Scott Kevin Fairlamb, 43, of Stockholm, New Jersey was arrested on five charges on January 22, 2020.
A number of House Republicans have previously scoffed at the new safety measure, with several refusing to walk through metal detectors.
If the rioters had gotten there just seconds earlier, The Washington Post reported, "they would have been in eyesight of the vice president."
The deal can help to revitalize HuffPost’s sales pitch and address BuzzFeed News’ perception problem, according to agency executives.
The post ‘Context really matters again’: How BuzzFeed’s HuffPost acquisition can help the combined company’s ad sales pitch appeared first on Digiday.
A special Digiday podcast episode features Interviews with BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti and Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan.
The post ‘Profitability in the back half of next year’: BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti (and Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan) on their big merger appeared first on Digiday.
BuzzFeed's acquisition of HuffPost will give it access to an older, more affluent cohort, potentially bolstering its news and commerce businesses.
The post ‘They wanted to unload it bad’: Why HuffPost made sense for BuzzFeed – and Verizon Media Group appeared first on Digiday.
The BBC has been forced to clarify that its staff can attend Pride events – but only if they “do not get involved in matters which could be deemed political or controversial”.It comes after the broadcaster launched new so-called impartiality guidelines for its workforce, saying they should not attend “public demonstrations or gatherings about controversial issues” even in a personal capacity. BBC employees told The Guardian they had been instructed that Pride marches would be included in this ban.But in a note from director-general Tim Davie sent to senior staff at the corporation on Friday morning, colleagues were told that there is no ban on attending Pride parades if it does not bring the BBC into disrepute. Staff who work in news and current affairs, factual journalism and senior leaders are free to attend events that are “clearly celebratory or commemorative” and “do not compromise perceptions of their impartiality”, Davie explained.The internal note read: “If news and current affairs staff are participating in such events they must be mindful of ensuring that they do not get involved in matters which could be deemed political or controversial.“There is no ban on these staff attending Pride events. Attending Pride parades is possible within the guidelines, but due care needs to be given to the guidance and staff need to ensure that they are not seen to be taking a stand on politicised or contested issues.”The latest information has been widely condemned as both confusing and disappointing.One BBC staff member told HuffPost UK: “I don’t have a problem with BBC staff being contractually obliged to be publicly party politically impartial, as civil servants are. What makes me uncomfortable about this stance on ‘impartiality’ that the updated guidelines take, however, is that it assumes a default, uncontroversial position which is the ideal – and which, by implication, is that of a cisgender heterosexual white person.“By instructing staff to ‘not express a view on any policy which is a matter of current political debate or on a matter of public policy, political or industrial controversy, or any other ‘controversial subject’ and then using the specific examples of ‘trans issues’ both online and at Pride marches, and of Black Lives Matter protests, as has been raised in meetings with managers, it is making what are markers of identity for so many BBC colleagues into political issues as well.“It feels like censorship to try and control how someone publicly expresses and discusses their markers of identity, especially when these characteristics have historically been – and still are – factors of oppression for so many people.”Staff were banned from attending Black Lives Matter protests over the summer, HuffPost UK revealed in August.Hugh Smithson-Wright, a restaurant PR consultant and LGBTQ+ rights activist, described the corporation’s Pride position as “awful”. “This is a heavily qualified clarification. What counts as a ‘politicised or contested issue’? The death penalty for homosexuality in Brunei? Surging state-sanctioned homophobia in Poland? Homicide rates for trans people of colour? All of these and many more are what Pride is about,” he told HuffPost UK.“Tim Davie seems to be saying: ‘You can attend a ‘Pride’ march if it’s one of those happy-clappy sanitised desexualised ones where being queer is only mentioned obliquely and doesn’t actually, y’know, protest anything.’ Awful.“It would be better if, rather than positioning events like Pride and BLM as being ‘politicised’, the BBC were to champion and actively encourage the attendance of its staff at them. It feels dangerously retrograde for the BBC, by implication, to position supporting equality as something that can be ‘contested’ – that just validates bigotry.”Peter Woodhouse, head of business sector at law firm Stone King, said there could also be potential legal claims for employers who try to restrict employees’ actions outside work. “This is a classic example of where society recognises competing rights. Here society would recognise a right to freedom of expression and association, but this could be pitched against the perceived benefit of the political impartiality of the BBC,” he told HuffPost UK.“The law and employers can struggle with this and much will depend on how firm the BBC will be in its enforcement. Ultimately, they might decide to dismiss someone and at the very least they will have to ensure that their policies are clear, up-to-date and applied consistently.“Their policies should specifically cover conduct outside work. Failures [to do this] in such areas could make a dismissal unfair.”Woodhouse added: “Further, I would anticipate claims for discrimination, for example, if the policy disproportionately impacts on someone from a particular race or ethnic origin. Such a measure must be justified and the reasoning behind it must be shown to be non-discriminatory. Here, the BBC’s reasoning is to prevent political bias and to ensure impartiality – however, consistency and proportionality in the application of the measure will be key to reduce the risk of potential discrimination claims.”As a result of the recent social media guidance from the BBC, the National Union of Journalists is calling for an urgent meeting with the director-neral.Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: “Following the publication of the guidelines yesterday, the NUJ sought an urgent meeting with the BBC to address our members’ concerns about the changes which could constrain individuals’ ability to meaningfully participate and engage in issues that matter to them – whether that’s in their trade union, their communities or in events such as Pride.“The director general’s confirmation this morning that attendance at Pride would not be a breach is obviously welcome – that the clarification proved necessary shows that further clarity is needed.“It’s disappointing that there was no consultation with staff unions on these changes ahead of them being announced, and we’ll be raising all the concerns NUJ members and reps have shared with us when we meet the BBC.”Related...
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Over 100 Black writers are calling on the government to rein in its ministers following Olukemi Badenoch’s implication that author Reni Eddo-Lodge’s work supports racial segregation.The collective – known as the Black Writers’ Guild – is urging Whitehall to ensure that ministers are responsible with their language and “avoid spreading misinformation”. It comes after The Spectator printed comments from Badenoch on Saturday that suggested guild member Eddo-Lodge, author of Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, advocates for racial segregation.The open letter which includes signatures from Afua Hirsch, Nels Abbey and Malorie Blackman states: “The allegation here is not only clearly false but dangerous. It risks endangering the personal safety of anti-racist writers. “In recent years progressive writers, politicians and activists across Europe and the United Kingdom have been physically attacked and killed by far-right extremists.”“It is in this climate that we ask the government to ensure ministers are responsible with their language, avoid spreading misinformation and apply better judgement in order to protect the lives and freedom of minorities,” the letter adds.The Spectator article stated that Badenoch was “particularly incensed by the boom in sales of texts such as White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo and Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race”.“Many of these books — and, in fact, some of the authors and proponents of critical race theory — actually want a segregated society,” the minister said.Writing on Twitter on Wednesday, Eddo-Lodge announced that she had contacted the Spectator for a correction to its piece, which ran under the headline “Kemi Badenoch: The problem with critical race theory”.I've written to both @spectator and @Independent, asking them to correct the false claims about my politics published in both publications last weekend. pic.twitter.com/9Img0PFoVe— Reni Eddo-Lodge (@renireni) October 28, 2020The guild was formed following the death of George Floyd.Sharmaine Lovegrove, publisher at Dialogue Books, told HuffPost UK: “I fully co-sign the letter from the BWG as I am deeply concerned by principles of free speech and representation being eroded by this government.“By vilifying cultural experts we are in danger of suggesting there is only one narrative and that totally undermines progression and equality within our society.”Paul Mendez, author of best-selling book Rainbow Milk, said: “The ignorance and recklessness displayed by Badenoch, as a Black woman, is unforgivable. I wish to include my name in support of Reni and other anti-racist authors.”Jendella Benson, head of editorial at Black Ballad, told HuffPost UK: “It’s completely insulting the way that Reni’s work is being distorted. One of the most important additions to our literary landscape and the only way they can discredit her is to lie. We cannot let it stand at all; it’s an insult to our collective intelligence.”The equalities minister also told the commons, during a general debate on Black History Month last week, that teachers who present the idea of white privilege as a fact to their students are breaking the law.Speaking passionately at the despatch box, she described critical race theory as “an ideology that sees my Blackness as victimhood and their whiteness as oppression”.This sparked widespread backlash with many criticising the minister as being “sad”, “inaccurate” and “disappointing”.HuffPost UK has contacted Badenoch and The Spectator for comment.Related...
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Mince pies have inspired a whole load of festive food and drink products in the past few years – from mince pie gin, to mince pie flat whites. But ever considered eating them for breakfast?Sainsbury’s has launched its Mince Pie Wheats – pockets stuffed with spiced raisin, with added flavours of cinnamon and nutmeg. Think of the cereal as your standard Shredded Wheat, with a mince pie filling. The cereal is vegan, high in fibre and has no added sugar – you can get a 500g box for £2 in stores. So is it worth it? Related...
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‘Before I know it, the bowl is empty’Natasha Hinde, life reporter: “I’m a big fan of a breakfast wheat – quite partial to the apricot ones, the blueberry ones aren’t bad either – and a massive fan of mince pies and Christmas in general, so I feel like I’m the prime target for these. When I open the bag, the waft of mince pie is strong. Initially, I’m not sure how I feel about such delicious morsels being confined to a breakfast cereal, but it doesn’t stop me from trying one... without milk. It’s good to be honest, I taste the raisin, cinnamon and nutmeg, and it does have that familiar mince pie flavour, but then the bitterness hits. Maybe they’ve tried to recreate those notes you get with boozy mince pies? The next morning I have the cereal for breakfast. When you add milk it diminishes the bitterness – you can still taste it, but not offensively, and once I get over the fact I’m eating mince pie cereal, I realise I’m very much enjoying these wheaties. Before I know it, the bowl is empty and I’m happily full. See you tomorrow, mince pie wheats. Love, your newest convert xox.” 4/5‘Subtle spiciness overtaken by sweetness’Adam Bloodworth, features writer: “When I start eating the mince pie wheats I can’t stop wondering: who’s the target exactly? Christmas fanatics like Tash, and, I’m guessing, children – the latter hauled in on the basis that this is a new novelty sugary cereal. I’d imagine that for both of those groups, this cereal will receive the same reception as a piping hot mince pie itself. That is, it’ll split opinion. This cereal is sweet and sugary alright, and fair play, those are two certain qualities of the mince pie. But for me, the underlying subtle spiciness is overtaken by too much cloying sweetness, and that throws me a bit. I get through my bowl, but during and afterwards, it lacks the balance of a good mince pie, which leaves me with a fruity, buttery flavour, and not just sugar. I reckon I could just try adding a bit of cinnamon to my regular Shreddies next time. But if there’s one thing these’ll cause, it’s debate.” 3/5‘This will cheer up some wintery mornings’Amy Packham, life editor: “I’ve been used to trying weird and wonderful foods at Christmas since working a HuffPost, and often, the odd combos they put together just don’t work. I was expecting the same with mince pie cereal to be honest – but I was wrong. (I should mention that I’m a mince pie obsessive and get on the case as soon as they hit shelves in September). I cover these wheats in milk, let them soak a little, and take a bite. The filling really does taste like mince pie – sweet, with a slightly spiced taste, but it isn’t sickly at all and I pour more into my bowl as soon as I finish the last one. I assumed this cereal would be pretty bad for me, because it tastes so good, but the traffic light system on the front of the box is green green green, with an orange for sugars. This will definitely cheer up some wintery mornings in the lead up to Christmas.” 4.5/5Related...
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Thousands chanted his name at Glastonbury when the “youthquake” election of 2017 saw him almost topple Theresa May. Just a few short months ago, he was leader of HM Opposition and candidate to be prime minister of the United Kingdom.Now, Jeremy Corbyn faces being the first Labour leader since Ramsay MacDonald to be thrown out of the party. And because what some tonight call his “callous denialism” in the wake of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report on anti-Semitism, the now-independent MP for Islington North is left with few allies and nobody to blame but himself. Here’s how this extraordinary day in British politics unfolded and what it all means. It began at 10am when the equality watchdog, established by Tony Blair’s government in 2006, published its long-awaited report. While it did not rule that Labour was institutionally anti-Semitic, it found the party under Corbyn was guilty of breaking the law on equality. Two bombshell findings stood out: Labour had harassed and discriminated against Jewish people and there had been political interference from Corbyn’s office in complaints. It was a sombre moment for “the party of equality” as EHRC chair Caroline Waters told reporters of “inexcusable” failures, which “appeared to be a result of a lack of willingness to tackle anti-Semitism”. Starmer, ever the lawyer, had carefully designed a statement to mark the event’s gravity – “it is a day of shame” – and set out a roadmap for how Labour would act. But minutes before his statement, deputy leader Angela Rayner was trying to stop Corbyn and his team from sending out a statement on Facebook which flew in the face of the reports findings and said anti-Semitism was “dramatically overstated for political reasons”. She failed and within minutes general secretary David Evans had suspended Corbyn. It “can come as no surprise”, one source close to Starmer told HuffPost UK, after the leadership and Evans warned MPs anyone who undermined the EHRC report could face action. Whether Corbyn discovered his fate via a photographer, or as the party claims, via correspondence following talks, is unclear. At 2.45pm, Evans and Rayner informed the party’s regional directors, most of whom were appointed during the Corbyn era, via a Zoom call. Evans told them “strenuous efforts” were made to resolve the matter with Corbyn, which were “not successful”, while Rayner, who would later tell broadcasters Corbyn had a “blindspot” on anti-Semitism, warned directors to be professional.A call for questions was met with stony silence. But elsewhere in country, one staffer from Newcastle said some members had already begun phoning to resign their membership.The atmosphere at an emergency shadow cabinet meeting at 4pm was “anger, despair and disappointment” at Corbyn’s actions, with shadow ministers warned not to wade into rows. While the move might make internal party management difficult for Starmer, it will do him no harm with voters, particularly those in the red wall. Tory chair Amanda Milling tried out a curious new attack line in a campaign email to supporters, given recent events, claiming that Starmer was “Corbyn’s man”. Claiming Starmer “stood by Corbyn when it was politically convenient”, the keeness to link the two men gives away how heavily the Conservatives relied on ex-Labour voters’ dislike of Corbyn. The ex-leader has vowed to “strongly contest the political intervention to suspend me”. Starmer flatly denies any involvement in Corbyn’s suspension, which was dealt with by the party’s governance unit, but has said he supports their decision. What is striking is how few figures have emerged to defend Corbyn in the full-throated manner they have in the past. John McDonnell, who served as shadow chancellor throughout Corbyn’s tenure, described the suspension as “profoundly wrong” but urged “calm” among members.The Socialist Campaign Group of MPs, which includes figures such as Richard Burgon said it “will work tirelessly for his reinstatement”, with little detail.Len McCluskey called it a “grave injustice” and, rather tamely compared with the Unite boss’ usual form, urged Starmer to “unite the party”.Tellingly, amid reports local Labour parties are haemorrhaging left-wing members, he also called on members “angered by this suspension not to leave the party”. “This is what the left fear, a loss of influence,” said one source, pointing to upcoming elections for the National Executive Committee. Rumours had begun in Westminster of a breakaway party, but attempts by left-winger Howard Beckett to withdraw further Unite funding from Labour failed. While many will be angry, others who have clashed with Corbyn on issues such as Brexit, and know a socialist breakaway party would fail, will be relieved to get a divorce from “Brand Corbyn”, as some feel he undermined their moral authority. “They know micro parties are a waste of time and they are thinking about how they can fit into the future,” said one insider. Or as Margaret Hodge, the Jewish Labour MP who repeatedly challenged Corbyn over his failings on anti-Semitism, put it he is “yesterday’s man”. So what does it say about Starmer’s new leadership, and how, if elected, the former director of public prosecutions might run the country? One former adviser tried to sum it up: “Keir is really, really obsessed about rules. He lives his life by following the rules. “And sometimes by being conservative and doing exactly what the rules say, you can also be quite radical.”
For five years, anti-Semitism has become ever more interwoven with Labour’s factional struggles. In the Labour Party, attitudes to anti-Semitism are now almost a symbol of political allegiance, a stand-in for someone’s views on economic policy or foreign affairs. I’ve seen this first-hand. When I interviewed for a job with Labour in 2016, I assumed, perhaps naively, that while I did not agree with Jeremy Corbyn on things like foreign policy, and was uncomfortable with some of his past associations, different views would be welcomed because the point of political parties is work together to win power.It quickly became apparent that judgement was wrong. As I worked with Corbyn and his team, I became acutely aware that some saw me not just in terms of my political or policy beliefs, but in terms of my Jewishness. This was clear in both what they did and did not do. It was clear when, after discovering I was Jewish, an aide spent a two-hour train-ride quizzing me about my views on Israel, not as an equal participant in a conversation about foreign policy, but as an employee being tested to see if my views on Israel were the predicable views of a Jew. It was clear when despite repeatedly pushing for swift, clear and heartfelt condemnations of anti-Semitism, I found the few condemnations that were issued were never swift, clear, or it seemed to me, heartfelt.Like many forms of prejudice, anti-Semitism does not always involve discernible and conscious hatred. Nobody except Jeremy Corbyn will ever know what was in his mind while he led the Labour Party. But that was never the point. The point was that time and again, he failed to grasp attempts to build bridges with the Jewish community, and stood by as his supporters dismissed and derided Jewish people who were clearly under attack, hurting ... heck, even afraid. Under his leadership, Labour failed to apply the basic principle that those who experience prejudice are generally best placed to identify and describe it.The upshot was this. I came to realise that Jeremy Corbyn and some of his aides felt their identities as anti-racist campaigners made them immune to Europe’s most enduring and persistent form of hatred, and viewed those who raised concerns about anti-Semitism as insulting, dishonest, even pathetic. I felt something all too familiar to those who are used to being stereotyped – self-conscious and defensive about who I am, as if I had to work doubly hard to defend what I believe because I am Jewish.Even though being Jewish was not my primary identity, I had to listen to Corbyn and his team as a Jew, to read his words and watch his inaction through this new lens of anti-Semitism. It was strange, disorienting, and sometimes painful, but it was also instructive, and perhaps strangely, made me more proud than ever to live in a democracy that protects basic rights and freedoms, and more determined than ever to change the Labour Party.Progressive parties should be a place where complex questions of identity and experience can be discussed, openly, with a sense of common purpose. We should be able to talk about the similarities and differences between anti-Black and anti-Jewish racism, and explore what it means to be white, Black, South Asian, or Jewish, in modern Britain.Our country’s diversity is among its greatest strengths. Whether Labour members who prefer Keir Starmer or Jeremy Corbyn, or voters who chose Labour or Conservative, Remain or Leave, as citizens of a diverse and plural democracy, we all have a vested interest in working out how to live as free citizens who forge our common future together. Labour’s failure to address anti-Semitism didn’t just put off Jewish voters, it made citizens across the UK doubt Labour’s moral compass.Labour now has an opportunity to make anti-Semitism a cross-factional issue. The release of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report is a moment not just for Keir Starmer to continue to demonstrate he is serious about anti-Semitism, it is a chance for all of us to explore together what anti-Semitism means, and how it does and does not relate to other forms of racism. These issues matter not just for the Labour Party, but for the country.In Labour, we have to start by listening to each other, making space not only for what others believe but for how they feel. When there has been so much hurt and distrust, we must all find the courage and respect to ensure we don’t slide into tired factional debates, and the energy and patience to share experiences and develop a common language. Those who refuse to talk and listen and engage should have no place in the Labour Party. Making Labour a home for Jewish people again will be a long and often uncomfortable road, but I believe it can and must be done. It will require Jews and non-Jews who have left Labour to engage with energy and determination, to do the hard civic work of repairing the damage that has been done – to attend meetings, to vote, and to run. Achieving that goal is not just a political imperative, but a moral one. Josh Simons is a former Labour Party staffer who worked in Jeremy Corbyn’s leader’s office, and quit over anti-Semitism. He then worked in Labour HQ.Welcome to HuffPost Opinion, a new dedicated space for reliable, expert commentary and analysis on the day’s biggest talking points. Got a unique angle or viewpoint on a news story that will help cut through the noise? We want to hear from you. Read more here Related...
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It’s long been suspected that the virus that causes Covid-19 could survive in aerosol droplets – tiny particles that linger in the air long after we talk, cough or sneeze – and then infect other people when they breathe them in. If the virus is living in the air – and potentially travelling distances to infect people – it would be considered “airborne”. This is quite a big deal, as it shifts the measures we use to try and prevent the virus from spreading.Related...
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Is Covid-19 airborne?Airborne transmission is defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the spread of an infectious agent caused by the dissemination of aerosols that remain infectious when suspended in air over long distances and time.In official circles, SARS-CoV-2 has not yet been confirmed as airborne. However there appears to be growing consensus among some scientists that it is. In July, 239 scientists penned an open letter to WHO warning against underestimating the possibility of airborne transmission.WHO agrees airborne transmission of the virus can occur during medical procedures that generate aerosols – for example, intubating a Covid-19 patient. But it’s in the process of evaluating whether SARS-CoV-2 may also spread through aerosols in other places, such as indoor settings with poor ventilation. It said the matter of it being airborne “cannot be ruled out”.Some studies have shown the virus can linger in the air for up to three hours. But one of the major caveats of such studies is that the aerosols are generated using high-powered jet nebulisers under controlled laboratory conditions – this doesn’t reflect normal human cough conditions.Recently, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted an update on its website acknowledging the virus that causes Covid-19 could be airborne, but U-turned a few days later. The CDC said a draft version of proposed changes had been “posted in error”.Can I catch Covid-19 from aerosols?Modelling of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in confined spaces, published in the journal Physics of Fluids, suggests that while it isn’t without it’s risks, the chances of catching Covid-19 from aerosols are probably pretty low. Doctors at the University of Amsterdam’s Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute used laser technology to measure the distribution of droplets released when people speak or cough. Test subjects spoke or coughed into a laser beam, and a jet nozzle was used to mimic tiny aerosol micro-droplets. Researchers then measured how droplets spread and how likely they are to pass along the virus. While the lingering micro-droplets aren’t risk-free, due to their small size, they contain less virus than the larger droplets produced when someone coughs, speaks, or sneezes directly on us, said Daniel Bonn, one of the authors. If someone enters a space even a few minutes after a mildly symptomatic carrier of the coronavirus has coughed in that area, the probability of infection is “rather low,” said researchers, and it’s even lower if that person was only talking.Bonn said the findings suggest aerosol-wise that it’s “relatively safe” to go into well-ventilated modern buildings, such as airports, train stations and offices, as “modern ventilation makes the aerosol infection risk not very large”.Commenting on the study, Dr Julian Tang, a consultant virologist at Leicester Royal Infirmary, points out that there are studies involving influenza virus that suggest smaller aerosolised particles can carry more virus than larger droplets per unit volume. “The study does not exclude aerosol transmission,” he adds, “but I think there are too many assumptions to interpret this further to say that it is, or is not, predominant nor efficient as a route of transmission of Covid-19.”Professor Ashley Woodcock, who works in respiratory medicine at the University of Manchester, is convinced aerosols don’t play a part in Covid-19 transmission. “I’m not a modeller,” he tells HuffPost UK. “I’m a respiratory doctor, I’m an academic, and I’m completely convinced that aerosols are irrelevant.”Prof Woodcock says viruses like measles and chickenpox, which are spread in aerosols, have a far higher R0 value than coronavirus. The R0 value of measles is 12-18, while the R0 value of coronavirus is around 2.63. The higher the R0 value, the more infectious a virus is considered to be.“Secondly, in confined spaces like aeroplanes, there have been virtually no cases of transmission,” he says. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has identified 44 Covid-19 cases linked to flights since the beginning of 2020, out of roughly 1.2 billion passengers who travelled during that time. It’s worth noting however that planes do have very effective filtration systems. He believes the main way the virus is spreading is through surface contact and that there needs to be a bigger focus on washing hands; not touching faces; and cleaning homes, schools, shops and hospitals.Related...
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How can I stay safe?If you’re worried about exposure to the virus from air droplets, aerosol scientists in the US have made a series of recommendations on how to stay safer indoors. The main message is to avoid, or reduce as much as possible, situations that would mean you’re inhaling exhaled air from other people.This means avoiding crowded spaces; practising social distancing; avoiding low ventilation environments and long durations in such places; avoiding places where people don’t wear masks; avoiding loud talking, shouting and singing; and avoiding places where there are high breathing rates (the scientists use indoor aerobic exercise as an example).Once a virus escapes into the air inside a building, you have two options, said Professor Shelly Miller, an expert in mechanical engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder: you either bring in fresh air from outside or remove the virus from the air inside the building.The safest indoor space is one that constantly has outdoor air replacing stale indoor air, she said. So, a space where windows and doors are open, or where heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems are in operation. “In any room, the more people inside, the faster the air should be replaced,” she wrote in a piece for The Conversation.In the United States, the CDC recommends air purifiers as a preventative measure for Covid-19, stating “when used properly, air purifiers can help reduce airborne contaminants, including viruses, in a home or confined space”.Not all air purifiers are created equal, though, and scientists advise keeping an eye out for filter effectiveness – High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters can remove most particle sizes from the air, but it’s not a failsafe solution.Professor Woodcock believes we’re missing a trick by not focusing on the route of exposure that comes from touching surfaces and then touching our faces. He wants to see more of a spotlight on the importance of keeping areas clean.“You could have a Get Britain Clean campaign,” he says, “everybody scrubs their houses, their hands, their children, the schools – and you just need squeezy detergent.”Related...
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The UK’s coronavirus death toll has exceeded 300 for the second day in a row as the country battles another surge in infections. On Wednesday, the deaths of 310 more people were recorded, bringing the UK’s total death toll to 45,675. Of those, 236 were reported in England, while Scotland accounted for 28 of the fatalities. In Northern Ireland, the deaths of nine more people were recorded, while 37 were also reported in Wales. It comes just a day after the daily death count topped 350 for the first time since May, with the Covid-19 deaths of 367 people added to the government’s coronavirus dashboard. The grim milestone prompted calls for Boris Johnson to impose a stricter lockdown, with the government’s own scientific advisors warning that the coronavirus death toll could remain high throughout winter. Sir Mark Walport, a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), told the BBC on Wednesday it was “certainly not unrealistic” to think of 25,000 people being in hospital with Covid-19 by the end of November. The PM has so far resisted calls for a “circuit breaker” lockdown in England, preferring to stick to regional restrictions. However, cases across the UK continue to rise, with 24,701 new infections reported on Wednesday. It means that 942,275 people have now tested positive for the virus in the UK. Related...
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Bristol Council has unveiled new measures to control the local rise in Covid-19 cases – and created a whole new sub-tier of lockdown for itself in the process.England is currently under a three-tier system, with alert levels set at medium, high and very high – translating to tier 1, 2 and 3 of restrictions. But that wasn’t enough for Bristol, where there are currently 340.7 new cases per 100,000. Home to around half a million people, the city declared it is now under “tier 1+”, an entirely new sub-tier altogether. "We regard ourselves now as being in Tier 1+" Ms Gray said— Amanda Cameron LDR (@AmandaSCameron) October 28, 2020The government’s tiered system, announced on October 12, was intended to improve the functioning of test and trace (which isn’t exactly going brilliantly) and clear up some of the confusing public health messaging.But with Bristol City Council going rogue by putting itself in a new tier all of its own, we’re not sure things are getting any simpler. So let me get this right: Tier 0 (Scotland only)Tier 1 (UK)Tier 1+ (Bristol only)Tier 2 (UK)Tier 3 (UK)Tier 4 (Scotland only)Tears (Me)— Conrad Quilty-Harper (@Coneee) October 28, 2020Inventing a whole new subtier for Bristol is very Bristol. https://t.co/GkTd5unhRu— Rachael Krishna (@RachaelKrishna) October 28, 2020Tier 1 plus you know. Business class Covid. https://t.co/VRHa5TBCmy— TransJamaican (@Whitb_xx) October 28, 2020explaining how Tier 1 Plus fits into the system pic.twitter.com/OcfAB9M6Gk— Toby Earle (@TobyonTV) October 28, 2020What does tier 1+ actually mean? It’s important to note that tier 1+ isn’t a national strategy – it was created locally by leaders in the South West but implemented first by Bristol City Council, explained the city’s director of public health Christina Gray. Ms Gray said the Tier1+ concept was a local one, and not a national one. She said it had been discussed by local authorities throughout the South West but Bristol was the first one to try it— Amanda Cameron LDR (@AmandaSCameron) October 28, 2020She added: “The tier 1+ is because we recognise the importance of maintaining people’s livelihoods, and the hospitality sector is the most difficult to manage safely.“In order to keep open, we need to drive down infections.” Tier 1+ doesn’t actually mean there will be any new restrictions for members of the public to follow – up to six members of different households will still be able to meet indoors, unlike in tier 2 where this is forbidden. What it does mean, however, is that the council will enforce the current rules more effectively, with eight Covid marshals targeting busy areas of the city especially in the evenings and at weekends. Bristol Live reported that tier 1+ boiled down to three main components – “using data to provide messages on how to safely use public spaces, taking on parts of Test and Trace, and ensuring compliance.” Bristol City Council is also using £3 million in funding from government to boost local resources for test and trace, which Rees said was “failing” on a national scale, as well as concentrating on more targeted approaches to reducing transmission – particularly amongst 30- to 60-year-olds, where case numbers are on the rise.The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has clarified that it is not introducing a plus system.“There are three local Covid alert levels which are enshrined in law and we are not considering the introduction of a ‘plus’ system,” a spokesperson said. “Bristol is currently at medium and local leaders have the authority to bring in some additional measures for their area, and we welcome local efforts to break chains of transmission.”So... what happened to the three-tier system? When Boris Johnson announced the three-tier system it was billed as a way of simplifying the local lockdowns and boosting the effectiveness of test and trace. Millions of people across some of England’s biggest cities are now living under heightened restrictions under tier 2 and 3, with the government already facing significant backlash from Manchester’s leaders over “disgraceful” financial support.Inconsistencies between different cities have also been pointed out, with Liverpool told gyms had to shut under tier 3 while they stayed open in Lancashire under exactly the same tier – a move Liverpool’s mayor Joe Anderson described as an “inconsistent mess”.But with cases and deaths rising, there is some concern that even tier 3 doesn’t go far enough – with calls reportedly being made for tier 4, or tier 3+. Leicestershire Live reported on Tuesday that Whitehall officials were discussing a fourth tier of restrictions, and local circuit breaker lockdowns, in regions where tier 3 restrictions hadn’t brought the virus under control. Under tier 4, or tier 3+, restaurants and non-essential retail such as clothes shops could also be forced to close – similar to the current “firebreaker” lockdown across the whole of Wales. The three-tier system only applies in England, but Nicola Sturgeon was met with some accusations of complication Westminster’s public health messaging after introducing a five-tier system in Scotland earlier in October. The Scottish first minister said the additional two steps, 0 and 4, “sensibly add” to the English system – with 0 being the “closest to normality we think we can safely get to”. Tier 4 is stricter than the English tier 3, and is closer to a full lockdown involving the closure of non-essential shops. Schools would remain open under all tiers, even under the toughest restrictions.Related...
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Lily Allen doesn’t think enough high-profile women speak about masturbation – and she wants to change that.The singer, 35, says the topic is still “taboo” – despite the fact that it’s something most people do. “When a woman talks about masturbation, it’s always: ’Well you’re clearly not getting sex from a male partner so you must be undesirable or disappointed with your partner’s ability. It’s lazy, archaic and just not true,” she told Radio 1 Newsbeat.“There’s a reason our bodies are made as they were. Women are given clitorises and G-spots – because they’re there to have orgasms with.”Related...
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Allen says it’s a “co-dependent attitude to pleasure” when people believe they have to rely on someone else to orgasm – especially when we can do it ourselves. She wishes she spoke about it more openly when she was younger – “nobody talked about and I didn’t engage with it” – saying that it wasn’t until she committed to “masturbation, self love and ultimately sex toys” that she considered my own needs. In HuffPost UK Life’s podcast, Am I Making You Uncomfortable, sex educator Alix Fox said many people feel awkward about masturbation because people “just don’t talk about it”.“A lot of us worry about whether we should be doing it or shouldn’t be doing it,” she said. “And we don’t know what the normal is. So we can really scrutinise our own behaviours – or lack thereof.“I think that conversation is starting to change, but still a lot of the images and a lot of the messages that people get about female masturbation come from porn where it’s something that’s performed often for male pleasure and as a result, it’s all play and display.”Allen was speaking about the topic after the news she’s put her name to a brand of vibrators. Her title? “Chief Liberation Officer”.“I wish I’d come to terms with [masturbation] much sooner, it would’ve saved me a lot of headaches,” she added.Related...
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