WHO has good news and bad news about second coronavirus wave

A top World Health Organization official had good news and bad news Wednesday — warning that there was a “definite threat” of another coronavirus outbreak but adding that the world would be better prepared this time around.

“We still have neither a vaccine nor a cure for Covid-19,” Hans Kluge, the WHO’s European director, said during a news conference conducted in Russian to reach people in countries where many speak the language, from Russia to Armenia and Israel, Russia Today reported.

“The second wave is not inevitable. But an increasing number of nations are lifting restrictions, and there is a definite threat of a repeat outbreak of the Covid-19 infection. If those outbreaks are not isolated, a second wave may come and it may be very destructive,” Kluge said.

The good news, he added, was that the world was now in a better position to deal with coronavirus after the first outbreak.

“We better understand the virus, which measures work, how we must prepare,” Kluge said.

The initial pandemic, which broke out in China in late 2019, has to date killed more than 380,000 across the world, including more than 105,000 in the US.

Experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, initially predicted it could take up to 18 months to develop an effective vaccine.

But Swiss drugmaker Novartis will start producing a genetic coronavirus vaccine this month under a deal with Massachusetts researchers.

AveXis, Novartis’ gene-therapy arm, agreed to manufacture the vaccine being developed by Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Production will start in time for clinical trials that are scheduled to begin in the second half of this year, according to a Thursday announcement.

And President Trump has asserted that a vaccine would be developed and ready for use by the end of 2020 under an ambitious effort he dubbed “Operation Warp Speed.”

“We’re getting ready so that when we get the good word that we have the vaccine, we have the formula, we have what we need, we’re ready to go, as opposed to taking years to gear up,” he said when announcing the effort last month.

“We’re gearing up. It’s risky. It’s expensive, but we’ll be saving massive amounts of time, we’ll be saving years if we do this properly,” the president added.

Trump has also bashed the WHO for its handling of the outbreak, particularly its purported kowtowing to China, and said the US was suspending relations with the organization.

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Inside Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright’s new plans for HUGE makeup room, bar and swimming pool at £1.3m mansion – The Sun

MARK Wright and Michelle Keegan's £1.3million dream mansion include a huge bar and makeup room.

The glamorous couple have submitted new plans for the sprawling Essex pad which will also boast a stunning landscaped garden with new trees planted behind an impressive outdoor pool.


The never-before-seen plans show inside the Our Girl beauty Michelle's pad for the first time with huge makeup room which joins up with an even bigger dressing room on the first floor.

Downstairs the couple can enjoy boozy nights with their celeb pals in a large bar that opens out into the back garden.

At the rear of the house is the couple's open plan living space with a huge kitchen island, dining space and a living room area.

Each of the property's five bedrooms has its own en-suite, while three of them have dressing rooms.

The master bedroom even has its own glass balcony so the couple can enjoy the countryside views.

Our exclusive images show work is already underway on the property with builders boarding up windows.




On the opposite wing of the house to the bar there will be a gym for the fitness focused pair to burn off late night parties, while a TV room offers them the perfect place to relax.

And when the time is right for them to start a family, there's a playroom ready to go just off the large hallway.

The design statement for the project describes it as a "classical design" with an emphasis on "symmetry and traditional classical detailing."

Its exterior will be rendered with stone quoins and its windows will have stone dressings.




The majority of the current garden is being retained, with the new pool becoming a luxury centre piece.

The new plans have not been approved yet but there have been no objections from the local parish council.

The Sun recently revealed the pair had ditched their plans for an additional outbuilding on the site.

Despite no objections from neighbours, the couple’s application for the “demolition of an existing stable building” to build a “one-bedroom annexe” was withdrawn.

The pair bought the huge farmhouse last October in Essex, and have been given the nod by the local council to demolish the existing property and turn it into their own rural paradise.


 

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The truth about Brad Pitt and Mike Tyson’s ex, Robin Givens

Mike Tyson has the boxing world — and the sports world in general! — buzzing about a possible return to the ring. The former heavyweight champion of the world (and face tattoo connoisseur) shared some training videos on Instagram in May 2020 that end with the legend stating, “I’m back,” according to CNN.

At age 53, a comeback seems unlikely and even almost dangerous. But it’s looking like it’s true. Dana White, UFC president and close personal friend of Tyson, told ESPN that the boxer has something “lined up,” but wouldn’t go into details.

“Originally, I came out and said, ‘Listen, I’d like Mike not to fight,'” White told ESPN in late May. “But Mike Tyson is a grown man, he can do whatever. The guy is powerful, looks explosive and has gotten himself in great shape.” As White explained, it’s what Tyson really wants to do. He continued, “We talked about it and he said, ‘Listen, I feel that fire in my stomach. I want to get in there and mix it up again.’ I’m fully supportive of him.”

All this buzz about Tyson got a few people wondering about his golden days — when he was winning fights and dating Hollywood celebrities. Remember Robin Givens? She was a huge name in the 1980s, who married the fighter in 1988 (per MSN). They divorced one year later. 

But what everyone really remembers from their union is the infamous story of Tyson catching Givens with the one, the only… Brad Pitt!

What really happened with Brad Pitt and Mike Tyson's ex-wife Robin Givens?

For years, rumors swirled around Hollywood that when Mike Tyson was married to Robin Givens, he walked in on her in bed with Brad Pitt. Some versions of the story even included Tyson punching Pitt! Tyson addressed the incident in his 2013 memoir, Undisputed Truth.

However, it appears some of his truths are disputed. (See what we did there?) When Givens appeared on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen in 2019, she set the record straight about the night in question (via MSN).

“[Pitt and I were] pulling up in the driveway, that part is true,” Givens said on the show. “I didn’t read the book, but I was told he says he caught us in bed, which never happened. Never, ever, ever happened.” When asked why she was even in a car with Pitt, Givens replied, “We were coming from, like, a screening or something.”

Tyson claims in the book that Pitt started pleading with him when they pulled into the driveway. The former professional boxer alleged that Pitt said, “Don’t hit me, don’t hit me,” when Tyson approached them, but Givens denied this.

“No,” Givens replied with a big grin. “Does that sound like Brad? I mean, Brad’s got some swag, you know what I mean?” According to People, Pitt’s rep did not return their request for comment at the time, so where he stands on the whole situation remains a mystery.

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The push to protect cops and other commentary

Eye on Albany: The Push To Protect Cops

With many now calling for reforms to ease public access to police discipline records, The Empire Center’s Ken Girardin points out that for years New York’s Legislature has sought to make it harder to discipline officers at all. Just last year, the state Senate unanimously passed a bill to “make the final determination of disciplinary penalties a subject of collective bargaining.” Police unions have been pushing for such measures ever since a 2006 ruling by the state’s top court affirmed “the New York City police commissioner’s ultimate power over disciplinary matters in the NYPD.” Govs. George Pataki, Eliot Spitzer, David Paterson and Andrew Cuomo have all vetoed proposed laws “to make all stages of police discipline a mandatory subject of collective bargaining.” The police union’s 2019 attempt even won the support of progressives like Sen. Zellnor Myrie; the latest version is sponsored by Sen. Andrew Gounardes.

Radical watch: Antifa Grabs Its Opportunity

Radicals in “the extreme anarchist-communist” group antifa took the George Floyd as a pretext to “push their ambitious insurgency,” warns Andy Ngo at The Spectator USA. Soon after the Floyd video began circulating on the Web, “militant antifa cells across the country mobilized,” first to Minnesota and then to cities all over the nation, leaving “smoldering ruins where businesses once operated.” Local police and the National Guard have “struggled to respond.” These militants want “the breakdown of society” and don’t “care who or what has to be destroyed in the process” — and, because of the pandemic, see “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to exploit an economically weakened America.” We must stop underestimating “the training and capability of left-wing extremists,” Ngo urges: The United States “is not invincible.”

Science desk: The US Reenters the Space Race

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Saturday launch of two astronauts made history, cheers The National Post’s Matt Gurney: It was “the first time NASA used a private company,” SpaceX, as “a transportation provider.” Since 2011, Americans have depended on “Russian cooperation for access to orbit” — something this launch ends, “hopefully for good.” SpaceX’s plans were “the stuff of sci-fi only a few short years ago,” but the company has now shown that private business is “capable of launching paying customers into orbit.” Thanks to this success, the moon is “in reach” again, and Mars — and “beyond” — is “an ever more realistic goal.” For now, “the US is back in the business of crewed spaceflight, with realistic hope of a new space age on the horizon.”

Campaign beat: Joe Biden’s Hard Left Turn

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden offered “familiarity and experience rather than radicalism” during the primaries — but now, Newsweek’s Steve Friess points out, he’s calling for “the boldest, most ambitious proposals” ever to “reshape the US economy.” Biden wants “trillions in new spending,” new “regulations on banks and industry” and “devil-may-care deficits,” among other “progressive agenda items.” Recently, he started invoking President Franklin Roosevelt, who responded to the Great Depression with the “bold, unprecedented initiatives” of the New Deal. Biden is counting on Americans wanting “dramatic New Deal-like ideas” to “restore the country to economic health” after the coronavirus crisis. It all adds up to “the most liberal platform in the history of the Democratic Party.”

Election monitor: A Mostly Mail-In November

The flap over Twitter’s flagging of President Trump’s tweets on mail-in ballots obscures the main facts, John McCormack reports at National Review. “Twenty-nine states already have no-excuse absentee voting,” including battlegrounds Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida and Arizona. In April’s Wisconsin Democratic primary, “only one-quarter of voters cast ballots in person on Election Day.” Virus fears this fall likely mean “the overwhelming majority will choose early mail-in or curbside voting.” But that won’t “necessarily hurt Republicans in November” — indeed, it may be best for GOP-leaning elderly voters. Best to focus on ballot security — and the fight in Congress against “Democrats who want to force states to adopt a uniform policy on how to conduct elections.”

— Compiled by Mark Cunningham & Karl Salzmann

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Protests held in New York and Washington DC after riots broke out

Army is deployed to US streets for first time since LA riots in 1992 to keep the peace in DC as more protests kick off in the Capitol, Philadelphia and New York – and George Floyd’s brother calls for calm

  • Up to 250 Army personnel from Fort Bragg in North Carolina are expected to arrive in DC on Monday night
  • The deployment marks the first time that the Army has been sent in to patrol US streets since the 1992 LA riots
  • Hundreds of people gathered for a peaceful demonstration near the White House on Monday afternoon
  • Police began firing tear gas into the crowds just before President Trump gave remarks in the Rose Garden 
  • Trump said his administration is ‘fully committed’ to serving justice for George Floyd, but that he believed looters and violent protests are distracting from that goal
  • He threatened to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 to mobilize ‘thousands and thousands’ of soldiers around the country to ‘end riots and lawlessness’
  • Meanwhile, police and protesters in Philadelphia clashed on a freeway as officers launched tear gas 
  • In New York, protesters convened in Times Square, many of them lying on the ground in a message to cops  
  • The US has been rocked by six straight nights of tumult since Floyd, a black man, was killed in Minneapolis after video showed a white officer kneeling on his neck
  • Floyd’s death a week ago sparked days of protests in Minneapolis that quickly spread to cities across America 
  • While many of the demonstrations have been peaceful, others have descended into violence 
  • The violence has escalated despite curfews in many cities and the deployment of National Guard members 
  • Floyd’s brother pleaded for peace in Minneapolis Monday, saying violence is ‘not going to bring my brother back at all’ 

An active duty military police battalion is deploying to Washington, DC, as more protests against police killings of black people kick off in the Capitol, Philadelphia, New York and other cities on Monday evening, just hours after violent riots broke out across the country. 

Between 200 and 250 military personnel from a unit at Fort Bragg in North Carolina are on their way to DC and could arrive as soon as tonight, three Pentagon officials told CNN.    

The deployment marks the first time that the Army has been sent in to patrol US streets in nearly 30 years since the 1992 Los Angeles riots sparked by the brutal police custody death of Rodney King. 

The troops are expected to provide security in the capital but will not perform law enforcement duties such as arrest and detention of protesters or rioters, per CNN.  

Hundreds of people gathered for a peaceful demonstration near the White House on Monday evening as President Donald Trump gave brief remarks in the Rose Garden. 

Trump told reporters his administration is ‘fully committed’ to serving justice for George Floyd, but said he believed the looters and violent protests are distracting from that goal. 

He declared himself the ‘president of law and order’ and threatened to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 to mobilize ‘thousands and thousands’ of soldiers around the country to ‘end riots and lawlessness’.  

While Trump spoke, police were heard firing tear gas and deploying flash bangs in an effort to disperse protesters chanting: ‘Don’t shoot’ in Lafayette Park outside the White House.  

Meanwhile, police and protesters in Philadelphia clashed on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway as officers used tear gas and sprayed chemicals into the crowds, causing them to scatter.  

And in New York City, large crowds convened in Times Square, with many protesters lying on the ground or kneeling with their arms behind their backs in a powerful message to law enforcement.    

WASHINGTON DC: Protesters run from tear gas used by police to clear the street near the White House on Monday night

WASHINGTON DC: President Donald Trump spoke at in the Rose Garden on Monday evening and declared himself the ‘president of law and order’ as tear gas and flash bangs rang out in the distance

WASHINGTON DC: An active duty military police battalion is deploying to DC as more protests against police killings of black people kick off on Monday. Hundreds of protesters are seen gathered near the White House

NEW YORK: In Times Square, dozens of protesters lied on the ground on Monday with their arms behind their backs. George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis after a white police officer pinned him to the ground by kneeling on his neck last Monday

NEW YORK: Crowds of protesters gathered in New York City’s Times Square on Monday to protest George Floyd’s death

PHILADELPHIA: Hundreds gathered on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia on Monday before police began launching tear gas and spraying chemicals at protesters to get them to disperse

PHILADELPHIA: Protesters sit in a line in front of Pennsylvania National Guard soldiers wearing riot gear on Monday

MINNEAPOLIS: In Minneapolis, Floyd’s brother, Terrence, (center in a black hat) made an emotional plea for peace at the site where Floyd was pinned to pavement by a cop who put his knee on the handcuffed black man’s neck for several minutes

The US has been rocked by six straight nights of tumult since George Floyd, a black man, was killed in Minneapolis after a white police officer pinned him to the ground by kneeling on his neck last Monday.  

Floyd, who was in handcuffs at the time, died after the white officer ignored bystander shouts to get off him and Floyd’s cries that he couldn’t breathe. 

His death, captured on citizen video, has sparked days of protests in Minneapolis that quickly spread to cities across America.  

Speaking in the Rose Garden on Monday, Trump said: ‘All Americans were rightly sickened and revolted by the brutal death of George Floyd.

‘My administration is fully committed that for judge and his family, justice will be served. He will not have died in vain. 

‘But we cannot allow the righteous cries of peaceful protesters to be drowned out by an angry mob. The biggest victims of the rioting is peace loving citizens in our poorest communities. And as their president, I will fight to keep them safe. I will fight to protect you.

‘I am your president of law and order and an ally of all peaceful protesters. but in recent days, our nation has been gripped by professional anarchists, violent mobs, arsonists, looters, criminals, rioters, Antifa and others.’ 

He then revealed his intention to invoke the Insurrection Act, saying: ‘I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them. I am also taking swift and decisive action to protect our great capitol, Washington, DC. What happened in this city last night was a total disgrace.’ 

‘Those who threaten innocent life and property will be arrested, detained and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I want the organizers of this terror to be on notice that you will face severe criminal penalties and lengthy sentences in jail.’

WASHINGTON DC: Protesters near in front of a line of US Secret Service uniformed division officers on Monday 

WASHINGTON DC: The protesters held their ground as police launched tear gas to clear the roadway

WASHINGTON DC: A protester holds back a friend overcome with emotion during Monday’s rally outside the White House

WASHINGTON DC: Members of the District of Columbia National Guard are seen driving near the White House on Monday as an active duty military battalion makes its way to the Capitol to help control protests

WASHINGTON DC: Defense officials said the military police are expected to provide security without performing law enforcement duties such as arrest or detention of protesters or rioters. Pictured: The DC National Guard on Monday

While many of the demonstrations around the country have been peaceful protests by racially diverse crowds, others have descended into violence – despite curfews in many cities across the US and the deployment of thousands of National Guard members over the past week. 

In Minneapolis on Monday, Floyd’s brother, Terrence, pleaded for peace at the site where the black man was pinned to the pavement by officer Derek Chauvin, saying violence is ‘not going to bring my brother back at all’. 

‘Let’s switch it up ya’ll. Let’s switch it up. Do this peacefully, please,’ Terrence Floyd said. 

The crowd chanted: ‘What’s his name? George Floyd!’ and ‘One down, three to go!’ in reference to the four officers involved in Floyd’s arrest. 

NEW YORK: NYPD officers watched on Monday as protesters gathered in Times Square to demonstrate against police killings of black people

NEW YORK: The protesters in New York City laid on the ground, many with their arms behind their backs, on Monday

NEW YORK: Hundreds more protesters watched on brandishing signs that read: ‘I can’t breathe’ during the Times Square protest

NEW YORK: Protesters rally against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd in Times Square on Monday

PHILADELPHIA: Hundreds of protesters march past City Hall in Philadelphia amid escalating clashes with local police 


PHILADELPHIA: The Pennsylvania National Guard stands watch over Philadelphia’s City Hall on Monday afternoon 

Chauvin has been charged with murder, but protesters are demanding that his colleagues be prosecuted too. All four were fired. 

Monday’s Minneapolis gathering was part rally and part impromptu eulogy as Floyd urged people to stop the violence and use their power at the ballot box.

‘If I’m not over here messing up my community, then what are you all doing?’ he said. 

‘You all are doing nothing. Because that’s not going to bring my brother back at all.’ 

States that have called in the National Guard

As of Monday morning, National Guard Soldiers and Airmen were activated in 23 states and the District of Columbia, ‘in response to civil disturbances’, the bureau said. 

That brings the total number of Guard members on duty to nearly 62,000. 

These are the states that, according to CNN, have already called on the National Guard in the wake of George Floyd’s death:

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Florida

Illinois

Michigan

Nebraska

Nevada

Oklahoma

Oregon

Virginia

Colorado

Georgia

Indiana

Kentucky

Minnesota

North Carolina

Ohio

Pennsylvania

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Washington

Wisconsin

The District of Columbia 

The country has been beset by angry demonstrations for the past week in some of the most widespread racial unrest in the US since the 1960s. 

Spurred in part by Floyd’s death, protesters have taken to the streets to decry the killings of black people by police.

While police in some places tried to calm tensions by kneeling or marching in solidarity, officers elsewhere were accused of treating protesters with the same kind of heavy-handed tactics that contributed to the unrest in the first place.  

Around the country, political leaders girded for the possibility of more of what unfolded over the weekend: protesters hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails at police in Philadelphia, setting a fire near the White House and smashing their way into Los Angeles stores, running off with as much as they could carry.

At least 4,400 people have been arrested for offenses such as stealing, blocking highways and breaking curfew.

President Trump has berated most of the nation’s governors as ‘weak’ for not cracking down harder on the lawlessness that has convulsed cities from coast to coast.  

He told the nation’s governors in a video conference that they they ‘look like fools’ for not deploying even more National Guard members. 

‘Most of you are weak,’ he said.

‘You’ve got to arrest people, you have to track people, you have to put them in jail for 10 years and you’ll never see this stuff again.’

Over the weekend the Pentagon reportedly took the rare step of ordering the Army to put several active-duty US military police units on the ready to deploy to Minneapolis.

Soldiers from Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Drum in New York had been ordered to be ready to deploy within four hours if called, according to three people with direct knowledge of the orders. 

Soldiers in Fort Carson, in Colorado, and Fort Riley in Kansas were also told to be ready within 24 hours. 

The people did not want their names used because they were not authorized to discuss the preparations.

The get-ready orders were sent verbally on Friday, after Trump asked Defense Secretary Mark Esper for military options to help quell the unrest in Minneapolis after protests descended into looting and arson in some parts of the city.

Trump made the request on a phone call from the Oval Office on Thursday night that included Esper, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien and several others.

The president asked Esper for rapid deployment options if the Minneapolis protests continued to spiral out of control, according to one of the people, senior Pentagon official who was on the call.

‘When the White House asks for options, someone opens the drawer and pulls them out so to speak,’ the official said.

The person said the military units would be deployed under the Insurrection Act, which was last used in 1992 during the riots in Los Angeles that followed the Rodney King trial. 

Roughly 800 US soldiers would deploy to the city if called.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz ordered 500 of his National Guard troops into Minneapolis, St Paul, and surrounding communities.

But a Pentagon spokesman said Walz did not ask for the Army to be deployed to his state.

‘The Department has been in touch with the Governor and there is no request for Title 10 forces to support the Minnesota National Guard or state law enforcement.’ Title 10 is the US law that governs the armed forces, and would authorize active duty military to operate within the US.

Active-duty forces are normally prohibited from acting as a domestic law enforcement agency. But the Insurrection Act offers an exception.

The Insurrection Act will allow the military to take up a policing authority it otherwise would not be allowed to do, enforcing state and federal laws, said Stephen Vladeck, a University of Texas School of Law professor who specializes in constitutional and national security law.

The statute ‘is deliberately vague’ when it comes to the instances in which the Insurrection Act could be used, he said. 

The state’s governor could ask Trump to take action or Trump could act on his own authority if he’s determined that the local authorities are so overwhelmed that they can’t adequately enforce the law, Vladeck said.

‘It is a very, very broad grant of authority for the president,’ he added. 

WASHINGTON DC: Crowds gathered in Washington DC on Monday down the street from the White House. Overnight, police and rioters clashed outside the White House

WASHINGTON DC: Protesters calling for freedom and carrying signs saying ‘I can’t breath’ gathered in Washington DC on Monday

WASHINGTON DC: The crowds walked through the streets of Washington DC on Monday near Lafayette Square close to the White House

WASHINGTON DC: Protesters hold anti-Trump placards while marching on H Street near Lafayette Square in Washington, DC on Monday

PHILADELPHIA: Protesters rally in front of Pennsylvania National Guard soldiers in Philadelphia on Monday

PHILADELPHIA: Protesters march in the aftermath of widespread unrest following the death of George Floyd on Monday in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Former President Barack Obama on Monday condemned the use of violence at nationwide protests over racial inequities and excessive police force while praising the actions of peaceful protesters seeking reform. 

The vast majority of protesters have been peaceful, but a ‘small minority’ were putting people at risk and harming the very communities the protests are intended to help, Obama wrote in an online essay posted on Medium. 

Obama said the violence was ‘compounding the destruction of neighborhoods that are often already short on services and investment and detracting from the larger cause.’ 

Obama’s latest remarks came three days after his first comments on the Floyd case, which called for justice but did not mention the violent nature of some protests. 

His shift in tone on Monday came as some protesters have set fires, smashed windows and looted stores, forcing mayors in large cities to impose nighttime curfews. 

INDIANAPOLIS: Protesters march in the streets of downtown Indianapolis on Monday

INDIANAPOLIS: A women addresses the crowd as protesters take a knee at the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis on Monday

LOS ANGELES: Protesters chant and raise their fists while on a street corner in the Van Nuys section of Los Angeles on Monday

LOS ANGELES: A motorist offers support to protesters on a street corner in the Van Nuys section of Los Angeles on Monday

Timeline: George Floyd’s death at the hands to Minneapolis police sparks nationwide protests  


George Floyd (pictured) said ‘I can’t breathe’ when Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for eight minutes

Monday, May 25

Cell phone video shows George Floyd, handcuffed and pinned to the ground, with one police officer – Derek Chauvin – kneeling on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. Two minutes and 53 seconds of this was after Floyd was unresponsive.

Floyd, 46, is heard pleading: ‘I can’t breathe’, as he is arrested by four cops for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store. He later died. 

Tuesday, May 26

Four Minneapolis officers involved in the incident, including Chauvin and Tou Thao, are fired. Minnesota Mayor Jacob Frey says it is ‘the right call’.

As calls mount for the cops to face murder charges, the FBI and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension launch an investigation. 

That night, the first of several protests over Floyd’s death take place in Minneapolis, with protesters shouting: ‘I can’t breathe!’

These words echo Floyd’s plea to officers but the phrase also became a rallying cry in 2014 after the death of Eric Garner, another black man who was killed in police custody during an arrest for the illegal sale of cigarettes.

Wednesday, May 27

Protests continue into a second night in Minneapolis and spread nationwide to Los Angeles and Memphis, Tennessee.  

As anger mounts, the protests become violent with one person in Minneapolis shot dead, stores are looted and buildings are set on fire. 

Police in riot gear fired rubber bullets and tear gas at the thousands of protesters demanding justice for Floyd. 

Mayor Frey called for the officer’s to be charged and said ‘I want to see justice for George Floyd.’ 

It is revealed Chauvin been subject to at least 12 conduct reports since 2001.  

Thursday, May 28

A third night of protests with demonstrations in Minneapolis, Memphis, Louisville, Phoenix, New York City and Columbus, Ohio. 

Protesters burn down the Third Precinct building while 500 National Guards are dispatched to the riots in Minneapolis. 

At least 70 New Yorkers are arrested after clashing with the NYPD.

Protesters in Ohio breached the city’s courthouse and shots were fired at the Colorado State Capitol.  

Friday, May 29 

Trump warned on Twitter that ‘when the looting starts, the shooting starts’ 

President Trump blasts ‘radial left Mayor’ Frey and warned ‘thugs’ that ‘when the looting starts, the shooting starts’ on Twitter.

The phrase comes from former Miami Police Chief Walter Headley in 1967 when referring to ‘slum hoodlums’ who he believed took advantage of the Civil Rights Movement.

Derek Chauvin, 44, was arrested Friday on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, which has sparked violent protests

Twitter flags Trump’s tweet for violating its rules about glorifying violence. It comes mere days after the president was fact-checked, sparking a row with the social media giant.

Black CNN Reporter Omar Jimenez is arrested on live TV while reporting on the riots in Minneapolis

Officer Chauvin is charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd’s death.          

Mayor Frey declares a nighttime curfew in Minneapolis that begins Friday at 8pm and extends until 6am Saturday

President Trump is reportedly rushed to the White House’s underground bunker and Secret Service and George Floyd protestors clash 

Saturday, May 30 

At least 25 cities impose emergency curfews as protests and demonstrations continue into the weekend. 

11 states and the District of Columbia activate the National Guard as tensions flare. 

The National Guard is deployed to Los Angeles amid protests – the first time in nearly 20 years since the 1992 Los Angeles Riots

The National Guard is activated at the White House as Secret Service agents struggle control demonstrators in Washington D.C.  

Sunday, May 31 

At least five people are killed during protests in Indianapolis, Chicago, Oakland, Detroit and Oakland as around 140 cities hold a sixth night of protests.

Federal Protective Services Officer Patrick Underwood is shot dead outside a federal courthouse during late night demonstrations.  

The historic St. John’s church, built in 1816, is set ablaze near the White House in Washington D.C. as more than 50 Secret Service agents are injured.

At least 40 cities impose emergency curfews in light of riots, violence and looting.

President Trump urges states ‘get tough’ by calling the National Guard to oversee protests  and demands ‘Law and Order!’

Trump announces on Twitter that he will designate Antifa, a loose but radical far-left group, as a terrorist organization after blaming them for protest violence. 

The daughter of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Chiara de Blasio, 25, is arrested during a George Floyd protest in Manhattan. 

More than 250 people are arrested in New York City as six NYPD officers are injured and looters target luxury stores in SoHo 

George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests have spread internationally, with demonstrations in London and Berlin.  

Derek Chauvin is moved to one of the US’s most secure prisons ahead of his first court appearance on June 8.  

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Shocking moment young boy and mum are caught up in crossfire of shooting that killed rapper Houdini – The Sun

A DISTURBING video has emerged which lays bare the moment a young boy and his mother were caught in a gunfight in central Toronto that killed rapper Houdini.

CCTV footage shows  a six-year-old boy and his mom narrowly missed by ricocheting bullets as the 21-year-old hip-hop artist’s pals return fire on the masked assassin. 


The gunfight unfolded between two groups just outside of the Bisha Hotel & Residences, as many passersby, including the young boy and mother, watched and screamed.

Det Sgt Andy Singh said during a news conference: "The little boy ducks into the vestibule here while these associates are returning gunfire to the shooter.

"The little boy was exactly in the line of gunfire when it first started and the family, which can be clearly seen in the background, were in the receiving end of the volley of shots.

"The gunman has a complete disregard for human life."

The little boy was exactly in the line of gunfire… the family, which can be clearly seen in the background, were in the receiving end of the volley of shots

Det Sgt Singh added the bullets "skipped off the ground" and were "inches from not only the little boy, but also the mother".

He said: "As the shots are hitting the ground, you can see dust coming up."

The security camera footage, which was released by police, shows two pals of Houdini, whose real name is Dimarjio Jenkins, returning fire after an unidentified hitman wearing a surgical mask ambushed the unarmed hip-hop artist at about 4pm on Tuesday.

 One Jenkins’ friend dropped his weapon after it jammed, then bolted for his life, the video showed.

In total, 23 shots were fired and two 9mm firearms were recovered. 

The killer’s 40-calibre weapon fired 13 shots, the rest came from the 9mm guns.


Det Sgt Singh said an innocent 27-year-old female bystander suffered a single bullet wound but is expected to recover completely.

The killer was thought to have exited a SUV from the front passenger seat and opened fire on Houdini and his pals. 

Police said the vehicle, which the killer’s group had been using for a month, was found torched in York Region.

Houdini, who grew up in the Jane-Driftwood neighbourhood and had millions of views on his YouTube videos,  is one of five GTA rappers who have been gunned down in Canada in recent months. 

HipHopCanada’s founder and editor-in-chief Jesse Plunkett said: "He was an independent rising star widely considered on his way to ‘making it’ in the music industry.

"Very few Canadian hip-hop artists have been able to achieve the views and streams independently that Houdini did, which makes the fact that he didn’t get to take his career to the next level even more devastating."



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And the winner is… Brian Viner reveals his favourite movie ever

And the winner is… After a ten-week countdown, BRIAN VINER reveals his favourite movie of all time

This week, I conclude the ten-week countdown of my 100 favourite English-language films. So I’m taking a little more space than usual, both to champion my Top 10 and to remind you of the full list.

I’m aware that I’ve left out lots of all-time classics. There’s no Citizen Kane or It’s A Wonderful Life or Apocalypse Now. Heck, not even The Shawshank Redemption. 

That doesn’t mean I don’t acknowledge them all as great pictures. I also confess that I regret not finding room for a Carry On film. I’m especially fond of Carry On Jack (1964).

From Unforgiven to the Godfather: Brian Viner’s list of his top 100 favourite films of all time

Feel free to register angry dissent, or cheerful agreement, at [email protected] and thank you for your many contributions so far. 

I’ll list my favourite foreign-language films and documentaries in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, remember all these movies are available to watch at home, via streaming platforms or on DVD.

10. The Jungle Book (1967)

‘The Jungle Book’ is unimprovably exuberant, funny and charming and it’s still the most entertaining of all animated musicals

The last film that Walt Disney produced; he died before it was released. But what a swansong, to say nothing of the vultures’ song, That’s What Friends Are For.

Disney wanted The Beatles to voice the fab four vultures. Alas, John Lennon refused. But in every other way The Jungle Book is unimprovably exuberant, funny and charming. 

For my money, though I hear the unique roar of The Lion King, it’s still the most entertaining of all animated musicals.

9. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

Kirk Douglas tried for years to finance an adaptation of Ken Kesey’s novel, set in a psychiatric hospital. Eventually he gave up and sold the rights to his son Michael, who wound up producing the first movie in more than 40 years to win all five major Academy Awards.

It’s an extraordinarily powerful film about mental health, in which Jack Nicholson excels at the head of a remarkable cast.

8. Modern Times (1936)

Great slapstick comedy is the most joyful of universal languages – that’s what makes ‘Modern Times’ so brilliant

I first saw Charlie Chaplin’s glorious industrialisation satire on a snowy afternoon in Athens, in the winter of 1972, when I was 11.

I fell in love with it instantly, realising, among lots of Greeks laughing fit to burst, that great slapstick comedy is the most joyful of universal languages.

The famous assembly-line scene on its own is a triumph of creativity no less, in my view, than the best bits of Hamlet, or The Marriage Of Figaro, or the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. 

There, I’ve said it.

7. Pulp Fiction (1994)

If ‘Once Upon A Time in Hollywood’ is Quentin Tarantino’s penultimate film, then ‘Pulp Fiction’ pictured) will go down as his best

I loved last year’s Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, which Quentin Tarantino tells us is his penultimate film.

But if he does call it a day after ten movies, this will surely remain the pick of them. 

The graphic violence isn’t for everyone but there is so much to cherish, from the ingenious narrative structure to a brilliant script, superb performances and the confluence, for a few unforgettable minutes, of John Travolta, Uma Thurman and Chuck Berry.

6. Psycho (1960)

There was cinema before the taboo-busting Psycho, and cinema after. But people took showers before Psycho, and baths after. Hitchcock knew the likely impact of the grisly bathroom murder in his peerless psychological thriller — that’s why it took him 78 camera set-ups and almost a quarter of his shooting schedule.

5. The Godfather Part II (1974)

See The Godfather (below).

4 Jaws (1975)

Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece had the same chilling effect on my generation that Psycho (#6) had on the one before.

Yes, the shark looks a bit mechanical these days. But even with all the bells and whistles filmmakers have at their disposal now, none could tell this story like Spielberg, not even 30 at the time and already a true master of his medium.

3. The Graduate (1967)

The direction, writing, casting, acting and music are all perfect in ‘The Graduate’ (1967) 

When the direction, writing, casting, acting and music are all as good as they can be, you have cinematic perfection. 

That’s how I look on this treasure of a coming-of-age comedy, the crowning glory of lots of illustrious careers — including those of director Mike Nichols and star Dustin Hoffman.

It is also the all-time favourite film of two of my children, both in their 20s. They have great taste.

2. Some Like It Hot (1959)

Billy Wilder’s ‘Some Like It Hot’ , starring Marilyn Munroe (pictured) is pure gold 

Billy Wilder’s credits as both writer and director are astonishing. 

And this stands at the summit of them, a radiant comedy in which Wilder, aided by Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe, spins a sublimely silly yarn, about two musicians posing as women to escape Chicago gangsters, into pure gold.

1. The Godfather (1972)

The original always beats the sequel when it comes to the Godfather films 

How often have you heard someone say of a film, ‘the book’s better’? 

Mario Puzo went to his grave knowing Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation of his novel about a Mafia family had turned that notion upside down.

I don’t agree that The Godfather II overturns another cinematic truism — the original always beats the sequel — but together they are so great they make The Godfather: Part III (1990) look feebler than it really is.

In truth, I could place my top three films on this list in any order. If there are any you haven’t seen, now is the time. 

Happy viewing.

 The High Note (Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, available to rent through Sky Store/Amazon Prime, 12)

Rating:

Verdict: Mostly bum notes

When we say of a new cinema release that it looks like a made-for-TV movie, it generally means don’t bother shelling out to go to the pictures. 

But now, with cinemas closed and new releases coming first to the small screen, that jibe has lost some of its acid. 

Nonetheless, if you do bother with The High Note, you’ll see what I mean.

Dakota Johnson plays Maggie, an ambitious, hard-working personal assistant to a world-famous pop diva called Grace Davis (Tracee Ellis Ross, whose portrayal is surely inspired to some extent by her own mother, the great Diana Ross).

Dakota Johnson (right) plays a hard-working personal assistant a world-famous pop diva played by Tracee Ellis Ross (right)

Maggie, who has worked for Grace for three years, thinks her boss should record some new material instead of just churning out all the old stuff. 

Heck, she could even produce it herself, to which end she has secretly been in the studio cutting her own version of Grace’s latest album — which, guess what, non-spoiler alert, Grace really likes.

Unfortunately, Grace’s money-grabbing long-time manager, Jack (Ice Cube), thinks exactly the opposite. 

Ice Cube (pictured) also stars in ‘The High Note’ as a money-grabbing long-time music manager

He wants Grace to take up a lucrative residency at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, doing the same show night after night. Maybe she could even beat Celine Dion’s Vegas record!

By the way, there are endless name-checks for other musical acts in The High Note — Rihanna, Nina Simone, Elton John, Paul Simon, and on, and on — in a misconceived attempt to pump the script full of credibility. Instead, it sucks it dry.

Meanwhile, Maggie meets a guy called David (Kelvin Harrison Jnr) in the supermarket and they bond over a discussion of their musical tastes that sounds a lot less natural and organic than the vegetables in the background. 

He’s a fan of Hotel California by The Eagles. She has only contempt for its ubiquity and thinks it’s ‘like the Brown-Eyed Girl of Southern California soft-rock’. 

Behind them, as their carefully scripted banter continues, unripe tomatoes redden with embarrassment.

Grace, played by Johnson (right), meets a man named David, played by Kelvin Harrison Jnr (left), the pair bond over their diverse tastes in music

Anyway, it turns out that David is a talented singer, so Maggie pretends she’s already a hotshot producer and he agrees to let her add some pizzazz to his sound. He needs to consider his look, too, judging by his garish jacket. 

‘This looks like Stevie Nicks ran over Jason Derulo in her car,’ observes Maggie, who is constitutionally incapable of uttering a sentence without at least one musician in it.

Soon, Maggie is frantically trying to juggle her two jobs, while we on our sofas are frantically wondering whether we should see The High Note through to the end, where a plot twist awaits us that, frankly, is like Beyonce sitting on Taylor Swift in Ariana Grande’s greenhouse. 

The director is Nisha Ganatra, whose most recent film, last year’s Late Night, starred Emma Thompson as a hard-as-lacquered-nails Englishwoman with her own US talk show. That didn’t convince me, either.

Mike Wallace Is Here (various streaming platforms including Curzon Home Cinema, 15)

Rating:

Verdict: Enthralling documentary 

A genuine American TV institution is the subject of a really excellent documentary called Mike Wallace Is Here.

Wallace, who died aged 93 in 2012, was for many years a correspondent on the CBS current affairs show 60 Minutes, known for his fearlessly uncompromising reporting and interviewing style. 

But in the course of his extraordinary career he was also a game show host, an actor, and a familiar face on commercials — for soap powder, among much else. 

To find someone comparable on this side of the Atlantic, imagine a hybrid of Jeremy Paxman, Roger Cook, David Frost and Bruce Forsyth.

Avi Belkin’s film very cleverly uses clips from Wallace’s many interviews — with subjects as remarkably diverse as Eleanor Roosevelt, Salvador Dali, Richard Nixon, Bette Davis and the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan — to shed light on the man himself.

Veteran interviewer Larry King tells him that work was always his priority, that if he received two messages, ‘Your wife called — urgent’ and ‘CNN called — urgent’, he would always, always respond first to the latter. 

Significantly, King has been married eight times. But through this we learn that Wallace, too (married a mere four times), made just the same choices.

Whether you know anything about him or not, it’s fascinating stuff. The film is worth seeing for the archive material alone, which includes Wallace’s interview with a thrusting young New York property developer by the name of Donald Trump, who expounds on his world view but adds firmly that no, he will never enter politics.

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Sharon and Kelly Osbourne accused of ‘flaunting their wealth’ as they show off £800 cushion on The One Show – The Sun

SHARON and Kelly Osbourne have come under fire after they showed off their expensive household items during an appearance on The One Show this evening.

Angry viewers accused the stars of "flaunting their wealth", which included an £8,000 statue and £800 cushion.

The mother-and-daughter duo appeared on the show via video link to speak to hosts Alex Jones and Angelica Bell from their home in Los Angeles.

Comic Alan Carr was also a guest, promoting his new show Epic Gameshow, where he brings back vintage TV favourites for the public.

As part of that, he played a game of The Price Is Right using items that the Osbournes had in their mansion – and even he couldn't hide his shock at the hefty price tags.

Alan predicted that a silver statue was worth £5.50, and was floored when 67-year-old Sharon revealed the eye-watering £8k price tag.

Upping his game, Alan predicted a red cushion was £500, but 35-year-old Kelly said that it was actually £300 more than that.

Horrified fans flocked to Twitter to accuse Sharon and Kelly of putting on an "obscene" display.

One wrote: "Do people really need to see Sharon Osbourne flashing her wealth while many of us on bones of our a***s worried sick for jobs and livelihoods?"

Another agreed: "Exactly what we thought… Obscene."

Others were shocked by Sharon's light hair, with the star famed for her flame-red locks that she had for almost 20 years.

While some viewers struggled to recognise Sharon, the star actually unveiled her transformation back in February.

Her colourist revealed that Sharon's hair had been 100% white and she was dying it once a week in order to maintain her bright 'do.

He spent eight hours transforming her into a platinum blonde to make her appearance more manageable – and the star was thrilled with the results.

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Larry Kramer, playwright and AIDS activist, dies at 84 – The Denver Post

NEW YORK — Larry Kramer, the playwright whose angry voice and pen raised theatergoers’ consciousness about AIDS and roused thousands to militant protests in the early years of the epidemic, has died at 84.

Bill Goldstein, a writer who was working on a biography of Kramer, confirmed the news to The Associated Press. Kramer’s husband, David Webster, told The New York Times that Kramer died Wednesday of pneumonia.

“We have lost a giant of a man who stood up for gay rights like a warrior. His anger was needed at a time when gay men’s deaths to AIDS were being ignored by the American government,” said Elton John in a statement.

Kramer, who wrote “The Normal Heart” and founded the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, or ACT UP, lost his lover to acquired immune deficiency syndrome in 1984 and was himself infected with the virus. He also suffered from hepatitis B and received a liver transplant in 2001 because the virus had caused liver failure.

He was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay for “Women in Love,” the 1969 adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s novel. It starred Glenda Jackson, who won her first Oscar for her performance.

He also wrote the 1972 screenplay “Lost Horizon,” a novel, “Faggots,” and the plays “Sissies’ Scrapbook,” “The Furniture of Home,” “Just Say No” and “The Destiny of Me,” which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1993.

But for many years he was best known for his public fight to secure medical treatment, acceptance and civil rights for people with AIDS. He loudly told everyone that the gay community was grappling with a plague.

Tributes from the arts community flooded in Wednesday, with Lin-Manuel Miranda on Twitter saying “What an extraordinary writer, what a life.” Dan Savage wrote: “He ordered us to love ourselves and each other and to fight for our lives. He was a hero.”

In 1981, when AIDS had not yet acquired its name and only a few dozen people had been diagnosed with it, Kramer and a group of his friends in New York City founded Gay Men’s Health Crisis, one of the first groups in the country to address the epidemic.

He tried to rouse the gay community with speeches and articles such as “1,112 and Counting,” published in gay newspapers in 1983.

“Our continued existence as gay men upon the face of this earth is at stake,” he wrote. “Unless we fight for our lives, we shall die.”

The late journalist Randy Shilts, in his best selling account of the AIDS epidemic “And the Band Played On,” called that article “inarguably one of the most influential works of advocacy journalism of the decade” and credited it with “crystallizing the epidemic into a political movement for the gay community.”

Kramer lived to see gay marriage a reality — and married himself in 2013 — but never rested. “I’m married,” he told The AP. “But that’s only part of where we are. AIDS is still decimating us and we still don’t have protection under the law.”

Kramer split with GMHC in 1983 after other board members decided to concentrate on providing support services to people with AIDS. It remains one of the largest AIDS-service groups in the country.

After leaving GMHC, Kramer wrote “The Normal Heart,” in which a furious young writer — not unlike Kramer himself — battles politicians, society, the media and other gay leaders to bring attention to the crisis.

The play premiered at The Public Theater in April 1985. Associated Press drama critic Michael Kuchwara called it an “angry but compelling indictment of a society as well as a subculture for failing to respond adequately to the tragedy.”

A revival in 2011 was almost universally praised by critics and earned the best revival Tony. Two actors from it — Ellen Barkin and John Benjamin Hickey — also won Tonys. Joe Mantello played the main character of Ned Weeks, the alter ego of Kramer.

“I’m very moved that it moved so many people,” he said at the time. Kramer often stood outside the theater passing out fliers asking the world to take action against HIV/AIDS. “Please know that AIDS is a worldwide plague. Please know there is no cure,” it said.

The play was turned into a TV film for HBO in 2014 starring Mark Ruffalo, Jonathan Groff, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons, Alfred Molina, Joe Mantello and Julia Roberts. It won the Emmy for best movie. Kramer stood onstage in heavy winter clothing as the statuette was presented to director Ryan Murphy.

The 1992 play “The Destiny of Me,” continues the story of Weeks from “The Normal Heart.” Weeks, in the hospital for an experimental AIDS treatment, reflects on the past, particularly his relationship with his family. His parents and brother appear to act out what happened in the past, as does the young Ned, who confronts his older self.

In 1987, Kramer founded ACT UP, the group that became famous for staging civil disobedience at places like the Food and Drug Administration, the New York Stock Exchange and Burroughs-Wellcome Corp., the maker of the chief anti-AIDS drug, AZT.

ACT UP’s protests helped persuade the FDA to speed the approval of new drugs and Burroughs-Wellcome to lower its price for AZT. He also battled — and later reconciled — with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has been leading the national response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kramer soon relinquished a leadership role in ACT UP, and as support for AIDS research increased, he found some common ground with health officials whom ACT UP had bitterly criticized.

Kramer never softened the urgency of his demands. In 2011, he helped the American Foundation for Equal Rights mount their play “8” on Broadway about the legal battle over same-sex marriage in California.

“The one nice thing that I seem to have acquired, accidentally, is this reputation of everyone afraid of my voice,” he told The AP in 2015. “So I get heard, whether it changes anything or not.”

One of his last projects was the massive two-volume “The American People,” which chronicled the history of gay people in America and took decades to write.

“I just think it’s so important that we know our history — the history of how badly we’re treated and how hard we have to fight to get what we deserve, which is equality,” he told The AP.

At the time of his death, Kramer was working on a play called “An Army of Lovers,” which he was updating to include the pandemic.

At the 2013 Tonys, he was honored with the Isabelle Stevenson Award, given to a member of the theater community for philanthropic or civic efforts.

A few months later, Kramer married his longtime partner, architect David Webster, in the intensive care unit of NYU Langone Medical Center, where Kramer was recovering from surgery for a bowel obstruction.

Sourcing & Methodology

Associated Press reporters Hillel Italie and David Crary contributed to this report.

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Daniel Abt SACKED and fined £9k by Formula E team for cheating in Esports race after letting pro take his place – The Sun

DANIEL ABT has been sacked by the Audi Formula E team after cheating in an online Esports race.

Incredibly, the German was disqualified from the virtual Berlin E-Prix and fined €10,000 after he let professional Esports sim racer, Lorenz Hoerzing, take his place.

Furious Audi chiefs have now responded by axing the 27-year-old with immediate effect.

Abt, who has been in Formula E since the first race in 2014, said: "Today I was informed in a conversation with Audi that our ways will split from now on.

"We won't be racing together in Formula E any more and the cooperation has ended. It is a pain which I have never felt in my life.

"It was extremely important to me to take this opportunity to tell you what happened and to simultaneously apologise to my family, to my friends, to Audi, to my partners, to Formula E, to UNICEF, and of course to all the fans who supported me over the years."

Abt, who had qualified in second place and finished third last Saturday, was quickly rumbled by fellow racers Stoffle Vandoorne and two-time FE champion Jean-Eric Vergne.

At the time Vandoorne said: "Really not happy here because that was not Daniel driving the car himself."

RUMBLED BY ANGRY TEAM-MATES

Vergne also doubted whether he was racing, as his camera was switched off.

He added: "Please ask Daniel Abt to put his Zoom next time he's driving, because like Stoffel said, I'm pretty sure he wasn't in."

Formula E launched an investigation and discovered his IP address was incorrect and placed 18-year-old Hoerzing at the wheel.

In a video last night, Abt apologised and insisted it was simply a joke that backfired and he had no intention of cheating.

He said: "We had a conversation and the idea came up that it would be a funny move if a sim racer basically drove for me, to show the other, real drivers, what he is capable of.

"We wanted to document it to create a funny story for the fans. That was our idea on the day and our thought.

"We talked about it and how to make it happen and how to unwind it in a video afterwards.

"It was never my intention to let another driver drive for me, to get a result and keep quiet about it later on, just to make me look better.

"The result was irrelevant to me. I'm not getting any money from it. The sim racer hasn't got any money from me, either.

"It simply was an idea. It was a feeling of 'this could be something cool'. We did not think about the seriousness and the consequences of the situation.

"We made a huge mistakeand I stand by this mistake. I accept it and I will carry all the consequences for what I have done."

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