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04/04/2020 08:04:42  

The presenter’s daily Self-Isolating Bird Club draws on wildlife footage caught by enthusiasts on mobile phones in their gardens. Packham calls it ‘Dad’s Army makes TV’

Lockdown day 10 in south-east London. A loud rhythmic tweeting is emanating from the cherry plum tree in my back garden. A great tit? Blue tit? I catch a glimpse; too small for a great tit, not as colourful.

I don’t know my birdsongs beyond the basics, but I remember a friend imitating calls to coax birds nearer so he could identify them. I have an idea and grab my phone and Google “coal tit song”. I press play and the rival tweeting produces instant results. Hopping from branch to branch towards me a delightful but agitated coal tit emerges and alights on a branch barely two metres away (I think it knows). Is it angry or amorous? My exhilaration at our proximity turns to doubt and guilt – I’ve used gadgetry to disrupt the natural world. What was I thinking? The coal tit flies off, its song tinged with irritation.

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04/04/2020 08:04:41  

Two weeks ago I was looking in horror at TV footage of people streaming into Richmond Park. Now something worse has happened

Day Whatever: as a regular part of my lockdown routine, I now set aside 30 minutes each day to consider the possibility that I have coronavirus. This involves feeling my forehead with the back of my hand while swallowing repeatedly to see if it hurts or not. They say the virus can cause symptoms so mild you might not even notice you have it. I think: I would notice.

Two weeks ago I was looking in horror at TV footage of people streaming into Richmond Park, and thinking: I hope you can’t see my car in that. Yes, I was there. But we didn’t go to the park in order to join a mass infection gathering, and I don’t think anyone else did, either. We went to Richmond Park because it’s huge. It’s unfortunate that thousands of people had the same idea.

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04/04/2020 08:04:41  

Forget fancy kit. This is all you need to emerge from self-isolation fighting fit

Fitness tips: three exercises to do in a confined space

It feels like being in prison, because it is like being in prison; and all over the world, people are asking: how do you stay fit when you’re confined to the house? This is assuming you don’t already have, or want to buy, a load of equipment. (Although if you do want something cheap and incredibly useful, get some resistance bands.)

You don’t need any stuff to get fit – no weights, no benches, definitely no fancy trainers. And you can aim high. Theoretically, you could wake up in four months’ time looking like a creature of myth, a man or woman who has been cursed with the upper body of a bullock. That may not be what you want, of course, and if you notice it happening, stop the calisthenics and concentrate on star jumps.

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04/04/2020 08:04:41  

Calum, 25, master’s student, meets Laurence, 27, designer*

What were you hoping for?
Flowing conversation.

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04/04/2020 08:04:40  

A summary of the biggest developments in the global coronavirus outbreak

Key developments in the global coronavirus outbreak today include:

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04/04/2020 08:04:40  

Thousands of coronavirus victims are remembered in China, and Trump says he won’t follow US advice that all people should wear face masks in public

China has stopped to mourn the thousands who have died in the coronavirus outbreak, including “martyrs” such as whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang, while Donald Trump dismissed the advice of US health officials that all Americans should consider wearing masks in public.

In Tiananmen Square and throughout the country, the national flag flew at half mast on Saturday as people stopped at 10am to bow their heads for three minutes, while car, train and ship horns sounded and air raid sirens blared in the background.

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04/04/2020 08:04:24  

The story of an abusive relationship between a teacher and his pupil is intelligent, brave and painful to read

The literary exploration of sexual consent is nothing new, but the change in attitudes that allowed #MeToo to flourish has galvanised a new reckoning. The sexual abuse of children in the past is the razor-sharp tip of a huge iceberg that has often gone unnoticed and was mostly submerged. People who hardly knew they were victims are now telling their stories and, more significantly, their accusations are being listened to. France has recently been shaken by Vanessa Springora’s Consent, which describes her relationship in the 1980s with the prominent author Gabriel Matzneff. She was 14, he was 36 years older, but in the past, nobody seemed to mind when he declared and even published books about his sexual predilection for underage girls and boys.

In Kate Elizabeth Russell’s powerful debut novel, Vanessa Wyes is 15 when she becomes involved with a teacher at her Maine boarding school. At 42, Jacob Strane is neither young nor attractive, but Vanessa is only too willing to be pulled into what she believes is first love. Russell cleverly lures us inside the labyrinth of the teenage mind – hot with hormonal turmoil, pushing boundaries, craving admiration, breaking rules and obsessing about sex. Vanessa has never kissed a boy, but she welcomes the advances of her English teacher. Strane begins by touching her knee under the desk in class, progresses to furtive kisses and then they go to bed. “I’m going to ruin you,” he says, as if tormented. He praises her writing and quotes Nabokov – “My Dark Vanessa” comes from Pale Fire. He also gives her Lolita, which becomes such an obsession that she later confuses her own memories with those of “Lo and Humbert”.

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04/04/2020 08:04:20  

DevNull127 writes: Good news — VA Public Health has certified my wife and me as no longer contagious with COVID19," tweeted 76-year-old Vint Cerf, one of the creators of the modern internet. He added one word. "Recovering!" It seemed especially appropriate that Cerf shared his news online — and that it drew positive responses from grateful people around the world, including several who use the internet in their daily lives. Cerf's tweet immediately drew positive responses from the Internet Society, as well as the chief operating officer of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, YouTube's director of public policy, and a senior director of communications and public affairs at Google. There were also congratulatory posts from a Georgetown professor of technology and law, from Associated Press reporter Frank Bajak, and the executive director of the Global Privacy and Security by Design Centre. Cerf followed up his news with a re-tweet of Google's "Community Mobility Reports" charting our aggregate movement trends over time, and a tweet of a University of Pittsburgh press release about progress on a COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Earlier in the week Cerf also re-tweeted a humorous compilation of clips from the TV show M*A*S*H that illustrated safe practices while social distancing.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

04/04/2020 08:03:56  

This week 221,304 visitors visited 715,773 times viewing 1,179,652 pages. The top stories in order of popularity were: Peston’s Testing Shortage Disinformation Jezza’s Shambolic Last Plan Where are the Coronavirus Hotspots? BBC Proposes Replacing Licence Fee with Broadband Levy Vulnerable Corbyn Flouts Self-Isolation & Social Distancing Rebecca Long-Bailey Claims Coronavirus is an Opportunity for Labour […]

The post Saturday 7-Up appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

04/04/2020 08:02:03  
04/04/2020 08:01:28  

Matt Kelly was inspired to write the poem after hearing about the challenges his partner, a district nurse, faces daily.
04/04/2020 07:04:58  

ABC’s chief White House correspondent on his new book Front Row at the Trump Show, fake news, coronavirus and why the Trump presidency is a matter of life and death

At a White House briefing late last month, Jonathan Karl asked what he regarded as the fundamental question that day, about the coronavirus pandemic. “And everybody who needs one will be able to get a ventilator?”

Donald Trump’s reply was probably the strangest ABC News’ chief White House correspondent has ever had from a US president.

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04/04/2020 07:04:43  

Keir Starmer is expected to win contest and his supporters say he is ideally suited to the job

If anyone needs reminding how much the political world has changed in a few weeks, it is useful to recall that Labour’s leadership campaign was timed to finish this weekend so that a new leader could carry the contest’s momentum into May’s local elections.

Those elections, usually seen as an important marker in the political calendar, have instead been postponed along with parliament and most of the UK economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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04/04/2020 07:04:41  

It’s a challenge to keep up the momentum when tempers are fraying. Here parents and experts share their tips

On the first day of home schooling, my eight-year-old daughter read a book about Ancient Egypt for 30 minutes then spent the rest of the day bouncing on the trampoline dressed as a badger while simultaneously trying to soak the cats with the garden hose. My 11-year-old daughter mostly did maths problems on IXL, a virtual learning website, when she wasn’t making toast. This wasn’t quite what my husband and I had planned.

Our first act as home educators had been to devise a detailed timetable that included two PE sessions (trampolining, skipping, cat chasing), creative and “journaling” time, den-making, cosy reading time, as well as three hours of academic work, all divided into 45-minute segments. But somehow the hours slipped away along with my intentions as I tidied, cooked, cajoled, shouted, checked my phone, and got absolutely no work done (despite multiple deadlines). By 4pm I felt we all deserved a break, so declared the school day complete and turned on the TV.

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04/04/2020 07:04:41  

Michael Atkinson, inspector general for the intelligence community, alerted Congress to whistleblower complaint

Donald Trump has fired the inspector general for the intelligence community who handled the whistleblower complaint that led to his impeachment, prompting fierce criticism from Democrats.

The US president chose a Friday night, with America consumed by the coronavirus pandemic, to tell the House of Representatives and Senate intelligence committees of his decision to dismiss Michael Atkinson.

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04/04/2020 07:04:40  

The president’s failure to heed the warnings about coronavirus and act quickly has set in train a domino effect that now imperils large swathes of the US

On 6 March, a group of epidemiologists at Imperial College London gave the White House coronavirus taskforce a heads-up about the terrifying projections for the disease they were about to publish relating to the US.

The Imperial scientists’ findings would have induced paralytic fear in all but the most nonchalant American. They likened Covid-19, which by that point had already extended its tentacles into at least 28 states in the US, to the 1918 influenza pandemic that killed 50 million people around the globe.

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04/04/2020 07:04:40  

The figure we are all watching is likely to be an under-report, which is skewing the curve

New figures reveal that what we think we know about the Covid-19 death toll in the UK is wrong. Here’s why.

Every day we get one big figure for deaths occurring in the UK. Everyone jumps on this number, taking it to be the latest toll. However NHS England figures – which currently make up the bulk of UK deaths – in fact reflect the day on which the death was reported, not the actual date of death, which is usually days, sometimes weeks, before it appears in the figures.

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04/04/2020 07:04:40  

Tracy Brennan chastised superiors at hospitals trust for making her remove mask she had bought herself

A healthcare worker in north-west London quit her job after she was refused permission to wear a protective face mask, the Guardian has learned.

In her resignation letter (below), Tracy Brennan chastised her superiors at Hillingdon Hospitals NHS foundation trust for forbidding her from wearing a surgical mask she had bought to protect herself – and the patients she was caring for – from contracting the deadly virus.

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04/04/2020 07:04:20  

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: Cells will ramp up gene expression in response to physical forces alone, a new study finds. Gene activation, the first step of protein production, starts less than one millisecond after a cell is stretched -- hundreds of times faster than chemical signals can travel, the researchers report. The scientists tested forces that are biologically relevant -- equivalent to those exerted on human cells by breathing, exercising or vocalizing. They report their findings in the journal Science Advances. In the new work, the researchers observed that special DNA-associated proteins called histones played a central role in whether gene expression increased in response to forces that stretched the cell. Histones regulate DNA, winding it up to package it in the nucleus of the cell. One class of histones, known as Histone H3, appear to prevent force-responsive gene expression when methylated at an amino acid known as lysine 9. Methylation involves adding a molecular tag known as a methyl group to a molecule. The scientists observed that H3K9 methylation was highest at the periphery of the nucleus and largely absent from the interior, making the genes in the interior more responsive to stretching. The researchers found they could suppress or boost force-responsive gene expression by increasing or decreasing H3K9 histone methylation. The scientists also tested whether the frequency of an applied force influenced gene expression. They found that cells were most responsive to forces with frequencies up to about 10-20 hertz.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

04/04/2020 07:01:34  

The US president said that wearing a mask was not for him, despite advice from health officials.
04/04/2020 07:01:30  

Ahead of the new Labour leader being announced, here are the key moments from the past five years.
04/04/2020 07:01:30  

A warden on a Pembrokeshire island famed for its sea birds developed a cough after a trip to the mainland.
04/04/2020 06:02:05  
04/04/2020 06:02:05  
04/04/2020 06:01:35  

A day of mourning is held for the 3,300 people who died in China, where the Covid-19 pandemic began.