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A second national lockdown would put a million jobs at risk, warn hospitality chiefs

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a second national lockdown would put a million jobs at risk warn hospitality chiefs

The bosses of some of Britain’s best-known restaurants and bars last night warned a second national lockdown would devastate the industry and lead to a million more job losses.

They said a two-week ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown in October would cripple hospitality firms, which are ‘only just recovering from life support’.

Will Beckett, chief executive of Hawksmoor, said further lockdowns ‘will be financially disastrous for most, and terminal for many,’ adding: ‘It will mean huge losses for the weeks we are closed, and reopens all the difficulties over rents with landlords.’

The bosses of some of Britain’s best-known restaurants and bars last night warned a second national lockdown would devastate the industry and lead to a million more job losses. A waitress is pictured above in a pub in Chessington, Greater London

The bosses of some of Britain’s best-known restaurants and bars last night warned a second national lockdown would devastate the industry and lead to a million more job losses. A waitress is pictured above in a pub in Chessington, Greater London

Restaurateur Des Gunewardena, chief executive of the D&D London group that owns Le Pont de la Tour, 20 Stories and Bluebird, said: ‘If Ministers tell people to eat out to save the economy in August, then stay at home in September, it looks as though they are panicking and don’t know what they are doing.’

Around 900,000 hospitality employees are still on furlough.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, said: ‘Without any additional Government support in a second lockdown, that’s the potential number of jobs that are at risk.

‘Even the businesses that have done well are only just breaking even.’

Martin Wolstencroft, the chief executive of bar chain Arc Inspirations, said a two-week lockdown would cost him £1.5 million in lost sales from his 17 bars in the North and force him to make further job cuts.

He said: ‘We shouldn’t be penalised for the shortcomings of others who are tarnishing the industry’s reputation and making the Government take away people’s civil liberties.’

Entrepreneur Jonathan Downey, who is closing his Soho bar Milk & Honey this month, said: ‘This will just be another million jobs gone. It’s like shooting the wounded.’

Bosses said a two-week ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown in October would cripple hospitality firms, which are ‘only just recovering from life support’. A track and trace QR code is pictured above in London

Bosses said a two-week ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown in October would cripple hospitality firms, which are ‘only just recovering from life support’. A track and trace QR code is pictured above in London

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Rugby fanatic, 20, killed himself three months after being sent home from university

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rugby fanatic 20 killed himself three months after being sent home from university

A gifted rugby player tragically killed himself after returning home during lockdown from his university freshers year, a coroner has heard.

Sports fanatic Haseen Hashim, 20, was awarded a prestigious scholarship to Brunel University but he declined it to attend Cardiff Metropolitan University in September 2019, in order to play more of the sport he loved.

Haseen’s parents told the inquest that he was ‘doing very well’ when he left for university after the Christmas break in January, and he often came home to play rugby games for Oxfordshire County.

However his father, Suleman Hashim, explained: ‘When Covid happened, I collected him from university on March 29 and he stayed at home. He was his usual self, he was playing games all night and would sleep all day but I told him to do some work which he did.

Sports fanatic Haseen Hashim, 20, tragically killed himself after returning home during lockdown from his university freshers year, a coroner has heard

Sports fanatic Haseen Hashim, 20, tragically killed himself after returning home during lockdown from his university freshers year, a coroner has heard

‘The night before his death, we watched Match of the Day and went to bed at approximately 2am, that was the last time I saw him alive. As far as I am aware, he did not suffer from depression, I do not know why my son died.’

Mother-of-one Elizabeth Mayhew had been walking her one-year-old daughter to nursery when she spotted the young man’s lifeless body hidden in the trees on June 29 this year.

‘I walked up the footpath as it was the scenic route. This was the first time I had walked this way when I saw a young black man tucked away.

‘I was concerned he was taking drugs so I was about to turn back when I thought there was an odd thing about the way he was standing so still. I took a closer look and realised he was hanging.

‘For a few years I have been struggling with depression, there were times when I thought about taking my own life. I can only feel empathy towards the man,’ she said.

Haseen was found dead by a walker shortly after he left his parents home in High Wycombe in June. His death has been ruled a suicide

Haseen was found dead by a walker shortly after he left his parents home in High Wycombe in June. His death has been ruled a suicide

Haseen, of Desborough Avenue, High Wycombe, Bucks., had left a black Armour backpack behind with his learner driving licence, a photocopy of his passport and his leave to remain in the UK.

The court heard how the sport performance analysis student had no drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of his death and the cause was hanging.

Sitting at Buckinghamshire Coroners Court in Beacinsfield, assistant coroner Ian Wade QC said: ‘Why Haseen died is a complete mystery to me and I dare say, to his family. He was a young man on the threshold of what looked like a very full and successful life.

‘He was a gifted rugby player and plainly intelligent having won a place at a prestigious university, a man who had everything to live for.

Haseen was awarded a prestigious scholarship to Brunel University but he declined it to attend Cardiff Metropolitan University (pictured) in September 2019, in order to play more of the sport he loved

Haseen was awarded a prestigious scholarship to Brunel University but he declined it to attend Cardiff Metropolitan University (pictured) in September 2019, in order to play more of the sport he loved

‘Whether or not he felt he let himself down as a young student in the excitement of university, what he was worried about I cannot say. In the exuberance of youth he used his rent money but who has not done that?

‘On June 29 he was seen in the early morning by a man walking his dog and shortly after he was discovered hanging from a tree in High Wycombe. He had taken the precaution of making his identity not a mystery.’

The court also heard that Haseen suffered some money troubles, and it was revealed he had spent much of the money his parents had given him for rent on socialising.

While at home over Christmas, his parents received a letter from his University Halls demanding they pay his accommodation fees.

Sitting at the inquest, his father, Suleman said: ‘I had already given Haseen the money for his rent and he explained he had spent the money on socialising and clothes, which I later saw from his bank statement.

‘Haseen was upset, we gave him financial guidance and in January he went back to university.’

The assistant coroner concluded a verdict of suicide.

In a tribute, his rugby club wrote: ‘The club was very saddened to hear that Ealing Trailfinders Academy and, more recently, Ealing Trailfinders 1871 player, Haseen Hashim passed away on June 29. The club extends its deepest condolences to Haseen’s family.’

Friend John Ronane said: ‘The devastating loss of a talented young man and gifted young athlete, will leave a void in many lives.

‘Despite the vastness of the world-wide rugby family, even the loss of one player is significant and emphasises the importance the values of friendship and kindness that transcend the great game. Rest in Peace Haseen.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Villagers’ fury over controversial plans for new arts studio to host Oriental tea ceremonies

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villagers fury over controversial plans for new arts studio to host oriental tea ceremonies

Villagers are furious over controversial plans for a new studio to host Japanese tea ceremonies and sushi-making courses – which they claim is a ‘smokescreen’ to build a house on the site of an old barn. 

James Tran angrily denied locals’ claims he planned to move in to the proposed arts centre in South Green, near Stockbury, calling them ‘completely untrue’ because he had his own house in London.

Mr Tran has been in a battle with Maidstone council for nearly three years to get approval for the project, after neighbours have continuously claimed the plans are a sham.

James Tran angrily denied locals' claims he planned to move in to the proposed arts centre in South Green, near Stockbury (seen here in a drawing submitted to the council in 2017, which were rejected)

James Tran angrily denied locals’ claims he planned to move in to the proposed arts centre in South Green, near Stockbury (seen here in a drawing submitted to the council in 2017, which were rejected) 

In March 2019, he submitted a similar application for a tea house, which was denied on the grounds it could harm the character of the local area and cause damage to natural habitats. 

Mr Tran appealed to the Secretary of State, but this was also rejected.  

Now neighbours in South Green have united to block the latest attempt by filing a series of objections to the council.  

Local resident Chris Adam said: ‘During the last 12 months, I have observed the applicant and/or individuals known to the applicant, to be using the site in what appears to be a residential way, including staying overnight.

‘I am extremely concerned about the negative impact the proposed development will have on my privacy, especially as the site would be used for the intended purpose on a Saturday.’

Fellow South Green resident Chris Mansfield added: ‘The applicant is already effectively living most of the time at the property.

‘I believe this application is bogus, and is an attempt by the applicant to obtain a residential property by spurious means.’ 

Cllr Patrick Garten said he was made aware people were living at the property in the summer and a portable toilet was introduced to the property, as well as a barn with cooking facilities.

In a letter sent to the council he suggested putting a condition to suspend development rights if the claims are true and the application is approved.

Residents claim to have seen people living in the current building (which is pictured here)

Residents claim to have seen people living in the current building (which is pictured here) 

Another local, Dan Butterfill, argued the tea house would not fit in with the surrounding landscape. 

‘As before, it is the same desperate attempt to mislead in order to get planning permission for a dwelling rather than a ‘Tea House’,’ he wrote.

‘I feel that the ZEN of a city dweller Tea House is totally incompatible with the character of a farming area…’ 

However, Mr Tran has hit back at the claims, saying they are ‘completely untrue’.

‘I live in Greenwich so I’m rarely at the property,’ he said. ‘It’s been a nightmare trying to get this through the council as it’s the same people objecting each time.

‘I worked in Maidstone when I was younger as an apple picker and fell in love with the countryside and that was the inspiration for this place.

‘I want it to be a small arts centre for people to come in and do some painting, using our team room, take part in sushi classes and see how beautiful the countryside is.

‘It’s designed to be a place of tranquillity and we’ve even been hoping when it’s up and running to set up a class for disabled children in the borough to use it once a month.’ 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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From a 90-minute virus test to a ‘biotech’ mask: British tech firms turning the pandemic into profit

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from a 90 minute virus test to a biotech mask british tech firms turning the pandemic into profit

The pandemic has thrust technology to the forefront of our lives this year more than ever. 

We now rely on Zoom video calls to speak to our colleagues, we cannot live without apps that allow us to order our favourite meals to our doorstep, and track and trace technology follows our every move. 

Even antiquated QR code technology, first developed in 1994, has been revived and is now widely used to check into restaurants or access health information about the pandemic on your phone.  

But a new group of tech pioneers are now stepping to the foreground during the past year, and it is clear the pandemic has helped their bank balances to swell. 

Whether their development has been fuelled by neccesity, or they have adapted alredy established businesses and tech products to help in the fight against Covid, these are the CEOs that are leading the charge against this virus. 

From a 90-minute ‘lab-on-a-chip’ coronavirus test to a ‘biotech’ mask that renders pollutants and viruses harmless, this technology could be crucial to Britain’s ability to overcome the pandemic.  

The Telegraph have rounded up some of the top tech companies in their Tech Hot 100 list. 

It comes amid warnings that up to 100,000 people are currently catching Covid-19 every day in the UK, while Britain yesterday recorded 367 more Covid-19 victims in the highest daily death toll since the end of May.

For comparison, 241 deaths and 21,331 cases were recorded last Tuesday, according to Public Health England. 

U-Earth – Founder and CEO Elisabetta Maggio is worth an estimated £25 million 

Elisabetta Maggio, who is worth an estimated £25 million, runs U-Earth, a company that produces specialised air purifiers and now a mask that protects against covid

Elisabetta Maggio, who is worth an estimated £25 million, runs U-Earth, a company that produces specialised air purifiers and now a mask that protects against covid

Among the businesses that have likely seen their bank balances swell as a result of coronavirus is U-Earth. 

Founded by Italian entrepreneur Elisabetta Maggio, who is worth an estimated £25 million, the company produces specialised air purifiers and supplies companies such as Suzuki. 

These attract contaminants in the air into a ‘bio-reactor’ where a chemical process renders them harmless.

The £36 'biotech' masks work for up to 200 hours, and include an anti-proliferative agent, meaning that it prevents the growth and spread of viruses and bacteria on the mask

The £36 ‘biotech’ masks work for up to 200 hours, and include an anti-proliferative agent, meaning that it prevents the growth and spread of viruses and bacteria on the mask

During the pandemic, U-Earth launched an anti-Covid ‘biotech mask’. 

Made in Italy, the £36 masks have a five-layer filter that works for up to 200 hours. 

The filters are infused with a molecule – a polymeric mixture containing a natural active ingredient – which stops the growth of bacteria and microbes. 

This unique formula, designed with a team of Italian researchers, limits the risk of transmitting pathogens between humans.  

The masks not only block air contaminants but also destroys them inside the mask, as the material includes an anti-proliferative agent, meaning that it prevents the growth and spread of viruses and bacteria on the mask surface. 

The filters in the personal protection masks can be replaced whenever they stop filtering pollutants and contaminants. 

Money raised by customers purchasing the masks from U-Earth, which has offices in both Milan, Italy, and London, also helps fund ventilators in Italian hospitals hard-hit by the pandemic.  

DNANudge – Co-Founder and CEO Christofer Toumazou worth up to £18.7 million

British-born Greek Cypriot inventor Christofer Toumazou, 59, co-founded DNANudge which is producing a portable covid test that delivers results in 90 minutes

British-born Greek Cypriot inventor Christofer Toumazou, 59, co-founded DNANudge which is producing a portable covid test that delivers results in 90 minutes

The 90 minute test works by inserting the test swab into the shoe-box sized machine

The 90 minute test works by inserting the test swab into the shoe-box sized machine

Another product making waves in the industry is the 90-minute coronavirus test being developed by British-born Greek Cypriot inventor Christofer Toumazou, 59, who co-founded DNANudge.

The CEO, worth up to £18.7 million, has overseen the production of a portable covid test that packs the punch of a scientific lab on a small computer chip. 

The DnaNudge test does not require any medical expertise and can detect the virus from just a nostril sample – much less invasive than some throat swabs. 

Once a swab is taken, it’s inserted into a handheld reader that provides results within just 90 minutes. 

The machine has a sensitivity of over 98 per cent and specificity of 100 per cent. 

The cartridge test has been rolled out in urgent NHS patient care and surgeries  across the UK as part of large-scale clinical testing.  

Dr Gary Davies, medical director of Chelsea and Westminster, said that the test transformed how the hospital dealt with suspected coronavirus patients.

‘This test does work and is actually more sensitive than some of the lab tests,‘ said Dr Davies.

After successful trials on 500 patients in hospitals, the ‘lab in a cartridge’ device was approved for clinical use by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) at the end of April.

The technology is looking so promising that the UK Government has reportedly already placed a £161 million order for 5.8 million tests, which will be used as part of the drive to meet their testing targets.

It could soon be on sale to the public for £40. 

Last month Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to more than double testing capacity by the end of October.

He promised 500,000 tests a day, despite widespread backlogs in laboratories and Britons being asked to drive hundreds of miles to get a swab. 

Quantexa – CEO Vishal Marria is worth an estimated £49.5 million

Quantexa's model uses AI to predict financial crime 'before it happens' by studying consumer habits and behaviour. The company is run by Vishal Marria who is worth an estimated £49.5 million

Quantexa’s model uses AI to predict financial crime ‘before it happens’ by studying consumer habits and behaviour. The company is run by Vishal Marria who is worth an estimated £49.5 million

The track and trace system is another key area where technological advancements could aid in the development of a successful system that could supersede the one already in place. 

The current track and trace system has been plagued by problems since its launch, despite the World Health Organisation saying track and trace systems were key to halting the global spread of the virus.  

High level technology already exists, like that developed by Vishal Marria through his company Quantexa.

Their model uses AI to predict financial crime ‘before it happens’ by studying consumer habits and behaviour.

The technology is used by companies including HSBC, and Standard Chartered Bank, and was even used by the security services to track contacts of the London Bridge attackers in 2017. 

It raises questions over whether similar technology could be put to use in helping develop new track and trace systems.

Faculty – founded by Marc Warner and Angie Ma, worth around £25.2 million and £23.2 million respectively

Marc Warner is  worth around £25.2 million

Angie Ma is worth an estimated £23.2 million

Faculty was founded by Marc Warner (right) and Angie Ma (left) and the start-up has been hired by the government to monitor the impact of the pandemic using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data collection

The government is already using data to map the spread and affects of coronavirus. 

Start-up firms like Faculty, founded by Marc Warner and Angie Ma, are already being used by the Downing Street to monitor the impact of the pandemic using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data collection.  

This year the start-up, which formerly worked for government advisor Dominic Cummings at Vote Leave during the Brexit campaign, has been hired by multiple government departments.  

It researched the virus’s impact on UK GDP and provided live updates to officials in the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

It also collected and analysed the social media of UK citizens to determine how the pandemic was affecting them to provide insights for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in a £400,000 deal.

The collected data was then used to develop ‘interactive dashboards’ which were used to inform policymakers. 

Both contracts how the government’s need to urgently analyse real-time data to effectively monitor the effect of Covid. 

The company has also been working with US firm Palantir for the NHS during the pandemic to compile patient data in order to prepare hospitals for spikes in service demands as the virus spreads. 

Established in 2014, the start-up now employs 125 people.

Huma – Founder and CEO Danoosh Vahdat is worth an estimated £42.9 million

Founder and CEO of Huma, tech entrepreneurDanoosh Vahdat is worth an estimated £42.9 million and has a system that could inform how Covid patients are treated

Founder and CEO of Huma, tech entrepreneurDanoosh Vahdat is worth an estimated £42.9 million and has a system that could inform how Covid patients are treated

Technology and AI could also play a key part in helping to find a cure for the pandemic. 

Tech entrepreneur Danoosh Vahdat, worth an estimated £42.9 million, runs a product that could inform how Covid patients are treated. 

The programme by British healthcare technology company Huma gathers ‘biomarkers’ from patients and uses the data to improve treatment. 

It produces apps that integrate health data from existing hospital databases as well as patient wearables, like Fitbits, and other smartphones cameras and securely transmits it to doctors to use when deciding their course of treatment.

It can even work on wearable products like the Apple Watch.

The company has been expanding into the US as rising Covid-19 cases have led to a surge in its remote patient tracking technology. 

The data collected by Huma’s technology could inform how we treat Covid. 

In April 2020, the company, formerly known as Medopad rebranded as Huma after acquiring BioBeats and Tarilian Laser Technologies, both British healthtech companies. 

Huma’s focus shifted from remote monitoring of patients with rare and chronic diseases towards gathering biological data for use in preventative healthcare.

BenevolentAI – Founded and run by Ken Mulvaney, worth an estimated £376 million

BenevolentAI was founded by biotech expert Ken Mulvaney in 2013

BenevolentAI was founded by biotech expert Ken Mulvaney in 2013

London-based start-up, BenevolentAI, could also help source and develop drugs to combat the virus. 

Founded by biotech expert Ken Mulvaney in 2013, the company has already used its AI technology to identified Baricitinib, an existing drug, could act as a treatment for Covid-19 while scientists work develop a vaccine.

BenevolentAI uses artificial intelligence to mine and analyse biomedical information.

This data can be taken from a huge range of sources, including clinical trials data and academic papers. 

BenevolentAI uses the technology to assess the huge amounts of data and work out what is effective. 

For example it could identify molecules that have failed in clinical trials and predict how these same compounds can instead be more efficient targeting other diseases. 

The company can also use the predictive power of its AI algorithm to design new molecules, and so develop new drugs to treat conditions. 

The technology is being used to develop treatments for incurable diseases including motor neuron disease, Parkinson’s disease, glioblastoma and sarcopenia. 

The company is said to be worth more than £773 million and its coffers have grown during 2020. 

It remains ‘one of Britain’s most promising start-ups in the biotech sector,’ according to The Telegraph. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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