Trump mobilizes US military to end unprecedented riots

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Monday invoked a law from 1807 allowing him to send military forces to states rocked by unrest over the death of George Floyd in a sudden White House Rose Garden address interrupted by the sounds of protestors being cleared out by police nearby.

“We cannot allow the righteous cries of peaceful protesters to be drowned out by an angry mob,” Trump said, declaring himself the “president of law and order” while blaming extremist groups such as Antifa for the unrest.

“I am mobilizing all available federal resources, civilian and military, to stop rioting and looting, to end the destruction,” he said, immediately mobilizing the Insurrection Act of 1807, which allows him to deploy troops anywhere across the nation.

It was last used in 1992, by President George H.W. Bush to quell the LA riots, which were sparked by the police beating of Rodney King.

“If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them,” Trump said of the act.

Under the Civil War-era Posse Comitatus Act, federal troops are prohibited from performing domestic law enforcement actions such as making arrests, seizing property or searching people. In extreme cases, however, the president can invoke the Insurrection Act, which allows the use of active-duty or National Guard troops for law enforcement.

The president’s last-minute address came in juxtaposition to the scene outside, where a series of military vehicles rolled out front on Pennsylvania Avenue and military police and law enforcement clashed with protesters at Lafayette Park, firing tear gas, flash bangs, rubber bullets and pepper spray on a large but peaceful crowd.

Trump described the scenes of violent rioting and looting which have rocked the nation for the past week as a “total disgrace” and said anyone who didn’t respect curfew orders would be “prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

“I am taking these actions today to reaffirm resolve and with a true and passionate love for our country, by far our great days lie ahead,” he said as chaos unfolded in the streets around the White House.

Following his address, Trump walked out of the front of the White House gates, through Lafayette Park to Washington’s historic St John’s Episcopal Church which was partly destroyed in a fire lit by rioters on Sunday evening.

Attorney General William Barr, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and chief of staff Mark Meadows were among the high-ranking officials with Trump, who posed for photos outside the boarded-up church, holding a Bible, where protesters had been demonstrating just minutes earlier.

The police made the aggressive advance on more than a thousand protesters outside the executive address following days of unrest across the nation over the death of George Floyd in police custody.

Earlier Monday, President Trump lashed into governors for their response to the week-long crisis — calling them “weak” and telling them to needed to take control of the unrest following Floyd’s death.

On May 1, 1992, Bush deployed 4,000 Army and Marine troops to South Central Los Angeles in the effort to end two days of rampant rioting that included 40 people killed, more than 1,500 injured, more than 3,700 fires and more than 3,000 arrests, the Washington Post reported at the time.

Bush addressed the nation that day, saying the violence in Los Angeles is “not about civil rights” or “the great issues of equality” but “the brutality of a mob, pure and simple.” He said he would “use whatever force necessary” to restore order.

That rioting had come after four white Los Angeles police officers who were caught on video beating black motorist King on March 3, 1991, were virtually exonerated by a jury. Bush said he, too, was “stunned” at the verdict, the paper reported.

In 1993, Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell, two of the four officers, were found guilty by a federal jury of violating King’s civil rights. They both served 30 months in prison and did not return to the police force. The other two officers, Timothy Wind and Theodore Briseno, were both fired by the LAPD.

With Post wires

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It was so special seeing my granddaughter for the first time in 10 weeks – The Sun

IT was special being able to see my granddaughter for the first time in months – and a shock to see how much she has grown!

I had a cuppa and cake with Ruby, 13, in my son’s garden yesterday, marking the first time I had seen her in about ten long weeks.

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We have FaceTimed and the rest of it during that time but nothing replaces hearing the words ‘grandad’ in real life.

It was a great joy seeing her laugh and jump around on the trampoline.

The two-metre social distancing rule is still difficult.

We can’t say good-bye properly – it’s almost as if we’re strangers.

But I couldn’t believe how much she’d grown in the time we had apart. She’s become a young woman.

I just need to hug her now – along with the rest of my sons and grandchildren.

Being able to see her marked an iconic moment in the lockdown timeline.

It feels like we’re getting near the finishing line.


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'Mark is wrong': Facebook staff disagree with Zuckerberg over Trump

‘Mark is wrong’: Senior Facebook staff stage walkout after disagreeing publicly with Zuckerberg’s refusal to remove Donald Trump’s incendiary posts about George Floyd protests

  • Facebook refused to take down Trump’s post on Friday, which Twitter censored 
  • Trump posted ‘when the looting starts, the shooting starts’ – a segregationist line
  • Twitter marked the post as glorifying violence and hid it behind a warning
  • Trump was enraged by Twitter’s decision and threatened them with regulation 
  • Facebook refused to do so and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said it was free speech 
  • Facebook employees disagree with Zuckerberg and spoke out against decision 
  • Dozens of employees staged a ‘virtual walkout’ Monday in protest at Zuckerberg 

Dozens of Facebook employees have staged a walkout and senior Facebook employees have publicly criticized their boss Mark Zuckerberg over his decision not to take down incendiary posts by Donald Trump.

The employees, who took the day off by logging into Facebook’s systems and requesting time off to support protesters across the country, also added an automated message to their emails saying that they were out of the office in a show of protest. 

Staff members have circulated petitions and threatened to resign, The New York Times reported. More than a dozen current and former employees have described the unrest as the most serious challenge to Zuckerberg’s leadership since the company was founded 15 years ago. 

Trump in the early hours of Friday took to Facebook and Twitter to speak out about the protests over the killing of George Floyd, writing ‘when the looting starts, the shooting starts’ – a line that was used by segregationists in the 1960s. 

Twitter flagged the post as glorifying violence, and hid it behind a warning label.

Facebook, by contrast, did nothing. 

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and chairman of Facebook, has defended his decision not to take down a post on Friday made by Donald Trump, arguing he wanted to preserve freedom of speech

Twitter labeled Trump’s post as glorifying violence – a step which Zuckerberg said went too far

Axios reported that on Friday morning, Facebook raised concerns to the White House and urged them to make a change even if it did not violate Facebook’s policies.

The site claimed that later that day, Trump phoned Zuckerberg. 

During the call, Zuckerberg ‘expressed concerns about the tone and the rhetoric,’ according to a source familiar with the call.

Zuckerberg ‘didn’t make any specific requests,’ the source told Axios. 

A second source familiar with the call told the site that Zuckerberg told Trump that he personally disagreed with the president’s incendiary rhetoric and that by using language like this, Trump was putting Facebook in a difficult position.  

Zuckerberg later publicly explained Facebook’s decision to leave Trump’s post up, writing that although he personally had ‘a visceral negative reaction to this kind of divisive and inflammatory rhetoric,’ the company’s ‘position is that we should enable as much expression as possible unless it will cause imminent risk of specific harms or dangers spelled out in clear policies.’ 

Many of his employees disagreed, and, as first reported in The Hollywood Reporter, over the weekend voiced their anger. 

On Friday Zuckerberg provided a lengthy explanation as to his decision to keep the post live

Ryan Freitas, director of product design at Facebook tweeted: ‘Mark is wrong, and I will endeavor in the loudest possible way to change his mind. 

‘I apologize if you were waiting for me to have some sort of external opinion. 

‘I focused on organizing 50+ likeminded folks into something that looks like internal change.’

Ryan Freitas, director of product design at Facebook, criticized his boss on Twitter

Jason Toff, who describes his job as ‘building something new at Facebook’, agreed with Freitas

Jason Toff, a director of product management at Facebook, said many shared his opinion. 

‘I work at Facebook and I am not proud of how we’re showing up,’ he tweeted.

‘The majority of coworkers I’ve spoken to feel the same way. We are making our voice heard.’

Jason Stirman, a design manager at Facebook, said Zuckerberg’s reasoning was wrong. 

‘I don’t know what to do, but I know doing nothing is not acceptable,’ he wrote. 

‘I’m a FB employee that completely disagrees with Mark’s decision to do nothing about Trump’s recent posts, which clearly incite violence. 

‘I’m not alone inside of FB. There isn’t a neutral position on racism.’  

David Gillis, a director of product design at Facebook, wrote: ‘I believe Trump’s “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” tweet (cross-posted to FB), encourages extra-judicial violence and stokes racism. 

‘Respect to @Twitter’s integrity team for making the enforcement call. 

‘While I understand why we chose to stay squarely within the four corners of our violence and incitement policy, I think it would have been right for us to make a ‘spirit of the policy’ exception that took more context into account.’

David Gillis agreed with his colleagues that Zuckerberg was wrong to allow Trump’s post

Andrew Crow, head of design at Facebook Portal, agreed. 

‘Censoring information that might help people see the complete picture *is* wrong,’ he wrote. 

‘But giving a platform to incite violence and spread disinformation is unacceptable, regardless who you are or if it’s newsworthy. I disagree with Mark’s position and will work to make change happen.’

Andrew Crow said he did not approve of his boss’s handling of Trump’s incendiary post

Diego Mendes, a product design manager at Facebook ARVR, said: ‘Inaction is not the answer. Facebook leadership is wrong. 

‘I have voiced my concerns internally and I will continue to do it. 

‘I believe in our mission. I believe in my teammates. I hope we will do and be better.’

Twitter’s decision to add a notice that the message violated its rules for ‘glorifying violence’ came shortly after it appended a fact-check label to another of his tweets about mail-in ballots. 

It was the first time Twitter had challenged his posts.

Trump said later that he was not aware of the history of the phrase, which dates back to U.S. police crackdowns on civil rights in the 1960s.

Democrats accused Trump of making the situation worse.

‘This is no time for incendiary tweets. It’s no time to encourage violence,’ said Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, in remarks streamed online. 

‘This is a national crisis and we need real leadership right now. Leadership that will bring everyone to the table so that we can take measures to root out systemic racism.’

Trump relies heavily on Twitter to bring his message directly to his 80 million followers on the site, but also has repeatedly accused it and other social media sites of censoring conservatives.

Twitter’s decision to attach a warning to Trump’s tweet escalates a feud between Trump and tech companies. 

In response, Trump threatened new regulations and called on Congress to revoke a law that protects online platforms from lawsuits over content.

Zuckerberg said, in an interview with Fox News, that he disagreed with Twitter’s position. 

‘I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online,’ he said. 

‘Private companies … especially these platform companies, shouldn’t be in the position of doing that.’ 

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George Floyd’s brother travels to scene where he died in police custody

George Floyd’s younger brother has traveled from his home in Brooklyn to Minneapolis to visit the very spot where his brother died in police custody.

“I just wanna feel my brother’s spirit … just connect with him again,” Terrence Floyd, 42, told ABC News’ “Good Morning America” Monday.

He let out a large, overwhelmed sigh when asked about visiting the location where his 46-year-old brother died after being pinned by an officer’s knee on his neck for almost nine minutes.

“It’s been just devastating. I’m still a little numb about it,” Terrence said about dealing with the aftermath of his brother’s death.

“He was a gentle giant,” Terrence said of George. “He was about peace, unity … he was a peaceful motivator.”

Terrence appeared on “GMA” alongside the Rev. Kevin McCall, part of a New York contingency also including civil rights lawyer Sanford Rubenstein who made the journey with him to Minnesota.

“We have been through this in New York … when dealing with Eric Garner,” McCall told “GMA” of the 43-year-old Staten Island man who — like Floyd — died after begging “I can’t breathe” during his arrest.

“We know what the people are experiencing in Minneapolis. We are coming down here to call for peace and unity,” McCall said, while wearing a face mask with Floyd’s photo and “We can’t breathe” written on it.

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We’re ‘armchair detectives’ investigating grim cold cases from home – from serial killer victims to mystery ‘tent girl’ – The Sun

POURING himself a coffee, Chris Clark prepares for another long night of trawling through old newspaper clippings for clues about grisly murders and violent kidnappings.

But Chris isn't a police officer – he's a self-confessed 'armchair detective' who has dedicated his life to solving missing persons cases, hunt killers and investigate decades-old mysteries from the comfort of his own home.

And he's not alone. There are now streams of online pages, forums and chat rooms dedicated to those wanting to solve cold cases around the world – from Facebook groups through to huge forums like Websleuths, which has built up hundreds of thousands of members.

But even smaller, dedicated groups have had successes too – most notably when a group of cat lovers managed to bring down sick Canadian murderer Luka Magnotta – later inspiring Netflix hit Don't F**k With Cats.

Magnotta was convicted of killing and dismembering Chinese student Lin Jun after being identified by the worldwide army of cat-lovers, who were shocked by footage he posted online in 2010 of him feeding kittens to a python.

Here, we speak to three more cyber sleuths who reveal how they were inspired to start their own crime hunts from home.

While one man began linking unsolved murders to Scottish serial killer Robert Black, another spent years trying to identify a body that his own father-in-law discovered.

'I believe my wife was almost abducted by Robert Black'

Former cop Chris Clark had what he believes is a breakthrough after years of at-home detective work when he dug out evidence he claims links not only his wife's near-abduction, but also the disappearances of two other girls, to serial killer Robert Black.

The 74-year-old left his police intelligence job behind when he retired from the force in 1994 – but was inspired to try some armchair detective work after hearing of his wife's own harrowing childhood trauma.

Clark, who lives in County Durham, married wife Jeanne in 2003 but didn't find out about her experience until 2010.

Jeanne, aged just 15 at the time, was living in a small village in Cambridgeshire in May 1971 when she says she came terrifyingly close to being abducted by a stranger on a quiet country road.

On a four-mile cycle home from a swimming pool nearby, she noticed she was being followed by a van.

“A blue minivan came from the opposite direction and stopped. The driver was staring intently at her legs… he made her feel really uneasy," Clark says.

“She started cycling home but this minivan turned round and drove up behind her, and then alongside her, and then in front of her – forcing her to cycle at the rate he was driving."

When the van eventually pulled into a farm gateway ahead, and the driver got out, Clark claims a now "hysterical" Jeanne cycled past as fast as she could and pulled into a driveway nearby to hide.

Clearly believing she'd made it home, the man drove away and Jeanne was able to escape, but despite reporting it to police, no action was ever taken.

Hearing his wife's story, Clark immediately thought of the horror murders of Susan Maxwell, 11, Caroline Hogg, five, Sarah Harper, 10, and Jennifer Cardy, nine, who were all killed by Scottish serial killer Robert Black between 1981 and 1986.

Each girl had been abducted before their bodies were discovered dumped several miles away.

However, Clark had also always suspected that Black may have been responsible for the disappearance of April Fabb, 13, in Norfolk in 1969, and Genette Tate, 13, in Devon in 1978, due to the similarities of the cases and the "very acute method" used to abduct Jennifer Cardy – although no link was ever proven. 

It was these two cases in particular that he believed had striking similarities to that of his wife.

"They were all girls out on cycles and in April and Jennifer’s cases, the cycles were thrown over a hedge before they were abducted," he says.

Clark immediately began heavily researching each case from home for possible links – trawling through old newspaper clippings and library archive footage – before he eventually came across a possible lead.

Police had always assumed Black's murders began after he got a driving licence in 1976, but Clark claims he later found evidence showing he'd been driving in Scotland as far back as the 1960s, as a delivery man for a newspaper.

As well as finding a 1994 newspaper article that mentioned him driving, Clark also spoke to local residents who recalled seeing him behind the wheel.

Clark also found an old arrest photo of Black, taken closer to the time of April's disappearance – and while Jeanne didn't initially believe it was Black in her case, this photo resembled the man she remembered much more.

His final clue came when he appealed for information on Black in a local newspaper, and had a reply from a man who used to see him in the Red Lion Pub in Stoke Newington around 1983.

The man recalled speaking to him on once occasion, and Black listing a series of women's names while discussing recent crimes – including Fabb and Tate in the list.

While he didn't mention any involvement in their disappearances, the fact he even mentioned their names in the same breath as the others proved suspicious.

Clark immediately relayed all the information he'd gathered to the Norfolk Constabulary cold case team, but the cases are yet to be formally linked to Black.

He also made contact with the retired Lothian and Borders Detective Chief Superintendent who was the senior officer involved with Black’s 1990 arrest, and he claims he agreed that Jeanne's case could be linked to Black.

No link between Black, who died in 2016 behind bars, and the disappearances of Fabb and Tate, as well as Jeanne's case, has ever been proven, however, and Norfolk Police confirmed to Sun Online that they had previously investigated a possible link themselves, but found "no evidence" that one existed.

Clark has since gone on to investigate other cases, including Christopher Halliwell's – in which he was able to link him to four other unsolved murders years before a witness came forward and made the same claims to the Mirror.

'I identified mysterious "Tent Girl"'

American Todd Matthews, 50, began his own amateur sleuthing in the 1980s after hearing how his father-in-law discovered a woman's dead body wrapped in a tent in 1968 in Georgetown, Kentucky.

The woman was known simply as 'Tent Girl' at the time, as no one ever identified her, and the unsolved case gripped the area from then on.

“My wife's father Wilbur Riddle found the body. He was a water well driller at the time and was waiting for somebody when he stumbled across the body."

It sparked a fierce interest and Matthews began his own detective work in the 1990s, around his job as a factory worker.

“You couldn’t Google a filing cabinet then. The struggle was real, you had to get in your car and drive up there to get any material," he says.

“It was all on micro-films at the library. Then you’d often have to pay for copies, we nearly had to file for bankruptcy – it was nearly 200 miles away from where we’re at, getting a hotel room, telephone calls, it all added up."

Tips for armchair detectives

While there's no set rules when it comes to investigating a cold case, amateur sleuth John Lordan has a rough plan he usually sticks to when making his videos.

He says: “Initially I’ll do a media review, going through everything that’s publicly available.

"If there’s any type of police material or statements that have been released, I’ll include all of them too. I’ll usually start without any direct contact with family, before hearing from them.

"People may initially be upset and ask why I didn’t reach out first to ask them about it, but I’ve found information from the family can be the most biased yet."

Todd Matthews agrees and suggests the first step should always be to look through old newspaper articles, gathering all the public information you can together.

Meanwhile, according to an online Jack The Ripper tour guide, a few simple tips to stick to include paying attention to small details, distancing yourself if you become too invested in the research – as that may cloud your judgement – and being adaptable, catering your research to each individual case rather than following one uniform method.

Matthews relied heavily on his father-in-law's memories at the time to guide his research.

While police had assumed 'Tent Girl' was likely 13 to 16 years old, largely due to her small frame, Riddle recalled seeing she had painted nails, full breasts and had a child's nappy in her bag – signalling she was an adult.

Then, with the birth of the internet, Matthews was finally able to cast his search out to a wider audience, posting on message boards and eventually starting his own dedicated page on the case.

"Eventually I saw a listing from a woman looking for her sister," he says.

“She was last seen in December 1967 in the area, and she described her sister to some degree. I just knew. I did what we wouldn’t do today and contacted her."

After sharing notes, the pair managed to have the body exhumed in 1998, and DNA testing finally identified her as the sister – Barbara Ann Hackmann Taylor.

"We both felt [relieved], finally we’d found her. I also met Tent Girl’s daughter and step-daughter. She’s also had a son, who’d died sadly.

“I could give them all something about their sister and mother at last."

Matthews has since set up the volunteer-led DOE Network, which helps police solve missing persons cases.

It's had a few successes since too, with one family finally discovering where their missing brother was buried after he disappeared in Kentucky in 1994 – after spotting a detailed sketch of an unidentified dead man posted by Matthews online.

'I traced last steps of woman found in water tank'

For many amateur detectives, there's one case that will always stick with them.

And for Minnesota man John Lordan, 44, it was that of Canadian student Elisa Lam, 21, in 2013.

Lam's naked body was discovered floating in a water tank on the roof of the Cecil Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.

Chillingly, she was only found when guests at the hotel started complaining about the smell and taste of the water.

When police released footage of her in the lift shortly after – the last time she was seen alive – it sparked a stream of wild conspiracy theories over what could have happened to her.

The video showed her acting erratically, appearing to gesture a lot while also appearing to try and hide. Sadly, these actions have never been explained.

“People had all these wacky theories, one person said they saw a ghost in the elevator, another said it was someone in military camouflage gear. Some were extremely disrespectful," Lardon explains.

It prompted him to create a YouTube video about the case itself, essentially aiming to debunk some of the theories.

"Very quickly I determined there was a very real tragedy here. It inspired my main show BrainScratch," he says.

“The great thing about YouTube is people can comment under your video, you can hear other people’s thoughts and reactions."

As he investigated more, Lordan dug out legal documents from a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the hotel by Lam's family.

While it was reported on by the media at the time, he was able to sift through them all and create a full narrative to share with his followers.

He eventually visited the hotel himself and found there were only two ways up to the roof – an outside fire escape and an indoor stair well, that was supposedly shut off with an alarm activated.

“One of the biggest mysteries, however, was that there was a hatch on top of the water tank that wasn’t hinged – it was literally a big metal plate that lifts off," he explains.

“The story was that the hatch was closed when she was found, so how did that get closed? It had to mean someone was up there and put her in there.

“But when we got to the legal documentation, we learned the hatch was actually off.

“There was a deposition specifically from the guy that found her, he’d got up there and saw the hatch was removed."

The new evidence, which he released in his videos, finally put to bed many of the theories around Lam's death – which was eventually ruled as accidental.

Each case is a stark example of how eagled-eyed internet users can aid police in ongoing cases.

However, while crime expert Professor David Wall, chair in criminology at Leeds University, tells Sun Online there is now a need for police to work with the public more on solving crimes, he admits putting it into practice is hugely difficult.

"The police can quickly lose control of an investigation or be blindsided by public opinion," he adds.

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UK coronavirus deaths rise to 38,571 after 108 more succumb to bug and lockdown eases in England

CORONAVIRUS fatalities in the UK have risen to least 38,597 after 108 more deaths were recorded in England hospitals the last 24 hours.

In England, the total number of Covid-19 deaths rose to 26,722 today.

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The latest rise in deaths confirmed by NHS England is larger than it was yesterday, when 85 more deaths were logged.

NHS England confirmed the patients were aged between 29 and 99 years old and 16 had no known underlying health conditions.

There were only nine deaths recorded in London and zero in the South West.

In Scotland, a total of 2,363 patients have died after testing positive for coronavirus – up by one from yesterday.

In Wales, five more deaths were recorded overnight, bringing the overall tally there to 1,347.

While in Northern Ireland, one more person has died – bringing the total to 524.

It comes as some pupils went back to school today.

Kids in reception, year 1 and year 6 returned to class this morning for the first time since schools were closed more than two months ago.

However, one million students were kept home by worried parents today.

While ministers have insisted the time is right to ease the lockdown, almost half of parents are expected to not send their kids to class today.

According to the National Foundation for Educational Research, heads in England are expecting nearly half (46%) of families to keep their children at home.

The return to school is part of the wider easing of lockdown measures that will allow groups of up to six people to meet in public places or private gardens and outdoor markets and car show rooms reopen.

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Worshippers may be banned from singing hymns when they return to church to stop spread of coronavirus – The Sun

WORSHIPPERS could be banned from singing hymns when they return to church, synagogues and mosques.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said he was talking to faith leaders about how to reopen places of worship safely.

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He suggested churches might have to cordon off parts of their venue to make them a Covid-friendly environment.

Places of worship would also need to ensure regular cleaning and limit congregation numbers at any one time.

Mr Jenrick said: "We certainly don't want large gatherings in places of worship particularly because of the demographic in some faiths.

"Because of singing hymns and so on, which can lead to exhalation can create particular problems."

He added: "I understand how important it is for millions of people in this country.

"I can understand how people of faith would consider it strange that shops, cafes, pubs, restaurants, many other settings, might be open in the weeks and months ahead, but not somewhere as important as a place of worship."


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NYC hairstylist to Michael Bloomberg, Tom Wolfe dies from coronavirus

Alberto Rottura — New York City hairstylist whose clients included bold names like Michael Bloomberg and Tom Wolfe — died after a weeks-long battle with the coronavirus, his family said.

Rottura, 77, passed away last Monday at Lenox Hill Hospital, where he had been fighting COVID-19 since early April.

The immigrant son of an Italian winemaker, Rottura moved to Manhattan as a teenager in 1960, before becoming a US citizen and opening his first salon at 23 years old, said his son Gianluca Rottura.

“He was a real renaissance man,” his son told The Post. “He really had a love for people and was very, very generous with everything he worked for — which was a lot.”

The elder Rottura, who studied hairdressing in Paris and London, befriended Judy Garland early in his career and traveled the world with her as her personal hairstylist for two years.

His salon, Alberto Dei Montecchi on Madison Ave. and E. 78th St., would eventually bring in clients that included the most prominent figures in the city — such as former mayor Michael Bloomberg, best-selling authors Mary Higgins Clark and Tom Wolfe, and former governor Eliot Spitzer before his bust in an escort scandal.

A jovial Rottura once said his well-heeled clients usually started as customers because of the women in their lives.

“A lot of the men we do here are usually the husband, boyfriend or lover of one of the women who are our clients,” Rottura told The New York Times in a 2009 profile.

But Rottura, who spoke five languages and became a fixture in his Upper East Side community, also had his hands in other businesses around the neighborhood. He opened the famed Sistina Restaurant and the wine store In Vino Veritas, still located on First Ave. and now run by Gianluca and another son, Gianbruno.

He also owned real estate in the neighborhood and let some of his tenants pay little to no rent, because he still understood the struggles of life in the city, family said.

“He had one guy in an apartment and charged him pretty much nothing,” Gianluca said. “He let him live practically rent-free … because he felt bad.”

Rottura is survived by his sons, his wife, Liliana, two grandchildren, a brother, a sister, and several nieces and nephews.

Gianluca said the hardest part is knowing his father died alone, unable to accept visitors because of a strict policy to keep infected patients isolated in order to control the spread of the virus.

“He was in a room all by himself, with a plastic tarp around him,” his son said. “We couldn’t see him. The only people he had contact with looked like astronauts.

“He was such a social guy … this was the exact opposite of who he was.”

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English Language Arts teacher charged over sex with student, 17, after ‘victim’ comes forward a decade later – The Sun

AN English Language Arts teacher faces sex abuse charges after her alleged victim came forward a decade later.

Deborah Parker, 55, of La Pine High School in Deschutes County, Oregon, was arrested on Friday over allegations that she had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old male during the 2010-11 academic year.

The accusations reportedly came to light earlier this month after a different student, now at the University of Oregon, told officials about the relationship.

The university then contacted the local sheriff's office, Detective Sgt. Jayson Janes said.

Investigators located and interviewed the alleged victim, who reportedly recounted a number of incidents of sexual abuse.

After collecting further evidence from other witnesses, detectives secured a warrant to search Parker's home, where they “were able to collect corroborating evidence and statements".

Parker was then arrested and charged on eight counts second-degree sexual abuse.

Speaking in a news release, Janes said: "The Sheriff’s Office would like to commend the reporting person and the former student for the courageous act of coming forward and sharing this information with law enforcement."

Parker is currently being held at the Deschutes County Jail on a bond of $80,000.

Anyone with further information about Parker conducting inappropriate relationships with underage students is being asked to contact Detective Doug Jackson at 541-617-3352.

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Timeline to a catastrophe: First five months of SAGE meeting notes

The definitive timeline of SAGE meetings: Five months of notes show how scientists and health officials initially wrote-off Covid as another Swine Flu leaving UK unprepared… then desperately tried to catch-up

  • SAGE minutes have been published by the UK government following pressure
  • They show how the virus was first seen as a SARS-type disease by the committee
  • But then tone changed and on March 16  they began recommending lockdown
  • Efforts then turned towards preventing a second wave of the coronavirus
  • And looking at acceptable measures for allowing schools to re-open again 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

The first five months of SAGE meeting notes have revealed how scientists and health officials initially wrote-off coronavirus as another Swine flu before realising the error and desperately trying to catch up. 

The minutes, which cover 34 meetings held by the country’s top scientists and used in the government’s response to covid, were published for the first time.  

The body is split between independent experts and Government officials. Notes reveal that SAGE had to contend with incorrect assessments in the early days of the crisis.

Professor Chris Witty, left, Matt Hancock and professor of public health John Newton take the Downing Street press conference on May 21

Details on the testing and surveillance capacity of the UK was flawed and poor intelligence from oversees combined with a failure to learn from the Sars outbreak of 2003. 

The documents also show that there was a fear of overreacting to the coronavirus pandemic.

It is thought to have been borne out of a perceived overreaction to the Swine Flu pandemic of 2009.

Evidence gathering and analysis seems to have been prioritised over taking immediate action.  

The World Health Organisation’s health emergencies programme director Dr Mike Ryan told the Daily Telegraph: ‘If you need to be right before you move, you will never win.’

But the documents do show that SAGE caught up quickly and changed tack when the committee believed evidence required a new course of action. 

Minutes show how SAGE was able to quickly publicise and make the case for lockdown.

January 22: Nine days before first UK case, committee says people arriving from Wuhan should not be isolated

SAGE met for the first time in January as a ‘precautionary’ measure, 22 days after the virus was reported in China and nine days before the first case is identified in the UK.

The committee noted testing capacity in Wuhan has already been ‘overwhelmed’ and says there is evidence of person-to-person transmission.

In a relaxed tone it also talked about the then lack of evidence on whether individuals are infectious before showing symptoms and what the viral incubation period is.

Drawing on knowledge from SARS epidemic, they say individuals arriving in the UK from Wuhan ‘are no longer at risk if they show no symptoms for 14 days’ but says port of entry screening is ‘not advised’.

Closing in a calm fashion, they said: ‘The UK currently has good centralised diagnostic capacity for WN-CoV – and is days away from a specific test, which is scale-able across the UK in weeks.’

January 22: The first SAGE meeting focusing on the virus, which then appeared to have been cornered in China, ended with a positive and upbeat tone

Another medic in hazmat suit is seen checking the medical equipment inside the hospital’s intensive care units. Nine people have been killed by the virus since it emerged last month

A health worker wearing protective gear pictured in Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak

February: Restrictions on transport will buy, at most, 15 days before an epidemic hits – but the NHS needs a month to prepare

Three days after the first case is identified on British soil, SAGE starts warning of a fast approaching epidemic.

It predicts the number of cases are doubling every four to five days, while the number of cases in China could be as high as 300,000.

Turning to transport restrictions, however, they said that even reducing the number of imported infections by 90 per cent would only buy an estimated 15 days.

‘Only a month of additional preparation time for the NHS would be meaningful,’ they said. ‘To prevent imported infections along these lines would require draconian and coordinated measures, because direct flights from China are not the only route for infected individuals to enter the UK.’ 

January 28: SAGE’s early understanding of the virus based on data coming out of China is listed above

February 3: SAGE warns restrictions can only buy up to 15 days – falling short of the month the NHS will need to prepare

As Britain dithered China got to work building hospitals from scratch. Pictured is a hospital for around 2,000 medical workers to treat patients in Leishanshan or Thunder God Hospital, which occupies 14 acres and has 1,600 beds

Diggers pictured arriving at the hospital building site on January 29, as the UK was yet to declare its first coronavirus case 

It warns that travel restrictions at this point, even targeting only Wuhan, would have a limited impact as the virus could also arrive from other countries. 

The committee meets nine times during this month. 

On February 11 they said the government should keep working using ‘influenza pandemic assumptions’, saying an epidemic could peak around two to three months from then.

‘It is expected that all parts of the UK would be impacted at about the same time,’ they said, ‘with only small delays between regions’.

‘When there is sustained transmission in the UK, contact tracing will no longer be useful,’ they said.

February 11: SAGE shifts away from SARS and suggests that the government should work on the assumption coronavirus is going to behave like an influenza pandemic

February 25: Lockdown is mentioned for the first time

SAGE suddenly switches its tone on February 25 to warn that interventions should seek to ‘contain, delay and reduce the peak’ of coronavirus ‘in that order’.

‘SAGE discussed a paper modelling four non-pharmaceutical interventions: University and school closures, home isolation, household quarantine and social distancing, with use of interventions in combination,’ they said.

‘All measures require implementation for a significant duration in order to be effective.’

Despite the mention it was still almost a month before the UK introduced a lockdown as ministers considered alternative outcomes.

February 25: SAGE switches its tone to lockdown for the first time, reflecting growing concern

March: UK has 10,000 cases at least and is four to five weeks behind Italy, meaning testing is ‘now a priority’

 As early as March 3 SAGE began to warn that an agreement on ‘optimal timing’ for behavioural and social interventions will be needed.

The committee also starts to discuss social distancing for the over 65s which it says will ‘have a significant effect on overall deaths and peak demand fro critical care beds, but will not significantly reduce overall transmission’.

Proposing a timeline on March 5, they suggest symptomatic individuals should start isolating with their families to delay the virus’ spread, with isolation for the over 65s to be implemented two weeks later.

A patient suffering from COVID-19 is seen in an intensive care unit (ICU) in Covid ward

SAGE warned that the UK was tracking Italy’s trajectory as early as March (Bergamo pictured)

March 5: SAGE warns that there are no scientific grounds  to move away from a containment focus in the UK

March 10: UK is predicted to have thousands of cases. At the time only 373 had been identified

March 10: PHE is asked to work out how it will get more tests, seen to be a key measure

March 13: SAGE warns that the virus may be moving across the UK faster than expected

On March 10 they suggest the UK has around 10,000 cases with ‘transmission underway’. At this time the country had only identified 373 cases officially.

There is also a sense of growing fury with PHE, as it’s recommended more tests are ‘now the priority’.

‘A test for frontline diagnostics may come from the private sector,’ they said, and recommended PHE should immediately assess how it could scale up testing from 1,00 to 10,000 a week.

Adding to mounting concern, they said: ‘The UK is considered to be four to five weeks behind Italy but on a similar curve (six to eight weeks behind if interventions are applied)’.

On March 13 they warn the UK has ‘more cases… than SAGE previously expected at this point, and we may therefore be further ahead on the epidemic curve’.

They call for social distancing measures to be implemented ‘soon’, and say they are keen to make their modelling available ‘to the public and fellow scientists’.

SAGE often drew comparisons with Italy at this time, where the virus was a few weeks ahead. Pictured is a nurse with a patient in Contugno 

March 16: Calls for social distancing ‘as soon as possible’

 The SAGE committee, already stating the virus is accelerating faster than previously thought, calls for social distancing measures to be implemented ‘as soon as possible’.

‘These additional measures will need to be accompanied by a significant increase in testing and the availability of near real-time data flows to understand their impacts,’ they said.

The number of cases has also been ramped up to an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 new infections a day, with the total number doubling every five to six days. 

By March 16 the UK had identified 1,543 cases and recorded 40 deaths due to coronavirus

March 16: SAGE advises that social distancing measures are introduced ‘as soon as possible’

March 16: They also forecast there are up to 10,000 new cases a day in the country, with the total number doubling every five to six days

March 16: The committee also piled pressure on to PHE to find a way to ramp up testing

Two days later the committee recommends schools should be closed ‘as soon as practicable’ to prevent NHS intensive care capacity being exceeded.

Discussing the closure of restaurants, bars, cafes and offices, they said: ‘If interventions are required, it would be better to act early’. 

Despite the warning the government did not ask bars, restaurants, cafes and gyms to close until March 20, and did not begin a lockdown until March 23.

March 23: UK announces nationwide lockdown

SAGE also held a meeting on this day where it warned there is a ‘higher reproduction number’ of coronavirus in the country than previously anticipated.

Some measures had already been brought in and while they indicated ‘significant changes’, they said there is still ‘room for improvement in compliance rates’.

Noting changes in London, the then epicentre, they said footfall in the capital’s transport hubs had dropped by 90 per cent but had not decreased as much at retail and food outlets.

The number of people in parks had also trebled, they said.

Boris Johnson told the UK to lockdown on March 23 (pictured). He was admitted to hospital with the virus on April 5

Police gather at Newcastle’s Monument, moving on people who gather in a bid keep the population social distancing in order to stop the coronavirus spreading on Monday

March 23: The day the lockdown is announced SAGE urges more action on testing, and says they aim to get tests to 110,000 by mid-April, 15 days before Matt Hancocks lower target of 100,000 tests

They also began targeting 110,000 coronavirus tests a day by mid-April, more than 15 days ahead of Matt Hanock’s May 1 target.

‘NHS testing capacity in the UK is currently at around 5,000 a day, to be increased to 15,000 a day by mid-April,’ they said.

‘A platform in partnership with the private sector has been established to aim to increase capacity to 110,000 a day by mid-April.

April: Preventing a second wave with vaccines and social distancing

With lockdown in place, SAGE turned its attention to working to avoid a second wave so that the damaging measures do not need to be re-imposed.

They noted that therapeutics and a vaccine would both play a ‘critical role’ in the permanent lifting of restrictions.

The committee also began to discuss whether face masks could work – first saying that despite ‘weak evidence’ the virus may be able to survive on them for up to seven days.

On April 30 they also advised for ‘comprehensive availability and deployment’ of the seasonal flu vaccine this winter.

A coronavirus vaccine developed in Britain may not stop those treated being infected. Pictured: A volunteer is injected with the vaccine in Oxford University’s trial

Vaccine trials were launched at Oxford University. They have been moved to human trials despite mounting criticism

April 7: As lockdown takes effect SAGE reports that Covid-19s spread appears to be slowing

April 7: They also begin to consider a possible exit strategy which will not cause a second wave

They also continued to advise ministers on the lockdown, continuously noting that case numbers had first been arrested before beginning to fall.

‘Relatively small changes to social distancing measures could push R back above one in the community,’ they said in early April, ‘It is therefore too early to recommend releasing any measures’.

By April 7 they had already noted transmission ‘may be slowing’ and, two days later that the virus could have ‘reached its peak’ with hospital admissions ‘stabilising’ and the number of people in ICU ‘flattening’.

By April 30 they said: ‘Hospital admissions are declining consistently across the country’.

SAGE also noted that it welcomed the government’s decision to release the names of the committee.

Prime minister Boris Johnson was admitted to hospital was the virus on April 5. 

Matt Hancock set a target for 100,000 tests a day by May 1, 15 days behind the recommendation of SAGE

At this point SAGE continued to say that cases were stabalising. Pictured is the ExCel Centre in London, which was transformed into an NHS Nightingale hospital

Inside London’s ExCel hospital which has been mothballed at present as cases in the UK drop

April 30: Vaccines are considered crucial to finding a way out of the pandemic. SAGE also advised that stocks of seasonal flu vaccine should be prepared

April 23: Warning about care homes

SAGE notes for the first time a ‘small but significant’ portion of deaths are related to care homes, rather than hospitals.

On April 30 they added, ‘understanding the causes of transmission in care homes is more challenging’ before listing limiting factors.

April 23: SAGE warns that there is a growing number of deaths in the UK’s care homes

May: Schools should only re-open if ‘effective measures are in place to monitor the effects and to respond to cases’

Minutes published by the government revealed that SAGE continued to discuss how to ease lockdown restrictions without causing a second wave in early May.

A large portion of this focused on schools, and whether or not they should be asked to unbolt their gates to pupils again.

SAGE advised that, for this to happen, ‘effective measures should be in place to monitor the effects of any change in schools, and to respond to cases within schools.’

Schools are set to return on Monday with social distancing measures in place. Pictured is Grove Road Primary School in Tring, Hertfordshire

May 11: SAGE releases its advice on bringing back schools to the government, saying effective monitoring measures will be needed. Pupils are set to return on June 1 despite ongoing alleged problems with the track and trace system

‘Indirect effects of re-opening schools (regardless of which option is taken) are likely to have a greater impact on transmission than schools themselves (e.g. work-related reopening, behaviour changes),’ they said.

‘For a variety of reasons re-opening options relating to younger children are lower risk than those related to older children’.

They also note previous work which showed young children may be less susceptible to infection, up to the age of 13, although it is not clear whether transmissibility by children is lower in adults.

The government has asked pupils in Reception, four and five years old, Year One,  five and six years old, and Year Six, aged nine to ten years old, to go back to school on Monday.

As schools prepare to return to work thousands flock to the coast. Pictured: Visitors and sunbathers flock to Durdle Door at Lulworth in Dorset on a scorching hot sunny day

People in England have been urged not to ‘tear the pants out’ of new looser lockdown rules. Pictured,sunseekers in Parsons Green, Fulham yesterday evening

However, this is being done against a backdrop of issues getting the contact-tracing system up and running, which appears to be against SAGE guidance.

SAGE has said that for this system to be effective it must catch at least 80 per cent of contacts and isolate those with Covid-19 within 48 hours, meaning a rapid test turnaround is needed.

In a meeting on May 7 they also criticised the government’s idea of ‘bubbles’, stating they pose ‘potential unforseen risks’ and could lead to the establishment of transmission networks.

‘As steps are taken to ease the lockdown,’ they said, ‘each needs to be accompanied by very clear communication of the continued public health justification for remaining restrictions.’ 

May 11: Boris Johnson announces the first easing of lockdown restrictions

The Prime Minister announced the first moves to ease lockdown.

He said anyone who can’t work from home is encouraged to go back to work, allowed the public unlimited outdoor exercise and gave permission to drive to other destinations.

However, as minutes have only been published up to May 7, we cannot see what scientific advice was followed. 

‘Ministers must decide’: Sir Patrick Vallance defends government’s right to decide when to ease lockdown

Sir Patrick Vallance, above at the daily press conference in Downing Street on Thursday, says it is up to ministers to make decisions on lockdown and for Sage to advise

The chair of the government’s Sage board has said it is for the government to decide when to ease lockdown measures, after one professor on the advisory panel claimed there was a risk to changing the rules now.

Sir Patrick Vallance, who heads up the advisory board of scientists guiding the government through this pandemic, backed Mr Johnson’s decision by saying it is up to politicians to make such decisions.

Boris Johnson has announced that, from Monday, people will be permitted to meet in groups of up to six people, shops will reopen and some children will go back to school.

However Professor John Edmunds, an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said the Prime Minister had ‘clearly made a political decision’ because the threat of a second peak remains high.

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, Sir Patrick explained Sage was only there to advise politicians, who have the final say on what to do with evidence presented to them.

Sir Patrick, the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government since March 2018, wrote: ‘Science advice to Cobr and to ministers needs to be direct and given without fear or favour. But it is advice. Ministers must decide and have to take many other factors into consideration.’

The chair of Sage explained the advisory board was not infallible, writing: ‘There is a range of opinions in all of discussions and there is wide reading of the latest research, but what Sage endeavours to do is come down to a position or a range of positions, to provide options ministers could consider and explain the uncertainties and assumptions inherent in that science and evidence.’  

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