The leader of Les Patriotes claims the French President and the leader of the National Rally (RN) are in a tacit agreement to ensure Marine Le Pen is the candidate to beat at the second round of the presidential election in 2022.
Addressing the ever-growing surge of Ms Le Pen in the polls, Mr Philippot told France 2 TV: “Emmanuel Macron is doing everything in this direction in any case, it seems obvious.
“We can see it in Paca, where Christian Estrosi who is in league with Emmanuel Macron, did everything to torpedo the Les Republicains candidacy, to propel RN.
“Same thing in Hauts-de-France, when Eric Dupont-Moretti arrives in an incomprehensible way in Pas-de-Calais.
“He comes to help Rassemblement National.
“Emmanuel Macron aims for his re-election in 2022, so he must fight against Marine Le Pen to win the second round. […]
“It is a tacit pact between LREM and RN.”
According to Mr Philippot, the National Rally has abandoned the idea of leaving the euro and the idea of Frexit, which he defends because “a country without sovereignty and independence is not democratic and it doesn’t work. France needs to be a free country. We see it today with the success of Brexit”.
He added: “National Rally has also abandoned the idea of leaving the Schengen area, NATO, and now they want to pay the whole debt.”
The pair will be facing Ms Le Pen’s candidate – her party in 2015 gathered 45 percent of the votes in the region.
Since her failure in 2017 to take on Emmanuel Macron in the presidential elections, Marine Le Pen has been in a constant process of transformation.
In a poll published by Ifop at the beginning of April, Ms Le Pen was predicted to receive 28 percent of the votes in the first round of the 2022 elections – ahead of Mr Macron’s 24 percent.
In October the score was 24 for Le Pen and 23percent for the current president.
The regional elections on 13 and 20 June will be a litmus test for the sovereignist party.
Fabien Engelmann, who has been the mayor of Hayange (Moselle) since 2014 and RN regional councillor for the Grand-Est region told Euractiv: “All elections are a springboard, the RN should win one or more regions to show what it is capable of.”
He claimed that abandoning the idea of leaving the eurozone, adopted in 2017 but Ms Le Pen, was a good sign for the party.
He added: “We can stay in the European Union, it is up to each national sovereignist party to send a maximum number of MEPs to Brussels to defend its vision.”
Johnny Vegas will star in a new entertainment show called Carry on Glamping, which starts tonight on Channel 4. The new four-part series follows Johnny, his assistant Bev, and a gang of vintage vehicle enthusiasts who are all racing against the clock to get a collection of old vehicles in top nick before the campsite opens. While discussing the show, the 50-year-old opened up about the sad loss of his mother Patricia, which led him to tears in one episode.
He said: “I’d just lost my mum, two years after my dad, so due to grief, Covid, being separated, away from my children and the fact I was starting to develop anxiety issues – I’d about had enough.”
The comic admitted he wouldn’t normally open up that much on camera, but he became overcome with emotion.
Johnny’s close relationship with his mother led to anger directed at Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his handling of the NHS.
His comments came in November 2019 before the general election, in which the health service was a key issue for voters.
Johnny claimed his mother was turned away from A&E after she had to wait three hours for an ambulance to arrive.
The comedian’s late mother Patricia had been in and out of hospital at the time, and found that the emergency department was “full to capacity”.
Taking to Twitter, Johnny expressed his anger towards the Conservative Government while expressing sympathy for NHS staff.
He said: “Three hour wait on an ambulance but A&E had to close its doors, full to capacity. Why be angry at the incredible folk working under unbelievable stress?
“I remain grateful, my bitterness belongs to @BorisJohnson @Conservatives at your neglect of our @NHSuk & blatant drive to privatise.”
Uncompromising Dutch ref Bjorn Kuipers, who was once branded “disrespectful” by Neymar after booking the Brazil playboy for arguing with him, has been backed by many fans after two PSG players accused him of swearing at them.
Experienced Kuipers has a reputation for letting matches flow and occasionally giving as good as he gets to players, and the 48-year-old was tested at times on Tuesday night as he oversaw Paris’s tame Champions League semifinal exit at Manchester City.
A multi-millionaire through his ownership of a supermarket chain in his homeland, Kuipers held his own with some of the most valuable and most notoriously dramatic players in the world – and two have now accused him of dropping the f-bomb on them.
I’ve always suspected Bjorn Kuipers was a legend but it’s nice to have that suspicion emphatically confirmed https://t.co/jC4DHcs85Z
Fellow midfielder Marco Verratti, who curiously claimed that PSG had the better of a game in which they were beaten 2-0 and did not manage a shot on target, offered even more extraordinary claims.
“He said ‘f*** you’ to me,” confided Verratti. “I talk to referees a lot but I never say that or I get a 10-game ban.”
Not like he’s the perfect referee and he makes the odd mistake too, but absolutely love the way Bjorn Kuipers *tries* to officiate games.Doesn’t buy into the moans and the flops and let’s players get stuck in. He allows the game to flow, which is so much better as a viewer. pic.twitter.com/SxGQcPjQM6
Angel di Maria was sent off in the second half, mirroring the first-leg fate of Idrissa Gueye, who was sent off for a horrendous tackle on Ilkay Gundogan that many felt had severely endangered the City playmaker.
“They lost their nerve and started to kick us,” two-goal hero Riyad Mahrez told BT Sport on Tuesday. “After the red card, it was more comfortable.”
Fans offered a mixed reception to the duo’s allegations, with many pointing out that players are routinely heard directing choice words at officials on the pitch at a time when largely empty stadiums mean that their voices can be picked up clearly.
“Honestly, this cements Bjorn Kuipers as the best ref in the world,” said one. “PSG players are masters in the dark arts and he wasn’t having any of it.”
Another admitted: “Not surprised. They were harassing him non-stop. Must have taken all of his will power not to smash one of them in the face.”
Kuipers booked Neymar for dissent during a 2018 World Cup group stage game between Brazil and Costa Rica in Russia, and did so again when the world’s most expensive player complained about his treatment by the opposition when Paris played Napoli last year.
“The referee told me something he should not have,” Neymar told ESPN afterwards. “It was disrespectful. I do not want to repeat what he said to me. However, somebody high up should do something.
“He cannot be as disrespectful as he was with me. On the pitch, we are asked to show respect towards the referees. We should get the same in return.”
A Neymar fan account was predictably scathing towards Kuipers after his latest set-to with their hero. “Bjorn Kuipers is still the worst and most unprofessional official that’s ever been in the sport,” they insisted, calling him a clown.
Few seemed to feel the same. “He doesn’t buy into the moans and the flops and lets players get stuck in,” said a supporter. “He allows the game to flow, which is so much better as a viewer.”
It comes as people are being “terrified” by messages that things may not ever go back to normal – despite the success of the vaccine rollout.
And after initial results from pilot schemes, the Prime Minister will be told next week that there were no spikes in Covid cases among attendees.
With precautions like staggering entries and good ventilation, crowds can return to large events without distancing – following the monitoring of sports games that have already taken place.
A source familiar with the report, according to the Telegraph, said ministers will be told that the pilots have shown “there are some effective ways to manage risk that could remove the need to have social distancing at events”.
The conclusions will be framed as an “initial view” from scientists – with more pilot events coming next month.
With infections dropping to below 50 per 100,000 people in more than 95 per cent of the UK, ministers say that the lifting of all restrictions is in sight.
BACK TO ‘NORMALITY’
Prof Tim Spector OBE, who leads the ZOE COVID Symptom Study, told the Mirror: “Rates are low, we’re not out of it yet but we can be optimistic.
“We shouldn’t be too worried about meeting people outside. I think we can start to increasingly enjoy life as long as we’re sensible.
“This is reassuring for elderly people who have been isolating for a year and have been double vaccinated, to say: ‘Look guys, your risk is so small, you should get out there and socialise.
“Two elderly vaccinated people should be able to go out and give each other a hug.
“We’re just not being honest in that for people who are double vaccinated the risks are tiny.
“A lot of people are still being terrified by Government messages and may never go back to normal.”
Current coronavirus rules state that you must keep two metres from people outside of your household or support bubble.
But Brits can meet outdoors with six people, as well as drink and dine at al fresco hospitality venues.
But social distancing is set to be in place until June 21 at the earliest, according to Boris Johnson’s roadmap.
Scientists led by University of Copenhagen warned the UK needs to stay on guard to stop the variant, named P1, causing chaos.
Because it has also shown to reinfect people who have previously had Covid, it could also infect people who are vaccinated.
Prof Samir Bhatt, a researcher at University of Copenhagen and corresponding author on the paper, told The Sun: “Moving forwards the bigger concern is immune escape given substantial vaccination rates.
“This is the most important thing to keep an eye on in the UK right now where continued surveillance and caution is critical.”
In the UK, a very small number of cases of P1 have been confirmed – 60 since February 2021.
For this reason, scientists have speculated that it doesn’t have the ability to overthrow the Kent variant, which is dominant in the UK.
But there are still a lot of unknowns about how different strains compete with each other.
Prof Bhatt said: “From what we know now, P1, B117 [Kent], B351 [South Africa] and 617 [India] are comparable in terms of their transmissibility.
“This is why P1 has not taken off in many countries, B117 was earlier out the gate and so that has spread more widely.”
Prof Bhatt and colleagues studied P1, in Manaus, the Amazonian city in Brazil where it first emerged.
They concluded P1 was between 70 per cent and 140 per cent more transmissible than other variants circulating in Manaus, which were not named.
For comparison, the variants from Kent and South Africa have been estimated to be 70 per cent and 50 per cent more transmissible, respectively, compared against the original virus strain from Wuhan, China.
P1 can also reinfect between 20 and 40 per cent of people who have already had Covid before, meaning it can evade some immunity, the study found.
This poses serious questions about whether vaccines would work against P1, as research is currently underway to investigate this.
The study also showed people infected with Covid were 20 to 90 per cent more likely to die of the disease in the period following the emergence of P1.
It means P1 may be more lethal. However, the higher number of deaths could be a result of pressure on hospitals at the time.
The study said P1 “is spreading rapidly across Brazil”, as Prof Bhatt said the “aggressive” strain seems to “be the cause of their [Brazil’s] problems”.
He said: “Our epidemiological model indicates that P1 is likely to be more transmissible than previous strains of coronavirus and likely to be able to evade immunity gained from infection with other strains.
“Our analysis shows that P1 emerged in Manaus around November 2020. It went from not being detectable in our genetic samples to accounting for 87 percent of the positive samples in just seven weeks.
“It has since spread to several other states in Brazil as well as many other countries around the world.”
Brazil has reached unprecedented levels of Covid transmission and deaths, and now the P1 variant is devastating other Latin American countries.
The study, published in the journal Science, cautioned that it was only carried out in Manaus, and how P1 behaves in other areas of the world may be different.
Researchers said the world needs to be aware of P1 and keep tabs on cases to stop it from growing.
Cases of new variants are growing in the UK, some the result of community spread and not linked with international travel.
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, deputy chief medical officer for England, said last night: “I couldn’t call the numbers [of cases of new variants] trivial but at the same token I don’t see them rushing away now or in the next few weeks in terms of giving us a new kind of problem.”
Concern about new variants and how they could derail the UK’s vaccine programme has led to tougher border controls.
Prof Van-Tam said it was difficult to assess how new coronavirus variants would impact vaccines.
He told the Downing Street press briefing on Wednesday that he hoped the inoculations would continue to protect against severe illness.
He said: “The way you test these vaccines against these variants is either you have that variant circulating widely in your population, and you then kind of learn the hard way whether vaccines are working or not – you gain real-life epidemiological data.
“We can’t do that if they are not circulating – we are trying not to let them circulate so we are not going to create that situation so instead what we do are a series of laboratory studies.”
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In light of available lab studies, he added: “Likely in my view, the first thing to go – if something goes – will be protecting against infection, but I hope protection against severe disease will be much more solid and much more lasting.”
A new one-off show, Michael Jackson: A Faking It Special, showed a collection of body language experts poring over the late star’s actions in various interviews. The intention of the show was to determine whether he was telling the truth when he denied being involved in any child abuse scandals.
The show, which is available on Discovery Plus, shows body language expert Cliff Lansley looking at different events which saw Jackson being asked about “sleeping in the same bedroom” as some children.
This line of questioning followed a 2003 documentary made by journalist Martin Bashir titled Living With Michael Jackson where the star admitted to sleeping in the same bedroom as young guests in his home of Neverland.
The star said at the time: “We have guest units, but whenever kids come here they always want to stay with me, they never want to stay in the guest rooms. And I have never invited them into my room, they always just wanna stay with me. They say: ‘Can I stay with you tonight?’ So I go: ‘If it’s OK with your parents then yes you can.’”
One moment in the documentary shows 12-year-old Gavin Arvizo correcting Jackson when he said he slept on the floor in a sleeping bag. Instead, he revealed, Jackson slept on blankets.
Speaking about this moment in the documentary Lansley said: “So, this is a spontaneous correction, which is a reliable indicator of truth-telling.
“When someone makes a spontaneous correction to the fact that Michael Jackson says ‘I was in a sleeping bag,’ and then this young child has said ‘no, no, you pulled the blankets down and you slept on the blankets on the floor,’ is typical of the truth.”
He went on: “The fact that that child is making the correction is so natural and flows so easily, there can be a lot of confidence that Michael Jackson slept on the floor and this young boy slept on the bed.”
The expert added: “There is very little evidence that anything untoward went on between these two.”
Cliff continued: “It’s at this point we get a wider pitch range from Michael Jackson.
“He elongates the ‘yeah’ and we get this melodic ‘of course.’ And he slows the speed as well. He’s making it seem as though it’s perfectly natural. In fact, it’s the most loving thing to do.”
Shortly after the 2003 documentary aired Jackson was arrested and charged with seven counts of child molestation and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent for the purpose of committing a felony.
Later in the Faking It Special Cliff looked at Jackson’s statement denying the allegations made against him.
He revealed: “We hear a resignation at the end that gives us an indication of sadness in the form of an in-breath. So, breathe in three times for sadness.”
Cliff went on: “We even get movement in the brow, and this is rare in Michael Jackson’s face for whatever reason, whether it’s Botox or a tight face, the brows rarely move. But we see a flattening of the brows which is a reliable indicator of sadness.
“At the same time, we get this croaky flakiness in the voice. The universal trigger for sadness is loss. I think it’s loss of dignity with the physical examination and the loss of a childhood is a key part of his growing life.”
Gavin Arvizo later testified in court that he was molested by Jackson while he was at Neverland.
On June 13, 2005 Jackson was acquitted of all charges.
Michael Jackson: A Faking It Special is available on Discovery Plus.
ITV Wales presenter Ruth Dodsworth has told how her children phoned her telling her not to come home because her husband was threatening to kill her.
The weather presenter, who has been in television for 25 years, appeared on This Morning on Monday to talk to Phillip Schofield and Rochelle Humes about her abusive former husband.
She shared how he made her life a misery and left her feeling “nervous, frightened, and broken”.
A court heard last week how Jonathan Wignall, 54, controlled every aspect of Ms Dodworth’s life and would frequently attend the Cardiff studios where she was filming and on location, would access her phone messages and mail, prevented her from socialising with friends and family, threatened suicide, and even had a tracker fitted to her car.
Ruth told how the abuse came to a head one day when their children phoned her to warn her not to come home, Wales Online reports.
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And now, the broadcaster wants to help other victims of domestic abuse by sharing her experience.
She said: “Just under two years ago when things escalated, I had been in work during that week, he had been phoning hundreds of times a day, turning up at the office, sending text messages asking who I was with.
“One day, he started drinking early in the day and by the time the children got home from school they were phoning me, warning me don’t come home, saying he was going to kill me.
“That was a turning point. I didn’t go home, and I think that if I did, I don’t think I would be here today in any way shape or form.
“I wouldn’t be alive if I didn’t ask for help. It took confiding with someone else saying that if I didn’t phone the police, they would.”
The couple had been married for 18 years, and Ruth told the presenters how she desperately tried to make the marriage work.
They married in 2001 but their marriage began to deteriorate in 2010 when Ruth returned to work.
Ruth added: “Within a marriage you try to make it work, you make excuses, you try to justify, you plaster a smile but life is not always what it seems.
“Especially with a job like ours, you smile and make it look like you are happy, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth. I was determined to make it work, but it just didn’t in the end.”
She continued: “The signs were there, we were happy but there were moments where his temper became obvious. I was the one person he could direct his anger at as business started to fail.
“But the very phrase domestic abuse was very difficult for me to say, even now, because I still didn’t see myself in that category.”
Ruth admitted that she led the “Instagram life”, but her husband started getting paranoid and jealous and even offering to pay their children money to get into her phone to check the messages.
Speaking about the level of abuse, she explained: “If I waited for him to go to sleep first, it was OK. But if I went to sleep first he would slap my face to wake me up because it was not on his terms.
“This is a man that I loved and is the father of my children. It is degrading, it was humiliating but it is so hard to get out. I would say to people, just get out. Speak to someone.”
After his arrest, Ruth found out that the house they lived in was rented and there was thousands of pounds worth of debt in her name that she had no idea about.
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She said: “I have worked for 25 years but have nothing to show for it. I am not able to go for a mortgage, can’t take out a credit card, but I have got my children, I am sitting here talking to you now and I have got family around me who love me.
“The are dark days, but I was saved and if people can do that for me, they can do that for everyone.
“Not being believed was something I was worried about, but I was believed.”
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Last week a court heard how that controlling nature, which lasted nine years, had a “devastating impact” on Ms Dodsworth and even affected her career as as a presenter with ITV Wales after his continual harassment affected her confidence.
In a statement read out to the court Ms Dodsworth, 45, said she would have to portray a “happy, sunshine-like” personality while on television when she felt the opposite inside.
A sentencing hearing at Cardiff Crown Court on Wednesday heard Wignall was arrested on October 18, 2019, after his behaviour came to a head after calling her more than 150 times during the day and Ms Dodsworth did not return to the family home in Cowbridge for fears for her safety.
Sentencing, Judge Daniel Williams said: “It’s clear you have no remorse for that which you did. You seek to justify your actions and in your eyes you have done no wrong and you have no perception to how others may see see you.
“You affect the air of a respectable beleaguered but successful businessman but you are not. You are a fantasist with a fragile ego which makes you an unrepentant possessive bully.”
If you are a victim of domestic in East Yorkshire and need support now, call the domestic abuse partnership on 01482 318 759.
Liverpool owner John Henry and his FSG parent company are facing calls to go from fans, despite his humbled apology over the European Super League fiasco.
The American principal owner issued a video apology on the club’s website early on Wednesday morning, after the club had confirmed late the previous evening they had withdrawn their involvement.
Henry said sorry directly to supporters – who had launched protests at Anfield when the news of the plan was first released – as it quickly became apparent they would never accept the idea of a closed league, without any sporting integrity.
“I want to apologise to all the supporters of Liverpool football club…it should be said the project was never going to stand a chance without the support of fans,” he said.
“Over the past 48 hours you were very clear it would not stand – we heard you. I heard you. I’m sorry. I alone am responsible for the unnecessary negativity brought forward over the past couple of days.
“It’s something I won’t forget. And shows the power the fans have today and will rightly continue to have.”
The fan response though, indicates that apology isn’t enough, with already strained relations between the owners and fans now at breaking point.
The message has been clear – they will not forgive or forget.
And that relationship was summed up succinctly by Reds legend Jamie Carragher, who insisted there is no way back now for Henry.
“There’s nothing left for Liverpool’s owners. I don’t see how they can continue,” he said.
“I don’t see a future for the ownership of FSG at Liverpool on the back of this. I think they’re making it worse for themselves the longer they hang in.”
Liverpool MP Ian Byrne and co-founder of the influential Fans Supporting Foodbanks, believes Henry and his co-owners have betrayed manager Jurgen Klopp and his players.
“Jurgen Klopp said he only found out the day before, how dare they treat someone who has done so much for the football club like that?” he said.
“To imperil his position, which is a worry for all Liverpool fans, it is just beyond the pale.
“So I don’t know where FSG go from here, I really don’t.”
Many fans have reacted passionately on social media rejecting Henry’s apology, and demanding FSG now sell up.
Henry was asked directly whether he would now go, at a Boston Red Sox game on Tuesday evening, but gave only a mumbled response.
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The 93rd Academy Awards are scheduled to take place next week, April 26, 2021. And while it will be an exciting time for some of the biggest Hollywood A-listers and accomplished directors to thanks their friends, producers, and parents …the ceremony has an unintended side effect that actively damages the film industry.
The Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, is the most prestigious film awards – with more name recognition than BAFTA and (usually) more agreeable nominees than the Golden Globes. As such, film fans look to the ceremony as a good indication of which recent releases are worth a watch. As research from privacy-focused blog TorrentFreak has demonstrated, the publication of the nominees each year leads to a surge in illegal downloads for the titles highlighted in each of the major categories.
With cinemas closed in the UK and a number of other countries around the world, the release schedule of a number of films nominated by the Academy Awards has been thrown off wildly. Some of the titles in the Best Picture category aren’t currently available to watch legally in a number of countries around the globe. According to Torrent Freak, this might be to blame for record level of piracy on some of these tiles – as movie fans scour for ways to watch the nominees ahead of the ceremony next week.
In the UK, Nomadland, which stars Frances McDormand and is directed by Chloe Zhao, is scheduled to open in cinemas from May 17, 2021. The film, which has already scooped gongs for Best Director and Best Motion Picture – Drama at the Golden Globes and Best Director and Best Film at the BAFTAs, is coming to Disney+ from April 30 too. However, both of these release dates are after the Oscars have been and gone. In the United States, Nomadland had a limited run in IMAX theatres in December last year, before releasing across the country from January 29 and streaming services on February 19, 2021.
Piracy tracking company MUSO warned that the unavailability of these movies could trigger a piracy boom in a report earlier this month. A spotlight from the Academy Awards always tends to boost illegal download and streaming numbers on movie, but with some of these titles unavailable from digital stores or legitimate streaming services …the numbers could be worse than before, MUSO cautioned.
Even before the curtain lifts on the ceremony, the Hollywood shindig is already having an effect. Torrent Freak has tracked the popularity of illegal downloads, usually from torrent sites like The Pirate Bay and KickAss Torrents, following the announcement of the nominations for the 93rd ceremony. According to the popular blog, the day after the nominations were published, Nomadland downloads skyrocketed 213 percent higher than the previous week. A week later, the numbers had dropped by some 50 percent.
With the warning from MUSO, we’d expect to see similar spikes – or bigger – when the ceremony is held next week and more attention is placed on these films. Due to the different release schedules in countries around the world, Torrent Freak has warned that high-quality versions of these films (not the grubby camcorder from the back of an auditorium filled with coughing) are available, which could dissuade people from moving to High Definition or 4K UHD streams of these films when they become available from official channels in the coming weeks.