“I’ve never worked in those kind of conditions. It was like fire fighting. You had young people, as well as elderly people, who were just fighting for their lives.”As a respiratory specialist, Dr Shumonta Quaderi’s life was turned upside down when Covid-19 tore through the UK last spring. The 37-year-old, from London, was worried about the virus “right from the beginning”. Beds in ICU were filling up, while ventilators were running critically low. “We were totally inundated with numbers, but this was a completely new thing for us,” she says. “We had no idea what we were dealing with. Yes, the virus attacked the lungs, but it was attacking other parts of the body as well. We were all learning together, the best way to manage and treat it.”To make matters more complicated, Dr Quaderi was also four months pregnant, with her first child. Pregnant women had been advised not to do frontline work, yet despite support from her hospital, Dr Quaderi decided to go against the advice. She had adequate PPE – though reports of “extreme shortages” elsewhere in the country were rife – and felt it was her duty to continue. “I felt really strongly and passionately about wanting to work,” she says. “It was my particular specialty, and my profession, so it would feel weird to sit back.”  Women like Dr Quaderi have been working throughout the pandemic in the very jobs that have kept the nation functioning. Many are doing so while shouldering society’s unpaid work, too – childcare, looking after elderly relatives, and housework – which still disproportionately falls to women. As the UN has said: "Women stand at the front lines of the Covid-19 crisis, as health care workers, caregivers, innovators, community organisers and as some of the most exemplary and effective national leaders in combating the pandemic. The crisis has highlighted both the centrality of their contributions and the disproportionate burdens that women carry.”An exclusive Savanta ComRes poll* for HuffPost UK reveals women are doing more childcare, cooking and household work than before the pandemic. For those working from home, any time they may have saved from physically travelling to and from work has been filled with unpaid, domestic labour.And this shift in lifestyle is negatively impacting women’s mental health.Nearly half (47%) of the women surveyed say their mental health has declined. Two-thirds (63%) feel more anxious, while 55% feel more challenged and 53% feel more limited. Yet these experiences are seldom acknowledged. Worryingly, almost a third (32%) of women now feel less heard than they were previously. As the UK’s death toll surpasses 124,000 – the highest per capita of any country in the world – many are dealing with these life-altering challenges amid grief.  Professor Shani Orgad, a sociologist at the London School of Economics, says that while she’s not surprised by the findings, she is “deeply disappointed and alarmed by them”.  When people say the pandemic has set back the cause of gender equality ‘to the 1950s’ we should all take this very, very seriously.Professor Shani Orgad, LSE“Crises like the pandemic reveal and exacerbate existing social and economic inequalities. So the pandemic has deepened a crisis of care and gender and racial inequalities that existed before,” Professor Orgad tells HuffPost UK.“There has been mounting evidence – already before the pandemic – showing that women (more than men), especially those aged 35 to 49 with caring responsibilities for both children and elderly parents, suffer from stress and mental health problems as a result of the current crisis in social care.“Women were therefore the obvious ‘shock absorbers’ of the pandemic.”For Amahra Spence, a 29-year-old business owner from Birmingham, it’s felt “impossible” to work from home while homeschooling a four-year-old and raising a newborn. “I’ll have a meeting at 8am while I’m feeding one. Then the other one’s setting up his laptop for a class at 9am. Then I’ll go into another meeting, and all the while I’ve got my baby on my lap,” she says.“I am so tired. I am exhausted. It’s really hard.”Spence doesn’t think women have been valued enough for this juggling act and was saddened to hear of companies targeting working mothers for redundancy or furlough.According to research by the campaign group Pregnant then Screwed, almost half (46%) of working mothers made redundant believe a lack of childcare provision played a role in their redundancy. Meanwhile, 65% of mothers who have been furloughed say a lack of childcare was the reason. “There is mounting evidence showing that women have suffered huge financial penalties largely because of caring responsibilities,” says Professor Orgad.“Women are losing their jobs at four times the rate of men; women especially in the lowest socioeconomic groups were more likely to be furloughed, women have been forced to cut their working hours and scale back their careers,” she says. “So, when people say the pandemic has set back the cause of gender equality ‘to the 1950s’ we should all take this very, very seriously.” They say it takes a village to raise a child and I’ve realised with the absence of my village, how true that is.Amahra Spence, 29, BirminghamSpence is relieved that schools are finally reopening. In her view, homeschooling is something that’s become worryingly “trivialised” over the past year.“People are joking and laughing [but] I’m speaking with other parents, friends of mine, and everybody is so stretched and emotionally broken,” she says.She gave birth to her second child in June 2020 – “slap bang in the middle of the pandemic”. Being heavily pregnant during the first wave was “just really nerve-wracking and anxiety-inducing”, she says, not least because she had to attend appointments alone while hospitals limited visitor numbers due to Covid.Spence was terrified of giving birth alone, too, after seeing heartbreaking “lines of fathers outside” on her visits.In the end, she entered active labour five minutes after arriving at the hospital, so her partner was allowed in for the remainder of her fast, one-hour birth. However, the challenges continued for the couple. Their son was born with complex health needs, meaning they had to navigate a series of hospital appointments amid ongoing Covid restrictions. It’s made the lack of contact time with friends and family all the more difficult. “They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I’ve really realised with the absence of my village, how true that is,” says Spence. “I’ve found it terrifying. I’ve found it really, really scary and I’ve found it really, really sad.” Others have struggled, too. More than half of the women we surveyed (51%) said they are “less happy” than they were before the pandemic. This increases to 54% among parents. Money worries factor into this. While 24% of women said the pandemic has had a positive impact on their household finances, 32% reported a negative effect. The rest remain unchanged.Spence, who runs a social justice arts organisation, says her “finances have been stretched to the brink” this year. “I thought that we might have to close the business last year,” she adds. “Thankfully we got some emergency grants that kept us afloat.”  You just get on with it, protect yourself as best you can.Monica Sullery, 58, NottinghamFor Monica Sulley, a 58-year-old bus driver from Nottingham, finances have also been tricky. When bus drivers test positive for Covid or are told to self-isolate via Test and Trace, they receive statutory sick pay, which is set at £95.85 per week. “You don’t get paid for the first three days, so the first week off you’ve lost about £40,” she says. “And you can’t live on that.” Sulley worked as a Tesco delivery driver during the summer, but returned to bus driving – a job she’d previously done for 15 years – in October. She had missed bus work and wanted to get back, despite the risks – she’d read of bus drivers dying from Covid and personally knew a driver who’d died in Nottingham.“If I’m honest, I didn’t really think about it,” she says of the danger. “You know, it’s one of those things, if you do think about it you’re gonna go mad. You’re not gonna be able to work. So you just get on with it, protect yourself as best you can.”The hardest part of the job has been dealing with non-compliant passengers, who refuse to wear face masks or follow social distancing measures on the bus. But the overwhelming majority of the public have been grateful for the continued service, she says.One regular passenger, an elderly man, seemed confused by the new rules, so Sulley bought him a pack of face masks. “You just help people where you can,” she says. “We’re in a strange situation.”During her toughest week on shift, around 30 staff members were off work self-isolating. Sulley says the government has supported bus companies financially, but this help has not extended down to drivers. Four in 10 women (40%) surveyed by HuffPost said they didn’t feel government support for women had changed during the pandemic, despite the challenges  faced. Almost a third (29%) said they felt less supported by the government than they had previously, while 20% felt less supported by their employer. While passenger numbers are down on the bus network, work was busier than ever when Sulley was driving for Tesco in June, when there was an unprecedented number of bookings. “It was hard work. I mean, you could be moving three tons of groceries by hand a day quite easily. Great for your figure!” she laughs. “But it was busy. People weren’t wanting to go out and we had a lot of people who were shielding. It wasn’t unusual to be doing 30 deliveries a day.” I was going to work with all these people and in my mind there was a good chance I could catch Covid and bring it home.Deborah Stevens, 59, HertfordshireMany others continued shopping in-person, coming into close contact with supermarket staff like Deborah Stevens, who has worked on the check-outs and shop floor in Tesco for 30 years. The 59-year-old, from Hertfordshire, has three grown-up children, including a daughter, 20, who is living at home with Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes (EDS) and Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), meaning she needs to shield. The government’s policy dictates that people living with shielders must still go to work if they can’t work from home. It leaves Stevens constantly worrying about catching Covid at work, then infecting her vulnerable daughter. “I knew I had to cope with it though, because I had to work financially,” she says. Work was particularly tough early in the pandemic, when some customers still acted as though the virus was “like flu” and lunged forwards to grab products off the shelf.“It was like every person coming towards you was going to hurt you,” Stevens recalls. “I worried, extremely – it was all on my shoulders. I was going to work in this place with all these people and in my mind there was a good chance I could catch it and bring it home. It was very, very hard. I was constantly jumping out of people’s way. I was having heart palpitations a lot of the time.” She made the decision to wear a face mask at work long before they were made mandatory by the government. She says this made her a “target” in some respects, with customers who thought she was being a “drama queen”. “I felt torn, I wanted to take it off because of the response, but I had to keep it on because of my family,” she says. Things got easier as face masks rules were introduced and the public started to take the virus seriously. Thankfully, Stevens’ family has avoided falling ill.Dr Nisreen Alwan, who has juggled roles as an associate professor in public health at the University of Southampton and working as a hospital consultant, while single-handedly caring for three children, has not been so fortunate.The 46-year-old caught coronavirus early on in March 2020 and says she has never fully recovered. Her personal experience, coupled with her research into public health, has led to her becoming a leading voice on long Covid, raising awareness around the globe.Dr Alwan is also known for her research on the health and wellbeing of women and children, and speaks out about the importance of a safe return to school. Talking publicly about such issues has led her to face abuse on social media. Globally, women are 27 times more likely to be harassed online, according to the online abuse charity Glitch. “The attacks are usually very superficial and thoughtless, and with time you learn how to deal with them,” she says. “But sometimes it can be quite aggressive or passive aggressive.”Contracting Covid as a single parent of three children aged seven, 13 and 17  was anxiety-inducing. Lockdown restrictions meant she was unable to access additional support, at a point when we still didn’t know much about the virus. “It was really me and my children trying to manage the situation,” she says. What was already a demanding career ramped up as she struggled to recover – Dr Alwan is doing her day job, while also keeping up to date with the latest science and public health research in regards to the virus and communicating it to the general public. “I constantly feel I’m not on top of anything,” she says. “There aren’t enough hours in the day.” I would describe it as living at work, rather than working at home. It’s difficult to stop.Dr Nisreen Alwan, 46, SouthamptonSeveral of the women who spoke to HuffPost UK said their working days have become markedly longer than pre-pandemic.Dr Alwan crammed her interview into a Monday lunch break, after submitting a body of work at 9pm the night before. “I would describe it as living at work, rather than working at home. It’s difficult to stop,” she says.The past year has been “a particularly difficult period” physically and mentally, she adds – a sentiment echoed by 56-year-old Carmen De Pablo, a languages teacher who is assistant head of inclusion at a secondary school in Plymouth.De Pablo was told to shield last March as she has chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) – a type of cancer affecting the white blood cells that develops slowly over time.  Shielding has changed her life “immensely,” says De Pablo, who lives with her husband and daughter. “It’s been very challenging, I must say. During the first lockdown I found it really difficult to not feel isolated from school.”While De Pablo says her “first class” colleagues have been incredibly supportive while she’s been working from home, she’s been wracked with feelings of guilt about not being there in person to help out. She sometimes feels like a fraud, she says, because health-wise she feels fine. In her work, she has struggled with getting used to doing everything online and not being able to have quick catchups with colleagues – there is a constant worry in the back of her mind that she’s emailing too much.A typical day starts early and involves planning and posting two or three lessons on Google Classroom, ensuring children have access to them and that they’re logging in – and out. In school everything is a rush, having a full break is unheard of. I’ve found it is the same here.Carmen De Pablo, 56, PlymouthThere are meetings with her team, leadership and parents, and sometimes the police, as her role includes safeguarding children and vulnerable families. She’ll eat dinner between 6-7pm, and try to get some “me time”, before working through the evening until 10pm. “And then that’s it, the following day starts.”“When we’re in school everything is a rush… and having a full break is unheard of,” she says. “I’ve found it is the same here, I’m working longer hours than if I’m in school.” Knowing she’s helping pupils through a challenging time is what’s kept her going . “Interactions with the children are priceless,” she says. For Amahra Spence, in Birmingham, watching her own children flourish has also been a key motivator. Monica Sulley, meanwhile, credits her husband, Pete, and their family with getting her through the tougher days. On top of her work as a delivery and bus driver this past year, she’s also a Scout leader, union branch chair, mother to two, stepmother to one and grandmother to eight. “Don’t ask me how many nieces and nephews I’ve got, because I really don’t know,” she jokes. “Somebody said: ‘If you want something doing, give it to a busy woman.’ It’s actually quite true.” For Dr Alwan in Southampton, connecting and supporting long Covid sufferers across the country and world has given her a sense of purpose through her own illness. She was featured in the BBC’s 100 Women of 2020 for her work during the pandemic, which she calls a “great honour”. “That was a nice moment for me, because it just reflects the range of power, strength, and innovation that women can bring,” she says of the list.Work at Tesco has been reaffirming for Deborah Stevens, too. “Women are much stronger than they believe,” she says. “The more they try, the more they can achieve. They’ve got through everything else, they will get through this.” Dr Quaderi is now on maternity leave and her baby is almost seven months old. She’ll forever be proud of the work she completed while pregnant on ICU: “It was amazing to be able to be a part of it and help those that we could.” Across healthcare, housing, employment and education, the pandemic has laid bare the many social, racial and gender-based inequalities underpinning life in the UK, but Professor Orgad’s hope is that it will trigger a profound rethinking about the value that society ascribes to different types of work.“Perhaps this pandemic will serve as a wake-up call, to alert us and our politicians to the urgent need to value – not only by clapping and expressing gratitude – the people who do work that has been rightly called ‘key’ and ‘essential’, and, crucially, to value the largely unpaid invisible work in the home that is performed disproportionately by women,” she says. In many ways, it’s been a historical year for women. But you shouldn’t be surprised by any of the stories you’ve heard. “Women are, once again, the heroines of the world,” says Spence. “Women are inherently resilient. We’re survivors, and we will always make something work.” *On behalf of HuffPost UK, Savanta ComRes interviewed 2,398 UK women aged 18+ online from February 26 to March 1. Data were weighted to be representative of all UK women by age and region. Savanta ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.Related...Yes, Coronavirus Is A War. And Women Are On The Front Lline'I Lock Myself In The Loo' – The Claustrophobia Of Parenting Right NowOpinion: The Gender Pay Gap Is About To Get A Lot Worse'No One Is Protecting Us': Bus Drivers On Front Line Slam Lack Of Coronavirus PrecautionsWe Are Single Parents In A Pandemic. We're Coping But Don't Forget UsOpinion: Lockdown Was Fatal For Women And Girls. 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With users wasting their time by reading long articles and editorials to get an idea of the news, Inshorts came out with an easy-to-understand news app where the latest updates across all fields will be sent to them in the form of 60 words.Inshorts bagged the award for the most innovative mobile app from the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) in February 2016.We have experienced developers who are well-versed with the changing trends in the media industry.The Inshorts clone that we offer is a customized, ready-made, and feature-packed news application available on both Android and iOS platforms.The advantages include high scalability, cost-effective, and can be quickly launched in the market to get more business traction.The noteworthy aspects of the Inshorts clone script areA variety of news categories - The daily news and events are divided into different categories like business, politics, entertainment, sports, automobile, technology, science, education, fashion, health, and fitness.Flexible reading - Users can group news into various groups like All News, Top Stories, Trending, Bookmarks, and Unread.Access to exclusive insights - Popular topics and complex concepts will be explained through attractive infographics and statistical tables for better understanding.Inshorts Poll option - To understand the users’ mindset for improving the overall quality of news sharing, Polls and Surveys will be conducted by the Inshorts clone app where users can answer Yes or No for different questions.An advanced search option - Users of the Inshorts clone can find any kind of news piece by entering the keyword of the person involved, place, and event.A Night Mode facility - Users who prefer to go through news at night can use this option for better readability.The issue of instant push notifications - Information about the latest and trending news is shared to the users via in-app push notifications so that they can access it immediately.Social sharing option - Users can share news content present on the Inshorts clone app to their friends and family members on social media applications like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Whatsapp.As seen above, Inshorts clone script is a game-changing online news application that can give top news portals and social media platforms a run for their money.Get the Inshorts clone now to topple your competitors in the global media industry.
If you were listening in to our Global Publishing Summit on February 24-26, you’re probably still processing the wealth of insights, tips and strategies shared by all the speakers we heard from over the course of the summit. If you weren’t able to attend, fear not: we’re here to distill the key talking points from […] The post Global Publishing Summit Recap: prepare for a world without cookies appeared first on Digiday.
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Rishi Sunak’s budget is “directly” moving the UK away from its climate targets, experts in environmental policy have warned. While the chancellor emphasised a raft of new green financial policies in his Wednesday address, he has been warned that the impact of schemes such as the “super-reduction”, which encourages business to invest in return for a big tax bill cut, and the fuel duty freeze is steering the nation even further from its much-vaunted environmental goals. Doug Parr, policy director at Greenpeace, told HuffPost UK: “This budget has not contributed to the emissions reductions processes we need to be undertaking. “Directly, as a consequence of this budget, we are further away from meeting our climate targets than closer.”  Green campaigners have attacked the budget, accusing it of failing to tackle the immediacy of the climate crisis. They say it is in contrast to Boris Johnson recently amping up up rhetoric around Britain’s “green recovery” and the UK’s imminent leading role in the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.Both Parr and Mike Childs, head of policy at Friends of the Earth, pointed to the green homes grant. Some 95% of the scheme (or more than £1bn) was quietly slashed in February and not referenced at all in the budget or the accompanying document.Parr said: “They basically covered it up. It wasn’t in the speech or the document, that the green homes grant was cut. So the money that was in that pot has been eliminated.“That’s over £1bn. It’s wrong to say there’s no mechanism for delivering on energy efficiency in the home sector, because there are schemes. But this was the biggest and the most likely to inspire owner-occupiers to do the things they need to do.“As the Climate Change Committee said, without better efficiency in the home sector – because our housing stock is some of the worst in western Europe – there’s no route to net zero. There’s a big hole now in any kind of strategy or game plan for net zero.”His comments come as a group of MPs sitting on the influential Public Accounts Committee warn the government has “no plan” for cutting emissions to net zero. A report from the committee said there was no co-ordinated plan, with clear milestones, to achieve the legally binding goal to cut emissions by 100% by 2050.A separate report from MPs on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy committee urged the government to spell out how it would measure success at the COP26 summit. While this was one of the most obvious holes in Sunak’s budget speech, experts are concerned about a raft of other gaps and potential contradictions that could leave the UK trailing ever further behind its own climate aspirations.  Among them are freeports, a key component of the chancellor’s budget speech. While Sunak was careful to emphasise that these would lead to the creation of “green jobs”, the controversial economic zones have been linked in the past to devastating environmental impacts. In July, the Wildlife and Countryside Link group, the largest environment and wildlife coalition in England, responded to a government consultation about freeports, warning: “Evidence from freeports in other countries demonstrates that lax application processes and regulation, poor enforcement and opaque customs processes have led to serious environmental degradation.” Childs said he wanted to see the detail of the plans, but added: “Freeports have often been a byword for lowering environmental protections and scrapping, particularly, habitat and wildlife protections.”Parr, meanwhile, raised glaring concerns about the fact that one of the freeports has been announced at East Midlands Airport, despite the environmental harm caused by flying. He said: “Having an airport as a freeport just embeds aviation as part of the framework where you don’t actually need to. “That has to be a high-carbon development, there is currently no alternative.” The freeze on fuel duty, although perhaps politically sensible during the severe economic downturn caused by Covid-19, is another example of green policies being pushed back, say experts. So too the super-deduction, which – although an encouraging stimulus for the economy – could lead to businesses investing in dirty energy rather than environmentally-friendly machinery.Parr said: “With no constraints on those [super-deductions] you can invest in fossil fuel burning infrastructure and say ‘yeah, I want a tax break on that’.” With COP26 fast approaching, Boris Johnson has been keen to push the UK as a “world leader” in climate action, even as ministers in his own cabinet make decisions that undermine green efforts, such as communities secretary, Robert Jenrick’s decision not to challenge the construction of a brand new coal mine in Cumbria.“We know this has got to be the year of action,” Childs said. “Because we’re hosting the climate talks, because the climate science is so very, very strong, because of the wildfires and droughts and floods around the world. “I’ve been engaged in environmental campaigning for 30 years and there have been many budgets where I’ve expected to be disappointed. We’ve now got a government, or at least a prime minister, that’s talking big on climate change, and that’s a good thing... but what’s obvious is the yawning gap between what Boris is doing and what Rishi Sunak is doing.“The gap between what needs to be done to get us on track to meet those 2030 targets has not narrowed at all, or to any significance. We are still way off track.”The PM has vowed to cut emissions by 68% by 2030 based on 1990 levels – now just nine years away. In that time, Childs explains, entire industries need to be built up to support a green policies, investments that can take years, even decades, to come to fruition.  There’s future here, if we take the green economy seriously, and there’s no future if we don’t. Government spending on tackling climate change, deeply embedded in private investment, is difficult to quantify simply, and comparisons with other countries’ spending can be misleading. But, as Parr explains, looking at stimulus spending alone can give an idea of how the UK government measures up in terms of its investment in a greener future. Germany is putting around 40 billion euros (£53.4bn) into a green stimulus scheme, while France’s spending is around 30 billion euros (£25.9bn). An “optimistic’ view of the UK’s spending, Parr says, would put the government’s investment at around £12bn.With the UK leading negotiations at COP26, policy experts say, the pressure is on to set a shining example of what other nations could be doing to tackle climate change. But right now, experts say, the government – and Sunak’s budget – is far from where it could, and should, be. “I watched Sunak get up and speak, and on some level it’s heartbreaking,” said Childs. “You know what’s going on in the world, you know the opportunities, you know the case for our economic future is also clearly a green future, but at best he gave the environment lip service. “That just tells you how embedded the short-termist economists are within the Treasury, and they just don’t look up from their spreadsheets and their ancient textbooks to see how the world has changed. “There’s a future here, if we take the green economy seriously, and there’s no future if we don’t.” A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: “The UK is leading the world in tackling climate change, cutting emissions by almost 44 per cent since 1990 and doing so faster than any other developed nation in recent years.“In the budget we built on the prime minister’s Ten Point Plan for a green industrial revolution by encouraging private investment and using the tax system to promote green growth. “This includes investment in offshore wind port infrastructure, a plan to make the City a leader in carbon offset markets trading, and the first ever UK Infrastructure Bank to invest in public and private projects to drive green growth and create green jobs.”Related...Rishi Sunak's Budget Explained In Two Minutes1% NHS Staff Pay Rise Is ‘Most We Think We Can Afford’ Nadine Dorries SaysThe Budget Is Barely Cold, But Has Rishi Sunak’s Mask Slipped Already?5 Bits Of Budget News Rishi Sunak Tried To Bury
After months of lockdown, housebound Brits this week finally saw their European holiday dreams turn from distant fantasy into a bookable reality.Never had an update from the Cyprus News Agency been welcomed with such enthusiasm, as freshly vaccinated Britons rushed to their computers to eye-off sun lounges in Ayia Napa and Limassol.“We have informed the British government that from May 1 we will facilitate the arrival of British nationals who have been vaccinated... so they can visit Cyprus without a negative test or needing to quarantine,” deputy tourism minister Savvas Perdios said on Thursday night.Although the measure would come into force two weeks before people in England will legally be allowed to travel abroad, the announcement followed just days after the EU confirmed it was working on plans for a Digital Green Pass, or vaccine passport, for tourism and work.Not only would the pass be up and running in time for the summer holidays, according to European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, but Brits would likely benefit from the scheme.We'll present this month a legislative proposal for a Digital Green Pass. The aim is to provide:•Proof that a person has been vaccinated •Results of tests for those who couldn’t get a vaccine yet•Info on COVID19 recoveryIt will respect data protection, security & privacy— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) March 1, 2021EU leaders had agreed last week to work on vaccine certificates, with southern member states such as Spain and Greece particularly keen to unlock tourism this summer.While von der Leyen delivered the good news, health commissioner Stella Kyriakide was left to deliver the hard reality. “Vaccine rollouts must follow as well so there are no gaps and no vaccines are left unused,” she told a news conference.The remarks were both a statement of the obvious and a coded warning: before Europe can let British holidaymakers in, it must first let its own curfew-weary residents out, many of whom are facing more, not less, Covid-19 restrictions.“We are seeing a resurgence in central and eastern Europe. New cases are also on the rise in several western European countries where rates were already high,” WHO Europe’s regional director Hans Kluge warned on Thursday.After six weeks of falling infections in Europe, new cases have risen by around 9% in the past few weeks.“This brought a promising six-week decline in new cases to an end, with more than half of our region seeing increasing numbers of new infections,” Kluge said.The surge in cases due to new variants is already forcing countries to tear up their own plans for traditional Easter celebrations, with Spain and Italy among countries weighing up how to manage the annual festivals. Don’t come...It’s not the timeChristian Estrosi, mayor of NiceNew restrictions have recently been imposed in France, while the government is threatening weekend lockdowns in Paris and 19 other regions if the spread continues to accelerate.In Italy, where cases have risen 25% in the first four days of this week by comparison with the same period last week, the government on Tuesday ordered the closure of all schools in hardest hit areas, and extended curbs on businesses and movement until after Easter.In Greece, which has been among EU nations pushing hardest for the reopening of travel to revive tourism, the government on Wednesday extended a lockdown and tightened restrictions in more areas, after a surge in new infections piled pressure on its health system.With 6,597 deaths, Greece has fared better than other European countries since its first case was reported a year ago. But despite a lockdown in Athens for more than two weeks, infections have shown no sign of receding. “The health system is under unbearable pressure,” health minister Vassilis Kikilias told a news briefing this week.Germany this week also extended its lockdown by three weeks, with the British variant of Covid-19 now accounting for 46% of infections in the country, doubling from 22% of cases two weeks earlier.“Don’t come,” the mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, told potential overseas visitors last month as the Mediterranean city grappled with a faster-spreading variant. “It’s not the time.”As if more evidence was needed of the hard work ahead for Europe to get its house in order, it was provided by the ignominy of the EU blocking the export of 250,000 Italian-made AstraZeneca vaccines to Australia.However, a move meant to sanction AstraZeneca for delays and shortages in EU supplies, merely underlined Europe’s own stuttering vaccine programme.Not that the export ban seemed to bother anyone in Australia.Aside from an “official complaint” which appeared to come almost as an afterthought, instead of anger, Australian politicians offered their sympathies.“In Italy, people are dying at the rate of 300 a day. And so I can certainly understand the high level of anxiety that would exist in Italy and in many countries across Europe,” Australian prime minister Scott Morrison said.“They are in an unbridled crisis situation. That is not the situation in Australia,” he added.Offering solidarity, rather than scolding, was Australia’s chief medical officer, Paul Kelly: “My sister lives in Italy. They’re at the moment having 18,000 cases a day. And around 300 deaths in Italy.”Former Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer responded with more edge, suggesting Europe should have simply asked Australia for help, rather than resorting to “vaccine nationalism”.“It would’ve been much better than bludgeoning around with some sort of EU law where you can just terminate arrangements with other countries outside the EU. You saw the turmoil it caused in the UK,” he told BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme. “[Italy is] in an unbridled crisis situation. That is not the situation in Australia”Scott Morrison, Australian prime ministerAustralia has every reason to be smug.The country hasn’t recorded a single death since December 28, and just two since October 28, while its own homegrown AstraZeneca vaccine is due to start rolling off Melbourne production lines before the end of the month at a rate of a million doses a week.Its domestic production target of 50 million doses will more than adequately cover Australia’s 22 million population, so much so that health minister Greg Hunt gloated that the Italy shipment “was not factored into our distribution plan for coming weeks”.With Australians, including the Europe-born head of AstraZeneca and dual French-Australian citizen, Pascal Soriot, long out of lockdown, enjoying sporting events, restaurants and domestic travel, many could even see the funny side.I will break these in half and cook them in a cream-based sauce that I will call a “carbonara”, unless Italy agrees to release the 250,000 doses of AstraZeneca back to Australia pic.twitter.com/EJuOb8kX4X— Naaman Zhou (@naamanzhou) March 4, 2021However, the irony of Europe exercising extraordinary powers to block a shipment of vaccines that its political leaders have questioned, its authorities initially failed to authorise for over-65s, and that is now being largely shunned by its citizens, was not lost on Australia’s doctors.“It’s certainly very disappointing to see this vaccine nationalism rearing its head,” Omar Khorshid, the head of the Australian Medical Association, said. “It’s a little ironic that Europe didn’t seem to keen on the AstraZeneca vaccine just a few weeks ago... and then all of a sudden once the UK experience demonstrates that it’s actually a really good vaccine we see a shipment to Australia blocked,” Khorshid said.Adding to the paradox was France, which said it could follow Italy and also block shipment of vaccines, but whose president Emmanuel Macron angered scientists just weeks ago when he called the AstraZeneca vaccine “quasi-ineffective” for people over 65.French uptake of the AstraZeneca vaccine is among the lowest in Europe. Only 25% of the doses delivered had been used as of Sunday. By comparison, 82% of the available Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines were injected.The issue is so acute that Macron is reportedly considering forcing caregivers, whose inoculation rates are lagging between 20-40% depending on role, to take the vaccine. And, in a further move, 400,000 AstraZeneca doses that were allocated to caregivers, will now be made available to the general public.Herein lies Europe’s dilemma. Blocking exports of a jab they already have and can’t get people to take, just as case numbers surge and lockdowns are extended, is hampering confidence it can solve the riddle of vaccine passports.Sensing the urgency, the already under fire von der Leyen on Friday pressed the governments of the 27 member states to immediately begin technical work to ensure the vaccination certificate system can be introduced in time for summer. “An EU system can only work if the national systems are in place on time.”European Commission president Ursula von der LeyenThe EU executive aims to present its plans for a Digital Green Pass on March 17 and to cooperate with international organisations to ensure that its system also works beyond the European Union.“The foundation of such a common approach is trust,” von der Leyen wrote in a letter to EU governments, adding that member states had to start work immediately to ensure systems were ready in time.As well as a legal framework, the system requires a common technical infrastructure to ensure that authorities in one member state could be sure that certificates issued by another state were reliable, she said.The Commission is working with member states on a digital infrastructure to allow the certificates to be authenticated and this work could be completed within three months, von der Leyen wrote.“An EU system can only work if the national systems are in place on time,” she added.Even after the EU go-ahead at the February 25 summit, ambivalence among governments like France, Germany and Belgium could hamper vaccine passports’ deployment.Airlines are well aware of the sensitivities and the ambitious timelines.A government-issued pass with international backing “won’t come out quickly enough for this summer”, Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary predicted this week. Instead, Ryanair plans to enable medical certificate uploads to its customer app, in the hope authorities will accept them.Without faster progress towards a European and international standard, more governments are likely to go their own way, and more holidaymakers could find their travel plans complicated or placed in jeopardy.With files from ReutersRelated...Young People 'On The Brink Of Revolution' As Older Generations Book Holidays AbroadItaly Blocks Shipments Of AstraZeneca Covid Vaccine To Australia Amid EU ShortfallNew Vaccine Passes Could Be Coming. Here’s How They Might WorkEurope’s Bad Week Underlines Scale Of Vaccine Rollout Nightmare
Laurence Fox has announced he is campaigning to be the next Mayor of London, standing on a ticket of lifting the lockdown more than a month early.The controversial actor and leader of the Reclaim Party said he had been inspired to try and topple City Hall incumbent Sadiq Khan at the May 6 election after the Chancellor revealed at the Budget that the coronavirus response had seen the Government borrow £407 billion.Fox said it amounted to “roughly £1,600 for every family in the country” and had led to Rishi Sunak to increase the tax burden to its “highest level for 50 years”.In a statement, he said it was time to get the financial situation “under control” and vowed to push for the lockdown to be eased immediately after the local elections – more than a month earlier than currently planned under the Prime Minister’s road map for lifting all restrictions.“Every week that goes by without lifting lockdown means more lost jobs, more lost businesses and even more taxes in the future,” Fox said.“That’s why I am standing for London mayor.“With almost all older and vulnerable people having got their jab, I want the lockdown lifted straight away.“The Government has said vaccines are working, hospitalisations and deaths are tumbling, but we are still being told we won’t be able to resume normal life until mid-summer at the earliest.“Both the main parties are competing in this dreary race to be the last to set the country free.“Both Tory and Labour have got this badly wrong. I want London – and indeed the rest of the country – to be allowed to get back to work and play immediately – not by late June.”The party said a survey carried out on its behalf by Savanta ComRes found that more than half of all Londoners want the national lockdown lifted by the end of May, with young people in the capital even keener on a swift exit from lockdown than the older generation.They said the poll saw 1,002 London adults, aged 18 or older, interviewed online from February 18-22.Fox has become an outspoken critic against both Covid-19 lockdowns and “wokeism”.The television and film actor faced a backlash online in November for a tweet in which he claimed to have had people over for dinner and appeared to criticise the NHS.“Just had a large group over to lunch and we hugged and ate and talked and put the world to rights,” he said.“If the NHS can’t cope, then the NHS isn’t fit for purpose.”In February last year Fox announced he was taking an “extended break” from social media, following an appearance on Question Time.The actor hit the headlines after he appeared as a panellist of the BBC One current affairs show, during which he accused a mixed-race university lecturer of “racism” for branding him a “white privileged male”.Fox’s London mayor announcement comes only days after Sadiq Khan kicked off his own campaign to be re-elected by calling for a post-war style economic recovery package for the capital.The former Labour minister said that “jobs, jobs, jobs” for Londoners affected by the coronavirus crisis will be a top priority if he wins a fresh mandate in the May election.READ MORE:'Why Don't You Shut Up?': Piers Morgan Condemns 'Reckless' Laurence Fox For Holding Large GatheringThe Pogues Expertly Shut Down Actor Laurence Fox Amid Fairytale Of New York RowLaurence Fox And Actors' Union Equity 'Reach Out-Of-Court-Settlement' Over 'Disgrace' Tweet
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s forthcoming interview with Oprah Winfrey looks set to be totally revelatory based on clips we’ve seen so far – but it’s not the first time members of the royal family have lifted the lid on the goings on at Buckingham Palace.Throughout the decades, senior royals like the Prince Of Wales, the Duke of Edinburgh and even the Queen herself have gone in front of the camera and shown a more human side of the royal family.And of course, there’ve been a fair few infamous interview moments too, not least Prince Andrew’s unbelievable sit-down with Emily Maitlis back in 2019.Here’s our timeline spanning 60 years of the royals’ most memorable interview moments, starting with the very first one...1961 – Prince Philip on PanoramaThe Duke Of Edinburgh’s appearance on Panorama in the early 1960s was groundbreaking not because it was especially controversial, but because it marked the first time a member of the royal family had agreed to do a sit-down television interview.Prince Philip spoke with broadcaster Richard Dimbleby about the Commonwealth Technical Training Week, an initiative of which he was a patron. 1969 – Royal FamilyIt was the idea of press secretary William Heseltine to give a filmmaker unprecedented access to record the royals going about their business, in a bid to make them appear more relevant at the end of the 1960s, a decade in which many had begun to consider them out of touch.The end result was Royal Family, which charted a year in Queen Elizabeth’s life with her family. As well as the usual regal affairs you might expect, the doc showed off a more human side to the Windsors, including scenes showing Prince Philip grilling sausages at a family barbecue and the Queen treating her youngest son to an ice cream.Whether the Royal Family succeeded in its mission is still up for debate. BBC Two’s then-controller David Attenborough (yes, that one) felt removing “mystique” around the royals was a potentially dangerous idea, while some critics praised the 90-minute special for showing us more of the royals’ personalities.It seems the Queen herself was not a fan, though, as she reportedly had the documentary banned, and it’s not been shown on television since 1977 (although it did briefly leak online in 2021, before being taken down due to a copyright complaint). 1994 – Charles: The Private Man, The Public Role Two years before his divorce from Princess Diana was finalised, Prince Charles appeared in the authorised ITV documentary Charles: The Private Man, The Public Role.This 90-minute special was made up of several interviews between the Prince of Wales and Jonathan Dimbleby (notably the son of the reporter who interviewed Charles’ own father on Panorama more than 30 years earlier), marking 25 years since his investiture.Dimbleby said at the time that he had no intention of “painting a glossy portrait” of Charles, and this was infamously the first time the prince admitted to infidelity with Camilla Parker-Bowles during his marriage to Diana.When asked whether he’d been faithful throughout his marriage, Charles responded: “Yes ... Until it became irretrievably broken down, us both having tried.”Many felt the interview was Charles’ attempt at winning back public favour after many had been won over by Diana in the years prior, but if that was his intention, it backfired somewhat.A poll by The Sun the day after the documentary aired discovered two-thirds of respondents felt he was “unfit to be King”, following his admission.In the biography The Firm, The Troubled Life Of The House Of Windsor, royal writer Penny Junor claimed Charles’ family were “flabbergasted” by his public admission, with Prince Philip in particular “incensed”. 1995 – Princess Diana on Panorama A year later, Princess Diana was able to have her say about her marriage on Panorama, and made headlines the world over. The interview with Martin Bashir took place in Diana’s sitting room in Kensington Palace, with sound and recording equipment having to be sneaked in so as not to arouse suspicion.The hour-long special was noted for being the first time Diana spoke publicly about her husband’s infidelity (including the oft-quoted line “there were three of us in the marriage”), but it was revelatory for a number of other reasons, too.Diana’s Panorma interview saw her speaking about her own extramarital affairs, including with James Hewitt, as well as her experiences of self-harm, post natal depression and bulimia.She also addressed her feelings about the British press, describing them as “abusive” and their treatment of her as “harassment”.John Birt, who was director general of the BBC at the time of this interview, later noted it “marked the end of the BBC’s institutional reverence – though not its respect – for the monarchy”.In March this year, Scotland Yard confirmed they would not be conducting a criminal inquiry into Martin Bashir over allegations he tricked Diana into her landmark Panorama interview.2011 – Sarah Ferguson on 60 Minutes Australia In 2010, Sarah Ferguson was secretly recorded by the News Of The World’s Mazher Mahmood (dubbed the “fake sheikh”), offering access to Prince Andrew for half a million pounds.“Look after me and he’ll look after you,” she was heard saying. “You’ll get it back tenfold. I can open any door you want.”The Duchess Of York later admitted she was “devastated by the situation”, saying in a statement: “I very deeply regret the situation and the embarrassment caused. It is true that my financial situation is under stress however, that is no excuse for a serious lapse in judgment and I am very sorry that this has happened.“I can confirm that The Duke of York was not aware or involved in any of the discussions that occurred. I am sincerely sorry for my actions.”A year later, she was asked about the matter during an interview on Australia’s 60 Minutes, and ended up walking off the set.“Don’t try and trick me now because I’m not going to play this game,” she said, before urging producers to “delete that bit”, feeling the interview was going in a “too tabloid-y” direction.Eventually, after the interviewer persisted with his questions, the Duchess walked off the set completely, claiming she needed to “take five minutes”.2017 – Heads Together For much of his adult life, one of Prince William’s key causes has been working towards destigmatising mental health conditions.In 2017, he teamed up with none other than Lady Gaga for the Heads Together campaign for a four-minute online video in which they spoke over FaceTime about the need to discuss mental health openly.William complimented Gaga after she penned an open letter discussing her own experiences of PTSD, telling her: “It’s so important to break open that fear and that taboo… It’s time that everyone speaks up and feels very normal about mental health. It’s the same as physical health.“Everybody has mental health, and we shouldn’t be ashamed of it. Just having a conversation with a friend or family member can really make such a difference.” 2017 – Diana, Our Mother: Her Life And Legacy  In honour of the 20th anniversary of their mother’s death, Princes William and Harry commissioned two authorised documentaries for ITV about her.The first of these was Diana, Our Mother, in which both princes gave their first ever interviews about what the Princess Of Wales was like as a parent.“Arguably [it was] probably a little bit too raw up until this point,” Prince Harry admitted. “It’s still raw.”The two princes both spoke fondly of their late mother, with Harry describing her as “a total kid through and through” and William recalling an incident in which she arranged for supermodels Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford to surprise him after school one day.“One of her mottos to me was ‘you can be as naughty as you want, just don’t get caught’,” Harry fondly remembered.The other documentary was Diana, 7 Days, which focussed more on her death and the immediate effect it had on those around her, particularly her grieving sons, who were both children at the time. 2018 – The Queen’s Green Planet Though not a traditional interview, the Queen teamed up with broadcaster and fellow nonagenarian Sir David Attenborough in 2018 for an ITV special discussing the environment and climate change. Among other things.One thing The Queen’s Green Planet was noted for was that the monarch showed off her sense of humour, commenting of a nearby helicopter: “Why do they always go round and round when you want to talk? [That] sounds like President Trump.”The Queen also spoke of her hopes to plant more trees in a bid to affect climate change, stating: “If all countries continue to plant, it might change the climate again.” 2019 – Harry and Meghan: An African Journey A year after they were married, Prince Harry and his new wife Meghan Markle made a trip to Africa, so they could look at how a charity initiative started by the Duke of Sussex 15 years earlier had progressed.Of course, the documentary ended up revealing a lot more, most notably how the Duchess Of Sussex was adjusting to life in the spotlight, and the difficulties she was facing as a result of press intrusion.The moment that most captured people’s attention was when journalist Tom Bradby asked about the “pressure” she was under, and its “impact on your mental and physical health”.“I would say … any woman, especially when they’re pregnant, you’re really vulnerable, and so that was made really challenging,” she explained. “And then when you have a newborn, you know. And especially as a woman, it’s a lot.“So you add this on top of just trying to be a new mum or trying to be a newlywed. It’s um... yeah. I guess, also thank you for asking, because not many people have asked if I’m okay, but it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes.”“Would it be fair to say ‘Not really OK’?” Bradby then asked. “It’s really been a struggle?”Meghan responded simply: “Yes.”In a piece she wrote for the New York Times in 2021, Meghan spoke about how much this exchange had meant to her, recalling: “My off-the-cuff reply seemed to give people permission to speak their truth. But it wasn’t responding honestly that helped me most, it was the question itself.”2019 – Prince Andrew on Newsnight At the time, it would have been fair to assume that Harry and Meghan: An African Journey would be the royal family’s most revelatory moment of 2019.But in November 2019, Prince Andrew sat down with Emily Maitlis at Buckingham Palace for what turned out to be a disastrous interview about allegations of sexual abuse that had been made against him, as well as his relationship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.During the interview, the Duke of York “categorically” denied accusations from one woman who claimed she was forced to have sex with him on three occasions, including when she was 17 years old.“It didn’t happen. I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened,” he said.Prince Andrew dismissed her claims that he had been “profusely sweating” when they danced together at a nightclub, insisting that he had a medical condition that meant he was unable to sweat at that time as a result of “an overdose of adrenaline in the Falklands War”.He also said that he was at a Pizza Express in Woking with one of his daughters on the day of one of the alleged incidents.“Going to Pizza Express in Woking is an unusual thing for me to do,” he insisted. “I remember it weirdly distinctly.”Following the much-publicised interview, Prince Andrew suspended his public duties “for the foreseeable future”. In May 2020, he permanently resigned from public duties to his connections with Epstein, who died in August 2019.2021 – Prince Harry on The Late, Late Show Oprah Winfrey announced in February 2021 that she had a sit-down interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in the works, and there was near-immediate speculation about exactly what they’d reveal.What no one saw coming was that the much-awaited interview would be preceded by a much more light-hearted appearance from Prince Harry on The Late, Late Show with James Corden.One that featured an open-top bus tour of LA, a quick pitstop to the mansion from The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air, an impromptu FaceTime call with Meghan and yes, even some rapping.We were not ready, and frankly we’re still not ready.2021 – Oprah With Meghan And Harry And here we are. Oprah Winfrey has promised an interview with Harry and Meghan where “nothing [is] off limits”, which will air in the US on Sunday, before it’s shown on ITV on Monday 8 March at 9pm.Of course, we haven’t seen it yet, but an early press release announced the Sussexes would be discussing marriage, life under public pressure and their “future hopes and dreams”, among other things.Subsequent clips have also teased Harry sharing his fears of “history repeating itself” before he decided to move with his family to Los Angeles, as well as claims from Meghan of the palace “perpetuating falsehoods about us”.The 90-minute interview is one we’re sure to be talking about for a long time to come.READ MORE:Meghan Markle Claims Palace Is 'Perpetuating Falsehoods About Us' In New Oprah ClipBuckingham Palace To Investigate Bullying Claims Made Against Meghan MarkleBen Fogle Expertly Shuts Down Piers Morgan's Meghan Markle Question On Good Morning Britain
Senvest Management held just over 5 million shares of GameStop, making it the fourth largest holder, according to Bloomberg data and a February 13G filing.GameStop closed as high as $347.51 in late January as frenetic buying created a short squeeze, then plunged to below $41 on Feb. 18
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Gov. Andrew Cuomo's COVID-19 memoir was on the New York Times Best Sellers list but sold only 300 copies in February.
Oppo unveiled its mid-range Android smartphone Reno5 K in China on 25th February 2021. But the price of the smartphone was not disclosed at the ... The post Oppo Reno5 K goes on sale in China, price starts from 2,699 Yuan (~$415) appeared first on Gizchina.com.
Naukri JobSpeak Index for February witnessed an uptick of over 22 per cent in hiring activity at 2,356 job listings as compared to January at 1,925.
Crypto market outlineThe digital currency market has been a sweltering venture area since the previous summer after Bitcoin dislocated from gold and began to arise as an option in contrast to the US dollar in its own right.Premium from proficient financial backers started to get more financial backers inspired by the coin, yet the tipping point was a declaration by PayPal (PYPL) in late 2020.The installments supplier said that it would start tolerating BTC, and different coins, as a type of installment.The move empowered clients to purchase, sell and hold the crypto however it likewise permitted its 13 million shipper records to acknowledge digital currencies as installments.The corporate premium in Bitcoin has proceeded and this week saw the news that EV carmaker Tesla had put $1.5bn in BTC as an approach to broaden away from the dollar.Elon Musk's choice makes certain to see copycat financial backers hoping to add crypto to their monetary records, and Twitter (TWTR)is the most recent to consider the move.All in all, what is the top cryptographic money to put resources into February 2021?The coin really began as a joke between two developers at the beginning of the Bitcoin publicity seven years prior.The token has accomplished an image-like status among financial backers and is another that has been continually upheld on Twitter by Elon Musk.
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The National Industrial Corridor Development and Implementation Trust (NICDIT) has given approval for developing the Kochi Global Industrial Finance and Trade (GIFT) City in Aluva as an Early Bird Project.The aim was to bring in investment for development of trunk infrastructure to the tune of Rs 1,600 crore.Also it will provide an integrated ecosystem for development of globally competitive hi-tech services and financial hubs.Similarly, a master planning agency will start work from early September 2020 and complete the master plan by February 2021.Likewise, few activities like environment clearance, tenders, etc will start in March 2021 and completed by May-June 2021.Master planning activities will be completed in eight months.Construction works will start after selection of agency for construction through a transparent bidding process.
On February 14, a researcher who was frustrated with reproducing the results of a machine learning research paper opened up a Reddit account under the username ContributionSecure14 and posted the r/MachineLearning subreddit: “I just spent a week implementing a paper as a baseline and failed to reproduce the results. I realized today after googling for a bit that a few others were also unable to reproduce the results. Is there a list of such papers? It will save people a lot of time and effort.” The post struck a nerve with other users on r/MachineLearning, which is the largest Reddit community… This story continues at The Next Web
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Deliveries are falling short of output after new coronavirus variants pushed countries across Europe back into lockdown.Airbus secured 11 new orders in February but suffered 92 cancellations
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