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UK police issue appeal to Ireland to find next of kin of elderly man who passed away in Yorkshire

BY: Rachael O'Connor
January 08, 2021

POLICE IN the UK have issued an appeal to help find the next of kin of a man who is believed to have relatives in Ireland.  Simon Curtis Smith, aged 70, passed away on 2 January at his home in Scarborough, Yorkshire.  The elderly man lived in England, but attempts to find his next of kin have so far been unsuccessful.  Police in North Yorkshire have now issued an appeal to people on the island of Ireland to help find his relatives so that Simon can be put to rest.  In a statement, North Yorkshire Police wrote:

"Our coroner's officers are appealing to people in Ireland as they continue their search to find the next of kin of Simon Curtis Smith who died at his home address in Scarborough aged 70.  Enquiries following Simon's death reported to us on 2 January have not revealed any next of kin.  They now believe he may have relatives in Ireland, although it is not known whereabouts.  "We would really appreciate any shares with your Facebook friends in Ireland either Northern or Southern - to help us trace his family.  Anyone who can help locate any members of his family is asked to contact the Coroner's Office on (44) 01609 643168."

The spokesperson added that there  are no suspicious circumstances surrounding Simon's death, and they are simply seeking to notify his next of kin of his passing.

You can find the appeal for information, or share the post, on the North Yorkshire Police Facebook page here.


Mother, 40, admits suffocating autistic son, 10, she had with celebrity snapper by putting sponge in his mouth as she put him to bed after suffering mental breakdown when care was withdrawn in first lockdown but denies murder

    Olga Freeman, 40, was charged with the murder of 10-year-old Dylan Freeman
    The child was found dead at their home in Acton, west London, on August 15 
    Post-mortem exam gave the cause of Dylan's death as restriction of the airways
    Russian national Freeman denied her son's murder but admitted manslaughter
    Prosecutor Gareth Patterson QC said the plea was acceptable to the Crown

By Henry Martin For Mailonline

Published: 09:32, 25 January 2021 | Updated: 11:09, 25 January 2021

A mother has admitted killing her disabled child after suffering a mental breakdown while struggling to care for him weeks after care was removed during the first lockdown.  Olga Freeman, 40, put a sponge into 10-year-old Dylan's mouth and laid him down to die next to his toys in the master bedroom of her flat in Acton, west London.  Dylan suffered from Cohen Syndrome, a genetic disorder characterised by developmental delay, including disability, small head size, weak muscles, and visibility impairment.  The court heard Freeman, who is the ex-wife of celebrity photographer Dean Freeman, had struggled to care for Dylan, who was also autistic, in the six months before his death.  Dylan had been attending a special school five days a week, but during the first lockdown last year he was not able to attend school, with the burden of care falling on his mother, the court was told.  A former carer for Dylan said he had to give up the job, which involved taking the child out to the park 'for a couple of hours so that Olga could have some time to herself', because he found it too demanding, with Dylan 'kicking his arms and legs and throwing things around'.  Rakesh Shukla, who lives in Acton, West London, told MailOnline in August: 'I found it very stressful so I can't imagine what it must have been like for her.  I only saw her last week and she looked really drained and tired.'

Freeman appeared at the Old Bailey via video-link today from a psychiatric unit and spoke to admit manslaughter due to diminished responsibility.  Her defence lawyer Jane Bickerstaff QC said she had been 'suffering from a depressive illness with psychotic symptoms'.  Prosecutor Gareth Patterson QC said the plea was acceptable to the Crown after careful consideration.  The prosecutor said: 'The defendant was recently transferred to hospital under the Mental Health Act. The prosecution received from the defence a psychological report from Dr David Bird.  'The partial defence of diminished responsibility is available to the defendant on the basis there was a severe depressive episode with psychotic symptoms at the time.  That is acceptable to the prosecution after careful consideration and extensive further inquiries by the officers conducting this investigation.'

Parts of sponge were found within the throat of the deceased, the court was told.  Joel Smith, prosecuting, earlier told the court: 'A friend and ex-partner of the defendant, Edita Surpickaja had noticed that the defendant had been struggling to met Dylan's care needs for the last year as he became older and bigger and more difficult to care for.  Around six months ago Dylan's behaviour had become especially challenging.  Dylan had attended a special school for five days per week but during the lock-down had not been able to attend school. The burden of care had fallen on the defendant with assistance from Ms Surpickaja.  Ms Surpickaja had only been able to offer that assistance for around 12 hours per week and had noticed a decline in the defendant's mental health.  The defendant had sought assistance from the local council, but Ms Surpickaja would tell the police, had received none.  Around 14 August 2020 it appears that the defendant argued with her ex-husband, Dylan's father, about his role in caring for Dylan.  At the police station the defendant told the police that she had killed the deceased before midnight and that she had tried to ''kill him softly'' by giving the deceased ''a lot'' of melatonin.  She told the police that as this had not worked she had used her bra and then her hands to kill her son and had put a sponge in his mouth to help him go softly.  She had then placed his body where he liked to sleep with his toys to allow him to die with 'dignity and kindness'.  She was then arrested and made no comment.'

Mr Smith said Freeman began to suffer from delusions of grandeur thinking she was 'Jesus'. She told Ms Surpickaja she needed to go to Jerusalem.  'She told her she was the second Jesus,' the prosecutor said.

At Acton police station, she told officers twice: 'I killed my child.'

At the scene a bra, sellotape, and melatonin were recovered by officers, and a sponge.  Ms Surpickaja noticed Freeman had travel websites open and became alarmed by the tone of the conversation.  The recording revealed Freeman saying repeatedly that 'needed to kill her son'.  Freeman told Ms Surpickaja: 'I did what I did, sometimes when things are good, it can be really evil.'

Police found Dylan dead at the £544,000 flat in Cumberland Park on 16 August after Russian national Freeman walked into a police station.    A neighbour, who lives opposite the crime scene, said she would often see a little boy leaving the property in a specially adapted van.  Gillian Fisher, 34, said: 'I don't know who the family were but if the little boy is who I think he is, I used to see him being taken to school in his wheelchair in a specially adapted van.'

Dylan's father Dean is the son of Robert Freeman, who took pictures for some of The Beatles' most iconic album covers.  Dean is also a photographer and is best known for his pictures of members of the Spice Girls and David Beckham.  Dean Freeman has also snapped stars such as Bradley Cooper and Emily Ratajkowski.  He earlier said in a statement: 'Dylan was a beautiful, bright, inquisitive and artistic child who loved to travel, visit art galleries and swim.  We travelled extensively over the years together spending such memorable time in places including Brazil, France and Spain. I can't begin to comprehend his loss.'

Freeman, of Cumberland Park, Acton, denied murder but admitted manslaughter by way of diminished responsibility.  She remains at the medium secure Orchard Unit in Ealing, where she has been treated since her arrest.  The judge, Mrs Justice Cheema Grubb, QC, adjourned sentence until February 11.  Kristen Katsouris, from the CPS said: 'This was a tragic death of a child at the hands of his mother who was struggling to cope.  Olga Freeman had loved and cared for Dylan for many years, but the strain and pressures of her son's severe and complex special needs had built up and that combined with her impaired mental health led to heart-breaking consequences.  Our thoughts are with all those affected by this case.'


Dylan's father paid tribute to his 'beautiful, bright, inquisitive and artistic' son after the 10-year-old's death.  Dean Freeman was in Spain when his ex-wife killed their son Dylan Freeman in Acton, west London, a representative said.  Mr Freeman said in a statement in August last year: 'Dylan was a beautiful, bright, inquisitive and artistic child who loved to travel, visit art galleries and swim.  We travelled extensively over the years together spending such memorable time in places including Brazil, France and Spain.  I can't begin to comprehend his loss.'

His representative described Mr Freeman as 'a loving and caring father and even though divorced for a number of years he cherished all the quality time spent with his son', and said he has been left 'beyond devastated'.


Home Office admits passengers without correct Covid paperwork are fined £500 then simply waved through gates into UK and 'told to quarantine' as Heathrow Border Force penalise 30 arrivals who failed to show negative test

    Border Force officials continue to check each passenger arriving in UK has a valid negative coronavirus test
    Officials issued more than 30 fines at London Heathrow Airport on the first day of the new policy yesterday
    People can be fined a minimum of £500 for not complying with the rules, but they are then let on their way
    Queues again built up in immigration hall with some travellers reporting having to wait more than an hour

By Mark Duell and Paul Thompson for MailOnline and David Churchill and Kamal Sultan For The Daily Mail

Published: 11:18, 19 January 2021 | Updated: 14:14, 19 January 2021

More than 30 air passengers have been fined £500 each by Border Force officials upon arrival in Britain for not having a valid negative coronavirus test before being let into the country and told to quarantine like all UK arrivals, after new rules were brought in yesterday.  The fines at London Heathrow Airport on the first day of the new policy came as travellers continued to face delays after landing in the UK this morning as officials checked each passenger arriving had a negative test even though they will have all already been checked by their airline when boarding a flight in a foreign country.  Passengers can be fined a minimum of £500 for not complying with the rules, but the Home Office confirmed today that they are then let on their way meaning dozens of people with Covid-19 could have been let into the UK since the rules were brought in.  However they must still follow the rules on quarantining for ten days like all arrivals into the UK and those who breach those regulations can be fined up to £10,000.  The fines for not having a proper test are issued as fixed penalty notices and do not stay on a criminal record.  While official figures for arrivals at Heathrow are not yet available, tens of thousands of people are estimated to be coming in to the airport every day at the moment after about 35,000 a day arrived last month.  Some passengers also expressed surprise at the length of the queues, after they had already been checked by their airlines when boarding flights abroad.  Queues again built up today in Heathrow's immigration hall with some travellers reporting having to wait up to an hour before their documentation was checked at Terminal Two, and up to 30 minutes at Terminal Five.  All the electronic passport gates were closed forcing overseas as well as British passport holders to undergo a face-to-face check. British and European Union passport holders were funnelled into one queue while other passport holders into another.  They had to present their passports, a negative test in most cases a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and locator form listing where their mandatory ten-day quarantine will take place in Britain.  Staff instructed arrivals to keep a 6ft (2m) distance from each other but passengers said people ended up facing each other and cramming together.  Initially, only four officials were checking paperwork but as queues lengthened an additional four Border Force staff were brought in to help.  Molly Jarvis, who arrived on an overnight flight from Atlanta, Georgia, told MailOnline at Heathrow: 'Lots of people ended up facing each other as they waited.  I was a bit concerned about the social distancing and glad to get out. All the e-gates were closed and when I arrived there were only four people at the passport checks. Another four came out.'

Ms Jarvis, a US citizen who lives in London, said the official looked at the time and date of her negative PCR test, adding: 'They were very thorough and wanted to check what day I had taken the test.'

Since yesterday at 4am, all arrivals into the UK have to have had negative PCR or antigen lateral flow test no more than 72 hours before boarding their flight.  All airlines ask to see the test and those whose results are out of the 72-hour time frame are denied entry.  Student Nitzan Levenberg, 32, arriving on a flight from Tel Aviv, said she had no complaints about a 20-minute wait to present her documents at Heathrow today.  She said: 'They asked to see all my documents, including my right to stay in the UK. I was in the British and EU queue and it was moving quite quickly.'

Aviation expert Julian Bray told MailOnline today: 'It's been flagged up for ages that anybody coming into the country has got to have the right paperwork and has got to have the negative test. I understand the fines they are handing out are as a minimum because I heard earlier that it's anything between £500 and £1,000.  'They an come in but they're going to have to isolate for ten days. They have been told to isolate for ten days so there's no point (in having a test) then because the idea of the pre-flight test, which has to be done 72 hours in advance of the flight, is that it'll give the airline an idea of whether they've had the test or not.  But it's surprising the airlines didn't pick up on the deficiencies. The ground crews, quite often they're a separate company, and they're hired in. They're not actually airline employees.  If they're tasked with checking the paperwork, it sounds like there's a deficiency in the paperwork, so they might have had the test but they weren't given the right paperwork, which comes back to the fact that the Department for Transport directions are not that clear. The whole situation has been very shoddy, the way it's been rolled out.'

Passengers told MailOnline on the first day of the new policy that they had faced queues of 90 minutes at the border, but Heathrow Airport denied this was the case.  A Home Office spokesman said: 'People should not be travelling unless absolutely necessary and it is an offence to arrive into England without proof of a negative Covid test or a completed Passenger Locator Form.  We have also increased Border Force spot checks on arrival, with passengers subject to an immediate fine of £500 for failing to comply with the new rules. Despite these measures, the vast majority of passengers have been moving through the UK border in good time.'

New rules came into force at 4am yesterday meaning all arrivals had to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of travel.  Passengers are required to show it to check-in staff before boarding their UK-bound flight, and to Border Force guards after landing.  But some travellers found themselves being turned away by their airline and stranded while those allowed to board complained of long, non Covid-secure queues after landing.  NHS worker Ellie Walton, 19, from Moreton-in-Marsh in Gloucestershire, was supposed to fly from Madrid to London on Sunday afternoon.  But she missed the connection because her first flight from Cuba to the Spanish capital had been delayed by nearly two hours.  She was told the next flight to London wasn't until yesterday morning and was given a hotel voucher.  However, when she tried to leave the Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suarez Airport she was told she couldn't by Spanish border guards 'because of Brexit'. It meant having to bed down in the airport on Sunday night.  To make matters worse, when she tried to board her new flight yesterday morning she was barred.  This was because she didn't have a negative Covid test, having thought she'd be returning on Sunday before the UK's new pre-departure testing rules kicked-in yesterday at 4am.  Miss Walton, a healthcare worker, travelled to Cuba in December when the second lockdown had ended and the tier system was in place.  She went there to spend time with her Cuban boyfriend, Lovany Sanchez, a circus acrobat who had lived in Britain with a visa until the pandemic broke out.  Her mother, Tracey Walton, said: 'It's awful, she was crying down the phone. I even looked at flights to go out to Madrid and sort it out myself but you can't get there.  She had a lateral flow test on her because she is a healthcare worker, but the airline said the UK wouldn't accept it. They were trying to wash their hands of it but they have a duty of care to their passengers.  I'm very angry because the government has made it clear they can board and the British embassy were phoning the airline to say she could.'

Government guidance states that UK citizens are allowed to be boarded on planes if they cannot get a test at their transit airport and are being blocked from entering the country it is in.  Mrs Walton said her daughter told her three other Britons were also barred from boarding.  However, after several calls to the British embassy in Spain Mrs Walton said her daughter had finally been allowed on an Iberia plane back to Heathrow last night.  In another case, Hannah Holland, 23, from Sheffield, was due to land at Heathrow yesterday but was barred by check-in staff in the US.  She was booked to travel on an American Airlines flight from Philadelphia via Chicago's O'Hare airport, which was due to land in London at 8.20am.  But Chicago check-in staff said her rapid 'lateral flow' test and accompanying health certificate were not acceptable.  Miss Holland, a dual British-American citizen, had been helping her mother care for her grandfather in Philadelphia.  She said: 'I just couldn't believe it, it was a test I had to pay for at a local, well-respected health clinic in Philadelphia and was specifically for people who had flights that needed more urgent results.' She added: 'I was getting really weepy.'

Miss Holland, a volunteer in Africa with the Peace Corps until the pandemic began, managed to get a flight back to Philadelphia and is now considering whether to seek another test to return to the UK or stay there.   An American Airlines spokesman said: 'The certificate did not specify the name of the test device as required, and therefore travel to the UK could not be permitted as per government guidelines.'

A Department for Transport spokesman said: 'Passengers travelling to the UK must provide proof of a negative coronavirus test which meets the performance standards set out by the Government in the guidance published on  The type of test could include a PCR test or antigen test, including a lateral flow test. Anyone who cannot provide the necessary documentation may not be allowed to board their flight.'

As part of the new measures, announced by Boris Johnson on Friday, Border Force have ramped up checks on arrivals at airports and ports.  Arrivals complained that checking all passengers' negative test health certificates was taking too long. The certificate now has to be checked along with a locator form stating where they will be self-isolating for ten days.  Gabrielle Rivers, 31, a research fellow at Oxford University, flew from Washington to London and was stuck in a queue at border control for two hours before showing proof of her negative result and passenger locator form.  She said: 'I was pretty surprised at the length of the queue. I don't know how they would expect old people to cope. They are crowding people together in tight spaces, if we didn't have Covid then, we will now.  It was very rammed. It was pretty heavily regulated. The airlines are being the strictest.'

Eric Campbell, 23, who arrived in London yesterday from Kampala, Uganda, said hordes of people were cramped together at border control.  His £50 PCR coronavirus test was checked as well as his locator form after an hour's wait. 'It was chaotic, the line was far too long and there were kids running around everywhere,' he said.  'There were only a few people at each desk which is why the border was rammed as they spent a great deal going through each person's document. It defeats the purpose, but I am glad it's being done.'

Avis Agustin, 36, a nurse from Singapore, arrived at Heathrow yesterday and was shocked by the large queues, spending an hour in line before border checks.  She said: 'I was confused at people in the queue not social distancing. They are too easy on people here. In Singapore, if you come, you must stay in a hotel for two weeks which the government tells you to.'

Passengers complained that the closure of the self-scan ePassport gates contributed to delays as some said people were pulled out of the queue and fined over incorrect paperwork.  In Terminal Two, suitcases stacked up by carousels as travellers were stuck at border control but by yesterday afternoon the queues had gone.  New rules scrapping 63 'travel corridors' with countries with low infection rates also came into effect at 4am yesterday, meaning all arrivals from those countries now have to quarantine.  The policy will be reviewed on February 15. On Sunday it emerged the government is considering a further crackdown after ministers asked officials to draw up plans which would see travellers forced to quarantine in hotels upon arrival. 

Q&A: Do I need to have proof of a negative Covid-19 test when I arrive in Britain and what standards must it meet?

What are the new rules for UK arrivals?

All of the travel corridors were scrapped yesterday, so arrivals from every destination will need to self-isolate for ten days, or receive a negative result from a Covid-19 test taken at least five days after they enter the UK.

Do I need to get a negative test when I arrive in the UK?

Yes, all arrivals into England including British citizens must test negative for Covid-19 up to 72 hours before leaving the country of departure. Your test will also be checked by the airline before you board a plane abroad.

What will you have to present at the UK border? 

Border Force officials are carrying out spot checks on those arriving by air, land or sea - but they have so far been checking all arrivals, according to passengers.  Your Covid-19 negative test results must be presented in either English, French or Spanish. Translations are not accepted, and you must provide the original certificate.  The test result must be provided either as a physical printed document or via email or text message, which can be shown on a mobile phone. This must include:

    your name, matching it on your travel documents
    your date of birth or age
    the result of the test
    the date the test sample was collected or received by the test provider
    the name of the test provider and their contact details
    the name of the test device

Anyone arriving without a test result that includes all of the above information will be committing a criminal offence which could see them receive a £500 fine.

What test must you have?

The test must meet standards of ≥97% specificity and ≥80% sensitivity at viral loads above 100,000 copies/ml. The Government says this could include tests such as:

    a nucleic acid test, including a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or derivative technologies, including loop-mediated isothermal amplification (Lamp) tests
    an antigen test, such as a test from a lateral flow device.

Will you have to prove your test meets requirements?

Yes. The Government says it is your responsibility to ensure a test meets minimum standards for sensitivity, specificity and viral load details so you must check with your test provider that it meets those requirements.  You may need proof in the form of a letter from a test provider detailing its specificity and sensitivity levels.

What happens if I don't have the correct documents?

New arrivals who flout the rules will face a minimum £500 fine while their flight operator will also be fined.  The passenger will then be let on their way without further action, but will still have to quarantine for ten days like everyone else arriving in the UK.  Separately, arrivals into England who do not self-isolate can face fines between £1,000 and £10,000.

What is the difference between the tests?

PCR tests, nasal and throat swab tests normally take between 12 and 48 hours to return results.  Lamp tests can return results in two hours, and lateral flow tests can generate results in less than 30 minutes.  Whichever test it is must meet the required performance standards listed by the Government.  Border Force agents will check that the information required is present on the notification. Provided the test meets the set criteria, then it will be accepted. If it does not, you could be fined even with a negative test result.

What are the concerns over lateral flow tests?

There are fears that lateral flow tests might not be as reliable as PCR tests. But Innova makes a lateral flow test which has a sensitivity of more than 95 per cent for high viral loads meeting UK Government requirements.  A trial of one lateral flow test used by the Government found that it detected 79 per cent of cases when administered by a trained professional but only 40 per cent if someone is self-swabbing. This is significantly lower than the more expensive but slower PCR tests which detect 70 to 99 per cent of positive cases.  Passengers are responsible for ensuring their test meets requirements and may be asked to provide proof. 

Is there a specific list of accepted tests?

No. The Government does not provide a list of approved providers or tests worldwide. The passenger has to check that the test that they use meets the standards.

What are the exemptions?

It applies to arrivals who began their journeys in every country of the world, with the following exceptions:

    Northern Ireland
    Isle of Man
    Falkland Islands
    St Helena

There will also be an exemption until 4am on January 21 for people who began their journey in:

    Antigua and Barbuda
    St Lucia

There are also limited exemptions for the likes of hauliers, young children and train crew members.

Which countries are subject to travel bans?

Travel to and from all of South America, Portugal and Cape Verde was banned from 4am last Friday.  British and Irish nationals as well as people with residency rights will be exempt, but will have to self-isolate for ten days with their household on returning from any countries on the banned list.  A similar ban was put into place for South Africa on December 23 last year, after another new variant was identified by scientists. On January 9, the rules were also applied to Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Eswatini, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique, Angola, Seychelles and Mauritius.

What are the rules on travel from South Africa?

Anyone arriving into the UK who has been in or transited through South Africa in the previous ten days will not be permitted entry to the UK. But British people will still be able to enter via indirect routes from South Africa.

Are there any differences for the US?

There are no specific differences for travellers arriving from the US, although it is understood some airlines are placing their own requirements on passengers.  The US Embassy in the UK states: 'The test must be a viral test (NAAT or antigen test) to determine if you are currently infected with Covid-19. Travellers should avoid the antibody tests which look for prior infection.'

I'm glad Morrison are taking this stance although when we weent to Tesco a customer was asked by a greeter if she had a mask.  The customer said she didn't but was going to buy one instore to which the greeter said she could take one for free on her way in.  She did and I wondered if she had been so surprised by the request that she just did what she was told.

I get aanoyed with the people who wear face masks but don't cover their noses.


Tearful NHS nurse 'zipping up body bags' begs public to follow Covid lockdown rules

EXCLUSIVE: Nurse Ameera Sheikh says she has been forced to see a huge amount of death during the COVID-19 pandemic, she is begging the public to follow the rules

ByGrace Macaskill

22:08, 9 JAN 2021

Exhausted nurse Ameera Sheikh fought back tears as she zipped up the body bag on her fourth patient in two days.  All around her, colleagues battled to save people gasping for breath with Covid-19 on one of London’s worst-hit intensive care units.  But there was no respite and there will be none for weeks to come.  In a moving account, Ameera, 28, tells of being haunted by the sick and dying, saying: “We are on our feet for 13 or 14 hours a day, running around.  I don’t sleep any more because the nightmares are too much.”

As the second wave engulfs the NHS with more than 1,000 Covid deaths recorded in Britain yesterday Ameera paints a picture of desperation and chaos on Britain’s hospital wards.  And she begs Sunday People readers: “Please don’t break the rules. I have worked overseas in less developed countries where they don’t have the resources like we do and what is going on right now reminds me of those experiences.  Death was all around then and death is all around us now. And each day is as bad as the next. Some days it’s so ­intense. You feel so sick inside that you can’t even bring yourself to drink a glass of water.”

Yesterday, the overall death toll from Covid-19 hit 80,000.  A further 1,035 people were recorded as dying in the deadliest Saturday since April 18 as the new variant sweeps across the country.  Another 59,937 people tested ­positive for the virus, but the Government’s SAGE scientific ­advisers believe as many as 150,000 are getting infected every day.  For frontliners like Ameera, who has worked for the NHS for 12 years, they have to remain professional, even when they know people are breaking guidelines. She said: “As healthcare workers we have to suspend judgement. Some people are very lucky not to have experienced Covid.  They need to realise the world doesn’t revolve around them. Other people are living in this world too and many have died because people chose not to wear a mask or wanted to hang out with their pals.”

Some don’t ­believe Covid-19 exists at all. Others are unapologetic for mixing with others.  Ameera, also a Unite union rep, ­added: “Colleagues in the emergency department are getting some very vague responses when they ask people how they think they got Covid.  Others admit to flouting the laws and are apologetic, while others don’t care. They have maybe lost their jobs or feel isolated and therefore don’t trust anything the Goverment says.  Some are very sick but deny they have Covid at all.”

Her message to anti-lockdown groups is simple: Get real.  Ameera said: “They don’t have any medical qualifications yet feel it’s OK to make unfounded comments.  When will they realise what’s really going on? Will it be when they lose someone they love? We can have a day where patients are dying all day long and you are having to quickly wash them and zip up a body bag.  None of the people from anti-lockdown groups will ever zip up a body bag in their lives.”

Doctors and nurses are risking their lives to treat patients, day in, day out.  Ameera said: “I’ve lost friends and colleagues to this virus and we have doctors working in red zones who have come back from retirement or are medically vulnerable.  Staff are falling sick and it’s no surprise when, in many areas of the hospital, they are only wearing aprons and simple surgical masks.  It’s only the staff on ICU who are wearing full PPE. Everyone is scared of catching the new variant because it’s so much more infectious and many of us are still waiting for our vaccinations.  Each trust has a number to call to book in for the vaccine but it’s very busy and they often don’t have same-day appointments.”

She added: “It’s hard to find the time as well when you get WhatsApp messages asking, ‘Can you come back into work, we need everyone we can get’.”

The leading nurse, who campaigned for better pay and conditions outside Downing Street last summer, also claims hospitals are so overwhelmed that patients are knowingly being placed in wards with positive cases.  Ameera said: “In London we are playing musical beds, moving patients from one hospital to another nearby to create space.  We are opening new intensive care units and new Covid wards, but with what staff? A lot of staff handed in their resignations after the first wave. Nurses are looking after three or even four patients each in ICU.  There are some hospitals who have the odd negative patient amongst a bay of positive cases because they’ve run out of side rooms.”


Indonesia plane crash: 'Body parts found' in huge search for missing Boeing 737

Sriwijaya Air flight SJ182 a Boeing 737-500 was flying from Indonesian capital Jakarta on Saturday to Pontianak. It had more than 60 people on board

By Tom Davidson Assistant news editor, Sam Truelove, Thomas McArthur and Matthew Dresch

10:34, 9 JAN 2021Updated21:19, 9 JAN 2021

A Boeing 737 passenger plane has crashed into the sea after disappearing from radar and plunging 10,000ft.  The Sriwijaya Air passenger jet lost contact after taking off from Indonesian capital Jakarta earlier today en route to Pontianak in West Kalimantan province.  A local life boat captain claims to have found body parts and plane debris while searching for survivors.  Indonesian Disaster Victim Identification officers have also reportedly been seen carrying body bags ashore.  The missing aircraft had more than 60 people on board including 10 children.  The Indonesian navy claims says it has worked out the last known coordinates of the missing jet, and ships are being sent to the area.  Navy official Abdul Rasyid told reporters: "The coordinates have been found and have been given to all Navy vessels in the area."

Photos show rescue workers pulling debris from the water in a desperate search for survivors.  Captain EKo Surya Hadi, commander of a local life boat, told local TV journalists that human remains had been found, Mail Online reports.  He said: "We found body parts, life jackets, avtur (aviation turbine fuel) and debris of the plane."

An Indonesian rescue agency confirmed suspected debris of the flight had been found.  No radio beacon signal had been detected, the agency said.  Residents of Thousand Island said they heard two explosions before finding items in the sea.  It's been reported the plane fell 10,000ft in less than one minute, about four minutes after taking off.  Surachman, a local government official, told Kompas TV that fishermen found what appeared to be the wreckage of an aircraft in waters north of Jakarta and a search was underway.  Other channels showed pictures of suspected wreckage.  "We found some cables, a piece of jeans, and pieces of metal on the water," Zulkifli, a security official, told

The Indonesian Navy has deployed 11 ships to search for the wreckage underwater.  The plane is not a 737 Max, the Boeing model involved in two major crashes in recent years.  According to there were 62 people on board - 56 passengers, four crew members and two pilots.  All on board the plane were Indonesian, Indonesia's transport safety committee said.  Of the 56 passengers, 46 were adults, seven were children and three were infants. Their nationality's have not been disclosed.  Aviation monitoring service Flightradar24 tweeted: "Sriwijaya Air flight #SJ182 lost more than 10,000 feet of altitude in less than one minute, about 4 minutes after departure from Jakarta."

Sriwijaya Air chief executive Jefferson Irwin Jauwena told reporters that the aircraft was in good condition and had been delayed for 30 minutes ahead of takeoff because of heavy rain.  A Boeing spokeswoman said: "We are aware of media reports from Jakarta, and are closely monitoring the situation. We are working to gather more information".

According to CNBC Indonesia, the flight vanished at 2.40pm local time, moments after taking off from Soekarno-Hatta airport.  The last location of the plane was in the waters of the Java Sea above Banten Province.  The Sriwijaya Air plane lost contact around Lancang Island, Thousand Islands, the manager of branch communication and legal at Soekarno-Hatta Airport, Haerul Anwar, said.  It was raining at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport at the time of take-off for Pontianak, around 740 km (460 miles) away.  Video images from the airport showed pictures of relatives of the passengers in tears as they awaited news of the fate of the aircraft.  The plane was almost 27-years-old and was originally flown by carriers in the United States.  The Indonesian Transport Ministry spokesperson, Adita Irawati, confirmed that there had been a loss of contact with the Sriwijaya Air aircraft, reports CNBC Indonesia.  "We are currently under investigation and coordinated with Basarnas and the National Transportation Accident Committee (KNKT)," said Adita.

A Boeing 737 MAX operated by Indonesian airline Lion Air crashed off Jakarta in late 2018, killing all 189 passengers and crew. The plane that lost contact today is a much older model.  Bagus Puruhito, head of the country's search and rescue agency Basarnas, said teams had been dispatched to search the waters north of Jakarta.  The Indonesian Red Cross Society say they have 50 volunteers on standby to help with recovery efforts.  Sriwijaya Air is one of the Indonesian domestic leading airlines. It carries over 1,000,000 passengers per month, from its hub at Soekarno Hatta International Airport to more than 55 destinations in 2 regional countries, including extraordinary and popular tourism spots in Indonesia.


'Partying was more important than protecting others': Top police officer slams New Year's Eve revellers who ignored Covid lockdown rules and packed illegal raves as fines worth £18,000 are issued in Essex alone

    Two men were stabbed and a woman suffered head injuries as tempers flared on Edgware Road this morning
    Met Police confirmed all three people were taken to hospital, a woman has been arrested on suspicion of GBH
    Officers were called out to 58 unlicensed music events across London, with 217 people receiving fines
    Essex Police arrested five people and handed out £18,000 worth of fines after uncovering raves in the county

By Sam Baker and Luke May and Jack Elsom For Mailonline

Published: 03:10, 1 January 2021 | Updated: 15:43, 1 January 2021

A top police officer has slammed New Year's Eve revellers who ignored Covid lockdown rules and 'decided partying was more important than protecting other people'.  While most Brits stayed at home to celebrate the end of 2020, police were handing out hundreds of fines and breaking up illegal raves across the country.  Police in Essex alone issued £18,000 worth of fines, breaking up events that included a house party with 100 people attending and a fire dancer performing for crowds.  A woman who organised the event in Sewardstonebury was fined £10,000. Elsewhere in the county officers broke up an illegal rave at an abandoned church in East Horndon and another at a warehouse in Brentwood.  Assistant Chief Constable Andy Prophet criticised those who 'decided to blatantly flout the coronavirus rules and regulations and, ultimately, they decided that partying was more important than protecting other people'.  He added: 'We've seized their equipment, arrested five people, and issued a large number of fines to those who think this behaviour is acceptable.  We need you to keep yourselves, other people, and the NHS, safe. Thank you again to everyone who spent their New Year's Eve in a responsible, legal, way. 'Stay safe, Essex.'

Met Police issued 217 people with fixed penalty fines and five people could receive £10,000 fines for organising large gatherings across London.  Two men were stabbed and a woman hit around the head with a bottle as violence broke out when up to 70 people squared up to one another in Edgware Road, London, just minutes after midnight.  There were similar raves across the country, as Greater Manchester Police issued 105 fines, compared to 66 in Brighton and Hove.  In the aftermath of the disturbances on Edgware Road, a photographer working for MailOnline was knocked unconscious while taking pictures near police officers yards from the homes of the rich and famous including Tony Blair and Claudia Winkleman.  As he recovered, he told MailOnline: 'We got there and there were lots of armed police. Big armed police cars were zooming past us we counted 11. There must be 100-and-something police there at least, a lot of them heavily armed.'

He said as he worked, a man approached him and punched him.  'As I hit the floor, six or seven officers rushed to me and then apparently six or seven more caught the guy who did it,' he said. 'He was arrested on the scene.'

The experienced photojournalist said he counted around 60 or 70 suspected gang members present on the street after the initial stabbings had taken place.  Police said they were called by colleagues in the London Fire Brigade to reports of a stabbing on Edgware Road.  A spokesman said: 'Officers attended the scene, with the London Ambulance Service and [the air ambulance]. Two males were identified with stab injuries. Both men were taken to hospital.  A woman was also located at the scene suffering with a head injury, she has been taken to hospital.' He added: 'One woman has been arrested for GBH and taken to a police station.'

Speaking this morning, Met Police Commander Paul Brogden said: 'In all, the vast majority of Londoners complied with the Covid regulations that are in place to protect themselves and their loved ones, and we're grateful to those people. The public are all too aware that Tier 4 restrictions have been put in place to reduce the spread of the virus and to protect the NHS.  We did attend a number of calls to parties and unlicensed events across London, including one where two people were stabbed. My colleagues in the local command unit continue to investigate.  Our enforcement activity will continue. If people insist on gathering and breaching regulations, then officers will attend and encourage people to disperse. Where necessary, enforcement action, including fines starting at £100 and working their way up to £10,000, will be considered.  We are still dealing with the stark reality of fighting a deadly virus. I urge Londoners to continue to keep themselves and their families safe by staying at home.'

Elsewhere in London, dozens of people were found gathering in Chadwell Heath, while another rave was busted at a warehouse in London's Royal Docks.  Some revellers were determined to party despite the threat of £10,000 fines and repeated warnings about the dangers of spreading the virus.  Police say 60 partygoers were found at an unlicensed music event in Kemp Road, Chadwell Heath, on New Year's Eve.  Officers dispersed the crowd and handed a £10,000 fine to the organiser of the rave.  Newham Police said that a 'large unlicensed music event' was shut down by officers and a number of arrests were made at a warehouse in Royal Docks.  Police in Liverpool managed to prevent a gathering after organisers shared details of the event online.  Merseyside Police introduced a dispersal zone for the Pier Head and areas of Liverpool city centre to stop people gathering last night after a post was circulated on social media encouraging people to meet near the Liver Building to party together.  On the post, organisers said: 'F*** Tier 3. Liverpool Pier Head tonight.' 

Officers in Norfolk spotted another event as scores of youngsters began making their way to the event on Hall Road in the village of Ludham, Norfolk, as the countdown to midnight began.  Generators and other equipment for the music was seized, and motorists were told to avoid the area as police officers dispersed the gathering crowds of ravers and shut down the rave before it could begin.  A Norfolk police spokeswoman said 'As cases of coronavirus rise across the county, officers will continue to take firm action against these kinds of gatherings, which breach public health regulations, including the use of fines.'

Around 80 people were dispersed from a party at a rural property in Hyndburn, outside Blackburn, with the organiser receiving a £10,000 on the spot fine.  Deputy Chief Constable Terry Woods, of Lancashire Police, described the party as a 'shocker'.  He tweeted: 'Home after a very different NYE. Well done @LancsPolice & @NWAmbulance who dealt with a steady stream of incidents after midnight.  Some shockers tonight e.g. Hyndburn rural property with about 80 young people there @LancsPolice stopped it & organiser reported for £10k fine.'

Fines handed out in Brighton were among 81 fixed penalty notices issued by Sussex Police between 6pm on Thursday and 3am on Friday.  The fines ranged from outdoor gatherings of groups in public spaces, to private parties and people travelling from outside the area into the county.  Several were issued to groups gathering on Brighton beach in breach of the restrictions, although there was no large-scale event on the seafront, police said.  Five tickets were issued to a group stopped in a car from London who claimed they were in Brighton to collect a takeaway.  After the event at the 500-year-old All Saints Church in East Horndon, Essex a Grade II listed building members of the conservation group that supports it said they are 'devastated' by the damage caused and estimate repairs could cost more than £1,000.  Organisers of the event set up a bar and DJ decks inside the church and hired Portaloos for partygoers.  Essex Police said officers had been threatened and had objects thrown at them while trying to engage with those present.  Astrid Gillespie, a volunteer for the Friends of All Saints, said she was 'just trying to get her head round the news', having found out via a Facebook post on New Year's Day.  'I went up there and the police were still there packing up the equipment that they seized,' she told the PA news agency.

'There were hundreds of people there, it sounded like it was a ticketed event. It was a professional set-up, they'd hired Portaloos they're still there.  They had a bar area where you had to exchange tokens, so they must have been selling drinks tokens.  There was loads of evidence of drugs and they've done damage to the church, obviously it's a mess and needs to be completely cleaned out.  The ground has been all churned up because they must have had vans dropping off all the equipment.'

Ms Gillespie, 48, said a small window had been smashed to put in an extractor fan unit and the sound equipment had been wired into the church's fuse box.  She added that because of the building's age and heritage status, the damage was 'not going to be cheap' to fix, and that the locks would have to be replaced.  'The vicar is going to organise a preliminary clean-up but it's a huge task and we're estimating £1,000 but it could well be more,' she said.

'I love the place, it's such a beautiful church, and to find out it's been damaged is devastating, I'm just trying to get my head around it.  You wake up in the new year and think 'new year, new me' and then you've got to deal with all this.'

Police said the crowds at the church were dispersed before midnight and that three arrests had been made.  A 27-year-old man from Harlow was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class A drugs, a public order offence, and of offences under new coronavirus regulations.  A 22-year-old man from Harlow was arrested on suspicion of a public order offence, possession of cannabis, and of offences under coronavirus regulations.  A 35-year-old man from Southwark was also arrested on suspicion of possession of class A and class B drugs.  The events came as rule-breakers defied instructions to stay home on New Year's Eve and headed out on to the streets.   Piers Corbyn, the anti-lockdown activist brother of former Labour leader Jeremy, railed against the restrictions on a march along London's Southbank.  Pictures show the 73-year-old being held back by supporters as he faces down officers during the protest.  Dozens of people congregated outside County Hall, where Mr Corbyn addressed the demonstration through a megaphone.  Meanwhile others pressed ahead with party plans and flouted rules by toasting in 2021 with a large group of friends.  Crowds were seen gathering on the Southbank, near the London Eye, to catch a glimpse of last night's fireworks display.  Witnesses saw police confiscating alcohol as people looked to celebrate the end of the year.  Most public places typically brimming with crowds lay eerily deserted and usual hotspots such as Trafalgar Square were even boarded up to prevent people congregating.  But in Leeds, some braved the cold weather and were pictured on the streets clutching bottles of wine and crates of beer.  Ahead of last night, police chiefs warned they would be prepared to take action against rule-breakers.  Scotland Yard tweeted: 'We are at a critical point in this pandemic. We would urge everyone to celebrate the New Year in the comfort of their own homes. If people insist on gathering and breaching regulations, then officers will shut them down and enforcement action will be taken.'

The maximum fine for breaking coronavirus restrictions is £10,000 for the most egregious breaches.  Hundreds attend raves across Essex as £18,000 worth of fines are handed out.  Police in Essex were forced to break-up parties across the county last night after being called to gatherings at an abandoned warehouse, a conservation-run church and a house party with more than 100 people attending.  Police seized equipment from a warehouse rave in Brentwood before dispersing events in Thorndon Park and Sewardstonebury, near Epping Forest, overnight.  Three men were arrested at the party at a church in Thorndon Park on drug offences.  Two people were arrested at the rave in Brentwood. One for failing to provide details, and the other on suspicion of drink driving. A woman was issued a £10,000 fine for organising the house party in Sewardstonebury.  Assistant Chief Constable Andy Prophet thanked people for staying home last night, before adding: 'Unfortunately, there were others who decided to blatantly flout the coronavirus rules and regulations and, ultimately, they decided that partying was more important than protecting other people.  We've seized their equipment, arrested five people, and issued a large number of fines to those who think this behaviour is acceptable.  We need you to keep yourselves, other people, and the NHS, safe. Thank you again to everyone who spent their New Year's Eve in a responsible, legal, way. 'Stay safe, Essex.'

Fun, Games And Silliness / Re: Word Association
« on: December 29, 2020, 12:27:04 PM »

Fun, Games And Silliness / Re: Keep A Word, Drop A Word, Add A Word
« on: December 29, 2020, 12:21:58 PM »
military band


Fun, Games And Silliness / Re: Movies and Actors
« on: December 29, 2020, 12:16:53 PM »
Willem Dafoe

Fun, Games And Silliness / Word Association
« on: December 13, 2020, 01:06:28 PM »
Very easy game and it is fun too :)


Shoe can be associated with foot on so on :)

Ok? Let's gets started  ;)


Fun, Games And Silliness / Keep A Word, Drop A Word, Add A Word
« on: December 13, 2020, 01:04:20 PM »

I start with two words and the next person will drop one of the words and add their own but keep the other and so on etc..

For example:

Tea Time

next post:

Tea Break

next post:

Break Wind


Fun, Games And Silliness / Re: Movies and Actors
« on: December 13, 2020, 01:01:57 PM »
Mark Wahlberg

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