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Bill and Melinda Gates announce they are ending their marriage
Bill and Melinda Gates have announced that they are divorcing.
The Microsoft co-founder and his wife, who launched the world’s largest charitable foundation, said they would continue to work together at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

In identical tweets, they said they had made the decision to end their marriage of 27 years.

“We have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives,” they said in a statement.

“We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”

In her 2019 memoir, The Moment of Lift, Mrs Gates wrote about her childhood, life and private struggles as the wife of a public figure and stay-at-home mother with three children.

She won Mr Gates’ heart after meeting at a work dinner, sharing a mutual love of puzzles and beating him at a maths game.

The couple’s sprawling Seattle-based foundation is easily the most influential private foundation in the world, with an endowment worth nearly 50 billion dollars.

It has focused on global health and development and US education issues since incorporating in 2000.

The couple were married in 1994 in Hawaii. They met after she began working at Microsoft as a product manager in 1987.

Last year, Mr Gates, formerly the world’s richest person, said he was stepping down from Microsoft’s board to focus on philanthropy.

Mr Gates was Microsoft’s CEO until 2000 and since then has gradually scaled back his involvement in the company he started with Paul Allen in 1975.

He transitioned out of a day-to-day role in Microsoft in 2008 and served as chairman of the board until 2014.

Published: 04/05/2021 by Radio NewsHub

A new reports suggests evidence of hybrid working post-pandemic
IWG conducted research among 500 business leaders
New research suggests that traditional commuter towns have seen demand for office and flexible space increase while interest in city centre offices has fallen.

IWG say that towns such as Bromsgrove, St Albans and Stirling have all seen a major rise in inquiries for co-working and office space as businesses and employees adapt to new ways of working.

Their report suggests that the increases show that a hybrid model, with workers splitting time between home, a local office, and occasionally at a corporate HQ, is the future of post-pandemic working.

Research among 500 business leaders by IWG indicated that three times the number of companies are looking to use a hybrid office model compared to those looking to carry on in the same way as pre-pandemic.

Published: 03/05/2021 by Radio NewsHub

Mia the Collie is now back to full health.

Starbucks creates 400 jobs across UK as demand rebounds
The new roles will take the workforce in the UK to over 4,000
Starbucks has launched a hiring spree for 400 roles as the cafe chain has been buoyed by the easing of pandemic restrictions.

The company, which was founded in Seattle 50 years ago, say it is recruiting new staff members across the UK in anticipation of a busy summer period.

Positions will be available across almost 200 sites including city-centre, suburban high street and drive-thru locations as it builds its workforce to deal with higher demand.

The company say it did not make any redundancies or take furlough support after the pandemic struck its UK operations.

It says its new hiring plans will primarily fill “natural vacancies” from staff choosing to leave the business who were not replaced while it was strangled by virus curbs.

Starbucks, which currently employs 3,664 staff across the UK, added that some roles will also be in drive-thru locations.

The chain expanded its drive-thru and delivery options to meet customer demand as dine-in options were restricted by public health policy.

The company say that around 98% of its estate is currently operational.

Published: 03/05/2021 by Radio NewsHub

Thats according to estate agent Savills, which carried out the research.

Good chance ‘one-metre plus’ rule can be ditched on June 21, says Johnson
There is a “good chance” the one-metre plus rule for social distancing can be ditched next month, Boris Johnson said.
Mr Johnson said he feels like the next stage of reopening on May 17 – which covers indoor hospitality, entertainment and possibly foreign travel – “is going to be good”.

One industry chief has said a return to unrestricted trading for hospitality from June 21 is “critical” and will mean firms can “come off life support”.

The comments from Kate Nicholls, chief executive of trade body UKHospitality, came as The Times reported social distancing rules will be lifted to allow pubs, restaurants and theatres to open to full capacity for the first time in more than a year.

One-way systems, screens and mask-wearing while moving around might remain for hospitality venues but customer numbers will no longer be limited, the newspaper said.

Audiences in theatres and cinemas will have to wear face coverings during performances, while there will be strict guidance on ventilation and staggered entry, The Times reported.

Speaking during a campaign visit to Hartlepool, Mr Johnson told reporters: “As things stand, and the way things are going, with the vaccine rollout going the way that it is – we have done 50 million jabs as I speak to you today, quarter of the adult population, one in four have had two jabs.

“You are seeing the results of that really starting to show up in the epidemiology.

“I think that we will be able to go ahead, feels like May 17 is going to be good.

“But it also looks to me as though June 21 we’ll be able to say social distancing as we currently have to do it, the one-metre plus, I think we have got a good chance of being able to dispense with the one-metre plus from June 21.

“That is still dependent on the data, we can’t say it categorically yet, we have got to look at the epidemiology as we progress, we have got to look at where we get to with the disease. But that’s what it feels like to me right now.”

On Sunday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said “some safeguards” may stay in place when legal restrictions end, such as continued use of masks and physical distancing.

Last month, Government scientific advisers said the public should be able to remove face masks over the summer as vaccines do the heavy lifting in controlling Covid-19 – but they cautioned that masks and possibly other measures may be needed next autumn and winter if cases surge.

Responding to the report in The Times, Ms Nicholls said: “These reports are very welcome if true.

“However, we must wait to see the full detail of plans as any restrictions in venues will continue to impact revenue and business viability.

“A return to unrestricted trading on June 21 is critical and will mean hospitality businesses (can) come off life support and be viable for the first time in almost 16 months.

“We urge the Government to confirm reopening dates and these plans at the earliest opportunity, which will boost confidence and allow companies to step up planning and bring staff back.”

A spokesman for the UK Cinema Association indicated that the organisation hopes face coverings will not be a continued requirement.

He said: “We strongly believe that our exemplary record on safety – with not a single case of Covid traced back to a UK venue – and our ability to manage the movement of cinema-goers in modern, highly ventilated indoor environments offer ample evidence that any relaxation from June 21 can be undertaken safely without the need for further ongoing restrictions, including any requirement for face coverings.”

A Cabinet Office spokesman pointed back to the wording of the road map out of lockdown, which states that the Government “will complete a review of social distancing measures and other long-term measures that have been put in place to limit transmission”.

The review’s findings “will help inform decisions on the timing and circumstances under which rules on one-metre-plus, face masks and other measures may be lifted”.

It comes as the Government announced the limit on the number of mourners who can attend funerals is to be lifted in England.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) said the legal restriction of a maximum of 30 mourners will be removed as part of the next stage of lockdown easing, expected on May 17.

The capacity will be determined by how many people venues, such as places of worship or funeral homes, can safely accommodate while maintaining social distancing, the department added.

The ban on foreign holidays is expected to be lifted for people in England from May 17 as part of the next easing of coronavirus restrictions.

But Mr Johnson has cautioned that while there will be “some openings up” from that date, the approach must be “sensible” to avoid an “influx of disease” when international travel resumes.

Published: 03/05/2021 by Radio NewsHub

Toto Wolff believes ‘exceptional’ is the new normal for Lewis Hamilton
The Brit took his 97th F1 win at the Portuguese Grand Prix at Portimao
Lewis Hamilton’s impressive performances are being repeated with such regularity that Mercedes boss Toto Wolff now believes “exceptional” is the new normal for Britain’s seven-time world champion.

The Mercedes driver delivered another mighty display in the Algarve on Sunday to race past championship rival Max Verstappen and team-mate Valtteri Bottas and win for a second time this season.

He will head into this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix with an eight-point advantage over Red Bull’s Verstappen in his quest for an eighth world crown.

Nico Rosberg, the only name other than Hamilton’s on Formula One’s championship trophy in the last seven seasons, called his former rival’s drive “phenomenal”.

And Wolff, who has overseen Hamilton’s remarkable run of success at Mercedes, said: “We had a good car but Lewis just drove an immaculate race.

“It makes no sense to talk about these exceptional Lewis performances because they have been quite regular. It is his standard now and he sets that standard to himself.”

Published: 03/05/2021 by Radio NewsHub

Toto Wolff believes ‘exceptional’ is the new normal for Lewis Hamilton
The Brit took his 97th F1 win at the Portuguese Grand Prix at Portimao
Lewis Hamilton’s impressive performances are being repeated with such regularity that Mercedes boss Toto Wolff now believes “exceptional” is the new normal for Britain’s seven-time world champion.

The Mercedes driver delivered another mighty display in the Algarve on Sunday to race past championship rival Max Verstappen and team-mate Valtteri Bottas and win for a second time this season.

He will head into this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix with an eight-point advantage over Red Bull’s Verstappen in his quest for an eighth world crown.

Nico Rosberg, the only name other than Hamilton’s on Formula One’s championship trophy in the last seven seasons, called his former rival’s drive “phenomenal”.

And Wolff, who has overseen Hamilton’s remarkable run of success at Mercedes, said: “We had a good car but Lewis just drove an immaculate race.

“It makes no sense to talk about these exceptional Lewis performances because they have been quite regular. It is his standard now and he sets that standard to himself.”

Published: 03/05/2021 by Radio NewsHub

Simon Yates setting sights on Giro d’Italia victory
The 28-year-old from Bury won his first Grand Tour title at the Vuelta a Espana in 2018

Britain’s Simon Yates is targeting victory in this year’s Giro d’Italia.

The 28-year-old from Bury will lead Team BikeExchange’s hopes in the race, which begins in Turin on Saturday and finishes in Milan at the end of the month.

Yates spent 13 days in the leader’s Maglia Rosa in 2018 and finished eighth in 2019, while last year he was among the favourites to win but had to withdraw at the end of the first week after testing positive for Covid.

Yates, who won his first Grand Tour title at the Vuelta a Espana in 2018, said: “The Giro d’Italia is a race that I really enjoy. I hope this year I can have a clear run and a good go at fighting for the win, and we have a very strong team to try to do that.

“This year the route looks very hard. Of course there are some differences to the previous years that I have raced at the Giro d’Italia. It is bookended with two time trials and time trials are not my speciality, so we will try to limit the losses there.

“The team we have for the race is most of the team that we had at the Tour of the Alps and we really gelled well together there. We have been working very well and everybody is just looking forward to getting the race started now.”

Yates, who will be supported in the mountains by Spaniard Mikel Nieve and Estonian Tanel Kangert, recently won the Tour of the Alps in Austria and Italy.

Meanwhile, Britain’s James Knox has been confirmed in the Deceuninck-QuickStep squad for the Giro.

Published: 03/05/2021 by Radio NewsHub

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe ‘to be released as part of Iran prisoner exchange’
Iran will free a number of prisoners with Western ties – including British-Iranian woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe – in exchange for billions of pounds from the US and the UK, according to state television.
The report quoted an anonymous official just as Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei began giving what authorities earlier described as an “important” speech.

However, Mr Khamenei did not immediately discuss any proposed swap amid negotiations in Vienna over Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers, and the US denied the prisoner swap report.

The official quoted by Iranian state TV said a deal made between the US and Tehran involved a prisoner swap in exchange for the release of 7 billion dollars (£5 billion) in frozen Iranian funds.

“The Americans accepted to pay 7 billion dollars and swap four Iranians who were active in bypassing sanctions for four American spies who have served part of their sentences,” state TV said, quoting the official.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price immediately denied the report, saying: “Reports that a prisoner swap deal has been reached are not true. As we have said, we always raise the cases of Americans detained or missing in Iran. We will not stop until we are able to reunite them with their families.”

Tehran is holding four known Americans in prison: Baquer and Siamak Namazi, environmentalist Morad Tahbaz, and Iranian-American businessman Emad Shargi.

The state TV report did not name the Iranians Tehran hopes to get the in swap.

State TV also quoted the official as saying a deal had been reached for the UK to pay £400 million for the release of Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

She was sentenced last week to an additional year in prison, her lawyer said, on charges of spreading “propaganda against the system” for participating in a protest in front of the Iranian Embassy in London in 2009.

That came after she completed a five-year sentence in the Islamic Republic after being convicted of plotting the overthrow of Iran’s government, a charge that she, her supporters and rights groups deny.

While employed at the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of the news agency, she was taken into custody at Tehran airport in April 2016 as she was returning home to Britain after visiting family.

Her husband Richard Ratcliffe told the Associated Press he was not aware of any swap.

“We haven’t heard anything,” he said. “Of course we probably wouldn’t, but my instinct is to be sceptical at present.”

Published: 02/05/2021 by Radio NewsHub


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