Tag Archives: ‘optimistic’

‘Spain still a favourite’ as travel experts remain ‘optimistic’ ahead of quarantine update

Grant Shapps is set to make an announcement in front of Number 10 this morning, informing Britons of the latest easing of travel restrictions. The transport secretary is expected to say that double-jabbed Brits will be able to travel to amber list countries quarantine free. Some industry leaders remain “optimistic” that travel will continue to open up over the coming weeks.

Dame Irene Hays, Chair of Britain’s largest travel agency, Hays Travel Group, appeared on Sky News this morning to discuss the upcoming travel update.

She said she remained “very hopeful for the announcement” as many Britons had already come to her company to express their “significant” interest in travelling this summer.

Dame Hays explained: “We’ve brought back all our staff in all our shops across the country.

“The logic behind that is irrespective of the announcement that we get from the transport secretary.

Dame Hays explained that her company had received more enquiries for 2021 this week than for 2022 and 2023.

However, people’s preferred destinations have stayed the same.

“The destinations that people want to travel to are still the favourite destinations for the summer,” Dame Hays said.

She went on to say that one of the main countries Britons want to travel to is Spain.

The Chair of Hays Travel Group continued: “Greece is still popular.

“Malta is increasingly popular.

“And the Balearics continue to do well.

“So, they’re still the most popular destinations at the moment.”

Dame Hays added: “People are choosing to spend more on their holiday and they intend to stay for longer.

“There is a general trend.”

Grant Shapps is expected to make the latest travel announcement at around 11:30am this morning.

Author: Mared Gruffydd
Read more here >>> Daily Express

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick “optimistic” about allowing permitless carry of handguns

Legislation to allow permitless carrying of handguns appears headed toward the floor of the Texas Senate next week, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says he is “optimistic” about its chances of passing even though he is still rounding up the votes.”We’re gonna come out with a strong bill, and I’ll believe we’ll pass it because we brought people together,” Patrick told conservative radio host Dana Loesch on Thursday afternoon. “And hopefully it’ll be on the governor’s desk soon, and we’ll get it signed.”

Patrick did the interview while a new Senate committee had a hearing on a bill that the House passed earlier this month to allow permitless carry. The chair of the committee, Republican Sen. Charles Schwertner of Georgetown, opened the hearing by saying he intended to “pass this bill out of committee today and on to the entire Senate next week.”

Patrick told Loesch he still did not have the 18 votes required to open the debate on the Senate floor but that he was making progress. He said he started off with roughly six Senate Republicans supporting HB 1927, six opposing it and six unsure. He now has “12 votes, maybe 13,” for the proposal, he said.

SEE ALSO: Texas House gives initial approval to ‘constitutional carry,’ which would allow people to carry a gun without a license

“I’m still a few short, but I’m going to bring it to the floor, and it’s rare that I do this,” Patrick said. “Usually if you don’t have the votes for a bill, you don’t bring up a bill that’s going to lose, but this is an important issue, and we’re going to bring it to the floor next week.”

There are 18 Republicans in the Senate. Bringing the bill up for a vote to start debate would likely force any Republicans opposing it to cast a public vote against it – and potentially face the wrath of gun rights groups pushing for the measure.

There could be at least one Democratic vote in play: Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. of Brownsville. He is one of two Democrats on the new Senate panel, and he began the hearing by raising questions about HB 1927 but not expressing outright opposition. Patrick said he did not know if Lucio and the other Democrat on the committee – Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa of McAllen – would “cross over and vote for this bill, but we’ll see.”

Pressure has been mounting on the Senate to act after the lower chamber passed HB 1927 in a breakthrough moment for gun rights activists, who have seen the cause not make it nearly as far in previous sessions. Patrick made clear at the start of last week that the Senate did not have the votes for the proposal but that he would try to find a path to change that. He got to work days later, creating the Senate Special Committee on Constitutional Issues – which includes a majority of “constitutional carry” supporters – and referring HB 1927 to the panel.Permitless carry backers saw another burst of progress Tuesday, when Gov. Greg Abbott said he would sign a permitless carry bill if it made it to his desk, breaking his silence on an issue that he dodged a week earlier.

SEE ALSO: ‘Constitutional carry’ bill in Texas will make officers’ jobs ‘incredibly tough,’ union says

Key to the bill’s chances of Senate passage are likely six proposed amendments that Schwertner presented at the hearing earlier Thursday, suggesting they make the proposal more palatable to law enforcement. The committee does not plan to adopt the amendments before voting out the bill, but Schwertner said he was making them known to get discussion going ahead of potential floor debate.

The changes would, among other things, enhance penalties for people with felony convictions who are caught carrying handguns and strike a provision of the bill that would have barred law enforcement officers from profiling a person based on whether they are carrying a handgun.

Ray Hunt, executive director of the Houston Police Officers’ Union, told the committee that his organization is taking a “cautious neutral” position on the bill and will wait to see which amendments are adopted. The current permitting process works, he said, and without significant changes to the proposal, the union is a “hard no.”

“If this bill is blocked on the Senate floor, there’s not one police officer that’s going to be screaming and hollering that’s been up here today,” Hunt said.Patrick mentioned the importance of the proposed amendments to Loesch, saying he believes they are acceptable to “90% or 95% of gun owners” and, if adopted, could create a national model for a permitless carry proposal backed by law enforcement.

But even as he gave his most optimistic outlook yet for permitless carry in the upper chamber, Patrick cautioned that the votes were still coming together. At one point, he suggested he was contemplating a last-resort procedural maneuver if he cannot convince enough Senate Republicans to vote to bring HB 1927 to the floor.

“To pass a bill, we need all 18 Republicans to support it, unless I pull a rabbit out of the hat,” Patrick said, “and I may have a rabbit out of the hat if I don’t have 18.”

The video above is from a previous story.

The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans – and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

This post originally appeared on ABC13 RSS Feed

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho ‘optimistic’ over Harry Kane injury ahead of League Cup final

Jose Mourinho declared that he will remain ‘optimistic’ over the injury picked up by Harry Kane after Tottenham were held to a draw by Everton at Goodison Park on Friday evening. The 28-year-old was substituted during the closing stages of the match after he appeared to pick up an ankle problem, casting significant doubts over his involvement in this month’s Carabao Cup final and potentially even the upcoming European Championships with England.
The result saw Tottenham miss out on the chance to stretch their lead over Everton in the Premier League table to four points, with both clubs fighting hard to secure European qualification for next season.

Mourinho’s side currently occupy seventh place, four points adrift of fifth-placed Chelsea, who have played a game less.

However, the big story from Goodison Park was the injury to Kane, which will undoubtedly come as a huge blow for Spurs ahead of the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City.

The north London club will have the opportunity to claim their first piece of silverware since 2008 later this month, but there is a chance that they could be without their star man and attacking talisman against the best side in the country at Wembley Stadium.

Kane injured both ankles back in January during the 3-1 defeat to Liverpool back in January, with Spurs scoring just once from open play during his absence.

JUST IN: Jose Mourinho confused after Tottenham brutally trolled by new sponsor

Speaking after the full-time whistle on Friday evening, Mourinho told Sky Sports that he will remain hopeful of Kane’s availability for the Carabao Cup showdown, stressing that he was unable to confirm whether or not he will be forced to spend any length of time on the treatment table.

“It is too early to say something,” said the Portuguese boss.

“For him to leave the pitch with a few minutes to go is obviously because he felt something.

“Let me be optimistic and believe that he has time to recover. Let’s see.


“Let me be optimistic and believe it’s nothing serious. It’s obvious he’s a very important player for us. I cannot say much or speculate.”

Both of Tottenham’s goals were scored by Kane, with his second strike, a fiercely-hit volley from inside the area, catching the eye in particular.

The England skipper has been in the form of his life for the vast majority of the campaign, finding the net on 21 occasions in the Premier League since the beginning of the season. 

Mourinho continued, hailing Kane’s performance after yet another influential showing at the tip of Tottenham’s attacking trident.

“Both [Kane’s goals] were from crosses but it was great finishing,” he added.

“It’s the kind of player that when you see the first touch and the control, we are used to seeing it in training and we know it is fantastic finishing.

“Two beautiful goals but not a surprise for the ones who see him do it every day in training.”

This article originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Pound euro exchange rate set for ‘optimistic’ BoE outlook amid ‘UK’s economic recovery'

The pound to euro exchange rate has been fighting to get above the 1.17 mark in recent weeks, as positivity mounts about the UK’s ongoing roadmap out of lockdown. Today, the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee is due to meet, which could result in some change for the pound.
Though it could see GBP shaken, and possibly even lose some of its current strength, one expert suggests it may also spark an “optimistic note” about the UK’s “economic recovery”.

The pound is currently trading at a rate of 1.1675 against the euro according to Bloomberg at the time of writing.

Michael Brown, currency expert at Caxton FX spoke with Express.co.uk to share his insight into the current exchange rate.

“Sterling-euro remains well-confined to the recent ranges, once again rejecting an attempt to move above the 1.17 handle yesterday, though also finding buyers fairly rapidly around 1.1650,” he said.

READ MORE: Cruise holidays won’t recover for two more years says Carnival boss

“Amidst an expected rapid recovery and rising bond yields, investors will be keeping a close eye on the Bank of England’s policy decision tomorrow, which could trigger currency volatility in the afternoon.

“For now GBP/EUR is circa 7 percent higher than six months ago.”

So, what does this mean for travel money?

For now, Britons are not able to jet off on holiday under the current lockdown rules.

However, as Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown continues to move ahead, some overseas leisure travel could resume from May 17.

While it might be tempting to switch your travel money while rates are decent, one travel money expert has pointed out this might not be the wisest idea.

James Lynn, co-CEO and co-founder of travel card Currensea, explained: “It may be tempting to take out foreign currency in anticipation of a future holiday, while the exchange rate is favourable.

“However, I would advise against this. Market movements are often more marginal in reality than they appear.


“Once we are allowed to travel again, this will signify the end of the COVID bump and I anticipate this will mean the pound has improved even more significantly than the level it is at today.”

For those who need to travel for essential reasons, many high street travel money firms are offering exchanges online.

The Post Office Travel Money is offering a click and collect service for its customers.

It is currently offering a rate of €1.1266 for amounts of £400 or more, and rates of €1.1488 for amounts of £1,000 or more.