Camped out in bare offices, President Joe Biden's new White House team has spent its first three days scrambling for things like binder clips and IT support -- oh, and trying to save the country from multiple crises.
- NewsEvening Standard
A "severely anxious" mother drowned her seven-year-old son before taking her own life after becoming "terrified" she would die from cancer, an inquest heard. Financial analyst Yulia Gokcedag, 35, was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly before lockdown, Poplar Coroner’s Court was told today. Police forced their way into one of the family’s properties on the Isle of Dogs after the pair were reported missing by Mrs Gokcedag’s financial risk manager husband Mehmet.
- PoliticsThe Independent
‘There was a protocol breach when the front doors were not held open’
- PoliticsThe Telegraph
The Government has quietly extended lockdown laws to give councils the power to close pubs, restaurants, shops and public spaces until July 17 this year. The news will be a major setback for those hoping that life might have returned to normal by early summer once more people are vaccinated against coronavirus. It comes after Boris Johnson admitted late last week that "it's too early to say when we'll be able to lift some of the restrictions". The Government had pledged to review the lockdown measures in the middle of next month. The changes to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No.3) Regulations 2020 were made as part of a review of the third lockdown by Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, earlier this month. This law (originally introduced on July 18 last year) allows a local authority to close or limit access to premises or outdoor spaces in its area to prevent the spread of coronavirus, including stopping events. The regulation, which applies to England only, was due to expire last week but has now been extended until July 17, around the date when school summer holidays begin, as part of a slew of other measures. Mark Harper, the chairman of the Coronavirus Recovery Group of Tory MPs which is campaigning against unnecessary restrictions, said: “The extension of councils’ Covid powers until July will be of great concern to those worried about their jobs and businesses. “Given the limited time allowed for debate this change in the law was little noticed. “Once the top four risk groups have been vaccinated and fully protected by March 8, assuming the Government hits the February 15 deadline, the Government must start easing the restrictions. “Vaccinations will of course bring immunity from Covid, but they must bring immunity from lockdowns and restrictions too.”
- NewsFOX News Videos
Jerry Davis, College of the Ozarks president and former 1776 Commission member, criticizes the decision on ‘Fox & Friends.’
- NewsThe Telegraph
British would-be homebuyers in Spain are set to face disruption and delays of up to a year on property deals because of a Franco-era security law that due to Brexit they are no longer exempt from. A real estate association from Alicante has written to the UK ambassador in Spain asking for the British government to persuade the government in Madrid to change the 1975 law, under which non-EU homebuyers in areas deemed important to national security must be vetted by the Defence Ministry. Jesualdo Ros, secretary general of the Provia real estate promoters association, estimates that in the Vega Baja area of Alicante alone the rule will affect 800 British families on an annual basis, given the amount of business in previous years seen in property hotspots such as Orihuela on the Costa Blanca. Mr Ros says the process of receiving the security pass takes around six months, but fears that this could double due to a huge increase in applications. Until Brexit came into force this month, the Vega Baja area typically saw around 100 purchases from non-EU buyers a year, mostly involving Russians. “Six months is already a long time to keep the seller waiting, and no bank will maintain its credit conditions for that time. If this period gets longer, things will get worse,” Mr Ros told The Telegraph. Read more: How to buy a holiday home in Spain He said representatives of Spain’s real estate sector had been suggesting either scrapping or speeding up the vetting process since 2012. “Not only is it a massive source of frustration for the seller and buyer, but it also affects the image of Spain as a receptor country for foreign residents.” Areas near army and naval bases, such as that of Cartagena, 40 miles from the Vega Baja, and border regions are listed as sensitive security zones. Among the areas most affected are coastal areas near Gibraltar in Cádiz province as well as parts of Alicante and Murcia, all popular destinations for British tourists and residents. Among the documents required to pass the vetting process is a copy of the would-be purchaser’s criminal record in their home country with an official translation. The British Embassy in Spain confirmed that the rules had changed for British buyers in restricted military areas. “We are aware of this issue and have sought further guidance from the Spanish authorities on this matter. We will update our public guidance (Living in Spain Guide on gov.uk) as necessary in due course,” it said in a statement. The law was passed in 1975 when Spain was still ruled by General Franco, and was expanded by a 1978 decree shortly before Spain passed its democratic Constitution. The rule applied to all foreign buyers until Spain joined the EU in 1986, when an exemption was put in place for citizens from the bloc.
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