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Man is critically injured in Virginia after Confederate statue is toppled and falls on head

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man is critically injured in virginia after confederate statue is toppled and falls on head

A protester has been left critically injured after a Confederate statue that was being torn down during a demonstration Portsmouth, Virginia came crashing down on his head Wednesday night.

The man, believed to be in his thirties, had been part of a group of protesters attempting to topple the statue yesterday evening, WAVY News reported.

According to one witness, the group had attached ropes around the base of the statue and had been pulling away at it for ‘some time’, when the monument eventually gave way and fell forwards.

The man, who has not yet been identified, had been standing directly in front of the statue as it fell, striking him in the head, a witness said.

‘We could see that his skull was actually showing, he was convulsing on the ground – and he lost a great amount of blood,’ the president of Black Lives Matter 757 told the station. ‘We ask everybody to pray for that man right now.’

The Confederate military member statue was one of four beheaded before being pulled down at the Portsmouth Confederate Monument as police watched on Wednesday

The Confederate military member statue was one of four beheaded before being pulled down at the Portsmouth Confederate Monument as police watched on Wednesday

The Confederate military member statue was one of four beheaded before being pulled down at the Portsmouth Confederate Monument as police watched on Wednesday

The man, believed to be in his thirties, had been part of a group of protesters attempting to topple the statueyesterday evening

The man, believed to be in his thirties, had been part of a group of protesters attempting to topple the statueyesterday evening

The man, believed to be in his thirties, had been part of a group of protesters attempting to topple the statueyesterday evening

The Portsmouth Police Department urged all citizens to avoid the area as they attempted to disperse demonstrators and investigate ‘an incident that resulted in a citizen getting injured’, the department said in a tweet.

Demonstrators stopped to commemorate the man with a moment of silence before acquiescing to police demands to leave the area.

The man was taken to the hospital, though his condition is not known at this time.

In total, four statues were beheaded and pulled down at the Portsmouth Confederate Monument as police watched on Wednesday.

Efforts to tear the first of the statues down began around 8:20 pm, but the rope they were using snapped.

The crowd was frustrated by the Portsmouth City Council’s decision to put off moving the monument. They switched to throwing bricks from the post that held the plaque they had pulled down as they initially worked to bring down the statue.

The actions come amid national protests over the death of George Floyd who died on Memorial Day in Minneapolis after white officer Derek Chauvin kneeled down on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, ignoring his cries of ‘I can’t breathe’.

The man, believed to be in his thirties, had been part of a group of protesters attempting to topple the statue of the president of the Confederacy at around 11pm yesterday

The man, believed to be in his thirties, had been part of a group of protesters attempting to topple the statue of the president of the Confederacy at around 11pm yesterday

The man, believed to be in his thirties, had been part of a group of protesters attempting to topple the statue of the president of the Confederacy at around 11pm yesterday

Also Wednesday, 80 miles away, a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis was torn down along Richmond‘s famed Monument Avenue.

The statue in the former capital of the Confederacy was toppled shortly before 11 p.m. and was on the ground in the middle of an intersection, news outlets reported.

A large crowd gathered around and sang as crews removed the statue from the road and drove away.

The Davis statue came as the third to be brought down by protesters in the area after the Christopher Columbus statue in Byrd Park and a Confederate general statue in Monroe Park were also torn down. 

The statue of Christopher Columbus in Richmond’s Bryd Park was torn down by protesters, set on fire and then submerged into a lake on Tuesday.

The sculpture was brought down less than two hours after protesters in the state’s capital gathered and chanted for the statue to go.

The empty pedestal was spray-painted and covered with a sign saying ‘Columbus Represents Genocide’ after the statue was taken down.

Columbus’s arrival in the Americas in 1492 unleashed centuries of European colonisation, making him a symbol of conquest and violence to Native Americans.    

Protesters gathered around as drums were played

Protesters gathered around as drums were played

before an American flag was burnt on the Christopher Columbus statue

before an American flag was burnt on the Christopher Columbus statue

Protesters gathered around  in city’s Byrd Park as drums were played before an American flag was burnt on the  Christopher Columbus statue 

A statue of Christopher Columbus was also decapitated Wednesday at the Christopher Columbus Park in Boston, Massachusetts

A statue of Christopher Columbus was also decapitated Wednesday at the Christopher Columbus Park in Boston, Massachusetts

A statue of Christopher Columbus was also decapitated Wednesday at the Christopher Columbus Park in Boston, Massachusetts

There was no police presence in the park, but a police helicopter was seen circling the area after the city-owned figure was torn down, local media said.

Activist Chelsea Higgs-Wise was among the protesters who spoke to a crowd in Byrd Park about the struggles of indigenous people and African-Americans.  

‘We have to start where it all began,’ Higgs-Wise said during her speech. ‘We have to start with the people who stood first on this land.’

Vanessa Bolin of the Richmond Indigenous Society told the crowd she had come to ‘stand in solidarity’ with those protesting against police brutality.  

Another speaker, Joseph Rogers, declared the area ‘Powhatan land,’ saying that racism has impacted both African-Americans and Native Americans.

The statue of Christopher Columbus is seen on the ground after it was pulled down by protesters,Richmond, Virginia, U.S., June 9, 2020

The statue of Christopher Columbus is seen on the ground after it was pulled down by protesters,Richmond, Virginia, U.S., June 9, 2020

The statue of Christopher Columbus is seen on the ground after it was pulled down by protesters,Richmond, Virginia, U.S., June 9, 2020

A Christopher Columbus statue was torn down and thrown in a lake in Richmond last night in the latest protest to tear down a symbol of racial oppression

A Christopher Columbus statue was torn down and thrown in a lake in Richmond last night in the latest protest to tear down a symbol of racial oppression

The statue topples into the lake in Richmond's Byrd Park on Tuesday night

The statue topples into the lake in Richmond's Byrd Park on Tuesday night

Toppled: A Christopher Columbus statue was torn down and thrown in a lake in Richmond last night in the latest protest to tear down a symbol of racial oppression

The empty plinth had a poster placed on it saying: 'Columbus Represents Genocide'

The empty plinth had a poster placed on it saying: 'Columbus Represents Genocide'

The empty plinth had a poster placed on it saying: ‘Columbus Represents Genocide’ 

Another poster left next to the toppled statue imagined a gravestone for racism with the message: 'You will not be missed'

Another poster left next to the toppled statue imagined a gravestone for racism with the message: 'You will not be missed'

Another poster left next to the toppled statue imagined a gravestone for racism with the message: ‘You will not be missed’ 

The statue was dedicated in Richmond in December 1927, becoming the first Columbus statue in the South, reports said. 

It comes several days after a statue of Confederate general Williams Carter Wickham was pulled from its pedestal in another Richmond park, Monroe Park. 

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam last week ordered the removal of an iconic statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, which is four blocks away from where the Davis statue stood. 

‘In Virginia, we no longer preach a false version of history. One that pretends the Civil War was about state rights and not the evils of slavery. No one believes that any longer,’ Northam said. 

‘And in 2020, we can no longer honor a system that was based on the buying and selling of enslaved people.’

A judge on Monday issued an injunction preventing officials from removing the monuments for the next 10 days. 

Byrd Park's Columbus statue in a file photo

Byrd Park's Columbus statue in a file photo

A portrait of Columbus, who protesters say was responsible for unleashing genocide in the Americas

A portrait of Columbus, who protesters say was responsible for unleashing genocide in the Americas

Pictured left: the Columbus statue in a file photo; right: a portrait of Columbus, who protesters say was responsible for unleashing genocide in the Americas 

Also Wednesday, protesters in Portsmouth, Virginia, covered a Confederate monument in the city with trash bags and sheets, several hours after the city’s council members had a meeting to figure out ways to relocate it.

A white sheet that read ‘BLM’ covered the fence in front of the monument hours after the Portsmouth city council met Tuesday to discuss who owns the figure, WVEC-TV reported. The question about who owns the monument has been the main roadblock in the city’s years-long quest to remove it.

During the council’s meeting Tuesday, Mayor John Rowe asked the city attorney if Portsmouth has the right to move the 127-year-old memorial. In 2018, a judge denied the city´s claim to own the monument because no one else had tried to claim it.  

Katelyn Burns joked that people could still remember Christopher Columbus without the statue as a whole district is named after him

Katelyn Burns joked that people could still remember Christopher Columbus without the statue as a whole district is named after him

Katelyn Burns joked that people could still remember Christopher Columbus without the statue as a whole district is named after him

While another Twitter user by the name of Ghosting Pie said he believed erasing the past would cause history to repeat itself

While another Twitter user by the name of Ghosting Pie said he believed erasing the past would cause history to repeat itself

While another Twitter user by the name of Ghosting Pie said he believed erasing the past would cause history to repeat itself 

The local chapter of the NAACP and protesters have called for the 54-foot monument to be taken down, but some council members oppose removing the statue without a city wide vote, WAVY reported.

‘Removing history is something I associate with bad government, communist government, fascist government,’ Councilman Bill Moody said during the meeting. He said the monuments and museums exist ‘to remind us to never let this happen again.’

A new law in Virginia that allows cities to move or alter Confederate monuments they own goes into effect July 1.  

On Saturday a century-old statue commemorating women in the Confederacy was defaced in a Jacksonville park, Florida.

The Florida Times-Union reported  that the ‘Women of the Southland’ statue in Jacksonville was splattered with red paint and tagged with the letters BLM, an abbreviation for the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Confederate monument is covered in shoots and bags in Downtown Portsmouth, Virginia, early Wednesday, June 10, 2020

The Confederate monument is covered in shoots and bags in Downtown Portsmouth, Virginia, early Wednesday, June 10, 2020

The Confederate monument is covered in shoots and bags in Downtown Portsmouth, Virginia, early Wednesday, June 10, 2020

The statue is among others in the city’s Confederate Park, a place activists have been pushing for removal of the monuments. The park and the women’s statute have been there since 1915. It’s not clear who defaced the statue.

Other statues to have been defaced in the last week include Mahatma Gandhi’s statue at the Indian Embassy in Washington D.C. 

A statue of former mayor of Philadelphia and police commissioner Frank Rizzo was also burned at the base on Saturday, causing authorities to remove the statue today.

Rizzo was accused of discriminating against minorities during his term as mayor, 1972 to 1980. 

Demonstrators at Linn Park in Birmingham, Alabama, on Sunday attempted to remove a statue of Confederate sailor Charles Linn but were unsuccessful.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin told protesters he would ‘finish the job for them’, reports CNN. 

In Nashville, Tennessee a statue of Edward Carnack, a former US senator and newspaper owner who was known for attacking civil rights advocates was pulled down on Sunday and has since been removed.

The statues are the latest to be targeted amid worldwide anti-racism protests after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis two weeks ago.

Protesters cheered as they forced the Edward Colston monument into the water at Bristol Harbor, UK

Protesters cheered as they forced the Edward Colston monument into the water at Bristol Harbor, UK

Protesters cheered as they forced the Edward Colston monument into the water at Bristol Harbor, UK

Along with monuments in the US, statues of slave traders and colonialists have come down in Britain and Belgium in recent days as the movement spreads worldwide. 

An almost identical incident to the toppling in Byrd Park, Richmond, also took place in Bristol, UK, over the weekend as protesters pulled down a statue of 17th century slave trader Edward Colston and threw it into the city’s harbor.

Native American groups have long asked for Columbus Day to be changed to Indigenous Peoples Day, arguing that Columbus unleashed centuries of genocide against indigenous populations in the Americas. 

Columbus Day marks the Italian explorer’s arrival in the New World in 1492 but campaigners say it should commemorate the victims of European colonisation rather than the conquerors. 

While Europe has long thought of Columbus as the ‘discoverer’ of America, Native Americans regard his arrival as an invasion. 

Indigenous people were robbed of most of their land and 500 years later they are still among the poorest Americans. 

Who was Christopher Columbus and why have people targeted his statue? 

Christopher Columbus, (1451 - 1506)

Christopher Columbus, (1451 - 1506)

Christopher Columbus, (1451 – 1506)

Christopher Columbus, (1451 – 1506) born in the Republic of Genoa (now Italy), was a 15th century navigator who began European incursions into the Americas. Native American activists believe the navigator was responsible for centuries of indigenous genocide.       

Like Aristotle and others, Columbus believed that the world was round. He theorized that the distance between Spain’s Canary Islands and Japan was only around 2,300 miles (3,701 kilometers) and felt he could sail west to reach Asia for a new sought-out route for spices. It was really about 12,000 miles (19,321 kilometers). Columbus based his incorrect calculations on mystical texts, and ended up landing in the present-day Caribbean on Oct. 12, 1492. 

Columbus convinced Spain’s Queen Isabella to fund his voyage by promising that the riches he’d collect would be used to finance a crusade to ‘reclaim’ Jerusalem for Christians. Instead, he found new foods, animals and indigenous people who, he wrote, were childlike and could be easily turned into slaves.

As indigenous populations revolted against brutal Spanish treatment, Columbus ordered a ruthless crackdown that included having dismembered bodies being paraded in public. Eventually, Columbus was arrested on mismanagement and brutality charges and died soon after.

Around 60 years after Columbus’ arrival, the Taino indigenous population of the Caribbean had been reduced from an estimated 250,000 people to a few hundred because of slavery and death from new diseases. 

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‘To all the Spurs fans…I’m back!’: Gareth Bale announces his return to Tottenham

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to all the spurs fansim back gareth bale announces his return to tottenham

Footballer Gareth Bale will return to Tottenham Hotspur on a season long loan from Real Madrid.

But fans will have to wait to see him in the number nine shirt after a medical uncovered a knee injury that will delay his debut until October.

The 31-year-old has agreed a deal that fits into Tottenham’s wage structure on about £200,000 a week.  

Gareth Bale, 31, announced his return to Tottenham Hotspur on Twitter. He referenced a 2013 message to his fans in which he thanked them for an 'incredible' six years with the club. He said he had always thought about returning to Tottenham and 'can't wait to get started'. But a knee injury will delay his debut until October 17's home match against West Ham.

Gareth Bale, 31, announced his return to Tottenham Hotspur on Twitter. He referenced a 2013 message to his fans in which he thanked them for an 'incredible' six years with the club. He said he had always thought about returning to Tottenham and 'can't wait to get started'. But a knee injury will delay his debut until October 17's home match against West Ham.

Gareth Bale, 31, announced his return to Tottenham Hotspur on Twitter. He referenced a 2013 message to his fans in which he thanked them for an ‘incredible’ six years with the club. He said he had always thought about returning to Tottenham and ‘can’t wait to get started’. But a knee injury will delay his debut until October 17’s home match against West Ham.

Bale announced the move on Twitter on Saturday evening: ‘To all the Spurs fans, after 7 years, I’m back!’ 

He also retweeted a 2013 message to his fans that said: ‘To all the Spurs fans, your support the last 6 years has been incredible and I’ll never forget it, thank you.’ 

He said: ‘It’s nice to be back, where I made my name. I always thought about returning. I’m hungry, I’m motivated I can’t wait to get started. I want to get some match fitness and hopefully help the team win trophies.’ 

Gareth Bale poses for a portrait as he is unveiled as a new signing for Totttenham Hotspur in Enfield, England, on Saturday. The club said he has 'a limited pre-season' after sustaining a knee injurywhilst playing for Wales on international duty earlier this month.

Gareth Bale poses for a portrait as he is unveiled as a new signing for Totttenham Hotspur in Enfield, England, on Saturday. The club said he has 'a limited pre-season' after sustaining a knee injurywhilst playing for Wales on international duty earlier this month.

Gareth Bale poses for a portrait as he is unveiled as a new signing for Totttenham Hotspur in Enfield, England, on Saturday. The club said he has ‘a limited pre-season’ after sustaining a knee injurywhilst playing for Wales on international duty earlier this month.

Gareth Bale will return to Tottenham on a season loan from Real Madrid. Here he celebrates as Real Madrid celebrates with The UEFA Champions League trophy following his sides victory in the UEFA Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Liverpool at NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium on May 26, 2018 in Kiev, Ukraine.

Gareth Bale will return to Tottenham on a season loan from Real Madrid. Here he celebrates as Real Madrid celebrates with The UEFA Champions League trophy following his sides victory in the UEFA Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Liverpool at NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium on May 26, 2018 in Kiev, Ukraine.

Gareth Bale will return to Tottenham on a season loan from Real Madrid. Here he celebrates as Real Madrid celebrates with The UEFA Champions League trophy following his sides victory in the UEFA Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Liverpool at NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium on May 26, 2018 in Kiev, Ukraine.

Tottenham anticipated that Bale would need more time to prepare physically for the Premier League but the injury he sustained means he will have to wait until after the next international break.

He is looking to play his debut for Tottenham at the home fixture with West Ham on October 17.

Tottenham said: ‘Gareth sustained a knee injury whilst playing for Wales on international duty earlier this month and this, together with La Liga’s later start compared to the Premier League, means he has had a limited pre-season.

‘We currently anticipate that he will be match fit after October’s international break.’ 

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Britons sink a few drinks while making the most of 70F sun with warm weather to last until Tuesday

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britons sink a few drinks while making the most of 70f sun with warm weather to last until tuesday

Britons have flocked out to enjoy the last of the summer sunshine this weekend as rain is set to sweep across the nation next week.

Temperatures reached a pleasant 77F (25C) in some parts of the UK today, with people heading out across the UK to enjoy the last weekend of summer weather before rain is set to hit the nation next week. 

The warm and sunny weather comes on the first weekend since the Government introduced its new ‘rule of six’ rule amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But people still flocked outdoors to make the most of the last rays of sunshine before temperatures become cooler next week, with Tuesday and Wednesday bringing rain in from the north west of the UK. 

The Met Office had forecast a weekend of ‘largely dry, bright and fine’ weather, which has seen temperatures rise as high as 77F (25C) across the first day of the weekend.

The Met Office had forecast a weekend of 'largely dry, bright and fine' weather, which could see temperatures rise as high as 24C (75F). Pictured, picknickers enjoy the warm sunshine on the first weekend the 'rule of six' is in force

The Met Office had forecast a weekend of 'largely dry, bright and fine' weather, which could see temperatures rise as high as 24C (75F). Pictured, picknickers enjoy the warm sunshine on the first weekend the 'rule of six' is in force

The Met Office had forecast a weekend of ‘largely dry, bright and fine’ weather, which could see temperatures rise as high as 24C (75F). Pictured, picknickers enjoy the warm sunshine on the first weekend the ‘rule of six’ is in force

Metropolitan Police urged Londoners (above, drinkers at a pub in southwest London) to 'continue to act responsibly' amid forecasts of warm weather for the capital over the weekend

Metropolitan Police urged Londoners (above, drinkers at a pub in southwest London) to 'continue to act responsibly' amid forecasts of warm weather for the capital over the weekend

Metropolitan Police urged Londoners (above, drinkers at a pub in southwest London) to ‘continue to act responsibly’ amid forecasts of warm weather for the capital over the weekend

Ollie Claydon, a spokesperson for the Met Office, said that the warm weekend temperatures would come ahead of a more 'unsettled' week of weather. Above, people enjoy the warm weather in central London on September 19

Ollie Claydon, a spokesperson for the Met Office, said that the warm weekend temperatures would come ahead of a more 'unsettled' week of weather. Above, people enjoy the warm weather in central London on September 19

 Ollie Claydon, a spokesperson for the Met Office, said that the warm weekend temperatures would come ahead of a more ‘unsettled’ week of weather. Above, people enjoy the warm weather in central London on September 19

Britons sat outside to enjoy drinks in southwest London today as temperatures reached highs of 77F (25C) at Heathrow and are set to continue further into the weekend

Britons sat outside to enjoy drinks in southwest London today as temperatures reached highs of 77F (25C) at Heathrow and are set to continue further into the weekend

Britons sat outside to enjoy drinks in southwest London today as temperatures reached highs of 77F (25C) at Heathrow and are set to continue further into the weekend

33376872 8750865 image a 23 1600535787900

33376872 8750865 image a 23 1600535787900

Highs of 77F (25C) were recorded at Heathrow across today, as temperatures are set to hit similar highs tomorrow.

Kew Gardens and St James Park in London both reached 77F, with Kin Loch Ewe in Scotland also hitting 75F (24C). 

Ollie Claydon, a spokesperson for the Met Office, said that the warm weekend temperatures would come ahead of a more ‘unsettled’ week of weather.

‘We’re in for a dry and fine evening on Saturday, with clear conditions for central parts of the UK and northern Ireland,’ he said.

‘There’s a risk of showers but temperatures will stay high.

‘But then a cold front from the north west around lunchtime on Monday will herald the arrival of cooler, more unsettled weather next week.’

The September warmth follows on from an August heatwave which saw temperatures hit 93F (34C) for six days running last month. 

Groups of kitesurfers and windsurfers made the most of the the sunny, yet blustery weather, in Portland, Weymouth, today

Groups of kitesurfers and windsurfers made the most of the the sunny, yet blustery weather, in Portland, Weymouth, today

Groups of kitesurfers and windsurfers made the most of the the sunny, yet blustery weather, in Portland, Weymouth, today

Temperatures reached a warm 77F (25C) today, with people heading out across the UK (above, people at Boscombe beach in Dorset) to enjoy the last weekend of summer weather before rain is set to hit the nation next week

Temperatures reached a warm 77F (25C) today, with people heading out across the UK (above, people at Boscombe beach in Dorset) to enjoy the last weekend of summer weather before rain is set to hit the nation next week

Temperatures reached a warm 77F (25C) today, with people heading out across the UK (above, people at Boscombe beach in Dorset) to enjoy the last weekend of summer weather before rain is set to hit the nation next week

People in southwest London made the most of the warm weather as concerns of a second coronavirus wave rise after the new 'rule of six' came into force earlier this week

People in southwest London made the most of the warm weather as concerns of a second coronavirus wave rise after the new 'rule of six' came into force earlier this week

People in southwest London made the most of the warm weather as concerns of a second coronavirus wave rise after the new ‘rule of six’ came into force earlier this week

Any social gathering of more than six people in England is against the law, with people facing fines of up to £3,200 if they do not abide by the new measure, which applies to indoor and outdoor settings

Any social gathering of more than six people in England is against the law, with people facing fines of up to £3,200 if they do not abide by the new measure, which applies to indoor and outdoor settings

Any social gathering of more than six people in England is against the law, with people facing fines of up to £3,200 if they do not abide by the new measure, which applies to indoor and outdoor settings

The highest temperature ever recorded in September was 96.08F (35.6C) on September 2, 1906, but they ‘don’t look like they’re going to come anywhere close to that in this current hot spell’, the forecaster said.

The warmest September day of recent years was September 13, 2016, when 93.9F (34.4C) was recorded at Gravesend, Kent – the warmest day of that year.

It comes as police forces across the UK urged people to comply with the Government’s new ‘rule of six’ during the warm and sunny weather this weekend.

Further lockdown measures were also introduced in northern parts of England, with 10pm curfews being introduced in some areas across the northeast. 

Police officers in Manchester urged people to comply with coronavirus restrictions after they were called to reports of a wedding party at a home. 

Greater Manchester Police said officers attended a property in Wythenshawe on Friday evening, having received intelligence that a wedding party was being held.

‘Police attended and found that a gazebo had been erected in the garden of a property,’ the force tweeted.

‘Officers prevented the illegal gathering before restrictions were breached.’

Police forces across the country have urged people to comply with the 'rule of six' across the sunny weekend as fears of another national lockdown increase

Police forces across the country have urged people to comply with the 'rule of six' across the sunny weekend as fears of another national lockdown increase

Police forces across the country have urged people to comply with the ‘rule of six’ across the sunny weekend as fears of another national lockdown increase

Any social gathering of more than six people in England is against the law, with people facing fines of up to £3,200 if they do not abide by the new measure. Above, small groups sit outside pubs and cafes in southwest London

Any social gathering of more than six people in England is against the law, with people facing fines of up to £3,200 if they do not abide by the new measure. Above, small groups sit outside pubs and cafes in southwest London

Any social gathering of more than six people in England is against the law, with people facing fines of up to £3,200 if they do not abide by the new measure. Above, small groups sit outside pubs and cafes in southwest London

Highs of 77F (25C) were recorded at Heathrow across today, as temperatures are set to hit similar highs tomorrow. Pictured, groups enjoy the warm sunshine at Hyde Park in London

Highs of 77F (25C) were recorded at Heathrow across today, as temperatures are set to hit similar highs tomorrow. Pictured, groups enjoy the warm sunshine at Hyde Park in London

Highs of 77F (25C) were recorded at Heathrow across today, as temperatures are set to hit similar highs tomorrow. Pictured, groups enjoy the warm sunshine at Hyde Park in London

Meanwhile, Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix, of Kent Police, said there would be an increased presence in ‘key areas’ around the county, as Covid-19 remains a ‘real and deadly threat’.  

The Metropolitan Police urged Londoners to ‘continue to act responsibly’ amid forecasts of warm weather for the capital over the weekend.

The force said it will continue to patrol public spaces and respond to incidents where groups of more than six are gathering, reminding the public of fines for breaching coronavirus guidelines.

Any social gathering of more than six people in England is against the law, with people facing fines of up to £3,200 if they do not abide by the new measure, which applies to both indoor and outdoor settings.

And forces in Dorset, where large crowds have previously flocked to the beaches to enjoy the heat, also warned that anyone flouting the new ‘rule of six’ over the weekend may be subject to fines. 

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Alexei Navalny back up and walking after treatment for nerve agent poisoning at Berlin hospital

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alexei navalny back up and walking after treatment for nerve agent poisoning at berlin hospital

Russian politician Alexei Navalny is back up and walking just days after being taken off a ventilator.

Navalny, the political opponent of Russian president Vladimir Putin, shared a photo of himself walking down stairs at Berlin‘s Charité Hospital, where he is continuing his recovery from being poisoned in late August.

He has said he intends to return to Russia as western governments demand an explanation from the Kremlin. 

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is 'continuing to improve,' doctors say. He shared a photo and an update about his recovery from novichok nerve agent poisoning, writing that doctors at Berlin's Charité Hospital had transformed him from "technically alive" to someone with a chance at a real recovery. He said he still has issues pouring water and using his phone, but is up and walking after being taken off a ventilator earlier in the week.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is 'continuing to improve,' doctors say. He shared a photo and an update about his recovery from novichok nerve agent poisoning, writing that doctors at Berlin's Charité Hospital had transformed him from "technically alive" to someone with a chance at a real recovery. He said he still has issues pouring water and using his phone, but is up and walking after being taken off a ventilator earlier in the week.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is ‘continuing to improve,’ doctors say. He shared a photo and an update about his recovery from novichok nerve agent poisoning, writing that doctors at Berlin’s Charité Hospital had transformed him from “technically alive” to someone with a chance at a real recovery. He said he still has issues pouring water and using his phone, but is up and walking after being taken off a ventilator earlier in the week.

Laboratory tests confirmed Navalny, who was airlifted to Germany after falling ill in Siberia, was poisoned with a novichok nerve agent that is tightly controlled by the Russian government.

Navalny shared an update of his recovery on Instagram, posting a photo of him walking downstairs in the hospital wearing a navy blue t-shirt, sweatpants, and blue rubber gloves. 

He said: ‘This is a clear road, albeit a long one.’

Navalny wrote that he has trouble pouring himself some water and using his phone, describing it as ‘useless as a stone’.

Russian president Vladimir Putin (right) called accusations about possible Kremlin involvement in Navalny's poisoning 'unsubstantiated' in a call with French president Emmanuel Macron (left). Navalny is Putin's political rival and a vocal critic of the long-standing leader (file photo).

Russian president Vladimir Putin (right) called accusations about possible Kremlin involvement in Navalny's poisoning 'unsubstantiated' in a call with French president Emmanuel Macron (left). Navalny is Putin's political rival and a vocal critic of the long-standing leader (file photo).

Russian president Vladimir Putin (right) called accusations about possible Kremlin involvement in Navalny’s poisoning ‘unsubstantiated’ in a call with French president Emmanuel Macron (left). Navalny is Putin’s political rival and a vocal critic of the long-standing leader (file photo).

He said ‘there are so many problems still to be solved’ but that doctors had transformed him from ‘technically alive’ to someone who had a chance of living a normal life again.

Charité Hospital said on Monday that Navalny’s condition ‘continues to improve’.

‘The patient has been successfully removed from mechanical ventilation. He is currently undergoing mobilization and is able to leave his bed for short periods of time.’  

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