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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry ‘becoming irrelevant,’ says expert

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are ‘fast becoming irrelevant,’ a royal expert has claimed.

Speaking on Pod Save the Queen, which is hosted by Ann Gripper, Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers went on to say that the Duke, 35, and Duchess of Sussex, 39, are ‘sitting in their ivory tower, sounding off about things’, while Kate Middleton and Prince William, both 38, and Prince Charles, are speaking out on major global issues. 

‘They’ve got to be careful here, sitting in an ivory tower, sounding off about things that are just coming into your head without people to advise you ‒ I don’t really know who their advisers are at the moment,’ Russell claimed. 

‘It’s not coming across well and they are fast becoming a bit irrelevant, especially when you’re seeing the Cambridges and Prince Charles speaking about massive global issues like this.’

Meghan Markle, 39, and Prince Harry, 35, are 'fast becoming irrelevant, royal expert Russell Myers has claimed. Pictured, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex joined Malala Yousafzai for a virtual chat on Sunday

Meghan Markle, 39, and Prince Harry, 35, are ‘fast becoming irrelevant, royal expert Russell Myers has claimed. Pictured, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex joined Malala Yousafzai for a virtual chat on Sunday

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during an audience with the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and his wife, Olena at Buckingham Palace, London, on October 7, 2020

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during an audience with the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and his wife, Olena at Buckingham Palace, London, on October 7, 2020

 He added: ‘They’re going to be left behind a little bit.’

However, Ann Gripper did discuss how the Duke and Duchess of Sussex joined New York-based Harry Walker Agency, which represents the Obamas and the Clintons.

‘When you’ve signed up to be public speakers then that kind of is their role, you are public speaking,’ she explained. 

‘There’s the interview that Meghan did recently –  I think it was with Fortune – they pop up in this fashion, speaking over Zoom about some issue, I think it was about the Internet community and that kind of thing and making the Internet a better place.

‘But anyway, it’s a work in progress for them.’

Prince Charles has long-been a passionate advocate for wildlife across the world and recently warned humans have just 10 years left to save the planet (pictured, last year in his own garden at Highgrove)

Prince Charles has long-been a passionate advocate for wildlife across the world and recently warned humans have just 10 years left to save the planet (pictured, last year in his own garden at Highgrove)

It comes after the Duke of Cambridge launched The Earthshot Prize, which has been likened to a green Nobel Prize, will drive change and help to repair the planet over the next 10 years.

The ambitious decade-long project will see a total of 50 environmental pioneers each awarded a £1million prize for their work tackling major problems across climate and energy, nature and biodiversity, oceans, air pollution and fresh water.

Meanwhile, earlier this year, Prince Charles launched his Sustainable Markets Initiative at Davos, which calls on communities, businesses, investors and consumers to take the urgent and practical steps required to transition to more sustainable practices.

The initiative aims to bring together leading individuals from the public and private sectors, charitable bodies and investors to identify ways to rapidly decarbonise the global economy.

In his first keynote speech to the conference in 30 years, hailed by environmentalists as a landmark moment and branded royal meddling in global affairs by critics, he said: ‘Global warning, climate change and the devastating loss of biodiversity are the greatest threats humanity has ever faced, and one largely of its own creation’.

He added: ‘Now it is time to take it to the next level. In order to secure our future and to prosper we need to evolve our economic model’.

The royal also met with climate change activist Greta Thunberg at the World Economic Forum.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Mistletoe and crime! Police forces reveal plan for families breaking Covid orders at Christmas

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mistletoe and crime police forces reveal plan for families breaking covid orders at christmas

More police forces from across the UK have confirmed they will enforce coronavirus restrictions if they are broken over Christmas – as nearly 20% of families said they would ignore the Rule of Six.

A MailOnline investigation into the England and Wales’ 43 constabularies has uncovered differences in approach ranging from intervening in gatherings to welcoming visitors.

But other forces have been unable to plan their tactics, because they simply have no idea what Tier – and the subsequent rules – their area will fall in by December 25.

It comes after a YouGov poll revealed just 68% of respondents would abide by the Rule of Six over the size of social gatherings.

The possibility of large groups receiving a knock on the door as they settle down for Christmas dinner was first hinted at yesterday. 

A map showing how police forces have said they will tackle the Christmas period

A map showing how police forces have said they will tackle the Christmas period

A YouGov poll suggested nearly a fifth of Brits would break the Rule of Six for Christmas

A YouGov poll suggested nearly a fifth of Brits would break the Rule of Six for Christmas

Greater Manchester Police, the Metropolitan Police Service and Merseyside Police all directed enquiries to a statement confirming they could ‘enforce as a last resort’.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council comment said: ‘We understand that this is a period where people want to be with their loved ones, celebrating this holiday.

We police against the regulations that are in law, and everybody has their part to play to help protect local communities and loved ones and we are confident people will adhere to the rules and help us to reduce the risk of transmission.

Christmas dinner is feared to be under threat from strict coronavirus gathering restrictions

Christmas dinner is feared to be under threat from strict coronavirus gathering restrictions

What is the Rule of Six? 

  • Max social gatherings SIX PEOPLE
  • Applies indoors and outdoors
  • Applies in private homes
  • Applies in pubs and restaurants
  • Does NOT apply to schools or workplaces
  • Does NOT apply to weddings, funerals, team sport
  • Does NOT apply if household bubbles are bigger than six people
  • Police will be encouraged to break up larger groups and issue £100 fines, which will then double on each repeat offence up to £3,200
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‘The police’s approach remains to engage, explain and encourage people to follow the rules in the first instance and enforce as a last resort, where there are clear breach of the rules taking place.’

A spokesperson for Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy added: ‘Enforcement is always a last resort but will be used where necessary.’

On Tuesday David Jamieson, the West Midlands police and commissioner, said officers would investigate reports of rule-breaking over the festive period.

He said: ‘If we think there’s large groups of people gathering where they shouldn’t be, then police will have to intervene.

‘If, again, there’s flagrant breaking of the rules, then the police would have to enforce.’

The approach was softer in some areas, with Norfolk, Cumbria, Hertfordshire, and Devon and Cornwall saying they would be ‘sensible and fair’ and did not mention enforcement.

Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly,said legal gatherings of six were still possible.

There are three levels for tiers and different restrictions for the areas placed into them

There are three levels for tiers and different restrictions for the areas placed into them

WHAT ARE THE RULES IN DIFFERENT TIERS OF LOCKDOWN?

TIER ONE 

Tier one restrictions mirror those already in place across England.

These include the rule of six, a 10pm curfew, group sport to be played outdoors only and a maximum of 15 guests at wedding ceremonies.  

TIER TWO 

Tier two restrictions mean people are prohibited from socialising with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting

Two households may be allowed to meet in a private garden and public outdoor spaces, as long as the rule of six and social distancing are followed.

Tradespeople – such as plumbers and electricians – can continue to go into a household for work. 

TIER THREE 

Restaurants can open, but only until 10pm. 

Pubs and bars will be ordered to close unless they also operate as a restaurant.

This definition extends to pubs which sell ‘substantial’ meals, which like restaurants will be allowed to stay open but only serve alcohol to people eating a meal.

Locals are advised only to leave their areas for essential travel such as work, education or health, and must return before the end of the day.

Overnight stays by those from outside of these ‘high risk’ areas are also be banned. Households are not be allowed to mix either indoors or outdoors.     

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She told MailOnline: ‘Exceptions to the rule of six include support bubbles, so even if there’s no change to the regulations by Christmas people will be able to gather with support bubbles that could include an adult who lives by themselves or an adult with children under the age of 18.

‘Just as I have done with my mum. Christmas is a really important time of year, it can also be a time of huge stress for people, and while many are enjoying themselves we also see annual increases in levels of domestic violence and suicide.

‘I’d urge people to make sensible, practical plans for the Christmas break that take account of the rules that protect our most vulnerable, but also those who might experience bouts of loneliness.

‘It’s also a tough time of year for emergency services workers, who will be working while others relax and enjoy themselves.

‘We can all make their lives easier by obeying by the simple regulations set out by Government.

‘Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are low risk counties in terms of Covid-19 risk and so providing people are sensible and respectful, we will be welcoming visitors from parts of the country with similarly low infection rates.’

Police approach in other areas was not as clear, with forces unable to answer for varying reasons.

Northumbria Police explained: ‘This isn’t something we would be able to comment on at this time as we do not know which restrictions will be in place over the Christmas period.

‘Our officers will continue to follow the national guidance and police using their common sense, like they have throughout the pandemic.’

South Wales Police said their tactics would be informed by Government policy at the time of the season.

A spokesman said: ‘It will depend on what restrictions are introduced by Welsh or UK government at the time.’

Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Cleveland Police also said their approach would depend on what tier setting their districts were placed in.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Group of 11 Albanian stowaways including are discovered on car transporter ship in Southampton docks

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group of 11 albanian stowaways including are discovered on car transporter ship in southampton docks

A group of 11 Albanian stowaways including a pregnant woman and a 17-year-old boy have been discovered on a car transporter ship in Southampton docks.

Police were called at 11.25am today after the stowaways were located in Dock Gate 4, Southampton, Hampshire, just metres from the tanker at the centre of this week’s ‘hijacking’ drama.

They have now detained for alleged immigration offences, with one woman taken to hospital relating to a pregnancy and a 17-year-old boy due to be transferred into the care of children’s services.

They were found on board the Swedish-owned MV Salome, a 265m-long cargo ship which arrived at Southampton Docks at about 7.30am.

Border Force are investigating the incident.

A spokesperson for Associated British Ports, the company that runs the dock, said: ‘We are aware that the incident involving stowaways on the vessel MV Salome has now been resolved.

‘ABP continues to support relevant government agencies with their investigations and is working with the shipping company and owners as required.’

The incident comes just days after armed forces boarded the Southampton-bound Nave Andromeda and arrested seven people following a suspected attempted hijacking.

The ship had travelled from Lagos, Nigeria, when stowaways were discovered on board and an exclusion zone was set up around the ship off the coast of Sandown on the Isle of Wight.

The captain of the oil tanker made a dramatic mayday for help before the boat was stormed by commandos from the Special Boat Service. Seven people were detained by police while the 22 crew were declared uninjured.

The tanker remains docked in Southampton while the police inquiry continues.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Coronavirus: Professor infects himself twice, refutes herd immunity

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coronavirus professor infects himself twice refutes herd immunity

A professor who in an experiment infected himself with Covid-19 to become ill with the virus for a second time says hopes for herd immunity are overblown.

Dr Alexander Chepurnov, 69, first caught coronavirus on a skiing trip to France in February.

After recovering back home in Siberia without requiring hospitalisation, he and his team at the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine in Novosibirsk launched a study into coronavirus antibodies

They studied ‘the way antibodies behaved, how strong they were, and how long they stayed in the body’ and found they decrease rapidly, he said. 

Dr Alexander Chepurnov (pictured), 69, in an experiment infected himself with Covid-19 to become ill with the virus for a second time and now says hopes for herd immunity are overblown

Dr Chepurnov at the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine in Novosibirsk, Russia

Dr Alexander Chepurnov (pictured left, wearing a gas mask, and right, at the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine in Novosibirsk, Russia), 69, in an experiment infected himself with Covid-19 to become ill with the virus for a second time and now says hopes for herd immunity are overblown

He said: ‘By the end of the third month from the moment I felt sick, the antibodies were no longer detected.

He decided to examine the probability of reinfection.

In the interests of science, Chepurnov became a human guinea pig and deliberately exposed himself to COVID-19 patients wearing no protection, he said.

He said: ‘My body’s defences fell exactly six months after I got the first infection. The first sign was a sore throat.’

His second infection was far more serious and he was hospitalised.

State Research Vector Centre of Virology and Biotechnology in Siberia is currently working on Russia's second vaccine

State Research Vector Centre of Virology and Biotechnology in Siberia is currently working on Russia’s second vaccine

He said: ‘For five days, my temperature remained above 39C. I lost the sense of smell, my taste perception changed.

‘On the sixth day of the illness, the CT scan of the lungs was clear, and three days after the scan, the X-ray showed double pneumonia.’ 

‘The virus went away rather quickly. After two weeks it was no longer detected in the nasopharyngeal or in other samples.’

His conclusion based on his own case is that collective or herd immunity is a forlorn hope.

The virus is here to stay, and while vaccines may give immunity this is likely to be temporary.

The State Research Vector Centre of Virology and Biotechnology in Siberia make Russia's second vaccine against Covid-19 known as EpiVacCorona (pictured) which will require repeat injections to maintain immunity, say its proponents

The State Research Vector Centre of Virology and Biotechnology in Siberia make Russia’s second vaccine against Covid-19 known as EpiVacCorona (pictured) which will require repeat injections to maintain immunity, say its proponents

This followed the Sputnik V vaccine (pictured being given to a healthcare worker in Altai region, Siberia), now being given to essential workers

This followed the Sputnik V vaccine (pictured being given to a healthcare worker in Altai region, Siberia), now being given to essential workers

He said: ‘We need a vaccine that can be used multiple times, a recombinant vaccine will not suit.

‘Once injected with an adenoviral vector-based vaccine, we won’t be able to repeat it because the immunity against the adenoviral carrier will keep interfering.’

The professor formerly worked at State Research Vector Centre of Virology and Biotechnology in Siberia, makers of Russia’s second vaccine against Covid-19 known as EpiVacCorona which will require repeat injections to maintain immunity, say its proponents.

This followed the Sputnik V vaccine, now being given to essential workers.

WHAT IS HERD IMMUNITY AND WHY IS IT CONTROVERSIAL? 

Herd immunity is a form of indirect protection from infectious disease that occurs when a high percentage of a population has become immune to it, either through vaccination or previous infection.

To cause an outbreak, a virus must have a continuous supply of potential victims whose immune system do not know how to fend it off before it makes them ill.

When a virus or bacteria enters the body the immune system creates substances called antibodies, which are designed to destroy one specific type of bug.

People who have these antibodies normally enjoy long-term protection, or immunity, against an illness.

If nobody is immune to an illness – as was the case at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak – it can spread like wildfire.

However, if, for example, half of people have developed immunity there are only half as many people the illness can spread to.

As more people become immune, the bug finds it harder to spread until its pool of victims becomes so small it can no longer spread at all.

The threshold for herd immunity is different for various illnesses, depending on how contagious they are – for measles, around 95 per cent of people must be vaccinated to it spreading.

For polio, which is less contagious, the threshold is about 80-85 per cent, according to the Oxford Vaccine Group.

Experts say herd immunity will only work for Covid-19 if about 60 to 70 per cent are immune.

WHY IS IT CONTROVERSIAL?

Herd immunity is considered a controversial route for getting out of the pandemic because it implies encouraging the spread of the virus, rather than containing it.

When UK Government scientists discussed it in the early days of the pandemic, it was met with criticism and therein swept under the carpet.

The Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said at a press conference on March 12, designed to inform the public on the impending Covid-19 crisis: ‘Our aim is not to stop everyone getting it, you can’t do that. And it’s not desirable, because you want to get some immunity in the population. We need to have immunity to protect ourselves from this in the future.’

Sir Patrick has since apologised for the comments and said he didn’t mean that was the government’s plan.

In a Channel 4 documentary aired in June, Italy’s deputy health minister claimed Boris Johnson had told Italy that he wanted to pursue it.

The Cabinet Office denied the claims made in the documentary and said: ‘The Government has been very clear that herd immunity has never been our policy or goal.’

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