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Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
Wales announces "short, sharp" lockdown to slow down spread of Covid-19
Wales announces "short, sharp" lockdown to slow down spread of Covid-19
Credit: unsplash.com / Callum Blacoe

In order to slow the accelerating spread of Covid-19, Wales will go into a national lockdown from Friday the 23rd of October to Monday the 9th of November.

First Minister Mark Drakeford has stated that the goal is to "slow down the virus and buy us more time". People will need to stay home during the lockdown, work from home if possible and all non-food related retail will be shut down as well as hotels and hairdressers.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Art & Design
Banksy claims hula-hooping girl street art in Nottingham
Banksy claims hula-hooping girl street art in Nottingham
Credit: Instagram / Banksy

The British graffiti artist Banksy has confirmed Saturday a piece of art that appeared on a wall in Nottingham depicting a young girl using a bicycle tyre as a hula-hoop is his work.

The work went up on Tuesday on the red brick wall of a beauty salon, next to a bicycle that was locked to a metal signpost and missing its back wheel.

Science • Space
NASA's Artemis Accords to guide moon exploration signed by eight nations
NASA's Artemis Accords to guide moon exploration signed by eight nations
Credit: NASA

Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States of America have signed on as founding member nations to NASA's Artemis Accords, an international agreement that "will help to avoid conflict in space and on Earth by strengthening mutual understanding and reducing misperceptions."

"Artemis will be the broadest and most diverse international human space exploration program in history, and the Artemis Accords are the vehicle that will establish this singular global coalition," so NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. "With today's signing, we are uniting with our partners to explore the Moon and are establishing vital principles that will create a safe, peaceful, and prosperous future in space for all of humanity to enjoy."

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Herbert Kretzmer, Les Misérables lyricist, dies aged 95

Herbst Kretzmer, a London journalist and lyricists, has died Wednesday in his London home at the of 95. Kretzmer was known for writing the English-language musical adaptation of Les Misérables.

Regional News • Europe
Italy reports 5,372 new Covid-19 cases
Rome during the Covid-19 lockdown
Rome during the Covid-19 lockdown Credit: Camelia.boban (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

For the first time since March 29, Italy registered more than 5,000 cases in a day with 5,372 Covid-19 infections. There were also 28 deaths in the last 24 hours.

Even with the high numbers, Italy is still recording significantly fewer daily cases than other large European countries, such as France, Spain and Britain.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Cineworld announces temporary suspension of US and UK cinema operations
Cineworld announces temporary suspension of US and UK cinema operations

As a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Cineworld Group has announced that all operations in the United States and the United Kingdom will be suspended.

They stated that "In response to an increasingly challenging theatrical landscape and sustained key market closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cineworld confirms that it will be temporarily suspending operations at all of its 536 Regal theatres in the U.S. and its 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse theatres in the U.K. from Thursday, 8 October 2020".

The closures will impact around 45,000 employees, and it is not clear when the cinemas will reopen.

Science • Space
Nobel Prize in Physics 2020 goes to three black hole researchers
Nobel Prize in Physics 2020 goes to three black hole researchers
Credit: Event Horizon Telescope / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

Half of this year's Nobel Prize in Physics goes to Roger Penrose (UK) and the other half to Reinhard Genzel (Germany)and Andrea Ghez (USA) for their "discovery of a supermassive compact object at the centre of our galaxy". This was announced by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm on Tuesday. Reinhard Genzel is director of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching near Munich.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
Environment Department in the UK considers total ban on fur sales after Brexit
Environment Department in the UK considers total ban on fur sales after Brexit
Credit: unsplash.com / Juliane Liebermann

According to reports Zac Goldsmith, minister at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, is considering a ban on all fur sales in the United Kingdom following the leave of the European Union's single market.

A spokesperson for the department has commented on the reports that "fur farming has rightly been banned in this country for nearly 20 years. Once our future relationship with the EU has been established there will be an opportunity for the government to consider further steps it could take in relation to fur sales".

Business • Economy
EasyJet is "hanging by a thread" due to Covid-19 pandemic, union official says
EasyJet is "hanging by a thread" due to Covid-19 pandemic, union official says
Credit: unsplash.com/Frederick Tubiermont

According to a union official, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has left the British low-cost airline group EasyJet "hanging by a thread".

"If easyJet don’t have a good summer and make money next summer, I suspect none of us will have a job this time next year," pilots’ union official Martin Entwisle said in a now leaked recording of an EasyJet staff conference call. Entwisle claimed the information was shared by the company’s chief financial officer, Andrew Findlay, who allegedly warned that the company's situation was "even worse than their worst fears."

"The easiest way to put it is: the company is hanging by a thread," Entwisl added.

EasyJet has denied that Entwisl's comments "reflect what EasyJet or its finance officer said."

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
Liberal Democrats in the United Kingdom are set to commit to a universal basic income
Ed Davey (right)
Ed Davey (right) Credit: Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Open Government Licence v3.0)

As the first major national party in the United Kingdom, the Liberal Democrats are set to vote on universal basic income policies on the first day of their annual conference.

The motion is expected to pass and is supported by party leader Sir Ed Davey.

Health
France, UK: Highest daily number of Coronavirus cases
France, UK: Highest daily number of Coronavirus cases
Credit: Adam Nieścioruk

Both the United Kingdom and France have recorded their highest daily number of Coronavirus cases on Thursday. France reported 16,096 cases and the UK 6,632 new cases.

“The signals are clear. Positivity rates are rising across all age groups and we’re continuing to see spikes in rates of admission to hospital and critical care,” Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England, said and that the new surge of infections is a “stark warning for us all”.

Business • Economy
Investment bank JPMorgan announces move of €200 billion in assets from UK to Germany following Brexit
Investment bank JPMorgan announces move of €200 billion in assets from UK to Germany following Brexit
Credit: unsplash.com / Igor Flek

According to reports by Bloomberg, the investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co. is moving assets worth around €200 billion from the United Kingdom to Frankfurt, Germany. The reason for the move is the end of the transition period and the Brexit with the United Kingdom leaving the European Union.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
Theresa May criticises Johnson's government over Brexit bill
Theresa May
Theresa May Credit: EU2017EE Estonian Presidency (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The former prime minister of the United Kingdom Theresa May has stated in a Commons speech that "the government is acting recklessly and irresponsibly with no thought for the long-term impact on the standing of the United Kingdom in the world" referring to the new Brexit bill that would be in breach with international law.

She added that "the government didn’t really understand what it was signing up to when it signed the withdrawal agreement".

Regional News • Middle East
U.S. unilaterally declares U.N. sanctions on Iran are back in force
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Credit: Bundesministerium für europäische und internationale Angelegenheiten (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The United States unilaterally proclaimed on Saturday that United Nations sanctions against Iran are back in force. The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said "Today, the United States welcomes the return of virtually all previously terminated UN sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran."

Pompeo also stated "If UN member states fail to fulfill their obligations to implement these sanctions, the United States is prepared to use our domestic authorities to impose consequences for those failures and ensure that Iran does not reap the benefits of UN-prohibited activity."

In a joint letter to the U.N. Security Council, France, Germany, and United Kingdom said "Any decision or action taken with a view to re-installing [the sanctions] would be incapable of legal effect."

And the Russian foreign ministry stated "The illegitimate initiatives and actions of the United States by definition cannot have international legal consequences for other countries."

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
Johnson considers new restrictions amid surging COVID-19 cases
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Credit: EU2017EE Estonian Presidency (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

PM Boris Johnson is considering tougher restrictions in England as the country sees "a second wave" of COVID-19, among them a ban on households mixing and reducing opening hours for eaters.

Mr Johnson said he did not "want to go into bigger lockdown" but that stricter measures might be necessary to curb infections. "Clearly when you look at what is happening, you have got to wonder whether we need to go further than the rule of six that we brought in on Monday," Johnson added.

Sports • Soccer
Gareth Bale is back to Tottenham on season-long loan
Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Welsh forward Gareth Bale is back to Tottenham on a season-long loan from Real Madrid. Bale left Tottenham in 2013 to join Real Madrid.

On a video released by the Spurs, Bale said: "It's nice to be back. It's such a special club to me. It's where I made my name." said Bale.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Assange's lawyer says in court Trump offered to pardon the Wikileaks founder
Julian Assange
Julian Assange Credit: Snapperjack

Jennifer Robinson, Julian Assange's lawyer, told a court in London she observed a meeting when Dana Rohrabacher and Charles Johnson made an offer of pardon from Donald Trump.
The pardon would be given if the WikiLeaks founder provided the source for the 2016 hacking of the Democratic National Committee emails.Assange's lawyer Trump offered to pardon Assange if he provided source for Democratic emails, lawyer says

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
"National lockdown is the last line of defence" – Matt Hancock
"National lockdown is the last line of defence" – Matt Hancock
Credit: Richard Townshend / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock won't rule out a second nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, telling Sky News that while a "national lockdown is the last line of defence", the government would do "whatever is necessary to keep people safe in a very difficult pandemic."

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Art & Design
Banksy loses trademark rights to well-known flower thrower motif
Banksy loses trademark rights to well-known flower thrower motif
Credit: Britchi Mirela (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The responsible EU authority for intellectual property confirmed to the Deutsche Presse Agentur on Thursday that trademark rights for the "Flower Thrower" motif by the street artist Banksy have been cancelled.

The agency explained that Banksy is keeping his identity secret and has also repeatedly spoken out strongly against copyright in the past as he wrote "Copyright is for losers" in his book "Wall and Piece" in 2005. The British company Full Colour Black had applied for the cancellation of the trademark, as it prints and distributes images of Banksy's motifs on postcards, among other things.

Climate & Environment
Smoke from US wildfires has reached Europe, satellite images reveal
NASA's Aqua satellite captured this true-color image of the United States on Sep. 15, 2020, showing the fires in the West, the smoke from those fires drifting over the country, several hurricanes converging from different angles, and Hurricane Sally making landfall.
NASA's Aqua satellite captured this true-color image of the United States on Sep. 15, 2020, showing the fires in the West, the smoke from those fires drifting over the country, several hurricanes converging from different angles, and Hurricane Sally making landfall. Credit: NASA

According to scientists from the European Union's Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, smoke from the wildfires in the western United States has travelled 8,000 kilometres and reached Britain and other parts of northern Europe.

Mark Parrington, a senior scientist at the Copernicus Service has stated that "the scale and magnitude of these fires are at a level much higher than in any of the 18 years that our monitoring data covers, since 2003".