Three-tier lockdown: How do I know what level my local area falls under?
A new three-tier system of local lockdown measures for England is expected to be announced by prime minister Boris Johnson on Monday to help keep the spread of coronavirus under control. Different parts of the country will be split up into “medium”, “high” or “very high” local coronavirus alert areas...
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Covid: 'How my faith has helped me through lockdown'
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Calls to ease lockdown faster as fall in Covid deaths in England is 3 weeks ahead of estimates
CALLS are being made to ease lockdown faster after Covid deaths in England fell three weeks ahead of the government's estimates.Boris Johnson has repeatedly stressed that he will be guided by “data not dates” as the country leaves lockdown.
In 'exceedingly rare' case, Iowa journalist faces charges from reporting on summer protests
Des Moines Register reporter Andrea Sahouri, photographed on July 16, 2020, at the Des Moines Register. Kelsey Kremer/The Register The trial of a Des Moines Register reporter who was arrested covering racial justice protests last summer is slated to begin next week in what experts said is a rare criminal prosecution of a journalist on assignment in the USA. Andrea Sahouri faces charges of failure to disperse and interference with official acts and is set to stand trial starting Monday. At least 126 journalists were arrested or detained in 2020, but only 14 still face charges, according to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker . The group's managing editor, Kirstin McCudden, said it's "surprising and unknown" why Sahouri's charges remain . Media and journalism groups called for the charges to be dropped, including the Committee to Protect Journalists and students and staff from the Columbia University School of Journalism , where Sahouri earned a master's degree. The human rights organization Amnesty International has also taken up the cause. "That this trial is happening at all is a violation of free press rights and a miscarriage of justice," the Des Moines Register's Editorial Board wrote in an editorial . Carol Hunter, the newspaper's executive editor, told USA TODAY that the Register is helping Sahouri fight the charges because they "see it as a fundamental principle ... that a reporter has a right to be at a protest scene to be able to observe what is going on and to report." Opinion: Trying a Des Moines Register reporter arrested while covering a protest violates free press rights Sahouri was arrested while on assignment at a mall in Des Moines to cover protests in the days after the killing of George Floyd , a Black man who died as a white police officer knelt on his neck. Floyd's death provoked unrest across the country , and Des Moines experienced days of protest demanding racial justice and changes to policing. Police and prosecutors have provided few details about the incident May 31. Sahouri said she repeatedly told officers she was a journalist working in her official capacity to report on the protest. The Des Moines Register, which is owned by Gannett, the same parent company as USA TODAY, reported that another reporter at the newspaper who was with Sahouri and not arrested corroborated her account of the events. Sahouri declined to comment to USA TODAY so close to trial. Nicholas Klinefeldt, her attorney, told USA TODAY he could not comment until the trial was over. Polk County Attorney John Sarcone declined to comment as well, citing the pending trial and ethical considerations. In a statement Aug. 20 to the Des Moines Register, Sarcone said, "We strongly disagree with how this matter has been characterized and will do our talking in the courtroom, which is the proper place to deal with this case." An arrest report of the incident did not name Sahouri in describing the alleged crimes . The report said the protest had "evolved" and people were "engaging in assaultive conduct, the intimidation of people and destruction of property." "During these activities, defendant was in hearing distance of the officer giving commands to disperse and failed to leave the area," the report said. In a video filmed from a police vehicle immediately after her arrest, Sahouri said she told officers she was a reporter and was leaving the area. “I was saying, ‘I'm press, I'm press, I'm press,’” Sahouri said in the video. More on Sahouri's case: Judge declines to dismiss charges against Register reporter but orders state to produce bodycam footage Sahouri said that she was with her then-boyfriend , who was there for safety reasons while covering the protests, when the arrest occurred and that they were fleeing the area. He was hit by a projectile, and Sahouri was pepper-sprayed before they were arrested, she said. He pleaded not guilty to similar charges. "I'm just doing my job as a journalist. I'm just out here reporting as I see," Sahouri said in the video. In a supplemental report , written a week after the arrest and obtained by the Des Moines Register, an officer wrote Sahouri did not identify herself as a reporter until she was in police custody. The report described officers spraying chemical irritants in the crowd. In court , Klinefeldt argued that his client and those near her shouldn't have been pepper-sprayed because they were fleeing the area. He raised issues around discrepancies between Sahouri's and her then- boyfriend's arrest reports, which are nearly identical but list two different arrest locations despite them being together at the time . Hunter , the Register's executive editor, said she was surprised and disappointed the charges hadn't been dropped. She questioned the claim that Sahouri disobeyed orders, given that she was leaving the area. Freedom of the press includes freedom to gather news, including being present at a protest scene, Hunter said. "Andrea was there as a working journalist, and her job was to be the eyes and ears to the public at a historic moment, witnessing and observing what was unfolding," Hunter said. David Ardia, a law professor and co-director at the University of North Carolina's Center for Media Law and Policy, said going to trial in a case like this is "exceedingly rare." The First Amendment does not give journalists a "free pass" to do what the public is not permitted to do at a protest, Ardia said, but police departments and prosecutors , through policies or informal understandings, do not often arrest or prosecute journalists for covering the events. Ardia said the case sends "a chilling message" to journalists that their rights won't be recognized. “It's clearly sending a signal, whether it's intentional or not, to other reporters: ‘Don't cover protests in Des Moines,’” he said. Sahouri is one of four journalists who have hearings this month in connection with arrests in 2020 in their capacity as journalists, according to McCudden , with the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker . In most cases, reporters had charges against them dropped. In Des Moines, the day after Sahouri's arrest, a freelance journalist was arrested, and those charges were dismissed at the request of prosecutors. More on 2020 protests: Journalists blinded, injured, arrested covering George Floyd protests nationwide The number of reporters arrested last year – at least 126 – was more than the total number of arrests that the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker documented in all years combined since its inception in 2017, McCudden said. In 2019, nine journalists were arrested or detained, according to the tracker. McCudden said it is "extraordinary" that the case is going to trial, given how few cases get this far. During 2020, especially in the height of the protests, the arrests and detainment of journalists appeared to become an ordinary occurrence, she said. McCudden described the reasons for the uptick in journalist arrests in 2020 like "onion layers." The majority of the arrests came during the Floyd protests. The period was "a very tense time," coming on the heels of anti-lockdown protests against coronavirus restrictions and in the middle of an election year involving a president, Donald Trump, who routinely criticized journalists, McCudden said. Sahouri came to the Register in August 2019 as an intern covering breaking news, Hunter said. In April 2020, she started working full-time as a public safety reporter, routinely covering police calls, traffic accidents and weather. Hunter described Sahouri as "a very empathetic interviewer," who often spoke with the families of victims of accidents or crimes and was "able to make them comfortable enough to share their stories." In February, she was named one of three winners of the Jay P. Wagner Prize for Young Journalists, an award given by the Iowa Newspaper Foundation. In a letter nominating Sahouri for the award, Hunter wrote, "Andrea is undeterred. She continues to seek out Iowans’ stories and hold law enforcement and other officials accountable for their actions." Contributing: Tyler J. Davis, Des Moines Register Follow USA TODAY's Ryan Miller on Twitter @RyanW_Miller This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: In 'exceedingly rare' case, Iowa journalist faces charges from reporting on summer protests Freedom Of The PressPoliticsProtest RiotCase LawCriminal LawCriminal ProsecutionArrested At ProtestAmnesty InternationalIowa Newspaper FoundationGannettJournalist ArrestsIowa JournalistRacial Justice ProtestsAnti-lockdown ProtestsSummer ProtestsGeorge FloydHunterDonald TrumpRyan Miller
This Governor Just Lifted COVID Lockdown 100%
This week, multiple top experts—including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and infectious disease expert Michael Osterholm, Ph.D., MPH, have warned against states and individuals easing up on restrictions and COVID-19 prevention measures. Why? Because cases of COVID-19 will likely surge again due to the new, more highly infectious variants rapidly spreading around the country, which could happen within the next few weeks. However, on Tuesday, one governor has opted to lift all state COVID restrictions. Read on to find out who and where—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.Read Full StoryCovidEuropePublic HealthTexansHouston Health AuthorityComplete LockdownGovernorGov. AbbottState MandatesTexasMedicalLubbockInfection RatesCoronavirusHospitalization RatesAnthony FauciMichael OsterholmGreg Abbott
Northern Ireland lockdown: ‘Tentative’ roadmap out of restrictions unveiled
Northern Ireland has outlined “tentative” preparatory steps towards the lifting of coronavirus restrictions. Stormont’s deputy first minister, Michelle O’Neill, said it was time to look forward in a hopeful way while recognising the huge risks that remained. Ms O’Neill said on Tuesday: “Great care is still needed. That is why the executive has agreed today a careful, cautious and hopeful approach to existing restrictions and we will be publishing that later today for everyone to see.” It would be driven by “health, community, economic data and analysis”, not hard dates, she said. Ms O’Neill said Stormont did not want to set “potentially unachievable dates” that will “only disappoint”. The executive is committed to keeping the restrictions “only as long as is needed”, she said, adding that its plan “builds in time between key steps and relaxations”. Government departments will meet weekly to consider when the reopening steps will take place. The plan focuses on nine sectors that are deemed “vital”: home and community; education and young people; worship and ceremonies; sports and leisure activities; work; retail; hospitality; travel and tourism and culture; and heritage and entertainment. Although the pathway “recognises that there will be some adaptations in our lives”, Ms O’Neill said they hoped to reopen the education sector as quickly as possible, “for the sake of children and young people, for their education, for their wellbeing and for future aspirations”. Ms O’Neill urged everyone to take a coronavirus vaccination when it is offered. “We all have hope for this year,” she added. “And together, we will get through this.” Northern IrelandTourismRoadmapLockdownPublic HealthEconomic ActivitiesEconomic DataStormontGovernment DepartmentsCoronavirus RestrictionsApproachRetailLeisure ActivitiesTodayCommunityMichelle O'neill
Under 55's found lockdown most challenging, finds survey
A UK wide survey of 2252 adults, carried out five weeks into the first lockdown revealed 95% of those who took part were following lockdown restrictions. Of that 95% more than 80% reported finding it challenging. Adjusting to changes in daily routines, and mental and physical health struggles were the most common challenges faced by participants. Women and adults under the age of 55 were most likely to report experiencing challenges.Read Full StoryTranslational ResearchMental HealthUkStudy GroupsPublished ResearchPhysical HealthSocial ResearchJournalBehavioural ScienceBritishGM PSTRCLockdown RestrictionsCross-sectional SurveyPatient SafetyPrioritise Interventions
I left London to move back in with my parents in Mayo - here's how it went
A Mayo woman has shared her experience of giving up her life in London and moving home to the Irish countryside during the pandemic. Jenny Feehan from Kilmeena said she originally only intended to come home for a few weeks last summer. “I thought it would be nicer to spend...Read Full StoryBrexitIrelandUkWork From HomeWorking At HomeMayoIrishLondon RentChristmasJenny FeehanMedicalLockdownDatesBarsRSVP Live
Mum who drove 56 miles to beach for son’s 4th birthday during lockdown insisted she’s ‘not doing any harm’
A MUM who broke lockdown to drive 56 miles to the beach for her son's birthday today insisted she had done nothing wrong.Defiant Laura McGhee stood by her decision to embark on the day trip from Oldham to Merseyside at the weekend.
Merkel Urges Lockdown Easing as She Gives In to Public Pressure
(Bloomberg) -- Chancellor Angela Merkel said it was necessary to cautiously relax Germany’s anti-virus restrictions despite a stubbornly high infection rate, as she acknowledged that people are getting tired after a four-months long lockdown. “I also think that easing is necessary,” the German leader said in a video call with...Read Full StoryLockdown EasingEconomyGermanyEuropePublic HealthPublic PressurePolitical PressureStrict RulesGermansRKIDayThirdQuickTakeBloomberg L.P.SpiegelGrowing PressureAngela MerkelOlaf ScholzPeter AltmaierTobias Hans
Germany to extend lockdown until 28 March
Germany is set to extend its coronavirus lockdown until 28 March. This was suggeted in a draft agreement for talks between chancellor Angela Merkel and the heads of the country’s federal states. The draft still needs to be agreed on and discussions are set to take place on Wednesday between Angela Merkel and the leaders of Germany ’s states. In spite of the proposed lockdown extension, small private gatherings of people from multiple households may be allowed to take place from Monday 8 March. In the draft, bookshops, florists and gardening shops will be allowed to reopen. Other businesses will be able to do business in regions where levels of Covid-19 infections have dropped below 35 per 100,000 over 7 days. The draft agreement also indicates that in order to open, businesses will have to follow under strict hygiene requirements. It is expected that Germany will make an appeal to citizens suggesting that they avoid travel, both domestic and foreign, over the Easter holiday period. However the draft, seen by Reuters on Tuesday, said that an exception will be made for small family gatherings during the holiday period. Hairdressers across the country reopened for business on Monday, following nearly two-and-a-half months of closures due to Germany’s strict lockdown rules. This is on the proviso that they follow rigorous hygiene measures and operate on a bookings-only system. Hardware stores and flower shops have also been allowed to reopen in certain states since the start of the week. This includes Germany’s most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia where the cities of Düsseldorf, Cologne and Dortmund are located. Restaurants, bars, sports and leisure venues have all been closed since 2 November, with most shops shutting on 16 December when tighter restrictions were introduced. Hotels in the country are currently only open for use by business travellers. The country’s lockdown measures have been credited with helping to reduce numbers of daily coronavirus infections. Despite this, last week experts warned that the infection rate had stopped going down and in some cases was going back up. This has been attributed to the possibility that new variants could be circulating. GermanyLockdownFloristsPublic HealthReutersDortmundClosuresNorth Rhine-WestphaliaCountryRegionsCoronavirusRigorous Hygiene MeasuresTravelHotelsLevelsAngela Merkel