Airlines’ fury at amber list debacle: Boris Johnson says we should only travel to medium risk countries in ‘extreme circumstances’… but 5m people have booked trips abroad

Travel bosses reacted with fury last night after Boris Johnson hardened his stance on trips to amber list countries.

The Prime Minister said families should visit medium-risk destinations only in ‘extreme circumstances’ and not for holidays.

On Monday he was less definitive, saying such trips should be for ‘pressing’ family or business reasons only.

Confusion reigned earlier this week when two Cabinet ministers suggested leisure breaks and visits to family and friends would be acceptable. Adding to the chaos health minister Lord Bethell claimed all holidays abroad were ‘dangerous’.

The contradictory messages have left holidaymakers and travel chiefs begging for clarity. 

Around five million Britons have booked amber list breaks this summer, leaving them in limbo over whether to cancel or re-book and hope their destination makes the green list.

On Monday the outright ban on foreign travel was replaced by a green, amber and red traffic light system grading different countries by their Covid risk level.

But amid concern over foreign variants, ministers then said that no one should go on holiday in an amber country even if they quarantined on return.

Writing in the Mail, Tim Alderslade of Airlines UK, which represents major carriers, said: ‘Just as our beleaguered travel and tourism companies have started to look ahead with hope, illogical, confusing and alarming messaging from ministers risk the whole system unravelling before it has even had a chance to get going.

‘Why demonise those who have decided to travel to an amber country in full knowledge of the extra health measures, including quarantine, that are put in place to guard against any additional risk from Covid?’

George Morgan-Grenville, of luxury tour operator Red Savannah, said the traffic light system was ‘lunacy’. He added: ‘What is the point of the amber list? You may as well make the amber list the red list. What’s the point of having a passport? What’s the point of legalising travel again, only to say that you can’t travel?’

Julia Lo Bue-Said, of Advantage Travel Partnership, said: ‘This is typical nanny state tactics. Surely the British public can make up their own mind if they wish to quarantine in order to visit an amber country. As long as protocols are followed, testing is in place and rules in the destination are adhered to we see no reason why we cannot be allowed to travel safely to amber destinations for leisure. Otherwise, make those amber countries red.’

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer confronted Mr Johnson over the fiasco at PMQs in the Commons yesterday, accusing ministers of having ‘lost control of the messaging’.

He added: ‘If he doesn’t want people to travel to amber list countries, why has he made it easier for them to do so?’

Mr Johnson replied: ‘It is very, very clear Mr Speaker. You should not be going to an amber list country except for some extreme circumstance, such as the serious illness of a family member. You should not be going to an amber list country on holiday. And if you do go to an amber list country we will enforce the ten-day quarantine period and if you break the rules you face very substantial fines.’

At a Downing Street press conference last night Mr Hancock said: ‘If you look at what the PM said last week, what I said at the weekend, what I said in the House on Monday, what the PM said at lunch today, we’ve been absolutely crystal clear – that you should not go to an amber or red list country on holiday. You should only go for exceptional circumstances. An example might be to visit a very ill family member or to go to a funeral of somebody very close to you.’

Of the decision not to ban amber travel completely, he added: ‘There are some things that we have banned in law but there are some things we do not recommend. You don’t necessarily have to ban everything as a government minister.’

Just 12 destinations are green, with most in remote parts of the world or with strict entry measures in place or outright bans on British tourists.

And in a further blow, there were reports last night that no new countries will join the green list ‘for some considerable time’. It means beach holidays to popular hotspots such as Spain, Italy and Greece may not be possible until July or even August.

Appearing on ITV’s Peston show last night, Michael O’Leary of Ryanair was asked if he understood the UK travel rules. ‘No and I think most of the UK population doesn’t understand them either,’ he replied. ‘But I’m happy to say that for about the past four weeks they’ve been booking in their droves, mainly I think they’re booking into June, July, August, and September.

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Rio police face fury, calls for probe after bloody raid

Police in Brazil faced outraged protests and a UN call for an investigation Friday after a raid on a Rio de Janeiro favela left 25 people dead — some reportedly killed in cold blood.

“Stop killing us!” said hundreds of protesters from the impoverished neighborhood of Jacarezinho, who marched outside police headquarters accusing officers of perpetrating a “massacre.”

“We’re here to ask for justice for this unjustifiable massacre.”

Police said the operation targeted a drug gang that was recruiting children and teenagers. It turned the northern neighborhood into a war zone Thursday morning, leaving streets strewn with corpses and pools of blood.

The other 24 dead were “criminals,” according to police — who now face mounting calls to prove that, as well as questions on why they were killed rather than arrested.

“We remind the Brazilian authorities that the use of force should be applied only when strictly necessary,” he said.

Residents described a heavy firefight, and aerial TV footage from the raid showed armed men on rooftops passing what looked like high-powered rifles from hand to hand.

– ‘They executed him’ –

One resident told AFP a wounded young man fled into her home, only for police to follow his blood tracks up the stairs to her second-floor apartment.

“They didn’t even give him time to say anything.”

Dos Santos, who worked in construction and at a pizzeria, was not involved in crime, she said.

Then police “came right up to him and executed him,” she said.

He left behind a newborn son, she said.

Bolsonaro’s camp was quick to rally around the police.

“They were all bad guys,” said Vice President Hamilton Mourao, an army general, referring to the 24 killed.

“There’s a police officer murdered, and they defend the murderers,” he wrote on Twitter.

Last year, 1,245 people were killed by police in Rio de Janeiro state — more, for example, than the 1,127 such cases across the entire United States.

“When the police leave, the gangs aren’t weaker. The traffickers just get more guns and come back more powerful than before,” said Silvia Ramos, head of the Security Observatory at Candido Mendes University.


Originally published as Rio police face fury, calls for probe after bloody raid

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Conor McGregor leads Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury in race to become billionaire

Conor McGregor has been backed to become a billionaire after selling a stake in his whiskey company.

The former two-weight UFC champion will share in a $600million windfall with his agent Audie Attar and their partner Ken Austin.

McGregor will remain involved with the business while seeing his net worth increase to close to $300m.

The bulk of his fortune has been amassed in the ring with McGregor earning close to $100m from his fight with Floyd Mayweather in 2017.

He has also earned millions from his UFC career and is now guaranteed upwards of $20m per fight.

Conor McGregor is on his way to becoming a billionaire
Conor McGregor is on his way to becoming a billionaire

Reacting to his most recent business deal, McGregor’s spokeswoman said: “The terms of the agreement are confidential, however, the most important thing is Conor McGregor will remain a stakeholder of Proper No. Twelve, the brand that will make him a billionaire.”

McGregor also has a brand outside of the sport and earns money through his endorsements with Beats by Dre, Monster Energy, EA, Burger King and Reebok.

The Dubliner is already the wealthiest active fighter, ahead of boxing heavyweights Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury.

Joshua was backed to become a boxing billionaire five years ago by former heavyweight Scott Welch.

“I believe that Anthony Joshua will be the first billionaire fighter. I really do believe that,” he told the Daily Telegraph.

“Floyd Mayweather has earned £500 or £600million, Mike Tyson earned £300-odd million 20 or 30 years ago. This guy, as a heavyweight, has got the potential to be the first billionaire fighter.

“He’s going to rule for the next eight or nine years. Within six months to a year he’ll be unbeatable.”

Joshua has gone ton to establish himself as a pay-per-view star and will earn over £75m from his proposed clash with Fury this summer.

Earlier this year he became the UK’s first £100m boxer when his company Sparta Promotions has posted massive profits over the past 12 months thanks to his success in the ring.

Watford-born Joshua’s business assets have grown by over £60m and now stand at an eye-watering £109m

According to Sparta’s recently-filed latest accounts, he banked £57.35m between February 2019 and 2020 from fights.

Joshua also pocketed an extra £6.55m from marketing, sponsorship and endorsements.

Figures reveal the business turned over £63.9m for the year and made a gross profit of £57.9 million.

Fury’s net worth, meanwhile, hit £40m last year as he was crowned world champion for a second time.

Accounts for Tyson Fury Limited show a bank balance of £40.05m, up from £6.6m the year before.

But despite his wealth, Fury paid himself a dividend of just £2,000, down from £40,000 12 months previously.

The accounts, filed up to March last year, will cover Fury’s two boxing fights in 2019 against Tom Schwarz and Otto Wallin, his WWE debut against Brawn Strowman, and his stunning win over Deontay Wilder.

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Broncos fury: We’re sick of bloody wooden-spoon chat

Jake Turpin has slammed suggestions Brisbane will crash to back-to-back wooden spoons, declaring Broncos players are motivated to silence critics by defying the odds to make this year‘s finals.

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Palm-fringed fury – A Zoom call sets off a diplomatic dust-up in the Pacific | Asia

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Fight Talk: Kell Brook, Amir Khan, Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez

Amir Khan has said the unthinkable, Tyson Fury is fed up with talking about a certain person, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez is the kind of free agent you may love to snap up on Championship Manager and Floyd Mayweather is annoying modern-day stars.

We also need to ask: When is a heavyweight really a ‘bridgerweight?’

Here’s our latest Fight Talk round-up.

Backing the enemy…

By any measure 2020 has been a strange year but the sight and sound of Amir Khan lending support to his bitter domestic rival Kell Brook felt all kinds of wrong.

The pair have traded words (sadly never punches) for what feels like forever and with Brook set to face WBO world welterweight champion Terence Crawford on Saturday, Khan has said the unthinkable.

“I wish Kell all the very best to put a stop to his reign,” Khan told Seconds Out Boxing.external-link

“He can do that, Kell’s a good fighter and I’ve always respected him. As a Brit, we have to support our own. Even though we’ve not looked eye to eye, I’m rooting for him.”

Some saw class…

A tweet says Khan has done the right thing to support Brook

Some saw an agenda…

A tweet from Elton Joe Box says Khan wants to fight Kell brook if Brook beats Crawford.

And some just want to move on.

A tweet says Khan and Brook are irrelevant

Fury’s had it with Wilder…

If Khan and Brook are warming to each other, the relationship between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder gets colder with every conspiracy theory, tweet and word uttered.

Wilder has blamed his ring-walk suit and his own team for his defeat to Fury in February. He has also said he had his water spiked and that his opponent had weights in his gloves.

Fury now seems to have had enough of the saga and wants to squash any hope of a trilogy bout.

“He will never get a shot at me now. Finished,” Fury told boxing journalist Gareth A Davies.external-link “For what he has said. Losing is one thing. I don’t even want to give him any air time. That’s it for him.”

A big belt for big (ish) men…

Oleksandr Usyk could be well placed to compete in the new weight division
Oleksandr Usyk could be well placed to compete in the new weight division

Things could be looking up for Wilder though. He may get to shoot for a world title again against a far smaller man than Fury.

That is because the WBC is set to introduce a new weight divisionexternal-link to sit between cruiserweight and heavyweight, with fighters falling between 200lbs and 224lbs eligible.

The new category will be called the ‘bridger’ division – although social media is unanimously in the ‘please no more belts or weight divisions’ camp.

However, Tony Bellew – a former cruiserweight world champion who enjoyed heavyweight success too – sees merit in a new weight category.

“Some heavyweights are in the land of the giants and no fighter in my opinion should lose purely because of size,” Bellew told Boxing Social.external-link “And the most important thing is boxing should be made a safe sport. This will help.”

Canelo makes his business personal

“It was always a deal that was too good to be true,” said 5 Live Boxing’s Steve Bunce.

Just two years ago Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez signed the most lucrative contract in boxing – one that was due to last five years and net him around £278m.

Now the much-decorated Mexican has exited the deal with streaming service DAZNexternal-link and will go it alone as a free agent. He has even jettisoned Golden Boy promotions, and rumours over his next opponent are rife.

Bunce summed it up: “We are not like any other sport. Boxing is the hardest sport to plan for if you are a television executive. DAZN probably drew up a fantastic list of Canelo opponents. Not one of them landed. What a business.”

The contract chaos could prove fruitful for Britain’s Callum Smith and John Ryder though as they are now reportedly in line for a shot at a fighter viewed as boxing’s golden ticket.

The Athletic's Mike Coppinger says two British fighters could be in line to face Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez
The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger says two British fighters could be in line to face Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez

Warm images, cold words…

Lopez posted images of him alongside Lennox Lewis (left) and trainer Freddie Roach
Lopez posted images of him alongside Lennox Lewis (left) and trainer Freddie Roach

Teofimo Lopez warmed our hearts this week in posting images of him in his formative years alongside greats of the trade like Lennox Lewis and trainer Freddie Roach.

“Little did these champs know they were taking a picture with ‘The Future of Boxing,'” wrote Lopez, who is now the sport’s breakout star after his win over Vasyl Lomachenko.

He was less complimentary about another legend – Floyd Mayweather.

Lopez is linked with a fight against one of Mayweather’s own stars Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis and he did not take the fact Mayweather thinks Davis is the main attraction in that bout very well.

“I collected all the belts and I’m the ‘B side?’ You’re crazy man,” Lopez told IFL TVexternal-link.

“I will be blunt, I think Floyd is still trying to find ways to stay relevant. He uses ‘Tank’ and talks to the media for him. Let ‘Tank’ be his own man. I think Floyd is crazy.”

Somewhere in Lopez’s attic there must be a childhood photo of him with Mayweather in his prime. We may need to wait a while to see it.

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‘Respect our beach or f–k off’: Fury over rubbish, 4WDs

ANGRY locals have taken to social media to vent about “disrespectful” beach users at South Ballina.

On the Ballina Notice Board & Information Exchange Facebook page, local resident Jodi Ewings posted photos of rubbish that she and others had collected after the weekend.

“Patchs Beach wasn’t beautiful Sunday morning,” she wrote.

>>> ‘I will not stand by and wait for someone to be hurt’

“Big group of 4WDs decided it was too hard to take their rubbish with them on Saturday.

“Just grubs.

“Show some respect for the places you go to enjoy and to country and wildlife.”

The photos showed discarded floaties, empty drink bottles and cans and towels, all left abandoned in the sand dunes.


Jodi Ewings took photos of rubbish left at Patchs Beach at South Ballina.


Ms Ewings also said they were also riding motorbikes over the dunes.

“(This is) not a debate over should vehicles be allowed on our beaches,” she wrote.

“If people could just do the right thing, if not it’s going to be ruined for the people that are.”

The post received a lot of feedback, mostly from people who agreed with Ms Ewings and shared her concerns.

Elizabeth Robinson: “I’m speechless… what a waste of money and energy and time… then to discard that waste into nature. I don’t understand.”

Kerrie-anne Newbold: “Visitors to Ballina, it’s a privilege to drive on our beaches. Respect or f–k off, simple.”

Marion Esther Howe: “Disappointed in the humans who did this to our beautiful environment.”

Ryan Dunn said he knew many locals who used South Ballina beaches respectfully and had done so for 20-plus years.

“A lot of people use 4WDs to get to fishing spots along the beach from Ballina to Evans Head,” he said.

“Not all 4WD beach users are dickheads and disrespect the beach. Only a small percentage do and will wreck it for everyone else.”

However he said he had seen Queensland-plated vehicles causing disturbances.

“I see groups of 10 to 20 4WDs, all with Queensland plates, more than likely Queensland 4WD clubs, come down and completely disrespect our beaches,” he wrote.

Penny Christi responded saying there were plenty of locals who also caused issues.

“”It seems many people are quick to say the people who cause trouble must be from somewhere else because that is a more pleasant thought,” she posted.

“There are locals who leave rubbish in lots of places.

“They honestly don’t care about the environment or wildlife.”

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Debate host Chris Wallace sparks more conservative fury by comparing Trump ally Ted Cruz to Japanese soldiers unaware of war’s end — RT USA News

Fox’s Chris Wallace has set off another row with Donald Trump supporters by likening Republicans who back the president’s claims of election fraud to Japanese soldiers who thought World War II was going on long after it had ended.

Wallace suggested Sunday that Ted Cruz and other Republican senators who are echoing the Trump campaign’s allegations of fraud in the Nov. 3 election “are like the Japanese soldiers who come out 30 years after the end of the war, out of the jungle, and say, ‘Is the fight still going on?'” He contrasted the staunch Trump loyalists to senators such as Mitt Romney and Pat Toomey who have called to “damp down the rhetoric” over Democrat Joe Biden’s apparent victory.

The comments raised the ire of conservatives, who were already stung by Wallace’s allegedly biased moderating of the Sept. 29 presidential debate. Some labeled his performance there a “disgrace.” Radio host Mark Levin called the comparison to Japanese soldiers “way out of line.” “Keep your politics to yourself, Mr. Journalist,” Levin tweeted. “You’re not just showing ankle. You’ve completely undressed yourself.”

Cruz argued that “urging that we follow the law and that election recounts be actually completed is not somehow undermining democracy.” Taking aim at Wallace, he invoked the debate controversy, accusing the Fox News veteran of “partisanship.”“Chris Wallace, who beclowned himself with a shamefully biased debate performance – universally panned – continues to demonstrate his rank partisanship.”

Wallace took heat from both sides of the aisle for his handling of the first presidential debate.  Democrats criticized him for failing to take control of the debate, while Republicans accused him of showing favoritism to Biden. Those critiques were revisited after NBC News correspondent Kristen Welker was praised for her strong handling of the Oct. 22 Trump-Biden debate, and her performance was contrasted with that of Wallace.

Also on
Chris Wallace ‘jealous’ of Kristen Welker as new moderator wins praise from all sides for managing ‘civilized’ debate

CNN and other mainstream-media outlets called the election for Biden on Saturday, but Trump has vowed legal challenges over alleged voting fraud in Michigan, Pennsylvania and other states.
Trump has clashed this year with traditionally pro-Republican Fox News, and Wallace specifically, saying in April that “it’s a whole new ballgame over there.”

Also on
Trump attorneys will expose Biden’s ‘abject fraud,’ says lawyer on president’s team

Responding to Wallace’s latest remarks about Cruz, Trump campaign adviser Mark Serano tore into the cable news channel for what he argued was betraying their core audience and their brand. “Oh, the conflicts Fox News has waded into because they abandoned their brand and their base audience,” Serano said.

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Savannah Marshall and Hannah Rankin world-title fight off after Peter Fury coronavirus test

Savannah Marshall was due to compete for her first world title against Scotland’s Hannah Rankin

Saturday’s all-British women’s world-title fight between Savannah Marshall and Hannah Rankin has been cancelled after Marshall’s trainer tested positive for coronavirus.

Scotland’s Rankin and England’s Marshall were due to contest the vacant WBO world middleweight title.

But trainer Peter Fury – the uncle of WBC world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury – has returned a positive test.

“I’m absolutely gutted. I was so ready to go,” said Rankin.

“I was bang on weight and absolutely flying. I’m sure Savannah is gutted as well, she has not tested positive for it. There’s nothing she can do or I can do about it. We just have to re-focus and hopefully get another date.

“I just wish Peter all the best.”

Marshall, 29, has eight wins from as many fights and was due to contest a world title for the first time against 30-year-old Rankin.

The co-main event between Lewis Ritson and Miguel Vazquez will go ahead.

The two super-lightweight fighters and others competing on the card tested negative and remain within the fight’s ‘bubble’, which is close to the East England Arena in Peterborough, where the event takes place.

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‘WORST CASE SCENARIO’: Fury at Qld border decision

THE building industry has been left gutted after Queensland announced it will reopen its border to Canberra on Friday.

As of Friday those from the ACT will be able to fly into the Sunshine State, while building and construction operators in South East Queensland and Northern NSW believe they have hit their “worst case scenario”.

President of the Master Builders Association Tweed division Peter Leotta said the industry had exhausted all avenues and had still no response or acknowledgment from the Queensland Government.

“The Northern Rivers has also not had any COVID cases for the same amount of time as the ACT yet our businesses and industry are not being acknowledged,” he said.

“For such a huge part of the state’s GDP and economy – it is simply unbelievable to comprehend the highest efforts of our industry bodies that there is no opportunity to discuss how to get our industry back to work.

“We have been ignored.”

>>>SEE MORE: JOBS ON THE LINE: ‘People can only hold on for so long’

>>>SEE MORE: NSW Premier bursts Ballina’s hopes of being inside bubble

Master Builders Australia NSW are yet to hear back from submissions for work arounds to the border bubbles restrictions to the Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk from August 14.

“Those worst case scenarios and worst case statistics are starting to be felt and we are starting to see that evidence come through,” Mr Leotta said.

“Every business is impacted directly or indirectly … we are watching the implications unfold now.

“It has affected consumers, tradies, mum and dads homeowners and building companies.”

Mr Leotta, GJ Gardner Homes Tweed Heads managing director, said it was “unbelievable” what was achieved for the agricultural industry within 48 hours to have a specialty border pass could not done for building and construction.

“Agriculture is one 30th of the size of building and constructions contribution to the percentage of the state’s GDP,” he said.

“It is unacceptable to believe this cannot also be undertaken for our industry given the size and the sheer contribution we give on a state and national perspective.

“We feel we have a two week window. In two weeks the Queensland government are in caretaker and I believe then nothing will change it will just be maintaining status quo.

“We have an industry on its last legs, ripped apart and devastated.”

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