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YouTubers prove that "royal experts lie about Harry and Meghan" by letting them comment on unreleased interview
YouTubers prove that "royal experts lie about Harry and Meghan" by letting them comment on unreleased interview
Credit: Courtesy of Youtube / Josh Pieters & Archie Manners

The British YouTubers Josh Pieters and Archie Manners have released a video in which they interviewed four Royal Experts and let them comment on the yet-to-be-released interview, in which Oprah Winfrey talked to Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

The people that commented on the unreleased interview include Dickie Arbiter, former press secretary of the Queen, Ingrid Seward, Editor-in-Chief of the Majesty Magazine, Richard Fitzwilliams, Royal Commentator and Victoria Arbiter, CNN Royal Commentator.

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Heart surgery successful for Britain's Prince Philip
Prince Philip's and Queen Elizabeth II in 2015
Prince Philip's and Queen Elizabeth II in 2015 Credit: Kiefer (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Due to a long-standing heart condition, Prince Philip has undergone medical intervention. He must remain in hospital, according to Buckingham Palace.

"The Duke of Edinburgh yesterday underwent a successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition at St Bartholomew's Hospital," the statement read. "His Royal Highness will remain in hospital for treatment, rest and recuperation for a number of days."

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Unionist parties from Northern Ireland to take legal action against the Brexit deal
Arlene Foster
Arlene Foster Credit: DUP (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Members of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) announced Sunday to take part in legal action challenging part of Britain’s deal with the European Union.

The Protocol agreed during Brexit is designed to protect the European Union's single market without creating a land border on the island of Ireland but so far caused disruption to trade since it came into force at the start of the year. Some British companies have halted deliveries to Northern Ireland, and some supermarkets have been left with empty shelves.

"Alongside the political action we have been taking, we have considered a number of legal routes, and will be joining other unionists from across the United Kingdom in judicial review proceedings to challenge the Protocol, unless arrangements are put in place which are consistent with the Act of Union 1800, the Northern Ireland Act of 1998 and the Belfast Agreement. ", said DUP leader Arlene Foster.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
UK plans to offer Covid-19 vaccine to all adults by July 31
UK plans to offer Covid-19 vaccine to all adults by July 31
Credit: UK Government, via Wikimedia Commons (Open Government Licence v3.0)

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine to every adult in the United Kingdom by July 31. Since December 2020, over 17 million Britons have been vaccinated.

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UK Supreme Court rules Uber drivers are not independent contractors
Uber Driver in Car
Uber Driver in Car Credit: unsplash.com/@xokvictor

Legal experts claim the UK Supreme Court's unanimous decision could deliver a major blow to the company's business model in one important market and opens the door for drivers to claim the minimum wage and paid time off.

The UK court decision comes months after Californians voted to make Uber, Lyft and other gig economy companies exempt from local laws requiring them to class their drivers as employees rather than independent contractors.

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99-year-old Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, admitted to hospital
Prince Philip's and Queen Elizabeth II in 2015
Prince Philip's and Queen Elizabeth II in 2015 Credit: Kiefer (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Prince Philip, 99, was taken to King Edward VII hospital in London, the Buckingham Palace said in a statement. The statement said he was admitted as a precautionary measure on the advice of his doctor after feeling unwell.

Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, retired from public duties in 2017 and rarely appears in public.

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UK's Economy Suffered Record Annual Slump in 2020, Falling by 9.9%
UK's Economy Suffered Record Annual Slump in 2020, Falling by 9.9%
Credit: unsplash/A Perry

The UK economy fell by 9.9% over the course of 2020, the biggest slump on record, and the economy is projected to fall even further during the first quarter of 2021 due to the national lockdown and disruption to the EU-UK trade deal.

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Ongoing Covid-19 Measures Needed until Adult Population are Vaccinated, UK Doctor Suggests
Ongoing Covid-19 Measures Needed until Adult Population are Vaccinated, UK Doctor Suggests
Credit: unsplash/Macau Photo Agency

Dr Susan Hopkins, the Public Health England's leading Covid-19 strategists told Sky News that she thinks "that once we get to a very low level of community [transmission], we will need to have ongoing measures in place until the adult population are vaccinated."

"What those measures are, we will have to watch and see, but I think it is really important that we keep the rates as low as possible for as long as possible this year," Hopkins added.

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England: fines and jail for false declarations after traveling during Covid-19 pandemic
England: fines and jail for false declarations after traveling during Covid-19 pandemic
Credit: Chris McAndrew / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

Those who disregard the Covid-19 regulations for returning travelers must expect severe consequences in the future, the British Health Minister Matt Hancock announced. Fines of up to 2,000 pounds (about 2,280 euros) are threatened if tests are not taken. Up to 10,000 pounds must be paid if the prescribed hotel quarantine is not adhered to. Those who conceal stays in risk areas when entering the country must even expect up to ten years in prison, according to the minister.

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Journalists threatened following Boxing and the Mob exposé
Tyson Fury
Tyson Fury Credit: Mike DiDomizio (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Following an airing of BBC Panorama: Boxing and the Mob - an investigation into the role played by Daniel Kinahan, a person named in Irish court documents as the 'head of one of Europe's most prominent drug cartels' - the Panorama team behind the investigation come documentary have been threatened.

After the broadcast on Monday 1 February, Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) has warned of unspecified threats from unnamed criminal elements to the investigation.

The broadcast, which ended up leading a call for tighter regulation in the sport, discovered that Mr Kinahan was still active in advising boxers renowned worldwide.

Kinahan's involvement in the sport caused a massive outcry last summer when legendary world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury thanked him publicly for setting up the much-anticipated title fight with another renowned champion, Anthony Joshua.

After the outcry, criticism calmed after it was announced he [Kinahan] would no longer negotiate Tyson Fury's fights.

Speaking to the BBC regarding the threats, Jo Carr who is the BBC's head of current affairs said "The BBC places the utmost priority on the safety of our teams, whose journalism plays a vital role in a free society. It is despicable and intolerable if thugs think they can muzzle a free press through intimidation. We will continue to through light into even the murkiest of corners."

The crime group that Mr Kinahan is linked to is alleged to be involved in drug trafficking, execution-style murders, and is even suspected of being involved in a feud with a rival Dublin gang that resulted in 18 people being murdered.

The lawyer for Mr Kinahan told the programme that he had no criminal record of convictions and that the allegations about him being a crime boss are false.

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Tensions rise in Northern Ireland following Brexit rules
Tensions rise in Northern Ireland following Brexit rules
Credit: unsplash.com / K. Mitch Hodge

As part of the Brexit agreement, Northern Ireland ports connected to Great Britain had started checks, which have now been halted due to signs of tension in the area.

Officials pulled a dozen staff members from duty at Larne Port after an "upsurge in sinister and menacing behavior," Mid and East Antrim Borough Council said.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
Great Britain expels three alleged Chinese spies posing as journalists
Image shows the Union and Chinese Flags together.
Image shows the Union and Chinese Flags together. Credit: Sergeant Paul Shaw LBIPP (Open Government Licence v3.0)

Three Chinese citizens - suspected to be spies posing as journalists - must leave Great Britain. This was reported by the Daily Telegraph with reference to a high-ranking government source in London.

The MI5 intelligence service uncovered the true identities of the three spies; the report continues. They had been working for the Chinese Ministry of State Security. According to the report, all three individuals claimed to "work for three different Chinese media agencies" and had entered the country in the past 12 months.

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UK strips license of Chinese state-owned broadcaster CGTN
CGTN logo
CGTN logo Credit: CGTN

The communications watchdog, Ofcom, said it revoked the U.K. license for China Global Television Network, or CGTN, an international English language satellite news channel. Losing its British broadcasting license is a major setback for CGTN, which has been a key element of the Chinese government's push to expand its soft power and burnish its image abroad.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry responded with renewed criticism of the BBC., specifically a January 29th report on Covid-19 in China, calling it "typical fake news" and demanding a public apology.

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Scottish National Party publishes “Roadmap to Referendum”
Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon Credit: Ninian Reid (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Scottish National Party (SNP) of head of government Nicola Sturgeon announced that it would hold a "legal referendum" after the end of the pandemic. The precondition, she said, is that pro-independence parties again win a majority in the regional election scheduled for May 6. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson strongly opposes a new referendum.

In its roadmap, the SNP stresses that the British government in London has three options. Either it concedes that the Scottish Parliament already has the power to call a referendum or it officially authorizes the vote. Alternatively, it could try to challenge "the wish of the Scottish people" in court.

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Biden proclaims National Day of Unity
Biden proclaims National Day of Unity
Credit: Courtesy of The White House

The newly inaugurated President Joe Biden has proclaimed January 20, 2021, as a National Day of Unity and stated that he calls "upon the people of our Nation to join together and write the next story of our democracy — an American story of decency and dignity, of love and of healing, and of greatness and of goodness."

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
UK bans travellers from South America
UK bans travellers from South America
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler. (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The UK has banned people who are from or have travelled through Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela in the last 10 days. The ban will come into force from Friday and is due to a new variant identified in Brazil. British, Irish and foreign nations may enter the country but must isolate for 10 days.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
UK coronavirus deaths pass 100,000
UK coronavirus deaths pass 100,000
Credit: unsplash.com / iMattSmart

1,564 deaths were recorded across the United Kingdom on Wednesday 13th January - a record high bringing the total to 101,160.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
Queen Elizabeth II and her husband have been vaccinated against Covid-19
Queen Elizabeth II and her husband have been vaccinated against Covid-19
Credit: Courtesy of Instagram

Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip have received their first dose of vaccine against the new coronavirus, Buckingham Palace announced. A second source told the British news agency PA that the Queen and her husband had been vaccinated by the royal family's doctor at Windsor Castle, where they spend the confinement period. Usually quite discreet about her state of health, "the Queen has decided to make this information public to avoid inaccuracies and possible rumours," added PA.

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UK to roll out Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine starting Monday

The UK is set to start administering the new Covid-19 vaccine from Oxford University and the AstraZeneca group on Monday, stating that the "NHS will be the first health service in the world to provide this life-saving vaccine."

The vaccine will initially be delivered in a small number of hospitals, but will be widely distributed to hundreds of vaccination centers later this week.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
United Kingdom abolishes "tampon tax" after leaving EU
United Kingdom abolishes "tampon tax" after leaving EU
Credit: unsplash.com / Josefin

With the end of the post-Brexit transition period, the UK is no longer obliged to levy a minimum tax of five percent on hygiene products, as required by EU law. With that the country has now abolished the VAT on tampons and sanitary towels in the United Kingdom.

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Britain extends Covid-19 restrictions onto England
Britain extends  Covid-19 restrictions onto England
Credit: unsplash.com / John Cameron

In Great Britain, the highest Corona warning level has been applied to further parts of the country. It has been extended beyond London and the southeast of England to large parts of the center, the north and the southwest of England, according to the British Health Minister Matt Hancock.

As a result, three-quarters of England's population is now subject to the most severe restrictions under the country's Corona regulations: It is forbidden for members of more than one household to gather together. Non-essential businesses will be closed, and restaurants and bars can only offer a pick-up service.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
England supermarkets to be barred from displaying unhealthy foods and drinks at checkout
England supermarkets to be barred from displaying unhealthy foods and drinks at checkout
Credit: unsplash.com/Franki Chamaki

As part of a proposed government measure to tackle obesity, England's supermarkets could be barred from displaying unhealthy foods and drinks at checkouts or use them in "buy one, get one free"-offers, starting in April 2022.

"Finally, Downing Street is acting decisively with a bold first step to restrict the sale of junk food on multi-buy offers and at checkouts, and taking on one of the biggest threats to Britain’s future health – childhood obesity," so Action on Sugar chairman Professor Graham MacGregor.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
UK imposes strict lockdown on southeast England, including London
UK imposes strict lockdown on southeast England, including London
Credit: unsplash/Max van den Oetelaar

After a new Covid-19 strain was detected in the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson abruptly imposed a Tier 4 lockdown on southeast England, including London, banning Christmas gatherings beyond individual households and support bubbles.

All non-essential shops and businesses have to close at midnight and residents are to stay at home except to travel for work or education. The new restrictions apply in London (all 32 boroughs and the City of London) and the East of England (Bedford, Central Bedford, Milton Keynes, Luton, Peterborough, Hertfordshire and Essex (excluding Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring). The new restrictions will be reviewed on December 30.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
UNICEF will help feed UK children, first time in the agency's 70-year history
UNICEF will help feed UK children, first time in the agency's 70-year history
Credit: unsplash/Andy Falconer

UNICEF has launched a domestic emergency response in the United Kingdom and will provide humanitarian and developmental aid to children, including food, for children that have been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. According to a YouGov poll commissioned by the charity Food Foundation from May, 17% of UK children (2.4m) are living in food-insecure households. 900,000 more children have signed up for free school meals by October.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
Self Isolation period shortened to 10 days in UK
Self Isolation period shortened to 10 days in UK
Credit: unsplash.com / Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona

From Monday, the amount of time you will need to self isolate in the UK will be changed from 14 to 10 days.

Due to falling numbers of infected, the four UK Chief Medical Officers (CMO) said "After reviewing the evidence, we are now confident that we can reduce the number of days that contacts self-isolate from 14 days to 10. People who return from countries which are not on the travel corridor list should also self-isolate for 10 days instead of 14 days."

While Wales had already announced a change in isolation time, this new announcement from the CMOs will apply to all 4 states of the UK; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
Queen Elizabeth II's dorgi Vulcan has passed away
Queen Elizabeth II's dorgi Vulcan has passed away
Credit: By Charlie Dave - Cropped fromwhich is licensed for reuse per Creative Commons, being originally uploaded to Flickr by Charlie Dave at https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3326102027. via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Queen Elizabeth II has lost her dorgi – a mix between a corgi and a dachshund – Vulcan, leaving her with just one dog. The dog died at Windsor Castle where the Queen has been staying during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Scotland announces that first Covid-19 vaccinations will be administered on Tuesday
Scotland announces that first Covid-19 vaccinations will be administered on Tuesday
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter

Nicola Sturgeon, the first First Minister of Scotland, has announced that "initial supplies of the Covid vaccine have now arrived safely in Scotland and are being stored securely" adding that "the first vaccinations are on track to be administered on Tuesday".

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The UK approves the Covid-19 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for use next week
The UK approves the Covid-19 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for use next week
Credit: unsplash.com / Daniel Schludi

The UK will be the first country in the West to offer a Covid-19 vaccine to the public after the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved the vaccine in record time. The vaccine is expected to be rolled out from next week.

"The Government has today accepted the recommendation from the Independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine for use," the government said.

The UK has already ordered 40m doses - enough to vaccinate 20m people, and 10m doses should be available soon, with the first 800,000 arriving in the UK in the coming days.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
Covid-19: The United Kingdom recorded 16,022 new cases and 521 deaths
Boris Johnson visits a Covid-19 testing facility
Boris Johnson visits a Covid-19 testing facility Credit: Pippa Fowles / No 10 Downing Street

According to the official numbers released on Friday, the United Kingdom recorded 16,022 new Covid-19 cases and 521 deaths within 28 days of a positive test for the virus.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
Jeremy Corbyn to be readmitted to UK Labour after suspension over anti-Semitism
Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn Credit: Garry Knight (Public Domain)

The former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was suspended for his comments, which rejected the overall conclusions of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report into antisemitism in the party, and said the problem was "dramatically overstated for political reasons" by opponents and the media.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission said in October it had found evidence of failure to adequately train people investigating alleged anti-Semitism, political interference in the processing of complaints, and harassment of individuals.

Current leader Keir Starmer has been trying to make a clean break from the hard-left Corbyn era as he seeks to turn around Labour's fortunes after four successive general election defeats since 2010.