Woman describes shock after her parents die of coronavirus in Belfast hospital

Christopher and Isobel Vallely died in same hospital room within hours of each other

A woman has spoken of her shock and grief after her parents died of coronavirus at the weekend.

Christopher Vallely, 79, died on Sunday in Mater hospital in Belfast, hours after his wife, Isobel, 77, died in the same hospital room. Both had tested positive for Covid-19.

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The Rev Paul Nicolson – a campaigning life in letters

‘Rev Paul’, who died this month, wrote thousands of letters to newspapers campaigning against poverty. Many of them are republished below. Today, as his funeral takes place, many people will celebrate his life online with the hashtag #RevPaul

For more than 20 years, one retired but indefatigable vicar, the Rev Paul Nicolson, sent thousands of letters for publication to newspapers – just one aspect of his work for two organisations that he set up to campaign against poverty: Z2K (the Zacchaeus 2000 Trust) and Taxpayers Against Poverty (TAP), which was launched by means of a letter in the Guardian.

“Rev Paul”, as he was simply known to many, died suddenly at the start of this month. Plans for his funeral – which takes place today, 30 March 2019, in Tottenham, London – had to be scaled back because of the coronavirus outbreak, and so his children have asked those not able to be there to join them virtually on the day by posting online with the hashtag #RevPaul. Here is an extract from the message they sent out via TAP:

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Relaxation of UK abortion rules welcomed by experts

Rules eased during coronavirus crisis to allow women to be sent both sets of abortion pills

Leading UK healthcare providers have welcomed the government’s decision to allow women to take abortion pills at home without travelling to a clinic.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care confirmed the government was updating its guidance to help women who need an abortion, but cannot access a clinic because of measures put in place to stem the spread of coronavirus.

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Oil rig closures rising as prices hit 18-year lows

Global producers running out of storage for surplus due to coronavirus crisis

Global oil producers have begun shutting down their oil rigs on the largest scale in 35 years as the coronavirus continues to drive market prices to their lowest level since 2002.

Related: More than 4,000 North Sea oil rig jobs cut amid Covid-19 crisis

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Eldred Jones obituary

My mentor and friend Eldred Jones, who has died aged 95, was principal and pro-vice-chancellor of Fourah Bay College in Freetown, Sierra Leone, the oldest university institution in sub-Saharan Africa. A literary scholar and critic, he was one of the pioneers of the study of modern African literature and introduced unique perspectives in Shakespearean studies.

Eldred was an outstanding lecturer and his students learned how to think about literature by emulating his example. His 1965 book, Othello’s Countrymen: The African in English Renaissance Drama, won the criticism prize in the first World Festival of Negro Arts (now World Festival of Black Arts) held in Dakar in 1966; however, as Eldred was then Commonwealth fellow at the University of Leeds, he was unaware of the fact until his landlord gave him a copy of the Guardian report.

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