Bail for accused George Floyd ‘killer cop’ Derek Chauvin set at $500K

Bail for former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who faces a murder charge in the death of George Floyd, has been set at $500,000, according to the criminal complaint filed in the 4th Judicial District Court of Minnesota.

No conditions have been set for his release, according to the document, nor does it indicate if Chauvin is out on bail. But it does say that if he does bond out, bail is set for $500,000, CNN reported.

Chauvin was arrested Friday and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, Hennepin County officials said. Chauvin was fired this week, along with three other cops who were at the scene when Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck.

The officers were responding to an alleged forgery at a corner store.

Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who was unarmed and handcuffed, said he was unable to breathe as Chauvin kept his knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes. He was declared dead not long after paramedics took him to the hospital.

Chauvin had 18 prior complaints filed against him with the Minneapolis Police Department’s Internal Affairs, according to the police department. His wife has reportedly filed for divorce as a result of the incident.

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Arsenal lose transfer race for PSG starlet Adil Aouchiche, 17, as midfielder takes Saint-Etienne medical – The Sun

ARSENAL target Adil Aouchiche has undergone a medical at Saint-Etienne, according to reports.

The Gunners are trying to reshape their squad in boss Mikel Arteta's image this summer, albeit on a tight budget.

And with Aouchiche, 17, having not tied his future to Paris Saint-Germain by penning a professional contract, he had appeared to fit the bill.

But Arsenal's chances of signing the highly-rated teenager have been dealt a potentially fatal blow today, with Goal reporting that he has undergone a medical at PSG's Ligue 1 rivals Saint-Etienne.

Despite his tender years, Aouchiche has been exposed to first-team football this year, with PSG thinking very highly of their academy product.

A technically gifted attacking midfielder, he was handed his senior debut by boss Thomas Tuchel back in August, when the French champions travelled to Metz.

He played 65 minutes, as PSG triumphed 2-0 without star players Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

Aouchiche has gone on to feature twice more for Tuchel's first-team, both in the Coupe de France, and he even scored his first goal against Linas-Montlhery in round one.

He has appeared on the bench on four further occasions, but sees his future away from Paris as he chases more regular football.

Saint-Etienne would appear the perfect place for the teen to get these opportunities… as the Gunners well know.

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Joe Rogan Stood up for Adele and Her Weight Loss

Adele lost weight and everyone seems to want to talk about it. The Grammy-winning artist has been on a weight loss journey since her divorce almost a year ago and has lost a noticeable amount of weight. Now, everyone seems to have an opinion about her changed body. Some praised her, but others were straight-up mad that she’d lost weight. Luckily, podcast host Joe Rogan can always be counted on to tell it like it is, and this situation with Adele is no different. 

Adele lost a noticeable amount of weight

Earlier this month, Adele shared a photo on her Instagram which brought her far more attention than she was probably expecting. She wore a black mini-dress with long puff-sleeves, and she looked far thinner than we’ve ever seen her before. But the topic of the post had nothing to do with weight-loss. Instead, she used her birthday as an opportunity to thank first responders and essential workers of the pandemic.

However, most who saw her post paid little attention to her actual message. Instead, they were astounded by her changed body. The photo began to circulate around social media, and then news stories were written, drawing even more attention. Everyone seemed to have an opinion on Adele’s weight loss. 

Not everyone appreciated Adele’s weight loss

RELATED: Adele’s Weight Loss and the Obsession Over Her Body Highlights Fatphobia

Although some wished Adele well and congratulated her on the weight loss, others weren’t so happy to see a smaller Adele. 

“Please know that every time you make a big deal about someone’s extreme weight loss and act like it makes them the hottest person and so much better than before, you are communicating to your friends and any fat people and bigger people that they’d be better skinnier and smaller,” a journalist named Elly Belle wrote on Twitter.

“Please stop saying Adele had a “glow up” we have no idea what her health was/is like and this is just reinforcing the “skinny ideal” or the concept that the skinnier you get the prettier you get,” a fan Tweeted. 

Chrissy Teigen commented on her post in a rather cryptic manner, “I mean are you kidding me,” she wrote, leaving her comments open for debate. 

Joe Rogan defended Adele’s weight loss

Since everyone was discussing Adele’s weight loss, it was only natural for Rogan, who often discusses current events on his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, to add his opinion. 

“Why wouldn’t you want to applaud someone who did something that’s really difficult to do, and is now healthy?” he said. Rogan believes that it’s perfectly natural for people to congratulate Adele on her weight loss. He doesn’t understand why anyone would be upset by it, especially her fans.   

“If you’re an Adele fan, wouldn’t you want her to be healthier?,” Rogan asked his audience. “I mean, you’d want her to be able to keep singing for longer, right? You love her, you want her to be healthier.”  

After giving his initial opinion, Rogan expanded on the subject, explaining that some of her fans didn’t want to acknowledge her weight loss because it would reinforce typical beauty standards. But he seemed to have no patience for that kind of thinking.   

“The only reason why anybody would want to fight against that,” Rogan said, “when so many people overwhelming think she looks better, is because they don’t want to look at themselves. It’s that simple, they don’t want to change. They’re trying to bully you into deciding they’re beautiful at 210 lbs.”

He then had a specific message for anyone who had fallen into that thinking. “If it’s pressure on you because other people look great, what do you do with that pressure? Do you decide to do better?”  

Although Rogan had a good point that Adele fans should want her to be healthy, it’s also important to mention that Adele hasn’t commented on her weight loss to the public yet, or given us any idea how she feels about it. Until she does, it’s not really anyone’s place to comment on her body- good or bad.     

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He Went on Anxiety Meds for a Short-Term Fix. There Were Long-Term Consequences.

Michael Tran always thought of himself as shy and a little anxious. But in 2012, he began having debilitating panic attacks. At the time, Tran was 19, a University of Maryland sophomore. He’d get tunnel vision. His heart rate would skyrocket. He’d lose the ability to walk, stand, or do much of anything. Tran stopped going to class and dropped out within a year. He eventually went to see a doctor. “I get really nervous,” he told his physician. “I can’t perform in front of people. I can’t . . .  I get really bad anxiety driving.”

The visit lasted five minutes, and Tran walked out with a prescription for alprazolam, an antianxiety medication that is better known by its brand name: Xanax. On half a milligram twice daily, Tran felt comfortable going out. He made friends like never before and even went skydiving. “This is like a God drug,” Tran says.

BSIPGetty Images

Like Tran, nearly a third of all adults will be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder at some point in their life, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. A recent American Psychiatric Association poll revealed that 32 percent of Americans reported feeling more anxious than they did one year earlier. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Anxiety motivates us to solve problems and take care of business, and it can boost productivity. But when the frequency, intensity, or duration of symptoms interrupts your life, it can become pathological anxiety. Persistent. Nightmarish. Mental-health experts now recognize anxiety—the umbrella term that includes social anxiety and PTSD—as a legitimate brain disorder, sharing some of the same underpinnings as depression.

“People are more ready to have a medical diagnosis to describe their suffering,” says Anna Lembke, M.D., a psychiatrist and researcher at Stanford. “There’s a modern phenomenon of people being more anxious than they used to be.” The uptick in diagnoses may have to do with increased isolation and stress combined with the pressures of social media and hustle culture. Plus, the eroding stigma around mental illness means more people feel comfortable talking about their anxiety.

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Dr. Anna Lembke giving a Tedx Talk on the opioid epidemic.
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Many of us want quick fixes. Several online start-ups offer meds for social and performance anxiety, delivering beta-blockers right to your doorstep. Professionals favor the use of antidepressants, particularly serotonergic agents such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), as a first-line treatment. But the most broadly prescribed pills are the benzodiazepines, or benzos, which have been around since the 1960s and include Xanax, Ativan, and Valium. Benzos work. Short-term, their effect in reducing anxiety is undeniable. But as boomers and millennials seek out pharmacological fixes, doctors are now prescribing benzos in more than a quarter of all office visits (27 out of every 100)—nearly triple the number of benzos being dispensed in the mid-1990s. More than 48 million prescriptions were written in 2013 , and the use of benzos to treat chronic pain more than doubled between 2003 and 2015.

“Benzodiazepines are not a panacea for every twinge of anxiety,” says Timothy J. Wiegand, M.D., a medical toxicologist at the University of Rochester. They’re habit-forming. The medications come with a high risk of overdose, especially when combined with opioids or alcohol, or in patients with breathing problems or sleep apnea. Chronic use can lead to neurological changes, resulting in mental cloudiness or loss of coordination. Several studies have reported that long-term use and high doses can accelerate the onset of dementia. Because it’s extremely difficult to stop taking them, a short-term bid to relieve anxiety can, for some patients, unwittingly turn into a vicious cycle.

For Tran, things started to unravel as he built up a tolerance. The effects of his medication wore off, and he felt increasingly irritable between doses. By 2017, he was spending less time thinking about his ambitions and more time worrying about his next dose. His memory and cognition sputtered. Still, he thought, being medicated felt better than any debilitating anxiety. It would be another year before he finally said to himself, Being tranquilized 24/7 is no way to live. I’d rather suffer through the hard parts.

The decision presented him with a daunting, unforeseen challenge: How was he going to get off his meds? Cold turkey was not an option; the abrupt discontinuation of benzos can lead to seizures. Tran found an Internet forum called BenzoBuddies.org and learned about the Ashton Manual, a doctor–developed guide to the workings of benzos with methods for tapering—gradually reducing the total dose over a set period of time.

Joseph Rene BriscoeGetty Images

Web forums offered what physicians had not: validation and support. By 2018, Tran came to believe that most doctors didn’t want to hear from patients who wanted off, and so at his next visit, he asked for Valium, another benzo. At home, he used a volumetric doser to reduce his medicine by 10 percent every week. The withdrawal left him with constant severe nerve pain, as if his spinal cord had been plugged into an electrical outlet. The effects of withdrawal are lasting. He found it difficult to go outside, and the world seemed depersonalized, almost as if Tran were observing himself from outside his body.

At Dr. Lembke’s clinic at Stanford, about half the patients she sees are deprescribing, wanting to stop taking medication that was given for a legitimate medical condition. “I have a lot of high-functioning people who were prescribed small doses of benzodiazepines for decades,” she says. “But it’s very, very difficult to stop.” Some people take 18 to 24 months to taper down, she says. “And that’s with a lot of psychological support and other treatments.”

Alex Smith, a 33-year-old lawyer in Des Moines, learned firsthand that not all health-care providers recognize fatigue, full-body tremors, or even other, more obvious symptoms of benzo withdrawal. He’s had three seizures. Only after the third one, he says, in September 2019, was he informed that these resulted from not taking benzos. “I was told I’m lucky to be alive,” he says. Smith does not crave his meds. Since he doesn’t have a strong compulsion to use or extreme difficulty in abstaining, he doesn’t meet the formal criteria for addiction. This is a subtle but important distinction: Support groups won’t let him join because he’s considered an active drug user. Had he known it would take him more than a year to stop the medication, he says, “I would have never taken it to begin with.”

Christy Huff, M.D.
Courtesy of Christy Huff

Another issue is that most physicians receive more training on prescribing drugs than on safely tapering patients off them. Christy Huff, M.D., a cardiologist and the director of the Benzodiazepine Information Coalition, says doctors—herself included—can be in the dark about potentially life-altering risks. Dr. Huff was prescribed benzos for insomnia and says withdrawal was the worst experience of her life. She suffered panic attacks, crushing fatigue, and akathisia (the inability to stay still). Having been off the medication for a year, she now has to contend with lasting neurological damage. The emergence of patient-led groups, she says, speaks to a greater unmet need: “People definitely need more answers than are being provided by doctors.” Her coalition was created to inform patients. Other experts make similar observations. “People are finding out that, you know, traditional Western medicine is not always the place to get the best treatment,” says Dr. Lembke.

Now health start-ups appear to be tapping into a subset of customers who want to stave off acute anxiety. Online providers Kick and Hims don’t sell controlled substances, such as benzos; they do sell a drug called propranolol. (Pricing varies, although both offer a virtual consultation and the first shipment of pills for less than $100.) Propranolol, a beta-blocker, slows down your heart and reduces blood pressure. Short-term use of the drug for performance anxiety and social phobias is legal and permissible. By some estimates, millions of prescriptions for beta–blockers are written for the treatment of anxiety, but it’s considered an off-label use since these medications are cleared primarily for cardiac purposes by the FDA.

When taken for less than two weeks, benzos remain an evidence-based option for treating panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder, especially when psychotherapy or serotonergic agents fail. Clinicians recommend SSRIs, like Prozac and Zoloft, although these can require two to four weeks, or longer, to take effect.

Stefan Hofmann, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Boston University, recommends keeping an open mind about nonpharmacological treatments. Try psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, he says. “It works for many people, and the potential adverse effects are considerably smaller compared to many of the pharmacotherapies.” Still, not all alternative therapies are created equal. Hypnosis and yoga are promising, but more research is needed. Despite the hype around CBD—the nonpsychoactive ingredient in marijuana—and mobile health apps, neither has much scientific support. For her part, Dr. Lembke recommends exposure therapy, a specific type of psychotherapy in which patients expose themselves to the source of their anxiety. It takes considerable time and effort to see benefits but “builds mental calluses that last a lifetime,” she says.

Since May 2019, Tran has been off benzos. Once a month, he sees a therapist to focus on cognitive behavioral techniques. He’s learned the 4-7-8 breathing method (breathe in for a 4-count, hold it for a 7-count, and exhale for an 8-count), which has helped ease tense situations that might have otherwise induced a panic attack. And he does mindfulness meditation daily. Like some patients who’ve successfully tapered, Tran still feels anxious and still experiences the residual effects of withdrawal. To alleviate them, he uses many methods he first learned about online, and there are times when he climbs into bed, pulls up a 17-pound weighted blanket, and puts on noise-canceling headphones.

Life feels better now—harder, he says, but also more rewarding. If he could start treatment all over again, Tran wouldn’t visit a general practitioner. “I would definitely go talk to either a psychologist, a psychiatrist, someone who is more specialized in this field,” he says. “If I could go back now, I would try to avoid medication. That’s my biggest regret.”

The Anxiety Spectrum
“Anytime medication is considered at any phase to treat anxiety, ask questions,” says psychiatrist Gregory Scott Brown, M.D. Ask: How long should I be on this medication? What’s the intended effect? Is it addictive? Use the chart below to plot a sustainable path forward.

Situational Anxiety
Symptoms
Pounding heart, shaky voice.
Rx
Take a beta-blocker right before public speaking, a job interview, or another nonrecurring anxiety–producing situation.

Mild Anxiety
Symptoms
Racing thoughts, heart palpitations, excessive worrying, tension in your body.
Rx
Have a doctor rule out underlying causes like hyperthyroidism; practice meditation using an app like Headspace, and consider yoga; try cognitive behavioral CBT).

Severe Anxiety
Symptoms
Inability to go to work or leave the house, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts.
Rx
Explore benzodiazepines in addition to SSRIs/SNRIs; get help for drugs and alcohol; use CBT and meditation; consider a short-term stay at a mental–health treatment facility.

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Daily horoscope for Tuesday May 26 — here’s what the stars have in store for you today – The Sun

♈ ARIES

March 21 to April 20

As Venus prepares to move on, you are ready for more action and less time analysing a partner.

And passion games replace power games.

At work, there is a serious tone in the way you communicate that gives the bosses extra confidence in you.

Within weeks your colleagues have become supportive friends.

♉ TAURUS

April 21 to May 21

Neptune, the planet that can search out your hidden talent, shares zodiac space with Mars.

This gives you the self-belief to use your special talent, even if it is a total surprise.

As for romance, you may not like the way a newcomer boasts about making money but you then discover it hides a generous heart.

♊ GEMINI

May 22 to June 21

The sun is in your sign and inspires the brightest and best ideas you ever had.

Then the entertaining way you talk about them gets the most choosy people interested.

If single, someone you go for is a daring choice and friends may secretly be jealous. Find time to help a relative with a big decision to make.

♋ CANCER

June 22 to July 22

A training course may be tough but so are you when necessary.

And it could help you win a place in a group that will really go places after lockdown. Love-wise, a sudden attraction hits your heart when you watch someone reopen a shop.

But it is the clever way you follow clues that may lead to a racy romance.

♌ LEO
July 23 to August 23

In the working world, a virtual audience is a must-have, whether it is a class you are teaching or revealing ideas to colleagues.

If you are single, check out a cool Aquarius who may have some amazing surprises for you.

Sometimes a friendship edit is needed from your contacts list and life will feel new again.

♍ VIRGO

August 24 to September 22

You can achieve whatever you set your mind and heart on, even if the opposite has been true lately.

And it is something your closest friends and family are ready to support you with.

Your energy and imagination mix perfectly to help you chase a dream job. No more pretending, the real you is the right you.

♎ LIBRA

September 23 to October 23

There is a mix of shy and bold in the way you handle life and it is so attractive to partners at any stage of a relationship.

And everyone who talks to you today really remembers you.

A creative project may stir rows but the results are positive. Single? You are about to fall for someone different and exciting.

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♏ SCORPIO

October 24 to November 22

At work you are ready to grow, but not perhaps in the direction everyone expects.

Handle big egos and tender hearts with care.

If single, a name that keeps coming to mind is there for a romantic reason.

What seems like a meeting out of the blue may be a friend’s clever scheme to bring you two together.

♐ SAGITTARIUS

November 23 to December 21

This is the perfect time to pass on your skills and even inspire the setting up of a family business.

If you are falling in love, you could soon be making a very special, romantic announcement.

Luck means more because this time you can share it. You can draw a line under mixed memories and truly believe in love.

♑ CAPRICORN

December 22 to January 20

The sun is in your commitment chart and you have great work instincts.

You cut through facts and figures and get a great result.

Try to set aside emotions when you tell the family why the most unusual house you saw online is the one that could make you all happy. It is not just the space, but the tranquillity.

♒ AQUARIUS

January 21 to February 18

Venus and Jupiter are reversing, which can make you less romantic but more passionate.

It can be a turning point whether you are in a long-term relationship or have just met.

Even so, your creativity is just as important and instead of just thinking about writing that book, you are now on chapter one.

♓ PISCES

February 19 to March 20

Your work profile develops into something out of the ordinary and a colleague from the past makes you an offer you should think through.

Do not jump to conclusions about someone who may be about to join your family as in time you could be so good for each other and best friends.

Luck calls you from Australia.

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Bond LOWERED for couple who ‘brutally tortured and beat 10-year-old girl to a pulp for at least a month’ – The Sun

THE bond amounts for a couple who allegedly tortured and beat a 10-year-old girl to a pulp for at least a month have been lowered.

Father Billy James Menees, 27, and Ashley Schardein, 24, had their bond lowered by $400,000 as of Friday – and are scheduled for a bond reduction hearing later this week, according to McAlester News-Capital.


Both were each charged last Tuesday with child abuse by torture, kidnapping, child abuse and several other charges, according to court documents obtained by the news outlet.

Menees and Scardein were being held in the Pittsburg County Jail with a $100,000 bond each after their initial bond was lowered from $500,000 by Judge Tim Mills.

The suspects allegedly battered and starved Menees' 10-year-old daughter, who has not been named for legal reasons, for at least one month, McAlester News-Capital reports.

After charges were filed, DA Chuck Sullivan said "If the allegations are true, these allegations are some of the worst that I've ever seen personally."

Police began probing the couple when a tipster noticed bruises on the child and contacted the Oklahoma Department of Health Services.

A relative also contacted DHS twice to report the alleged child abuse, it has been reported.

It is alleged in court docs that the couple punished the little girl “with emotional and verbal abuse, physical abuse, including spanking, tying her hands and feet for long periods of time…”

The suspects also allegedly shaved the child's head and at times stopped her from using the toilet.

They also forced her to sleep on concrete in a cold room with no pillow or blanket, the documents allege.

Prosecutors claim the girl survived on a diet of oatmeal and spinach while the couple would also make her “stand up for painfully long periods of time during the day, sometimes in wet clothing under a cold fan.”

According to local news reporter Lori Fullbright, who read the arrest affidavit, Schardein would eat in front of the starving girl as she cried in hunger.

Several other kids who lived in the Oklahoma home were removed and placed into the care of DHS when the couple were arrested.

Assistant DA Michon Hastings-Hughes said: “It’s about a little girl who was not just abused once or twice.

“But has been beaten to a pulp for at least a month, if not more. She was tortured and made to look like she just got out of Auschwitz.”

Schardein, who is seven months pregnant, was taken to hospital after the May 20 bond hearing after going into labor, her lawyer said.

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£283m for safer transport and £50 bike repair vouchers for cyclists

Government pumps £283m into roads, rails, buses and trams to improve safety during Covid crisis – and cyclists will get £50 bike repair vouchers

  • Transport Secretary says cash will increase frequency and capacity of services 
  • There will be changes to signage, deep cleaning and hand sanitiser provided 
  • Grant Shapps also said 500,000 vouchers would ‘drag bikes out of retirement’ 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Roads, railways, buses and trams are to receive a £283 million funding boost and half a million bike repair vouchers will be made available as part of plans to get Britain moving again during the coronavirus crisis.

The Transport Secretary said today the cash injection, divided into £254m for buses and £29m for trams and light rail, would increase both frequency and capacity of services while ensuring there is enough space on vehicles to allow for social distancing. 

Grant Shapps also announced that up to 500,000 vouchers, worth £50 each, would be provided to help cyclists ‘drag bikes out of retirement’ and get more people travelling on two wheels.

Buses will receive a £254m boost to increase frequency and capacity of services. Pictured: A bus driver wearing a face mask drives over Waterloo Bridge

Grant Shapps, pictured today, said he wants to ensure there is enough space on public transport vehicles to allow for social distancing

The Transport Secretary said a cycle voucher scheme would help half a million people ‘drag bikes out of retirement’. Pictured: A cyclist wearing a mask on Waterloo Bridge this week

The money for public transport will be spent on making adjustments to vehicles, signage, deep cleaning and the provision of hand sanitiser.

In addition, 3,400 people, including British Transport Police officers and Network Rail staff, have been deployed at stations to make sure passengers follow the social distancing guidance put in place.

Light rail funding will also support services in Sheffield, Nottingham, Tyne and Wear, Manchester and the West Midlands.

A personalised information service has also been introduced to inform people about disruption and crowding on services.

It comes after the Department for Transport announced earlier this month that £225m will go towards creating pop-up and permanent cycle lanes across England to encourage people to use bikes instead of public transport when necessary.

Mr Shapps, who will lead the daily Downing Street press conference this afternoon, said: ‘To make sure people can travel safely when they need to, we are increasing capacity on buses and light rail, as well as helping local authorities fast-track plans to support cyclists and pedestrians, further reducing pressure on our transport network.

‘These measures will help keep passengers safe now, but we must also prepare for what comes next.

‘Strengthening vital road and railway connections, as well as encouraging cycling and walking, will be essential to our ambition to level up the country, secure a green legacy, and kickstart regional economies, as we build out of Covid-19 and look to the future.’

On the coupons, he added: ‘Previously, we announced the introduction of a scheme to bring bicycles back into a roadworthy condition, relieving the pressure on public transport and improving the nation’s health.

A cyclist rides along a newly created bicycle lane by Transport for London on Park Lane in London

‘Today, I can provide the detail of the new £50 bicycle maintenance voucher. Available from next month, the scheme will help up to half a million people drag bikes out of retirement, speed up the cycling revolution and help individuals become fitter and healthier and reducing air pollution, which remains a hidden killer.’

The voucher scheme first came to light earlier this month, but the number being made available, and their value, was only revealed at today’s briefing. 

The announcement comes amid a surge in sales for bikes during lockdown, with one business owner telling the Guardian: ‘It’s been the busiest period of trading I’ve had in 27 years’. 

Andy Rackstraw, owner of Saddle Safari in south Buckinghamshire, said his team have been working through the night to meet demand for its products and services, while following social distancing guidelines to keep staff safe.

Some 300 people are on a waiting list for repairs to their bikes, while sales of new builds in April were three times as high as 12 months earlier.  

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Writer for Graydon Carter’s Air Mail infiltrates secret lockdown party

After Page Six reported on various underground parties going on around town during the lockdown — an editor for Graydon Carter’s Air Mail claims to have infiltrated one.

At the illicit basement bash, “tequila shots and dry martinis were being passed around, sweaty hand to sweaty hand. Drinks were $10 a pop, cash only,” and “a long-haired man snorted cocaine-and-ketamine swirlies off of mirrored platters lining the sides of a professional DJ booth.”

Writer Elena Clavarino writes that at the same party, “a supermodel and her boyfriend I recognized from Instagram downed shots” and toasted by exclaiming, “Cheers to corona!”

Her piece also details underground parties at restaurants everywhere from Soho to the East Village posing as takeout-only spots with secret wild lock-ins. At one, guests “sat at tables, eating food served from the kitchen like they would on a regular night. Later they turned up the music, and booze and cocaine flowed until the early hours of the morning.”

Apparently, Air Mail reports, there’s also a weekly “cigar gathering” with performers at a “well-known Lower East Side hotel rooftop.”

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Call for government to give Brits money to take their holiday in UK this summer

GIVE Brits cash to spend on holidays in the UK this summer, in order to boost ailing tourism businesses. 

The idea is one of those being discussed by Visit Britain Acting CEO Patricia Yates, who is concerned about the survival of many businesses in the UK that rely on holidaymakers. 

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

In Italy, the government is offering to give lower-income families up to €500 to take a holiday in their own country this year.

When asked about whether the UK should follow Italy's lead, Visit Britain's Ms Yates told Sun Online Travel: "The big question is how consumer behaviour has changed, because normally after a crisis it bounces back and there is pent-up demand.

"But now we have a crisis in both supply and demand.

“There is a worry that people who usually take domestic holidays are old people and families, and these groups are usually the most risk averse too."

She continued: "For every country, kickstarting the domestic market is really important and Italy has gone with that idea.”

"It is an interesting suggestion for us, if we look at what others are doing. 

"So we could be looking at marketing campaigns or yes, you could give money straight to people and incentivise them to holiday at home.”

However, Ms Yates warned that the success of a summer holiday season this year depends on the government being "very clear" on what people are allowed to do, to improve people's confidence on travelling.

While hotels may be able to open at just "20 per cent to 30 per cent to start with"," Brits may not be willing to travel any time soon.

Caravan and camping parks are optimistic that, if they can open by July, they can restart the summer holiday season, and naturally social distance.

She explained: "If this is the year for domestic holidays then July and August are really important months for businesses to be open. 

“The normal pattern is businesses make their money in July and August then make do for the rest of the year. 

“Lots of businesses are saying that if they miss summer then they will stay closed for the rest of the year."

However, holidays are not allowed just yet in the UK, with non-essential travel still banned.

Police have carried out dawn raids on campervans and tents after holidaymakers spent the night in Cornwall against lockdown rules.

Tourism businesses are in dire straits as a result of lockdown, and in Cornwallalone, up to 80 per cent of businesses could close for good unless they are able to open for the summer.

Visit Cornwall chief executive Malcolm Bell issued the stark warning as the coastal region has seen tourist numbers plummet due to the pandemic

Meanwhile, Pete Waters, Chief Executive of Visit East warned that the economy has already taken a hit in the east of England, with a drop of £2.3 billion in 2020 – approximately 23 per cent.

He added: "It is an existential crisis for the visitor economy across the country and we don't know what the long term damage will be."

Brits could enjoy a staycation in the UK from July, the Culture Secretary suggested earlier this week, after Oliver Dowden said officials were working on "ambitious" plans to try and get the UK's tourism sector up and running.

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Alabama Rot warning for dog walkers as Britain sees new cases of flesh-eating disease that kills four in five pets – The Sun

DOG walkers have been warned of new cases of Alabama Rot – which kills four of every five pets it infects.

A dog has died of the disease near Surbiton, Surrey, following recent deaths in Wiltshire, Bishops Waltham, Hants, Powys in Wales, and Leyland, Lancs.


Alabama Rot causes skin lesions and can lead to fatal kidney failure.

Since it reached Britain from America in 2012, hundreds of pets have been stricken.

The disease thrives between November and May, particularly in fields, woods and parks.

Vets are urging owners to keep up with regular exercise but wash down their pet after walks.

David Walker, a veterinary specialist on the condition, said owners wanting to take their pets for exercise during the lockdown should be "calm but vigilant".

He said: "These further confirmed cases mean it is understandably very worrying for dog owners.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ALABAMA ROT?

  • Skin lesions on the legs, body, mouth or tongue
  • Dogs licking sores
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Little or no appetitte

"However, this disease is still very rare, so we're advising dog owners to seek advice from their local vet if their dog develops unexplained skin lesions.

"While there is currently no known way to prevent a dog from contracting the disease, any concerned dog owners should seek online guidance for advice and a map of confirmed cases."

Vets are desperately searching for a cure for Alabama Rot, which has killed scores of dogs, with the death rate soaring year on year.

Another vet, Dr Ian Hopkins, said "The best advice is to continue enjoying exercising your dog but always be mindful of certain symptoms which may indicate a nasty disease such as Alabama Rot.

"These can include lethargy, vomiting and maybe your dog is drinking more than usual.

"With Alabama Rot, the dog will often have skin lesions or ulcers – in the mouth, on the tongue and lower limbs including feet are common place."


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