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UK at ‘critical’ moment as coronavirus infections double in a week in England


MPs have been warned that the coronavirus crisis is at a “critical” moment, as figures suggested the number of infections had doubled in a week.

Jonathan Van-Tam, the deputy chief medical officer, is understood to have warned that the situation in the UK was now similar to that in early March, before the national lockdown was introduced.      

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, also predicted further restrictions in the city were inevitable as pubs and restaurants in coronavirus hotspots braced themselves for new restrictions. 

Boris Johnson is expected to make a statement to MPs on Monday during which he will outline a three-tier local lockdown system designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus. And more details on the possibility of further restrictions emerged last night in a letter written to MPs by Mr Johnson’s chief strategic adviser, Sir Edward Lister. 

In the letter, written following a meeting with northern leaders, Sir Edward stated that the “rising incidence” of coronavirus in parts of the country meant it was “very likely” that certain areas will face “further restrictions”. 

The letter also said that the prime minister believed local leaders should “help shape the package of measures in the most concerning areas” and that the government will discuss “difficult choices” with them. 

In preparation, the chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled a rescue package for businesses expected to be ordered to shut their doors.  

Ministers will cover two-thirds of the wages of all staff in workplaces legally required to close, Mr Sunak announced, in what will be seen as an effective extension of his furlough scheme for some.  

During a briefing with Matt Hancock and Mr Van-Tam, MPs are understood to have been warned the situation was “critical” and could be compared to early March, just weeks before Boris Johnson ordered an unprecedented nationwide lockdown.

The latest infection numbers from the Office for National Statistics revealed cases may be doubling with 224,400 people in England thought to have caught coronavirus between 25 September and 1 October, equating to about one in 240 people. A week earlier, the numbers infected were nearer 116,000.

According to the daily data from Public Health England and the NHS 13,864 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK were reported on Friday with 87 more people dying within 28 days of a positive test.

Almost 600 people were admitted to hospital in the last day, with a total of 3,660 now on wards and 436 on ventilators to help them breathe.

The latest analysis from the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies warned the growth in infections was between 4 and 9 per cent a day with the R rate of transmission at between 1.2 and 1.5.

In a statement, the committee said: “Sage is almost certain that the epidemic continues to grow exponentially across the country, and is confident that the transmission is not slowing.

“While the R value remains above 1.0, infections will continue to grow at an exponential rate. This is currently the case for every region of England and all have positive growth rates, reflecting increases in the number of new infections across the country.”

The worsening picture across the country was further underlined by the government’s mass testing project involving 175,000 volunteers.

It found between 18 September and 5 October that 1 in 170 people in England had the virus with as many as 45,000 new infections every day.

Infections are increasing across all age groups and regions in England, with the highest rates seen in young people aged between 18 and 24 years old.

Professor Paul Elliott, director of the React programme at Imperial College London, said: “Our robust findings paint a concerning picture of the growing epidemic across England.

“While certain areas are worse affected, if left unabated then infection trends will follow nationwide and could lead to high levels of unnecessary death and illness from the disease.”

Experts behind the React study said the rate of growth of the epidemic across England has slowed in the past month, but the country was now at a “critical point in the second wave”.

One of those who led the study, Professor Steven Riley from Imperial College London, warned: “Prevalence is going to continue to go up unless either compliance with the messaging improves, or additional measures are introduced that are supported by the general public.

“There is a very strong epidemiological case for trying to reduce the transmission right now.”

The chancellor said the expansion of his job support scheme would provide “reassurance and a safety net” for people and businesses across the UK in advance of a potentially “difficult winter”.

The support will see the government pay two-thirds of each employee’s salary – up to a maximum of £2,100 a month – if their employer is legally required to close their premises because of restrictions.

It will launch on 1 November and last for six months.

But mayors from the north of England said the new measures appeared not to go “far enough” to prevent “genuine hardship, job losses and business failure this winter”.



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Suki Waterhouse masks up for socially distant Milan Fashion Week


Suki Waterhouse looked stunning as she took on Milan (Picture: WireImage)

Milan Fashion Week is wildly different to normal this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Suki Waterhouse didn’t let it dull her glow in the slightest.

The model could be seen rocking a stunning monochrome look as she posed for cameras at the event.

The 28-year-old masked up as she socially distanced from other guests, including fashion influencer Olivia Palermo, rocking the one-colour look and natural makeup as she took in the sights.

Even at the end of the night, the star put us all to shame as she managed to stay glammed up as she left the event.

Suki has joined the likes of Irina Shayk, who was spotted posing for a photo shoot at the event, and Normal People star Paul Mescal, whose busy schedule hasn’t stopped, as he rocked up to Fashion Week after the Emmys earlier this month.

The Irish actor, who shot to fame playing Connell Waldron on Normal People, couldn’t exactly cosy up to other attendees at the show due to social distancing measures, but was pictured sitting front row to watch models like Yasmin Le Bon and Ashley Graham walk the runway.

Suki socially distanced from fellow stars including Olivia Palermo (Picture: David Fisher/REX)
She rocked a monochrome look (Picture: David Fisher/REX)

Suki has most recently been enjoying a romance with Robert Pattinson, with the pair seeming completely loved up.

They spent the coronavirus lockdown together, and were spotted running out for supplies, before they worked up a sweat on a jog through London a couple of months ago.

The star masked up (Picture: BACKGRID)
Safety came first (Picture: David Fisher/REX)

News they were dating first surfaced in May 2019, when Robert was cast in upcoming DC flick The Batman, and they seem to have been going strong ever since.

However, Robert is keen to keep his relationship private, telling the Sunday Times last year: ‘If you let people in, it devalues what love is.

More: Suki Waterhouse

‘If a stranger on the street asked you about your relationship, you’d think it extremely rude. If you put up a wall it ends up better. I can’t understand how someone can walk down the street holding hands, and it’s the same as when I do it and a hundred people are taking your photo.

‘The line between when you’re performing and when you’re not will eventually get washed away and you’ll go completely mad.’

Got a story?

If you’ve got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk entertainment team by emailing us [email protected], calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we’d love to hear from you.

MORE: Robert Pattinson seen for first time since Batman set shut down over coronavirus on loved-up walk with Suki Waterhouse

MORE: Robert Pattinson is rocking much longer locks as he teases new lockdown look while jogging with Suki Waterhouse





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From Juno Temple in Little Birds to Away and The Bridge: The best on demand TV this week


SKY, BRITBOX, DISNEY+ & ACORN TV

 

Little Birds

In the first scene, Lucy (Juno Temple) is leaving the psychiatric facility where she has been a patient. Her doctor gives her a bottle of experimental pills, ‘a mood-levelling tranquillity elixir’, and tells her to ‘have a great trip’. 

It’s an ambiguous farewell because although Lucy, a troubled American heiress, is off on a real journey to Morocco where she is to marry an English lord (Hugh Skinner), many scenes have a woozy, slightly hallucinatory quality.

In the first scene, Lucy (Juno Temple, above far right) is leaving the psychiatric facility where she has been a patient

In the first scene, Lucy (Juno Temple, above far right) is leaving the psychiatric facility where she has been a patient

Tangier in 1955 is a sultry, febrile, bohemian city and Lucy finds herself embroiled in political and amorous intrigue. Will this apparently fragile little bird have occasion to use the specially made gun her arms manufacturer father gives her ‘just in case trouble comes a-calling’..? 

Take a guess. This is a stylish, visually ravishing drama. Sky/NOW TV,  or on Stan in Australia, available now

 

Capital 

This biting satire is based on the novel by John Lanchester and centres on the residents of a fictional South London street. Pepys Road was once a working-class area but sky-rocketing property values mean each home is now worth over £1 million. 

They’re a disparate bunch, including an old woman who’s lived in Pepys Road for decades and a City banker with a Range Rover in the drive. All have their own problems, and the tensions escalate after each of them receives a mysterious postcard with a sinister message, ‘We want what you have’. 

The three-part drama was written by Peter Bowker (The A Word, Eric And Ernie) and first aired on the BBC in 2015 and the fine cast includes Toby Jones, Rachael Stirling, Gemma Jones, and Lesley Sharp. Acorn TV, available now

 

The Prisoner 

Patrick McGoohan created and starred in this surreal 17-episode 1967 show that captured the psychedelic zeitgeist with themes of freedom, individualism and rebellion against authority. 

McGoohan plays the captive known as Number Six. In the famous opening sequence he resigns from the secret service, is drugged and kidnapped and wakes up in the mysterious ‘Village’, a prison disguised as an Italianate holiday camp (in reality Portmeirion in North Wales), from which he spends the entire series trying to escape, only to be foiled by a malevolent bouncing white bubble every time. 

Patrick McGoohan (above) created and starred in this surreal 17-episode 1967 show that captured the psychedelic zeitgeist with themes of freedom and individualism

Patrick McGoohan (above) created and starred in this surreal 17-episode 1967 show that captured the psychedelic zeitgeist with themes of freedom and individualism

Fans still argue over the meaning of the crazy finale and, according to popular myth, McGoohan had to go into temporary hiding to avoid baffled viewers demanding an explanation. BritBox, available now

 

Mulan 

This hotly anticipated live-action remake was originally set for a cinema release but has been repeatedly postponed because of the pandemic. It’s now being shown on Disney+ and you can watch it from the comfort of your home, for an extra, somewhat pricey one-off payment of £19.99. 

Mulan is based on the Chinese legend about a young woman who masquerades as a man to go to war, and is set to include some major differences from the 1998 animated original. 

There will be no Mushu and Li Shang, Mulan’s love interest in the original, will be replaced by Chen Honghui (Yoson An). Chinese actress Liu Yifei (above) plays Mulan

There will be no Mushu and Li Shang, Mulan’s love interest in the original, will be replaced by Chen Honghui (Yoson An). Chinese actress Liu Yifei (above) plays Mulan

It has had a full overhaul from story to songs (mostly cut). There will be no Mushu, the fast-talking dragon sidekick made famous by Eddie Murphy, and Li Shang, Mulan’s love interest in the original, will be replaced by Chen Honghui (Yoson An). 

Chinese actress Liu Yifei plays Mulan. Disney+, from Friday

 

Keeping Faith 

The hit Welsh drama starring Eve Myles that broke BBC iPlayer records had everything to do with the way in which the ferociously feisty Faith Howells (Eve Myles) was a kind of beleaguered everywoman, battling to keep family and her work as a lawyer together while she contended with the consequences of her husband’s behaviour – in this case, simply vanishing into thin air. 

The hit Welsh drama starring Eve Myles had everything to do with the way in which the ferociously feisty Faith Howells (Eve Myles, above) was a kind of beleaguered everywoman

The hit Welsh drama starring Eve Myles had everything to do with the way in which the ferociously feisty Faith Howells (Eve Myles, above) was a kind of beleaguered everywoman

After Faith discovered there was a lot more to her Evan than she’d known about – and none of it good – the biggest shock of all came at the end of series one. The second series had yet more bombshells and, with the third outing in the offing, here’s a chance to play catch-up. Acorn TV, available now

 

Host 

Hugely effective low-budget horror in which a group of pals hold a seance on Zoom, the video conferencing app, and, inevitably, get much, much more than they bargain for. 

It’s short (57 minutes), sharp and shocking and has become a huge hit, generating the sort of social-media buzz that big studio movies dream of. Mostly filmed on Zoom, Host is the lockdown brainchild of British director Rob Savage (who took charge of several episodes of the bonkers ancient Briton drama Britannia), producer Jed Shepherd and writer Gemma Hurley, who recruited some of their actor friends to star in it. 

Watch it on your laptop. shudder.com (7-day free trial, £3.99 per month), available now

 

NETFLIX

 

Away

A Chinese woman, an Indian, a Russian, an Anglo-African and an American are on a spaceship. Not a joke but the premise of this epic new series starring Hilary Swank as Commander Emma Green, leading a crew on the first mission to Mars.

the premise of this epic new series starring Hilary Swank (above, with Brit Ray Panthaki) as Commander Emma Green, leading a crew on the first mission to Mars

the premise of this epic new series starring Hilary Swank (above, with Brit Ray Panthaki) as Commander Emma Green, leading a crew on the first mission to Mars

Naturally, they very quickly have what Mission Control calls ‘a situation’. If you’re not a sci-fi fan, don’t be put off. The focus is on the characters and their relationships with loved ones left behind, and Away packs a powerful emotional heft as the tension escalates in an excellent ten-parter. From Friday

 

I’m Thinking Of Ending Things 

Charlie Kaufman’s films – Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind – are either charmingly quirky or disturbingly weird, depending on your point of view. 

The latest ‘metaphysical thriller’ written and directed by Kaufman is quite definitely in the latter camp. The unnamed protagonist, played by Jessie Buckley, is taking a road trip with her new-ish boyfriend Jake (Jesse Plemons) to meet his parents (Toni Collette and David Thewlis) for the first time. 

It’s when the couple reach the remote farmhouse that things really begin to get, well, disturbingly weird. From Friday

 

Love Guaranteed 

Susan is a dedicated lawyer whose small law firm is struggling to keep its head above water. In a bid to save it, she takes on a lucrative case brought by Nick, a handsome and charming client who wants to sue a dating website that guarantees to find love for its customers – he doesn’t believe such a thing is possible. 

As Susan and Nick work together, sparks fly – and you can probably guess what happens next… Rachael Leigh Cook (above) and Damon Wayans Jr take the leads in this romcom

As Susan and Nick work together, sparks fly – and you can probably guess what happens next… Rachael Leigh Cook (above) and Damon Wayans Jr take the leads in this romcom

As they work together, sparks fly – and you can probably guess what happens next… Rachael Leigh Cook and Damon Wayans Jr take the leads in this likeable romcom. From Thursday

 

Young Wallander 

The makers of the original Swedish series based on Henning Mankell’s best-selling novels have done a sort of Endeavour/Morse, imagining detective Kurt Wallander as a young man but set in the present day. 

In the opener of six episodes, Adam Pålsson (above) is a newly graduated Wallander, who has to overcome his guilt to solve a crime after failing to save a teenager from a nasty attack

In the opener of six episodes, Adam Pålsson (above) is a newly graduated Wallander, who has to overcome his guilt to solve a crime after failing to save a teenager from a nasty attack

In the opener of six episodes, Adam Pålsson (watch out for him in Moscow Noir on Channel 4 from September 13) is a newly graduated Wallander, who has to overcome his guilt to solve a crime after failing to save a teenager from a nasty attack. From Thursday

 

Chef’s Table: BBQ 

Vegans and vegetarians look away now – the roving Emmy-nominated culinary show is back and the emphasis this time is very much on meat. Barbecue experts including 85-year-old Texan Tootsie Tomanetz (who still takes charge of the coals at her own restaurant), Australian Lennox Hastie, who specialises in Outback cuisine, South Carolina’s Rodney Scott and traditional Mayan chef Rosalia Chay Chuc are among the most remarkable of those demonstrating their mouth-watering skills on the coals. From Wednesday

 

Why is there such a buzz about..? 

Selling Sunset (Netflix)

The series that follows the goings-on at the Oppenheim Group, a Los Angeles real estate agent specialising in luxurious properties, quickly rose from being a sort-of reality show to a genuine TV phenomenon. 

It’s now Netflix’s highest-rated programme, both here and across the Atlantic.

Much of the allure is the property- porn backdrop: swooping walk-throughs of multi-million-dollar homes, the kind where people enjoy infinity pools with views over the glowing city. 

The women include Mary Fitzgerald and Maya Vander (above with Fitzgerald)

The women include Mary Fitzgerald and Maya Vander (above with Fitzgerald)

(The developers of a newly built $40 million property even had nearby telephone poles knocked down so that the new owners could have a completely unobstructed view while entertaining on their roof terrace).

However, the real reason why Selling Sunset is unmissable is the obviously fake friendships and real beef between the six impossibly glamorous women who work at the Oppenheim Group.

The women include wholesome newbie Chrishell Stause, TV’s perfect sassy villain Christine Quinn, quiet assassin Davina Potratz, Mary Fitzgerald, no-nonsense Maya Vander and Heather Rae Young. 

The producers maintain the show isn’t scripted, but that some storylines are ‘amped up’ a bit to enhance the drama.

After the third season was released, Christine revealed that founder Brett has left Oppenheim to set up a new agency so we can expect to see even more fireworks in the next season.

Kelly Woodward 

 

BBC iPLAYER & ALL 4

 

The Bridge

The daddy of all Scandi-noir thrillers and arguably still the best. It opens with the weirdest discovery ever – a dead body, severed at the waist, straddling the Sweden/ Denmark border on the Oresund Bridge connecting Malmö and Copenhagen.

Enjoy again Sofia Helin as the socially inept Swedish detective Saga Norén and her rather more charismatic Danish counterpart, Martin Rohde (Kim Bodnia, above with Helin)

Enjoy again Sofia Helin as the socially inept Swedish detective Saga Norén and her rather more charismatic Danish counterpart, Martin Rohde (Kim Bodnia, above with Helin)

Enjoy again Sofia Helin as the socially inept Swedish detective Saga Norén (with her sludge-coloured 1970s Porsche, penchant for leather trousers and brutal approach to dating) and her rather more charismatic Danish counterpart, Martin Rohde (Kim Bodnia, of Killing Eve fame). BBC iPlayer, seasons 1 and 2, available now

 

Code 37: Sex Crimes 

Now in its third season on Walter Presents, this police drama roams the often weird and sometimes not so wonderful world – rape, incest, prostitution, pornography – of a Ghent-based sex-crimes unit. 

At its heart is punky female chief investigator Hannah Maes (Veerle Baetens), who leads a team of chauvinistic males – old-timer Charles, macho Bob and blond rookie Kevin – and solves Belgium’s most abhorrent crimes while continuing a personal quest to avenge her mother’s death. 

There are echoes of 1970s cop dramas here, and the storylines sometimes feel a little simplistic, while Flemish is not the easiest tongue on the ear (no sex pun intended). But if you like your police dramas subtitled, it’s worth a watch. All 4, available now

 

Skin 

This moving six-part series follows a group of young people seeking help with skin conditions that have blighted their lives. In an age in which image is everything, they feel their appearance and confidence have been wrecked by issues ranging from acne to psoriasis. 

Among those featured is Amy, who is an ambassador for the Birthmark Support Group and is considering having treatment to lighten the port-wine stain on her face. BBC iPlayer, from today

 

When Bob Marley Came To Britain 

Had he not succumbed to cancer in 1981, Bob Marley would have celebrated his 75th birthday this year. The reggae icon is much loved, particularly in his native Jamaica and in Britain, which he regarded as his second home. 

This touching film explores the time he spent here in self-imposed exile in the late 1970s, from recording key albums to performing secret gigs and playing football in Battersea Park. 

Those who got to know him, including photographer Dennis Morris and broadcaster Don Letts, discuss his impact on their lives, as well as his influence on politics, culture and a generation of black Britons. BBC iPlayer, available now

 

Sakho & Mangane 

There’s a touch of black magic about this African crime drama, shot in the Senegalese capital of Dakar. It focuses on the partnership between two very different cops, the cool and calm Sakho and his boisterous colleague Lieutenant Mangane (Yann Gael). 

It focuses on the partnership between two very different cops, the cool and calm Sakho and his boisterous colleague Lieutenant Mangane (Yann Gael, above)

It focuses on the partnership between two very different cops, the cool and calm Sakho and his boisterous colleague Lieutenant Mangane (Yann Gael, above)

They’re paired together by the ambitious and newly promoted Mama Bâ, who is pinning her hopes on the duo to solve the high-profile murder of a Belgian ethnologist, which she believes will help her gain the respect of the men under her command. Walter Presents/All4, from Friday

 

AMAZON & STARZPLAY

 

The Boys 

Such is Amazon’s confidence in its demented superhero satire that it has ordered a third series before the eight-episode second has even aired. Its confidence is well placed. 

The Boys is funny, fast-paced and full of mayhem. The titular vigilantes who try to keep in line the amoral celebrity superheroes, led by the evil Homelander, are on the run. 

Meanwhile, there’s a new ‘supe’ in town – Stormfront. She’s a dab hand with Instagram, popular with the fans and seems extremely ambitious. And Homelander isn’t happy… From Friday

 

The Great 

It’s not the most accurate account ever made of how Princess Sophie Auguste of Anhalt-Zerbst came to be Empress of Russia but this ten-part series is definitely the most entertaining. 

Nicholas Hoult is a delight as the tyrannical man-child Tsar Peter III whose every whim – however mad, bad or dangerous – must be indulged by his subservient court, while Elle Fanning is perfect as the ambitious Catherine, who is determined to make the country a better place. 

Nicholas Hoult is a delight as Tsar Peter III whose every whim must be indulged by his subservient court, while Elle Fanning (above) is perfect as the ambitious Catherine

Nicholas Hoult is a delight as Tsar Peter III whose every whim must be indulged by his subservient court, while Elle Fanning (above) is perfect as the ambitious Catherine

Think Blackadder crossed with The Inbetweeners – side-splittingly funny, slightly ridiculous and occasionally very rude… StarzPlay, available now

 

All Or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur 

Amazon’s fly-on-the-dressing-room-wall sports docuseries moves to North London and the state-of-the-art new stadium at White Hart Lane. Tottenham Hotspur’s tumultuous 2019/20 season saw the departure of head coach Mauricio Pochettino and the arrival of former ‘Special One’ Jose Mourinho – not necessarily good news for Spurs fans but a winner for the show’s producers. 

Tottenham Hotspur’s tumultuous 2019/20 season saw the departure of head coach Mauricio Pochettino and the arrival of former ‘Special One’ Jose Mourinho (above)

Tottenham Hotspur’s tumultuous 2019/20 season saw the departure of head coach Mauricio Pochettino and the arrival of former ‘Special One’ Jose Mourinho (above)

Follow all the highs and lows of the pandemic-interrupted season as the first three of nine episodes drop this week. From Monday

 

Bosch 

All good things come to an end – and that includes Bosch. The hugely popular crime show about Special Forces Operative turned LAPD homicide detective Hieronymus ‘Harry’ Bosch has been renewed for a seventh season – but that will be its last. 

Catch the first six outings for Titus Welliver as the inscrutable Bosch, an officer with a grudging respect for the rules as he hunts down his own mother’s murderer. Available now

 

FILMS 

The King of Staten Island 

Saturday Night Live’s Pete Davidson stars in and co-writes a very personal film about a dope-smoking slacker on Staten Island who’s haunted by the death of his firefighter father. 

It’s funny, dark and too long but moving too once you know that Davidson’s fireman father died in the 9/11 attacks. Sky Store & Rakuten, from Monday

 

Bad Education 

An exuberant tangle Catholic guilt starring Gael García Bernal (above)

An exuberant tangle Catholic guilt starring Gael García Bernal (above)

Pedro Almodóvar’s 2004 film is an exuberant tangle of camp, conspiracy and Catholic guilt starring Gael García Bernal. But there’s a darker side too, as a young man approaches an old friend – now a film-maker – and offers him a story about the sexual abuse he suffered at the school they both attended. Mubi, from Friday

 

Vivarium 

Perhaps the ultimate lockdown film, with a young couple trapped in a suburban house they cannot escape. Whatever Tom (Jesse Eisenberg) and Gemma (Imogen Poots) do, they always end up back there.

And then a baby arrives in a cardboard box… Available now on most platflorms

Matthew Bond 



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Nick Cordero is slowly recovering despite ‘tough week,’ wife says


Amanda Kloots told fans Sunday not to “take a day for granted,” as husband Nick Cordero continues his months-long recovery against the coronavirus.

In a series of Instagram stories, Kloots reflected on Cordero’s “tough week,” in which the 41-year-old Broadway star suffered a setback, but added things are gradually improving.

“Nick suffered from some new lung infection in his lungs, earlier this week, and since then, he’s been slowly recovering, which is great,” Kloots explained. “Day by day, hour by hour, he’s getting better. He’s slowly getting back to where he was before this infection came about.”

Earlier this week, Kloots said Cordero’s health was “going a little downhill at the moment.” The news came shortly after the “Rock of Ages” star woke up from his medically induced coma.

Kloots remains hopeful Cordero “can come off some more medications and that his settings on machines can come down.”

“Right now, we’re just looking for slow, steady, small wins to keep him resting and recovering,” she said.

Cordero has been hospitalized since late March and had his right leg amputated in April as a result of coronavirus complications. Kloots, who has been providing fans with updates on social media, shared earlier this month Cordero is “still having a little bit of an issue with the infection in his lungs.”

Over the weekend, Kloots gushed over how “proud” she is of Cordero.

“I’m really proud of how strong he is and gosh, what he’s gone through, and his will,” she said. “I’m exhausted, physically, and emotionally and mentally exhausted. This has been the craziest ride ever, but you know, we’re still here, and we’re still fighting.”

Kloots then encouraged fans to embrace their loved ones.

“I would just encourage you, everyone, to hug your loved ones,” Kloots said. “Go really give them a really good love hug, and let them know, ‘I love you.’”

“If you have somebody going through it, hug your people,” she continued. “Do it for me, do it for Nick. Don’t take a day for granted, guys.”

Kloots and Cordero share an 11-month-old son named Elvis.



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Government hopes for breakthrough in Wet’suwet’en blockades this week


The federal and provincial governments want to meet with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs this week in a bid to stop a series of crippling blockades in support of those chief’s anti-pipeline stance.

The move comes as local protesters prepare for an unknown action starting in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside on Tuesday afternoon.

On Monday, Scott Fraser, B.C.’s Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, and Carolyn Bennett, federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, met in Victoria to “talk about finding a peaceful resolution to the blockades across the country and other issues arising from the concerns of Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs.”

In a joint statement, Fraser and Bennett said last week’s string of Canada-wide blockades of rail-lines, government buildings and political offices were “a significant challenge.”

“We have reached out through a joint letter to the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs about meeting with us at the earliest opportunity and are hopeful we can all work together to establish a process for ongoing and constructive dialogue and action to address the issues at hand. Our primary focus is everyone’s safety and ultimately, a peaceful resolution to the situation.”

Postmedia News has seen the letter dated Feb. 16, 2020, sent to Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs (c/o Office of the Wet’suwet’en) in Smithers.

The letter states that it was the result of a request by Gitxsan hereditary chief Spookw to arrange a meeting between the two senior levels of government and Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs opposed to the Coastal GasLink pipeline being put through the Wet’suwet’en’s 22,000 square kilometre territory. Spookw is acting as a broker – the Gitxsan’s 33,000 square kilometre territory is north of the Wet’suwet’en.

Five of the six Wet’suwet’en reserve bands have signed on with Coastal GasLink, but 10 of the 13 Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have rejected the Coastal GasLink’s pipeline project outright. The hereditary chiefs opposed to the pipeline are Woos, Smogelgem, Knedebeas, Samooh, Way tah K’eght, Hagwilnegh, Madeek, Kloum Khun and Na’moks. All 10 chiefs are men.


Georgia St. blocked during an Indigenous led march to Victory Square in support of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation in January, 2019.

Nick Procaylo /

PNG

According to the Council of the Wet’suwet’en (that represents the nation’s reserve bands, five clans and 13 hereditary chiefs) three chief seats are vacant. There are roughly 5,000 Wet’suwet’en. 

At least three wing chiefs (the deputy to the chief) are in favour of the pipeline and there are claims that two former hereditary chiefs were deposed because they supported the pipeline.

The Feb. 16 letter goes on to state: “We agree that dialogue is the best and preferred way to deal with these issues,” suggesting the government is not prepared at this point to use force against a well-organized nationwide protest movement. 

Local protest spokesperson Natalie Knight told Postmedia News that Wet’suwet’en chiefs were not responsible for the course of action the Metro Vancouver protesters took.

Knight said protestors were meeting on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at 380 East Hastings Street and would commence an action from there. She would not reveal what that action would be, however, last week her group blocked rail lines and two busy intersections.


Approximately 100 people march in support of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs in their opposition to the GasLink pipeline project, along Grandview Highway Saturday, February 15, 2020.

Jason Payne /

PNG

The Feb. 16 letter came three days after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote to chief Spookw saying a cabinet minister would meet with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, and two days after B.C. Premier John Horgan made the same promise — although as part of that deal Horgan said the “blockade of the CN line will be removed to allow for a period of calm and peaceful dialogue.”

The blockade of the main CN Rail line in Northern B.C. (near New Hazelton) was taken down the same day. However, later in the week the West Coast Express commuter train was blocked, as was an East Vancouver rail line.

Protesters also continued to block rail lines as well as highways and bridges in different parts of the country on Monday.

Those included shutting down for the first time the Thousand Islands Bridge border crossing near Kingston, Ont. and a CN Rail crossing on Highway 75 in southern Manitoba.

Trudeau held an emergency, closed-door meeting with cabinet ministers in Ottawa on Monday to discuss the blockades.

He did not answer reporter’s questions after leaving the meeting.


The RCMP set up a checkpoint on the Morice West Forest Service Road on Jan. 13, 2020.

Submitted /

RCMP

Jen Wickham, a Wet’suwet’en band member who belongs to the Grizzly House of the Gitdumden Clan, has been active in ground zero of the conflict — the Morice Forest Road that leads to a Coastal GasLink work camp southeast of Houston.

Wickham said she was not surprised that the protest had become so widespread.

“I think that Indigenous people have been suffering colonization and the exploitation of our lands and resources since contact and Wet’suwet’en are in a very unique position because we have the Delgamuukw court decision that other nations have used to successfully gain title recognition,” Wickham said, referring to the 1997 Supreme Court of Canada decision that established Aboriginal title to unceded land.

Wickham said she was unsure how the three hereditary chiefs of her clan would respond to the letter issued on Sunday.

However, she said they “want a nation to nation discussion and they want the RCMP and CGL out of our territories.”

Related

Knight said that the Coastal GasLink pipeline protest was about more than the Wet’suwet’en and pipeline fight, and had spread to “the shared history of violence experienced by Indigenous people, and Punjabi and Chinese communities in so-called B.C. Both Punjabi and Chinese people were displaced from their own lands due to the violence of British colonialism and the parallels between this colonial violence and the violence experienced by Indigenous people here is clear and ongoing.”

The protest movement is backed by the David Suzuki Foundation, B.C. Civil Liberties Association and the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs.

Coastal GasLink is building the 670km underground pipeline to ship fracked natural gas to the LNG Canada plant being built in Kitimat. The pipeline is scheduled to be complete in 2023.

The company has promised to spend $1 billion of its $6.6 billion budget on contracts, grants and training opportunities for the 20 First Nations bands along the route that it has signed agreements with.

— with files from Canadian Press

[email protected]

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Calgary students battle Islamophobia during Islam Awareness Week – Calgary


Students at Mount Royal University in Calgary are fighting Islamophobia by educating themselves and others about Islam.

It’s all part of United Islam Awareness Week, an event that runs from Jan. 20 to 24 and is designed to dispel Islamophobia.

The Muslim Student Affiliations, an on-campus group for Islamic students, is marking UIAW by hosting a speaker series featuring scholars with real-life experiences dealing with racism.


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Dilly Hussain, the deputy editor of Muslim news website 5 Pillars, was the first speaker of MRU’s weeklong series.

Hussain said he has seen a rise in Islamophobia in Europe and the United States, and hopes more people start having tough conversations about religious differences.

“If there is a growing sentiment among non-Muslims in the Western world that Muslims believe in x, y and z or they find certain rituals or beliefs problematic or in contradiction with secular liberal values, then we need to have that conversation,” said Hussain.

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He said his presentation on Monday night focused on Muslims becoming more vocal, especially during tenuous political times.

“The situation isn’t getting any better,” Hussain said. “So the best thing to do is not to become shelled inside. You actually need to be out there and engaged.”

Lectures on combating Islamophobia run through the week at MRU’s Jenkins Theatre at 6:30 p.m. Upcoming topics include “Quran Burning Doubt” and “Is Jihad Lit.”




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what is the risk in the Alps this week?



Staying safe when skiing or snowboarding in the mountains is crucial – an important part of that is being aware of the risk of avalanche where you are, being prepared when heading off piste, and knowing what to do should an avalanche happen.

The Telegraph Ski & Snowboard has teamed up with Henry Schneiwind from Henry’s Avalanche Talk (HAT), to provide up-to-date avalanche safety reports from the Savoie region of the French Alps, which includes popular resorts such as Courchevel, Méribel, Val Thorens and Les Menuires in the Trois Vallées as well as Val d’Isère, Tignes, La Plagne, Les Arcs, La Rosière and La Tania.

What is the current avalanche risk in the Northern French Alps/Savoie?

The avalanche risk is currently between a low 1/5 to a moderate 2/5. 

In terms of avalanche risk, there’s currently an extremely minimal risk to off-piste skiers and boarders, mainly from rare release of glide cracks. 

What does this mean for off-piste skiers and snowboarders?

There is currently minimal avalanche danger. That isn’t to say ‘none’ – even a small avalanche on a steep slope above a cliff could have disastrous consequences. The main risk to the off-piste skier at the moment is one of losing control, falling, and sustaining a sliding accident on steep, hard icy snow.

Where is most at risk at the moment?

The highest risk to skiers and snowboarders is, as always, on steep slopes exposed to terrain traps. This is particularly the case now, with a lot of hardened or crusted snow on steep slopes above cliffs and rocks.

Stay in control when traversing or skiing down, to avoid going for a long, potentially very dangerous slide. Use ski crampons when walking up on icy traverses. 

There’s been very little glide crack avalanche activity over the last few days. But still keep an eye on these cracks and don’t hang around under them for long, or tour up underneath them. If anywhere receives a substantial amount of fresh snow (20 cm or more) that risk will increase in the short-term.

How does the forecast look for the coming week?

High pressure is still in charge, so the snowfall this weekend will be minimal. There are signs that snow may appear after January 25, but it will be patchy until the high pressure completely collapses.

Friday January 17

Snowfall in the afternoon and especially in the evening. Beautiful at daybreak becoming cloudy from the west in the morning. The precipitation is highest in the evening, it continues the following night slowly becoming weaker. 

Saturday January 18

Some snow at dawn then the clouds dissipate throughout the day. Wind generally weak outside the ridges and peaks.

Sunday January 19

Persistent low clouds over the west, under around 1,500m . This sea of ​​clouds tears apart during the afternoon only.

Monday January 20

Variable weather in Haute-Maurienne and Haute-Tarentaise as weather blocked by clouds overflowing from Italy bringing some snowflakes. Less and less cloudy going towards the North-West of the region.

Tuesday January 21

 A beautiful day, largely sunny after dissipation of grey morning weather.

Wednesday January 22

Beautiful, mild and always sunny, above the probable morning greyness; possible sea of ​​clouds at night.

Thursday January 23

Beautiful and mild.

Tip of the week

If we get 10cm or more new snow, then be very wary of steep, shady northeast, north and northwest slopes. The frissette (gobelet, facets) will be underneath and the slope could slide away from underneath you. If there is more 20cm or fallen or windblown snow that it could avalanche and bury you.

Make the best of the stable snowpack and dry weather to get out for a bit of ski touring. Even if there’s no powder snow out there, there’s always a good adventure to be had, and using touring skis and skins gives us a lot more flexibility with areas of the mountain we can reach.





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Jennifer Garner Freaking Out On A Rollercoaster Will Make Your Week



Jennifer Garner is willing to face some major fears for her acting career.

The 47-year-old actor buckled up on the Twisted Colossus ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain while shooting her new movie, “Yes Day,” which makes for some excellent viewing given she can’t stand rollercoasters.

“Shooting #YesDay at #SixFlagsMagicMountain is a dream come true. Unless you hate roller coasters,” she wrote on Instagram, adding in a hashtag that she cried. She tagged her co-stars, “You” actor Jenna Ortega, and Julian Lerner.

The two youngsters appeared to enjoy themselves a little more. “BEST DAY SHOOTING EVER,” Lerner wrote on his Instagram, while Ortega said she could “still feel this death grip,” when she shared the clip.

Responding to comments, Garner said the Lazy River was more her style. “I love life, I do not need to ask for a heart attack,” she wrote, adding that it was worse when she had to ride it again “for takes two and three.”

The upcoming “Yes Day” Netflix comedy revolves around the concept of parents saying “yes” to everything their kids request for a day each year ― a tradition that Garner herself endures each year.

Fingers crossed her character was supposed to be terrified of rollercoasters, because she certainly played it that way.





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