Tag Archives: UK

Donald Trump approve orders stretching Economic relief for Americans

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President Donald Trump on Saturday signed executive actions extending financial relief to Americans hit by the coronavirus pandemic as polls showed a large majority of voters unhappy with his handling of the crisis.

The four measures marked a presidential show of strength after Trump’s Republican party and White House team failed to agree with opposition Democrats in Congress on a new stimulus package aimed at stopping vulnerable Americans from falling through the cracks.

“We’ve had it and we’re going to save American jobs and provide relief to the American workers,” Trump said at a press conference at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he was spending the weekend.

With double digit unemployment, disruption to businesses from social distancing rules, and persistent coronavirus spread, many Americans had been relying on relief measures approved earlier by Congress, but which mostly expired in July.

Trump said his decision to circumvent Congress with executive actions would mean relief money getting “rapidly distributed.”

File photo: US President Donald Trump addresses a Congressional Medal of Honor Society reception at the White House in Washington, DC, on September 12, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / NICHOLAS KAMM

In reality, his measures are likely to face court challenges because Congress controls federal spending, and in any case they may add up to less money than initially appears.

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For Trump, lagging badly in the polls against his Democratic rival Joe Biden ahead of the November 3 presidential election, the orders were partly about showing he is in charge.

He turned the signing ceremony in the ballroom of the golf club into an assault on his opponents and threw in several false claims about his accomplishments in office.

To cheers from club members invited to watch the event, Trump insulted the Democratic “crazy” leader of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, denounced Biden as “far left,” and claimed that Democrats want to “steal the election.”

Biden called Trump’s orders Saturday “a series of half-baked measures.”
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“They are just another cynical ploy designed to deflect responsibility,” Biden said, adding that Americans need a “real leader” who would work to hammer out a deal with lawmakers.

– Haggling in Congress –

One key Trump order promises to get $400 a week added to Americans’ unemployment benefits, while two others offer some protection from evictions and relief for student loans.

File photo: WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 19: U.S. President Donald Trump. Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP

The $400 assistance is below the $600 offered in the expired stimulus package. It may also end up amounting only to $300 extra a week, because Trump said $100 would be provided from state, not federal, budgets — and only if states were willing or able to do so.

A fourth measure — opposed by many Republicans as well as Democrats — ordered a freeze in payroll taxes. This makes a big headline for Trump but is only a deferral, rather than a cut in the tax.

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“Today’s meager announcements show President Trump still does not comprehend the seriousness or the urgency of the health and economic crises facing working families,” Pelosi said on Twitter Saturday. “These policies provide little real help for families.”

Democrats, Republicans and White House negotiators had worked all last week without coming close to a deal on an overall congressional relief bill for those struggling to make ends meet in the world’s richest economy.

Democrats pushed for a massive new $3 trillion stimulus package aimed at propping up the economy, repairing the tattered postal system in time for the presidential election and giving the unemployed an extra $600 a week.

Democrats later announced they could drop the price tag but refused the Republicans’ offer of a $1 trillion package.


#Newsworthy…

Just in: 327 Nigerians set to return from UK – NIDCOM

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Three hundred and twenty seven Nigerians are set to return to the country today from the United Kingdom.

The evacuees have already departed the Gatwick Airport, London, and are expected to land at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja aboard an Air Peace flight, the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), tweeted on its handle.

“They are expected to arrive at Nnamdi Azikiwe Int’l Airport Abuja later today and proceed on a 14-day SELF ISOLATION as mandated by NCDC and Presidential Task Force on COVID-19,” the agency added.

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Since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted travels across the world, thousands of Nigerians have been evacuated back home.

On Saturday, NIDCOM said 332 evacuees had arrive the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos from the Gatwick Airport, London UK at about 7:40 pm Local time via Air Peace.

Earlier that day, 87 Nigerians had returned from Sudan with another 311 evacuees also coming from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

In early June, the Federal Government said it had spent N169 million on the evacuation of Nigerians from overseas


#Newsworthy…

Britain urges France to get tougher in move to stop migrants

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Britain on Saturday urged France to get tougher on stopping migrants using the Channel to reach the UK, with one minister saying the crossings were “unacceptably high”.

The call came after Border Force figures showed 96 migrants were intercepted by police on Friday.

Twenty four hours earlier, official figures showed at least 202 migrants managed to cross to Britain in 20 boats, a single-day record.

“The number of illegal small boat crossings we are seeing from France is unacceptably high,” said immigration compliance minister Chris Philp

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“And migrants continue to arrive in Calais to make the crossing. The French have to take tougher action.”

Earlier this month, the interior ministers of France and Britain signed an agreement to create a new joint police intelligence unit to combat migrant traffickers and reduce the number of illegal Channel crossings.

Reports claim that more than 3,400 people have made the crossing so far this year.

In 2019, 2,758 migrants were rescued by the French and British authorities while trying to make the crossing — four times more than in 2018, according to French officials.


#Newsworthy…

UK Parliament: Russia Meddled in Scottish vote

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A new report casts Russia as a hostile power that poses a significant threat to the UK and the West on many fronts.


Russia meddled in the 2014 Scottish referendum, and the British government failed to ask for a deep assessment of possible Kremlin-directed interference in the Brexit vote, according to the British parliament’s intelligence and security committee.

“There has been credible open source commentary suggesting that Russia undertook influence campaigns in relation to the Scottish independence referendum in 2014,” said the report, which was finished in March 2019 but shelved until Tuesday.

It said there were open-source indications that Russia sought to influence the Brexit campaign but that the United Kingdom’s government had not sought deep evidence of meddling.

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The report cast Russia as a hostile power which posed a significant threat to the UK and the West across a range of fronts, from espionage and cyberattacks to election meddling and laundering dirty money.

“It appears that Russia considers the UK one of its top Western intelligence targets,” the report said.

The report, which was leaked before its publication time by the Guido Fawkes website, said the British government failed to delve deeply enough into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 Brexit referendum.

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‘Anti-Russian hysteria’
The Kremlin said Russia has never interfered in another country’s electoral processes. Russia has repeatedly denied meddling in the West, casting the United States and the UK as gripped by “anti-Russian hysteria”.

Russia meddled in the 2014 Scottish referendum, a new report says [File: Dylan Martinez/Reuters]

When discussing the EU referendum, the UK parliamentary report is heavily redacted, and there was a classified annexe that was not published, but the lawmakers called for a proper investigation.

“In response to our request for written evidence at the outset of the Inquiry, MI5 initially provided just six lines of text. It stated that ***, before referring to academic studies,” the redacted version reads.

“It is nonetheless the Committee’s view that the UK Intelligence Community should produce an analogous assessment of potential Russian interference in the EU referendum and that an unclassified summary of it be published,” the report said.

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The committee cast Russia – rapidly losing its superpower clout after the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union – as a source of corrupt money that had been welcomed in London, the world’s premier international financial capital.

“The UK welcomed Russian money, and few questions – if any – were asked about the provenance of this considerable wealth,” the report said. “The UK has been viewed as a particularly favourable destination for Russian oligarchs and their money.”

“It offered ideal mechanisms by which illicit finance could be recycled through what has been referred to as the London ‘laundromat’,” the report said.


#Newsworthy…

Alicia Keys reschedule Ireland & UK tour for June 2021

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Alicia Keys has rescheduled her UK and Ireland tour, having postponed the original run due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With her new LP ‘ALICIA’ expected later this year, the R&B star is now set to call at Dublin’s 3Arena, Manchester Arena, London’s O2 Arena and the Utilita Arena in Birmingham next June. Tickets remain valid.

Alicia Keys Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu June 03 2021 – DUBLIN 3Arena

Sun June 06 2021 – MANCHESTER Arena

Wed June 09 2021 – LONDON O2 Arena

Thu June 10 2021 – BIRMINGHAM Utilita Arena


#Newsworthy…

Another Man shot dead in broad daylight in UK

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A man in his early twenties was reportedly shot dead in broad daylight near a children’s playground in north London.

Metropolitan Police disclosed that they were called at 3.20pm to Roman Way in Islington, north London, following reports of shots fired on Saturday.

According to eyewitnesses, multiple gunshots were heard before seeing someone on a moped speeding away from the area.

Attempts were made to rescue the man who suffered severe gunshots but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

There have been no arrests and police are investigating the case. The area has been sealed off by officers.

A police statement on Sunday July 5, said:

‘Officers were called at 3.20pm on 4 July to Roman Way N7 following reports of shots fired.’

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‘Officers attended with LAS and found a man, believed to be aged in his early 20s, suffering from gunshot injuries.

‘Despite their best efforts, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Next of kin have been informed. There have been no arrests and enquiries into the circumstances continue.’

‘The public have a huge role in helping to both prevent and detect crime. ‘We need to hear from anyone who has information about this crime, or about someone they suspect to be carrying a weapon or involved in organised crime.’

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A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said:

‘We were called at 3.21pm to reports of an incident on Atlas Mews, Islington. We dispatched an ambulance crew, three medics in fast response cars and an incident response officer to the scene, with the first of our medics arriving in under four minutes.

‘We also dispatched London’s Air Ambulance. Sadly, despite the efforts of medics, a man died at the scene.’

The shooting incident is coming weeks after the brother Nigerian reality star, Khafi was shot dead in the UK, in what police has described as a case of mistaken identity.


#Newsworthy…

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No place for Trump at Mt Rushmore – Says UK Native Leader

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The president’s rally is met with worry over fire hazards, the coronavirus and Indigenous rights as many voice concerns.


United States President Donald Trump will be an unwanted guest of the Sioux People as he begins his July Fourth celebration weekend with a massive event on Friday where masks and social distancing are not required as coronavirus cases spike across the country.

Oglala Sioux President Julian Bear Runner wrote a letter informing Trump he was not welcome ahead of the event, “due to lack of consultation” with Lakota leaders, Bear Runner said in an interview with MSNBC.

“It’s very hard for me to remain diplomatic,” Bear Runner said, considering the lack of communication and the historical importance of the mountain.

Mount Rushmore is carved into a sacred site that represents the ancestors of the Oglala and other Indigenous groups, Bear Runner explained.

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The Black Hills where the monument was built also belongs to the Lakota under a treaty with the United States that tribal leaders say has been violated by the US for more than 100 years.

The monument to former US Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln – revered as the emancipator of Black slaves but remembered by Indigenous people for his aggressive actions against Native Americans – was designed by a white nationalist and Ku Klux Klan member, reports suggests.

Protests are expected in Keystone, the small town near the monument, amid a nationwide reckoning with racial justice and monuments to racism after the death of George Floyd.

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Chase Iron Eyes, a spokesman for Bear Runner, said protesters would like to make their voices heard at the memorial itself, but it is not clear they will be able to get close.

Security is expected to be tight, with the road leading up to Mount Rushmore shut down. The governor’s spokesperson, Maggie Seidel, would not say whether the South Dakota National Guard was being deployed, but said organisers are making sure it is a safe event.

The busts of former US Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln tower over the Black Hills at Mount Rushmore National Monument [Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP]

COVID-19 concerns
Trump is expected to speak at the event, which has issued 7,500 tickets to watch fireworks that he says will be a “display like few people have seen”.

The president will likely enjoy a show of support, with the state Republican Party selling T-shirts that feature Trump on the memorial alongside George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.

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But concern about the coronavirus risk and wildfire danger from the fireworks, along with protests from Native American groups, will also greet the president.

Republican Governor Kristi Noem, a Trump ally, has said social distancing will not be required during the event and masks will be optional. Event organisers will provide masks to anyone who wants them and plan to screen attendees for symptoms of COVID-19, the highly-infectious disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Supporters of President Donald Trump without protective face masks crowd near the stage for the president’s nearly two-hour speech at his first re-election campaign rally in Tulsa last month [Leah Millis/Reuters] 

The Republican mayor of Rapid City, the largest city near the monument, said he is watching for a spike in cases after the event, the Rapid City Journal reported.

“We’re going to have thousands of people, shoulder to shoulder at these events – someone in line to see a president and being able to see fireworks at Mount Rushmore – they are probably not likely to disqualify themself because they developed a cough the day of or the day before,” Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender said.

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Leaders of several Native American tribes in the region also raised concerns that the event could lead to coronavirus outbreaks among their members, who they say are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 because of an underfunded healthcare system and chronic health conditions.

“The president is putting our tribal members at risk to stage a photo op at one of our most sacred sites,” said Harold Frazier, chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.

A Lakota person rides a horse with a sacred staff during a trip to meet Brad Upton, a descendant of the commander of the Wounded Knee massacre, part of a bloody history between the Lakota and the US [Stephanie Keith/Reuters]

“Our experts … are telling us that these are necessary steps to take in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It’s not just a threat to my people, but a threat to the land … and human life,” Bear Runner said in the MSNBC interview.

Fire concerns
Several people who once oversaw fire danger at the national memorial have said setting off fireworks over the forest is a bad idea that could lead to a large wildfire. Fireworks were called off after 2009 because a mountain pine beetle infestation increased the fire risks.

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Noem pushed to get the fireworks resumed soon after she was elected, and enlisted Trump’s help. The president brushed aside fire concerns earlier this year, saying: “What can burn? It’s stone.”

The National Park Service studied the potential effect of the fireworks for this year and found they would be safe, though it noted that in a dry year, a large fire was a risk.

Organisers are monitoring the fire conditions and were to decide on Friday if the fireworks are safe.

Trump made no mention of the fire danger in fresh comments on Thursday.

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“They used to do it many years ago, and for some reason they were unable or unallowed to do it,” he said. “They just weren’t allowed to do it, and I opened it up and we’re going to have a tremendous July 3 and then we’re coming back here, celebrating the Fourth of July in Washington, DC.”

Trump has presided over several large-crowd events – in Tulsa, Oklahoma and at an Arizona megachurch – even as health officials warn against large gatherings and recommend face masks and social distancing.

He plans to hold a July Fourth celebration on the National Mall despite health concerns from DC’s mayor.

Trump and first lady Melania Trump plan to host events from the White House south lawn and from the Ellipse.


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: UK deaths hit 43,230

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Another 149 COVID-19 patients have died in Britain as of Wednesday afternoon, bringing the total coronavirus-related death toll in the country to 43,230, the British Department of Health and Social Care said Thursday.


The figures include deaths in all settings, including hospitals, care homes and the wider community.

As of Thursday morning, 307,980 people have tested positive for the disease in Britain, a daily increase of 1,118, according to the department.

As of Thursday morning, there have been 8,710,292 tests of the novel coronavirus in the country, with 167,023 tests on Wednesday, said the department.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Tuesday that the current 2-meter social distancing rule will be loosened from July 4 to “1 meter plus” in England so as to further ease the coronavirus lockdown.

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Johnson also announced that from July 4, pubs, restaurants and hairdressers, among others, will be able to reopen, providing they adhere to COVID-19 prevention guidelines.

However, some experts have warned that the chances of catching COVID-19 are going up in Britain.

“The difference from three months ago is now there are lots more carriers or people just walking with it on the streets — we are opening a possibility for transmission, such as pubs and elsewhere where there are confined and close spaces. It’s a perfect breeding ground,” Dr Konstantin Blyuss, reader in mathematics at Sussex University and co-creator of a COVID-19 model, said

“So, there is a much higher chance that actually infection will pick up again very quickly,” Blyuss said.


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: Test results of returnees will not be disclosed to public – NCDC alleges. [Nigeria]


The Director-General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Thursday said the agency does not share test results of individuals publicly and the test results of Nigerians evacuated from Dubai, UAE; the United Kingdom and the United States is not an exemption.

Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu who was responding to questions during the Presidential Task Force (PTF) briefing on COVID-19 on Thursday stressed that the results of the retunes will be shared only with them and not make public.

He added that the returnees are still in isolation undergoing the stipulated 14days of self-isolation.

“We are doing the test, even when the tests are out we are not going to offer it to you. We will offer it to the returnees. If they are patients we will manage that.

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“We are not going to make public the results whether you just came back from Dubai or you are living in Nigeria. Results are meant for patients who got tested,” he said.

No fewer than 253 Nigerians were recently evacuated from the United Kingdom (UK) by the Federal Government and 265 others evacuated from Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) amid the Coronavirus outbreak.

Also on May 10, 160 Nigerians who were stranded in the United States following the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

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The Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it plans to evacuate more Nigerians back home from Canada, China and other countries amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NCDC DG in his address also announced that the agency is working with research organisations in the country and focusing on domestic science and research. He said the agency is working with TETFUND, NIMR, ACEGID, LUTH, among others to find solution to the pandemic.


#Newsworthy…

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Chelsea Stars Returns To UK

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Chelsea’s foreign stars who flocked overseas to spend the coronavirus lockdown with their families are now back in the UK.

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The club had requested that the players return to London as the club prepare for training at Cobham to start up again, and now the likes of Willian, Kepa Arrizabalaga and Christian Pulisic have now come back.

The Premier League was suspended in March after Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta and Chelsea star Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for the disease, leaving a host of matches postponed and forcing players to train at home.

Some foreign players had agreed with Chelsea that they could spend time with their families as the coronavirus pandemic quickly halted sport globally. Many countries worldwide are on lockdown, so the likes of Pedro, Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmeiri all left the country to join loved ones.

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But according to the Telegraph, those overseas stars have now returned after the club requested they fly back by Sunday.

Midfielder Willian, who faces an uncertain future in the coming weeks with his contract expiring in June, posted a story on his Instagram of him relaxing at his UK flat with a London flag included. He had travelled to his native Brazil to be with his wife and children.

His picture showed him relaxing while watching TV and playing video games.


#NobleSports

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COVID-19: UK death toll reach 18,738


Britain’s health ministry on Thursday said 616 more people had died after testing positive for the novel coronavirus in hospital, taking the country’s official death toll to 18,738.

The figure, for the 24-hour period to 1600 GMT on Wednesday, was lower than the 759 reported the previous day, after government claims the virus had hit its peak and as debate grows about easing lockdown measures.

Britain remains one of the countries worst-hit by the outbreak and has been under stringent social distancing rules for a month.

Oxford University began a human trial of a potential coronavirus vaccine on Thursday, with the aim of making it available to the public later this year if successful.

That came after the country’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty on Wednesday warned that some of the tough measures could be in place for the rest of the year until a vaccine is found.

But Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Thursday said restrictions could be lifted in a phased manner north of the border with England, although she did not rule out further full lockdowns.

The British government in London has been criticised for its response to the outbreak, with claims it was slow to impose restrictions and introduce widespread testing.

There has also been concern that the confirmed cases of the virus only cover those who have tested positive in hospital, and that the true figure could be much higher.

Care homes, in particular, have been singled out for concern.

Health officials have also faced repeated questions about the supply of personal protective equipment to frontline health and social care workers dealing with patients of the COVID-19 illness.


>>> Nigerian Immigration Service extends suspension of passport issuance <<<


The Nigeria Immigration Service on Thursday extended the existing suspension passports processing in its offices across the country.

A spokesman for the immigration Sunday James in a statement said the extension was in compliance with the government’s restriction of movement over the spread of coronavirus.

“The Comptroller General of Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede MFR, has accordingly directed for the extension of the temporary suspension of processing of passport and Migrant e-Registration from the 23rd April – 23rd May 2020 in pursuance of the government’s directives on Restrictions on International Flight and closure of land borders,” James said.

James said the one-month extension was “to give the situation the deserved attention and approach, considering the successes achieved and the need to drastically reduce the spread.”

The service in late March suspended the migrants e-registration and issuance of passport as part of measures to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country.

During the one month extension of the current suspension, James said the NIS will “process all pending passport cases and the public will be duly informed when they are ready for collection at the expiration of the restriction order.

“The Service regrets any inconvenience caused the general public within this period while assuring Nigerians of our continued service.”


>>> Cases in Sweden more than 16,000 – deaths top 2,000 <<<


Swedish officials said on Thursday they had recorded more than 2,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the country while revising earlier statements about when the capital Stockholm was believed to have passed the peak of infections.

The Public Health Agency of Sweden said it had recorded 16,755 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and 2,021 deaths.

The agency also corrected a report it published earlier this week on Stockholm, the epicentre of the Swedish epidemic.

The report, based on statistical modelling, initially said the capital region passed the peak of simultaneous infections on April 15 with 86,000 people believed to be have been infected.

But on Thursday it revised the date to April 8, with some 70,500 believed to have been infected.

“The number of infected is still at a high level, now is not the time to ease any cautionary measures,” deputy state epidemiologist Anders Wallensten said in a statement.

The agency also said in the report that it expected 26 percent of Stockholmers to be infected with the new coronavirus by May 1.

Sweden has not imposed the extraordinary lockdown measures seen across Europe, instead urging people to take responsibility and follow official recommendations. Gatherings of more than 50 people have been barred along with visits to nursing homes.

The strategy has come under scrutiny since its mortality rates leapt ahead of its Nordic neighbours, Finland, Denmark and Norway, which have all instituted more restrictive containment measures.

On Thursday, the Karolinska University Hospital confirmed that a 40-year-old nurse, who had tested positive for COVID-19, had died.

The hospital, however, stressed to broadcaster SVT that while the nurse was on sick leave for symptoms relating to COVID-19, the cause of death had not yet been confirmed.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Death toll in UK exceed 14,000.


Britain’s death toll from the coronavirus rose by 847 to 14,576 on Friday, daily health ministry figures showed, a slightly slower increase than the 861 new deaths recorded the previous day.


Nonetheless, the number of deaths over a 24-hour period to 1600 GMT Thursday is still higher than in previous days when the number of fatalities had been on a downward trend.

Britain remains among the countries worst-hit by the pandemic, with the latest data also showing the total number of infections in the country has climbed to nearly 109,000.

That followed a further 5,599 people testing positive in the 24 hours to 0800 GMT Friday.

On Thursday, the government extended its lockdown to tackle the coronavirus for at least the next three weeks.

“The worst thing we could do right now is ease up too soon,” said Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is deputising for Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he recuperates from COVID-19.

Johnson, who is now off work and recovering at Chequers — the country estate of prime ministers — after a week in the hospital, ordered the initial three-week lockdown on March 23.

It shuttered “non-essential” shops and services, banned gatherings of more than two people and gave police powers to fine those flouting the rules.

The government has insisted the lockdown is working and there are signs the pandemic is peaking in Britain, with the infection rate thought to have dropped markedly.

But it is yet to detail when and how the country might eventually begin to relax the stringent social-distancing regime.

There are also concerns over the slow expansion of testing for coronavirus, which many people see as crucial to easing the confinement measures.

Health Minister Matt Hancock, who has previously pledged to scale-up testing to 100,000 a day by the end of April, announced Friday that they would now prioritise a new range of key workers.

Police officers, the fire service, prison staff, “critical” local authority staff, members of the judiciary and some other government staff will qualify if they need tests.

But Britain remains far behind the target, conducting just 21,328 tests in the latest 24-hour period recorded.


#Newsworthy. .

United Kingdom extends lockdown to 3 more weeks.

The UK government has announced that the lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the Coronavirus will remain in place for three more weeks.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab made the announcement this night during daily No 10 briefing saying that after a review they concluded that relaxing the measures now would risk harming public health and the economy.

Relaxing the lockdown measures now would “risk a second peak in the virus … [and] undo the progress we’ve made to date,” inflicting further damage to the economy, Raab told reporters.

“The worst thing we can do now is to ease up too soon … so the current restrictions will remain in place,” he said.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel but we are now at both a delicate and a dangerous stage in this pandemic.

“If we rush to relax the measures that we have in place we would risk wasting all the sacrifices and all the progress that has been made.

“That would risk a quick return to another lockdown with all the threat to life that a second peak to the virus would bring and all the economic damage that a second lockdown would carry.”

Mr. Raab, deputising for Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he recovers from his Coronavirus infection added that the review concluded that the measures were working, but there was evidence the infection was spreading in hospitals and care homes.


#Newsworthy…

UK COVID-19 case, death high again.


The coronavirus death toll in the UK went higher again on Thursday with 861 more deaths announced.

This took the tally to 13,729, about one-tenth of the global total of 136,990 as at 1500 GMT.

However, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel for the country.

The number of new infections has remained stable with just 4,618 people diagnosed in the past 24 hours, despite a spike in testing.

NHS England confirmed 740 people died in its hospitals.

They were aged between 28 and 103.

Forty of them had no other health conditions before catching the virus.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland announced a combined 121 more deaths.

The death toll is the highest in five days, since Saturday last week, but the rise was not unexpected.


#Newsworthy…

10 Nigerians that registered for evacuation from UK are COVID-19 positive.


10 Nigerians who registered for evacuation from the United Kingdom due to the Coronavirus pandemic, have tested positive for the deadly virus.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement released two weeks ago gave conditions for Nigerians residing outside the country, to be evacuated. One of such conditions is that intending returnees would pay for their journey back home.


Also, it stated that they would be tested for coronavirus before coming back to Nigeria.

According to a source in the Nigerian High Commission in the UK, most of those who tested positive were not resident in the UK, but went to the European country for business and educational purposes. The source said they have been isolated and have started treatment. The source added that there are fears that the confirmed cases might have infected others.

Efforts are now being made to begin contact-tracing. United Kingdom is one of the high risk countries


#Newsworthy…

Hospital Discharges UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson


Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been discharged from hospital but won’t immediately return to work as he continues to recover from coronavirus, Downing Street has said.

A Number 10 spokesman said: “The prime minister has been discharged from hospital to continue his recovery, at Chequers.


“On the advice of his medical team, the prime minister will not be immediately returning to work.

“He wishes to thank everybody at St Thomas’ for the brilliant care he has received.


#NobleSports

COVID-19: UK affirm 936 more deaths.


The UK has announced 936 more deaths from the coronavirus today, taking the total number of fatalities to 7,095.

NHS England has confirmed 828 more people have died in its hospitals, aged between 22 and 103 years old.


Scotland, where 77 more deaths have been confirmed, also diagnosed a further 336 infections in the past 24 hours.

And Public Health Wales announced 284 more citizens had tested positive and 33 deaths had been reported. Five more deaths were recorded in Northern Ireland.


The total number of people who have tested positive for the virus across the UK currently adds up to more than 55,000, but the true scale of the outbreak is unknown.

Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, is standing in for Boris Johnson and said it is too soon to consider ending the UK’s lockdown and that the country must keep its foot on the pedal


When the death tolls of all four UK countries are combined the total number of fatalities is 7,172.

But because the statistics are recorded differently in each nation, numbers announced by the Department of Health each day are lower.


The Department’s all-UK roundup statistics are expected later this afternoon.

Experts warn that people should take the daily death tolls announced by governments as a guide rather than a concrete number for each day.


Many of the fatalities announced each afternoon happened days or weeks ago, and many of the people who have actually died in the past 24 hours will not be counted in the numbers for days or weeks to come.

University of Oxford’s Professor Jim Naismith said yesterday: ‘The current methods of reporting… has become unhelpful and distracting in evaluating the progress of the pandemic.


‘The swings in numbers that we are seeing are emotionally draining; hope one day and despair the next.’

He said the numbers of new positive tests and hospitalisations were a more accurate picture of the day-by-day situation, because there is no time delay on those.


A total 704 new cases were diagnosed in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the past 24 hours. England’s statistics, which account for the bulk of the numbers for Britain, will be published later this afternoon.

In recent days they have been reasons to be cheerful, with the 3,634 cases diagnosed yesterday the lowest for a week. For the past seven days the number has remained relatively stable at around 4,000 per day.


Today’s statistics come as Downing Street confirmed that the Government will not consider bringing an end to the UK’s lockdown next week.

Next Monday will mark three weeks since Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged the entire country to stay at home.

Chief scientific adviser to the Government, Sir Patrick Vallance, said last night that official statistics were starting to show ‘the beginning of change’ for Britain but it would still be at least a week until a clear picture of the epidemic emerged.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: UK PM, Boris Johnson spent night in intensive care as case worsen.


Mr Johnson, 55, is “in very good hands”, said Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is standing in for the PM and chaired the government’s daily meeting.

World leaders have sent messages to Mr Johnson wishing him well.


It comes as Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove became the latest politician to go into quarantine.

Mr Gove said he was self-isolating at home, after a family member showed mild symptoms. He is not suffering any symptoms and will work from home.


He was moved as a precaution so he could be close to a ventilator – which takes over the body’s breathing process, NobleReporters learnt

Mr Gove said: “The prime minister’s not on a ventilator. He has received oxygen support.”


If there is any change in his condition “No 10 will ensure the country is updated”, Mr Gove added.

As the first secretary of state, Mr Raab is the minister designated to stand in for Mr Johnson if he is unwell and unable to work.


Mr Raab said earlier there was an “incredibly strong team spirit” behind the prime minister and that he and his colleagues were making sure they implemented plans Mr Johnson had instructed them to deliver “as soon as possible”.

Mr Johnson is the first major world leader to have announced he had the virus
Some politicians have called for greater clarity on what Mr Raab’s role as deputy entails, including Tory MP Tobias Ellwood who asked for details “as to where responsibility for UK national security decisions now lies”.


Lord Heseltine, who served as deputy prime minister under John Major, said it will be a “very difficult personal position” for Mr Raab, who “will be tested by the loneliness of the job”.

“He will be surrounded by lots of people who know what Boris Johnson said, believe Boris will be quickly back and have their own personal agendas anyway,” he said.


Former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said the government will “continue to work” as decisions are made collectively by the cabinet.

He also sounded a warning to people who have broken social distancing guidelines, saying: “I hope people who may have wandered out the other day and decided they can sit around having barbecues will really think about this carefully and recognise this is serious.


“If the most powerful man in Britain can come down with this, so can you”.

Mr Johnson was initially taken to hospital for tests after announcing 11 days ago that he had the coronavirus. His symptoms included a high temperature and a cough.


Earlier on Monday, he tweeted he was in “good spirits”.

Mr Gove is the latest cabinet minister to self-isolate, after Mr Johnson, Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Scottish secretary Alister Jack.


The government’s chief medical adviser Prof Chris Whitty and the PM’s adviser Dominic Cummings also spent time self-isolating after showing symptoms.

The Queen has been kept informed about Mr Johnson’s health, Buckingham Palace said. She also issued a message thanking healthcare workers for their “selfless commitment and diligence” to mark World Health Day.


It comes as the number of coronavirus hospital deaths in the UK reached 5,373 – an increase of 439 in a day.

The Department of Health and Social Care said there were now 51,608 confirmed coronavirus cases.


Separate figures from the Office for National Statistics have been released, showing the majority of coronavirus deaths are happening in hospitals but some are in hospices and care homes.

Among those who have sent messages to Mr Johnson was Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who described it as “terribly sad news”.


“All the country’s thoughts are with the prime minister and his family during this incredibly difficult time,” he added.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Vladimir Putin wished Mr Johnson a speedy recovery, saying he was “convinced that your energy, optimism and sense of humour will help you overcome the disease”.


US President Donald Trump said Americans “are all praying for his recovery”, describing Mr Johnson as “a very good friend of mine and a friend to our nation” who is “strong” and “doesn’t give up”.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said his thoughts were with the prime minister and his pregnant partner, Carrie Symonds, and that Mr Johnson would “come out of this even stronger”.

On Saturday, Ms Symonds said she had spent a week in bed with the main symptoms. She said she had not been tested for the virus.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was “sending [Mr Johnson] every good wish”, while Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster added she was “praying for a full and speedy recovery”.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: UK death toll rise near 5,000.


The UK coronavirus death toll is now close to 5,000 after another 621 people died in the last 24 hours.

The new figure, which is lower than the record 708 deaths reported on Saturday, takes the country’s fatalities to 4,934.


Confirmed cases released by the Department of Health also jumped by 5,903.

The national total rose to 47,806 out of close to 200,000 tested for the virus.


Britain is now the fifth among countries with high death figures.

Italy leads with 15, 362 deaths, excluding Saturday’s figures.


Spain follows with 12,418 deaths. U.S. is third with 8, 454, while fourth-placed France has 7,560 deaths.

Iran’s death toll of 3,603 is now the world’s sixth highest, with China’s 3,329 the world’s seventh.

Queen Elizabeth is scheduled to address Britons at 7pm today.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: UK announces high death, overtakes China.


The UK announced 684 more coronavirus deaths on Friday, more than the 569 on Thursday.

The new fatalities take the national total to 3,605, far ahead of China with 3,322 deaths.


NHS England, which collects data on the deaths said 604 of the new fatalities happened in its hospitals, with patients aged between 24 and 100.

Thirty-four of the patients had been healthy before they caught COVID-19 and they ranged in age from 27 and 92.


The figures show that young people with no long-term illnesses can still be killed by the infection.

Since Tuesday, the UK has been announcing more victims on daily.


In just one week, the number of people dead from COVID-19 rose five-fold from 759 on 27 March.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the fatality figures next week may likely be worse.


Scientists said the increases being seen each day are ‘expected’ and they are the consequences of the country going late into lockdown.

Public Health England said 173,784 people have been tested for the coronavirus.

Out of the lot, 38,174 tested positive.


#Newsworthy…

Harry and Meghan react after Trump refuse to pay for their security.


Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will officially step down as senior royals this week. The couple returned to the UK earlier this month for their final royal engagements before heading back to Canada where they have been residing with their ten month old son, baby Archie Harrison, since the beginning of the year.

But a report last week suggested that the Sussexes are now in California after taking a private flight to Los Angeles before the borders between the US and Canada were shut.

An insider claimed that they had left Canada ‘for good’ but that ‘this move was planned for some time’ as ‘they have a big support network there. It’s where their new team of Hollywood agents and PRs and business managers are based. Meghan has lots of friends there and, of course, her mum Doria.’

Following the news that the family are reportedly planning to settle down in LA, Donald Trump wasted no time in declaring that the USA would not pay for their security.


Trump tweeted: ‘I am a great friend and admirer of the Queen & the United Kingdom. It was reported that Harry and Meghan, who left the Kingdom, would reside permanently in Canada.

‘Now they have left Canada for the U.S. however, the U.S. will not pay for their security protection. They must pay!’

Since announcing that they are stepping down from royal duties, Harry and Meghan’s security has been a divisive topic.


#Newsworthy…