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Stepping on a crowded London dancefloor “like walking into a parallel universe”

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The British government lifted pandemic restrictions on daily life in England at midnight on Monday

People eagerly awaited to enter London’s G-A-Y Heaven and other nightclubs across the UK.

As the clock ticked towards midnight, the chairs, tables and protective screens that have been in place throughout lockdown to comply with government rules were stripped down and the “freedom day’ party erupted in full swing.

BENJAMIN BUTTERWORTH ON FREEDOM DAY IN UK

Benjamin Butterworth was live at the first club that opened up, he filmed it and the video went nuts.

“At the stroke of midnight it was pretty incredible because the venue I went to for COVID compliant bar,” Butterworth, a Late Editor & Senior Reporter at iNewspaper, told tickerNEWS live from London.

“It was like New Year’s Eve,”

“In fact, the owner of the club called it the (New Year’s) Eve we never had.”

Butterworth said most people were out in London, mainly people in their 20’s and younger.

“18, or 19 year olds have never had the chance to go to a nightclub. There was not only a palpable sense of excitement, but it was also quite emotional.”

What was it like?

Butterworth was in the DJ booth, because he was filming from there, and said the woman who was doing the DJing, wiped away a tear, as it got to midnight and people partied again.

“Aa lot of young people have given up so much during this pandemic to protect their peers, and rightly so in my opinion. But now it’s time as the vaccine has been rolled out so well in the United Kingdom, to get that freedom back and to have some fun,

“My god, it felt great to dance again. It was so much better than New Year’s Eve, because it was so much more special.”

PHOTO FROM BENJAMIN BUTTERWORTH

People can’t believe they can dance again

Butterworth said that people couldn’t believe that they could dance again that they could make new friends, they could hug or they could have new romances and “that’s why it was so special.”

However, he notes that “of course, scientists say that because we vaccinate, double vaccinated, so many people, the link between gaining COVID and being hospital has broken”

“But people in there could obviously get COVID, there’s a very real chance that someone could have had it in there. But the chances are, they won’t get it.”

He is hopeful the government welfare is going to change the rules in England to say that you have to be double jabbed to go into a nightclub from September when the rollout will have completely finished for everyone over the age of 18.

“So they’re going to tighten the rules a bit. But you know, just to have had that moment, just felt pretty special,” he said on tickerNEWS.

Are people scared to be in crowds and clubs?

Butterworth said you don’t have to wear face masks, for example, not by law in supermarkets or on public transport, “but the vast majority of people are still choosing to do it. I think it will be a while not because of the rules, but before people feel safe in themselves.”

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND – JULY 19: Clubbers take to the dance floor just minutes after Pryzm nightclub threw open its doors to celebrate the relaxing of Covid-19 rules in the early hours of July 19, 2021 in Brighton, England. At a minute past midnight, England dropped most of its remaining Covid-19 social restrictions, such as those requiring indoor mask-wearing and limits on group gatherings. These changes come despite rising infections, pitting the country’s vaccination programme against the virus’s more contagious Delta variant. (Photo by Chris Eades/Getty Images)

He thinks there are a lot of people that won’t return to nightclubs or to full capacity theatres in London’s famous West End for a while, because they’re still nervous about the spread of COVID.

“So I think there’s a lot of certitude to the age, the polling in this country, it says a quarter of people thought nightclubs should be permanently closed. So there’s a lot of attitudinal change that we still need, I think to get back to life as normal, I dare say will be next year,” he said.

“And because it’s been so long for us because we’ve had a turbulent time in the UK with COVID. Seems like the one now that’s so familiar to people,

“It’s almost like walking into a parallel universe. Having these freedoms back.”

Boris Johnson’s Former Chief Adviser says the PM was reluctant to tighten COVID restrictions last year because he thought people dying from the virus were “all over 80”

Dominic Cummings also says the PM messaged him to say “I no longer buy all this NHS overwhelmed stuff.”

FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks on Downing Street in London, Britain, July 14, 2021. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

It follows reports from Cummings that Johnson wanted to let COVID “wash through the country” rather than destroy the nation’s economy.

The BBC is expected to air an interview with Cummings, in his first one-on-one interview during his political career.

Meanwhile, thousands of UK residents have partied the night away as the nation scaled back its strict COVID restrictions.

Warning not to travel to UK

The US State Department has issued a warning advising American residents to avoid traveling to the UK as the Delta variant continues to spread at rapid rates.

The warning comes as England celebrates “Freedom Day” and moves into a society free of Covid-19 restrictions.

Health Officials have boosted their travel alert to “Very High” saying travellers to the U.K. should wear a mask and stay at least 6 feet away from other people”.

The UK recorded more than 54,000 cases of coronavirus on Saturday and over 47,000 on Sunday and is the current pandemic epicentre.

Freedom Day also coincided with a worldwide drop in stocks, with investors choosing safety over airlines, cruise companies and other industries that rely on the end of Covid-19.

World

North Korea’s five biggest missiles

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North Korea has flown a missile over Japan for the first time in five years

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris did not mince her words when she paid a visit to the demilitarised zone last week.

“In the North, we see a brutal dictatorship, rampant human rights violations and an unlawful weapons program that threatens peace and stability,” she said.

North Korea’s latest missile launch is the latest in a string of tests following Harris’ visit.

U.S. President Joe Biden spoke with Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida following Tuesday’s long-range missile. The pair condemned the test in the “strongest terms,” as they described it as a danger to the Japanese people.

Associate Professor Tilman Ruff from the University of Melbourne believes the threat of nuclear war has increased.

“This is clearly the time of greatest danger of nuclear war since the at least the Cuban missile crisis.”

North Korea has carried out over 30 missile tests this year, as authorities brace themselves for bigger weapon, which could reach the U.S. east coast.

in response to Tuesday’s test, South Korea and the U.S. fired a string of missiles into the East Sea.

5. The Musudan

The Musudan, or the Hwasong-10 is a medium-range ballistic missile, which has an estimated range of more than 4,000km.

The missile was first tested in October 2016 and is believed to be capable of reaching South Korea and Japan.

4. The KN-08

The KN-08 is a long-range ballistic missile, which boasts an estimated range of more than 6,000km.

While North Korea had two unsuccessful tests of this weapon in 2016, it was successfully tested in 2017.

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un inspects his weaponry.

3. The Pukguksong-2

The Pukguksong-2 is a medium-range ballistic missile, which has an estimated range of more than 2,000km.

This is a land-based variant of the Pukguksong-1 weapon, which is submarine-launched.

The missile was first tested in February of 2017 and is believed to be capable of reaching South Korea and Japan.

2. The Hwasong-14

The Hwasong-14 is North Korea’s first intercontinental ballistic missile. It is also one of their most powerful missiles, with an estimated range of more than 8,000km.

The missile was first tested in July 2017 and is believed to be capable of reaching New York.

1. The Hwasong-12

The latest missile test over Japanese territory is understood to be an intermediate-range Hwasong-12.

This ballistic missile has an estimated range of more than 4,500km, and is believed to be capable of reaching the U.S. territory of Guam in the Pacific.

The long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12.

North Korea’s missile tests have risen under the rule of its current leader, Kim Jong-Un. In fact, there have been more test launches this year, than in the previous decade alone.

“If anybody thought that the risk of nuclear war went away with the end of the Cold War, then these current concerns should put an end to any such complacency.”

Associate Professor Tilman Ruff, the University of Melbourne

There are also a range of other weapons in the North Korean inventory, including a nuclear bomb, which is believed to be six times bigger than what the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.

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Business

Rolls Royce CEO slams aviation for failing on climate targets

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Aviation needs to act on net-zero targets, that’s according to the CEO of Rolls Royce

Warren East says the sector needs to move towards bio-fuels like hydrogen and electric aircraft.

Travellers can even look forward to flying on planes that has a gas turbine that’s burning hydrogen.

Speaking at a conference in London, East says transitional technology is the answer that plane-makers are searching for.

Some companies are already looking at sustainable fuels that can offer 80 per cent off carbon emissions across their lifetime.

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World

Damming report reveals China ran smear campaigns against Australia and the U.S.

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A new report has taken aim at China’s response to a series of riots in the Solomon Islands last year

The new damming report has found China ran a smear campaign against western nations in the Solomon Islands.

After riots back in November 2021, the Chinese Communist Party published a number of false stories, blaming the unrest on Australia and the U.S.

The report says Chinese diplomats intensified their criticisms of western leaders, while state media tried to paint Australia and the U.S. as bullies.

It analysed Chinese state information campaigns in the Solomon Islands over a period spanning 18 weeks.

But the campaign had limited success.

Of the 67 articles published by China, only 11 were shared on public Facebook pages, and this is where the vast majority of Solomon Islanders access their news content.

However, the researchers warn this isn’t an excuse for Australian and American officials to relax.

Urging the two western nations to increase their engagement with media in the Pacific on-cam  to further counter China’s influence in the region before it’s too late.

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