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Virgin Media down for thousands of customers across the UK

Major Internet Outage

Virgin Media customers across the UK are facing connectivity problems this morning after being hit with an unexpected outage

Reports have accumulated on DownDetector, a website that records outages, as well as on Twitter.

Problems seemingly started to appear for frustrated Virgin Media customers from around 9am and are ongoing in parts of the country.

‘Fibre broadband currently up and down like a fiddler’s elbow Chislehurst,’ one user posted on DownDetector.

Another simply wrote: ‘Liverpool. No internet connection Fibre broadband.’

Virgin Media itself hasn’t issued any form of official notice about the problem but its social media team has been responding to customers on Twitter.

It’s unclear which areas were affected or exactly how many customers are unable to get online.

Virgin Media recently merged with O2 and has rolled out gigabit broadband to over 10 million homes around the UK.

If you’re suffering problems yourself then you may get an answer from the company that way or you can call the service line on 0345 454 1111.

Let us know if you’re a Virgin Media customer experiencing issues in the comments box below.

Courtesy of metro.co.uk

https://tinyurl.com/p43j62rt

Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, has died

The Duke of Edinburgh

The Duke of Edinburgh – Prince Philip – has died, Buckingham Palace has said.

A statement from Buckingham Palace said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”

The Duke was married to Queen Elizabeth II for more than 70 years and became the longest-serving consort in British history.

Into his 90s he carried out a busy programme of public engagements, reflecting his own charitable interests.

He also travelled around the country supporting the Queen, both on state occasions and royal visits.

For a man of his age he enjoyed relatively good health.

He was taken to hospital over Christmas in 2011 for treatment for a blocked artery.

In 2012 he was admitted to hospital during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with a bladder infection, and in 2013 had an exploratory operation on his abdomen.

But it was not until May 2017, after carrying out more than 20,000 solo public engagements, that the 96-year-old retired from his own programme of royal duties, occasionally stepping out to support the Queen for big events.

No official details have been released yet about the Duke’s funeral, but it is understood he will be given a royal ceremonial funeral rather than a state funeral, in line with his wishes.

The Queen will sign off the final plans in the coming days.

Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark was born on the island of Corfu in 1921.

At the age of 18, the prince joined the Royal Navy as a cadet.

He saw active service during the Second World War, serving in the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean, and was mentioned in despatches for his bravery.

In 1947 he renounced his Greek and Danish royal titles, took on the surname of Mountbatten and became a naturalised British subject ahead of his marriage to Princess Elizabeth.

Their wedding was the first great state occasion after the end of the Second World War.

His commitment to the Queen was unfaltering. He gave up his career in the Navy in order to support her in her role as monarch.

The Queen has described Prince Philip as her “constant strength and stay”.

They had four children – Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward – and he was a much loved grandfather and great-grandfather.

He saw himself as a moderniser within the British monarchy, orchestrating the first royal walkabout – but he was also known for his forthright views and off-the-cuff remarks.

Prince Philip’s concern for young people inspired him to create the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, and he supported more than 800 charities and good causes – focusing on his interests in wildlife conservation, technology and sport.

Since the 1940s Prince Philip was an ever present figure in the life of the UK and leaves behind his own considerable legacy.

Courtesy of Sky News

https://tinyurl.com/5hyc6dxc

Tiger Woods suffers ‘multiple leg injuries’ after car crash in Los Angeles, USA

Tiger Woods is undergoing surgery for “multiple leg injuries” after being cut from his car following an accident in Los Angeles.

The accident happened on the border of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes on Tuesday morning.

LA County Sheriff’s Department said Woods was the only person in the car, and the sheriff’s office later confirmed that the golf legend’s injuries are not life threatening.

“Mr Woods was extricated from the wreck with the ‘jaws of life’ by Los Angeles County firefighters and paramedics, then transported to a local hospital by ambulance for his injuries,” said the original statement.

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg told Golf Digest in a statement: “Tiger Woods was in a single-car accident this morning in California where he suffered multiple leg injuries.

“He is currently in surgery and we thank you for your privacy and support.”

Sky News sports correspondent Martha Kelner said Woods spent Monday giving a private golf lesson to NBA legend Dwayne Wade.

He was due to be hosting a second day of celebrity lessons on Tuesday.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the WGC-Workday Championship, world number three Justin Thomas expressed his concern for Woods and his two children, Sam and Charlie.

“I’m sick to my stomach,” Thomas said.

“You know, it hurts to see one of your… now one of my closest friends get in an accident. Man, I just hope he’s all right. Just worry for his kids, you know. I’m sure they’re struggling.”

Former world number one Justin Rose wrote on Twitter: “@tigerwoods, just seen the awful news.

“We know how tough you are, we’ve seen it a hundred times. Hoping and praying you’re ok my friend.”

The PGA Tour said in a statement: “On behalf of the PGA Tour and our players, Tiger is in our prayers and will have our full support as he recovers.”

And former US alpine ski racer Lindsey Vonn, an ex-girlfriend of Woods, tweeted: “Praying for TW right now.”

Woods has not played since December, when he took part in the PNC Championship in Orlando with his son, Charlie, who turned 12 earlier this month.

On 23 December he had his fifth back surgery and said last weekend that he was unsure whether he would be able to play in the Masters Tournament in April.

Courtesy of Sky News

https://tinyurl.com/x8wxkyzb

COVID-19: ‘Major incident’ declared in London due to hospital pressure

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has declared a “major incident” in the capital due to rising coronavirus cases threatening to overwhelm hospitals.

City Hall said growing infection rates are “putting immense pressure on an already stretched NHS”, with the number of people on mechanical ventilators up by 42% – from 640 to 908 – in the week up to 6 January.

There are 7,034 people currently in hospital with COVID-19 in London – 35% higher compared to the first peak of the pandemic in Spring.

Severe pressure has also spread to other emergency services.

The London Ambulance Service is taking up to 8,000 emergency calls a day now, compared to 5,500 on a typical busy day.

Meanwhile, the UK’s reproductive or “R” rate – the average number of people someone with coronavirus passes it on to – has risen slightly, from between 1.1.-1.3 to 1.0-1.4.

It is based on data up to 4 January, but the government cautioned the latest rate “cannot account for the impact of recent policy changes” such as the lockdown in England.

Mr Khan announced he is “declaring a major incident because the threat this virus poses to our city is at crisis point”.

He warned: “If we do not take immediate action now, our NHS could be overwhelmed and more people will die.

“Londoners continue to make huge sacrifices and I am today imploring them to please stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary for you to leave.

“Stay at home to protect yourself, your family, friends and other Londoners and to protect our NHS.”

More than 800 patients a day are being admitted to London hospitals with COVID-19, the chief executive of NHS England, Sir Simon Stevens, warned at a Downing Street briefing on Thursday.

“That’s the equivalent of a new St Thomas’ hospital, full of COVID patients every day,” he said.

London and the southeast have seen a significant rise in cases in the last month, blamed by ministers on a new variant discovered in the UK that is up to 70% more transmissible – meaning it is easier to catch.

Courtesy of Sky News

https://tinyurl.com/yxrw52gz

Tokyo declares state of emergency over coronavirus case surge but promises ‘safe and secure’ Olympics

Japan’s PM has cited a “strong sense of crisis” while placing the Tokyo metropolitan area in a state of emergency over a resurgence of Covid-19 cases, even as the Japanese capital gears up to host the Olympics this summer.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has pledged to improve the coronavirus situation in one month, authorizing more robust measures on Thursday to fight a surge in infections. The announcement comes days after the prime minister’s coronavirus expert panel recommended that a state of emergency should be declared and governors from the affected prefectures urged the central government to act, due to a spike in coronavirus cases in the Tokyo metropolitan area.

The state of emergency will come into force on Friday, lasting until February 7, and will require residents to stay home. Restaurants and bars will close at 8pm, with department stores, gyms, and entertainment facilities working shorter hours.

Employees will be encouraged to work from home to reduce the number of people in the office by 70 percent.

It’s the second declaration of emergency since April, and the measures are more relaxed, as schools and many businesses were temporarily closed and events cancelled nationwide in the spring.

Those that fail to comply will not face penalties or fines, as Japanese law does not allow for strict lockdowns enforced with punishment. The government will increase financial support for those bars and restaurants that cooperate with the requirement to close by 8pm, and “name and shame” those that do not.

Despite the health crisis, the prime minister pledged earlier this month that Tokyo would host the Olympics this summer, promising that “steady preparations” would make the games “safe and secure.”

Japan and the International Olympic Committee decided in March last year to postpone the Games amid the developing coronavirus pandemic.

Deaths from Covid-19 in Japan have doubled in less than two months and now stand at more than 3,700, with the total number of infections at more than 252,000. The Tokyo governor said last month that the strain on the city’s medical system from the Covid-19 pandemic was “severe.”

In late December, Japan confirmed that the new highly contagious strain of coronavirus originating in the UK is circulating in the country, and it has tightened travel restrictions.

The Japanese government reportedly expects to start mass vaccination against coronavirus in March. US-based vaccine manufacturer Pfizer applied in December for its vaccine to be approved in Japan, with the country ordering 120 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Courtesy of rt.com

https://tinyurl.com/y4jo7tju

COVID-19: Premier League game between Everton and Manchester City postponed, UK

Coronavirus Alert

Everton’s home game with Manchester City has been postponed due to a “number of positive coronavirus cases” among their scheduled visitors.

The Premier League match had been due to kick-off at Goodison Park at 8pm tonight, but is now set to be played at a later date.

On Christmas Day, Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus and defender Kyle Walker – along with two members of staff – were revealed to have tested positive for COVID-19 and entered self-isolation.

The club has now reported further coronavirus cases and, as well as the postponement of the Everton game, will close their first team training ground for an “indeterminate period”.

A statement from Manchester City said: “After the latest round of COVID-19 testing, the club returned a number of positive cases, in addition to the four already reported on Christmas Day.

“With the security of the bubble compromised, there posed a risk that the virus could spread further amongst the squad, the staff and potentially beyond.

“Based on strong medical advice the Premier League, in consultation with both clubs, have decided to postpone the fixture.”

The club said its playing squad and associated bubble would undergo further testing before any decision is taken on when to resume training.

Everton – who are currently joint second alongside Leicester in the league, but could have gone level on points with Liverpool at the top of the table with a victory – had no say in the decision to call off the match.

The late postponement was also a huge disappointment to 2,000 supporters as Goodison Park is one of only two Premier League grounds – the other being neighbouring Anfield – to be allowed to admit fans under the UK’s tiered system of lockdown restrictions.

A Premier League statement said the move to postpone the match was taken following medical advice.

“The board agreed to rearrange the game as a precaution, and further testing will now take place tomorrow,” the statement said.

“The decision has been taken with the health of players and staff the priority.”

A day after Walker and Jesus’ positive tests were announced, Man City played Newcastle at home on Boxing Day, winning 2-0.

The Everton fixture is only the second Premier League game to be called off because of positive tests for coronavirus since Project Restart began towards the end of the first UK lockdown.

The match between Aston Villa and Newcastle, which had been set to take place on 4 December, was postponed due to COVID cases within the Newcastle camp.

Courtesy of Sky News

https://tinyurl.com/yd7t7kwg

Maradona dead: Argentina legend and one of world’s greatest footballers dies aged 60

Maradona at a match in March

Maradona at a match in March

The legendary Argentinian footballer Diego Maradona has died at the age of 60.

The news was broken by Argentinian football association.

Maradona, who captained Argentina’s 1986 World Cup-winning team, is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time – if not the greatest.

Earlier this month, he was admitted to hospital because he was “not well psychologically”.

He said he had been “very sad for a week” and “didn’t want to eat”, according to one of his representatives.

Courtesy of Sky News

https://tinyurl.com/y68lzwq9

Manchester United hit by ‘sophisticated’ cyber attack but say fan data is safe

Cyber Attack Alert

Manchester United have been hit by a cyber attack on their systems but say they are not “currently aware of any breach of personal data associated with our fans and customers”.

The club, who host West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on Saturday, confirmed the hacking on Friday evening and said all systems needed for the match remained secure.

In a statement, United said: “Manchester United can confirm that the club has experienced a cyber attack on our systems. The club has taken swift action to contain the attack and is currently working with expert advisers to investigate the incident and minimise the ongoing IT disruption.

“Although this is a sophisticated operation by organised cyber criminals, the club has extensive protocols and procedures in place for such an event and had rehearsed for this eventuality. Our cyber defences identified the attack and shut down affected systems to contain the damage and protect data.

“Club media channels, including our website and app, are unaffected and we are not currently aware of any breach of personal data associated with our fans and customers.

“We are confident that all critical systems required for matches to take place at Old Trafford remain secure and operational and that tomorrow’s game against West Bromwich Albion will go ahead.”

A spokesman for the club added: “These type of attacks are becoming more and more common and are something you have to rehearse for.”

United have informed the Information Commissioner’s Office and added that forensic tracing is being carried out in an attempt to establish further detail about the attack.

Courtesy of theguardian.com

https://tinyurl.com/yxrmcvn5

Vodafone are offering FREE data for 250,000 school children in the UK

Vodafone Image

We all know how important education is, but there are too many children and families struggling to stay connected digitally to their schools.

That’s why, as part of our schools.connected plan, we’re offering up to 250,000 free data SIMs – with 30GB data for 90 days – to children in primary and secondary schools across the UK, so they can #KeepConnecting and learning at home.

Courtesy of Vodafone.co.uk

https://tinyurl.com/yy3wmq7t