“When you look at the huge quantities of sugar, salt, and saturated fat that’s being consumed, it is contributing to the patients that we’re seeing in hospital on a daily basis,” Dr Hilary explained. The death rate from heart disease and stroke is “overwhelming – it’s crippling the NHS”, the doctor stated. A landmark report, commissioned by the Government in 2019 for its post-Brexit food strategy, recommended a “sugar and salt reformation tax”.
Created by food entrepreneur Henry Dimbleby, the money gained by the tax is proposed to expand free school meals and improve the diet of the nation.
The report highlighted that a poor diet contributes to 64,000 deaths every year, costing the economy an estimated £74 billion.
The comprehensive review suggested a £3 per kg on sugar, and a £6 per kg on salt – paid for by the food manufacturers.
Dr Hilary explained that salt draws water into the blood circulation, causing blood pressure to increase and the heart to work harder.
READ MORE: GB News presenter takes knee live on air after Euro 2020 racism
The health risks of obesity
The NHS stated that one in four adults in the UK are considered obese.
Obesity can lead to “potentially life-threatening conditions”, such as:
Type 2 diabetes
“Obesity can also affect your quality of life and lead to psychological problems, such as depression and low self-esteem,” added the national health body.
What causes obesity?
“Obesity is generally caused by consuming more calories, particularly those in fatty and sugary foods, than you burn off through physical activity,” the NHS explained.
Treatment for obesity
Weight loss can be achieved by eating a healthy, reduced-calorie diet and by exercising regularly.
People hoping to lose weight are encouraged to take up activities such as brisk walking, jogging, swimming or tennis.
In order to shift the pounds, you’ll need to move for around 150 to 300 minutes per week (i.e. two-and-a-half to five hours per week).
“Eat slowly and avoid situations where you know you could be tempted to overeat,” the NHS advised.
If lifestyle changes alone don’t help you lose weight, your doctor might prescribe you medication called orlistat.
The medicine works by reducing the amount of fat you absorb during digestion.
In some cases, weight loss surgery might be suggested by your doctor.
The suspect pleaded guilty in June to the kidnap and rape of Ms Everard. However, whilst his barrister said “responsibility for the killing is also admitted”, he has yet to answer the central charge of murder.
Ms Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive, was abducted on March 3 whilst walking home from a friend’s home in Clapham.
She was reported missing the following day by her boyfriend.
Police found the victim’s body inside a large builder’s bag on March 10 in Ashford, Kent.
She was formally identified using her dental records.
Whilst an initial post mortem was inconclusive, later investigation determined she died from compression to the neck.
Ms Everard left her friend’s flat in the Clapham Junction area, on March 3, at around 9pm.
The journey to her home was approximately two-and-a-half miles.
CCTV cameras recorded the victim walking along the route prior to her abduction.
In her latest interview, the 21-year-old said she doesn’t think she was a terrorist and insists she doesn’t need to be rehabilitated. In fact, the former East London schoolgirl said she would “love” to help rehabilitate others. Ms Begum, who was stripped of her UK citizenship in February 2019, donned a completely different look in the interview, wearing jeans, a T-shirt and other western fashion accessories.
Ms Begum, who left Britain to join the Islamic State in 2015, was interviewed at the al-Roj prison camp in Syria by journalist Andrew Drury.
She wore pale blue skinny jeans, a white t-shirt, a Nike baseball cap and held a small clutch bag.
Her long dark hair was worn down and her fingernails were painted a bright red.
The style is in stark contrast to her previous image as a jihadi bride in a hijab and headscarf.
Ms Begum said her change in look makes her feel “happy”.
She also insisted that she was ready to return to the UK and did not require rehabilitation.
She said: “I don’t think I was a terrorist. I think I was just a dumb kid who made one mistake.
“I personally don’t think that I need to be rehabilitated, but I would want to help other people be rehabilitated. I would love to help.”
But social media users are not convinced by Ms Begum’s change of heart and want the Government to ensure she is not allowed to return to the UK.
EU countries ‘should be on UK green list’ says O’Leary
This week, it was announced Portugal is set to move onto the amber list and no new destinations will be added to the green list, where travellers must be tested but do not have to quarantine on their return. The green list will be reviewed again on June 28.
However, as Spain remains on England’s amber list, bars in the once-popular Marbella warned they are facing closure if they have to wait another two months to welcome back British tourists.
George Vujnovic, a bartender at a British-themed pub, John Scott’s, said: “Even Puerto Banus is not pandemic proof – especially without British tourists.
“You often get groups of five or 10 and you know how much they’ll drink and they’ll spend a fortune.
“Whereas you might get a French tourist who will spend €10 and leave – there’s no comparison.”
Spain urges Government to be added to green list (Image: Getty)
Spain urges Government to be added to green list (Image: Getty)
He went on to warn if Spain remains off England’s green travel list, businesses would face closure.
Mr Vujnovic added: “If we are not on the UK green list I could see us and other businesses closing.
“They account for 70 percent to 80 percent of our business.
“It is crazy they will not allowed people over without quarantining.
Oscar Areque, who co-owns The Irish Tavern, added: “Puerto Banus is dominated by UK tourists, about 70 percent, we depend on it so much.
“Now they’re not here lots of places are closed.
“It’s going to be very tough without them for much longer. It is terrible news.”
Portugal was removed from England’s green list with Grant Shapps saying the decision was made due to a rise in cases and over fears surrounding the “Nepal mutation of the so-called Indian variant”.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps (Image: Getty)
Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps defended the decision as a “safety-first” precaution.
Mr Shapps told BBC News: “I want to be straight with people, it’s actually a difficult decision to make, but in the end, we’ve seen two things really which have caused concern.
“One is that the positivity rate has nearly doubled since the last review in Portugal, and the other is that there’s a Nepal mutation of the so-called Indian variants which has been detected.”
Mr Shapps continued: “What I want to do with today is difficult, but I hope decisive action, is make sure that we protect the future by not restarting problems which may or may not be there at home, we’ll be able to get international travel down the line open more quickly.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Image: Getty)
“It’s a safety-first approach given where we are in the fourth stage of the unlock.”
EasyJet lashed out at Government’s decision and said it was a “huge blow” for Portugal.
Johan Lundgren, CEO of EasyJet, said: “This shock decision to add Portugal to the amber list is a huge blow to those who are currently in Portugal and those who have booked to be reunited with loved ones or take a well-deserved break this summer with Portugal rates similar to those in the UK it simply isn’t justified.”
Jet2 has also cancelled all international flights and holidays until July 1 following the green list chaos.
The airline has cancelled all Portugal flights this month, as well as flights to Turkey.
Turkey is currently on the UK’s red list, and it is unlikely restrictions will ease.
So he sent a heartfelt letter to airfields and private Spitfire owners across the country last summer, asking if anyone could secure him a flight in the classic aircraft. Harrison had written: “It breaks my heart to see him so sad. When we are together now I can tell that he doesn’t have the same amount of fun and his mind is always thinking about Nanny.
“I want him to smile again. The only time he seems happy is when we are talking about the RAF and the Second World War, and so I am trying to find someone that could help me get him up in a Spitfire. His dad was a mechanic in the war but was discharged because of shell shock.”
Staff at the Spitfire Academy, based at Goodwood Aerodrome in West Sussex, were so touched by the appeal that not only did they agree to take Malcolm up in a Spitfire for his birthday but, as a special surprise, they offered to take Harrison up at the same time in a 1940s Harvard.
Harrison, from Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey, only found out he would be joining his grandad just before the flight from the West Sussex airfield yesterday.
He said: “I was so surprised, it was such an amazing experience. We did a barrel roll, a dive and we did a loop the loop. When I was upside down, it was the best feeling in the world.”
Of his Spitfire flight, Malcolm said: “It was a wonderful experience. I felt fantastic. It is something you have got to experience. To see what that plane can do is just astounding.
“The pilot let me take over the controls and I saw how it could move from left and right. I will always remember it.”
Malcolm, from Hampton, Greater London, has been married to Sandra for 57 years. He was deeply touched by the lengths his grandson went in order to cheer him up.
He said: “He is an amazing grandson. It is unbelievable, he is very persistent.
“There’s nothing better that I could have received than a chance to go up in a Spitfire.”
Randi Weingarten, president of the nation’s second-largest teachers’ union, called on Thursday for a full reopening of the nation’s schools for the next academic year, saying: “There is no doubt: Schools must be open. In person. Five days a week.”
Her remarks come with about half of the nation’s public schools not offering five days per week of in-person learning to all students and with many families uncertain about whether they will have the option for a more traditional schedule in the fall.
Teachers’ unions have been one key barrier to a broader opening this school year, accused of slowing reopening timelines as they sought strict virus mitigation measures, even after teachers began to be vaccinated in large numbers.
“It’s not risk-free,” said Ms. Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, which has 1.7 million members. She argued that the health risks could be managed through a range of practices — some of them relatively simple, such as masking and handwashing, and some of them more difficult to achieve at scale, such as decreasing class sizes to maintain distance and procuring additional spaces to meet outside cramped school buildings.
“The United States will not be fully back until we are fully back in school. And my union is all in,” Ms. Weingarten, a close ally of President Biden, said, pledging to commit $ 5 million for a campaign in which teachers will host open houses and go door to door to build families’ confidence in returning to school.
But her remarks came on the same day that federal health officials advised that fully vaccinated individuals could stop masking and distancing in most indoor and outdoor settings. The timing seemed to underscore just how cautious schools have been and the pressure they will be under to reopen.
It is not entirely clear how the guidance will apply to schools, since it is not known when vaccines will be approved for students under 12 and what percentage of older students will be vaccinated when schools open in the fall.
Ms. Weingarten’s speech is sure to be greeted skeptically by some parents and school district leaders, who have been frustrated by some local unions’ insistence on two-hour school days — so students will not need to remove masks to eat lunch — or ambitious ventilation system overhauls instead of simpler solutions, such as fans and open windows.
And it is an open question whether the 3,000 local affiliates of the American Federation of Teachers will adopt Ms. Weingarten’s proposal. This winter, she repeatedly said it could be safe for teachers to return to classrooms before vaccination, a position that was a nonstarter for unions in cities like Chicago and Los Angeles.
In the hours after the speech, union locals in Philadelphia and San Francisco said they were broadly in support of the goal of a full reopening in the fall. But the devil will be in the details negotiated at bargaining tables, where local union leaders may demand additional safety measures as a precondition to a full return.
“There’s no evidence to suggest that what is said from on high has a direct influence on local negotiation,” said Joshua P. Starr, a former superintendent of several large, unionized districts and president of PDK International, a professional organization for educators.
Dr. Starr said he believed that schools should have already opened more fully. Still, “I think it’s really important that she’s saying this,” he said of Ms. Weingarten’s speech.
Some locals have argued that because so many families, particularly Black, Hispanic and Asian families, continue to opt out of in-person learning, returning to classrooms is less important than improving remote learning.
But in her speech, which was delivered remotely via social media, Ms. Weingarten acknowledged that “prolonged isolation is harmful” to students and that online instruction had negatively affected learning. She said that reopening schools increased both teachers’ and parents’ comfort with returning, and that many parents, particularly mothers, were unable to work when school schedules were truncated.
Ms. Weingarten’s new proposal, even if fully adopted by local unions, may not do away with all the barriers to full-time, in-person instruction. Although a vaccine is approved for adolescents 12 and over, she foresees the need to continue to distance students three feet apart, which she said would require some school systems to find additional space outside their buildings.
In an interview, Ms. Weingarten emphasized unknowns about the progression of the pandemic, arguing that mitigation measures would need to continue next school year. That is disputed by some virus experts, who have said it may be possible to do away with masking and distancing in schools in the near future. “We don’t actually know — will adults need a booster shot because of the variants? How many kids will get the vaccines? When will vaccines be available for kids under 12? There are all of these questions,” Ms. Weingarten said, adding, “But these questions can’t stop us from reopening fully.”
The idea of distancing students by using space outside schools was first proposed by virus experts and parent activists last summer, but it presents myriad logistical challenges. Ms. Weingarten said districts could secure extra space with federal stimulus money, and suggested using empty storefronts, empty offices, portable classroom trailers or tents.
On the ground across the country, local unions have substantial autonomy at the bargaining table, and it is unclear what role Ms. Weingarten will play behind closed doors in encouraging them to embrace five days per week of in-person learning. Throughout the pandemic, she has not hesitated to back affiliates that were resisting reopening efforts. In Philadelphia in February, she protested alongside educators demanding ventilation upgrades. She also backed the local in Washington, D.C., when it considered a strike in response to that district’s reopening plan, demanding more building safety checks.
Ms. Weingarten has said that vaccines are the “game changer” to calm these battles. But there will still be significant clashes to come, perhaps most notably on the West Coast, which has lagged behind the rest of the country on reopening, and where unions have been especially restive.
Ms. Weingarten’s speech also called for lower class sizes, which could mean hiring additional educators. That is a perennial priority for teachers’ unions that would make it easier to keep students physically distanced. Smaller classes could also potentially allow teachers to provide more individual support to tens of millions of children who will need to process — academically, socially and emotionally — the fallout from more than a year of a pandemic, an economic crisis and a national reckoning on racism.
Updated May 5, 2021
The latest on how the pandemic is reshaping education.
Ms. Weingarten said that with 89 percent of her members vaccinated or willing to be, she anticipated fewer teachers needing medical accommodations to work from home next school year. In some cities, the large percentage of teachers who were granted medical accommodations before vaccines were available has meant that students returning to classrooms this spring were asked to log into laptops to interact with educators who were elsewhere, a practice known as “Zoom in a room.”
One educator working that way is Kenzo Shibata, a high school social studies teacher in Chicago. His wife has Stage 4 breast cancer and her immunity is compromised. Both members of the couple have been vaccinated but have been advised by doctors to avoid indoor settings and continue to practice extreme caution as the virus evolves, Mr. Shibata said. He was granted an accommodation to work from home and is unsure whether he will still want to avoid in-person teaching in the fall.
Mr. Shibata said Ms. Weingarten’s speech seemed like “public relations,” and he argued that it was premature to support a full reopening before children of all ages were eligible for vaccines, and before examining virus rates in various locations.
“It really should be about looking at the local communities,” he said, instead of making a “blanket declaration.”
Ms. Weingarten’s speech proposed a number of ideas for helping children to recover from the pandemic, such as summer school, tutoring, longer school days, hiring additional mental health professionals, diversifying the teacher force and enriching the curriculum with subjects like science and civics.
The debate over reopening schools has been toxic in many communities, pitting some parents and educators against one another. It has also highlighted the fact that while white and affluent parents often see public schools as a safe haven for their children, other families are less eager to entrust their children to schools during a health crisis.
Jennifer Noonan, an Oregon parent of four children whose schools are operating part time, has been a critic of the unions and an activist in the movement to reopen schools. After reaching out to Ms. Weingarten via Twitter, she participated in an online meeting in which the union president met with frustrated parents to hear their concerns.
“I would’ve liked to see this sooner. But I’m optimistic,” Ms. Noonan said. She gave Ms. Weingarten credit for “viewing parent groups as equal stakeholders in the same regard that teachers’ unions are held.”
BBC ‘won’t do a thing’ about TV licence fee says expert
Payment of the annual licence fee, which funds the BBC, is a legal requirement in the UK for tens of millions of people wanting to watch live television. But over recent months calls have intensified to scrap the annual payment of the licence fee altogether, with people voicing their frustration at coverage over recent events, and have often accused the corporation of “bias”. Now a leading Brexiteer has urged the Prime Minister to use his “political power” to completely scrap the licence fee, turn it into a subscription service and “let the people decide”.
Former Brexit MEP Rupert Lowe wrote on Twitter: “Johnson holds the most political power of any PM for decades.
“Use it and Defund the BBC.
“Make it a subscription service and let the people decide!”
Mr Johnson has previously considered scrapping the licence fee, despite facing a backlash from his own Tory MPs.
BBC news: Boris Johnson has been urged to scrap the licence fee (Image: GETTY)
BBC news: Rupert Lowe urged the PM to ‘let the people decide (Image: @RupertLowe10 / Twitter)
In February 2020, Downing Street said the Prime Minister was not planning to abolish the compulsory charge “at this stage” following warnings from within Number 10 to turn the BBC into a subscription service.
But a spokesman for Mr Johnson didn’t rule out the dramatic change at that time.
He said: “I would point you to what the Prime Minister has said on this before, which was, ‘At this stage we are not planning to get rid of all licence fees though I am certainly looking at it.’”
Earlier this year, it was reported the Prime Minister was expected to “put pressure on the BBC” over debates around the future of the broadcaster’s TV licence fee.
BBC news: The broadcaster has come under attack over recent months (Image: GETTY)
Speaking to campaign group Defund the BBC, broadcaster Mike Graham said: “I think he’s going to put pressure on the BBC because we’ve got this new director-general Tim Davie who hasn’t proved to be quite as much of a new broom as he said he was going to be.
“He’s trying his best but as you can imagine, it must be the worst civil service department trying to get anybody to change their mind.
“They’ve got hoards of middle and upper management but I think the appointment of Rishi Sunak’s mate who is now the chairman will shake things up quicker because I think that will be where the political pressure it brought for a restructure.
“I think like with all good changes they will have to come up with a reason to do it and a way to do it.