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Thursday, 28 January 2021

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WHO team in Wuhan departs quarantine for virus study

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A World Health Organisation team has emerged from quarantine in the Chinesecity of Wuhan to start field work in a fact-finding mission on the origins ofthe virus that caused the Covid-19 pandemic.

EasyJet to operate no more than 10% of flights

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EasyJet expects to operate no more than 10% of its flight programme betweenJanuary and March amid strict travel restrictions. The budget airline said itsrevenues plunged 88% at the end of last year, with turnover slumping to £165million.

Michael Gove defends Prime Minister's visit to Scotland

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Michael Gove has insisted that Boris Johnson’s trip to Scotland is “absolutelyessential” despite criticism of the visit from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.He said there is “no substitute for a leader better than being there” whenasked why the Prime Minister did not speak to people remotely.

People with UK Covid-19 variant ‘less likely to report loss of taste and smell’

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People infected with the new UK coronavirus variant are less likely to reporta loss of taste and smell, figures suggest. The Office for National Statistics(ONS) said the symptoms were “significantly less common” in patients whotested positive for the new variant compared to those with other variants ofCovid-19. They are more likely to report “classic” symptoms of the virus, suchas a cough and a fever. The ONS also said other symptoms were more common inpeople testing positive for the new variant, with the largest differences forcough, sore throat, fatigue, myalgia and fever.

Daily politics briefing: January 28

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A look at the key figures and dates in the world of politics on January 28 asBoris Johnson prepares to visit Scotland.

Beautician opens up about battle with alopecia

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A beautician who lost all her hair to alopecia in just 12 weeks has spokencandidly about life with the incurable condition – revealing how strangersoften see her bald head and assume she is being treated for cancer. Blessedwith long, thick dark hair, when Zoe Patchett, 27, started shedding a fewstrands in October 2018 she gave it little thought. But by Christmas, fistfulsof hair were coming out when she washed it – leading to a diagnosis ofalopecia in January 2019 – an incurable condition which sees the immune systemmistakenly attack hair follicles.

What to look out for in the Six Nations Championship

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The 2021 Guinness Six Nations Championship kicks off on February 6, withdefending champions England favourites for another title success. Here, the PAnews agency looks at some of the talking points heading into the tournament.

Manchester United 1-2 Sheffield United: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer press conference

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer struck a frustrated figure after Manchester United's 2-1loss to Sheffield United. The title-chasing Red Devils were on the end of oneof the biggest shocks in a surprise-packed campaign as the embattled Bladesinflicted the hosts’ first top-flight defeat since November 1. “Well, ofcourse we’re disappointed,” Red Devils boss Solskjaer said. “Any result in thePremier League this season shouldn’t surprise anyone. But then again, verydisappointed we couldn’t put a better performance on.

Thomas Tuchel vows to build Chelsea team ‘that nobody wants to play against’

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Thomas Tuchel has pledged to conjure the “special energy” required to turnChelsea into serial silverware winners. The new Blues boss insisted he doesnot see many weaknesses in Chelsea’s ranks, having taken the Stamford Bridgehelm from the sacked Frank Lampard. German coach Tuchel oversaw his firstChelsea match as the Blues laboured to a frustrating goalless Premier Leaguedraw with Wolves in west London on Tuesday night.

Minister announces £500 recognition payment for NI health workers

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A special recognition payment of £500 has been announced for NorthernIreland’s health staff. Stormont Health Minister Robin Swann said it will bepaid to all health and social care workers including doctors, nurses, carehome workers, domiciliary care workers, administrative staff and estatesteams. The payment is subject to approval by the Department of Finance.

Charles urges people to use Holocaust remembrance to challenge ‘fake news’

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The Prince of Wales spoke of the “deeply worrying growth of fake news” as heurged people to challenge those who peddle unfounded conspiracy theories onHolocaust Memorial Day (HMD). Charles, who is patron of the HMD Trust, spokeof the need to “be the light in the darkness” as people across the countryplaced candles in their windows, and national landmarks turned purple for theevening in recognition of genocide.

Coronavirus vaccine: 7.1 million have received first dose

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A further 311,060 people have received the first dose of one of the availablecoronavirus vaccines across the UK, the Government's vaccination dashboard hasrecorded. The UK total now stands at 7,164,387.

Kate praises 'inspirational' Holocaust survivors

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The Duchess of Cambridge has paid tribute to “inspirational” Holocaustsurvivors for educating the next generation about the “horrors” of the Naziregime. Kate was left visibly moved after hearing the stories of Zigi Shipper,91, and Manfred Goldberg, 90, who met as boys while in a Nazi concentrationcamp but started new lives in the UK after being liberated towards the end ofthe Second World War.

Covid-19 vaccine myths debunked

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As countries around the world continue the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine,misinformation about the jab continues to spread. The PA news agency hasdebunked some of the top circulating myths about the Covid-19 vaccine.

HS2 protesters evicted from central London park

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Protesters have been evicted from a central London park after they dug tunnelsand set up a makeshift camp in opposition to the HS2 rail development. HS2Rebellion, an alliance of groups and individuals campaigning against theplanned high-speed railway, claim Euston Square Gardens, a green space outsideEuston station, will be built over with a temporary taxi rank before beingsold to developers.

One year on from first known coronavirus death in the UK

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Nearly a year has passed since the first known coronavirus death in the UK onJanuary 30 2020. The death was not formally confirmed as having involvedCovid-19 until the end of August and the first coronavirus cases were onlyreported in the UK on January 31.

Arsenal defeat Southampton 3-1

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Mikel Arteta says Arsenal's focus remains inward despite a massive upturn inform. The Gunners moved up to eighth in the Premier League table after a 3-1victory over Southampton. “I don’t want to look at the table,” Arteta said. “Iwant to look at ourselves, how we can get better, the reason we are playingbetter and winning football matches."

Lockdown extended in Ireland until March 5

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Ireland’s coronavirus lockdown is to be extended by a number of weeks untilMarch 5. Irish premier Micheal Martin said lockdown restrictions are having apositive impact, forcing case numbers down. However, Mr Martin said that thecountry cannot give the virus or its variants any space.

Rare maps charting defeat of Spanish Armada saved from being sold

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A set of rare maps which chart the defeat of the Spanish Armada have beensaved from being sold overseas thanks to an urgent fundraising campaign by theNational Museum of the Royal Navy. The maps, which date back to 1589, arethought to be the earliest surviving representations of the naval battles andhave not left the United Kingdom since they were drawn.

Prince Charles urges people to remember Holocaust

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The Prince of Wales has joined famous faces from the worlds of sport andshowbiz in urging people to remember Holocaust Memorial Day. Charles, patronof the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, urged people to ensure survivors’ storiesare remembered forever amid the dwindling number of people able to bear first-hand witness to the horrors of the genocide, which saw millions of Jews andother minorities executed during the Second World War at the hands of theNazis.

Love story between fisherman and mermaid named book of the year

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Judges have crowned The Mermaid Of Black Conch: A Love Story the winner of the2020 Costa Book of the Year. Upon hearing the news Trinidadian-born Britishwriter Monique Roffey was emotional and described the feeling as being "likemagic".

Starmer: UK death toll is national tragedy

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Reacting to the UK recording 100,000 deaths Labour leader Sir Keir Starmersaid it was a “national tragedy”, adding: “We must never become numb to thesenumbers or treat them as just statistics. Every death is a loved one, afriend, a neighbour, a partner or a colleague. It is an empty chair at thedinner table.”

Inquest shown CCTV footage of Leon Briggs being detained by police

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WARNING: This is CCTV footage relating to the death of Leon Briggs. Viewersmay find it disturbing. Leon Briggs, 39, died in hospital in November 2013after he was restrained by police, having been held under the Mental HealthAct.

UK coronavirus death toll passes 100,000

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The Government said a further 1,631 people had died within 28 days of testingpositive for Covid-19 as of Tuesday, bringing the UK total to 100,162.