Could the North West and South West have to STAY in lockdown?

Could the North West and South West have to STAY in lockdown? Matt Hancock says country could have localised restrictions after data reveal the crucial R rate is ABOVE 1 in the areas

  • Both regions have seen their crucial R rate rise above 1 in recent days
  • It was confirmed by two separate studies by epidemiologists 
  • Matt Hancock said both areas faced a ‘challenge’ over the spread of the disease
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Matt Hancock tonight raised the prospect of North West and South West England going back into full coronavirus lockdown to combat local surges in coronavirus infection.

Both regions have seen their crucial R rate rise above 1, the benchmark for avoiding another crisis.

Separate estimates produced by experts at Public Health England and Cambridge University today suggested this figure, the average number of people each Covid-19 patient infects, is above the danger level.

Asked about the situation at tonight’s Downing Street press conference. Mr Hancock said the Government was ‘seeking to take a more local approach’ to tackling outbreaks.

He added that there was a ‘challenge’ in both the North West and the South West of England regarding the spread of the disease. 

But he added: ‘It is very important that you look at all of these different studies in the round.

‘The study you mentioned is an important one but the overall assessment which is brought together by SAGE which advises the Chief Medical Officer is what I look at.

‘So we referred to the Office for National Statistics study that …  is based on data rather than modelling but what I do is look at all of these different studies and the overall view of SAGE is that the R is between 0.7 and 0.9 and that it is higher in the South West of England and the North West of England but it remains below one in each area.

‘Now, that doesn’t take away from the need to make sure that we spot and crackdown on localised outbreaks when they come.’

A key feature of Boris Johnson’s roadmap for the next phase of the lockdown has been switching from a blanket approach for the whole of England to one where localised increases in infections are controlled locally through re-imposition of the strictest measures available.

Matt Hancock said there was a ‘challenge’ in both the North West and the South West of England regarding the spread of the disease

The UK’s official coronavirus death toll today surpassed 40,000 as health chiefs announced 357 more Brits have lost their lives to the disease and scientists suggested the R rate has now risen to above the dreaded number of one in two regions of England.

Department of Health data shows 343 deaths occurred in England, followed by nine in Scotland, four in Wales and one in Northern Ireland – taking the official Covid-19 death toll to 40,261.

But the true number of coronavirus victims is known to be thousands higher. The Government only includes laboratory-confirmed cases in its daily update, meaning patients who are suspected to have died but never got tested for the infection aren’t included

Data fed into No 10’s scientific panel SAGE suggests the R rate was falling before lockdown was imposed and has been creeping back up since the darkest days of the outbreak at the start of April. SAGE said the overall rate remained between 0.7 and 0.9 across the UK as a whole but admitted it may be a little higher in England.

One leading Cambridge statistician – who was not involved with the latest modelling – warned the findings were the regional update that everyone has been ‘eager to have’ but admitted they were the ‘opposite of reassuring’ and added: ‘No wonder members of SAGE are worried.’

The PHE/Cambridge team – whose model is based on death data from NHS England and regional health officials, antibody surveillance sampling and mobility reports – also estimated 17,000 people were still being struck down with Covid-19 across England every day. And they warned the true figure could be as high as 25,000.

This was three times the estimate from a separate government-run Covid-19 surveillance testing scheme. Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures released today – based on swabs taken of nearly 20,000 people – suggested England’s outbreak has shrunk by half in the past week and is infecting around 5,500 people each day.  

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Man smashes tractor window with a BASEBALL BAT in row with driver

Dramatic moment man angrily smashes a tractor window with a BASEBALL BAT in furious row with driver

  • A man uses a hammer and baseball bat to smash the window of a tractor
  • The argument near Mayo, Ireland is believed to be over a land dispute
  • At one point a man wearing yellow threatens to throw the hammer at the tractor driver

An angry man smashes the window of a tractor on a country road in Ireland during an argument in this dramatic video.

The footage shows two men with a hammer and baseball bat near Mayo, Ireland, approaching a tractor.

One man is wearing a black top and the other wears yellow.

Two angry men approach the cab of a tractor and begin shouting at the driver and waving about a hammer and baseball bat near Mayo, Ireland

In the footage the two men approach the tractor and yell: ‘Who are you?’

The man wearing black then smashes one of the tractor’s windows using a hammer.

The person recording yells ‘that’s on camera’ before asking another onlooker to ‘ring the guard’.

The man in yellow then threatens to throw the hammer through the window at the tractor driver before the man in black smashes more of the window using the bat.

The man wearing black loses his temper and smashes one of the tractor windows with the hammer. Onlookers are heard asking someone to ‘call the guard’

Glass lies strewn on the road beside the tractor after the man wearing black smashed it with a hammer

It is believed the argument started over a land dispute.

John McDonnell uploaded the footage to Facebook on June 2 and it has since been viewed more than 271,000 times.

Trevor Troth commented: ‘If that was my tractor I would have ridden over their car, end of story.’

Glyn Jones added: ‘Two idiot hard nuts, but only because they have bats.

‘In a fist fight I could see the older guy doing a runner and the other one backing down, complete t****rs.’

The man in yellow takes aim with his hammer, threatening to throw it straight at the tractor driver

The man wearing black loses his temper again and smashes more of the tractor window, this time using the baseball bat

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NYPD arrests 240 people during another night of protests

The NYPD arrested 240 people overnight as protests over the police-involved death of George Floyd continued across the city, authorities said Friday morning.

The arrests came as police enforced the citywide 8 p.m. curfew imposed earlier this week, arresting multiple demonstrators in Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn who continued to march in defiance of the deadline.

Police did not immediately have a breakdown of the charges against those arrested Thursday night into early Friday.

A day earlier, 180 arrests were made citywide, Wednesday night into Thursday.

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday declared that “enough is enough” when it comes to protesters demonstrating past the curfew.

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Now TEN Chelsea Pensioners have died from Covid at military home

Now TEN Chelsea Pensioners have died from Covid at famous London military home for war veterans

  • Ten Chelsea pensioners have now died of coronavirus at Chelsea Royal Hospital
  • There have been a further 74 residents who have recovered from the disease 
  • The annual Founders’ Day ceremony at the hospital has also been scaled back 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Ten Chelsea Pensioners have now lost their lives to coronavirus at the famous Chelsea Royal Hospital for veterans in west London.

The famous hospital is home to 300 military veterans who have served their country in some of the most dangerous places in the world.

Alongside the 10 dead, who are each remembered with a service, a further 74 residents who tested positive for Covid-19 or displayed symptoms have gone on to make a full recovery.  

Among the Chelsea Pensioners who lost their lives to the virus was 75-year-old Fred Boomer-Hawkins, pictured centre, taking a selfie with other Chelsea pensioners in Durham

The hospital chaplain, Reverend Steven Brooks, told BBC Radio 4: ‘My normal job is to take funerals, but we have had 18 in 10 weeks, 10 through Covid and eight through other causes. We have been unable to hold any funerals here in the chapel.

‘People have told me this is much worse than anything they encountered during their many years of service, they say it is a hidden enemy.’

Monica Parrot, one of the 74 pensioners to have suffered the virus and recovered, told the programme: ‘It was awful, what was horrible as well was the fact I was a bit scared.

‘You think “oh, is it going to be me next” and because you’ve got so much time on your own you start to think a bit negatively about what it is going to be happening to you and feeling a bit sorry for yourself and having a little cry now and again, a big cry now and again.’ 

A further 58 residents at the Royal Hospital Chelsea have recovered after testing positive for Covid-19 or showing symptoms. There are 290 residents at the home for veterans

The ongoing pandemic has also meant that Founders’ Day on June 4, the highlight of the Chelsea Pensioners’ calendar, has been stripped back this year.  

The event is usually watched by hundreds of peoples and celebrates the founding of the Royal Hospital by King Charles II. The event has taken place almost every year since the Royal Hospital opened in 1692.

The Governor of Chelsea Royal Hospital, General Sir Adrian Bradshaw, added: ‘Somehow, despite all our drills, it got in here. I think that is an illustration of just how difficult this disease is to deal with and hospitals, care homes, all around the country, have found that.

‘Despite their best efforts, it gets past the defences.’

The Founders’ Day parade at Chelsea Royal Hospital has been scaled back this year

A makeshift pub, the Covid Arms, has been set up on the grounds, to allow the pensioners a chance to socialise and enjoy themselves.

The residents at the home include 47 veterans who fought in the Second World War, plus soldiers who served in the Korean War, Cyprus and Northern Ireland. 

It welcomes Army veterans aged over 65 who have no living dependants and a welfare need such as financial hardship or bereavement. The average age of its residents is 82.

Mr Boomer-Hawkins is pictured above as a young man. Neighbours, servicemen and friends lined the streets of Colchester as his funeral procession went past their homes yesterday morning

Sir Adrian added: ‘Most of our Pensioners have risked their lives serving our nation through war and conflict.’

Among the Chelsea Pensioners who lost their lives to the virus was Fred Boomer-Hawkins, 75, who became ill in the last week of March.

Neighbours, servicemen and friends lined the streets of Colchester as his funeral procession went past their homes.

His son Terry Hawkins, 49, said Mr Boomer-Hawkins was ‘extremely proud’ to wear the red uniform of the Chelsea Pensioners after moving to the hospital in 2017. 

His son said: ‘He was a very popular man, loving, generous, honourable and loyal. He was everything you could want from a dad.’ 

Father-of-three Mr Boomer-Hawkins had joined the Army at 17. 

In his first posting, he served as a Royal Green Jacket, based in Colchester, Essex, where he met first wife, Jean.

His duties included spells in Malaysia, Germany and Northern Ireland. He was a UN peacekeeper in Cyprus. 

Mr Boomer-Hawkins’ son said that as his breathing worsened and he was moved to hospital, he sent a text reading: ‘Prepare yourself, I fear the worst now’. 

He added: ‘We were able to go in on that final day and the doctors told us he only had between two and eight hours left. We never thought it would come to that, it was heart-breaking.’

The Royal Hospital said an Army medical team has been helping to tackle the coronavirus threat and is able to test all those who show symptoms.

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Variety Editor-in-Chief Claudia Eller takes a two-month leave

Variety Editor-in-Chief Claudia Eller takes two-months leave after breaking down in tears and apologizing to staff who confronted her over twitter spat in which she called a reporter ‘bitter’ for slamming her efforts to diversify newsroom

  •  Variety’s Editor-in-Chief Claudia Eller will take a two-month administrative leave after sparring with journalist Piya Sinha-Roy on Twitter
  • Eller released an article titled ‘Reflecting Diverse Voices Starts in the Newsroom’, which spoke about Variety’s push for more diversity
  • Sinha-Roy hit back on Twitter that Eller ‘haven’t done enough’ about diversity in newsrooms
  • Eller responded by calling Sinha-Roy ‘bitter,’ which sparked a series of tense tweets between the two 
  • Eller reportedly faced backlash for her comments and Variety staffers fielded complaints during a company town hall meeting
  • Eller issued an apology and said she feels ‘ashamed’ for her actions  

Variety’s editor-in-chief will take a two month administrative leave after calling a reporter who criticized the newsroom’s lack of diversity ‘bitter’ and being confronted by angry employees.

Variety held an all-hands company meeting following a heated Twitter exchange between Editor-in-Chief Claudia Eller and journalist Piya Sinha-Roy.

Deadline reports that Eller’s leave will last two months before her return later this year. 

The incident began Wednesday night after Eller shared an article she wrote about newsroom diversity, titled ‘Reflecting Diverse Voices Starts in the Newsroom.’

In the article, Eller described holding a video conference with Variety’s editorial team about covering nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd and the company’s efforts to diversity its newsroom. 


On Wednesday, journalist Piya Sinha-Roy called out Variety Editor-in-Chief Claudia Eller over an article she wrote about the company’s diversity 

‘As editor-in-chief of Variety I have tried to diversify our newsroom over the past 7 years, but I HAVE NOT DONE ENOUGH,’ she wrote. 

‘I need to take a hard look at our hiring practices to make sure they are racially inclusive.’

She then listed restructuring its internship program to ensure that students from varied socioeconomic backgrounds are included.

Sinha-Roy, who is of South Asian descent, responded to the article on Twitter and criticized Eller for alleged lack of inclusion.

Sinha-Rpy wrote on Twitter that Eller hasn’t ‘done enough’ in regards to diversifying Variety’s newsroom

Sinha-Roy then expressed her disappointment over media companies appearing to take advantage of the current social climate after and questioned if they were ‘sincere’ 

‘No, [Claudia Eller], you haven’t done enough, and nor have most other EICs,’ wrote Sinha-Roy. 

‘I remember speaking with you and [Andrew Wallenstein] years ago about the lack of diversity in your newsroom. POC voices are constantly dismissed. We are not here to make you look better. We are here to work,’ she added. 

Sinha-Roy then called out entertainment outlets for suddenly preaching diversity amid Black Lives Matter protests after years of ignoring minority journalists’ calls for action.

‘I am so tired of seeing entertainment outlets posting black tiles and vouching to “do more” all of a sudden, after years of the few of us POC entertainment journalists asking and pushing for it,’ she wrote.

‘Speaking up didn’t enact change, and often, we put targets on our own backs doing it.’

Sinha-Roy then added that its difficult to discern which outlets are being sincere in their push for people of color in newsrooms.

‘It’s hard to believe these outlets are being sincere this time, because these same outlets and editors haven’t done much to change the landscape up till now. 

‘And it’s daunting for us POC to speak up, and put ourselves at risk of being critical and disruptive.’

Eller (pictured) reportedly apologized to Sinha-Roy after the incident and expressed her regret in a subsequent letter

Eller responded to Sinha-Roy by saying: ‘You sound really bitter’ 

Minutes later, Eller responded to Sinha-Roy by claiming she sounded ‘really bitter.’

‘When someone cops to something why would you try to criticize them? You sound really bitter,’ wrote Eller.

Sinha-Roy quickly countered that Eller’s comments feel hollow without action being done.

‘Claudia, calling me bitter because I said this issue has been longstanding in your newsroom is frustrating,’ Sinha-Roy wrote.

‘I’m glad you highlighted of the great female minority journalists on your team. But until I see more POC journalists in your newsroom, this feels empty, once again.’

Sinha-Roy further expanded on her thoughts about being labeled ‘bitter.’

‘This is not the first time, and nor will it be the last, where calling out diversity issues results in me being called “bitter,”‘ Sinha-Roy argued.

‘I’m not bitter. I actually want to help change this landscape because it has to change, and I’m one of the few POC journalists covering this industry.’

Sinha-Roy: ‘I’m glad you highlighted of the great female minority journalists on your team. But until I see more POC journalists in your newsroom, this feels empty, once again’

Sinha-Roy: ‘This is not the first time, and nor will it be the last, where calling out diversity issues results in me being called “bitter”‘

Eller denied calling Sinha-Roy ‘bitter’ for her comments made about the Variety article 

Sinha-Roy continued to push back at Eller by claiming that she could have done more in the past to diversify Variety’s newsroom

Eller: ‘Thank you shouldn’t you diss someone who has hired minority journalists but admits she needs to hire more’

Eller than hit back at Sinha-Roy for dissing ‘someone who has hired minority journalists but admits she needs to hire more.’

Sinha-Roy answered that the issue over lack of diversity had reportedly been discussed in the past and Eller ‘didn’t enact real change.’

When Eller contends that the ‘bitter’ comment was not referring to Sinha-Roy’s critique of Variety’s news room, Sinha-Roy responds by alleging that journalists might be apprehensive to share their opinions.

‘You’re an EIC and you just called me bitter for calling you out for having not done enough in the past, when you could have.’ wrote Sinha-Roy.

‘You could have created a beautifully diverse newsroom years ago. And you wonder why journalists on your team might not want to raise these issues with you.’

The tense Twitter exchange ends with Eller suggesting their ‘shine a light in the sky for George Floyd’ and Sinha-Roy admitting she was disappointed with the response.

‘I hope you treat your staff with more respect that you gave me here,’ she wrote. 

Sinha-Roy admitted she was disappointed in the response from Eller, who suggested they focus their attention on George Floyd

During a company town hall meeting on Thursday, The Wrap reports that Eller broke down in tears while apologizing for her comments on Twitter.

Eller then stepped off the group call and staffers were invited to share their opinion on the matter.

Some staffers reportedly complained about alleged abusive behavior toward editorial staff. One employee said Eller encouraged them to go into the field during the coronavirus pandemic.

‘It was definitely tough feedback. And yes, Jay wanted to create an environment where people could speak freely,’ one source told The Wrap.

‘There was constructive feedback that we’re going to take immediate action on in terms of our reporting structure.’

Sinha-Roy (pictured) to Eller: ‘You could have created a beautifully diverse newsroom years ago. And you wonder why journalists on your team might not want to raise these issues with you’

On Thursday, Eller revealed in an apology letter to staff that she would be temporarily stepping down from her position after her verbal scuffle with Sinha-Roy. 

Eller wrote: ‘The last few months have been an incredibly stressful and challenging time, for everyone. That said, there is no excuse for the Twitter exchange I had with Piya last night.

‘I completely understand your anger and upset at me; it is not at all misplaced. I am so ashamed, humiliated and regretful for my actions and the pain it has caused both internally and externally.’

Eller revealed she apologized to Sinha-Roy for her ‘insensitive and ignorant remarks.’

‘As a result of my discussion with Jay, it’s clear to me that I need to take a serious moment of reflection. Effective immediately, I will be taking a leave from my role at Variety,’ she wrote.

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Minneapolis sees $55M in building damage, looting during George Floyd protests

The city of Minneapolis has tallied at least $55 million in property damage and looting stemming from the protests demanding justice for Geoge Floyd.

At least 220 buildings have been set ablaze since Floyd was killed by police officers on Memorial Day and the city plans to look for outside aid to rebuild after the civil unrest.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey will ask for state and federal funding to help repair the city, though the cost of damage could rise as protests continue through the Twin Cities and across the country.

“We’re going to need a really big package,” Frey said during a tour of the wreckage.

Residents have already begun chipping in with grassroots fundraising. A local nonprofit, the West Broadway Business and Area Coalition, has raised $1 million for north Minneapolis businesses that have been hit hard during the riots. The group plans to announce how ht money will be spent in the next few weeks.

The concentration of the hardest-hit Minneapolis buildings are those closest to the Fifth Precinct and Third Precinct, the latter of which was badly burned in a fire during the protests.

A large portion of the stores that have been looted and damaged — chain restaurants, clothing shops and convenience stores — are along a 5-mile route of Lake Street in Minneapolis and a 1-mile path of University Avenue in St. Paul’s Midway area, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported.

Though many of the shops that were boarded up during the riots have begun to reopen, according to the outlet.

Americans in cities across the country have continued to take to the streets over Floyd’s death, with violence erupting in major cities like New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

Floyd died after Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck, with the assist of three other cops, during his arrest. All four officers have been fired and charged with felonies.

Prosecutors Wednesday upped the charges against Chauvin from third- to second-degree murder and charged three other officers with aiding and abetting in the case.

Hundreds gathered Thursday in Minneapolis at a memorial service for Floyd, where Rev. Al Sharpton delivered his eulogy.

“I want us to not sit here and act like we had a funeral on the schedule. George Floyd should not be among the deceased. He did not die of common health conditions. He died of a common American criminal justice malfunction,” Sharpton said at the service.

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Elon Musk calls for the BREAKUP of Amazon for 'censoring' book

Elon Musk calls for the BREAKUP of Amazon for refusing to publish journalist’s book questioning wisdom of coronavirus lockdowns – before the company backs down and claims it rejected the title ‘in error’

  • Journalist Alex Berenson said on Wednesday that Amazon rejected his e-book
  • A skeptic of lockdowns, Berenson laid out government data to back up his case
  • Furious Elon Musk weighed in calling for Amazon to be broken up as a monopoly
  • Amazon backed down on Thursday and published Berenson’s e-book
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has joined the outcry after Amazon refused to publish a journalist’s book questioning the wisdom of coronavirus lockdowns, until the company backed down and allowed it to be published.

Alex Berenson, a former New York Times reporter, revealed on Wednesday that he had received an email from Amazon rejecting his book for self-publication as an e-book.

The message said that his book, which covers government data and scientific studies on the prevalence and mortality of coronavirus, did not meet Amazon’s ‘guidelines.’

‘This is insane @JeffBezos,’ wrote Musk in response to Berenson’s tweet. ‘Time to break up Amazon. Monopolies are wrong!’ 

Elon Musk stepped up to call out Amazon for censorship after the company refused to allow journalist Alex Berenson self-publish a book questioning coronavirus lockdowns

Berenson, who has emerged as a strong skeptic of the value of society-wide lockdowns in slowing the spread of coronavirus, expressed his fury that Amazon had rejected his book. 

‘THEY CENSORED IT! It is based entirely on published government data and scientific papers,’ he tweeted.

‘It doesn’t say coronavirus isn’t real or doesn’t kill people (in fact, the worst-case death toll is likely to be striking to people). And Amazon won’t run it,’ he added.

‘Amazon is by far the largest channel for book sales worldwide. The people who need to see this the most will not,’ Berenson went on.

He also pointed out that Amazon has financially benefited enormously from lockdowns, as online sales soared and neighborhood shops were forced to shutter.

On Thursday, Amazon’s stock closed up more than 13 percent higher than its peak in February, before the pandemic struck.

Alex Berenson, who has emerged as a strong skeptic of the value of society-wide lockdowns in slowing the spread of coronavirus, expressed his fury that Amazon had rejected his book

In addition to Musk, a number of others spoke up in Berenson’s defense, calling for his book to be published.

‘I think this guy is nuts. But denying him access to Amazon because of the content of his book is appalling,’ tweeted conservative commentator Andrew Sullivan.

‘I’ve had the pleasure of reading the first part of @alexberenson’s book. Yes, it’s contrarian. And thoughtful and solidly grounded in facts. If ALL journalists aren’t protesting this censorship, we are sealing our own fate,’ tweeted Vanity Fair contributor Bethany McLean.

On Thursday, Amazon relented and agreed to publish Berenson’s book, titled Unreported Truths about COVID-19 and Lockdowns: Part 1: Introduction and Death Counts and Estimates.

The company did not immediately respond to an inquiry from DailyMail.com, but told The Information that the book had been removed from the Kindle Direct Publishing System ‘in error.’

‘IT’S LIVE! Again, thanks to @elonmusk and everyone who helped,’ a relieved Berenson tweeted once his book was available on Amazon on Thursday afternoon. 

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Pub chiefs call on Government to confirm boozers will re-open on July 4 – or punters will have no beer to drink

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

PUB bosses have called on the Government to confirm pubs can re-open on July 4 – or punters will have no beer or only stale beer to drink.

They need “a minimum of three weeks – but ideally four weeks” notice to ensure fresh beer.

Brewers will need the time to scale-up their operations to start re-supplying pubs with fresh beer. Real ale, a style unique to the UK, takes around three weeks to brew. Lager typically takes longer than ale.

The UK’s 2,000 breweries need notice to brew fresh beer and get it into pubs, The British Beer & Pub Association said.

The trade association has said that pubs will need a minimum of three weeks – but ideally four weeks – notice to allow them sufficient time to prepare to re-open.

Failure by the Government to give clear and definitive notice could risk pubs reopening without enough fresh draught beer.

New figures unveiled by the British Beer & Pub Association today show that overall beer sales in the UK for the month of April fell 24 per cent on the year before.

Beer sales in pubs were down 100 per cent. Although off-license beer sales from shops and supermarkets increased by 39 per cent for the month on the year before, this was not enough to make up for the complete shutdown of the pub trade.


Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “We must get Britain brewing again to ensure our pubs re-open serving the fresh draught beer we love so much!

"It would tragic if pubs were to re-open without sufficient draught beer that so many beer drinkers and pub goers have missed these last few months.

“The Government must give sufficient notice to our sector by confirming a definitive date when pubs will be allowed to re-open.

"At least three weeks’ notice is needed, ideally four, to ensure enough draft beer can be brewed and be ready to go into pubs for when they re-open.

The closure of pubs has seen many breweries stop making kegs of lager and casks of ale during the lockdown – focussing on bottle and can production instead.

However, for pubs to re-open with fresh draught beer, brewers will need to pick up the empty kegs and casks kick start their keg and cask production again imminently.

"That means the Government must confirm by June 13 if pubs can definitely re-open on July 4 as indicated in their roadmap for unlocking the economy.

“Our pubs and breweries are desperately in need of this clarity. Beer sales in pubs were zero in April meaning that total beer sales were down by 24 per cent in April, so it’s imperative we get brewing our world class beer again and re-open pubs as soon as possible.

This will save pubs from permanent closure and protect the vital local jobs pubs and breweries support across the UK.”

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Decision to release James Bulger’s killer Jon Venables, 36, is delayed for psychiatric reports – The Sun

A PAROLE BOARD decision on whether James Bulger killer Jon Venables can be freed from jail has been delayed in order to gather more psychiatric reports.

Two-year-old James Bulger was tortured and killed by schoolboys Robert Thompson and  Venables – both then aged ten  – in a crime that rocked Britain.


The tot was snatched from a shopping Centre in Bootle, Merseyside, on February 12, 1993.

Thompson and Venables were jailed for life but released on licence with new identities in 2001.

Venables, 36, was sent back to prison in 2010 and 2017 for possessing indecent images of children.

He is currently serving a 40-month sentence and will he half way through his jail term in October.

KILLER'S PAROLE REVIEW

In April, the Parole Board confirmed a review of his case had been referred and it would determine if a hearing needed to take place to decide if he should be released.

Venables's case has been deferred until August while the board awaits the findings of more psychiatric reports before deciding on whether there will be a hearing.

The board is reluctant to determine certain cases – such as those involving murderers, violent and sex offenders and terrorists – without a face-to-face hearing so they are likely to be delayed.

If there is no doubt that Venables should remain in jail, the case will be decided on paper.

But if there is any uncertainty, a hearing will need to take place to consider the risk he presents to the public and whether he can be released.

In August, Jamie's mum Denise Fergus urged the board to deny Venables early release and "finally admit this man is a threat and danger to society".

She said her son's killer had shown "no remorse or any signs of being rehabilitated".

A Parole Board spokesman said public safety was the "number one priority" and the panel would "carefully look at a range of evidence".


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7-year-old Pakistani girl beaten to death for letting boss’ parrot escape

A 7-year-old Pakistani girl was allegedly beaten to death after she was blamed for letting a pet parrot escape while working as a maid, according to a report.

Zohra Bibi was employed by Hassan Siddiqui and his wife at their home in a suburb of Islamabad to care for their son, Agence Frances-Presse reported.

“The poor girl was subjected to torture by Siddiqui and his wife who accused her of freeing one of the four pet Macao parrots,” officer Mukhtar Ahmad told the outlet.

Siddiqui kicked the young girl in the lower abdomen in a blow that proved fatal, the officer told the AFP.

She was brought Sunday to the hospital, where she died the following day from her injuries, according to the outlet.

Her body was returned to her parents, who live in Muzaffargarh, more than 300 miles from her employers, the report said.

“Violence and physical torture against children will not be tolerated and all those involved in such incidents will be dealt with,” city police chief Muhammad Ahsan Younus told the outlet.

Shireen Mazari, who is the country’s minister of human rights, announced the couple has been arrested in the wake of the girl’s murder, the outlet reported.

Though it’s illegal to employ anyone under the age of 15 in Pakistan, many children account for the 8.5 million domestic workers in the nation, according to the outlet.

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