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Cyprus announces vaccinated Brits desperate for holiday can visit from May 1

Cyprus announces vaccinated Brits desperate for holiday can visit from May 1


Lockdown-weary Brits desperate for some sun got a shot in the arm today when Cyprus announced it would open its doors in May to all those who had been vaccinated, although UK rules on foreign travel will still apply.

In a race against a faster-spreading variant of the deadly virus, nearly a million people in the UK have received two doses of a Covid-19 jab, and the Cypriot government said those who had both vaccines could travel without restrictions from May 1.

Cyprus’s deputy tourism minister Savvas Perdios said the country would allow Brits who had been given vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency freedom to enter without the need for a negative test or to quarantine, reports HullLive.

Tourists would be required to have had their second dose at the latest seven days before travel, the minister added.

Sun-seeking Brits make up the largest group of visitors to the Cyprus, and made more than a million trips to the Mediterranean island in 2019, according to the Office for National Statistics.

You’ll need both jabs if you want to visit

However it may too early to dust off the suitcase just yet. As it stands, the date Cyprus has set to bring out the bunting for Brits is still more than two weeks before the very earliest date people in England will be able to jet off on holidays.

All non-essential travel abroad will still be banned for people in England at the beginning of May, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying the earliest Britons could go on holiday outside of the country is May 17.

This of course depends on the unpredictable journey of the coronavirus pandemic, which Chancellor Rishi Sunak warned yesterday ‘could change’ prompting fears the end of lockdown may be delayed.

The government is aiming to have all 32million people who fall into the top-nine priority categories vaccinated by April 15, before setting their sights on vaccinating everyone over the age of 18 by late July.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has urged any adults over the age of 60 to come forward and be vaccinated after more than 20 million people have now received the first dosage of the coronavirus jab.





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Kim Jong-un is ‘modern day Hitler’ who’ll never give up nukes, says North Korea defector

Kim Jong-un is ‘modern day Hitler’ who’ll never give up nukes, says North Korea defector


A North Korean defector who uses her YouTube channel to reveal the true stories behind North Korea’s secretive facade says Kim Jong-un is “a modern day Hitler”, and he will continue to develop nuclear weapons despite international sanctions because he “doesn’t fear America”.

The Pyongyang régime is propped up, says Yeonmi Park, by China. She believes that the Chinese government uses North Korea as a bargaining chip in its diplomatic battle with the West.

Park and her family fled the oppressive North Korean regime in 2007 by crossing the frozen Yalu River into China.

Both Park and her mother were raped and exploited by people traffickers before escaping again to Mongolia.



Yeonmi Park spoke of the horrors of eating insects and seeing bodies piled in the streets when she grew up in the secretive country
Park spoke of the horrors of eating insects and seeing bodies piled in the streets when she grew up in the secretive country

Today Yeonmi Park lives in the US and has nearly half a million subscribers on YouTube. But growing up in North Korea she says she remembers eating insects to survive, and seeing bodies piled up in the streets.

But no matter what atrocities he commits, Kim Jong-un can’t be overthrown, she says, because of China’s support.

“He knows he can bully America,” she told The Sun. “He can bully anyone he wants because China is supporting him”.



North Korea has continued to develop nuclear weapons despite international criticism
North Korea has continued to develop nuclear weapons despite international criticism



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And North Korea will continue in its policy of developing nuclear weapons, she says, because America will never be in a position to put a stop to the rogue state’s weapons program

Park says that the huge budget put into weaponry is one of the main causes of the terrible hardship endured by ordinary North Koreans.

“If they would spend just 20% of what they spent on making nuclear weapons, nobody would have to die in North Korea from hunger but the regime chose to make us hungry,’ she told the New York Post.



Human rights activist, Yeonmi Park
Kim will continue to ‘do whatever he wants’ warns park

She says that there is no peaceful solution to the menace of North Korea: “Diplomacy has never solved this problem. Every US President comes up with the same plan and North Korea’s threat has been growing ever more.

“The UN compared the regime to Hitler – yet now everyone wants to have a negotiation with Hitler.

“China enables North Korea to do all the inhumane things. The problem is China. The enabler of Kim Jong-un is China.”





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FTSE 100 powers through 7000 mark for first time in a year

FTSE 100 powers through 7000 mark for first time in a year


FTSE 100 powers through 7000 mark for first time in more than a year as optimism rises about a global economic recovery

  • The last time the blue-chip index was above 7000 was in late February 2020 
  • A month later it had fallen below the 5000 mark after weeks of panic selling 
  • The turnaround has been driven by the vaccine rollout which continues at pace

The FTSE 100 has powered through the 7000 mark for the first time in more than a year as optimism rises about a global economic recovery. 

The last time the blue-chip index was above that milestone was in late February 2020 as investors were gauging the full magnitude of the coronavirus pandemic. 

A month later it had fallen below the 5000 mark after weeks of panic selling. 

But yesterday it finished up 0.5 per cent, or 36.03 points, at 7019.53 while The FTSE 250 rose to a record high as it gained 0.2 per cent, or 50.14 points, to 22,522.18. 

The turnaround has been driven by the vaccine rollout which continues at pace. 

As a result there is increasingly positive talk about the future state of the economy. 

Investors are once again seeing opportunity rather than threat in UK shares. 

Russ Mould, director at AJ Bell, said: ‘This represents a massive milestone in recovering from the terrible pandemic and shows how investors’ confidence has completely changed since just over a year ago. 

‘The market was understandably shocked as coronavirus gripped the world but in true investor style it has quickly focused on the future and the ability for corporate earnings to recover.’ 

Major gains were made by miners that were boosted by strong economic data from China and rising oil prices. 

Brent Crude has risen 7 per cent this week to $67 per barrel. Rio Tinto added 1.2 per cent, or 70p, at 6054p and Anglo American climbed 1.6 per cent, or 50p, to 3199p. The re-opening of bars, restaurants and retailers this week has been a boost and Wetherspoons was up 1.1 per cent, or 15p, at 1384p and Restaurant Group gained 1 per cent, or 1.2p, to 123p. 

British Airways owner IAG was also in positive territory as UK holidaymakers hope they can be given the green light to go away this summer. IAG was up 0.6 per cent, or 1.3p, at 208p. 

Time for take-off? British Airways owner IAG was also in positive territory as UK holidaymakers hope they can be given the green light to go away this summer

Time for take-off? British Airways owner IAG was also in positive territory as UK holidaymakers hope they can be given the green light to go away this summer

Although having broken the psychologically important 7000 barrier, the FTSE 100 remains more than 500 points below its level at the start of last year and has lagged behind several other major markets. 

The Footsie’s record high was close to 7900 in 2018. Analysts said London’s problem during the pandemic has been not enough big technology companies that have ridden the wave of an investment boom in New York. 

Steve Clayton, fund manager at Hargreaves Lansdown, said ‘The UK market has much bigger exposure to commodities and banking than Wall Street or Frankfurt, so the performance of those sectors will be key to the UK’s relative performance in the years ahead.’ 

Markets around the globe were also on the charge and in Paris the Cac 40 rose 52.94 points at 6287.07 and the Dax in Germany gained 204.42 at 15,459.75. 

In the US there were fresh record highs as the S&P and Dow Jones continued to climb. 

Koichi Fujishiro, economist at Japanese insurer Dai-ichi Life, said ‘The US recovery looks really strong. And now that restaurants and hotels, both of which are labour intensive, are reopening, we could see sharp gains in payrolls in coming month.’

CHINA SPRINGS BACK TO LIFE 

China’s economy grew at the fastest pace on record at the start of the year as it continued its recovery from the pandemic. 

Official figures showed output jumped 18.3 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2021 – the strongest performance since records began in 1992. The world’s second largest economy has bounced back from the economic shock caused by Covid. 

The figures were skewed after a plunge in economic activity in the same period last year when the country went into lockdown.



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Reason why Meghan Markle isn’t with Harry at Prince Philip’s funeral

Reason why Meghan Markle isn’t with Harry at Prince Philip’s funeral


Prince Philip passed away on April 9, and his funeral will take place today, Saturday, April 17.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s grandson, Prince Harry, is one of the 30 guests in attendance.

He was able to travel from the US and attend the funeral after only self isolating for five days on “compassionate grounds”.

Prince Harry will be attending the funeral today at 3pm without his wife Meghan Markle by his side.

The reason for this is that the Duchess of Sussex is pregnant with their second child, and has been advised by her doctor not to travel.

It is thought that Meghan made “every effort” to attend, but she didn’t receive medical clearance from her physician, according to Royal correspondent Omid Scobie.



Prince Philip
Prince Philip passed away on April 9

She remains at their home in California.

Meghan’s exact due date is not known, but it is thought to be in early June, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

The Duchess confirmed in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that she and Harry are expecting a girl.

She said the baby would be arriving sometime this summer.



Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
Meghan won’t be joining Harry at the funeral

This will be Prince Harry’s first reunion with his family since the explosive TV interview.

The Duchess made a series of bombshell claims against the Royal Family during the interview.

Earlier in the week Harry paid tribute to his grandfather, who he described as the “master of the barbecue and legend of the banter”, and said he was “cheeky right ’til the end”.



Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
Harry was able to travel from the US, but Meghan was advised against it due to being pregnant

In a statement issued through his foundation Archewell, he said: “My grandfather was a man of service, honour and great humour. He was authentically himself, with a seriously sharp wit, and could hold the attention of any room due to his charm-and also because you never knew what he might say next.

“He will be remembered as the longest reigning consort to the Monarch, a decorated serviceman, a Prince and a Duke.

“But to me, like many of you who have lost a loved one or grandparent over the pain of this past year, he was my grandpa: master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right ’til the end.”

At the end of the tribute, he said that he, Meghan, Archie and his future great-granddaughter would “always hold a special place” for him in their hearts.





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Covid-19 deaths pass three million worldwide

Covid-19 deaths pass three million worldwide



It comes as the World Health Organization warns of deaths and cases increasing at a “worrying rate”.

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NHS worker fired after using spy-cam to film patients and own family in toilet

NHS worker fired after using spy-cam to film patients and own family in toilet


An NHS consultant has been sacked after secretly recording patients, colleagues and members of his own family in the toilet.

Dr Mark McClure used hidden mobile phones in a hospital, a private clinic and his own home so he could watch people get undressed.

The 52 year old radiologist admitted to recording people for his own sexual gratification as he positioned cameras in air vents, using wet toilet paper to secure them.

The creepy doc, whp was caught carrying out the covert recordings twice has been slammed by the Medical Practitioners’ Tribunal Service (MPTS) for ‘abusing his position of trust’ as a highly regarded consultant.



Silhouette of a man by a window.
Creepy doc, Mark McClure has now been struck off after filming people in the loo

McClure secretly recorded people on the toilet in several locations in Northern Ireland including Craigavon Area Hospital, where he worked for the NHS, Hillsborough Private Clinic, where he worked as a private doctor, his own home, and hotels.

At Hillsborough Private Clinic, McClure put his phone in the air vent of a unisex toilet which was used by both staff and patients.

The disgraced doctor positioned his phone pointing towards the toilet, securing it in place by using wet toilet paper, and left it on record.

McClure’s actions in 2015 were discovered by the nursing staff at the clinic and he was later arrested then convicted in court in 2017, escaping jail at Lisburn Magistrates’ Court in Northern Ireland with a probation order.



Hillsborough private clinic
Hillsborough private clinic – where the doctor practised for private patients

However, following subsequent searches of McClure’s devices, it emerged he had more recordings of victims at other locations from 2014, before his original offences.

Last year McClure was jailed for nine months in light of the discovery of the older recordings.

At the MPTS hearing, tribunal chair Chitra Karve said his behaviour was ‘premeditated,’ ‘calculated’ and had ‘breached the fundamental tenets of the medical profession.’

Ms Karve added: “In the circumstances, the tribunal determined that the only appropriate sanction, in this case, was one of erasure.



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“The Tribunal was of the view that Dr McClure’s actions had the potential for an adverse impact on the standing of the medical profession as a whole.

“Specifically, Dr McClure had abused his position of trust in recording and/or attempting to record victims in a clinical environment.”

Ms Karve also said she was ‘concerned’ that some of the recordings were in a hospital environment in which patients could have been recorded.

McClure admitted during the tribunal that he would be sexually aroused seeing some of the victims undressed.

The defendant pleaded to keep his job saying that he would only work from home as a doctor and not in a hospital.

McClure provided the tribunal with evidence of his record of good practice and claimed he offended during a stressful time but had since learnt better coping strategies.

But the tribunal was ‘concerned’ by this as the allegations he faced were not linked to his clinical practice and the tribunal found it to be ‘further evidence of his lack of insight into his offending behaviour.’





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Astrazeneca boss Pascal Soriot to fly back from Australia

Astrazeneca boss Pascal Soriot to fly back from Australia


Astrazeneca boss Pascal Soriot will fly back from Australia before the end of the month as he prepares to face disgruntled shareholders

Astrazeneca’s boss will jet back from Australia before the end of the month as he prepares to face disgruntled shareholders. 

Pascal Soriot, who has spent much of the pandemic at his family home Down Under, has irked investors and even some board members by refusing to come back to the UK since Christmas. 

During that time, Astra became embroiled in a row with the EU over supplies of its Covid jab, and has been put under intense regulatory scrutiny amid fears that its vaccine is causing rare blood clots. 

Homeward bound: Pascal Soriot has spent much of the pandemic at his family home Down Under

Homeward bound: Pascal Soriot has spent much of the pandemic at his family home Down Under

While the company has stated that Soriot is managing the company effectively from afar, critics claim that boss would have a better grasp of the problems – and how to resolve them – if he was back in the country and in the same time zone as most of his colleagues. 

Under pressure from investors, the Mail understands Soriot, 61, is preparing to fly back to the UK in time for Astra’s online shareholder meeting on April 30. 

Edentree Investment Management, which has a stake in Astra, said last week that Soriot’s absence ‘did not give the right signal or message’. 

Ketan Patel, an Edentree fund manager, added: ‘If we were grading the PR effort, they could do better. If you look at the data, and see that the chances of getting a blood clot with this vaccine is about four in one million, compared to four in 10,000 for the contraceptive pill, that perspective needs to be highlighted. 

‘Perhaps it is right to say, where is the chief executive in terms of articulating the healthcare benefits? He hasn’t been that public and being halfway around the world doesn’t give the right signal or message.’ 

Astrazeneca declined to comment but sources said Soriot’s plans were ‘still up in the air’. Soriot will be keen to nip any shareholder unease in the bud at this month’s online event, as it precedes the annual general meeting in May when investors will vote on his re-election to the board and the company’s executive pay. 

Last year, Soriot received £15.4million, up from £15.3million in 2019, including £13.4million in bonuses and incentives. Though shareholders will not be able to meet Soriot in person at this month’s online meeting, due to the pandemic, they will be able to ask questions on the live video call. 

Flying back: Under pressure from investors, the Mail understands Soriot, 61, is preparing to fly back to the UK in time for Astra's online shareholder meeting on April 30

Flying back: Under pressure from investors, the Mail understands Soriot, 61, is preparing to fly back to the UK in time for Astra’s online shareholder meeting on April 30

But many will feel comforted if he is back in the country, within easy reach of his colleagues at the Cambridge head office and with his focus squarely on the job. 

Soriot, a French-born businessman who has made his career in pharmaceuticals, moved to Australia with his family in 1990, where he is now a citizen. 

Insiders have said that Soriot is working ‘European business hours’ – despite Sydney being nine hours ahead of the UK – and his ability to communicate with his colleagues has not been hampered.



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