbers Show, a country music spectacular.

A long-serving Baldknobbers guitarist, Randy McConnell, died from COVID-19 on July 18, aged 59.

Branson's Famous Baldknobbers are seen on stage. The country music sing-a-long is a popular draw for tourists

Branson’s Famous Baldknobbers are seen on stage. The country music sing-a-long is a popular draw for tourists

Randy McConnell, a popular long-standing member of the band, died from COVID-19 on July 18, aged 59

Randy McConnell, a popular long-standing member of the band, died from COVID-19 on July 18, aged 59



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Principal of NYC private school ‘disappointed’ in teacher’s expose


The principal of the celebrity-loving private New York City school that charges $57,000 per year says he is ‘disappointed’ a math teacher penned an expose saying students are being indoctrinated by radical race theory that makes them ashamed to be white. 

Paul Rossi, a math teacher at Grace Church High School in Manhattan’s NoHo neighborhood, publicly blasted his employer in a blog post on Tuesday. 

He accused the school of ‘indoctrinating’ students with ‘anti-racism’ ideology that he says induces shame in white students. Rossi also said the school wanted teachers to embrace anti-racism training and that they are required to ‘treat students differently on the basis of race’. 

Principal George P. Davison sent a letter to parents and staff in the wake of Rossi’s scathing post saying he was ‘disappointed’ the math teacher had chosen to air his ‘differences’ in a public forum.

Davison failed to address any of the claims raised by Rossi.   

The school, which has two campuses in lower Manhattan that caters for grade and high school students, is where a number of celebrities send their children. 

The grade school campus, in particular, has a security guard dressed in a business suit patrolling the sidewalk every morning and afternoon as SUV after SUV rolls through to drop off or pick up students. Nannies are also often spotted crowding the sidewalk around pick-up time. 

DailyMail.com observed at least three staff members outside the school on Thursday morning greeting grade school students as they arrived. 

It is the same elite private school that was slammed last month after it emerged students were being banned from using the words mom and dad and Merry Christmas in a bid to make it a more ‘inclusive’ place.  

Paul Rossi, a math teacher at Grace Church High School in Manhattan's NoHo neighborhood, publicly blasted his employer in a public blog post on Tuesday

George P. Davison, the head of the Grace Church High School in Manhattan, sent a letter to parents and staff saying he was ‘disappointed’ math teacher Paul Rossi had publicly blasted the private school in a blog post

Following Rossi's scathing post, principal George P. Davison sent a letter to parents and staff saying he was 'disappointed' the math teacher had chosen to air his 'differences' in a public forum

Following Rossi’s scathing post, principal George P. Davison sent a letter to parents and staff saying he was ‘disappointed’ the math teacher had chosen to air his ‘differences’ in a public forum

In his letter to parents, Davison, who did not name Rossi, said that Grace had ‘respect for the wide spectrum of political views that our faculty members hold’ but it was their expectation that staff would find ‘appropriate venues and times to raise concerns’. 

‘As you may be aware, a member of the faculty wrote and posted an article that is critical of Grace and of our efforts to build a school where everyone feels they belong,’ his letter said.

‘The process of building a community is often challenging, and I am disappointed that this individual felt it necessary to air his differences in this way.

‘We have always held the goal of fostering an environment that is safe and welcoming for all members of the community across a myriad of differences. This is a work in progress, and while we are not always as successful as we would hope, we know that it requires the constructive engagement of everyone in the community.’ 

A spokesman for the school insisted to DailyMail.com that Rossi would not be fired or disciplined in any way for going public with his criticisms.  

The assurances come amid a wave of cancel culture in recent months. 

Rossi had acknowledged in his blog post, which was published on former New York Times opinion writer Bari Weiss’s Substack newsletter, that his public criticism of the private Episcopal school could cost him his job.  

It is not yet clear if parents at the elite school have complained or demanded any action over Rossi’s column.  

Rossi, in his blog post, had accused the school of indoctrinating students with ‘anti-racism’ ideology that ‘induces shame’ in white students for being ‘oppressors’. 

He said he decided to come forward because he could no longer stay silent while ‘witnessing the harmful impact’ that anti-racism instruction has on children.  

Paul Rossi, a math teacher at Grace Church High School in Manhattan's NoHo neighborhood, publicly blasted his employer in a public blog post on Tuesday

Paul Rossi, a math teacher at Grace Church High School in Manhattan’s NoHo neighborhood, publicly blasted his employer in a public blog post on Tuesday 

Grace Church High School is a $57,000-a-year private school in New York City. The school, which has two campuses in lower Manhattan that caters for grade and high school students, is where a number of celebrities send their children

Grace Church High School is a $57,000-a-year private school in New York City. The school, which has two campuses in lower Manhattan that caters for grade and high school students, is where a number of celebrities send their children

The grade school campus (pictured above in a file photo) has a security guard dressed in a business suit patrolling the sidewalk every morning and afternoon as SUV after SUV rolls through to drop off or pick up students

The grade school campus (pictured above in a file photo) has a security guard dressed in a business suit patrolling the sidewalk every morning and afternoon as SUV after SUV rolls through to drop off or pick up students 

Rossi wrote: ‘As a teacher, my first obligation is to my students. But right now, my school is asking me to embrace ‘antiracism’ training and pedagogy that I believe is deeply harmful to them and to any person who seeks to nurture the virtues of curiosity, empathy and understanding.’ 

Rossi said that he and other teachers at the school were being required to ‘treat students differently on the basis of race.’ 

Rossi claimed that students at Grace High School ‘are pressured to conform their opinions to those broadly associated with their race and gender and to minimize or dismiss individual experiences that don’t match those assumptions’. 

He said while white students are ‘assigned’ the ‘morally compromised status of ‘oppressor’,’ minority students are being ‘cultivated’ with the idea that they are ‘oppressed’ as well as ‘resentful, morally superior, and dependent.’ 

‘All of this is done in the name of ‘equity,’ but it is the opposite of fair,’ according to Rossi.

‘In reality, all of this reinforces the worst impulses we have as human beings: our tendency toward tribalism and sectarianism that a truly liberal education is meant to transcend.’ 

Rossi also alleged that the school has held ‘whites-only’ student and faculty meetings on Zoom and that ‘such racially segregated sessions are now commonplace.’

Speaking of the meeting, Rossi said: ‘It was a bait-and-switch ‘self-care’ seminar that labelled ‘objectivity,’ ‘individualism,’ ‘fear of open conflict,’ and even ‘a right to comfort’ as characteristics of white supremacy.’ 

It is the same elite private school that faced criticism last month after it emerged students were being banned from using the words mom and dad in a bid to make it a more 'inclusive' place

 It is the same elite private school that faced criticism last month after it emerged students were being banned from using the words mom and dad in a bid to make it a more ‘inclusive’ place

 

 

 

 

Rossi said that during the session, he ‘questioned whether one must define oneself in terms of racial identity at all.’ 

‘It seemed like my questions broke the ice,’ he wrote. ‘Students and even a few teachers offered a broad range of questions and observations.

‘Many students said it was a more productive and substantive discussion than they expected.’ 

Rossi claims that after it was learned that he had challenged the prevailing orthodoxy, he was told by the head of the high school that he had ’caused harm’ to students.

According to Rossi: ‘I was reprimanded for ‘acting like an independent agent of a set of principles or ideas or beliefs’.’

Rossi claims the school’s ‘director of studies’ said that his remarks ‘could even constitute harassment’.

He said that days after the Zoom meeting, his boss told all high school advisers to ‘read a public reprimand of my conduct out loud to every student in the school.’

According to Rossi, the statement read: ‘Events from last week compel us to underscore some aspects of our mission and share some thoughts about our community. 

‘At independent schools, with their history of predominantly white populations, racism colludes with other forms of bias (sexism, classism, ableism and so much more) to undermine our stated ideals, and we must work hard to undo this history.’

Rossi said that, as a result, he was now required to ‘participate in restorative practices designed by the Office of Community Engagement’ so as to ‘heal my relationship with the students of color and other students in my class.’ 

Reaction online to Rossi’s blog post was largely critical of the school.   

GRACE CHURCH SCHOOL ‘DIVERSITY MISSION STATEMENT’

The following is a ‘mission statement’ from Grace Church High School that spells out its commitment to ‘antiracism, equity, and belonging.’ 

Grace Church School seeks to provide its students with an outstanding education and with the desire to use it to make the world a better place. 

Every facet of our work is enhanced by the diversity and strength of our community. 

We believe that equity and inclusion are not only hallmarks of a just society, but also virtues essential to sound learning. 

And so, Grace seeks to recognize and honor the unique gifts of its students, families, faculty, and staff – and the cultures, beliefs, values, and experiences that have shaped them – striving always to cultivate mutual understanding, humility, respect, and kindness.

But inclusion is not enough and equity is an impossibility if we cannot name, acknowledge, and oppose the forces of racism and all forms of bias, hate, and fear that exist in our society and that seek to diminish so many in our midst. 

Knowing this, we commit ourselves to the work of antiracism and to the cause of justice: that all students may find in Grace a home, may learn from Grace their precious worth, and may hear from Grace a call to serve the common good and the dignity of humanity. 

It comes just one month after it was revealed the school had issued a 12-page glossary of terms they claim would make for a more inclusive environment. 

The guide encouraged them to stop using the terms ‘mom’ and ‘dad’, to stop asking classmates where they may have gone on vacation and urges them not to wish anyone a ‘Merry Christmas’  – or even a ‘Happy Holidays’. 

The Episcopal school also offers courses and after-school programs for its students that include single-gender groups, a Roots of Empathy program, and a course called ‘Allying: Why? Who? and How?’ which is offered to seniors.  

The curriculum for that particular program, according to the City Journal, includes a photograph of a burning police car in a ‘zine called ‘Accomplices not Allies’.

The photograph is teamed with a declaration that ‘the work of an accomplice in anti-colonial struggle is to attack colonial structures & ideas’.  

Grace Church school issued its ‘inclusion glossary’ for 2021 which it claims will ‘remove harmful assumptions from the way we interact with each other’.

‘While we recognize hateful language that promotes racism, misogyny, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination are already addressed in our school handbooks, we also recognize that we can do more than ban hateful language; we can use language to create welcoming and inclusive spaces,’ it states.

The guide also warns readers to ‘be aware that people may not always welcome questions, and they are not obligated to respond’. 

Among the topics covered in the guide is the language surrounding gender, families, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, religion, disability, and socioeconomics.

Under gender, it urges for ‘boys and girls’, ‘guys’, ‘ladies and gentlemen’ to be abandoned in favor of the likes of ‘people’, ‘folks’, ‘friends’, ‘readers’, or even ‘mathematicians’.

It even encourages for those terms to be changed when reading books, using child, person, or character instead of ‘the boy/girl on this page’.

And pet names are out of the question, with ‘sweetheart’ and ‘honey’ to be replaced only with the child’s name or a description of what the child is wearing if that is not known. 

‘Mom’, ‘Dad’ or ‘parents’ are also outlawed for ‘grown-ups, folks, family or guardian’.

Nanny and babysitter must also be change to caregiver or guardian.  



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Boris Johnson ‘promises Tory rebels they WILL get vote’ on Covid passports


Boris Johnson wants domestic Covid passports in place by June 21 – but faces the prospect of an embarrassing Commons defeat after promising Tory rebels a vote on their introduction.

Michael Gove is said to have made the offer to furious backbenchers appalled at the idea of forcing Britons to prove their vaccination status to enter pubs and other social hubs.

Boris Johnson wants the scheme to be up and running for June 21, when the last social distancing measures are expected to be swept away. 

But the move could backfire on the Government, with Labour continuing to threaten to side with any Conservatives who refuse to back the move. 

Shadow Cabinet Office minister Rachel Reeves said today that Labour had ‘many reservations’ about the use of vaccine passports in the UK and questioned whether ‘we need a sledgehammer to crack a nut here’.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Mr Gove is heading up a Government review into the scheme. 

He spoke to MPs about the measures on the phone last week after concerns were raised about the plans – which were blasted as ‘absurd’ and ‘unworkable’ by pub bosses.

Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench MPs, today blasted vaccine passports as ‘intrusive, costly and unnecessary’.

He said the UK is currently in an ‘enviable position where more than half the population has got antibodies’ – with the number of people with jabs continuing to grow.

It comes as chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench MPs Sir Graham Brady (pictured) today blasted vaccine passports as 'intrusive, costly and unnecessary

Boris Johnson could lose a key vote on vaccine passports after Michael Gove (left) promised critical MPs they will get their say over the Government’s Covid plans. It comes as chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench MPs Sir Graham Brady (right) today blasted vaccine passports as ‘intrusive, costly and unnecessary

Shadow Cabinet Office minister Rachel Reeves said today that Labour had 'many reservations' about the use of vaccine passports in the UK and questioned whether 'we need a sledgehammer to crack a nut here'

Shadow Cabinet Office minister Rachel Reeves said today that Labour had ‘many reservations’ about the use of vaccine passports in the UK and questioned whether ‘we need a sledgehammer to crack a nut here’

Warning over ‘nightmare’ vaccine passports 

Putting vaccine passports into law would be a ‘nightmare’ and require ‘enormous scrutiny’, an expert warned today.

Danny Altmann, professor of immunology at Imperial College London, told Times Radio that while in general they were a good thing if they made people feel a bit safer and more people were vaccinated, they needed ‘enormous scrutiny’.

He said: ‘I find it difficult to have the vaccine passport conversation, and I’ve had quite a lot of these discussions of policy advice level, without getting into the detail because who of us wouldn’t think that vaccine passports were in general, a good thing, if people felt a bit safer and more people were vaccinated and we had more assurance of that?

‘And yet, one or two sentences into discussion you get rather sort of bogged down at the devil is in the detail, and there are an awful lot of confounders there where you could make some very, very poor legislation.’

Asked if vaccination passports will require new laws which could be difficult to word correctly, Prof Altmann added: ‘I think the detail is an absolute nightmare and, without being pedantic or negative, requires enormous scrutiny.’

 

Ms Reeves today told BBC Radio 4’s Today: ‘I have reservations, the Labour Party has reservations around the introduction of vaccine passports.

‘We have an amazing take-up of the vaccine, it is being rolled out incredibly successfully by the NHS – it is not totally clear to me that we need a sledgehammer to crack a nut here.

‘The big priority has got to be ensuring that everybody is vaccinated so we can get back as quickly as possible to the things we love doing, whether that is going to the pub, the restaurant, the football match or the concert.

‘The priority should be ensuring that the vaccine is rolled out, that we have a Test and Trace (system) that works properly but the Government does not have a great track record in introducing new IT systems and what we don’t want to see is more taxpayers’ money wasted, more bureaucracy and red tape for businesses who have already gone through an incredibly tough year.

‘So we will see what the Government bring forward and their rationale for it – we’ll keep an open mind but at the moment we have many reservations around what the Government looks like it might be suggesting.’ 

One Tory MP who took part in the call told The Daily Telegraph: ‘Michael made a very clear statement on the call with MPs that there would be debates and votes before anything like this came into force.’

In a cross-party letter on Friday, 72 MPs – 41 of which were Tories – branded the Covid passport idea ‘divisive and discriminatory’. 

If more than 60 Conservative MPs vote against the measures – alongside all members of the opposition – the vaccine passport plan would fail to get through the Commons in an embarrassing defeat for the PM.

Health minister Edward Argar today denied that the Government had changed its mind on the use of so-called vaccine passports, after Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi previously called them discriminatory.

Asked on BBC Breakfast whether the Government had changed its mind, Mr Argar said: ‘I don’t think it is that at all.

‘I think it is right that we look at this and see if there is a way that, while balancing all of those practical, ethical and fairness considerations, is there a way this could, in the short term, speed up our reopening of the country and getting back to doing the things we love?’

Labour leader Keir Starmer last week hinted that his party could line up alongside Tory rebels to oppose the idea, and suggested needing a passport to go to the pub would be un-British. 

Mr Johnson will give the green light today for further work on schemes that require people to show they are at low risk of harbouring the virus.

Government sources said the ‘focus’ would be on enabling certain businesses to reopen without the need for social distancing rules that would make them economically unviable.

Ministers have ruled out making the passports compulsory in hospitality venues.

But, raising the prospect of Covid passports brought in by stealth, a Government source told the Mail that those who do accept them could reap earlier benefits.

‘The focus is on high risk settings like large events and nightclubs that may not be able to operate commercially with social distancing,’ the source said.

Yesterday it was revealed that the Government is set to launch of a pilot scheme that will use the FA Cup Final and a Liverpool nightclub to test ways for the UK’s nightlife scene to burst back into life after Covid.

Michael Gove promised MPs who are critical of the vaccine passport system - which could see pubs forced to demand proof of a Covid jab prior to entry - a chance to vote against Mr Johnson's proposals. Pictured: Boris Johnson

Michael Gove promised MPs who are critical of the vaccine passport system – which could see pubs forced to demand proof of a Covid jab prior to entry – a chance to vote against Mr Johnson’s proposals. Pictured: Boris Johnson

Events will take place in April and May where proof of a jab will be required for entry, to avoid the need for social distancing.

They include 21,000 fans at the FA Cup Final at Wembley, spectators at the World Snooker Championship in Sheffield and a mass participation run in Hatfield, Hertforshire. 

And sports minister Nigel Huddleston confirmed yesterday afternoon: ‘It is not just about certification actually, in fact the earlier programmes, the earlier pilots almost certainly won’t involve any element of certification but it will involve testing, making sure people are tested before and after the event.

‘What we will be looking at is the mitigation measures, so the ventilation, one-way systems, hygiene measures, all of those kind of things to help inform long term decision making.’

Ministers are due to report with their initial findings on vaccine passports today.  

But it is understood that no decision on the measure has yet been made regarding whether pubs will have to force drinkers to show Covid passports, with evidence still being assessed.  

One Tory MP – who asked not to be named – last week said on the potential for the Government to lose a vote on vaccine passports: ‘If Labour are not onside that puts it in a totally different position.’

Another Tory MP warned against rolling out domestic certificates as they said some people may be unable to have a jab and therefore the policy would result in an ‘unfair two-tier system’.

Ipsos Mori revealed that 62 per cent of Britons would back their introduction for people wanting to go for a pint or a meal with their family and 63 per cent want them to be used for people going to the gym.

Almost eight in 10 people (78 per cent) polled supported people having to show proof of a coronavirus vaccine to travel abroad or visit people in care homes.

And there was strong backing for them to be required to work as a frontline NHS medic or in a care home (79 per cent) as well as in schools (69 per cent). 

But Tory civil liberties campaigner and former minister David Davis blasted the idea.

He said he agreed with Sir Keir that they were ‘un-British’, telling LBC radio: ‘We wouldn’t do this for flu, flu can kill up to 25,000 people a year. 

Millions could go to pubs with no social distancing under plans to let drinkers use mobile phones to prove they are free of Covid. This graphic shows how the app would have worked

Millions could go to pubs with no social distancing under plans to let drinkers use mobile phones to prove they are free of Covid. This graphic shows how the app would have worked 

Entry to festivals and major sporting events will only be allowed to those with either an NHS app or certificate showing they have had a covid jab, the Prime Minister is expected to announce on Monday (file image)

Entry to festivals and major sporting events will only be allowed to those with either an NHS app or certificate showing they have had a covid jab, the Prime Minister is expected to announce on Monday (file image)

‘Vaccines will reduce this illness to killing a lot less than that every year, then we will have to accommodate it, but not by giving up our basic freedoms.’ 

Yesterday’s Covid data showed a further ten people died after testing positive in a 47 per cent drop on last Sunday – but Wales and Northern Ireland’s data is not included due to Easter delays.

Sunday marked the second day in a row that just ten deaths had been recorded. 

The Government’s official data also revealed a further 2,297 people tested positive for coronavirus yesterday, a 40.5 per cent drop on that day last week.  

But cases and deaths figures over Easter were affected by incomplete data and a longer-than-usual lag in reporting.

Northern Ireland and Wales did not report any deaths or cases because of the delays.

As Britain saw its first weekend since lockdown rules were relaxed to allow outdoor mixing in groups of six, the country’s vaccine total triumphantly hit 36,904,755 on Saturday.

A further 97,328 people were given their first dose, while 176,240 were given their second.

April is expected to the be a month of second doses because millions are due their second jab as the 12 week deadline approaches.   



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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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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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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 



Supply backlink

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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