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Headlines UK

England canceled GCSE and A-level exams due to coronavirus pandemic

Final marks for students will be given by teachers

In England, the GCSE and A-level final exams, which were supposed to pass in the summer, have been canceled, according to The Evening Standard. On January 6, UK Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced this. Teachers will give final marks to schoolchildren.

Wales decided to cancel the GCSE, AS and A-level summer exams back in November 2020. England initially decided to postpone their implementation, but due to a sharp deterioration in the epidemiological situation, the government was forced to abandon its plans, said Gavin Williamson.

He also admitted his mistake last year when tens of thousands of students received low grades. They were set by an algorithm developed by Ofqual. “This year we will trust teachers, not algorithms.”– added the Minister of Education at a meeting of parliament.

Schools and colleges are currently closed until at least mid-February. Pupils and students continue their education remotely. Williamson said the government was reluctant to take this step to the last because of fears that children and adolescents would not be able to catch up with the curriculum.

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Headlines UK London

Record number of coronavirus patients hospitalized in England

The peak of the first wave of incidence is exceeded

The number of hospitalized with coronavirus in England has exceeded the high of the first wave of the pandemic, according to The Evening Standard. According to the NHS, as of December 28, there were 20,400 coronavirus cases in hospitals, while the maximum figure on April 12 was 18,900.

In addition, on December 28, a record daily rate of COVID-19 cases in England and Wales was recorded – 41.3 thousand people.

The busiest day for the London Ambulance Service was Saturday 26 December, with 7,918 calls received on that day. For comparison, a year ago the service processed only 5217 calls.

Despite this, London’s Nightingale Hospital is still not accepting patients due to staff shortages, according to The Telegraph. According to the former president of the Society for Acute Medicine, Dr. Nick Skriven, this is a very dangerous trend. “The hospitals built in the first wave of the pandemic could be used as rehabilitation centers for convalescents, but we can find specialists – the NHS simply has no way to single out anyone.”Dr. Scriven added.

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Headlines UK

It’s a white Christmas in Britain

However, storm Bella is already rushing to replace the snow.

White Christmas has finally arrived in the UK, according to the BBC. From 24 to 25 December, as forecasters promised, snow fell in several parts of the country – from Suffolk and Cambridgeshire to Yorkshire and Northumberland. The UK Met Office reported the good news at 6am.

At the same time, the Midlands and parts of Wales experienced heavy rains and floods. The South Wales Rescue Service received over 500 calls for help in a day. Northamptonshire police said emergency services had evacuated over 1,000 people from Billing Aquadrome on the evening of December 24. In some places, the water rose up to one and a half meters; local residents were evacuated to the temporary accommodation center.

Storm Bella will hit the country on December 26, The Guardian reports. Forecasters warn of an increase in wind up to 112 km / h. In England, Wales and southern Scotland, authorities are preparing to declare a yellow weather hazard. Flooding has been declared in 90 districts in England and 16 districts in Wales, the Environmental Protection Agency (EA) said.

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Headlines UK

Covid cases in Wales could DOUBLE for the last week after IT problem

A computer glitch has seen 11,000 coronavirus cases missed off the official count in Wales last week.

The figure for December 9 to 15 currently stands at 11,911, but this could double later today when the missing positive tests are added.

Public Health Wales has blamed the oversight on ‘planned maintenance’ of some IT systems, in an error that has hidden the full impact of Wales’ fire-break lockdown.

It is not the first time health chiefs have botched their figures, after Public Health England admitted in October it had missed 16,000 cases from the UK official tally due to an Excel spreadsheet blunder. 

As many as 30,000 positive tests also had to be removed from the UK total in July, after PHE admitted it had ‘double-counted’ its figures. 

A total of 103,098 people have tested positive in Wales since the pandemic began, meaning the 11,000 extra positives – which will be added PHW figures on Thursday – will represent roughly one tenth of the new total.

PHW says positive tests from Lighthouse laboratories, which were set up to process Covid-19 swabs, had not been added to its total.

A spokesman said a ‘very large backlog’ of cases, in the region of 11,000, would be added to their total when the figures are updated around 2pm. 

Plaid Cymru’s health spokesman Rhun ap lorwerth told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the blunder ‘raises questions about the way data is analysed’.

‘It raises questions again about the interaction between what is controlled in Wales and the Lighthouse laboratories, and it’s one of those things that again sort of rocks trust in what’s happening and the data that’s presented to us,’ he said.

‘I must say when the First Minister announced yesterday that from the 28th there would be a tightening of restrictions, and I could see the figures as they were, one wondered why not do things now in terms of stepping up support for areas most heavily affected, but this does put a new slant on it again. 

He added: ‘This is a serious bulk of figures being added to the total today and it raises questions about the way data is analysed.’ 

Yesterday, it was reported that 30 more people had died with coronavirus in Wales and 530 more cases were announced. 

It comes as cases continue to rise in the country with First Minister Mark Drakeford announcing a tightening of the Christmas bubbles rules and a third lockdown from December 28.

In a dramatic break with the UK-wide approach, Mr Drakeford will change the law so just two households can mix rather than three.

He also said the nation would go back into lockdown once the five-day Christmas relaxation of rules is over.

Wales currently has the highest infection rate in the UK – 425 per 100,000 people – with eight of the top ten worst-hit areas. 

Mark Drakeford said today that Wales would be going back into lockdown once a relaxation of rules over Christmas comes to an end

Mark Drakeford said today that Wales would be going back into lockdown once a relaxation of rules over Christmas comes to an end

Mr Drakeford said one in five people in Wales is testing positive for the virus, while more than 2,100 are in hospital with symptoms. A record 98 are in intensive care.

Wales only ended a 17-day ‘firebreak’ lockdown on November 8.

Mr Drakeford said new measures were necessary because the situation had become ‘so serious’. He stressed that the ‘sustained rise in coronavirus’ meant the country would go into its third lockdown from Monday December 28.

Non-essential shops and gyms will close earlier – on the evening of Christmas Eve – while all restaurants, pubs and bars will shut from 6pm on Christmas Day. From December 28, tighter rules will restrict household mixing, travel and holiday accommodation.

Mr Drakeford said Wales’s move into the fourth and highest level of restrictions would last for three weeks before being reviewed. He insisted: ‘The situation we are facing is extremely serious.

Non-essential shops and gyms will close earlier – on the evening of Christmas Eve – while all restaurants, pubs and bars will shut from 6pm on Christmas Day. From December 28, tighter rules will restrict household mixing, travel and holiday accommodation

Non-essential shops and gyms will close earlier – on the evening of Christmas Eve – while all restaurants, pubs and bars will shut from 6pm on Christmas Day. From December 28, tighter rules will restrict household mixing, travel and holiday accommodation

Christmas advice has toughened up in Wales, with Mr Drakeford changing the law so that no more than two households can mix. He said: ‘A shorter Christmas is a safer Christmas'

Christmas advice has toughened up in Wales, with Mr Drakeford changing the law so that no more than two households can mix. He said: ‘A shorter Christmas is a safer Christmas’

‘We must move to alert level four and tighten the restrictions to control the spread of coronavirus and save lives.’

The First Minister also toughened up the Christmas advice, changing the law so that no more than two households can mix.

He said: ‘A shorter Christmas is a safer Christmas.’ 

The Welsh government later said that the guidance on two households would be enshrined in law. 

Matthew Jones, clinical director for emergency care at the Prince of Wales hospital, told ITV that ambulances were queuing outside with patients.

He said: ‘With the ambulances outside like this, there’s a strong argument that we are beyond crisis point – that this isn’t safe.’ 

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Headlines UK

Wales set for third lockdown after Christmas

Wales is set for THIRD lockdown: Tough Covid-19 restrictions will return after Christmas… sparking fears the rest of Britain will follow suit

  • Wales will go back into lockdown once five-day Christmas rule relaxation ends
  • Nation currently has the UK’s highest infection rate – 425 per 100,000 people 
  • A record 98 people are in intensive care, while one in five are testing positive 

Wales is bringing in tougher rules on Christmas get-togethers and will enter its third lockdown on December 28 after coronavirus escalated ‘beyond crisis point’.

In a dramatic break with the UK-wide approach, Wales’s Labour-run administration will change the law so just two households can mix rather than three.

First Minister Mark Drakeford also said the nation would go back into lockdown once the five-day Christmas relaxation of rules is over.

Wales currently has the highest infection rate in the UK – 425 per 100,000 people – with eight of the top ten worst-hit areas. 

Mr Drakeford said one in five people in Wales is testing positive for the virus, while more than 2,100 are in hospital with symptoms. A record 98 are in intensive care.

Mark Drakeford said today that Wales would be going back into lockdown once a relaxation of rules over Christmas comes to an end

Meanwhile, in Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday urged Scots to stay at home at Christmas. She said if people felt it was ‘essential’ to meet others indoors, this should be for one day only and not overnight.

Wales only ended a 17-day ‘firebreak’ lockdown on November 8.

Mr Drakeford said new measures were necessary because the situation had become ‘so serious’. He stressed that the ‘sustained rise in coronavirus’ meant the country would go into its third lockdown from Monday December 28.

Non-essential shops and gyms will close earlier – on the evening of Christmas Eve – while all restaurants, pubs and bars will shut from 6pm on Christmas Day. From December 28, tighter rules will restrict household mixing, travel and holiday accommodation.

Non-essential shops and gyms will close earlier ¿ on the evening of Christmas Eve ¿ while all restaurants, pubs and bars will shut from 6pm on Christmas Day. From December 28, tighter rules will restrict household mixing, travel and holiday accommodation

Non-essential shops and gyms will close earlier – on the evening of Christmas Eve – while all restaurants, pubs and bars will shut from 6pm on Christmas Day. From December 28, tighter rules will restrict household mixing, travel and holiday accommodation

Mr Drakeford said Wales’s move into the fourth and highest level of restrictions would last for three weeks before being reviewed. He insisted: ‘The situation we are facing is extremely serious.

‘We must move to alert level four and tighten the restrictions to control the spread of coronavirus and save lives.’

The First Minister also toughened up the Christmas advice, changing the law so that no more than two households can mix.

He said: ‘A shorter Christmas is a safer Christmas.’ 

The Welsh government later said that the guidance on two households would be enshrined in law. 

Matthew Jones, clinical director for emergency care at the Prince of Wales hospital, told ITV that ambulances were queuing outside with patients.

He said: ‘With the ambulances outside like this, there’s a strong argument that we are beyond crisis point – that this isn’t safe.’

Opposition leaders accused the Welsh government of losing the battle against the pandemic.

Christmas advice has toughened up in Wales, with Mr Drakeford changing the law so that no more than two households can mix. He said: ¿A shorter Christmas is a safer Christmas'

Christmas advice has toughened up in Wales, with Mr Drakeford changing the law so that no more than two households can mix. He said: ‘A shorter Christmas is a safer Christmas’

Welsh Tory leader Paul Davies said: ‘It has become very clear in recent days that the Welsh Labour-led government has lost control of the pandemic and we now need a fire blanket, not a firebreak, to put out the flames of infection that are raging in some parts of the country. 

While nobody wants to see further restrictions imposed, in the face of some of the highest rates of coronavirus infection in Western Europe and with rates rising in all parts of Wales, doing nothing is not an option.’

The current infection rate of 425 compares with 234.5 for the week before the firebreak lockdown.

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Entertainment UK

Neighbours legend Mark Little now living in a remote farmhouse in Wales

Neighbours legend Mark Little is now living in little Welsh farmhouse miles from anywhere – and he couldn’t be happier.

Viewers of the Aussie soap will best remember Mark popping next door to see Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Guy Pearce and the gang – but now there isn’t a neighbour in sight.

After leaving the show, Mark went on to take over from Chris Evans to co-present the Big Breakfast with Zoe Ball.

He then went on to star in numerous films and acclaimed theatre shows – winning a Laurence Olivier Award in 2000 for his one man show.

But these days the 61-year-old ex-Ramsey Street favourite has long since said goodbye to the showbiz lifestyle.

Mark – who played Joe Mangel in the hit show – is completely unrecognisable on his farm as he gets away from his old life.

Mark Little and Zoe Ball used to keep us entertained every morning on The Big Breakfast

Under a bushy beard, he’s living miles from anywhere “finessing a magic acre in the wilderness” somewhere south of Lake Vyrnwy in Powys.

Mark has been an increasingly vocal political activist and anti-fascism campaigner in recent years.

He couldn’t love life any more in his farmhouse and he tweeted: “I have been way out of the loop. And what a loopy loop it is.

“We have moved HQ and have been finessing a magic acre in the wilderness. I have been as busy as a farmer

Now he lives far away from his old home

“We are now Anarchists Of The Forest and proud to be Welsh.”

He loves his place – and the previously London-based star told fans all about the move.

“We bought before the pandemic and spent six months of lockdown selling up and moving out,” he said.

“It has been torrid avoiding Covid and fascism…but we survive…a beautiful spot just south of lake Vyrnwy.

“It was in a state but we are making it pretty…lovely part of the world…far from the madding crowd…real.”

Mark won a Laurence Olivier Award in 2000 – and now has a new life focus, as well as more facial hair!

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Headlines UK London

Prince William and Duchess Catherine embark on a Christmas train tour

The couple wants to support the people of the country during the pandemic

On December 6, Prince William and Duchess Catherine went on a Christmas tour of the country’s cities, writes the BBC. The couple will travel exclusively on the royal train and plan to meet with teachers, volunteers and paramedics to listen to their stories and support people in difficult times.

Photo: instagram.com/kensingtonroyal

The tour will end on Tuesday December 8th. The Dukes of Cambridge will travel more than 2 thousand km through the territories of England, Scotland and Wales. Catherine is traveling on the royal train for the first time, while William has used it several times – including on the day of Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997. Then the young prince came by train from London to Northamptonshire, where the ancestral castle of the Spencer Earls of Althorp House is located.

Photo: instagram.com/kensingtonroyal

The couple have already met with paramedics from the Scottish Ambulance Service and thanked them for their work in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, reports The Sun. Last night, Katherine left a message at Euston Station: “Thanks to all the transport services for making the country move even in such a difficult year. Wish you a Merry Christmas! “

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Headlines UK

1.4 thousand foreigners escaped fines for violation of quarantine

The police just couldn’t find them!

Foreign nationals arriving in the UK need to self-isolate for two weeks, otherwise they will face a £ 1,000 fine.However, more than 1.4 thousand foreign travelers were not fined, because the police could not find them and verify that the quarantine was observed, writes Sky News …

Police officers came with a check to the specified addresses and called the phone numbers left in the questionnaire. Sometimes they didn’t get an answer at all, or they found out that the people they wanted didn’t live at the address, according to a report by the National Council of Chiefs of Police (NPCC).

Since the beginning of June, the British police have checked more than 7 thousand foreign citizens and issued 223 fines for violating quarantine.

641 residents of England and Wales received a fine for refusing to wear a mask in shops and public transport. 136 people received were fined £ 10 thousand for organizing parties, raves, protest marches with the participation of more than thirty people.

Since March 2020, the police in England and Wales have issued just under 25 thousand fines. The overwhelming majority of violators were people between the ages of 18 and 39.

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Entertainment UK

Charlie Brooks returns home from Wales after I’m A Celeb bosses ‘axed her stint’


Charlie Brooks looked far from impressed as she was spotted returning home from Wales after ITV bosses reportedly sent her home.

The 39-year-old actress – known for playing Janine Butcher on BBC’s EastEnders – was allegedly expecting to make an appearance on this year’s show until TV bosses decided against the idea.

Charlie won the show in 2012 and is believed to have even self-isolated for two weeks in preparation for this year’s appearance.

However, the mum of one was pictured returning home on Friday having not made an appearance on the show.

In the snaps, Charlie donned a bright yellow jumper as she wheeled her enormous suitcase back to her Surrey home.

Charlie has returned home from her rumoured trip to Wales

She was also then handed a guitar that looked identical to the one she was pictured leaving with in early November.

A representative for Charlie as well as ITV have been approached for comment by the Mirror Online.

According to The Sun, Charlie was sent home alongside Joey Essex, Joe Swash and Vicky Pattison.

The actress looked glum as she headed home

However television insiders told the publication that why they had been sent home at this time remained a mystery.

“It was never clear exactly what role the four stars would play on the series, but it’s obvious they’d been chosen as they were among the most popular former contestants,” a source told the paper.

“They were being prepared through isolation to ensure there was no risk of them bringing coronavirus on to the set and infecting the other celebrities or the crew and causing chaos.”

Charlie wheeled an enormous suitcase back into her home after reportedly isolating for two weeks in Wales

Charlie’s return home came almost two weeks after The Sun reported that she was making her way to Wales ahead of a rumoured I’m A Celeb appearance.

At the time, the actress was beaming from ear to ear as she left her home with a pair of Hunter wellies in her hands.

It has also been reported that the four I’m A Celeb former stars have been on stand-by for the duration of the show.

Charlie won the show in 2012

However, they allegedly had not been told what was in store for their appearances.

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Sports UK

Ford warns that Wales will “do anything” to beat England in Nations Cup showdown


George Ford has placed England on RED alert by warning that Wales will “do anything” to beat their greatest rivals today.

England are hot favourites to hand Wayne Pivac’s side their seventh defeat in eight games and reach the Autumn Nations Cup final.

Wales are still reeling from their worst Six Nations since 2007 and have plunged to ninth in the world order – their lowest position for eight years.

These are desperate times for a team which only last year reached the World Cup semi-finals and were crowned Grand Slam champions.

The bookies don’t give them a prayer against an England side which overpowered Ireland a week ago to knock New Zealand off No.2 spot in the rankings.

Wales came close to beating eventual champions South Africa in semi-final of 2019 World Cup

Yet Ford bears the scars from the 2015 World Cup when the “no-hope” Welsh won at Twickenham to tee England up for a humiliating pool exit.

The fly-half warned: “We’re coming up against a team that will do anything to win the game – and that makes Wales a different beast.

“Every guy playing in the red shirt is going to do everything he can to win this game. Being (written off) can galvanise a team and bring the best out of them. That’s something we need to be aware of 100 per cent.”

Under-pressure Wales coach Wayne Pivac

This is not an isolated view. Eddie Jones has spent time listening to the Stereophonics’ anthem “As Long as We Beat the English” to remind him of what’s coming.

An empty Parc y Scarlets will, of course, be far removed from the febrile atmosphere generated by a jam-packed Principality Stadium with the arch enemy in town.

Yet Ford vowed: “We’re preparing for the best possible Wales performance. What we’ve done up to this point is not going to be good enough.”

Joe Marler provokes Alun Wyn Jones during last meeting of nations in March

Half-back partner Ben Youngs concurred: “Wales-England is a game in which form and past results go out the window. They are irrelevant.”

Jonathan Joseph added: “We know we’ve got a huge battle on our hands. We have to be right up there mentally and preparation wise.”

If England’s actions match their words Wales will be in for a long afternoon. A week ago Jones’ forward pack devoured the Irish, who had thrashed the Welsh a week earlier.

Dan Biggar celebrates Wales’ shock World Cup win over England at Twickenham in 2015

But they will be mindful of the words of Lloyd Williams, who played in two of Wales’ greatest upset wins over England in 2013 and 2015, and who today starts his first Test in four years.

“Wales play the underdog quite well and it’s something the boys relish,” he said. “It’s usually the case against England and it excites the players.”

WALES: Halfpenny; Adams, Tompkins, J Williams, Rees-Zammit; Biggar, Lloyd Williams; W Jones, Elias, Lee, Ball, Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Lewis-Hughes, Botham, Faletau.

Replacements: Dee, Carre, Francis, Rowlands, Wainwright, Webb, Sheedy, Watkin.

ENGLAND: Daly; Joseph, Slade, Farrell (capt), May; Ford, Youngs; M Vunipola, George, Sinckler, Itoje, Launchbury, Curry, Underhill, B Vunipola.

Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Genge, Stuart, Hill, Earl, Willis, Robson, Watson.





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