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Cafe boss providing free lunches for children is ‘in shock’ after thieves broke in to steal cash

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cafe boss providing free lunches for children is in shock after thieves broke in to steal cash

The owner of a cafe providing free lunches for children has revealed heartless thieves broke in and stole cash from the tip jar as well as food. 

Heidi Mather, 50, who runs The Hidden Bakery in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, said the offenders also stole cash from the till during the break-in on Tuesday.   

It comes as businesses across Nottinghamshire have been pledging their support to help feed families through the holidays by offering free lunches for children.

A campaign, launched by footballer Marcus Rashford, to continue the free school meals offering that was put in place during the summer was rejected during a vote by MPs.

But it has not stopped communities rallying to show their support by providing what they can to anyone who has fallen on hard times.

Heidi Mather (pictured), 50, who runs The Hidden Bakery in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, said the offenders also stole cash from the till during the break-in on Tuesday

Heidi Mather (pictured), 50, who runs The Hidden Bakery in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, said the offenders also stole cash from the till during the break-in on Tuesday

Ms Mather said: ‘I am just in shock really, it is hard enough right now mentally and emotionally.

‘I see every day how difficult it is for people, and now with Tier 3 just around the corner, it’s a shame something like this has happened.

‘But it has shown what kind of community we have here, because everyone has pulled together and the response to the break-in has been absolutely amazing.

‘Everything we had has already been replaced, we have actually got more than we had before.

‘I shed a tear earlier when some children offered a few pounds to go back into our tip jar.’

With the help of other Eastwood businesses, more packed lunches have been put together ready for anyone to pick up from the café in Nottingham Road.

It comes as businesses across Nottinghamshire have been pledging their support to help feed families through the holidays by offering free lunches for children

Pictured is rubbish left behind by the thieves

It comes as businesses across Nottinghamshire have been pledging their support to help feed families through the holidays by offering free lunches for children

Heidi added: ‘I have to say thank you to Hays Travel, Johnson’s Newsagents and the Tap and Growler pub for all their help.

‘We are due to reopen as normal tomorrow and the box with lunches will be outside in a waterproof box so you can just come and grab one – you don’t even have to come inside.

‘The burglary is not hugely important in the scheme of things, I feel quite lucky that they didn’t leave a mess – we have just had to re-sanitise everything to be safe.

‘We’ve just got to keep positive in these times.’ Carrie Derbyshire, landlady at the Tap and Growler said: ‘Around Eastwood and Hilltop there is a massive community of families and it has been a tough time for everyone.

‘The fact that someone could break in and take these donations is disgusting.

‘But I know Heidi will be undeterred and she’s wise enough to know this will have been done by small-minded people – it’s just a shame it could have been someone from within our community.

‘I sent over a few big boxes of crisps that I get for the pub.

‘We’re all really close-knit around here.’

A spokesman for Nottinghamshire Police said: ‘We are investigating a break-in at an address in Nottingham Road and would like to speak to anyone who may have seen or heard anything suspicious between 1.30pm on Sunday and 8.30am this morning (Tuesday).

‘If you have any information please call us on 101 quoting incident number 133 of 27 October.

‘You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Coronavirus vaccines are ‘game changers,’ says Karol Sikora

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coronavirus vaccines are game changers says karol sikora
Professor Karol Sikora, a consultant oncologist and Professor of Medicine at the University of Buckingham Medical School, hails new coronavirus vaccines [File photo]

Professor Karol Sikora, a consultant oncologist and Professor of Medicine at the University of Buckingham Medical School, hails new coronavirus vaccines [File photo]

Professor Karol Sikora, a consultant oncologist and Professor of Medicine at the University of Buckingham Medical School, hails new coronavirus vaccines [File photo]

As this extraordinary year enters its final weeks, the gloom is beginning to recede. Even in the darkness of winter, there is light at the end of the tunnel – and it is becoming brighter.

The start of this week has brought an array of good news which appears to herald the conquest of the coronavirus. Across the country, the number of new cases and hospital admissions are in decline. The national lockdown is being eased. Best of all, potent new vaccines are proving more effective than even the most optimistic expectations suggested.

In the fight against Covid, the words ‘game changer’ have been deployed too often, particularly by our Government which has made a habit of overpromising and underdelivering, as shown by the controversies over the testing regime and the supply of protective gear. But the term can certainly be used about the heroic recent development of vaccines.

In a remarkably short period of time, researchers are building a formidable pharmaceutical arsenal against the virus.

Earlier this month, the American giant Pfizer and German company BioNTech made the historic announcement that their pioneering vaccine had achieved a 95 per cent success rate in preliminary trials.

That breakthrough was soon followed by the US firm Moderna, which revealed last week that early tests of its new vaccine also indicate that it is effective in 95 per cent of cases. Both are now in production ready for swift distribution, subject to approval by the regulatory authorities.

Two US pharmaceutical giants have announced positive results in coronavirus vaccine trials, along with the UK's AstraZeneca in partnership with Oxford University

Two US pharmaceutical giants have announced positive results in coronavirus vaccine trials, along with the UK's AstraZeneca in partnership with Oxford University

Two US pharmaceutical giants have announced positive results in coronavirus vaccine trials, along with the UK’s AstraZeneca in partnership with Oxford University 

Now, closer to home, comes the uplifting news that the vaccine made by the British partnership of Oxford University and AstraZeneca looks certain to provide a vast additional store of anti-Covid ammunition.

The Prime Minister was right yesterday to hail the ‘incredibly exciting news’. Already, there are four million doses ready to go once approval is given, while the Government has pre-ordered 100 million jabs.

The Oxford vaccine may not be quite as effective as the Pfizer and Moderna ones, but it has two great advantages over them.

First, it is far cheaper to produce, with each jab costing about £3, compared with £15 for Pfizer’s and £25 for Moderna’s. Second, it will be far easier to store and distribute, because it can be kept at the temperature of a normal fridge, whereas the Pfizer vaccine must be kept at -70C (-94F).

The news of the vaccines, along with a decline in new cases and hospital admissions in the UK is a light at the end of the tunnel, Professor Sikora says. Pictured: A man is taken to Grange University Hospital in Wales [File photo]

The news of the vaccines, along with a decline in new cases and hospital admissions in the UK is a light at the end of the tunnel, Professor Sikora says. Pictured: A man is taken to Grange University Hospital in Wales [File photo]

The news of the vaccines, along with a decline in new cases and hospital admissions in the UK is a light at the end of the tunnel, Professor Sikora says. Pictured: A man is taken to Grange University Hospital in Wales [File photo]

That difference would be welcome enough for Britain’s roll-out programme, but it will be an even more crucial factor in the developing world, where refrigeration and transport facilities are limited.

There is no doubt that after the long, painful months of contagion and lockdown, our prospects are suddenly looking much more optimistic. The Covid cycle can be broken and the disease almost eradicated. These powerful vaccines will not only protect people but will also halt the transmission of the virus worldwide once the full immunisation programmes are under way. Already AstraZeneca has pledged to make three billion doses next year.

One thing I remain vehemently opposed to is any form of mandatory vaccinations, or making it impossible for life to function without one.

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock took over from Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement of a tiered system to replace lockdown in parliament on Monday

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock took over from Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement of a tiered system to replace lockdown in parliament on Monday

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock took over from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement of a tiered system to replace lockdown in parliament on Monday

It has to be a choice and looking at the polling, there should be no issues in getting the numbers required. Forcing people to take the vaccine would be morally unthinkable and cause huge resentment which would only force more problems than it solved.

The whole Covid landscape has been transformed. According to the Office of National Statistics, the incidence of coronavirus infections appears to ‘have levelled off’ in recent weeks.

Similarly, the number of hospital admissions for Covid has fallen significantly, easing the pressures on the NHS. That is particularly welcome because it means that the health service can resume its proper responsibility, by providing treatment for all patients.

The energies of the state should now be concentrated on the roll-out of the immunisation programme, not on the implementation of ever more exquisitely complex bureaucratic restrictions.

Yesterday, Boris Johnson announced that the second lockdown – whose value has never been proved, because the previous tier system was working as intended – would end on December 2, but would be replaced by a tough new system.

There are issues with it, but this is far, far better than a nationwide lockdown. The curfew pushed back, the self-isolation system reformed, a return of fans to sports grounds and more. Sense has prevailed on some issues, but the continued assault on our hospitality sector is unjustified.

With further tweaks, the tier system can carry us through until the vaccines can protect the vulnerable, while allowing some semblance of normality until then.

But the absolute priority for the Government should be to ensure that we now have a world-beating vaccine production and distribution system to match the British people’s desire to return to the ‘old normal’. And that is now within touching distance.

 

Professor Sikora is a consultant oncologist and Professor of Medicine at the University of Buckingham Medical School.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Romanian sex worker claimed =she had ‘f*** all’ to do with £25m Tamara Ecclestone gems raid 

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romanian sex worker claimed she had f all to do with 25m tamara ecclestone gems raid

A Romanian sex worker accused of involvement in the £25million gems raid at Tamara Ecclestone’s mansion told police: ‘I have f*** all to do with it.’

Maria Mester, 47, is accused of being one of the ‘support team’ for the burglars who had travelled from Italy to break into the celebrities’ homes last December.

She and her barman son Emile-Bogdan Savastru, 30, were filmed on CCTV with the alleged raiders in the days before and after the Ecclestone raid at the F1 heiress’ £70million mansion near Hyde Park.

Isleworth Crown Court has heard that she was arrested at Stansted Airport wearing a pair of stolen earrings on January 31.

She also posted a photograph of herself wearing one of the stolen necklaces on Facebook, jurors have heard.

Savastru was caught in possession of a Tag Heuer watch and Louis Vuitton bag, similar to one taken in the raid, and was planning to board a flight to Japan, it is claimed.

Mester and Savastru, along with security worker Sorin Marcovici, 53, and Alexandru Stan, 49, all deny involvement in the raids.

36048654 8981907 image m 34 1606227770967

36048654 8981907 image m 34 1606227770967

Maria Mester, 47, is accused of being one of the ‘support team’ for the burglars who had travelled from Italy to break into the celebrities’ homes last December. Pictured, Mester wearing a rainbow coloured gold necklace allegedly stolen from Tamara Ecclestone

Burglars stole jewellery from Tamara Ecclestone, pictured with husband Jay Rutland

Burglars stole jewellery from Tamara Ecclestone, pictured with husband Jay Rutland

Burglars stole jewellery from Tamara Ecclestone, pictured with husband Jay Rutland

In a police interview Mester asked if a detective was out of his mind when told her son was captured on CCTV with the alleged burglars.

In the transcript read to the court, DC Glen Peach said: ‘They shake hands, 18 to 50 million pounds worth of jewellery was stolen.

‘They then go back to TLK apartments, they then move to (15) Furness Road, Fulham.

‘Can you tell me why you are on CCTV talking to the man who goes on to burgle £50m in jewellery and then later you’re on the same plane back to Italy?’

She answered ‘no comment’.

Asked why she was wearing £66,000 earrings stolen from Ms Ecclestone’s address she said ‘I don’t have them from London’. 

The heist at Ms Ecclestone's house (above) took place on 'Billionaire's Row' in Kensington

The heist at Ms Ecclestone's house (above) took place on 'Billionaire's Row' in Kensington

The heist at Ms Ecclestone’s house (above) took place on ‘Billionaire’s Row’ in Kensington

Mester and her son Emile-Bogdan Savastru, 30, were filmed on CCTV with the alleged raiders in the days before and after the Ecclestone raid at her £70million mansion near Hyde Park

Mester and her son Emile-Bogdan Savastru, 30, were filmed on CCTV with the alleged raiders in the days before and after the Ecclestone raid at her £70million mansion near Hyde Park

Mester and her son Emile-Bogdan Savastru, 30, were filmed on CCTV with the alleged raiders in the days before and after the Ecclestone raid at her £70million mansion near Hyde Park 

‘If I had stolen £50m, would I have come back to England?’ she added.

‘Yes, to facilitate with the selling of it,’ said DC Peach.

Mester said: ‘I know what you want, I have nothing to do with it, I know you want the big people, I have nothing to do with it.’

She added: ‘I have f*** all to do with it.’

She offered no comment to questions about buying luxury goods in Harrods between December 17 and 19, including £1,099 on Louis Vuitton items and £810 on Hermes.

Mester was shown CCTV images allegedly showing her being helped by one of the alleged burglars with her Oyster card at St Mary’s Cray station, near their rented apartment base in Orpington, Kent.

‘I do travel in London with the train,’ she said.

She then tried to grab the photos from another interviewing officer. She added: ‘It doesn’t mean they’re with me. Anything is possible.’ 

DC Peach said: ‘On the 13th of December a burglary happened, since then I think my team have had one day off, we have been collating evidence.’ 

Mester denies conspiracy to commit burglary and concealing criminal property

Mester denies conspiracy to commit burglary and concealing criminal property

Mester denies conspiracy to commit burglary and concealing criminal property

She concluded the interview by complimenting DC Peach on his blue eyes and asking for another cigarette.

Three days earlier the thieves had made off with jewellery worth Euro 600,000 and Euro 400,000 in cash, from the Knightsbridge home of late Leicester City chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha after smashing one of his safes with hammers, the court has heard.

The burglars had made off with £60,000 worth of valuables from the Chelsea home Frank Lampard shares with television presenter Christine Lampard on December 1.

Mester is said to have been ‘inseparable’ from the alleged burglars and Marcovici assisted by driving them to Mr Srivaddhanaprabha’s property.

Mester, of no fixed address, denies three counts of conspiracy to commit burglary and concealing criminal property.

Savastru, of Bethnal Green, denies two counts of conspiracy to burgle and attempting to remove criminal property.

Marcovici, of Romford, and Stan, of Harrow, deny conspiracy to burgle.

The trial continues.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Priti Patel vows to reform asylum law tackling deportation delays

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priti patel vows to reform asylum law tackling deportation delays

Priti Patel vowed to implement ‘fundamental reform’ of Britain’s asylum system yesterday amid mounting concern about the Channel migrants crisis. 

The Home Secretary pledged to shake up refugee laws to make it easier to expel migrants who do not have a legitimate right to stay in the UK.

Among her new commitments was a promise to tackle ‘litigious’ human rights claimants who seek to delay their deportation from Britain after their cases are refused.

Priti Patel vowed to implement ‘fundamental reform’ of Britain’s asylum system after mounting concern about the Channel migrants crisis

Priti Patel vowed to implement ‘fundamental reform’ of Britain’s asylum system after mounting concern about the Channel migrants crisis

Priti Patel vowed to implement ‘fundamental reform’ of Britain’s asylum system after mounting concern about the Channel migrants crisis

A wide-ranging package of measures due to be published early next year will also make it more difficult for foreign criminals to avoid deportation by lodging an asylum claim, the Mail has learned.

The law will be changed to force immigration judges to place more weight on the harm caused by serious criminals, making it more likely appeals will be rejected.

Miss Patel’s pledge for wide-ranging action came after her enemies anonymously claimed at the weekend that a failure to address the Channel crisis had left her vulnerable in a potential Cabinet reshuffle.

The Home Secretary told the Mail: ‘We need to bring in some fundamental change to our entire asylum policy in terms of some of the ways in which we deal with cases, but also the way in which people can come and claim asylum in our country.

Miss Patel insisted there was a huge amount of work being done to reduce the number of small migrant boats crossing from northern France

Miss Patel insisted there was a huge amount of work being done to reduce the number of small migrant boats crossing from northern France

Miss Patel insisted there was a huge amount of work being done to reduce the number of small migrant boats crossing from northern France

‘It’s right that we give refuge to people who’ve been persecuted. At the same time we have to deal with many of the other litigious cases that come forward… It’s all linked – the asylum system and illegal migration.’

Miss Patel insisted there was a huge amount of work being done to reduce the number of small migrant boats crossing from northern France. More than 8,500 migrants have crossed so far this year, up from 1,850 last year – but no deal has been reached with France.

It is understood a Bill, to be introduced early in the New Year, will force judges to place more weight on asylum seekers’ criminal records.

Currently, serious criminals including killers and rapists trump deportation orders in the courts by claiming their human rights will be infringed if they are sent back to their home countries.

In May the Mail revealed Miss Patel is also planning to tighten the appeals system for non-criminal claimants.

They will have to lodge all their arguments at the beginning of a case so they cannot make a series of legal claims to delay deportation.

Boris: There is no place for bullying 

Boris Johnson has warned ministers and top civil servants there is ‘no place for bullying’ in Government after a report found Home Secretary Priti Patel shouted and swore at staff.

The Prime Minister wrote to senior figures reminding them to remain ‘respectful’ – but said they should also be able to ‘speak freely and honestly’.

Boris Johnson has warned ministers and top civil servants there is ‘no place for bullying’ in Government

Boris Johnson has warned ministers and top civil servants there is ‘no place for bullying’ in Government

Boris Johnson has warned ministers and top civil servants there is ‘no place for bullying’ in Government

In the letter, signed jointly with Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, Mr Johnson said that ‘mutual trust and respect between politicians and their officials are paramount’.

Last week a report by civil service mandarin Sir Alex Allan found Miss Patel shouted and swore at officials in her department – ‘behaviour that can be described as bullying’.

Sir Alex said she breached the ministerial code – but Mr Johnson overruled his conclusion.

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This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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