Gef’s Daily Roundup

On the only day of the year most people actually question things they see online, today we have news of dog walkers continuing to cause problems in the island’s beauty spots, the importance of fire alarms and the EU’s abysmal vaccine rollout.

Fort Island

Manx National Heritage said it is ‘saddened to report the continuing abuse of one of the historic environments in our care, Fort Island’. It said dog walkers should see this as a ‘final warning’ to dog owners to clean up their act or risk being banned altogether from Fort Island.

The charity acknowledged that it is a minority of dog walkers who act irresponsibly by letting their four legged friends off the lead at the site which is home to a variety of wildlife including breeding seals and seabirds.

Fire Alarms Save Lives

After the fire at a house on Albany Street, Douglas, the island’s fire service has reminded people of the importance of working fire alarms. A spokesman said: ‘The occupants of the property had been alerted by a smoke alarm sounding and on investigation it was found there was a fire on the floor above. On arrival of the first engine, the Officer-in-Charge reported the fire had already taken hold on the first floor and was well alight. Fire crews wearing breathing apparatus used both high pressure hose reels and jets to control and extinguish the fire. Due to an early call to the emergency services the fire was contained to the one property.’

No one was injured by the fire on Wednesday.

Extra Keys Sitting

Try to control your excitement folks, there will be an additional Keys sitting as they try to push ahead with four separate pieces of legislation. Our beloved MHKs will sit again on April 15 to discuss:

  • Adoption Bill 2021 – consideration of Clauses
  • Landlord Registration (Private Housing) Bill 2020 – consideration of Clauses
  • Road Traffic Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2020 – consideration of Legislative Council amendments
  • Climate Change Bill 2020 – consideration of Legislative Council amendments

An Order Paper will be published Thursday 8th April 2021.

Cashing In

The boss of Bet365 Denise Coates was paid a whopping £421m in the year ending 29 March. This is believed to be amongst the highest annual salaries in British history. She also received £48m in dividends, taking her total pay to £469m. Ms Coates, who founded the Bet365 website 20 years ago in Stoke-on-Trent, has been the UK’s highest paid boss for several years. She is also one of Britain’s wealthiest women and a major philanthropist, donating millions through the Denise Coates Foundation.

Long Covid

About one in five people have symptoms of long Covid five weeks after an initial infection and one in seven after 12 weeks, an Office of National Statistics (ONS) survey suggests. It estimates that 1.1 million people were affected in the UK in the four weeks from 6 February. About 20% of people said ongoing symptoms limited their day-to-day activities a lot. Read that full report here.

Cruise Ships Banned from Venice

Italian authorities have approved a ban on cruise ships entering the historic centre of Venice. The country’s culture minister said on Wednesday that the decision came in response to a request from UN cultural body Unesco. Large ships will now have to dock at the city’s industrial port until a permanent solution is found. Critics argue the ships cause pollution and erode the foundations of the city, which suffers from regular flooding.

Covid Passports ‘not British’

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said the use of so-called vaccine passports to decide whether people can enter pubs would go against the ‘British instinct’. He added: ‘My instinct is that if we get the virus properly under control, the death rates are near zero, hospital admissions will be very, very low, that the British instinct in those circumstances will be against vaccine passports. I think that this idea that we sort of outsource this to individual landlords is just wrong in principle.’

WHO Blames EU 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has criticised the rollout of coronavirus vaccines in Europe as being ‘unacceptably slow’. It also says the situation in the region is more worrying than it has been for several months. Vaccination campaigns in much of Europe have been hit by delays and the number of infections is rising.

The BBC reports that only 16% of the EU’s population has so far received a dose of vaccine. The EU was slow to negotiate a contract with vaccine manufacturer AstraZeneca which caused supply problems. It also sparked a political row with the UK, where AstraZeneca has plants and where 52% of the population has had at least one dose.

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