‘It’s post-apocalyptic’: how coronavirus has altered day-to-day life

From Wuhan to the north of England, people have been affected by the outbreak in different ways

The coronavirus is a public health emergency, but its threat is not only medical. Millions of lives have been altered by the outbreak, from those in self-isolation in China to Chinese nationals experiencing racism abroad. We talk to those affected in different ways, from Wuhan to the north of England.

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School bus stunt urges Prince Andrew to talk to FBI about Jeffrey Epstein

US lawyer Gloria Allred arranged for bus to be driven past Buckingham Palace with message for prince

An American-style school bus has driven past Buckingham Palace with a message on the side appealing for Prince Andrew to answer questions from the FBI about his links to the sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The stunt was arranged by the US lawyer Gloria Allred, who represents some of Epstein’s victims.

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Irish drug dealer loses £46m bitcoin codes he hid in fishing rod case

Clifton Collins fears fishing gear was taken to dump by his landlord after he was jailed

In early 2017 Clifton Collins, an Irish drug dealer, had a dilemma: where to hide the codes of his illicit €55m (£46m) bitcoin fortune.

His solution was to print them onto an A4 piece of paper and stash it in the aluminium cap of a fishing rod case kept at his rented home in Farnaught, Cornamona, county Galway.

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India asks Oxford museum to return ‘stolen’ bronze statue

Ashmolean receives request for restitution of 15th-century idol of Saint Tirumankai Alvar

The Indian government has asked the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford to return a 15th-century bronze idol that was apparently stolen from a temple in the 1960s.

The Indian high commission in London said a formal request for restitution of the statue of Saint Tirumankai Alvar was made last Friday.

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Manchester bomber’s flat had funny smell, court told

Man who sub-let his council flat to Aimen Elwafi tells the trial of bomber’s brother that it was left in a bad state

A Libyan man who illegally sub-let his council flat to the Manchester Arena bomber said there was a “funny, strong smell” in his home when he returned to the 12th-floor property the month before the atrocity, a court has heard.

Aimen Elwafi said he was “so angry” at the state his flat had been left in, with Salman Abedi departing two weeks before the end of the agreed two-month period, that he intended to call the man and complain.

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Environmental and animal rights activists being referred to Prevent programme

Types of ‘concerns’ identified include far-left and anti-Isis extremism, FoI request reveals

Environmental and animal rights activists have been referred to the government’s controversial anti-radicalisation programme, the Home Office has admitted.

Responding to a freedom of information request, the Home Office provided a breakdown of reasons behind referrals of individuals who received specialist support for “other types of radicalisation” via its Channel programme, an arm of Prevent.

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Pompeo: US has reached ‘understanding’ with Taliban over violence in Afghanistan

A seven-day ‘reduction of violence’ deal promised by the Taliban will begin on Friday night, leading to signing of a peace agreement

The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, said on Friday that the US had “come to an understanding with the Taliban” over violence reduction in Afghanistan as officials said an agreement would be signed at the end of the month.

A seven-day “reduction of violence” deal promised by the Taliban will begin on Friday night, a senior US state department official said, without specifying the exact time.

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‘We have nothing left’: displaced Syrians wait out war in Idlib

With the closed Turkish border behind them and Russian-backed forces at the horizon, Syrians have nowhere left to run

Hemmed against a border wall in Somme-like mud and misery, more than 1 million Syrians are awaiting their fate. Nearby, Iranian-backed militias and what remains of the national army are advancing towards them, as Russian jets pick them off in the crowded fields and ruined towns that are all that is left of opposition-held Syria.

Convoys of the Turkish military, a protector of the displaced that have made it to the province over the last eight years, pass regularly along roads teeming with clapped out cars full of families and remnants of their belongings. Women and children beg them to stop, but they continue on to battlefronts miles from the panic and confusion, their attention diverted from helping the destitute to shaping the final months of the war in Ankara’s interests. Aid workers, who say things have never been worse in Syria, do what they can among scenes they describe as overwhelming and impossible.

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Belgian carnival to go ahead despite row over ‘hateful’ antisemitism

Organisers in Aalst say they will defy calls from Israel’s government to cancel event

Organisers of a Belgian carnival, removed from a Unesco heritage list last year following criticism of its antisemitic floats, have said they will defy calls from Israel’s government for Sunday’s event to be cancelled.

Belgium’s prime minister, Sophie Wilmès, also described the parade as an “internal affair” after Israel’s foreign minister, Israel Katz, called for the authorities to “condemn and ban this hateful parade in Aalst”.

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Weirdos, misfits and why I had to check my dog’s horoscope

In the week of Sabisky, most Tories saw no problem. Neither did Herbert Hound

Monday

Dominic Cummings’s programme to recruit more “weirdos” and “misfits” into No 10 got off to a cracking start with the appointment of “Mystic” Andrew Sabisky, the self-styled superforecaster. Just weeks after Sabisky started work, several newspapers did a cursory trawl of his social media posts and discovered that he had a tendresse for racial eugenics and enforced contraception for working-class teenage girls.

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Smaller than expected January surplus will be blow to new chancellor

Worsening of public finances comes as Rishi Sunak prepares to unveil budget next month

Britain’s public finances recorded a smaller than expected surplus in January in a blow to the new chancellor, Rishi Sunak, who is expected to announce a substantial rise in government spending in next month’s budget.

In the latest sign of a worsening in government finances as the UK economy falters, the Office for National Statistics said tax revenue outstripped spending by about £9.8bn last month, approximately £2.1bn less than in the same month a year ago. City economists had forecasted a £11.3bn surplus.

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Redefining the ‘strong man’: Tyson Fury praised for openness on mental health

Boxer was taunted about depression by Deontay Wilder in run-up to heavyweight title fight

Tyson Fury’s struggle with his mental health was ridiculed by his opponent in the run-up to the most anticipated heavyweight title fight in decades. “Don’t you ever forget that when I found you, you were strung out on coke. You were like a big house, contemplating killing yourself,” Deontay Wilder said after an intense five-minute stare-down.

But for other boxers and mental health experts, Fury’s candid honesty about his struggle with depression and his journey back in the ring is something to be celebrated.

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Music industry fears bands will be unable to tour UK without visas

Professional body urges ministers to clarify proposed post-Brexit immigration rules

The music industry has urged the government to clarify its proposed immigration rules amid fears that bands from the EU will not be able to tour the UK without written permission or a visa.

They are the latest to warn of the economic risks posed by the new immigration rules which have already drawn criticism from the agriculture, hospitality and social care sectors.

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I know what housing insecurity is like. Rising prices are not good news | Suzanne Moore

Entire generations will struggle to be able to afford their own property – the market has failed them

Leaflets pile up on my doormat from estate agents. “For sale” signs are erected outside houses on my street. Tarpaulins covering exposed loft conversions blow in the wind. The signs are clear: people are looking for property in my area. I didn’t need a Daily Mail headline to shout at me: “House prices surging in EVERY region.”

In the UK, the value of life is measured in house prices, for those lucky enough to own one. To see house-price rises (especially those worth more than £900,000) as a cheery fact is to lack awareness. Rising prices are excluding entire generations from the housing market. See that housing ladder you climbed? Well, here’s the snake.

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