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World War 2 mystery: Roosevelt’s car lurks in ‘Titanic’ shipwreck off Icelandic coast

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The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest continuous campaign of World War 2, as it spanned the full six-year conflict. Nazi Germany dominated western Europe throughout much of the war, as Britain stood alone in opposition to Adolf Hitler after the fall of France. The German war machine seemed unstoppable after Dunkirk, when British forces were heroically rescued from the beaches of northern France.

Hitler assumed Britain would lobby for peace ‒ but Sir Winston Churchill was having none of it, vowing to “never surrender”.

After the RAF defiantly fought off the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain, the war changed dynamic slightly as Hitler attempted to strangle UK supplies by cutting off the Atlantic. 

German U-Boats flooded the English Channel and wreaked havoc ‒ sinking military and merchant vessels at will, regardless of whether or not civilians were on board.

This only got worse after Operation Barbarossa ‒ the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1942 ‒ as the Allies desperately tried to send supplies to Russia.

German U-Boats, knowing full-well that ships in these waters were sending supplies to Moscow from London and Washington, desperately and very effectively picked them off.

Iceland, then, became a key checkpoint during the war, as its strategic position was vital for any vessel making the journey east. 

Hitler was all too aware and directed his U-Boats, often stationed in Nazi-occupied Norway, to target vessels coming in and out of Reykjavik. 

One such vessel was the SS Godafoss ‒ carrying cargo and civilians from New York.

It was sunk on November 10, 1944, as the net closed in on Nazi Germany with the Soviets advancing in the east and the Allies advancing in the west after the D-Day landings.

The Godafoss was hit by a German U-Boat torpedo and sank in seven minutes. Everyone on board was killed. 

Also on board was a car that has now become the talk of legend, intended to be a gift from US President Franklin D Roosevelt to the President of Iceland, Sveinn Björnsson.

The car, which is undoubtedly priceless, was said to be a thing of beauty and even boasted a golden wheel. 

Speaking on the History Hit World Wars podcast, presenter James Rogers was joined by Icelandic film producer Jon Arsaell. 

Addressing the Godafoss, Mr Rogers asked: “Is it perhaps right to say this is Iceland’s Titanic or Iceland’s Lusitania? How has it gone down in Icelandic memory?”

Mr Arsaell replied: “Yeah, that’s a good point. It’s our Titanic accident, somehow.

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“There are books written about it. I did a television programme on it a few years ago and people are also eager to find the shipwreck.

“There have been many, many attempts to find the Godafoss on the bottom of the sea.

“Because this is our Titanic, so to speak, but also it was full of valuable things.”

Mr Arsaell then detailed what was on board the lost ship.

He added: “Among the cargo was a car that was a gift from the US President to the Icelandic President ‒ a beautiful car, it had a golden wheel.

“A lot of people are interested in finding the car and also there was a lot of copper on board the ship so the cargo was valuable.

“There was also a lot of whisky ‒ many people are interested in the liquor that was on board. 

“Now it’s 75-year-old whisky!”

Mr Rogers concluded: “Wow! So the history of the Godafoss might not be over yet, especially with treasure hunters across the world looking for lucrative bounties.”

However, Mr Arsaell had a word of warning for any would-be treasure hunters.

He said: “I took part in trips trying to find the wreckage because that was part of the film I was doing.

“We searched and searched with the newest equipment but we didn’t find anything.

“The current is hard where the ship went down and another problem is that it isn’t very deep ‒ it’s something like 40 or 50 metres deep.

“So the wind, the waves and the current are enemies in that way.” 

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William and Kate’s ‘brief’ Frogmore meeting with Harry and Meghan after family rift

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Harry and Meghan have said they “are delighted” to be able to “open up” Frogmore Cottage to Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank. On the Windsor Estate, the Berkshire house was the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s main home before they stepped down as working members of the Royal Family in March. Eugenie moving in has been seen by some royal watchers as a sign that Harry and Meghan may be planning to spend even less time in the UK than was previously thought. 

But their office insists it is still Harry and Meghan’s main UK residence ‒ despite them making no visit since moving to California. 

Frogmore was the scene of a reconciliatory meeting between the Sussex household and the Cambridge household, too.

Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge visited the property in Easter 2019 where they “chatted over a cup of tea”.

The visit was “brief, just 35 minutes, but it was the beginning of the couples’ coming together and putting things behind them”, according to Finding Freedom ‒ a sympathetic biography of Harry and Meghan written by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand. 

The authors ‒ famously close with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex ‒ claim this came after months of tension between the two families, particularly William and Harry. 

The rift is said to have started when Harry took offence at William urging him to slow down his relationship with the former US actress, referring to her as “this girl” before Harry had proposed to the future Duchess. 

Harry was unhappy at the “tone of snobbishness” that was “anathema to his approach to the world” and this bitterness between the two brothers persisted for months after Harry wed Meghan in May 2018.

But by April 2019 their relationship was beginning to thaw again, particularly after William openly supported his brother and his household in public.

Mr Scobie and Ms Durrand write: “[Harry] decided to put the past behind him and appreciate the efforts his brother had made.

“They were a family, and that was not a bond worth breaking.”

As the brothers made amends, William reportedly said: “You know what? Me and my brother, for the first time in two months, have had a really lovely conversation together.”

A Buckingham Palace aide added: “To see them warm with each other was delightful.”

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It was in the spirit of this good-will that Kate and William visited Frogmore.

Mr Scobie and Ms Durrand conclude: “Before William and Kate left, Harry excitedly showed them around the house, as it was their first time visiting Frogmore Cottage since the renovation.” 

Sadly, just months after this apparent lull in the ill-feeling between the Sussexes and the Cambridges came to an end. 

When Meghan and Harry toured southern Africa in September 2019, the Duchess opened up about the mental health struggles she had been going through as a member of the Firm.

And Harry admitted in an interview with ITV’s Tom Bradby that he and William were on “different paths”.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex then spent the Christmas period in Canada and announced their decision to step back from royal duties in January 2020.

At the subsequent Sandringham Summit, where much of their post-royal fate was decided, William is said to have been so angry with his brother that he refused to sit down for lunch with him.

While the Sussexes are not expected to return to the UK very often, they will still stay at Frogmore Cottage when they do.

Following reports they had “moved out”, their office insisted that they would “share the property” with Eugenie and Jack “when they travel to the UK”.

Frogmore Cottage was made into one home from five separate housing units.

It became a controversial topic after £2.4million of taxpayers’ money was spent on its refurbishment.

Following their departure from the UK, Harry and Meghan came to an agreement with Palace accountants and have now returned the money.

Sources close to Harry and Meghan have confirmed that they will “retain financial responsibility” for the property.

It’s not known what contribution Eugenie and Jack will make towards the rent payments and bills.

The move comes after the couple announced they are expecting their first child together. 

It will be the Queen’s ninth great-grandchild.

‘Finding Freedom’ was written by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand and published by HQ in 2020. It is available here.

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Prince Harry urged to speak out over BBC Diana row – ‘He should man up!’

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Mr Bashir spoke to Diana for an edition of BBC Panorama broadcast in 1995. However Earl Spencer, Diana’s brother, alleges the interview was only acquired through widespread deceit.

The BBC has promised a full investigation into the claims.

Mr Bashir, who is recovering from a heart operation and coronavirus, has yet to comment publicly.

The call for Prince Harry to comment publicly was made by the editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine, Ingrid Seward.

Speaking to The Sun she said: “Harry’s silence speaks volumes.

“He is normally so keen on letting his opinions be known — why hasn’t he done so in this case and stood by his brother to share the responsibility.

“It is odd he hasn’t spoken out about the BBC and Bashir case as he has been speaking out a lot about other things recently.

“Harry should really man up and forget the fallout with his brother.”

During the 1995 interview Diana famously told Mr Bashir “there were three of us in this marriage”, referencing Camilla Parker-Bowles.

On Wednesday the BBC announced Lord Dyson, a former Supreme Court judge, would lead the investigation into the incident.

Prince William, in a highly unusual intervention, described this as “a step in the right direction” towards “unearthing the truth”.

The Prince is reported to have been in contact with the BBC over the matter in the past few weeks.

However Earl Spencer has said he is “not at all satisfied” with the terms of the BBC’s inquiry.

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William’s intervention was welcomed by Ms Monckton, one of Diana’s closest friends.

Speaking to ITV News she said: “For [William] and for Kensington Palace to issue a statement, I think shows how deeply involved he has become in this story and about how his mother was treated.

“It’s very important that we look at it 25 years on.

“It did change the course of history.”

Diana married Prince Charles in 1981 with the service broadcast live to hundreds of millions around the world.

However the marriage broke down with accusations of adultery at both ends.

The couple divorced in 1996, one year before Diana was killed in a Paris car crash.

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Stonehenge tunnel plan gets go-ahead by Government despite fears of ‘harm’ to site

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The decision goes against the recommendations of planning officials, who warned it would cause “permanent irreversible harm” to the World Heritage Site. Highways England says its plan for a £1.7billion two-mile tunnel will remove the sight and sound of traffic passing the prehistoric monument in Wiltshire.

The Department for Transport said: “The Secretary of State is satisfied that the need for the development together with the other benefits identified outweigh any harm.”

Archaeologist Professor David Jacques said the decision was “gut-wrenching”.

Historian, author and broadcaster Tom Holland, president of the Stonehenge Alliance, added: “ The decision to inject a great gash of tarmac and concrete into Britain’s most precious prehistoric landscape is one that ranks simultaneously as spendthrift and sacrilegious.

“We shall continue to oppose it as vigorously as we can.”

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Princess Diana and Prince Charles romance: How old was Diana when she married Charles?

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Diana Spencer was first introduced to Prince Charles when she was just 16 in 1977. The Prince of Wales was 29-years-old and was attending a grouse shooting party at the Spencer family home at Althorp. He was a guest of Princess Diana’s eldest sister Lady Sarah McCorquodale whom he was dating at the time.

The relationship did not last long and it was only a few years later that Diana began dating Charles.

In their engagement interview in 1981, Charles recalled meeting Diana at 16.

He said: “I remember thinking what a very jolly and amusing and attractive 16-year-old she was. I mean, great fun, and bouncy and full of life and everything.”

The couple met again three years after their first meeting in July 1980.

Diana, then aged 19, saw him when they were both guests at a country weekend during the summer.

She watched Prince Charles play polo and he began to take a serious interest in Diana as a potential bride.

The couple dated for several months and in November 1980, she was invited up to Balmoral to meet other members of the Royal Family.

Prince Charles proposed to Diana on February 6, 1981 and she accepted.

Their engagement was then kept secret for a couple of weeks.

The engagement was announced officially on February 24, 1981 when Diana was 19 and Charles was 32.

In the engagement interview on BBC Radio, Charles said: “She had planned to go to Australia quite a long time before anyway with her mother and I thought ‘Well I’ll ask her then so that she’ll have a chance of thinking it over when she’s away and saying I can’t bear the whole idea – or not,’ as the case may be.”

After the engagement, Diana left her job as a nursery assistant and lived for a short time at Clarence House which was the home of the Queen Mother. She then moved into Buckingham Palace until the wedding.

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How old was Princess Diana when she married Prince Charles?

The Prince of Wales and Diana were married on July 29, 1981 – 28 days after her 20th birthday.

The couple were wed at St Paul’s Cathedral and was watched on television by 750 million people, with 600,000 spectators lining the streets to catch a glimpse of the couple en route to and from the ceremony.

The couple went on to have two children, William and Harry, but their relationship began to break down in the late 1980s.

The couple separated in 1992 and officially divorced in 1996, the same year as Prince Charles’ brother Prince Andrew divorced Sarah Ferguson.

The Prince of Wales confirmed an extramarital affair with Camilla in 1986, saying it began one his marriage to Diana had “irretrievably broken down”. Charles and Camilla later married in February 2005.

Princess Diana made headlines this week after a former BBC chairman Michael Frade made allegations that Martin Bashir used forged bank statements to convince Princess Diana to do an interview in 1995.

The Panorama interview was watched by 23 million people 25 years ago during which Diana famously said: “There were three of us in this marriage”.

The BBC said yesterday: “We will have a robust investigation. It will have the appropriate independence people expect.

“We are hampered at the moment by the fact we are unable to discuss any of this with Martin Bashir, as he remains seriously unwell.

“The focus at the time was whether the princess had been misled. ­

“According to our records, the princess spoke for herself, sending a written note saying she had not seen the ­documents and they played no part in her decision to take part in the interview.”

The news came ahead of actress Emma Corrin’s debut as Diana in the Netflix drama The Crown on Sunday.

Season four begins in 1979 and ends in 1990 meaning the royal wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles will also feature in the next season of The Crown.

There will two other seasons of The Crown after season four according to series created Peter Morgan.

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Royal history rewritten: Lost ‘diary’ shows Henry VIII was ‘soft, kind and manipulated’

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Juan Luis Vives was a Jewish Spaniard and a renowned scholar in the 16th century, who fled Spain to avoid the Inquisition. Lord High Chancellor of England, Sir Thomas More, offered him the job to tutor Princess Mary, daughter of Catherine of Aragon and Henry VIII, which he accepted to become a well-known member of the Tudor court. But he is “missing from English history books,” according to Tim Darcy Ellis, who has written a fascinating novel on Mr Vives based on historical accounts.

In his book, ‘The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives,’ Mr Ellis explores the 500-year-old tale of how Mr Vives became trapped in the divorce feud between Henry VIII and his first wife and lived to tell the tale.

He pieced together extracts of Mr Vives’ original writings to work on a fictional account of his life – and, in doing so, made some remarkable discoveries.

Mr Ellis told Express.co.uk: “At school, I was only taught English history and it was very much the Seventies and Eighties – a post-colonial, post-war era – as well as reading books from the Twenties and Thirties.

“I feel like you just accepted that narrative and didn’t ask too many questions.

“Many Spanish characters were seen as dark and sinister, plotting and wanted to see the Queen get her head chopped off – I feel like we almost saw them as the enemy and didn’t look at any potential over how they contributed.

“I feel like with Vives, he really improved society for a lot of people in England at the time, especially women, poor people and those with sickness.” 

Henry VIII is best known for his six marriages, and in particular, his efforts to have the first, with Catherine of Aragon, annulled. 

And Mr Ellis detailed how Mr Vives played a pivotal role in the process by “working both sides” to support his own goals of “making sure Christian rulers took care of everyone in their realms”. 

He added: “As soon as he came to England, Vives lodged with the More family, but very early on he would have met the monarchs and then he went to Oxford University.

“So gradually over a year or two, he was involved in royal court affairs and would have been invited to events.

“You can see with Vives that his confidence grows through his writing, I feel that after his father was executed [as part of the Inquisition] he had one chance to say how he felt.

“He started ripping into the Pope, the Archbishop of Seville, Emperor Charles V, and Henry VIII with incredible bravery really. 

“It’s extraordinary the attacks he launched at people who we see thought nothing of chopping a head off. 

“He supported Catherine of Aragon against Henry when he was trying to divorce her and he ended up in prison just before he was finally expelled from England.”

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Henry’s disagreement with Pope Clement VII over his divorce led him to initiate the English Reformation, separating the Church of England from papal authority. 

He appointed himself Supreme Head of the Church of England and dissolved convents and monasteries, for which he was excommunicated.

Eventually, Mr Vives would see himself imprisoned for going against Henry and warning him of his “arrogance,” but escaped before the break.

Mr Ellis explained: “He was imprisoned for six weeks and then given a day to get out. 

“By the time the break with the Church happened in the 1530s he was safely back in Flanders, and that was a point in his life where he was really giving thought about attacking the Church.

“He was quite outspoken, but in terms of the break with Rome, Vives doesn’t comment much about that and I don’t think he would see it as a bad thing.

“It’s part of his skill of oratory and persuasion – a very clever man who could manipulate the key players at the right time.

“He just about manipulated his relationship with Thomas More – who spoke up for him – and the Queen who did too.”

During his 36-year reign as King of England, Henry VIII executed up to 57,000 people. 

But Mr Ellis says Mr Vives had managed to manipulate and keep Henry under control, escaping before his “bad phase”.

He continued: “I feel there was some special connection that Catherine had with Vives and in that last moment before it was decided if he would be beheaded or leave the country, that she spoke up for him.

“In that moment he took pity, and I think his bad phase actually started six or seven years later, this is a period where he is a little bit softer.

“He was a little bit kinder, and that worked well for Vives.”

‘The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives’ is published by Tellwell Talent and available to purchase here.

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‘Half of independent shops will be gone within a year of pandemic hitting’, fear experts

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Earlier this year it is estimated there were around 400,000 independent retailers, according to research carried out for the British Independent Retailers’ Association (Bira).

It also showed 24 per cent of these shops which closed their doors in March for the original lockdown did not reopen again in June.

Andrew Goodacre, chief executive of Bira, fears the damage caused by the second lockdown – during peak time for Christmas shopping when retailers have just paid for seasonal stock – could see another 25 per cent stay shut.

He has called for the Government to do more to support stores deemed non-essential to avoid causing permanent damage to high streets across Britain.

 

Mr Goodacre said: “This second lockdown will do more damage than the last one because of the time of year and the importance to retailers.

“November and December are their most profitable months and all retailers were hoping for a good festive period to make up for the pain from this horrible year. That has now been taken away from them.

“We will not see the full impact until January and February and I fear we could see a further 25 per cent stay closed.”

He questioned the science behind closing non-essential stores with proven safety measures in place for Covid-19.

 

Mr Goodacre said: “We understood it in March when everything was unknown and we did not have the measures in place that we now see in every shop – Perspex, hand sanitiser, notices and now mandatory face coverings.

“All the charts show that when retail opened up in June, the number of cases continued to fall and did not rise again until September, after hospitality opened up.”

He added: “With further lockdowns we fear the worst. With the current lockdown, non-essential retailers will have been closed 17 weeks out of the last 32 – more than 50 per cent of the time.

“These businesses cannot survive more lockdowns without more support.”

Mr Goodacre said 80 per cent of independent retailers do not qualify for the government self-employed payment grant because they partly pay in dividends, leaving them struggling to pay their rents.

 

Bira wants to see the current moratorium on rent debt, which is set to be lifted at the end of December, extended and for business rates not to return to full value in April.

Amanda Fergusson, chief executive of the Greetings Card Association, said its retailers had been experiencing a record year for card sales – as we reported last Sunday – but were now “devastated” by being closed by the lockdown.

She has written to Business Secretary Alok Sharma calling for card shops to be treated as essential stores so people can send loved ones Christmas cards to boost their mental health.

Greeting cards were declared essential by the Government during the Second World War for boosting the nation’s morale.

 

It emerged yesterday that the Peak District, visited by 42 million people annually, is set to lose £1billion this year as a result of the pandemic.

Tourism bosses say the two national lockdowns plus ongoing restrictions have been “devastating” for the sector which usually generates around £2.3billion for the local economy each year.

A “worst-case scenario based on survey data” could see that figure almost halved this year.

Jo Dilley, managing director of Marketing Peak District and Derbyshire, said: “The second lockdown has come at a time when many businesses are already struggling to survive.

“Without further support, the question is whether they will be able to get through the winter into the 2021 visitor season.”

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Lockdown: £170m winter support package to feed the vulnerable

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A further £50million is to be made available next year to provide food for children if the coronavirus crisis continues.

The initial £170million is to support the poorest families over the winter running through to March.

There will be subsequent support for holiday activities and the food programme will be expanded to cover Easter, summer and Christmas in 2021.

Healthy Start payments are also set to rise from £3.10 to £4.25 a week from April 2021. This scheme supports pregnant women or those with children under four, who have low incomes and are in receipt of benefits, to buy fresh fruit and vegetables.

 

Mr Rashford said he was “so proud” of those who had united behind his campaign and that he was “overwhelmed by the outpouring of empathy and understanding”, promising his supporters to “fight for the rest of my life” to end child hunger in the UK.

In a statement, he said: “Following the game today, I had a good conversation with the Prime Minister. The steps made today will improve the lives of near 1.7 million children in the UK over the next 12 months, and that can only be celebrated.”

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said: “We want to make sure vulnerable people feel cared for throughout this difficult time and, above all, no one should go hungry or be unable to pay their bills this winter.

“We know this has been a challenging time for many and we have consistently supported the lowest-paid families, protecting nine million jobs with furlough and boosting welfare support by £9.3billion.

 

Barnardo’s chief executive Javed Khan welcomed the aid.

He said: “This new scheme is a lifeline for vulnerable families who are struggling to feed their children and heat their homes this winter. It will also help prevent holiday hunger throughout 2021.

“We stand ready to work closely with government ministers, local authorities and other partners to keep children safe and healthy through this crisis and give them the best possible chance of a positive future.”

The Covid Winter Grant Scheme will be run by councils in England with funding ring-fenced and at least 80 per cent earmarked for support with food and bills. 

 

It will allow councils to directly help the hardest-hit families and individuals, as well as provide food for children who need it over the holidays. The Holiday Activities and Food programme, which has provided healthy food and activities to disadvantaged children since 2018, will also be expanded next year.

It will cover Easter, summer and Christmas in 2021, and cost up to £220million. It will be available to children in every local authority in England. The Government has also pledged additional funding of £16million for food distribution charities, and is holding conversations with FareShare and others as to how this is allocated.

The move has come after severe pressure from Conservative MPs on ministers to find a way to help poorer families during lockdown.

But Conservative MPs also want the Government to come up with a strategy that allows the economy to open and avoid further lockdowns after the current one ends on December 2.

 

Tatton MP Esther McVey, founder of the Blue Collar Conservatism Movement and one of 34 Tory rebels who voted against lockdown last week, said: “We cannot just keep locking down. We need to find a way to live with this disease even if there isn’t a vaccine.”

It is understood that a bigger rebellion was seen off after Chancellor Rishi Sunak had a series of one-to-one meetings with unhappy MPs to discuss next January’s budget.

There are also concerns that Boris Johnson has lost control of the crisis and has allowed Michael Gove, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, to take charge.

One senior source said: “Boris jokingly calls Gove ‘the boss’.”

A former minister added: “Gove chaired all the Brexit Cabinet committees and it seems he is now in charge of the Covid Cabinet committees as well. Boris needs to get a grip or he is going to find himself pushed out.”

Yesterday there were 24,947 new Covid cases and 413 further deaths in the UK, up on Friday’s 23,287 cases and 355 deaths.

Statistician Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter at the University of Cambridge defended the “dramatic action” of an English lockdown, saying it had been needed to reduce transmission from its current “unsustainable” levels.

He told BBC Radio’s 4 Today programme that infections were broadly stable, but added: “It looks like the tiers have been working but slowly, and not enough to bring R down well below one.”

He also pointed out that deaths in hospitals and hospitalisations were going up slowly as winter approaches and said: “That’s not sustainable in terms of what the health service can deal with.”

Liverpool’s mass testing, part of the Government’s Operation Moonshot, is also to be extended to secondary school pupils within days after agreement was reached.

Parents at 10 schools will be sent letters asking for permission for their child to be tested as part of a pilot scheme introduced on Friday. Director of Public Health, Matthew Ashton, said: “The more of us who get tested, the more we can stop the spread of Covid-19 in our city.”

And as the current firebreak in Wales ends tomorrow, Dr Chris Williams at Public Health Wales reminded people that “this does not mean a return to normality”.

Wales recorded 958 new cases and a further 32 deaths yesterday.

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Boris Johnson makes dramatic u-turn to extend free school meals into the winter holidays

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Footballer Marcus Rashford who began the campaign to pressure the Government into extending free school meals has celebrated after receiving a phone call from the Prime Minister. Boris Johnson phoned the Manchester United player to thank him for his campaign to help extend free school meals for school children from poorer families. The Government has now pledged an extra £170 million to fund the extension of free school meals.

This is a sudden climbdown by the Government who argued that Universal Credit should be enough for families to get by.

However, Mr Rashford, who was awarded an MBE last month for his campaign, said he is still concerned about the children who would miss out on help “because their family income isn’t quite enough”.

Mr Rashford added: “The intent the government have shown today is nothing but positive and they should be recognised for that.

“The steps made today will improve the lives of near 1.7 million children in the UK over the next 12 months, and that can only be celebrated.”

Governmental support for free school meals has been announced for children in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

It comes after more than one million people signed the petition to extend free school meals set up by Mr Rashford.

The footballer has urged the Government to offer a package to include free food for children from disadvantaged families throughout all the school holidays.

Mr Johnson phoned Mr Rashford on Saturday and the footballer said: “Following the game today, I had a good conversation with the Prime Minister to better understand the proposed plan.

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“I very much welcome the steps that have been taken to combat child food poverty in the UK.”

Mr Rashford also told the BBC the Prime Minister had agreed to speak his child food poverty taskforce.

He added: “I am fully committed to this cause, and I will fight for the rest of my life for it.

“In my mind, no child should ever go hungry in the United Kingdom.

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“I want to take this moment to reflect on what has occurred over the last couple of weeks.

“I am so proud of ‘us’ as a collective.”

Mr Rashford added that working on the campaign to extend free school meals was “the greatest moment of my life”.

The UK’s Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said: “We want to make sure vulnerable people feel cared for throughout this difficult time.

“Above all, no one should go hungry or be unable to pay their bills this winter.”

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Prince Harry recalls service among his ‘greatest honours’ as he misses royal milestone

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Prince Harry will be unable to visit the Cenotaph and Westminster Abbey’s Field of Remembrance this year and instead will mark Remembrance Sunday at his home across the Pond. The Duke of Sussex spoke on a military podcast about Remembrance Sunday and outlined why he believed wearing a poppy is an important way to recognise and honour those who sacrificed their lives.

Prince Harry left his senior role within the Royal Family earlier this year and as such was forced to give up several royal military titles.

Harry was forced to relinquish his roles as Captain General Royal Marines, Honorary Air Commandant, RAF Honington and Commodore-in-Chief, Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command.

The Duke of Sussex has often spoken about his love and devotion to the army.

Earlier this year, Prince Harry confided in his close friends claiming he “misses the camaraderie” of life in the army.

The Duke of Sussex spoke of his time serving in the Armed Forces on a new podcast Declassified.

He told Declassified: “The act of remembering, of remembrance, is a profound act of honour.

“It’s how we preserve the legacies of entire generations and show our gratitude for the sacrifices they made in order for us to be able to live the lives we live today.”

He added wearing the uniform was “among the greatest honours there are in life”.

Prince Harry said he quickly recalled memories during his time in service.

He said: “When I get asked about this period of my life, I draw from memories.

“I draw from what I remember and who I remember – like the first time we were shot at and who I was with, the casualties we saw, and those we saved, and the first medevac we escorted out of contact in a race against time.

“Once served, always serving – no matter what.

“Being able to wear my uniform, being able to stand up in service of one’s country – these are among the greatest honours there are in life.”

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Around this time of year many members of the Royal Family don red poppies in honour of Remembrance Day.

Prince Harry explained he wears a poppy in honour of soldiers who never came home.

He said: “I wear the poppy to recognise all those who have served – the soldiers I knew, as well as those I didn’t.

“The soldiers who were by my side in Afghanistan, those who had their lives changed forever, and those that didn’t come home.

“I wear it to celebrate the bravery and determination of all our veterans, and their loved ones, especially those in our Invictus family.

“These are the people and moments I remember when I salute when I stand at attention and when I lay a wreath at the Cenotaph.”

This year Harry will not be among the Royal Family laying wreaths and paying their respects at the Cenotaph in Westminster, London.

Typically the Duke of Sussex would lay a wreath at the Cenotaph with his family.

But this year as he remains in Los Angeles he will be unable to do so.

Instead, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge are expected to be the only royals in attendance at the Cenotaph today.

The annual national ceremony on Remembrance Sunday will be private for the first time amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On Sunday, November 8, the Queen will oversee the ceremony which will be closed to the public because of the coronavirus pandemic.

This year’s event will be held at the Cenotaph in London and will be limited to a few senior royals, some politicians and military leaders.

Everyone else will be asked to pay their respects at home.

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