New York eases ban on group gatherings

Karen Matthews and Deepti Hajela, Associated Press

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo dropped the state’s absolute ban on gatherings of any size on Friday, allowing up to 10 people to group together as long as they still abide by social distancing regulations.

The order, issued on the eve of the Memorial Day weekend, represents one of the biggest steps yet the state has taken to loosen rules adopted in March that have barred anyone but essential workers from gathering unless they live in the same household.

However the order still requires people assembling to follow “social distancing protocols and cleaning and disinfection protocols required by the Department of Health”.

That means people still need to stay at least six feet away from other people, or wear a mask or face covering when they cannot maintain that distance in public.

New Jersey has adopted similar rules, allowing groups of up to 25 outdoors and indoor gatherings of up to 10 people.

Global coronavirus cases and deaths (PA Graphics)

Mr Cuomo had earlier in the week signed an order allowing gatherings of as many as 10 people only for religious services and Memorial Day commemorations.

That restriction drew a lawsuit from the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), which said if it was safe to gather for the purpose of honouring veterans and holding religious ceremonies, the Constitution requires the same right be extended to people gathering for other reasons.

The NYCLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of New York City resident Linda Bouferguen, who the group says was twice arrested outside City Hall for protesting the state’s shutdown.

She wants to organise another protest on Saturday.

NYCLU Legal Director Christopher Dunn said in a statement that the organisation was “glad to see the governor reverse course.”

“The right to protest and exercise free speech is the foundation of all our other liberties, and during a crisis is exactly when we need to be most vigilant about protecting it.

“Health experts, elected officials and police officers all agree that people can be outside safely while practising social distancing, and it’s critical that lawmakers create guidelines and direct law enforcement uniformly.”

Mr Cuomo’s spokesman Rich Azzopardi said the new order is in line with Centres for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, which says that gatherings of up to 10 people are safe if people socially distance.

“Please be safe and wear a mask,” he added on Twitter.

The coronavirus killed another 109 people in the state on Thursday.

The daily death toll is down dramatically from early April but has stubbornly remained at just above 100 for five consecutive days.

Around 5,000 people remain hospitalised.

  • 'We've got to do something': Republican rebels come together to take on Trump
    Politics
    The Guardian

    'We've got to do something': Republican rebels come together to take on Trump

    'We've got to do something': Republican rebels come together to take on Trump. A slew of organized Republican groups have sprung up to do all they can to defeat Trump in November. Will their effort work?

  • Coronavirus news: Packed scenes spark concern as pubs reopen across England and holiday makers flock to coast
    Entertainment
    The Independent

    Coronavirus news: Packed scenes spark concern as pubs reopen across England and holiday makers flock to coast

    People relished their first pub drinks in more than three months, went to restaurants and finally got haircuts on Saturday as England took its biggest steps yet towards the resumption of normal life after the coronavirus lockdown.Some pubs started serving from 6 am, sparking worries of over-indulgence, while a number of hairdressers were reported to have opened at the stroke of midnight.

  • Sunak considers £500 vouchers for all UK adults to spend in Covid-hit firms
    News
    The Guardian

    Sunak considers £500 vouchers for all UK adults to spend in Covid-hit firms

    Sunak considers £500 vouchers for all UK adults to spend in Covid-hit firmsChancellor urged to introduce a scheme that has jump-started other countries’ blighted hospitality and retail sectors * Coronavirus – latest updates * See all our coronavirus coverage

  • UK coronavirus death toll rises by 67 to 44,198
    News
    The Independent

    UK coronavirus death toll rises by 67 to 44,198

    The UK’s coronavirus death toll has risen by 67 in 24 hours to 44,198, according to the latest government figures.The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said 44,198 people had now died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for the disease in the UK, as of 5pm on Friday 3 July.

  • It's sad David Starkey's career has ended this way but the fallout sends a clear message that racism will not be tolerated
    News
    The Independent

    It's sad David Starkey's career has ended this way but the fallout sends a clear message that racism will not be tolerated

    I am sorry to tell David Starkey that he brought all this furore on himself. Whatever possessed this highly educated man to utter such vile comments?I agree with Sajid Javid and David Olusoga that this mind-set is extremely worrying and disturbing and should be called out, as it widely has been. It is sad to finish an illustrious career like this, but this widespread condemnation is encouraging and sends out an irrefutable message that such casual and dire racist comments will not be tolerated.

  • Coronavirus: Packed Soho scenes spark concern as pubs and bars reopen
    News
    The Independent

    Coronavirus: Packed Soho scenes spark concern as pubs and bars reopen

    Concern has been raised over the reopening of pubs in London after scenes from Soho appeared to show people failing to observe social distancing rules.Numerous pictures and videos have been shared online of packed, crowded streets in the famous London district.

  • Health
    Sky News

    Coronavirus: World has seen record 24-hour rise in COVID-19 cases - WHO

    The world has seen a record rise in coronavirus cases over a 24-hour period, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said. The new record is 212,326, with the biggest rise in infections coming in the US , Brazil and India . In the US, there were a further 53,213 cases reported in the latest 24-hour period, ahead of Brazil (48,105) and India (22,771).

  • Police smash car window of man on way home from C4 interview about police racism
    News
    The Guardian

    Police smash car window of man on way home from C4 interview about police racism

    Police smash car window of man on way home from C4 interview about police racism. Ryan Colaço had been driving home from interview and was wrongly accused of concealing drugs

  • Why do Muslim states stay silent over China’s abuse of the Uighurs?
    News
    The Guardian

    Why do Muslim states stay silent over China’s abuse of the Uighurs?

    Why do Muslim states stay silent over China’s abuse of the Uighurs?Nations that claim to be defenders of the faith offer no protest to the concentration camps

  • In pictures: UK's 'Super Saturday' as pubs and restaurants reopen
    News
    Yahoo News UK

    In pictures: UK's 'Super Saturday' as pubs and restaurants reopen

    Pubs and restaurants have finally reopened in England following months of closure due to the coronavirus lockdown.The first pints were poured as restrictions were eased at 6am on so-called Super Saturday.Chancellor Rishi Sunak has welcomed the reopening of businesses, which included hairdressers.On a visit to The Bell & Crown in Chiswick, west London, he said: “The hospitality sector is a vital part of our economy and crucial to people’s livelihoods – Britain’s pubs and bars alone employ almost half a million people – which is why it’s such good news that so many people are able to return to work this weekend, helping us all to enjoy summer safely.”Read more: Pubs open in UK for ‘Super Saturday’, but Covid-19 could crash the partyBut the government has urged the public not to get carried away with the new freedoms.Prime minister Boris Johson warned on Friday night “we are not out of the woods yet” and added ministers “will not hesitate in putting on the brakes and re-imposing restrictions” in case of an outbreak.Health secretary Matt Hancock told the Daily Mail people were entitled to enjoy themselves at pubs but added: “You could end up behind bars if you break the law.”He also said he would not “shirk” from shutting pubs and restaurants again, and imposing local lockdowns if needed.Pubs in Wales and Scotland must remain closed until later this month as the devolved nations are lifting their own lockdown rules more slowly, but hotels, bars, restaurants and cafes in Northern Ireland reopened on Friday.In England, couples could also get married again and cinemas were also allowed to open on Saturday.Read more: Boris Johnson tells Britons to behave responsibly as pubs re-open

  • Agents of SHIELD's Clark Gregg and Dirty Dancing's Jennifer Grey are divorcing after 19 years together
    Celebrity
    Digital Spy

    Agents of SHIELD's Clark Gregg and Dirty Dancing's Jennifer Grey are divorcing after 19 years together

    "We remain close and are deeply grateful for the life we've shared."

  • Big increase in job centre staff to be announced in wake of Covid-19 outbreak
    Business
    PA Media: UK News

    Big increase in job centre staff to be announced in wake of Covid-19 outbreak

    The Chancellor is set to outline policies aimed at dealing with Britain's recovery from the outbreak on Wednesday.

  • Is London's lockdown over? Revellers enjoy drinks in Soho and Leicester Square
    News
    Newsflare

    Is London's lockdown over? Revellers enjoy drinks in Soho and Leicester Square

    Social distancing was in short supply in central London's Soho and Leicester Square on Super Saturday (July 4), when coronavirus lockdown rules were eased and pubs and restaurants reopened.

  • Trump struggles to say 'totalitarianism' in dark Independence Day speech at Mount Rushmore
    Politics
    The Independent

    Trump struggles to say 'totalitarianism' in dark Independence Day speech at Mount Rushmore

    In a speech in front of Mount Rushmore, President Donald Trump appeared to slur as he stumbled over several words - most notably “totalitarianism”.The speech to mark Independence Day was an official presidential address that at times felt more like a campaign event, and saw the president accuse “angry mobs” of deploying “cancel culture” to demand “total submission from anyone who disagrees” - referring to protests regarding statues of controversial historical figures.

  • Epstein prosecutor who claimed Prince Andrew was not co-operating to give testimony next week
    News
    The Telegraph

    Epstein prosecutor who claimed Prince Andrew was not co-operating to give testimony next week

    The prosecutor locked in a tussle to get Prince Andrew to give evidence about Jeffrey Epstein for much of this year will appear before a congressional committee this week, potentially throwing new light on the matter. Geoffrey Berman was the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, the unit leading the Epstein investigation, until last month when he was controversially sacked by the Trump administration for reasons that remain unclear. Mr Berman will appear before the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on Thursday and is expected to face hours of questioning from members, offering an insight into his work and unexpected dismissal. The testimony will be given behind closed doors, meaning the public cannot watch along with proceedings, but it is not uncommon for newsworthy comments to find their way into the press via leaks.

  • UK coronavirus LIVE: Super Saturday not 'risk-free' as England has first night out since lockdown
    News
    Evening Standard

    UK coronavirus LIVE: Super Saturday not 'risk-free' as England has first night out since lockdown

    People across England have had their first night out in three months, after coronavirus restrictions were eased .Hundreds of thousands of people visited pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas as they opened their doors on "Super Saturday" under modified social distancing regulations.

  • Flag-waving activists ridiculed for Scottish border coronavirus ‘patrol’
    News
    The Independent

    Flag-waving activists ridiculed for Scottish border coronavirus ‘patrol’

    Activists have been ridiculed and criticised for appearing to patrol the Scottish border, amid concerns people from England are bringing coronavirus into the country.In a video shared and condemned by Jamie Halcro Johnston, the MSP for Highlands & Islands, a group of people dressed in protective equipment can be seen waving Scottish flags while playing music.

  • Questions raised over whether virus sample in Wuhan lab could cause Covid-19
    Science
    The Independent

    Questions raised over whether virus sample in Wuhan lab could cause Covid-19

    Scientists have raised fresh questions over whether a coronavirus sample held for years in a Wuhan laboratory could have mutated naturally or via genetic experimentation to become the virus which causes Covid-19.Since the Sars pandemic in 2003, China-based researchers have been scouring bat-inhabited caves in the hope of tracking and analysing potential new coronaviruses, notably at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).

  • Trump claims 'victory' as US sees Covid-19 case records in multiple states
    Politics
    The Guardian

    Trump claims 'victory' as US sees Covid-19 case records in multiple states

    Trump claims 'victory' as US sees Covid-19 case records in multiple states. Florida says confirmed cases up by record 11,458 but president claims US on the way to ‘tremendous victory’ over coronavirus

  • UK historian quits Cambridge over slavery claim
    News
    AFP

    UK historian quits Cambridge over slavery claim

    A British royal historian who said slavery was not genocide has quit his honorary position at Cambridge University and been dropped by his publisher HarperCollins.

  • How not to do Covid: Kazakhstan first country in the world to fully return to lockdown
    News
    The Telegraph

    How not to do Covid: Kazakhstan first country in the world to fully return to lockdown

    Kazakhstan will on Sunday become the first nation in the world to re-impose a country-wide lockdown after its easing in mid-May of largely successful measures to counter coronavirus sparked a surge in infections. The central Asian country, which borders Russia in the north-west and China in the east, appeared to have contained the disease after a two-month lockdown with just a few thousand confirmed Covid-19 cases. But Kazakhstan, home to 18 million, embraced its re-discovered freedoms with gusto. Family-oriented Kazakhs went back and forth to see relatives, and police would routinely bust wedding parties of up to 100 people as large gatherings were still banned. Cafes and gyms were busy again, and borders were opened to ease travel. Now it is faced with a total of 44,000 confirmed cases. Its hospitals - unlike previously - are over-stretched. Kazakhstan is a cautionary tale for all others exiting lockdown. Travel will be limited again, working hours of public transport cut down, non-essential businesses closed, and two cities in Kazakhstan’s east will be closed. Social media has been flooded with images of ambulances lining up outside hospitals. Kazakhs got so spooked about the growing outbreak that lines have formed at pharmacies this week as people started hoarding medicine, triggering shortages. On Thursday, 70,000 packets of paracetamol delivered to pharmacies in Almaty, the country's biggest city sold out within half an hour. Saule Atygayeva, chief infectious disease doctor in the capital city of Nur-Sultan, held back tears as she told the Khabar TV channel: “I have been working for 28 years, and I have never seen anything like this before. A lot of people are dying just because people don’t care about anything. They’re out on streets, going to parties, infecting each other.” Lukpan Akhmedyarov, a newspaper editor in the town of Uralsk by the Russian border, told The Sunday Telegraph: "Most people simply did not believe there was any danger. The message from authorities was that we have passed the peak. But we can see now that we’re just getting close to it. “The number of cases we had back in March was dozens. Now we’re recording hundreds of new cases every day, doctors have no energy any longer, and people have no money.” Although the official death tolls stands at just 200, it is believed the true figure is much higher. But it is still a fraction of those suffered in many countries, including the UK, where 44,000 have died. During the spring lockdown, authorities sealed off neighbourhoods for days, locked up blocks of flats where a Covid-19 case was confirmed, and put up checkpoints. But there was a backlash when people emerged from the quarantine. Kundiz Ospan, 37, a lawyer from Almaty, and her family followed lockdown restrictions but several days after her husband, also a lawyer, went back to his office in mid-May, the family got ill. “What we’re going through right now is what Italy had in March." she said. Ms Ospan said some of her gym friends ridiculed her for missing work-out sessions at the end of the lockdown. “People thought that it was some non-existing disease because they didn’t know anyone who had it,” she said. When she posted on Facebook that she was down with coronavirus, she started receiving hate messages. “Now every family has someone who’s been ill,” she said.

  • Exclusive: Bill Clinton, Ghislaine Maxwell and the inside story of their trip to Britain
    Celebrity
    The Telegraph

    Exclusive: Bill Clinton, Ghislaine Maxwell and the inside story of their trip to Britain

    When Bill Clinton flew into London in September 2002 doors naturally flew open for him. He had stepped down as President of the United States after two terms only the year before and was on his way to address the Labour Party conference. Among the doors that opened were those to Buckingham Palace, when the Duke of York invited him to tour the Queen’s London home. At the time no one could imagine the visit would come back to haunt those taking part. But it has, following The Telegraph’s discovery of this astonishing photograph of Ghislaine Maxwell, first printed on Saturday, sitting on the ornate seat the Queen used for her Coronation in 1953 – in breach of all protocol. Next to her is Mr Clinton’s friend Kevin Spacey – then Hollywood royalty and shortly to become artistic director of the Old Vic – in the place normally occupied by the Duke of Edinburgh. Ms Maxwell is now ensconced in the far more spartan surroundings of a police cell in New Hampshire after her arrest on Thursday, following a year-long investigation by the FBI. She is charged with helping to recruit and groom underage girls for her ex-boyfriend, the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, also a friend of the Duke, and faces questions over the extent of the Duke’s knowledge of events. Spacey’s career and reputation were left in tatters after he was accused in 2017 of making unwanted sexual advances to a 14-year-old actor and a string of other young men. Charges against him were later dropped. And the Duke is now at the centre of the scandal surrounding Epstein’s sordid activities, with US prosecutors saying they would “welcome” his testimony as part of the ongoing FBI investigation. At the time the photograph, had it been released to the public, would have been seen as a lighthearted – if somewhat disrespectful – memento of a celebrity visit. But with the passing of the years this snap is now raising eyebrows around the world, and has come to assume a much more disturbing significance, showing just how close Ghislaine Maxwell was at the time to her friend the Duke. It was the Duke, after all, who had invited her and Spacey, along with Mr Clinton, to the private tour of Buckingham Palace. Mr Clinton was in London en route to the Labour Party conference in Blackpool, where he would be guest of honour. There he wowed delegates and Cabinet ministers alike, confirming his reputation as a natural and mesmerising orator when he gave the keynote address as international guest speaker. On the evening of the speech, Mr Clinton expressed a desire for a burger and was accompanied by Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s director of communications, to a McDonald’s on Blackpool’s Golden Mile – to the astonishment of the locals, and in particular the teenager who served him. Among the burger party in Blackpool was Spacey, who had come up from London with Mr Clinton. Before arriving in the UK, the pair spent seven days on a tour of Africa, along with Ms Maxwell and the American actor Chris Tucker, on Epstein’s private jet, a Boeing 727 – reportedly nicknamed the "Lolita Express". Photographs obtained by The Telegraph show Mr Clinton posing for the cameras with his arm around Ms Maxwell on the steps to the plane. It is not clear if Epstein was present on that humanitarian trip to Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, Mozambique, and South Africa organised for the Clinton Foundation. Flight logs appear to show the former president was a frequent user of Epstein’s jet, taking at least 26 trips on the plane. In the early years of his post-presidency, Mr Clinton took four trips on the private plane with stops in Europe, Africa and Asia, in at least one case with Epstein present. Indeed the same year as the Africa trip, Mr Clinton, in a magazine profile, praised Epstein for his charitable work.

  • Kanye West running for president in 2020: Kim Kardashian West and Elon Musk react
    Celebrity
    The Independent

    Kanye West running for president in 2020: Kim Kardashian West and Elon Musk react

    Kim Kardashian West has reacted to the the news that her husband, Kanye West, will run for president in 2020.The rapper and fashion designer announced his bid on Independence Day, with just four months until polling day on 3 November, the

  • Trump news - US president struggles with series of words during Mount Rushmore speech as Pence calls him 'my father' in campaign ad
    Politics
    The Independent

    Trump news - US president struggles with series of words during Mount Rushmore speech as Pence calls him 'my father' in campaign ad

    Donald Trump accused "angry mobs" of trying to erase US history by removing statues in a dark and divisive Independence Day speech on Friday evening from Mount Rushmore.Painting himself as a bulwark against left-wing extremism, the US president barely mentioned the coronavirus pandemic, despite the country that setting a new record for confirmed new cases, as he struggled to correctly pronounce a series of words.

  • Trump claims 99% of US Covid-19 cases are 'totally harmless' as infections surge
    Politics
    The Guardian

    Trump claims 99% of US Covid-19 cases are 'totally harmless' as infections surge

    Trump claims 99% of US Covid-19 cases are 'totally harmless' as infections surge. President’s White House speech capping 4 July celebrations says US coronavirus strategy is ‘moving along well’