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Sabine Schmitz dead: Jeremy Clarkson leads tributes to Top Gear co-star 'So full of beans'

Schmitz explained that her absence from the Nurburgring Endurance Series race was due to her health issues, opening up in a post on social media.

She wrote: “Dear friends of professional motor sport. Many of you have probably wondered why I was on the list of participants on our Porsche in the NSL and then didn’t drive after all.

“I would like to provide enlightenment here, I think I owe it to my/our fans!

“Since the end of 2017, I have been fighting an extremely persistent cancer that has not been eliminated with the resources so far. It got a little better – but now it’s come back with full force.

“Now I have to draw all the strength and nerve to master the next powerful therapies … hoping something [good] will happen. So I say goodbye ‘probably’ for the first time this season.

“In addition, I would like to thank everyone for their help and support in my everyday life, and encouragement in writing! So sweethearts, now you have an update. Please stay healthy and cheerful, see you at the ‘Ring.”

AstraZeneca vaccine safety: EMA boss gives update on vaccine review – statement in full

“They have not come up in the clinical trials, and they’re not listed as known or expected side events of the vaccine in clinical trials.” 

She added: “Both the vaccinated people and the people who received the placebo have shown small, some very small numbers of blood clot developments. 

“We are currently, we are still, firmly convinced that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine in preventing COVID-19, with its associated risk of hospitalisation that outweighs the risk of the side effects.”

In addition to the EMA, experts at the World Health Organisation (WHO) also convened on the matter of the AstraZeneca vaccine on Tuesday. 

Where can you watch Zack Snyder’s Justice League in the UK? Full list

Zack Snyder may have been the director of Justice League, but the final cut was actually made by Joss Whedon. Joss is a director known for his work on the Marvel series, but ultimately fans were not entirely keen on the original film. Now, Snyder’s Cut is finally getting seen after years of speculation, and is available to stream online.

Where can you watch Zack Snyder’s Justice League in the UK?

American fans are able to see the movie on HBO Max, which is where Warner Bros has licensed all its 2021 films.

As part of the deal, USA fans can watch every film which Warner Bros releases on HBO Max, simultaneously as its USA release.

This continues to be the case over the pond, but in the UK the picture is a little more murky.

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To be sure you’re not watching copyrighted material, you should go direct to companies such as Netflix or Amazon Prime, according to FACT (Federation Against Copyright Theft).

CEO of FACT Kieron Sharp said: “There are now more ways than ever for consumers to watch movies and TV but not going to legitimate sources to watch new movies is not a grey area: it is against the law.

“As well as being illegal, evidence shows that streaming pirated content is incredibly risky and can expose users to malware and inappropriate content.

“Not only does that deny the best viewing experience, it’s just not worth taking the chance.”

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When the release date was finally revealed, it also came with a new official synopsis which is different from the original Justice League movie, so fans can prepare for the movie.

The synopsis reads: “Determined to ensure Superman’s ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne aligns forces with Diana Prince with plans to recruit a team of metahumans to protect the world from an approaching threat of catastrophic proportions,” it reads.

“The task proves more difficult than Bruce imagined, as each of the recruits must face the demons of their own pasts to transcend that which has held them back, allowing them to come together, finally forming an unprecedented league of heroes.

“Now united, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash may be too late to save the planet from Steppenwolf, DeSaad and Darkseid and their dreadful intentions.”

Who is in the cast of Snyder’s Cut?

The cast is much the same as the original Justice League, with some extra names.

Ben Affleck is Batman, while Henry Cavill plays Superman and Amy Adams is Lois Lane.

Gal Gadot plays Wonder Woman, Ray Fisher is Cyborg and Jason Momoa is Aquaman.

Ezra Miller plays The Flash, and J.K. Simmons plays Commissioner James Gordon of the Gotham Police Department, while Ciarán Hinds plays Steppenwolf.

A number of other actors, including Jeremy Irons, Amber Heard, Diane Lane and Connie Nielsen, play supporting roles.

Extra to these names, there are more actors who, while they may have had uncredited roles in the original cut, will have greater roles in the second version.

These include Jesse Eisenberg, as Lex Luthor, Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke, and Kiersey Clemons as Iris West.

Another actor, Jared Leto, appears for the first time in the film, as The Joker, having not been included in the original cut, for which he had to take part in reshoots.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is available to stream on March 18

Benidorm expat unveils full impact of Covid pandemic on tourist-reliant Spanish resort

Benidorm is well known for its heaving groups of tourists enjoying the sun, sand and sangria at the resort in Spain. However, Covid has meant the Spanish hotspot has been tourist-starved for many months. Britons have been banned from travelling to Spain since December 2020.
Express.co.uk spoke to Sue Rush, a British expat living in Benidorm, about how the resort has changed in the wake of coronavirus.

“Covid has had a devastating effect on Benidorm,” the 64-year-old said.

“It relies heavily on British tourists; although we do get tourists from other countries, the Brits spend the most.”

The mother-of-two explained that life in the Spanish town is far from what it used to be.

“Benidorm is a very sad sight right now,” said Sue.

READ MORE: Holiday warning: Grant Shapps says ‘way forward’ only clear in April

“The streets are empty, shops are open but there isn’t anyone here.

“Weekends used to get a few people coming for the day but that’s not allowed at the moment.

“Nobody can go in or out of Benidorm from 3pm Friday until 6am Monday.

“The police are at all entry points stopping anyone trying to get in or out unless it’s work-related.”

Sue explained that many businesses, including her own, have felt the brunt.

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“The banning of Brits has had an enormous impact on many people I know,” she said.

“Our business is suffering as we sell awnings – usually this time if the year we are busy with bars and restaurants as they get ready for summer but that’s not happening at the moment because of the uncertainty regarding holidays.

“Fortunately we have had our business for over 30 years so we are getting by for now, but many businesses will not survive another season without tourists.”

Some expats Sue knows in Benidorm simply can’t carry on with their lives out in Spain any more.

“A lot are having to return to the UK as they have lost their jobs or business,” she said.

Sue is sticking it out, though. “We have been here for 35 years and even during this pandemic we haven’t considered returning to the UK,” she explained.

Despite the struggles Benidorm has faced over the past year, the community spirit has been strong.

“The expat community has been wonderful in this pandemic, raising money for the local food banks and helping those that are struggling,” Sue said.

What’s more, she remains optimistic that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

“It all seems a bit strange here at the moment without the buzz of the tourists enjoying all the area has to offer,” Sue shared.

“But I’m hopeful for the coming months and some sort of return to normality.”

This week, the Spanish Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, said she thinks Spain will be able to open up to tourists again in May.

She estimates that 40 percent of the population will have received the vaccine by then.

Little Nightmares II Interview: Creating a Land Full of Nightmares

This interview originally appeared on Xbox Wire Russia and has been translated in English to appear on U.S. Xbox Wire.

On February 11, 2021, Little Nightmares II released on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One. Shortly after its launch, we reached out to Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe to chat with Little Nightmares II Lead Producer Lucas Roussel to talk about the small and creepy world of the game, its inspirations, and what’s in store for its heroes in the future.


Xbox Wire: The original Little Nightmares has a unique aesthetic, and the sequel fully inherits this approach. Where are you looking for inspiration and how difficult it is to create something so creepy and different from ordinary horror games?

Little Nightmares II Lead Producer Lucas Roussel: It’s really hard to pinpoint a specific inspiration source for Little Nightmares. The game is a collective work and each team member comes with their own inspirations and influences coming from movies, comics, art in general, but sometimes more personal experiences, nightmares, or memories. The core principle of Little Nightmares though is to root both environments and characters in a nightmarish logic with a child perspective. All enemies and locations should have a purpose, a motivation and a history. Of course, not all of it becomes explicit in-game, but we believe this groundwork is where inspirations turn into creation and why the situations encountered in game are so creepy and bring this uneasy feeling: they are all rooted in some sort of reality.

Little Nightmares II Producer

XW: One of the game’s features is the character Six who acts on their own. What was behind the decision to make her like this and not a co-op character?

Roussel: It was decided early on to have a solo game and move to a new main character for Little Nightmares II. From there, adding Six as an AI companion offered several opportunities: It allowed for a more complex level design and longer puzzles that would rely on players ability to understand Six and work with her. Obviously it also brings back a beloved character with a different angle; by removing players ability to control Six, we’re also bringing interesting situation where players are never fully in charge of Six’ destiny. We are really happy to see how community and newcomers react to their journey with Six.

XW: Little Nightmares II was created during the changing console generations. How did it affect the process and the game itself?

Roussel: The game’s development was not affected by the generation change. Development started right before the release of Little Nightmares in 2017 and Xbox One was the console to focus on at the time for the Tarsier Studios teams to make the most out of it. With the release of Xbox Series X|S, we believe it’s important to offer players the best experience possible with a next-gen version through a free update available later in 2021 through Smart Delivery.

Little Nightmares II

XW: LN2 visuals might look simplistic, but could you tell a little more about technologies behind it and how they served the atmosphere of the game?

Roussel: Tarsier Studios tech and art teams work together to offer the best technology to give life to the original artwork and production designs. Just like the first game, Little Nightmares II runs on Unreal Engine 4, but the engine has evolved in the past years and the team has more experience working with it and tweaking it when needed. Little Nightmares II features a combination of outdoor and indoors areas which allowed the team play much more with different lighting setups. We also reworked the camera to offer more top views and in-depth character traversals. In terms of backend, we’ve implemented an efficient streaming system which allows quicker loading times when players die in any of the many deadly traps sets in the universe.

XW: What benefits will gamers get playing LN2 on Xbox Series X|S?

Roussel: While the game is not optimized yet for Xbox Series X|S; immediate benefits can be experienced: first the next-gen consoles will run the Xbox One X Enhancements including a higher resolution (4K upscaled), better post-processing effects and treatments for a sharper, richer image quality; but then the SSD is giving the game another boost for incredibly short loading time. When dying, players will experience a nearly immediate respawn which is a notable improvement over the original Little Nightmares.

Little Nightmares II

Then, later in 2021, a native Xbox Series X|S enhancement patch will be available for free through Smart Delivery and will make the most of the hardware, but we’ll have more information to share about this soon.

XW: What can you say about the power of Xbox Series X|S and how did it help you to shape Little Nightmares II?

Roussel: We are currently looking into it. It is early to give any specific details but the extra horsepower allows us to combine higher resolution/FPS with better visual effects which of course will make a tremendous difference compared to the previous generation of hardware.

Mikhail Saprykin, Xbox Wire Russia

Holidays: Full list of countries giving UK travellers the green light to return

From May 17, Britons could see themselves jetting off on holiday if Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “roadmap” out of lockdown goes to plan. Though this stage of easing restrictions has not yet been confirmed to go ahead, many nations are already setting out dates for when British holidaymakers can return.
Here is a full list of the nations which have, so far, given UK travellers the thumbs up for future holidays.

France

France is the most recent nation to announce it is lifting restrictions on UK travellers.

In December, the nation closed its borders to Britons except for a select set of reasons for travel.

However, due to the declining rate of coronavirus cases in England, coupled with changes to Covid variants, the nation has decided to reopen its borders to UK arrivals.

Arrivals from the UK, along with six other nations, will now no longer be required to provide documentation providing they have a “compelling” reason for travel, such as a medical or family emergency.

Travellers will need to provide evidence of a negative Covid PCR test taken with 72 hours of arrival.

In a translated Tweet, the tourism minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said: “Compelling reasons are no longer necessary to travel to France.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the efforts made and which made it possible to curb the epidemic. Let’s stay vigilant, let’s hold together!”

He added: “The list includes Britain because the UK variant now also circulates widely in France.”

READ MORE: France holidays: Nations sets out new rules for UK travellers 

Greece

Greece has said it will welcome Britons back from May 14, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not.

While vaccinated arrivals will be able to travel, those who have not received a COVID-19 jab will simply need to present a negative test result upon arrival.

Greek tourism minister Harry Theoharis added that tourists who have antibodies will also be able to enter.

“We aim to open tourism by May 14 with specific rules and updated protocols,” Mr Theoharis told the IBT Berlin tourism fair.

“Until then, we will gradually lift restrictions if conditions allow.”

He continued: “We are approaching the exit from this dark tunnel thanks to the power of the human spirit and the progress of science.

“Please allow me to emphasise that no image could better portray the return to the normality of tourism than the Greek smile, the Greek landscape, the Greek hospitality.

“Regarding 2021, in Greece, we are more than optimistic.

“We are ready, we are ready to share the experience of liberation from the unpleasant memories of the pandemic with each and every one of our guests.”

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Cyprus

Cyprus has announced it will reopen its borders to UK arrivals who have received a Covid jab.

They must have had their second inoculation at least seven days prior to travel.

Luckily, those who have not yet received their vaccine will also be allowed to travel on the condition they can present a negative coronavirus test result.

According to the Cypriot government, this will go ahead from May 1.

However, under Boris Johnson’s roadmap Britons will not be able to jet off abroad for holidays until May 17 at the earliest.

“We have informed the British government that from May 1 we will facilitate the arrival of British nationals who have been vaccinated so they can visit Cyprus without a negative test or needing to quarantine,” said Cyprus’ deputy tourism minister Savvas Perdios.

Netherlands

The Netherlands announced they were to lift restrictions on UK travellers earlier this week.

According to ANP, the Dutch government said the ban on travel from the UK “no longer made sense” as the UK variant strain is now dominant in the Netherlands.

However, UK arrivals will still be subject to quarantine at the time of writing.

Travellers must also provide a negative COVID-19 test result and complete a “test declaration”.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) adds: “In addition to the PCR test requirement, the Dutch Government also requires travellers arriving from the UK by aeroplane and ferry to provide proof of a negative rapid (antigen/LAMP) test, taken no more than four hours before boarding. “

Spain

Spain says it is working towards reopening tourism from May 19.

Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto has suggested the nation is eyeing a vaccination passport.

This would suggest Britons who are not vaccinated may need to present a negative COVID-19 test result upon arrival.

Spanish officials have also suggested the discussions of a “green corridor”, akin to a travel corridor, are underway.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Spain’s Tourism Minister Fernando Valdés said: “For us, the British market is our main market. But obviously, since we are a member of the European Union, the solutions have first to be part of the discussions in the EU.

“And obviously if that cannot be reached, we will be thinking of other corridors like green corridors with third countries that can help us restart tourism flows.”

Seychelles

Nestled in the Indian Ocean, Seychelles is an idyllic tropical holiday for those eager to soak up sun, sea and sand.

The good news is, that dream could be in reach as soon as March 25.

However, UK travellers would not be permitted to jet off until May 17 at the earliest.

The archipelago’s tourism minister Sylvestre Radegonde announced the destination aims to open to all tourists from March without need for vaccination.

However, visitors will be required to present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to departure.

Europa League last 16 draw in full: Man Utd face AC Milan while Arsenal take on Olympiakos

The Europa League last 16 draw has been conducted with four British teams in the next round of the competition, but none of them will face each other. Manchester United’s showdown with AC Milan is the highlight of the eight ties drawn out.
United, in the Europa League after crashing out of the Champions League group stages, cruised past Real Sociedad in the last 32, winning 4-0 on aggregate.

Their reward for getting past the La Liga outfit is a two-legged showdown with Italian giants AC Milan, who sit second to rivals Inter in Serie A.

That will see the Red Devils reunited with their former frontman Zlatan Ibrahimovic after Milan got past Red Star Belgrade.

Arsenal meanwhile left it late on Thursday night to get past Portuguese opponents Benfica, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s 87th-minute winner securing a 3-2 win and a 4-3 aggregate success.

The Gunners know a top-four finish is beyond them in the league and so have put extra focus on this tournament, and will face Olympiakos next up.

Those two teams met in the last 32 a year ago when the Greek side prevailed on away goals at the Emirates after extra time.

Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham are in a similar predicament to their north London rivals and after hammering Wolfsberger, take on Dinamo Zagreb in a favourable draw.

Rangers remain unbeaten in the Scottish Premiership and in Europe this term and got the better of Antwerp 9-5 over 180 minutes after two breathless affairs, winning 5-2 last night.

Steven Gerrard’s side have been handed two matches against Slavia Prague, who knocked out Leicester 2-0 on aggregate in the previous round.

You can see the full round of 16 draw below.

Europa League last 16 draw in full

Ajax vs Young Boys

Dynamo Kiev vs Villarreal

Roma vs Shakhtar Donetsk

Olympiakos vs Arsenal

Dinamo Zagreb vs Tottenham

Manchester United vs AC Milan

Slavia Prague vs Rangers

Granada vs Molde

When will Europa League last 16 ties take place?

The first legs for the tournament’s second knockout round will take place on Thursday March 11.

The return fixtures will then take place a week later on Thursday March 18.

Matches on both days will be split across two kick-off times, 5.55pm and 8pm.

It remains to be seen whether teams will be able to host their matches at their own stadiums or be required to play across Europe.

Arsenal played the two legs of their tie with Benfica in Rome and Athens, for example.

Daily Express :: Sport Feed