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Showing posts from January 17, 2021

Brace for the Covid bill: Rishi Sunak warns the UK economy 'will get worse before it gets better' as he says lockdown will have 'significant' cost and hints at looming tax rises - with footfall in shops already down 27 per cent last week

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Rishi Sunak today warned Britons to brace for the economy to get 'worse before it gets better' as he said the new coronavirus lockdown will have a 'significant' cost. Despite saying vaccines offered 'hope' and there were signs of 'resilience' in UK plc, the Chancellor delivered a grim message about the scale of the devastation from the pandemic. In a statement to MPs, he insisted the government was right to have taken measures including offering another £4.6million in grants and discretionary support for stricken businesses.   But Mr Sunak put the country on notice of looming tax rises and spending cuts, as he said he is determined to take action to 'repair' the public finances when the immediate crisis is past.    The gloomy assessment came as figures showed footfall at shops plunged more than a quarter last week as the brutal restrictions came into force. Total shopper numbers tumbled by 27.1 per cent in the seven days to January 9 compared to

Mother-of-two, 53, wins fight for big slice of £8m property empire her tycoon ex promised to her in letters he wrote from behind bars when he was in jail for mortgage fraud 23 years ago

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A mother-of-two has won her High Court battle for a slice of an £8million property empire her rags-to-riches ex promised in letters written from behind bars two decades ago. Nicola Oberman, 53, took multimillionaire buy-to-let mogul Shaun Collins to court claiming she was an equal owner of a string of more than 40 Kent and London properties built up over their 22-year relationship. The pair had only been dating for a year in 1997 when then-estate agent Mr Collins was jailed for six months for false accounting, London's High Court heard. But while behind bars, a besotted Mr Collins sent Mrs Oberman a series of letters mapping out plans for their future together and outlining the business they would build, her lawyers said. He made good on his promise and, two decades and two children later, the couple sat atop a 40-strong property empire.   But the pair, who never married, split in 2015. Though they agreed to share the 28 properties in both of their names, they entered into a court

Outrageous Chinese beauty advert is axed for 'demonizing' rape victims

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A company in China has been forced to axe an advertisement of its make-up removal wipes after being accused by angry netizens of 'demonising' rape victims. The Chinese cotton product brand, Purcotton, released a video appearing to show a woman turning into a man after using the wet wipe to remove her make-up, scaring off a potential attacker who was following her on the street. The advert has been pulled from Purcotton's social media account after it triggered online outrage with people slamming the firm for allegedly blaming women for sexual assault. The Chinese cotton product brand, Purcotton, released a video appearing to show a woman turning into a man after using the wet wipe to remove her make-up, scaring off a pervert The video sparked controversy after a hashtag 'Purcotton advert accused of insulting women' became a trending topic on China's Twitter-like Weibo on Friday. In the advert widely shared online, a woman can be seen walking alone on a quiet,

Dame Barbara Stocking is replaced as Cambridge college president more than a year after damning report into Oxfam scandal under her leadership was released

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Dame Barbara Stocking, 69, is being replaced as president of the women-only Murray Edwards College in Cambridge University Dame Barbara Stocking is being replaced as president of her Cambridge University college more than a year after damning report into the Oxfam sex scandal under her leadership was released. The 69-year-old was the chief executive of Oxfam during the charity's sex scandal in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake which broke three years ago. She has been head of the women-only Murray Edwards College, Cambridge, since 2013. Yet she was mired in scandal when an investigation by the Times in 2018 reported sexual exploitation of women in Haiti by Oxfam staff after the 2010 earthquake. Under Dame Barbara's leadership, Oxfam was accused of failing to follow up and report allegations of girls as young as 12 being 'used and beaten' by aid workers. A Charity Commission report identified mismanagement by Oxfam leaders might have put children at risk. In 2018, coll

Oxygen supply at Southend Hospital 'reaches critical situation' as doctors face intense strain amid rising numbers of coronavirus patients

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The oxygen supply at a hospital under intense strain with coronavirus patients has 'reached a critical situation', according to an internal document. Bosses at Southend Hospital said there is 'high demand for oxygen' because of rising numbers of Covid-19 patients and they 'are working to manage this'. An internal memo seen by BBC Essex revealed that the hospital has had to cut down on the amount of oxygen it uses to treat ill patients — but bosses insist no-one 'will come to harm' as a result of the move. It means that patients with oxygen saturation levels of more than 92 per cent 'should have their oxygen weaned', saving supplies for the most critically-ill patients.   Several hospitals have warned in recent days that the surge in Covid admissions is placing oxygen supplies under pressure.  The Mail revealed last week how staff at a huge London hospital were told to prepare for an 'oxygen supply failure' in which they may have to manual

Is that really your local area, Boris? Prime Minister faces questions over his OWN lockdown rules after being spotted cycling SEVEN MILES from Downing Street in the Olympic Park

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Boris Johnson faced questions today after it emerged he went cycling in the Olympic Park over the weekend. The PM was spotted wearing a hat and a face mask at the park seven miles away from Downing Street yesterday afternoon. A source told the Evening Standard that Mr Johnson was exercising, accompanied by his security detail. However, official Government guidance says exercise should be limited to once a day and 'you should not travel outside your local area'. Boris Johnson was spotted at the Olympic Park seven miles away from Downing Street yesterday afternoon. Pictured, the PM cycling in Beeston last summer On a visit to the Ashton Gate vaccination centre in Bristol today, the PM revealed that 2.4million jabs have now been administered as the operation is ramped up A source told the Standard the PM was exercising, adding: 'But he did note how busy the park was and he commented on it at the meeting last night. 'He was concerned about if people were following the rules

Wild scenes in Sydney's inner-west as a bus EXPLODES in front of shocked onlookers - as firefighters desperately try to tame the raging blaze

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A bus has exploded into a ball of flames during peak hour on a busy Sydney road. The bus caught fire on Broadway near the Glebe Point Road intersection in Glebe in the city's inner west on Monday evening. Emergency services were called to the scene just before 6pm with firefighters desperately trying to tame the raging blaze.  A bus exploded into a ball of flames on Broadway in Sydney's inner west on Monday evening Firefighters raced to the scene just before 6pm on Monday and desperately tried to tame the blaze Witnesses watched on in horror as the fire engulfed the bus.  Onlookers reported hearing loud popping noises as the tyres on the bus exploded. Three passengers and the driver were reportedly on the bus at the time but no injuries were reported.  'Through the quick action of the bus driver, all of the passengers and the driver themselves were evacuated off the bus so firefighters could concentrate on extinguishing the fire,' a Fire and Rescue NSW spokesperson to

Italian call center is converted into huge courtroom as 350 alleged 'Ndrangheta mobsters including 'The Wolf', 'Fatty' and 'The Uncle' face country's biggest Mafia 'maxi-trial' in 30 years

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Hundreds of suspected members of Italy's most powerful mafia group will face a judge this week, with a dedicated converted courtroom being used for the country's biggest 'maxi-trial' of the last three decades. The trial against the 'Ndrangheta crime syndicate and its accomplices - which includes politicians, civil servants, police and businessmen - is expected to last for more than two years.  In total, 355 defendants, more than 900 prosecution witnesses and 400 lawyers will feature in the trial, as well as 58 state witnesses ready to break their 'omerta' - code of silence.  The 'maxi-trial' will be held in a specially outfitted building in the heart of 'Ndrangheta territory in Calabria. 355 suspected members of Italy's most powerful mafia group, the 'Ndrangheta, will face a judge this week, with a dedicated converted courtroom being used for the country's biggest 'maxi-trial' of the last three decades  More than 900 prosecut