Categories
Delhi The Buzz

Govt-farmers talks to take place as scheduled on Friday; Tomar says hopeful of positive discussion


Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 14

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday confirmed tomorrow’s talks with farmers as union leaders also said that they will be attending the meeting.

The government’s ninth round of negotiations with protesting farmer unions will take place as scheduled on Friday and the Centre is hopeful of positive discussions, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said.

“The government is ready to hold talks with farmers’ leaders with an open mind,” Tomar told reporters here.

Clearing the confusion over the fate of the ninth round of talks, which was the only outcome in the last meeting on January 8, in the wake of the Supreme Court on January 11 appointing a four-member panel to resolve the impasse and a key member of the proposed committee subsequently recusing himself, Tomar said the talks between the government and the union representatives will take place as scheduled for 12 pm on January 15.

The farmer unions have been maintaining that they were ready to attend the scheduled talks with the government, even as they have said they do not want to appear before the court-appointed panel and have also questioned its composition.

Earlier in the day, Bhartiya Kisan Union president Bhupinder Singh Mann said he is recusing himself from the four-member committee.

Farmer unions and opposition parties had called it a “pro-government” panel, insisting that its members have been in favour of the three laws in the past.

Mann said he is thankful to the apex court for nominating him on the panel but would give up any position to prevent farmers’ interests from being compromised.

“As a farmer myself and a union leader, in view of the prevailing sentiments and apprehensions amongst the farm unions and the public in general, I am ready to sacrifice any position offered or given to me so as to not compromise the interests of Punjab and farmers of the country,” he said in a statement.

“I am recusing myself from the committee and I will always stand with my farmers and Punjab,” Mann added.

The apex court had on Tuesday stayed the implementation of the three central laws till further orders and announced the formation of a committee to hear the grievances of the farmers and the opinion of the government.

Apart from Mann, Shetkari Sanghatana (Maharashtra) president Anil Ghanwat, International Food Policy Research Institute’s Pramod Kumar Joshi and agriculture economist Ashok Gulati were appointed on the panel.

Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at the border of Delhi for several weeks, demanding the repeal of the laws they say will lead to the weakening of the minimum support price (MSP) system.

The three contentious laws are the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020. — With PTI





Source link

Categories
Headline USA

Friday is the deadline to send the second stimulus checks, what if it doesn’t arrive by that date? | The State

It can be months before you see your stimulus check if you don’t receive it by Friday.

Photo:
ADEK BERRY / AFP / Getty Images

January 15 is the deadline established by Congress – in the stimulus package bill that was approved in December – to deliver the second stimulus checks. In other words, after this Friday, the IRS and the United States Treasury will no longer be able to send the second stimulus checks, either by direct deposit or by mail.

Anyone who does not send the second stimulus check by this date will need to claim the money as a Refund Recovery Credit when filing your taxes this year, as reported by CNET.

This means that probably it will be months before you can see your second stimulus check if you haven’t received it by this FridaySince the sending of your money depends on the date you send your return and how quickly the IRS will process your tax return.

–You may also be interested: Stimulus checks that were delayed by IRS error will reach beneficiaries until February

.

Categories
Entertainment Canada

What to watch on TV on Friday?

Here are some suggestions for shows and films to watch on French-language television on Friday, January 8:

“Josh Gates, Alien Tracker”

American Josh Gates has a new quest: to discover alien life. He is followed on a visit to NASA and during his hunt for evidence on Chilean soil. In addition, he has the chance to lay eyes on a video of UFOs and support scientists.

Friday, 5 p.m., Évasion.

“Washington”

Biographical mini-series revolving around the life of the first President of the United States. The responsibility of portraying George Washington, who started out as an officer in the British Army, has been attributed to Nicholas Rowe. Long before he was a prominent politician, Washington was drawn to fame and prestige.

Friday, 7 p.m., Historia.

“Quebec Code”

First episode of this show hosted by Dave Ouellet. Far from his character of MC Gilles, he paints a current portrait of Quebec after the publication of a poll book concocted by Jean-Marc Léger. It is about young “german” women and the great popularity of hockey.

Friday, 7:30 p.m., Télé-Québec.

“The correction”

They were still children when they tasted, prisoners, the violence of a guard. Years after having suffered abuse, four men meet to work out their revenge. Drama with big names in American cinema, including Brad Pitt, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman and Kevin Bacon.

Friday, 8 p.m., MAX.

“9-1-1”

There is no shortage of intense heat and pleas for help in Los Angeles as we enter the second season. Add to this the visit of Buck’s sister (Oliver Stark) whose husband is abusive, Athena (Angela Bassett) questioning her relationship and the arrival of a disturbing firefighter at the fire station.

Friday, 9 p.m., VAT.

“Food shots”

Host and former hockey player Dave Morissette loves to get on his bike. Especially if it is synonymous with stops in his favorite culinary places, for all the sweet tooth, which he allows himself in the company of Sébastien Benoît. On the menu: pastries, pastries and sweets in Saint-Bruno.

Friday, 10 p.m., Zest.

“The great heat”

Marie-Thérèse Fortin and François Arnaud share intimate moments for this Quebec comedy in which Gisèle, a fifty-year-old widow, cannot resist the charms of Yannick, a very young man. The age difference is not the problem, but the people in Gisèle’s life, yes …

Friday, 11:05 p.m., ICI Radio-Canada Télé.

Categories
Canada

Two new cases of COVID-19 on Friday

Public Health reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Friday.

The new cases are both in Zone 3 (Fredericton area):

  • a person between 60 and 69 years old
  • a person between 70 and 79 years old

Both cases are under investigation, and the people are in self-isolation.

There are 601 confirmed cases in New Brunswick, and 567 people have recovered. There have been nine deaths, and there are 24 active cases. One person is hospitalized in the intensive care unit. To date 153,368 screening tests have been performed.

Categories
UAE

First trip on Dubai’s Route 2020 on Friday

The initial operation phase of Route 2020 will cover four stations, namely: Jebel Ali (interchange station), The Gardens, Discovery Gardens and Al Furjan Stations.
Image Credit: Courtesy: RTA

Dubai: New year, new route.

The first journey on Route 2020 of the Dubai Metro will start from Jebel Ali Station to Al Furjan Station at 10am on January 1 (Friday), Abdul Mohsin Ibrahim Younes, CEO of the Rail Agency, Roads and Transport Authority, confirmed to Gulf News.

As earlier announced by the RTA, the initial operation phase of Route 2020 will cover four stations, namely: Jebel Ali (interchange station), The Gardens, Discovery Gardens and Al Furjan Stations. The other remaining three stations (Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai Investment Park and Expo 2020) will open later.

NAT Jebel ali station-1609405955134
The Jebel Ali Station.
Image Credit: Courtesy: RTA

“The selection of stations for operation on January 1 was based on several perimeters, including the density of population nearby the station, anticipated number of riders, commercial activities in the area served by the stations, and the link with other public transit means at each station,” Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, RTA Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors,” said earlier.

In sync with Metro Red Line

Younes told Gulf News the service timings of Route 2020 will be synchronised with Metro Red Line. Operations are 5am to 12 midnight from Saturday to Wednesday; 5am to 1am (next day) on Thursday; and 10am to 1am (next day) on Friday.

NAT Al Furjan station-1609405953201
The Al Furjan station.
Image Credit: Courtesy: RTA

The journey between Jebel Ali and Al Furjan stations takes about six minutes and the interval is 10 minutes at a rate of six trains per hour. The route can serve 4,176 riders per hour per direction, according to RTA.

Metro link service

Two bus routes — both metro link services for Route 2020 — will also open on January1. The first is Route F45, which starts from Al Furjan Metro Station and heads to the Discovery Gardens at a 20-minute frequency during peak hours. The second is Route F56, which starts from the Dubai Internet City Station and heads to Al Khail Metro Station at a frequency of 15 minutes during peak hours.

Categories
Headline USA

Harrowing video shows the aftermath of Friday’s massive bomb blast in Nashville

Harrowing video shows the aftermath of Christmas day bomb blast in Nashville – with victims screaming for help as street is filled with fire and debris

  • Explosion occurred on 2nd Avenue in Downtown Nashville at 6.40am on Friday 
  • Country music star Buck McCoy was in the area at the time and filmed the immediate aftermath
  • Video shared on social media shows the city street littered with rubble and several cars on fire
  •  Three people were taken to the hospital with non-serious injuries; a cop who was nearby was knocked over and has lost his hearing

Video filmed in the aftermath of Friday’s massive bomb blast in Downtown Nashville shows victims screaming for help and the street littered with fire and debris. 

The distressing footage was captured by country music star Buck McCoy just seconds after the explosion occurred on Second Avenue at 6.40 am. 

The clip begins with the singer standing in the ground floor of a hollowed-out shop, which has had its windows blown in by the blast. 

He then makes his way outside as police sirens wail in the early morning. 

The street is strewn in rubble as several victims scream for help up. Several vehicles are seen set on fire while shocked bystanders watch on, seemingly too stunned to move. 

Fires appeared up and down Second Avenue in Downtown Nashville

Video filmed in the aftermath of Friday’s massive bomb blast in Downtown Nashville shows victims screaming for help and the street littered with fire and debris

Around 45 seconds into McCoy’s video a large bang can be heard – prompting witnesses to think it could have been a second explosion,. 

‘Oh, s**t!’ the singer says, as he and others moved back onto the sidewalk for cover. 

The star later took to Facebook to tell fans it was a Christmas miracle that he was still alive and uninjured by the blast.  

 The Christmas Day explosion has been described as ‘intentional’ by police. 

Buck McCoy took to Facebook to tell fans it was a Christmas miracle that he was still alive and uninjured by the blast

Buck McCoy took to Facebook to tell fans it was a Christmas miracle that he was still alive and uninjured by the blast

McCoy filmed the inside of this bar, which was filled with rubble and had its windows blown in by the blast

McCoy filmed the inside of this bar, which was filled with rubble and had its windows blown in by the blast

McCoy filmed the inside of this bar, which was filled with rubble and had its windows blown in by the blast 

At around 6 am on Friday morning  police received a call saying that shots had been fired in the Downtown area. 

They got to the scene but saw no evidence of a shooting. 

Instead, they ‘encountered’ what police are calling a suspicious vehicle, and called the bomb squad.  

They were on their way when the blast happened. 

Three people have been taken to the hospital for non-serious injuries but miraculously, no one was seriously hurt. 

A police officer who was nearby at the time was knocked over by the blast and has lost his hearing.  

Emergency personnel work near the scene of an explosion in downtown Nashville, Tenn., Friday, Dec. 25, 2020

Emergency personnel work near the scene of an explosion in downtown Nashville, Tenn., Friday, Dec. 25, 2020

This is what is left of Second Avenue in downtown Nashville after the explosion on Friday morning. Police have not yet identified a suspect

This is what is left of Second Avenue in downtown Nashville after the explosion on Friday morning. Police have not yet identified a suspect 

This was the scene immediately after the explosion on Friday morning in downtown Nashville

This was the scene immediately after the explosion on Friday morning in downtown Nashville

At a press conference shortly before 10am, police spokesman Don Aaron said it was an ‘intentional act’ but he did not give any information about potential suspects or motives. 

Mayor John Cooper said after surveying the scene that it ‘looks like a bomb went off’. 

The area has now been sealed off while police comb the area. 

‘The explosion was significant as you can see from the street. The police department, it’s partners, the FBI and ATF are conducting a large scale investigation. We do believe the explosion was an intentional act,’ Aaron said.

In a later update, he said: ‘A number of our police dogs have been called ad are searching the area.

‘These  are explosive detection dogs to make sure there are no secondary devices, out of an abundance of caution.  

A law enforcement member walks past damage from an explosion in downtown Nashville, Tenn., Friday, Dec. 25, 2020

A law enforcement member walks past damage from an explosion in downtown Nashville, Tenn., Friday, Dec. 25, 2020

A K-9 team works in the area of an explosion in downtown Nashville, Tenn., Friday, Dec. 25, 2020. Buildings shook in the immediate area and beyond after a loud boom was heard early Christmas morning

A K-9 team works in the area of an explosion in downtown Nashville, Tenn., Friday, Dec. 25, 2020. Buildings shook in the immediate area and beyond after a loud boom was heard early Christmas morning

Categories
NFL

Enter FOX Bet’s free Week 16 Friday contest for a chance to win $25,000

“You are what you record says you are.” – Bill Parcells

How about 130-87 picking against the spread this year, coach? Happy Holidays indeed! With two weeks left in the regular season we will take another crack at the $25,000 FOX Bet Super 6 contest.

The Christmas day matchup features the New Orleans Saints hosting the Minnesota Vikings.

Enter the NFL Friday Challenge contest on the FOX Super 6 app for free and you can win this week’s $25,000 jackpot! Download now at foxsuper6.com!

1. How many points will be scored in the first half?

0-10

11-13

14-16

17-19

20-22

23+

The Saints, still first place in the NFC South, were narrowly defeated by the Super Bowl champion Chiefs 32-29 last week. Look for Drew Brees to return to form. Brees finished up well but began the game 0 for his first 6 pass attempts in his first action after recovering from a punctured lung. Minnesota will do their share as well, facing a depleted New Orleans “D” on short rest.

2. Which team will have the last scoring drive of the 1st half… and how many yards?

0-25

26-29

30-33

34-37

38-41

42-45

46-49

50-53

54+ (Saints)

Expecting Saints head coach Sean Payton to successfully control the time of possession throughout against a Viking defense that lately has not been effective against the run or pass and is unlikely to reverse that trend in this game. Long drives, via balanced play calling, may rule the day. 

3. Which team will have the most RECEPTIONS… and how many?

0-17

18

19

20

21 (Saints)

22

23

24

25+

The Chiefs contained the Saints wideouts as well as a rusty Drew Brees but this explosive unit, even without Michael Thomas, should have their way here. Deep threats Tre’Quan Smith and Emmanuel Sanders will have an easier time shaking loose. Tight end Jared Cook and running back Alvin Kamara are two ball control receivers who can move the chains.  

4. Choose the team with the most RUSHING yards… and how many.

0-100 (Saints)

101-105

106-110

11-115

116-120

121-125

126-130

131-135

136+

Alvin? Alvin? ALVIN!..All-purpose, All-Pro back Alvin Kamara can do it all but he’s been banged up and got 11 touches last week for 54 yards. Brees used his most effective weapon as a receiver out of the backfield and that strategy may be implemented in Friday’s gameplan as well. The Vikings’ Dalvin Cook may be relied on early but not if Minny is playing catch-up late. So we’ll go with Kamara, even though his actual rushing totals may also be limited.    

5. Choose the team with the most RECEIVING yards… and how many.

0-230

231-240

241-250

251-260

261-270

271-280 (Saints)

281-290

291-300

301+

We didn’t see it last week, did we? New Orleans was sluggish on offense, especially early as Brees had difficulty finding any rhythm. Statement time. Look for Drew, with help from Sean Payton’s more aggressive play-calling, to spread the field, light up the scoreboard and make it a generally unhappy holiday for visiting Minnesota.  

6. Choose team to win & by how many points.

1-2

3-4

5-6

7-9

10-14 (Saints)

15-17

18-21

22-24

25+

New Orleans has secured a playoff spot and now they look to clinch the NFC South division title. Tom Brady’s Bucs are a game back with two left and the Saints will take no prisoners against the 6-8 Vikings whose playoff chances are on life support after losing to the offensively-challenged Bears last week. Gotta believe Nola will be up two scores late.

Categories
California Chicago Headline USA Los Angeles North Carolina Politics

More than 5M people flew from airports in the US between Friday and Tuesday ahead of the holidays

Millions of Americans are set to travel ahead of Christmas and New Year’s despite pleas from public health experts to stay at home as the nation grapples with a troubling surge of coronavirus that saw it record its second deadliest day on record Tuesday.

More than 5 million people passed through the nation’s airport security checkpoints between Friday and Tuesday, according to the Transportation Security Administration – with millions more expect to travel in the days ahead.

Around 3.2 million of those passengers were screened across Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with each day recording more than a million air travelers apiece.

This broke the record for the most weekend travelers since the pandemic began in March, and the first time that more than a million passengers have passed through the nation’s airports on three consecutive days.

The influx in air travel ahead of the Christmas holiday is so far narrowly outpacing what the US saw in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, when some Americans likewise disregarded travel warnings that experts have since attributed to the nationwide surge in COVID cases.

Since March, there have been a total of eight days that saw more than 1 million passenger screened in airports: One occurred in October, four in November, and three have been recorded so far this month.

More than 5 million people passed through the nation’s airport security checkpoints between Friday and Tuesday (Pictured: Travelers pass through O’Hare International Airport on December 23)

Around 3.2 million of those passengers were screened across Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with each day recording more than a million air travelers apiece (Pictured: Dallas Fort-Worth)

Around 3.2 million of those passengers were screened across Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with each day recording more than a million air travelers apiece (Pictured: Dallas Fort-Worth)

This broke the record for the most weekend travelers since the pandemic began in March (Pictured: LAX)

This broke the record for the most weekend travelers since the pandemic began in March (Pictured: LAX)

Millions more air travelers are anticipated in the days ahead, with current figures outpacing the build up to Thanksgiving (LAX)

Millions more air travelers are anticipated in the days ahead, with current figures outpacing the build up to Thanksgiving (LAX)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance last month that discouraged travel and urged those who need to travel to acquire coronavirus tests before and after their journey.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams has also encouraged people to celebrate only with people in their households.

‘We can’t let fatigue cause us to make poor decisions this holiday season that end up making us backtrack, especially when we are so incredibly close to getting ourselves and everyone else across the finish line,’ he said, referring to the start of COVID-19 vaccinations.

Despite the warnings, the American Automobile Association (AAA) is predicting as many as 85 million people will travel by either road or air between Wednesday and January 3, with the vast majority (96%) opting to drive.That would be a drop of nearly a one-third from a year ago but still a big number in the middle of a pandemic.

‘People feel more confident in your car. You can control the situation. You can plan your route. You can plan your stops,’ explained AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross. ‘It gives you more of an element of control particularly in the middle of a pandemic.’

It comes as an alarming new red wave map was released Wednesday that shows the majority of the United States to be one huge COVID-19 hotspot.

The map data, which is included in the latest community report from the White House COVID-19 Task Force, tracks areas of concern on a county level across the country based on recent cases and testing history.

It shows that every state currently has counties that fall into the ‘sustained hotspot’ category, which means the task force classifies them as communities that have a high number of cases and may be at an even higher risk of overwhelming their local hospitals.

North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska, which were among the worst affected states just last month, are now largely considered to be areas with moderate COVID-19 activity, according to the map. Meanwhile hard-hit California, as well as large portions of the Midwest, Northeast and South, are sustained hotspots based on recent case growth, the data shows.

This map, which is included in the latest community report from the White House COVID-19 Task Force, tracks areas of concern on a county level across the country. The majority of counties currently fall into the 'sustained hotspot' category, which means they are communities that have a high number of cases and may be at an even higher risk of overwhelming their local hospitals

This map, which is included in the latest community report from the White House COVID-19 Task Force, tracks areas of concern on a county level across the country. The majority of counties currently fall into the ‘sustained hotspot’ category, which means they are communities that have a high number of cases and may be at an even higher risk of overwhelming their local hospitals

Cars wait for travelers outside a terminal at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020

Cars wait for travelers outside a terminal at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020

The influx in air travel ahead of the Christmas holiday is so far outpacing what the US saw in the days leading up to Thanksgiving (LAX)

The influx in air travel ahead of the Christmas holiday is so far outpacing what the US saw in the days leading up to Thanksgiving (LAX)

Since March, there have been a total of eight days that saw more than 1 million screenings: One occurred in October, four in November, and three have been recorded so far this month (Chicago)

Since March, there have been a total of eight days that saw more than 1 million screenings: One occurred in October, four in November, and three have been recorded so far this month (Chicago)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance last month that discouraged travel and urged those who need to travel to acquire coronavirus tests before and after their journey (Chicago)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance last month that discouraged travel and urged those who need to travel to acquire coronavirus tests before and after their journey (Chicago)

Flight attendants wait to check in luggage at Los Angeles International Airport on Wednesday

Flight attendants wait to check in luggage at Los Angeles International Airport on Wednesday

Hard-hit California, as well as large portions of the Midwest, Northeast and South, are considered sustained virus hotspots based on recent case growth (LAX)

Hard-hit California, as well as large portions of the Midwest, Northeast and South, are considered sustained virus hotspots based on recent case growth (LAX)

The United States also recorded its second deadliest day on record Tuesday, with 3,401 Americans dying from the virus. It marks the fifth time daily deaths have surpassed the 3,000 mark amid the pandemic – with all five occurring this month alone.

The nationwide seven-day average for daily deaths now stands at 2,702, which is the highest ever recorded.

The number of people hospitalized with the virus has also hit a new record with 117,777 patients currently being treated across the country. Hospitalizations have exceeded 100,000 every day this month.

Meanwhile, 195,033 new infections were recorded on Tuesday, bringing the seven-day rolling average for new cases to 214,000.

The rising number of deaths and hospitalizations, as well as the threat of a new UK strain of COVID that is thought to be already in the US, came as Biden warned the worst could still be yet to come.

‘Here is the simple truth: Our darkest days in the battle against COVID are ahead of us, not behind us,’ Biden said Wednesday. ‘’So we need to prepare ourselves, to steel our spines.’

More than 322,000 Americans have now died of COVID-19 and there have been 18.2 million confirmed cases of the virus.

But with nearly ten months having passed since the pandemic began, a number of Americans told the Associated Press say they’ve decided to forgo the warnings and surge in cases to travel to see loved ones for the holidays.  

The United States also recorded its second deadliest day on record Tuesday, with 3,401 Americans dying from the virus (Chicago)

The United States also recorded its second deadliest day on record Tuesday, with 3,401 Americans dying from the virus (Chicago)

The nationwide seven-day average for daily COVID deaths now stands at 2,702, which is the highest ever recorded (LAX)

The nationwide seven-day average for daily COVID deaths now stands at 2,702, which is the highest ever recorded (LAX)

Millions of Americans are set to travel ahead of Christmas and New Year’s despite pleas from public health experts to stay at home (Chicago)

Millions of Americans are set to travel ahead of Christmas and New Year’s despite pleas from public health experts to stay at home (Chicago)

The rising number of deaths and hospitalizations, as well as the threat of a new UK strain of COVID that is thought to be already in the US, came as Biden warned the worst could still be yet to come (Chicago)

The rising number of deaths and hospitalizations, as well as the threat of a new UK strain of COVID that is thought to be already in the US, came as Biden warned the worst could still be yet to come (Chicago)

More than 322,000 Americans have now died of COVID-19 and there have been 18.2 million confirmed cases of the virus (Chicago)

More than 322,000 Americans have now died of COVID-19 and there have been 18.2 million confirmed cases of the virus (Chicago)

Travelers pass through O'Hare International Airport on December 23, 2020, as the Christmas holidays drew close

Travelers pass through O’Hare International Airport on December 23, 2020, as the Christmas holidays drew close

Some travelers were elderly and said they’d figured they didn’t have many Christmases left. Others said they’re trying to keep long-distance romance alive, while some just yearned for human connection that they say has been absent from their lives for the past nine months.

‘My mom’s worth it. She needs my help,’ said 34-year-old Jennifer Brownlee, a fisherman from Bayou La Batre, Alabama, who was waiting at the Tampa airport to fly to Oregon to see her mother, who just lost a leg. ‘I know that God’s got me. He’s not going to let me get sick.’

Brownlee said that she would wear a mask on the plane ‘out of respect’ for other passengers but that her immune system and Jesus Christ would protect her.

Michelle Lopez pondered whether she’d made the right decision after flying from Houston to Norfolk, Virginia, where her boyfriend serves in the Navy.

‘I didn’t want to go, but I haven’t seen him in so long,’ said the 24-year-old, adding that she and her partner had been apart for around five months.

Before flying, Lopez took a COVID-19 test that came back negative. But the two planes she took offered little room for social distancing. Some passengers removed their masks to eat or drink. And not everyone used wipes that airlines offer to sanitize armrests and trays.

Her layover at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport was equally unsettling, she said. It was packed with people and felt hot from too many bodies. Some people wore their masks below their noses.

She works as a medical assistant in a doctor’s office. She will have to quarantine for 10 days at home and get tested again before heading back to work.

Some travelers were elderly and said they’d figured they didn’t have many Christmases left, other said they'd traveled to keep long distance romances alive (Pictured: A traveler says goodbye at O'Hare International Airport on December 23)

Some travelers were elderly and said they’d figured they didn’t have many Christmases left, other said they’d traveled to keep long distance romances alive (Pictured: A traveler says goodbye at O’Hare International Airport on December 23)

Other travelers said they just yearn for the human connection that’s been absent for the past nine months (Pictured: Travelers embrace in terminal at LAX)

Other travelers said they just yearn for the human connection that’s been absent for the past nine months (Pictured: Travelers embrace in terminal at LAX)

The American Automobile Association is predicting as many as 85 million people will travel between Wednesday and January 3, most of them by car

The American Automobile Association is predicting as many as 85 million people will travel between Wednesday and January 3, most of them by car

Janeen Pierre was juggling a pile of luggage Tuesday and getting her two little girls to the bathroom at the Charlotte, North Carolina, airport before they boarded their flight to Orlando, Florida.

Pierre and her husband had planned to spend Christmas on a Disney cruise, but the pandemic changed their itinerary to ringing in the holidays at Disney’s theme parks instead.

‘Disney refunded all of our money, but American Airlines did not. So we’re going to have a very Disney Christmas,’ she said. ‘With the new strains coming out, I don’t know if this is the smartest idea.’

Categories
Headlines UK London

Rosalind Knight, star of Carry On and Friday Night Dinner, dies aged 87 

‘She will be greatly missed by all who knew her: Veteran actress Rosalind Knight, star of Carry On and Friday Night Dinner, dies aged 87

Veteran actress Rosalind Knight, famed for her roles in Friday Night Dinner and early Carry On Films has died. She was 87.

The London-born TV, film and theatre actress – whose credits also included 1957’s Blue Murder At St Trinian’s and 1980s The Wildcats Of St Trinian’s – passed away on Saturday, according to a statement released by her family.

‘It is with huge sadness that the family of Rosalind Knight announce her death following a glorious career as a well-loved actress in theatre, TV and film,’ they said.

RIP: Veteran actress Rosalind Knight, famed for her roles in Friday Night Dinner and early Carry On Films has died. She was 87

‘She was known to so many generations, for so many different roles, and will be missed as much by the kids today who howl at Horrible Grandma in Friday Night Dinner as by those of us who are old enough to remember her in the very first Carry On films.’

As well as starring in Carry On Teacher and Carry On Nurse in the 1950s, Rosalind was an accomplished stage actress, who made a name for herself opposite Vanessa Redgrave in the 1961 Royal Shakespeare Company production of As You Like It.

Included in her list of film credits are About A Boy (alongside Hugh Grant), Start The Revolution Without Me (opposite Gene Wilder), Tom Jones, The Lady Vanishes, Prick Up Your Ears, and The Lady In The Van.

Credits: The London-born TV, film and theatre actress passed away on Saturday, according to a statement from her family. Pictured second right in 1957's Blue Murder At St Trinian’s

Credits: The London-born TV, film and theatre actress passed away on Saturday, according to a statement from her family. Pictured second right in 1957’s Blue Murder At St Trinian’s

She also drew laughs as retired prostitute Beryl in BBC TV series Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, which ran from 1999 to 2001 and starred Kathy Burke and James Dreyfus.

Rosalind tied the knot with director and producer Michael Elliott in July 1959, with the couple remaining married until his death in 1984.

Their marriage produced two children, theatre director Marianne Elliott and actress Susannah Elliott.

In paying tribute to their mother, they said in a statement that Rosalind would be remembered for her ‘immense spirit and sense of fun, and her utter individuality’.

Comedy: She also drew laughs as retired prostitute Beryl in BBC TV series Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, which ran from 1999 to 2001 and starred Kathy Burke and James Dreyfus

Comedy: She also drew laughs as retired prostitute Beryl in BBC TV series Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, which ran from 1999 to 2001 and starred Kathy Burke and James Dreyfus

They said: ‘Our mother had the most astute, vibrant personality and made people laugh wherever she went. She was a great reader, art lover and raconteur.

‘She contributed in a voluntary way to the theatrical world through her involvement in the building of the Royal Exchange Theatre, alongside her husband Michael Elliott, and her support for the Actors Centre and the Ladies’ Theatrical Guild.

‘She was an active member of her local history society and opera society, and was a fierce campaigner and fundraiser for the Hogarth Trust. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.’

News of Rosalind’s passing comes days after Carry On legend died following a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 83. 

Immense spirit: The star's daughters said in a statement that Rosalind would be remembered for her 'immense spirit and sense of fun, and her utter individuality'. Pictured in 2017

Immense spirit: The star’s daughters said in a statement that Rosalind would be remembered for her ‘immense spirit and sense of fun, and her utter individuality’. Pictured in 2017

Categories
Birmingham Headlines UK Liverpool London Newcastle

Newcastle, Swansea and Birmingham streets lie empty on Mad Eye Friday

The year’s Mad Eye Friday celebrations were an unusually subdued affair as Covid restrictions saw countless bars, pubs and clubs forced to close their doors on one of the busiest nights of the year.

The last Friday before Christmas is normally the biggest night of the year for office parties, bringing a rush of revellers to Britain’s nightlife hotspots.

But with coronavirus restrictions forcing venues to close their doors, the normally-busting streets of Swansea, Newcastle and Birmingham were nearly deserted with locals forced to stay indoors.

Both Birmingham and Newcastle are under Tier 3, which bans people from meeting socially indoors. This includes venues such as pubs, bars and restaurants which have all been forced to shut – except for takeaways.

All of Wales is under Alert Level 3 of the Welsh four-level system, meaning means hospitality venues in Swansea close at 6pm and nightclubs are shut entirely.

While pictures taken last year show an array of fancy dress-clad partygoers celebrating the festive season, this year’s streets were empty.

The same deserted spot in 2020

The year’s Mad Friday celebrations were an unusually subdued affair as Covid restrictions saw countless bars, pubs and clubs forced to close their doors on one of the busiest nights of the year. Pictured: Revellers in Newcastle last year compared to the same deserted spot in 2020

The last Friday before Christmas is normally the biggest night for office parties (Birmingham in 2019, pictured)
But in 2020 the same spot was deserted

The last Friday before Christmas is normally the biggest night for office parties, bringing a rush of revellers to Britain’s nightlife hotspots including Birmingham (left). But in 2020 (right) the same spot was deserted

The normally-busting streets of Newcastle
Locals were forced to stay indoors this year

With coronavirus restrictions forcing venues to close their doors, the normally-busting streets of Newcastle (left in 2019) were nearly deserted (right) with locals forced to stay indoors

A bustling Swansea street in 2019
All of Wales is under Alert Level 3 of the Welsh four-level system, meaning means hospitality venues in Swansea close at 6pm and nightclubs are shut entirely leaving streets deserted in 2020

All of Wales is under Alert Level 3 of the Welsh four-level system, meaning means hospitality venues in Swansea close at 6pm and nightclubs are shut entirely leaving streets deserted in 2020 (right). But 2019 (left) was a different story

A Birmingham street on Mad Friday in 2019
The same street in 2020

Both Birmingham and Newcastle (2019 compared to 2020, pictured) are under Tier 3, which bans people from meeting socially indoors

A Newcastle Street on Mad Friday in 2019
The same street on Mad Friday in 2020

Venues such as pubs, bars and restaurants have all been forced to shut – except for takeaways – in Newcastle leaving the streets empty (right). Left: The same street in 2019 was a different scene

Pictures taken last year show an array of partygoers celebrating the festive season in Newcastle
The streets were empty in 2020

While pictures taken last year show an array of partygoers celebrating the festive season in Newcastle (left), this year’s streets were empty Right)

Mad Friday – also known as Black Eye Friday – was a different story for those celebrating their last night of freedom before being plunged into Tier 3 lockdown rules.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock plunged numerous counties into the ‘very high alert’ top tier of coronavirus restrictions on Thursday, with 70 per cent of England set to be under the toughest rules from today.

The latest Tier 3 additions include Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Peterborough, the whole of Hertfordshire, Surrey with the exception of Waverley, Hastings and Rother on the Kent border of East Sussex, Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant in Hampshire.  

Those in Guildford made the most of their final moments in Tier 2 last night, with Britons seen heading to bars and restaurants on the last Friday before Christmas. The town will move from ‘high alert’ to ‘very high alert’ at midnight alongside the majority of Surrey. 

In Liverpool, revellers queued in the rain to enter clubs last night after it was confirmed on Thursday the city would remain under Tier 2 restrictions for another fortnight. The Liverpool City Region has avoided a surge in coronavirus infections since national lockdown restrictions were eased on December 2.

Two women are seen taking a break outside a Newcastle club in 2019
The same spot in 2020 was a different picture

Two women are seen taking a break outside a Newcastle club in 2019 (left). The same spot in 2020 was a different picture (right)

A man appears to have fallen over while exiting a club in Newcastle in 2019
Due to Covid rules, the same venue was shut in 2020

A man appears to have fallen over while exiting a club in Newcastle in 2019 (left). Due to Covid rules, the same venue was shut in 2020 (right)

A woman tries to play along with musicians on the streets of Newcastle in 2019
The same spot was empty in 2020

A woman tries to play along with musicians on the streets of Newcastle in 2019 (left). The same spot was empty in 2020 (right)

A woman clutches onto a man dressed as Santa as they walk the streets of Newcastle in 2019
The same street was empty this year

A woman clutches onto a man dressed as Santa as they walk the streets of Newcastle in 2019 (left). The same street was empty this year (right)

A man fell asleep on a bench in Newcastle on Mad Friday last year
The same spot was deserted in 2020

A man fell asleep on a bench in Newcastle on Mad Friday last year (left). The same spot was deserted in 2020 (right)

And in York, which will also remain in Tier 2 ahead of another review of restrictions on December 30, partygoers donned festive attire as they dressed up for a night out on the last Friday before Christmas. 

It comes as the Department of Health recorded 28,507 new cases of the virus in the last 24 hours, up a third from the 21,672 last Friday, and 489 deaths, a rise of 14 per cent from a week ago.

Meanwhile, SAGE now estimates the Covid R rate – the average number of others infected by each person with the disease – is between 1.1 and 1.2 in the UK. It is the first time the reproductive number has definitely been above the crucial mark since the first week of the national lockdown last month.

In England, the rate stands even higher at between 1.1 and 1.3, while experts warned it might be as high as 1.4 in the East, and 1.3 in both London and the South East. Last week, Britain’s R number – which doesn’t represent Friday’s outbreak – was between 0.9 and 1.  

A group of girls were seen walking along the road in Newcastle in 2019
The same street had no revellers in 2020

A group of girls were seen walking along the road in Newcastle in 2019 (left). The same street had no revellers in 2020 (right)

A woman is seen being helped up by a friend in Swansea in 2019
There were no revellers by the same door in 2020

A woman is seen being helped up by a friend in Swansea in 2019 (left). There were no revellers by the same door in 2020 (right)

Two women were seen walking arm in arm along a street in Swansea on Mad Eye Friday in 2019
The same street was empty in 2020

Two women were seen walking arm in arm along a street in Swansea on Mad Eye Friday in 2019 (left). The same street was empty in 2020 (right)

Two people posed for a picture on the road in Swansea last year
With bars forced to close their doors at 6pm in Wales, things were more deserted this year

Two people posed for a picture on the road in Swansea last year (left). With bars forced to close their doors at 6pm in Wales, things were more deserted this year (right)

Three women walk along the street in Swansea on Mad Eye Friday in 2019
The same street was deserted in 2020

Three women walk along the street in Swansea on Mad Eye Friday in 2019 (left). The same street was deserted in 2020 (right) 

London was plunged under Tier 3 rules on Wednesday, after Mr Hancock told a Downing Street briefing that action had to be taken to slow ‘sharp, exponential rises’ in infection rates. 

The streets of the capital were largely abandoned on Friday night, with ‘sorry we’re closed’ signs adorning the doors of typically bustling venues in Soho.

Reports last night suggested London and the South East could be ‘cut off’ from the rest of the UK with potential travel bans announced as soon as today – as a new ‘highly contagious’ coronavirus variant rips through the region. 

Boris Johnson could announce a strengthening of Covid-19 advice after holding a meeting in which ministers are understood to have discussed how to contain the mutant strain, it was said.

This has so-far been confined to London and the South East, with scientists warning the new variant is 50 per cent more contagious than any strain detected before.

One source told the Daily Telegraph that Downing Street could restrict travel to and from the South East, with other proposed measures banning commuters from travelling into London. 

It is understood the Prime Minister was last night provided with new evidence on the harmfulness of the mutant strain.