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Coronavirus - 6th June


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Post by Kitkat on Sat Jun 06 2020, 10:51

Summary for Saturday, 6th June

  • Wearing masks in public can help slow spread of the virus - World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Black Lives Matter protest takes place in Sydney after coronavirus restrictions overturned by court
  • Prince William reveals he's a volunteer on mental health helpline during lockdown
  • UK care home residents who pay own fees face price hikes of more than £100 a week on average, claims Age UK
  • Number of cases in India overtakes Italy as hospitals struggle to cope
  • Globally, the number of infections is more than 6.7 million and some 395,000 people have died - Johns Hopkins

Good morning and welcome back to our rolling coverage of all things coronavirus.
We'll keep you posted on all developments worldwide, and here in the UK.
Here are some of the latest news stories:

Face mask requirement comes as surprise to UK hospital leaders

The announcement on Friday night that National Health Service workers in England will be required to use face masks at all times came as a surprise to hospital leaders.
Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents NHS trusts, says bosses felt "completely in the dark" about the "significant and complex" changes.
From 15 June, staff must use surgical masks at all times and hospital visitors and outpatients must wear face coverings.
Read more here .

England's Sancho fined for haircut breach

It could prove a pricey trim for England international Jadon Sancho.
The Borussia Dortmund forward has been fined by the German football league after being pictured having a home haircut without wearing a mask.
The 20-year-old called the decision “an absolute joke” in a Twitter post that he later deleted.
Sancho’s team-mate Manuel Akanji has also been fined after they were both deemed to have broken rules, with the league saying the players had "obviously violated general hygiene and infection protection standards".
Both players received visits from a hairdresser at their respective homes, with neither the stylist nor the player wearing masks.
Dortmund defended the players, saying they did not breach the Bundesliga's health and safety rules.

Thousands march at Sydney protest

Shaimaa Khalil - BBC News, Sydney
Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in central Sydney in solidarity with demonstrations in the US over police brutality and the death of African American George Floyd.
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Some held "Black Lives Matter" placards written in red, yellow and black - the colours of Australia's aboriginal flag.
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On the eve of this rally, the New South Wales supreme court decided that it should not go ahead because of concerns over the spread of Covid-19.
But the decision was overturned at the last minute by a court of appeal.
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Authorities are worried that mass gatherings could undo what the country has achieved so far in controlling the spread of the virus.
But organisers and supporters, many from the indigenous Australian community, have insisted on coming out. Not just in solidarity with the protesters in the US, but also to draw attention to indigenous deaths in police custody here in Australia.
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Aboriginal protesters perform a traditional smoking ceremony at the start of the rally in Sydney

Marches have been taking place across Australia, including in Brisbane, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide and elsewhere.
They have been in high spirits with no reports of unrest.
Read more on this story here

Coronavirus surcharges adding 'insult to injury' in UK care homes

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Some older people in UK care homes are being asked to pay more than £100 a week extra in fees to cover extra costs relating to the coronavirus pandemic.
Charity Age UK says residents who pay their own fees are facing the bills to pay for protective gear and rising staff costs.
It is an "insult to injury" for people who have "been through the mill" during the pandemic, the charity adds.
Read more here .

Fans set to return at PGA events next month

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Golf fans will be allowed to watch a PGA Tour event for the first time since the coronavirus shutdown at next month's Memorial Tournament in Ohio.
The tour resumes next week with the Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas, but the first five events will be played behind closed doors.
The Memorial Tournament, founded by 18-time major winner Jack Nicklaus, takes place from 16-19 July at Muirfield Village.
The event said the move was confirmed after it was given "state approval", with tournament organisers saying they were looking forward to being "an example of how public gathering events can be developed and implemented with approved and accepted protocols in place".
The PGA Tour has been suspended since 12 March after all professional golf was stopped because of the pandemic.

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Jun 06 2020, 11:20

Was coronavirus here earlier than we thought?

Fergus Walsh - Medical correspondent
My experience of testing positive for coronavirus antibodies clearly struck a nerve. Two weeks ago I wrote that I'd had no recent symptoms but dismissed a bout of pneumonia in January because it was weeks before the first confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK.
Many of you responded with your own experiences of having Covid-like symptoms - some as far back as November - and urged me to investigate further.
China reported a cluster of cases on 31 December 2019, but later told the WHO that the earliest symptoms from these patients dated back to 8 December.
But according to unreleased government data obtained by the South China Morning Post (which, I should stress, has not been seen by the BBC) the first case in Wuhan could have been on 17 November, with several further cases that month.
The first confirmed cases in the UK were identified on 31 January, when two Chinese nationals tested positive in York. They caught the virus abroad. The first confirmed case of transmission inside the UK was registered in Surrey on 28 February.
But is it possible to prove when coronavirus first struck, and does it matter?
Read more here.

Merseyside's 'forgotten street'

Throughout the coronavirus crisis, we've seen the poorest communities hit the hardest in the UK.
The death rates in the most deprived areas of England are more than double those in the most affluent.
Now, Public Health England says the pandemic has in some areas, deepened existing health inequalities.
Our Special Correspondent, Ed Thomas, has been hearing from families on a street on Merseyside, where three people have died recently:

Analysis: Is UK's R number balanced on knife edge?

James Gallagher - Health and science correspondent, BBC News
There have been warnings coronavirus may be starting to spread again in the north-west and the south-west of England.
Some scientists say the R number - how many people, on average, an infected person passes the virus onto - is creeping up across the country and may have surpassed one.
The UK government insists the number is not above one anywhere in the country.
So, what is going on? How worried should we be? And what does it mean for lifting lockdown?
Read more from James here .

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Jun 06 2020, 13:41

World War Two veterans to commemorate D-Day from afar

World War Two veterans and their families will be commemorating the D-Day anniversary - the 1944 allied invasion of Normandy - from afar this year because of measures to restrict the spread of coronavirus.
More than 70 veterans, many in their mid-90s, were meant to make the trip to the British Normandy Memorial in France for the 76th anniversary today. It will be the first time that people have not been permitted to attend such an event.
Instead, the Normandy Memorial Trust is showing images and footage of the latest construction work at the site in the French town of Ver-sur-Mer via its website.
Read more on this story here

India reports nearly 10,000 new cases

Jill McGivering - South Asia editor
Officials say the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in India has now exceeded that of Italy.
The news comes as India takes further steps to ease its national lockdown, although tough measures remain in force in the worst affected areas.
India is steadily rising up the table of countries with the most cases. On Saturday, it reported nearly 10,000 new infections in the previous 24 hours - the latest high in a series of growing daily totals.
At the same time, the country is getting ready for Monday when many restaurants, shopping malls, offices and places of worship re-open.
India's testing rate is low; the real number of cases may be much higher. And there are concerns too about geographic spread as millions of migrant workers travel home from congested cities.
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Commuters have been caught in traffic jams during strict checks by police at the Delhi-Ghaziabad border

Prince William reveals he is secret helpline volunteer

The Duke of Cambridge has revealed he has been anonymously volunteering on a crisis helpline during the UK's coronavirus lockdown.
He has been volunteering at Shout 85258, which offers support via text message to people in personal crisis.
Prince William said he had been answering messages after being trained by the mental health charity.
Read more here

Can superspreading be stopped?

Rebecca Morelle - Science correspondent, BBC News
As the world races to find treatments and vaccines for coronavirus, scientists have another target in their sites - the superspreading event, when one person infects many others.
Not every person with coronavirus passes it on to the same number of people. Some may self-isolate and infect nobody, while others go about their life and infect many people.
Scientists have been keeping track of clusters of Covid-19 since the pandemic began.
As new infections decrease, and the world opens up, scientists say that while lockdowns were a blunt tool for halting the spread of coronavirus, a more targeted approach is now needed.
Read more about that here .

How Bill Gates became the voodoo doll of Covid conspiracies

"If anything kills over 10 million people over the next few decades, it is likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than war," Bill Gates told the TED conference in Vancouver in 2015.
The video of this talk has now been viewed more than 64 million times - with many people more interested in the reasons behind that speech than the talk itself.
"He is this kind of voodoo doll that all these communities are pricking with their own conspiracies. And it is unsurprising he has become the voodoo doll - because he has always been the face of public health," said Rory Smith, from fact-checkers First Draft News.
Theories falsely linking the Microsoft co-founder to the coronavirus were mentioned 1.2m times on television or social media between February and April, according to a study by The New York Times and Zignal Labs .
Much of the content is posted to public Facebook groups, from where it is shared millions of times. First Draft News has also found that Chinese viral video site TikTok is becoming a new home for such conspiracies.
In an interview with the BBC, Mr Gates expressed surprise that he had become the figurehead of such theories.
"It is troubling that there is so much craziness," he said. "When we develop the vaccine we will want 80 percent of the population to take it and if they have heard it is a plot and we don't have people willing to take the vaccine that will let the disease continue to kill people."
Read more here


Patel: I understand anger, but please don't attend protests

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As people start gathering for Black Lives Matter protests in central London, Home Secretary Priti Patel has appealed for those considering joining the demonstrations to think again due to the coronavirus.
She said: "Of course I completely understand people’s desire to express their views and to have that right to protest. But the fact of the matter is we are in a health pandemic across the United Kingdom and coronavirus is a deadly virus.
"I’d say to those that want to protest: please don’t. The regulations are very clear in terms of gatherings and mass gatherings in particular. We must put public health first at this particular time."
Ms Patel also asked organisers to speak to the police who were standing by to "engage and explain" how to keep safe while protesting.

Australians defy virus in mass anti-racism rallies

Tens of thousands of people have protested across Australia in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, despite warnings from officials over the risk from coronavirus.
A ban in Sydney was lifted only at the last minute and some organisers have been fined for breaking health rules.
The marches were inspired by the death of African American George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, but also highlighted the mistreatment and marginalisation of Australia's Aboriginal people.
Rallies were organised in Brisbane, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide and elsewhere.
They were held in high spirits with no reports of major unrest.
There were a few tense scenes later in the evening at Sydney's Central Station, with police using pepper spray, but there were only three arrests in the city overall, among a total of 20,000 protesters, police said.

Hundreds gather for London protest outside Parliament

Chi Chi Izundu - News correspondent
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Hundreds have turned out for today’s anti-racism protest in Parliament Square in London.
A plea from the government not to gather in large groups over fears of spreading the coronavirus has not deterred them - nor has the wet and cold weather -
The organisers have already warned people that if they “are here for violence, [they] are not part of the cause”.
They asked those in attendance to maintain a 2m distance from each other and distributed face masks.

  tweet  Jeffrey Ingold:
:Left Quotes:  Protest is already underway down in Parliament Square
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Virus might stay in Iran for a long time - Rouhani

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has said there is no end in sight to the coronavirus outbreak in his country, and warned people that it may last a "long time".
The country has been gradually easing its lockdown restrictions since mid-April, but reported a sharp rise of new daily infections in recent days, with Thursday's toll of 3,574 cases the highest since February.
Rouhani added that people should not assume "this disease will be eliminated in 15 days or a month".
He also stated on Saturday that a wedding party contributed to the new surge and warned against such social gatherings. However he also said that businesses had "no other choice" but to remain open for sake of the economy.
Iran has had a total of 167,156 cases and 8,134 deaths, according to figures collated by Johns Hopkins University.

London police chief tells protesters to avoid mass gathering

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n the UK, authorities are continuing to urge people to avoid attending protests in central London.
The head of the Metropolitan Police, Dame Cressida Dick, said that while she recognised feelings were "running incredibly high" over events in the US, people should express themselves in other ways due to the coronavirus.
She also warned those who do choose to attend that her officers "will of course seek to uphold the law".
Dame Cressida said: "I would rather people did not come out on the streets to protest at the moment for any reason – whatever the cause.
She added "coming together in a gathering is not only unlawful but also perhaps more importantly, in a sense it is putting yourself and your family at unnecessary risk and other people around you".

Crowds gather for Manchester protest

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A large demonstration is taking place in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester

Hundreds of protesters have gathered at Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester - despite calls from UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock for the public to avoid mass demonstrations following the death of African American George Floyd.
Black Lives Matter protests are planned in towns and cities across the UK this weekend, with another socially distanced demonstration due to take place in Manchester tomorrow.
Mayor Andy Burnham has said the protests are a "high risk" after concerns the virus may be spreading again.
A senior Met Police officer has also warned that such gatherings are "unlawful" .
Read more here
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Post by Kitkat on Sat Jun 06 2020, 18:09

Some English schools delay reopening amid infection rate rise

Many schools in the north-west of England will delay reopening until at least 22 June over concerns the coronavirus infection rate is on the rise.
Health officials in Blackburn have told schools not to reopen on 8 June, while Tameside Council "strongly" advised schools not to do so. Wirral Council has also urged schools to "pause" reopening plans.
Ministers had urged primary schools in England to reopen to more pupils from 1 June, but Health Secretary Matt Hancock said "there is a challenge" in the North West.
Read more here

People of colour are being failed by the system - Bansky

Acclaimed British street artist Banksy has stated that "people of colour are being failed by the system", in a social media post reacting to the Black Lives Matter movement.
He said: "At first I thought I should just shut up and listen to black people about this issue. 'But why would I do that? It's not their problem, it's mine.'"
He added: "People of colour are being failed by the system. The white system. Like a broken pipe flooding the apartment of the people living downstairs. The faulty system is making their life a misery, but it's not their job to fix it. They can't - no-one will let them in the apartment upstairs."
The post was accompanied by artwork featuring a burning US flag.
A Black Lives Matter protest is set to take place in Banksy's home city of Bristol on Sunday. About 4,000 people are expected to participate in the march between College Green and Portland Square.

Anti-racism protests happening elsewhere in the UK

Anti-racism protests are taking place elsewhere in the UK, including in Peterborough...
tweet Ian Child:
:Left Quotes: Black Lives Matter demonstration starts on Cathedral Square in Peterborough. Hundreds have turned out to show support. Organisers are handing out masks, gloves and sanitiser and ensuring social distancing is followed. @BBCCambs #BlackLivesMatterUK
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in Leicester...
tweet  Athina Karatzogianni:
:Left Quotes: #LeicesterNow Stand Up To Racism stands in solidarity with George Floyd's family and our brothers and sisters protesting in America against police brutality and murder. #ICantBreathe #BlackLivesMatterUK #NoJusticeNoPeace
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...and also in Cardiff.

  tweet aubergine cafe:
:Left Quotes: The #BlackLivesMatterUK #Cardiff movement is Youth Led. We're so proud to be supporting them
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Thousands now at Manchester BLM protest

More now from from the Black Lives Matter protest in Manchester - and a BBC reporter at the scene around Piccadilly Gardens estimates that the crowd has reached 15,000 and is still growing.
Rami Mwamba, a reporter for the Manchester Evening News, has been speaking to various campaigning groups who are taking part.
One person told him that he was standing far from the crowds to socially distance, but that he just "had to be there".
tweet Rami:
:Left Quotes: A few of the signs on show today.
#BlackLivesMatter #BlackLivesMatterUK #MCRBLM
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tweet Rami:
This is Deejah, she works with a collective who raise awareness for black people in the LGBT community.
She said: "It's been an incredibly difficult week, I've cried a lot and been in back to back meetings because we have to hold people accountable."#BlackLivesMatter #MCRBLM
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tweet Rami:
:Left Quotes: This is how far the protest is spread in the centre today, some are opting not to enter Picadilly Gardens as it gets crowded.

This is Ashley, he said to me: "I just had to here, I couldn't miss it, but I'm standing this far so I can social distance."#BlackLivesMatter #MCRBLM
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Further 204 UK coronavirus deaths

An additional 204 coronavirus deaths have been announced in the UK, taking the country's total death toll to 40,465.
The further deaths came as the number of people testing positive rose by 1,557, the Department of Health said.
A total of 284,868 people have now tested positive for the virus in the UK, according to official figures.
tweet Department of Health and Social Care:
:Left Quotes:As of 9am 6 June, there have been 5,438,712 tests, with 218,187 tests on 5 June.

284,868 people have tested positive.

As of 5pm on 5 June, of those tested positive for coronavirus, across all settings, 40,465 have sadly died.
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Australian aboriginal rallies 'show great strength'

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Leetona Dungay, whose son David died in Sydney's Long Bay prison in 2015, led the anti-racism march in Sydney

A rally in Sydney in support of the Black Lives Matter movement that drew thousands of protesters was led by an aboriginal mother whose son, David Dungay, died in prison five years ago.
Elizabeth Jarrett, a cousin of the deceased, told the BBC that her family had drawn strength from the protests.
"After seeing the footage of that innocent beautiful brother, George Floyd, and how he died has brought back so much trauma to my family," Jarrett said, praising the subsequent rallies focusing on the treatment of indigenous Australians as showing "great strength".
"It brought reality to a lot of other Australians out here that aren't aware that indigenous black deaths in custody happen right here in Australia," she said, adding: "Same story, different soil."
Read more here: Australians defy virus in mass anti-racism rallies

Are UK protests legal amid lockdown?

Dominic Casciani - Home Affairs Correspondent
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Protesters at a demonstration in Parliament Square, London, on Saturday

Black Lives Matter protests are taking place across the UK this weekend despite the coronavirus lockdown measures - so are these demonstrations legal?
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said today that "coming together in a gathering is not only unlawful but also, perhaps more importantly, it is putting yourself and your family at unnecessary risk and other people around you."
England now has the loosest lockdown in the UK, with no restrictions on going outside. But the rules (officially known as regulations) restrict public gatherings to no more than six people - although they don't explicitly say anything about whether people can protest.
Chief constables today talk about their public duty to "facilitate" demonstrations - and that they only turn to force - such as bringing in riot police - if they believe they are going to have to quell trouble.
And it seems pretty clear that the police don't want to break up peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstrations even though, on paper at least, they would breach coronavirus laws.
Read more from Dominic here

Golfers caught hiding in van on Scottish ferry

If you miss the sound of sinking a putt then you might sympathise with a group of golfers who were caught making a non-essential ferry trip in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland.
The stowaways hid in a van on a CalMac ferry between Largs and the Isle of Cumbrae when they were discovered.
The company has limited use of its ferries to essential travel for islanders, key workers and deliveries of supplies. CalMac said people "concealing themselves" in vehicles were among 273 incidents of attempted non-essential trips since 26 March.
Read the full story here

This is not the last pandemic, warn scientists

Victoria Gill - Science reporter, BBC News
This will not be the last pandemic we face, say scientists who warn we have created "a perfect storm" for diseases from wildlife to spill over into humans and spread quickly around the world.
This outlook comes from global health experts who study how and where new diseases emerge.
As part of that effort, they have now developed a pattern-recognition system to predict which diseases in wildlife pose most risk to humans.
This approach is led by scientists at the University of Liverpool, UK, but it is part of a global effort to develop ways to prepare better for future outbreaks.
"In the last 20 years, we've had six significant threats - Sars, Mers, Ebola, avian influenza and swine flu," Prof Matthew Baylis from the University of Liverpool told BBC News. "We dodged five bullets but the sixth got us.
"And this is not the last pandemic we are going to face, so we need to be looking more closely at wildlife disease."
Read more here

More images from protests across the UK

Here are some more images from cities around the UK, where protesters have gathered to express their anger following the death of African American George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.
In central London, police had to close roads around Parliament Square as protesters rallied in defiance of UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock's call for the public to avoid mass gatherings and maintain social distancing rules.
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Although there were no official road closures, the number of protesters compelled police to cordon off some streets around London's Parliament Square.
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The cold, wet weather has not deterred protesters. Organisers asked people to maintain a 2m distance from each other and were handing out face masks. Many used their outfits to make clear their sense of injustice over George Floyd's death.
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The majority of the demonstrators in Parliament Square were wearing masks and face coverings. One organiser told the crowds: "We are not here for violence. Today is sheer positivity."
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Protesters in Manchester held placards saying: 'Am I Next?'. Others echoed George Floyd's dying words: 'I Can't Breathe'. The anti-racism demonstrations are taking place around the world, despite warnings that they could prompt a spike in coronavirus cases.
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Boxer Anthony Joshua, wearing a Black Lives Matter T-Shirt, was among those who attended the protest in Watford, north London - despite being on crutches.

What’s the advice on face masks at mass gatherings?

Philippa Roxby - Health reporter, BBC News
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The World Health Organization (WHO) has updated its guidance on when healthy people should wear face masks or coverings.
It says governments should encourage the general public to wear masks in specific situations where social distancing is difficult, for example at mass gatherings, in shops and on public transport.
Non-medical masks or face coverings made from three layers of breathable fabric are recommended in these instances.
Although the scientific evidence for healthy people wearing them is not clear cut, there is a “potential benefit” if they stop an infected, or potentially infected, wearer from passing the virus to others.
Among the over 60s and those with underlying health conditions, a medical mask should be worn in similar situations in order to protect themselves.
But, of course, this doesn’t mean other advice doesn’t apply.
The WHO says that whether people wear a face covering or not, they should avoid crowded spaces, keep at least one metre (3ft) away from others, wash hands frequently and cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.

Tokyo Games 'next year or not at all'

The Tokyo 2020 Games "will take place in 2021 or they won't take place" at all, a top Olympics official has said.
"It's unthinkable to keep such a project on the go for any longer, considering the enormous costs and all the thousands of people involved, " said Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant, a senior member of the International Olympic Committee.
"All the sporting federations have to adapt to the Games' postponement... we can't envisage a similar upheaval a second time," the Belgian told a local newspaper.
His comments echo a recent statement from committee president Thomas Bach, who said the Games would have to be cancelled if they cannot take place next summer.
It comes as Tokyo's governor said the city and organisers were looking at ways to scale back next year's Games

Ten Chelsea Pensioners die during pandemic

The Royal Hospital in Chelsea - home of the Chelsea Pensioners - has been hosting its annual Founder's Day parade this week.
However, it's been a more sombre and scaled back event than normal because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Like many homes for the elderly it's been particularly hit hard with 10 of the military veterans dying from the virus and dozens more infected.
Lockdown means the Chelsea Pensioners have been unable to attend their friends' funerals, instead holding memorials outside.

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Jun 06 2020, 18:22

Alpine resorts hope to salvage summer season

Imogen Foulkes - BBC News, Geneva
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Summer in the Alps has not been this quiet since wartime

From this weekend, Switzerland's mountain railways and cable cars can start running again.
That's a relief for Alpine tourist resorts, which were forced to close down right in the middle of the ski season.
In Grindelwald, home of the Eiger and the world-famous Jungfrau "top of Europe" railway - altitude 3,454m (11.332ft) - this is very good news.
One tourist professional tells the BBC he believes the re-opening of the mountain railways is the key to bringing tourists back. More than a million people took the train up to the Jungfrau last year alone.
To ensure visitors' safety, mountain railway staff and passengers are still being advised to wear masks and maintain social distancing of two metres.
Read more here

Musicians seek relaxation of 2m rule

Musicians are urging the UK government to ease the two-metre distancing rule for instrumentalists so they can return to performing and recording.
The Musicians' Union is also in talks with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport over "enhanced busking" - allowing spectators in outdoor spaces to make contactless payments for individual and group performances.
The industry has been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with performing venues such as theatres, clubs and pubs all closed for the foreseeable future.
Musicians' Union leader Horace Trubridge says the two-metre rule is "overkill" at a "bleak" time for his members.
The government said it welcomed "creative and innovative" ideas to help the UK's "brilliant" musicians.

Masks handed out at UK Floyd protests

This weekend's protests are not limited to central London. Several hundred marchers gathered in Newcastle while thousands more watched an online protest organised in the North-East.
Demonstrators at the Earl Grey Monument in Newcastle city centre were handed masks if they did not have one, and there was hand sanitiser available.
Meanwhile, an online protest organised by Stand Up To Racism - North East drew an audience of several thousand who listened to speakers including Janet Alder, whose brother Christopher died in police custody in Hull in 1998.
In Sheffield, hundreds of people gathered on Devonshire Green to protest and hold a minute's silence. During the gathering, which included speeches, they chanted: "No justice, no peace, no racist police."

'Hold protests online' says bereaved sister

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Campaigners have renamed some streets in central Glasgow as part of the Black Lives Matters demonstrations

Anti-racism campaigners in Glasgow have temporarily renamed streets in the city centre with the names of black activists and those believed to have been victims of racism, including Rosa Parks and George Floyd.
Cochrane Street - named after Andrew Cochrane, an 18th-Century tobacco lord - has been renamed Sheku Bayoh Street after a man who died in police custody in Fife, Scotland.
But his sister - a nurse - said her family would not attend the Black Lives Matters demonstration this weekend because the danger of spreading coronavirus is "still too great".
Kadi Johnson joined Scotland's Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf and Labour MSP Anas Sarwar to issue a statement urging demonstrators to keep any protest virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The statement highlighted the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on the BAME community.
"As a staff nurse I know the deadly impact of the virus, and I would worry about social distancing and the lives of family and others being put at risk," Ms Johnson wrote separately.
Sheku Bayoh died in 2015, aged 32, after he was restrained by police officers responding to a call in Kirkcaldy, Fife. He was found to have suffered 23 separate injuries.
The officers involved have always denied any wrongdoing. No prosecutions were made and Mr Bayoh's death is to be the subject of a public inquiry
Ms Johnson told the BBC that younger members of her family were angry too. "When they saw George Floyd's video they were angry and hurt, remembering their uncle and how he died.
"Enough is enough."

'Challenge ahead' as department store prepares to reopen

One of Britain's biggest independent stores is facing a "huge challenge" as it prepares to reopen.
Jarrold, a five-floor department store in the centre of Norwich, is celebrating 250 years of trade this year.
The historic department store has been shut for 12 weeks, since the start of the UK lockdown. All 390 staff were furloughed.
"Lockdown has certainly been a huge challenge and now we face the new challenge of trading in a very different environment," said Minnie Moll, chief executive of Jarrold Retail.
Some 30 staff are currently preparing the store to allow for social distancing measures, with 100 staff expected to be working when it reopens on 15 June.
Despite an upturn in online trade, Ms Moll said a trading recovery would be "long and slow".
"There's no room for complacency," she added.

Proposals for US Open are impossible, says Djokovic

Tennis star Novak Djokovic says it would be "impossible" to play under the safety restrictions proposed to ensure the US Open could take place behind closed doors.
The Grand Slam tournament is scheduled to start on 31 August in New York.
Djokovic, the men's world number one, said he had discussed the event's future with organisers.
"The rules they told us that we would have to respect to be there, to play at all, they are extreme," said the Serb.
"We would not have access to Manhattan, we would have to sleep in hotels at the airport, to be tested twice or three times per week.
"Also, we could bring one person to the club which is really impossible. You need your coach, then a fitness trainer, then a physiotherapist."

Return of Paris tradition delights mayor

There was a welcome return to familiar haunts for many Parisians on Saturday as they enjoyed their first weekend sitting among the many cafes and restaurants of the French capital.
Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo gave the green light to such establishments to set up tables in outside spaces from 2 June.
She tweeted: "Long live cafes, restaurants & bistros! Paris helps them with recovery and allows free extension of terraces on sidewalks, streets and parking spaces, leaving access to pedestrians and people with reduced mobility."
Elsewhere in Paris, the Palace of Versailles reopened as the city continued with the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Catholics in Scotland 'may have to book' for church

Churchgoers should wear face coverings and may have to book places at Mass when churches reopen, Scotland's Catholic Bishops have said.
The Bishop's Conference of Scotland has sent the country's 600 priests guidance about the resumption of public worship.
In line with the Scottish government's "route map" for easing lockdown, the guidance stresses that Mass can resume only once the country enters phase three.
Priests have been encouraged to start preparations to allow churches to safely reopen with social distancing.
The guidance recommends that services should be held on both Saturdays and Sundays to allow more people to attend, but stresses that churches should only open if there are enough trained volunteers and PPE available.
Further guidance includes requiring all churchgoers and clergy to wear face coverings and use hand sanitiser when entering and leaving.
In terms of the service itself, communion wafers should be placed in a person's hand, rather than their mouth, hymns may be omitted and "sermons should be brief".

Dutch mink cull starts as virus spreads to 10th farm

Dutch mink farms have begun a government-ordered cull after 10 farms were found to have animals infected with coronavirus, says the country’s Food & Wares Authority.
There are concerns infected mink, who are bred at the farms for their fur, could transmit the illness to humans.
“All mink breeding farms where there is an infection will be cleared, and farms where there are no infections won’t be,” said spokeswoman Frederique Hermie.
The government ordered the cull of 10,000 mink on Wednesday after determining that affected farms could act as a long-term reservoir of disease.

Fake crowd noise livens up German football coverage

Think watching behind-closed-doors football matches are boring without boisterous fans creating an atmosphere? If you're nodding your head, then you might enjoy what one English broadcaster has done today.
Fans tuning in to BT Sport's coverage of German Bundesliga matches were surprised to hear crowd noise and goal celebrations dubbed on the live action.
It is a concept which the company will also use for its Premier League coverage. Sky Sports is expected to do the same when the English top-flight restarts on 17 June.
The simulated noise during the German games - Bayer Leverkusen v Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund v Hertha Berlin - created a stir among viewers, splitting opinion among those discussing the move on Twitter.
Player-turned-presenter Gary Lineker and commentator Jacqui Oatley were among those in favour...

Experts fear tear gas effects could increase Covid risk

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Protesters visible among the tear gas at a Black Lives Matter protest in Portland

Medical experts in the US fear the use of tear gas and pepper spray by the country's police at Black Lives Matter protests will increase the risk for Covid-19.
The concern was raised in an open letter which explained why the demonstrations are necessary despite those attending having been advised to stay at home to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. The letter was signed by 1,288 professionals in the field.
One bullet point reads: "Oppose any use of tear gas, smoke, or other respiratory irritants, which could increase risk for Covid-19 by making the respiratory tract more susceptible to infection, exacerbating existing inflammation, and inducing coughing."
Read the open letter here. In the past two days the cities of Seattle and Denver have banned the use of tear gas at protests.

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'Shopworkers need a break, not longer opening hours'

Usdaw - the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers - has rejected a "misguided" call for 24-hour shopping on Sundays, as shops in the UK look to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic.
On Saturday, the Times newspaper reported the government is considering suspending Sunday trading laws for a year.
Current trading laws limit stores over a certain size to opening for a maximum of six hours.
Paddy Lillis, Usdaw general secretary, said he appreciated "the desire to help the retail sector" but stressed there was "no economic case" for changing current laws.
"Opening for longer will increase overheads, but not necessarily take any more cash through the tills," he said, in a statement.
"The fact is, that customers will not have more to spend just because the shops are open for longer."
Mr Lillis urged the government to reject the deregulation of trading hours and instead support the retail industry via tax breaks and helping local councils to redevelop city centres.
"Shopworkers need a break on Sundays, not longer opening hours."

Emotional surprise for veteran in lockdown

Harry Billinge had planned to be in Normandy for the 76th anniversary of D-Day, visiting a new British memorial with other veterans.
The 94-year-old raised tens of thousands of pounds towards the building of the monument - and he was even made an MBE for his efforts.
But the trip was cancelled due to coronavirus. So BBC Breakfast surprised with him a face from the past.
Read more and watch the video: Memorial 'brought to veterans' for D-Day

Scottish beauty spots off-limits to all but locals

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Police have closed roads and parking remains shut at some of Scotland's most popular beauty spots, in a bid to avoid the crowds seen last weekend.
Large numbers of people gathered at parks and beaches last week as lockdown rules were slightly eased, allowing Scottish people to sunbathe and meet friends or family from one other household outdoors for the first time in months.
Police dispersed more than 2,000 gatherings and car traffic trebled at some beauty spots.
This weekend, Police Scotland and Stirling Council closed a road beside Loch Lomond to deter day-trippers.
Scottish government guidance limits travel for recreation to five miles.
This afternoon, a line of parked cars could be seen near the Devil's Pulpit near Killearn, while at Arrochar, Traffic Scotland issued a warning as parked vehicles were causing problems for other road users on the A83.
"Please consider if your journey is necessary before travelling to places where you are likely to be turned away," urged Insp Andy Bushell of Forth Valley Police, in a post on Twitter.
"The volume of people coming into this area cannot be sustained safely."
He warned there would be additional officers and a continual police presence in the local area.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said Scotland's coronavirus guidelines could be enforced by new laws if "even a minority" continued to flout them.

Ellis-Bextor latest celebrity to suffer freak lockdown accident

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Sophie Ellis-Bextor said she was recovering at home with a "newly glued forehead"

Sophie Ellis-Bextor has become the latest in a list of celebrities to have have suffered freak accidents during this lockdown.
The 41-year-old, known to many for the singles (Groovejet) If This Ain't Love and Murder on the Dancefloor, said on Saturday she was recovering at home after a hospital trip to patch up a head injury from a bike accident near the River Thames.
Her injury comes on the heels of actor Cate Blanchett's . The two-time Oscar-winner admitted she suffered a nick to the head from a chainsaw at her home in Sussex while answering a question about her lockdown experience posed by former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard. Then there was Queen guitarist Brian May, who told the world last month how he tore his glutes during "over-enthusiastic" gardening. The 72-year-old iconic rock music figure asked his fans not to send him any sympathy.

Oil exporters agree to extend production cuts

The oil exporters' group, Opec, has reportedly agreed to extend record cuts in production for a further month. A deal reached in April between Opec members and other oil producers, including Russia, was due to expire at the end of June.
The aim of the cuts was to keep oil prices high, despite lower demand due to coronavirus lockdowns.
The UAE's energy minister, Suhail al-Mazrouei, wrote on Twitter that the "Opec +" countries had agreed unanimously to extend the current reduction until the end of July.


Goodbye for now

Here we end our daily coverage of the coronavirus crisis. We'll be back on Sunday for all the latest developments.
On Saturday, there were demonstrations in the UK, Australia and elsewhere as people marched - despite virus warnings - to protest against racism in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in the US.
Large crowds were also expected in the US capital Washington DC. Follow our coverage here .
Also on Saturday:

  • The Palace of Versailles outside Paris, France, and the Prado museum in Madrid, Spain, were amongst some of Europe's famous cultural venues to reopen
  • The World Health Organization said wearing masks in public could help slow spread of the virus
  • The number of cases in India overtook Italy's as hospitals struggle to cope
  • Globally, the number of infections stands at nearly 6.8 million and more than 396,000 people have died, according to figures collated by Johns Hopkins University

    Current date/time is Sat Nov 28 2020, 08:46