Chelsea have reportedly seen their opening offer for Erling Haaland rejected by Borussia Dortmund, according to Sky Germany. After weeks of intense speculation, the Blues have finally made their first move for the Norwegian striker who is Thomas Tuchel’s No 1 target but as they have said all summer, Dortmund are insistent Haaland is not for sale.
Despite that, agent Mino Raiola continues to be open-minded in regards to his client’s future as he continues to speak with Chelsea in the background.
He has been told quite clearly by Dortmund that they do not want to sell Haaland at any price.
The 20-year-old’s £64million release clause becomes active next summer and is set to spark a scramble.
Yet having already lost Jadon Sancho to Manchester United, Dortmund are not willing to entertain offers for their talisman.
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Tuchel is solely focused on landing a new No 9 despite winning the Champions League last season.
Match-winner Kai Havertz operated as a false-nine in the final against Manchester City but Chelsea have lacked a clinical, goalscoring striker.
Timo Werner was supposed to provide that but he failed to live up to expectations in front of goal since arriving from RB Leipzig last summer.
He has instead played from the left-side of attack and now Haaland is deemed to be the final piece of the jigsaw.
Tuchel confirmed several months ago that Chelsea were interested in signing Harry Kane, should he be available.
However, they now appeared to be focused on signing Haaland and they have a free run on the Dortmund striker.
Barcelona and Real Madrid held talks in Spain with Raiola and Alf-Inge Haaland but both clubs cannot finance a deal.
Manchester United finally convinced Edinson Cavani to sign a one-year contract extension and therefore no longer need a new centre-forward.
Meanwhile, City are focusing their efforts on signing Kane although Daniel Levy is expected to win the battle and keep his star striker in north London.
While the Supreme Court has been willing to disrupt other coronavirus-related regulations, particularly as they affected religious gatherings, there was no apparent appetite for disturbing the public transportation mask mandate.
The request was filed with the Supreme Court on Monday by Lucas Wall, who was unable to board a flight last month from Orlando because of his unwillingness to wear a mask. His court filings said that, due to the mask mandate, he has since been “stranded” at his mother’s residence in The Villages, a retirement community in central Florida. He said that that the federal mask requirement for travel would prevent him from taking a flight he planned to Germany later this week.
He alleged the policy, which was implemented by the Biden administration soon after the President’s inauguration, was unconstitutional and that it violated various regulatory authorities.
Thomas considered the request as he oversees the appeals circuit that includes Florida, where Wall’s initial lawsuit was filed. Thomas denied the request for a Supreme Court intervention without any additional explanation.
Scotland partition ‘consequence of separation’ says Blackett
The Scottish First Minister was this week accused of “discourtesy bordering on contempt” after announcing a Manchester travel ban without consulting Members of Scottish Parliament first. Both Holyrood’s presiding officer and members of the Scottish Conservatives criticised Ms Sturgeon, reminding her that announcements should first be made in Parliament. Many have long accused Ms Sturgeon of operating a monopoly over Holyrood and Scotland.
Since 2015, her power in the country has been entrenched, as her Scottish National Party (SNP) has swept up majorities or near-majorities in most elections.
Her consistent support will likely work in her favour as her party moves to hold a second independence referendum, likely to take place after the coronavirus pandemic.
While Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to maintain Scotland’s place in the UK, experts have previously argued that Westminster would be better off letting the country go.
Ahead of the first independence vote in 2014, Bryan Glass, a lecturer in modern British and British imperial history at Texas State University told England to “wise up” and stop holding on to Scotland.
Nicola Sturgeon: The Scottish First Minister’s place in the UK was thrown into question (Image: GETTY)
Douglas Ross: The Scottish Conservatives were furious with Sturgeon’s travel ban (Image: GETTY)
Writing in The Conversation, and later debating then-Education Secretary Michael Gove on the matter, Professor Glass set out myriad reasons why England should say “adieu”.
Among several points, he drew attention to a political representation imbalance between Scotland and England.
He said: “Another contentious issue from an English point of view is the Barnett formula, which provides extra subsidies from the British Government to the people of Scotland for public services.
“If Scotland were to regain its independence after the referendum, this would free up additional taxpayer pounds to be invested elsewhere in what remained of the British state (albeit Scottish nationalists argue that Scotland is a net contributor to the UK once North Sea petroleum revenues are taken into account).
Indyref2: Sturgeon and her SNP are working towards an Indyref2 (Image: GETTY)
“Then there’s the West Lothian question, which concerns the fact that MPs representing Scottish constituencies in the Westminster Parliament are allowed to vote on legislation that does not affect their electorates.
“This would immediately disappear with the establishment of an independent Scotland, which English people ought to see as a benefit.
“After all, why should the Scots have a say on issues like English education when English MPs have absolutely no control over the Scottish equivalent?”
Boris Johnson: The PM has repeatedly refused to entertain the idea of an Indyref2 (Image: GETTY)
Oil: The UK would miss out on Scotland’s plentiful natural resources on independence (Image: GETTY)
This saw legislation which only affects England requiring the support of a majority of MPs representing English constituencies.
Yet, in a bid to save the Union, Mr Gove last week announced his plans to back a major constitutional reform and scrap Evel.
The mechanism, which was suspended last year to simplify House of Commons proceedings during the pandemic, has long been criticised by the SNP.
Ms Sturgeon has repeatedly pointed out that any English-only laws do have an impact on Scotland because Holyrood’s funding via the Barnett formula is determined by spending south of the border.
Sturgeon profile: The First Minister took on the role following the failed independence vote in 2014 (Image: Express Newspapers)
The legislation has also been opposed by the Scottish Tories since 2017, who have warned that it provides the SNP with “a stick to beat” the UK Government.
Should Mr Gove’s hopes of scrapping Evel and make Parliament work “for every part of the UK and every party in the UK” succeed, Prof Glass’ assertion that the West Lothian question proves the UK should let Scotland go will be thrust back onto the agenda.
He concluded: “A Britain with a Scottish population constantly angry or depressed or demanding further authority is not conducive to the remaining UK being a productive global power.
Michael Gove: The Tory politician is backing scrapping English Votes for English Laws (Image: GETTY)
“Internal conflicts at home undermine Britain’s power abroad as history has demonstrated time and time again.
“Numerous distractions for the English, and the rest of Britain, would be eliminated with a yes vote.”
Since 2017, the UK Government has warned bitcoin is unregulated and that it should be treated as a ‘foreign currency’ for most purposes. Currently, when bitcoin is exchanged for sterling or for foreign currencies, such as euro or dollar, no VAT will be due on the value of the bitcoins themselves.
After El Salvador became the first country in the world to approve the cryptocurrency as legal tender, Express.co.uk asked: “Should the UK accept cryptocurrency as official currency?”
The poll – which ran from 12pm yesterday to 7am today – received 1,287 votes and 72 percent (928) of voters said bitcoin should not be accepted as currency in the UK.
Just 27 percent (342) said the cryptocurrency should be, while only one percent (17) voted they don’t know.
One Express.co.uk said: “Absolutely not.
Bitcoin should not become official UK currency (Image: Getty)
Bitcoin should not become official UK currency (Image: Express)
“It’s built on a constantly collapsing Pyramid scheme model.
“And when it crashes it crashes hard.
“Nothing you want in a traditional currency.”
Someone else commented: “Accepting a digital currency is a fatal step towards losing the real one in your hand, pocket & wallet, as the powers that be want to control you with a cashless society.
Bitcoin should not be official UK currency (Image: Getty)
“We must not accept it.”
Another reader said: “No, we would all be at the mercy of cybercriminals.”
A fourth person wrote: “A UK digital currency is bad enough, bitcoin is for the chancers.”
Another added: “No! A virtual ‘currency’ wholly unsupported by any ‘asset value’ other than a fictional ‘worth’ (freely manipulated by the likes of Elon Musk at his whim) can never replace a sovereign currency!”
Britons opposed to introducing bitcoin as currency (Image: Getty)
While someone else wrote: “Thought they were trying to save energy and going green.
“And China is sacking miners because of the horrendous energy they are using.”
Others argued how cryptocurrencies are for “drug dealers and other scam artists” to use.
One person said: “No, we would all be at the mercy of cybercriminals.”
Bitcoin should not be UK currency (Image: Getty)
However, others saw the benefit of introducing cryptocurrency as an official UK currency.
One person said: “Cryptocurrency is an umbrella term so it’s a bit of an odd title.
“My answer is yes, cryptocurrency should be used.
“It’s better than salt trading, and pieces of paper that we currently use (although infrequently, as only one percent of money is actually minted).
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Image: Getty)
“I don’t like the three percent fee I get with visa for an international trade.
“Criminals love to use the older form of money.
“Look at Venezuela, cash is printed left right and centre by the criminal government.”
They added: “People aren’t excited by the unknown, they hate it and when it becomes the known, they become obsessed with it and can’t live without it.
Bitcoin should not be UK currency (Image: Getty)
“People also don’t learn from history which is why they are condemned to repeat it.”
Back in February, London was advised to embrace bitcoin in a post-Brexit Britain as the UK looked to find new ways to thrive outside of the EU.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the EU won’t be Brexit Britain’s main competition.
He said EU financial capitals may “nick a bit of business here and there from the City”, but that they will not challenge London’s status as Europe’s global financial capital.
Bitcoin should not be UK currency (Image: Getty)
Mr Raab added: “The boss of Barclays has been saying recently how the long-term position of the UK is unparalleled, unrivalled.
“The crucial question for the EU, while it may be able if you like to nick a bit of business here or there from the City, but the problem is the measures they will take to achieve this will undermine their own competitiveness.
“The challenge to London as a global financial centre around the world will come from Tokyo, New York and other areas rather than those European hubs. Particularly if they start to erect barriers to trade and investment.”
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.
Bocelli continued in his tribute to his mother: “She who, through divine grace, lives the generous mystery of birth, the sacred plan of giving shape and consciousness to clay.
“She, force and breath of the world, the most powerful messenger of Heaven, who teaches us what love is and what it is like.
“I’m thinking of my mother and affectionately of all mothers, of their unbreakable strength.
“I thank each of them and celebrate the natural setting where motherhood thrives: the family, where we learn and teach the young to choose the path of good. Celebrating Mother’s Day means celebrating life: today especially, but not only today, because mothers deserve it every day of the year. Andrea.”
To query an SEISS claim, HMRC can be contacted via phone or online.
Pete McMillan, a partner at Azets, toldExpress.co.uk: “You can request for a review of either your SEISS eligibility or the grant amount calculated by calling the SEISS helpline on 0800 024 1222, but you will need to supply details of why you consider the amount or eligibility is incorrect and provide evidence where necessary.
“The onus is on you as the taxpayer to provide this information, we recommend that you carefully prepare before calling the helpline to ensure that your case is properly presented.”
Details on how to contact HMRC can be found on the Government website HERE.