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



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 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.”


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.

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Streaming wars: can Apple compete with Spotify?



Spotify’s 2023 Wrapped has dropped prompting listeners to review their top artists, genres, and songs of the year.

Many are taking to social media platforms to share their listening trends with family, friends, coworkers, and even other fans on the internet.

While Apple Music, a rival platform, has its own year-end campaign—it hasn’t quite ignited the same online response.

Seth Schachner, the Managing Director at StratAmericas and a former Sony Music Executive joins Veronica Dudo to discuss. #Spotify #music #Apple #AppleMusic #SpotifyWrapped #streaming #featured #IN AMERICA TODAY

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What Australia can learn from NZ’s supermarket inquiry



Coles and Woolworths, two of Australia’s largest supermarket chains, are about to face a Senate inquiry that aims to scrutinise their market dominance and business practices.

The inquiry’s parallels with a past New Zealand investigation highlight the growing concern over the duopoly’s impact on consumers and smaller businesses.

The Senate inquiry, set to begin next month, comes as a response to mounting public pressure and allegations of anti-competitive behavior in the grocery sector.

New Zealand example

Similar concerns led New Zealand to conduct its own inquiry into the supermarket industry back in 2019, resulting in recommendations for increased regulation and transparency.

The central question here is whether Coles and Woolworths wield too much power in the Australian market, potentially stifling competition and limiting choices for consumers.

With the New Zealand example as a cautionary tale, many are wondering if this inquiry will result in meaningful changes to the Australian grocery landscape.

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Elon Musk: Nikki Haley’s ‘campaign is dead’



Elon Musk has thrown a verbal jab at former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, declaring her political campaign as “dead” on X.

The unexpected comment from the Tesla and SpaceX CEO has ignited a new wave of discussion within the political sphere, leaving many wondering about the implications for Haley’s political future.

In a tweet that garnered significant attention, Musk criticized Haley’s recent policy stance, writing, “Nikki Haley’s campaign is dead on arrival if she continues to ignore the urgency of climate change.

We need leaders who prioritize the planet’s future.” The tech mogul’s remarks come as Haley, a prominent Republican figure, has been exploring the possibility of running for president in the upcoming election cycle.

Musk’s statement has reignited the debate over climate change within the Republican Party, with many conservatives emphasizing economic interests over environmental concerns.

This raises questions about whether Musk’s endorsement or critique could influence the GOP’s stance on climate issues and potentially impact the 2024 presidential race.

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