COVID-19 Quiz

This 10-question quiz tests your knowledge about the coronavirus and COVID-19, including issues around symptoms, testing, number of cases and deaths, and cost sharing for treatment.

Coronavirus UK map: the latest deaths and confirmed Covid-19 cases

Latest figures from public health authorities on the spread of Covid-19 in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Find out how many confirmed cases have been reported in each local authorityPlease note: these are government figures on numbers of confirmed cases – some people who report symptoms are not being tested, and are not included in these counts.Update 3 July: Public Health England is now including “pillar 1” and “pillar 2” cases for local authorities in England. Many places will have seen an apparent rise in cases, which is chiefly due to this adjustment in the way the data is published. PHE explains the nature of the change here. Continue reading...

Coronavirus Australia map: tracking new cases, Covid-19 stats and live data by state

Guardian Australia brings together all the latest on active and daily new Covid-19 cases, as well as maps, stats, live data and state by state graphs from NSW, Victoria, Queensland, SA, WA, Tasmania, ACT and NT to get a broad picture of the Australian outbreak and track the impact of government responseVictoria cases map; NSW cases map; Coronavirus world mapCases and deaths over time by countrySign up for Guardian Australia’s coronavirus emailDue to the difference in reporting times between states, territories and the federal government, it can be difficult to get a current picture of how many confirmed cases of coronavirus there are in Australia.Here, we’ve brought together all the figures in one place, along with comparisons with other countries. Continue reading...

Coronavirus live news: England rocked by easing U-turn as Australia cases mount

Almost 300,000 new infections on Friday, led by US, Brazil and India; Boris Johnson warns of second lockdown. Follow all the developments liveFauci optimistic about having a vaccine this yearAustralia death toll tops 200The week Covid-19 roared back in Europe 1.03pm BST Twenty-one new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Malta, the health authorities said on Saturday, according to a report by Times of Malta.Most of the new patients are aged below 35, but one patient is 80 years old. 12.21pm BST Vietnam’s health ministry has said that up to 800,000 visitors to Danang city, the centre of coronavirus in the country, have left for other parts of the country since 1 July.Last week Vietnam detected its first locally transmitted Covid-19 cases in more than three months in Danang, a popular tourism spot. The government has always been determined to ensure that its people are protected from Covid-19 by keeping the country’s relatively low number of cases and controlling the transmission within the community. Continue reading...

Pubs in England may have to close to control coronavirus, says Sage adviser

Government modelling expert Graham Medley says reopening schools is a priorityCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe government may have to consider closing pubs in England to control the transmission of the coronavirus and to enable schools to reopen after the summer holidays, one of the government’s top scientific advisers has said.Prof Graham Medley, who chairs the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) sub-group on pandemic modelling, said that reopening schools was a priority for the wellbeing of children and that some other activities might have to stop to control the infection rate. Continue reading...

Victoria reports 397 new coronavirus cases as Australian Covid-19 death toll climbs above 200

Daniel Andrews says total includes 49 ‘mystery cases’ as NSW reports 17 new infections and a death linked to Crossroads hotel clusterCoronavirus live news: England rocked by easing u-turn as Australia cases mountKatharine Murphy: ‘Scott Morrison and Daniel Andrews are locked in an Argentinian tango on coronavirus’Comment: ‘Fear hangs over Melbourne and nothing is like the first wave’The Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, has warned of “growing concern” over dozens of “mystery cases” of coronavirus that cannot be traced by authorities, as the state recorded 397 new infections and three more deaths on Saturday.The Victorian deaths – of a man and a woman in their 80s, and a woman in her 90s – and the death of an 83-year-old man connected to the outbreak at the Crossroads hotel in south-west Sydney, New South Wales, took Australia’s coronavirus death toll to 201 since the pandemic began. Continue reading...

Extend UK furlough subsidies to avoid mass job losses, Labour urges

Resolution Foundation claims half of those furloughed in April have not returned to workFrustrated firms fume at England’s lockdown U-turnHow Covid-19 has reshaped the UK jobs landscapeLabour and a leading welfare thinktank have called on the government to extend furlough subsidies for the hardest-hit industries as employers are forced to make financial contributions towards temporarily laid-off workers from this weekend.The Resolution Foundation said around half of the 9.2 million people placed on the government’s job retention scheme (JRS) since it launched in April have still not returned to work. It warned this group faced the prospect of widespread redundancies when the scheme, which covers 80% of workers’ wages, closes on 31 October, unless state subsidies are maintained beyond that date. Continue reading...

UK universities putting finances above student safety, expert warns

Oxford professor says institutions are being forced to reopen but fears student arrivals on campus will trigger Covid-19 outbreaksCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageOne of the UK’s top higher education experts has warned that by promising young people they can return to campuses this autumn, universities are putting their financial survival in the pandemic above the welfare of students, staff and local communities.With less than two weeks to go until sixth-formers receive their teacher-assessed A-level grades, a clearer picture is starting to emerge of what they can expect when they arrive at university. Although almost all institutions are offering some face-to-face learning, it will be a very different university experience, with visitors and parties likely to be banned in many halls of residence. Continue reading...

High-end steak and chips for a tenner? Welcome to discount dining

‘Eat out to help out’ has been hailed as a lifeline. But with half of UK hospitality venues still closed, will it work?How will the Eat out to help out scheme work for me?From next week Britons will be able to treat themselves to a cut-priced meal in a McDonald’s or a Michelin-starred restaurant as some of the biggest names in food take part in the government’s discount dining scheme.Just over 53,000 venues, ranging from big high street chains such as McDonald’s and Nando’s to celebrity haunts such as The Ivy, in London’s west end, have signed up to the “eat out to help out” scheme, which aims to get the country’s devastated hospitality industry, where 1.8 million jobs are at stake, back on its feet. Continue reading...

South African rhino poaching halves in six months thanks to Covid-19 lockdown

Killings fell by 53% in the first six months of 2020 as restrictions and disruption to international flights hinder poachers Coronavirus latest updatesThe number of South African rhinos killed by poachers fell by half in the first six months of the year, partly helped by the nationwide coronavirus lockdown and disruption to international smuggling rings.During the first six months of the year, 166 rhino were poached in South Africa, compared with 316 in the first half of 2019, Barbara Creecy, the minister of environment, forestry and fisheries, said on Friday, a drop of 53%. Continue reading...

Why has easing of the Covid-19 lockdown in England been delayed?

Key questions around the latest move by the government aimed at tackling rising cases Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageJust a fortnight ago, Boris Johnson unveiled a plan that he hoped would put the country back on a path to normality by Christmas. But at the same Downing Street podium on Friday, he said that the government was postponing plans to ease Covid-19 lockdown restrictions further on Saturday.The prime minister said the delay in easing measures across England for at least a fortnight was to combat new cases of the virus. He also announced face coverings would be made mandatory in a host of new indoor settings. So, what does it all mean? Continue reading...

'Remote first' GP appointments must be handled with care

As health secretary welcomes shift to phone consultations, experts warn that the change may not suit everyoneCoronavirus - latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageWhile the number of GP appointments overall dropped during lockdown, there was a clear shift towards remote consultations driven by the necessity of the Covid-19 outbreak. NHS figures show that 48% of 17m GP appointments in May were carried out over the telephone, compared with 14% of 25m in February.This shift away from face-to-face meetings, according to the health secretary, Matt Hancock, on Thursday, was a development he was keen to maintain. “From now on, all consultations should be tele-consultations unless there’s a compelling clinical reason not to,” he said, adding that it was something that had been particularly welcomed in rural areas. Continue reading...

You’re already wearing a mask – now consider a face shield and goggles | Adrienne Matei

For better protection, you may need to ... look a little weird and shield your peepersAt first, wearing a face mask felt a bit strange. Now, over five months into North America’s battle with Covid-19, I feel naked in public without one. Will goggles – previously the purview of steampunks and snowboarders – become the next article of protective equipment to go from weird to widespread? According to Dr Anthony Fauci, the answer is yes. In an ABC News Instagram Live Q&A this Wednesday, Fauci told viewers: “If you have goggles or an eye shield, you should use it.” Related: I'm a viral immunologist. Here's what antibody tests for Covid-19 tell us Continue reading...

I run a cafe in London. Here's why most small businesses won't survive Covid-19 | Mandy Yin

I’ve done all I can but without more help only big players will outlast the coming wave of closuresI was speaking to my kitchen manager trying to figure out how much chicken curry to make the next day when a customer walked in, wrapped up head to toe in protective gear, wearing a scarf tightly wound around her face, sunglasses, hat and gloves. This was the first day of my new restaurant, Nasi, opening, and it was a sign of things to come.I’d opened Nasi – Malaysian for rice – as a smaller takeaway cafe to complement my restaurant, Sambal Shiok Laksa Bar. Four days later, straight after the prime minister’s announcement of lockdown, I closed them both down voluntarily, to protect the health of my team, my family and my customers. I was unable to furlough any of my newest team members as they had joined after the government’s cut-off point. I was taking away their livelihoods – the feeling was horrendous. Continue reading...

Wearing a mask is simple, easy and unselfish. So why wouldn't you?

Yes, they are a bit uncomfortable and your lip balm might get messy, but wearing a mask is a complete no brainerWhen we were in the very thick of lockdown, I spoke to one of my best friends who has lived in Hong Kong for some years now. I was, quite naively, talking to her about it all as though she too was in lockdown. It is a global pandemic, after all.After listening to me list the reasons why lockdown was necessary but very stressful, she stopped me and said: “Oh. I’ve been going to work. Loads of places are open. Things aren’t like that here.” Reeling, I asked what she meant. “Well, we all just wear masks over here. Like, all the time. It’s just commonplace.” She told me, with a shrug. Continue reading...

Melbourne is shaking with fear of coronavirus – and nothing is like the first wave | Sophie Black

We know we’re the cautionary tale that the rest of the country is scaring themselves with in order to keep 1.5 metres apartThe morale-boosting markers that were shared across Melbourne during the first lockdown have all but disappeared. Rainbows have peeled off fences, forgotten teddy bears are wedged between Venetian blinds and most of the chalk messages have long washed away.“This isn’t like the first wave,” our chief health officer, Brett Sutton, said on the Saturday. By the Monday, with the daily presser citing our then record highest number of Covid cases at 532, and cement grey cloud obscuring the sun, Melbourne felt done in. Come Thursday, under a blue sky, with blossoms out and wattle blazing, Victoria clocked 723 – a number that winded the city. And now the fear is back. Continue reading...

Daniel Andrews and the PM are locked in an Argentinian tango on coronavirus, but their grip is starting to slip | Katharine Murphy

We’ve reached a point in managing this crisis at which the bedrock of esprit de corps could start to crumbleDownload the free Guardian app to get the most important news notificationsCoronavirus Australia maps and cases: live numbers and statisticsThis time last Saturday I was in my kitchen with my husband, scrolling through clips of Donald Trump yapping about his cognitive test. Person, woman, man, camera, TV.The prevailing view among the American liberal media at the moment is Trump, sinking in the polls, has lost his marbles – that he’s going out of his mind prior to voters moving him out of the White House in November. Perhaps this assessment is right. I really hope so, for the sake of the world. Continue reading...

‘After Boris Johnson’s Zoom call, all hell broke loose’: inside the world's favourite video app

Ten years ago, Silicon Valley had written off Zoom. Now it’s used by everyone from princes to piano teachersOn 6 January, a day after the World Heath Organization first reported a strange cluster of pneumonia-like cases in Wuhan, China, a party invitation dropped online. “Mark your calendars”, read the invite sent out by Zoom, a video-conferencing company based in California, “for Zoomtopia 2020!” Innocently enough, Zoom was announcing a real-world get-together for its most ardent clients and fans – at the time, these were mostly customers in enterprise and education, who chose to use Zoom over any number of video-chat competitors because of its easy interface and the relative smoothness of its connections.But while it was well regarded in tech and business circles (and floated on the US stock exchange in 2019), Zoom was a marginal force in the world in January. This wasn’t Apple. This wasn’t Uber. Guests on their way to Zoomtopia would have to explain to cab drivers and hotel concierges what Zoom was. Then that strange cluster of Wuhan cases began its unstoppable global spread, and by the end of March about half the planet’s governments had locked their citizens indoors, leaving them to figure out how to work and socialise from home. Suddenly, we were all in Zoomtopia. Continue reading...

Two U-turns and a lot of chaos: it's been a painful week for Boris Johnson

One thing is clear, the government is very worried about a resurgence of coronavirus in the UKA week is a long time in a coronavirus pandemic – a fact the government has learned all too painfully. Avoiding a one-week delay to lockdown in March would potentially have halved the death toll, it has previously emerged.Which goes some way to explain why there have been not one but two screeching U-turns this week – on travel to Spain and lockdown measures for 4.6 million people in northern England – both announced late into the evening and imposed within hours. The ensuing chaos and anger have been palpable, and all point to one thing: that the government is very, very worried about a resurgence of the virus on UK soil. Continue reading...

US health workers: how do you feel the government has dealt with the pandemic?

We would like to hear from health workers and other frontline workers on how they feel the country has dealt with coronavirusMore than 44,000 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in the United States on Tuesday, making it another record high for new cases in one day as the pandemic charts a dangerous new surge.Despite frontline workers taking high risks and working tirelessly to combat the virus, decisions by governments at both federal and state level have seen the number of infections continue to rise, with the situation expected to get worse. Continue reading...

Tell us: how have you been affected by the coronavirus?

If you have been affected or have any information or news tips for our journalists, we would like to hear from youCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThis is the place to share your experiences, information or news tips with the Guardian. People have been affected by coronavirus in myriad ways and we’d like to hear your stories. If you’ve been affected and would like to share your experience or news tips, anonymously if you prefer, direct with our journalists then please do so via the form below. You can also get in touch via WhatsApp by clicking here or adding the contact +44(0)7867825056. Continue reading...

'I won't stand by': Boris Johnson sets out revised coronavirus lockdown rules in England – video

Boris Johnson has  postponed the next stage of lockdown easing in England until at least 15 August due to a rise in Covid-19 infection rates.The announcement, made at a hastily arranging Downing Street press conference, came hours after the government imposed new restrictions on more than 4 million people across northern England. 'I’m really, really sorry about that, but we just cannot take the risk,' Johnson said about the impact on businesses and families.UK coronavirus news – live updatesCovid-19 around the world – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage Continue reading...

Covid-19 and 100 days that transformed the world: the 17 April edition of the Guardian Weekly

This week our international news magazine considers how we even begin to process a period of such rapid and phenomenal global change. For home delivery, click hereHere in the United Kingdom we are – we hope – in the midst of the worst stages of the coronavirus outbreak. For some countries, the worst may be beginning to pass; for others, things may be about to darken further. The uncertainty is almost as discomfiting as our fears of the illness. Since the Weekly carried its first small report on the novel coronavirus on 10 January (“Respiratory contagion is not Sars, authorities say”) the world has changed in ways that few could have imagined possible. Last week the Guardian ran a fascinating series of articles on the 100 days in which Covid-19 went from a small flicker in the world’s consciousness to the defining crisis of a generation. We’re pleased to feature a selection of them in this week’s edition of the Weekly. We begin with Jonathan Freedland’s analysis of how the disaster has unfolded in the UK and around the world – a change so fast we can barely grasp its scale. Our global environment editor Jonathan Watts considers the low-carbon, wildlife-friendly state we find ourselves in – and asks if we can find a way to make it last. Then, Guardian economics editor Larry Elliott looks at the speed in which the global economy was ravaged by the virus, and diplomatic editor Patrick Wintour considers the geopolitical winners and losers from the crisis. Continue reading...

Coronavirus: who will be winners and losers in new world order?

Are state responses to the virus shifting the balance of power between China and the west?See all our coronavirus coverageAndrà tutto bene, the Italians have taught us to think, but in truth, will everything be better the day after? It may seem premature, in the midst of what Emmanuel Macron has described as “a war against an invisible enemy”, to consider the political and economic consequences of a distant peace. Few attempt a definitive review of a play after the first three scenes.Yet world leaders, diplomats and geopolitical analysts know they are living through epoch-making times and have one eye on the daily combat, the other on what this crisis will bequeath the world. Competing ideologies, power blocs, leaders and systems of social cohesion are being stress-tested in the court of world opinion. Continue reading...

2:00PM Water Cooler 7/31/2020

COVID-19 peak, or plateau? ~ Biden v. Sanders forces at platform committee ~ When you've lost Rod Dreher ~ Trump halts ad spend ~ Smugness ~ National security goons and the election ~ Warehousing, shipping for Xmas ~ COVID-19 immunity ~ WHO hires Cass Sunstein ~ Team masks

2:00PM Water Cooler 7/30/2020

COVID-19 in the five problem states ~ Biden's ground game ~ Trump to postpone election or drop out ~ A taxonomy of state failure ~ GDP (ugh), employment situation, rail) ~ Boeing ~ Chinese seeds ~ DIV Covid vaccine ~ "The Stupids Do Covid!:" ~ Grinding games ~ The riots, forgotten ~ Circus Peanut Jello Salad

How The Pandemic Could Force A Generation Of Mothers Out Of The Workforce

For the past few months, Alicia Wertz has barely seen her husband. Since schools closed in their northern Alabama town in March, they’ve been single-mindedly focused on a single goal: making sure that someone was watching their three kids. At first, Wertz tried working from home. But she wasn’t getting anything done, so they tried […]

How The Experts Are Measuring The Economic Recovery

Graphics by Ryan Best In early June, the National Bureau of Economic Research made it official: The United States was in a full-blown recession. Joblessness had risen to historic levels, total production was down, and industrial activity slowed to a crawl. Just like that, the COVID-19 pandemic had extinguished the longest period of expansion in […]

Economists Think Congress Could Create An Economic Disaster This Summer

Graphics by Anna Wiederkehr Congress has less than a month to hammer out a deal on the next round of stimulus before expanded unemployment benefits expire. State and local governments are starting to feel the pinch of budget shortfalls. And while the U.S. got a piece of (relatively) good news in last week’s jobs report, […]

What Economists Fear Most During This Recovery

Graphics by Anna Wiederkehr As states push forward in their phased reopenings, we’re getting clues that the beleaguered U.S economy might be on its way to recovery. Retail sales spiked by 17.7 percent in May, and the unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped in that month as well — suggesting that Americans were returning to work and […]

Virtual Church Services Mean More Work For This Audio Engineer

As the nation seeks to rebound from the economic wreckage caused by the novel coronavirus, millions of Americans are looking for jobs. But some will be trying to maintain the momentum of the extra work they’ve picked up over the past few months. K Yamada, an Atlanta-area audio engineer, is one of those people. The […]

The Economy Is A Mess. So Why Isn’t The Stock Market?

Graphics by Julia Wolfe We’ve said it before: The stock market is not the economy. Usually, this simply means that fluctuations in the markets may have little to no real bearing on the underlying realities we think of as making up the economy. Or that there are many important structural factors that make the markets’ […]

1968 Isn’t The Only Parallel For This Political Moment

When protests kicked off throughout the nation a week and a half ago, commentators turned to history to make sense of events. One year dominated the conversation: 1968. Racial tensions, clashes between police and protesters, a general sense of chaos — 1968 and 2020 seemed to have a lot in common. Observers wrote about how […]

A Good Jobs Report Does Not Mean A Rigged Jobs Report

The jobs report released this morning was shockingly good — which immediately made some people question whether it was too good to be true. The most high-profile skeptic was left-leaning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who wondered on Twitter whether the Trump administration had “gotten to” the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), […]

May’s Jobs Report Brought Good News — But Not For Everyone

We already knew the economic crisis of the coronavirus pandemic was moving much faster than our economic data could keep up with. But the most recent jobs report, which was released today, underscores just how little we know about the current state of the job market at any given moment. In a surprise development, the […]

Musicians Are Suffering Without Concerts To Play

As the country begins to reopen, government officials are hoping that industries battered by the COVID-19 crisis will start to rebound. But for people who work in the arts, it may still be a long while before things are normal again. That’s a harsh reality for musician Zoë Keating. Last year, the cellist earned almost […]

Mask rage: ‘One man told me I shouldn't be allowed out if I can't wear one’

With face coverings compulsory in many settings, people unable to comply for health reasons are being challenged and abusedCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageIn the past few weeks, Paul Feeley has been abused four times for not wearing a mask on public transport. “I have a disability lanyard, which signifies I have a hidden disability. I tried to show it … And all I got back was a complete torrent of abuse.”The most recent incident took place just after he first spoke to the Observer on Thursday. The abuse has made Feeley, who suffers from fibromyalgia, borderline personality disorder and panic attacks, feel “extraordinarily angry, anxious and upset”. He is unable to wear a face covering due to his medical conditions, and legally he is exempt – but he is now worried about travelling on buses and trams in his home town of Manchester. “One man said to me, ‘If you can’t wear a mask, you shouldn’t be allowed out.’” Continue reading...

Hottest front-room seats: the best theatre and dance to watch online

From live-streams of new plays to classics from the archive, here are some of the top shows online now or coming soonLin-Manuel Miranda’s phenomenal, Pulitzer prize-winning musical about the “10-dollar founding father without a father” was filmed over three nights in New York in 2016 with the original Broadway cast. Slated for a 2021 cinema release, it has been fast-tracked on to the Disney+ streaming service. It’s directed by Thomas Kail, who staged the musical, and according to Miranda gives “everyone the best seat in the house”. Watch it once and, to quote Jonathan Groff’s frothing King George III, You’ll Be Back. Read the full five-star review. Continue reading...

Coronavirus UK map: the latest deaths and confirmed Covid cases

Latest figures from public health authorities on the spread of Covid-19 in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Find out how many confirmed cases have been reported in each local authorityPlease note: these are government figures on numbers of confirmed cases – some people who report symptoms are not being tested, and are not included in these counts. Continue reading...

Coronavirus live update Australia: Victoria records 410 new Covid cases and 21 deaths as NSW records 18 new cases

NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian strongly encourages mask-wearing as Victoria’s hotel quarantine system goes under the microscope. Follow live updates todayFollow our global live blogAustralian stats interactive; Vic cases map; NSW cases map; NSW hotspots listState by state Covid restrictions; Melbourne stage 4 restrictions; Vic stage 3 rulesSign up for Guardian Australia’s coronavirus email 6.44am BST He’s then asked about advice from the federal government to aged care facilities which told them to prepare for20% to 30% losses in staff if there was an outbreak. Centres like Newmarch in Sydney and St Basils in Melbourne have seen losses of 80% and upwards.You know, what went on at St Basils and some of the other facilities that have been markedly affected has been entire shifts of staff, entire facilities worth of staff not being able to work either because they are affected by COVID-19 themselves, acquired largely from the community, or they’ve been furloughed as a decision to protect residents and what that has led to is entire facilities being without a workforce. I just ask everybody to reflect as they consider what the federal government plans were and what providers planned for. There are very few organisations in Australia, in fact, I’d struggle to name one, that has a business continuity plan for their entire workforce being absent.I think there are a lot of things that are being reconsidered by the AHPPC at the moment and every single jurisdiction is considering the document that was presented to National Cabinet at the last National Cabinet which was lessons learned from the Victorian aged care outbreak.I draw your attention back to the fact that when you have a community-level outbreak of the extent we have had in Victoria and many other nations in the world on the first or second wave, residential aged care workers or health care workers are a significant part of our workforce a sa proportion so when the proportion of Covid is high in your community the number of affected facilities is very, very high and no government in the world as yet has been able to prevent the incursions of Covid-19 into residential aged care facilities, when you have a Covid outbreak of that sort. 6.39am BST Coatsworth is asked about the Russian vaccine announced by Vladimir Putin yesterday.He says Australia knows “very little” about it.We know very little apart from the media reports, of course. As we reflect on our own experience with research and development ... the critical principles of the scientific method, which would include making sure that data is openly available for scrutiny, particularly with a vaccine, the importance of regulation of safety and efficacy studies, these are all bits of information that you need to be able to understand about a vaccine. So the more information we get about any vaccine produced by any country the better and we have held a consistent position as a nation that no matter who wins this race, that any effective, safe vaccine needs to be immediately provided to the world and countries around the world allowed to manufacture it. Continue reading...

UK GDP report shows scale of Covid-19 slump - business live

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, as the UK officially falls into recessionFull story: UK to plunge into deepest slump on record 6.37am BST Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business. We’re about to discover quite how badly the UK economy fared during the Covid-19 lockdown, and whether it is on the road to recovery. The latest GDP report, due at 7am, is expected to show that activity slumped dramatically in April-June, plunging the UK into a technical recession. The slump is expected to be deeper than in many other advanced economies. Economists predict that GDP contracted by around 21% in the second quarter, following a 2.2% fall in Q1. That would be the deepest quarterly slump on record, putting the UK on track for its worst year in decades. The uk will plummet into recession today for first time since 2008 with GDP expected to have slumped by a record 21% in the run up to June @GMBThe US and the eurozone have already been confirmed in recession as the global economy grapples with the sharpest downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s. However, China, at the heart of the original outbreak, avoided recession after it returned to growth in the second quarter. The slump in Britain is expected to be the biggest quarterly drop of any G7 economy due to the later launch of lockdown controls and the slower removal of harsh restrictions.#Gold collapseds below $1,900 an ounce extending the precious metal’s slump into a second day, to head for its biggest two-day loss in more than seven years as investors step back from one of the hottest trades of 2020 as Treasury yields rise. https://t.co/ORjPA5me7O pic.twitter.com/SPbcOwCIwC Continue reading...

Coronavirus live news: New Zealand's biggest city back in lockdown as global deaths pass 740,000

WHO warns displacement of people in Beirut risks accelerating Covid-19 spread; four new cases in Auckland, New Zealand; Australia suffers deadliest day. Follow the latest updatesGlobal report: New Zealand begins mass testing as Australia records deadliest dayRussia approves vaccine despite testing concernsFrench and Dutch on alert over rise in casesLost on the frontline: the 900 US health workers who have diedSee all our coronavirus coverage 6.29am BST Hi, Helen Sullivan here. I recently wrote about being separated from my husband for five months by the pandemic. Now, we’d like to hear from couples and other loved ones kept apart by border closures and flight palavers. If you would like to tell your story, my email address is helen.sullivan@theguardian.com – please do drop me a few lines explaining your own situation. Related: In the months my husband and I were apart, the world changed completely | Helen Sullivan 6.19am BST Melissa Davey, Matilda Boseley and Josh Taylor report for the Guardian: Here is the full story on the Australian state of Victoria, which has recorded its highest overnight death toll from Covid-19, with 21 deaths and 410 new cases announced on Wednesday as the premier Daniel Andrews expressed concern about continued aged care cases and deaths, and a rise of cases in disability services, among health workers, and in regional areas. Related: Victoria records highest Covid death toll at 21 and 410 cases as aged care sector remains hardest hit Continue reading...

Michael Rosen completes new book after long battle with Covid-19

Author, who was in intensive care for 47 days, says he has written Rigatoni the Pasta Cat after returning home to the ‘friendly blanket’ of writing Despite spending nearly seven weeks in intensive care and having to learn to walk again after contracting Covid-19, Michael Rosen has written a new book in the weeks since he left hospital, describing his return to creativity as akin to being wrapped in “a very friendly blanket”.The former children’s laureate, who spent 47 days in intensive care before going home in June, said he took just “a couple of days” to pen Rigatoni the Pasta Cat, the latest in his comic fiction series illustrated by Tony Ross. Continue reading...

Australia's Covid aged care deaths 'worst disaster still unfolding before my eyes'

Royal commission hears hundreds of residents will die because of government failure to develop a coronavirus response plan, and that some care homes are cutting staffFollow Australia’s Wednesday live blogVic cases map; NSW cases map; full Australian statsMelbourne’s stage 4 restrictions ; Victoria’s stage 3 rules; state by state Covid restrictions Sign up for Guardian Australia’s coronavirus emailAn aged care expert has told the royal commission examining the sector that Covid-19 is “the worst disaster that is still unfolding before my eyes”, and warned that hundreds of residents will die prematurely because of a failure of authorities to act.Prof Joseph Ibrahim, head of the health law and ageing research unit at Monash University’s forensic medicine department, also told the aged care royal commission on Wednesday morning he believes Australia’s rate of death in residential aged care is more than 68% – the second-highest in the world behind Canada at 80%. Continue reading...

Victoria records highest Covid death toll at 21 and 410 cases as aged care sector remains hardest hit

Premier Daniel Andrews says the state is also seeing concerning increases in coronavirus cases in disability services and regional areasFollow the latest Australia coronavirus live newsMelbourne stage 4 restrictions; Vic stage 3 rulesVictoria and Melbourne cases mapSign up for Guardian Australia’s coronavirus emailVictoria has recorded its highest overnight death toll from Covid-19, with 21 deaths and 410 new cases announced on Wednesday as the premier Daniel Andrews expressed concern about continued aged care cases and deaths, and a rise of cases in disability services, among health workers, and in regional areas.Those who died ranged in age from their 70s to 100s, and of the deaths 16 were linked to aged care facilities. There are 662 Victorians in hospital and 43 of those are receiving intensive care, while 25 are on a ventilator. Meanwhile 476 aged care residents have been transferred from aged care to hospital as the state struggles to contain spread in the facilities. Continue reading...

People under 40 account for 55% of Victoria's Covid cases but only 6% of deaths

Department of Health data comes as new research casts doubt on notion that children are less susceptible to infectious and don’t play a substantial role in transmissionFollow Australia’s Wednesday live blogVic cases map; NSW cases map; full Australian statsMelbourne’s stage 4 restrictions ; Victoria’s stage 3 rules; state by state Covid restrictionsSign up for Guardian Australia’s coronavirus emailMore than half of Victoria’s active cases of Covid-19 are in people aged 39 years old and younger, while less than 6% of the state’s deaths have been in the same age group, data from the Department of Health shows.The data included all cases of the virus and deaths up to 11 August. The age group with the highest amount of active cases is 20-29 years, with 1,823 infections. There have been no deaths in the state in this age group. Four deaths have occurred in those aged 30-39, while one death occurred in the 40-49 age group. Those aged between 0 and 39 comprise 54.9% of all active cases. Continue reading...

England's contact-tracing saga is at the heart of the government's failures

Move to include local authorities in test and trace could allow politicians to pass blame in a Covid second waveCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe saga of the attempts to set up an English test-and-trace system is perhaps the central story of the government’s Covid-19 failure.At the heart of the tale is a prime minister who promised NHS test and trace would be a “world beating” operation. Next to him sits Matt Hancock, the health secretary whose record is now indelibly associated with the smartphone app that was meant to be integral to controlling the virus, but has yet to materialise. Other key actors include Serco, the multinational outsourcing company that has previously been contracted to run everything from prisons to air traffic control – and, at a cost of £108m, was recently put in charge of recruiting and training thousands of call centre workers to establish contact with infected people and ensure that anyone they had been close to went into self-isolation. Continue reading...

Russia's coronavirus vaccine: will it work, and is it safe?

Sputnik V’s development has been marked by worrying opacity and ethical issuesCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe race to find a vaccine against Covid-19 has not always been particularly edifying, driven at times by so-called “vaccine nationalism”, much cautioned against by the World Health Organization, which has itself been accused of being invested as much in self-interest and prestige as global public health.Russia’s announcement that it has registered its Sputnik V vaccine as safe and effective for mass production and inoculation even before so-called phase 3 large-scale safety trials, which usually take months, fits the pattern. Continue reading...

We have no idea if the Russian Covid vaccine is safe or effective | Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz

The only discernible difference between Russia’s vaccine and others is that this one has skipped most of the testing phases • Russia’s coronavirus vaccine: will it work, and is it safe?Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, there’s been one hope that we’ve all relied on. We’re all waiting, with baited breath, for the day that scientists announce a successful coronavirus vaccine, because then we can get a jab and go back to the humdrum existence we enjoyed in 2019.And, according to Russia, that day is today. In the last 24 hours, Vladimir Putin has apparently approved the world’s first coronavirus vaccine. Big news indeed. Continue reading...

Don't be fooled – under Covid-19, the UK labour market is in crisis

The latest figures suggest the employment situation is not too bad. But that is about to changeRishi Sunak knows it. Andrew Bailey knows it. Every economic pundit knows it. The UK labour market is facing its grimmest period in decades. It is not a question of whether the dole queues will lengthen markedly, but by how much and when.A cursory glance at the latest data produced by the Office for National Statistics would suggest the outcome is not going to be all that bad. Unemployment, on the internationally agreed measure, remains below 4%, and has barely budged since the arrival of Covid-19 earlier this year. Employment was down 220,000 between the first and second quarters of 2020, which doesn’t look that terrible given that the economy contracted by a fifth over the same period. Continue reading...

Journalists must overcome their reticence to report on suicide – now more than ever | Martin McKenzie-Murray

Given the pandemic’s impact on mental health, the media must not self-censor when it comes to covering suicide in AustraliaFor a long time, suicide chilled newsrooms. The fear was simple: reporting suicide would inspire more. Maybe a celebrity’s death aroused unhelpfully lurid coverage, but usually the fear prevailed.In the psychological literature, it became known as “the Werther effect”. In newsrooms it was known as copycat suicide. The threat isn’t illusory. Years of research suggest the reception of certain types of reporting, by certain vulnerable populations, can increase localised suicide rates – nearly 250 years after Goethe’s first novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther, was banned in some European countries after a spate of imitative suicides. Continue reading...

The Guardian view on A-level algorithms: failing the test of fairness | Editorial

The decision to link this year’s GCSE and A-level results to past performance entrenches inequalities that those unable to sit exams can do nothing aboutFrom the moment in mid-March when schools closed indefinitely to curb the spread of Covid-19, it was obvious that 2020 would be an anomalous and stressful year in the education of millions of young people. For pupils scheduled to take GCSEs and A-levels, the situation has been particularly disorienting and strange. As it became clear that end-of-school exams would not take place, pupils’ future prospects were taken out of their hands and placed at the mercy of an assessment system to be devised by exam regulators. They have been badly failed.Instead of coming up with a system that focused on individual students, taking into account the wholly exceptional circumstances that jeopardised their life chances, regulators made it the priority to achieve a “normal” statistical spread of results and avoid grade inflation. England’s exam regulator, Ofqual, has done this by combining teacher assessments of likely grades with the pupil’s previous performance and the past record of the school as a whole. On the basis of a similar contextualisation, the Scottish Qualifications Authority last week downgraded 124,000 pupils’ awards, which were based on teacher estimates of what they would have achieved. Pupils in the poorest areas were marked down the most. This Thursday, when 250,000 English pupils will receive their A-level results, almost 40% of grade assessments by teachers may be revised downwards, according to research seen by the Guardian. Continue reading...

Stories of jobseekers show true impact of Covid-19 on employment

Many have taken jobs in new industries, while others are underemployed and struggling with billsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe true consequences of the coronavirus lockdown on employment are becoming clear, as official figures show that almost three-quarters of a million jobs have been shed from company payrolls since March.Older and younger workers have been the hardest hit by job cuts, and many people of all ages have taken new jobs in different industries to make ends meet, while others are underemployed and struggling to pay the bills despite being in work. Continue reading...

I resent tiptoeing around my housemate's work zone. How do I address this sensitively? | Leading questions

In lockdown, shared spaces have become busy and contested. Eleanor Gordon-Smith suggests being vocal and coming up with material solutionsMy housemate has been working from home since March and it now looks as though he will continue to do so for the rest of the year. We share a two-bedroom flat with one living area, which is where he has set up his work station. This wasn’t an issue at the beginning of the Covid crisis when we thought his working from home might last a few weeks, but now I’m facing six months of tiptoeing around the flat during the day, five days a week, so as not to disturb him. He hasn’t offered any alternative solutions and I sympathise that he also isn’t enjoying the situation, but I cannot live like this long term. I also resent that I’m now paying rent and bills for his work space, which he will likely be able to claim on his tax return. How do I address all of this sensitively? Should I move? (I work evenings in admin and am back at work part-time.) -- Continue reading...

Living in the UK: have you been made unemployed during lockdown?

We would like to hear from those who have lost their jobs due to coronavirus – particularly young and older workersSince the start of the pandemic in March, 730,000 people have lost their jobs with the youngest and oldest workers bearing the brunt of the employment crisis.We would like to hear from people who have lost their jobs as a result of coronavirus. We are particularly interested in young and older workers who are especially affected, as well as those who have worked or now work in manual jobs. Continue reading...

How one hotel outbreak of Covid-19 put an Australian state back in lockdown - podcast

Melbourne bureau chief, Melissa Davey, discusses life under a second lockdown after a hotel security breach in Victoria caused a resurgence of coronavirus casesThe south-eastern state of Victoria in Australia is in the midst of a second lockdown. A breach in infection control procedures by security staff contracted by the government to monitor returned international travellers was one of the factors that triggered Victoria’s resurgence of infections. Melissa Davey, the Melbourne bureau chief for Guardian Australia, tells Rachel Humphreys how Australia fought the virus so effectively during the first wave and how people have responded to this new infection. Australia’s only free 24/7 counselling service for young people has reported that demand in Victoria increased 8% in July compared with the previous month. Continue reading...

Russia approves Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine despite testing safety concerns – video

Russia has approved a controversial Covid-19 vaccine for widespread use after less than two months of human testing, including a dose administered to one of Vladimir Putin’s daughters.Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the country’s RDIF sovereign wealth fund, said the vaccine would be marketed abroad under the brand name Sputnik V with international agreements to produce 500m doses and requests for 1bn doses from 20 countries.The vaccine’s name evokes the world’s first satellite to be launched into orbit, Sputnik, during the cold war space race, which was also seen as a competition for international prestige.Coronavirus latest updates Latest coronavirus news  Continue reading...

What Economists Fear Will Happen Without More Unemployment Aid

A sudden uptick in food insecurity. A wave of evictions. People spending less money at shops and restaurants. More job losses. According to leading economists, that’s what’s likely in store for the U.S. economy this year if Congress doesn’t renew any of the $600-per-week supplementary payment for unemployed workers by Sept. 1. Lawmakers have known […]

Yes, Unemployment Fell. But The Recovery Seems To Be Slowing Down.

After three straight months of declining unemployment, we have only just returned to levels of unemployment that rival the depths of the Great Recession. Friday’s jobs report revealed that the unemployment rate dropped from 11.1 percent in June to 10.2 percent in July, and 1.8 million more people were employed in July than in June. […]

Victoria hotel quarantine inquiry hears of 'pivotal' meeting that led to use of private security

Victorian jobs minister Martin Pakula dismisses media reports he is ultimately responsible for the $80m programFollow the latest Australia coronavirus live newsMelbourne stage 4 restrictions; Vic stage 3 rulesVictoria and Melbourne cases mapSign up for Guardian Australia’s coronavirus emailA “pivotal” meeting of Victorian government officials on 27 March led to the decision to use private security contractors for the $80m hotel quarantine program, a parliamentary inquiry has heard.As the dispute between the state and federal governments continued over whether defence force support for the program was offered, the Victorian jobs minister, Martin Pakula, dismissed media reports that he was ultimately responsible for hotel quarantine, stating his department didn’t have operational control for the program. Continue reading...

UK falls into recession as GDP tumbles 20.4% in April-June - business live

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, as the UK officially falls into recessionNewsflash: UK economy shrank 20.4% in Q2Worst slump on recordBut GDP did rise in JuneIntroduction: It’s UK GDP dayFull story: UK to plunge into deepest slump on record 7.16am BST In better news, the UK economy did grow in June.The ONS reports that monthly gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 8.7% in June 2020, following growth of 2.4% in May 2020 (that’s been revised up, I think).But despite this, the level of output did not fully recover from the record falls seen across March and April 2020, and has reduced by 17.2% compared with February 2020, before the full impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 7.13am BST The contraction in Britain’s economy this year is much, much worse than the last recession, as this chart shows: Continue reading...

UK economy plunges into deepest slump since records began

ONS confirms recession as GDP falls 20.4% as Covid-19 fuels biggest quarterly decline in growth since 1955UK falls into recession – live business updatesCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageBritain’s economy has been officially confirmed in recession for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis as the coronavirus pandemic plunges the country into the deepest slump on record.The Office for National Statistics said gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of economic prosperity, fell in the three months to the end of June by 20.4% – the biggest quarterly decline since comparable records began in 1955. Continue reading...

Clive Palmer cites a cold as he pulls out of testifying to MPs – then fronts media to attack WA premier

Mining magnate urges Mark McGowan to ‘calm down’ amid $30bn legal battle over iron ore Clive Palmer pulled out of testifying to a parliamentary inquiry into Australia’s trade with China on the basis he had a cold – but then hosted a press conference with journalists in attendance on the Gold Coast as he threatened fresh legal action against the Western Australian government.When asked about the apparent breach of Queensland Health’s protocols to prevent the potential spread of coronavirus, the billionaire mining magnate’s spokesman told Guardian Australia that Palmer had “social distanced” during the media event, held on Wednesday at Paradise Point. Continue reading...

Homeless people mustn't be abandoned to life on the streets again | Matt Downie

The policy of housing everyone during the pandemic is ending. Only emergency action will stop a rise in first-time rough sleepersCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageIn the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, as we went into lockdown, something extraordinary happened.Close on 15,000 people in England who had been sleeping on our streets or in crowded night shelters, often bedding down just inches from strangers, were provided with hotel rooms and other forms of emergency accommodation under the government’s ‘Everyone In’ initiative. In a matter of days, streets like the Strand in London, where the sight of someone sleeping in a doorway had sadly become the norm, were close to empty. Continue reading...

'Is this when I drop dead?': two doctors on their time at the Covid frontline

Two emergency room doctors in New York and Houston discuss their cities’ coronavirus outbreaksHealth workers across the country looked on in horror when New York became the global center of the coronavirus. Now, as physicians in cities such as Houston, Phoenix and Miami face their own Covid-19 crises, they are looking to New York, where the caseload has since abated, for guidance. The Guardian spoke with two emergency room physicians – one in New York and the other in Houston – about what happened when Covid arrived at their hospitals.Dr Cedric Dark, Houston: When did you start worrying about how Covid-19 would impact New York? Continue reading...

Covid-19: UK economy plunges into deepest recession since records began

GDP falls 20.4% as coronavirus fuels biggest quarterly decline in growth since 1955UK falls into recession – live business updatesHow does UK’s Covid recession compare with previous ones?Coronavirus – latest updatesBritain’s economy has been officially confirmed in recession for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis as the coronavirus pandemic plunges the country into the deepest slump on record.The Office for National Statistics said gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of economic prosperity, fell in the three months to the end of June by 20.4% – the biggest quarterly decline since comparable records began in 1955. Continue reading...

UK coronavirus live: minister insists there is 'no confusion' over A-level grades in England

Last-minute inclusion of mock exam results follows U-turn over Scotland gradesMinisters bid to quell revolt over England A-levels by allowing mock exam resultsCould England and Wales follow Scotland’s exam grades U-turn?UK economy plunges into deepest recession since records beganGlobal coronavirus updates – live 8.28am BST The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has responded to today’s bleak economic figures, which show Britain has entered the deepest recession since records began.“I’ve said before that hard times were ahead, and today’s figures confirm that hard times are here,” he said. 8.23am BST Unsurprisingly, Labour has something to say about the government’s change of heart on exam results in England and Wales.Shadow education secretary Kate Green, the MP for Stretford and Urmston in Greater Manchester, said one of the problems is many students would not have sat mock exams. Continue reading...

Polio vaccinations resume in Pakistan and Afghanistan after Covid-19 delays

Fight to eradicate disease getting ‘back on track’ after surge in cases due to pause in vaccination campaignsPolio vaccination campaigns have resumed in Afghanistan and Pakistan – the last two polio-endemic countries in the world – after a “surge” in cases.The pandemic halted campaigns in both countries in March and confirmed cases have now reached 34 in Afghanistan and 63 in Pakistan – where cases are being recorded in areas of the country previously free of the disease. Continue reading...

Coronavirus live news: Auckland back in lockdown; Paris marathon cancelled as cases rise

France cancels marathon as cases pick up; WHO warns displacement of people in Beirut risks accelerating spread; four new cases in AucklandNew Zealand begins mass testing as Australia records deadliest dayFrench and Dutch on alert over rise in casesLost on the frontline: the 900 US health workers who have diedUK economy plunges into deepest recession since records beganUK coronavirus updates – live 1.40pm BST Jordan will close its only land trade border crossing with Syria for a week after a spike in Covid-19 cases coming from its northern neighbour, officials said.They said the interior minister’s decision to close the main Jaber border crossing would come into effect on Thursday morning. 1.29pm BST Britain’s NatWest is cutting at least 500 jobs across its retail business and closing one of its remaining offices in London as banks press on with cost-cutting in the face of a wave of expected loan losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic.The state-backed bank is finalising a voluntary redundancy round targeting cutting 550 full-time equivalent roles across its branches and ‘premier banking’ premium service, union Unite told Reuters. Tens of thousands of people working for banks have risen to the challenge that the pandemic created. The banks’ response should not be a repeat of the austerity measures that we saw after the financial crisis. Continue reading...

Joe Biden picks Kamala Harris as running mate – US politics live

Democrats hail Kamala Harris as VP pickTrump tweets she is ‘weak’ and ‘the kind opponent everyone dreams of’QAnon supporter denounced for racism wins Georgia primary‘Squad’ member Ilhan Omar wins her primary race53,344 new US coronavirus cases reported – up on day beforeSign up to our First Thing newsletter 1.39pm BST Well at least we now know where Donald Trump stands on QAnon supporting Marjorie Taylor Greene. Some members of the Republican party disowned her campaign after a series of racist videos emerged in which she complains of an “Islamic invasion” into government offices, claims Black and Hispanic men are held back by “gangs and dealing drugs”, and pushes an antisemitic conspiracy theory that the billionaire philanthropist George Soros, who is Jewish, collaborated with the Nazis.And that seems all fine with the commander-in-chiefCongratulations to future Republican Star Marjorie Taylor Greene on a big Congressional primary win in Georgia against a very tough and smart opponent. Marjorie is strong on everything and never gives up - a real WINNER! 1.28pm BST US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has said his department did everything by the book in regards to arms sales to Saudi Arabia in 2019, after a government watchdog found the risk of civilian casualties in Yemen was not fully evaluated.His comments came after a state department inspector general report earlier this week concluded the state department did not fully evaluate the risk of civilian casualties in Yemen when it pushed through a huge 2019 precision-guided munitions sale to Saudi Arabia, report the Associated Press. Continue reading...

UK coronavirus live: teachers push back on minister's claim there is 'no confusion' over A-level grades

Last-minute inclusion of mock exam results in England follows U-turn over Scotland gradesA-level appeals in England will benefit only ‘small group’, says ministerCould England and Wales follow Scotland’s exam grades U-turn?Parents and young people: how are you feeling about exam results?UK economy plunges into deepest recession since records beganGlobal coronavirus updates – live 1.26pm BST Lockdown measures put in place in Aberdeen last week will remain, Sturgeon has said.The Scottish first minister said last week that the restrictions would be imposed to try to contain a local outbreak. Bars and restaurants were closed, as well as the return of the five-mile travel limit from homes.I know people in Aberdeen, who of course are today dealing with severe weather as well as Covid, will be disappointed with this decision, by I want to thank them for complying so well with the measures that we put in place last week.I want to stress that nobody wants these restrictions to be in place for longer than is necessary. They will be reviewed in one week’s time and as soon as we can relax any of them, then we will do. 1.20pm BST The former leader of the Scottish Conservatives has used her first appearance at first minister’s questions for almost a year to “get tore in” to Nicola Sturgeon over her government’s “exam fiasco”, after the furious row over downgrading of exam result which resulted in a major u-turn from Scotland’s education secretary John Swinney yesterday.In a knockabout session, Ruth Davidson sneaked in jibes about Joanna Cherry (a potential leadership rival to Sturgeon) and the former SNP leader Alex Salmond. For her part, Sturgeon insisted her government had done the right thing, saying: “We are big enough to say we got it wrong, to apologise to young people and to put it right”, while accepting that they had “thought too much about standardisation in the system rather than individual experience in what is a unique year”. Continue reading...

Court delays bid to move man from immigration detention in Melbourne to WA

The federal government wants to transfer the 68-year-old – who has diabetes – amid concerns he is at risk of contracting Covid-19A man remains in limbo in Melbourne immigration detention amid a legal stoush about moving him to Western Australia because of Covid-19.The federal court previously ruled the 68-year-old – who has diabetes – could no longer be held at the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation centre at Broadmeadows because he was at risk of contracting coronavirus. Continue reading...

Hard times are here, says Rishi Sunak on UK recession – video

'I’ve said before that hard times were ahead and today’s figures confirm that hard times are here,' says the chancellor. Britain has entered the deepest recession since records began, as official figures on Wednesday showed the economy shrank by more than in any other G7 nation during the coronavirus outbreak in the three months to June.The Office for National Statistics said gross domestic product (GDP) fell in the second quarter by 20.4% compared with the previous three months – the biggest quarterly decline since comparable records began in 1955Live blog - UK falls into recessionRecession comparisons for UK Continue reading...

Hundreds of Australia’s aged care residents will die of Covid because of government failure, expert warns

Royal commission told coronavirus is ‘worst disaster that is still unfolding before my eyes’, the government failed to develop a response plan, and some care homes are cutting staffFollow Australia’s Wednesday live blogVic cases map; NSW cases map; full Australian statsMelbourne’s stage 4 restrictions ; Victoria’s stage 3 rules; state by state Covid restrictions Sign up for Guardian Australia’s coronavirus emailAn aged care expert has told the royal commission examining the sector that Covid-19 is “the worst disaster that is still unfolding before my eyes”, and warned that hundreds of residents will die prematurely because of a failure of authorities to act.Prof Joseph Ibrahim, head of the health law and ageing research unit at Monash University’s forensic medicine department, also told the aged care royal commission on Wednesday morning he believes Australia’s rate of death in residential aged care is more than 68% – the second-highest in the world behind Canada at 80%. Continue reading...

UK economy: a full recovery from the Covid slump will be slow

Job losses and possibility of second closures likely to hinder emergence from recessionUK falls into recession – live business updateUK economy plunges into deepest recession since records beganHow does UK’s Covid recession compare with previous ones?Twice as bad as the US. Ten times worse than anything seen during the financial crash of the late 2000s. Worse than any EU country. The UK is planted firmly at the bottom of the Covid-19 developed country league table after the economy contracted by a fifth in the second quarter of 2020.The reasons Britain is once again being dubbed by some “the sick man of Europe” are pretty clear. After weeks of dithering, the government imposed a stringent lockdown that was tougher and lasted for longer than elsewhere. Allowing the virus to spread to care homes meant the reopening of bits of the economy was slow. Continue reading...

'They've jumped the gun': scientists worry about Russia's Covid-19 vaccine

Rising chorus of concern over Sputnik V vaccine stems from opaque development and lack of mass-testing Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageIn 1977 Scott Halstead, a virologist at the University of Hawaii, was studying dengue fever when he noticed a now well-known but then unexpected feature of the disease.Animals that had already been exposed to one of the four closely-related viruses that cause dengue and produced antibodies to it, far from being protected against other versions became sicker when infected a second time, and it was the antibodies already produced by the first infection that were responsible, allowing the second infection to hitchhike into the body. Continue reading...

Car sales rise and car-share companies boom as pandemic upends transportation

Coronavirus has left many wary of public transportation and ride-hailing services, in a boon to Zipcar and its competitorsLike many people in recent months, AnnaLiisa Ariosa-Benston of Brooklyn has seen her primary sources of income transform in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. An arts event producer, she now is picking up odd jobs in renovation and design to make money. And to do so, she has found – for the first time in her ten years of living in New York City – that she needs a car.Despite having used Uber and Lyft in the past, Ariosa-Benston now says she wouldn’t feel as comfortable sharing space with a stranger in a small vehicle. She recently tried to rent a car in New York City and found all the rental locations near her were booked out in advance or extremely expensive. In another attempt to find a car on a work trip in Atlanta, she checked at the desks of every single car company at the airport – all were sold out. Continue reading...

Is uncertainty about quarantine rules affecting your holiday plans?

We’d like to hear from UK travellers who are thinking of changing plans because of growing uncertainty around new Covid casesThere is speculation that France may be removed from the UK’s travel corridor list as the number of Covid cases have risen sharply in recent days. UK ministers are said to be monitoring the situation closely and a decision is expected towards the end of the week. Rising case numbers in Greece, Netherlands and Malta could also jeopardise their status this summer.France is the second most popular holiday destination for Britons and though holiday makers have been urged not to change plans amid speculation, there are concerns for some about how they will be affected if the country is removed from the Department of Transport’s safety list at short notice. Continue reading...

Australia records its highest overnight coronavirus death toll as aged care continues to struggle – as it happened

NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian strongly encourages mask-wearing as Victoria’s hotel quarantine system goes under the microscope. This blog is now closedFollow our global live blogAustralian stats interactive; Vic cases map; NSW cases map; NSW hotspots listState by state Covid restrictions; Melbourne stage 4 restrictions; Vic stage 3 rulesSign up for Guardian Australia’s coronavirus email 9.20am BST That’s where I’ll leave you for now. Amy Remeikis will be back first thing tomorrow. Thanks as always for reading. Here’s what we learned today: 8.59am BST A newspaper in western Victoria has announced its closure after the South Australian government’s announcement of tougher border restrictions today.In a post on Facebook, Edenhope local paper the West Wimmera Advocate announced its next edition would be its last after “constantly changing restrictions, and more and more rules”. Continue reading...

School exams and Covid: what could the UK have learned from EU?

Amid the coronavirus crisis, most countries avoided the rows and recriminations experienced in Britain Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage School leaving exams were cancelled, postponed or adapted because of the coronavirus crisis in countries across Europe, but most have avoided the rows, recriminations and abrupt about-turns experienced in the UK.In a few countries, school-leaver exams were maintained or only slightly delayed. Germany’s 16 states, which decide education policy, were initially divided over whether the Abitur exams that are required in order to be accepted for university should go ahead. Continue reading...

Keir Starmer condemns last-minute A-level changes in England

Labour leader says late concession to allow appeals based on results in mock exams is ‘fiasco’Keir Starmer has condemned last-minute changes to the A-level appeals system as “complete fiasco”, after the schools minister Nick Gibb conceded they would only affect “a small group of pupils”.The education secretary, Gavin Williamson, announced changes late on Tuesday night, after the Scottish government was forced to restore the exam grades of more than 120,000 students marked down by a computer algorithm. Continue reading...

End of UK furlough scheme ‘means needless loss of 2m jobs’

Thinktank warns of ‘Great Depression’ unemployment levels unless jobs support scheme is kept in placeCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageTwo million viable jobs will be needlessly lost under the government’s plan to end its flagship jobs support scheme, Boris Johnson is being warned on Sunday, amid cross-party demands for further emergency help.After confirmation that Britain has entered the deepest recession since records began, new analysis seen by the Observer finds that as many as 3 million jobs will still be reliant on the government’s furlough scheme by the time it is closed at the end of October. Continue reading...

Autumn term chaos feared over exam resits and appeals

Teachers warn that new pupils may be neglected as schools and colleges take action in wake of the A-level algorithm debacleLike so many headteachers, Caroline Vile was furious when she discovered her school’s A-level results. Two-fifths of the teacher-assessed grades at Vile’s school in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire – one of the most deprived areas in the country – had been downgraded.“We’ve got amazing students, some of whom do incredibly well, some of whom have had childhood experiences and traumas which mean they don’t do as well, but they all work hard and the school is on an improvement journey,” she said, adding that the results were, quite simply, “not fair”. Continue reading...

Workers cancel family trips home amid fears Poland is next on quarantine list

Key staff say they cannot afford to lose two weeks’ work to self-isolateCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageIn many ways things are going very well for Agie & Katie, a traditional Polish restaurant in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.It was named West Midlands restaurant of the year in 2019 and then a few months ago it won a Good Food award to go with its prestigious TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice rating. Things were going so well that in January the restaurant’s eponymous founders considered buying a food truck to take their pierogi – traditional filled dumplings – to a wider customer base. But then came the virus and lockdown. Continue reading...

House of horror: Host, the Zoom-call hit movie that has Hollywood quaking

Group of quarantine film buffs create viral sensation after filming chilling scenes in their own homesIt will make you jump, shriek and come up close to one of the most dreaded elements of quarantine: the group Zoom call. Now Host, the tiny British horror film conceived and made in lockdown, is being hailed as the first great film of the pandemic. Related: From 'alert' to 'zoom': Steven Poole's lexicon of lockdown Continue reading...

Rising R number casts cloud over Northern Ireland’s Covid success

The region’s enviable record of controlling the virus is at risk from complacency over social distancing, scientists warnCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageNorthern Ireland’s chief scientific adviser has warned of the risks of complacency after Covid-19 cases in the region increased rapidly last week. Professor Ian Young said it was “inevitable” that there would be a significant increase in coronavirus cases if people stopped following social-distancing rules designed to prevent the spread of the disease.The reproduction rate of the virus is estimated at between 1.2 and 2.0, according to Northern Ireland’s Department of Health. There were 242 cases last week, with 74 positive tests announced on Friday alone – only 237 people tested positive during the whole of July. Continue reading...

Coalition must ensure Australia won't be at end of queue for coronavirus vaccine, Labor says

Chris Bowen calls on federal government to boost funding to local researchers Covid vaccine tracker: when will we have one?Australia should not be putting all its vaccine eggs in one basket, the shadow health minister, Chris Bowen, has said, although he shares the cautious optimism of his government counterpart, Greg Hunt, that a Covid-19 vaccine will be found.Bowen said he welcomed announcements that the government was in negotiations for advanced supply of any developmental vaccine but said governments around the world had been entering into agreements since mid-May and, three months later, 20 agreements were in place, accounting for approximately 3bn doses. Continue reading...

Bill Shorten lashes out at profit-driven aged care and Morrison government over Covid failings

Former Labor leader says pandemic has exposed ‘the dirty secret of Australian politics’, adding Coalition has fallen short in disability care• Follow the Sunday coronavirus liveblogThe shadow government services minister, Bill Shorten, has taken aim at the profit-driven focus of the nation’s privatised aged care homes, while blaming the federal government for failing in its duty to oversee the system during the pandemic.The former Labor leader asked how privatised centres were able to “serve two masters” – profit and care – given the cost of properly caring for elderly people, particularly those with health issues such as dementia, was not insignificant. Continue reading...

For better or worse, our universities are hierarchical. It’s why A-levels matter | Nick Hillman

No other European country has such a stratified sector, and this explains the rage at exams fiascoThe job of university admissions offices has been likened to landing a jumbo jet on a postage stamp. In their last year of school, pupils apply for up to five courses through Ucas. Universities then decide how many deserve the offer of a place, based on how many offers are usually accepted and then matched on results day.It is a difficult task even in a normal year, yet the costs of getting it wrong are huge. If an institution under-recruits, it will have spare places, empty beds and financial problems. If it over-recruits, it will have overcrowded seminars, a worse staff-student ratio and discontented students, hitting league table positions. Continue reading...

Tory MPs have given their leaders the benefit of the doubt. Until now | Isabel Hardman

Downing Street’s muddled thinking on schools, Covid-19 and travel presages on autumn of unprecedented challengesAll politicians sloganise in haste and repent at leisure. John Major spent years having “back to basics” thrown at him every time a Conservative politician was caught in flagrante. Gordon Brown didn’t, as he claimed he had, end “boom and bust” after all. David Cameron and George Osborne coined “all in this together” long before the 2008 crash, but it became a useful summary of the Conservatives’ pitch to rebuild the economy – and something critics could remind the prime minister of every time he or anyone around him enjoyed a glass of champagne.Boris Johnson and his chancellor, Rishi Sunak, have spent the past few months trying to capture imaginations with a series of lines about their handling of coronavirus. There was the promise that the government would put its “arms around every single worker”, an odd phrase to use while also urging people to stay two metres away from one another. Last week, after a slew of miserable statistics about jobs and the economy, Sunak said that, while Britain was in hard times, “no one will be left without hope or opportunity”. It was a typically elegant line from the chancellor, but it also puts him in a bit of a bind. Even a nebulous pledge like this one is easy to miss: can Sunak really say with confidence that, come the autumn, when the furlough scheme ends and many people lose their jobs, no one will struggle with a sense of hopelessness? Continue reading...

We’ve got to start thinking beyond our own lifespans if we’re going to avoid extinction | Sonia Sodha

Short-term analysis of ways to save society, and indeed humanity, is useless In a biology lesson about the bacterial growth curve, the parallels with the climate crisis were hard to miss. Stick bacteria in a test tube with food and their population will grow exponentially until, eventually, they run out of resources and kill themselves off. Even a couple of decades ago, the comparison with humanity’s predicament felt glaringly obvious; and we have not really strayed since from the inevitable path to extinction.The hope seems to be that a big crisis might be the shock we need to change course. But we are living through the biggest global crisis for decades – and are travelling and consuming less as a result of the pandemic – yet it already seems unlikely that much will change. It’s easy enough to throw around the old adage “never waste a good crisis”. But when it comes to existential questions about the future of humanity, it has proved fairly useless. Continue reading...

Quarantine rules threaten to leave travel firms and their staff stranded

Other sectors are opening up, but travel and tourism were dealt a further blow last week. They urgently need state supportThe coronavirus pandemic has thrown the travel industry into a tailspin. In the latest blow for the sector, the government last week imposed quarantine measures on people arriving in Britain from France and several other countries.Even before that move, the outlook was bleak. Tui, Europe’s biggest holiday company, warned last week that it had lost €2bn (£1.8bn) in the nine months to the end of June. Revenues had collapsed by 98% between April and June – the period during which lockdown measures effectively grounded international flights around the world. Continue reading...

Mark Watson: 'The pandemic makes you realise how precarious comedy can be'

The comedian has been finding inventive ways to bring his show to audiences during the crisisJessica Fostekew: ‘Online shows performing to just silence are the hardest’Mo Gilligan: ‘A lot of us comics do feel like key workers’The Bristol-born comedian Mark Watson gained a reputation early in his career for marathon standup performances – he staged his first 24-hour gig in 2004, extending it to 36 hours a couple of years later. His stamina has served him well during lockdown. At the start of May, Watson – who is 40 and lives in east London with his partner, the comedy producer Lianne Coop, and his two children – staged a virtual 24-hour standup show for charity. Then he organised the drive-in event series Mark Watson’s Carpool Comedy Club, hosting 24 performances over 12 nights in July and August. “It was fairly gruelling,” he admits when we speak a couple of days after the final show, “but we’re very pleased with how it went.”There’s more to Watson than endurance. A master of brainy, self-deprecating standup, he was nominated for the Perrier best newcomer award in 2005 and has been a fixture on the UK circuit ever since, making frequent forays around the world. He has also written seven novels, the latest of which, Contacts, will be published in October, with a memoir, Eight Deaths, on the way early next year. Continue reading...

Jessica Fostekew: ‘Online shows performing to just silence are the hardest'

The comedian and Motherland star on how she’s kept her comedy career afloat during the pandemicMo Gilligan: ‘A lot of us comics do feel like key workers’Mark Watson: ‘The pandemic makes you realise how precarious comedy can be’“I hated the first few months of this,” says Jessica Fostekew of her experience of lockdown. “I’m a very gregarious person, I thrive off company, so I was bereft without my friends and my partner. It was just me and my four-year-old son [at home in London]. But since Stay Alert as opposed to Stay Home, I’ve been having a pretty good time of it actually. I’ve had lots to tick me over.”The 37-year-old, who was born in Sheffield and grew up in Dorset, started doing standup in 2008. Her show Hench, which tackled femininity, body image and weightlifting with no-holds-barred frankness, was nominated for best show at Edinburgh last year. As an actor, she has starred in the BBC sitcoms Motherland and Cuckoo. Now, as well as doing drive-in and online shows during lockdown – she was a guest at the Covid Arms online comedy pub in May – Fostekew has been writing sitcom pilots and recording her food podcast, Hoovering, which she launched in 2018 (she also regularly co-hosts the hugely popular Guilty Feminist podcast). Continue reading...

My Robinson Crusoe fantasy in a beach den hideaway

Susan Smillie has spent the past three years living on her beloved sailing boat. But when the lockdown hit, she built a den from flotsam – and started living as a castawayI am lying on my back in the den I made, my book perched like a little tent on my stomach. I stare at my bamboo roof and listen to a tapping sound – a carpenter bee nesting inside one of the canes, I decide. I’ve been lost in thought, and realise it’s late in the day – the last hour before the sun dips into the sea. There’s that soft quality of light, beaming through the gaps, painting everything in crazy stripes of gold and shade. The water has turned from jade to olive, as the light bounces off the posidonia beds beneath.No one overlooks me – I’m hidden from view by vertiginous cliffs, slate and burnt orange; lush greenery, studded with berries and flowers. It is empty, this cove, which is why I’ve made myself a tiny home at one end of it. I always mean to come for a short time, and end up staying all day. The hours drift by. Time passes companionably, despite my being alone. Maybe it’s the familiarity of the shipping forecast playing from the radio on the shelf, the books like friends lined up alongside. It’s all of it… the sounds, the shelf, the bamboo roof. It’s the beauty of the natural setting, but it’s also that I’ve made it. Continue reading...

Making billions v making ends meet: how the pandemic has split the US economy in two

US billionaires’ wealth is soaring while millions remain unemployed, creating a country with two economies and increased inequalityIt’s only a hundred miles from Manhattan to East Hampton but as the city swelters the Long Island town can seem a world away. Cool Atlantic breezes take the heat off long summer days spent on its miles of white, soft sand beaches. High-priced farm stands provide heirloom tomatoes, peaches and arugula to summer visitors and the mansions of the financial titans and the celebrities, including Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Julianne Moore and Robert Downey Jr, who summer there.Nor does the coronavirus pandemic seem to have dampened the 1%’s enthusiasm for the Hamptons. Continue reading...

How has the pandemic changed your experiences of home life?

We would like to hear how the coronavirus pandemic has changed the meaning of home for youIn the months since the pandemic began, our experience of home has, in many cases, changed profoundly. We would like to hear about these changes.Perhaps you live in a studio flat with your partner, and have suddenly both had to work from home – how has that changed your relationship? Maybe you have a lot of flatmates who you have grown to know much more deeply due to time spent together during lockdown. Continue reading...

Jacinda Ardern extends Auckland coronavirus lockdown by 12 days – video

New Zealand has reported 13 new cases of coronavirus, with two cases emerging from Auckland where the country’s outbreak began. The two cases occurred in the Waikato town of Tokoroa, 125 miles south of New Zealand’s biggest city, and were linked to the Auckland outbreak, bringing the number of cases in the cluster to 29. One person is being treated in hospital.The prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said Auckland would remain in lockdown for an additional 12 days as health workers try to contain the 'perimeter' of the outbreak, the source of which remains a mystery. She said a North Island-wide lockdown was not being consideredCoronavirus latest news  Continue reading...

2:00PM Water Cooler 8/13/2020

Covid in the US regions ~ California re-opening ~ Biden announces Harris (video) ~ Harris and identity politics ~ Trump ad drops ~ QAnon and its competitors ~ Morse v. College Democrats ~ Unemployment, trade, rail ~ Air and lead pollution ~ r/unemployment ~ Library community gardens

Makers of M&S sandwiches faced pay dock if they self-isolated, says union

Workers at Greencore factory at centre of outbreak found it difficult to comply due to sick pay warning, say repsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageWorkers at a factory in Northampton that is at the centre of a coronavirus outbreak were told they would be paid less than £100 per week if they had to self-isolate, making it difficult for many to comply, their representatives have claimed.Bosses at the Greencore site, where M&S sandwiches are prepared, acknowledged that many staff were entitled to no more than the statutory sick pay rate of £95.85, as at countless workplaces around the UK, if they followed instructions to self-isolate. Continue reading...

The Covid-19 recession feels mild compared with the 1980s – so far | Larry Elliott

Government and business have borne the bulk of the pain so far, but that is about to changeCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThose of us with long enough memories can vividly recall the recession of the early 1980s. Unemployment climbed inexorably as many of the big names of British industry collapsed or were restructured. The economic pain was palpable and bled straight into popular culture, music and TV drama in particular. Even now, just the mention of Boys from the Blackstuff conjures up the despair of joblessness and communities torn apart.Compared with the hit taken by the economy this year, the slump of the early 80s was a mild affair. The 25% peak to trough fall in output seen in two months, March and April, was four times the decline suffered in 1980 and 1981. Yet so far at least it can’t really be said that the recession has been four times as bad. Continue reading...

Fears overcrowding in Wetherspoon pubs may lead to Covid-19 spike

Customers in a pub run by chain also not asked for personal details for track and trace systemCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageFears that relaxed summer socialising will lead to a surge in Covid-19 cases around the UK have been heightened after concerns that JD Wetherspoon is failing to prevent overcrowding in pubs in its 900-strong chain. Concerns about poor social distancing by customers in Wetherspoon pubs followed a surge in visitors during recent hot weather and after the publication of A-level results last Thursday. Customers in a south London pub run by the company said they had not been asked to provide personal details, including mobile phone numbers that can be used in the government’s track and trace system. Continue reading...

Jared Kushner will 'absolutely' send his children to school despite Covid-19 risks

Donald Trump’s son-in-law and White House adviser does not believe coronavirus poses serious risk to younger studentsWhite House adviser and son-in-law of the president Jared Kushner has said he will “absolutely” send his children back to school when classes reopen, despite widespread concerns that in-person learning puts children, faculty and their families at risk from Covid-19.The Trump administration has pushed for schools across the country to reopen, despite the concerns. One public school district in Arizona was forced to cancel plans to reopen on Monday after more than 100 teachers and other staff members called in sick. Continue reading...

Dominic Cummings urged to release data to disprove claim of second lockdown trip

Ex-regional chief prosecutor calls on PM’s chief aide to reveal mobile phone and vehicle tracking informationCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageDominic Cummings has been asked to hand over mobile phone and vehicle tracking data to disprove claims that he made a second lockdown trip to Durham at the height of the pandemic.The request was made by Nazir Afzal, the former chief prosecutor for north-west England, who is leading a campaign for a full investigation into Cummings’ movements during the lockdown. Continue reading...

Victoria's hotel quarantine inquiry to examine genomic testing in hunt for 'patient zero'

Security companies and return travellers may also be called to give evidence at judicial inquiry this weekMelbourne’s stage 4 restrictions; Victoria stage 3 restrictionsSign up for Guardian Australia’s coronavirus emailThe judicial inquiry into Victoria’s hotel quarantine program will on Monday examine evidence from the Melbourne health institute whose genomic testing could shed more light on the source and spread of the state’s second wave.The inquiry, called by the Victorian government after “unacceptable infection control breaches in hotel quarantine” and chaired by Jennifer Coate, confirmed on Sunday it had added an extra two days of hearings to its schedule for the week. Continue reading...

Tory MPs press Hancock for 'postcode-level' Covid restrictions

One-size-fits-all approach taken in parts of northern England is too broad, MPs say Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage Conservative MPs have told Matt Hancock that businesses will suffer unless the government takes a more sophisticated approach to the blanket restrictions affecting 4.5 million people across northern England.Ministers announced on Friday that people across large swaths of the north and Leicester would remain under tighter restrictions for a third week as the coronavirus infection rate continued to rise in some areas. Continue reading...

Cameron Mackintosh makes about 200 UK theatre staff redundant

Les Misérables producer latest to announce job losses as industry struggles to weather Covid-19Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageSir Cameron Mackintosh, the West End producer of Les Misérables and Hamilton, has made about 200 employees redundant in the latest blow to the theatre industry.Mackintosh, one of British theatre’s most important figures, has joined a long list of UK performing arts companies that have made swingeing cuts to workforces because of the coronavirus pandemic. Continue reading...

The Guardian view on the great outdoors: heeding the call of the wild | Editorial

A country better disposed to considerate wild camping and swimming would be a happier and healthier oneSupporters call it “wild camping”; opponents call it “fly-camping”. What both sides accept is that there has been an upsurge in the past few months, with increasing numbers of visitors pitching their tents on any bit of land they fancy. In part, this reflects the fact that official campsites have been wholly or partially closed, or are hugely oversubscribed in a summer when fewer people are going abroad. It is also cheap, at a time when many are worried about what the economic future holds. But it may also be an expression of a desire for freedom – a response to the months of lockdown that is also mirrored in the increased interest in wild swimming in lakes and rivers.Most of the coverage of the boom in wild camping has been negative. What might be deemed amusing at the Glastonbury festival has not gone down well on Dartmoor, one of the few places in England where wild camping had previously been explicitly permitted. It has now been banned there for August and the early part of September because of a rise in antisocial behaviour, with campers dumping litter, human waste and even their tents on the moorland. Similar action has been taken in Northumberland, the Lake District and the New Forest. Even in Scotland, where camping is permitted on most unenclosed land, tensions are rising. Continue reading...

Ruby Wax: ‘I felt I had no community – so I started one’

Frazzled Cafe aims to help those who feel overwhelmed. Since moving to Zoom, we’ve been flooded with people who want to talk• Time to reset: more brilliant ideas to remake the worldBefore the virus, we were already highly stressed by a sense of isolation. Social media’s images of perfect people having the time of their lives don’t help, making us feel that heart-plunging dip in self-esteem.Isolation is one of the biggest causes of mental ill-health, even affecting length of life. In prisons, a UN special rapporteur has said that prolonged solitary confinement is a form of torture. Humans are at their best working as a team, and empathy is the glue that sticks them together. This is a far cry from the dog-eat-dog culture we live in (though I’ve never seen a dog eat a dog). Continue reading...

Coronavirus live news: New Zealand postpones election, Italy closes nightclubs

Australia records deadliest day of pandemic with 25 deaths; UK records 1,000 new Covid cases; France records 3,000 new infections for second day. Follow latest updatesJared Kushner will ‘absolutely’ send his children to school despite risksIsland nations have the edge in keeping Covid away – or most doAustralia live updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage 12.54am BST Australia has recorded its deadliest day so far of the pandemic, with 25 deaths, all in the southern state of Victoria. The state government said there were also 282 new cases of the virus, which appears to show a bending of the infection curve, following the imposition of a strict level-4 lockdown in the state capital, Melbourne. #Covid19VicData for 17 August 2020. 282 new cases of #coronavirus (#COVID19) detected in Victoria in the last 24 hours. Sadly, 25 deaths were reported. We send our condolences to their families. More detail will be provided this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/YimNIhtGj5Melburnians have been in strict lockdown for several weeks, with restrictions also placed on regional Victorian residents.There has been a 33% rise in Victorian children and young people presenting to hospital with self-harm injuries over the past six weeks compared to the previous year. 12.43am BST Italy is to shut discos and clubs and make it compulsory to wear a mask outdoors in some areas between 6pm and 6am.It’s the first reintroduction of restrictions as cases rise, particularly among young people. Cases have double in three weeks and the median age of those affected is now below 40. Continue reading...

Coronavirus Australia live update: Victoria records 25 deaths and 282 new Covid cases in deadliest day yet

Australia’s death toll from the pandemic passes 400; Victoria’s hotel quarantine program to go under the microscope; Sydney Girls high school closes for cleaning after a student diagnosed with coronavirus. Follow liveFollow our global live blogAustralian stats interactive; Vic cases map; NSW cases map; NSW hotspots listState by state Covid restrictions; Melbourne stage 4 restrictions; Vic stage 3 rulesSign up for Guardian Australia’s coronavirus email 12.33am BST Some more grim statistics from AAP.This pandemic is just heartbreaking on so many levels.Melburnians have been in strict lockdown for several weeks, with restrictions also placed on regional Victorian residents.There has been a 33 per cent rise in Victorian children and young people presenting to hospital with self-harm injuries over the past six weeks compared to the previous year. 12.26am BST Tony Abbott was prime minister for less than two years.Come the start of the parliamentary sitting, Scott Morrison will have sat in the PM’s office for longer than him.This week will mark Scott Morrison's 2nd anniversary as PM. He will also surpass Abbott in terms of the length of his term and be the 20th longest serving Prime Minister pic.twitter.com/vLR5iXCx4w Continue reading...

Coronavirus Australia live update: Victoria records 25 deaths and 282 new cases, with seven cases in NSW – latest news

Australia’s death toll passes 400; NSW premier apologises for Ruby Princess mistakes, as Sydney Girls high school closes for cleaning after student tests positive. Follow live updates todayFollow our global live blogAustralian stats interactive; Vic cases map; NSW cases map; NSW hotspots listState by state Covid restrictions; Melbourne stage 4 restrictions; Vic stage 3 rulesSign up for Guardian Australia’s coronavirus email 7.18am BST Restrictions are to return to Parliament House. School visits will be cancelled, the public will be shut out and the use of masks encouraged where social distancing is not possible. #auspol @9NewsAUS 7.17am BST Here’s the government’s new ad: Continue reading...

Coronavirus live news: US death toll passes 170,000, New Zealand postpones election

Australia records deadliest day 25 deaths; India death toll passes 50,000; Japan GDP falls at annual rate of 27.8%; Italy closes nightclubs. Follow latest updatesGlobal report: Japan hit by biggest GDP fall in 40 years New Zealand delays election by month amid Auckland outbreakJared Kushner will ‘absolutely’ send his children to school despite risksIsland nations have the edge in keeping Covid away – or most doSee all our coronavirus coverage 7.14am BST Lebanon should be locked down for two weeks after a spike in COVID-19 infections, the caretaker government’s health minister was quoted as saying on Monday.“We declare today a state of general alert and we need a brave decision to close (the country) for two weeks,” Hamad Hassan told Voice of Lebanon radio.Lebanon registered a record 439 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours on Sunday, Reuters reports. 7.03am BST Hi. Caroline Davies here. I am going to be helming the blog for the next few hours. You can get in touch on caroline.davies@theguardian.com Continue reading...

Tell us how your use of cash has changed during the pandemic

With Covid shifting physical transactions to contactless payments, do you think the pandemic has spelled the end for cash?Follow our Australia coronavirus live blogSign up for Guardian Australia’s coronavirus emailDownload the free Guardian app to get the most important news notificationsCash use was one of the earliest behavioural shifts of the coronavirus pandemic, with physical transactions moving online when most retailers were forced to shut, and the hygiene-conscious essential services that remained open largely banning cash in favour of contactless payments.While data from banks suggested Covid-19 was speeding up the demise of cash in favour of credit card and tap and go smartphone payments, Reserve Bank data released last week appeared to highlight one enduring appeal of banknotes to emerge from Australia’s second wave of Covid-19. Continue reading...

Australia’s state by state coronavirus lockdown rules and restrictions explained

What are the restrictions within Victoria and the border closures with NSW and Queensland? How far can I travel, and how many people can I have over at my house? Untangle Australia’s Covid-19 laws and guidelines with our guideMelbourne’s stage 4 restrictions; Vic stage 3 rules; NSW hotspots listAustralian stats interactive; Vic cases map; NSW cases mapSign up for Guardian Australia’s coronavirus emailAustralians had been slowly emerging from Covid-19 lockdowns since the federal government announced a three-stage plan in May to ease restrictions across the country, but from 8 July the Melbourne metropolitan area and Mitchell shire immediately to the north returned to a stage three lockdown for six weeks.After consistently high case numbers despite the lockdown, the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, announced further restrictions for the state. From 2 August, metropolitan Melbourne entered a six-week stage four lockdown, while a stage three lockdown took effect across regional Victoria and Mitchell shire from 6 August. Continue reading...

Soon there won't be anyone left this government hasn't blamed for its mistakes | Nesrine Malik

As their troubles mount, bungling ministers will point the finger at minorities, migrants, teachers … anyone but themselvesAs a second peak of Covid-19 infections looms, one thing is certain: the Conservative party is dedicating itself to what it does best – crafting a narrative that blames everyone else for its mistakes.Brace for it. After six months of catastrophic mismanagement, from delaying lockdown to the A-level marking fiasco, this autumn is sure to bring even more diversion, distraction and brazen victim-blaming. Continue reading...

'The god of hellfire returns!' Can Arthur Brown incinerate Covid?

Known for his face paint, flaming helmet and 1968 hit Fire, the 78-year-old is back with a molten-hot manifesto for music in the pandemic era‘I am the God of Hellfire!” proclaimed Arthur Brown at the start of Fire, the 1968 UK No 1 by the Crazy World of Arthur Brown, an international smash in the psychedelic era. Such commercial heights weren’t scaled again, but the singer’s flaming helmet, pre-Kiss face paint and mix of pop, opera, progressive rock and proto-heavy metal have become influential. Alice Cooper admits, “without Arthur Brown, there’d be no Alice Cooper”, and other stars who have paid homage range from Iron Maiden to Elton John.“About 12 years ago I got a call from Robert Plant’s agent,” chuckles the singer. “He told me that Robert would love to get someone like Arthur Brown to sing with on tour and asked if I could recommend anyone. I said, ‘I’m pretty like me and I’d love to do it.’” Continue reading...

'There’s no way we’d go back': will Covid-19 end free wine tastings forever?

Complimentary wine flights are a cornerstone of Australian cellar door visits – but as wineries reopen, they’re rethinking the tradition For decades free wine tastings have been an essential part of the Australian cellar door experience. They helped turn a nation of beer drinkers on to the charms of shiraz, sémillon and sagrantino.Before the Covid-19 shutdown, there was already a move away from this tradition: the number of Australian wineries charging for tastings went from 29% in 2017-18 to 50% in 2019, according to Wine Australia’s 2019 cellar door survey report. As wineries have reopened post-shutdown, more are questioning the value of giving away their product free. Continue reading...

Covid-19, the climate crisis and the return of Extinction Rebellion – podcast

When Extinction Rebellion began holding protests two years ago, the movement could not have predicted its rapid growth or the public support it received. But missteps and the Covid-19 shutdown meant the group lost momentum. Now, it is planning a series of new actions in the autumnExtinction Rebellion (XR) has grown rapidly since it was set up in the UK in 2018. Its early protests had a carnival atmosphere and its demands were simple: the government should, above all else, be truthful about the extent of the climate crisis. Daze Aghaji started attending XR meetings while still at university and became an influential member of the group’s youth wing. She describes the participatory structure and how decisions are made without a formal leadership – and how XR has grappled with racial equality within its movement. The Guardian’s Matthew Taylor has been following XR since the beginning and is observing it enter a new phase of its evolution. Can it recreate the atmosphere of its early protests and avoid some of the recent controversies and missteps, while still growing as a mass movement? Continue reading...

UK coronavirus: calls for U-turn over exam grading crisis intensify – live news

Follow the latest on the coronavirus outbreak in the UK as the government faces pressure over the A-levels and GCSEs exam grading crisis in England and its plans to scrap Public Health EnglandBoris Johnson urged to intervene as exam results anger escalatesOfqual ‘blindsided’ government by revoking A-level appeals processFollow the latest global live updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage 10.18am BST A theatre company which hoped to stage the only live Fringe event at the Edinburgh festival this month, Grid Iron Theatre Company, has cancelled its plans to put the event on outdoors.Grid Iron’s chief executive Judith Doherty said it had failed to get permission from the owners of an open air site in Edinburgh they wanted in time to stage a show called Doppler, based on a satirical novel by Norwegian writer Erlend Loe, so would put it online instead. 10.15am BST Sir Edward Leigh, has become the latest Conservative backbencher to express his concern about the exam crisis. He says wants teacher assessments to be used to correct clear cases of injustice. There is one high performing school in my constituency which appears to have been particularly hard hit through no fault of this year's students. This can happen when this cohort are above average compared to last years. Continue reading...

Victoria hotel quarantine inquiry: Covid training for security gave 'misleading' advice

First day of hearings told ‘crucial’ information on face masks was incorrect for settingA mandatory training module on Covid-19 for private security personnel working in hotel quarantine appeared designed for the general public, contained no advice on personal protective equipment and gave “confusing” and “clearly misleading” advice about mask use, the hotel quarantine inquiry has heard.On the first day of hearings for the Victorian hotel quarantine inquiry, being overseen by former judge Jennifer Coate, a training module on Covid-19 that personnel working for security contractors in hotel quarantine were required to undertake was examined by the director of infectious diseases at Austin Health, Prof Lindsay Graham. Continue reading...

Fears overcrowding in Wetherspoon pubs may lead to Covid spike

Customers in a pub run by chain also not asked for personal details for track and trace systemCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageFears that relaxed summer socialising will lead to a surge in Covid-19 cases around the UK have been heightened after concerns that JD Wetherspoon is failing to prevent overcrowding in pubs in its 900-strong chain. Concerns about poor social distancing by customers in Wetherspoon pubs followed a surge in visitors during recent hot weather and after the publication of A-level results last Thursday. Customers in a south London pub run by the company said they had not been asked to provide personal details, including mobile phone numbers that can be used in the government’s track and trace system. Continue reading...

Tell us how your use of cash has changed during the pandemic in Australia

With Covid shifting physical transactions to contactless payments, do you think the pandemic has spelled the end for cash?Follow our Australia coronavirus live blogSign up for Guardian Australia’s coronavirus emailDownload the free Guardian app to get the most important news notificationsCash use was one of the earliest behavioural shifts of the coronavirus pandemic, with physical transactions moving online when most retailers were forced to shut, and the hygiene-conscious essential services that remained open largely banning cash in favour of contactless payments.While data from banks suggested Covid-19 was speeding up the demise of cash in favour of credit card and tap and go smartphone payments, Reserve Bank data released last week appeared to highlight one enduring appeal of banknotes to emerge from Australia’s second wave of Covid-19. Continue reading...

‘Who are we willing to sacrifice?’: teachers’ fears grow as US schools plan reopenings

The debate over whether to resume in-person classes continues across the US as some schools plan to reopen after pressure from TrumpTwo weeks into the school year, the school district of Gwinnett county, Georgia, plans on reopening schools for in-person learning on 26 August, with staggered schedules toward fully reopening schools. With the coronavirus still far from under control, the plans are provoking a heated debate, one that is blazing across the US. Related: Surge in Covid cases among children fuels fears over US school reopenings Continue reading...

PwC and Schroders will allow staff to work from home after Covid crisis

Accountancy firm and the fund manager will ‘rethink the rulebook on flexibility’Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coveragePricewaterhouseCoopers and Schroders are to allow the majority of staff to continue to work from home after the Covid-19 pandemic as the health emergency sparks a major shift in the office-based culture that has been a hallmark of City firms for generations.The accounting company PwC, which employs 22,000 staff in the UK, is predicting that the majority of employees will move to a more even split of home and office working on a permanent basis. Continue reading...

Australia records highest day of coronavirus deaths as state government apologises for cruise ship failings

Australia’s death toll passes 400; NSW premier apologises for Ruby Princess mistakes, as Sydney Girls high school closes for cleaning after student tests positive. This blog is now closedFollow our global live blogAustralian stats interactive; Vic cases map; NSW cases map; NSW hotspots listState by state Covid restrictions; Melbourne stage 4 restrictions; Vic stage 3 rulesSign up for Guardian Australia’s coronavirus email 9.35am BST That’s where I’ll leave you for now. Amy Remeikis will be back tomorrow morning. Thanks for reading (and bearing with me on my blog debut), and good night. Here’s what we learned today: 9.03am BST The first day of hearings in Victoria’s hotel quarantine inquiry has wrapped up.The inquiry heard that a mandatory training module on Covid-19 for private security personnel working in hotel quarantine appeared designed for the general public, contained no advice on personal protective equipment and gave “confusing” and “clearly misleading” advice about mask use, my colleague Josh Taylor reports. Related: Victoria hotel quarantine inquiry: Covid training for security gave 'misleading' advice Continue reading...

The return of Extinction Rebellion – podcast

When Extinction Rebellion began holding protests two years ago, the movement could not have predicted its rapid growth or the public support it received. But missteps and the Covid-19 shutdown meant the group lost momentum. Now, it is planning a series of new actions in the autumnExtinction Rebellion (XR) has grown rapidly since it was set up in the UK in 2018. Its early protests had a carnival atmosphere and its demands were simple: the government should, above all else, be truthful about the extent of the climate crisis. Daze Aghaji started attending XR meetings while still at university and became an influential member of the group’s youth wing. She describes the participatory structure and how decisions are made without a formal leadership – and how XR has grappled with racial equality within its movement. The Guardian’s Matthew Taylor has been following XR since the beginning and is observing it enter a new phase of its evolution. Can it recreate the atmosphere of its early protests and avoid some of the recent controversies and missteps, while still growing as a mass movement? Continue reading...

Birmingham: 1m asked to restrict home visitors to prevent new lockdown

UK’s second biggest city placed on government watch list while cases remain high across northern EnglandCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageMore than a million people in Birmingham will be advised to limit the number of people entering their homes to two as part of voluntary restrictions to stave off a local lockdown.The UK’s second biggest city was placed on the government’s “watch list” on Friday as cases rose, prompting the council to suggest a series of voluntary measures which include limiting public gatherings to 30 people except for communal prayer and asking drivers and passengers in taxis to wear face coverings. Continue reading...

Irish minister resigns over golf dinner that flouted Covid-19 rules

Dara Calleary and deputy Seanad leader Jerry Buttimer attended despite new rules Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageIrish politics has been plunged into crisis after a parliamentary golf club dinner held in violation of the country’s coronavirus social distancing rules forced the resignation of a minister and a senator.As the Irish police announced an investigation into what has inevitably been labelled “Golf Gate”, the agriculture minister, Dara Calleary, and Jerry Buttimer, the deputy chairperson of the Irish upper house, the Seanad, announced their resignations on Friday. Continue reading...

Rail passengers pay price for flawed calculation of UK inflation

July’s official cost of living data was a one-off and the next move will be down sharplyBritain’s rail passengers face 1.6% January fare riseOil prices rose sharply. The summer sales for clothing, footwear and household goods were less generous than they were a year ago. Activity across the economy has started to recover. As Britain begins to return to normal, it should come as no surprise that the annual inflation rate has ticked up to 1%.In truth, it is a bit more complicated than that. The UK does not have an inflation problem and is unlikely to have one for some time. July’s official cost-of-living data was a one-off: the next move will be sharply down. Continue reading...

'Shifting deckchairs' and scrapping PHE all part of Covid-19 blame game

It is easy to see why some see the shake-up as government revenge and pre-emptive strikeCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage“There is nothing in this proposal that would enable him in my mind to do anything that he can’t already do with his existing powers.” That was Andrew Lansley, the last health secretary to push through a controversial shake-up of public health in 2012, on his successor Matt Hancock’s justification for abolishing Public Health England.He is not the only one questioning the logic, purpose, timing and potential effects of PHE being merged – via a reorganisation in the midst of the coronavirus crisis – into the new National Institute for Health Protection alongside NHS test and trace and the joint biosecurity centre. It is unusual for a government initiative on health to attract such a wide range of scepticism and criticism, from ex-Conservative MPs, senior doctors, scientists, public health experts and thinktank bosses. Continue reading...

Time is of the essence when Covid enters aged care but the government response has been sluggish

The federal government received a report in April pointing to the withdrawal of staff from nursing homes battling coronavirus outbreaks The furious debate that has broken out in the past week about whether or not the federal government had a plan for Covid-19 outbreaks in aged care is missing the point.Scott Morrison is right to say the government has published several plans that touch on issues to do with aged care. But the problem is that there appeared to be significant gaps in those documents, they were slow to be updated to reflect the developing situation, and they still contain contradictory advice about issues such as workforce shortages. Continue reading...

The Guardian view on the US Democrats: Biden seized his moment | Editorial

This year’s virtual convention gave the party’s presidential nominee an opportunity which he took with skill and stubborn decencyThere have never been two campaign gatherings like this week’s US Democratic convention and next week’s Republican one. Stripped to their essentials by the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 conventions cannot match the energy of normal years. Yet the big speech by the presidential candidate at the convention remains a defining campaign moment, and this year is no different. The greater severity imposed by the virtual convention is also appropriate. For this is not a normal US election year. It is one in which the central contest between Donald Trump and Joe Biden will define the future of the United States and the world like few others.Because of the constraints, the Democratic convention lacked true razzmatazz. In that respect it was tailor-made for Mr Biden’s decent, stubborn but markedly unexciting political message. And yet the lack of glitz had certain advantages. It meant that the nightly coverage offered to American voters this week was more serious-minded. The televised broadcasts were full of ordinary people’s video accounts of what they are going through as a result of the pandemic, recession and racism. The format also meant that Mr Biden could use his acceptance speech to cut to the chase about the issues at stake in November’s election, rather than play up the rhetoric that would have been expected in a packed hall. In any case, Barack Obama had powerfully supplied that form of oratory the previous evening. Continue reading...

The Guardian view on play streets: where asphalt meets grassroots | Editorial

Opening up more roads for safe games and socialising has been one good thing to come out of the pandemic Play is a serious business. It is essential for children’s learning, mental wellbeing and life skills such as teamwork. But outside of organised sport and early years education, where play is central, policymakers rarely address what is mainly seen as a private matter. This year, the closure of nurseries, schools and playgrounds during the pandemic has reminded us all that withdrawing opportunities for play can be a risk to children’s social and emotional as well as physical health. Manchester, Tameside and Westminster are among English councils to have responded by taking advantage of rules introduced last year that make it easier to turn streets into play areas, closing them off to cars for set periods.Covid-19 has increased the demand for outdoor exercise and green space, particularly among urban dwellers who don’t have gardens. This need is even more pronounced during summer holidays that for many children, this year, are simply a continuation of what went before. Pressure on parks and other public spaces such as beaches has been intense. The poorest families are the least likely to have access to space where children can play. This longstanding issue reached its apogee last year in the scandal of segregated playgrounds in housing developments, open to families who own properties but not those in social housing. Continue reading...

Unless the eviction ban is extended, I will be one of many facing homelessness | Ghazal Haqani

Lost income because of Covid means I face losing my home too – unless the government acts to prevent catastropheThere are more than half a million tenants who owe their landlords rent. Nearly a quarter of a million fell into arrears during the pandemic. About 175,000 private tenants have already been threatened with being kicked out of their homes. And on Monday, the government is planning to lift its eviction ban.When you think about it, it’s so completely unfair, it’s sort of unbelievable. Sometimes I wake up in the morning with a lump in my throat at the prospect of an eviction. Continue reading...

Are US small businesses 'gone forever'? No, not all of them | Gene Marks

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about small businesses it’s that you can’t just lump them all together to support a narrative, be it moral or politicalJust a few weeks ago, a New York Times article warned that as many as one-third of New York’s small businesses could be “gone forever”. Bloomberg reports that small businesses are “dying by the thousands”. Business bankruptcies in Maryland have reached a “staggering state”. There are countless stories like these around the US and none of them sound very good. So are things that bad for small businesses? Is there not a great need for billions in new stimulus funding to save them? The short answer is no. Well, not for all of them.America is a big country with 30m small businesses. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned about small businesses it’s that you can’t just lump them all together to support a narrative, be it moral or political. Continue reading...

Job insecurity, low pay, working from home: we're all Millennials now | Jill Filipovic

Millions of people are now working virtually. Take it from a millennial: at best, it’s a mixed bag. At worst, it’s a trapAs the Covid-19 pandemic rages on, millions of Americans face precarious employment, uncertain futures and pressure to hustle harder from home and make it all work. In other words: we’re all millennials now.As of early April, more than 60% of Americans said they had worked from home during the coronavirus crisis. And they seem to like it: according to polling, Americans are coming around to the flexibility that millennials have long demanded. Continue reading...

Cinemas await Tenet release to test movie-goers' appetite for big screen

Christopher Nolan sci-fi film is first Hollywood blockbuster to open in cinemas since lockdownCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageCinema owners will be holding their breath next Wednesday when Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi film Tenet becomes the first Hollywood blockbuster to be released since March as it is the first test of whether movie fans are ready to head back to big screens in their masses.The UK cinema industry, destined for the worst year at the box office in almost three decades, has been struggling to get back on its feet since the government gave the green light to reopen theatres last month. In the past week the top 10 films in cinemas in the UK and Ireland made just over £800,000 at the box office. Last year, an average week notched up £24m. Continue reading...

My pandemic epiphany: realizing I can't sing and loving it

Adrian Horton assumed she’d be able to sing if she tried; but with time for lessons in quarantine, she was about to learn the truthI think about Jennifer Lawrence a lot. Specifically, I think about her phobia of singing in public, which she once called her “biggest fear in the entire world.” Despite the fact she is actually a good singer who managed to pull off a tune in the Hunger Games, this fear makes total sense to me: an objectively not bad but not good singer. Related: How to sing: my journey from rubbish singer to karaoke star Continue reading...

Coronavirus live news: UK tourists race home to beat quarantine rules; Ukraine reports record rise in cases

South Korea records most cases since March; New Zealand records six new cases; WHO hopes pandemic will finish in less than two years. Follow latest updatesDozens of schools report infections in BerlinHorror at neglect of woman from Melbourne care homePNG bans Chinese workers ‘given experimental vaccine’Tour de France: teams to be expelled if two test positive See all our coronavirus coverage 9.48am BST A third of staff at Bletchley Park, a museum that celebrates Britain’s wartime codebreaking, face redundancy because of the pandemic. It with deep regret that I am informing you today that the trust needs to cut jobs. We have built a very successful heritage attraction and museum at Bletchley Park and its principal strength is its people. However, the economic impact of the current crisis is having a profound effect on the trust’s ability to survive. We have exhausted all other avenues, and we need to act now to ensure that the Trust survives and is sustainable in the future. 9.06am BST Russia has reported 4,921 new coronavirus cases, pushing its confirmed national tally up to 951,897.The authorities said 121 people had died of Covid-19 over the last 24 hours, raising the official death toll to 16,310.За сутки в 83 регионах России выявлен 4 921 случай COVID-19 https://t.co/W25ULgmIA1 Continue reading...

'The risk is enormous': UK live music still in crisis after reopening

One week on from concert venues being allowed to reopen, social distancing means that very few have been able to do so, leading to calls for further government supportFor singer-songwriter Frank Turner, an audience singalong is one of the most affecting parts of his live show. For his return to the stage on the day the UK government allowed venues to reopen last weekend, though, he had to try a different tack. “The audience were not supposed to sing along,” he says, because of the danger of coronavirus being spread. “If the crowd started to kick off I had to politely tell them to calm down, which really goes against my performance instincts. I even tried to get a ‘hum-along’ going at one point.”Infectious viruses and hum-alongs are just two of the issues currently facing the live music industry. The announcement from the culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, last Friday meant indoor concert venues could once again put on shows – delayed from a planned 1 August reopening. Today, the government announced the 135 recipients of its emergency fund to help grassroots venues. But with social distancing requiring tricky logistics and limiting box-office takings, very few venues have yet opened their doors. Mark Davyd, head of the charity Music Venue Trust, warned last week that “only around 100 of the country’s 900 small music venues would be able to operate under the current restrictions”. Continue reading...

Queensland introduces coronavirus restrictions as second NSW quarantine guard tests positive

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk reports nine new Covid-19 cases, including six linked to Brisbane youth detention centre, as NSW announces another nine infectionsFull report: Victoria reports 13 coronavirus deaths and 182 new casesFollow’s today’s coronavirus blogNurses horrified by neglect of woman from Melbourne nursing homeSee all our coronavirus coverageQueensland has announced new coronavirus restrictions and locked down aged care homes and disability accommodation in the state’s south-east after the premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, reported nine new Covid-19 cases on Saturday.The moves came as a second hotel quarantine security guard tested positive to Covid-19 in New South Wales, where nine new cases were reported, and Victoria reported 13 more deaths and 182 new cases. Continue reading...

Culture recovery fund: 135 English music venues receive £3.36m in grants

Historic places including London Troubadour and Liverpool Jacaranda as well as Manchester’s Gorilla among those given emergency subsidiesAt-risk English music venues have become the first recipients of the £1.57bn government culture recovery fund. Historic sites including the London Troubadour and the Liverpool Jacaranda are among the 135 venues to benefit from the emergency grassroots venues fund announced by culture secretary Oliver Dowden last month.The fund was increased from a planned £2.25m to £3.36m. Four companies received the maximum grant of £80,000, including London’s Stony Valley Ltd, owned by celebrity nightclub proprietor Howard Spooner. Manchester venues Gorilla and the Deaf Institute, both recently saved from entering administration by venue operator Tokyo Industries, received £31,000 and £15,000 respectively. Continue reading...

Nurses horrified by 'weeks of neglect' of woman from Covid-hit Melbourne nursing home

Exclusive: Australia’s aged care regulator failed Kalyna Care in an audit just weeks before coronavirus emergedWarning: contains graphic contentAn elderly care home resident who was transferred to hospital from a facility that was beleaguered with Covid-19 died with 18 sores on her body and was suffering from “pure neglect”, a nurse who treated her has told the Guardian.The woman in her 90s was transferred to St Vincent’s private hospital in East Melbourne from the Kalyna Care aged care facility after she was found in her room with infected wounds on her leg. Continue reading...

STA Travel becomes latest casualty of coronavirus crisis

Package tour firm, which employed around 500 staff in 50 high street branches in the UK, confirms it has ceased tradingSTA Travel, which offered package tours for backpackers and adventurous young people, has become the latest business to cease trading because of the coronavirus pandemic. The travel company employed around 500 staff in 50 high street branches across the UK and at its central London headquarters.A statement posted on its Twitter account read: “To our valued customers, due to the recent announcement that STA Travel UK has ceased trading, unfortunately our team are unable to assist you at this time. Continue reading...

I don’t want to go abroad, I really don’t – so why am I a seething mass of envy? | Hadley Freeman

Just the thought of sitting on a plane makes my hypochondriac heart beat triple time. But I don’t want to hear about anyone’s fabulous time in PatmosUnlike Gore Vidal, I do not need my friends to fail so that I can enjoy my successes. But it is the law that if I am doing nothing, then my friends must be equally bored, too. For those of us who suffer from acute Fomo, AKA fear of missing out (to paraphrase Will Ferrell on sex addiction, it’s a real disease, with doctors and medicine and everything!), lockdown was, well, I don’t want to say it was good, because obviously it was terrible. But it was also, on the most base and selfish level possible, a bit of a relief.No longer was I plagued with the constant tinnitus-like buzzing in my brain telling me that something better was happening elsewhere, that everyone was having fun without me. It’s a terrible affliction, one that once propelled me from a wedding in Sussex at midnight to a 40th birthday in Suffolk, and to a 50th birthday party in Ipswich the day before I gave birth. Insane? Possibly. But I didn’t miss out. Continue reading...

Homelessness in Britain is about to get much worse | Francisco Garcia

During the pandemic, thousands have been made homeless. But beyond the official statistics, many more are living invisibly In early August, I boarded an almost empty train running up the north-east coast from Newcastle to Dundee, on my way to visit Eagles Wings Trust, a small homelessness and addiction charity doing important grassroots work in Scotland’s fourth-largest city.The homelessness crisis in Dundee, one of the UK’s poorest cities, seemed unchanged since my last visit to the charity in 2018. But the pandemic has forced a change to its usual work; the former evening soup kitchen and afternoon drop-in centre has been reduced to a daily food-bank service, with a clientele that is more diverse than ever. “[Since lockdown] we’ve had teachers and nurses in,” one volunteer told me as the queue started to build outside. “These are very challenging times for a lot of folk.” Continue reading...

UK universities' promise of in-person teaching is risking academics' health | Steven Fielding

Desperate managers are trying to attract students with in-person seminars despite fear of Covid second wave‘We were already full’: universities’ A-level nightmareCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageGetting children back into school is a “moral duty”, Boris Johnson has declared, despite the open question of how well prepared UK schools are to prevent the spread of Covid-19 – especially with the chief medical officer for England warning that “we have probably reached near the limit or the limits of what we can do in terms of opening up society”. Yet much less is being said about the return of university students to face-to-face teaching this autumn.Many of the 2.5 million students in higher education, most of them undergraduates, will shortly be flooding into towns and cities far from home, more than half a million of them for the first time. They will come into contact with untold millions of local residents, but most closely with nearly half a million university employees, especially those whose job it is to teach them. Continue reading...

Why did we expect aged care to cope amid Covid when it was struggling before it? | Sarah Russell

The unfolding horror story could have been prevented if the government had listened to residents, families and staffCoronavirus Australia stats interactiveDownload the free Guardian app to get the most important news notificationsIn 2018, soon after the federal government had announced yet another inquiry into aged care, I bumped into the health minister, Greg Hunt, who was jogging on the local boardwalk. I stopped him to ask why we needed another inquiry. Surely the government was aware of the systemic problems in the aged care sector. I told him I thought our aged care system was a national disgrace. Hunt disagreed, claiming Australia had a “world-class” aged care system.The federal government claims repeatedly that a consumer-driven, free market-based residential aged care system will provide world-class care. This is consistent with its neoliberal agenda. However, the so-called “consumers” are often frail, elderly people, many with dementia. How can they demand a high-quality service on the free market? Continue reading...

'The haves and the have-nots': how Covid revealed Florida's wealth gap

Buffered from the surge in cases, wealthy coastal locales like Bal Harbour illustrate how sharp the socioeconomic divide is in Miami-Dade in the wake of the pandemicWhen the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic reached southern Florida’s shores, Bal Harbour residents braced themselves. In early March, health department officials confirmed a New York man who tested positive for coronavirus had spent time in the wealthy enclave. About a week later, a pair of Bal Harbour rabbis were among the first people in Miami-Dade county to test positive for the deadly virus.The mayor, Gabriel Groisman, quickly went into isolation because he had been with one of the rabbis, Sholom Ber Lipskar. Grosiman advised anyone who had come in contact with Lipskar and Rabbi Moshe Gruenstein the previous 14 days to also self-isolate. Continue reading...

Strategy board games to help you escape Covid

They can easily cost £140 but games have helped to make the last few months a lot more bearable, say usersIn many ways lockdown was the perfect time. Families stuck together for hours on end, desperate to find something to do that didn’t involve watching a screen. If you were one of those who dusted off an old board game – or, more likely, played one of the latest games that have taken the world by storm – you are in very good company.Strategy board games such as Ticket to Ride and the aptly named Pandemic have been flying off the shelves at online retailers, fast replacing the likes of Monopoly and Scrabble in many people’s hearts. Continue reading...

Grace Dent's guide to post-lockdown eating out: 'I can now emote happy, sad and “can I get the bill” in a face mask’

For months, our restaurant critic craved a boozy night out with friends. Fifteen attempts later, she’s ready to share her adviceOn the WhatsApp group I used as a life-support system during lockdown, a recurring fantasy kept us going in the days when online Scrabble and swapping tips on sourcing hand gel could not: a dream of doughballs. When all this blows over, my friends and I agreed, we’ll go to Pizza Express. Midweek, table for four, Sloppy Giuseppes, numerous warm bottles of Gavi di Gavi. We’ll laugh about this one day, we said, weakly, as the chat flickered between closed schools, locked-down care homes, skipped chemo and the loneliness of isolation. It was never really about the doughballs; they represented a former carefree life.When every restaurant in Britain closed, from high street to haute cuisine, many of us suddenly saw what eating together gives us. This was true even for me, someone who eats out for a living, and who in the first few weeks enjoyed the break. But there’s a joy and a rhythm in sitting with others, sipping, nibbling and laughing – one you’ll never get from an ever-flickering chat app. Eating together is where actual life happens. Miles away from my family, I missed desperately the way my brother David side-orders jalapeños on everything and refuses to share pudding. I missed stabbing away at his sticky toffee pudding with a spoon, quacking, “You’re worse now than when you were a child!” because we’ve done this for more than 40 years. I longed to sit in peaceable silence with my teenage niece, Lola, as she ogles TikTok from behind a McNugget box. If restaurants could just reopen, I thought, the world would feel sane again. But then they did, and for the first few meals I felt worse. Six weeks later, here’s what I’ve learned. Continue reading...

The Covid exodus from the city: 'That's it, I'm calling the real estate agent'

From Berry to Kyneton to Torquay, regional towns are becoming the destination for many Australians now working from home, seeking affordable housing and better lifestylesWhile Melbourne was lifting out of its first lockdown, Briony Towers, like many of the city’s 5 million residents, was facing the prospect of unemployment.She had just been told that $70,000 in funding she had squirrelled away would no longer be available to her, and that her contract as a research fellow working on bushfire recovery may not be extended past 30 June. The career she had worked for was falling apart, her mental health close behind it. Continue reading...

'Shattered, heartbroken, financially ruined': stranded Australians plead for help

The Australian government’s cap on international arrivals has left thousands of citizens and residents stuck overseas, many in desperate circumstancesWith revelations this week that 18,800 nationals were stranded overseas, it became clear that the government’s strict international arrivals cap was causing significant disruption for Australians trying to get home.The government introduced the cap in July to ease pressure on the hotel quarantine regime, but the measure has prompted the few airlines still offering flights to prioritise business and first class passengers as a means to remain profitable. Continue reading...

Comparing Trump and Biden on COVID-19

This issue brief compares President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden on their records, actions and proposals related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes a general overview of their respective approaches, followed by a detailed side-by-side.

KFF Health Tracking Poll – September 2020: Top Issues in 2020 Election, The Role of Misinformation, and Views on A Potential Coronavirus Vaccine

The poll examines the public's views on the coronavirus pandemic and a COVID-19 vaccine, as well as trust and confidence in public figures and institutions. It also gauges what issues voters are prioritizing in the upcoming presidential election. and finds that Republican and independent voters prioritize the economy, while Democratic voters are more focused on the coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus UK map: confirmed Covid cases and deaths today

Are UK coronavirus cases rising in your local area and nationally? Check week-on-week changes across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the latest figures from public health authoritiesPlease note: these are government figures on numbers of confirmed cases – some people who report symptoms are not being tested, and are not included in these counts. Continue reading...

Covid map Australia: tracking new cases, coronavirus stats and live data by state

Guardian Australia brings together all the latest on active and daily new Covid-19 cases, as well as maps, stats, live data and state by state graphs from NSW, Victoria, Queensland, SA, WA, Tasmania, ACT and NT to get a broad picture of the Australian outbreak and track the impact of government responseNSW cases map; Vic cases mapNSW hotspots list; Qld hotspots listSign up for Guardian Australia’s coronavirus emailDue to the difference in reporting times between states, territories and the federal government, it can be difficult to get a current picture of how many confirmed cases of coronavirus there are in Australia.Here, we’ve brought together all the figures in one place, along with comparisons with other countries. Continue reading...

Coronavirus Australia live update: some states agree to raise flight caps as John Barilaro takes leave from NSW parliament

NSW, WA and Qld to raise cap on international arrivals; Victoria reports 45 new cases and five deaths and NSW reports six cases; Queensland to reopen ACT border from 25 September. Follow liveFollow our global coronavirus live blogFlight caps fight looms at national cabinet as Morrison pledges pandemic health funding‘A moment of cheer’: 100-year-old Victorian man leaves hospital after surviving coronavirus fight‘I volunteered to be a human guinea pig for a Covid vaccine. Now I’m having second thoughts’ 8.35am BST The Bureau of Meteorology is warning that parts of northwestern regional Victoria could be hit by severe thunderstorms and potential flash flooding tomorrow.Remembering people in regional Victoria are enjoying their first weekend of eased coronavirus restrictions, they might have to head indoors in some places.Severe thunderstorms and heavy rain currently over SA and QLD are expected to impact northwestern #Victoria tomorrow. Video current at 3.30pm AEST Friday, 18 Sept 2020. For the latest warnings visit https://t.co/0TBmG3qS3r & follow advice from emergency services. #VicWeather pic.twitter.com/VuZXeqY9D1Damaging storms with a risk of heavy rainfall, winds & large hail are expected for parts of northwestern Vic tomorrow, Saturday 19 Sept. Before a storm hits, make sure you're prepared. Stay up-to-date with the latest weather via the @BOM_Vic website: https://t.co/CvgmAt2eHd pic.twitter.com/VRHPkx0NqP 8.13am BST The NSW Nationals leader, John Barilaro, will take mental health leave from parliament immediately following the last fortnight’s tumultuous near-split with his Liberal Coalition partners over koala protections.Barilaro told his party room colleagues by text message this afternoon that he will take up to four weeks leave to work on his mental health. Continue reading...

Coronavirus live news: I don't trust Trump on vaccines, Joe Biden tells town hall, as global cases top 30m

Joe Biden says “I don’t trust the President on vaccines”; Worldwide infections pass 30m; Covid-19 infections in France hit 10,593 in 24 hours. Follow the latest updatesCDC director says vaccine won’t be widely available until late 2021Global report: Covid cases pass 30m worldwide as Biden offers vaccine reality check‘Off the charts’: Ireland’s contact tracers face return of sleepless nights100-year-old man leaves hospital after surviving coronavirus 8.34am BST Thailand has reported its first coronavirus death in more than 100 days, after an infected Thai citizen had returned from abroad earlier this month, Reuters reports.The 54-year old man, who was an interpreter based in Saudi Arabia working for the Thai labour ministry, had been treated in a Bangkok hospital for two weeks and died on Friday, Somsak Akksilp, head of the Department Medical Services.#COVID19 situation in #Thailand as of 18 Sep 2020Thailand reported 7 new confirmed cases from people on repatriation flightsNew Confirmed Cases: 7Cumulative number of cases: 3,497 (+7)Receiving medical treatments: 111Recoveries: 3,328 (+3) Fatalities: 58(+0) pic.twitter.com/UqReJo1Hqs 8.22am BST Two thousand ultra-Orthodox Jews are being blocked by armed guards from entering Ukraine for an annual pilgrimage to a rabbi’s grave, creating a makeshift camp at the country’s border with Belarus.The men ignored warnings by the Ukrainian authorities not to travel after its borders closed at the end of last month in an attempt to stop the spread of Covid-19. Related: Jewish pilgrims blocked from entering Ukraine over Covid fears Continue reading...

Cleaning volunteers asked to record plastic PPE found on UK beaches

Beach clean organiser wants to assess amount of masks and gloves discarded during coronavirus crisisCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageVolunteers in this year’s Great British Beach Clean are being asked to record the personal protective equipment (PPE) they find, to get a clearer picture of the volume of plastic masks and gloves discarded during the coronavirus pandemic and their impact on the environment.The Marine Conservation Society (MCS), which organises the annual September event, is urging people to organise their own surveys with smaller groups of friends, family and “bubbles”, in line with government guidance. Continue reading...

Parents report more anxiety in lockdown, Scottish poll finds

Fears grow that ‘rule of six’ has a disproportionate impact on poorer childrenCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageFamilies with children have experienced greater financial pressure and mental health worries during the coronavirus pandemic than those without, according to analysis commissioned by the Scottish government.The report, which captures parental anxieties during lockdown, was published on Thursday amid growing concerns that the latest “rule of six” guidance on socialising has a disproportionate impact on poorer children. Continue reading...

Melbourne life during coronavirus: share your photos of the highs and lows of 2020

Lopsided sourdough, cupboards full of toilet paper, or matching trackpants. What does your Australia 2020 scrapbook look like?There will be, for most of us living in Melbourne, no holiday snaps to memorialise this year. No big weddings. No gathering of old friends at the comedy festival. Instead our lives, for much of the past six months, have been spent inside our homes and nodding politely to our neighbours on the same daily walk.Our scrapbook of the year would contain recipes for sourdough, reminders to never make sourdough again, homemade mask patterns and, for a few glorious weeks in May and June, an awkward photo of 10 people awkwardly spaced apart on metal chairs at the local beer garden, jubilant that they are finally able to go to the pub. Continue reading...

Joe Biden: trust scientists, not Trump, on realities of coronavirus

Democratic presidential nominee tells town hall the president’s pandemic response is ‘close to criminal’ and crisis is far from overCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageJoe Biden sent a message to voters on Thursday night that differed starkly from Donald Trump’s unlikely coronavirus promises, saying: “The idea that there’s going to be a vaccine, and everything is going to be fine tomorrow is just not rational, just not reasonable.”Speaking at a drive-in town hall in the Pennsylvania town of Moosic, just south of Scranton, the Democratic nominee warned the country would not immediately return to normal life even if a coronavirus vaccine was soon approved. Continue reading...

Which countries can UK holidaymakers visit without restrictions?

A guide to countries that UK tourists can now visit, in light of the government’s updated travel corridor listThe UK government’s travel corridor list continues to be updated as Covid rates change, with many popular European holiday destinations removed in the last few weeks.The latest announcements impose quarantine measures on arrivals into England from mainland Portugal, Hungary, French Polynesia and Réunion. Sweden, which pursued a light-touch approach to coronavirus restrictions, has been added to the travel corridor list for the first time. The latest countries removed from the safe list are in addition to the seven Greek islands - Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos – while mainland Greece remains exempt from quarantine measures. Restrictions differ across the devolved nations – passengers from Greece must self-isolate when arriving in Scotland; in Wales this applies to the Greek islands of Mykonos, Zakynthos, Lesvos, Paros and Antiparos and Crete. Continue reading...

Chris Uhlmann's damnation of Daniel Andrews delayed at the Age | The Weekly Beast

Column by Nine news’ political editor belatedly published in Melbourne. Plus: Q&A episode accused of inciting violence cleared by regulatorNine news’ political editor, Chris Uhlmann, is not a fan of the Victorian Labor government’s response to the pandemic, and he told Sydney Morning Herald readers all about it in a rather forthright opinion piece on Wednesday.“The Victorian solution punishes the many for the few,” the Canberra-based journalist said. “It preferences the very old over the young, mortgaging the future of the entire school and working-age population. It is hard to imagine how you could design a policy that is more profoundly unfair or damaging to a society.” Continue reading...

Viva Las Vagueness: Door Matt and Dido star in a cabaret of Covid cluelessness

Don’t worry, the health secretary is here all week, and Harding has the Grayling knack of failing upwardsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageIn Las Vegas, they would call it a residency. So shabby has the government’s performance and messaging been over the coronavirus that Matt Hancock has found himself in the House of Commons almost on a daily basis, either to answer an urgent question or to make a ministerial statement on the latest Covid shambles.And sure enough, the health secretary was back in the chamber on Thursday to outline the latest regional lockdowns that account for about one-seventh of the country – it can’t be long before there’s just a couple of villages in Cornwall open for business that are preventing another national lockdown being declared – and to announce a triage service for A&E departments. Press 1 if you think you are going to die in the next hour. 2 if you think you have a 50/50 chance of making it to the end of the day. 3 if you have broken a leg, and stop moaning. 4 to sod off and take some ibuprofen. Continue reading...

'It's heartbreaking': South Shields faces up to new Covid rules

Restrictions imposed on nearly 2 million people in north-east England after rise in coronavirus casesCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageJust behind Littlehaven beach, as dog walkers and holidaymakers walk along the promenade, a steady stream of people are being handed testing kits at a Covid mobile testing unit.The large van, manned by about six people in hi-vis vests, has been at the seafront car park since the early morning, on a day when the area and those surrounding it are facing the strictest measures imposed since the UK eased out of nationwide lockdown. Continue reading...

A fertile time for death disruptors: 'People are finding meaning in these new rituals'

An increase in death literacy, and the impact of Covid-19, are accelerating changes to our grieving ceremonials, and letting in more lightThere was never any question that Caitlin Wilks and her partner Joe Sassone would want to avoid a “McFuneral”. That’s the nickname sometimes given to the sombre, straight-out-of-a-brochure service offered by one of the two major corporations that hold around a third of the market share of Australia’s funeral industry. While Sassone – who had acute leukaemia – was joking when he suggested he be stuffed and holding a tray of drinks at his memorial, he still entertained unconventional ideas, like having the service at a brewery.Sassone died in Melbourne in June 2020. This made it even more important for the couple to plan something with personal significance – his friends and family hadn’t been able to visit him in hospital, due to Covid-19 restrictions. Continue reading...

I put negative reviews on pause after lockdown. Here's why that must continue

Restaurants have been hit hard by coronavirus – so there’s no point in me being brutal. I’m going to carry on finding positives, and ignoring the mediocreSometimes, in the woozy minutes before sleep takes hold, I think about the dreadful restaurants I haven’t written about: the clumsily made sauces I haven’t compared to bodily fluids in need of treatment by antibiotics; the waiters who appear to have learned their people skills in a CIA black ops facility; the decor crying out for a little adjustment, courtesy of a can of petrol and a box of Swan Vestas. I think about all these writing opportunities missed, and then I sleep easy. For I have missed nothing.It’s a little over 10 weeks since restaurants began reopening across the UK, and the massive blow to the hospitality sector is becoming increasingly obvious. Some places simply won’t ever be reopening. Goodbye Vanilla Black and Sardine. Goodbye to numerous branches of Pizza Express, Byron Burger, Pret a Manger and so many more. Continue reading...

‘I’m aware I'm a bit of a show pony’: is this the end of street style?

Fashion is part of culture, and the response to the pandemic has shaken the industry from top to bottom. But with London fashion back this week, who is going, will anyone be taking their photograph – and who will wear a mask?London fashion week begins on Thursday. But if last week’s gathering in New York is anything to go by, it could be the smallest, and strangest, fashion event in the capital’s recent history.Reduced to little more than a long weekend, New York hosted fewer than 10 – rather than the normal 70 or so – catwalk shows, as well as temperature checks, health questionnaires and socially distanced seating for a maximum of 50 guests for each indoor show. Continue reading...

Can you be re-infected with coronavirus?

Medical News Bulletin | Health News and Medical Research - Daily Medical News, Health News, Clinical Trials And Clinical Research, Medical Technology, Fitness And Nutrition News–In One Place Researchers characterize the clinical, immunological, and virologic aspects of patients who re-test positive for coronavirus.           The continuing COVID-19 pandemic remains a burden on social, economic, and healthcare systems. As more becomes known about the respiratory syndrome, interventions and preventative measures are being implemented to slow its spread. There is however, a gap in knowledge […] The post Can you be re-infected with coronavirus? appeared first on Medical News Bulletin | Health News and Medical Research.

Children’s Health and Well Being During the Coronavirus Pandemic

This issue brief reviews what is known to date about children's health and well-being during coronavirus, including the physical and mental health consequences of school closures or openings, parental stress, economic and child welfare issues, and access to health care services. This piece draws on a range of sources including KFF analysis of the National Survey of Children’s Health, Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey, KFF polls, and published literature.

Covid cases and deaths today: coronavirus UK map

Are UK coronavirus cases rising in your local area and nationally? Check week-on-week changes across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the latest figures from public health authoritiesPlease note: these are government figures on numbers of confirmed cases – some people who report symptoms are not being tested, and are not included in these counts. Continue reading...

Coronavirus live news: one million deaths worldwide; White House Covid taskforce rift deepens

Global death toll passes one million; rift between US health officials coordinating response; New York test positivity rate climbsGlobal coronavirus deaths pass 1m with no sign rate is slowingInteractive: how did we get to one million deaths?Tests that give results in minutes to be rolled out across worldCDC director takes aim at Trump adviserSee all our coronavirus coverage 8.36am BST British students are expected to be able to go home for Christmas, a junior minister said on Tuesday, amid concern that the second wave of coronavirus could strand them at university over the festive period.“We would expect students to be able to go home for Christmas of course that is something that absolutely we’ll be working towards,” junior skills minister Gillian Keegan told BBC Radio. 8.34am BST Thailand will receive its first foreign vacationers when a flight from China arrives next week, marking the gradual restart of a vital tourism sector battered by coronavirus travel curbs, a senior official said on Tuesday.The first flight will have about 120 tourists from Guangzhou, flying directly to the resort island of Phuket, Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn told Reuters. Continue reading...

Coronavirus live updates Australia: more 'prompt' response could have prevented Victoria's aged care deaths, says Brendan Murphy

Scott Morrison says it’s time Australians go back to the office and flags home quarantine for returned travellers. Follow liveFollow our global live blogFull Australian Covid stats; Covid restrictions state by stateNSW cases map; Vic cases mapNSW hotspots list; Qld hotspots listSign up for Guardian Australia’s coronavirus email 8.21am BST The Western Australian government has also launched a new app that it says can be used to help police conduct self-quarantine checks on travellers. The premier, Mark McGowan, earlier today cited the app as a reason the state could slightly ease its border restrictions on New South Wales and Victorian residents. 8.04am BST The Nationals senator Matt Canavan has just ruled out moving to the lower house by running for the Queensland seat of Groom. The former MP for Groom John McVeigh retired from politics earlier this month, triggering a byelection in the safe LNP seat. Continue reading...

Global coronavirus deaths pass 1m with no sign rate is slowing

Johns Hopkins University data points to rises in countries that seemed to have slowed spreadCoronavirus – latest updatesInteractive: how did world get to 1 million deaths?See all our coronavirus coverageThe number of people who have died from Covid-19 has exceeded 1 million, according to a tally of cases maintained by Johns Hopkins University, with no sign the global death rate is slowing and infections on the rise again in countries that were thought to be controlling their outbreaks months ago.The milestone was reached early on Tuesday morning UK time, nine months since authorities in China first announced the detection of a cluster of pneumonia cases with an unknown cause in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. The first recorded death, that of a 61-year-old man in a hospital in the city, came 12 days later. Continue reading...

Exempt under-12s in England from Covid rule of six, says report

Children’s commissioner criticises downgrading of the rights of the most vulnerableCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe children’s commissioner for England has called on the government to exempt under-12s from its “rule of six” for social gatherings, in a wide-ranging new report that lays bare the damaging impact of the pandemic on children.As Covid restrictions tighten across the country, Anne Longfield argued that children’s right to play together after months of isolation should be preserved, warning that limits on individuals from different households meeting should not apply to children under 12. Continue reading...

Tory rebellion over Covid laws set to be thwarted despite rising anger

Commons Speaker not expected to allow vote on amendment that would give MPs say on future lawsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageA Tory rebellion over coronavirus laws is set to be thwarted this week despite mounting anger over fines and rules brought in with minimal notice and a lack of parliamentary scrutiny.New measures for England came into force on Monday including a ban on mass singing in pubs, £1,000 fines for falsely reporting that someone must quarantine, and a £4,000 first-time fine for those deemed “reckless” for coming into contact with large numbers of people when they should be self-isolating, for example by going to an office. They were published on Sunday evening, hours before coming into force. Continue reading...

Lockdowners v libertarians: Britain’s coronavirus divide

As Covid cases rise, an increasingly heated debate has emerged over whether to readopt stringent measures or return to ‘the business of living’Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageBritain has reached a Covid crossroads – and its leaders are being pressed to pick one of two stark options. Are they going to return to the lockdown days that brought life to a standstill six months ago, but succeeded in halting the rapid spread of the disease? Or are they going to turn their backs on “an authoritarian nightmare” that is preventing the nation from getting on with “the business of living”?This is the basic division that has emerged over the summer in an increasingly heated debate between two unlikely groupings of scientists, columnists, campaigners and politicians. Continue reading...

Not accounting for sex differences in Covid research could be deadly

Analysis suggests too little attention is paid to gender disparities in medical trialsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageHistorically, medical research has often taken a one-size-fits-all approach, lumping women and men together despite growing evidence that the sexes differ in how they catch and fight disease.A stark example was the heart drug digoxin, which was widely marketed in the late 1990s on the basis of a trial that showed it to be effective and safe. But over time a higher incidence of side-effects in women emerged. When the same dataset was analysed on the basis of sex, it showed digoxin decreased mortality in men – but increased mortality in women. Continue reading...

A coronavirus exodus from cities is pricing locals out in rural Wales. We need protection | Mabon ap Gwynfor

Urbanites in search of a new life or a second home in Britain’s most beautiful areas are warping regional economies• Mabon ap Gwynfor is Plaid Cymru’s Senedd candidate for Dwyfor MeirionnyddAs the coronavirus crisis consumes politicians every waking hour, another crisis is facing many of our small coastal and rural communities, from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland to the delightful fishing villages of Cornwall and everywhere in between. Communities are being hollowed out as second homes and Airbnb suffocate our communities. Continue reading...

Music is an act of communication. Without anyone listening it doesn't exist

Perhaps we have all taken privilege of music for granted, writes the conductor. Only by taking it away do we realise how essential it is.After seven months of musical silence, I feel very fortunate to be giving a public concert this week with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. The auditorium in Glasgow’s City Halls will be empty, but people can still listen to the performance live thanks to a simultaneous broadcast on Radio 3. Invisible listeners are not ideal, but in the context of this year a live orchestral experience of any sort is much appreciated. A musician’s need to be heard is not just psychological inspiration, needy approbation, or box office compensation. We need audiences because without anyone listening, the music doesn’t exist – merely proverbial trees falling unheard in the distant forest.Early humans didn’t start to play music because they liked the noise it made. They sang, hit, bowed or blew to communicate with each other. There was no significant difference between player and listener. I recently came across the word “music” used as a verb. In The Power of Music, Roger Kennedy writes that “to music” unites all involved in the experience of music, whether writing, organising, playing or listening to it. It isn’t possible “to music” alone. Though listening to a piece privately can bring great solace or joy, the original purpose of music is to be connected by sharing something together as a community. Continue reading...

'Frail' people like me shouldn't be denied lifesaving Covid care | Patience Owen

A frailty index is rationing treatment for older and disabled people who catch coronavirus. We are not sacrificial lambsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageLockdown was easy for me, it has become my daily state more frequently throughout my life. I have a debilitating connective tissue disorder that keeps me indoors most days. It was a relief I no longer had to go out and pretend to be normal when wracked with ill-health and hidden pain. Like thousands of others with rare conditions, I’m already in a minority within a minority, marginalised by our NHS, battling increasing disability day by day. So, while many fear a second lockdown over the winter months, I haven’t gone out more often since the first one was lifted because I risk a double jeopardy – catching Covid, then being a low priority for medical care.Back in March, without consultation and days before the first lockdown, the Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS), a worldwide tool used to swiftly identify frailty in older patients to improve acute care, was adapted by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice). It asked NHS staff in England to score the frailty of Covid patients. Rather than aiming to improve care, it seems the CFS – a fitness-to-frailty sheet using scores from one to nine – was used to work out which patients should be denied acute care. Nice’s new guidelines advised NHS trusts to “sensitively discuss a possible ‘do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation’ decision with all adults with capacity and an assessment suggestive of increased frailty”. Continue reading...

Dear Gavin Williamson, here's how to avoid more exam catastrophes | Michael Rosen

Perhaps now Eton agrees that GCSEs are past it, you might talk to experts about a new way forwardI would guess that like the rest of us when we emerge from a nightmare experience, you’ve been hiding under your pillow. Sorry to remind you, I’m thinking of the algorithm catastrophe. But here we are again: the new school year is under way and, as predicted, many schools are unable to provide full education for all pupils all the time because of the pandemic. Schooling is being disrupted.You and the Department for Education must know that the next round of exams could easily descend into chaos again unless you put a plan in place now. Well, more than that, actually: a plan that involves researchers, teachers and parents as well as the crew of “advisers” you usually turn to behind closed doors. Continue reading...

The pandemic has exposed how weak the state is after 10 years of Tory misrule | Tom Kibasi

Britain is paying the price for a foolish ideology that sees government as an obstacle – our lives depend on doing betterCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe botched response to the coronavirus pandemic is a collective failure of Britain’s governing class. From complacency in the early days and confusing public health messages throughout the crisis to its shambolic testing system, the government has struggled to get a grip. It has revealed the fundamental weakness of the state after a decade of Tory misrule.Seasoned Whitehall watchers often remark: “It wouldn’t have been like this if Jeremy Heywood were still around.” The late former cabinet secretary was a truly formidable mandarin – with a first-class mind and an unfathomable capacity for hard work. But the lament of his passing also reveals the lack of resilience of the British state. How could it be that the effectiveness of the once-revered civil service had become reliant on a single man? Continue reading...

Inside the airline industry's meltdown

Coronavirus has hit few sectors harder than air travel, wiping out tens of thousands of jobs and uncountable billions in revenue. While most fleets were grounded, the industry was forced to reimagine its futureWhen an airline no longer wants a plane, it is sent away to a boneyard, a storage facility where it sits outdoors on a paved lot, wingtip to wingtip with other unwanted planes. From the air, the planes look like the bleached remains of some long-forgotten skeleton. Europe’s biggest boneyard is built on the site of a late-30s airfield in Teruel, in eastern Spain, where the dry climate is kind to metallic airframes. Many planes are here for short-term storage, biding their time while they change owners or undergo maintenance. If their future is less clear, they enter long-term storage. Sometimes a plane’s limbo ends when it is taken apart, its body rendered efficiently down into spare parts and recycled metal.In February, Patrick Lecer, the CEO of Tarmac Aerosave, the company that owns the Teruel boneyard and three others in France, had one eye cocked towards China. Lecer has been in aviation long enough to remember flights being grounded during the Sars epidemic in 2003. This year, when the coronavirus spread beyond Asia, he knew what was coming. “We started making space in our sites, playing Tetris with the aircraft to free up two or three or four more spaces in each,” he told me. Continue reading...

Don't panic! Why stockpiling is a waste of money

Supermarket shelves are once more being stripped bare – but as well as being antisocial, a new study says it is also bad for the environment, and our walletsName: Stockpiling Part 2.Age: Just getting under way now. Continue reading...

'I'm drowning': Californians of color most affected by growing backlog of jobless aid

California’s unemployment office is behind on 1.6m benefits applications. And it’s growing by 10,000 cases a dayAt her lowest point during the pandemic, Rachel Gomez-Wafer estimated that she was calling California’s unemployment office about 150 times a day.When California shut down in March, the boutiques where Gomez-Wafer sells her organic skincare line, Dorothy Mae and Dominga, closed. The craft fairs and festivals where she makes most of her profits were canceled. She applied on 4 April for the pandemic unemployment assistance that was available to her as a small business owner but, like hundreds of thousands of other Californians who have filed for unemployment benefits, she soon found herself tangled in a months-long bureaucratic nightmare. Continue reading...

Did the NHS 111 Covid helpline fail hundreds of families?

Hundreds of people believe the 111 helpline failed their relatives. Now the Guardian’s David Conn reports that they are demanding a full inquiry into the serviceWhen the coronavirus outbreak hit in March, the NHS feared hospitals could be overwhelmed and so patients with suspected symptoms were directed to call the designated 111 helpline. Call volumes were massive and waiting times were often over an hour. The Guardian’s David Conn has spent months talking to bereaved relatives about that difficult time and during his conversations he found many were deeply unhappy about the service they felt had been provided by the 111 helpline. Continue reading...

UK coronavirus news: Johnson faces backlash over 'chaotic' announcement of latest local lockdown

Live updates: PM gives speech about post-18 education as part of ‘levelling up’ agenda but faces backlash from council leaders in north east over latest restrictionsAdults in England without A-levels to get free college courseCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage 9.25am BST Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, has also been speaking out about the way the government is imposing local coronavirus restrictions. In a tweet, he says it is unfair that Bolton’s pubs are closed, while pubs are open in areas with higher Covid rates.This is the problem with local restrictions.Once they’re in, they tend to stay in.And the longer they’re in, the more the anomalies/injustices grow.Either Ministers close hospitality in places with high cases with compensation. Or let Bolton’s open today.It’s that simple. https://t.co/yvmladLlEo 9.15am BST Good morning. Boris Johnson is giving a major speech this morning and it’s a rare example of prime ministerial intervention not mainly focused on coronavirus. He is speaking about post-18 education, and he will say he’s “transforming the foundations of the skills system so that everyone has the chance to train and retrain”. It is the part of the “levelling up” agenda he wanted to be focusing on if it had not been for coronavirus.There are details of the announcement here. And here is the Guardian’s write-up.My statement tonight on the way that further restrictions for the North East have been announced today - no local involvement or warning, and no sign of the business support we desperately need to protect as many jobs as possible. pic.twitter.com/ta29YUkWS0It was announced in the House of Commons and we were not told beforehand that announcement was going to be made. However, we had had discussions last week that led us to believe that this was going to happen. We just weren’t pre-warned that it was actually going to happen. It didn’t help.I got inundated with telephone calls and emails last night from people asking, ‘Can we do this, can we do that?’ and actually I didn’t have the precise wording of the regulations in front of us. Related: Coronavirus live news: one million deaths worldwide; White House Covid taskforce rift deepens Continue reading...

Brendan Murphy admits earlier federal action could have prevented some aged care deaths in Australia

If the commonwealth had set up its aged care response centre sooner ‘we might have avoided some of the scale of the outbreaks in Victoria’Follow our global live blogFull Australian Covid stats; Covid restrictions state by stateNSW cases map; Vic cases mapProf Brendan Murphy has conceded some deaths could have potentially been avoided in aged care homes during the second wave of Covid-19 infections in Victoria if the commonwealth had set up its aged care response centre in the state earlier.Murphy is Australia’s former chief medical officer who is now the secretary of the federal health department. He told a Senate hearing on Tuesday “if the public health response had been more prompt we might have avoided some of the scale of the outbreaks in Victoria”. Continue reading...

Working from home: share your experiences

We would like to hear from people about working from home, after the government u-turn on returning to workplacesWe would like to hear from people about working from home, after the government advised people to continue to do so – in a reversal from previous apparent instructions to return to workplaces. Continue reading...

Covid map Australia: tracking new and active cases, coronavirus stats and live data by state

Guardian Australia brings together all the latest on active and daily new Covid-19 cases, as well as maps, stats, live data and state by state graphs from NSW, Victoria, Queensland, SA, WA, Tasmania, ACT and NT to get a broad picture of the Australian outbreak and track the impact of government responseNSW cases map; Vic cases mapVic hotspots list; NSW hotspots list; Qld hotspots listSign up for Guardian Australia’s coronavirus emailDue to the difference in reporting times between states, territories and the federal government, it can be difficult to get a current picture of how many confirmed cases of coronavirus there are in Australia.Here, we’ve brought together all the figures in one place, along with comparisons with other countries. Continue reading...

Iain Duncan Smith calls for review of Chinese investment in UK

Former Conservative leader says government should assess China’s influence in areas from 5G to Covid-19 researchChinese ownership of British businesses should be subject to a national security review by the UK government to assess the impact of Beijing’s growing economic power, according to the former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith.The senior backbencher – a leading figure in the rebellion that forced Downing Street to introduce tougher controls on Huawei – believes ministers have failed to deal with the scale of China’s influence on strategic industries in the UK. Continue reading...

Coronavirus live news: lockdown easing allowing virus to spread, says Sturgeon; Trump 'no longer a risk'

Scotland’s first minister warns winter creates ‘more favourable’ conditions for Covid; no word on whether US president has tested negativeFull report: Trump ‘no longer a transmission risk’; India passes 7m casesUK is at ‘tipping point’ of Covid crisis, says senior health officialSpain’s PM defends Covid emergency lockdown in MadridWould herd immunity stop the spread of coronavirus? 3.18pm BST A significant number of French nurses responding to a poll say they are tired and fed up, with 37% saying that the pandemic is making them want to change jobs. The poll published Sunday by the National Order of Nurses comes as infection rates soar across the country.Nearly 59,400 nurses responded to the poll on the impact of the health crisis on their working conditions, out of 350,000 in the Order of Nurses. The numbers painted a grim diagnosis of the profession and suggested that French medical facilities may not be keeping pace with the growing need caused by the pandemic, despite lessons that should have been learned from the height of the virus last spring. 2.53pm BST A further 32 people who tested positive have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 30,471, NHS England has said.The patients were aged between 54 and 100 years old. All but one patient, aged 65, had known underlying health conditions. Seven other deaths were reported with no positive Covid-19 test result. Continue reading...

Five Republic of Ireland players out of Wales match after Covid-19 positive test

Five stood down from Nations League after one tests positiveOthers out had been in close contact with unnamed playerFive players have been ruled out of the Republic of Ireland’s Nations League match with Wales on Sunday afternoon after one of them tested positive for coronavirus.The Football Association of Ireland has confirmed one unnamed player tested positive on Friday following the squad’s return from Slovakia after a negative test on Monday, and four others deemed to be close contacts on Saturday night – understood to be John Egan, Callum Robinson, Callum O’Dowda and Alan Browne – have since been stood down. Continue reading...

Campaigners urge IMF to sell gold to provide debt relief

Partial sale would help poor countries during pandemic, says Jubilee Debt Campaign Debt campaigners are calling for the International Monetary Fund to sell some of its stockpile of gold to cover the debt payments owed by the world’s poorest countries for the next 15 months.With a looming developing world debt crisis high on the agenda at this week’s annual meetings of the IMF, the Jubilee Debt Campaign (JDC) said gold sales would help the most vulnerable countries cope with the Covid-19 shock and pave the way for a broader debt deal. Continue reading...

Spain's PM defends Covid emergency lockdown in Madrid

Pedro Sánchez hits back at critics saying he hopes to contain pandemic within a fortnightCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, has said he hopes to bring the coronavirus outbreak in the capital under control within the next two weeks, as he defended the government’s decision to declare a state of emergency to keep the Madrid region in partial lockdown.Sánchez’s Socialist-led coalition invoked emergency powers on Friday after the Madrid regional government failed to respond to an ultimatum and a court struck down the central government’s original lockdown order. Continue reading...

'Not ordinary grief': bereavement festival attracts thousands

UK virtual event over three days will explore how Covid-19 has shaped the way people mournCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageWhat could be more 2020 than a festival of bereavement? Over 6,000 people have signed up to Good Grief, a three day event billed as “a virtual festival of love and loss” that will explore the unique shape of grief during the Covid-19 pandemic.With a line-up resembling a lively literary festival rather than an undertakers’ convention, speakers will include comic actor and writer Robert Webb, psychotherapist Julia Samuel, a friend of Princess Diana, and palliative care expert Dr Rachel Clarke. It was planned pre-pandemic to help open up British attitudes towards grief. But the event has taken on fresh urgency after nearly 60,000 more deaths in England and Wales since the start of the crisis than on average – a 23% increase in mortality. Continue reading...

‘Everyone is fighting’ – how Downing Street lost its grip on a divided nation

As public trust falls, No 10 insists on dictating a national response to coronavirus; local leaders believe that they can do betterCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageWhen he addressed the nation on 23 March to announce a national lockdown, Boris Johnson knew he had most of the British people with him. “Each and every one of us is now obliged to join together to halt the spread of this disease,” the prime minister said in his TV broadcast. “We will beat the coronavirus and we will beat it together.”Six and a half months on, as he prepares to announce the introduction of more restrictions and a new three-tier system across the country – at what ministers say is a “critical” moment – hospitals are filling up and death rates are rising once more. Continue reading...

MP Margaret Ferrier: decision to travel despite Covid due to 'panic'

Suspended SNP MP received test result in Westminster after Commons debateCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageMP Margaret Ferrier has broken her silence to explain how she “panicked” when she received a positive result for a coronavirus test in her Westminster office after taking part in a Commons debate.Despite the barrage of criticism that followed the revelations 12 days ago that the suspended SNP MP travelled to London after taking the test, then returned to Scotland by train after receiving a positive result, Ferrier said she would not resign and that she was “continuing to work hard for my constituents”. Continue reading...

Would herd immunity stop the spread of coronavirus?

Even if achievable, the strategy would kill too many people, say scientistsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageLike the Covid-19 virus itself, the idea of herd immunity has surged back into public life having been suppressed for months. It was initially touted as a way to hold back the pandemic – by allowing sufficient numbers of infections to occur and so reduce numbers of non-immune potential hosts for the virus. The disease would then stop spreading, it was argued.The notion quickly fell out of favour when researchers highlighted the high death toll that would have to occur in the UK before herd immunity was achieved. Nevertheless, the idea has now bubbled back and is again making headlines. Continue reading...

A critic's view: the delusion of Trump's Covid-19 victory photo

President’s pose on the White House balcony was a manic act of narcissistic theatre The trouble with Trump is that, as he told Bob Woodward, “I bring rage out.” It’s hard to see this picture of him posing maskless on the White House balcony after “winning” against Covid without the red mist coming down.To anyone with a sense of history, the echo of Mussolini on the balcony of Rome’s Palazzo Venezia is unmistakable. But many of his core voters may know as little history as he does and, besides, this is the White House, with American flags flanking him – still for many a stage of democracy, not dictatorship. Perhaps the real shock of the pose is its delusion. There is no crowd – he’s performing for himself and the camera. Continue reading...

New furlough scheme: how does it work and who will benefit?

We delve into detail of Rishi Sunak’s plan to protect firms forced to closeThe chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has announced an expansion of the job support scheme to protect companies and workers forced to close during coronavirus lockdowns this winter.Against a backdrop of slowing economic growth, fresh government restrictions and rising job losses as the furlough scheme ends, the development comes just two weeks after Sunak announced his winter economy plan. Continue reading...

Could being the face of Boris Johnson be the worst job in politics?

Few envy Allegra Stratton in her new role as No 10 spokeswoman after months of confused messages over CovidWestminster insiders on both sides of the aisle were in rare unanimity on Thursday: Allegra Stratton is taking on one of the toughest roles in government. “Awful job,” said one sympathetic Labour adviser.The 39-year-old former broadcaster, currently an adviser to the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, will soon be formally announced as the face of Downing Street’s new televised daily press briefings, becoming a high-profile spokeswoman for the prime minister. Continue reading...

Local lockdowns dreamed up in London are causing nightmares for the rest of England | John Harris

Dealing with Covid is hard enough for cities like Manchester. Centralised power and a shambolic government make it even harder Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageAt the heart of England’s passage through the Covid-19 era are two key factors which have combined to create a mess of failure and mishap.One is the government’s simple incompetence. The other centres on a centralised system of power and administration that no longer works – something now vividly manifest in just about every aspect of the crisis, from the way rules and restrictions are being landed on places without warning, to a national test-and-trace system whose dysfunction has been clear for months. Put the two together, and you end up with the drama that is now being replayed over and over again: hapless, hopeless people at the top, trying to fight the pandemic using machinery that has long since rusted to the point of uselessness, while those on the ground insist they could do a better job if only they were given the chance. Continue reading...

IMF and World Bank must act fast after Covid caught policymakers napping

Tide went out for global economy in 2020 and just about everybody was caught skinny-dippingWarren Buffett once quipped it was only when the tide went out that it was possible to see who had been swimming naked. The legendary investor had companies up to their eyeballs in debt in mind when he made that comment but it now has a wider significance. In 2020, the tide went out for the global economy and just about everybody was caught skinny-dipping.Clearly, there is never a good time for a pandemic but the brutal reality is that the world was ill-prepared for the arrival of Covid-19 at the start of the year. Policymakers had turned a blind eye to problems that had been getting steadily worse for years. Weaknesses that ought to have been tackled were left unaddressed. Continue reading...

Lockdown rumours make me feel that my restaurant’s fate is out of my hands

While briefings take place in Westminster, I and my staff in York are still waiting to find out how bad restrictions will beBased on leaks and speculation that restaurants and bars in a huge area of the country far from Westminster were to be shut, as a northerner I spent last week wondering if my York restaurant, the Rattle Owl, was actually northern. Scotland had gone. Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds were mooted next, all in local lockdown. York was not.That was midweek. Then, on Friday, the Daily Mail flagged York as red and the Guardian reported that most of Yorkshire would be included. The fate of my business (and my supply chain) is now dependent upon highlighter pens, someone crunching numbers, and journalists’ cosy relationships with factional politicians, until the full announcement on Monday. Continue reading...

Is Donald Trump a bully or bold protector? That depends on whom you ask | Arlie Hochschild

Many voters still see sense in the president’s rage, argues the great sociologistIt’s said that to every man with a hammer, the world looks like a nail. So it is, too, that to every bully, a conflict looks like a brawl, a debate looks like a shouting match and even a pandemic an occasion to “bully” the truth. And so it has proved with the president of the United States.As children, I would guess that both Donald Trump and Joe Biden were bullied, Trump by his demanding father and Biden by schoolmates for his stutter. If so, the two have dealt with their shared challenge in nearly opposite ways, with great consequences for the people each has become and for the nation faced with a choice between them. Continue reading...

As the tide of coronavirus swells again, Boris Johnson heads into a perfect storm | Andrew Rawnsley

Lack of faith in the government is making it that much harder to control the resurgence of the epidemicHundreds of thousands volunteered to help their neighbours. Millions joined the weekly clap for carers. Tens of millions complied with the government’s instructions when it dramatically deprived them of some of their most basic liberties.When a national lockdown was imposed towards the end of March, the country was exhorted to think of it as a collective endeavour. Speaking live to a massive TV audience, Boris Johnson declared: “We will beat the coronavirus and we will beat it together.” This was, in many senses, highly artificial. The dangers posed by the coronavirus and the sacrifices demanded to control it have never been evenly shared. There was nevertheless a palpable sense at the time of the first wave that people wanted to unify in the face of an invisible menace. Continue reading...

Scammers exploit Covid to steal from stressed bank customers

Criminals are adapting their tactics to take advantage of those spending more time at home and feeling vulnerableIt began with a text purportedly from O2. The message informed Stephen Frew that his latest payment could not be processed and asked him to update his card details via a link. Frew duly obliged. Within a week the £21,330 he was about to use as a deposit on a flat was stolen from his bank account.He is far from alone. The senior hospital nurse, who is in charge of Covid admissions, is one of thousands to have lost their life savings in an online scam known as Authorised Push-Payment (APP) fraud, which has intensified as fraudsters exploit the pandemic to target stressed customers. Over £200m was lost to APP fraud in the first half of this year according to new figures from trade association UK Finance. Continue reading...

Young minds, wise visions: art helps children to make sense of coronavirus lockdown

The Way I See It, depicting the impact of the coronavirus, is to feature on the Google Arts & Culture platformCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageA is for Annoyed, B is for Bored and C is for Confused: an alphabet of lockdown feelings created by Rivers, a 14-year-old from Gateshead, is just one of a dazzling range of 200 responses from young people to the Covid-19 crisis to be launched online on 16 October on a leading international art site.The lockdown alphabet is to appear alongside 15-year-old Louis’ painting of a spotty teenage face, bathed in ghoulish green light, and a short film made by Maisie, a 15-year-old from Northumberland, as she nervously awaits yet another Zoom call. Continue reading...

Can we trust Chinese Covid-19 science?

The west has been wary of China’s rise as a scientific superpower, but the pandemic has made it impossible to ignoreCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageIt started badly, with gag orders, cover-ups and ignored offers of help from overseas, but then the Chinese government seized the narrative. It reined in the burgeoning epidemic of Covid-19 at home, and started exporting its rapidly accumulating scientific knowledge of the disease to the rest of the world. Chinese science has often been marginalised and even mistrusted in the west. But will the pandemic change its standing in the world?“China has moved from student to teacher,” says Kate Mason, an anthropologist at Brown University in Rhode Island and author of Infectious Change, an account of how the 2002-3 epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) in China transformed the way the country managed public health. After Sars, she says, western experts went to China to help it put in place an evidence-based health system that was informed by international research. That system now exists, with its most visible symbol being the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Beijing, and this time it has been Chinese experts giving instruction abroad. “It has been a good year for China,” Mason says. Continue reading...

Even Wetherspoon's may be drowning its sorrows this year

The ever-profitable pub chain has delayed its results to this week. If it’s bad news, what does that mean for the sector?When companies postpone their annual results, it isn’t usually because they need a bit more time to cram in all the good news.Pub chain Wetherspoon’s should have had its numbers out by now but instead pushed the financial statement back to the coming Friday. Given the storm clouds hanging over the pubs trade – what with curfews, regional “circuit breakers” and social distancing – it’s bound to be a more sombre affair than usual. Continue reading...

Covid winter: share your stories of embracing outdoor life

Our video team wants to hear how European communities have embraced socialising outside – way before Covid restrictions came into place Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageFor many, physical distancing while socialising has been easier in the summer. But as winter approaches in western Europe and coronavirus restrictions get tighter in some countries, many people are trying to work out how to continue seeing friends and family from a distance.It could be looking to the Norwegian concept of friluftsliv for inspiration – meaning to embrace the outdoors. Or stocking up on outdoor heaters and fire pits as people have done in the UK. Continue reading...

Pelosi says Trump's Covid medication has him 'in an altered state’ – video

Nancy Pelosi has announced that the House will invoke the 25th amendment, which gives Congress power to evaluate the health and stability of US presidents in conducting the duties of their office. Although the amendment enables the House Speaker to create a commission to review the president’s fitness for office, the House of Representatives would not be able to remove Donald Trump from office without the agreement of the vice-president, Mike Pence, and members of the cabinet. Pelosi insisted the proposed commission was not about Trump, but said of the president: 'He is under medication. Any of us who is under medication of that seriousness is in an altered state.'Trump outraged by Democrats' plan to assess president's fitness to serveTrump unlikely to travel for rally while Pelosi says medication has him 'in an altered state' – live Continue reading...

2:00PM Water Cooler 10/9/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente Patient readers, brunch ran a little late. More soon! –lambert UPDATE And then my mailer, as it does, decided not to send me my research, after behaving nicely for some days. Aaargh! UPDATE All done, sadly leaving far too much on the cutting room floor…. Bird Song of the Day […]

September’s Jobs Report Is A Political Rorschach Test

The final jobs report before the presidential election is here. In September, 661,000 more people were employed than in August, and the unemployment rate fell to 7.9 percent. That’s a slight — but not huge — improvement over last month, when the unemployment rate was 8.4 percent. (Compare this report’s 0.5-percentage-point decrease to the 1.8-point […]

Medicaid Enrollment & Spending Growth: FY 2020 & 2021

This brief analyzes Medicaid enrollment and spending trends for FY 2020 and FY 2021 based on data provided by state Medicaid directors as part of the 20th annual survey of Medicaid directors in states across the country and the District of Columbia. After relatively flat enrollment growth in FY 2020, states responding to the survey expect Medicaid enrollment to jump in FY 2021, attributed to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act “maintenance of eligibility” (MOE) requirements and to the economic downturn that started late in FY 2020. Across all reporting states, states were anticipating that total Medicaid spending growth would accelerate in FY 2021 compared to FY 2020. Enrollment was the primary factor identified as putting upward pressure on expenditure growth in FY 2021.

KFF/The Undefeated Survey on Race and Health

The Survey on Race and Health is a joint project between KFF and ESPN’s The Undefeated exploring the public’s views and experiences on health care, racial discrimination, and the coronavirus pandemic. It includes a special focus on the views and experiences of Black Americans, including unconscious bias and structural racism; experiences and trust in the health care system; the social and economic impacts of the pandemic; and views of a potential COVID-19 vaccine.

Covid Australia map: tracking new and active cases, coronavirus stats and live data by state

Guardian Australia brings together all the latest on active and daily new Covid-19 cases, as well as maps, stats, live data and state by state graphs from NSW, Victoria, Queensland, SA, WA, Tasmania, ACT and NT to get a broad picture of the Australian outbreak and track the impact of government responseNSW cases map; Vic cases mapVic hotspots list; NSW hotspots list; Qld hotspots listSign up for Guardian Australia’s coronavirus emailDue to the difference in reporting times between states, territories and the federal government, it can be difficult to get a current picture of how many confirmed cases of coronavirus there are in Australia.Here, we’ve brought together all the figures in one place, along with comparisons with other countries. Continue reading...

Covid in Europe: protests in Czech Republic, Ireland to toughen rules

Switzerland makes masks mandatory as continent struggles to contain infectionsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coveragePolice fought anti-mask protesters in the Czech Republic, Ireland prepared to announce tough new restrictions and Switzerland made masks mandatory indoors as European governments struggled to contain continuing record Covid case numbers.As Italy on Sunday reported 11,705 new infections over the past 24 hours, its largest ever figure, and France on Saturday set a new high of 32,427 cases, police in Prague’s historic tourist district fired teargas and water cannon after demonstrations against strict anti-coronavirus restrictions turned violent. Continue reading...

Coronavirus live news: senior PLO figure hospitalised; Swiss prepare for more restrictions

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat in hospital; Switzerland to introduce more measures on Monday; nine French cities face month of restrictions – follow liveEurope’s Covid fight takes a turn for the worsePolice disperse drinkers protesting against tier 2 rules in LondonUS records highest daily coronavirus case total since JulySee all our coronavirus coverage 6.42pm BST Healthcare workers and high-risk populations will be prioritised for vaccination against the coronavirus in New York when a candidate is approved, governor Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday.He announced details of a preliminary five-stage vaccine rollout plan – here’s a summary: 6.18pm BST The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday reported 53,157 new coronavirus cases, taking the total to 8,081,489. The number of deaths has risen by 593 to 218,511, the health protection agency said.The CDC figures do not necessarily reflect cases reported by individual states. Continue reading...

'Boomerang' trend of young adults living with parents is rising – study

Exclusive: researchers believe increase in single Britons not fully leaving home till their 30s is here to stayThe so-called “boomerang” phenomenon – young adults returning to their parents’ home until well into their 20s or early 30s – is now a permanent feature of UK society and likely to trigger a profound rethink of how many families live their lives, experts have said.Research found nearly two-thirds of childless single adults aged 20-34 in the UK have either never left or have moved back into the family home because of a combination of a precarious job market and low wages, sky-high private sector rents and life shocks such as relationship breakups. Continue reading...

Hamleys to cut more than a quarter of London staff

Jobs set to go at world’s oldest toyshop’s Regent Street store and nearby head officeThe toy retailer Hamleys is shedding more than a quarter of its workforce in London as the health crisis prompts shoppers to shun the capital’s world-famous shopping district.Founded in 1760, Hamleys is the world’s oldest toyshop, with its store on Regent Street a magnet for international tourists in normal times. But the absence of foreign holidaymakers and tightening local restrictions, which mean the number of office workers is once again dwindling, is devastating trade in the area. Continue reading...

Covid rewrites Australia’s future with huge drop in population signalling challenges ahead

Population growth of 600,000 fewer people in 2022 a sign of major changes for all aspects of everyday life, Deloitte reportsThe pandemic has created Australia’s “sliding doors” moment with the nation now facing a smaller and older population shift, forever altering the future that may have been.The decision to shut Australia’s borders, made out of necessity to prevent Covid-19 spreading, has pulled the country into a new reality where lower rates of population growth will affect everything from the number of schools states build to the rate of infrastructure investment, economic consultancy Deloitte Access Economics has found. Continue reading...

Victoria could have eliminated Covid in six weeks by entering stage-four lockdown in July, analysis shows

New modelling indicates mandatory masks and strict closures of public spaces early in the state’s second wave could have eradicated the virusVictoria cases trend map; Full Australian Covid statsMelbourne stage 4 restrictions; Vic stage 3 rulesSign up for Guardian Australia’s coronavirus emailElimination of Covid-19 has been found to have been achievable in Victoria within six weeks had the state gone into stage-four lockdown with mandatory wearing of masks – but without curfews or 5km travel restrictions – immediately from 9 July, when there were 860 active cases of the virus in the state.The modelling analysis published in the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) on Monday also says it was a missed opportunity that “an expert advisory group on elimination was not convened, limiting the capacity for an optimal evidence-informed policy response”. Continue reading...

Labor demands 200 big companies reveal if they used jobkeeper to pay dividends

Exclusive: move comes amid disquiet over what’s been dubbed ‘dividendkeeper’, where the subsidy is used to prop up payments to shareholdersThe Labor frontbencher Andrew Leigh has written to more than 200 big companies, including Apple, McDonald’s and Microsoft, asking them to reveal whether they have received jobkeeper subsidies and used the money to pay shareholder dividends or executive bonuses.His move comes amid investor disquiet over what has been dubbed “dividendkeeper”, where companies use the subsidy, which was designed to keep workers hit by the coronavirus recession connected to their jobs, to prop up payments to shareholders. Continue reading...

Rishi Sunak warned public sector's food supply at risk

Wholesalers providing food for care homes, schools, hospitals and prisons call for government supportCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe supply of food to care homes, schools, hospitals and prisons is at risk unless the government steps in to support struggling wholesalers, the UK chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has been warned.Trade bodies representing major food companies said the loss of business from the hospitality sector, which has been rocked by the 10pm curfew and limits on household mixing, meant that firms which also serve the public sector could fail. Continue reading...

Handling of Covid-19 increases ‘red wall’ voters’ complaints of government

Northerners increasingly feel lockdown measures are unfairly imposed from aboveCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageFurious talk of the “north/south divide” surfaced again and again when I interviewed voters for my new book, Beyond the Red Wall.Resentment is long-standing and reflected in recent polling by BritainThinks: 64% of people in the north-east, 68% in Yorkshire and 70% in the north-west believe that “other areas get more resource than mine” while only 32% of people in London and the south-east do. One “red waller” told me: “The north-west generates money and it all goes down to London. We create it, we need it, but they get it.” Another explained: “You could draw a line right across the middle of Britain – the bottom half is the haves and the top half is the have-nots.” Continue reading...

What has gone wrong with England's Covid test-and-trace system?

It was supposed to be ‘world beating’ but experts say it is having only a ‘marginal impact’Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageWhen the NHS test-and-trace system was launched in late May, Boris Johnson promised it would help “move the country forward”. We would be able to see our families, go to work and stop the economy crumbling.In the absence of a vaccine, the prime minister’s “world-beating” system would be worth every penny of the £10bn funding that Rishi Sunak announced in July. The chancellor said it would enable people to carry on normal lives. Continue reading...

UK's test and trace 'having marginal impact': which countries got it right?

Scientists’ verdict on £12bn system has refocused attention on what is working elsewhere in cutting Covid-19 transmission ratesCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe newly released assessment by the UK government’s scientific advisers that the £12bn test and trace programme “is having a marginal impact” in reducing Covid-19 transmission has refocused attention on how other countries are faring with their regimes.Since test-and-trace programmes were first mooted around the world at the outset of the pandemic – including monitoring via apps or hardware – they have been beset by issues of privacy and public support over both downloading and using apps and also with a wider willingness to abide by isolation measures. Continue reading...

The Guardian view on The Great British Bake Off: a far from guilty pleasure | Editorial

It has always existed in a parallel universe, free from real-world anxieties. Now the show is seductive as never beforeThe Great British Bake Off has always felt part of another, kinder, parallel universe, uniquely protected from the harsh and wicked realities of the real world. Inside the tent the stakes for success and failure, for gladness and despondency, are comically low: whether an Italian meringue will add too much sweetness to a brownie; whether a Genoese sponge will be overbaked, rendering it a touch on the dry side; whether the act of adding polenta to a citrus-flavoured soda bread will cause it to taste like “lemon drizzle cake in a sandstorm”, as Paul Hollywood put it. In the Bake Off tent exists a Britain that is safe, multicultural, meritocratic; where class difference is played for laughs; where oddly dressed men can safely be fond and affectionate to each other without attracting spite.The formula, over the past decade, has perhaps seemed a little stale at times, as it weathered and survived its move from the BBC to Channel 4, and lost its benign tutelary goddess, Dame Mary Berry. But this year’s season is as fresh and delicious as a fruit scone straight out of the oven and slathered thickly with jam and clotted cream. It seems that Bake Off is just what the troubled mind requires in a pandemic. It is a rule that Bake Off never mentions politics – a rule that was gleefully broken at the beginning of the first episode with new presenter Matt Lucas’s cheeky parody of the prime minister’s coronavirus press conferences and the motto “stay alert – protect cake – bake loaves” emblazoned on his podium. Mercifully, though, politics are absent from the tent itself. And because of the pandemic the contestants, the judges and the production team formed their own “bubble” – making the metaphor of Bake Off’s separation from the rest of the world quite fittingly and suddenly real. In Bake Off world, that Shangri-La, people actually hug one other. Continue reading...

Between Covid, climate change and the budget, no wonder women are rethinking having babies | Jane Caro

Josh Frydenberg has urged women to have more children - but there was nothing in the budget to encourage them to do soIn July in a speech to the National Press Club, treasurer Josh Frydenberg urged Australian women to have more babies. He was lighthearted about it (well, he can be, of course, it isn’t his body or financial future that will bear the brunt or the baby). “I won’t go as far as to say, like Peter Costello, one for the mother, one for the father and one for the country. But I can say people should feel encouraged about the future, and the more children we have across the country, together with migration, we will build our population growth and that will be good for the economy.”A new baby boom may well be good for the economy, but the question increasingly being asked by women of child-bearing age is whether it will be good for either them or for the children they may give birth to. Dr Ginni Mansberg, a GP in the Sydney suburb of Sans Souci, has noticed an interesting trend at her practice this year. “I’ve had patients who had stopped taking the pill to get pregnant coming back in for another script telling me ‘now’s not the right time.’” And the statistics back her observation to the hilt. Continue reading...

The pursuit of herd immunity is a folly – so who's funding this bad science?

Links between an anti-lockdown declaration and a libertarian thinktank suggest a hidden agenda Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageEarlier this month, in a wood-panelled room at a country estate in Massachusetts, three defiantly unmasked professors gathered around a large oak table to sign a declaration about the global response to the pandemic. One academic had flown across the Atlantic from Oxford; another had travelled from California. The signing ceremony had been carefully orchestrated for media attention, with a slick website and video produced to accompany the event, and an ostentatious champagne toast to follow.You may not have heard of the “Great Barrington declaration” but you’ll likely have seen the headlines that followed it. Journalists have written excitedly about an emerging rift in the scientific community as the consensus around the most effective response to Covid supposedly disintegrates. The declaration, which called for an immediate resumption of “life as normal” for everyone but the “vulnerable”, fuelled these notions by casting doubt on the utility of lockdown restrictions. “We know that all populations will eventually reach herd immunity”, it stated. Continue reading...

The pitched battle over lockdowns is missing the point: Covid-19 is a class issue | John Harris

The UK coronavirus crisis – even more so in its second phase – is all about basic inequalities – and lockdown makes these worseCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageJust as our final exit from the EU comes into view, noise from the media and politics about Covid-19 is sounding discomfortingly similar to the furies that erupted around the 2016 referendum.On one side stands the political right, opposed to lockdown, apparently spurning the advice of experts, and seemingly convinced that a mixture of true-Brit common sense and derring-do will somehow see us through. The left, meanwhile, emphasises the importance of “the science”, and the prospect of disaster. As in the US, it is beginning to feel like any contentious political question will now trigger these polarised responses – not necessarily in the population at large, but certainly among the people whose opinions define what passes for the national conversation. Continue reading...

Alarming new data shows the UK was the 'sick man' of Europe even before Covid | Richard Horton

A global study has exposed how poorly prepared Britain was for a virus that targets our most vulnerable peopleRichard Horton is a doctor and edits the LancetCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageOur health is determined by far more than a single virus. This week, a team of scientists in Seattle, together with thousands of contributors around the world, assembled 3.5bn pieces of data to construct what they are calling the Global Burden of Disease. The story this data tells us about Britain is alarming. On some of the most important measures of health, the four nations of the United Kingdom perform worse than our nearest neighbours. Even with coronavirus out of the picture, Britain is the sick man, woman and child of Europe.The headline findings from the report are clear. In 2019, life expectancy at birth in the UK was 82.9 years for a woman and 79.2 years for a man (the average for both was 81.1 years). These numbers look good, especially when compared with historical figures. In 1950, for example, the average life expectancy at birth for a UK citizen was 68.9 years. The combined effects of economic growth, better education and an improved NHS have delivered an extra 12 years of life. Impressive. Continue reading...

Scotland: 'Accurate and accessible reporting never more important'

The Guardian’s Scotland correspondent reflects on the lessons and challenges of covering the coronavirus pandemic at a time when cases – and distrust in the media – continue to surge Here are three snapshots from these past six months reporting on the coronavirus pandemic from Scotland.April A few weeks into lockdown, I am waiting to be called on at the first minister’s daily briefing when a fellow journalist asks a question about the longevity of these restrictions: could family gatherings over the festive season be affected? Nicola Sturgeon responds, patiently: “No, Christmas is not going to be cancelled.” I struggle to stop my bottom lip wobbling before my question comes round. Continue reading...

'We’ve been forgotten': locked-down Leicester teeters on brink of despair

Overlooked between north and south, locals want to know when their long purgatory will come to an endCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageMezmin Malida’s neighbours have been wondering what she’s up to for a while now. Seven days a week, several times a day, they see her load up every crevice of a BMW with mysterious bin liners and boxes until the pile looks like it might topple into the driver’s seat, and then head off into Leicester and return a few hours later having got rid of the lot. Also, they ask themselves, why do the police keep coming round?There’s nothing for them to worry about. Malida, 39, is a trustee of Rosemina’s Outreach Project, and a one-woman Deliveroo for Leicester’s most vulnerable people as they wait out a crisis that feels like it will never end. (She also does community support work with the police, which explains the visits.) Continue reading...

As a lockdown winter looms, the oodie will fleece us all over again

The blanket with a hood follows slankets and snuggies as the latest comfort-wear crazeEvery autumn a piece of novelty clothing appears, covering the wearer from head to toe, wrapping them in a feeling of embryonic safety. We’ve had the onesie (as popularised by One Direction and Robbie Williams), the Slanket, the Snuggie, the mermaid tail blanket. And this year we have the Oodie.Resembling a blanket with a hood and featuring versions covered in doodles of unicorns, cartoon avocados, sloths, pizzas and in shades of tie-dye, it might look like a twee gimmick but its selling point is its comfort level. Continue reading...

Dogs of woe: the pull of a pooch in Covid times

A high demand for puppies has meant a rise in prices, black-market breeding, unhealthy animals and disappointed ownersHe was an ex-racing greyhound called Laddie, with an illustrious track record, white socks and a white tail. It was love at first sight. “Are you sure we can keep a greyhound in a flat?” I asked the manager of the dog shelter nervously, as my boyfriend Charlie stared at Laddie with emoji love hearts in his eyes. “Plenty of greyhounds live in apartments,” she reassured us. Charlie and I posed for a photo with Laddie – we look so happy in it, we might explode – and then went home to await our home check, in a few weeks.As we waited, I browsed dog beds online, considered the merits and demerits of harnesses versus leads, dry food versus wet. I ringed the photo of Laddie with a love heart and texted it to my family and friends. “He looks like such a good boy,” one friend responded. “Would you like to be godparents?” I offered benevolently. Continue reading...

Samba makes tentative return in Rio de Janeiro laid low by Covid

Legendary sambista Moacyr Luz spent much of the pandemic confined to his beachside home but is resuming his weekly jam sessions as lockdown curbs easeIt has been seven months since Moacyr Luz, one of Brazil’s most celebrated sambistas, sat down before a live audience in the city his songs serenade.As Covid-19 shook Luz’s homeland, killing more than 150,000 and infecting millions, it also wreaked havoc on Rio’s signature sound, with all shows scrapped, carnival postponed until a vaccine is found and several cherished samba proponents among the dead. Continue reading...

Regeneron drug shows promise for COVID-19

Medical News Bulletin | Health News and Medical Research - Daily Medical News, Health News, Clinical Trials And Clinical Research, Medical Technology, Fitness And Nutrition News–In One Place A recent study of the potential COVID-19 drug, Regeneron, reports promising results. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, attempts to create effective drugs have been complicated and ongoing. Previously created therapies have used monoclonal antibodies, unique virus-fighting white blood cells, against COVID-19. However, their development has been predominantly for prevention, and they have yet […] The post Regeneron drug shows promise for COVID-19 appeared first on Medical News Bulletin | Health News and Medical Research.

Coronavirus map of the US: latest cases state by state

Covid-19: world map of deaths and casesCovid-19: latest global updatesWith countries all over the world affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the US has emerged as a global hotspot. The Trump administration has been criticized for being slower to act than other countries. The US currently leads the world in both confirmed Covid-19 cases and deaths according to Johns Hopkins University.It’s important to point out that the actual death toll is believed to be far higher than the tally compiled from government figures. Map numbers shown below are read in from Johns Hopkins University Continue reading...

Coronavirus map Australia: tracking new and active cases, Covid stats and live data by state

Guardian Australia brings together all the latest on active and daily new Covid-19 cases, as well as maps, stats, live data and state by state graphs from NSW, Victoria, Queensland, SA, WA, Tasmania, ACT and NT to get a broad picture of the Australian outbreak and track the impact of government responseNSW cases map; Vic cases mapVic hotspots list; NSW hotspots list; Qld hotspots listSign up for Guardian Australia’s coronavirus emailDue to the difference in reporting times between states, territories and the federal government, it can be difficult to get a current picture of how many confirmed cases of coronavirus there are in Australia.Here, we’ve brought together all the figures in one place, along with comparisons with other countries. Continue reading...

Coronavirus vaccine final-stage testing to restart in US

AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson get go-ahead from Food and Drug Administration after pausing studies when volunteers became illTwo drugmakers have announced the resumption of US testing of their Covid-19 vaccine candidates.Testing of AstraZeneca’s vaccine candidate had been halted since early September, while Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine study was paused at the beginning of last week. Each company had a study volunteer develop a serious health issue, requiring a review of safety data. Continue reading...

Wales 'firebreak' lockdown begins – as it happened

This blog is closed – further coverage can be found hereHalf a million Americans ‘could die of Covid by end of February’Full lockdown with new ‘harsh measures’ looms in BelgiumCzech health minister set to lose job after breaching his own Covid rulesFacebook moderators forced to work in Dublin office despite lockdown 12.24am BST We are switching off this blog and moving over to a new one – further coverage can be found here.Here’s what we learned on Friday: 11.47pm BST Brazil’s health regulator has authorised the import from China of a potential vaccine against the coronavirus, just days after president Jair Bolsonaro insisted he wouldn’t allow doses to be shipped from the Asian nation, AP reports.The health regulator, Anvisa, said in a statement Friday that Sao Paulo state’s Butantan Institute can import 6 million doses of the CoronaVac shot that Chinese biopharmaceutical firm Sinovac is developing. The potential vaccine cannot be administered to Brazilians as it isn’t yet approved locally, the statement said. Continue reading...

Royal Exchange theatre, Design Museum and Fabric to get at least £1m

The £75m that will be given to 35 organisations has been described as a ‘lifeline’ Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe Royal Exchange theatre in Manchester, the Design Museum and Fabric nightclub in London are among the cultural institutions to receive at least £1m in the latest round of grants from the government’s £1.57bn cultural recovery fund.In total, £75m will be given to 35 organisations, including theatres, museums, music venues and dance companies, among them Rambert (£1.28m), Sadler’s Wells (£2.9m) and the English National Ballet (£3m). Continue reading...

Is a pumpkin an essential item in the Welsh Covid firebreak?

Supermarkets scramble to interpret ban on sales of non-essential items in lockdownCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe question of what constitutes an essential item has become a vexed and politically charged one in Wales as the country heads into a 17-day “firebreak” lockdown.With most high-street shops forced to close, the Welsh government has said it is only fair that supermarkets are not allowed to sell non-essential items either. Continue reading...

Where can I go? Countries UK holidaymakers can travel to without restriction

A guide to destinations that UK tourists can now visit, in light of the government’s updated travel corridor listThe number of countries that travellers can visit from the UK without any restrictions has risen after transport secretary Grant Shapps added the Canaries, Denmark, Mykonos and the Maldives to the travel corridor list on 22 October. Mykonos had been the only island in Greece that wasn’t on the travel corridor list. Sweden, Greece and Gibraltar remain on the travel corridor list but the German government is requiring travellers from anywhere in the UK to quarantine for 14 days on entering Germany, as of 11.01 on 23 October. The UK Foreign Office travel advice states “those who can provide evidence of a negative test taken in a European Union member state or a state with comparable quality standards less than 48 hours prior to arrival may be exempted from the requirement to quarantine.”Although Denmark has been added to the UK’s green list, the Danish government has banned UK travellers “without a worthy purpose”. All tourists visiting the Maldives must present a negative Covid test on arrival. Continue reading...

Sunak has stopped digging, but can he clamber out of his Covid hole?

U-turn on job support scheme leaves many self-employed feeling aggrievedCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageU-turns are always hard for politicians but Rishi Sunak’s was more humiliating than most. It was only last month that the chancellor was congratulating himself on the generosity of his winter economy plan, which scaled back the Treasury’s financial support just as the Covid-19 pandemic was entering a more threatening phase.Yet from the moment Sunak announced the details of his WEP it was clear that he would have to come up with more or risk businesses go bust in their droves. Continue reading...

Tova O'Brien: my 'feral' interview with Covid-19 denier Jami-Lee Ross

Good journalists know balanced reporting is not as simple as providing both sides of the story. You have to squash falsehoodsLike the families of 1.14 million people worldwide, our family has lost people we love to Covid-19. They are people who would not have died were it not for this deadly, hyper-contagious virus. We are in a global pandemic that is at least 15 times more fatal than seasonal influenza.When people argue otherwise it puts more lives at risk; more families will mourn. Covid-19 conspiracies are dangerous. In New Zealand those conspiracies were driven by arguments against lockdowns and misinformation about the seriousness of the virus. Continue reading...

Why do arts and culture matter to Australia? You may as well ask about the meaning of life

Submissions to a recent parliamentary inquiry show the value of our creative economy goes far beyond dollars and centsWhat do arts and culture mean to Australia – and to our economy?It’s an awkward way to ask about the meaning of life. It’s also the question at the heart of a parliamentary inquiry that closed for submissions on Thursday. Politicians and bureaucrats are working their way through many hundreds of contributions on how much we value our own culture – and what they should do about it. Continue reading...

Sunak has patched up his Covid support package – but only until January | Carsten Jung

The chancellor’s latest scheme doesn’t go far enough. But if he’s decisive now, he could save thousands of jobsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageWith the health of the economy, as with our own, by the time you start feeling the pain, it is often already too late. Yesterday Rishi Sunak finally acted on the pangs induced by the flaws of his second wave of job support programmes. But had he offered bold support much earlier, many more jobs would have been saved and the prospects for the economy would be much improved. The patchwork solution that we’re now left with will alleviate much suffering, but it is still leaving many behind.Sadly, the problems with the post-furlough job support schemes were foreseeable, but weren’t addressed in time. At the beginning of the pandemic, Sunak was praised for his bold and popular furlough scheme. But his jobs support plan for winter was decisively more cautious. Continue reading...

'I wouldn't vote Tory again': frustration in newly blue Heywood

Greater Manchester Covid standoff and free school meals row have not impressed a former ‘red wall’ townCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageWhen the Conservatives won a landslide majority in December last year, Justina Smyth, 35, was “more than happy”. Standing in the drizzle outside the Polish shop Baltic on Heywood high street in Greater Manchester on Friday, she recalled how she “had been surprised what help they seemed to be offering single parents” after the party promised to encourage flexible working.But 10 months on, Smyth, originally from Poland, said she “definitely would not vote for them again” and had decided to vote Labour in the next election. Continue reading...

Andy Burnham: former New Labour high flyer cast as 'king of the north'

Greater Manchester mayor’s days in national politics seemed long over, but he is now being asked if he would like to be PM Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageAndy Burnham barely had his headphones on in time for Dave from Rochdale to put a flea in his ear. “Good afternoon, Andy,” the first caller to the BBC Radio Manchester phone-in said, before observing that Burnham was “not flavour of the month” in London. “Basically,” he said, “should you consider resigning?”Burnham thought not, and Janet from Bolton agreed. “Hello Andy,” she said. “You’ve done everything you possibly can. How are you feeling in yourself?” Continue reading...

Inside the airline industry's meltdown – podcast

Coronavirus has hit few sectors harder than air travel, wiping out tens of thousands of jobs and uncountable billions in revenue. While most fleets were grounded, the industry was forced to reimagine its future. By Samanth Subramanian Continue reading...

10 Things to Know about Medicaid Managed Care

This brief describes key themes related to the use of comprehensive, risk-based managed care in the Medicaid program and highlights data and trends related to MCO enrollment, service carve-ins, spending, MCO parent firms, provider rates, and state and plan activity related to quality, value-based payments, and the social determinants of health. It also provides important context for the role MCOs play in the Medicaid program overall as well as during the current COVID-19 public health emergency and related economic downturn.

Trump defends 'patriots' who surrounded Biden campaign bus – live updates

President visits Michigan, Iowa, North Carolina, Georgia and FloridaBiden targets Pennsylvania, Harris will be in Georgia and North CarolinaTrump defends ‘patriots’ behind Biden bus incidentTrump says he is preparing for legal challenges to vote counts as final sprint beginsObama lends hand as Biden and Trump launch final campaign blitzJoe Biden: campaign that came close to folding now on verge of victorySign up for Fight to Vote – our weekly US election newsletter 4.47am GMT Back to Miami – there are just ten minutes left before Miami-Dade’s coronavirus curfew comes into effect. The county (the same one in which Trump is due to speak any moment) has a countywide curfew from midnight to 6am every day as a precaution against coronavirus infections. 4.43am GMT Here is that clip from earlier on Sunday, when Trump said he’s preparing for legal challenges to the counting of mail and absentee votes in Pennsylvania. Speaking to reporters in Charlotte ahead of a rally in Hickory, North Carolina, Trump said, “We’re going in the night of - as soon as the election is over - we’re going in with our lawyers.” Trump has repeatedly attacked the Supreme Court in recent days for not blocking the counting of late arriving ballots for days after election day: Continue reading...

Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate quits, while Victoria reports no Covid cases – live update

Holgate says she regrets that decision to give watches ‘caused so much debate’; Deb Frecklington quits as Queensland LNP leader; country’s acting medical chief warns ‘we haven’t beaten’ coronavirusChristine Holgate quits as Australia Post CEODeb Frecklington quits as Queensland LNP leaderFollow our global coronavirus live blogSign up for Guardian Australia’s coronavirus emailDownload the free Guardian app to get the most important news notifications 4.35am GMT I am going to hand over the blog now to my colleague Elias Visontay to see you through the afternoon and evening.Enjoy the rest of your day. 4.28am GMT And some more from the Victorian press conference earlier, via AAP (which wasn’t covered live, so I couldn’t bring it to you earlier):The Victorian transport infrastructure minister, Jacinta Allan, said the state government won’t further ease restrictions before Sunday, despite the positive figures.So much hard work has gone into getting these numbers at these low levels.These are very much precious gains we want to hold onto and part of holding onto that is continuing to follow health advice about how we should carefully and safely step out of restrictions.We are going to need to continue to do that for the months ahead. Continue reading...

Ex-health ministers call on Rishi Sunak to raise UK care workers' wages

Cross-party MPs say more than 800,000 on Covid frontline get less than ‘national living wage’Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageA cross-party group of five former health ministers have called on the UK chancellor, Rishi Sunak, to award embattled care workers an urgent wage increase to see them through the second wave of the pandemic and raise pay above the legal minimum.Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester and a former health secretary, alongside Sir Norman Lamb, Phil Hope, Alistair Burt and Paul Burstow, all former care ministers, are backing calls from care providers, unions and doctors for the chancellor to provide £3.9bn to lift earnings. There are more than 800,000 care workers on the “forgotten frontline” who are paid less than the £8.72 per hour “national living wage”, the new Future Social Care Coalition said. Continue reading...

Catch-up plan for pupils in England will fall far short, say headteachers

Union warns national tutoring programme will only reach a fraction of children who need itCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageHeadteachers have said the government’s tuition programme for disadvantaged children who have lost out most during lockdown will only reach a fraction of the pupils who need it.The national tutoring programme (NTP), which starts this week, was set up to provide one-to-one and small group tuition to disadvantaged five- to 16-year-olds in state schools in England, as part of the government’s £1bn catch-up scheme. Continue reading...

Boris Johnson faces Tory fury amid hints of further lockdown

‘No alternative’ to measures given threat from Covid second wave, PM will tell Commons Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageBoris Johnson will insist there is “no alternative” to a nationwide lockdown as he addresses the House of Commons on Monday amid mounting fury among Tory MPs, after ministers conceded the new “stay at home” order could be extended beyond 2 December.The prime minister will tell parliament that without the draconian new measures, which will come into force across England on Thursday, deaths from coronavirus over the winter could be “twice as bad or even worse” than in the first wave. Continue reading...

Routine operations will be cancelled despite England lockdown, doctors say

More than 100,000 NHS vacancies expected to make Nightingale hospitals hard to staffCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageHospitals will be forced to cancel routine operations across England due to pressures from resurgent Covid despite the new lockdown measures, doctors’ leaders have warned.The NHS is facing potentially “impossible” demands in the months ahead and hospitals everywhere would soon have to follow the lead of those in the north of England and Midlands by cancelling non-essential surgery, against the wishes of NHS bosses and ministers. Continue reading...

How bad will the second lockdown in England be for UK plc?

Economists predict another big hit but the GDP drop will not be so severe, not least because it has less far to fallSecond England lockdown fuels fears of double-dip recessionRetail and hospitality warn of Christmas trade meltdownCoronavirus – latest updatesIt goes without saying that the lockdown restrictions due to come into force in England represent a serious setback for the economy. This, after all, is deja vu time, and back in the spring during lockdown 1 activity collapsed. Between February and April gross domestic product fell by a quarter.So when a Whitehall insider says “it’s going to be bad” in response to a question about the likely impact of the lockdown, that’s a statement of the blindingly obvious. What’s at issue is just how bad. Continue reading...

Understanding how this catastrophe occurred is of critical importance

The catastrophe facing the UK is a direct result of our government’s obsession with libertarian issues. Now we must avoid repeating the same mistakesCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageSix weeks ago, the government was given a stark warning that the nation faced a “very large epidemic with catastrophic consequences”. Only by imposing an immediate two-week “circuit breaker” lockdown could it hope to reduce the spread of coronavirus, the Sage group of scientific advisers told ministers.“As over 90% of the population remain susceptible, not acting now to reduce cases will result in a very large epidemic with catastrophic consequences in terms of direct Covid-related deaths and the ability of the health service to meet needs,” the group warned. Continue reading...

UK house price boom will collapse once buyers lose their jobs

Pent-up demand in the Covid lockdown and the stamp-duty cut kept the property market hot, but a chill is on its wayUK house prices jump but slowdown is likely, says NationwideOne in eight UK renters unable to meet housing costsBars are closing. Restaurants are seeing bookings cancelled. Retailers are worried about the impact of tightened Covid-19 restrictions on their businesses in the run-up to the crucial period. Everywhere there are signs of an economy rapidly losing momentum after its summer growth spurt.Everywhere apart from the housing market. There demand is booming, with the Bank of England reporting that mortgage approvals in September were the highest since 2007, the year the last crisis started. Continue reading...

The Guardian view on a second lockdown: what took him so long? | Editorial

The tough restrictions will hurt, but are needed – and the prime minister’s foot-dragging has only increased the costCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageHere we are again. Once more, England will enter lockdown on Thursday, albeit somewhat less restrictive than the one in spring, with schools remaining open. Once more, the government has been far too slow to act. After so many errors by Boris Johnson, fresh ones are lamentable; making the same one is unforgivable.Already, we have seen hundreds of deaths a day. The government’s Sage committee of experts has warned that Covid-19 could claim 85,000 lives this winter. On Saturday, the chief medical officer for England and the chief scientific adviser warned that without tighter restrictions the NHS could be overwhelmed within weeks. In the prime minister’s words: “Doctors and nurses would be forced to choose which patients to treat … Who would live and who would die.” Continue reading...

The evidence is clear: if countries act together, they can suppress Covid | Prof Devi Sridhar

As England prepares to lock down again, it should look to the example set by east Asian and African nationsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageJust 10 days after calling a national lockdown “the height of absurdity”, the prime minister announced on Saturday evening a four-week national lockdown in England starting on Thursday 5 November and lasting until 2 December. In a reminder of March, people are being asked to “stay at home” unless for essential purposes, and to avoid meeting others indoors or in private gardens. Pubs, restaurants, fitness studios and gyms will also have to close while, in an important distinction from the first lockdown, schools, colleges and universities will remain open for in-person learning.Even with these new measures in place, thousands of people will still die of Covid-19 in the weeks to come, given the lag in lockdown measures on transmission. The recent Imperial College React-1 study estimated that almost 100,000 people in England are being infected with the virus every day. The associated steep rise in hospital cases and deaths indicates that, without harsh measures, a second wave could be even more deadly than the first, and last longer. Continue reading...

Cancelled due to Covid: the project mapping the abandoned arts events of 2020

The Impossible Project captures the enormous range of work by Australian artists that was supposed to happen this year – and didn’tThere was a time when artists imagined and planned work for 2020. For some, years had gone into the planning. But, as we know, everything scheduled from the middle of March had to be cancelled. Some events may be scheduled again at another time; many will no longer happen.A group of artists have put together a map of the abandoned artistic projects for 2020. Conceived by artist Anna Tregloan and named The Impossible Project, it is a treasury of lost work and a time capsule of what we missed out on this year due to the pandemic. Continue reading...

Fact check: has the Coalition delivered on its spending promises?

Labor maintains the government is ‘there for the photo op, not for the follow-up’. We examine some of the pledges where the speed of delivery has been questionedJust two weeks after returning from a disastrous holiday in Hawaii in the middle of the summer bushfires, Scott Morrison announced a new agency and $2bn to recover from the emergency.The policy was the first of a string of announceables after a tone-deaf tour of bushfire affected areas, which included victims refusing to shake his hand in Cobargo. Continue reading...

Frustrations and infections rise in Naples as second Covid lockdown looms

With citizens and health service overstretched, protests are gaining momentum in the Italian cityCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe four women huddling around their neighbour in an alleyway off Via dei Tribunali, in central Naples, took turns to call an ambulance. “It’s an absolute disaster!” yelled one of them, called Antonietta. “Nobody is responding, we’ve been trying for hours.”The woman sitting on a chair in the middle of them, with her head bent forward, had a heart problem. Not even taxi drivers were answering the phone. One woman suggested calling the police. “Now do you understand why we’re so angry?” said Antonietta. “Things are so desperate here – Covid is not the only thing that is killing us.” Continue reading...

Think the coronavirus rules aren’t being enforced? My Wetherspoon’s run-in says otherwise

When I stopped at our friends’ table with two children to say hello, all seven of us were rushed out of the pub so fast our feet didn’t even stick to the carpet. We’re possibly banned for lifeThe occasion of a house move having left us temporarily without any stuff or beds, I and two children have hightailed it to Ramsgate in Thanet, AKA the Kentish Riviera. I have been coming here for 40-odd years; the town is known for its glorious stretches of chilly autumn beach, and Van Gogh’s brief association with it, but most of all, it is known for its Spoons. Converted from a derelict yet majestic casino, the Royal Victoria Pavilion is the largest pub in Europe, a Ramsgater told me. In fact, that title probably belongs to the Drie Gezusters in Groningen, the Netherlands, and even that is self-awarded and regularly contested. This is just the largest Wetherspoon pub in the UK, and I smile at the sheer audacity of the exaggeration every time I walk in, which is every day that I’m here. I love this place. I still hate Tim Martin as much as I hate Brexit, but I love the Ramsgate Spoons. Everybody who has been in it – who is not boycotting or allergic to pub carpet – feels this way.All that preamble was to underline that what is about to sound like a major coincidence was not quite the jaw-dropper it would be in, say, the Watford Moon Under Water. Even if you only know one other family in the whole of Thanet, and it is a Wednesday, and you walk into the Spoons and they are there, that is just the universe working in its regular way. So we walked in and I saw some friends, said hello, all normal. Then the kids, because they are also friends with the other kids and also because kids are stupid, sat down with them. Which, even though I was still standing up, made seven of us. Continue reading...

Mexicans celebrate restricted Day of the Dead amid coronavirus upheaval

With tens of thousands dead, the commemoration of lost family members has rarely been more relevant as rituals of mourning have been disrupted José Porfirio Martínez Castro and his wife Nery Urioles Nájera were tidying up their family tomb at the municipal graveyard in Morelia. They built a small altar for two of José’s siblings and adorned it with marigolds, sugar skulls and tiny bottles of Coca-Cola – his sister’s favourite drink.Normally, they would spend the night of 1 November here, lighting candles and remembering their loved ones. But this year the cemetery will be closed because of Covid-19 restrictions, so they made their visit a few days early. Continue reading...

Has UK lockdown made your children's screen time harder to manage?

We’d like to hear from parents in the UK about how they have managed screen time for their children during the pandemic Have your screen time rules buckled during lockdown?With hours to fill at home, and lots of schools delivering online learning, many families have had to relax the rules on screen time. Continue reading...

How does Remdesivir work?

Medical News Bulletin | Health News and Medical Research - Daily Medical News, Health News, Clinical Trials And Clinical Research, Medical Technology, Fitness And Nutrition News–In One Place The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and general fatigue, however, some individuals are also asymptomatic. Severe symptoms of COVID-19 include shortness of breath, persistent chest pain, and high fever. Patients with severe symptoms may be hospitalized and require oxygen to support their respiration. Due to the high number of cases of […] The post How does Remdesivir work? appeared first on Medical News Bulletin | Health News and Medical Research.

Coronavirus live news: countries scramble to secure vaccine doses as US sees record hospitalisations

Iran and Lebanon impose lockdowns; Hong Kong, Singapore plan quarantine-free travel bubble; US sees record hospitalisationsGovernments scramble to secure vaccine dosesPfizer and BioNTech vaccine poses huge global logistics challengeSix key questions about Pfizer/BioNtech vaccineJair Bolsonaro claims ‘victory’ after Chinese vaccine trial suspendedDenmark’s mass mink cull illegal, PM admits 8.56am GMT Mongolia has reported its first domestic transmissions of the coronavirus, from a truck driver who infected his wife and two other relatives after three weeks of quarantine, according to the AfP news agency.The landlocked country bordering Russia and China has so far reported just 376 virus cases - all imported - and enforced strict arrival controls that have prompted protests by Mongolians stranded abroad. 8.36am GMT Dr David Nabarro, one of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) special envoys on Covid-19, urged people to be “careful” when students in the UK return to university after Christmas to prevent a spike in Covid-19 cases.Asked about students returning to UK universities in January, and if there was an argument for keeping students at home for longer, Dr Nabarro told Sky News: We did see that there was quite a big increase in cases in Europe in October and November. We think that was to do with movements that took place in September, including students coming to university.So if there’s going to be a big return in January, all I’m going to say is, everybody be careful. Because that’s when the virus can really move around quickly. Continue reading...

Totnes Covid concerns reflect UK-wide rise in conspiracy theories

Suspicion in Devon town of face masks and 5G means take-up of vaccine may face resistanceCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageLike many people living in or around Totnes in Devon, David, who is in his 70s, has his own theories about coronavirus and its origins. Sitting in the armchair of his house, he says the pandemic is a secret plot to impose a totalitarian world government and a nefarious effort to crush freedom. He scrolls through Facebook, which he recently signed up to, to show many with similar beliefs.David came to many of these ideas recently. When the pandemic hit, he started looking for answers. “I’m friends with a few people who are active in researching what is going on. I quickly made contact with others putting posts on the internet.” Continue reading...

UN warns of impact of smart borders on refugees: ‘Data collection isn't apolitical’

Special rapporteur on racism and xenophobia believes there is a misconception that biosurveillance technology is without biasRobotic lie detector tests at European airports, eye scans for refugees and voice-imprinting software for use in asylum applications are among new technologies flagged as “troubling” in a UN report. The UN’s special rapporteur on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Prof Tendayi Achiume, said digital technologies can be unfair and regularly breach human rights. In her new report, she has called for a moratorium on the use of certain surveillance technologies. Continue reading...

Japan warns of third wave amid rising Covid infections

Heavily subsidised domestic tourism campaign and colder weather being blamed for rise in casesCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageOfficials in Japan have warned of an impending third wave of coronavirus infections amid a rise in cases blamed on colder weather and a government campaign to encourage domestic tourism.As the prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, vowed to secure enough vaccines to cover Japan’s entire population, the number of daily cases continued to rise after several weeks of staying relatively stable. Continue reading...

Australia Post updated One Nation on stubby holder deliveries to Melbourne towers, emails reveal

Former chief executive Christine Holgate kept close tabs on the matter when the City of Melbourne withheld the parcelsHundreds of emails released under freedom of information law show Australia Post keeping One Nation up to date on their efforts to deliver more than 100 stubby holders to residents of public housing towers Pauline Hanson had just days earlier described as “alcoholics and drug addicts”, stating it was in the “public interest” they be delivered.The emails also show the then chief executive, Christine Holgate, kept tabs on One Nation’s actions when the parcels were withheld by the City of Melbourne, and an Australia Post staff member attempted to call Hanson herself. Continue reading...

Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine poses global logistics challenge

Europe and US create vast facilities for Covid-19 vaccine but poorer nations lack infrastructure, say expertsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageTwo vast football-pitch-sized facilities equipped with hundreds of large freezers in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Puurs, Belgium, will be the centres of the huge effort to ship the coronavirus vaccine, developed by US drug giant Pfizer and German biotech firm BioNTech, around the world.Governments are scrambling to prepare for the rollout of the vaccine, which must be stored at -70C (-94F), after the announcement from the two companies that it was more than 90% effective and had no serious side-effects. The news sparked hopes of a return to normal life and a stock market rally, but now minds are turning to the practicalities of getting the vaccine quickly to populations across the world, in particular to the vulnerable people who need it most. Continue reading...

Global markets: winners and losers as Covid vaccine hopes send shares surging

The news highlighted divergences in fortunes across sectors during the pandemicGlobal stock markets surge after Pfizer Covid vaccine newsNils Pratley: ‘A great day for humanity’ – and not bad for marketsThe FTSE 100 posted its biggest one-day gain since March on Monday after the drug companies Pfizer and BioNTech said their prospective coronavirus vaccine was 90% effective.The news jolted global stock market indices to record levels but it also highlighted the stark divergences in fortunes across sectors during the pandemic. Those companies who gained from people spending their work and leisure time at home were among the biggest losers on Monday, while the vaccine news offered some welcome relief to previously hard-hit sectors such as travel and events. Continue reading...

Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine announcement is cause for cautious celebration

Interim trial results are encouraging as scientists welcome news Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage It is not yet the end of the pandemic, but the announcement by Pfizer/BioNTech that their vaccine has been 90% successful in the vital large-scale trials has got even the soberest of scientists excited.These are interim results and the trial will continue into December to collect more data. The two companies – a tiny German biotech with the big idea and the giant pharma company Pfizer with the means to develop it – have not yet published their detailed data, so it is all on trust. And yet, nobody is suggesting the results have been over-egged. It looks as though the vaccine not only works, but works better than anyone hoped. Continue reading...

How UK government misrepresented Covid projections – explained

No 10 has admitted an ‘error’ in the way data was presented to make case for second lockdownCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe UK Statistics Authority has rebuked the government over its lack of transparency around projected Covid-19 deaths and hospital admissions, saying it could cast doubt over official figures.A range of estimates were used to make the case for a second English lockdown in a press conference on 31 October. However, the UKSA said “the data and assumptions for this model had not been shared transparently”, potentially undermining confidence in official figures. Continue reading...

Why distancing and hand-washing won't stop the spread of Covid in schools | Jennifer Dowd

Better ventilation and universal mask-wearing are key to keeping the virus at bay, so children’s education can continueSince the start of the pandemic in England, discussions about Covid-19 in children and schools have been fraught. While many parents rejoiced that schools would remain open in England through its second national lockdown, some worried this would limit the effectiveness of new restrictions, while nearly half of teachers reported feeling concerned for their own safety.Although respiratory viruses typically hit children hard, Covid-19 has had surprisingly mild effects in kids, and fewer detected cases in children also suggest that they could be less susceptible to infection than adults. Yet the actual data about Covid-19 in children is murky. In early household contact-tracing studies, younger children were less likely to be infected by family members or to be the first or “index” case. But this may have been because children infected with Covid tend to have mild or even no symptoms. Continue reading...

Social workers' efforts to protect children in lockdown have gone unnoticed | Harry Ferguson

As one of the only professions to continue doing home visits, social workers alone can not keep children safe from harmCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe news that the numbers of babies in England that have suffered serious injury or neglect during the pandemic has increased by a fifth compared with the same period last year and eight have died from their injuries has been met with understandable shock and public concern. It is perhaps all the more shocking because so little public attention has been given to child protection during the coronavirus lockdown and particularly to what is happening to babies and children who aren’t old enough to be at school.The same public invisibility applies to social work, the only profession consistently going into homes since the pandemic began to try to safeguard children and help families. Continue reading...

UK security bill signals open door era for foreign takeovers is over

China’s ambition to build a nuclear plant in Essex will likely fail on national security groundsThe new national security and investment bill, aiming to give the government sweeping powers to block foreign takeovers and investments, will inevitably be viewed through the lens of China and new nuclear power plants in UK.That is, indeed, one way to look at it. Even before the Huawei 5G saga and Beijing’s introduction of draconian security laws in Hong Kong, the mood had cooled on Chinese ownership of critical UK infrastructure. Continue reading...

Typhoid Dido proves fluent in management bollocks and contradiction | John Crace

Harding has the appearance of someone prepared to put the hours in, even if they aren’t put to much obvious useCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageTowards the end of his interview on the Today programme, Matt Hancock was asked if Kate Bingham, the head of the UK vaccines taskforce, was right to hand out £670,000 in PR contracts to some of her old muckers. Of course, the health secretary insisted, because she had done a great job in procuring possible vaccines. Then Matt doubled down. “I would go out of my way to thank Kate Bingham,” he said. The £670,000 in unnecessary media advisers was just a sid