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Bill Gates Says He Is Ready To Work With President Biden To Address The Covid-19 Crisis | The State

Gates has encouraged people to practice social distancing, wear face masks, and get the COVID-19 vaccine.

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Mike Cohen / Getty Images for The New York Times

The co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates said he looks forward to working with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to address some of the issues facing the United States., specifically the covid-19 pandemic and climate change.

“I look forward to working with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to address some of our toughest challenges like COVID-19 and climate change. This has been a worrying time in America, but I see (hope) in the months and years to come, ”Gates tweeted Wednesday.

In three additional posts on Twitter, Bill Gates encouraged Americans to practice social distancing, wear face masks, and get the covid-19 vaccine, and noted that this will eventually return the country to a more normal life.

He also praised Biden for his decision to join the Paris Climate Agreement.

Almost 200 countries are part of this agreement where they have committed to fight against global warming by reducing their carbon emissions. In 2017, then-President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the climate deal, claiming it was unfair to the country and would cost it jobs.

Bill Gates funds medical research and vaccine programs through his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The billionaire stepped down from Microsoft’s board earlier this year to spend more time on his philanthropic priorities, including global health, development, education and his growing involvement in fighting climate change, as reported by CNET. .

Since then, he has made several media appearances discussing the pandemic and warning about climate change.

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Hundreds of primary schools keep their gates SHUT

England’s schools system is in meltdown today after schools revolted against Boris Johnson’s plea to stay open leaving millions of parents to begin homeschooling their children for at least a fortnight with often only a few hours’ notice.

Many headteachers ordered to stay open have decided to shut their gates anyway this morning despite the Prime Minister’s insistence that ‘schools are safe’ as all of Britain’s teaching unions called for classroom teaching to be ‘paused’ until teachers are vaccinated. 

The decision will consign children to ‘sub-standard’ online learning experts say can ‘set back’ children years, especially those from working class families while Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman warned schools not to ‘furlough’ children by shutting down again. 

Parents took to social media this morning describing their anxiety at trying to care for their children at home at the 11th hour while trying to hold down a full time job with many slamming the decision by schools to close unilaterally ‘staggering’. 

Northfield St Nicholas Primary Academy in Lowestoft, Suffolk, announced it was closing on Facebook with parent Rebecca Kane venting: ‘Nice finding this out via a friend at 8.30pm…. no email or text to let us know. CAN’T say I’m surprised.’ 

Other parents said they are fearful for their children because for many homeschooling in the first lockdown last year amounted to ‘here do your times tables’ and ‘no actual teaching’.

All schools in London are closed today along with the majority of Covid-19 hotspots in Essex, Kent, East Sussex, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire after a Department for Education diktat last week. 

But headteachers told to remain open in areas such as in Surrey, Gloucestershire, Newcastle, Norfolk, Liverpool, County Durham, West Sussex, Sheffield, Wolverhampton, Leeds and Lancashire have shut down anyway.

The Prime Minister told families yesterday that children should return to school in all areas where they were due to open today and tomorrow. But as Covid-19 rates soar, teaching unions said that a ‘snowball effect’ was shutting scores of schools despite the official advice to stay open.

Boris Johnson said yesterday that he had ‘no doubt’ that classrooms were safe but many headteachers have ignored him and closed anyway

Rachel Allen, 40, is a single mother to Lewis, seven, (pictured together) and runs a social media consultancy from her Tier 4 home in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. She says: 'As a self-employed single parent trying to maintain a business that was decimated at the start of lockdown, school is a lifeline for me'

Ella Brucher, 35, a self-employed cleaner, has two children, Scarlet, six, and Dominic, ten, (pictured together) in Purley which is in Tier 4. Ms Brucher said: 'After not being able to work at all for three months earlier in the year, it's very difficult – and more than that, it's hard for the children, too. They want to be back at school.'

Rachel Allen, 40, is a single mother to Lewis, seven, (pictured together) and runs a social media consultancy from her Tier 4 home in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. She says: ‘As a self-employed single parent trying to maintain a business that was decimated at the start of lockdown, school is a lifeline for me’. Ella Brucher, 35, a self-employed cleaner, has two children, Scarlet, six, and Dominic, ten, (pictured together) in Purley which is in Tier 4. Ms Brucher said: ‘After not being able to work at all for three months earlier in the year, it’s very difficult – and more than that, it’s hard for the children, too. They want to be back at school.’

Official figures show there had been a further 54,990 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, up 80 per cent from last week's case figure of 30,501, while the number of deaths had increased by 43 per cent from last Sunday to 45

Official figures show there had been a further 54,990 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, up 80 per cent from last week’s case figure of 30,501, while the number of deaths had increased by 43 per cent from last Sunday to 454

PM refuses to rule out cancelling exams 

Boris Johnson has refused to rule out cancelling GCSE and A-Level exams this year. 

Asked about the possibility, the PM said: ‘We’ve got to be realistic, we’ve got to be realistic about the pace of which this new variant has spread… 

‘We’ve got to be realistic about the impact that it’s having on our NHS… and we’ve got to be humble in the face of this virus.’ 

One mother said she finds it ‘staggering’ that her child’s primary school will not be opening on Tuesday, and said she wants the school listening to scientists rather than unions.

The woman, who does not want to be named, received an email from the headteacher of Anlaby Primary School in East Yorkshire on Sunday afternoon advising that pupils should not come back to school on Tuesday.

She told Hull Live that online home learning is ‘not good enough’, adding: ‘I find it staggering how the school is choosing not to take government advice – I am really not bothered about what their union thinks.

‘I take my advice from the government scientists who are saying it’s safe for children to return to school and so should the school. 

‘There was no teaching it was just ‘here do your times tables’ and there was no actual teaching, which created massive amounts of stress in the household as I not only had to teach my child, but I had to work as well.’ 

Childminder Juliet Voisey wrote online: ‘More notice is required. I am a self-employed childminder. I haven’t applied for the grant from the government for this period as I am due to open next week. There’s a deadline to apply for the grant.’

‘If the government do a sudden U-turn and the deadline is passed for the grant I’m then out of pocket. I don’t want to claim money if I’m able to work.’

Leader of Kent County Council Roger Gough urged Education Secretary Gavin Williamson to keep all primary schools in the county closed, saying it is ‘very hard to justify’ letting some schools open while others are closed.

Primary school pupils in Thanet, Canterbury, Dover and Folkestone and Hythe are expected to return on Monday while the other districts in Kent will learn remotely for the first two weeks of term.

Yesterday council leaders in Cumbria, Brighton, Birmingham and Wolverhampton all formally requested permission for schools in their area to stay shut.

While it waits to hear back from Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, Brighton and Hove City Council has advised all primary heads to shut their schools, apart from for vulnerable children and those of key workers, and to move learning online.

Labour MP says sorry to minister over jab ‘queue-jumping’ claim

A Labour shadow health spokesman has issued a grovelling apology for falsely suggesting the vaccine minister had jumped the queue to get a jab.

Rosena Allin-Khan admitted it had been ‘inappropriate and wrong’ to share unverified claims about Nadhim Zahawi.

The Labour frontbencher had posted on Twitter that she had heard ‘rumours’ the Tory minister and his family had been vaccinated in Wandsworth, south-west London. But after it transpired the rumour was untrue, Dr Allin-Khan was reprimanded by the Labour Party, ordered to remove her claims and told to apologise. She tweeted: ‘I have deleted my earlier tweets which were inappropriate and wrong. I regret sharing unsubstantiated claims about the minister and I apologise to him and his family.’

Mr Zahawi, who is overseeing the vaccine rollout, then replied: ‘Thank you for apologising. The accusation was not true. It is sad you chose to act like this, we all need to work together to beat this awful disease.’

In Southampton the city council warned that some schools ‘do not have enough staff to reopen safely to all children’, while Slough Borough Council said some primaries would stay closed amid ‘confusion across the board’ caused by the Department for Education.

A headteacher in Berkshire has told parents not to send their children to school tomorrow amid soaring cases of the more-infectious Covid variant – despite assurances from Boris Johnson that schools are ‘safe’.

Slough headteacher Gil Denham said she can’t ‘guarantee that pupils or staff will not be exposed to the virus’ if they return on Monday and parents should only send their children in if they feel the risk is not ‘too high’. 

Most primaries in England are expected to re-open their doors tomorrow, while secondary schools will reopen on a staggered basis later this month with a weekly-testing scheme. 

But in a series of embarrassing blows to Gavin Williamson’s plans, councils across the country are defying Government orders and demanding their primaries continue to teach remotely as the new Covid mutation wreaks havoc.

Britain today recorded a further 54,990 coronavirus cases in 24 hours – marking the sixth day in a row that daily infections exceeded 50,000. 

Cumbria, Brighton, Kent, Birmingham and Wolverhampton have asked the Department for Education for permission to keep primaries closed tomorrow, demanding learning be delivered remotely.

In the mean time, Brighton and Hove City Council has ordered primary schools in the area to shut, while several schools in Wolverhampton, Derbyshire, Merseyside and Nottinghamshire have also refused to open.

And yesterday afternoon, Essex County Council ordered all schools in the only three districts earmarked by the Government for reopening to move to online learning only.

Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman said school closures should be kept to the 'absolute minimum' as Education Secretary Gavin Williamson urges teachers and parents to 'move heaven and earth', adding the young must not 'bear the heaviest cost' of the pandemic

Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman said school closures should be kept to the 'absolute minimum' as Education Secretary Gavin Williamson urges teachers and parents to 'move heaven and earth', adding the young must not 'bear the heaviest cost' of the pandemic

Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman said school closures should be kept to the ‘absolute minimum’ as Education Secretary Gavin Williamson urges teachers and parents to ‘move heaven and earth’, adding the young must not ‘bear the heaviest cost’ of the pandemic

Tony Blair: ‘Step change’ in vaccines is the only way to save schools 

Tony Blair urged the government to target five million vaccinations a week – saying it was hard to see how schools could stay open otherwise.

The former PM told Times Radio: ‘If I was the prime minister right now I would be saying to the team in Downing Street, ‘I need you to give me a plan to get this up to five million (vaccinations) a week’.

‘Provided we’ve got the vaccine available and we should have them available. I mean AstraZeneca will, not this week or next week but the week after, be able to get up to two million doses a week, that’s just AstraZeneca.

‘They could probably do more if they knew that the system was capable of absorbing the amount of vaccines that they would produce.

‘You should get clearance for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the end of January, that’s when they complete their trials and then we should be able to get that on stream as well in February.’

Mr Blair said a ‘step change’ in the vaccination programme was the only real prospect of keeping children in schools.

He said: ‘On the one hand, it’s a disaster for school children, particularly poorest school children if they’re not getting educated.

‘But it’s also completely understandable that teachers and parents say, not because they think their children… the risk to children is very, very small, it’s the risk to transmission rates and it’s the risk to teachers and parents, and therefore to those that their parents mix with.

‘So for all of those reasons, it just emphasises yet again why it’s so important to get vaccination under way.’ 

Colchester, Tendring and Uttlesford have been told to open classrooms on Monday – but the council has now written to Mr Williamson demanding ‘urgent clarity’ over whether they should still do so as infections continue to soar.

Ms Denham – headteacher of the Marish Academy Trust which operates two primary schools in Slough – wrote a letter to parents saying they can keep their children at home if they feel it is safer, Berkshire Live reports.

The letter read: ‘As a parent and grandparent myself, if I feel that the risk of my child or someone else in my family contracting Covid-19 is too high, if they attend school from Monday, I would keep them at home.

‘It may be that this is the decision some of you come to for your own families.’

She stressed that online teaching will be available to parents who refuse to send their children in.

She added: ‘Neither I, or any other school leader in Slough can guarantee that pupils or staff will not be exposed to the virus in school or on the way to or from school, when our experience has already shown us that Covid-19 can easily spread through a community.’ 

Slough Borough Council later said it will allow individual schools to make the call about whether or not to open.

Norfolk, Greater Manchester and Southampton have also allowed schools to make their own decisions about sending pupils back.

Their defiance came as the Prime Minister today told parents that it was ‘safe to send their children back but refused to rule out a full shutdown to control the mutant coronavirus strain – as Keir Starmer demanded a new national lockdown within 24 hours.  

Now nearly a third of the country – some 17million people – are living in areas where primaries have been told to close by the Government, or where councils have said they will back heads who decide to close their gates. Despite the unfolding chaos, Mr Johnson said yesterday that he had ‘no doubt’ that classrooms were safe. He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: ‘Schools are safe. It is very, very important to stress that.

‘The risk to kids, to young people is really very, very small indeed. The risk to staff is very small.’

He added: ‘I understand people’s frustrations, I understand people’s anxieties but there is no doubt in my mind that schools are safe and that education is a priority.’

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said his plans were insufficient and it was ‘inevitable’ many would stay closed today.

The unofficial closures came after Britain’s biggest teaching union, the National Education Union, called an online meeting attended by 400,000 teachers and supporters where they were told to ‘say no’ to reopenings.

A headteacher in Berkshire has told parents not to send their children to school tomorrow amid soaring cases of the more-infectious Covid variant despite assurances from Boris Johnson that schools are 'safe' (file image)

A headteacher in Berkshire has told parents not to send their children to school tomorrow amid soaring cases of the more-infectious Covid variant despite assurances from Boris Johnson that schools are ‘safe’ (file image)

Boris Johnson said schools that are due to be open will be safe for pupils and teachers due to the procedures in place

Boris Johnson said schools that are due to be open will be safe for pupils and teachers due to the procedures in place

Advice for pupils heading to school in Islington before it became one of the London boroughs to switch to home learning

Advice for pupils heading to school in Islington before it became one of the London boroughs to switch to home learning

Kevin Courtney, its joint general secretary, told teachers who dialled in that they should protest against returning to school – and that this could lead to a ‘snowball effect’. Within hours, the message appeared to be having an effect.

By last night, many schools had made the decision not to open, despite being outside the Government’s ‘contingency framework’, which mandates closures, with some citing union advice. The Daily Mail has learned of many schools being forced into 11th-hour decisions in the face of staff shortages. For example, Lea Community Primary School, in Preston, said that ‘due to health and safety, a rising increase in transmission and infection rates… and following advice of unions’ it was unsafe for it to open.

And St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, in Birmingham also said ‘insufficient staff’ was the reason behind its decision to close. All classes would be taught via ‘live’ lessons delivered online instead.

Bedford Primary School, in Bootle, Merseyside, said it would be shut to pupils, apart from those of key workers, for at least a week ‘due to reduced staffing ratios.’

Salford mayor Paul Dennett wrote to Mr Williamson last night saying he wanted face-to-face learning to be looked at again. He said he would ‘support any Salford school leader who assesses that it is not safe to open their school’.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Mr Williamson gave no indication he was considering widening school closures. ‘The safety of teachers and pupils will always be paramount, but we must all move heaven and earth to get children back to the classroom where they best thrive,’ he wrote. 

I RUN A BUSINESS – AND HELP MY SON 

Rachel Allen, 40, is a single mother to Lewis, seven, (pictured together) and runs a social media consultancy from her Tier 4 home in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. She says: 'As a self-employed single parent trying to maintain a business that was decimated at the start of lockdown, school is a lifeline for me'

Rachel Allen, 40, is a single mother to Lewis, seven, (pictured together) and runs a social media consultancy from her Tier 4 home in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. She says: ‘As a self-employed single parent trying to maintain a business that was decimated at the start of lockdown, school is a lifeline for me’

Rachel Allen, 40, is a single mother to Lewis, seven, and runs a social media consultancy from her home in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. Her area is in Tier Four, with latest data showing a new case rate of 739 per 100,000 in the week to December 28. 

She says: ‘As a self-employed single parent trying to maintain a business that was decimated at the start of lockdown, school is a lifeline for me. It gives me the space to concentrate on maintaining an income, while Lewis can be in the classroom with friends getting the education he needs.

‘I don’t qualify for any support and I don’t have any savings to fall back on so I have to keep the business running and fit that around providing some kind of education for my son, who is in Year Three.

‘As the first lockdown started… my existing business was almost annihilated overnight. Thankfully I was able to hold on, but I must have dropped £10,000 this year and to say that it has been a hard slog would be an understatement – there have been times where I have felt like my head was in a pressure cooker.

‘Despite that, we came up with our routine: fitting my work around gaps to help Lewis with his work, and then I picked up an NHS contract which meant I was a key worker and he could go back to school in June. But now it’s back to home school.

‘I’m very fortunate that Lewis’s dad lives nearby and is very helpful and involved. When the schools closed last time, we took it in turns taking Lewis and we will do the same again this time, but both he and his partner work full-time too.

‘Luckily, Lewis is very adaptable and takes everything in his stride, but I do worry about how all this will impact him long term. Obviously I don’t want my son’s education to suffer, but I have to prepare myself for the fact that it probably will.

‘As a single parent, and a self-employed one at that, we are resilient – I simply have to knuckle down and get on with it.’

THE KIDS WANT TO RETURN TO LESSONS  

Ella Brucher, 35, a self-employed cleaner, has two children, Scarlet, six, and Dominic, ten, (pictured together) in Purley which is in Tier 4. Ms Brucher said: 'After not being able to work at all for three months earlier in the year, it's very difficult – and more than that, it's hard for the children, too. They want to be back at school.'

Ella Brucher, 35, a self-employed cleaner, has two children, Scarlet, six, and Dominic, ten, (pictured together) in Purley which is in Tier 4. Ms Brucher said: ‘After not being able to work at all for three months earlier in the year, it’s very difficult – and more than that, it’s hard for the children, too. They want to be back at school.’

Ella Brucher, 35, a self-employed cleaner, has two children, Scarlet, six, and Dominic, ten, with her husband, Nicholas, 40, a company director. They live in Purley, near Croydon in south London, which is in Tier Four and has a case rate of 835.5 per 100,000 residents:

‘Having taken time off for the Christmas holidays, I was expecting to go back to work this week. But Wednesday evening’s announcement has changed all that.

‘After not being able to work at all for three months earlier in the year, it’s very difficult – and more than that, it’s hard for the children, too.

‘They want to be back at school, they miss being able to socialise – and with not being able to meet friends outside of school, the classroom was the only place they got that important interaction.

‘My son plays computer games and talks with friends over headphones, he has his lessons, he is sensible and can work on his own, but he’s missing interaction with the teacher that he can only get at school, and this is his last year of primary school.

‘It’s very hard for my little girl, she has missed half of Year One and refused to do any home learning – and now here we are again.

‘I think the impact of this will be felt for years to come.

‘As for me, I would have been working for five days, but now I’m going to have to fit as much as I can into two days so that I can be there to look after the children and support them with their schoolwork.

‘I will have to let some of my clients down. I’m just thankful that those who have children and are in the same position will understand.

‘My husband has been able to keep working from home, but he has to go into work one to two days a week, so we simply have no choice.

‘I just hope that in two weeks they will be able to go back.’

Will exams be scrapped AGAIN this summer? 

Boris Johnson has refused to rule out cancelling exams this summer after headteachers called for them to scrapped.

The Prime Minister has come under pressure to axe GCSEs and A-Levels because so many children have missed out on schooling since the pandemic began.

Secondary schools have been ordered to close for the first two weeks of term to suppress Covid – particularly the new, faster-spreading variant – and there are fears the shutdown could last until February.

Headteachers have warned of huge inequality in the system, with some pupils left to face the summer exams less prepared than others. Asked yesterday on The Andrew Marr Show on BBC1 whether exams should be cancelled, the Prime Minister declined to rule the idea out, adding: ‘We’ve got to be realistic about the pace at which this new variant has spread, we’ve got to be realistic about the impact it’s having on our NHS, and we’ve got to be humble in the face of this virus.’

No exams took place last summer, with GSCE and A-level grades based on teacher assessments.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson insists national exams must go ahead this summer, even though Scotland and Wales have abandoned them.

PM’s vow to cut ‘absurd’ red tape thwarting vaccination volunteers 

The Prime Minister has ordered the removal of ‘absurd’ red tape putting off former health workers from signing up as vaccination volunteers.

Health chiefs are recruiting an army of helpers to ramp up vaccination levels.

But retired doctors and nurses who applied were told to produce 21 documents, including proof they had been on courses to combat racism and terrorism. They also had to prove they had competence in fire safety, conflict resolution, human rights and data security.

They branded the system ‘ridiculous’ and ‘impossible’, while doctors’ leaders demanded a rethink.

Boris Johnson said ministers planned to simplify the process, adding: ‘It’s absurd. The Health Secretary is taking steps to get rid of that pointless bureaucracy.’

 

But former education secretary Lord Baker told The Sunday Times that teachers should be allowed to grade their students instead.

He said teachers should take into account the number of days missed, adding: ‘They are better than algorithms and they are the only people who can possibly assess the achievement of their students in this extraordinary time.’

More than 2,000 headteachers from the campaign group WorthLess? insist health should not be put at risk simply to protect exam timetables. They added: ‘Wider public health, pupil and staff safety should be prioritised ahead of examinations. Public safety should not be risked or driven by an inflexible pursuit of GCSE and A-Levels.’

One of its leaders, Jules White, head of Tanbridge House School in Horsham, West Sussex, told The Sunday Times there was ‘great scepticism that exams can go ahead fairly’.

Recommending teacher assessments for final grades instead, the group said it would be more unfair on pupils in areas hit harder by the pandemic to go ahead with exams.

But Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, said: ‘Most children I talk to want exams to continue, but clearly they need to be fair.’

An expert panel is due to report to the Education Secretary with recommendation for making exams fair for children across England.

There are concerns about how to take into account the hidden disadvantages for children whose access to remote learning is poor.

Matt Hood, principal of Oak National Academy, which was commissioned by the Government to produce online lessons, said one million children had been forced to use their parents’ mobile phones to study because they did not own a phone or laptop.

The Department for Education said there was no plan to cancel exams.

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UAE

Abu Dhabi toll gates: What you need to know about ‘Darb’ before it comes into effect on January 2

Musaffah Toll Gate, Abu Dhabi
Image Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Motorists will soon begin to incur road tolls in Abu Dhabi, with the dedicated ‘Darb’ system, which is set to go live on January 2. The emirate’s public transport regulator, the Department of Municipalities and Transport’s Integrated Transport Centre (ITC), had earlier announced that more than 100,000 vehicle accounts have already been registered on Darb.

Ahead of its rollout, here is all you need to know:

When do Abu Dhabi’s toll gates become operational?

The Darb toll gates will begin charging users from Saturday, January 2, 2021. Effectively, the first vehicles to be charged will be those passing under a toll gate between 7am and 9am on Saturday.

How many toll gates are there and where are they located?

There are currently four toll gates in the capital, each located near one of the four bridges connecting Abu Dhabi island to the mainland: Al Maqtaa Bridge, Musaffah Bridge, Sheikh Zayed Bridge and Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Bridge.

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Sheikh Zayed Bridge Toll Gate
Image Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

What is the charge for passing under a toll gate?

A Dh4 toll will be collected if a motorist passes under any of the gates between 7am and 9am, and between 5pm and 7pm, between Saturday to Thursday. These are the designated peak hours.

Are there times when passing under a toll gate will be free?

Passing under any of the toll gates during non-peak hours every day, and at any time on Fridays and public holidays, will be free for motorists.

Is there a cap on the maximum toll amount charged in a day?

The maximum daily toll amount per vehicle is capped at Dh16. In addition, a monthly cap of Dh200 on the toll will apply for the first vehicle on a user’s account, along with a cap of Dh150 on the second vehicle, and Dh100 on all additional vehicles. The order of vehicles can be rearranged on the Darb toll payment site. There is no daily or monthly cap on tolls for corporate-owned vehicles.

Do I need to put a sticker on my vehicle?

The Darb toll system will automatically detect plate numbers and deduct the relevant toll from the payment account. There is no need to attach a tag or sticker.

How do I pay the toll?

• Visit the Darb toll website on darb.itc.gov.ae, or download the mobile app from iOS App Store, Google Play or Huawei App Gallery.

• To create an account, choose Individual.

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Sheikh Khalifa Bridge Toll Gate
Image Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

• Enter a valid email address, then the OTP sent to the email.

• When prompted, select the emirate where your vehicle is registered.

• Enter the traffic code.

• Enter a registered mobile phone number, then enter the OTP sent to the number.

• Enter a password to complete registration.

• Register your vehicle by clicking ‘Register’ on the dashboard, then choose the payment method (either Amwal wallet or credit card) and the wallet, and click ‘Pay’. The system has an initial vehicle registration fee of Dh100 per vehicle, of which Dh50 will be credited as a balance in the registered account.

• Top up your wallet by clicking ‘Top Up’ on your dashboard. Select the amount you want to add, then click ‘Top up using credit card’. Enter your credit card details and then click ‘Pay’.

• You can see additional vehicle details by navigating to the ‘Vehicles’ tab on the dashboard and even rearrange them to change the monthly capped toll on each vehicle.

What do I do if I have already created an account in the past?

If you have a previously registered account, just log in to the toll gate system and activate the account by following these steps:

• Visit the Darb toll website on darb.itc.gov.ae, or download the mobile app from iOS App Store, Google Play or Huawei App Gallery.

• Login using your Emirates ID or traffic code.

• Enter a valid email address, then submit the OTP sent to the email.

• Select a registered phone number and click on ‘Verify number’. Enter the OTP sent to the number.

• Enter the password and click submit.

Are any vehicles exempt from the road tolls?

All vehicles must be registered on the Darb system. Following this, some can apply for exemptions. The exemption categories include:

• One vehicle owned per senior Emirati aged 60 years and older.

• One vehicle owned per retired Emirati.

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Makta Bridge Toll Gate
Image Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

• One vehicle used for a person with special needs. A vehicle used by an Emirati person of determination can also be registered using their relevant People of Determination Card.

• One vehicle owned per Emirati with limited income.

• Armed forces and Civil Defence vehicles bearing plate numbers and emblems.

• Public taxis licensed in Abu Dhabi.

• School buses authorised by ITC.

• Passenger buses with a capacity of 26 passengers and above.

• Vehicles bearing the plate number of Abu Dhabi Police, Ministry of Interior or the police forces of other emirates.

How can I apply for a road toll exemption?

• Visit the Darb toll website on darb.itc.gov.ae, or download the mobile app from iOS App Store, Google Play or Huawei App Gallery. Log in.

• On the dashboard, click on ‘Requests’.

• Then click on the ‘Submit Request’ button.

• Select ‘Exemption Request’ from the drop-down list, then select the type of exemption requested (for instance, person of determination or low-income).

• Enter the vehicle plate number, and any description in the text box.

• Attach the relevant documents, then submit the request.

Are there any fines applicable for not registering a vehicle?

All vehicles must be registered on the Darb toll system.

In case a vehicle is not registered when passing under the toll gates, the user will be given a grace period of 10 business days to register the vehicle. Otherwise, a fine will be applied.

Are there any fines applicable for having insufficient balance in my toll payment account?

The procedures differ based on where a vehicle is registered.

For vehicles registered in Abu Dhabi, motorists can pay off any unpaid tolls when completing their annual vehicle licensing procedures.

For vehicles registered outside Abu Dhabi Emirate, motorists will be given a grace period of five working days to recharge the account before a fine is applied.

Where can I view any fines incurred?

Any fines incurred will be listed on the Darb website and app.

• Visit the Darb toll website on darb.itc.gov.ae, or download the mobile app from iOS App Store, Google Play or Huawei App Gallery. Log in.

• On the dashboard, click on ‘Fines’.

What fines have been announced so far?

The ITC has announced fines for the following violations:

Dh100 for an unregistered vehicle that has not yet been registered within the ten-day grace period of passing under a toll gate. This fine applies for the first time after the grace period ends.

Dh200 for an unregistered vehicle that has not yet been registered within the ten-day grace period of passing under a toll gate. This fine applies for the second pass after the grace period ends.

Dh400 for an unregistered vehicle that has not yet been registered within the ten-day grace period of passing under a toll gate. This fine applies for the third pass and subsequent passes after the grace period ends.

Dh50 for each pass without sufficient balance by a vehicle registered outside Abu Dhabi, followed by a similar penalty in case of failure to top up sufficiently within the grace period of five working days.

Dh10,000 for manipulating the vehicles’ licence plate to evade fines.

Dh10,000 for damaging any electronic payment machine or toll gate.

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Headlines UK

MOLLY KINGSLEY: Shut the school gates again, Prime Minister, and you will ruin young lives

Prime Minister, if I could say just three words to you this morning, they are these: ‘Don’t shut schools.’

That’s it. The message is that stark, that simple. Britain cannot afford another lockdown that closes our classrooms.

We cannot afford the devastation to ten million children, to their education and their future opportunities, to their mental health and to our economy in decades to come.

Prime Minister, if you allow the school gates to shut, you will be inflicting untold damage on the country at a time when we need more than ever to protect our most precious resource — the emerging generation.

To squander their prospects for the sake of rash political expediency would be unforgivable.

I was shocked to hear Home Secretary Priti Patel refuse yesterday to pledge that schools will reopen in the new year, giving substance to the unattributed statement from a government source on Monday that many children will be barred from returning until February.

Sacrifices

We already knew that the beginning of term would be ‘staggered’, though the science behind that seems shaky at best. What is a staggered opening if not closure for many by another name? The stakes could scarcely be higher. Britain already has a generation of children whose education has been grievously disrupted.

Back in March, when the pandemic first struck, we were glibly assured that pupils could learn from home for a few weeks.

Few parents really believed that: most, like me — a mother with two children under ten — have got far too much respect for teachers to imagine that we would be able to step in to oversee meaningful lessons for long.

But we were facing an unknown, unprecedented health threat. Everyone was being asked to make extraordinary sacrifices.

Prime Minister, if I could say just three words to you this morning, they are these: ‘Don’t shut schools.’ That’s it. The message is that stark, that simple, writes Molly Kingsley

Nine months later, the situation is very different. We now understand that the direct danger to children who are infected with Covid-19 is minimal.

Even Professor Chris Whitty, the UK’s chief medical adviser, has said that ‘the chances of children dying from Covid-19 are incredibly small’.

The danger is to the elderly and the vulnerable, who must be helped to shield themselves until the vaccine can be administered to all who need it.

But the direct threats to children who are kept away from school for months on end are very real, irreparable and lifelong.

Hundreds of thousands have been struggling with their mental health, terrified by the daily news, haunted by disinformation spreading on social media and fearful of what their adult lives will be like if this continues.

To force more mental suffering on children by separating them from friends and daily routines is simply wicked. It’s indefensible. All children should have a cast-iron right to education, which is critical to the future of this country.

The psychological damage of denying education cannot be overstated. Report after report has highlighted the catastrophic academic, social and mental health effects on children.

Young people have even killed themselves, because the uncertainty and the loneliness have become unbearable. Those deaths should have been so easily prevented.

Of course, if the landscape dramatically changes and hospitals do become overwhelmed, then I accept the Government might have no option except to rethink its strategy. But we’re nowhere near that point.

To force more mental suffering on children by separating them from friends and daily routines is simply wicked. It’s indefensible. All children should have a cast-iron right to education, which is critical to the future of this country. Pictured: Pupils in Doncaster

To force more mental suffering on children by separating them from friends and daily routines is simply wicked. It’s indefensible. All children should have a cast-iron right to education, which is critical to the future of this country. Pictured: Pupils in Doncaster

It is ultimately a question of balance of harms, one that takes into account the fact that the average age of a patient who dies from Covid is over 82 — about 12 months more than the average lifespan in the UK.

I understand that the Government strives to save every life but we must not ignore the damage lockdowns inflict on children.

In fact, I believe that few octogenarians would want the prospect of an entire generation’s hopes to be flushed away, or to know that children were suffering and, in some cases, even killing themselves, as a result of a policy to protect the elderly.

That is why, Prime Minister, you must not cave in to the politically charged agendas of the teaching unions, who have shown little regard for the wants and needs of schoolchildren and seem intent on treating this pandemic not as an educational crisis but as a political opportunity to embarrass the Government.

I believe the great majority of teachers do not subscribe to their agenda. After all, no one should be playing politics with children’s lives.

If anything, like most parents, my admiration for teachers has only increased during successive lockdowns. Helping children to learn requires dedication and skill, drawing on an array of talents. Teachers have to be wise, patient, innovative, entertaining, well-informed and quick-thinking.

Ludicrous

The notion that they can be replaced by a laptop and a busy working parent is ludicrous.

Laptops are tools, not teachers, and working parents now need to be contributing to the economy as never before.

There is no doubt in my mind that a day spent in front of a computer is in no way a substitute for the learning and social interaction of a classroom. It also creates huge problems for working parents.

Only recently, Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector of schools, stated what every teacher and parent now knows: remote learning is no replacement for a face-to-face lesson.

Younger children are unable to engage with it, and older ones are bereft of the essential social experience of learning.

Although some children may have managed well enough, in most cases they were the ones who were thriving to begin with — and to be doing ‘well enough’ is an underachievement in real terms. They are the children who should be aspiring to be exceptional.

Others will be drifting — or worse. At most risk are the children from underprivileged backgrounds, broken and even violent homes — the ones for whom school was often a sanctuary.

I was shocked to hear Home Secretary Priti Patel refuse yesterday to pledge that schools will reopen in the new year, giving substance to the unattributed statement from a government source on Monday that many children will be barred from returning until February

I was shocked to hear Home Secretary Priti Patel refuse yesterday to pledge that schools will reopen in the new year, giving substance to the unattributed statement from a government source on Monday that many children will be barred from returning until February

Chasm

By the end of the summer term, 94 per cent of these vulnerable children had not been in school. Who is looking out for them now? A laptop does not see bruises or deeper emotional problems.

That’s if they have access to a laptop at all. At the start of the year, we were talking about a worrying ‘attainment gap’ between children from different social and economic backgrounds.

That gap is now a chasm. The damage is done, and will last for years. To worsen it would be wilful destruction, and unforgivable.

It’s a fact of life that our children are the future engine of Britain’s economy. Another schools shutdown will take a wrecking ball to that engine, as well as to the futures of millions of young people. It would be one of the greatest political crimes of our lifetimes.

If it was inhumane of the Government to cancel Christmas, cancelling schooling is even more egregious.

Prime Minister, you were elected because voters thought you were brave. Now is the time to do the brave thing, the only right thing for children, and do whatever you possibly can to keep schools open.

Molly Kingsley is the co-founder of UsForThem, a campaign group for children’s welfare.

Categories
Headline USA Politics Utah

Candace Owens calls Dr Fauci and Bill Gates ‘evil’ in wild Twitter attack

Right-wing commentator Candace Owens calls Fauci and Bill Gates ‘evil’ and says the pharmaceutical industry is ‘wrought with corruption’ in wild anti-vaxx Twitter attack

  • Candace Owens launched scathing attack on Dr Fauci and Bill Gates on Twitter
  • She said they were both ‘evil’ and slammed the pharmaceutical industry
  • Tweet provoked backlash among users, with many claiming it was ‘unfounded’

Candace Owens has launched a scathing attack on Dr Fauci and Bill Gates, describing them as ‘evil’ in a wild Twitter attack. 

The right-wing activist also slammed the pharmaceutical industry and argued it is ‘wrought with corruption’.

Without explaining her remarks, Owens wrote on Twitter: ‘Dr. Fauci is evil. Bill Gates is evil. The pharmaceutical industry is wrought with corruption and pure evil.’ 

In April this year, the 31-year-old told her Twitter followers that ‘under no circumstances’ will she take any coronavirus vaccine.

‘This is your daily reminder that under no circumstances will I be getting any coronavirus vaccine that becomes available. Ever. No matter what,’ she wrote at the time. 

Candace Owens has launched a scathing attack on Dr Fauci and Bill Gates, describing them as ‘evil’

In a wild Twitter attack, Owens said yesterday: 'Dr. Fauci is evil. Bill Gates is evil. The pharmaceutical industry is wrought with corruption and pure evil.' Pictured: Bill Gates

In a wild Twitter attack, Owens said yesterday: ‘Dr. Fauci is evil. Bill Gates is evil. The pharmaceutical industry is wrought with corruption and pure evil.’ Pictured: Bill Gates

Owens said Dr Fauci (pictured) 'is evil' but did not provide an explanation as to why she thought this

Owens said Dr Fauci (pictured) ‘is evil’ but did not provide an explanation as to why she thought this

Candace Owens launched the scathing Twitter attack yesterday

Candace Owens launched the scathing Twitter attack yesterday

However, in a tweet days earlier she insisted she was not against vaccinations in general.

Owens’ recent tweet about Fauci and Gates has since been retweeted nearly 23,000 times and liked by 112,400 Twitter users. 

It sparked a mixed reaction with many accusing her of spreading misinformation whilst others said the post was ‘unfounded and baseless’.

‘Nope. Fauci saves lives,’ tweeted Tom Dorwant, a US lawyer. ‘What do you do? Criticize a doctor and spread conspiracy theories when you have no medical background.’ 

Another user, Rocky Jedick, an ER doctor at the University of Utah, said: ‘75% of the time I hear Candace Owens speak and she makes strong arguments that are not politically correct but stir useful debate over a variety of issues. 

‘The other 25% of the time she says stuff like this and I’m shocked anyone can ever take her seriously.’   

Candace Owen's tweet provoked a backlash on Twitter, with some describing the post as 'unfounded and baseless'

Candace Owen’s tweet provoked a backlash on Twitter, with some describing the post as ‘unfounded and baseless’

Others blamed Trump for his response to coronavirus. One said: ‘I disagree on this one Candice. Fauci is as good as it gets in his field. Trump misplayed the Chinese Virus card big time.’

Owens has been at the center of controversy in recent months. Last month, she criticized former One Direction star Harry Styles for wearing a dress on the cover of Vogue. 

Styles, 26, made history as the first ever solo male cover star of US Vogue in its 127-year history – and he opted to wear a ball gown and a custom Gucci jacket for the occassion. 

Owens took umbrage to the singer’s shoot and tweeted: ‘There is no society that can survive without strong men … bring back manly men. 

‘Sorry I’m not sorry.’

Candace Owens has faced backlash in recent months over her comments about Harry Styles and Cardi B

Candace Owens has faced backlash in recent months over her comments about Harry Styles and Cardi B

Harry Styles has been slammed by conservative commentator Candace Owens, after he posed for US Vogue in a dress

Harry Styles has been slammed by conservative commentator Candace Owens, after he posed for US Vogue in a dress

In September, Owens and Cardi B engaged in a Twitter war after the conservative commentator called the rapper ‘illiterate’ and an ’embarrassment’ to black people.    

The feud began after Owens shared a clip of her appearance on The Ben Shapiro Show, in which she said slammed Democratic nominee Joe Biden for taking part in an interview with Cardi B – real name Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar – for Elle last month.

Owens said it was ‘one of the biggest insults’ to black voters that Biden decided to do the interview with an ‘illiterate rapper’, rather than someone who could ask the ‘tough questions’.

The Republican went on to say that the former Vice President thinks ‘black people are stupid’ and likened his interview with Cardi B to Donald Trump being interviewed by Justin Bieber.

In response, Cardi B said: ‘I don’t know what Black man broke your heart … that you hate your kind so much.’

 ‘I honestly just feel sorry for you,’ she said in a separate message. 

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California Headline USA New York Politics

Bill Gates says US entering worse phase of COVID pandemic and predicts lockdowns will last into 2022

Bill Gates says he expects that coronavirus-related lockdowns could drag on into 2022 with restaurants closing their doors for the next six months.  

The billionaire Microsoft founder offered his predictions during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday as the US set new records for new cases, hospitalizations and deaths over a seven-day period. 

Asked how bad he thinks the COVID-19 crisis will get in the next few months before vaccines become widely available, Gates said: ‘Well, sadly, the next four to six months could be the worst of the epidemic.

‘Forecast shows over 200,000 additional deaths. If we would follow the rules in  terms of wearing masks and not mixing, we could avoid a large percentage of those deaths. So in the near term, it’s bad news.’

He went on to signal his support for drastic restrictions – including California Governor Gavin Newsom’s latest stay-at-home order affecting more than 75 percent of the state.   

‘Well certainly mask-wearing has essentially no downsides,’ Gates said. ‘Bars and restaurants in most of the country will be closed as we go into this wave, and I think sadly that’s appropriate.’

‘You don’t want somebody you love to be the last to die of coronavirus,’ he added. 

Bill Gates said he expects that coronavirus-related lockdowns could drag on into 2022 with restaurants closing their doors for the next six months during a CNN interview on Sunday

Gates noted that deciding whether to keep schools open is more ‘complicated’ than other businesses because the benefits of in-person learning are high while transmission rates among children are low.    

‘Tradeoffs will have to be made, but the next four to six months really call on us to do our best because we can see that this will end,’ he said. 

Tapper then probed: ‘When do you think life will fully return to what we thought of as normal back in January? No masks, no social distancing, no other protective measures necessary.’

Gates replied: ‘Certainly, by the summer we will be way closer to normal than we are now – but even through early 2022, unless we help other countries get rid of this disease and we get high vaccinations rates in our country, the risk of reintroduction will be there.

‘And, of course, the global economy will be slowed down, which hurts America economically in a pretty dramatic way. 

‘So we will have, starting in the summer, about nine months where a few things like big public gatherings will still be restricted. 

‘But we can see now that somewhere between 12 to 18 months, we have a chance, if we manage it well, to get back to normal.’

Gates signaled his support for drastic restrictions - including California Governor Gavin Newsom's latest stay-at-home order - saying: 'Bars and restaurants in most of the country will be closed as we go into this wave [of infections], and I think sadly that's appropriate.' Pictured: City workers enforce mask requirements on a pier in Manhattan Beach, California on Saturday

Gates signaled his support for drastic restrictions – including California Governor Gavin Newsom’s latest stay-at-home order – saying: ‘Bars and restaurants in most of the country will be closed as we go into this wave [of infections], and I think sadly that’s appropriate.’ Pictured: City workers enforce mask requirements on a pier in Manhattan Beach, California on Saturday

A diner sits by the bar on Sunday night before New York City's indoor dining is shut down

A diner sits by the bar on Sunday night before New York City’s indoor dining is shut down 

The US set new records for cases, hospitalizations and deaths over a seven-day period Sunday

The US set new records for cases, hospitalizations and deaths over a seven-day period Sunday

At another point in the interview Tapper mentioned how the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently announced a new $250million pledge to fight the pandemic, on top of the $1billion it had already committed.  

Gates said that funding would be focused on creating a vaccines for use not just in the US but around the world. 

He also addressed rampant online conspiracy theories that his foundation was working with Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH, to inject microchips into people with the vaccine – saying that such rumors ‘surprised’ him. 

‘You know, I’m not even quite sure how to react,’ he said. ‘Dr Fauci and I believe in vaccines. Vaccines have saved millions of lives. That is what our foundation is all about and so our expertise was valuable here in getting the scale up of those things.

‘You’ve got to be willing to speak out publicly, even if it’s not always well understood. 

‘I do worry will this make people not want to take the vaccine or not believe, you know, in polio eradication or other causes that I think are valuable.’

Tapper mentioned how the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently announced a new $250million pledge to fight the pandemic, on top of the $1billion it had already committed. Gates said that funding would be focused on vaccine research

Tapper mentioned how the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently announced a new $250million pledge to fight the pandemic, on top of the $1billion it had already committed. Gates said that funding would be focused on vaccine research

Tapper then cited a new poll from Pew Research Center which showed that only 60 percent of Americans intend to get vaccinated, asking: ‘How worried are you about the reluctance of Americans to take a vaccine, particularly among minority communities?’

‘I think we have a real communications challenge that you’ve got to find out who do people trust, make sure they have got the data,’ Gates replied. 

‘I hope as people see it – this  vaccine rolled out and reducing the death rate, reducing transmission to people you care about, that that 60 percent number will go up. 

‘The track record will be  developed and I think we will get over the 70 percent that should reduce the transmission dramatically.’ 

Gates said he intends to join several other American leaders – including President-elect Joe Biden and former Presidents Barack Obama, George W Bush and Bill Clinton – in taking the vaccine publicly in an effort to help convince others that it’s safe. 

‘When my turn comes up, I will visibly take the vaccine because I think that it’s a benefit to all people to not be transmitting,’ he said. 

Gates said he’s spoken to Biden about the incoming administration’s plans to combat the pandemic and that he is encouraged by what he’s seen.  

‘I’m pleased with the people and the priority that President-elect Biden and his team are bringing to bear on this problem,’ he said. 

Gates said he's spoken to Joe Biden about the incoming administration's plans to combat the pandemic and that he is encouraged by what he's seen

Gates said he’s spoken to Joe Biden about the incoming administration’s plans to combat the pandemic and that he is encouraged by what he’s seen

‘Biden is doing his best to retain Francis Collins and Tony Fauci and add them to that strong group of people. These are people who are willing to admit when things aren’t going well and deliver top messages, particularly about the next four to six months. 

‘I do think the US will not be one of the worst performers as the team comes in to office.’

Gates took a few small shots at Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump – saying that his plan to prioritize vaccinations for Americans is ‘selfish’ and suggesting that the Trump administration did not play a substantial role in getting vaccines rolled out quickly.  

But, he said that Trump’s response to the virus ‘could have been worse’.  

‘[Trump] could have fired Dr Fauci. He could have kept Scott Atlas on longer. You know, we will do the postmortem when it’s over. 

‘We should all look at what we will have learned from this epidemic because there will be another epidemic coming and whatever that administration is being smart about getting the testing out fast, allowing the CDC, who are the experts, to give the message to the public, not being afraid of bad news, so that we get people ready.

‘It’s pretty clear we  are going to be smarter next time.’ 

Tapper concluded the interview by asking: ‘How do you think history will ultimately judge the US response to the pandemic?’ 

‘Well, the US would have been expected to be the best,’ Gates said. ‘Sadly, before the epidemic, in the first two or three months of the epidemic, we didn’t get on top of it like many countries did. 

‘Figuring out where we need to change things, these postmortems the next year, will guide us, but it’s a tragedy we weren’t able to respond like we could have.’

Categories
Entertainment UK

Gareth Gates says women prefer him ‘skinner’ after working for years on buff bod


Gareth Gates has revealed it’s taken him six years to achieve the body of his dreams – but women still preferred him when he was a ‘skinny beanpole’.

The 33-year-old singer – who shot to fame on Pop Idol – believes he was considered more of a heartthrob to fans when he wasn’t slaving away in the gym every day.

Gareth shot to fame as a teenager on the 2002 reality show and won the hearts of the nation with his baby-faced charm and spiky locks.

But despite undergoing a huge body transformation, Gareth says: “I definitely got more attention back then. I was a pop star with loads of hits.”

Gareth Gates said it’s taken him six years to achieve his rippling abs

FWRO
He revealed that he got more attention from fans when he was on Pop Idol

“But I think I look better now,” he told The Sun. “It’s taken me six years to get this body. I got into the gym when I was 30 and stopped partying.

“But in the last couple of years I’ve started to take my fitness really seriously,” he shared.

Gareth said these days he would rather waking up looking and feeling good ready to hit the gym that waste the day hungover.

Shedding some insight into his strict regime, Gareth said he works out for two hours every single day.

He said he bench presses 120kg (almost 19st) and eats 4000 calories a day.

Gareth works hard to maintain his buff bod

But he’s not filling up on junk food, Gareth maintains a clean diet and has switched meat and dairy for protein shakes.

While Gareth insists he doesn’t get as much fan mail as he used to, he said there are still many women who slide into his DMs sending him messages that are ‘too rude for publication.’

But these days Gareth is happily loved-up with DJ Chloe McLennan.

Gareth and Faye Brookes parted ways last year

The pair met just before lockdown in March and decided to move in together.

Last year, Gareth went through a heartbreaking split with long-term girlfriend Faye Brookes.

Gareth was previously married to dancer Suzanne Mole, who is mother to his 11-year-old daughter Missy.





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Headline USA

Bill Gates said almost all coronavirus vaccines will be ready by February | The State


Despite this optimism, Gates warned that the world is not out of the woods yet.

Photo:
JEFF PACHOUD / AFP / Getty Images

Famous billionaire Bill Gates has said he is optimistic about the development of coronavirus vaccines. The first two vaccines likely to receive FDA clearance are one from Pfizer and the other from Moderna, and these appear to be 95% effective against the virus.

It should be noted that Gates also has high hopes for vaccines that are not as advanced as those already mentioned., including those of AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax.

“Almost all vaccines will work and with very high levels of efficacy. I’m optimistic that, by February, they are all likely to be very effective and safe, ”Gates said, as reported by CNet.

Despite this optimism, Gates warned the world is not out of the woods yet. In fact, the mogul said we should be very concerned about what might happen in the next six months, adding that the daily death rate from the coronavirus will exceed 2,000 deaths for much of the winter.

Bill Gates also urged people to wear face masks and maintain social distancing while the vaccine arrives.

–You may also be interested: McDonald’s will donate $ 100 to charity for each support post you make on social media

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Headline USA

Elon Musk is now the second richest person in the world after displacing Bill Gates | The State


Musk’s net worth has increased by $ 100.3 billion so far in 2020.

Photo:
PHILIP PACHECO / AFP / Getty Images

The co-founder of Tesla, Elon musk, is now the second richest person in the world after having surpassed Bill gates from Microsoft, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which tracks the fortunes of the 500 richest people in the world.

The 49-year-old businessman, who is also a co-founder of the space exploration company SpaceX, saw his net worth increase by $ 7.2 billion to reach a figure of $ 128,000 million on Monday, as Tesla shares rose days after news that the electric car company it will be admitted to the S&P 500 index in December.

Musk’s net worth has increased by $ 100.3 billion in 2020,marking the largest increase among the Bloomberg Billionaire Index. In January alone, Musk ranked 35.

It was last week when Musk pushed the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, to the fourth position when it was awarded third place. The only person ahead of Musk is Jeff Bezos, the head of Amazon, who took the top spot from Gates in 2017 and has remained there ever since.

Related: Elon Musk questions the accuracy of the COVID-19 tests: he says it tested positive and negative successively.

It is the second time in eight years that Gates has not been ranked in the top two on the index. The Microsoft founder’s estate is $ 127.7 billion that it would be greater if it weren’t for the philanthropic efforts that it makes. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has donated more than $ 27 billion since 2006.

During this pandemic year, those on the Bloomberg Index have jointly added a 23 percent to his net worth, that is to say, $ 1.3 trillion while millions of workers have faced financial difficulties after being laid off by their employers due to the current coronavirus pandemic.

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Technology US

Elon Musk overtakes Bill Gates to become world’s second richest person behind Jeff Bezos


Elon Musk has passed Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to become the world’s second richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The Tesla CEO’s net worth now sits at around $128 billion, after increasing by $100 billion this year. There is a sizable gap between Musk and the number one spot, which is currently held by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos who has a reported net worth of around $182 billion. In January, Musk ranked 35th on the list, Bloomberg reports.

For an idea of how the wealth of these men compares to the average American household, check out this amazing data visualization produced earlier this year in which every pixel represents $1,000.

Musk’s rapid ascent up the list has mainly been driven by Tesla’s share price. The car company currently has a market cap of almost $500 billion, after starting the year at under $100 billion. The Guardian reports that Tesla has the highest market cap of any car company in the world, despite producing a fraction of the cars of more established automakers. This year it expects to produce 500,000 cars, compared to around 10 million for a company like Toyota. Around three quarters of Musk’s net worth consists of Tesla shares, according to Bloomberg.

Musk’s other major venture, SpaceX, has also seen recent success. Last week the company transported four astronauts to the International Space Station aboard its Crew Dragon spacecraft. It follows the company’s first crewed flight to space in May this year.

Bill Gates sat atop the Billionaires Index for years until he was overtaken by Jeff Bezos in 2017. Bloomberg notes that Gates would probably have a higher net wealth right now if he hadn’t given so much money to charity, including the over $27 billion he’s donated through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation since 2006.

Gates and Musk have had some high-profile disagreements this year. In September, Musk said Gates had “no clue” about the viability of electric trucks, after the Microsoft co-founder said that electric semi-trucks, along with electric cargo ships and passenger jets, will “probably never” be practical. Earlier this year Gates told CNBC that Musk should avoid making big predictions about areas he’s not familiar with, after the Tesla CEO downplayed the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Musk overtook Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg last week when he became the third-richest person on the Billionaires Index. Zuckerberg has since fallen to fifth in the rankings after he was overtaken by French businessman Bernard Arnault.





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