World News

‘Coronaphobia’ leaves Brits wanting to stay IN lockdown as they fear return to normality – and actually have MORE cash – The Sun

BRITS want to stay in lockdown because they fear it is being lifted too quickly and have more money because of the pandemic, a poll has found. 

The survey comes as the government prepares to ease restrictions on movement and announce a scaling back of its furlough scheme.

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The poll, conducted for the Daily Mail, asked Brits about their views on the coronavirus lockdown and how their lives have been changed by it.

Asked whether it had left them financially better off, 33 percent said it had, 29 percent said it hadn't, while 37 percent said their situation hadn't changed.

Many workers have been shielded from the impact of the lockdown by the government's furlough scheme, while others have saved cash while not socialising or paying transport costs to commute.

A total of 43 percent also said they had enjoyed spending more time at home, compared to only 25 percent who hadn't and 31 percent who were neutral.

The government is now preparing to reopen the country, with workers unable to work remotely encouraged to return to work and some shops expected to be allowed to reopen in the coming weeks.

But many respondents said they feared the virus would resurge as restrictions are eased.

Overall, 53 percent said they thought the lockdown was being lifted too fast, compared to just 11 percent who thought it was too slow.

Thirty percent of people thought the pace was about right.


Among the first measures expected to be lifted is the closure of schools, with some year groups set to return on June 1.

But across both primary and secondary schools pupils, 60 percent of parents said they would not send their child to school in June.

In primary schools, 26 percent of parents said they would, while in secondary schools the figure was just 27.

The survey comes as the government is set to announce future changes to its furlough scheme for workers.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to say next week that employers will have to pay 25 percent of the wages of furloughed workers from August.

The news follows his announcement earlier this month that the scheme, originally launched in March and slated to run till June, would be extended until October.

Under the new arrangement, employers would be allowed to bring furloughed staff back to work for as many hours as they need.

Staff will then be paid full wages by their firm for any hours worked, but would continue to be covered by the furlough scheme for the hours they don't work.

All firms will be required to contribute a quarter of the wages of any furloughed workers.

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TV and Movies

Hollyoaks star Adam Rickett was ‘begged’ to turn his posh bar into an off-licence amid coronavirus pandemic – The Sun

HOLLYOAKS star Adam Rickett was “begged” to turn his posh bar into an off licence in the fight against coronavirus by trading standards.

The former Corrie actor said the local authority chief called telling him it was his “civic duty” to serve up alcohol through quarantine.

He posted on Facebook debating whether to turn the boozer into an offie and was stunned when he received the call minutes later.

Adam, 41, who is now also doing deliveries with wife and GMB correspondent Katy Fawcett, said: “I asked him jokingly, is this my Churchill moment – and he said yes.

“I know it sounds stupid but the trading standards boss explained they desperately need people like me to work as off licences because they’ve got serious problems with people queuing in masses to get alcohol.”

Pictures show Adam out on delivery and alongside staff at the artisanal wine, gin and craft beer bar, Dexter and Jones, in Knutsford, Cheshire.

He took over the upmarket boozer with Katy last November after becoming regulars there under the last owners but feared for the business when the pandemic hit.

Katy said: “It was a horrible feeling and massively stressful as we couldn’t get to see our regulars.

“These were people we had been drinking with for 3 years, so were friends not just customers, and suddenly we couldn’t see them.”

Within days of lockdown it was announced off licences could open but they didn’t know whether it was the right thing to do as they didn’t want to put people at harm by flocking in.

Adam posted online saying they were going to take a few days to think about it but “within 10 minutes” the local head of trading standards called.

Adam said: “I panicked, I thought I’d done something wrong, but actually he was ringing as one of his team had shown him my post and he wanted to ask us to open as an off licence.

“People had stockpiled toilet paper and canned goods but once lockdown started actually realised what they really needed was booze.

“The problem was everyone was clogging up the supermarket buying alcohol so people couldn’t get in to buy food. So basically my Winston Churchill moment was to help people drink through.”

After initially just turning into an off licence they started a delivery service for those who are self-isolating or vulnerable.

Adam said: “It’s a really nice way to check in on people, for some of them we’re the first people they’ve seen in weeks.

“We’ve also helped with gifts, giving one customer 70 bottles of beer for his 70th birthday and presents for couples who should have been celebrating their weddings.

Adam said: “It’s really weird to say it but genuinely in some very small way we do feel we are helping people get through.

“It’s not even just about having the alcohol, it’s about helping people feel that little bit special."

Adam joined Hollyoaks as Nancy's on/off love interest Kyle Kelly in 2017.

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University Challenge final: Wang and Brandon to go head-to-head

Clash of the University Challenge titans! Viewers go wild as series’ biggest brainboxes Wang and Brandon prepare to go head-to-head in next week’s final

  • Next week’s University Challenge final will be a ‘clash of the titans’, fans claim 
  • Brandon, of Imperial, and Wang, of Corpus Christi Cambridge, go head-to-head
  • Students have impressed viewers and emerged as the series’ biggest brainboxes
  • Quizzing enthusiasts say the hotly-contested match will be ‘one for the ages’  

Quiz enthusiasts are already anticipating a ‘clash of the titans’ when two of University Challenge’s ‘best ever’ contestants go head-to-head in next week’s final. 

Brandon Blackwell, of Imperial College London, and Ian Wang, of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, have emerged as the two standout competitors in this series and are poised to go down in the TV quiz history books. 

Blackwell, a computing student from Queens, New York, has scored 482 of his team’s 1,170 points so far this series. Wang, an English student from Sale, Greater Manchester, is responsible for 319 of Corpus Christi’s 1,190. 

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Ian Wang, of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (left), and Brandon Blackwell, of Imperial College London (right), have emerged as the two standout competitors in this series and are poised to go down in the TV quiz history books. They go head-to-head in the final next week

Quiz enthusiasts are already anticipating a ‘clash of the titans’ when two of University Challenge’s ‘best ever’ contestants go head-to-head in next week’s final, pictured

Both have led their respective teams to stunning victories and have made headlines with their extraordinary breadth of knowledge and unusually animated behaviour. 

Last night Brandon delivered yet another stunning performance and helped deliver a 235-80 victory over Trinity College Cambridge in the second semi-final. 

The win set up next week’s hotly-anticipated Wang-Brandon final – and sent Twitter into a frenzy of excitement. 

Fans are already looking forward to the ‘titanic clash’ when the pair face off in the final

One tweeted: ‘Already counting down the hours until the match-up of dreams -Brandon vs Wang – in next week’s #UniversityChallenge final!! #beyondexcited.’  

Another posted: ‘I’m still trying to process that it’s a Brandon vs Wang final next week #UniversityChallenge.’

A third wrote: ‘Wang vs Brandon in next weeks #UniversityChallenge final is going to be the sporting event of the year tbh!’  

Some compared the match up to the tie between past contestants Eric Monkman and Bobby Seagull, who went onto front their own TV show after appearing on the quiz series. 

Last night Brandon delivered yet another stunning performance and helped deliver a 235-80 victory over Trinity College Cambridge in the second semi-final, pictured

Brandon’s performance style has been unusual but he has developed a jokey rapport with presenter Jeremy Paxman. Pictured, the final scores from last night’s semi-final


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Disney Stocks Drop 5% as Wall Street Gains Under Trump Evaporate

Stock losses, spurred on by the coronavirus pandemic, continued to pile up on Wednesday

Win McNamee / Getty Images

While Wall Street took another brutal hit on Wednesday, with a drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average that threatened to wipe out the gains made under President Donald Trump, the economic effects of the coronavirus epidemic brought major blows to entertainment stocks as well.

plunged 6.3% while the market grapples with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, adding to the growing losses now

A little over a month ago, the Dow hit its all-time high of 29,551 points. But after a series of devastating losses, the Dow plunged 6.3% Wednesday, dropping more than 1,300 points. It closed at 19,902 points, alarmingly close to the 19,827-point mark where it stood when Trump took office in January 2017.

Several major entertainment and tech firms have been rocked in the last two weeks, as growing fears over COVID-19 and its impact on the economy has spooked investors. Disney on Wednesday dropped 5% to $88.80 per share — extending the painful run Disney shareholders have endured over the last month — and Apple fell 2.5% to $246.67 per share. Viacom, Twitter, Fox and Discovery all saw their stock prices drop between 4-10%.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were hit hard as well on Wednesday, with both indexes dropping more than 4.7%. The losses come a day after the Nasdaq dropped more than 12%, marking its largest one-day percentage drop ever.

White House officials and congressional Republicans are working on an emergency stimulus plan that would send up to $2,000 to many Americans while also offering several hundred billion dollars to small businesses, the Washington Post reported. The overall recovery plan is expected to cost about $1 trillion.

There are more than 7,00 confirmed coronavirus in the U.S. as of Wednesday afternoon, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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TV and Movies

EastEnders spoilers: Sharon Watts attacks estranged husband Phil as he returns after causing Dennis' death

SHARON Watts launches at Phil with a KNIFE in an explosive showdown after he returns for Dennis Rickman’s funeral.

Sharon holds Phil personally responsible for the death of her son after he caused the boat to crash.

EastEnders fans know that Phil scarpered sharpish earlier this year when Sharon got his arrested for ‘murdering’ Keanu.

But once he realised Sharon's toy boy was back on the scene, he wasted little time in returning to the UK to seek revenge.

However, Phil’s revenge plan spiralled catastrophically out of control when he launched an attack against Keanu aboard the boat – during a party hosted by Queen Vic landlady and landlord Linda and Mick.

Phil’s antics caused the boat to crash and caused water to come pouring into the decks below.

After Ian trapped Dennis below the deck for bullying his son Bobby, he met his tragic fate during the crash and drowned.

Phil hasn’t been seen since the tragedy.

Next week’s episodes of EastEnders will see Sharon's stress levels sky rocket as the day of Dennis's funeral arrives.

When Jay arrives with a bunch of flowers, Sharon is quick to ban all Mitchells from the sad day.

The grieving mother is overwhelmed during the wake and breaks down.

But it all kicks off when Ben Mitchell rocks up defiantly at the funeral in order to pay his respects.

Sharon can't believe her eyes and demands to know what he's doing there.

Ian steps in and tries to calm Sharon down but as they leave she bristles when she sees Phil.

The next day, Sharon loses it and launches at Phil with a knife, forcing Ian and Kathy to intervene.

Phil begs to speak to Sharon and kicks Ian’s door down.

But on the other side he's met with a barrage of abuse from Sharon.

Things escalate rapidly, leading Ian to phone the police.

But by the time they arrive, Phil has run off and is nowhere to be found.

At the Mitchell’s, Phil nurses a drink but as Jay encourages him otherwise, the police arrive forcing him to hide.

Sharon later searches for Phil and finds him at The Arches.

Is it time for another dramatic showdown or will they put their differences aside in order to honour the memory of Dennis?

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Pranksters reveal the funny ways they've tried to play jokes on family

Gotcha! Pranksters share their most satisfying tricks – including one who covered Brussels sprouts in chocolate so they looked like STRAWBERRIES

  • People from across the globe have shared pranks they have played on loved ones
  • Includes one mother who cut her fussy daughter’s sandwich into a puzzle shape
  • Another shows ‘princess’ ice pack a wife gave her husband for his injured finger 

While many of us have memories of getting up to mischief when we were in our terrible teens, these amusing pranks prove that some people never grow up.  

This hilarious online gallery, compiled by Shareably, capture the times people from across the globe have played pranks on their loved ones.

Among the most amusing examples shared include one mother who was so fed up with her daughter asking for her sandwich to be cut in a particular way, she sliced it into the shape of a puzzle.

Elsewhere, another parent disguised Brussels sprouts as cake pops in a bid to make her youngster eat his greens, while a wife gave her husband a heart-shaped ice pack with ‘princess’ written on after he smashed his finger with a hammer.  

A full plate! One person, from the US, who had to work on Thanksgiving, asked his sister to save him a little bit of everything so he wouldn’t miss out – and she stuck to her word!

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A cut above the rest! This mother, from an unknown location, decided to mock the fact her daughter insisted on having her sandwich sliced in a particular way by creating a puzzle shape

That’ll teach ’em! One mother, from the US, was so fed up of her children refusing to eat their greens, she decided to trick them with these cake pops

A sure sign! One supportive family member, from an unknown location, was welcomed home with this banner

He has a point! Every family has one person who pays for Netflix, so this guy, from an unknown location, named the profiles rather aptly 

Ice-scream! One family member, from an unknown location, decided to prank another in the most cruel way possible

Feeling the love! This man, from an unknown location, injured his finger while using a hammer, so his wife decided to make everything better with this amusing ice pack

A real page-turner! This newlywed, from the US, asked her brother to keep a newspaper from the day of her wedding – but it wasn’t quite what she was hoping for!

The stuff of nightmares! One man, from an unknown location, decided to prank his sleeping vegan sister in the worst way possible – by surrounding her in meat

Egg-cellent effort! One brother, from an unknown location, isn’t a fan of Nicolas Cage, so his sibling decided to cover everything in his home with his face

An unwelcome mixture! One sibling, from an unknown location, decided to mess with his sister’s head – by mixing up M&Ms and Skittles in a bag

Slim chance! When this husband, from an unknown location, stumbled upon his wife’s diet book, he decided to give her a helping hand 

Off on the wrong foot! One girl, from an unknown location, was in a hurry to get out of the door – but she wasn’t getting anywhere when she realised her shoes had all been wrapped up in plastic

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