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Learners can take driving tests again from 22 July

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learners can take driving tests again from 22 july

Learners will be allowed to take their driving tests again this week after four months of them being suspended.

Practical tests will restart in England from Wednesday 22 July, though only candidates who have had their already-booked exams put on hold will get the chance to sit their exam this week.

Driving tests for non-critical workers have been cancelled since 20 March, meaning some half a million budding motorists have been chomping at the bit to get their hands on their full licences.

Back on the road: Driving tests will resume on Wednesday after a fourth-month lay-off as part of a suspension during the coronavirus pandemic

Back on the road: Driving tests will resume on Wednesday after a fourth-month lay-off as part of a suspension during the coronavirus pandemic

Back on the road: Driving tests will resume on Wednesday after a fourth-month lay-off as part of a suspension during the coronavirus pandemic

On average, some 4,000 learners were sitting driving tests every day in the UK before the nation went into lockdown, meaning a huge backlog of people waiting to get their hands on a licence.

With there being 124 days between practical tests being halted and them restarting, an estimated 496,000 learners are raring to sit their exams.

Driving theory tests in England were also suspended on 19 March as part of the wider efforts to restrain the spread of Covid-19, though restarted again on 4 July as part of the easing lockdown measures.

Theory tests will resume in Scotland from Wednesday, though the date for practical tests to restart north of the border won’t be confirmed until an announcement on 30 July. 

In Wales, theory tests restart on 3 August and car driving tests will resume from 17 August. 

Across the country, tests have still be going ahead as scheduled for those deemed to be critical workers and have in recent months become more reliant on using a car to commute with the public being urged to avoid public transport if at all possible. 

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With all learners in England set to be allowed to sit their tests again from Wednesday, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency has urged them to speak to their instructor to make sure they are still well prepared and up to test standard before rebooking their driving test. 

Driving lessons in England were given the green light on 4 July, suggesting many learners have already taken refresher sessions ahead of the test restart on Wednesday. 

DVSA chief driving Examiner Mark Winn said: ‘I know many learners are keen to take their driving test but it is vital they have the right skills and knowledge to help them through a lifetime of safe driving before attempting it.

‘Anyone who is rebooking or taking a test should make sure they’ve had enough practice with a professional driving instructor and are ready.

‘Learners should practice driving on a variety of roads and in different driving conditions so they are well prepared for driving independently.’ 

With there being 124 days between practical tests being halted and them restarting, an estimated 496,000 learners are raring to sit their exams

With there being 124 days between practical tests being halted and them restarting, an estimated 496,000 learners are raring to sit their exams

With there being 124 days between practical tests being halted and them restarting, an estimated 496,000 learners are raring to sit their exams

Theory tests will resume in Scotland from Wednesday, though the date for practical tests to restart north of the border won't be confirmed until an announcement on July 30. In Wales, theory tests restart on 3 August and car driving tests will resume from 17 August

Theory tests will resume in Scotland from Wednesday, though the date for practical tests to restart north of the border won't be confirmed until an announcement on July 30. In Wales, theory tests restart on 3 August and car driving tests will resume from 17 August

Theory tests will resume in Scotland from Wednesday, though the date for practical tests to restart north of the border won’t be confirmed until an announcement on July 30. In Wales, theory tests restart on 3 August and car driving tests will resume from 17 August

Those learners whose tests were cancelled due to the pandemic are being invited to rebook a test first. 

Average crashes for motorists depending on how many attempts to pass a driving test 

Pass at first time: 1.6 accidents 

Pass at second attempt: 1.7 accidents

Pass at third attempt: 1.9 accidents

Pass at fourth attempt: 2.8 accidents

Pass at fifth attempt: 5.0 accidents

Pass at sixth attempt: 6.6 accidents

Source: MoneySuperMarket

Once this has been completed and we have tested critical workers DVSA will open the booking service to the general public.

Safety measures have been put in place to protect learners and examiners from Covid-19 and DVSA has published information and guidelines so candidates know what to expect.

Analysis of accident rates over a motorist’s lifetime against the number of times a driving test has been taken suggests that those that pass with the fewer attempts have fewer crashes on average. 

The report found that drivers who pass their test on the first attempt, on average, have 1.6 prangs in their lifetime while those who take six attempts to get their licence average 6.6 shunts in their driving career.

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Fur sales will be BANNED in Britain once the country leaves the EU

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fur sales will be banned in britain once the country leaves the eu

Fur sales will be banned after Britain leaves the EU’s single market and customs union in December under proposals being drawn up by ministers.

Lord Goldsmith, the Government’s animal welfare minister and a close friend and political ally of Boris Johnson and his fiancee Carrie Symonds, is understood to be spearheading the move.

The Government is considering plans to prohibit the import of wild animal fur into the UK that would essentially forbid the sale of clothes containing fur in shops after the transition period.

The change would affect imports of nearly £200million of fur and fur-based products every year, many of which come from mainland Europe.

Defra — the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs — is expected to publish a consultation paper after the transition period ends this year.

Leaked Defra documents seen by The Daily Telegraph showed Lord Goldsmith met with the executive director of anti-fur organisation, Humane Society International, on May 12 in which he asked if there were any particular areas, in relation to the fur trade, that the Government should research.

Lord Goldsmith, the Government’s animal welfare minister and a close friend and political ally of Boris Johnson and his fiancee Carrie Symonds, is understood to be spearheading the move

Lord Goldsmith, the Government’s animal welfare minister and a close friend and political ally of Boris Johnson and his fiancee Carrie Symonds, is understood to be spearheading the move

Ms Symonds has called people who wanted to buy fur ‘sick’. She has also campaigned against whaling, and reportedly swayed Mr Johnson in his decision to axe a proposed badger cull

Ms Symonds has called people who wanted to buy fur ‘sick’. She has also campaigned against whaling, and reportedly swayed Mr Johnson in his decision to axe a proposed badger cull

The peer called the fur trade ‘one of the grimmest of human activities’ in 2018 and said the Government is ‘very keen’ to take action against it post-Brexit.

‘We have some of the highest welfare standards in the world,’ Lord Goldsmith told The Mirror last year. ‘Fur farming has rightly been banned in this country for nearly 20 years and at the end of the transition period we will be able to properly consider steps to raise our standards still further.’

The Defra minister has also argued that Brexit meant that ‘whatever barriers may have prevented us from raising standards on imports at the point of entry will have gone’.

‘We will be free to decide whether we want to continue to import the proceeds of one of the grimmest of human activities,’ he previously said.

Last year, Ms Symonds blasted people who wanted to buy fur as ‘sick’. She has also campaigned against whaling, and reportedly swayed Mr Johnson in his decision to axe a proposed badger cull in Derbyshire.

Fur farming was banned in 2003 but the UK still allows the product to be imported from overseas and France is one of the biggest suppliers.

Ministers believe a move to ban fur would buy hugely popular, with opinion polls indicating that around 80 per cent of Britons think the trade is unacceptable (pictured, protesters stand in front of British Fashion Council show space during London Fashion Week)

Ministers believe a move to ban fur would buy hugely popular, with opinion polls indicating that around 80 per cent of Britons think the trade is unacceptable (pictured, protesters stand in front of British Fashion Council show space during London Fashion Week)

Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, fur could still be imported into Northern Ireland.

Ministers believe a move to ban fur would buy hugely popular, with opinion polls indicating that around 80 per cent of Britons think the trade is unacceptable.

However, the British Fur Trade Association, which represents importers and sellers, has said it will lobby against the ‘irrational, illiberal and misjudged’ proposed ban.

In a report available on its website, the group said: ‘Sales of natural fur in the UK have increased in recent years and are popular among younger age groups, as environmentally conscious consumers increasingly reject the mass-produced non-renewables epitomised by the fast fashion crisis and search out long lasting, sustainable natural materials.

‘Yet, animal rights groups are now actively and vocally lobbying the British Government for fur sales to be banned in the UK using selective data, arguments and anecdotal evidence.

‘Such shrill voices, of course, do not represent the ‘silent majority’ who do not support such a ban; opinions that should not be ‘cancelled’ but recognised and respected.

‘Those that shout the loudest seldom have the support of the majority or their moral backing.

‘Although they would never admit it, such groups would achieve their aims far better by working with the organised fur sector to drive up standards as cooperative models in other sectors have shown.’ 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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The Simpsons bring on black actor Alex Desert to voice Carl Carlson replacing Hank Azaria

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the simpsons bring on black actor alex desert to voice carl carlson replacing hank azaria

Producers on Fox’s long-running animated series The Simpsons announced in June that they will no longer have white actors voicing black characters, though today it’s been revealed who will voice one of the show’s longest-running black characters.

Alex Desert (Swingers, High Fidelity) has come aboard to voice Carl Carlson, one of Homer Simpson’s longtime co-workers at the Springfield Power Plant.

While Harry Shearer voiced Carl in his very first appearance in the Season 1 episode Homer’s Night Out, Hank Azaria, a white voice actor like Shearer, has voiced Carl ever since.

Carl voice: Producers on Fox's long-running animated series The Simpsons announced in June that they will no longer have white actors voicing black characters, though today it's been revealed who will voice one of the show's longest-running Black characters

Carl voice: Producers on Fox’s long-running animated series The Simpsons announced in June that they will no longer have white actors voicing black characters, though today it’s been revealed who will voice one of the show’s longest-running Black characters

Voice actor: Alex Desert (Swingers, High Fidelity) has come aboard to voice Carl Carlson, one of Homer Simpson's longtime co-workers at the Springfield Power Plant

Voice actor: Alex Desert (Swingers, High Fidelity) has come aboard to voice Carl Carlson, one of Homer Simpson’s longtime co-workers at the Springfield Power Plant

Desert replaces Azaria as Carl Carson in at least the Season 32 premiere of The Simpsons, which debuts Sunday, September 27 on Fox.

There is no indication that Desert is becoming a permanent fixture on the cast, or if he will voice multiple characters on the show. 

Another black character on The Simpsons, is seen in the Season 32 premiere, though he does not speak, who has traditionally been voiced by Azaria as well and may be voiced by Desert or another black actor under this new initiative.

Replacing Hank: Desert replaces Hank Azaria as Carl Carson in at least the Season 32 premiere of The Simpsons, which debuts Sunday, September 27 on Fox

Replacing Hank: Desert replaces Hank Azaria as Carl Carson in at least the Season 32 premiere of The Simpsons, which debuts Sunday, September 27 on Fox

The Season 32 premiere, entitled Undercover Burns, features power plant owner Montgomery Burns going undercover (voiced by David Harbour) at his own plant as ‘Fred’ to see how his own employees think of him, including Carl.

When all of the employees start to befriend ‘Fred,’ Mr. Burns starts improving the plant’s amenities, which doesn’t sit well with his longtime right-hand man Smithers.

Azaria also revealed in January that he would no longer voice the Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, though it has not been confirmed who will replace him. 

Hank steps down: Azaria also revealed in January that he would no longer voice the Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, though it has not been confirmed who will replace him

Hank steps down: Azaria also revealed in January that he would no longer voice the Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, though it has not been confirmed who will replace him

There was even a 2017 documentary entitled The Problem With Apu by comedian/filmmaker Hari Kondabolu, where other South Asian actors like Aziz Ansari, Kal Penn and Maulik Pancholy discuss who Apu impacted their lives.

Kevin Michael Richardson (American Dad) has come aboard in recent years to voice several black characters, though there is no indication if more black voice actors will be brought aboard.

The Simpsons is one of several animated shows that has come under fire in recent months, with several white actors stepping down from voicing characters of color. 

Under fire: The Simpsons is one of several animated shows that has come under fire in recent months, with several white actors stepping down from voicing characters of color

Under fire: The Simpsons is one of several animated shows that has come under fire in recent months, with several white actors stepping down from voicing characters of color

Other animated shows have had white actors step down from voicing diverse roles, like Mike Henry stepping down from voicing Cleveland Brown on Family Guy, Alison Brie stepping away from Vietnamese-American writer Diane Nguyen on BoJack Horseman and Kristen Bell as Molly on Apple TV Plus’ Central Park. 

Jenny Slate also stepped down as Missy on Netflix’s Big Mouth, who will now be voiced by Ayo Edebiri.  

Emily Raver-Lampman will now play Molly in Season 2 of Central Park, and BoJack Horseman has already ended its run on Netflix.

Desert has voiced Jefferson Davis and Swarm on the animated Spider-Man series and he has also had voice roles on Momma Named Me Sheriff and The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as Nick Fury.

Stepping down: Other animated shows have had white actors step down from voicing colored roles, like Mike Henry stepping down from voicing Cleveland Brown on Family Guy, Alison Brie stepping away from Vietnamese-American writer Diane Nguyen on BoJack Horseman and Kristen Bell as Molly on Apple TV Plus' Central Park

Stepping down: Other animated shows have had white actors step down from voicing colored roles, like Mike Henry stepping down from voicing Cleveland Brown on Family Guy, Alison Brie stepping away from Vietnamese-American writer Diane Nguyen on BoJack Horseman and Kristen Bell as Molly on Apple TV Plus’ Central Park

Voice veteran: Desert has voiced Jefferson Davis and Swarm on the animated Spider-Man series and he has also had voice roles on Momma Named Me Sheriff and The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes as Nick Fury

Voice veteran: Desert has voiced Jefferson Davis and Swarm on the animated Spider-Man series and he has also had voice roles on Momma Named Me Sheriff and The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as Nick Fury

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Socialite, 53, who was bridesmaid at Princess Diana’s wedding admits shoplifting £680 Max Mara coat

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socialite 53 who was bridesmaid at princess dianas wedding admits shoplifting 680 max mara coat

Prince Charles‘ goddaughter has admitted shoplifting a £680 designer coat from Harrods.

Socialite India Hicks, who was a bridesmaid at Princess Diana‘s wedding in 1981 and is 678th in line to the throne, stole the expensive Max Mara ladies’ coat from one of its luxury branches at Heathrow Airport in January.

The mother-of-five, who was born in London but moved to the Bahamas with long term partner David Flint Wood in 1996, was taken to court after being charged with theft.

Hicks, 53, pleaded guilty at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court on Monday and was conditionally discharged for three months. She was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £22 victim surcharge.

Her address was given in court as Schenectady, a US city in New York state.

A spokesman for Hicks said she had been ‘absent-minded’ and had later returned the coat.

India Hicks, who was a bridesmaid at Princess Diana's wedding in 1981, stole the expensive Max Mara ladies' coat from one of Harrods' luxury branches at Heathrow Airport in January

India Hicks, who was a bridesmaid at Princess Diana’s wedding in 1981, stole the expensive Max Mara ladies’ coat from one of Harrods’ luxury branches at Heathrow Airport in January

The mother-of-five, who was born in London but moved to the Bahamas with long term partner David Flint Wood in 1996, was taken to court after being charged with theft (back left, Hicks as a bridesmaid for Prince Charles and Princess Diana at their wedding in 1981)

The mother-of-five, who was born in London but moved to the Bahamas with long term partner David Flint Wood in 1996, was taken to court after being charged with theft (back left, Hicks as a bridesmaid for Prince Charles and Princess Diana at their wedding in 1981)

They told The Sun: ‘The court accepted that at the time of taking the coat, India had simply been absent-minded and had not intended to leave without paying for it.

‘She was full of remorse for this mistake, and was discharged by the District Judge.’

Former fashion model Hicks is the daughter of Lady Pamela Mountbatten, a great-great-grandchild to Queen Victoria, and famed interior designer David Nightingale Hicks.

She is the granddaughter of Earl Mountbatten, the uncle to Prince Philip and second cousin once removed of the Queen, whose father George VI took over the throne when Edward abdicated.

Over recent months Hicks has shared a look at her glamorous life in lockdown in the Bahamas, boasting al fresco meals cooked by her children, painting and homeschooling in their airy library room, beach walks and family games by the beach. 

She and her long term partner share a sprawling white-washed villa – which boasts a pool and sea views – with their sons Felix, Amory, Conrad, and daughter Domino, and Wesley, who she adopted when he was 15, after his mother died.

In a 2016 interview with Business Insider, Hicks cited her grandmother – the last Vicereine of India Edwina Mountbatten- as her professional inspiration. 

Hicks stole a £680 Max Mara coat, but it is unclear if this is the exact style that was shoplifted

Hicks stole a £680 Max Mara coat, but it is unclear if this is the exact style that was shoplifted 

India Hicks, who was a bridesmaid at Princess Diana's wedding in 1981, stole the expensive Max Mara ladies' coat from one of Harrods' luxury branches at Heathrow Airport in January

India Hicks, who was a bridesmaid at Princess Diana’s wedding in 1981, stole the expensive Max Mara ladies’ coat from one of Harrods’ luxury branches at Heathrow Airport in January

Despite being extremely wealthy, Hicks has been labelled ‘unusual’ as one of the few British heiresses to earn their own income.

In 2015 she launched India Hicks Style, an e-commerce business which sells jewellery, accessories, make-up and homeware, with products ranging between £15 to £400 — but announced over the summer that it would be closing down.

Hicks has described Prince Charles as being a ‘caring, considerate and involved’ godfather. She was 13 and on holiday in the Bahamas when he asked her to be a bridesmaid.

Describing her preparation, she said: ‘But first, I had to practise. It was during these rehearsals that I got to know Diana, whom I first met at a dress fitting.

‘She always seemed more like a head girl than a ­princess-in-waiting, with never a shy moment in private.’

In a recent interview she also said she had kept the flower wreath from the wedding.

Hicks was educated at £40,000-a-year all-girls Gordonstoun School in Scotland.

She previously worked for Ralph Lauren and J Crew and is often featured in society magazine Tatler. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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