Prize shares £10,000 between publishers amid coronavirus damage

Fitzcarraldo Editions wins Republic of Consciousness prize for Jean-Baptiste Del Amo’s Animalia, but money is split between five tiny presses

Small press Fitzcarraldo Editions, which published the Nobel laureates Svetlana Alexievich and Olga Tokarczuk before they were recognised by the Swedish Academy, has landed the Republic of Consciousness prize for the novel Animalia by Jean-Baptiste Del Amo – but will share the £10,000 award with its fellow shortlistees.

Half-funded by the University of East Anglia, the award celebrates the best fiction from publishers with fewer than five full-time employees. Animalia, translated from French by Frank Wynne, follows a peasant family in the 20th century as their plot of land is developed into an intensive pig farm.

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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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Dominic Cummings self-isolates after experiencing coronavirus symptoms

Boris Johnson’s key adviser believed to have mild symptoms including a cough

Dominic Cummings has developed symptoms of coronavirus over the weekend and is self-isolating, a source has confirmed.

Boris Johnson’s key adviser, who was last seen running through Downing Street on Friday, is believed to have experienced mild symptoms including a cough.

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England’s ravaged public health system just can’t cope with the coronavirus | Gabriel Scally

On top of huge cuts, regional bodies have also been decimated in the past 10 years. It’s left us ill-prepared for a crisis like this

  • Gabriel Scally is a former regional director of public health

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About 20 years ago I was sitting with my family in a small cafe in the village of Trefin in west Wales. Apart from a small number of family groups, there was a large table with eight elderly women sitting around it. They were chatting and I was paying no attention until my ears pricked up on hearing the term “Spanish flu”. Fortunately the table was large, and their voices loud, so I was able to follow most of the discussion.

Related: In this crisis, the Tory cuts can no longer be hidden by empty gestures | Nesrine Malik

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UK coronavirus live: rate of infection may be ‘just about’ slowing, says expert

All the day’s developments in the UK’s Covid-19 crisis, as Prof Neil Ferguson says hospital admissions appear to be slowing slightly

Dominic Cummings, the prime minister’s chief adviser, is self-isolating after developing symptoms in line with those of Covid-19 over the weekend, a Downing Street source has confirmed to the PA news agency.

They added that Cummings would remain in contact with his colleagues at No 10 during his quarantine period.

Hundreds of British technology startups could fail during the pandemic without government intervention because they rely on regular rounds of new investment which have effectively dried up.

Daniel Korski, a former Downing Street adviser who now runs venture capital firm PUBLIC, said new businesses are particularly vulnerable as “unlike other businesses they need fresh capital injections frequently because even the best of the bunch are normally loss-making as they grow”.

He has used an article in City AM to call for the government to spend around £1bn supporting startups to reduce the economic damage after the pandemic is over, with the state-owned British Business Bank to be used to “distribute funding, support new funds and get money into the hands of startups”.

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EasyJet grounds entire fleet of planes because of coronavirus crisis

Budget airline unable to give a firm date for when it will restart commercial flights

EasyJet has grounded its entire fleet of aircraft for at least two months in response to the destruction of demand for air travel by the coronavirus pandemic.

The budget airline said it could not put a firm date on restarting commercial flights and 4,000 of its 9,000 UK staff will be furloughed initially for two months from 1 April.

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