Company sues Trump allies for $2.7bn

The COVID Diaries – 283 4th February

Smartmatic USA, whose technology was used in Los Angeles county during the 2020 presidential election, is suing Fox News, three of its top hosts and two former Donald Trump lawyers for $2.7bn.

The charge is that the defendants worked together to spread false claims stating that the company had conspired to help “steal” the election.

The election was, ofcourse, won by Joe Biden and no evidence has been produced that supports claims of a “steal”.

The nation salutes a hero

The COVID Diaries – 282 3rd February

This evening at 6pm people across the nation joined together to clap for Captain Sir Tom Moore who died yesterday at the age of 100.

Sir Tom, a veteran of the Second World War, had captured Britain’s imagination last year when he raised more than £30m for NHS related charities. In April 2020, wearing three military medals, he walked 100 laps of his garden in April 2020.

He cannot have anticipated the media coverage this would generate. Here was a story of hope at a desperately difficult time. Before he completed the final part of his 2,530 yard walk, he was saluted by four soldiers of the Yorkshire Regiment, witnessed by television viewers around the world.

An RAF flypast was to follow as he sat in his garden on his 100th birthday on 30th April.

. “Raising a clenched fist, I punched the air and cheered along with everyone else, thrilled to bits by this timely reminder of all that helps make this country great,” he wrote after the event.    

PM ‘optimistic’ about summer holidays

The COVID Diaries – 281 1st February

Boris Johnson has told journalists he is “optimistic” that it will be possible to go on summer holidays this year.

However, given the prime minister’s habit of over promising and under delivering, many remain sceptical.

Although infection rates may now be falling, they are still at a very high level.

Mass exodus of jobs?

The COVID Diaries – 280 39th January

The Observer newspaper has revealed that since 1st January, 500 companies have enquired about setting up some form of base such as a warehouse or depot in the Netherlands for “Brexit-related reasons”. Most of these are either owned or based in the UK.

This potential exodus suggests that Britain could face huge job losses.

Infection rate decreases but is still high

The COVID Diaries – 279 29th January

Another 1,245 deaths linked to Covid-19 have been recorded in the United Kingdom, taking the total to104,371.

A further 29,079 people tested positive, while 414,419 people were given their first vaccine dose.

The latest updated figures show that deaths, cases and hospital admissions over the past seven days are all now decreasing compared to the previous week. However, there is serious concern that a relaxation in lockdown rules will result in cases rising again.

Difficulties at ports

The COVID Diary – 278 28th January

Britain’s largest business groups have warned the government that companies are facing “substantial difficulties” at ports in the United Kingdom, with the likelihood that there will be a “significant loss of business” if the situation is allowed to continue.

Following a round table meeting on Thursday evening with government minister Michael Grove, business groups said the government needed to act quickly to overcome “the sizeable obstacles” faced by exporters.

No return to school after half-term

The COVID Diaries – 277 27th January

The Government has abandoned any idea that school pupils in England will return to classrooms after February half-term.

Boris Johnson has told MPs that the earliest date schools will reopen is 8th March, and this is not certain.

The UK recorded 1,725 deaths yesterday, the second highest level during the pandemic

Another dreadful milestone

The COVID Diaries – 276 26th January

There have now been over 100,000 coronavirus deaths in the United Kingdom, which has one of the worst death rates in the world. 

Despite being a rich country, in comparison to others such as Vietnam, Taiwan and Australia, the UK’s response has been a disaster.

High Street carnage

The COVID Diaries – 275 25th January

On line retailer Boohoo has bought the website and on-line operations of Debenhams together with its fashion labels including Maine and Principles. However, all its department stores will close and it will disappear from the High Street.

A similar fate seems to await TopShop, TopMan and Miss Selfridge following the collapse of Sir Phillip Green’s Arcadia group. Online fashion retailer Asos is now in exclusive negotiations to buy the brands but is unlikely to want the stores.

On a day of carnage for the High Street, it was also announced that the historic Jenners Department store in Edinburgh will close.

Will schools reopen after Easter?

The COVID Diaries – 274 24th January

Parents are facing the prospect of months of schooling at home as the government has refused to commit to schools reopening even after the Easter holidays. Even a phased return is looking less likely in the short term.

Although the rate of Covid-19 infections is showing signs of starting to slow, it is not falling nearly as sharply as had been expected.