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EU threatens Britain with legal action
The EU has threatened legal action against the UK if ministers do not withdraw measures that override Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal from new legislation.
The deadline is the end of the month.

European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic said Britain had “seriously damaged trust” with the Bill that deviates from the Withdrawal Agreement signed by the Prime Minister.

In an emergency meeting in London, he told Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove that the EU does not accept the legislation is needed to protect the peace process in Northern Ireland.

And he warned that Brussels is “of the view that it does the opposite” in a statement released after the “extraordinary meeting” of the joint committee between the two sides.

He said “in no uncertain terms” that the “timely and full implementation” of the divorce deal is “a legal obligation”, according to the statement.

It warned that adopting the Bill would constitute “an extremely serious violation” of both the divorce deal and international law and Brussels would “not be shy” in deploying legal remedies.

“Violating the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement would break international law, undermine trust and put at risk the ongoing future relationship negotiations,” it added.

Mr Sefcovic called on the Government to remove measures relating to state aid and the Withdrawal Agreement from the draft Bill “in the shortest time possible and in any case by the end of the month”.

“It is now up to the UK Government to re-establish that trust,” the statement said.

The warning came as ministers published a legal position saying Parliament would not be acting “unconstitutionally” by approving the UK Internal Market Bill.

Despite ministers admitting it would breach international law, the opinion states that MPs could approve the Bill because Parliament is “sovereign as a matter of domestic law and can pass legislation which is in breach of the UK’s treaty obligations”.

Meanwhile, EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and his Downing Street counterpart Lord Frost met for the final day of the eighth round of negotiations in London.

The Prime Minister was facing a growing backlash from senior members of his own party when Lord Howard became the third former party leader to criticise the plans.

He accused the Government of damaging the UK’s “reputation for probity and respect for the rule of the law”.

“How can we reproach Russia or China or Iran when their conduct falls below internationally accepted standards, when we are showing such scant regard for our treaty obligations?” he told the House of Lords.

Mr Johnson has argued that the Bill tabled this week is necessary to preserve unfettered trade within the UK and prevent a border between Britain and Northern Ireland.

But Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin called the Prime Minister to express his concerns, including “the breach of an international treaty, the absence of bilateral engagement and the serious implications for Northern Ireland”.

The move has also angered some in the US, where Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives, said there is “absolutely no chance” of Congress passing a trade deal with the UK if it threatens the Northern Ireland peace process.

Conservative former prime ministers Sir John Major and Theresa May have also criticised Mr Johnson’s plans.

Sir John said: “If we lose our reputation for honouring the promises we make, we will have lost something beyond price that may never be regained.”

Mr Gove is yet to give an update on his meeting with Mr Sefcovic but Downing Street said he was expected to tell him the UK remains committed to the Northern Ireland Protocol and must “provide a safety net that removes any ambiguity”.

Published: 10/09/2020 by Radio NewsHub

Over 50 Derbyshire schools are set to benefits from building improvements thanks to a £1.9 million Derbyshire County Council funding initiative.

Three children injured in school bus crash in Winchester
Children were left “distressed, screaming and crying” after their double-decker school bus crashed into a railway bridge, shearing off the roof.
Three pupils were taken to hospital with “serious but not life-threatening” injuries and 12 others suffered minor injuries in the accident in Wellhouse Lane, Winchester, Hampshire, at 8.10am on Thursday.

Inspector Andy Tester, of Hampshire Police’s roads policing unit, said a further 57 children on the bus, operated by Stagecoach, and the driver were unhurt.

All of the youngsters on board were travelling to Henry Beaufort School in Winchester and are aged between 11 and 16.

Mr Tester told the PA news agency: “When officers and other emergency services arrived they found a number of people coming out of the bus and it was clear the bus had collided with the bridge.

“So we have got everyone off the bridge and assessed all of their injuries.

“The children were very, very distressed, they had obviously been in a very traumatic incident. A number of them were injured, it was a very difficult scene to deal with.

“Officers, firefighters and ambulance staff did really well to take control of the incident and made sure we assessed everyone’s injuries and secured the scene.”

Jake Coates, 14, who lives nearby and had just been picked up by the bus, said the driver had taken a shortcut because the service was running 10 minutes late.

Describing the scene, he said: “The first thing I was thinking, had anyone been crushed on the top of the bus or anything really bad had happened up on the top.

“When we got out of the bus, I could see people jumping out of the back windows and workers from nearby were catching people.

“It was quite scary, I was really shocked, I didn’t know if anyone was still inside the bus, trapped.

“A lot of people were screaming, they were shouting like they were going to die, a lot of dust came through as if the bridge was going to collapse.”

He said some of his friends had suffered cuts to their legs and one to their top.

Jake said the bus was being driven by a new driver but he had not been going fast.

He continued: “The bus came this route today because it was a couple of minutes late, it might have been 10 minutes late, so it took a different… tried to take a shortcut, which didn’t go well.”

His mother, Caroline Coates, 43, said she and her husband ran to the scene to help when they heard the crash.

She said she was relieved when she realised Jake had not been hurt and added: “The children were sat on the side, obviously quite upset, crying, bleeding.

“I went to another girl who was bleeding from the head and I stayed with her.

“It was quite a shock, quite upsetting. There was a lot of crying, wandering around, trying to get hold of their parents and the school, and checking an ambulance had arrived.”

She added: “Obviously it shouldn’t have happened, they have single-deckers that use this route.”

Robert, another pupil at Henry Beaufort School, said he was uninjured but “shaken” after the crash.

The 15-year-old, who did not want to disclose his surname, told PA: “I was on the lower deck. I was on my phone when it actually happened. We went under the tunnel and I heard a crash, and I didn’t think it was as major as it was, I didn’t know what tunnel we were under.

“It took a little while to realise what was happening … part of the roof fell down to the side of the bus that I was on.

“I waited for the people on the top deck to get off, and at that point I saw some of the bad injuries people had. I think everyone was in shock.

“When we got off the bus, everyone sat down on the grassy bank outside. People started to panic and phone parents, some people started to cry.

“It took like an hour maybe while everyone was sorted until we started to leave.”

Henry Beaufort School headteacher Sue Hearle said: “This is a distressing incident and we are extremely relieved it was not more serious.

“With the help of Hampshire County Council’s home to school transport and educational psychology teams we will be supporting all the students involved and their families.

“I do not want to speculate on the circumstances leading up to the incident but our thoughts go out to all those affected.”

Published: 10/09/2020 by Radio NewsHub

Richie Prior is joined by football Commentator Adam Bridge to look ahead to the new campaign as Liverpool begin the defence of the title with Leeds, West Brom and Fulham back in the top flight. This video was supplied by our partners, Radio News Hub.

Mass testing plans could cost up to £100 billion – reports
Ambitious mass testing plans that could keep hopes of Christmas parties alive would cost as much as £100 billion, according to reports.

Leaked documents seen by the BMJ suggest that the “Operation Moonshot” project – which would see millions of UK-wide tests carried out daily – could have a price tag close to that of the £114 billion budget given to NHS England in 2018/19.

Boris Johnson believes the scheme could help sport and entertainment venues reopen fully and allow people to socially mix in large groups again with on-the-day tests.

The Deputy chief medical officer, Dr Jenny Harries, said the success of Moonshot would depend on how it is handled.

She told ITV’s Peston: “We do want to get back to as much normality as we can and any opportunity to do that through a new testing programme or using different testing technology is clearly a good thing to be following, but it’s not quite as simple as just doing that.”

Moonshot has received mixed reviews from the scientific community, including from Dr Chaand Nagpaul, council chairman of the British Medical Association (BMA), who said it was unclear how it would work given the “huge problems” currently seen with lab capacity.

Ministers have faced increasing pressure in recent days over availability of tests, with many people reporting being sent hundreds of miles from home to get checked for the illness.

The new testing plans come as the Prime Minister admitted it was “too early to say” whether big parties could be held over the festive season this year.

Speaking at a Downing Street briefing on Wednesday, the Prime Minister hoped that “we could be able to get some aspects of our lives back to normal by Christmas” and pointed to mass testing as something which could help society open back up further.

For now, however, Mr Johnson urged people to limit their social contact “as much as possible” as he confirmed that social gatherings of more than six people will be outlawed in England from Monday.

Lockdown rules could also be tightened in other parts of the UK, as rates of Covid-19 infection have risen across the country in recent days.

Meanwhile the latest figures in the Government’s test and trace will be released on Thursday.

Last week, the number of close contacts of people who tested positive for Covid-19 being reached through Test and Trace was at its lowest since the system was launched.

On Wednesday, a further 2,659 positive cases were confirmed across the UK, taking the total up to 355,219.

Positive results have increased from from 12.5 per 100,000 people to 19.7 per 100,000 in the UK in the last week – with a particular rise in infections among young people.

Infections are most prevalent among the 19 to 21-year-old age group, with 54 cases per 100,000 people.

In Northern Ireland, it is expected that restrictions will be tightened on Thursday, while in Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will announce the latest review of lockdown rules north of the border.

Ms Sturgeon had already warned her latest review was “likely to take a very cautious approach”.

Published: 10/09/2020 by Radio NewsHub

Social gatherings of more than six banned as coronavirus cases rise
Social gatherings of more than six people will be illegal in England from Monday as the Government seeks to curb the rise in coronavirus cases.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will use a press conference to announce the change in the law after the number of daily positive Covid-19 cases in the UK rose to almost 3,000.

The legal limit on social gatherings will be reduced from 30 people to six. It will apply to gatherings indoors and outdoors – including private homes, as well as parks, pubs and restaurants.

Gatherings of more than six people will be allowed where the household or support bubble is larger than six, or where the gathering is for work or education purposes.

Exemptions will also apply for weddings, funerals and Covid-secure organised team sports, with a full list to be published by the Government before Monday.

Mr Johnson is expected to tell the press conference: “We need to act now to stop the virus spreading. So we are simplifying and strengthening the rules on social contact – making them easier to understand and for the police to enforce.

“It is absolutely critical that people now abide by these rules and remember the basics – washing your hands, covering your face, keeping space from others, and getting a test if you have symptoms.”

Downing Street said chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty, chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and the Government had jointly agreed that urgent action was needed after the rise in coronavirus cases.

Some 2,420 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus were recorded in Britain as of 9am on Tuesday, following the 2,988 reported in the UK on Sunday, which was the largest daily figure since May.

The Government hopes that the change to the law will make it easier for the police to identify and disperse illegal gatherings. Failure to comply could result in a £100 fine, which will double on each repeat offence up to £3,200.

Number 10 said Mr Johnson held a virtual roundtable with police forces last week where officers expressed their desire for rules on social contact to be simplified.

But the Police Federation of England and Wales urged the Government to “play its part” through a public information campaign after “so many changes in legislation”.

The association’s national chairman John Apter said: “For policing, these constant changes to legislation are becoming the norm. The pressures on policing have increased significantly over recent months and this latest change will add to this pressure.

“My colleagues will support the public through what is going to be a very difficult time. At all times they will also remind people that a breach of these regulations means breaking the law.

“However, the Government needs to play its part. With so many changes in legislation, an effective public information campaign must be a priority – as there’s been so much confusion for the public and many people don’t know exactly what the law says.”

Different rules apply to social gatherings elsewhere in the UK.

In Scotland, up to eight people are allowed to meet indoors, while groups of 15 from up to five households are permitted outdoors, but people should maintain a social distance.

People there should not meet people from more than four other households in total whether indoors and/or outdoors.

In Wales, up to 30 people can meet outdoors and in Northern Ireland the number is 15.

The change to the law comes after Mr Johnson told his Cabinet that ministers must ensure there is “no complacency” among the public, and particularly young people, following the rise in coronavirus infections.

And Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned of a possible second peak, as he imposed further measures in Bolton restricting all hospitality to takeaways only – as well as new rules meaning venues will have to close between 10pm and 5am.

Meanwhile, Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething said a local coronavirus lockdown is being imposed in Caerphilly because there is evidence of “community transmission” in the area.

People will not be allowed to enter or leave the area without a reasonable excuse after the restrictions came into force at 6pm on Tuesday.

Elsewhere:

– EasyJet’s chief executive officer, Johan Lundgren, said the Government faced its “last chance” to save the aviation industry, writing in the Daily Mail that the removal of passenger taxes and a winter furlough scheme would help the sector survive.

– A “Hands Face Space” campaign has been launched urging people to ensure they have washed their hands, used a mask where appropriate and maintain social distancing.

– Sarah-Jane Marsh, a senior official at NHS Test and Trace, issued an apology to people unable to get a Covid-19 test, saying laboratories processing the tests are at a “critical pinch-point”.

– Just over 57,400 deaths involving Covid-19 have now been registered in the UK, according to figures from official data sources.

Published: 09/09/2020 by Radio NewsHub

Kim Kardashian West announces end of family’s reality TV show after 20 seasons
Kim Kardashian West has announced the family’s long-running reality TV show will end after a final season next year.

Keeping Up With The Kardashians premiered in 2007 and made worldwide stars out of the family.

The show was frequently targeted by critics, who accused it of being bland, while fans defended it as being a “guilty pleasure”.

It will come to an end after its 20th season in early 2021, Kardashian West, 39, said on Instagram.

“It is with heavy hearts that we’ve made the difficult decision as a family to say goodbye to Keeping Up With The Kardashians,” she said.

“After what will be 14 years, 20 seasons, hundreds of episodes and numerous spin-off shows, we are beyond grateful to all of you who’ve watched us for all of these years – through the good times, the bad times, the happiness, the tears, and the many relationships and children.

“We’ll forever cherish the wonderful memories and countless people we’ve met along the way.”

Kardashian West thanked the E! network which aired the show, as well as executive producer Ryan Seacrest.

She added: “Without Keeping Up with The Kardashians, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am so incredibly grateful to everyone who has watched and supported me and my family these past 14 incredible years.

“This show made us who we are and I will be forever in debt to everyone who played a role in shaping our careers and changing our lives forever.

“With Love and Gratitude, Kim.” Kardashian West, who was a little-known socialite when the show launched, is now one of the most famous women on the planet and oversees a booming cosmetics business.

Her profile rocketed following the release of a sex tape with ex-boyfriend Ray J in 2007, leading to the reality TV show.

She and her sisters leveraged their fame from the show to amass small fortunes.

The programme originally focused on sisters Kim, Kourtney and Khloe, before widening its scope to include other family members, such as “momager” Kris Jenner, her now-ex-husband Caitlyn Jenner, sisters Kylie and Kendall and Kourtney’s former partner Scott Disick.

Kendall, 24, and Kylie, 23, were children when the programme first hit screens but are now two of the most influential young people in the world.

Other famous faces to feature include Kardashian West’s husband Kanye West, Khloe’s ex-husband Lamar Odom and Rob Kardashian’s ex-fiance Blac Chyna.

Responding to news that Keeping Up With The Kardashians was finishing, Khloe, 36 and mother to two-year-old daughter True, said: “I am so grateful and thankful to everyone who has supported us and been there through it all.

“I’m too emotional to fully express myself at the moment. My sappy post will come soon. Change is hard but also needed at times. I love you all. Thank you for the memories!”

Kourtney, 41, said she will “gather my thoughts” before speaking.

Published: 09/09/2020 by Radio NewsHub

Covid vaccine trial paused after side effect reported in UK patient
Trials of a Covid-19 vaccine under development by AstraZeneca and Oxford University have been put on hold owing to a reported side effect in a patient in the UK.

AstraZeneca issued a statement saying the late-stage studies of the vaccine had been paused while the company investigates whether the patient’s reported side effect is connected with the vaccine.

AstraZeneca did not reveal any information about the patient’s condition other than to describe it as “a potentially unexplained illness”.

News site Stat first reported the pause in testing and said the possible side effect occurred in a testing volunteer in Britain, who was expected to recover.

The vaccine, developed by Oxford University, is being tested in thousands of people in Britain and the US, and in smaller study groups in Brazil and South America.

An AstraZeneca spokeswoman said the pause was part of a standard review process which occurs in trial if there is a “potentially unexplained illness” reported in any trial subject, and that the subject’s illness could also be coincidental.

“As part of the ongoing randomised, controlled global trials of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine, our standard review process was triggered and we voluntarily paused vaccination to allow review of safety data by an independent committee,” the spokeswoman said in a statement.

“This is a routine action which has to happen whenever there is a potentially unexplained illness in one of the trials, while it is investigated, ensuring we maintain the integrity of the trials.

“In large trials illnesses will happen by chance but must be independently reviewed to check this carefully.

“We are working to expedite the review of the single event to minimise any potential impact on the trial timeline. We are committed to the safety of our participants and the highest standards of conduct in our trials.”

No details about the patient suffering the potential side effect, or the nature of the reaction, were given.

Temporary holds of large medical studies are not uncommon, and looking into any unexpected reactions is a mandatory part of safety testing. It was not immediately clear how long AstraZeneca’s pause would last.

Two other vaccines are in huge, final-stage tests in the United States, one made by Moderna Inc and the other by Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech.

Stats reported a total of nine vaccine candidates in late stage, or phase 3, trials, with AstraZeneca’s the first trial known to have been put on hold.

Despite some figures, such as US President Donald Trump, insisting a vaccine will be ready in a matter of months, Oxford University says a vaccine might not be ready before 2022.

The university stressed clinical trials had to be conducted with the utmost care.

“It takes time to develop safe and effective vaccines – usually five to ten years on average. Despite promising reports about potential coronavirus vaccines being developed worldwide, it could still take an estimated 12-18 months to develop one,” a document on the university’s website, dated August 25, reads.

“It is essential that clinical trials are conducted with great care to ensure the safety of the participants and to fully establish the safety profile of the new products.

“Safety is overseen closely during the trials both by the national regulator with a requirement of safety reporting placed on investigators throughout the trial, and inspections of the trial processes and procedures by the regulator, and an independent safety monitoring committee who reviews safety actively during the conduct of the clinical trial.

“When an application for use of the vaccine is made to a regulator, they will fully assess the safety and efficacy data from the trials and use that to inform on their decision about potential use.”

Published: 09/09/2020 by Radio NewsHub

What are the new rules on social gatherings?
The number of people that can attend social gatherings will be slashed to six in England following a rise in coronavirus cases across the UK.

Here RNH takes a look at what the new rules mean.

What are the new rules?

From Monday, gatherings of more than six people will be illegal.

Currently, the lawful limit on gatherings is 30 people.

Why are they being introduced?

The chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, and chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, have agreed that the action is needed urgently after the number of positive cases rose steeply.

In a Zoom meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week, police forces said they would like rules on social contact to be simplified.

Where will they apply to?

The rules will apply across England to all ages and to indoor and outdoor gatherings.

This will include private homes, parks, pubs and restaurants and they will be applied to all ages.

This means that you cannot sit at a pub or restaurant table with more than five friends at any given time, although it is unclear how many ‘bubbles’ that group could be a part of.

Full guidance on what can and cannot happen will be issued later.

Will there be any exemptions?

There will be a few scenarios where the restrictions do not apply, such as if your household or support bubble is larger than six people, or if you are gathering in a large group for the sake of work or education.

Weddings, funerals and organised team sports will also be exempt if they are conducted in a Covid-secure way.

What will the punishments be for breaking the rules?

The Government hope the new rules will make it easier for the police to break up large gatherings.

Failure to stick to the new rules could mean a £100 fine, which will double with every subsequent offence up to £3,200.

What does the Prime Minister say?

The Prime Minister will officially announce the new rules at a press conference on Wednesday.

He is expected to then tell the public: “We need to act now to stop the virus spreading.

“So we are simplifying and strengthening the rules on social contact – making them easier to understand and for the police to enforce.

“It is absolutely critical that people now abide by these rules and remember the basics – washing your hands, covering your face, keeping space from others, and getting a test if you have symptoms.”

What are the rules in other parts of the UK?

In Scotland, up to eight people are allowed to meet indoors, while groups of 15 from up to five households are permitted outdoors, but people should maintain a social distance.

People there should not meet people from more than 4 other households in total whether indoors and/or outdoors – in any day.

In Wales, up to 30 people can meet outdoors and in Northern Ireland the number is 15.

How can we be socialising safely?

A new campaign has been launched to encourage people to help stop the spread of coronavirus as we are more likely to socialise indoors during the autumn and the winter.

The Hands Face Space campaign urges people to ensure they have washed their hands, used a mask where appropriate and maintain social distancing.

The campaign states that these are the three most effective ways the public can contain the spread of the virus.

Published: 09/09/2020 by Radio NewsHub

Restrictions to be announced on social gatherings in England
Boris Johnson will announce that most gatherings of more than six people will be made illegal from Monday
Social gatherings of more than six people will be illegal in England from Monday as the Government seeks to curb the rise in coronavirus cases.

Boris Johnson will use a press conference on Wednesday to announce the change in the law after the number of daily positive Covid-19 cases in the UK rose to almost 3,000.

The legal limit on social gatherings will be reduced from 30 people to six. It will apply to gatherings indoors and outdoors – including private homes, as well as parks, pubs and restaurants.

Gatherings of more than six people will be allowed where the household or support bubble is larger than six, or where the gathering is for work or education purposes.

Exemptions will also apply for weddings, funerals and organised team sports in a Covid-secure way.

Published: 08/09/2020 by Radio NewsHub


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