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Dame Jenni Murray quits Woman’s Hour after 33 years

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dame jenni murray quits womans hour after 33 years

Dame Jenni Murray is leaving BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour – having been the longest-serving presenter in the show’s 74-year history.

The 70-year-old broadcaster will step down from the role at the start of October after becoming a regular host of the programme in 1987.

In a statement released last night, Dame Jenni said: ‘I’ve spent nearly half my life with Woman’s Hour and it’s been a privilege and delight to inform, educate and entertain a loyal and growing audience of women and men. Saying goodbye will be very hard to do, but it’s time to move on.’

Dame Jenni Murray (pictured) is leaving BBC Radio 4¿s Woman¿s Hour ¿ having been the longest-serving presenter in the show¿s 74-year history

Dame Jenni Murray (pictured) is leaving BBC Radio 4¿s Woman¿s Hour ¿ having been the longest-serving presenter in the show¿s 74-year history

Dame Jenni Murray (pictured) is leaving BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour – having been the longest-serving presenter in the show’s 74-year history

During her 33 years on Woman¿s Hour, Dame Jenni has interviewed a host of famous women including Margaret Thatcher (pictured)

During her 33 years on Woman¿s Hour, Dame Jenni has interviewed a host of famous women including Margaret Thatcher (pictured)

During her 33 years on Woman’s Hour, Dame Jenni has interviewed a host of famous women including Margaret Thatcher (pictured)

During her 33 years on Woman’s Hour, Dame Jenni has interviewed a host of famous women including Margaret Thatcher, Hillary Clinton, Bette Davis, Benazir Bhutto, Dame Judi Dench, Monica Lewinsky and Joan Baez.

According to sources, her departure is her own decision as she wanted the ‘freedom to do loads of other things’.

Dame Jenni is understood to want to do more writing work as well as new television and radio projects. She has published a number of books, most recently taking an honest look at her weight issues.

The BBC said she was ‘moving onto a new stage in her long and distinguished broadcasting career’.

The 70-year-old broadcaster will step down from the role at the start of October after becoming a regular host of the programme in 1987. During her time there, she interviewed Nicole Kidman

The 70-year-old broadcaster will step down from the role at the start of October after becoming a regular host of the programme in 1987. During her time there, she interviewed Nicole Kidman

 The 70-year-old broadcaster will step down from the role at the start of October after becoming a regular host of the programme in 1987. During her time there, she interviewed Nicole Kidman

Jenni Murray was made a Dame Commander by the Queen during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in 2011

Jenni Murray was made a Dame Commander by the Queen during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in 2011

Jenni Murray was made a Dame Commander by the Queen during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in 2011

Her exit comes after ex-Radio 4 Midweek host Libby Purves warned earlier this year that the station faces an existential threat after losing a number of its most respected voices. She said some listeners would think ‘protective sandbags should urgently be thrown’ around Jenni Murray and Jim Naughtie to ‘prevent further erosion’.

Director-general Tony Hall said: ‘Jenni Murray is a remarkable broadcaster and few have matched her outstanding contribution to the BBC and our audience.’ The BBC has yet to name her replacement but there will be speculation over whether it will appoint a different type of presenter aimed at attracting a younger audience.

Dame Jenni came under fire in 2017 after an article she wrote for The Sunday Times was headlined: ‘Be trans, be proud – but don’t call yourself a “real woman”.’ The piece was criticised by charity Stonewall.

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UK hospitals record another 12 coronavirus deaths with no fatalities in Scotland and Wales

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uk hospitals record another 12 coronavirus deaths with no fatalities in scotland and wales

UK hospitals recorded another 12 coronavirus deaths, amid warnings from the Health Secretary the country is at a ‘tipping point. 

Health authorities today said there had been 12 fatalities in England, but none in Scotland or Wales. The figures for Northern Ireland have not yet been released. 

The victims were aged between 62 and 98, and all had known health conditions, NHS England said. 

The dates of the deaths were between April 30 and September 19, with the majority on or after September 18. Three other deaths were reported with no positive Covid-19 test result. 

It comes as Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned Britain is at a ‘tipping point’ as he refused to rule out a second national coronavirus lockdown if the public fails to follow social distancing rules.

Pictured: staff at a Coronavirus testing centre in Leicester today. Health authorities today said there had been 12 fatalities in England, but none in Scotland or Wales. The figures for Northern Ireland have not yet been released

Pictured: staff at a Coronavirus testing centre in Leicester today. Health authorities today said there had been 12 fatalities in England, but none in Scotland or Wales. The figures for Northern Ireland have not yet been released

With cases rising across the country, Mr Hancock said there was a danger the numbers could ‘shoot through the roof’ unless effective action was taken to halt the spread of the virus.

His warning came as the Government announced anyone in England who refuses an order to self-isolate could face a fine of up to £10,000.

The Health Secretary said that hospital admissions for the disease were doubling ‘every eight days’ and would be followed by an increase in the number of deaths.

‘This country faces a tipping point,’ he told BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show.

‘If everybody follows the rules – and we will be increasingly stringent on the people who are not following the rules – then we can avoid further national lockdowns.

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‘But we of course have to be prepared to take action if that’s what’s necessary.’

During a round of broadcast interviews, Mr Hancock said the Government had taken the decision to impose a legal duty on people to self-isolate if instructed as the data showed some were failing to do so.

At the same time ministers have said people on benefits in England will be eligible for a one off support payment of £500 if they face a loss of earnings as a result of being required to self-isolate.

Mr Hancock told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme: ‘We will support people who do the right thing and we will come down hard on people who do the wrong thing.’

Boris Johnson has been desperate to avoid another nationwide lockdown amid concerns about the economic damage it will inflict just as activity was beginning to pick up again.

Large groups of walkers enjoy the warm sunshine as Police patrol Hyde Park in London on the first weekend of the Rule of Six being in place

Large groups of walkers enjoy the warm sunshine as Police patrol Hyde Park in London on the first weekend of the Rule of Six being in place

However, as of Tuesday, around 13.5 million people across the UK will be facing some form of local restrictions as the authorities grapple with the disease.

Second wave of Covid cases in Europe is not causing deaths to spike compared with the peak in spring 

A second wave of coronavirus cases in Europe is not causing deaths to spike.

Although cases in Spain have soared to almost 15,000 a day – leading to a new lockdown in parts of Madrid – the number of deaths remains relatively low compared with the peak in spring. 

There were 240 deaths in Spain on Thursday – much lower than the 929 daily deaths reached in late March when there were a recorded 9,000 cases a day.

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In France, another 13,498 cases were reported yesterday. But the latest 24-hour death toll – 154 on Friday – is much lower than in mid-April when there were 1,400 deaths but 5,500 confirmed cases.

The difference may be explained by an increase in testing in the countries in recent months, but could also be a sign that the virus is mainly infecting younger, healthier people who survive the illness.

Sweden, which did not impose a lockdown, continues to have a significantly lower rate of cases and deaths from Covid-19. 

On Tuesday, Sweden had its lowest number of new cases since March. In April, Covid deaths in a single day in Sweden peaked at 115. Now, some days, that figure is zero.

Reported infections have been climbing steadily across most of Europe over the past two months, with more than half of countries seeing an increase of over ten per cent in the past two weeks.

 

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London Mayor Sadiq Khan is now pressing ministers to extend the controls to the capital, which he believes may be just ‘two or three days’ behind the hotspots of the North West and North East of England.

Mr Hancock said he was ‘very worried’ about the latest data which suggested Britain could be on the same path as Spain and France – where deaths and hospitalisations are increasing – without effective action.

‘I am very worried about this second wave. We have seen in other countries around Europe how it can absolutely shoot through the roof,’ he said.

‘When the case rate shoots up, the next thing that happens is the numbers going into hospital shoot up.

‘Sadly, we have seen that rise, it is doubling every eight days or so – people going into hospital – then, with a lag, you see the number of people dying sadly rise.’

Among the measures being considered by ministers is a temporary two-week ‘circuit break’ with tighter restrictions across England in an attempt to break the chain of transmission.

However, the Government is facing resistance from some senior Conservative MPs concerned that ministers are taking increasingly stringent powers with little or no parliamentary scrutiny.

Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the powerful Tory backbench 1922 Committee, said he intends to table an amendment which would require the Government to put any new measures to a vote of MPs.

He told The Sunday Telegraph that he would take the opportunity to seek to amend the legislation when the Government comes to renew the emergency powers in the Coronavirus Act 2020.

‘In March, Parliament gave the Government sweeping emergency powers at a time when Parliament was about to go into recess and there was realistic concern that NHS care capacity might be overwhelmed by Covid-19,’ he told the paper.

‘We now know that the NHS coped well with the challenge of the virus and Parliament has been sitting largely since April. There is now no justification for ministers ruling by emergency powers without reference to normal democratic processes.’

Under the latest rules, from September 28 people in England will have a duty to self isolate for 14 days if they test positive for coronavirus or they are instructed to do by NHS Test and Trace because they have been in contact with someone with the disease.

Sir Keir Starmer said Labour would support the measures but warned that a second national lockdown was becoming more likely because the Test and Trace programme was in a state of ‘near collapse’.

‘Because the Government’s now effectively lost control of testing, it doesn’t necessarily know where the virus is. So if I was the prime minister, I would apologise for the fact that testing is all over the place,’ he told the Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme.

Mr Hancock, however, said he was not prepared to apologise, saying: ‘I will endlessly defend my team. They are doing amazing work day-in-day-out.’

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British expats in Europe ‘will be stripped of UK bank accounts in weeks’ after post Brexit rules

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british expats in europe will be stripped of uk bank accounts in weeks after post brexit rules

Tens of thousands of British expats who live in Europe risk having their UK bank accounts closed ‘in weeks’ due to post-Brexit rules.

Lloyds, Barclays and Coutts are among a number of UK banks that have starting giving notice to expatriate customers to say they will close their accounts at 11pm on December 31. 

The end of the withdrawal agreement makes it a ‘bureaucratic nightmare’ for UK banks to provide for British customers in the EU post-Brexit, with many simply choosing to pull their services.  

Lloyds Bank confirmed it will be withdrawing services from Holland, Slovakia, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Portugal - a move that will affect 13,000 British customers [File image]

Lloyds Bank confirmed it will be withdrawing services from Holland, Slovakia, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Portugal – a move that will affect 13,000 British customers [File image]

Banks are making their own decisions as to which EU countries to pull out of and which to continue operating in. 

Lloyds Bank confirmed to The Sunday Times that it will be withdrawing services from Holland, Slovakia, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Portugal – in a move that will affect 13,000 British customers. 

The bank, which is Britain’s biggest banking group, started writing to its customers living in these countries since August, telling them that their UK bank accounts would be shut on December 31.

Barclays also confirmed that its banking and credit-card customers living in the EU had started receiving letters.

One Barclays customer, who lives in Brittany, confirmed to the Sunday Times that she had received a letter saying her Barclaycard will be terminated on November 16, despite being a customer for more than 40 years. 

Other Barclays customers living in Spain, France and Belgium have also confirmed that they received notice their Barclaycards will be cancelled. 

Another expat said that in order to keep their British accounts, a number of their friends who also live abroad were giving addresses of family members in the UK.

Barclays confirmed that its banking and credit-card customers living in the EU have started receiving letters, giving them notice that their UK bank accounts will be shut [File image]

Barclays confirmed that its banking and credit-card customers living in the EU have started receiving letters, giving them notice that their UK bank accounts will be shut [File image]

Upon the completion of Brexit and the UK’s departure from the EU, it will become illegal for UK banks to provide for British customers living the EU without applying for new banking licences. 

The government has failed to negotiate post-Brexit banking rules and so pan-European banking rules, known as passporting, will no longer apply to these customers. 

Rather than negotiate the specific banking rules of 27 member states, which has been described as a ‘bureaucratic nightmare’, some banks are closing their customer’s accounts.  

In a statement, the Treasury said: ‘We expect banks to treat their customers fairly and provide timely communications to enable them to make appropriate decisions.’ 

‘However, the provision of banking services is a commercial decision for firms based on a variety of factors, including the local law and regulation of specific EEA countries.’

Two other major UK banks, NatWest and Santander have said that so far, they had no plans to close customer’s accounts but are ‘considering their options’.    

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Couple who won Alaskan lodge on BBC show Win The Wilderness see their dream turn into a nightmare

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couple who won alaskan lodge on bbc show win the wilderness see their dream turn into a nightmare

A couple who won a remote lodge in Alaska after taking part in BBC show Win the Wilderness have seen their dream turn into a nightmare after the home’s former owner refused to give it up. 

Emily Padfield, 37, and her partner Mark Warner, 53, from Warwickshire, competed against five other couples to win the three-storey property on the reality show, which aired in January. 

To win the home, named Ose Mountain after previous owner Duane Ose, contestants had to do things including jumping into icy water and find and cook their own food whilst surviving in the wilderness.

The solar-powered ‘off-grid’ home, which was built from 2,000 spruce trees and is still unfinished, is 100 miles from the nearest road, has no running water and is an area populated by both wolves and bears.  

But since signing the deeds to the property in June last year, the couple were told by Duane, 78, that he wanted it back. 

Emily Padfield, 37, and her partner Mark Warner, 53, from Warwickshire, won a remote lodge in the Alaskan wilderness after featuring on BBC show Win The Wilderness. But despite being the legal owners, former owner Duane Ose, 78, now claims to want it back

Emily Padfield, 37, and her partner Mark Warner, 53, from Warwickshire, won a remote lodge in the Alaskan wilderness after featuring on BBC show Win The Wilderness. But despite being the legal owners, former owner Duane Ose, 78, now claims to want it back

Duane had previously lived there with his wife Rena, 76, who died in May after a heart operation, before retiring to Minnesota. 

After their victory on the show, Mark and Emily had spent a month living with Duane and his wife and then returned to the UK. 

But because of the coronavirus pandemic, they have been unable to return to Alaska to lay physical claim to the property, which legally belongs to them.  

Shortly after Rena’s death, Duane became romantically involved with a woman called Ellie-Mae Blair, who he is pictured with on Facebook and claims to have married.  

The couple competed against five other couples to win the property on the reality show, which aired in January. Pictured: Duane with his wife Rena, who died in May

The couple competed against five other couples to win the property on the reality show, which aired in January. Pictured: Duane with his wife Rena, who died in May

Mark and Emily suspect that the woman may have influenced him and said he became ‘distant’. 

He has since lashed out at the couple on his Facebook page in a deluge of vitriolic posts. 

‘We’d been talking to him throughout lockdown, planning to go to Ose Mountain with him to scatter Rena’s ashes, but suddenly he was distant,’ Emily told The Times

Mark added: ‘I said, ‘Duane, are you dissatisfied with us?’ I said, “Is Ellie-Mae talking to you about us? You really should take the time to meet her in person.” 

The solar-powered 'off-grid' home, which was built from 2,000 spruce trees and is still unfinished, is 100 miles from the nearest road, has no running water and is an area populated by both wolves and bears

The solar-powered ‘off-grid’ home, which was built from 2,000 spruce trees and is still unfinished, is 100 miles from the nearest road, has no running water and is an area populated by both wolves and bears

‘And that was the end of him communicating directly to us.’

Mark said that Duane now claims to want to return to the homestead, which can only be reached by plane.

He has also allegedly ignored emails and calls from Mark and Emily. 

On his Facebook page, he has written, ‘Re Claiming My Legacy, My Home from faux foreigners who do Not Care for my Wishes [sic]’. 

Shortly after Rena's death, Duane became romantically involved with a woman called Ellie-Mae Blair, who he is pictured with on Facebook and claims to have married

Shortly after Rena’s death, Duane became romantically involved with a woman called Ellie-Mae Blair, who he is pictured with on Facebook and claims to have married

In one post, he claimed Mark and Emily had ‘incited five weeks of aggressive harassment of an elderly man and a sweet caring woman who has helped me more than any one fb friend ever has.’ 

Emily said she and Duane had previously had a ‘really great’ relationship, explaining it had been ‘frustrating’ that they’re only able to communicate with Duane via social media and are convinced that Blair is behind the aggressive Facebook posts. 

Mark said the posts contain words they had never seen Duane use and he could imagine Blair ‘banging her fingers through the keyboard.’ 

The couple believe that Duane never wanted to leave the property, which he built after 35 years ago after a trek through the wilderness. 

The home is deep in the Alaskan wilderness and is only accessible by air

The home is deep in the Alaskan wilderness and is only accessible by air

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