Hank Aaron, Major League Baseball’s one-time home run record holder, dies aged 86


Major League Baseball (MLB) great Hank Aaron, who endured racist threats with stoic dignity during his successful pursuit of Babe Ruth’s career home run record, has died aged 86.

The Atlanta Braves, Aaron’s long-time MLB team, said he died peacefully in his sleep. No cause of death was given.

Aaron made his last public appearance earlier this month when he received the COVID-19 vaccine. He said he wanted to help spread the word to Black Americans that the vaccine was safe.

“Hammerin’ Hank” set a wide array of career hitting records during a 23-year career spent mostly with the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves, including RBIs (runs batted in), extra-base hits and total bases.

But Aaron will be remembered for one swing above all others, the one that made him baseball’s home-run king.

On April 8, 1974, before a sell-out crowd at Atlanta Stadium and a national television audience, Aaron broke Ruth’s home run record with number 715 off Al Downing of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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Legendary baseball broadcaster Vin Scully famously called Aaron’s milestone home run, in which he highlighted the significance of the achievement.

“What a marvellous moment for baseball. What a marvellous moment for Atlanta and the state of Georgia,” Scully said in commentary after Aaron triumphantly made his way to the home plate.

“What a marvellous moment for the country and the world.

“A black man is getting a standing ovation in the Deep South for breaking a record of an all-time baseball idol.”

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Scully paid his respect to Aaron on Saturday, saying it was a privilege to cover his milestone home run and his career.

“He meant so much more to baseball and the country than just being one of the game’s top home run hitters,” Scully tweeted.

Aaron held the home run record of 755 for more than 33 years, a period during which he slowly but surely claimed his rightful place as one of America’s most iconic sporting figures, a true national treasure worthy of mention in the same breath with Ruth or Muhammad Ali or Michael Jordan.

But Aaron’s journey to that memorable homer was hardly triumphant, as he was the target of extensive hate mail as he closed in on Ruth’s cherished record of 714.

Aaron was shadowed constantly by bodyguards and forced to distance himself from teammates. He kept all those hateful letters, a bitter reminder of the abuse he endured and never forgot.

“This is just the way things are for Black people in America,” Aaron once said.

“It’s something you battle all of your life.”

Braves president and CEO, Derek Schiller, said Aaron “basically is the Braves”.

“Our brand is and our team is who we are because of Hank Aaron,” Schiller said.

“I know there are a lot of guys [who] have worn the uniform, but none like Hank.”

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MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said Aaron would be remembered as a legend of the game.

“Hank Aaron is near the top of everyone’s list of all-time great players,” he said in a statement.

“Hank symbolised the very best of our game, and his all-round excellence provided Americans and fans across the world with an example to which to aspire.

“His career demonstrated that a person who goes to work with humility every day can hammer his way into history and find a way to shine like no other.”

A giant of baseball

Aaron spent 21 of his 23 seasons with the Braves — first in Milwaukee, then in Atlanta after the franchise moved to the South in 1966. He finished his career in Milwaukee after being traded to the Brewers following the 1974 season when he refused to take a front-office job that would have required a big pay cut.

While knocking the ball over the fence became his signature accomplishment, Aaron was hardly a one-dimensional star. In fact, he never hit more than 47 homers in a season.

But it can be argued no one else was so good, for so long, at so many facets of baseball.

He posted 14 seasons with a .300 average, the last of them at age 39, and claimed two National League batting titles. He finished with a career average of .305.

Aaron also was a gifted outfielder with a powerful arm, something often overlooked because of a smooth, effortless stride that his critics mistook for nonchalance. He was a three-time Gold Glove winner.

In addition, Aaron posted nine straight seasons with double-figure stolen bases, including a career best of 31 in 1963 when he joined Ken Williams and Willie Mays as only the third member of the 30-30 club — players who have totalled at least 30 homers and 30 steals in a season.

Six feet tall (182 centimetres) and listed at 180 pounds (81.6 kilograms) during the prime of his career, Aaron was hardly an imposing player physically. But he was blessed with powerful wrists that made him one of baseball’s most feared hitters.

Aaron hit 733 homers with the Braves, the last in his final plate appearance with the team on October 2, 1974. Exactly one month later, he was traded to the Brewers.

Aaron, pictured in 2014, is regarded as one of the greatest all-round players in MLB history.(AP: David Goldman)

Aaron became a designated hitter with the Brewers but managed just 22 homers over his last two seasons. He retired after hitting .229 in 1976.

Even so, his career numbers largely stood the test of time. The home run mark lasted until Barry Bonds hit his 756th on August 7, 2007.

Bonds retired with 762 homers, but many consider Aaron the true home-run king because of steroid allegations that continue to hound his successor.

Aaron still has more RBIs (2,297), extra-base hits (1,477) and total bases (6,856) than anyone in baseball history. He ranks second in at-bats (12,354), third in games played (3,298) and hits (3,771), and fourth in runs scored (tied with Ruth at 2,174).

He was the National League’s MVP in 1957, when the Milwaukee Braves beat the New York Yankees in seven games to give Aaron the only World Series title of his career. It also was his lone MVP award, though he finished in the top 10 of the balloting 13 times.

Aaron was selected for the All-Star Game in 21 consecutive years — every season but his first and his last.

He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, which was his first year of eligibility. He was just nine votes short of being a unanimous choice.

In 1999, MLB began honouring its top hitter with the Hank Aaron Award, akin to the Cy Young for pitchers.

Aaron was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honour, by then-president George W Bush in 2002.

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Shrewsbury Resident Surveys Flooded Home After River Severn Bursts Its Banks



Many homes in Shrewsbury, England, experienced severe flooding on Friday, January 22, after the River Severn burst its banks and inundated parts of the town, local media reported. This video was shared by Twitter user @ConnorPR, who said the footage was taken inside her house at 11 am on Friday. The Shrewsbury Council reported the river rising to 4.9 meters (16 feet). The Environment Agency warned of continued flood risk on Friday afternoon while the Met Office issued a yellow weather warning for Sunday across Wales and parts of England. @ConnorPR noted that this was the third flood she had experienced in 11 months. Credit: @ConnorPR via Storyful

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Survivor seeks apology and demands Federal Government action over abuse claims at Retta Dixon Home in Darwin


It is not easy for Frank Spry to talk about what happened to him at the Retta Dixon Home in Darwin decades ago.

“I was in there from when I was seven until I was just under 18,” he said about the institution that was supposed to care for children.

“There was abuse … physical, mental, sexual.”

Mr Spry is now 69 years old.

He has been a teacher, a musician and a vocal advocate for people from the Stolen Generations.

But when he looks back at his life, it is clear to him what happened at Retta Dixon had a major impact.

“There were times where I basically wanted to commit suicide,” he said.

“I’ve not gone that far, but there were occasions where I felt really deeply hurt by what happened to me.”

In an attempt to seek redress for what he says occurred at the facility, Mr Spry made an application to the National Redress Scheme [NRS] for people who have experienced institutional child abuse.

He was shocked this week to learn that that application has hit major hurdles.

The Retta Dixon Home facility housed mainly Aboriginal children, including many Stolen Generation children.(Credit: Royal Commisson into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse)

The organisation which ran the Retta Dixon Home, Australian Indigenous Ministries [AIM], has been barred from participating in the scheme by the Federal Government, which says the church group does not have the money to pay out potential claimants.

On top of that, no “funder of last resort” has been identified for the Retta Dixon Home survivors, meaning no state, territory or federal government has stepped up to guarantee that any compensation payments ordered through the scheme are fulfilled.

It has left people like Mr Spry in administrative limbo, with no guarantee the National Redress Scheme will deliver compensation or acknowledgement of wrongdoing.

“Some of those people have passed on”

An unidentified girl sits in the dormitory of Darwin's Retta Dixon Home in 1958.
A dormitory in Darwin’s Retta Dixon Home in 1958.(National Archives)

The ABC has asked the Federal Government if it will step in as the funder of last resort for people in Mr Spry’s position, of which there are at least 10.

The Department of Social Services said a decision regarding this would be discussed at a NRS governance board meeting this year.

“The scheme continues to actively explore options, including with state and territory governments, for expanded funder of last resort arrangements,” the department said in a statement.

It suggested a two-year review of the scheme, which is due in the first quarter of this year, could deliver changes to how the funder of last resort provision could be applied.

“Any changes from this review will be considered by the state and territory ministers, who are also required to give approval to substantive redress changes,” it said.

Northern Territory's Retta Dixon Home
Frank Spry is demanding an apology from the operator of Retta Dixon Home.(National Archives of Australia)

For Mr Spry, who previously received some compensation from a 2017 class action regarding Retta Dixon Home, accessing the full amount of compensation he may be entitled to under the law is important.

But equally pressing for him is a desire to have his story acknowledged.

It is for this reason he is asking AIM to apologise to him and others who might be in his situation.

“They must wear it and take it on the chin.”

The church group, which rebranded from Aborigines Inland Mission in 1998, maintains that it did all it could to join the National Redress Scheme.

In a statement, AIM said it would like to find ways to meaningfully apologise to Mr Spry and any others in comparable situations.

“We would like to explore with them how they would like to have us make a relevant apology,” AIM’s acting general director Cliff Letcher said.

Frank Spry stands with his hands on his hips as he looks ahead with several trees in the background.
Frank Spry recalls harrowing times at the Retta Dixon Home, where he spent most of his childhood.(ABC News: Michael Franchi)

Mr Spry is yet to respond to AIM’s offer but given the Federal Government has decided to allow AIM to stay off the scheme, he believes the onus is now on it to help people like him find justice.

“If they’ve said to AIM and Retta Dixon Home: ‘Because you don’t have enough money, you can cop out of it’, then the Federal Government needs to be [the] owner of this,” he said.

“Own what happened to these little children, to us, in this institution.”

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Court finds house with 17 bedrooms and bathrooms not a family home and orders changes


The owner of a 17-bedroom waterfront mansion on the Sunshine Coast, which was operating as an illegal boarding house, has been ordered to make structural changes after failing to convince a judge that it was just another family home.

The three-storey building on Birtinya has en suites for every bedroom, kitchens on each floor, plus power and water meters for each room.

There are no bathrooms in shared areas, no master bedroom, and multiple laundries.

Rooms in the building were rented out for $220 a week for more than 12 months to March last year.

If fully occupied, it would amount to almost $15,000 a month in income.

Michael Ivan Gavin’s operation of the house breached the Sunshine Coast Regional Council’s planning rules and landed him in the Planning and Environment Court.

Judge Glen Cash ordered Mr Gavin to make changes to his property to make it harder to operate as accommodation in a residential area.

The required changes included the removal of certain doors, sinks and kitchen sites, but the ruling stopped short of demolishing parts of the house — a request put to the court by council.

A neighbour told the court there were about 15 people living in the building, causing parking havoc on the suburban street.(ABC Sunshine Coast: Owen Jacques)

Two plans, one house

In the ruling handed down in late December, Judge Cash found Mr Gavin was warned first by a private certifier, then by council officers, that the house must be used as a home, not paid accommodation.

Councillor Peter Cox said he was pleased with the decision and that the house “did not comply with the local area plan”.

Judge Cash described how Mr Gavin misled authorities with two different building plans — one reflected the true nature of the project, while the other was designed to deceive council officers.

Large house on edge of waterway with hospital in background
The Birtinya house has been listed online to rent, as a whole, for $1,250 a week.(ABC Sunshine Coast: Owen Jacques)

When building began in early 2018, it took just weeks for a council officer to raise concerns during an inspection, only to be told by Mr Gavin that it was a home and nothing more.

Mr Gavin moved into the house with his family for about two months in late 2018, before attempting to rent out the rooms individually as “private rooms” or “one-bedroom apartments”.

One neighbour told the court there were about 15 people living in the building, causing parking havoc on the suburban street.

‘Not an impressive witness’

Judge Cash said Mr Gavin “was not an impressive witness” when questioned by the court over the property.

“He was garrulous, unresponsive and, at times, mendacious,” Judge Cash wrote.

The Sunshine Coast Regional Council wanted the court to order the demolition of eight of the 17 bathrooms and for officers be able to inspect the site at any time with 24 hours’ notice.

The council said it wanted to ensure such a misuse of the property was not allowed to happen again.

The court rejected both requests.

However, Judge Cash warned any attempt to undo or disobey the changes could cost the owner — whether Mr Gavin or a future buyer — more than $600,000 in fines or two years’ prison.

The ABC has tried contacting the homeowner for a response to the ruling.

The Birtinya house, now with 16 bedrooms and 16 bathrooms, has been listed online to rent, as a whole, for $1,250 a week.

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USA 4-0 Colombia: Sam Mewis scores hat-trick in first home game in 10 months


Sam Mewis scored a penalty to complete a hat-trick and claim her 21st international goal

Sam Mewis scored a hat-trick as the United States beat Colombia 4-0 in Orlando on Monday.

The Manchester City midfielder, 28, scored twice in the first half before securing her first international treble just after the interval.

Her older sister Kristie, 29, added a fourth goal late on as the Women’s World Cup holders extended their unbeaten run to 33 matches.

The US have another friendly against Colombia in Orlando on Saturday.

Sam Mewis slotted in from Megan Rapinoe’s pass before heading home a Carli Lloyd cross to become the 30th US women’s player to reach 20 international goals as he US outclassed a Colombia side that failed to manage a shot on target.

She claimed her 21st, from 69 appearances, after Lindsey Horan was brought down in the penalty area.

Colombia failed to have a shot on target while Brazil-born midfielder Catarina Macario made her US debut as a substitute after being cleared by Fifa to play for the country she moved to at 12.

For the US, who had Catarina Macario making her debut as a substitute after being cleared by Fifa to play for the country she moved to at 12, this was a first home game since beating Japan 3-1 in the SheBelieves Cup final last March. They did, though, play the Netherlands in Breda on 27 November, winning 2-0.

A limited-capacity crowd of 4,000 was permitted at Exploria Stadium, which will host this year’s SheBelieves Cup, which begins on 18 February and also features Brazil, Canada and Japan.

Line-ups

USA

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Naeher
  • 5O’HaraSubstituted forPurceat 72′minutes
  • 7Dahlkemper
  • 4Sauerbrunn
  • 19DunnSubstituted forSonnettat 72′minutes
  • 3MewisSubstituted forLavelleat 64′minutes
  • 8Ertz
  • 9HoranSubstituted forMewisat 64′minutes
  • 6Williams
  • 10Lloyd
  • 15RapinoeSubstituted forMacarioat 45′minutes

Substitutes

  • 14Sonnett
  • 16Lavelle
  • 22Mewis
  • 23Purce
  • 24Campbell
  • 25Smith
  • 29Macario

Colombia

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 12Sepúlveda
  • 2Ibarguen
  • 16Carabalí
  • 3Arias
  • 15VelásquezSubstituted forGuerraat 77′minutes
  • 8Caro
  • 21SalazarSubstituted forReyesat 67′minutes
  • 18PaviBooked at 23minsSubstituted forAcostaat 45′minutes
  • 11Usme
  • 10RobledoSubstituted forCaicedoat 90+1′minutes
  • 9RomeroBooked at 40minsSubstituted forCaicedoat 45′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Giraldo
  • 7Reyes
  • 14Guerra
  • 19Caicedo
  • 20Caicedo
  • 22González
  • 23Acosta

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Socceroos coach Graham Arnold seeks government help to play home World Cup qualifiers in 2021


FIFA ruled last year that clubs could block players from leaving for international duty if they were are due to play in a country with an enforced quarantine period of five days or more. Football Australia expects that rule will apply again in 2021, making it impossible for Arnold to call upon star players like Mathew Ryan, Aaron Mooy and Awer Mabil, who play for clubs in Europe and Asia.

In anticipation of exemptions being denied in March, Football Australia’s contingency plan is to postpone the Kuwait game until June.

Graham Arnold didn’t coach a single Socceroos match in 2020 but will tackle a backlog of World Cup qualifiers this year.Credit:Getty

The AFC has added another week to the June international window, when the Socceroos are due to play two more home games against Chinese Taipei and Jordan. The federation is warming to the idea of adding Kuwait as a third and brokering a deal with a state government to play them all in one region.

With the Matildas also expected to be in Australia at the same time to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics, that month could bring a feast of international football for action-starved fans.

By then, Football Australia is hopeful that vaccine distribution will make it easier to gain the necessary approvals for teams to enter and exit the country, with nine of their next 14 World Cup qualifiers on the road to Qatar 2022 due to be played on home soil.

The only other alternative, which Arnold is desperate to avoid, is being forced to play all those home games in a neutral country.

Arnold said football was “unique” in Australian sport because in other codes like cricket, rugby league and rugby union, almost all national team players live here – but the vast majority of Socceroos and Matildas players ply their trade at overseas clubs.

“Our players live overseas, play overseas, and we would like to work with government to find a way to get them back into the country for them to be able to represent Australia,” Arnold said.

“We don’t want to have to host our home games in neutral territories. Home games are important, not only for the players – who haven’t been able to play in front of fans, family or friends – but for the supporters and for the brand of the Socceroos and Matildas.

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“We are going to need the government’s help to make this happen and help us get to the World Cup. We know how big World Cup qualification is. We need to work together and see if we can make it work.”

It’s been 430 days since the Socceroos’ last match away to Jordan in November 2019. By the start of March, it will be the longest break between games for the national team since 1964 – a year after Australia was re-admitted to FIFA following a five-year suspension from the world governing body.

Top of Group B after four wins from four qualifiers in 2019, the Socceroos are close to sealing their spot in the next stage of the process, which will begin later this year.

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New home sales fall in WA



The number of new home sales across the country continued to soar in December as buyers rushed to beat stimulus deadlines, but not in Western Australia.

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Bobi Wine: Uganda’s pop star politician makes plea to the world after being ‘made prisoner in his own home’ | World News


There is a road north of the capital, Kampala, that few Ugandans wish to follow.

It is a rough, potholed track which leads to the home of the opposition leader, Bobi Wine.

The 38-year old has not left his home since last Thursday, when he cast his vote in the general election. He came second in the presidential contest after the country’s long-time ruler, Yoweri Museveni, took 58% of the vote.

Mr Wine’s house is now surrounded by riot police and soldiers along with a set of metallic yellow spikes in case anyone was minded to drive their way in.

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The opposition leader said the situation inside his home was ‘desperate’

Nonetheless, we met a pair of lawyers in a respectable looking car who told us they were determined to speak to their client.

George Musisi, a partner in a firm in Kampala, said Mr Wine’s home had been turned into a de facto prison.

“We know that his home is not a detention centre, we know that it is a private property, so we are going to see how we can access it,” he said.

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Wine and reporters flee from gun-toting soldiers

The lawyers, who accuse the government of trying to muzzle the popular politician, edged slowly towards the police barricade.

Lawyer Benjamin Katana tried to reason with policeman in charge.

“[Bobi Wine] has rights, like access to his lawyers especially now he is under detention, we need instructions from him, this is standard,” he said.

The commander looked decidedly uncomfortable and left them to make a phone call.

He came back to tell the lawyers that no one was getting in.

“You can contact the police department’s spokesman if you want.”

The lawyers chuckled.

“This is futile, even people in police cells can access their lawyers,” said an exasperated Mr Musisi.

KAMPALA, UGANDA - NOVEMBER 03: Bobi Wine parades though the streets through crowds of supporters on November 03, 2020 in Kampala, Uganda. Popular singer Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, better known by his stage name of H.E. Bobi Wine, is set to appear before the Independent Electoral Commission this morning to be nominated to stand against incumbent Yoweri Museveni in the upcoming Presidential elections in Uganda. He will be join candidate two former military Generals, Mugisha Muntu and Henry Tumuku
Image:
Bobi Wine said his wife was assaulted by the military when she tried to pick food from their garden

Bobi Wine, who captured the imagination of younger voters during the campaign, was contacted by phone and he said the situation inside the cordon was desperate.

“We have run short of food supplies but when my wife tried to go to our garden to pick food she was assaulted by the military,” he said.

“The only practical plan now is to inform the world to see that fellow citizens of the world can help us.”

He told Sky News he has even been targeted with bullets and tear gas.

The Ugandan authorities have done this before. Five years ago, prominent opposition leader Kizza Besigye was detained for 40 days after the election. He told me it was part of a long-standing pattern of harassment.

“How many times were you arrested?” I asked.

“Frankly I cannot count how many times I was arrested, because I lost count. Sometimes it was every day,” said Mr Besigye.

“How many times did you go to court?” I inquired of Mr Besigye, who stood against President Museveni in four elections.

“Again very many… I was charged with rape, treason, terrorism and illegal possession of guns all in one go [at the beginning of the 2006 presidential campaign].

“I was tried [and cleared] of rape but the judgement didn’t come out until after the election. Many cases are still in court.”

Mr Besigye said he experienced strong sense déjà vu watching the Bobi Wine campaign and warns that the authorities will not leave him alone.

Yet the people of Uganda will need the 38-year-old, along with every other opposition-minded citizen, if they are going to overturn Mr Museveni’s rule.

“It’s difficult to [physically] gather, it’s difficult to work together but it doesn’t mean people won’t challenge his regime,” said Bobi Wine.

“They are determined, trust me – so watch this space.”

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Man ‘too scared to go home’ because of coronavirus allegedly hid in US airport for three months



A man accused of hiding in a US airport for three months was “too scared to go home” because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a court has heard.

Californian man Aditya Singh has been arrested on charges that he hid in a secured area at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport for three months.

After his arrest on Saturday, the 36-year-old told police the coronavirus pandemic left him afraid to fly.

His lawyer, assistant public defender Courtney Smallwood, said it was unclear why Mr Singh came to Chicago or whether he had ties to the area.

She said he was unemployed and did not have a criminal record.

Mr Singh was spotted by two United Airlines employees who asked him for identification.

He allegedly lowered his mask and showed a badge that actually belonged to an airport operations manager who had reported it missing in late October, prosecutor Kathleen Hagerty said.

The employees called police and they took Mr Singh into custody.

Mr Singh was “scared to go home due to COVID”, Ms Hagerty said.

She said he told authorities he had found the badge and other passengers at the airport had given him food.

Mr Singh is charged with felony criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport and misdemeanour theft.

Before she granted Mr Singh bail, Cook County judge Susana Ortiz said it was troubling that someone could remain in a secured area at the airport for so long without anyone noticing.

“Being in a secured part of the airport under a fake ID badge allegedly, based upon the need for airports to be absolutely secure so that people feel safe to travel, I do find those alleged actions do make him a danger to the community.”

She said Mr Singh was prohibited from setting foot in the airport but he could be released if he paid $1,000.

However, Mr Singh remains in the Cook County Jail.

AP

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UK Coronavirus LIVE: Matt Hancock says UK ‘on home straight’ as vaccine rollout expands and Government looks at March lockdown end


H

ealth Secretary Matt Hancock has said the UK is “nearly on the home straight” out of the pandemic as the vaccine rollout gathers pace.

But Government sources have “dismissed as speculation” reports that every adult in Britain could be vaccinated by the end of June. Other reports state the government is looking at relaxing lockdown restrictions in March.

Live updates

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More here on Dominic Raab saying it is the Government plan to have offered all UK adults a jab by September 

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UK lecturers warn of strike action over ‘unsafe’ conditions

The union representing  lecturers has ruled out face to face this academic year over covid fears.

Members of the University and College Union are to ballot members with the threat of strike action if the government tries to force them back onto campuses. 

The moves comes as the National Union of Students called for universities to stop charging students fees and offer them rent rebates while they are unable to use their accommodation. 

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Tokyo reports 1,592 new covid cases

Japan has extended a state of emergency in Toyko after 1,592 new cases were reported in the city.

The government has announced seven more zones in and around the city where restrictions are to be beefed up.

Tokyo is the host city for the Olympics scheduled for the summer.

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Sir Ed Davey: ‘Gavin Williamson is worst education secretary we’ve had in living memory’

Sir Ed Davey has said that Gavin Williamson is “the worst education secretary we’ve had in living memory”.

Asked whether university students should be financially recompensed for the disruption of their education during the pandemic and who should pay for it, the Lib Dem leader said: “I think it should be the Government.

“I think the Government has really let down universities, it has let down schools, frankly. I mean the fiasco from Gavin Williamson, the way he has mismanaged this whole crisis for our children and young people and students.

“That is why I have called for him to resign. I think he is the worst education secretary we’ve had in living memory.”

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Government ‘looking at quarantine hotels and enhanced monitoring’

Dominc Raab told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday when asked about the reports: “We will consider all the measures in the round.”

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Dominic Raab dismisses claims that the Government had been “too slow” in setting up border measures

Dominic Raab dismissed claims that the Government had been “too slow” in setting up border measures to prevent the importation of new coronavirus variants.

He told the Andrew Marr show on the BBC: “I don’t accept that we have been too slow in this – we are broadly the same pace in terms of Canada and Germany.”

He said “all the potential measures” would be kept under review when asked about quarantine hotels.

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Government hopes it can start to lift lockdown measures in March

Dominic Raab told BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show: : “I think it is true to say that when we get to a situation in the early spring, perhaps March, if we succeed in hitting those targets – we have made good process so far – we can start to think about the phased transition out of the national lockdown.

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Lockdown won’t be lifted ‘with one big bang’ with March key month

Dominic Raab said the government was looking to March for the lifting of the lockdown but warned the process would take time. 

The Foreign Secretary told Sky’s Sophie Ridge programme: “It won’t be done in a big bang but a phased way.”

He said the decision on whether restrictions could be eased would be made in March. 

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Foreign secretary: ‘we can’t guarantee people will get second jab within 12 weeks’

The government  cannot guarantee people will get their second Pfizer jab within 12 weeks as planned.

He told Sky’s Sophie Ridge on Sunday show: “That’s the aim.”

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Raab: ‘Don’t book summer summer holiday’

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab today said he did not think people should book summer holidays despite plans to lift the lockdown in March.

He told Sky’s Sophie Ridge on Sunday programme: “I don’t think it’s appropriate for you book a holiday”.

Raab said people should only plan essential travel.

Thank you for stopping to visit My Local Pages. We Hope you enjoyed reading this news release about current United Kingdom and Political news called “UK Coronavirus LIVE: Matt Hancock says UK ‘on home straight’ as vaccine rollout expands and Government looks at March lockdown end”. This post is posted by MyLocalPages Australia as part of our local news services.

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