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ROBERT HARDMAN: Ban on singing national anthem at armistice events shows Covid threatens our sanity

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robert hardman ban on singing national anthem at armistice events shows covid threatens our sanity

As if this week’s threats of police raids on over-sized Christmas Day gatherings were not barmy enough, then along comes something even sillier: a ban on singing the national anthem.

Even the Welsh Government’s comedy order prohibiting the sale of kettles does not come close to the absurdity of forbidding loyal ex-servicemen and women and even members of the Royal Family from singing God Save The Queen in the days ahead.

It is merely the latest example of how coronavirus does not merely threaten the health of the vulnerable, but the sanity of us all.

Tomorrow week – Remembrance Sunday – is the most sacred date in the national calendar. By all means, feel free to head for a supermarket that day – as well as the pub, the gym and even the golf club in many parts of Britain.

However, if you are planning to turn up at a war memorial for the traditional service and two-minute silence at 11am, hold your horses. 

The Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey is photographed in 2018. The field has been held in the grounds of the abbey since 1928 [File photo]

The Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey is photographed in 2018. The field has been held in the grounds of the abbey since 1928 [File photo]

The Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey is photographed in 2018. The field has been held in the grounds of the abbey since 1928 [File photo]

Because special rules apply. Not only must numbers be ‘minimised’, there is a ban on ‘communal singing’. In many places, ceremonies have simply been cancelled. In others, they are closed to all but a few local representatives.

To read the new rules for next weekend, you sense that officialdom regards Remembrance Sunday like Cup Final day or Halloween – just another irksome, public order issue that needs some tight controls. Astonishingly, it turns out the Government has not even drafted its own legislation correctly.

The latest Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 bolted on to the 1984 Public Health Act dictate what commemorative events may take place and how. Legally, councils can authorise a ceremony only if ‘the gathering takes place to commemorate Remembrance Sunday’.

This is nonsense. We do not gather to ‘commemorate Remembrance Sunday’. We gather on Remembrance Sunday to commemorate our war dead, not the day itself. This is just sloppy legislation. If the Government can’t even word its own rules accurately, then how the hell can they expect the rest of us to observe them?

The official ministerial guidance to local authorities is blunt and wholly negative. Organisers are repeatedly ordered to ‘keep numbers to a minimum’, to ‘take reasonable steps to ensure the public attend alone’ and to take everyone’s details.

We all accept these are exceptional times. But this is not just another annual tradition.

For millions, Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day are hallowed days of obligation, occasions when we make an effort to honour those who gave their all for our freedoms. For many, who are still mourning loved ones killed in the line of duty, it is a day of great sadness and pride. The Government has urged people to stay at home and switch on the telly. But for countless people, that is simply not going to suffice.

Where is the common sense here? Everyone accepts the need for social distancing. And the sort of people who turn up at remembrance events do not behave like people piling out of bars at a 10pm curfew or protesters in Trafalgar Square. They come in the quiet expectation of dignity and solemnity. Above all, most services of commemoration are outside. It is why many veterans are dismayed that the traditional open-air Royal British Legion parade at the Cenotaph has virtually disappeared.

The turnout of politicians will be the same but that eternally poignant march-past of ex-servicemen and women is off. Obviously, a parade of 10,000 veterans – watched by huge crowds – is out of the question.

However, the Legion had been planning a Covid-compliant alternative. Last month, charities such as Blind Veterans UK were offered ten socially distanced places in a much-reduced parade. All representatives would have to be ‘physically fit’ and ‘have the ability to march for 45 minutes’ without escorts or wheelchairs. There would be no room for carers. But at least it was something. The Legion had worked out it could accommodate about 2,000 veterans at well-regulated intervals.

Then Public Health England weighed in. That number has now been reduced to just 30 able-bodied veterans. Everyone else wishing to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph can do so online or by mail order.

A Remembrance Day event at place at the Cenotaph in Westminster in 2018 is pictured with numerous veterans in attendance [File photo]

A Remembrance Day event at place at the Cenotaph in Westminster in 2018 is pictured with numerous veterans in attendance [File photo]

A Remembrance Day event at place at the Cenotaph in Westminster in 2018 is pictured with numerous veterans in attendance [File photo]

Meanwhile, the Met Police are preparing rigorous counter-measures to deter any passers-by from dawdling. Large white screens are to be erected at either end of Whitehall to block the view. ‘Move along now, nothing to see here. Just the Queen on her balcony…’

Quite apart from the oppressive sense of overkill, has anyone paused to contemplate what sort of message all these restrictions are sending out? From the outset, the official mindset has got it all wrong. Rather than finding constructive ways to help people commemorate safely and sensibly, the priority has been to shoo them elsewhere. Let them go shopping or drinking instead.

At the same time, people are still banned from ‘communal singing’ in line with the edict from the Ministry of Housing and Communities.

Following the Government’s latest U-turn allowing VIPs to sing at the Cenotaph, officials have hinted that the rules may now be changed for outdoor – but not indoor – ceremonies. As of last night, however, the blanket singing ban remained in place on the Government website.

The ruling has hit other major events. All the Armed Forces taking part in next Saturday’s Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall – which will be screened on BBC1 – must remain mute. ‘There is no singing by anyone other than the choir and the individual artists,’ a Legion spokesperson explained.

Speaking for millions of veterans and their families, no doubt, the President of the Merchant Navy Association, Vivien Foster, sums it all up in one word: ‘Ridiculous’.

Elsewhere, the public are left wondering where and how they are allowed to pay their respects.

Truro in Cornwall will have a small invitation-only ceremony at the cathedral. Coventry is among many places holding its official ceremony online. Many towns and villages have taken their lead from the Government and simply cancelled their ceremonies.

Not so much the Last Post as the last straw.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Experts say it’s not illegal to embrace relatives at Christmas but doesn’t mean you should

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experts say its not illegal to embrace relatives at christmas but doesnt mean you should

Just because it is legal to hug relatives at Christmas does not mean you should, Downing Street’s experts have warned.

Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance said they want people to see their families ‘because that is what Christmas is all about’.

But the government’s chief medical officer and chief scientific adviser added they would not encourage Britons to embrace old family members.

Their stern words came as Boris Johnson begged people to get on board with new coronavirus tiers.

He insisted there is an ‘escape’ route for areas in the higher levels – only for Prof Whitty immediately to warn Tier 1 is a vain hope.

Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance said they want people to see their families 'because that is what Christmas is all about'

Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance said they want people to see their families 'because that is what Christmas is all about'

Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance said they want people to see their families ‘because that is what Christmas is all about’

Answering a question from a journalist at the Downing Street press briefing tonight, Prof Whitty said: ‘Would I want someone to see their family? Of course, that’s what Christmas is all about.

‘But would I encourage someone to hug and kiss their relatives? No I would not. It’s not against the law, and that’s the whole point – you can do it within the rules that are there but it does not make sense because you could be carrying the virus.

‘And if you’ve got an elderly relative that would not be the thing you want to do in a period where we’re running up to a point where we actually might be able to older people.

‘So I think people just have to have sense and I think this is very much what I think people will do.

‘The fact that you can do something, this is true across so many other areas of life, doesn’t mean you should.’

‘In answer to your direct question about what I’ll be doing, actually I will be on the wards.’

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Sir Patrick added: ‘To keep numbers down don’t do things that are unnecessary this Christmas, try to make sure you avoid behaviours that would spread the disease.

‘Make sure that if you’re in a house with other households that you’ve got it well ventilated and you take the precautions.

‘Keep distance where you can, it’s the same basic rules we need to apply and I think it’s difficult.

How does government decide what Tiers areas are put into? 

Boris Johnson promised to base Tier allocation on ‘common sense’, and the government’s ‘Winter Plan’ set out a series of metrics to be used. They are:

  • Case detection rates in all age groups;
  • Case detection rates in the over 60s;
  • The rate at which cases are rising or falling;
  • Positivity rate (the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken); and
  • Pressure on the NHS, including current and projected occupancy.

However, there are no specific numerical trigger points, and the document added that there will be ‘some flexibility to weight these indicators against each other as the context demands’. 

‘For example, hospital capacity in a given area will need to be considered in the light of the capacity in neighbouring areas and the feasibility of moving patients,’ the document said. 

‘Case detection rates will need to be weighted against whether the spread of the virus appears to be localised to particular communities.’ 

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‘It’s not going to be a normal Christmas, but if you want to make those connections with family it has to be done in a way in which you try to make sure you don’t increase the risk of, I think Chris said the risk of hugging elderly relatives is not something to go out and do.

‘It will increase the spread to the vulnerable population.’ Prof Whitty added: ‘It wants to survive to hunt again.’

Elsewhere in the briefing the PM insisted the Tier system will be less ‘intrusive’ than the blanket lockdown that it is intended to replace from December 2.

He stressed there was a mechanism for areas that manage to bring down their infection rates to have curbs eased.

‘Your tier is not your destiny, every area has the means of escape,’ the Prime Minister said.

But Prof Whitty struck a very different tone, suggesting there is little chance of anyone going down to Tier 1 as restrictions are so lax that inevitably cases rise.

The chief medical officer said it was only possible for places that currently have extremely low case rates. He said adjustments to the Tiers would only be ‘primarily’ downwards.

Seizing on the contradiction, Tory MP Mark Harper tweeted: ‘That rather suggests if you’re in Tier 2, it is your destiny – at least until the Spring.’

Under the allocations announced today, just 700,000 people – one per cent of the population – will be subject to the loosest grade of restrictions. Before November 5 there were 29million in the lowest tier.

Meanwhile, around 55million residents will be in the toughest two levels after the blanket national lockdown ends on December 2.

It has sparked a huge backlash, with anger at the lack of firm thresholds for entering and leaving Tiers, and many local MPs in low-infection areas enraged at being lumped together with nearby hotspots.

The government has published a narrative explanation of why each area is going into each tier, but has dismissed calls to use numerical trigger points.

A slew of senior Tories have threatened to rebel in a crunch vote on the plans next week.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Trump spends Thanksgiving playing golf and tweeting about election

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trump spends thanksgiving playing golf and tweeting about election

President Donald Trump kicked off his Thanksgiving with a round of golf at his Trump National Golf Club in Virginia, complaints about President-elect Joe Biden and touting a Supreme Court ruling in favor of religious groups challenging coronavirus restrictions.

Trump left the White House Thursday morning and arrived at his golf club in Sterling, Va. He sent out a series of tweets in route – the first of which complained about the election result and the second of which wished people a Happy Thanksgiving.

‘Just saw the vote tabulations. There is NO WAY Biden got 80,000,000 votes!!! This was a 100% RIGGED ELECTION,’ Trump complained about his Democratic rival. 

Twitter flagged the tweet, noting on it: ‘This claim about election fraud is disputed.’ 

The president has refused to concede the election even as his legal cases challenging the results in battleground states have gone nowhere, his campaign has turned up no evidence of major voter fraud, and states have begun to certify Biden’s victory.

The current tally of the popular votes stand at: 80,045,066 (51%) for Biden and 73,897,658 (47%) for Trump. Additionally, Biden has 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232.

The 2020 contest saw a record number of votes. Biden was the first candidate to earn over 80 million. 

Trump then switched into holiday mode, writing ‘HAPPY THANKSGIVING’ atop a retweet from the SCOTUS blog, which covers Supreme Court cases. It reported that: ‘Just before midnight on the night before Thanksgiving, the Supreme Court blocked New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo from enforcing attendance limits at religious services. The vote is 5-4, with Roberts and the three liberals dissenting.’

President Trump tosses a golf ball from his cart as he plays golf at his club in Virginia

President Trump tosses a golf ball from his cart as he plays golf at his club in Virginia

President Trump tosses a golf ball from his cart as he plays golf at his club in Virginia

President Donald Trump kicked off his Thanksgiving with a round of golf at his Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia

President Donald Trump kicked off his Thanksgiving with a round of golf at his Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia

President Donald Trump kicked off his Thanksgiving with a round of golf at his Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia

President Trump drives a golf cart on his course near Washington D.C.

President Trump drives a golf cart on his course near Washington D.C.

President Trump drives a golf cart on his course near Washington D.C. 

President Trump gives a fist bump to a fellow golfer

President Trump gives a fist bump to a fellow golfer

President Trump gives a fist bump to a fellow golfer

The president tweeted a complaint about the election on the way to play golf

The president tweeted a complaint about the election on the way to play golf

The president tweeted a complaint about the election on the way to play golf

President Donald Trump holds his phone as he stands next to a golf cart on his course

President Donald Trump holds his phone as he stands next to a golf cart on his course

President Donald Trump holds his phone as he stands next to a golf cart on his course

President Trump in his golf cart with security in golf carts around him

President Trump in his golf cart with security in golf carts around him

President Trump in his golf cart with security in golf carts around him

President Trump wore one of his signature red 'Make America Great Again' caps when he played golf on Thanksgiving

President Trump wore one of his signature red 'Make America Great Again' caps when he played golf on Thanksgiving

President Trump wore one of his signature red ‘Make America Great Again’ caps when he played golf on Thanksgiving

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The Supreme Court late Wednesday temporarily barred New York from enforcing attendance limits at houses of worship in areas designated as hard hit by the coronavirus. 

The court’s 5-4 vote granted requests made by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and two Orthodox Jewish congregations who were fighting Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s October 6 decision about houses of worship in areas designated red and orange zones, where attendance was capped at 10 and 25 people, respectively.

New Justice Amy Coney Barrett ruled  in the majority whereas the court’s three liberal justices and Chief Justice John Roberts dissented.

In two previous cases this year, the court on 5-4 votes turned away similar requests by churches in Nevada and California. Those votes occurred before the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

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The president is having Thanksgiving dinner with his immediate family.

‘The First Family will be celebrating the day with immediate family for dinner at the White House. The President and First Lady wish everyone across the country a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving,’ said Stephanie Grisham, the chief of staff to first lady Melania Trump, in a statement.

She did not detail who was included in the immediate family, which could consist of the president’s adult children from his first marriages and the first lady’s parents, who live near the White House.

In his Thanksgiving proclamation, President Trump encouraged Americans to gather and give thanks.

‘I encourage all Americans to gather, in homes and places of worship, to offer a prayer of thanks to God for our many blessings,’ he said in a statement.

Trump’s urging Americans to gather for the holiday comes as daily deaths from COVID-19 in the United States have surpassed 2,100 for the first since May as millions of Americans continue to ignore CDC travel guidance and dire warnings from health experts that Thanksgiving could be the ‘mother of all superspreader events’. 

President Trump is expected to make the traditional call to members of the U.S. armed forces serving overseas. That call is scheduled for 3 p.m. Thursday but is closed to the media and public.  

President Trump checks his phone while on the golf course

President Trump checks his phone while on the golf course

President Trump checks his phone while on the golf course

President Trump, in red jacket, driving his golf cart on his golf course

President Trump, in red jacket, driving his golf cart on his golf course

President Trump, in red jacket, driving his golf cart on his golf course

President Trump takes aim as he plays golf on Thanksgiving day

President Trump takes aim as he plays golf on Thanksgiving day

President Trump takes aim as he plays golf on Thanksgiving day

President Trump on his golf course

President Trump on his golf course

President Trump on his golf course 

President Trump walks back to his golf cart

President Trump walks back to his golf cart

President Trump walks back to his golf cart

President Trump's motorcade arrives at his Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va, on Thanksgiving Day

President Trump's motorcade arrives at his Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va, on Thanksgiving Day

President Trump’s motorcade arrives at his Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va, on Thanksgiving Day

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump are spending Thanksgiving at the White House instead of traveling to Mar-a-Lago, where they'll have dinner with immediate family

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump are spending Thanksgiving at the White House instead of traveling to Mar-a-Lago, where they'll have dinner with immediate family

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump are spending Thanksgiving at the White House instead of traveling to Mar-a-Lago, where they’ll have dinner with immediate family

Don Jr., the president's oldest son who tested positive for coronavirus a couple of weeks ago, posted a message to Instagram he is 'done with Rona' and will spend Thanksgiving with family

Don Jr., the president's oldest son who tested positive for coronavirus a couple of weeks ago, posted a message to Instagram he is 'done with Rona' and will spend Thanksgiving with family

Don Jr., the president’s oldest son who tested positive for coronavirus a couple of weeks ago, posted a message to Instagram he is ‘done with Rona’ and will spend Thanksgiving with family

Lara Trump posted a photo of a roadtrip to an undisclosed location with husband Eric Trump and their kids

Lara Trump posted a photo of a roadtrip to an undisclosed location with husband Eric Trump and their kids

Lara Trump posted a photo of a roadtrip to an undisclosed location with husband Eric Trump and their kids

Don Jr., the president’s oldest son who tested positive for coronavirus a couple of weeks ago, posted a message to Instagram he is ‘done with Rona’ and will spend Thanksgiving with family. 

He videotaped the message on Wednesday with girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle, noting the couple will be eating their ‘back up meal’ that day and then enjoying a second Thanksgiving feast.

‘I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to be cleared to be with my family but I got the medical OK I’m all done with the Rona,’ he noted. 

‘I got cleared and we get to spend Thanksgiving the way it’s meant to be,’ he said in the video message. 

And Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law, posted a photo to Instagram of her, husband Eric Trump and their two kids taking a road trip to an unnamed location.  

The president is also reaching out to friends who could be having a tough time over the holidays.

Eric Bolling, the Sinclair TV host whose son died of an accidental drug overdose in 2017, tweeted that Trump called him on Thanksgiving Day.

‘3 years ago today: A difficult first holiday without my Eric Chase.. the empty Thanksgiving seat being too real having just lost our son. The phone rang: ‘Eric, Melania and I want to tell you how much we feel for you today’ That call just came again. Thank you @realDonaldTrump,’ he wrote. 

Last year on Thanksgiving, Trump made a surprise visit Afghanistan where he met with President Ashraf Ghani and served Thanksgiving dinner to U.S. troops stationed there. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Maradona’s ex-girlfriend banned from joining legend’s family at state wake

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maradonas ex girlfriend banned from joining legends family at state wake

Diego Maradona‘s ex-girlfriend was unceremoniously turned away from entering the presidential mansion Thursday before dawn under orders from the Argentine soccer legend’s former wife.

Rocio Oliva arrived at Casa Rosada at 4:40am in hopes of saying farewell to Maradona, whose casket is lying in state, and was immediately informed by a security guard behind the gate that she was not allowed to enter the grounds.

A teary-eyed Oliva’s pleas to be permitted inside went unheard and she was instructed to return at 7am and wait online with tens of thousands of fans who had waited overnight to pay their last respects.

‘I can not come at seven in the morning. That is crazy, that is crazy,’ Oliva said on live television. ‘You can not do this. I can not come. He wants me to come back at seven in the morning with all of the people.’ 

Oliva and Maradona dated for six and a half years before terminating their relationship in 2018. 

Rocio Oliva (pictured), who dated Diego Maradona for six and a half years, was banned by the soccer legend's ex-wife Claudia Villafañe when she attempted to enter the presidential palace at 4:40am local time in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Rocio Oliva (pictured), who dated Diego Maradona for six and a half years, was banned by the soccer legend's ex-wife Claudia Villafañe when she attempted to enter the presidential palace at 4:40am local time in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Rocio Oliva (pictured), who dated Diego Maradona for six and a half years, was banned by the soccer legend’s ex-wife Claudia Villafañe when she attempted to enter the presidential palace at 4:40am local time in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Rocio Oliva and Diego Maradona attended the draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow on December 01, 2017

Rocio Oliva and Diego Maradona attended the draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow on December 01, 2017

Rocio Oliva and Diego Maradona attended the draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow on December 01, 2017

Argentinean football legend Diego Armando Maradona with his former wife Claudia Villafañe (left) and daughters Dalma (second from left) and Giannina (right)

Argentinean football legend Diego Armando Maradona with his former wife Claudia Villafañe (left) and daughters Dalma (second from left) and Giannina (right)

Argentinean football legend Diego Armando Maradona with his former wife Claudia Villafañe (left) and daughters Dalma (second from left) and Giannina (right)

Oliva told Argentine network Todos Noticias that she could not explain the reasoning behind Claudia Villafañe’s decision to ban her from going inside the presidential mansion through an entrance that had been set up for Maradona’s loved ones and close friends.

‘I was Diego’s last partner. I was the woman Diego asked to see. I mean, nobody understands that,’ Oliva said as she fought back tears. ‘They don’t think about Diego for a minute. He is dead and there are only wounds. That hurts.’

Open visitation started at 6:15am local time after a few hours of privacy for family and close friends.

The first to bid farewell were his daughters and close family members. Villafañe came with Maradona’s daughters Dalma and Gianinna. Later came Verónica Ojeda, also his ex-wife, with their son Dieguito Fernando. 

Grieving football fans clashed with police later in the morning they lined up to pay their respects to Maradona as a lawyer for the Argentinian legend accused medics of ‘criminal idiocy’ over his death.  

Scuffles broke out as fans jostled to get inside and see the coffin, which was covered in an Argentinian flag and Maradona’s signature number 10 shirt after it arrived in an ambulance early this morning.   

A long line of mourners streamed past Maradona’s body, clapping, pumping their fists and throwing flowers, flags and football shirts at the foot of the casket, on the first of three days of national mourning in Argentina. 

Under orders of the Interior Ministry, fans were stopped from lining up at 1:36pm. The family previously mentioned that the visitation would conclude at 4pm. The public viewing was extended until 7pm before Maradona’s casket was moved to a secure location inside Casa Rosada after mourners rushed the entrance and got into confrontation with cops in riot gear. 

Rosa Oliva was not allowed to enter the presidential palace in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to pay her respects along with family members and friends of Diego Maradona who were allowed to enter early before the public was permitted inside. Oliva dated Maradona for six and a half years

Rosa Oliva was not allowed to enter the presidential palace in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to pay her respects along with family members and friends of Diego Maradona who were allowed to enter early before the public was permitted inside. Oliva dated Maradona for six and a half years

Rosa Oliva was not allowed to enter the presidential palace in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to pay her respects along with family members and friends of Diego Maradona who were allowed to enter early before the public was permitted inside. Oliva dated Maradona for six and a half years

Rocio Oliva and Diego Maradona attended the Russia 2018 World Cup round of 16 football match between France and Argentina. Oliva told Argentine network Todo Noticias that Maradona was not doing well when she last saw him October 30, five days before he had surgery to remove a blood clot from the brain

Rocio Oliva and Diego Maradona attended the Russia 2018 World Cup round of 16 football match between France and Argentina. Oliva told Argentine network Todo Noticias that Maradona was not doing well when she last saw him October 30, five days before he had surgery to remove a blood clot from the brain

Rocio Oliva and Diego Maradona attended the Russia 2018 World Cup round of 16 football match between France and Argentina. Oliva told Argentine network Todo Noticias that Maradona was not doing well when she last saw him October 30, five days before he had surgery to remove a blood clot from the brain

Diego Maradona and Rocio Oliva were together for six and a half years before ending the relationship in 2018

Diego Maradona and Rocio Oliva were together for six and a half years before ending the relationship in 2018

Diego Maradona and Rocio Oliva were together for six and a half years before ending the relationship in 2018

Oliva, who is a host on America TV’s evening talk show Polémica en el bar [Controversy at the bar], vowed Wednesday night to attend the wake after the soccer legend died earlier in the day of a heart attack in his sleep. 

Oliva said she last saw the 60-year-old Maradona on October 30 and claimed that he was not in the best of conditions.

‘When I saw him, I did not see him well, and I made myself available. He didn’t have to be at home, he had to be hospitalized,’ she said.

The last hours of the former Naples and Barcelona star’s life were played out in Argentinian media on Wednesday night as an autopsy expected to show he had died from a massive heart attack got underway. 

Paramedics made an unsuccessful attempt to revive him after they arrived at the rented house in the gated residential estate of San Andres north of Buenos Aires he had moved to November 11 after leaving hospital following his operation November 4 to remove a blood clot on the brain. 

Lawyer Matias Morla claimed Thursday that Maradona was left for 12 hours without aid at some point before his death on Wednesday, which came two weeks after he had brain surgery to remove a blood clot.

‘It is inexplicable that for 12 hours my friend had no attention or check-up from the personnel dedicated to these ends,’ he said. 

Morla also claimed it was ‘criminal idiocy’ that an ambulance took 30 minutes to arrive and vowed that the circumstances surrounding Maradona’s death would be ‘investigated to the end’.  

Argentinian retired professional footbva attend the Davis Cup World Group final singles match between Croatia and Argentina at the Arena hall in Zagreb, on November 25, 2016

Argentinian retired professional footbva attend the Davis Cup World Group final singles match between Croatia and Argentina at the Arena hall in Zagreb, on November 25, 2016

Diego Maradona and his ex-girlfriend Rocio Oliva attended the Davis Cup World Group final singles match between Croatia and Argentina in Zagreb on November 25, 2016

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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