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Two metre rule could be relaxed raising hopes pubs can reopen

Two metre rule could be relaxed and is under frequent review raising hopes more pubs and restaurants will be able to reopen as lockdown eases

  • Yvonne Doyle said the UK took ‘cautionary’ approach compared to other nations
  • She claimed the policy is being reviewed to see if the distance can be reduced
  • Two metre rules are currently a huge obstacle for businesses in hospitality
  • JD Wetherspoon today revealed £11m plan to reopen its 875 pubs within weeks
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Plans to ease the two-metre social distancing rule will continue to be reviewed, public health leaders have said, raising hopes that more pubs and restaurants will be able to reopen.

Public Health England’s medical director Professor Yvonne Doyle told MPs that the UK had taken a ‘cautionary’ approach to introducing the rule when other countries were using shorter distances.

She told the Science and Technology Select Committee today that until more is known about how coronavirus is transmitted, the two-metre rule was ‘important’.

Staff at the Greenwich Tavern in Greenwich, London, start selling takeaway alcohol from a window directly out onto the street today

Staff serve takeaway drinks outside the Althorp pub, in Wandsworth, London today

Public Health England’s medical director Professor Yvonne Doyle told MPs today the two-metre social distancing rule will continue to be reviewed to see if it can be reduced

But when asked why the UK had decided on two metres when other countries like France, China and Hong Kong advised one metre, she said it will continue to be reviewed to see if it can be reduced.

Doing so would represent a huge boost for hard-hit industries such as hospitality, which are crucial to aiding Britain’s economic recovery. 

If the guidelines were relaxed, it would allow pubs, restaurants and hotels to welcome more people into their venues than what would be permitted under current social distancing guidance.

Tables could be moved closer together in restaurants, pubs could allow more people at the bar and hotels would be able to increase the numbers of visitors, all helping to drive profits and kick start their businesses.   

Prof Doyle said: ‘We are aware of the international differences and I am sure this will be the subject of continued investigation as to whether two metres is actually necessary or whether that can be reduced further.’ 

Easing lockdown measures was an ‘important decision’, she said, but also a trade-off between the needs of the economy and businesses and the anxieties of the public.

She added: ‘It is an important decision… and we are fully aware of that.

‘On one side we are aware of the requirements of the economy and business and on the other side we are aware of the concerns and anxieties of the population.

‘This is a trade-off, it is a balance, but you are quite right the science should inform the measures as we go forward.’

It comes as JD Wetherspoon today revealed its £11million masterplan to reopen its 875 pubs within weeks – and while the blueprint promises social distancing there is no mention of the two-metre rule.

The chain closed in March despite its chairman Tim Martin claiming the lockdown ‘wouldn’t save lives’ and the millionaire Brexiteeer also blasted Boris Johnson for not adopting a herd immunity policy.

With pubs expected to reopen in July, Wetherspoons drinkers will be told ‘not to meet in large groups’ and will be expected to sanitise their hands on arrival and at other times during their visit using dispensers dotted around the pubs. 

Wetherspoons will be very different places when they reopen and the pub chain has said it will spend £11million getting them ready

This is what a JD Wetherspoon pub bar will look like when they reopen with a screen to keep staff and drinkers apart


Customers will be asked to sanatise their hands on arrival – and throughout their visit – and pubs will have banners explaining the rules 

They will follow one-way systems to the toilets and through the bar where the tills will be screened off to protect staff likely to be wearing masks, gloves and eye protection, the chain said.

Staff will hand over all drinks holding the base of the pint or wine glass and when ordered via a smartphone they will be delivered to the table on a tray for the customers to take themselves to reduce the chances of spreading Covid-19. Families will be asked to keep children seated and always accompanied to the toilet.

The 875 pubs in UK and Ireland will open during its usual hours of 8am to around 1am and encourage customers to order using its app with posters put up telling them ‘there is no need to visit the bar’. But people can pay by cash or card at the till if necessary and must not move any furniture.

Drinkers will be encouraged to use many of the chain’s large gardens but inside tables will be surrounded by screens to ensure social distancing. The chain’s food menu will be pared back and condiment bottles removed and replaced with sachets to prevent coronavirus spreading via shared ketchup, mayonnaise and vinegar.

Every pub will also have a member of staff employed to sanatise the pubs, concentrating on door knobs, card machines and hand rails.

Catherine Noakes, professor of environmental engineering for buildings at the University of Leeds, told the committee today there was very little evidence of outdoor transmission of the virus.

She added: ‘The chances of you being able to inhale enough in an outdoor environment is very, very small.’

But she said that the two-mete rule was not over-precautionary because there was evidence of virus transmission within that distance.

Prof Noakes added: ‘It may be over-precautionary but actually it’s not, particularly when you are face to face with somebody.

‘There’s certainly evidence that people within two metres are able to be affected.’

Their comments come after the chief executive of a brewery warned that pubs will go bankrupt if staff and customers have to keep two metres apart.

Andy Wood of Adnams brewery said the two-metre social distancing rule will make it ‘very difficult’ for pubs to operate and suggested a reduction to one metre as long as it does not come at the expense of people’s safety.

Restaurants such as Bella Italia, pictured, have been closed but could reopen if social distancing rules are relaxed

Restaurants such as Cafe Rouge in Woking, Surrey, remain closed during the lockdown

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) told the PA news agency that if the UK followed the World Health Organisation’s advice of imposing a one-metre distance it would ‘enable many more pubs to viably reopen and serve their communities again’.

But after concluding a review, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) has advised ministers that the two-metre rule should stay.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA, said that for many pubs, implementing a two-metre rule will be ‘impossible’ and mean they are closed for much longer.

‘Reopening in July will be great for those pubs who can meet the social-distancing measures required by then,’ she said.

‘However, it must be recognised that no two pubs are the same and for many, ensuring a distance of two metres will be impossible, keeping them closed for much longer.

‘Actioning advice from the WHO for example to use one metre for social distancing from July would enable many more pubs to viably reopen and serve their communities again.

‘We stand ready to work with the Government to help pubs reopen in a safe and financially viable way as soon as possible.’

Sunetra Gupta, a professor at the University of Oxford, claims there is a ‘strong possibility’ pubs and restaurants may be able to reopen immediately

Sunseekers were seen in Brighton yesterday, on the hottest day of the year so far, carrying drinks away from bars in takeaway cups

Earlier this week, a top scientist suggested pubs and restaurants may be safe to reopen immediately without risking a spike in the infection rate.

Sunetra Gupta, a professor at the University of Oxford, claims there is a ‘strong possibility’ businesses would be able to welcome customers once more, and avoid the kind of catastrophic consequences the government has warned could occur if lockdown restrictions aren’t eased in steady phases. 

Furthermore, she claimed long-term social distancing in fact makes the public more vulnerable to infectious diseases, by keeping them unprotected from pathogens. 

A study by Imperial College London, led by Professor Neil Ferguson, warned in March as many as half a million people could die in the UK if a strict lockdown wasn’t enforced.

However, Professor Gupta and her team at Oxford produced an alternative model, suggesting that half of all Brits could have already been exposed to Covid-19 and that the true infection fatality rate may be as low as 0.1 per cent. 

The study was controversial, but two months on, the scientist stands by the findings. 

She told Unherd: ‘I think there’s a chance we might have done better by doing nothing at all, or at least by doing something different, which would have been to pay attention to protecting the vulnerable, to have thought about protecting the vulnerable 30 or 40 years ago when we started cutting hospital beds.

‘It seems to me that given that the costs of lockdown are mounting, that case is becoming more and more fragile.’  

As lockdown measures were eased slightly last week, Brits have made their way to parks and beaches to take advantage of the recent warm weather.

Local businesses are also making the most of the opportunity after sunseekers were seen this week carrying drinks away from bars in takeaway cups.

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Drones detecting body temperature and monitoring social distancing could soon be coming to hardest hit cities in US – The Sun

DRONES are being used to monitor public spaces as a major new tool to slow coronavirus spread across the US.

Public health and safety groups have started using drones to enforce social distancing rules and to scan people's temperatures to identify potential cases.

The drones can detect social distancing, body temperature, heart rate, and even when people cough, but apparently "don't identify individuals".

Canadian company Draganfly announced that it is in talks with private companies in the Seattle area and could be coming to the Pacific Northwest within months.

The CEO of Draganfly, Cameron Chell, says seeing drones in the sky is about to become much more common.

“We’re going to see this deployed on-scale across the United States in a couple of months," he told WPXI.

Infrared technology on drones is already being used by first responders and Fire and Rescue to search for people who are missing.

ALREADY IN USE

Draganfly stated there is no facial recognition in the technology, and the information isn’t tied to any one person.

The drones can, however, be used to scan a crowd and figure out if a higher percentage of people than normal have fevers or are coughing, providing leaders with real-time data to help make decisions.

Chell said: “Is it 0.2% today and 0.8% tomorrow? And is there social distancing happening there, and do we need to put more signage? Do we need to social distance this week or back it off?”

“Unfortunately, the decisions we’re asking public officials to make right now is based on data that’s looking backwards.”

FLORIDIANS AND NEW YORKERS TOLD OFF BY DRONE

In Daytona Beach, Florida, drones are already in the sky patrolling beaches and telling residents off via speakers that blare: “Because of COVID-19, this park is currently closed”.

There was a similar incident in a New York park in April.

The police department in Daytona Beach said it has tested but not deployed the temperature scanning technology.

In other countries, such as Columbia, the drones’ full capabilities are used to scan crowds.

Drones spray disinfectant in South Korea and warn residents to keep their distance in China.

Some people say they’re open to the idea of “pandemic drones" to maintain social distancing rules.

Ariel Eccetturo said: “If everybody wants everything to get back to normal and we want to get back to our lives, then it’s probably best we do something like that.”

However privacy advocates have said that they would feel invaded and have expressed concerns about where the line is on monitoring the public and other law enforcement uses.

Chell wouldn't say which cities or companies they are working with to launch their drones across the US.





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Man named Jesus ‘smashed churches antique stained glass window with a foot-long sandstone rock’ – The Sun

A MAN named Jesus was charged after confessing to trashing a church’s 100-year-old stained glass window.

Jesus Jose Arellano allegedly smashed the antique window at the Grace Moravian Church in Mount Airy, North Carolina, around 11pm on Monday.

Arellano has also been accused of throwing a foot-long sandstone rock, which broke through six inches of Plexiglas to make it to the window.

Pastor Neil Ruth told WXII-TV that roughly two square feet of the 30-foot Tiffany glass window was destroyed.

On Tuesday, authorities said they found Arellano in a cemetery located across the street from the church.

The pastor said the Grace Moravian Church is a “symbol of kindness in the community” — and questioned why anyone would smack the window, which he said was nearly a century old.

Ruth told the news outlet the stained glass window dates back to 1925, when the church started to serve the North Carolina community where it'd located.


The pastor added churchgoers are concerned about Arellano’s alleged vandalism.

The man was charged with injury to real property in connection with the incident.

It wasn’t immediately clear why Arellano allegedly hit the window, but police say he confessed to the crime.

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North Korea admits that Kim Jong Un can't bend space and time

North Korea admits that Kim Jong Un can’t bend space and time after decades of myth making

  • The move is the latest sign the nation is not mythologising its leaders anymore
  • Instead, Kim Jong Un wants to focus on a humanising approach to his image
  • North Korea’s leader has made significantly fewer public appearance this year
  • This is likely due to Covid-19, analysts say, following speculation the leader had died in April during heart surgery, which has since been refuted by South Korea 

The North Korean state newspaper has admitted that the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, cannot bend space and time after years of mythologising him.

The admission from the Rodong Sinmun newspaper is the latest sign that the country is moving away from propagandizing myths about its leaders, and is instead taking an approach that focuses on humanising the dictator, according to analysts. 

‘In realistic terms, a person cannot suddenly disappear and reappear by folding space,’ the newspaper said this week, denying that members of the Kim family are capable of ‘chukjibeop’ – a hypothetical method of folding space and quickly travelling great distances. 

In Korean, the term is translated as ‘distance-shrinking magic’, and is akin to supernatural speed or teleportation.

Speaking on Thursday, an official from South Korea’s unification ministry said that the secretive regime’s trend of demystifying its leaders – Kim Jong Un and his father and former leader Kim Jong-il – is ‘noteworthy’, according to the Yonhap News Agency. 

‘It appears to stress patriotism and love for the people rather than mystification of the leaders. We will further analyze its implications,’ the official said to the agency.

Since the failure to arrive at an agreement with U.S. President Donald Trump at their second summit in Hanoi last year, Kim Jong Un has taken efforts to show his more ‘human’ side, and has urged people not to mythologise him.

Pictured: Kim Jong Un supposedly makes his first public appearance after 20 days of absence that sparked rumours about his health, and suggestions that he had died as a result of a botched heart surgery

Speaking in March last year after the breakdown in negotiations, state media quoted Kim saying: ‘Mystifying a leader’s revolutionary activity and appearance would result in covering the truth.’

‘Absolute loyalty would spring up when (they) are mesmerized by the leader humanly and comradely,’ he added.

Earlier this month, Kim Jong Un appeared to make his first public appearance after 20 days of absence, which sparked rumours about his health. 

Some reports in April said that he had undergone heart surgery, with one Japanese news outlet saying that the surgery had gone wrong and he was in a vegetative state. Other outlets went as far to say that he had died. 

Since then, South Korean intelligence officials have said there was no sign Kim Jong Un underwent a heart operation, following rumours that he was ‘gravely ill’ or even dead following surgery.

However, Kim Jong Un has made an unusually small number of public appearances in the past two months, once again going three weeks without state media reporting his attendance at a public event, according to analysts, but could be due to the coronavirus. 

Speaking to a parliamentary committee on May 6, the head of South Korea’s intelligence agency, Suh Hoon said there was nothing to indicate the rumours about Kim’s ill-health were true.

‘The NIS assesses that at least he did not get any heart-related procedure or surgery,’ committee member Kim Byung-kee told reporters. ‘He was normally performing his duties when he was out of the public eye.’

‘At least there’s no heart-related health problem.’

Since the failure to arrive at an agreement with U.S. President Donald Trump at their second summit in Hanoi last year (pictured, June 30, 2019), Kim Jong Un has taken efforts to show his more ‘human’ side

But the lawmaker said Kim Jong Un only made 17 public appearances so far this year, compared with an average of 50 from previous years, which the NIS ascribed to a possible coronavirus outbreak in North Korea.

‘Kim Jong Un had focused on consolidating internal affairs such as military forces and party-state meetings, and coronavirus concerns have further limited his public activity,’ Kim Byung-kee said.

‘Though North Korea maintains it has zero cases, it cannot be ruled out that there is an outbreak there given they had active people-to-people exchanges with China before closing the border in late January.’ 

Kim’s low profile comes as North Korea imposes anti-coronavirus measures, although the country says it has no confirmed cases, and follows intense speculation about his health last month after he missed a key anniversary.

Kim has appeared publicly four times in April and so far in May, compared to 27 times in the same period last year.

Since coming to power in 2011, the previous fewest public appearances Kim has made during those months was 21 in 2017, according to a tally by Chad O’Carroll, CEO of Korea Risk Group, a Seoul-based organisation that tracks North Korea.

‘This is not business as normal,’ he said in a post on Twitter this week.

A photo released by the official North Korean Central News Agency shows Kim Jong Un (picturedd centre, May 1) cutting a ribon at a completion ceremony of a factory, marking his supposed first public appearance in 20 days

As a leader with near-absolute power over North Korea’s 25.5 million people, and access to a growing arsenal of nuclear weapons, Kim’s health and whereabouts are often scrutinized by the international community for any signs of instability.

Information in North Korea is tightly controlled, however, and independently confirmed details on Kim are almost non-existent.

South Korean officials have said they believe Kim’s limited public appearances may be precautions in the face of coronavirus concerns. North Korea has cancelled, postponed, or toned down many major public gatherings because the new coronavirus.

When asked about Kim’s absences, South Korea’s Unification Ministry said on Friday it is monitoring the situation, but noted Kim is often out of the public eye.

Citing an unnamed South Korean government official, JoongAng Ilbo newspaper reported Kim may be carrying out his duties from a favoured villa in Wonsan, on the coast.

But the North Korean leader may also simply be focused on some of the domestic economic and political goals he outlined before the coronavirus crisis struck, said Rachel Minyoung Lee, a former North Korea open source intelligence analyst in the U.S. government.

‘COVID does remain a major concern for the country, but state media coverage of COVID has declined over the past month or so, so I don’t seen regime’s increased concern,’ she said.

Friday marks three weeks since state media last showed images of Kim attending a public event.

North Korean state media reported Kim attended the opening ceremony of a fertilizer plant on May 1. That appearance marked a reemergence for Kim, whose unprecedented absence from a major holiday on April 15 sparked weeks of international speculation over his health and whereabouts.

Since then, state media has carried a steady stream of stories on Kim sending or receiving letters and diplomatic correspondence, but have not shown him attending public events.

North Korean media have for years propagandized myths about the Kim family, perpetuating beliefs that they are capable of superhuman feats. Pictured: Residents of Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, watch Kim Jong Un’s first supposed public appearance on large screens, May 1

Kim Jong Un has made an unusually low number of public appearances this year. Experts believe this is due to Covid-19, although North Korea claims to have seen zero cases of the virus despite its shared border with China, where the virus is believed to have originated from

Meanwhile, North Korea has halted talks with the United States until the results of the US presidential election in November are known, Russia’s ambassador to Pyongyang told news agencies Wednesday.

President Donald Trump has met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un three times at historic summits and voiced admiration for him, although hopes of striking a comprehensive agreement have faded.

‘As for dialogue with Washington, which they deem to be pointless for now, it seems to have been postponed at least until after the US presidential election,’ Ambassdaor Alexander Matsegora told Interfax news agency in an interview.

‘They shall see what happens next,’ he said.

North Korea has fired off a series of rockets as it demands concessions from the Trump administration, which says that international sanctions should remain until the regime fully denuclearizes.

Matsegora said he expects dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang to eventually resume, adding Russia was unhappy with the suspension of talks that could increase tension in the border region.

‘Clearly, Moscow cannot be happy with the deep-freeze in the US-North Korean dialogue, which is fraught with an escalation of tensions in the region adjacent to our Far Eastern border,’ he said.

The ambassador also criticised US sanctions on North Korea which he said were hindering supplies of crucial medical equipment to Pyongyang.

Russian President Vladimir Putin in March called for sanctions relief during the coronavirus pandemic, telling G20 leaders it was a matter ‘of life and death’.

Matsegora said sanctions were blocking the supply of medications and medical equipment to North Korea and Washington was ‘hunting down anyone who has at least some trade with North Korea, even if completely harmless things are supplied.’

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Jogger kicks day trippers’ cars and dad blasts ‘millennials’ raving as tensions flare at beauty spots – The Sun

TEMPERS flared in hotspots around the country as people took advantage of the sunny weather and packed onto beaches and beauty spots.

While some of the coronavirus restrictions have been lifted or eased many, such as the social distancing regulations are still in force but many didn't appear to be adhering to them.

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Pawel Pasich, who lives in Plymouth, was enjoying his first trip out of the city on Wednesday since the lockdown restrictions were eased when he captured the jogger on his dashcam footage.

Tempers flared in other parts of the country as the warm and sunny conditions continued and people started to venture out more as the coronavirus lockdown restrictions were eased.

A father who tried to go for a walk in Stoney Bank Quarry, Lancashire, was annoyed with the amount of litter people had left behind after young revellers held an illegal party.

James Bunting, 41, from Bolton, said he “couldn't care less [about] millennial attitude” of the 100 or so young people who went to the rave and inhaled “hippy crack” (nixtrous oxide).

The video clip of the jogger, captured from Mr Pasich’s car, shows a man jogging along a lane near Tregantle Beach, Torpoint, when he stops and repeatedly kicks a grey Mazda.

He then continues on, and is believed to have done the same to Mr Pasich’s vehicle.

Mr Pasich, 39, said: “This was the first-time we have been out, aside from shopping, as a family in two months and I was expecting a nice afternoon, but this ruined the whole day.”

The software developer and his wife decided to take their two-year-old son to the beach but it ended up being much busier than they thought as thousands of others across Cornwall had the same idea.

“I thought it would be good to go on a Wednesday because it would be quiet and because of the steep walk to the beach it’s usually not too busy anyway,” he said. “The whole idea was just to stay safe and keep away from people.”

He said he’s not sure why the jogger targeted the two vehicles, with them both having local number plates, but he thinks it might have been a local person angry with where they were parked.

"I could understand if another driver was annoyed at people being parked too closely to their side of the road but this was a jogger just running by,” he said.

“I’m guessing he was a local guy just not happy about people parking in that spot. I wasn't breaking any laws or parking regulations and there was space for people to get by because I checked and I'm quite sure it was fine.

“There is no sidewalk or anything but he had plenty of space to run.”

He added: “But even if that was not the case I don’t know why someone would resort to this.”

Wednesday saw the hottest temperatures of the year so far when the mercury climbed to 28.2C in Suffolk.

 

Cops in the Peak District also warned day-trippers to stay away after the area was blighted by gridlocked traffic and lines of cars clogging the roads.

Ministers now fear the UK could go “back to square one” in trying to get the coronavirus under control if Britons do not adhere to lockdown rules.






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Hagen Mills' Girlfriend Faces 'Long Road of Recovery' with Child After Actor Shot Her, Killed Self


Hagen Mills’s girlfriend suffered severe injuries when the actor shot her on Tuesday before killing himself, according to a fundraising page for her medical expenses.

The shooting in Mayfield, Ky., left 34-year-old Erica Price “with injuries that needed immediate and ongoing medical treatment,” according to the GoFundMe page.

“Erica has a small child to support, as a single mother. She will likely accumulate a series of expensive medical bills, and at this point it is unlikely she will return to work anytime soon,” the page reads.

Mills, 29, was an actor who appeared in the TV show Baskets and the 2020 horror film Star Light.

According to the Mayfield Police Department, Mills shot Price in the arm and chest as she entered her home. Prior to doing so, he had held Price’s mother and the daughter he shared with Price hostage.

The grandmother and child were not injured in the incident.

When police arrived shortly after 5:45 p.m., they were met by the injured Price outside. She told officers that Mills was still inside and had turned the gun on himself.

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Price was taken to the hospital and was listed in stable condition. Mills, who lived in Graves County, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police say a motive is unclear.

The page asks for contributions and positive thoughts as Price recovers.

“If you are able to help financially, I know she would be forever grateful. If you are unable to contribute financially, then please continue to send your prayer, as Erica has a long road of recovery ahead of her," the page reads.

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Trump blasts Michigan AG over concern he didn’t wear mask at Ford plant

President Trump slammed Michigan’s attorney general on Twitter after she said she would have a “very serious conversation” with Ford Motor Co. for allowing him to visit an Ypsilanti plant without wearing a mask.

“The Wacky Do Nothing Attorney General of Michigan, Dana Nessel, is viciously threatening Ford Motor Company for the fact that I inspected a Ventilator plant without a mask,” the president said in a tweet.

“Not their fault, & I did put on a mask. No wonder many auto companies left Michigan, until I came along!” he added.

Trump did wear a mask in one part of the plant, which has been repurposed to make medical supplies, but refused to don it in front of reporters.

“I had one on before,” Trump he reporters during his visit. “I wore one on in this back area. I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it. In the back area I did have a mask on. I had goggles and a mask right back there.”

At least one photographer snapped a photo that was posted on social media showing Trump wearing a mask that featured the presidential seal, Fox News reported.

Nessel said the state would speak to Ford about the violation of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order requiring masks in enclosed public spaces.

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Bored owners transform their dogs into WALRUSES in bizarre new craze

Wal-ruff! Bored pet owners use carrots and hot dog buns to transform their dogs into WALRUSES in bizarre new craze

  • Dog owners used either carrots or hot dog buns to represent enormous teeth
  • But other owners turned to alternatives like chopsticks with no carrots available
  • Real walrus dogs are medium-sized and weigh in the region of 40lb and 65lb  
  • They are a crossbreed of the wrinkly shar pei and a stumpy basset hound

It appears that some dog owners around the country have fashioned the latest bizarre craze of the lockdown period – by transforming their hounds into walruses.

Some owners of our four-legged friends have attempted to cure their lockdown boredom by posting snaps of their pets with either carrots or hot dog buns in their mouths to represent enormous teeth.

And with several having been posted on social media, it appears converting dogs into makeshift walruses has become the latest craze to grip the nation. 

Dog owners have began to transform their pet dogs into makeshift walruses during the lockdown period

Owners of our four-legged friends appear to have found the latest bizarre craze to grip the nation during lockdown

And pictures of the newlook hounds have been posted online as owners attempt to cure their lockdown boredom 

But judging by the pictures, it appears the dogs seemed less than happy with their newly imposed style.

One French bulldog owner appeared to have no carrots available to use, so substituted them for some dandelion leaves to give his pooch a set of little green fangs.

However, news of the existence among top breeders of actual walrus dogs will come as a disappointment to these owners hoping to have established a new breed of hound. 

Owners from around the country have used hotdog buns and other breaded items to give their hounds a new set of fangs

Some also used to either slice up carrots or leave them as a whole before snapping their pet’s new look

Experts from Dogs Net say that walrus dogs are a crossbreed of the wrinkly Chinese shar pei and a stumpy basset hound.

They also state that they are medium-sized dogs that weigh in the region of 40lb and 65lb, and are described as ‘usually loyal, friendly and intelligent’ companions.

Walrus dogs can also vary immensely on looks and personalities because their parents are so different from one another, but owners are often wary of their stubborn side.

Some owners however had to use alternative items such as chopsticks as a substitute with no carrots available to them

But the owners will be dissapointed to find out that they have not established a new breed of dog, with the walrus dog already in existence

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Thousands of lives could have been saved ‘if coronavirus lockdown was ONE WEEK earlier’ – The Sun

THOUSANDS of lives could have been saved if coronavirus lockdown was enforced just one week earlier, a Government scientific adviser has claimed. 

Sir Ian Boyd, who sits on the SAGE scientific advisory group, said "it would have made quite a big difference" to the death rate if ministers had acted sooner.

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Despite this, the Government has always insisted they have been guided by the scientific advice during the coronavirus outbreak.

It comes as 36,042 people have died from Covid-19 in the UK – the highest death toll in Europe.

Britain was one of the last countries in Europe to put the country into lockdown on March 23 – days or weeks after Germany, Belgium, France, Spain and Italy had done it.

Sir Ian, a professor of biology at the University of St Andrews, told The Coronavirus Newscast: "Acting very early was really important and I would have loved to have seen us acting a week or two weeks earlier and it would have made quite a big difference to the steepness of the curve of infection and therefore the death rate.

"And I think that's really the number one issue – could we have acted earlier? Were the signs there earlier on?"

iI would have made quite a big difference to the steepness of the curve of infection and therefore the death rate

Sir Ian suggested that the Government based its initial assessment on the transmissibility of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars) virus, which is less infectious than this coronavirus.

Sars was a previously unknown disease which killed 774 people in a year across the globe in 2002/03.

He dubbed the UK and other European countries as "a bit slower off the mark" and less prepared than countries that had experienced Sars in the early 2000s.

He revealed that ministers would have received "very blunt and very clear" advice from the government's chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance. and chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty.

'Slower off the mark'

"One could point the finger at ministers and politicians for not being willing to listen to scientific advice," Sir Ian said.

"You could point the finger at scientists for not actually being explicit enough.

"But at the end of the day all these interact with public opinion as well.

"And I think some politicians would have loved to have reacted earlier but in their political opinion it probably wasn't feasible because people wouldn't have perhaps responded in the way they eventually did."

Sir Ian also slammed ministers for saying they are "led" by the science.


He added: "I think the statement 'we are guided by the science' is slightly misleading.

"I don't think ministers intend it to be misleading. I think they intend it to help to provide trust in what they are saying. And quite rightly so.

"Basically what we in the scientific community do is give the best advice we can based on the evidence that's available to us.

"We then pass it to government ministers and the policy parts of government who can then take that and do with it what they like within the policy context."

I think the statement 'we are guided by the science' is slightly misleading

Sir Ian, who was the chief scientific adviser at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from 2012-19, said SAGE meetings are currently taking place over Zoom.

More than 50 people sit on SAGE – the UK's top advisory team of elite experts who step in to inform British leadership when making decisions.

The names of those in the group were published in early May after officials bowed to mounting pressure to reveal who had been part of regular meetings during the pandemic.

The names on the list included well-known figures who have been involved in the daily press conferences, including chairman Sir Patrick Vallance, Professor Chris Whitty and his deputies Dr Jenny Harries and Professor Jonathan Van Tam.


Sir Ian's claim comes after research this week claimed launching the UK's lockdown a week earlier would have saved tens of thousands of lives.

The study, carried out by Dr John Dagpunar, from the University of Southampton, suggested implementing lockdown on March 16 rather than March 23 could have limited the number of deaths to 11,200.

Dr Dagpunar's study considered the number of people infected with the virus, its rate of reproduction, hospital bed and staff capacity, and the proportion of patients who die, among other factors.

And, using an algorithm based on the timing of the UK's outbreak, Dr Dagpunar found that if lockdown had started a week earlier there could have been a 'very large reduction' in deaths.

Earlier action was needed and would have saved many lives

The virus would have infected four per cent less of the population in this scenario (two per cent compared to six per cent), the study said, and the demand for hospital beds would have been lower.

Dr Dagpunar said: "In hindsight [this] clearly illustrates that earlier action was needed and would have saved many lives.

"Literally, each day’s delay in starting suppression (lockdown) can result in thousands of extra deaths.

"The same is true for premature relaxation, acknowledging that the rate of decline is less than the rate of growth, so the effect although severe is not quite as strong.

"These conclusions are the incontrovertible consequence of the exponential growth and decline of a managed epidemic."

Dr Dagpunar's paper was published on the website medRxiv without being peer-reviewed by other scientists.

Around two thirds of people think the Government took too long to put the UK in lockdown, according to polls.

However, other experts say ministers "lost sight" of the evidence and rushed into lockdown, praising Sweden for holding its nerve and not shutting down the economy.

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World News

What is the Shawwal moon-sighting committee, how do they announce the start of Eid and who are the members?

EID al-Fitr officially marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan and begins with the sighting of the new moon after sunset. 

However, before the festival can start it has to be officially sighted by a Shawwal moon-sighting committee. Here's what we know…

What is the Shawwal moon-sighting committee?

The role of a moon-sighting committee is to spot and chart the arrival of the crescent of the Shawwal moon.

Once the crescent has been spotted the committee can then announce the start of the Eid Al Fitr celebrations.

Eid means the festival of breaking the fast, referring to a celebration of the end of daily fasting through the month of Ramadan.

The celebration, usually marked with a feast, is held on the first day of Shawwal, the next month in the Islamic calendar.

But the time varies around the world depending on when the moon is spotted by each individual Shawwal committee.

Who are the members of a Shawwal committee?

The important committees  – and there are several in different countries – usually contain religious clerics and often politicians.

Some prefer to use telescopes to sight the moon, while others will only call Ramadan if the new moon is spotted with the naked eye.

In Pakistan, for example, the all-powerful Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee announces the sighting of the new moon in recent years.

Its head is Mufti Muneed-ur-Rehman who is assisted by 150 observatories from the Pakistan Meteorological Department.

Here’s when Eid al-Fitr will start in some key countries

Kuwait – June 15
Saudi Arabia – June 15
Bahrain – June 15
Oman – June 15
The UAE – June 15
Indonesia – June 15
Pakistan – June 16
India – June 16

How is start of Eid announced?

Once the crescent moon is seen the committee must be informed.

The committee will put out a statement announcing the start of Eid.

Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre in Birmingham said in a statement to BirminghamLive: "Green Lane Masjid can confirm the moon of Shawwal has been sighted, therefore Eid ul-Fitr will be on Friday 15th June 2018.

"Eid prayer will take place at Small Heath Park. Arrival is for 8.00am and the prayer will commence at 9.30am."

Some announcements were also made via YouTube videos.

The moon was not sighted in Pakistan meaning Eid will not begin until Saturday, June 16

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