Headlines UK

Rishi Sunak ‘in Cabinet row over extra Universal Credit cash’

Downing Street has insisted it is ‘not the right and proper moment’ to decide if a £20-a-week Universal Credit increase should be kept in place after Boris Johnson told Tory MPs to abstain on a crunch Labour vote tonight.  

The Government rolled-out the extra cash last year to help families through the coronavirus pandemic but the policy is due to expire in April. 

The Prime Minister’s Press Secretary, Allegra Stratton, said at lunchtime that a firm decision has not yet been taken on whether the increased payments will be extended. 

She said Chancellor Rishi Sunak will ‘come forward when he thinks the time is right’ to deliver a final verdict, with ministers having hinted that moment will be the Budget on March 3. 

Labour will try to force a symbolic vote on keeping the payments this evening after holding an opposition day debate on the matter.  

But Downing Street has labelled the move a ‘political stunt’, with Mr Johnson telling Conservative MPs to abstain. 

The PM has claimed Sir Keir Starmer is ‘playing politics’ and accused Labour ‘trolls’ of ‘intimidating and threatening’ Tory MPs on the issue. 

Mr Johnson said similar votes in the past had been ‘misrepresented’ by Labour and he did not want to risk that happening again. 

However, a number of Tory MPs are still expected to rebel and vote with Labour.  

Mr Sunak is said to be at the centre of a Cabinet row on whether to extend the payments.  

The Chancellor reportedly wants to scrap the increase because he believes that if it remains in place there is a risk it could become permanent at a cost to the Treasury of approximately £6billion per year. 

Tory MPs have demanded Mr Sunak keep the extra payments until the UK is clear of the Covid-19 crisis while Cabinet ministers, led by Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey, are also urging him to look at extending the policy. 

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is reportedly facing a Cabinet row over whether to extend a £20-a-week increase in Universal Credit payments 

Boris Johnson has instructed Tory MPs to abstain when Labour forces votes on Universal Credit and free school meals today

Boris Johnson has instructed Tory MPs to abstain when Labour forces votes on Universal Credit and free school meals today

Boris Johnson compares Labour ‘trolls’ to Trump supporters ‘inciting hatred’ as he accuses them of ‘intimidating and threatening’ Tory MPs over Universal Credit vote

Boris Johnson has accused Labour ‘trolls’ of ‘intimidating and threatening’ Tory MPs on the crunch issues of Universal Credit and free school meals. 

Labour is set to force symbolic votes on the two issues in the House of Commons this evening but Mr Johnson has instructed his Conservative MPs to abstain. 

He reportedly said similar votes in the past had been ‘misrepresented’ and he did not want to risk that happening again. 

Labour will hold opposition day debates in a bid to force the Government to keep a £20-a-week increase in Universal Credit in place and to demand the extension of the free school meals programme. 

The votes that follow the debates are not binding but Mr Johnson has told Tory MPs that he is wary of what could happen if his colleagues were to vote against the motions. 

According to The Sun, Mr Johnson told Tory MPs in a WhatsApp message sent yesterday that he knew many would be ‘thirsting to give battle’ to Labour.

He continued: ‘But after the shameful way in which they used their army of momentum trolls last time to misrepresent the outcome and to lie about its meaning and frankly to intimidate and threaten colleagues – especially female colleagues – I have decided not to give them that opportunity.’ 

Mr Johnson accused Labour of ‘playing politics’ and of ‘inciting the worst kind of hatred and bullying (of a kind seen sadly across the Atlantic)’.

Ms Stratton sought at lunchtime to explain Mr Johnson’s decision to tell Tory MPs to abstain on today’s vote. 

She said: ‘He is asking people to abstain because today is not the right and proper moment for the Government to be talking about Universal Credit and the £20 uplift.

‘We have always said, the Chancellor has said repeatedly, that he will be coming back to the House in due course with his decision on what should be done with the £20 uplift that is due to end at the end of March.’

Asked why the Government does not simply make a decision now, Ms Stratton said: ‘The Chancellor is constantly filtering the latest up to date information on the economic and health context.

‘That is what he has been doing throughout the pandemic. He has always said he and the Prime Minister will do whatever it takes. That remains true.

‘He is monitoring that data and will come forward when he thinks the time is right.’

She added: ‘We haven’t said whether or not we will continue [with the uplift]. The Chancellor will be coming forward in due course.’ 

Mr Johnson would not be drawn on whether the policy will be extended, telling the BBC during a visit this afternoon:  ‘I think you have heard me say that we will want to support people throughout the pandemic.

‘We want to make sure that people don’t suffer as a result of the economic consequences of the pandemic.

‘When you look at what the Government has done to provide £280billion worth of support, the furlough scheme, the bounce back loans, colossal investment, probably more than most other comparable countries.

‘I don’t think you could fault the Government for supporting people. We will continue to do that.’ 

Sir Keir labelled Mr Johnson’s decision to tell Tory MPs to abstain ‘pathetic’. 

He told ITV’s Lorraine: ‘If he’s going to call it a stunt, he should probably come with me to a food distribution centre to see these families this morning and explain to them what is a lifeline to them is a stunt, because it certainly isn’t from their point of view.

‘I actually think in their heart of hearts, quite a lot of Tory MPs know that cutting this money to people who desperately need it in the middle of a pandemic is the wrong thing to do, they know that, they probably want to vote with us but because of the tribal way we do politics, they can’t.

‘The Prime Minister’s now saying in answer to the question: ‘Do you think this uplift should stay or not?’ he’s saying: ‘I don’t want to say yes and I don’t want to say no, so we’re going to abstain’. He’s got no view on whether it should stay or not – that’s pretty pathetic.’

The Times reported that Mr Sunak, Mr Johnson and Ms Coffey met on Friday to look at alternatives to the Universal Credit uplift but no decisions have been made.

One option which is said to be under consideration is to replace the increased payments with a one-off payment of £500. The uplift is currently worth more than £1,000 a year.  

A final decision is not expected to be announced until Mr Sunak delivers the Budget on March 3. 

A Whitehall source suggested Mr Sunak will be isolated in the Cabinet if he does try to scrap the extra payments, telling Politico: ‘The Chancellor is about to find himself on his own. Read the room Rishi.’        

But allies of the Chancellor have pointed to the cost of keeping the policy as they argued it cannot continue indefinitely. 

One Tory official said: ‘As conservatives, we know that work is the best way out of poverty. It’s time we reminded ourselves of that.’ 

However, Labour has highlighted that many Universal Credit claimants are already in work. 

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner tweeted: ‘2.2m recipients of UC are *working* & 70% of children in poverty are in working families. The problem is poverty pay.’ 

The Government is under pressure from its own backbenches to keep the extra £20-a-week payments in place. 

The Northern Research Group, which consists of 65 Tory MPs from the north of England, north Wales and Scotland, has called for the payments to be kept until lockdown restrictions have been lifted. 

Speaking on behalf of the NRG, Conservative MP John Stevenson said: ‘The £1,000 uplift to universal credit has been a real life-saver for people throughout this pandemic. 

‘To end it now would be devastating for the 6million individuals and families who are already struggling to stay afloat.

‘Equally, replacing the current system with a £500 one-off-payment which is half the amount people have been receiving and would exclude the estimated 800,000 people expected to become unemployed in the second quarter of 2021 after the job retention scheme stops will not be sufficient.

‘It would see many people falling through the gaps and would damage our economic recovery.

‘That is why the NRG are once again calling on the Chancellor to extend the Universal Credit uplift until restrictions are lifted, to ensure that individuals and families who have been worst affected by this pandemic are supported through our recovery with the security they need.’

Mr Johnson has accused Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer of 'playing politics' on the issue of Universal Credit

Mr Johnson has accused Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer of ‘playing politics’ on the issue of Universal Credit

Tory former work and pensions secretary Stephen Crabb said he intends to vote with Labour, arguing that withdrawing the increase ‘will cause hardship to families’.

Mr Crabb told the BBC it will be the first time he has rebelled against the Tory party whip.

‘I just feel very, very strongly that the current Treasury plan, which is to withdraw that additional amount of money at the end of March, will cause hardship to families, there’s no question about that,’ he said.

Senior Tory backbencher Robert Halfon, who chairs the Education Select Committee, said Universal Credit has been ‘invaluable for millions of people during the lockdown’.

‘Depending on what the Government says later, I am most likely to vote for the Labour motion unless the Government makes it absolutely clear it will be extending,’ he told the BBC.

Labour will hold the opposition day debate this afternoon in a bid to force the Government to keep the payments and to demand the extension of the free school meals programme. 

The votes that follow the debates are non-binding but Mr Johnson has told Tory MPs to abstain because he is wary of what could happen if they vote against the motions.

According to The Sun, Mr Johnson told Tory MPs in a WhatsApp message sent yesterday that he knew many would be ‘thirsting to give battle’ to Labour.

He continued: ‘But after the shameful way in which they used their army of momentum trolls last time to misrepresent the outcome and to lie about its meaning and frankly to intimidate and threaten colleagues – especially female colleagues – I have decided not to give them that opportunity.’ 

Mr Johnson accused Labour of ‘playing politics’ and of ‘inciting the worst kind of hatred and bullying (of a kind seen sadly across the Atlantic)’.

Headline USA

Why Workers Who Should Get An Extra $ 100 Unemployment Benefit Are Unlikely To Finally Get It | The State

It is unknown if states have started paying that extra amount of money.


Given the new legislation that includes in addition to the delivery second stimulus check of $ 600 dollars, some workers who earn income from both traditional sources and self-employment are entitled to an additional $ 100 plus the extra $ 300 in weekly unemployment benefits.

Until now it is unknown if states have started to pay that extra amount because it is more difficult to program and requires workers to submit additional documentation.

“It’s really unlikely that they are paying the extra $ 100,” he said. Michele evermore, Policy Analyst for the National Employment Law Project at Yahoo Money. “People have to figure out how to get that information.”

In order to qualify for the benefit, workers must earn at least $ 5,000 dollars in self-employment income on an annual basis, but it is not yet clear how states will accept the new documentation, according to Evermore. The $ 100 additional dollars They will be available to unemployed workers until March 14.

Of the $ 900,000 million of legislation, around $ 120,000 million they have been destined for the unemployment system, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

In addition to the extra weekly benefits, the stimulus agreement also extends the original benefits of the PUA and PEUC program. for 11 weeks and exempts from overpayments for some programs.

In some states, workers receiving PUA and PEUC benefits may still see a lapse in their regular unemployment benefit payments, in addition to the $ 300 extra dollars a week, because the legislation was signed one day after some of the federal programs expired so it could take some more time to reschedule them.

You may be interested:


California Headline USA North Carolina

Which states started paying the extra $ 300 a week in unemployment benefits this week? | The State

The $ 300 extra payments will begin the week of December 27.


At least 11 states are starting this week to pay the $ 300 extra in weekly unemployment benefits under the stimulus agreement of $ 900,000 million signed in late 2020. NY, California, Arizona, Tennessee and North Carolina They are the states that until Tuesday have sent the extra unemployment benefit to their citizens.

Michele Evermore, a policy analyst for the National Employment Law Project, told Yahoo Money that “most states will be handing out the extra unemployment benefits in mid-January.”

During this first week at least 11 states will implement the extra payment of $ 300 dollars according to the count made by the site

According to a Brookings report, it is estimated that at least 14 million Americans who are unemployed will receive Additional $ 300 per week in Federal Unemployment Compensation for Pandemic (FPUC) for 11 weeks until March 14. Both workers with Unemployment insurance (UI) as well as those who receive the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) will receive the extra payment added to your basic weekly unemployment benefits.

NY began to pay the $ 300 extra dollars to unemployment beneficiaries in all programs, while California It has begun to pay benefits to workers with unemployment insurance (UI) but not yet to unemployed workers who receive PUA and PEUC. About 1.3 million Californians they will receive the extra benefit this week, according to a statement from the California Employment Development Department.

Related: Which workers will receive an extra $ 100 on top of the $ 300 unemployment benefit on the second stimulus check.

The extra payments of $ 300 dollars They will not be retroactive and will start from the week of December 27. The weeks following the expiration of the $ 600 extra under the CARES Act and the $ 300 extra under the Assistance for Lost Wages (LWA) are not covered by current legislation. Although the benefits of this program were quickly distributed in 2020 states as Nevada, Virginia and Wisconsin it took them more than two months to implement it.

You may be interested:


Headline USA

How to shake off those extra pounds! Try these recipes to a new you for the New Year

Being active is vital to a healthy lifestyle — but that doesn’t mean you need to buy expensive kit or take on a punishing routine that you secretly hate.

Regular activity reduces your risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, cancer and stroke by up to 50 per cent, and of early death, dementia and depression by 30 per cent, according to NHS figures.

It speeds up weight loss, too: studies show that exercise plus a healthy eating plan can help you lose 20 per cent more than by diet alone. 

Being active is vital to a healthy lifestyle — but that doesn’t mean you need to buy expensive kit or take on a punishing routine that you secretly hate

This is why fitness plays such an important role in the new myWW+ programme, underpinned by strategies to help you make healthy choices automatically instead of after a daily battle.

‘This is where the brilliant new myWW+ app can make all the difference,’ says Julia Westgarth, head of programme at WW, formerly known as Weight Watchers.

‘You can choose from hundreds of workouts using FitOn and Aaptiv, via the new myWW+ app — and filter them according to the time you have, the area of the body you’d like to work on and your level of fitness.’

The app also helps you to track activity levels and to calculate the extra FitPoints you’ve earned.

‘You’ll soon find that doing more exercise has a positive effect on other areas of health and wellbeing,’ she adds. ‘You should sleep better at night and your mood should improve, thanks to the ‘feel-good’ chemicals it prompts your body to produce.’

It’s vital to fuel your body healthily, too — WW’s nutrition experts believe in having a balanced nutritious diet where no food is off-limits.

‘Recent diet trends have led many people to swear off foods that are high in carbohydrates — including bread, pasta, rice and even fruit — in the belief that this will help them to lose weight,’ says Julia Westgarth.

‘But a low-carb diet does not necessarily lead to more weight loss, and may even be unhealthy.’

Some diets restrict carbohydrates so much that nutritional deficiencies can result — for instance beans, lentils and fruit are rich in vital minerals, vitamins and dietary fibre, helping you to feel fuller for longer.

‘You do need carbs for energy, particularly before a workout, but not all carbs are suitable,’ says Julia. 

‘Those higher in sugar, like cake and biscuits, offer few nutritional benefits and are less filling than fibre-rich carbohydrates such as pulses and wholegrains, which also contain minerals and vitamins essential for health.’

Meanwhile, protein is not only important for helping to build healthy bones and muscles after exercise but also for ensuring you feel satisfied after a meal.

Some high-protein diets, unlike the myWW+ programme, include full-fat dairy products and red meat. These can be high in saturated fats and may raise your risk of high cholesterol levels and heart disease.

WW’s SmartPoints system was created to encourage you to make the healthiest food choices across all food types — including carbohydrates and proteins.

Lean proteins such as skinless chicken and turkey and plant proteins, like beans and lentils, contain fewer or no saturated fats and play a vital role in repairing your body. 

This is why they have Zero SmartPoints value on the Blue and Purple plans and low SmartPoint values on Green.

Wholegrains, lentils, chickpeas and peas — all carbs packed with healthy nutrients — are also ZeroPoint foods on Blue and Purple and low in SmartPoints on Green.

So today, as we continue our sensational WW series to help you lose weight and improve your health and wellbeing in 2021, we’re focusing on simple, delicious meals to prepare your body for a new, more active lifestyle. Your taste buds — and your body — will thank you for it!

How it works

Everyone’s weight-loss needs are different, which is why WW has three myWW food plans — Green, Blue and Purple. Foods and drinks have a SmartPoints value — one easy-to-use number that guides you towards healthier eating. 

These are calculated using three components:

  • Calories establish a baseline for the SmartPoints the food is worth.
  • Saturated fat and sugar increase the SmartPoints value.
  • Protein lowers the SmartPoints value (the more in any food, the fewer the SmartPoints) as it repairs tissue and helps you feel fuller for longer.

When you join myWW you will be given a SmartPoints Budget according to the colour plan you are on. It’s calculated by taking into account your age, height, weight, and gender to ensure healthy weight loss.

In addition, you can tuck into ZeroPoint foods. Vital for good health, these have a SmartPoints value of 0, meaning you can eat them freely.

Fruit and non-starchy vegetables are ZeroPoint on all plans. However, the number of other items on your ZeroPoint foods list varies according to colour plan — and is counterbalanced by your SmartPoints Budget, so you can lose weight while still enjoying your favourite foods.

To work out which plan to follow take WW’s easy on-line assessment or simply choose the plan that appeals the most. (

Green offers the smallest list of ZeroPoint foods, but the highest daily SmartPoints Budget of a minimum 30. ZeroPoint foods include more than 100 fruits and vegetables.

Blue has a daily SmartPoints Budget of a minimum 23 and there are 200 ZeroPoint foods to choose from: fruit and veg, lean protein, seafood, fat-free dairy, beans and eggs.

Purple has 300 ZeroPoint foods. You can also eat potatoes and wholegrain pasta and grains without counting. But this is counterbalanced by a SmartPoints Budget of a minimum 16.

You can also boost your SmartPoints Budget by earning FitPoints for activities. You also get extra SmartPoints for treats and bigger meals; up to 4 unused SmartPoints from a daily Budget can be added to weeklies.

Instant energy boost

You’re ready for your workout but in need of a snack to keep you going until your next meal comes along.

These tasty suggestions provide an easy-to-digest combination of protein and carbohydrates that will help to keep your energy levels up:

1. Pears with Greek yoghurt, almonds and a sprinkling of cinnamon

2. Toast with nut spread, banana and honey

3. Sliced apple with a little peanut butter

4. Baked potato with broccoli and a sprinkle of cheese

5. Spiced-fruit porridge.

Strawberry smoothie

Prep 5 minutes

Serves 2

  • 200g strawberries, plus extra to serve
  • 1 banana, chopped
  • 150ml skimmed milk 
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Put all the ingredients into a blender with 100ml cold water and whizz until smooth. 

If you like you can add a few ice cubes, then blend again. 

Divide the smoothie between two glasses, top with the extra strawberries and serve.

Strawberry smoothie

Strawberry smoothie

Apricot & pistachio breakfast bars

Prep 5 minutes

Cook 25 minutes

Makes 16 slices

  • 100g pistachio kernels
  • 250g porridge oats
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra to serve
  • 80g dried apricots
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 100g maple syrup
  • 30g ball, stem ginger, drained and finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 180c/ fan 160c/gas 4 and line a 26cm x 16cm baking tin with baking paper. 

Put the pistachio kernels onto a separate baking tray and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden. Roughly chop, then put into a mixing bowl.

Add the oats, ginger, ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, dried apricots, mashed banana, maple syrup and stem ginger to the bowl and stir to combine. 

Press the mixture into the prepared baking tin, using the back of a spoon to level it and making sure it reaches into the corners. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until just golden, then set aside to cool completely in the tin.

Lift the baked oat mixture (on the baking paper) from the tin, scatter over a little extra cinnamon, and cut into 16 bars.

Apricot & pistachio breakfast bars

Apricot & pistachio breakfast bars

Coconut & blueberry baked oats

Prep 5 minutes

Cook 25 minutes

Serves 4

  • 120g porridge oats
  • 375g 0% fat natural Greek yoghurt
  • 3 eggs
  • 30g desiccated coconut
  • 200g frozen blueberries
  • 10g toasted coconut flakes  
  • ½ tbsp honey

Preheat the oven to 200c/fan 180c/gas 6. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, yoghurt, eggs, desiccated coconut and 150g blueberries. 

Spoon into a 20cm square baking dish and level with the back of a spoon. Scatter over the remaining blueberries and bake for 25 minutes until golden.

Meanwhile, set a small frying pan over a low-medium heat. 

Toast the coconut flakes in it for a few minutes until starting to turn golden.

Scatter the toasted coconut over the baked oats and drizzle over the honey. Cut into 4 squares.

Coconut & blueberry baked oats

Coconut & blueberry baked oats

Chicken, lentil & kale braise

Prep 5 minutes

Cook 15 minutes

Serves 4

  • Calorie-controlled cooking spray
  • 500g mini chicken breast fillets
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 200g kale, roughly chopped
  • 400g tin brown lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 sweetcorn cobs

Mist a non-stick pan with cooking spray and set over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken and lemon thyme and cook, turning occasionally, for 5 minutes or until just browned. Meanwhile, chop the veg. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Mist the pan with more cooking spray then add the pepper and garlic and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes until tender. Add the kale and cook, stirring, for a further minute, then stir in the lentils and lemon juice.

Arrange the chicken on top of the lentil mixture then cover and cook for 3 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Meanwhile, cook the sweetcorn in the microwave to pack instructions. Serve the chicken, lentil and kale braise with the sweetcorn cobs on the side.

Chicken, lentil & kale braise

Chicken, lentil & kale braise

Salmon & asparagus omelette

Prep 10 minutes

Cook 10 minutes

Serves 1

  • 70g asparagus
  • 115g steamed salmon fillet, flaked
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
  • Handful of chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil

Blanch the asparagus in a pan of boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Drain and chop, then place in a bowl with the flaked salmon.

In a jug whisk the eggs with the milk and chives, then season.

Heat the oil in a small frying pan, then pour in the eggs and cook for 3-4 minutes. 

Spoon the asparagus and salmon over one side, then fold. Cook for 1 minute to warm though before serving.

Salmon & asparagus omelette

Salmon & asparagus omelette

Tofu & cashew stir-fry

Prep 5 minutes

Cook 10 minutes

Serves 4

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 650g plain tofu, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp grated root ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500g stir-fry mixed vegetables
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 x 250g pouches microwavable brown rice, to serve
  • 30g roasted cashew nuts, roughly chopped, to serve

Set a wok over a high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the tofu and fry for 3-4 minutes or until just golden. Transfer to a plate.

Put the spring onions, ginger and garlic in the wok and stir-fry for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the vegetables and stir-fry for 5 minutes until tender.

Return the tofu to the wok with the soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce and lime juice then stir-fry until heated through.

Cook the rice according to pack instructions, divide between plates and serve with the stir-fry, topped with a sprinkling of the roasted cashews.

Tofu & cashew stir-fry

Tofu & cashew stir-fry

Mood food recipe

Certain foods can play a crucial role in elevating our mood. Today, cheer up your lunch plate with a delicious homemade sushi dish. 

Veggie sushi bowl 

Prep 10 minutes

Cook 35 minutes  

Serves 4

Veggie sushi bowl

Veggie sushi bowl

  • 250g sushi rice
  • 2 carrots, peeled into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 cucumber, peeled into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
  • 3½ tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • ½ tbsp agave syrup
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp black sesame seeds (or white ones if these are not available)
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp wasabi paste
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 175g ready- cooked edamame beans
  • 20g pickled sushi ginger

Rinse and drain the rice, then cook to pack instructions.

Meanwhile, put the carrots and cucumber in a small bowl and pour over 3 tablespoons of the vinegar and the agave syrup.

Add the fresh ginger and set aside to pickle for 10 minutes, then drain and toss with the sesame seeds. 

Remove and discard the ginger.

Combine the sesame oil, soy sauce, wasabi paste and remaining vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.

Divide the rice between bowls and top with the pickled vegetables, red pepper, edamame beans and pickled ginger, then drizzle over the wasabi dressing and serve.

Why it’s time to be drinks monitor

When you concentrate all your efforts on eating a balanced, nutritious diet, it can be easy to forget about one vital component: water.

This is why the new myWW+ app now has a water-tracking feature to help ensure you get enough fluids. Simply tap the + icon in the new water row on your My Day screen to create, then start reaching your personal daily target.

There is also a water tracker in the Daily Mail 30-day health kick journal which we gave away to readers in Saturday’s newspaper. This makes it easy for you to monitor how much you are drinking and increase the number of glasses that you drink in a day.

One easy way to know for sure how much you are drinking is to fill two, litre bottles of water and keep them in the fridge. Then you just have to make sure you have drunk both by the end of the day.

When you concentrate all your efforts on eating a balanced, nutritious diet, it can be easy to forget about one vital component: water

When you concentrate all your efforts on eating a balanced, nutritious diet, it can be easy to forget about one vital component: water

You can add a slice of lemon or cucumber to the water to make it more interesting to drink.

Fluids are critical to ensuring your body functions at its best. They play a role in almost all chemical processes and are essential for digesting food — carrying nutrients and oxygen to cells (in blood) and carrying waste products out of the body. 

They are also vital for regulating your temperature and ensuring good brain function.

In general, you should aim to drink 1.5 litres of water a day —and you can count coffee, tea, squash and diet drinks as part of your total. Always remember to check their SmartPoint values, though.

What to eat before a workout

As you get accustomed to a healthier lifestyle, it’s not uncommon to get the fitness bug and enjoy exercising more. 

Many WW members surprise themselves with how often they work out — and look for new challenges such as park runs or charity walks. 

And this often prompts a host of questions about the best way to fuel your exercise sessions, particularly if you’re also trying to lose a few pounds.

Here, WW experts answer some of the most frequently-asked:

Q Are sports drinks good or bad for me?

A Water is best for low-intensity or short-duration activities because otherwise you’ll only be consuming empty calories.

Sports drinks, such as Gatorade or Powerade, are designed for high-intensity sessions lasting 60-90 minutes or longer and contain the right level of glucose to top up your blood sugar levels as your energy stores are used up.

They also contain electrolytes, such as sodium, to speed up the body’s absorption of fluids and replace electrolytes lost in sweat. Don’t forget to log their SmartPoint values on the app.

Q I’m exercising more as I’m trying to lose weight. I get hungrier after a work-out but don’t want to undo all my hard work. What do you suggest?

A Your best bet is to plan your meals and snacks to fit in with your activity so you’re not tempted to add extra food to your day.

Try timing a snack so you’re not famished bet-ween meals. Remember to take advantage of ZeroPoint snack and starter options; a small bowl of vegetable soup might take the edge off your hunger, for instance.

Q My favourite spin class is just after work at 6.30pm. I’m always starving beforehand — what should I eat?

A Try restructuring your meals on the days you exercise after work to help you through the classes.

Aim to eat your main meal at lunchtime (two to four hours before your workout), have a nutritious snack one to two hours before (snacks combining carbohydrates and protein are easy to digest) then eat a light supper afterwards.

But we’re all different and your fluid requirements may depend on many factors, including how active you are and how much you sweat or whether you’re expecting a baby (pregnant women need to drink more to aid foetal development).

Older people also need to drink more because the body develops a reduced capacity to store and conserve water as it ages.

Earn your treats

We’ve seen how you can boost your daily SmartPoints Budget by earning FitPoints for any activity you take part in, from dancing to dog walking and from Zumba classes to weight training. 

Based on the latest science, FitPoints is a highly-accurate measurement of activity, based on your height, weight, age and gender. It encourages you to make exercise choices that will have the biggest health pay-offs for you.

The most common reasons people give for not being physically active regularly is a lack of time. FitPoints help you to make the most of what you do have. As you can see, from the examples below, strength and high-intensity activities earn more FitPoints:

Walking for 30 mins — 2

Circuit train for 30 mins — 5

Running for 30 mins — 9

These figures are based on a 55-year-old woman, 5ft 5in tall and weighing 14st 7lb. The precise amount of FitPoints earned will vary between members.

Headline USA Politics

Which Workers Will Get the Extra $ 300 in Unemployment Benefits | The State

The $ 300 will be given in addition to the state unemployment benefits money.


How you remember, the stimulus bill passed in March provided an additional $ 600 a week in unemployment insurance benefits for all who qualified. However, those extra payments were sold out at the end of July.

After the $ 600 benefit ran out, President Trump signed a memorandum in August to send another $ 300 extra money to the unemployed who receive at least $ 100 a week in state unemployment benefits. However, in most states, that money has been stopped for months.

This latest $ 300 extra unemployment benefit that was just approved is similar to the one given under the CARES Act, which was $ 600. This means that the money will go to everyone who qualifies for a state unemployment program or Pandemic Unemployment Assistanceregardless of the money the state already gives them in unemployment benefits.

This means that the extra $ 300 can be received by the part-time unemployed, the self-employed, freelancers and independent contractors. These unemployed citizens who receive support from their states will automatically receive the new extra weekly federal benefit of $ 300, as reported in Fortune.

To start receiving the money, once applicants are approved for unemployment insurance in their state, they will automatically receive the additional $ 300 in federal money per week.

–You may also be interested: Why is the second stimulus check only for $ 600?


Sports UK

Rashford hails extra “dimension” new signing has given Man Utd this season

Marcus Rashford has hailed new teammate Edinson Cavani for giving Man Utd “another dimension” since his arrival at the club in October.

The veteran forward, 33, has been proving his doubters wrong in recent weeks, provided several key contributions to United in an improved spell of results.

Cavani scored twice in the comeback win over Southampton last month, before getting on the scoresheet again in the League Cup victory against Everton in midweek.

And the Uruguayan came off the bench to set up Bruno Fernandes’s goal against Leicester, impressing Rashford in the process.

“He’s a top player, he has lots of qualities and I think he gives us another dimension that’s different to what we already have in the team,” Rashford explained to Man Utd’s official website.

Marcus Rashford has hailed the impact of Edinson Cavani at United

“It’s good to play with him and to see him scoring and assisting is important for any forward and we need to keep up between us what we’ve been doing.”

Cavani had only been on the field four minutes when he dropped short to collect a pass, before turning and slipping the ball into Fernandes’s path for him to score.

United only had another 11 minutes to play to seal an important victory, but Jamie Vardy found a late equaliser to earn a share of the points, after Harvey Barnes had cancelled out Rashford’s goal earlier on.

Manchester United are looking to plot their path back to the top.

And you can keep track of their journey by signing up for the brilliant new Mirror Football newsletter!

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may have missed out on Jadon Sancho in the summer, but he still made some big moves in the transfer market with Donny van de Beek, Alex Telles and Edinson Cavani all arriving.

But their start to the season has been a mixed bag, with a home defeat to Crystal Palace and a 6-1 thrashing by Spurs at one end of the scale, and a tremendous 2-1 win over PSG in Paris at the other.

The question now is whether they can find the right balance?

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Signing up is simple. Put your email at the top of this article or follow the instructions on this link.

Discussing Fernandes’s strike, Rashford said: “For that goal, it was all the way from back… I think it was Eric [Bailly] who stepped up and played a good ball through the lines.

“It was a great turn from Edinson and he drove at Jonny [Evans] who then had a decision to make, whether to step out to him or stay back and let him shoot.

“Edinson played a nice pass and it was a good goal, but to concede and to throw it away is difficult to take.”

What is United’s best strikeforce? Have your say below.

Cavani picked out Bruno Fernandes for United's second
Cavani picked out Bruno Fernandes for United’s second

Rashford had missed a golden chance in just the first minute, heading over when unmarked inside the box, before making amends soon after with his finish.

While a point away at second placed Leicester was a decent return for United’s efforts, Rashford admitted the Red Devils were left ruing missing the opportunity to leapfrog the Foxes in the table.

“It feels like a loss in the changing room,” he added. “I think we deserved to win the game and we had the chances to win the game, but we didn’t quite get over the line. Now we just need to recover and go again in the next one.”

California Headline USA New York Politics

Which Workers Will Get an Extra $ 100 on Top of the $ 300 Unemployment Benefits on the Second Stimulus Check | The State

The stimulus package program covers the self-employed and temporary workers.

ADEK BERRY / AFP / Getty Images

He stimulus package approved on Monday night will grant a second stimulus check of $ 600, in addition, those who are entitled to unemployment benefits will receive a weekly payment of $ 300 dollars for 11 additional weeks to the benefits of the states and those who have the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program that will expire on December 26.

This program includes self-employed and temporary workers who work part time and others who are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits.

All persons who qualify to receive a stimulus check of $ 600 dollars will also receive a extra payment of $ 300 dollars per week to be paid from the end of December to March 14, in total it will be 11 weeks.

This unemployment support is half of what the CARES Act offered to workers since it granted $ 600 dollars a week in benefits. That payment ran out in July and President Trump extended it to $ 300 for six weeks.

Which workers will receive the additional $ 100

There is a change in the new stimulus package as a measure to help those who have lost their jobs and who have a mix of income from both self-employment and wages paid by other employers.

The program would provide an additional federal benefit of $ 100 dollars a week to those who win at least $ 5,000 a year of income generated by self-employment but they are disqualified from receiving a more generous Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefit because they are eligible for state unemployment assistance, as reported The New York Times.

Suppose that a person earned most of his income through to work independently independently in a theater but received a lower income from working in a restaurant when not working in a show. These types of workers will qualify for the additional benefits of $ 100. in case your state offers them.

Related: A restaurant in California offers tamales online to keep you afloat during Christmas.

The $ 100 dollars will be additional to $ 300 weekly federal grant which will also come to an end on March 14. For this benefit to take effect it is necessary that the state where you are reaches an agreement with the Department of Labor.

Many independent contractors and freelancers may have been receiving smaller unemployment checks, experts say, as their payments were based on wages on their W-2 tax forms that did not include their self-employment income which could be higher. .

You may be interested:


Headline USA

Esperanza Gómez reappears with extra kilos and her appearance surprises her fans | The State

Generally, photos posted by Esperanza Gomez, the Colombian adult film star, always manages to keep her followers on social networks turned on because of the content she shares, because it is very common to see her about to show what more than one already knows her and that fascinates them.

Although she always looks perfect, because her body is her main source of work and she had kept in shape, this time she accepted that on vacation she gained a few extra pounds, so she had to resort to her exercise routines.

Through a postcard on Instagram, Esperanza accepted it and let everyone know that she is no longer the same as before: “Returning to my exercise routines with a few extra pounds, after my vacation in Colombia. I send you many kisses and I hope you have a delicious week ”.

Although Esperanza feels that her body grew during her vacation period, the truth is that she has followers who adore and support her, which manifested themselves through positive comments where they made it clear that she is how she wants and that she looks better than ever.

“I don’t see the extra kilos”, “Pretty”, “Always fit”, “The best”, “Delicious rich mommy kisses my love”, “MY DIVA YOU ARE VERY PRETTY”, are just some of the comments she received Gomez.

Recall that this year the actress was nowhere near saying goodbye to her industry, because a few months ago she faced problems in her column, of which she had been fighting for some time and that affected her daily activities such as her work.

Keep reading: Blac Chyna’s sinful lingerie that barely covers her charms


Entertainment UK

Kate Garraway ‘gets extra support behind the scenes at ITV’ amid Derek’s battle

Kate Garraway has had additional help behind the scenes at ITV, it’s been revealed.

The Good Morning Britain star has turned to ITV’s doctor Hilary Jones for advice amid her husband Derek’s health battle.

Derek remains in hospital with “minimum consciousness” after fighting off the coronavirus infection.

ITV chat show host Lorraine Kelly lifted the lid on how Dr Hilary has become Kate’s secret rock.

The hostess revealed the TV doctor had the ability to give Kate good advice with empathy.

Kate Garraway ‘gets extra support behind the scenes at ITV’ amid Derek’s battle

She told : “He has been an absolute hero throughout this pandemic.

“Bringing clarity and common-sense advice with real empathy and behind the scenes he has been helping Kate Garraway, whose husband is currently still in hospital.

“And all of our team and crew who have been concerned and worried about themselves and their loved ones.”

The Good Morning Britain star has turned to ITV’s doctor Hilary Jones for advice amid her husband Derek’s health battle

As well as helping out behind the scenes, Dr Hilary has been issuing advice to the public during his segments on This Morning.

Kate has bravely been holding the fort down at home while her husband remains in hospital.

She has been focusing her efforts on looking after their two children Darcey and William.

Dr Hilary has been there to help

Kate hopes to form a bubble with Derek so she can still see him on Christmas day.

However, she said this may not be possible under new Tier 4 regulations which were rolled out over the South East and London.

Those living in Tier 4 areas can no longer mix with other households over the Christmas five day bubble period.

Kate hopes to form a bubble with Derek so she can still see him on Christmas day

The fan tweeted: “I truly hope in all of this @kategarraway & her children gets to form a bubble and to see Derek.

“It’s hard for all of us, but harder for her as her situation is unique.”

Kate replied: “I hope so too Fatimah.

“Not quite clear at the moment but thank you for thinking of me and the others in the same situation xxx.”

Headline USA Ohio

Customer leaves $5600 tip on Christmas bill at Ohio restaurant for staff to take home an extra $200

A customer made staffers of an Ohio restaurant cry tears of joy after leaving behind a $5,600 tip right before the holidays.  

The chef and owner of Souk Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar in Toledo, Ohio, took to Facebook earlier this month to reveal the patron’s generosity, which allowed the restaurant’s 28-person staff to take home $200 each – including those that were off duty when the customer stopped by. 

‘Be the reason someone believes in the goodness of people,’ restaurant owner Moussa Salloukh wrote on Facebook on December 13. 

A restaurant customer at Ohio’s Souk Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar left a $5,600 tip for staff

Restaurant owner Moussa Salloukh shared news of the kind gesture on Facebook December 13

Restaurant owner Moussa Salloukh shared news of the kind gesture on Facebook December 13

 ‘This really happened. Last night one of our guests left a $5,600 tip to be given to all of our staff, whether they were working that shift or not. It meant each of our 28 staff members received a $200 tip. What an amazing gesture of kindness to my employees.’

This is not an ordinary December,’ Salloukh continued. ‘Normally this is a month when our employees work extra and guests tip generously. December is a month for them to earn money to buy family gifts, put a bit into savings and take care of bills or repairs that have been lingering. 

‘With Covid restrictions and guidelines, that was not going to happen for them this year. So this heartfelt generosity was deeply needed and very appreciated.

‘The words “Thank You” seem inadequate for this gift… but Thank You Billy, for your generous spirit and for making a difference in the lives of people I care a lot about this holiday season,’ Salloukh added. 

Accompanying the post was a photo of the receipt that ‘Billy’ left behind, showing a one penny food purchase and the handwritten $5,600 tip.

It’s unclear if Billy is a regular customer or had just randomly stopped at the restaurant to do a good deed. 

The Souk Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar workers (pictured outside the restaurant) received a $5,600 tip from a generous patron, allowing them to each take home an extra $200

The Souk Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar workers (pictured outside the restaurant) received a $5,600 tip from a generous patron, allowing them to each take home an extra $200

Salloukh said that his restaurant (pictured) has seen fewer holiday reservations this year due to pandemic dining restrictions. Normally, workers take home good tips during the busy season

Salloukh said that his restaurant (pictured) has seen fewer holiday reservations this year due to pandemic dining restrictions. Normally, workers take home good tips during the busy season

Salloukh (pictured) opened the restaurant in October 2019 in honor of his mother

Salloukh (pictured) said the tip - shared with workers who weren't on duty that night, too - was 'huge for us'

Salloukh (pictured) opened the restaurant in October 2019 in honor of his mother. He said the tip – shared with workers who weren’t on duty that night, too – was ‘huge for us’

A server is seen taking orders outside Souk Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar during the pandemic

A server is seen taking orders outside Souk Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar during the pandemic 

Salloukh told 13ABC that the night when the customer left behind the tip, his general manager walked up to him with ‘this look on her.’  

‘I asked if everything was all right and she just kind of showed me the check and it was a $5,600.00 tip,’ Salloukh said, noting that the customer’s generosity came at the perfect time. 

With the pandemic leading to restrictions on indoor dining, restaurants around the country have seen dramatic downturns in earnings, especially during the traditionally busy holiday season. 

‘Our Christmas parties have diminished. It’s just carry-out and as much walking and reservation as we can get,’ Salloukh said.    

That’s why the generosity of the customer – who had asked to be kept anonymous – meant so much. 

Salloukh told CNN that ‘There was a lot of tears, I’m tearing up now talking about it.’ 

‘Your restaurant staff becomes your family and everyone cares about each other,’ Salloukh noted, added that he’d been ‘staying out of the kitchen’ to allow his employees to rack up more paid hours, which would allow them to ‘put gifts under the tree for their kids.’ 

The customer’s tip, Salloukh said, ‘was so huge for us’ and gave some of the workers the opportunity to buy Christmas trees and presents for their families while they struggled with lower than usual tip take-homes during the pandemic holiday season.  

‘A lot of them felt like someone was looking and watching down on them,’ Salloukh said of the staff. ‘It gave us a lot of hope, it was just a beautiful thing to do for 28 strangers you don’t even know.’

Salloukh said that Souk Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar, which opened in October 2019, struggled as it – and many others across the country – was shut down during the height of the coronavirus quarantine measures.      

Salloukh said the restaurant was created as a tribute to his mother and that ‘everything was going great until March, when we were forced to shut down.’ 

He noted that ‘Financially there was a huge impact, but we did just about everything to survive.’

Now that quarantine restrictions have lifted and the restaurant is slowly getting back  Then all of a sudden this gentlemen comes in and gives us a $5,600 tip for all our employees. ‘Thank you’ isn’t enough.”