Corrie fans heartbroken as Oliver Battersby suffers brain damage

Coronation Street fans have been left heartbroken, after it was confirmed that young Oliver Battersby has suffered brain damage.

Leanne Tilsley (Jane Danson) and Steve McDonald (Simon Gregson) were brought into Dr Ward’s (Zitta Sitar) office after worrying that their son was struggling to focus on anything.

After conducting some tests, Dr Ward invited Leanne and Steve into the office, where she informed them that Oliver’s trouble focusing is a result of damage caused to the brain following his prolonged seizure.

Given that they don’t yet have a definitive diagnosis yet — although Dr Ward does think he might have mitochondrial disease — it’s hard to make predictions, but she reiterated that Oliver might not get back to where was developmentally.

While Leanne is determined to stay positive, Dr Ward confirmed there’s a high chance the damage will be permanent.

‘Poor, poor Oliver,’ another wrote, while one more said: ‘Omg this is breaking my heart. I can’t believe that Oliver might have permanent brain damage.’

What is mitochondrial disease?

Mitochondrial diseases result from failures of the mitochondria, specialized compartments present in every cell of the body (except red blood cells).

Mitochondria are responsible for creating more than 90% of the energy needed by the body to sustain life and support organ function. When they fail, less and less energy is generated within the cell. Cell injury and even cell death follow. If this process is repeated throughout the body, whole organ systems begin to fail.

The parts of the body, such as the heart, brain, muscles and lungs, requiring the greatest amounts of energy are the most affected.

Symptoms vary depending on the organ(s) affected but may include seizures, atypical cerebral palsy, autistic features, developmental problems, fainting and temperature instability.

According to The Lily Foundation, the prognosis depends upon the severity of the disease and other criteria. As more research funds are raised to find more effective treatments and ultimately a cure, some of the affected children and adults are living fairly normal lives with mitochondrial disease.

In other cases, children may not be able to see, hear, talk or walk. Affected children may not survive beyond their teenage years. Adult onset can result in drastic changes from an active lifestyle to a debilitating ilness is a short amount of time.

Treatment plans vary from patient to patient but involve therapies, diet changes and other means to try and slow the progress of the disease.

You can find out more information from the NHS here.

‘Oliver’s storyline is already so heartbreaking,’ another pointed out.

Corrie boss Iain MacLeod previously opened up about Oliver being diangosed with mitochondrial disease, telling the storyline will be ‘multifaceted’ and aims to ‘draw attention to families’ struggles’ with the relatively common disease.

He said: ‘The fundamental component is Leanne’s love for her son and willingness to move mountains to save him.

‘It’s really passionate and heartfelt, the cast are right behind it. Jane has been talking to charity partners about how Leanne is feeling she wants to get it right. We all do.’

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NC coronavirus cases surge as Trump demands full-capacity GOP convention

North Carolina is grappling with a steady surge in new coronavirus cases as President Trump demands the state to accommodate a full-capacity Republican convention.

The number of infected residents continues to rise in North Carolina, where Republicans have for two years planned to hold their national convention this August.

There are 24,418 confirmed cases in the state, with 1,600 new infections reported on Friday — the largest single-day rise North Carolina has seen, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Trump still has insisted Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper allow for the Republican National Convention to pack the Spectrum Center in Charlotte for the event. The president on Monday tweeted threats to move the convention if Cooper wouldn’t cooperate.

Cooper on Tuesday said that he is still in talks with Republicans over the logistics for the convention. His administration has demanded a written safety plan from the convention’s organizers and brushed off Trump’s tweets, saying he’s “not surprised at anything that happens on Twitter.”

“We have asked them to present a plan on paper to us laying out the various options that we’ve already discussed,” Cooper said. “They know we’re talking about a time that’s three months from now, so we have to have options regarding how this convention is going to be run depending on where we are with the virus in August.”

North Carolina’s Mecklenburg County, which includes Charlotte, has recorded nearly 3,400 coronavirus cases — more than double the next highest county.

Cooper has eased up on the state’s lockdown, though, allowing for restaurants to allow customers to dine inside. But the governor, like other states easing out of lockdowns, has still barred gatherings at venues, bars and gyms.

Trump on Tuesday insinuated that Cooper was intentionally slow-walking a reopening and said he would have the Republican National Committee explore alternatives if they can’t get confirmation “within a week.”

“We have a governor who doesn’t want to open up the state,” Trump said. “He’s been acting very, very slowly and very suspiciously.”

With Post Wires

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£150k boost for Mail Force as Sky TV boss helps PPE charity

£150k boost for Mail Force as Sky TV boss helps PPE charity fund soar to £8.9million

  • Jeremy Darroch has donated £50,000 of his own cash while the rest came from the broadcaster
  • Contribution means Mail Force has raised £8.9m since the charity was launched four weeks ago
  • Mail Force was created by the Mail and its partners to help tackle the PPE shortage
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

The boss of Sky has pledged £150,000 for the Mail Force campaign to supply healthcare workers with protective gear after several of his colleagues became seriously ill with coronavirus.

Jeremy Darroch has donated £50,000 of his own cash while £100,000 has come from the broadcaster.

The generous contribution means Mail Force has raised £8.9million since the charity was launched four weeks ago. Mr Darroch, 57, who has run Sky since 2007, said the campaign to make sure NHS and care staff have enough personal protective equipment (PPE) to treat patients safely is of ‘critical importance’.

He added: ‘People at Sky have got Covid-19 and some of them are really very poorly so I’ve seen what can happen when it goes from an unpleasant illness to a very serious illness.

Jeremy Darroch (middle) has donated £50,000 of his own cash while £100,000 has come from the broadcaster. Pictured with Sky presenters Sarah-Jane Mee and Natalie Pinkham 

‘And when that happens you are reminded about how brilliant the NHS are and what doctors do – what sacrifices they make and literally how they fight for people’s lives.’

Mr Darroch said it is easy to take front line healthcare workers for granted because everyone has ‘grown up with the NHS’. He believes that the pandemic has reminded the country of their great work.

Last month Mr Darroch, who earns more than £1million a year in basic pay, announced he would donate at least six months of his salary to charities helping people affected by the pandemic.

This now includes Mail Force, which was created by the Mail and its partners to help tackle the PPE shortage. He stressed: ‘Mail Force is a great initiative and one that is very much needed. We were keen to support it, both at a corporate level and a personal one. I think it’s great that Mail Force has taken the lead and it means others can just plug in and help do their bit to make this successful.

‘This is pretty significant. It’s getting money to an organisation which has the scale to make sure it gets to the right places.’

Mr Darroch added: ‘This caught my eye because of its focus – PPE has been so critically important, and that’s why I wanted to do it. This is a brilliant way to be able to add a bit from me as well. I’m really happy about it. I think, with these things, if everybody can do their bit then we can get through this.’ His first charitable donation during the crisis was £100,000 to the National Emergencies Trust.

PPE is delivered to Bank House Residential Care home in Newport, Shropshire. Pictured from left to right: Kirsten Buck, Nikki Rose, Jane Broom, Kate Brennan, Callum Wapstra, Shirley Richards and Dep. Manager Helen Millinder

It was founded in 2017 after the Grenfell Tower fire, which killed 72 people, and terror attacks in London and Manchester. It works with charities to raise and distribute funds. Northumberland-born Mr Darroch, who has three children with his wife Rachel, has also donated to the Community Foundation For Surrey, where he lives.

It is part of a network of 46 community foundations which help disadvantaged people. Almost 50,000 Daily Mail readers have now given more than £2.5million to Mail Force.

Your continuing support, along with pledges from philanthropists and corporate partners, helped the fund soar to the £8.9million mark last night.

Supporters include the Duchess of Cornwall, Sir Cliff Richard, Sir Michael Caine and Dame Vera Lynn while former prime ministers Sir John Major and Gordon Brown have also backed the initiative.

Last week lorries carrying 100,000 gowns arrived from Turkey after the charity sourced PPE from a factory near Istanbul. The gowns were quality checked by the Health and Safety Executive and delivered to the NHS. The charity previously chartered a jumbo jet packed with 20 tons of PPE from Shanghai to London. The £1million cargo included 50,000 medical coveralls and 100,000 masks.

And Mail Force has placed an initial order for 1.5million aprons from British firm Issa Group, which had them made in a former cotton mill in Blackburn.

These are being channelled into the main NHS distribution network over the next two weeks.


Mail Force Charity has been launched with one aim to help support NHS staff, volunteers and care workers fight back against Covid-1 in the UK.

Mail Force is a separate charity established and supported by the Daily Mail and General Trust. 

The money raised will fund essential equipment required by the NHS and care workers. 

This equipment is vital in protecting the heroic staff whilst they perform their fantastic work in helping the UK overcome this pandemic.

If we raise more money than is needed for vital Covid-1 equipment, we will apply all funds to support the work of the NHS in other ways.

Click the button below to make a donation:

If the button is not visible, click here 

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Mother hid in toilet as police swooped on home to arrest druggy son

Terrified mother hid in toilet as 49 police officers surrounded her home to arrest her drug-crazed son, 21, during 12-hour rooftop siege after she told him to move out

  • Curtis Green, 21, flew into a rage when Lorraine, 53, told him he had to move out
  • A court heard Green caused £1,000 of damage to the house in Newport, Gwent
  • He smashed window, mirrors, door and television before clambering on the roof
  • Mrs Green shut herself in the toilet to hide as husband Norman, 63, called police
  • Green jailed for two years, two months and handed three-year restraining order

Curtis Green, 21, flew into a rage when Lorraine, 53, told him it was time to move out of their house in Newport, Gwent, Wales

A terrified mother hid in a toilet when 49 police officers swooped on her home to arrest her drug-crazed son in a 12-hour rooftop siege.

Curtis Green, 21, flew into a rage when Lorraine, 53, told him it was time to move out of their house in Newport, Gwent, south-east Wales.

A court heard Green caused £1,000 of damage by smashing a window, mirrors, door and television before clambering on to the roof of their large detached house.

Mrs Green locked herself in the downstairs toilet to hide away as her husband Norman, 63, called police.

Prosecutor Suzanne Payne said: ‘His father begged officers to take him away as he couldn’t take any more.

‘His mother was hiding in the downstairs toilet such was her fear of her son. He had taken a cocktail of crack cocaine and alcohol. Both his parents were terrified of him.’

Cardiff Crown Court heard Green climbed on to the roof and began hurling tiles off during the incident in March.

A total of 49 police including armed officers were called to the house as Green shouted threats during the 12-hour stand off.

A total of 49 police including armed officers were called to the house as Green shouted threats during the 12-hour stand off (pictured) 

Mrs Payne said: ‘Green climbed on the roof of the porch and threw a tile which damaged the windscreen of his father’s car.

‘He then started shouting obscenities and throwing slates at the police officers who had arrived. One of the slates struck an officer in the leg, causing him pain.

‘A firearms team were deployed. The defendant headbutted a pane of glass, injuring his face and head.

‘He held pieces of glass and was threatening to self-harm and he had taken a cocktail of crack cocaine, base and alcohol. Both his parents were terrified of him.’

The court heard during the rooftop siege Mrs Green hid behind a curtain.

Green stayed on the roof all night but agreed to come down the following morning on March 31 when he was arrested.

He admitted affray, assaulting an emergency worker and two counts of criminal damage.

Gareth Williams, mitigating, said: ‘He caused a lot of damage and is very sorry and remorseful to his parents for that. It was in one way a cry for help. The real risk was to himself rather than others.’

Green was jailed for two years and two months and handed a three-year restraining order from contacting his parents.

Judge Nicola Jones told him: ‘You left your parents terrified and extremely distressed.

‘As a result of this stand-off, 49 police officers attended, including a firearms team and a negotiator.

‘This was a significant amount of police and public resources during the time of a national pandemic.’

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Summer holiday hope as Greece offers to waive quarantine for Brits

Hope for summer holidays as Greece becomes first country to offer to waive 14-day quarantine for British tourists and travel firms say they still hope to run holidays from mid-June as minister says UK campsites could REOPEN later in the summer

  • Tourism minister, Harry Theoharis pushed for a quid-pro-quo deal with the UK
  • Offered to waive quarantine for Brits if we do the same for Greek visitors here
  • Ministers mull ‘air bridges’ to allow travellers to move between countries 
  • Therese Coffey also said UK camp sites could reopen as early as July 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Greece has offered to waive its 14-day coronavirus quarantine for British tourists and holiday forms are planning to restart flights from mid June in what could be a welcome boost for beleaguered lockdown Britain.

With the Mediterranean nation’s under-pressure economy heavily dependent on holidaymakers it has been making plans to refill deserted beaches and hotels.

The country’s tourism minister, Harry Theoharis said that it would waive its requirement for visitors if the same was done for Greeks arriving in the UK, speaking to the BBC.

It came as  ministers mull coronavirus ‘air bridges’ to allow travellers to move between countries without the need for quarantine once the outbreak is under control.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said a ‘blanket’ 14-day quarantine rule for arrivals will be introduced from next month.

But he disclosed that there are ‘active discussions’ going on over what countries could be exempted from the regime in future, referring to the idea of ‘air bridges’ – usually used to refer to military flights over enemy territory. 

Countries with lower infection levels, such as Australia, New Zealand and Greece, could potentially be excluded from the tough rules, which will be enforced by law. 

Tui, the largest travel firm in the UK has said it will restart holidays from June 14, with numbers ramped up from July – subject to travel restrictions being relaxed.

In further good news for holidaymakers, a senior minister revealed UK campsites could be allowed to reopen from July.

Asked about camping, Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey told Sky:  ‘Having come from Suffolk down to London, I know there are a lot of campsites that are very keen for people to come. 

‘Some of this is being carefully considered, recognising that we have a reduced outdoor transmission risk, that things like camping may well become suitable.

With the Mediterranean nation’s under-pressure economy heavily dependent on holidaymakers it has been making plans to refill deserted beaches and hotels in popular tourist areas like Corfu (pictured)

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey told Sky: ‘Recognising that we have a reduced outdoor transmission risk, that things like camping may well become suitable’

UK tourism firms facing £37bn coronavirus hit

UK tourism businesses could lose up to £15billion this year because of the coronavirus shutdown, an industry boss told MPs today.

Patricia Yates, acting chief executive at Visit Britain, said huge sums were likely to be lost both from international and domestic holidaymakers.

She told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee: ‘Every time we do the modelling the figures get worse. So for inbound, I mean we were looking at the beginning of this year at about £26.6 billion coming from inbound tourism, we reckon a £15 billion drop on that.

‘And for domestic, an industry that’s normally worth about £80 billion, a £22 billion drop on that.

‘And that’s actually before we’ve factored in the quarantine because we don’t clearly quite know what the measures are going to look like.’

She said while it would be the hope that domestic tourism this summer could pick up the slack and help alleviate some of the losses from the international sector, a ‘lack of confidence’ among people around travelling is a concern.

She said: ‘You’ve got a collapse of the supply industry as well as collapse of demand and really to get British tourism up and running this summer, and the summer is hugely important, you’re going to need that domestic audience. I think the worrying thing we see is the lack of confidence in the British public about travelling.’

She added: ‘So there’s a real job to be done there, given that it has to be the year of domestic tourism, there’s a real job to be done there in convincing people that it’s socially responsible to travel and enjoy a holiday. And that it’s safe to do so.’

‘But that is a decision that still needs to be taken for later this year, potentially in July or even later in the year, recognising that we need to do all we can to keep that R rate below one, the number of infections down, and we need to be careful when we take those steps.’

But pushed by presenter Kay Burley about holidaying in France, she dampened hopes, saying: ‘I know you like your holidays Kay,and quite right too, but I wouldn’t plan any time soon on booking a holiday in the Dordogne.’

Patricia Yates, acting chief executive at Visit Britain, today said air bridges were an ‘interesting’ idea.

She told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee: ‘It would be good to choose the countries that were valuable to us for inbound markets. 

‘We have an international network, our American regional director is telling us sort of America is ready to go, American business is ready to go. 

‘So, possibly, you know, an air bridge between the UK and America might be one that would be valuable to us.’

She said Visit Britain was already looking at stepping up marketing in Ireland, which will be exempt from the quarantine measures regarding international travel.

The most valuable markets are France, Germany, Italy, Spain and America when it comes to possible mutual arrangements such as air bridges with certain countries around quarantine, she said.

Earlier, Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary launched a savage attack on the government’s plans for 14-day quarantine on arrivals to the UK.

The new rules are set dash hopes of summer holidays for most of the summer, as exemptions are largely limited to lorry drivers.

However, Mr O’Leary dismissed claims it will prevent his aim of resuming flights in July, saying he believes the policy is so ‘defective’ and impossible to enforce that the public will merely ignore it.

He insisted the government is ‘making stuff up as they go along’ and face masks are the best way to protect the travelling public – despite many scientists saying they are of limited benefit.    

People should self-isolate if they lose their sense of taste or smell because it is a definite symptom of coronavirus, the government has announced today.

Anosmia, the clinical name for a change in smell or taste sense, has become the third symptom of the coronavirus that will be officially recognised by the NHS.

Until now, people were only advised that they might have the virus if they had a fever or a new continuous cough.

But scientists working for the government have now decided there is enough evidence to add anosmia to the list.

Prof Tim Spector, head of the department of genetic epidemiology and leader of the Covid symptom study app at King’s College London, said 50,000 to 70,000 people in the UK with Covid-19 were currently not being told to self-isolate even though they had the virus.

He blamed Public Health England (PHE) and the wider strategy, saying an insistence that only fever and cough were the major symptoms was missing thousands of cases.

Until now, the NHS 111 coronavirus symptom checker has listed high temperature and cough as the symptoms of Covid-19.

Prof Van-Tam said on April 3 that the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag) had looked at the issue and concluded loss of smell or taste should not be added to the symptom list.

But in the same month, ENT UK, the professional membership body representing ear, nose and throat surgery in the UK, published guidance to patients saying it believed loss of smell and loss of taste were symptoms of coronavirus and that it had shared these details with PHE.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) listed loss of smell and taste as ‘less common symptoms’ several weeks ago and other countries, including the US, added the symptom.

Mr Shapps has insisted quarantine measures from early June will be a ‘blanket situation’ for other countries initially but could be then eased for those with low Covid-19 infection rates.

Huw Merriman, Conservative chairman of the Transport Committee, asked in the Commons: ‘If he will consider air bridges so that those entering the UK from countries where the infection rate is below the rate of one would not be subject to quarantine?

‘This will boost confidence in aviation travel and target safety where it’s most needed.’

Mr Shapps replied: ‘Final details of the quarantine scheme will be released soon, come in early next month.

‘It is the case we should consider further improvements – for example, things like air bridges enabling people from other countries who have themselves achieved lower levels of coronavirus infection to come to the country.

‘So, those are active discussions but will go beyond what will initially be a blanket situation.’ 

It is understood that hauliers will make up two thirds of those not required to self-isolate for two weeks. 

The rest are expected to include people who ‘work supporting national security or critical infrastructure and to meet the UK’s international obligations’, officials said. 

Scientists researching coronavirus may also be exempt. Last week Downing Street denied that travellers from France would be excluded, despite previously suggesting that was an option. 

Ireland will not be covered by the rules due to the Common Travel Area’s role in the Northern Ireland Peace Process.

But Mr O’Leary told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the plans are ‘unimplementable, unmanageable and unpoliceable’. 

‘People will simply ignore something that is so hopelessly defective… Let’s have some effective measures like face masks,’ he said. 

‘All you get back out of the UK government is ”we don’t know”.’ 

‘It’s laughable that this government can come up with any plans for a quarantine that would be strict and fully enforced… 

‘It’s idiotic and it’s un-implementable. You don’t have enough police in the UK.’

He added: ‘Two-week lockdown has no medical or scientific basis to it in any event. If you want to do something that’s effective, wear masks.’ 

Mr O’Leary said the policy had ‘no credibility’ and predicted that it would be axed by June.  

What is an air bridge? 

An ‘air bridge’ is typically used by the military to reach and supply territory across enemy lines.

One of the largest in history was used for the Berlin airlift after the Second World War.

That kept the Western-held area supplied between June 1948 and May 1949 when it was cut off by Soviet forces. 

Another famous air bridge was ‘The Hump’, which was the route over the Himalayas from India to resupply Chinese forces working with the Allies. 

He insisted research had suggested face masks could reduce the risk of Covid-19 infection by 98.5 per cent.

He told Sky News the government is ‘making stuff up as they go along’. 

‘I think they are frankly just making stuff up as they go along,’ he said. ‘They are stumbling along grabbing whatever they think will make a headline.

There is no scientific or medical basis for a 14-day isolation for air passengers when you are not applying that equally to London Underground or London commuter train passengers.’ 

Virgin Atlantic appeared to back Mr O’Leary’s comments and called for a ‘multi-layered approach’ of targeted measures to successfully restart flights.

The statement released today said: ‘The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a devasting loss of life and livelihood for so many around the world and the UK. 

‘The safety and security of our people and our customers is our always our top priority and public health must come first. However, by introducing a mandatory 14 day self-isolation for every single traveller entering the UK, the Government is taking an approach that will likely prevent flights from resuming. 

‘We are continually reviewing our flying programme, however with these restrictions, there simply won’t be sufficient demand to warrant flying and we are unlikely to resume passenger services before August at the earliest.

Oliver Dowden said quarantine rules for people travelling to the UK will be enforced by law

Lorry drivers are expected to make up the bulk of people exempted from quarantine rules when travelling to other countries (stock photo)

‘We know that as the Covid-19 crisis subsides, air travel will be a vital enabler of the UK’s economic recovery. 

‘Therefore, we are calling for a multi-layered approach of carefully targeted measures, which will allow for a successful restart of international air travel for passengers and businesses, while mitigating health risks.’ 

The Association of UK Airlines, the trade body for the industry added that if the government does push ahead with the 14-day quarantine plan then  strict rolling reviews need to be in place.

Tell councils to reopen car parks and public toilets, says government expert

Ministers must order councils to reopen public toilets and car parks and stop ‘terrorising’ those who want to visit beauty spots, a government adviser said today.

Professor Robert Dingwall, who sits on the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group, said the risk outdoors was ‘minimal’ and people did not need to be so anxious.

The government eased draconian limits on exercise last week, with Boris Johnson saying the public is free to drive distances and enjoy public spaces as many times a day as they want. 

However, tourist boards have joined local authorities in saying visitors should stay away from beauty spots and seaside resorts.

Weston-super-Mare has changed its slogan from ‘Visit Weston’ to ‘Don’t Visit Weston’

A spokesman said: ‘Airlines are not going to operate if people are effectively told not to travel and that is going to do a lot of damage both to our tourism industry and businesses who rely on aviation for their supply chains and exports.

‘If the Government does insist on doing this, with minimal exemptions in place, we need strict rolling reviews to be enforced so that this policy is not in place a second longer than it needs to be.’

Mr Dowden said quarantine rules for people travelling to the UK will be enforced by law.

He told Today: ‘We would look at the relevant enforcement mechanisms just as we have done with other measures.

‘So for example, the measures that we took when we introduced the so-called lockdown – those were underpinned by regulations which had consequences in law, and I’m sure we’ll do the same thing.’

He said there would be ‘very limited’ exemptions to the rules.

John Holland-Kaye, the boss of Heathrow, raised hopes of looser rules yesterday, telling Sky News: ‘If two countries are at very low risk of having transmission within each country, there should be a free flow of passengers. 

‘But if a country has very high risk with rising infection rates and poor controls, then there would be very tight controls on anyone accessing the UK from those markets. 

Meanwhile, a government adviser has urged ministers to make councils reopen public toilets and car parks, and stop ‘terrorising’ those who want to visit beauty spots.

Professor Robert Dingwall, who sits on the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group, said the risk outdoors was ‘minimal’ and people did not need to be so anxious.

The government eased draconian limits on exercise last week, with Boris Johnson saying the public is free to drive distances and enjoy public spaces as many times a day as they want. 

However, tourist boards have joined local authorities in saying visitors should stay away from beauty spots and seaside resorts.

Weston-super-Mare has changed its slogan from ‘Visit Weston’ to ‘Don’t Visit Weston’

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Is The Simpsons ending as series 31 finishes?

There used to be a saying that, at the end of the world, the only survivors would be cockroaches and Cher – but that should be updated to include The Simpsons.

The show has run for 681 episodes and one movie (and counting) – making it the longest running scripted show in television history – and these episodes have truly run the gauntlet, from murder mysteries to apparently predicting coronavirus.

And lately, the show has proven it’s still capable of shocking fans – with the true story behind Millhouse’s expression coming to light recently and the discovery of their real ages (hint: much older than many would’ve guessed).

But is it finally time for television’s most famous family (sorry, Kardashians) to come to an end; is The Simpsons ending after this latest season?

Will The Simpsons end after season 31?

The series finale of season 31 of The Simpsons airs tonight in the US, but the show will be back for a season 32.

The show was officially picked up for a 31st and 32nd season back in February 2019, where the news was announced at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.

But after rumours went around that perhaps the show had decided to end early, producer of the show Al Jean took to Twitter late last year to confirm that the show will indeed be coming back for another season.

When one ‘fan’ suggested it should be time to let the show go, replying: ‘Shame because the show is now the equivalent of watching paint dry with a dead body in front of it’, Jean was quick with an effective retort.

He simply replied: ‘Emmy best animated program 2019.’

In the season finale of the latest season, a synopsis for the episode reads: ‘After the Simpson’ dog bites Marge, the family explores the tragic past of Santa’s Little Helper.’

It airs tonight in the US but will be available for Sky customers in the UK on Friday May 28 at 8pm.

Disney+ is currently airing seasons one to 30, but Sky owns the rights to broadcast the latest series.

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Share your views in the comments below.

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Fishermen create patterns as they trawl for anchovies in Vietnam

That’s net something you see every day! Fishermen create mesmerising patterns as they trawl for anchovies

  • Pictures were taken in An Hai, Phu Yen Province, by photographer and banker Khanh Phan, 34
  • The nets formed beautiful shapes in the water beneath the colourful fishing boat
  • Mr Phan said the fishermen are sometimes fishing less than a mile from the beach at a depth of just 32ft 

Many of us don’t stop to think where our fish comes from when we tuck into a mid-week dinner.  

But this brightly-coloured fishing boat put things into perspective as it dropped thousands of feet of green net into the ocean in Vietnamese waters. 

Stunning pictures show the netting transforming into an array of mesmerising shapes as it spreads out beneath the boat before being hauled back into the vessel.  

The fishermen in the photos head out to sea every day trying to catch huge shoals of anchovies.

The beautiful images were taken in An Hai, Phu Yen Province, by photographer and banker Khanh Phan.

The 34-year-old, from Ho Chi Minh city, said: ‘Depending on the day, in the morning the fishermen will determine the location of the net.

‘There are days when they are fishing only 1km from the beach, with a depth of about 10m, but other days they fish very far from the mainland.

‘The green colour of the net stands out in the sea and the oval, heart shapes are beautiful.’

This brightly-coloured fishing boat dropped an enormous net into the ocean in An Hai, in Phu Yen Province, Vietnam, in an attempt to catch thousands of anchovies

Stunning pictures show the netting transforming into an array of mesmerising shapes as it spreads out beneath the boat before being hauled back into the vessel

The fishermen in the photos head out to sea every day trying to catch huge shoals of anchovies

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The beautiful images were taken by photographer and banker Khanh Phan, 34, One image showed the net forming a gigantic bowl shape beneath the surface of the water

Mr Phan said: ‘Depending on the day, in the morning the fishermen will determine the location of the net’

The photographer added that on some days, the fishermen are trying to catch fish just 1km from the beach at a depth of around 10 metres. On other days, they are very far from the mainland ‘There are days when they are fishing only 1km from the beach, with a depth of about 33ft (10m), but other days they fish very far from the mainland

The green net, which makes the fishing boat appear tiny by comparison, stands out starkly amid the deep blue of the ocean beneath.

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Phil Thomas sets the scene as France prepare to end racing shutdown at Longchamp on Monday

THIS time there will be no ear-splitting roar from 50,000 fans desperate to see a slice of horse racing history.

This time all you’ll hear is the crack of whips, the thunder of hooves and maybe, just maybe, you’ll even hear an almighty sigh of relief at some live action once again.

There will be no Enable. No Frankie Dettori driving and pumping away. No Waldgeist flying down the outside to wreck dreams of an Arc treble. No tears at the bravest of near misses.

Yet it will still be a spine-tingling, goosebump moment for all who witness it. Even if, for all but those directly involved, the closest they can get is in front of a television.

For when the stalls ping back for the five furlong Prix De Saint-Georges, live sport, live horse racing, returns.

Never mind that 99 per cent of English viewers won’t have heard of any of the ten runners in that opening race.

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Nor that it is a meeting of entirely French trained runners. Just like every meeting until the end of the month at the earliest.

Since Ireland drew stumps on March 24, we’ve had to rely on early morning stuff from Happy Valley and Sha Tin.

Either that or the evening meetings from American tracks like Gulfstream Park and Will Rogers Downs.

Places that, up to a fortnight or so ago, we couldn’t have been certain were racecourses or stars in a primetime Yankee soap opera.

Who knows, tomorrow afternoon we may see a Classic winner, when the unbeaten Victor Ludorum runs in the French 2,000 Guineas trial.

We may even see the next Arc hero, when Sottsass makes his first start since finishing third on that emotional October afternoon here, in the Prix d'Harcourt.

What we will see, though, is live horse racing once again. And with it, the prospect of some form here edges that little bit closer.

Nowhere, you’d imagine, has missed it quite as much as Ireland. A country where everyone knows someone who owns, trains, rides or works in horse racing.

That’s the next step, surely. For now, though, let’s just be thankful that the sport of kings is back in business.

Although whether the bank manager will share the same opinion is another matter entirely…

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Registrars wear PPE as they use emergency powers to marry couple and grant terminally ill groom’s dying wish – The Sun

REGISTRARS wore face masks as they used emergency powers to marry a couple and grant the groom's dying wish.

Desmond Codona, 59, told his three kids he wanted to marry their mum and his long-term partner Christine Meaney, 60, before he passed away after cancer docs said he had just weeks to live.

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Eldest daughter Suzi contacted Middlesbrough’s Principal Registrar Dawn Galloway to see if she could arrange a wedding despite the current restrictions.

Weddings are currently suspended due to Coronavirus but emergency ceremonies can be conducted in exceptional circumstances.

Following a risk assessment, it was decided the emergency powers could be used to make the couple's dream come true.

Two days later Dawn and Deputy Principal Registrar Sarah Teece attended the couple’s home in Hemlington, Teesside, in full personal protective equipment to marry the couple.

Christine, 60, said: "They were absolutely exceptional. They put their lives on the line to do something really good and kind. We are over the moon that they could do it.

"Des has always wanted us to be married but the time has never been right.

“We are both on cloud nine. Des is absolutely buzzing it has really given him a lift. It has really picked him up and that has made me feel a lot better. It's given him a real boost."

Des added: "It's the best thing I've ever done.”

Principal Registrar Dawn said: "They are a lovely couple and we are really pleased that we were able to grant this wish and make it happen for them."


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Tips are heaving as refuse centres open for the first time

Tips are heaving from 8am as Brits rush to dump their rubbish for the first time since lockdown began as refuse centres in England reopen – while some stay shut as councils cannot ensure PPE for staff

  • There were queues from as early as 8am this morning at dumps in Greater Manchester and Northumberland
  • Local councils have been given the green light to reopen tips amid rising levels of fly-tipping across the UK
  • However some authorities are still unwilling to let refuse centres open until there is sufficient staffing and PPE
  • Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick said it was ‘perfectly legal’ for Britons to take waste to the dump
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Tips across the country are heaving this morning as cooped-up Brits rushed out to reopened refuse centres to dump their rubbish for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown.  

There were long queues from as early as 8am at dumps in Greater Manchester and Northumberland after local councils were finally given the green light to open tips after more than a month of social distancing measures.

However, Devon and North Yorkshire locals are among many across the country who will be forced to wait after their authorities refused to reopen waste centres until there is sufficient staffing and PPE for workers.

The decision comes amid a 300 per cent rise in fly-tipping across the UK with crooks taking advantage of the lockdown to illegally dump waste on country roads and at deserted beauty spots.

Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick confirmed on Friday that some tips would reopen this weekend and hoped that more would do so in the coming weeks, adding it was ‘perfectly legal’ for Britons to take waste to the dump.

The Sharston tip in South Manchester was heaving at 8am this morning as refuse centres were opened for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown

There were long queues at Sharston dumps in Greater Manchester after local councils were given the green light to open refuse sites today

Brits were finally given the chance to dump rubbish after more than a month of social distancing measures that saw dumps shit down across the country

One visitor opted for a face mask during a visit to Sharston dump this morning, which was among the first dumps in the country to open its gates following lockdown measures

Brits have been given their first opportunity to clear out rubbish from their homes as lockdown rules are slowly relaxed

‘There is no reason why you cannot travel to a tip to put household waste there or do recycling.  Councils should have the confidence to reopen them as soon as possible,’ he said. 

Many councils closed waste facilities because they couldn’t meet social distancing guidelines or were hit by staff absences. 

Darlington’s tip in County Durham, was one of the first to reopen this week, with queues of up to an hour and a half, despite the council asking people to only go if essential. 

North Yorkshire County Council said it wouldn’t be reopening its tips ‘for public safety and to cut non-essential travel’. 

Postcode lottery as to which local tips reopen

Greater Manchester Authority – Opening based on odd and even number plates will begin from May 2.

Hampshire County Council – Vehicle limit, reduced hours but no date yet.

Northumberland Country Council – Tips are reopening on Monday 4 May.

Lancashire County Council – Online booking system, unknown when the system will come into force. 

Wirral County Council – One-way systems with traffic stewards, the start date is unknown.

Surrey County Council – Restriction on types of waste when sites reopen.

North Yorkshire County Council – Tips stay closed. 

Devon County Council – Tips closed.  

Derbyshire County Council – Tips open ‘in a few weeks.’ 

Newport County Council –  Landfill site open to commercial businesses.

Cumbria Country Council – All remain closed but situation could change on Monday 4 May. 

Leicestershire County Council – Tips are currently closed until further notice.

Norfolk County Council – There are currently 20 tips listed as closed.

Cambridgeshire County Council – closed until further notice.

Lincolnshire County Council – All recycling centres (tips) are now closed until further notice.

Kent County Council – All the tips are closed until further notice. 

Nottinghamshire County Council – All Nottinghamshire recycling centres  remain closed.  

Oxfordshire County Council – All tips are closed until further notice.

Durham County Council – All tips are currently closed. 

Shropshire County Council – All our household recycling centres are now closed for an indefinite period due to the coronavirus.

Warwickshire County Council – tips and recycling centres are currently closed. 

Wiltshire County Council – All household recycling centres remain closed. 

West Sussex County Council – All Household Waste Recycling Sites (HWRS) across West Sussex are closed until further notice.

Worcestershire County Council – Both sites are currently closed.

Suffolk County Council –  Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) are from Monday 23 March until further notice.

Staffordshire County Council – Recycling centres and tips are currently close.

Somerset County Council – the sites are currently closed.

Hertfordshire County Council- All the household waste recycling centres are closed until further notice, including the easter bank holiday.

East Sussex County Council – The household waste recycling sites are closed until further notice.

Essex County Council – The tips are currently closed. The council said they are looking at re-opening them in the future with the required social distancing.

While Derbyshire County Council said it couldn’t say when its services would reopen because of social distancing.

Devon County Council also said its centres were closed until further notice.

Measures being taken to help recycling centres open include authorities requiring visitors to show proof of their address in a bid to stop people travelling outside their local area. 

Greater Manchester Combined Authority are opening ‘based on odd and even number plates,’ according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

A spokeswoman for the authority said that the possibility of introducing a booking system was explored, but to implement it at short notice for 2.5 million residents would have been challenging.   

Different restrictions will be put in place at a number of tips across the country. 

In Hampshire there will be daily cleaning, a vehicle limit, plus reduced hours. 

In Northumberland, council restrictions will be placed on the number of people allowed outside vehicles. 

Lancashire will offer an online booking system. 

On the Wirral there will be one-way systems with traffic stewards and in Surrey there will be restrictions on the types of waste when its sites reopen. 

 Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick told the BBC on Friday that refuse centres could be opened in a ‘staged’ manner.

‘Obviously don’t abuse it, but we know that there’s lots of people with rubbish and recycling and boxes from all those deliveries people are getting piling up in their homes, and it’s right that we manage that and make people’s lives a bit more bearable by getting that out of the house.’

He said that, due to large demand, many councils may opt to reopen their sites in a ‘staged’ manner, adding that this is ‘sensible’ and the ‘right thing to do’.

‘The longer we delay it, the longer those queues are going to be when the waste sites reopen,’ he added.

The re-opening comes as new analysis revealed fly-tipping has increased by 300 per cent during the Covid-19 lockdown. 

Researchers from the Universities of Southampton and Portsmouth said the increase in illegal waste dumping has followed the closure of almost all tips.

While at the same time the number of DIY projects has increased by householders stuck at home. 

The problem has also been worsened with nearly half of all local authority recycling services in the country having been stopped or reduced, and charity shops being closed and not able to take unwanted goods.

A fly-tipping dumping ground in Wales has so much rubbish it can be seen from space.

 Hundreds of car tyres, piles of clothes, suitcases and doors have been scattered across the disused road off the M4 in Newport, South Wales. 

Newport’s landfill site is currently only open to commercial businesses.

The researchers also highlight that increased food waste is expected from the £1.9 billion worth of groceries stockpiled by panic-buyers at the start of the crisis. 

And the increase in home deliveries is leading to a shortage of cardboard as many households are unable to recycle.

The researchers also point out that the environmental impact of the closures may be worsened with valuable resources having to be extracted that would normally have come from recyclables that have now ended up in landfill.

Professor Ian Williams, of the School of Engineering at the University of Southampton, said: ‘This pandemic has been a wake-up call to governments and the waste sector to ensure that supply chains and markets for recyclates are diverse and resilient.

‘Our current waste management system will need to evolve to be resilient to the impacts of these rare, extreme, global events to create a successful circular economy.’  

Manchester’s Sharston tip was heaving this morning as cooped-up Brits rushed to reopened refuse centres to dump their rubbish for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown

Cars were seen queuing well ahead of opening time at Sharston tip in Manchester, which is among the first refuse centres in the country to open its gates after lockdown

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