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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Getting to the bottom of best museum exhibit

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Getting to the bottom of best museum exhibit Museums across the world are competing to find which contains the “best bum” as part of a weekly online battle between curators. Yorkshire Museum, in York, launched the search on social media on Friday, with a picture of a Roman marble statuette with what appears to be a bite-sized chunk missing from its behind. The tweet has since received hundreds of replies, with bottoms from a range of items, including statues, paintings, photographs, animals, skeletons, insects and vehicles. The museum has been running the “curator battle” throughout lockdown, giving museums worldwide the chance to display some of their most interesting objects to a global audience. It introduced the latest contest with a tweet, which said: “Today’s theme is #BestMuseumBum! “This cracking Roman marble statuette depicts an athlete at the peak of fitness. It may have decorated the town house of one of Eboracum’s wealthier residents. Has someone taken a bite out of this?” The Royal Armouries, in Leeds, replied with a picture of its collection of Henry VIII’s combat armours. It said: “Same derriere, different decade. “You can track Henry VIII’s burgeoning bottom through our collection of his combat armours. The Tudor tubster went from a modest 32in waist in 1520 to a whopping 51in booty by 1540. “A 60% increase in trunk junk.” International entries included the Ota Memorial Museum of Art in Tokyo, Japan, with its paintings of sumo wrestlers by artist Katsushika Hokusai. It commented: “How about these bums of sumo wrestlers in our collections? “These bums were painted by Hokusai.” Cape Fear Museum in Wilmington, North Carolina, USA, was one of many to offer a saucy seaside postcard as its entry. Tweeting a picture of the card, which features a man waterskiing naked apart from a cowboy hat and boots, the American museum said: “Imagine getting this in the mail!” A spokesman for the York Museums Trust said: “We have been running the curator battles throughout lockdown and they have proved really popular. “It is a chance for museums big and small to share their objects under a given theme to create what essentially become global online exhibitions. “We have run a variety of different themes over the weeks but best museum bums is proving one of the most popular yet – it’s great to see museums around the world sharing their cheekiest objects.” Yorkshire Museum issues a new curator battle on its Twitter feed every Friday. Published: 27/06/2020 by Radio NewsHub

Sales at John Lewis fall sharply

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Sales at John Lewis fall sharply Total sales were down 17 per cent since the middle of March John Lewis sales have plunged after it was forced to shut stores in face of coronavirus despite a surge in online orders. The John Lewis Partnership group also said its Waitrose supermarket chain saw sales surge as shoppers stocked up on essentials. However, the John Lewis department store chain saw total sales tumble 17% in the weeks since March 15, after it closed all its sites on March 23. The high street retailer warned that a worst-case scenario would see the chain's annual sales plunge 35%. Nevertheless, John Lewis said online sales have jumped 84% as shoppers purchased more technology and food preparation products. The retailer said demand has particularly spiked in some of its "less profitable lines", with people "buying more Scrabble but fewer sofas". Published: 21/04/2020 by Radio NewsHub

Jack Grealish deeply embarrassed by lockdown incident

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Jack Grealish ‘deeply embarrassed’ by lockdown incident Jack Grealish is hoping to draw a line under the controversy surrounding him agreeing to visit a friend during the coronavirus lockdown in March. Police were called to the Dickens Heath area of Solihull to reports a Range Rover had crashed into two parked cars, with pictures emerging online of the Aston Villa captain at the scene in slippers and a bright blue hoodie. The midfielder later said he was “deeply embarrassed” by the incident – less than a day after launching a video appeal for people to stay at home during the Government-enforced lockdown. And in an interview with The Guardian, he said: “I knew straight away that I had to come out and apologise myself, which I wanted to do; I didn’t want to hide behind a club statement. “I am old enough now and mature enough to know that I’d done wrong. “I know I am a footballer but I’m still human and we all make mistakes and straight away I knew I’d made a mistake. I’m also a role model as well to a lot of people out there, especially young children who might look up to me. “So I try to act in respectable manner but since then I have tried to keep my head down, work hard and do as much charitable work as possible.” Grealish, who has donated £150,000 to Birmingham Children’s Hospital and raised a further £55,000 for the NHS by raffling off one off his Villa shirts, accepts his misdeeds will always be placed under greater scrutiny. He added: “That’s just the way things are in this world that we live in. Everyone knows when you do something it’s always going to be the bad stuff that gets out there. “That’s what I have to deal with. I respect my job, absolutely love what I do, and wouldn’t change it for the world.” Published: 03/06/2020 by Radio NewsHub

Live Nation launches socially distanced drive in gig series

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Live Nation launches socially-distanced drive-in gig series Dizzee Rascal, Kaiser Chiefs, Gary Numan and Spandau Ballet’s Tony Hadley will perform during a series of socially-distanced drive-in music concerts this summer. The programme will visit 12 venues, such as stadiums, racecourses and airports, across the UK between July and September, in cities and towns including London, Liverpool, Bristol and Edinburgh. Acts will perform to about 300 cars at each show, backed by concert-quality sound with a full lighting rig and LED screens. The event will be among the first of its kind in the UK during the coronavirus pandemic, as venues both large and small remain shuttered. There will also be performances from Beverley Knight, Brainiac, Bjorn Again, The Brand New Heavies, Cream Classical Ibiza, Embrace, Jack Savoretti, The Lightning Seeds, Nathan Dawe, Reggae Roast Vs Gentleman’s Dub Club, Russell Watson, Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason, Sigala, The Streets, The Snuts and Skindred. Utilita Live From The Drive-In comes from promoter Live Nation and Utilita Energy and follows a spike in the popularity of drive-in cinemas around the world, where social-distancing is guaranteed. Each drive-in event will comply with Government rules on social-distancing, with audience members given a designated area around their cars within which they can stand and sit. The programme will also feature West End theatre, interactive science shows, DJs and family events. It will also visit Cheltenham Racecourse, Newmarket Racecourse, Leeds East Airport and the Resorts World Arena in Birmingham. There will be morning, afternoon, early evening and late evening performances, depending on the artist and productions. Singer-songwriter Savoretti said: “I can’t wait to get back out on stage. I have always romanticised about the drive-in culture and hope to bring some of that romance to these drive-in shows.” Published: 19/06/2020 by Radio NewsHub

Pubs to miss out on Bank Holiday beer sales

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Pubs to miss out on Bank Holiday beer sales It's estimated that 10 million extra pints would have been sold this weekend Pubs will miss out on sales of 10 million extra pints of beer over the bank holiday weekend because of the continued lockdown, it has been estimated. The British Beer & Pub Association said pubs would have been packed on a normal late May Bank Holiday, with good weather forecast. Chief executive Emma McClarkin said: "This bank holiday weekend would usually bring a much-needed boost to our sector - as many as 10 million extra pints could have been sold in pubs. "We welcome the idea of an additional bank holiday in October and support any Government help to boost the speed of recovery of pubs and breweries." Published: 23/05/2020 by Radio NewsHub

Second Reading terror victim named as US citizen Joe Ritchie Bennett

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Second Reading terror victim named as US citizen Joe Ritchie-Bennett A second victim of the Reading terror attack has been named locally as 39-year-old Joe Ritchie-Bennett, a US citizen who reportedly moved to the UK 15 years ago. According to tributes posted on social media, Mr Ritchie-Bennett was friends with 36-year-old teacher James Furlong, the only other victim to have been named so far. Mr Ritchie-Bennett’s Facebook page states he is originally from Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, and US ambassador to the UK Woody Johnson has confirmed an American citizen was killed in the attack in Forbury Gardens. The Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper spoke with Mr Ritchie-Bennett’s father and said he initially worked for a law firm in London after moving to the UK a decade-and-a-half ago. He later joined a Dutch pharmaceutical company which has its headquarters in Reading about 10 years ago. Mr Ritchie-Bennett’s brother, Robert Ritchie, is a captain in the Philadelphia police force and told the local newspaper: “I love him. I always have. I always will. He was a great guy. “We used to play together every day. We rode bikes together every day. Our family is heartbroken and beside ourselves. He did not deserve to go out like this.” Mr Ritchie-Bennett’s father, also called Robert, said: “I absolutely love my son with all of my heart and all of my soul. “We’re mourning, and we’re trying to decide what we’re going to do. It’s 3,500 miles away. They are still in lockdown over there with the coronavirus, and I don’t know what else to say.” Mr Johnson tweeted: “I offer my deepest condolences to the families of those killed in the attack on June 20. “To our great sorrow, this includes an American citizen. Our thoughts are with all those affected. “We condemn the attack absolutely and have offered our assistance to British law enforcement.” Published: 22/06/2020 by Radio NewsHub

Harry and Meghan celebrate second wedding anniversary

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Harry and Meghan celebrate second wedding anniversary The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are celebrating their second wedding anniversary. Much has changed for Harry and Meghan since they said their vows in St George's Castle, Windsor Castle, on May 19 2018, in front of the royal family, celebrity guests and a worldwide television audience of millions. The Queen's grandson Harry and former Suits star Meghan have welcomed son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, who turned one on May 6. But they also sparked the Megxit crisis and quit as working royals just one year, 10 months and 12 days after their high-profile wedding. The couple opened up about their struggles dealing with royal life and the intense tabloid interest, in a television documentary about their Africa tour in the autumn of 2019. Harry also addressed a rift between himself and his brother the Duke of Cambridge, saying they were on "different paths" and have good and bad days in their relationship. After a six-week break in Canada, Harry and Meghan issued a bombshell statement in January this year without warning the Queen and the Prince of Wales, saying they wanted to step down as senior royals to earn their own money, while still supporting the monarch. But the Sussexes' plan was too controversial given their global profiles and was likely to have led to accusations they were cashing in on their royal status. The Queen held an emergency summit at Sandringham with Harry, the Prince of Wales and William - but it was announced a few days later there would be no dual role for the Sussexes, meaning they would have to walk away from the monarchy completely. From March 31 2020, Harry and Meghan stopped using their HRH styles and ceased to be senior working royals, in favour of a life of personal and financial freedom. The couple, now living in Los Angeles where they have been in lockdown amid the coronavirus outbreak, are preparing to launch their new charitable organisation Archewell - named after their son. It will replace their now-defunct Sussex Royal brand, but plans to launch the venture have been delayed while the world battles the coronavirus. American former actress Meghan became the first mixed race person in modern history to marry a senior British royal when she walked down the aisle two years ago. The Sussexes' ceremony was a romantic, star-studded affair, with the duchess dressed in an elegant, minimalist boat-necked pure white wedding gown by Clare Waight Keller at Givenchy. Her five metre-long veil featured flowers from all Commonwealth countries and was held in place by Queen Mary's diamond bandeau tiara, loaned by the Queen. An emotional Harry was captivated by his bride as they met at the altar, telling her: "You look amazing." Crowds flocked to see the newlyweds - the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex - who kissed on the West Steps of the chapel. Guests in the gothic church included George and Amal Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Idris Elba, Serena Williams, Carey Mulligan, James Blunt and James Corden, and a number of Meghan's Suits former co-stars. Dubbed a royal wedding like no other, the nuptials combined British traditions with diversity and modernity. Sounds of a gospel choir filled the venue, with US preacher Bishop Michael Curry delivering a lengthy, impassioned, rousing address on the power of love. Prince George and Princess Charlotte were among the pageboys and bridesmaids, and the Duke of Edinburgh, recovered from a hip operation, put in an appearance. There was drama in the run-up to the big day, with Meghan's father Thomas Markle pulling out of walking her through the Quire to the altar due to illness, and after being caught staging paparazzi photographs. But the Prince of Wales stepped in to perform the symbolic role. Thousands lined the streets of Windsor to watch Harry and Meghan as they went on a carriage procession in the Ascot Landau through the town and the Long Walk in Windsor Great Park. The black tie evening celebrations - to which Meghan wore a glamorous lily white halter neck by Stella McCartney - were staged in nearby Frogmore House where 200 close family and friends partied the night away. Second wedding anniversaries are traditionally marked with gifts of cotton. Published: 19/05/2020 by Radio NewsHub

Government to bring in quarantine rules from June 8th

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Government to bring in quarantine rules from June 8th Two-week quarantines will be imposed on new arrivals to the UK from June 8. There will also be fines for anyone who breaches the measure to prevent new waves of coronavirus from overseas. Home Secretary Priti Patel announced on Friday that mandatory self-isolation would not apply to people coming from Ireland, medics tackling Covid-19 and seasonal agricultural workers. Passengers would have to fill a form providing their contact and travel information so they can be traced if infections arise and could be contacted regularly during the 14 days to ensure their compliance. Breaches would be punishable with a £1,000 fixed penalty notice in England, or prosecution with an unlimited fine, while devolved nations can set out their own enforcement approaches. Border Force will be able to refuse entry to foreign citizens who are not UK residents during border checks while removal from the country could be used as a last resort, the Home Office said. Arrivals will be advised to use personal transport to head to their accommodation and once there not leave for 14 days. They will not be allowed to accept visitors, unless they are providing essential support, and should not go out to buy food or other essentials “where they can rely on others”, the department said. The Home Office said if accommodation does not meet necessary requirements – with hotels, or with friends and family listed as options – they will have to self-isolate in “facilities arranged by the Government”. Ms Patel said: “As the world begins to emerge from what we hope is the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, we must look to the future and protect the British public by reducing the risk of cases crossing our border. “We are introducing these new measures now to keep the transmission rate down and prevent a devastating second wave. “I fully expect the majority of people will do the right thing and abide by these measures. But we will take enforcement action against the minority of people who endanger the safety of others.” The announcement will provoke fresh anger from the aviation industry, with airlines warning the measures could be disastrous for them. Fresh questions will also be asked why the measure was not imposed early on in the pandemic. Home Office chief scientific adviser Professor John Aston said: “The scientific advice so far has been clear: while there has been significant community transmission of the virus within the UK, the impact of putting in place additional border restrictions would have been negligible to the spread of the virus. “However, the spread of the virus within the UK is now lessening. We have been successful in getting the reproduction number R – the average number of new people infected by one infected person – below 1. “As the number of infections within the UK drops, we must now manage the risk of transmissions being reintroduced from elsewhere.” The Home Office said arrivals would be encouraged to download the NHS contact tracing app at the border “once rolled out nationally”. A full list of exemptions from the measure will be published online, but it will include: – Road haulage and freight workers – Medical professionals travelling to help the coronavirus effort – Anyone moving from within the common travel area covering Ireland, the Channel Island and the Isle of Man – Seasonal agricultural workers who will self-isolate on the property they are working. Ministers were continuing to consider forging so-called air bridges with other nations that have low transmission rates in order to allow some international travel. Published: 22/05/2020 by Radio NewsHub

Downing Street criticised over Sedwill ousting

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Downing Street criticised over Sedwill ousting Downing Street is being accused of making Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill the “fall guy” for mistakes made in the handling of the Covid-19 crisis. It's after he confirmed his resignation Sir Mark, the most powerful official in Government, announced on Sunday he had agreed to pack his bags and stand down from his role as both Cabinet Secretary and the UK’s national security adviser. In a letter to Boris Johnson, the 54-year-old said: “We have agreed that I will stand down and leave government service at the end of September.” Bob Kerslake, a former head of the Civil Service, along with the civil servants’ union accused Number 10 “or those around it” of working to “undermine” the ex-diplomat. Speaking to the Guardian, Lord Kerslake said: “I fear from some of the press briefing that had obviously gone on that the Civil Service is being made the fall guy for mistakes made in the handling of the pandemic.” Dave Penman, general secretary of the FDA, which represents public officials, said: “No 10, or those around it, has sought to undermine Sir Mark and the leadership of the civil service, with a series of anonymous briefings against him over many months.” He blasted the tactics as “corrosive and cowardly” and said the Government would be “weaker as a result” of the departure. Opposition MPs also pointed the finger at the Prime Minister’s chief aide Dominic Cummings, suggesting he played a role in the former Afghanistan ambassador being forced out as head of the Civil Service. Mr Cummings is rumoured to have a difficult relationship with Sir Mark, who was appointed Cabinet Secretary in 2018 by Theresa May, with the former PM allowing him to unite the role with his national security adviser job. Labour’s shadow housing secretary Thangam Debbonaire, referencing reports of a shake-up of the Civil Service, said on BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour: “Why have Dominic Cummings and Boris Johnson decided that now is the time for a hard rain to fall on our loyal civil servants?” Acting leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Ed Davey, said: “Boris Johnson is clearly ready to grant Cummings his every wish when it comes to politicising the Civil Service and sweeping out those who may try to hold his Government to account.” The Prime Minister made quick work in promoting his Europe adviser David Frost to the role of national security adviser (NSA). The move raised eyebrows given Mr Frost’s lack of experience in the field and the fact he will continue to lead the UK’s trade negotiations with the European Union. Mr Johnson will split the roles of cabinet secretary and NSA, with Downing Street confirming the process for recruiting a new head of civil service will start shortly, with applications to be invited from existing and former permanent secretaries. Simon Case, appointed No 10 permanent secretary in May and favoured over Sir Mark to lead the review into the two metre social distancing restrictions – has been heavily tipped to take the top position. According to the Telegraph, Mr Johnson is keen to have a Brexiteer in the role. The report comes after Michael Gove, the Minister for the Cabinet Office who has been tasked with overhauling Whitehall structures, used a speech on Saturday to call for the Government to “be less southern, less middle class” and “closer to the 52% who voted to Leave and more understanding of why”. Sir Mark’s exit follows on from a number of changes at the top of the Civil Service in recent months. The Foreign Office’s most senior civil servant Sir Simon McDonald – seen as a Brexit critic – was told this month he had to step down before it was merged with the Department for International Development (DfID). Meanwhile, Sir Philip Rutnam, who was the Home Office’s permanent secretary, quit earlier this year after accusing Home Secretary Priti Patel of a “vicious and orchestrated briefing campaign” against him. As part of agreeing to depart in September, Mr Johnson has nominated his outgoing Cabinet Secretary for a life peerage, and has also asked Sir Mark to lead a new G7 panel on global economic security as the UK prepares to assume the presidency next year. Mr Frost has also been nominated by the PM for a life peerage in the House of Lords. Published: 29/06/2020 by Radio NewsHub

Government claims sporting recovery has begun

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Government claims sporting recovery has begun The Government has paved the way for elite sport to return behind closed doors in England from Monday There are claims “The British sporting recovery has begun.” New health and safety guidelines have been issued representing stage three in the process of bringing sport back from the coronavirus lockdown. Stage two, which allowed for close-contact training for elite athletes, was published last Monday. Oliver Dowden, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said: “Two months after sport stopped and after weeks of round the clock discussion with medical experts and professional sports bodies I’m delighted to announce today the Government has published guidance which allows competitive sport to resume behind closed doors from Monday at the earliest.” Speaking at the daily Downing Street briefing, he continued: “It is up to each individual sport to decide exactly when to resume competition. They know their sports best. But football, tennis, horse racing, Formula 1, cricket, golf, rugby, snooker and others are all set to return to our screens shortly.” Dowden later added: “The British sporting recovery has begun,” hailing the “forensic, clinician-led approach” that placed the safety of athletes, coaches and support staff at the heart of its work. Horse racing will lead the way at Newcastle on Monday, while the first major meeting follows on June 6 at Newmarket, including the 2000 Guineas. Premier League football is scheduled to restart on June 17 with the English Football League set to follow later in the month, subject to club votes and approval from police and other safety bodies. Restrictions of recreational sport and exercise have also been eased, with up to six individuals now free to train together outside providing social distancing is observed. Dowden made it clear women’s sport would not be allowed to fall behind, adding: “Visibility matters, and our daughters deserve to see female athletes on the main stage.” As well as ensuring no spectators are present at events, key conditions have been made for sports fixtures to go ahead. Participants must travel alone and in private transport, while everyone entering a venue must be screened for Covid-19 and anyone suspected of having the virus must be placed in isolation. A one-way system of movement must be established around the venue, while social distancing must be maintained “where possible” – including celebrations and sitting on the bench. Dressing room use is to be minimised although showers can be taken in line with guidelines, advice for personal protective equipment must be followed, while physio treatment should be limited to essentials. Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: “The Premier League welcomes the Government’s announcement today. “We have provisionally planned to restart the Premier League on 17 June, but there is still much work to be done to ensure the safety of everyone involved. “This includes consulting with our clubs, players and managers – along with all our other stakeholders – as the health and welfare of our participants and supporters is our priority. “If all goes well, we will be thrilled to resume the 2019-20 season in just over two weeks’ time.” Asked directly about the fixtures which have been identified by police for potential hosting at neutral venues – and specifically about the Merseyside derby – Dowden said: “It is up to each individual sport to apply (Government) guidelines and determine the way in which they do so.” He added that police and local authorities will determine together which venues are appropriate for matches. Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, the deputy chief medical officer, said fans congregating outside stadiums as football returns is “clearly a police matter”. He said: “There has to be enough understanding that the venue can cope with the segregation and the organisation and the social distancing right up until the kick-off whistle until the final whistle to make that the safest possible experience for everybody there. “And that’s going to be a crucial factor as well in choosing these venues.” Published: 31/05/2020 by Radio NewsHub