“Call me Harry,” says informal UK prince as he starts last round of royal duties

Robie de Guzman   •   February 27, 2020   •   322

Prince Harry

Britain’s Prince Harry started the last round of his royal duties on an informal note on Wednesday (February 26), making it clear the audience listening to his speech on sustainable travel in Edinburgh should simply call him Harry.

Queen Elizabeth’s grandson and his American wife Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have announced they will step down from their duties as senior royals next month to spend more time in North America.

Although Harry will no longer be known as His Royal Highness, he will still be a Prince.

But before his speech on Wednesday, event host Ayesha Hazarika told delegates: “He’s made it clear that we are all just to call him Harry.”

Harry and Meghan have been in Canada with their son Archie for several weeks but Harry came back to Britain on Tuesday, according to local media.

On Friday, he is due to visit the studios at Abbey Road in north London, where the Beatles recorded 11 of their 13 albums, to meet the singer Jon Bon Jovi and the Invictus Games Choir, who are recording a single for charity.

His trip to Britain comes after news last week that he and Meghan would not use the word “royal” in their branding, following weeks of talks between the couple and the royal family about how they will present themselves to the world in the future.

Harry has spoken of his sadness at being forced to give up his royal duties, saying there was no other option if he and Meghan, an American actress, were to seek an independent future away from stifling media intrusion. (Reuters)

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UK researchers to test dogs’ ability to sniff out COVID-19

UNTV News   •   May 18, 2020

Dogs’ ability to sniff out whether people are infected with COVID-19 before showing any symptoms will be put to the test by British researchers, in a bid to develop a fast, non-invasive means of detecting the disease.

Britain’s government said on Saturday (May 16) it had given 500,000 pounds ($606,000) towards the research, which will be conducted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Durham University and a British charity, Medical Detection Dogs.

Professor James Logan, lead researcher for the work, said the study seeks to determine whether people with COVID-19 have a distinctive body odour that could be detected by dogs in a similar way to those with malaria.

A decade of research by Medical Detection Dogs has found dogs can be trained to detect certain diseases at the equivalent dilution of a teaspoon of sugar in two Olympic-sized swimming pools.

More than 4.55 million people have been reported to have been infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 306,001 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019. (Reuters)

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No end to UK lockdown but some measures will be eased, says Johnson

UNTV News   •   May 11, 2020

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday (May 10) the coronavirus lockdown will not end yet, urging people to “stay alert” to the risks as he outlined plans to begin slowly easing measures that have closed down much of the economy for nearly seven weeks.

While his government was giving directions for England, it wants the United Kingdom’s other constituent nations – Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – to take the same approach. But there were immediate divisions, with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon saying she was sticking with the existing “stay at home” message.

Johnson announced a limited easing of restrictions, including allowing people to exercise outside more often and encouraging those who cannot work from home to return to their jobs.

In his address, Johnson said people should continue to work from home if they could, but from Monday (May 11) those who cannot, such people working in construction and manufacturing, should be “actively encouraged to go to work”.

From Wednesday (May 13) , people will be allowed to take unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise, he said, and can sit in the sun in their local park, drive to other destinations, and play sports with members of their own household.

Until now, people have been expected to exercise outdoors once a day, do so locally, and – despite recent spells of warm weather – told not to go to parks to sit in the sun.

Social distancing rules must still be obeyed, Johnson said, adding that fines would be increased for those who break them.

He detailed an alert system ranging from level 1, where virus is no longer present, to level 5, the most critical, that will allow the government to flag risks in different parts of England and to decrease or increase restrictions where necessary.

Johnson said that by the earliest by June 1, the government might be in a position to begin the phased reopening of shops and to get primary pupils back into schools, in stages.

At the earliest by July, and if the infection rates support it, there could be the re-opening of at least some of the hospitality industry and other public places, provided they are safe and enforce social distancing, he added.

With both the death rate and hospital admissions falling, Johnson said it would be “madness” to allow a second spike in infections.

Changes will be closely monitored at a local, regional and national level and the government would “not hesitate to put on the brakes” if there are outbreaks, he said. (Reuters)

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British PM Johnson: too risky to relax coronavirus lockdown yet

UNTV News   •   April 27, 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, back at work after recovering from COVID-19, said on Monday (April 27) it is still too dangerous to relax a stringent lockdown hammering the economy as that may cause a deadly second outbreak.

Speaking outside his Downing Street residence a month and a day since testing positive for the virus which threatened his life, Johnson compared the disease to a street criminal that the British people had wrestled to the floor.

Stressing it was still a time of maximum risk, he said he understood the concerns of business and would consult with opposition parties – but he made clear that there was to be no swift lifting of the lockdown.

Johnson’s government, party and scientific advisers are divided over how and when the world’s fifth largest economy should start returning to work, even in limited form.

The United Kingdom is one of the worst-hit nations, with more than 20,732 hospital deaths reported as of Saturday (April 25).

But the most stringent lockdown in peacetime has left the economy facing possibly the deepest recession in three centuries and the biggest debt splurge since World War Two. (Reuters)

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