Categories
Entertainment USA Hollywood

Jordyn Woods Gushes Over ‘Sweetest’ BF Karl-Anthony Towns After He Sends Her ‘Love’ Hoodie From Quarantine

Karl-Anthony Towns is battling COVID-19, but that didn’t stop the Minnesota Timberwolves player from surprising Jordyn Woods with thoughtful gifts.

Jordyn Woods really does have “the sweetest boyfriend,” which she gushed on her Jan. 21st Instagram Story. That’s because the 23-year-old model and actress’s boyfriend, Karl-Anthony Towns, surprised her with two luxury presents: a pair of Chrome Hearts jeans marked with the brand’s iconic cross logo, and a romantic “Love Is Us” Vetements hoodie. Even more impressive is the fact that Karl organized this thoughtful gesture while battling COVID-19.

“I have the sweetest boyfriend,” Jordyn wrote over her surprises, adding, “Sending me things even when he’s sick.” Jordyn’s teenage sister, Jodie Woods, was just as impressed with Karl’s presents. She posted them on her own Instagram Story and wrote, “karl is the sweetest boyfriend [emojis] really just sent her some chrome jeans and this vetements hoodie that made him think of her, BRO MY HEARTTTTT.”

Karl revealed his COVID-19 diagnosis on Jan. 15, on the very same day his team’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies was postponed. “Prior to tonight’s game, I received yet another awful call that I tested positive for COVID. I will immediately isolate and follow every protocol. I pray every day that this nightmare of a virus will subside and I beg everyone to continue to take it seriously by taking all of the necessary precautions. We cannot stop the spread of this virus alone, it must be a group effort by all of us.”

Karl added that it “breaks [his] heart” that his “family, and particularly [his] father and sister continue to suffer from the anxiety that comes along with this diagnosis as we know all too well what the end result could be.” On a heartbreaking note, Karl vowed to his niece and nephew Jolani and Max that he won’t “end up in a box next to grandma,” a reference to the heartbreaking fact that Karl lost his mother Jacqueline Cruz-Towns to COVID-19 in April of 2020. Jordyn had helped Karl through this tragic time as a supportive friend before they started dating in the fall of 2020.

Jordyn Woods has a cute moment with Karl Anthony-Towns at the launch of her PrettyLittleThing collaboration launch in Hollywood in Oct. 2020. (Photo Credit: BACKGRID)

Once again, Jordyn is showing her support to Karl, too. Jordyn urged fans to “please send some prayers up” after her boyfriend revealed his diagnosis last Friday. As you can see, Jordyn and Karl are a tight unit — but they’re not rushing anything. “Of course, one day in the future I would like to have a time to settle down and have a family of my own. But right now I don’t want things to go way too fast,” Jordyn EXCLUSIVELY told HollywoodLife in Oct. 2020.

Categories
Entertainment USA

Jordyn Woods Begs For Prayers For Her BF Karl-Anthony Towns After He’s Diagnosed With Covid

Model Jordyn Woods is praying for a ‘speedy recovery’ for her athlete boyfriend Karl-Anthony Towns, after he was diagnosed with coronavirus.

Jordyn Woods, 23, is asking fans to pray for her boyfriend Karl-Anthony Towns, 25, after he tested positive for COVID-19. She took to her Instagram Story on January 16 to thank fans for the outpouring of support, after her beau revealed his diagnosis. “I just wanted to thank you for all of your support, prayers and concern. My family and I all got tested for COVID and the results came back negative so we are all good but continue to pray for Karl for a speedy recovery,” the model wrote.

Jordyn Woods is praying for her boyfriend’s COVID-19 recovery. Image: BACKGRID

Her NBA star boyfriend, who plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves, has lost 7 family members to the deadly coronavirus, including his mother Jacqueline Towns. Jordyn also penned a message directly to Karl-Anthony, writing, “Be strong @karltowns. You’re a true fighter this is not fair or right that you were put in this position when you were just trying to do your job. You got this,” she wrote, adding the praying hands and heart emojis.

Jordyn added, “Praying for you babe. I know you’re going to pull through. God’s got you and so does your most powerful guardian Angel up there…you’re one of the strongest people I know.” The athlete first revealed his diagnosis after a routine NBA test. “Prior to tonight’s game, I received yet another awful call that I tested positive for COVID. I will immediately isolate and follow every protocol,” he said in a statement. “I pray every day that this nightmare virus will subside and I beg everyone to continue to take it seriously by taking all of the necessary precautions. We cannot stop the spread of this virus alone.”

He and Jordyn first confirmed their romance in September after her lavish birthday trip to Mexico. Although the couple have had plenty of positive experiences over the past year, jetting off on tropical vacations together, it has also been a trying time for Karl. He recently opened up about the tragic loss of his mother in a heartrending YouTube video titled “The Toughest Year Of My Life”. “It hurts so bad. Every day,” he said, revealing he had to make the tough decision to “pull the plug” on his 59-year-old mother.

Categories
Headline USA Minnesota

Karl-Anthony Towns of the Timberwolves Tested Positive for COVID-19, His Mother Died from the Virus | The State

Despite the bad news, Towns said he was ready to start the season with the Timberwolves.

Photo:
Andy Lyons / Getty Images

Probably the Minnesota Timberwolves center, Karl-Anthony Cruz, is one of the professional athletes who have been worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic. At just 25 years old, the New Jersey native lost his mother Jacqueline Cruz and six other relatives as a result of complications from COVID-19.

“Before the game tonight, I got another terrible call and I tested positive for COVID. I will isolate myself immediately and follow all protocols. I pray every day that this virus nightmare goes away and I beg you all to continue taking it seriously with all the necessary precautions, “detailed Towns, through social networks.

Towns’s mother, Jacqueline Cruz-Towns, died at age 59 on April 13 of last year due to complications from COVID-19. She had battled the virus for a month, the Timberwolves reported, later the player added that six of his family members had also contracted the virus, including his father that he was able to recover.

“We cannot stop the spread of this virus alone, it must be a group effort from all of us. It breaks my heart that my family, and in particular my father and my sister, continue to suffer anxiety that accompanies this diagnosis, since we all know very well what the end result could be. To my niece and nephew, Jolani and Max, I promise you that I won’t end up in a box with grandma and I will overcome this, ”said the one also selected by the Dominican Republic.

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Categories
Entertainment USA TV

Jordyn Woods’ NBA star boyfriend Karl-Anthony Towns has tested positive for COVID-19

Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns announced that he tested positive for coronavirus over Instagram on Friday.

The NBA player, 25, was particularly crestfallen about his diagnosis as his mother, 59-year-old Jacqueline Cruz-Towns, passed away from complications of COVID-19 on April 13.

‘Prior to tonight’s game, I received yet another awful call that I tested positive for COVID,’ Towns wrote.

‘I will immediately isolate and follow every protocol. I pray every day that this nightmare of a virus will subside and I beg everyone to continue to take it seriously by taking all the necessary precautions.’

Pushing through: Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns announced that he tested positive for COVID-19 over Twitter on Friday; seen on January 13

He continued: ‘It breaks my heart that my family, and particularly my father and sister continue to suffer from the anxiety that comes along with this diagnosis as we know all too well what the end result could be.’

Addressing his niece and nephew directly, the athlete promised he would ‘not end up in a box next to grandma’ and will ‘beat this.’

‘Praying for you baby. You got this. God’s got you,’ commented Towns’ girlfriend Jordyn Woods, while continuing to help her man grieve seven of his relatives’ deaths, due to COVID-19, since March.

Heart-wrenching post: Addressing his niece and nephew directly, the athlete promised he would ' not end up in a box next to grandma' and will 'beat this'

Heart-wrenching post: Addressing his niece and nephew directly, the athlete promised he would ‘ not end up in a box next to grandma’ and will ‘beat this’

'Praying for you baby. You got this. God's got you,' his girlfriend commented, while continuing to help her man grieve seven of his relatives' deaths, due to COVID-19

‘Praying for you baby. You got this. God’s got you,’ his girlfriend commented, while continuing to help her man grieve seven of his relatives’ deaths, due to COVID-19

His announcement came shortly after the NBA announced Friday’s game between the Timberwolves and the visiting Memphis Grizzlies was postponed due to the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols. 

Last month, during an interview with ESPN about the upcoming NBA season, Towns spoke of seeing a ‘a lot of coffins in the last seven months.’

‘I’ve been through a lot, obviously starting out with my mom,’ Towns said. ‘Last night I got a call that I lost my uncle. I feel like I’ve been hardened a little bit by life and humbled.’ 

Tragic: Last month, Towns revealed he has lost seven members of his family to COVID-19, including his mother, pictured above with him in 2016

Tragic: Last month, Towns revealed he has lost seven members of his family to COVID-19, including his mother, pictured above with him in 2016

He did not say which other members of his family had passed away. 

The NBA star said that he is still trying to process the death of his mother as he looks to protect the rest of his family from the ongoing pandemic. 

His father, Karl Sr., also tested positive for coronavirus earlier in the year but has recovered.  

Towns, pictured above with mother Jacqueline and father Karl Sr. revealed that six other members of his family have died of COVID-19 since his mother in April

Towns, pictured above with mother Jacqueline and father Karl Sr. revealed that six other members of his family have died of COVID-19 since his mother in April

‘I have a lot of people who have – in my family and my mom’s family – gotten COVID. I’m the one looking for answers still, trying to find how to keep them healthy.

‘It’s just a lot of responsibility on me to keep my family well-informed and to make all the moves necessary to keep them alive,’ he added.

Towns’ mom Jacqueline Cruz-Towns died on April 13 at the age of 58 after being placed on a ventilator for 19 days. 

Jacqueline Towns-Cruz, pictured with Karl, rarely missed one of her son's games

Jacqueline Towns-Cruz, pictured with Karl, rarely missed one of her son’s games

Weeks prior, he shared an emotional post to Instagram on March 25 in which he wrote that she was on a ventilator and in a medically-induced coma as a result of COVID-19.

‘We need more equipment and we need to help those medical personnel on the front lines,’ he wrote with the video.

He continued: ‘Thank you to the medical staff who are helping my mom. You are all the true heroes! Praying for all of us at this difficult time.’

Afterward, Towns donated $100,000 to the Mayo Clinic to help with testing patients for COVID-19.

Towns is pictured with his family in 2016. He said Friday that he has been working to keep them safe from the pandemic since the death of his mother, pictured left, in April

Towns is pictured with his family in 2016. He said Friday that he has been working to keep them safe from the pandemic since the death of his mother, pictured left, in April

Towns later confirmed her death with a touching video showing her by his side at games, press conference and TV appearances.

His mother had been a constant presence through all the large moments of his career, and was often highlighted by fans for her enthusiasm in supporting her son from the crowds.

The basketball star said that he felt compelled to share his mother’s story, detailing how he cared for her on social media, so others would better understand the impact of the pandemic. 

He and Woods, whose father died in 2017 after being diagnosed with cancer,   ‘connected about losing a parent at a very young age’ after years of friendship.   

Support system: He and Woods, whose father died in 2017 after being diagnosed with cancer, 'connected about losing a parent at a very young age' after years of friendship

Support system: He and Woods, whose father died in 2017 after being diagnosed with cancer, ‘connected about losing a parent at a very young age’ after years of friendship

‘The right person will bring a lot out of you,’ she told Extra about the relationship last year. ‘We have been friends for a long time.’ 

Woods was previously linked to Tristan Thompson, after she was reportedly spotted smooching NBA player in the early hours of the morning at his Los Angeles home in January of 2019. 

At the time, Thompson was in a relationship with KUWTK star and baby mama Khloé Kardashian, who has since reconciled with. The pair are focused on raising their daughter True, two.

The situation led to Woods having a falling out with the famous family, including the end of her longtime friendship with Kylie Jenner, 23. 

Happy pair: The NBA superstar and the model confirmed their romance in the fall

Happy pair: The NBA superstar and the model confirmed their romance in the fall

Categories
Canada

A whole string of ghost towns

From Gatineau to Gaspé via Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières and Saguenay, the streets of the major cities of the province were emptied of their citizens at the stroke of 8 p.m. on Saturday. Here are some pictures taken of these deserted places.

• Read also: Curfew officially comes into effect

Gatineau

The city center was deserted even before the curfew.

Photo QMI Agency, Jadrino Huot

The city center was deserted even before the curfew.

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Sherbrooke

King Street was lifeless on Saturday night.

Photo QMI Agency, Audré Kieffer

King Street was lifeless on Saturday night.

Lanaudiere

In Repentigny, near the Galeries Rive-Nord, on Boulevard Brien.

Photo QMI Agency, Simon Dessureault

In Repentigny, near the Galeries Rive-Nord, on Boulevard Brien.

Click here to read the article

Deserted highways in Montreal

At the top, highway 25, Galeries d’Anjou, to the right, highway 720, Turcot interchange. Below, Décarie highway and Galipeault bridge.

Transport Québec screenshots

At the top, highway 25, Galeries d’Anjou, to the right, highway 720, Turcot interchange. Below, Décarie highway and Galipeault bridge.

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Three Rivers

Only a few delivery vehicles were seen downtown.

Photo QMI Agency, Andréanne Lemire

Only a few delivery vehicles were seen downtown.

Quebec

Le Bonhomme Carnaval would not have made many friends on Champlain Boulevard on Saturday.

Photo Didier Debusschère

Le Bonhomme Carnaval would not have made many friends on Champlain Boulevard on Saturday.

Click here to read the article

Saguenay

The Dubuc bridge, in Chicoutimi.

Photo QMI Agency, Roger Gagnon

The Dubuc bridge, in Chicoutimi.

Gaspe

No walker was seen, even with a dog on a leash, on Saturday night.

Photo QMI Agency, Nelson Sergerie

No walker was seen, even with a dog on a leash, on Saturday night.

Click here to read the article

Categories
Headlines UK Liverpool London

Revellers in towns and cities that can still enjoy a drink under Tier 2 rules hit the pubs and bars

Revellers in Tier 2 towns and cities were celebrating their freedom last night while millions of others were plunged into tougher lockdown restrictions ahead of Christmas. 

The Prime Minister was accused of ‘inconsistency and confusion’ after the extraordinary last-minute U-turn to put a third of England, including London and swathes of the home counties, into a brutal new ‘Tier 4’ from midnight last night.

The draconian bracket means non-essential shops being forced to shut, and travel restrictions including a ‘stay at home’ order for Christmas Day itself – even though Mr Johnson insisted just days ago that it would be ‘inhuman’ to axe five-day festive ‘bubbles’.

The rest of England will not escape unscathed, with up to three households now only allowed to mix on Christmas Day rather than between December 23 and 27.

The measures will be reviewed within two weeks, but officials admitted they are pessimistic about them being lifted then.

Meanwhile, those in tier 2 cities – including in Bristol, York and Liverpool – celebrated their freedom by hitting the bars and restaurants on the final weekend before Christmas.

People eat and drink at pubs and restaurants last night as Bristol enters tier 2 after being downgraded from tier 3 this week

Under tier 2 rules, you may meet indoors with people who you live with or are in a support bubble with while, outdoors, you can meet family and friends in groups of up to six people. Pictured: revellers enjoy a drink in Bristol as it enters tier 2 rules

Under tier 2 rules, you may meet indoors with people who you live with or are in a support bubble with while, outdoors, you can meet family and friends in groups of up to six people. Pictured: revellers enjoy a drink in Bristol as it enters tier 2 rules

Bristol (pictured) and North Somerset were moved from Tier 3 to Tier 2 on Thursday as the infection rate had dropped

Bristol (pictured) and North Somerset were moved from Tier 3 to Tier 2 on Thursday as the infection rate had dropped

Under tier 2 rules, people are allowed to meet indoors, including public venues, with those whom they live with or people whom you have formed a support bubble with.

Outdoors, you can meet family and friends who you do not live with in groups no larger than six.

Venues such as restaurants and pubs, which are allowed to stay open under Tier 2, must use Covid-secure measures and follow Government guidelines.

Bristol and North Somerset were among areas that were downgraded from tier 3 to tier 2 this week to join Bath, Cheltenham and Swindon in the region in the less restrictive tier as infections rates have dropped. 

Matt Hancock said the ‘vast majority’ of places in tier 3 restrictions will not be changed, but added in the Commons this week: ‘In Bristol and North Somerset rates have come down from 432 per 100,000 to 121 and falling.’ 

After drop in the number of infections, Bristol was one of few areas to have restrictions relaxed meaning different households could meet outdoors. Pictured: people drink at a restaurant in Bristol where they are now under tier 2 restrictions

After drop in the number of infections, Bristol was one of few areas to have restrictions relaxed meaning different households could meet outdoors. Pictured: people drink at a restaurant in Bristol where they are now under tier 2 restrictions

Under tier 2 rules, bars and restaurants are expected to follow Government guidelines and maintain Covid-secure practices while those meeting from different households must only meet outdoors. Pictured: revellers drinking at a bar in Bristol

Under tier 2 rules, bars and restaurants are expected to follow Government guidelines and maintain Covid-secure practices while those meeting from different households must only meet outdoors. Pictured: revellers drinking at a bar in Bristol

Group of revellers hit the bars in the city of Liverpool where a drop in infections means the area can remain under Tier 2 rules

Group of revellers hit the bars in the city of Liverpool where a drop in infections means the area can remain under Tier 2 rules

Meanwhile, cities including York and Liverpool remain in the ‘high’ tier 2 bracket, it was confirmed on Thursday.

The Government said since the end of national restrictions the situation in the city of Liverpool has broadly improved.

Case rates have decreased and are stable meaning the city, which was one of the first regions to be placed in the toughest tier 3 lockdown in October, can now remain in Tier 2. 

Under the new Tier 4 restrictions, which affects areas including London, parts of Essex and Peterborough, pubs and restaurants as well as all non-essential shops must close.

The rules also state you cannot leave or be outside of your home unless you have what the Government deems a specific purpose, or a ‘reasonable excuse’.

These excuses include essential activities such as food shopping and exercise, childcare arrangements or going to work. 

Police keep an eye on pub goers in Liverpool where venues are allowed to remain open this weekend under Tier 2 restrictions

Police keep an eye on pub goers in Liverpool where venues are allowed to remain open this weekend under Tier 2 restrictions

Two revellers remain socially distanced on the streets of Liverpool where Tier 2 rules mean pubs and restaurants are open

Two revellers remain socially distanced on the streets of Liverpool where Tier 2 rules mean pubs and restaurants are open

Clubbers braved the bad weather to hit the bars and restaurants of Liverpool last night on the final weekend before Christmas

Clubbers braved the bad weather to hit the bars and restaurants of Liverpool last night on the final weekend before Christmas

Revellers in city of York enjoy the more relaxed tier 2 restrictions by taking to the streets on last weekend before Christmas

Revellers in city of York enjoy the more relaxed tier 2 restrictions by taking to the streets on last weekend before Christmas

Police break up a crowd that had gathered round a busker on the streets of York where tier 2 restrictions are in place

Police break up a crowd that had gathered round a busker on the streets of York where tier 2 restrictions are in place

Party-goers take a load off after enjoying the last weekend before Christmas in York where people are allowed to meet and enjoy pubs and restaurants with other households outdoors as the city is under less restrictive tier 2 rules

Party-goers take a load off after enjoying the last weekend before Christmas in York where people are allowed to meet and enjoy pubs and restaurants with other households outdoors as the city is under less restrictive tier 2 rules

Pictured: police officers speak to a reveller who was out partying in the city of York last night where tier 2 rules are in place

Pictured: police officers speak to a reveller who was out partying in the city of York last night where tier 2 rules are in place

It emerged last night that UK coronavirus cases were up 25 per cent on last Saturday at 27,052. It means the total number of infections has topped two million.

Another 534 people have died – 14 more than last Saturday and 45 more than Friday. 

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 pair of revellers get into the festive spirit in the city of York celebrating on the last weekend before Christmas

A pair of revellers get into the festive spirit in the city of York celebrating on the last weekend before Christmas

Party-goers brave the wet weather in York to enjoy a night out on the final weekend before Christmas this week

Party-goers brave the wet weather in York to enjoy a night out on the final weekend before Christmas this week

The Tier 4 bracket means non-essential shops are being forced to shut, and travel restrictions including a ‘stay at home’ order for Christmas Day itself – even though Mr Johnson insisted just days ago that it would be ‘inhuman’ to axe five-day festive ‘bubbles’.

The new Tier 4 – dubbed the ‘stay at home alert level’ – will be imposed on all existing Tier 3 areas in the South East, covering Kent, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Surrey (excluding Waverley), Gosport, Havant, Portsmouth, Rother and Hastings.

It will also apply in London, Bedford, Milton Keynes, Luton, Peterborough, Hertfordshire, and Essex – excluding Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring.

The rest of England will not escape unscathed, with up to three households now only allowed to mix on Christmas Day rather than between December 23 and 27.

Within 90 minutes of the PM’s bombshell announcement, Londoners were jumping into cars and taxis and even hiring vehicles to escape the city before Tier 4 came into force, the AA told the Mail on Sunday.

Its president Edmund King called the fleeing a ‘mini exodus’, adding: ‘It is almost like a wall is coming down around London and the South East and some people are scrambling to get away to save their Christmas before midnight.’ 

Northerners warned against Londoners fleeing the capital after videos and photos appeared on social media which showed long queues in St Pancras Station. 

Categories
Headlines UK London

Crowds flock to Tier 2 shops just miles from towns living under Tier 4

Crowds have flocked to shops based just a few miles out of Tier 4 areas as Christmas shoppers head out to buy last minute presents.

Pictures showed shoppers queuing and standing together in Horsham, West Sussex, which is under Tier 2 measures, but just four miles from Surrey, which was plunged into Tier 4 by Boris Johnson on Saturday.

Parking spaces were full at a Rushden Lakes Shopping Centre in Northamptonshire, which also remains in Tier 2, but was said to be just a ‘hair’s breadth,’ from Tier 3.

Draconian measures announced by the prime minister yesterday placed around 18million people in Tier 4, with government guidance telling them to stay at home.

Travel restrictions have been put in place to stop people spreading the virus in London and the south east – but pictures from neighbouring towns today appear to show some people are simply travelling away from harsher measures to go shopping elsewhere.  

Scenes in Northamptonshire and Horsham are a far cry from Oxford Street and Bluewater shopping centre in Kent, where restrictions have left shops deserted.  

Crowds were out shopping in Tier 2 Horsham, West Sussex, on the last Sunday before Christmas. Shops are allowed to stay open in the town, but just four miles away in Surrey, people are living under strict Tier 4 measures.

Draconian measures announced by the prime minister yesterday mean non-essential shops across London and the south east have been forced to shut

Draconian measures announced by the prime minister yesterday mean non-essential shops across London and the south east have been forced to shut

Government guidelines published yesterday state: 'If you live in a Tier 4 area, you must stay at home'

Government guidelines published yesterday state: ‘If you live in a Tier 4 area, you must stay at home’

Government guidelines published yesterday state: ‘If you live in a Tier 4 area, you must stay at home. 

‘You must not leave your home to travel unless for work, education or other legally permitted reasons. 

‘If you need to travel you should stay local – meaning avoiding travelling outside of your village, town or the part of a city where you live – and look to reduce the number of journeys you make overall.

‘You must stay at home and not leave your Tier 4 area, other than for legally permitted reasons.’ 

Despite the restrictions, and fears a new mutant strain of Covid-19 is up to 70% more transmissable than the first virus, shoppers continued to gather today. 

Rushden Lakes Shopping Centre in Northamptonshire was packed with cars on Sunday as shoppers flocked to the Tier 2 outlet

Rushden Lakes Shopping Centre in Northamptonshire was packed with cars on Sunday as shoppers flocked to the Tier 2 outlet 

Horsham remained busy today, but even with the last-minute rush for presents, there was a 26 per cent drop in footfall in London and the south east compared to last year

Horsham remained busy today, but even with the last-minute rush for presents, there was a 26 per cent drop in footfall in London and the south east compared to last year

Shoppers were queuing outside shops in Northamptonshire, as the British Retail Consortium described the Government's latest response to growing Covid cases as 'deeply unhelpful'

Shoppers were queuing outside shops in Northamptonshire, as the British Retail Consortium described the Government’s latest response to growing Covid cases as ‘deeply unhelpful’

The tightened rules have caused chaos for thousands of families across England, with frustrated Britons who have been forced to cancel their Christmas plans asking when the Covid-19 nightmare will end. 

Wales also announced it is going into a full lockdown from midnight and will follow suit by slashing bubbles to a single day. 

Even with the last-minute rush for presents, there was a 26 per cent drop in footfall in London and the south east compared to last year.

Overall, 44 per cent fewer Britons took to the country’s high streets than last year on the last Saturday before Christmas.  

Restaurants and pubs are still open in West Sussex, but have been forced to shut across swathes of the south east

Restaurants and pubs are still open in West Sussex, but have been forced to shut across swathes of the south east 

Up to £2 billion in sales may be lost per week by the new measures, it has been estimated

Up to £2 billion in sales may be lost per week by the new measures, it has been estimated

Shoppers were undeterred by talk of  new Covid-19 strain, said to be 70 per cent more transmissible than the original virus

Shoppers were undeterred by talk of  new Covid-19 strain, said to be 70 per cent more transmissible than the original virus

Experts predict the UK’s tills will ring with a staggering £2.5million-a-minute spent before December 22 as shoppers stack up on last-minute gifts. 

But yesterday’s announcement came as a hammer blow to many businesses – particularly retailers hoping to pick up some pre-Christmas sales at the end of a torrid year in which they had faced repeated orders to close. 

The Confederation of British Industry slammed the move as ‘a real kick in the teeth’, claiming many businesses ‘were counting on clawing back some lost ground’ over the Christmas shopping season. 

Official figures also revealed 326 more people have died after testing positive for the virus - more than double the 144 deaths reported this time last week

Official figures also revealed 326 more people have died after testing positive for the virus – more than double the 144 deaths reported this time last week

The UK has reported a further 35,928 coronavirus cases today as the mutant Covid strain causes a 94.8 per cent rise in infections

The UK has reported a further 35,928 coronavirus cases today as the mutant Covid strain causes a 94.8 per cent rise in infections

Up to £2 billion in sales may be lost per week by the new measures, it has been estimated, with the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said that the Government’s ‘stop-start’ approach to regulations was ‘deeply unhelpful’.   

Dr Susan Hopkins, of Public Health England, said that the new variant of coronavirus sweeping London and the South East has spread to other parts of the UK, but while many regions had cases of the new strain, these were in much smaller numbers than in London, Kent and parts of Essex.

She told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday: ‘It has been detected in many other parts of the country. Every region has cases but with very small numbers.

Dr Susan Hopkins, of Public Health England, said that the new variant of coronavirus sweeping London and the South East has spread to other parts of the UK

Dr Susan Hopkins, of Public Health England, said that the new variant of coronavirus sweeping London and the South East has spread to other parts of the UK

Studies are being carried to establish whether existing vaccines will be effective against the new Covid-19 variant - but shoppers were undeterred in Horsham this afternoon

Studies are being carried to establish whether existing vaccines will be effective against the new Covid-19 variant – but shoppers were undeterred in Horsham this afternoon

Families headed out to buy their last Christmas presents, with less than a week to go until the big day

Families headed out to buy their last Christmas presents, with less than a week to go until the big day 

‘It has also been detected in Wales, in Scotland, we have not had any detected in Northern Ireland.’

Dr Hopkins said that until further studies are carried out there cannot be certainty the vaccine will be effective against the new Covid-19 variant.

She added: ‘We won’t know for definite until we have further studies.

‘The vaccine induces a strong, multiple response, immune response and therefore it is unlikely that this vaccine response is going to be completely gone.’ 

Categories
Headline USA Minnesota

NBA star Karl-Anthony Towns says he’s lost seven of his family members to COVID 

NBA star Karl-Anthony Towns revealed he has lost seven members of his family to COVID-19, including his mother who died as a result of the virus in April, stating that he has seen ‘a lot of coffins in the last seven months’.

Towns, 25, was speaking to ESPN about the upcoming NBA season, scheduled to tip off on December 22, and the difficulties it will present him amid his off-court tragedies.

‘I’ve been through a lot, obviously starting out with my mom,’ Towns said Friday.

‘Last night I got a call that I lost my uncle. I feel like I’ve been hardened a little bit by life and humbled.’ 

He did not say which other members of his family had passed away. 

Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns revealed he has lost seven members of his family to COVID-19, including his mother, pictured above with him in 2016

Towns, pictured above with mother Jacqueline and father Karl Sr. revealed that six other members of his family have died of COVID-19 since his mother in April

Towns, pictured above with mother Jacqueline and father Karl Sr. revealed that six other members of his family have died of COVID-19 since his mother in April

The 25-year-old said that he is still trying to process the death of his mother as he looks to protect the rest of his family from the ongoing pandemic.

His father, Karl Sr., also tested positive for coronavirus earlier in the year but has recovered.

‘I’ve seen a lot of coffins in the last seven months,’ Towns said.

‘I have a lot of people who have – in my family and my mom’s family – gotten COVID. I’m the one looking for answers still, trying to find how to keep them healthy. 

‘It’s just a lot of responsibility on me to keep my family well-informed and to make all the moves necessary to keep them alive,’ he added. 

Towns’ mom Jacqueline Cruz-Towns died on April 13 at the age of 58 after being placed on a ventilator for 19 days.

Towns had shared an emotional post on Instagram on March 25 in which he explained that she was on a ventilator and in a medically-induced coma as a result of COVID-19.

‘We need more equipment and we need to help those medical personnel on the front lines,’ he wrote with the video.

‘Thank you to the medical staff who are helping my mom. You are all the true heroes! Praying for all of us at this difficult time.’

Afterward, Towns donated $100,000 to the Mayo Clinic to help with testing patients for COVID-19.

His mother received care at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia and JFK Medical Center in Edison, New Jersey. 

Towns later confirmed her death with a touching video showing her by his side at games, press conference and TV appearances.

His mother had been a constant presence through all the large moments of his career, and was often highlighted by fans for her enthusiasm in supporting her son from the crowds.

Towns shared a touching tribute to his mother showing her by his side during the major events in his career following her death after 19 days in a coma in April

Towns shared a touching tribute to his mother showing her by his side during the major events in his career following her death after 19 days in a coma in April

Jacqueline Towns-Cruz, pictured with Karl, rarely missed one of her son's games

Jacqueline Towns-Cruz, pictured with Karl, rarely missed one of her son’s games

Towns said it will be hard to return to the court without his mother, pictured with him  above

Towns said it will be hard to return to the court without his mother, pictured with him  above

The basketball star said that he felt compelled to share his mother’s story, detailing how he cared for her on social media, so others would better understand the impact of the pandemic.

‘I didn’t want people to feel the way I felt,’ Towns said. 

‘I wanted to try to keep them from having the ordeal and the situation I was going through. It just came from a place that I didn’t want people to feel as lonely and upset as I was. 

‘I really made that video just to protect others and keep others well-informed, even though I knew it was going to take the most emotionally out of me that I’ve ever been asked to do.’ 

Towns told ESPN that his teammates had been a major support as he grieved but that it will still be hard for him to get back on the court as it was rare that his mom would ever miss one of his games.

Towns shared his mom's story on social media hoping to warn others of the impact of COVID

Towns shared his mom’s story on social media hoping to warn others of the impact of COVID

Towns is pictured with his family in 2016. He said Friday that he has been working to keep them safe from the pandemic since the death of his mother, pictured left, in April

Towns is pictured with his family in 2016. He said Friday that he has been working to keep them safe from the pandemic since the death of his mother, pictured left, in April

Towns' father Karl Sr., pictured left, also contracted COVID-19 but has recovered

Towns’ father Karl Sr., pictured left, also contracted COVID-19 but has recovered

‘It always brought me a smile when I saw my mom at the baseline and in the stands and stuff and having a good time watching me play,’ Towns said. 

‘It is going to be hard to play. It’s going to be difficult to say this is therapy. I don’t think [playing basketball] will ever be therapy for me again. But it gives me a chance to relive good memories I had.’ 

In a conference call with reporters on Friday, Towns also became emotional when speaking about George Floyd and the protests that followed his death while being kneeled on by a white police office on Memorial Day.

The former Kentucky Wildcats player revealed that he initially stayed at home as it came just over a month after the passing of his mother but said he soon felt compelled to join the protests as he ‘knew my mom would’ve wanted me to be there; she would’ve given me the push and motivation to go.’

Jacqueline Cruz-Towns died in April aged 58

Jacqueline Cruz-Towns died in April aged 58

He said that she had always pushed him to stand for causes he believed in.

‘It was the strength of my mother to get the strength to go out of the house after being upset,’ Towns said. 

‘The first time being outside was difficult emotionally and mentally. But I knew I had to go. I knew I had to make my voice heard at a time it wasn’t convenient. Doing the right thing is usually the hardest thing to do in the world today.’

Towns is preparing for his sixth season with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

He has not played an NBA game since February after injuring his wrist during a game against the Toronto Raptors on February. He remained out of play until the season was suspended in mid-March due to the pandemic.

While the 2020 season did restart in July, the Timberwolves did not have a good enough record to join the bubble the NBA created in Orlando, Florida, for games to be played.

Towns pledged to become the Timberwolves leader ‘on and off the court’ but says he is constantly focused on maintaining the league’s coronavirus safety protocols to ensure that his family remains healthy.

The NBA revealed Wednesday that 48 players – about 9 percent of the league – have tested positive for coronavirus since screenings began last week ahead of the December 22 opener.

The league and National Basketball Players Association said 546 players were tested between November 24-30 in the initial phase of screening after returning to team markets.

Any player with a confirmed positive test is isolated until cleared by rules established by the league and union, in accordance with CDC guidance.

The NBA had no players test positive once they entered the bubble at Walt Disney World for the season restart last July. A very small number of individuals tested positive after arriving at Disney but before they were released from quarantine and into the bubble – a sign that the NBA pointed to as proof that its system worked.

Most NBA teams will be operating without fans to begin the 2020-21 season, given the nationwide rise in infections.

On Monday, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci told Yahoo! Sports that fans should not expect to return to games en masse until the final months of 2021 due to the challenges of rolling out COVID-19 vaccines.

As of Saturday morning, there have been more then 14.3 million coronavirus cases in the US and almost 280,000 deaths.

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Headlines UK Leeds London

Best of both worlds property: Three country towns and small cities


This time last year, the London-based crime writer Martin Bodenham and his wife, Jules, were faced with a problem — where to live next?

‘Even before Covid, London was becoming too impersonal, like a city full of strangers,’ says Martin, 60, whose latest novel, Crime And Justice, was published in August. 

‘So we looked at smaller places such as Stratford and Exeter, before settling on Bath, which we love. It feels less transient here. And culturally, it punches well above its weight.’

Pretty day trip: Helmsley on the North York Moors is just 20 miles from York

Martin’s predicament is a common one, exacerbated by Covid. The career-change company, Escape the City, claims 51 per cent of its new clients want to leave London compared with 20 per cent in 2019. 

A few of these buyers are perfectly happy with rural isolation; others do not want to turn their backs completely on city comforts.

‘Most of my clients would feel insecure if they were more than 15 minutes away from a decent latte,’ says James Greenwood, a property search agent with Stacks (stacks.co.uk). 

‘I point them towards the funkier country towns such as Stroud, Totnes or Abergavenny. Ledbury and Cheltenham are also buzzing, yet they’re only a few miles away from beautiful countryside.’

Here are three ‘funky country towns’ and small cities that are sure to be much sought-after in these ever-changing times.

Marvellous Marlborough

The Wiltshire market town of Marlborough is ideally positioned for those, like Alistair Greener, who work from home but need to be in London once a week. He simply drives 15 minutes to Pewsey, from where he is in Paddington in 75 minutes.

‘Yet Marlborough doesn’t have the impersonal feel of a commuter town,’ says Alistair, 57, a presentation coach. ‘It is set in real countryside, with rolling hills and working farms; it’s not manicured.’

Marlborough, reputedly with the widest High Street in the country, has a market twice a week and high-end independent shops and chain stores. Polly Tea Rooms are as twee as they sound, and classy restaurants include Dan’s and Rick Stein’s.

There are literary and jazz festivals too, but the town’s jewel in the crown is its schools. 

Not everyone can fork out the £30,000-plus for annual fees at Marlborough College – the alma mater of the Duchess of Cambridge and Jack Whitehall – but St John’s Secondary School is ranked outstanding. A three-bedroom semi-detached house will cost in region of £350,000.

Well-connected York

York used to be a favourite city for ‘homers’ – northern retirees returning to their roots having made a tidy penny down south. 

Nowadays, it is also the occasional commuters who work most days from home, who move to the city in droves. It makes sense. 

The fastest trains can speed them into King’s Cross in less than two hours. Leeds is only 25 minutes by rail.

The attractions of the city, with its charming cobbled lanes and imposing Minster are plain to see.

‘It is a small city with a safe, family feel to it,’ says Nick Talbot of Jackson-Stops (jackson-stops.co.uk). ‘Within an hour, you can be in the pretty market town of Helmsley on the North York Moors or in the Howardian Hills.’

Before the pandemic struck, York was also a hive of culture, with its Great Yorkshire Fringe festival, the revamped Theatre Royal and York Art Gallery. Fulford School is a top comprehensive and there are some renowned independents.

The average price of a semi last year was £268,000. A terrace house cost £265,000 and a detached was £387,000.

Busy, little Truro

Some may imagine that a pretty Cornish coastal town like Padstow would make the ideal place to enjoy family life.

But Ben Standen, of Jackson-Stops, reckons that Truro is preferable.

‘It’s a year-round, busy little city, not a seasonal resort,’ says Ben. ‘It offers all manner of sports, the north coast surfing beaches are only ten miles away and you have sailing nearby on the Fal.’

Although its cobbled alleyways and its Georgian and Victorian architecture will be untouched, Truro is undergoing a revamp. 

The Hall for Cornwall theatre is closed for a £20 million refurbishment and Prince Charles is behind a new development of 90 Georgian-style houses being built near Waitrose. There are excellent schools.

As for communications, Truro is about four-and-a-half hours to London Paddington. ‘The trains also link to Penzance and Plymouth so teenagers don’t feel cut off from the rest of the world,’ says Standen.

The average price of a Truro semi-detached last year was £256,000. 

On the market… compact but lively 



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Entertainment USA

Jordyn Woods & BF Karl-Anthony Towns Are So Cute In Old Spice Commercial Together — Watch


Jordyn Woods took to Instagram to share an adorable new Old Spice ad that features her and her boyfriend Karl-Anthony Towns showing off their ‘rollercoaster’ love while using the same body wash.

Jordyn Woods, 23, and boyfriend Karl-Anthony Towns, 25, are taking their love up a notch with a brand new funny commercial for an Old Spice body wash product! The lovebirds looked adorable in the advertisement, which was posted by Jordyn in a Nov. 21 Instagram post, and showed off their acting skills while portraying a version of themselves having an adorable disagreement after she used his Old Spice GentleMan’s Blend Body Wash. In the clip, Karl can be seen confronting the brunette beauty after she unknowingly uses the body wash that she thinks was left in the shower for her.

“Jordyn, my body wash! It’s completely empty!” he tells her before she acts confused and asks, “Your body wash? That Old Spice with aloe for hydrated and healthy looking skin? That must be for me.” He then corrects her and insists it’s for him while hilariously and hesitantly pointing out that it’s made for men “with sensitive skin.”

After she then assures him she thought he got it for her, he hilariously says, “No. This keeps me smooth on and off the court. Men have skin too. I gotta have my own stuff in the shower.” Jordyn then says she has to go to Target to get her own Old Spice body wash as Karl pleads for her to get him some too.

Jordyn Woods and Karl Anthony Towns, seen here at a previous event, appear in a new Old Spice commercial together. (Backgrid)

“Turns out we both love Old Spice GentleMan’s Blend Body Wash. Love is a rollercoaster y’all. @karltowns @oldspice #menhaveskintoo #AvailableAtTarget #SponsoredObviously,” Jordyn captioned the clip of the commercial. It was quickly met with many positive comments from her fans, who seemed to love the couple’s ad.

“This is so cute,” one follower wrote while another gushed, “I love this lowkey.” A third pointed out, “It’s extra funny cause she so mellow & tryin be a little extra but you kinda can’t tell🤣 I love her” and many more left heart and heart-eyed emojis.

Jordyn and Karl’s Old Spice ad comes just a few months after they made their relationship official during her birthday celebrations in Mexico in Sept. The former BFF of Kylie Jenner opened up about her romance with the NBA star and what she sees in their future last month. “I think we are two young ambitious people and we found comfort in each other,” she EXCLUSIVELY told us. “Of course, one day in the future I would like to have a time to settle down and have a family of my own. But right now I don’t want things to go way too fast. I am too focused right now to be worried about something that is happening next year or two years from now or three years from now.”





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