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Updated: 2 hours 21 min ago

Covid live news: UK, Germany and Italy detect Omicron cases; China outbreak warning

2 hours 53 min ago

Mandatory mask-wearing in shops and transport reimposed in England; Anthony Fauci says new variant is probably already in the US; Australia scrambles to prevent outbreak

China could face more than 630,000 Covid-19 infections a day if it dropped its zero-tolerance policies by lifting travel curbs, according to a study by Peking University mathematicians, Reuters reports.

In the report by the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the mathematicians said China could not afford to lift travel restrictions without more efficient vaccinations or specific treatments.

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Categories: Regno Unito

Bee aware: do you know what is in that cheap jar of honey?

2 hours 58 min ago

British beekeepers call for stricter labelling on supermarket blends to identify the countries of origin

British beekeepers are calling for a requirement on supermarkets and other retailers to label cheap honey imports from China and other nations with the country of origin after claims that part of the global supply is bulked out with sugar syrup.

The UK is the world’s biggest importer of Chinese honey, which can be one sixth of the price of the honey produced by bees in Britain. Supermarket own-label honey from China can be bought for as little as 69p a jar. Supermarkets say every jar of honey is “100% pure” and can be traced back to the beekeeper, but there is no requirement to identify the countries of origin of honey blended from more than one country. The European Union is now considering new rules to improve consumer information for honey and ensure the country of origin is clearly identified on the jar.

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Categories: Regno Unito

I have fun with my girlfriend, but she has no prospects | Philippa Perry

3 hours 13 min ago
People are more than the job that they do. Don’t let your friends and family decide for you – let this relationship run its course

The question I’m a 24-year-old guy studying for my masters while working part-time for a management consultancy and I’m also a qualified associate accountant. I recently met a woman on a dating app after being single for a year since the start of the pandemic. She’s a similar age to myself and we’ve been dating for two months. She’s very attractive and nice, and we have a good time together – she can make me laugh.

There is a red flag, though. Although she is in her mid-20s she still lives at home and seems to have no plans or ambitions to move to living independently. Plus, despite having a part-time job, she doesn’t contribute to the household bills. Now I understand that rent is high and people are staying with their parents for longer, but she isn’t even planning on going to college or progressing further in her career. She spends most of her money on going out with friends, holidays and hobbies.

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Categories: Regno Unito

Ghislaine Maxwell sex-trafficking trial finally to begin in earnest

3 hours 13 min ago

British socialite faces six counts alleging that she helped recruit and groom teenage girls for Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse

Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex-trafficking trial is scheduled to start in earnest in federal court in Manhattan on Monday with opening statements about the eagerly awaited case.

The first arguments will set the stage for a six-week trial in which the British socialite’s alleged involvement in Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes will be aired in grueling detail, outlining how prosecutors and defense attorneys will approach the proceedings.

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Categories: Regno Unito

Trump stoked Covid in red states – but there are blue anti-vaxxers too | Robert Reich

3 hours 13 min ago

Among my neighbors in the bluest region of the bluest county of the bluest state in America, many don’t trust big pharma or the government – or simply choose to put themselves first

Is there a relationship between Covid and politics? Sure seems so.

By the end of October, 25 out of every 100,000 residents of counties Donald Trump won by wide margins had died from Covid. That was more than three times higher than the Covid death rate in heavily Biden counties, of 7.8 per 100,000.

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Categories: Regno Unito

UK health trusts suspend home birth services as midwives shortage deepens

3 hours 13 min ago

‘Crisis’ in maternity care leaves expectant mothers facing difficult births in hospital or without support at home

A severe shortage of midwives has led to home birth services being closed or reduced by a number of hospital trusts across the UK, with pregnant women frequently left in limbo as to where they will be able to give birth.

The Observer has found more than 20 trusts that have had disrupted home birth services in the past three months. Eight confirmed their services remain suspended due to staff shortages. They include East Kent Hospitals, Swansea Bay University Health Board and NHS Dumfries and Galloway – all of which report that the situation is under constant review.

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Categories: Regno Unito

Rethinking the best of Bordeaux | David Williams

3 hours 13 min ago
Bordeaux may have produced some of the world’s great vintages, but a new breed of producer is showing the variety its grape varieties are capable of

Château Capbern, St-Estèphe, Bordeaux, France 2017 (£21.68, justerinis.com) There was a time, not all that long ago, when the red Bordeaux blend was the wine style that winemakers all over the world aspired to copy and match. These days … well, let’s just say that most winemakers and sommeliers under the age of 40 are much more in love with and inspired by the earthier, small-scale vignerons of Burgundy and a flurry of more obscure flavour of the month places. “Basically Bordeaux is daddy wine”, a merchant acquaintance of mine told me recently, meaning it’s simultaneously passé and overpriced while still somehow monopolising outdated mainstream wine media just as vintage 1960s and 1970s “dad rock” rules the remnants of the printed music press. The thing is though, for all the off-puttingly snobbish luxury and conspicuous consumption associated with the region’s top châteaux, there are hundreds of delightful wines made in Bordeaux each year: the fragrant, classically cassis-scented, satisfyingly fine-grained Capbern, for example, is an enormously pleasurable partner for a Sunday roast.

Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia 2018 (from £26, thewinesociety.com; farehamwinecellar.co.uk; harveynichols.com; laithwaites.co.uk) Bordeaux may have been eclipsed by more fashionable upstart wine regions like a traditional Michelin white tablecloth restaurant being put in the shade by a the latest small plate pop-up. But the real vinous hipster-kryptonite is the wines made by the most famous regions to borrow Bordeaux’s recipe of grape varieties and winemaking methods. I can think of few more derided wine styles in fashion-conscious wine circles than Napa cabernet sauvignon, which is stereotyped, not always unfairly, as a kind of brash, insanely expensive, supersized version of Bordeaux claret: the Salt Bae of wine. Cabernet sauvignons from Australia get dismissed in much the same way: it’s assumed they’re all alcohol and rich but one-dimensional fruit, lacking subtlety and freshness. You can of course find examples of clumsy, overworked Bordeaux-esque wines in both Napa and Australia, but these days there are just as many beautiful, balanced bottles such as Vasse Felix’s perfectly modulated, luxuriously silky combination of ripe blackcurrant, polished tannin and cedary freshness.

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Categories: Regno Unito

And still television companies beat a path to wife-beater Stanley Johnson’s front door. Why? | Catherine Bennett

3 hours 13 min ago
A series about Marco Polo is just the latest venture for the man with a shameful past

Potential guides to Marco Polo, the 13th-century explorer, must be thin on the ground. Are there, in fact, any out there who’ve never been described as “handsy”? And, for preference, never broken their partner’s nose? An attractive on-screen personality being, like the ability to comply with Covid regulations and to not insult the public, an advantage, but by no means essential.

Asking only because a week after three women identified him as a specialist in unwanted touching, the – to give him his full title – father of the prime minister, was announced as the presenter for a forthcoming documentary series about Marco Polo’s route through China. By way of qualifications: Stanley Johnson once, it’s understood, went quite near there as a student.

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Stowaway survives flight from Guatemala to Miami hidden in plane’s landing gear

3 hours 23 min ago

The Guatemalan man was taken to hospital by immigration officials after emerging from the plane on the tarmac

A stowaway hidden in the landing gear compartment of an American Airlines jet survived a flight from his home country of Guatemala to Miami, where he was turned over to US immigration officials and taken to a hospital for evaluation.

The US customs and border protection agency confirmed the incident in a statement initially cited by Miami-based television station WTVJ, which posted video taken of the man at Miami international airport shortly after the plane landed on Saturday.

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Amyl and the Sniffers review – a blizzard from Oz

3 hours 43 min ago

Electric Ballroom, London
Channelling singer Amy Taylor’s rage and joyous abandon, the Australian punk band bring their second album to glorious fighting life

We are living through what often feel like end times for genre. If recording studios had windows, rulebooks would be flying out of them constantly, endangering passersby. Crossover smashes such as Lil Nas X’s Old Town Road have been obvious manifestations of this shift. But colouring inside the stylistic lines has been in decline for a while. Few, it seems, want a creative life without hyphens or slashes.

Into this free for all come Amyl and the Sniffers, a punk rock band who do one simple thing very well. This is time-honoured stuff – bass judder, scorched earth guitar, pummelling from the kit – but Amyl and the Sniffers take what could be a played-out sound somewhere unexpected, channelling singer Amy Taylor’s rage and joyous abandon. Rippling with sinew and seemingly limitless life force, Taylor is like a boxer crossed with a wood sprite; sometimes it’s a little like listening to Poly Styrene fronting Motörhead.

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Categories: Regno Unito

The big picture: the decline and fall of a utopian social housing scheme

3 hours 43 min ago

Peter Mitchell’s 1975 shot of the derelict Quarry Hill flats in Leeds recalls a groundbreaking community dream

In 1934, the newly installed housing director of Leeds city council, RAH Livett, toured Europe inspecting the latest modernist housing blocks. Quarry Hill flats in Leeds city centre was subsequently modelled on Karl Marx Hof in Vienna. When the housing scheme opened in 1938, it offered 3,000 residents modern kitchens with integrated waste disposal, as well as communal nursery and launderette facilities in what was then the largest social housing complex in Britain. Within half a century, however, Livett’s utopian project had fallen into decay and disrepair and was abandoned and subsequently mostly demolished.

The photographer Peter Mitchell caught only the last act of the project’s life. Having settled in Leeds after college in London, he documented the terminal phase of Quarry Hill in his 1990 book, Memento Mori. George Orwell’s biographer Bernard Crick supplied an introduction to that book, which also included documentary material about the initial community dreams for the flats and the way things turned out. Mitchell’s work was, Crick suggested, “no easy polemic against utopianism or modernism in architecture and planning, even though Quarry Hill failed”.

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Categories: Regno Unito

Easy rider? We’ll miss the roar, but electric motorbikes can’t kill our road romance

3 hours 43 min ago

For bikers, combustive power is one of the thrills of a long-haul trip. But flat batteries and charging points will just become part of exciting new journeys

A full tank of gas, a twist of the wrist, the roar of the exhaust as you speed towards the horizon … These are the visceral touchstones of the motorcycling experience, and all are a direct product of petrol-fuelled power, as is much of the biker’s lexicon: “open it up”, “give it some gas”, “go full throttle”. For a motorcycle rider, as opposed to the modern car driver, the journey is a full-body communication game, constantly applying judgment, skill and nerve to control the thousands of explosions that are happening between your thighs in order to transport yourself, upright and in one piece, to your destination.

Yet the days of the internal combustion engine are numbered. By 2050 the European Commission aims to have cut transport emissions by 90%, and electric vehicle technology is striding ahead for cars, trucks, buses and even aircraft. But where does this leave the motorcycle? Can this romantic form of transport and its subcultures survive the end of the petrol age?

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Categories: Regno Unito

George Kambosos Jr stuns Teófimo López for unified lightweight title in seismic upset

3 hours 51 min ago
  • Unheralded Aussie wins lightweight titles by split decision
  • Sydney native upsets one of boxing’s biggest young stars

Australia’s George Kambosos Jr won the IBF, WBA and WBO lightweight titles from Teófimo López in a seismic upset on Saturday night at the Theater at Madison Square Garden.

The unheralded Sydney native, who went off as a 6-1 underdog, dropped López in the opening round, then came off the floor himself in the 10th to score a split decision. Two of the ringside judges handed down scores 115-112 and 115-111 for Kambosos while the third scored it 114-113 for López. (The Guardian had it 114-112 to Kambosos.)

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Categories: Regno Unito

Ride on, baby: NZ politician cycles to hospital to give birth – for the second time

5 hours 31 min ago

Green party MP Julie Anne Genter set off for the hospital while already in labour, and gave birth an hour later

New Zealand MP Julie Anne Genter got on her bicycle early on Sunday and headed to the hospital. She was already in labour and she gave birth an hour later.

“Big news!” the Greens politician posted on her Facebook page a few hours later. “At 3.04am this morning we welcomed the newest member of our family. I genuinely wasn’t planning to cycle in labour, but it did end up happening.”

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Categories: Regno Unito

Ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi braced for verdict in incitement trial

6 hours 19 min ago

The democratically elected leader faces years in jail if she is found guilty on charges that also include corruption, fraud and breaking Covid rules

Ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi is braced to hear the verdict in her trial for incitement against the country’s military rulers, the first in a catalogue of cases that could see her jailed for the rest of her life.

The Nobel laureate has been detained since the generals ousted her democratically elected government on 1 February, and she is expected to find out about her sentence on Tuesday.

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Categories: Regno Unito

Sappy ending: Canada digs deep into strategic reserves to cover maple syrup shortage

6 hours 19 min ago

A poor harvest season and booming demand has prompted Quebec’s syrup ‘cartel’ to release around 22,000 tonnes of the luscious liquid

Maple syrup producers have been forced to raid the world’s only stockpile of the highly valued sweet treat, as surging worldwide demand combined with an unusually short harvest season in 2021.

The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, sometimes referred to as the “Opec of maple syrup”, has released about 22m kilograms of syrup from its strategic reserve to cover a shortfall driven by a short and warm spring in 2021, Canada’s NPR reported.

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Coalition bill would force social media companies to reveal identities of online bullies

7 hours 36 min ago

Scott Morrison says companies have a responsibility to remove content when requested by anyone who thinks they have been defamed or attacked

The Morrison government will introduce legislation this week to crack down on abuse and bullying on social media platforms.

Under the laws, social media platforms will be forced to expose the identity of individuals who post defamatory or damaging material anonymously.

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Categories: Regno Unito

Farce as Belenenses start game with nine men – including two keepers

Sat, 27/11/2021 - 23:41
  • Primeira Liga game with Benfica abandoned after chaotic start
  • 14 Belenenses players plus coach tested positive for Covid

Belenenses’s Primeira Liga game with Benfica was abandoned early in the second half after a Covid outbreak had forced them to start the match with just nine men – two of them goalkeepers.

Instead of postponing the game when news emerged that 14 players and three staff members had tested positive, Portuguese league authorities sanctioned it going ahead due to both clubs still being able to field the minimum required seven players.

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Border Force staff union joins fight to block Priti Patel’s pushback plans

Sat, 27/11/2021 - 23:19

Home secretary under pressure as own staff join challenge to high-profile policy on Channel crossings

The union representing Border Force staff has announced it is taking part in a legal challenge against a plan by Priti Patel to push back small boats in the Channel.

The news that the home secretary’s own staff are participating in a legal challenge against the high-profile policy will be a significant blow to Patel as she faces criticism from fellow Conservatives for failing to get a grip on the crisis.

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Niger: two killed and 17 injured in clash with French military convoy

Sat, 27/11/2021 - 22:02

Force used against protesters who blocked vehicles amid rising anger over France’s presence in former colonies

At least two people were killed and 18 injured in western Niger on Saturday when protesters clashed with a French military convoy they blocked after it crossed the border from Burkina Faso, Niger’s government said.

The armoured vehicles and logistics trucks had crossed the border on Friday after being blocked in Burkina Faso for a week by demonstrations there against French forces’ failure to stop mounting violence by Islamist militants.

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Categories: Regno Unito