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Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
Piers Morgan leaves ITV following Meghan Markle comments
Piers Morgan leaves ITV following Meghan Markle comments
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter

English television personality Piers Morgan is leaving Good Morning Britain – ITV's breakfast news show – following comments he made about Meghan Markle, including questioning her suicidal thoughts. The announcement comes after aver 41,000 people complained to UK media regulator Ofcom after the show aired.

"Following discussions with ITV, Piers Morgan has decided now is the time to leave Good Morning Britain," ITV said in a statement. "ITV has accepted this decision and has nothing further to add."

Business
Buzzfeed closes lays off 47 HuffPost employees, closes Canada edition
Buzzfeed closes lays off 47 HuffPost employees, closes Canada edition
Credit: Courtesy of HuffPost

Less than a month after Buzzfeed acquired HuffPost, it now has laid off 47 US HuffPost employees – mostly journalists – and closed HuffPost’s Canadian operation, with more layoffs expected in the United Kingdom and Australia.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
Boris Johnson Refuses to Comment on Royal Family Matters Regarding Harry & Meghan
Boris Johnson Refuses to Comment on Royal Family Matters Regarding Harry & Meghan
Credit: U.K. Prime Minister, via Wikimedia Commons (Open Government Licence v3.0)

When asked during Downing Street news conference about the allegations made against the Royal Family by Meghan marble and husband Prince Harry, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson declined to comment.

"I have always had the highest admiration for the Queen and the unifying role that she plays in our country and across the Commonwealth," Johnson said. "As for all other matters to do with the Royal Family, I have spent a long time now not commenting on Royal Family matters and I don't intend to depart from that today.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
Schools in England Reopen on Monday
Schools in England Reopen on Monday
Credit: mattbuck (category), via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

After two months of home-schooling, millions of pupils in England are returning back to school on Monday as the government eases restrictions. Pupils aged 5-11 will return to schools on Monday, secondary school students aged 11-18 will return to their classrooms the coming week and are asked to take Covid-19 tests in the first two weeks. The Department of Education has recommended face coverings in classrooms.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
Meghan says British royalty worried about skin tone of her son with Harry
Meghan says British royalty worried about skin tone of her son with Harry
Credit: Northern Ireland Office, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, have opened up about life in the British royal family in a tell-all interview with US television personality Oprah Winfrey. Meghan, who is biracial, said there were concerns about how "dark" her child would be.

The American also addressed the numerous rumours of intrigue between her and Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, married to Prince William, second in line of succession to the throne and Harry's older brother.

The turbulent life amidst the royal family -although the former actress spoke of maintaining good relations with Queen Elizabeth 2nd- even led Meghan to have suicidal thoughts.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
Survey shows half of UK women see set back in gender equality due to pandemic
Survey shows half of UK women see set back in gender equality due to pandemic
Credit: unsplash.com/Jessica Lewis

A Mumsnet poll for International Women’s Day has shown that over half of the women in the United Kingdom think that the pandemic has set back gender equality decades. Since the start of the pandemic, women have been more likely to lose their job and be furloughed while taking care of household chores and their children's needs and education. Women have reported that, while their male partners were able to work uninterrupted, they had to reduce their work hours to take care of childcare.

“This survey paints a fairly depressing picture of how gender inequality has been exacerbated during the pandemic, with women really struggling to cope,” said Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts. “What’s needed is a proper women’s strategy, with specific policies to redress the inequality that’s been triggered by Covid, or we’re at real risk of heading right back to the 1970s with regard to women’s economic power.”

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
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.

Technology • Internet & Web
UK watchdog launches antitrust probe into Apple's App Store
UK watchdog launches antitrust probe into Apple's App Store
Credit: Apple

Britain's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it has launched an investigation into Apple's App Store after app developers complained of being forced to use the company's own payment systems and distribute their apps exclusively via the App Store to users.

"Complaints that Apple is using its market position to set terms which are unfair or may restrict competition and choice – potentially causing customers to lose out when buying and using apps – warrant careful scrutiny," CMA Chief Executive Andrea Coscelli said.

Apple said in a statement: "The App Store has been an engine of success for app developers, in part because of the rigorous standards we have in place — applied fairly and equally to all developers — to protect customers from malware and to prevent rampant data collection without their consent."

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
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."

Regional News • Europe • France
Half of France's Coronavirus cases attributed to British strain
Half of France's Coronavirus cases attributed to British strain
Credit: unsplash.com/Fran Boloni

Prime Minister Jean Castex said that B117 (the UK strain) now accounts for about half of people infected with Covid-19 in France". France is considering stricter measures for affected areas, including weekend lockdowns for Paris and 19 other departments.

Business • Health Care
New Covid-19 mutation in California worries researchers
New Covid-19 mutation in California worries researchers
Credit: Ashley Winkler for Pendect

A corona mutation is circulating in California and other U.S. states that could be more contagious and dangerous. The data situation is still unclear, but some things seem worrying.

Now another mutation has emerged in California, it has already spread to other U.S. states and has also been detected in countries such as Australia, Denmark and Mexico. It was first discovered in December, reports the journal Science. Investigations suggest that this variant of Sars-CoV-2 could not only be more contagious but probably also takes more violent courses. According to this, intensive medical care and deaths occur more frequently - however, the data situation here is still very thin.

The researchers call the variants B.1.427 and B.1.429 - it occurs with slightly different mutations. Under a different naming scheme, it is also known as 20C/L452R.

B.1.427 / B.1.429 carries several mutations, but three seem to be particularly relevant. They affect the spike protein that the virus uses to dock with human cells. Mutation L452R, in particular, appears to increase infectivity. It apparently stabilizes the interaction between the spike protein and the receptor used by the virus. None of the three spike mutations are found in the virus variants from Great Britain, South Africa and Brazil.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
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.

Diversity & Inclusion
UK School removes JK Rowling as house name stating she is not a "suitable representative"
J.K. Rowling reads from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone at the Easter Egg Roll at the White House in 2010.
J.K. Rowling reads from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone at the Easter Egg Roll at the White House in 2010. Credit: Daniel Ogren (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Following a decision made by students at Seaford Head School in East Sussex, United Kingdom, one of the houses will no longer be named after JK Rowling. The reason named is "her recent words about the trans community".

In addition, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill has been removed as name-giver as "a figure who promoted racism".

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.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
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.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
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.

Regional News • Oceania
Ardern: recent COVID-19 cases were B117 Covid-19 variant

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that genomic sequencing showed that the recent three Covid-19 cases were the variant B117, the more potent variant first detected in the UK, resulting in an Auckland-wide lockdown.

The Ministry of Healthy announced it was investigating the Auckland cases, prioritising "close contacts and casual plus contacts to be tested so we can understand any risk in the community."

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
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.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
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.

Technology • Internet & Web
Google to pay UK publishers for news
Google logo
Google logo Credit: Rajeshwar Bachu

Google has launched Google News Showcase in the UK and Argentina, offering selected paywall content to users for free. News Showcase is already available in Germany, Brazil and, as of last week, Australia. Sundar Pichai, Google CEO, said the program would help the company pay $1 billion to publishers over the next three years.