Massive street parties erupt in Spain as nation celebrates lifting of six-month national curfew – while hotel owners push for inclusion on UK’s ‘green list’



Spaniards have celebrated the end of a six-month national night-time Covid curfew with raucous New Years Eve-style early hours’ street parties. 

Large groups of revellers chanted ‘Freedom’ and sang songs as they unleashed their emotions and boozed on take-out alcohol after the threat of fines of more than £500 was lifted. 

There were reports of clashes between partygoers and police in some parts of Madrid as officers tried to dissolve large gatherings of people without face masks on. 

The surreal scenes, dubbed today by local media as a New Year’s Eve night in May, came 48 hours after Spain’s popular Brit holiday destinations were hit with the hammer blow of failing to make the UK’s ‘green list’. 

The bizarre end to a six-month Spanish government-imposed state of alarm which provided the legal framework for restrictions including the night-time curfew, meant millions of Spaniards had to be indoors by 11pm on Saturday but were free to go out at midnight. 

Many youngsters in Spain’s two largest cities Barcelona and Madrid are said to have carried on partying anyway as they counted down the 60 minutes to the recovery of their freedom of movement. 

The end of the state of alarm has given rise to a confusing situation in Spain in which Covid restrictions vary wildly between regions. 

Restrictions on movement around the country have been lifted, meaning the Costa resorts currently deprived of British tourists can welcome back holidaymakers from across the country.  

The night-time curfew has been lifted in most parts of Spain including its most populated region Andalucia which covers the Costa del Sol where restaurants can open till midnight and late-night bars and nightclubs until 2am. 

But the Balearic Islands and the Valencian Community, which includes the Costa Blanca, are maintaining their night-time curfews. 

Late on Saturday night 16 people were arrested for public order offences after gathering in a city centre square in the Majorcan capital Palma as the local 11pm curfew kicked in and allegedly throwing missiles including stones at police when they were ordered to leave the area. 

Spain is hoping to make the UK’s green list in the next British government announcement on the traffic-light system at the start of June. 

Portugal and Gibraltar have been put on the green list and tourists will be able to travel there from May 17, but Spain including the Balearic and Canary Islands have been given amber status meaning quarantine on top of expensive Covid tests. 

Ibiza hotel owner Jose Antonio Llano Mari, president of the PIMEEF association of small and medium-sized business on the island and neighbouring Formentera, branded the decision a ‘massive blow.’ 

He said: ‘It’s a great disappointment. We have begun to receive cancellations. It’s been immediate.’ 

Claiming the Balearic Islands should have been treated separately from the Spanish mainland because of their lower rate of coronavirus contagion, he told newspaper Periodico de Ibiza: ‘The Spanish government and our regional government should make the British government change this decision so we’re treated as independent islands to the rest of Spain.’ 

Iago Negueruela, the Balearic Islands’ government’s tourism minister, added: ‘The decision penalises us because London is treating Spain as a country when there are many regions with much higher average contagion rates than ours.’

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Chinese rocket debris lands in Indian Ocean



The Long March was the second deployment of the 5B variant since its maiden flight in May 2020. Last year, pieces from the first Long March 5B fell on Ivory Coast, damaging several buildings. No injuries were reported.

“Spacefaring nations must minimise the risks to people and property on Earth of re-entries of space objects and maximize transparency regarding those operations,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, a former senator and astronaut who was picked for the role in March, said in a statement after the re-entry.

“It is clear that China is failing to meet responsible standards regarding their space debris.”

With most of the Earth’s surface covered by water, the odds of populated area on land being hit had been low, and the likelihood of injuries even lower, according to experts.

But uncertainty over the rocket’s orbital decay and China’s failure to issue stronger reassurances in the run-up to the re-entry fuelled anxiety.

“It is critical that China and all spacefaring nations and commercial entities act responsibly and transparently in space to ensure the safety, stability, security, and long-term sustainability of outer space activities,” Nelson said.

Harvard-based astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell told Reuters that the potential debris zone could have been as far north as New York, Madrid or Beijing, and as far south as southern Chile and Wellington, New Zealand.

Since large chunks of the NASA space station Skylab fell from orbit in July 1979 and landed in Australia, most countries have sought to avoid such uncontrolled re-entries through their spacecraft design, McDowell said.

“It makes the Chinese rocket designers look lazy that they didn’t address this,” said McDowell.

The Global Times, a Chinese tabloid, dismissed as “Western hype” concerns the rocket was “out of control” and could cause damage.

“It is common practice across the world for upper stages of rockets to burn up while reentering the atmosphere,” Wang Wenbin, a spokesman at China’s foreign ministry, said at a regular media briefing on May 7.

“To my knowledge, the upper stage of this rocket has been deactivated, which means most of its parts will burn up upon re-entry, making the likelihood of damage to aviation or ground facilities and activities extremely low,” Wang said at the time.

The rocket, which put into orbit an unmanned Tianhe module containing what will become living quarters for three crew on a permanent Chinese space station, will be followed by 10 more missions to complete the station by 2022. 

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Conor McGregor brands Khabib Nurmagomedov “homophobic” in deleted x-rated rant


Conor McGregor launched an astonishing Twitter rant about his former UFC rival Khabib Nurmagomedov – labelling the Russian ‘homophobic’.

The two went head-to-head at UFC 229 in October 2018 with Nurmagomedov successfully defending his lightweight title via submission.

There had been extensive speculation regarding a rematch only for the former lightweight world champ to announce his retirement.

Nurmagomedov, 32, decided he would be leaving the UFC following his win over Justin Gaethje in October of last year, a decision which has since been confirmed.

However, that has done little to stop McGregor taking shots at his old foe in a series of now-deleted posts on the social media site.



Khabib Nurmagomedov beat Conor McGregor in 2018
Khabib Nurmagomedov beat Conor McGregor in 2018

The Notorious was initially responding to a user who claimed the commentary on their bout was biased towards his opponent.

He replied: “Real dirty. I’ve felt the commentary wrath a few times. Imagine this was the round I had won too.

“The guy was holding onto me crying to referee saying I was breaking the rules or some s***.

“And they try and say that I said this only business s***. Absolute horse plop.”



McGregor began by responding to a criticism of the commentary of his UFC 229 fight with Khabib
McGregor began by responding to a criticism of the commentary of his UFC 229 fight with Khabib


The Notorious then labelled his old rival as 'homophobic' before deleting posts
The Notorious then labelled his old rival as ‘homophobic’ before deleting posts

And in a subsequent reply to a tweet which claimed he cheated by holding Khabib’s shorts, he said: “I wasn’t holding his shorts! I was ramming my fingers up his homophobic ass.

“And just look at this happy face here. He loves it. He’s a fingers in the booty ass b****.”

Although a rematch with Khabib is unlikely, McGregor will get a chance to exact revenge on his most latest defeat, when he takes on Dustin Poirier in their trilogy deciding fight in July.

The Irishman has promised a ‘flawless performance’ as he looks to re-enter the title picture at 155lbs.

“July 10th I will do this absolutely flawlessly,’ McGregor said. “We have these clowns sussed and fully!

“They wanna play a game of tactics? No problem, see you in there.

“You’ve awoken a beast. A beast with the backing of a much higher power!

“Say your prayers.”



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Loan sharks target new victims via WhatsApp and Facebook


Criminals have been using social media – from dating sites to local community groups – to find, threaten and control people in debt

Local WhatsApp groups have been one of the silver linings of the pandemic, creating community ties and support networks. Yet loan sharks are increasingly using these groups to extort money from their victims, according to England’s Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT), an organisation that prosecutes illegal lenders and supports victims.

Such lenders are also targeting their victims online – the IMLT’s 2020 victim statistics report shows that one in 10 victims met the loan shark via social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Snapchat and Facebook, or through dating websites. Criminals are also creating their own WhatsApp and Facebook groups that appear to be for local communities but are actually ways to maintain control over their victims, according to Tony Quigley, the head of the IMLT. “It looks like a local community group,” he said. “They will say ‘come and join the group’, ‘see what’s going on’. But it has a more sinister side to it.”

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Pregnant Meghan Markle shows off her baby bump and says her and Harry’s unborn daughter should live in an ‘equitable’ world in VaxLive gig message, while he says science should not be ‘politicized’



Pregnant Meghan Markle has made an appearance during the Vax Live telecast, claiming COVID has wiped out a generation of progress for women of color.  

The Duchess of Sussex made the assertion in a recorded statement, which appeared to be filmed in the backyard of her $14.7 million Montecito mansion. 

‘As campaign chairs of Vax Live, my husband and I believe it’s critical that our recovery prioritizes the health, safety and success of everyone, but particularly women who have been disproportionately affected by this pandemic,’ Meghan stated. 

‘Women, and especially women of color, have seen a generation of economic gain wiped out.’

Cradling her large baby bump in a red floral blouse, Meghan continued: ‘My husband and I are thrilled to soon be welcoming a daughter. It’s a feeling of joy we share with millions of other families around the world. 

‘When we think of her, we think of all the young women and girls around the globe who must be given the ability and support to lead us forward.’

The Vax Live concert took place at Los Angeles’ Lo-Fi stadium this past Sunday. Prince Harry appeared in person, but Meghan reportedly pulled out at the last minute.  

However, her brief recorded statement aired at the conclusion of the concert’s telecast – which was aired across multiple TV channels in the US on Saturday night. 

It was the Duchess’s first appearance on American television since her and Harry’s bombshell interview with Oprah back in March.  

Meghan also wielded out a series of stats during her 2-minute statement, saying: ‘Since the pandemic began, nearly 5.5 million women have lost work  in the U.S., and 47 million more women around the world are expected to slip into extreme poverty.’

She also stated that the the ‘future leadership’ of young women ‘depends on the decisions we make and the actions we take now’.  

‘We want to make sure that as we recover, we recover stronger; that as we rebuild, we rebuild together,’ the Duchess declared. 

It’s unclear when Meghan’s statement was recorded. However, she sported a softer and more maternal look than she did during her Oprah interview. 

The Duchess opted for a bright and loose-fitting button down adorned with flowers. She left her long locks free-flowing and styled them in loose curls. 

Meanwhile, Prince Harry warned against the ‘politicization’ of COVID-19 vaccines in a video which was recorded backstage at the Vax Live concert. 

‘I think the most worrying thing for me and my wife [Meghan].. is science being politicized,’ Harry stated in the black and white clip, posted to Twitter on Saturday. 

‘When we’re talking about life and death, which we’re talking about now, vaccines cannot be politicized’.

The Duke of Sussex further declared: ‘We must ensure that everyone around the world has equal access to the vaccine, otherwise none of this works.’   

Harry and Meghan have backed US President Joe Biden’s move to waive vaccine patents for poorer countries. 

That decision – which was announced earlier this week – caused shares for vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna to tumble on Thursday. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla described support of the waivers as ‘so wrong’, 

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EXCLUSIVE: Horrifying moment grandmother is grabbed off street by her suspected killer and forced into bush where her body was found next day – as police release image of man they want to speak to



Horrifying footage has captured the moment a woman was grabbed off the street by her suspected killer and forced towards the bush where she was later found dead.  

The body of Maria Jane Rawlings, 45, who lived in Chelmsford, Essex, was found in shrubbery near Little Heath in Romford at around 2pm on Tuesday.   

Security camera footage obtained by MailOnline captures the final moments of mother-of-two Ms Rawlings before she was bludgeoned and strangled to death.  

It comes as the Metropolitan Police released images and video this evening of a man they want to speak to in connection to the killing.

In the clip, the man is seen travelling on the 364 bus towards Dagenham at around 12.16am on Tuesday, around an hour after Ms Rawlings was last seen in the CCTV footage. 

Police said they believe the man has ‘significant information’ that could help with their ‘fast-paced investigation’. 

The CCTV of the alleged abduction, taken from a nearby house on the day before Ms Rawlings’ body was found, shows the grandmother walking on Barley Lane at 11.17pm on Monday. 

She had just left the nearby King George Hospital in Goodmayes.

Footage shows a male in dark clothing walking behind Ms Rawlings and quickening his step to catch up with her. When he reaches her, he forces his arm around hers.

She resists slightly but he forces her towards the shrubbery on a green near the busy A12. Just as they disappear from view a white car drives past.

Ms Rawlings’ body was found in the bush at 2pm on Tuesday by a man out walking his dog.

Detective Chief Inspector David Hillier, who is leading the murder investigation, said after releasing the latest footage of the man on the bus: ‘I would urge anyone who recognises this man to contact police immediately. 

‘We are carrying out a fast-paced investigation and I believe this man may have significant information to help us with our enquiries. If anyone sees this man, I would ask them not to approach him but to call 999.’

A post-mortem examination at Walthamstow Mortuary gave the preliminary cause of death as neck compression and possible blunt force head trauma.

The homeowner who gave MailOnline his security footage did so in order to help trace the man seen with Ms Rawlings in the minute-long clip.

He has also appealed to the driver of the white car to contact police if he has a dash cam or if he saw anything untoward as he drove past.

The homeowner has given the footage to the Metropolitan Police and believes the man was seen walking away from the area at about 11.43pm.

Ms Rawlings lived 20-miles away from Little Heath in Chelmsford, Essex.

Her devastated family yesterday left flowers by the bush where her body was found, with a message attached to one bouquet reading: ‘Mummy. I love you now, forever and always. 

‘In this s*** world you made things brighter. Forever my angel. Your Big Baby.’

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Man arrested in hunt for PCSO Julia James’s killer



Detectives hunting the killer of PCSO Julia James have arrested a man in his 20s, they revealed on Saturday.

The arrest came 11 days after Mrs James, 53, was found bludgeoned to death in woodland near her home in Snowdown, Kent, on April 27, shortly after leaving the house with her Jack Russell dog.   

It emerged on Saturday evening that a woman from Canterbury claimed her daughter recognised the man in the photograph, which had been posted on the force’s Facebook page.

Her comment was spotted by Mrs James’s daughter, Bethan Coles, 31, a police officer, who wrote: “Please go to police if you have any information. We would be so grateful x”. 

The woman, who did not want to be named, later posted to say that she had been contacted by officers.

A Kent Police spokesman said: “Officers investigating the death of Julia James have arrested a man in connection with her murder.

“A man in his 20s from the Canterbury area was arrested at 9.30pm on Friday 7 May 2021, and remains in custody.”

The man held by police is understood to be a British national. A house in the former mining town of Aylesham, close to the scene of the killing, was later seen taped off by police, with forensics officers undertaking a search of the property in Sunshine Corner Avenue.

Officers with clipboards were seen going door to door, speaking to people living in surrounding houses on the new build estate, close to the outskirts of the village.

Kent Police repeated their appeal for any information that might help them in their hunt for Mrs James’ killer, with the force so far unable to establish what the motive for the attack was.

Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards said: “We continue to urge anyone with information, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, to contact us.

“If you were in the Snowdown area between 1pm and 4.30pm on Tuesday 27 April please contact us. This includes anyone local who may have seen something out of place at the time, or who came across someone who made them feel uneasy – such as feeling compelled to cross the road or change the route they were walking.”

The arrest came after Kent Police said they were no longer seeking information about a man following the release of an image by the force.

Officers had released a photograph on Friday of a man they said could be of “crucial importance” to the investigation.

But later in the day the force said the man had been identified and they were no longer appealing for information about him.

ACC Richards said: “I can confirm we have identified the man in the photo and we no longer need the media to run his image, nor do we need further information about him at this time.

“Despite identifying this individual, we are still keen to hear from those who have information that may help us.”

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Fresh warnings over Amazon, Royal Mail and Hermes scams targeting customers


There has been fresh warnings over scams relating to Amazon, Royal Mail and the DVLA.

Fraudsters are also passing themselves off as workers from Hermes, DPD, PayPal, and banks, according to warnings.

Cruel fraudsters are attempting to steal victims’ cash as Brits remain working from home, with anxieties high, Birmingham Live reports.

An ITV documentary Tonight, which aired on Thursday evening, shed light on the spate of scams and rise of vile fraudsters attempting to swindle unwitting victims across the country.

The Royal Mail scam has, by now, been well publicised.

But police forces are still urging people to exercise caution and stay vigilant amid a worrying rise in fraudulent text messages and emails.



The most popular scams
The most popular scams in the UK

A West Midlands Police Community Support Officer (PCSO), Sam Doninton said: “I have had a large number of residents mention scams and/or spam texts that they have been receiving as a real problem.”

The scams have left some Birmingham residents losing their entire life savings – including one graduate from the city who fell foul to Royal Mail scammers.

Research listed below also shows Hermes, DVLA and Amazon scams are massively rising, as well as scams relating to banking giants in the UK.



Royal Mail stock photo
The Royal Mail scam has, by now, been well publicised (file photo)

In March, The Mirror reported on how millions of people have been sent text messages from scammers posing as Royal Mail in an attempt to intercept their bank details.

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) said the messages claim a parcel is awaiting delivery but a “settlement” must first be paid.



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The messages include a link to a fraudulent Royal Mail website which asks the recipient to enter their bank details to release their parcel.

The CTSI warned that the rise in online shopping means more people are likely to be waiting for parcels and deliveries, making them more vulnerable to this kind of fraud.



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White-hot housing market has Merseyside suburb at fever pitch


Prices in Wallasey, on the Wirral, are soaring in a nationwide boom fuelled by the stamp duty holiday, but will it last?

Homebuyers are scrambling for houses in Britain’s latest property hotspot – on the tip of the Wirral peninsula.

The Merseyside town of Wallasey has over the past year recorded a bigger rise in asking prices than any town or city in Britain, according to the listings site Rightmove. And it’s family homes with gardens – a popular choice during lockdown – that have become must-have assets.

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Line of Duty’s Martin Compston says no rain will stand in way of pub pint as he celebrates 37th birthday


Scots actor Martin Compston is celebrating his birthday today and says no rain will stand in the way of having a celebratory pint.

The Line of Duty star turned 37 today and as he is currently working in Edinburgh, it looks like he will need a brolly to sip on his birthday pint as the forecast is for rain for most of the day and drinking indoors is still not permitted.

But the star didn’t let the weather rain on his parade as he took to Twitter to thank fans for their kind messages.

Compston, from Greenock, also shares his birthday with Line of Duty co-star Vicky McClure, and made sure he gave his ‘mate’ a mention too as she celebrates her 38th birthday.

He wrote: “Massive thanks for all the lovely birthday msgs really appreciated!!!No rain shall stand in the way of a pub pint today. Also the biggest of birthday love to the greatest partner in all of telly land, have a blinder mate @Vicky_McClure xx.”

One fan wrote: “Enjoy that pint!”

Another said: “Happy Birthday to TV’s finest Detectives.”



Martin Compston and Vicky McClure share the same birthday

Outlander actor Richard Rankin said: “Happy Birthday you pair of legends!! Is it the same day??”



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Another wrote: “Ah the best duo to share a birthday with! Legends.”

One commented: “iconic mates, on and off screen.”

While one added: “Happy Birthday to you both @martin_compston and @Vicky_McClure and thank you for keeping us entertained with your incredible acting abilities and for giving us something to look forward to each week. Shame it had to end. Hope the rain stops for u.”

And today seems to be a common birthday in celeb land as Sir David Attenborough turns 95, and ‘H’ (not Detective Superintendant Ian Buckells) from pop group Steps turns 45.

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