The reproduction number, or R value, of coronavirus transmission across the UK still remains above 1 and is continuing to rise.Data released on Friday by the Government Office for Science and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) shows the estimate for R for the whole of the UK is between 1.2 and 1.5.Last week, the R number was between 1.1 to 1.4. All regions of England have an R that is higher than 1, according the government’s scientific advisers.R represents the average number of people each Covid-19 positive person goes on to infect. When the figure is above 1, an outbreak can grow exponentially.Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published today suggested in England there were 9,600 cases per day in the week until 19 September - an increase on the the 6,000 a day the previous week.It comes as London was placed on the government’s watchlist of areas of concern. It means stricter restrictions could be imposed in the capital if cases continue to rise.Today it was also shown that no local area in England is considered a low risk coronavirus zone within the nation’s new contact tracing app.The NHS Covid-19 app was rolled out across England and Wales on Thursday after months of delay, designed to automatically alert people of anyone who tests positive that they have been close to.One element within the app is a localised risk level based on the first part of a person’s postcode.But in the current environment it is not considered appropriate for anywhere in England to be deemed “low” risk, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) said. Related... London Faces Local Lockdown After Being Placed On Coronavirus Watchlist
The Great British Bake Off finally returned to our screens on Tuesday night, and there was a new face in that famous tent.Matt Lucas has joined Noel Fielding on the Bake Off presenting team following Sandi Toksvig’s departure - and needless to say, there were japes a plenty from the Little Britain star.As well as mocking Boris Johnson before the show had even properly started, Matt delivered plenty of memorable gags that went down a (sweet) treat with viewers.Here are some of the highlights…On fluffing his debutAs Matt and co-host Noel went to kick off the signature challenge, he shouted “Bake!” at the wrong time – first too early, and then too late. Hats off to Matt Lucas! He made quite an impression in Cake Week! #GBBOpic.twitter.com/0UJgbCx1P6— British Bake Off (@BritishBakeOff) September 22, 2020On his eating habitsSpeaking to one contestant, Matt admitted: “I have the eating age of a nine-year-old. I just eat Super Noodles.“You know they are called Batchelors Super Noodles? Because I am homosexual I call them Confirmed Batchelors Super Noodles.”On the show’s high stakesAs the technical challenge came to a close, Noel announced: “Bakers, you only have got half an hour left.”Matt replied: “We don’t mean half an hour to live, we just mean half an hour to the end of the challenge, so don’t panic too much.”Noel then added: “One of you has got half an hour to live…”On a bubble gum-flavoured cakeLoriea, a diagnostic radiographer from Durham, delivered a bubble gum Battenberg during the signature challenge, but failed to impress the judges.Matt told her: “I do rather like it. When I have my ninth birthday party can you cook for me please?”On the episode’s dropped cakesThe technical challenge saw the bakers asked to craft six miniature upside-down pineapple cakes.As they delivered their creations to the judges, Sura swung her arm to hit a fly and knocked Dave, causing four of his six cakes to fly across the room.Matt quipped: “It’s my fault because I was looking at you when it happened. And you were probably hypnotised by my beauty.”This year’s series opener notched up Bake Off’s biggest overnight launch audience since its move to Channel 4, the broadcaster said, averaging 6.9 million viewers and peaking at 7.9 million.The Great British Bake Off airs on Tuesdays at 8pm on Channel 4.MORE BAKE OFF: Matt Lucas Hilariously Mocks Boris Johnson In Great British Bake Off Debut Toppling Tiers And Custard Crimes: Great British Bake Off’s Biggest Disasters Ever This Year's Great British Bake Off Contestants Are (As Ever) A Seriously Eclectic Mix
The fashion industry is shifting towards significant digital transformation. From 3D design to the digital showcasing of fashion collections, the digitalisation of physical garments demonstrates key areas of rapid expansion, as well as offering hope and opportunity to an industry in flux.The complex, global supply chain ground to a halt during the height of the coronavirus pandemic and remains sluggish as it steadily reopens. In the midst of physical lockdowns, shrinking economies and cancelled fashion week shows, the desire for fashion brands to engage consumers and, ultimately, sell their products, intensifies. But with all the physical and fiscal challenges, the question is: how? Agile and progressive brands have turned to 3D and extended reality (aka XR, which includes VR and AR) to create and promote their products and gain an edge over the competition. The value of utilising 3D digital assets in AR experiences has been demonstrated by a number of brands, including Nike and Gucci (who both created AR apps for sneaker fit and Tryon) and JW Anderson, who partnered with HoloMe on an AR fashion presentation earlier this year.  The Spring 2021 collection was captured using a green screen and computer vision in order to insert them, via a smartphone app, into the user’s immediate environment. The app hosted live feeds for wholesale buyers to visualise the collection in their own environment, from which they were able to make decisions on which garments to order for retail―a critical solution in the face of physical travel restrictions and social distancing. Add to this Shopify’s integration of 3D and AR tools, which it claimc “have been shown to increase conversion rates by up to 250% on product pages,” and the benefits of 3D and AR for the fashion industry are clear.Pushing this extended reality concept further, the recent Fabric of Reality VR fashion show brought together emerging fashion designers and VR artists to take part in a show that was live-streamed to a global audience of over 100,000 people. The project was the brainchild of RYOT (Verizon Media’s award-winning content studio and innovation lab) and the Fashion Innovation Agency at London College of Fashion and has been covered extensively on HuffPost UK.  During London Fashion Week, the VR show has now taken on a new incarnation, with the garments of the three fashion designers, Charli Cohen, Damara Ingles and Sabinna Rachimova, being ‘teleported’ out of the VR realm and into WebAR.  This demonstrates the potential for fashion brands to not only create designs digitally and present them virtually (with all the time, waste and cost savings it affords), but also share them to global audiences to experience in their immediate location in augmented reality, and share on social media.Click on the links below to be taken into a 3D AR experience, and hit the “Sound On” button on the top right corner to hear the designers talk about their garments.Fashion week is a pivotal time for brands to raise awareness, engage consumers and drive sales, however, this is proving challenging for many as traditional catwalk shows have been replaced with digital ones, which Business of Fashion declared earlier this year “a flop, at least on social media”.  It reported that London Fashion Week in June, which features menswear, saw social media engagement plunge 55 per cent from January, according to data analytics and software provider, Launchmetrics. Given that social media is fundamental to brand awareness and sales, this appears to raise major concerns over the effectiveness of digital fashion shows. However, on review, the most common types of digital shows were 2D videos―many were traditional catwalks (filmed behind closed doors)― which may explain why they fell flat with digital-native audiences who are used to highly creative digital content, and stalwart fashion week insiders used to front row benefits and physical fanfare.  Considering the digital tools readily available to the industry – including 3D design, augmented and virtual reality, virtual catwalk models, animation and 3D gaming environments – it’s fortunate that the fashion industry has far richer technical toolkits to plunder before declaring digital fashion shows inferior.  This season, some brands have begun exploring these tools to engage fashion week audiences, including ‘brand of the moment’ Khaite, who this week released their SS2021 shoe collection via WebAR. In terms of generating engagement and lasting impact, research shared by Gorilla In The Room, an agency testing consumer responses to AR and VR indicates that VR experiences impact implicit memory, causing heightened emotional responses as if the person is experiencing something from a first-person perspective. Due to the feeling of presence in the VR environment, episodic memories (autobiographical in nature) are created in favour of semantic (general factual) memories, which can amplify retention of what is experienced. In essence, VR has been proven to be a powerful tool to connect people to the stories behind products in a way that gives them deeper meaning and value.  This cuts straight to the core of what brands seek to achieve in building affinity and loyalty with their target audience.In a similar manner, AR places the brand’s product into the world of the viewer, allowing them to create new content that is personal and unique to them.  Designer Damara Ingles articulated the importance of this when saying: “Extended Reality opens a whole new dimension of fashion possibilities and future dreaming, allowing us to expand the wearable vocabulary in ways that become inclusive of our digital identities.”  As digital-native Gen-Z inhabit online realms as a natural extension of their physical lives, it seems that VR and AR will be crucial to engaging this cohort – both emotionally and commercially.An important catalyst for brands’ increased adoption of VR and AR experiences will be the expansion of 5G networks, which will facilitate blisteringly-fast streaming, content creation and sharing.  Moin Roberts-Islam, Technology Development Manager at the Fashion Innovation Agency at London College of Fashion says that this expansion promises to not only allow vast and rapid data transfer in technical terms but a drastic reduction in latency for users, allowing truly interactive shared but unique-to-user AR and VR experiences.  With the computation being done by powerful machines located remotely, the device, be it a smartphone, tablet or a headset, serves as simply the object of delivery, rather than a limiting factor. At the same time as this technological leap, and accelerated by physical limitations brought about by Covid-19, brands are swapping 2D for 3D design and photogrammetry with widespread digitisation of products in the early stages of conception.  This is creating a ‘perfect storm’ of digital assets that are virtual and augmented reality-ready. Utilising these digital products will help facilitate not only end-to-end digital supply chains from design to retail, but also with marketing, promotion and sales. The sustainability gains, cost reductions and enhanced branding and marketing opportunities shouldn’t be underestimated.  Stylus trends intelligence agency declared in their recent 5G retail futures report that “5G will enable a technological revolution, realising a ‘phygital’ world in which our physical experiences will be intertwined with digital layers, including seamless upgrades of AR uniting real life with imagined brandscapes.”  The fashion industry may be facing unprecedented challenges, but digital transformation coupled with 5G rollouts and extended reality tools offers unprecedented creative and commercial opportunities. 
British-French actor Michael Lonsdale, best known for playing Hugo Drax in the 1979 James Bond film Moonraker, has died in Paris aged 89, his agent has told AFP.Lonsdale was also known in the English-speaking world as detective Claude Lebel 1973’s spy thriller The Day of the Jackal and as. M. in 1993’s The Remains of the Day. In 1986 he starred opposite Sean Connery in the medieval drama The Name of the Rose.He also appeared in Steven Spielberg’s 2005 historical drama Munich, alongside future James Bond star Daniel Craig, and in 1998’s action thriller Ronin.The bilingual actor had hundreds of acting credits to his name, most recently appearing in the Belgian-French drama The First, the Last (Les Premiers, les Derniers) released in 2016.Lonsdale reprised the role of Drax for the 2016 video game 007 Legends. When asked whether he was concerned that playing a Bond villain might affect his career, he told James Bond fan site Mi6-HQ: “Not at all! On the contrary!“Because, I made so many films that were not really very popular or didn’t make much money, and I only made poor films, so I thought I might like to be in a rich film.”Reflecting on his experience of making the film he said: “It was a great experience to make a very popular film. Everybody was so kind. Roger Moore, Lois Chiles and Richard Kiel were all wonderful. There was a beautiful understanding between the actors, and so I was very happy to do that.”The official Twitter account for the estate of Sir Roger Moore, who played Bond opposite Lonsdale, expressed its condolences online.Terribly saddened to learn Michael Lonsdale has also passed away today. As Hugo Drax he was a smooth-tongued and cultured adversary to 007 in Moonraker. pic.twitter.com/qoBbziZlZ9— Sir Roger Moore (Legacy) (@sirrogermoore) September 21, 2020Moore had previously singled out Lonsdale for praise as a Bond villain, telling GQ in 2012: “All the villains are great. Michael Lonsdale [Drax, in Moonraker] is a brilliant actor, sometimes you think that they’re too good for the movie.”Lonsdale was born in Paris to English and Irish-French parents, and initially raised in Guernsey, then later in Casablanca, Morocco. He later returned to live in Paris, making his stage debut aged 24. He made his film debut in 1956.Also on HuffPost
The first thing I learn from One America News Network is that there is a new Rolling Stones flagship store opening on Carnaby Street, where “you can always get what you want.” The next is that Donald Trump has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and held a massively successful rally in North Carolina where he condemned mail-in voting. OAN will then tell me that The Atlantic magazine is full of lies and owned by “America’s new George Soros.”What I don’t know at this point on Wednesday morning, only 20 minutes into a 16-hour straight viewing of far-right conspiracy network OAN, is that I will watch its highlight reel of Trump’s rally seven times and the attack on The Atlantic eight times. I will watch a segment on Trump’s Nobel Peace Prize nomination, a meaningless stunt by a far-right Norwegian parliamentarian, at least 10 times. I will watch multiple different hosts recite the same introductions and same scripts, sometimes saying the words along with them in my empty apartment. Because OAN blends its outlandish coverage with everyday banality I will come to know that The Rolling Stones memorabilia store is, at its heart, “about the music.”This has been a breakout year for OAN. For most people, the network is infamous for its conspiracy theories, its employment of far-right activists and White House correspondent Chanel Rion’s absurdly sycophantic questions to the president. (“We’re watching Joe Biden slip very gently into senility, while you’re at the top of your game. What’s your secret?”)  Fact-checking OAN, especially 16-straight hours of it, is basically a Sisyphean taskOAN is ostensibly a news network, with 24-hour coverage and a multimillion-dollar budget. It’s available in at least 35 million households through multiple service providers and has its own streaming app for smart televisions. Trump has repeatedly tweeted praise for the channel and encouraged his followers to watch it. He gave the outlet an exclusive interview during the Republican National Convention, and Trump family members and top associates have repeatedly appeared on its programmes. As the election quickly approaches, it is effectively a media arm of the Trump campaign.Pro-Trump media is often viewed only through brief moments that highlight its most egregious disinformation. This can obscure that part of its function: to produce a kind of information pollution that warps viewers’ perception of reality. It creates an alternate universe where baseless conspiracies mix into legitimate news, major events are ignored and the president can do no wrong. So I’ve decided to binge-watch my way into that reality. As it happens, I chose the day that CNN and The Washington Post score a massive scoop: audio from Trump’s interview with Bob Woodward, in which the president admits – in the early days of the pandemic, which will soon claim 200,000 American lives – that he is purposely downplaying the coronavirus. If I was keeping an eye on Twitter or flipping channels I’d know about this bombshell right away, but on OAN, it barely exists. 7am to noon OAN’s daytime shows typically feature a single host sitting at a desk or a couch in front of a city backdrop or stock market-themed green screen. It should look like any other channel, but even with all the trappings of cable news, there is always an uncanny valley between OAN and a regular network. The lighting and graphics are somehow slightly off, and awkward stock footage such as faceless businessmen shaking hands is embedded in reports. There are minor technical issues and hosts flub their lines along the way. The live ticker at the bottom of the screen for hours has no news; it just constantly scrolls “VISIT OANN.COM | FOLLOW @OANN ON TWITTER.”OAN’s morning programming is incredibly repetitive. Although the hosts change each hour, much of the scripts they read remain the same, and pre-taped news segments air multiple times. What host Stephanie Myers presents just before 7am is sometimes identical to what host Lilia Fifield says an hour later, which is repeated again on Wall to Wall with Greta Wall later in the morning. There is no context or analysis for many news events, such as a fire at a refugee camp in Greece, often just repurposed footage from news agencies or local stations and voiceover that sounds aggregated from news wires like Reuters.These more generic segments are the closest OAN comes to being a straight news channel, which is how its owner Robert Herring Sr. promoted the network when he launched it along with his son Charles in 2013. Herring Sr., a multimillionaire Republican donor, initially touted the network as just-the-facts news without biased commentary. Herring Sr. reportedly played a significant role in making the network’s coverage increasingly right-wing and pro-Trump, and several anchors anonymously told Politico that many on staff are not diehard conservatives but dejected liberals who are simply trying to hold on to a job in broadcasting. OAN quickly morphed into an outright pro-Trump outlet that aired his rallies in full during the 2016 presidential election campaign and now lauds his administration. The shift has made OAN a rising star in the right-wing media ecosystem, resulting in the president repeatedly praising the station on Twitter and giving OAN closer access into Trump World. Ratings are allegedly up 55% compared with last year, Charles Herring told Politico. (OAN doesn’t subscribe to industry-standard Nielsen ratings, making it hard to know exact viewership numbers.) Even when OAN isn’t promoting outright misinformation, its choice of what to cover helps shape a world that its conspiratorial coverage then distorts. Portland police being paid increased overtime during protests is elevated to national news and manages to fit in mention of “violent rioters.” A story about a federal ban on imports from China’s Xinjiang province and another on the Pacific nation of Palau inviting the US to build a military base frame America as boldly countering China’s influence. It doesn’t matter that the Palau story is almost a week old, or that the Customs and Border Protection has not made any formal announcement on Xinjiang imports.Where OAN really begins to deviate from reality, however, is in its programming that features guest interviews or pre-taped segments from its better-known personalities. Just after 7am, Fifield introduces a segment from Rion, the White House correspondent, that is an absurd defence of Trump against The Atlantic’s damaging report that the president called Americans who died in war “losers” and “suckers.”“A once-respected journal now finds itself exposed as a privately funded fiction factory for the DNC,” Rion says, claiming that The Atlantic’s reporting, which has been backed up by multiple other outlets including Fox News, “went down in journalistic flames.” The segment baselessly accuses Atlantic journalists of being puppets for owner Laurene Powell-Jobs, whom Rion describes as “America’s new George Soros” who hired a “coterie of pet writers” to do her bidding. Rion, who is also the “curator-at-large” of a word appreciation website that claims to be the “premier destination for lovers of fine words,” lingers on pronouncing “coterie.”The segment airs multiple times just in the first few hours of the day, and as Rion talks about “truth” and “reality,” the words begin to lose any meaning. I become fixated on why there is a large gray smudge in the second “o” of a sinister “anonymous sources” graphic. I watch Powell-Jobs’ headshot slowly pan across the screen over and over.“Society’s only hope against such bad actors is the truth, in the hope that it ultimately prevails,” Rion says in a sentence that will slowly sear its way into my mind over the course of the day.Another piece repeated throughout the morning is a report from OAN’s Pearson Sharp, who sounds like the voice of Moviefone, promoting Trump’s claims that mail-in voting will result in fraud, giving the impression “illegals” will receive ballots and falsely suggesting Hillary Clinton only won the popular vote in 2016 because “almost 6 million ballots went missing” and “just vanished.” Sharp’s source in this segment is a right-wing advocacy group with a history of misleading and debunked statements that is run by a former Trump administration official. OAN will air it six times on Wednesday. Fact-checking OAN, especially 16-straight hours of it, is basically a Sisyphean task. There are simply too many pieces of misinformation per minute to catch up, and the central premise of its coverage is often so misleading that it defies any good faith engagement.Between 7am and noon, OAN runs interviews with right-wing think tankers under the banner “Economists Warn A Biden America Would Destroy Economy” and Sharp talking with a California pro-gun activist who claims billionaires are coming to take away the second amendment. (“Including George Soros?!” Sharp asks.) OAN also brings on Trump pollster John McLaughlin, who condemns “skewed media polls” showing the president trailing Biden and talks about pro-Trump boat parades.“If more people owned boats we’d win this in a landslide,” McLaughlin says.News consumers in the rest of the country, even viewers of Fox News, are seeing a succession of major stories that Wednesday: massive wildfires engulfed large parts of California, where OAN is based, and turned the sky above San Francisco an apocalyptic orange. A Rochester, New York, police chief and his top officials resigned after allegations of covering up police involvement in the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man who suffocated after officers put a bag over his head during an arrest. But meanwhile, at around 11:20am, OAN airs an unbroken feed of Department of Homeland Security acting Secretary Chad Wolf delivering a “state of the homeland” address where he defends the agency’s crackdown on nationwide anti-racism protests. A few hours after this address, it will become public that a DHS official filed a major whistleblower complaint that claims Wolf twice told him to stop reporting on the Russian threat to the US election because it “made Trump look bad.” I will not find out about this until the next day, because OAN will not cover it during the 16 hours I’m watching.Noon to 6pmWhile the rest of the news media covers the Woodward revelations, which broke just before noon, I am looking at OAN still showing a live feed of Wolf’s speech even though he has now stopped talking and left the podium. “There are shuttles waiting outside,” one official helpfully tells the attending audience.When OAN cuts back to the studio, host Jennifer Franco summarises Wolf’s speech and then goes on to introduce a series of stories that include a poll showing Portland’s disapproval of its mayor, a Republican bill to increase pay for law enforcement officers and a Belgian magazine accused of using blackface on its cover. The Atlantic segment airs again. “Society’s only hope against such bad actors is the truth, in the hope that it ultimately prevails,” Rion says.At around 12:10pm, OAN runs a segment bashing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for “flip flopping” on mask policy, and I realise despite multiple stories condemning him, this is the first time in five hours I have heard Biden speak.  It’s exceedingly rare to actually hear from any Democrats or people with dissenting views. Trump is everywhere – on b-roll, speaking at length at his rally and giving live pressers – but Kamala Harris and Biden are only ever mentioned and function as unspeaking villains. A few-second clip of Harris during a segment on former Fox News host Megyn Kelly condemning her for praising police shooting victim Jacob Blake’s family, and another brief clip of Biden talking about masks, are essentially all we hear from them all day.About 5 hours into watching OAN my television asks if I am still there and begins a countdown to turn itself off. I watch for a few seconds then press a button on the remote to stop it. I will solely watch OAN all day, only getting up from in front of the TV to grab food or go to the bathroom. During one commercial break later in the day, I run down to the corner store to buy beer.In the bottom left corner of the screen, OAN has a live feed previewing the upcoming White House press briefing. Before it cuts to the presser, OAN will cover luxury giant LVMH possibly dropping its deal to acquire Tiffany, rerun its segment on Trump being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize – now with a quote from the Norwegian far-right politician stating that “Barack Obama did nothing” to receive the award – and report that the Oscars is adding a diversity component to its selection process. The channel will tease a segment promising to reveal the reason the Baylor vs. Louisiana Tech college football game has been postponed. (Several players tested positive for coronavirus, which is not given any broader context.)When the network cuts to the live White House briefing, it only takes a few minutes for reality to Kool-Aid Man its way through the wall of OAN. As soon as White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany opens up the floor to questions, almost every reporter asks about the Woodward tapes. “I’d like to ask you about the Woodward interviews. Did President Trump intentionally mislead the American people about the threat of Covid – a pandemic that has now cost the lives of nearly 200,000 Americans?” CBS White House correspondent Paula Reid says.I don’t know exactly what has happened at this point, but it’s pretty obvious that it’s not good for Trump and has become a big enough story to be simply referred to as the “Woodward interviews.” It also makes me hyperconscious that there are likely a number of important stories that I don’t know about because I’ve instead watched three segments on Eric Trump declaring that the NFL is “officially dead” because Dallas Cowboys players may take a knee. Toward the end of the briefing, McEnany cuts off a question about Trump drawing down troops in Iraq – something I can’t remember if I’m also hearing about for the first time – and calls on OAN’s Rion at the back of the briefing room. Rion asks if Palestinians have “expressed any interest in distancing themselves from Iran, in the interest of Middle East peace.” The biggest story to OAN is still Trump’s peace prize nomination. When OAN cuts back to the studio, Fifield briefly summarises some of what McEnany said in the briefing and then moves right along to other news. Fifield announces that former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has praised Trump’s Nobel Peace Prize nomination. The news ticker at the bottom of the screen is working now, and it also reports that Trump has been nominated for the prize.  At a time when any reasonable news outlet could have gotten it together to address the major breaking news story making international headlines, OAN cuts to an unbroken feed of vice president Mike Pence giving a fireside chat to anti-abortion organisation Susan B. Anthony List. Pence laments that the Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law restricting access to abortion and vows that it means “we need more conservatives on the Supreme Court of the United States.” Pence wraps up after 2pm, and then it’s back to Greta Wall with the top story that air travel is down over Labor Day. The Atlantic segment airs again.It’s not until around 3pm that OAN addresses the Woodward interviews, which it frames as “the White House shuts down the mainstream media over Bob Woodward’s book.” A short clip of Trump telling Woodward he likes to play down the severity of coronavirus airs, and host Jennifer Franco repeats nearly the same talking points that McEnany used hours earlier during the White House briefing.After a perfunctory acknowledgement of the Woodward interview, the network quickly moves on. Donald Trump Jr. has defended the 17-year-old militia supporter accused of killing two people in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during anti-racism protests. Trump Jr. tells Extra “we all do stupid things at 17” and OAN states that Trump Jr. is “waiting for due process” before making judgments. I am getting the impression this is not a banner day for the Trump administration, though on OAN there’s no cause for concern.Trump makes his first live appearance of the day just before 4pm, when he is announcing his list of possible nominees for the Supreme Court. As he goes through his choices, I think I hear senator Josh Hawley called, but wonder if perhaps there is a judge with the same name. I hear senator Tom Cotton and Ted Cruz listed as well, and realise something strange has happened.  OAN moves past Trump’s nominations so fast that I wonder if I had misheard them, and I start to consider what other networks look like. I imagine Twitter is melting down while OAN airs a segment on Walmart considering drone delivery. I don’t know that Cotton has also tweeted “it’s time for Roe v. Wade to go” just moments after Trump named him, and OAN will never mention it for the entire time I’m watching.It is obviously an extreme to get information solely from watching OAN, let alone 16 hours of it, but it’s at least partially reflective of how conservative audiences consume news media. Right-wing audiences tend to receive their information from fewer sources than left-wing audiences, according to Pew Research Center reports, and have high degrees of trust toward those sources while distrusting established news outlets. Media analysts argue that this dynamic makes conservative audiences more susceptible to falling into right-wing echo chambers rife with misinformation.6pm to 11pm Watching OAN for this long gives you the feeling like you’re stuck in an airport in some alternate version of America where press freedom and media independence have evaporated. Even more than Fox News, it’s probably the closest the United States has to something that would feel natural in an authoritarian-leaning country.In Hungary, far-right nationalist prime minister Viktor Orban hollowed out the media to the point where most news outlets are under the control of sympathetic oligarchs who have fired or pushed out anyone critical of the government. It’s not that these outlets have stopped carrying any news, it’s that it is devalued or unreliable and only toes the party line. Meanwhile, the more extreme tabloids traffic in conspiracies and outright government propaganda, and this is what OAN’s prime-time news lineup feels like. Apart from pre-taped segments like the ones Rion and Sharp deliver, the really outlandish conspiracies and intense spin happen during OAN’s nighttime broadcasts. It takes a couple hours of coverage that includes Ohio governor Mike DeWine appearing as a guest to defend Trump over the Woodward interviews and a few ad breaks teasing “what familiar faces from the Senate” made Trump’s Supreme Court list, but by 8pm, the channel is in full swing.“When you have a cold, do we close down the country?” Lynette “Diamond” Hardaway of the duo Diamond and Silk, coronavirus conspiracy theorists and former Fox News pundits, asks OAN host Stephanie Hamill. “I’m getting real tired of science.” Diamond and Silk, who were cut from Fox News after promoting coronavirus conspiracies, go on to falsely suggest that Covid-19 death tolls are being inflated. (Medical experts believe that we are actually undercounting them.)Society’s only hope against such bad actors is the truth, in the hope that it will ultimately prevail.Hamill’s other guests include far-right conspiracy theorist Dinesh D’Souza and several other conservative activists who attack Black Lives Matter and The Atlantic, and go on to call for “strict criminal penalties” for “false rape claims” while discussing the sexual assault allegations against Trump. At one point, Hamill condemns tech platforms for taking down “second amendment groups.”“When they don’t like your ideas they call you a racist. They call you a white supremacist,” Hamill tells one guest.Hamill is followed by Liz Wheeler, whom Trump has singled out for praise on Twitter, and who hosts the show “Tipping Point” with an unblinking intensity. Wheeler’s first segment is a lengthy condemnation of an unknown Rhode Island high school civics teacher, whom she accuses of promoting “anti-Trump indoctrination” for making her students read critical articles from HuffPost, The Daily Beast and The Atlantic. This is a prime-time national news story on OAN.“This teacher is a perfect example of the rot in public schools,” Wheeler says.  “Tipping Point’s” other targets include The Atlantic (again), Kamala Harris and Facebook, which Wheeler accuses of “censoring” one of her videos that was flagged for misinformation. Wheeler’s show mercifully ends at 10 p.m., bringing up the final program of the night: “After Hours” with host Alex Salvi. Although all of OAN’s late-night talent resemble off-brand Fox News hosts, none are less convincing than Salvi, whose show has the cobbled together feel of a last-minute grade school book report.  “Tonight, Donald Trump is a Nobel Peace Prize nominee,” Salvi announces at the top of the show. Salvi claims that Trump did not win his first nomination in 2018 “despite historical precedent being on his side,” giving the nonsensical comparison of president Theodore Roosevelt winning the prize for brokering peace in the 1904 Russo-Japanese war.After playing a clip from Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show addressing the Woodward interview, Salvi goes on to dismiss Woodward as simply promoting “another resistance grifter book deal.” Republican National Committee spokesperson Cassie Smedile appears as a guest to back him up.I have now been watching OAN for over 15 straight hours, but even I take notice at Salvi’s next chyron, which reads “Christian Walker: BLM Is KKK In Blackface” and “BLM Is A Domestic Terrorist Organisation That Hurts Black Americans.” The guest is Christian Walker, son of GOP convention speaker Herschel Walker, who tells Salvi that media and elites are on “a campaign to destroy Western civilisation.”  After that hint of far-right extremism, Salvi ends his program by playing part of the trailer for Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, which he says he saw over the weekend and was “pretty entertaining to say the least.” It all feels like a fever dream, but then the next show begins with the grounding promise to reveal “what familiar faces” Trump has nominated for the Supreme Court. It’s past 11pm and I turn off OAN, knowing that the network’s churn of disinformation will begin again tomorrow and hoping that it hasn’t burrowed into my brain. Society’s only hope against such bad actors is the truth, in the hope that it will ultimately prevail.Related... Trump’s New Campaign Strategy: Declare The Election Illegitimate Trump’s Latest Coronavirus Comment Slammed As ‘So Cruel And Cynical’ Trump Keeps Retweeting An Obviously Fake Joe Biden Clip
Thinking about getting a test for Covid-19? If that’s the case, it can be hard to know where to start – after all, there’s so much information out there.Before you set about the task, here are some key testing myths that need putting to bed. Related... How To (Try To) Get A Coronavirus Test Amid Shortages 1. You should get a test if you have a runny nose or sore throat.While you should get a Covid test if you have any of the three main symptoms of Covid-19 – a continuous cough, fever, or loss of (or a change) in sense of taste or smell – you shouldn’t seek a test for other symptoms at this stage, according to government advice.Public Health England (PHE) suggests there’s been a spike in other viruses that cause the common cold, which can cause symptoms including a runny nose, sneezing and a sore throat. But people shouldn’t book tests for these kinds of symptoms.Some people reporting symptoms to the Covid-19 Tracker app might be urged to book a test for the purpose of academic research, despite having different symptoms to the three listed above. Care home residents and staff members are also able to get tested even if they don’t have symptoms.2. It’s only for adults.The Covid-19 tests available in the UK are also available to children.There are two ways to get tested: booking a visit to a test site or ordering a home testing kit. Both methods require you to self-refer via the government’s website and during this process, you’ll need to fill out an online form with some personal details. You can also book a test in this way for someone you live with who is displaying symptoms.The at-home tests, which involve a nasal and throat swab, should be carried out by an adult on children aged 11 and under. Related... When Will We Be Able To Ditch Face Masks? It’s particularly important children are tested if they have symptoms of Covid-19, as they’re less likely to be wearing face masks or social distancing at school.If your child has any of the symptoms listed above, get a test to check if they have coronavirus as soon as possible. While you wait for the test result, you and the rest of your family should self-isolate, and if the test result comes back positive, you should self-isolate as a household for 14 days. 3. If one family member becomes ill, you should all get tested.People should only get tests if they have symptoms of Covid-19, which means if you come down with symptoms and your other half doesn’t, they shouldn’t get tested but should self-isolate. If they don’t come down with symptoms, there’s a likelihood they may be asymptomatic, which means they could still spread the virus around but are not necessarily sick.You can get a test for someone you live with if they have symptoms of Covid-19, but government advice is that you shouldn’t order tests for people you live with who do not have these symptoms.4. You can have a test weeks after becoming ill.The coronavirus test widely used in the UK should be carried out within the first five days of experiencing symptoms – anything longer than that and there’s a high chance you’ll get a negative result, even if you do have Covid-19.Urgency is key, which isn’t ideal when lots of people are reporting being unable to get access to tests at all. NHS staff are being forced to stay off work and self-isolate because they cannot access coronavirus tests for themselves or family members, while some people have had to drive long distances to testing facilities, only to be turned away. Related... The Psychology Behind Why Some People Hide That They Have Covid-19 5. You can have a test for free on the NHS if you’re going abroad.Wrong. If you’re going abroad and you need to take a test beforehand for the purposes of being able to travel, you should pay for a private test rather than using the free testing service available on the NHS. Private tests can range in price from £99 right up to £195.6. The test hurts.There’s a widely held belief that having the nasal swab hurts. While it can be a bit uncomfortable or strange, it shouldn’t hurt or be painful. 7. It’s 100% accurate.Unfortunately, the test currently used across the UK can sometimes throw up false negative results – where people have Covid-19 but the test doesn’t flag it up. This could mean some people are unknowingly going about their lives and spreading the virus. It’s been suggested as many as one in five test results could throw up a false negative. Related... The Coronavirus Test Can Throw Up 'False Negative' Results – Why? That said, the test is still the best chance we’ve got of telling us how rapidly Covid-19 is spreading in the community. And it’s mostly offering a good indication of who does and doesn’t have it.It’s also worth noting your doctor might clinically diagnose you with Covid-19 even if your test comes back negative, in which case you will still need to self-isolate.8. It’s easy to get a test if you really need one. Covid-19 tests are like gold dust in some parts of the country right now, leading certain groups to be prioritised for testing – this includes at-risk groups and people living in areas where there is an outbreak.Delays have been attributed to a severe backlog in processing the tests in laboratories, where there’s inability to keep up with current demand.A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson told HuffPost UK people should check the government website at different times of the day to try and get a test. “Booking slots for Covid testing sites are made available the evening before for morning appointments, and on the morning for afternoon appointments,” they said.Related... What We Know About The Two New 90-Minute Covid-19 Tests How A 'Circuit Break' Lockdown Works – And Why It's Needed Covid Testing Chaos Sparks Fears People Could Be Forced To Pay
You’re reading The Waugh Zone, our daily politics briefing. Sign up now to get it by email in the evening. Today’s edition is by Ned Simons. Paul is away.Here We Go AgainEngland looked on the edge of new national restrictions today, as Sage warned there was “widespread growth of the epidemic” across the UK.The R-rate has jumped to between 1.1 and 1.4, up from between 1 and 1.2. The number of new infections is rising by 2% and 7% every day. More than 4,000 new coronavirus cases have been recorded for the first time since May. Keir Starmer has urged the PM to convene a meeting of Cobra and called for “swift, decisive national action”. Nicola Sturgeon has demanded the same.You also only have to look at the latest from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) infection survey to see what’s driving the worry.According to the data published today, an average of 6,000 people in England were infected per day between September 4 to 10. This is a “marked increase” on the 3,200 the previous week. The rise appears to be driven by an increase in the number of people testing positive aged 2 to 11, 17 to 24 years and 25 to 34 years.We are yet to see what impact, if any, the “rule of six” which came into force on Monday has had.The figures dropped minutes before the government confirmed local lockdowns would be enforced across parts of the North West, Midlands and West Yorkshire. From Tuesday, residents must not socialise with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens.Restaurants, pubs and bars will be restricted to table service only, while all leisure and entertainment venues including restaurants, pubs and cinemas must close between 10pm and 5am.London is about “two weeks behind” these regions when it came to infection rates, Sadiq Khan warned today, amid suggestions similar rules for the capital are on the cards.At some point it might be easier to count the areas that are not under a local lockdown than the ones that are. As Sky News points out, just under 13 million people, one in five of the UK population, are now under some form of extra controls.A short-term “circuit break” of national restrictions in England would likely see the government attempt to keep business and education up and running while clamping down on the fun stuff such as pubs and household mixing.Matt Hancock told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the “good news” was the number of cases being passed on in workplaces was “relatively low”.“Protecting the economy, protecting work and protecting education, protecting schools, these can be done alongside restrictions of our social lives,” he said.The prime minister said earlier this week a second national lockdown would be “wrong” and “disastrous”. But it’s worth remembering there is no precise definition of what a “lockdown” means.Under pressure in July over accusations the country was shut down too late, Hancock claimed the first lockdown actually began on March 16 when he told the Commons “unnecessary social contact should cease”, not March 23 when Boris Johnson said people “must” stay at home. It’s been reported restrictions could be imposed to coincide with October half-term. But that’s five weeks away. Which is a long time in pandemics.Quote Of The Day “He’s enormously, enormously vigorous.”– Matt Hancock defends the prime minister during an interview with Times RadioFriday Cheat SheetHuman rights lawyer Amal Clooney has resigned as a special UK envoy over the government’s plans to break international law over Brexit. London’s annual New Year’s Eve fireworks display will not take place this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, Sadiq Khan confirmed.The US will ban the downloads of the Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat on Sunday, with a total ban on the use of the latter, citing national security and data privacy concerns.What I’m Listening ToFiasco - The Battle for Boston tells the story of the movement to desegregate Boston’s public schools—and all the backlash that followed.
Harvey Weinstein has been stripped of his CBE.The former movie mogul was granted an honorary CBE, for his contribution to the British film industry, in 2004.The 68-year-old is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence in New York after being convicted of rape in February.A notice in The Gazette, the UK’s official public record, said: “The Queen has directed that the appointment of Harvey Weinstein to be an Honorary Commander of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, dated January 19 2004, shall be cancelled and annulled and that his name shall be erased from the Register of the said Order.”Weinstein was once one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, with credits such as Pulp Fiction, The English Patient, Good Will Hunting, Gangs Of New York and Shakespeare In Love to his name.He was the man Meryl Streep jokingly called “God” at the 2012 Golden Globes, with his films notching up more than 300 Oscar nominations.Honours can be removed on the advice of the forfeiture committee and with the approval of the Queen.The committee considers whether the holder of an honour has brought the system into disrepute.Senior Labour MP Chi Onwurah has been calling for the CBE to be removed from Weinstein since 2017, the year several women came forward to allege serious sexual misconduct.Announcing his CBE in 2004, Weinstein said at the time: “My life and my career have been greatly influenced and enriched by great British film-makers and authors and so I am especially honoured and humbled to be receiving the CBE.”Prosecutors in Los Angeles have filed a request to extradite Weinstein from New York, in a bid to try the disgraced Hollywood producer on five counts of sexual assault.If successful, it would pave the way for Weinstein to be put on trial again.READ MORE: 'This Is Taking Out The Trash': Rose McGowan Shares Powerful Message After Weinstein Verdict Harvey Weinstein Tests Positive For Coronavirus Harvey Weinstein Reportedly Said Jennifer Aniston 'Should Be Killed'
Education secretary Gavin Williamson has been warned he could face legal action from teachers after fresh Covid test-and-trace failures left schools unable to check if pupils have got the virus.The teaching union NASUWT has written to Williamson to state it could sue over a breach of a duty of care and personal injury to staff caused by the reopening of schools without proper safeguards.And in a separate letter to schools minister Nick Gibb, the union’s general secretary Patrick Roach has revealed that a dedicated testing centre for schools in Salford has had to turn away requests because of a surge in demand.Exclusive Whistleblower Exposes ‘Pathetic’ Coronavirus Test And Trace System The letter, seen by HuffPost UK, states that “the number of symptomatic pupils and staff has increased to such levels that the testing site has been unable to cope with demand and has stopped taking referrals from schools”.The union also said that in Bury, Greater Manchester, some 600 pupils are now self-isolating but testing was being overwhelmed.Roach said that the reopening “risk assessments” that all schools were advised to carry out by the government depended on a functioning test and trace system that was currently lacking.One source with knowledge of the test and trace system in Greater Manchester said that the delays in test turnarounds risked undermining the entire system of year group “bubbles” of up to 300 children, where pupils are expected to self-isolate if one of their number tests positive. “Under the current guidance, a pupil could be sent home with symptoms today, not be able to get a test until Friday and then wait another few days for the results,” they said.“Bubbles and contacts are not being isolated until the positive result is confirmed, which means that potentially, many unidentified confirmed cases remain in circulation, increasing the risks to teachers and their pupils, and, of course, the wider community.“Even if a school follows the guidance and send symptomatic pupils and staff home, they cannot implement the next stage of their risk assessment without swift testing.”In his letter, Roach said the union had “numerous examples” of problems with testing and schools operating blind when pupils were sent home with symptoms.He told Williamson that the union was “expressly reserving our members’ legal rights” in the case of a claim for breach of duty of care or personal injury due to foreseeable risks from reopening schools.Some schools have closed their doors days after reopening this term, while others have told year groups to self-isolate for two weeks following confirmed cases.Figures from the Department for Education (DfE) showed that around 92% of state schools were fully open on Thursday last week, and approximately 88% of students were back in class on the same day.But the NASUWT said the DfE had been “unable to provide any evidence on the effectiveness of the risk control measures recommended in your guidance to schools.”The union also released an online snapshot poll of its 900 members conducted over the past two weeks, suggesting that nearly a third (31%) do not have access to soap and water for themselves and their pupils.Exclusive Boris Johnson Told To Fund Cleaners To Keep Classrooms Covid-Secure It found that just 18% had hand sanitiser in every classroom and only a quarter had one-way systems or staggered start times for pupils.The majority (55%) of teachers said they did not believe the Covid-19 safety measures introduced by their school were “sufficient and effective”.The letter adds: “We also seek confirmation from you that you have obtained assurances that the implementation by schools of your decisions on the reopening of schools are not in breach of schools’ legal obligations relating to health and safety, employment or equalities.“Therefore, the NASUWT is putting the Government on notice by expressly reserving our members’ legal rights in the context of a tortious claim for breach of duty of care and personal injury due to foreseeable risk, and any other legal recourse available.”In the letter, Dr Roach insisted: “For the avoidance of doubt, the NASUWT is and remains committed to ensuring that schools remain open safely.”A DfE spokesperson said: “Schools have implemented a range of protective measures, based on the Public Health England endorsed ‘system of controls’, which create an inherently safer system to minimise the risks of transmission.“This includes reducing mixing and distancing where possible, including by staggering break and lunch times, as well as increasing the frequency of cleaning and handwashing.“Figures show that on September 10 99.9% of state-funded schools were open to pupils, and we will continue to work closely with schools to ensure all appropriate steps are taken to keep pupils and staff safe.”Related... Why Boris Johnson Will U-Turn On Policy – But Not Failing Ministers Risk Of More A-Level Chaos In 2021 If Government Doesn't Plan For Exams Delay, Labour Warns Gavin Williamson Overruled Advice Not To Cancel Exams, Says Ofqual Chair
Coronavirus merchandise is here – but we’re unsure who on earth is buying it.Designers are upping the ante with extortionate face shields and masks, while  online retailers are busy making questionable slogan tees and jumpers. If you’ve got cash to spend, there’s no shortage of people willing to take it.Here are seven items you’re better off leaving on the (digital) shelf: Louis Vuitton’s Pricey PPE Louis Vuitton is set to launch a designer face shield, with a price tag of $961 (£747), according to Vanity Fair. The shield is described as “an eye-catching headpiece, both stylish and protective”. It can also be flipped upwards and worn as a peaked hat, for people who aren’t satisfied with only looking slightly ridiculous. The pricey PPE will be in stores worldwide from October 30.Virus cufflinks Who wants to be reminded of a deadly virus every time they look at their hands? These cufflinks are just bizarre, but the novelty site CafePress is also selling some with the slogan “wear a damn mask”, which we can (just about) get on board with.  Anything with ‘survivor’ onThere are way too many “Covid-19 Survivor” items on sale, like this hoodie currently available on Amazon. Firstly, insensitive much? Secondly, we’re still in the midst of a pandemic, don’t count your chickens... Mask chainsA number of retailers are selling “mask chains” – essentially glasses cords, repurposed for the pandemic so you don’t forget your face mask. The product above is by the jewellery designer Billie Simone and retails for a whopping $228 (£177). That’s a lot to pay to have your mask flapping around – and it’s definitely not the correct way to store it.Leather face masks Designer Candice Cuoco has a collection of leather face masks on sale at Selfridges. The one above is priced at £75. One word: sweaty. Corona birthday mug Remember when we all thought everything would be okay if we just kept singing ‘Happy Birthday’ while washing our hands? Please, do not buy anyone this depressing reminder. The worst Christmas jumper. EverCorona Christmas is coming to town – and we don’t need a reminder with this premature jumper, thank you very much. It’s being sold on NotOnTheHighStreet for £32.99 and we fear it’s the first of many. READ MORE: When Will We Be Able To Ditch Face Masks? The Rule Of Six: All Your Questions, Answered How Introverts And Extroverts Handle The Pandemic Differently
Covid-19 cases are rising in the UK. We’re watching government briefings, navigating new restrictions on our social lives and speculating – without any certainty – where we’ll be in a few months’ time. We’ve been here before. The past fortnight has eerily resembled early March, when rumours circulated that a nationwide lockdown was imminent, but we had no idea what it would entail – or how long it would last.This time, though, we’re painfully aware of how difficult it is to be cut off from friends, family and normality for a sustained period of time.“It’s one thing to be faced with lockdown, but another to be faced with the possibility of doing it all over again,” psychologist Dr Tara Quinn-Cirillo tells HuffPost UK. “Like standing at the bottom of a mountain we just climbed and have to climb again.”READ MORE: Why You Should Embrace Autumn, Even If You're Feeling A Little Wobbly News of a possible second wave may produce feelings of fear or anxiety, adds Dr Quinn-Cirillo, especially for those with pre-existing mental health issues, who’ve only just been able to reconnect with their support networks. Having new restrictions imposed, such as the six-person rule, could be a “traumatic experience” for many people, adds counsellor and psychotherapist Lucy Fuller. “The new announcement has also taken us back to the idea that we don’t know how the future will look as there is no given date when restrictions can lift again,” she tells HuffPost UK. “This put us back into a state of not-knowing for a second time, which can feel unbearable.”  The feeling couldn’t juxtapose the joy of the past two months more, where we ate out “to help out”, got some long-awaited haircuts and spent some carefree time with our grandparents again, breathing a collected sigh of relief. READ MORE: The Rule Of Six: All Your Questions, Answered Anxiety may be mixed with frustration for some because of the recent happier times, points out Dr Quinn-Cirillo. Facing new restrictions can feel like an unjust consequence of following the rules, for those who’ve diligently worn face masks and abided by social distancing. “What we know about human behaviour is adhering to rules is dependent on many factors, including how we are rewarded for sticking to the rules,” she says. “Many of us were of the belief that sticking to the rules in lockdown and in the weeks after would be rewarded with a more gradual loosening of restrictions. Fairness also plays a huge part in rule compliance.”Some have questioned the fairness of the “rule of six” in relation to family life, when larger groups are being encouraged to gather in the workplace or at pubs and gyms. “When we’re faced with a lack of clarity or clear rationale on how and why we should behave in a certain way, this can impact on our emotional wellbeing,” adds Dr Quinn-Cirillo. READ MORE: How To Force A September Reset During This Chaotic Year So, what can we do to improve our feelings towards the latest restrictions and concerns for the winter months to come? Simply acknowledging your feelings of uncertainty is a good place to start, says Dr Quinn-Cirillo. “Trying to ‘battle’ to ‘get rid’ of your unwanted feelings can be emotionally and physically exhausting,” she says. “Try making room for them instead.”Next, you should aim to live in the present moment. “Try your best to focus on what you are able to do, rather than what you are not able to do,” says Fuller. “This is difficult, but the circumstances of the ‘six rule’ are actually very different to the strict lockdown we were subjected to back in March.”One positive step is to make plans that abide by the rule of six. If you’re worried about the virus, focus on keeping face-to-face contact with those you’re closest to as best you can, says Fuller. Turn down invitations you’re not comfortable with, but stay connected with those you love most. “It would be easy to throw away all your plans and fester in your angry and frustrated feelings, but that would be a step backwards,” she says. It would be easy to throw away all your plans and fester in your angry and frustrated feelings, but that would be a step backwards.psychologist Dr Tara Quinn-CirilloIf you’re hit by a wave of panic, try a grounding exercise to bring you back to  the present moment. “Take a deep slow breath in through your nose and out again through your mouth,” suggests Dr Quinn-Cirillo. “Try and name three things you can see, hear, smell. Push your feet into the floor and focus on how it feels. Find what coping style works for you.” Now is not the time to skimp on everyday self-care, she adds, so make sure you’re getting the basics right. “Keep hydrated, well nourished through healthy mindfully chosen food. Exercise as often as you can as this is proven to positively impact on your emotional wellbeing,” she says. “Even just a short walk, cycle ride or run, playing a game in an outside space with your children.”Finally, be kind to yourself – you’ve navigated a hell of a lot over the last six months and it’s okay if your resilience is reaching its limits. “Take time to acknowledge this and take pressure off yourself where you can,” Dr Quinn-Cirillo says. “This may be reducing chores, deadlines, or asking for support from others.”READ MORE: Yes, We've Been On Holiday In The Pandemic – Don't Shame Us How To Prepare For The Uncertainty Of A Recession What We Know About The Long-Term Impact Of 'Mild' Covid-19 Useful websites and helplinesMind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393.Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill).CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably) offer a helpline open 5pm-midnight, 365 days a year, on 0800 58 58 58, and a webchat service.The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email [email protected] Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0300 5000 927 (Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on rethink.org.
Verizon has partnered with the NFL to offer live viewing parties and AR replay features during the season which kicks off today. Like everything this year, football will be very different courtesy of COVID-19. The draft was held virtually for the first time. Between August 30th and September 5th, there were 44,510 tests administered to... Read more » The post Verizon partners with the NFL to offer live viewing parties and AR replays appeared first on Telecoms Tech News.
The feature will eventually extend to a variety of sporting and music events.
Here are the top media and advertising stories from Business Insider for September 10.
I don’t think I’ve witnessed the levels of excitement in my house the night before schools started after lockdown... ever. Perhaps at Christmas Eve, or the night my daughter hosted a sleepover for her eighth birthday. That came close. But it was nothing compared to the giddy euphoria of my little girl preparing for going back to primary school after six months at home. She worried she wouldn’t be able to sleep the night before because she was too excited and she couldn’t stop talking about seeing her friends. She asked me to read her the email I’d received from her headteacher, which laid out the ways school would be different – temperature guns at the gate, individual desks facing the front, rather than blocks of children sitting together – five times. She carefully laid out her school uniform (which is all new, because she’s grown so much since March) on the floor, ready to put on the next morning. And she even created a ‘20-point plan’ for the way she hoped and expected the hour before school to go down. Related... 'My Biggest Concern Is A Sudden Outbreak': How Teachers Feel About Schools Reopening It began with point 1: “Mummy wakes me up at 7.30am” – which is, in itself, a revelation. For the past six months, we’ve relaxed bedtimes, and she’s been waking up naturally around 8.30am. We needn’t have worried about this one, though – she was so excited, she was dressed by 7:32 (after point 2 on her list: “shower” and point 3: “dry”, of course). She had everything accounted for – from point 11, “brush my teeth”, to point 14, which consisted of helping her little brother put his “bike helmit on” (sic). And the points that really warmed my heart? The final three: “18. Feel excited. 19. Get ready, and 20. GO TO SCHOOL!”Seeing my daughter create a blow-by-blow schedule, in anticipation of the return to school, showed me just how much our kids want to be “back to normal”. Related... 'Collect Child, Leave Immediately': The Loss Of The Playground Pick-Up Buzz We’re still in the midst of a global pandemic, with infection rates going up in parts of the world and local lockdowns reimposed. We’ve taken the necessary precautions, however uncomfortable they’ve made us: quarantine and self-isolation, homeschooling, social distancing, shielding and wearing face masks.At times, it’s felt impossible. Research tells us the mental health of parents has suffered during the pandemic – mothers, particularly; who bore the brunt of homeschooling. A third of women reported the stress of teaching their children during lockdown had affected their mental health.But just as much as it’s affected mums, dads and carers, it’s also had a substantial effect on our kids. The ONS analysed the results of a survey of more than 12,000 British parents between April 3 and June 7, which asked them about their experiences of homeschooling during the pandemic, and more than two in five said their children’s wellbeing has been adversely affected.Hopefully, our kids won’t suffer long-term – but what my daughter’s reaction taught me is that a return to school, if done safely, is, in many ways, a blessing. Related... Here's How To Make The First Day Back At School Easier For Kids As for how it went? Well, she ticked off all of her 20 points with a marker pen as she did them – though I did scupper things, slightly, when I told her I didn’t want to wear a coat, contravening point 16: “Mummy puts her coat on”.She couldn’t stop chattering on the 10-minute walk to school – she was so giddy, she even asked if she could “do a cartwheel in the street” (I said yes to a cartwheel, but no to the splits). We saw a friend of hers on the other side of the road, and it was as though they’d met at the end of a long voyage at sea – which, in a way, they have. They threw their arms around each other immediately and held hands all the way to school, which I wasn’t too worried about, seeing as they’re in the same “class bubble”. It was refreshing for me to see parent pals I’ve missed dearly during lockdown, too. The only thing I couldn’t do was hug them hello. September is always a poignant time – the start of the academic year, the scent of autumn in the air. But as Britain slowly wakes up to the sound of children chattering excitedly on the way to the classroom, what it really brings with it is a renewed, if fragile, sense of normality – and hope. Related... Matt Hancock Hopes For Mass Coronavirus Testing By End Of Year I Took One Of My Kids On A 'Love Bombing' Trip. Here's Why. Dorset Secondary School Says Pupils Must Wear Face Masks In Class
If you’re already dreaming of trips you can take next year to make up for the holidays you lost in 2020, you’ll want to make the most of your annual leave. Thankfully, Rachel Evans, a HR director from health and wellness brand GearHungry, has done the maths for you to help you almost double your leave from work, while only using your allocated allowance. You can turn 28 days (20 days holiday, plus eight bank holidays) into 53, she reckons. Dreamy!Essentially, you need to book your days off around bank holidays and weekends, she says, so you accumulate large periods of time off as opposed to a few days here and there.Related... 7 Of The Trendiest Hostels In The UK Right Now An overview: the 2021 bank holidays are:Friday January 1 – New Year’s DayFriday April 2 – Good FridayMonday April 5 – Easter MondayMonday May 3 – May bank holidayMonday May 31 – Spring bank holidayMonday August 30 – Summer bank holidayMonday December 27 – Christmas DayTuesday December 28 – Boxing DayApril: Turn eight days into 16 Book eight days annual leave in two small chunks from March 29 to April 1, then April 6-9 – and, as you have two bank holidays on the April 2 and April 5, you’ll get 16 consecutive days away from work, including three weekends. You’ll end up with time off from March 27, to April 11. May: Turn eight days into 19. The UK has an early bank holiday that can turn your four-day break to nine, says Evans, if you book off from Tuesday May 4 to Friday May 9. Consecutively, you’ll be off from May 1-9. And then, at the end of the month, you can do the same thing with the bank holiday on the 31. Book off June 1 to June 4, and get nine consecutive days off from May 29 - June 6.August: Turn four days into nine.The summer bank holiday falls on Monday August 30, so if you take time off from Tuesday August 31 to Friday September 3, you’ll get nine days away from work overall. December: Turn three days into 10.  The Christmas bank holidays fall on Monday 27 and Tuesday 28 of December, so for a few extra days off, book off December 29 and 31 to give you 10 days out the office. Related... How To Staycation In Your Local Area. No Travelling Required. Would You Work From Abroad, Instead Of Home? These People Do 8 Of The Best Glamping Sites In The UK For Truly Cosy Campers
The first Thursday of September has long been known as “Super Thursday” in UK publishing: the day in the calendar when the largest number of new titles hit the shelves, with booksellers hoping to entice readers hunkering down for autumn with a cup of tea and a good book. Or two. Or 10.This year, no thanks to Covid-19 and months of lockdown, Super Thursday’s book pile is teetering like a Jenga tower – with all the launches that were scheduled for summer festivals and holiday reading held over and added to an already chocabloc autumn list. More than 600 hardbacks alone are being published on September 3, the Guardian reported.With so many reads to choose from, we thought we’d ask booksellers which ones have them most excited. Here’s their rundown of the class of 2020 – from debut authors to more familiar names. Just don’t forget the joys of browsing for yourself. Visit your local bookshop and they’ll be sure to help you find more.Related... These Are All The Books Brits Have Been Reading During Lockdown 9 New Releases For Fiction FansAs recommended by Bea Carvalho, fiction buyer at Waterstones.1) Who They Was – Gabriel Krauze“2020 has seen an incredibly strong selection of debut voices, as showcased by the Booker longlist which includes a majority of eight debuts including Kiley Reid’s Such a Fun Age, C Pam Zhang’s How Much of These Hills is Gold, and Brandon Taylor’s Real Life. Hitting the shelves on Super Thursday with a Booker longlisting already under its belt, Gabriel Krauze’s debut is one of the year’s most hotly anticipated. This unflinching portrayal of violence on London’s streets is a highly original piece of fiction from an exciting, authentic new voice.”2)  On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous – Ocean Vuong“The poet’s debut novel was one of last year’s most celebrated works of literary fiction, and this new edition promises to be one of 2020’s biggest paperbacks. A triumphant work of self-discovery which ponders the immigrant experience and barriers of language, sexuality, and race with compassion and urgency.”3) The Thursday Murder Club –  Richard Osman“Pointless star Richard Osman’s debut novel sees a group of octogenarian amateur sleuths attempting to solve a murder from their usually peaceful retirement village. Smart, funny, and filled with killer one-liners, this is a thoroughly contemporary take on a classic murder mystery.”4) Daddy – Emma Cline“The debut short story collection from the author of The Girls is filled with dark, understated gems which will thrill fans of her novel. Interrogating gender roles, familial relationships, and the latent violence in every day interactions, this is a tense and assured collection from an author with a rare knack for characterisation.”5) Your House Will Pay – Steph Cha“Steph Cha’s UK debut arrived earlier this year but Super Thursday sees its paperback release. This striking, confident thriller about two families on either sides of the LA race riots in the 1990s is at once a powerful cross-generational family saga and an urgent examination of racial politics.”6) Sad Janet – Lucie Britsch“A whipsmart, biting piece of tragicomedy which manages to inspire real laughter while celebrating sadness. Hilarious, profound and deeply refreshing, Lucie Britsch’s acerbic, pitch-perfect writing will appeal to fans of Ottessa Moshfegh.”7) Love Orange – Natasha Randall“Natasha Randall expertly deconstructs the narrative of the American Dream in this satirical 21st century family saga. A shrewd, witty novel which skewers modern life to vivid, discomforting effect.” 8) The Night of the Flood – Zoe Summerville“A taught, evocative literary thriller which conjures 1950s Norfolk and the mirrored tensions of a love triangle and a fateful storm to dazzling effect.” 9) The Silver Arrow – Lev Grossman“The fantasy author makes his children’s debut with this magical adventure of derring-do, in which two siblings journey aboard a steam train with a mind of its own. A fun new direction for Grossman, introducing his writing to younger readers.’Related... All The Independent Bookshops Still Delivering During Lockdown, Mapped 4 More From An Indie BookstoreAs recommended by Jonathan Main from Bookseller Crow, London SE19.10) Laura Laura by Richard Francis“Richard Francis is one of the UK’s most underrated novelists.”11) To Cook A Bear – Mikael Niemi“Brilliant Swedish historical crime fiction.”12) The Glass Kingdom – Lawrence Osbourne“A sinister and claustrophobic story set in Bangkok.”13) New Daughters of Africa by Margaret Busby“A long awaited paperback, following the £35 hardback earlier in the year.”Related... Why Poetry Matters, Plus 3 Great Collections To Get You Started 9 Cracking Reads From Across The GenresAs recommended by Emma Bradshaw, head of campaigns at the Booksellers Association14) The Wild Silence – Raynor Winn“Raynor Winn’s debut, The Salt Path, was shortlisted for the bookseller-curated Books Are My Bag readers awards, and was a big hit with customers. We’re excited for her second book, The Wild Silence, another true tale of triumph over adversity.”15) Fattily Ever After: A Fat, Black Girl’s Guide to Living Life Unapologetically – Stephanie Yeboah“The first novel from body-positivity advocate and blogger sensation, Stephanie Yeboah, Fattily Ever After is definitely one to pre-order.”16) The Harpy – Megan Hunter“Megan Hunter’s first novel, The End We Start From, was shortlisted for the ‘Books Are My Bag’ readers awards. This hotly anticipated dark fairy tale, The Harpy, is independent booksellers’ fiction book of the month.”17) Duty of Care: One NHS Doctor’s Story of Courage and Compassion on the Covid-19 Frontline – Dominic Pimenta“The first book from a doctor on the Covid-19 frontline, with all royalties going straight to the Heroes charity to support and protect healthcare workers.”18) Us Three – Ruth JonesHaving made her name as the creator and star of Gavin & Stacey, Ruth Jones made her move into the book world with her bestselling debut Never Greener. An engrossing tale of friendship, Us Three is her anticipated second novel.19) A Girl Made of Air – Nydia Hetherington“For fans of Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus and The Binding by Bridget Collins, this magical debut from actress-turned-writer Nydia Hetherington is just the kind of book to curl up and escape to as the days get shorter.”20) Fake Law: The Truth About Justice in an Age of Lies – The Secret Barrister:“A previous Books Are My Bag award-winner, we’re very excited to get our hands on a copy of The Secret Barrister’s second book.”21) Tamarind & the Star of Ishta – Jasbinder Bilan“Following the success of Jasbinder Bilan’s first spellbinding children’s book, which won a Costa award, we expect her second, set in the Himalayas, to be another magical adventure for young readers. Independent bookshops across will be celebrating it as their children’s book of the month for September, too.”22) Confessions of a Bookseller – Shaun Bythell“Booksellers are hugely excited about the paperback release of this memoir by one of their own. Lifting the lid on what it’s really like to be a bookseller in the UK, it’s a must read for anyone who’s ever dreamed of working in a bookshop.”Bookshops across the country will be celebrating Bookshop Day on Saturday October 3.Related... How To Survive A Pandemic, According To These Fictional Characters 9 Classic Books To Read On Your Holiday – Or Staycation We Must Talk Diversity With Our Kids. Here's Where To Start.
Boris Johnson should block former Brexit MEP Claire Fox from being given a seat in the House of Lords rather than accuse Keir Starmer of being silent over support for the IRA, Labour has said.In angry exchanges during PMQs on Wednesday, the prime minister accused the Labour leader of having “supported an IRA-condoning politician” when Jeremy Corbyn led the party.Starmer, a former director of public prosecutions, demanded Johnson withdraw the comment.“When the prime minister has worked with the intelligence and security forces prosecuting criminals and terrorists he can lecture me,” he said.Following the exchanges, a spokesperson for Starmer said: “One thing we would remind the prime minister is that he has the power to block Claire Fox being nominated as a member of the House of Lords.“So if he wants to take any action on this issue we suggest he does that.”Fox was recently handed a peerage by Johnson. Before signing up to Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party in 2019, she was a leading of member of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP).On March 20, 1993, an IRA bombing in Warrington killed Tim Parry, 12, and Jonathan Ball, three, and injured 56 others.The RCP defended the bombing and the “the right of the Irish people to take whatever measures necessary in their struggle for freedom”. Tim Parry’s father, Colin Parry, said at the time that offering a peerage to Fox “offends me and many others deeply”.We all do and say things when young that we later regret. @clairefox never apologised for defending the IRA bombing of Warrington which took the life of my son Tim and Johnathan Ball. Now she is offered a Peerage. This offends me and many others deeply— Colin Parry OBE (@ColinParryPeace) August 1, 2020Fox has previously said she has the “greatest sympathy” for the Parry family but has not gone as far as apologising.“My personal politics and views are well known and I have never sought to disguise them, though on this issue they have remained unaired for many years,” she said when asked about her political views at the time of the 2019 European elections.“Whatever the rights and wrongs, the history of Ireland has been marked by tragedy and I acknowledge that without hesitation and with genuine feeling for all involved.”The PMQs argument came after Starmer said Johnson’s government was responsible for “mess after mess”.“U-turn after U-turn, it’s a fundamental issue of competence, God knows what’s going on, there’s no grip,” he said.In reply, Johnson said: “This is a leader of the opposition who backed remaining in the EU and now is totally silent on the subject, now has performed a U-turn. He backed – in fact he still does Mr Speaker – this is a leader of the opposition who supported an IRA-condoning politician who wanted to get out of Nato and now says absolutely nothing.”The prime minister’s comments were cut off by the speaker who called for order.Related... Government U-Turns Again By Reversing Plans To Ease Local Lockdowns In Manchester 12 U-Turns Boris Johnson's Government Has Been Forced To Make During The Pandemic Gavin Williamson Overruled Advice Not To Cancel Exams, Says Ofqual Chair
Not content with hosting one online festival in a pandemic year, How The Light Gets In is doing it again – only this time it’s going global across three continents.Following the success of its first virtual edition in May 2020, the philosophy and music festival returns for a fresh weekend of live debate and performance on 19-20 September, with a programme of more than 200 online events across eight stages, curated and hosted from London, New York and Delhi.Nobel prizewinners, academics, politicians and journalists will be joined by the mix of musicians and comedians How the Light Gets In regulars have come to expect – all appearing in a purpose-built festival site on Zoom.Related... How The Light Gets In: What A Festival Looks Like In Lockdown The online arena has been designed to emulate the conviviality and serendipity of the festival’s biannual editions in Hay-on-Wye and London – with a chance to mingle with old friends, make new ones and chew the fat with speakers after each of the live sessions. There’s even an after-hours disco.HuffPost UK once again returns as How The Light Gets In media partner, with journalists from its international editions hosting select panels and interviews.Paul Waugh, HuffPost UK’s executive editor of politics, and writer of The Waugh Zone, will be chairing the ‘Dreams, Delusions and Class Interests’ panel, overseeing Conservative cabinet Minister Kwasi Kwarteng, Labour MP Dawn Butler and satirist PJ O’Rourke wrestling with the relevance of class and whether “left” and “right” are still good ways to split up politics.Rachel Moss, life reporter and co-presenter of HuffPost UK’s weekly podcast about women’s health, bodies and private lives, Am I Making You Uncomfortable? will be interviewing human rights activist Bianca Jagger. Aman Sethi, editor-in-chief of HuffPost India, will be hosting ‘Tomorrow’s World’, a debate weighing up technology both as a threat and solution, with Oxford transhumanist Anders Sandberg, inventor and green technologist, Priyadarshini Karve, and director of Big Brother Watch, Silkie Carlo. You can browse the full programme for HowTheLightGetsIn Global 2020 here and book your tickets and festival passes here.Related... Introducing Black Voices UK – Our New Video Series Hosted By Yinka Bokinni Partying In A Pandemic: Why The Rave Scene Is Experiencing A Resurgence Am I Making You Uncomfortable? – Introducing Our New Weekly Podcast
A man has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of 39 migrants who were found dead in the back of a lorry in Essex last October. Ronan Hughes, 40, from Co Armagh in Northern Ireland, appeared at the Old Bailey on Friday after being extradited from the Republic of Ireland in July. He was one of several men accused of being part of a people-smuggling ring linked to the deaths of the 39 migrants last October.Prosecutors said he played a leading role in the operation by allowing his trailers and drivers to be used in human trafficking.The bodies of 39 Vietnamese nationals were found in the trailer of a lorry on an industrial estate in Grays on October 23, 2019, after it landed at Purfleet in Essex from the Belgian port of Zeebrugge.Among the men, women and children found dead were 10 teenagers, including two 15-year-old boys.An inquest has heard the victims’ cause of death was asphyxia (a lack of oxygen) and hyperthermia (overheating) in an enclosed space.Related... Lorry Driver Maurice Robinson Pleads Guilty To Manslaughter Of 39 People Opinion: Priti Patel Must Recognise Channel Crossings Are Not A Crisis Of Movement But Of Cooperation Exclusive: Priti Patel 'Breaking The Law' By 'Detaining' Lone Children Who Cross The Channel
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