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Coronavirus tests available in just ‘two of England’s top 48 hotspots’



A surge in demand for tests has seen people being offered tests hundreds of miles from their homes (Picture: PA)

Coronavirus tests were only available in two of England’s top virus hotspots yesterday, reports say. 

An LBC investigation found people were unable to book walk-in, drive-through or home tests in nearly all of the country’s most infected areas, despite repeated government promises to deliver a ‘world-beating’ system.

Slots could only be found in the north-west of England at centres in Liverpool and the Wirral.

It was earlier reported that no tests were available in any of England’s top 10 coronavirus hotspots on Monday.

But LBC now report they couldn’t get a test in 46 of the country’s 48 worst affected areas.

The damning report will pile even more pressure on Boris Johnson as the system struggles to cope with soaring demand.

Some people have even been turning up to accident and emergency to ask for Covid-19 tests.

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust said on Tuesday that a ‘high volume’ of patients arrived to the A&E requesting tests.

Bolton has the highest infection rate across the UK

Workers wear NHS Test and Trace branded Hi-Vis jackets as they work at a COVID-19 testing centre in Bolton, northern England on September 15, 2020, as local lockdown restrictions are put in place due to a spike in cases of the novel coronavirus in the city. - The UK government recently imposed tougher coronavirus restrictions in northwest England, as it voiced fears about rising infection rates among younger people. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Test centre workers in Bolton which is struggling to meet demand for Covid swabs (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

Trust chair Professor Donna Hall said people in Bolton – which has the highest infection rate in England – had been trying to get tests via their GPs and the hospital when they could not get them online or at mobile testing units.

She told BBC Radio Four’s The World Tonight: ‘We had 100 people in our accident and emergency unit today, five ambulances queuing outside.

‘This failure of the test and trace system is placing huge pressure on the NHS and social care.’

Prof Hall said the situation now is different to March when they had extra staff drafted in and were not expected to continue with planned operations.

She said: ‘We’re seeing wards full of people. We’ve now got 30 people who are Covid-positive and we’ve got five people in our high dependency unit so this is not going away, this virus is not going away.’

Asked if there was more that could have been done to avoid this situation, she said: ‘I’ve felt that there has been a real lack of a cohesive strategy for the whole containment of Covid-19 and for test and trace.’

The stinging criticism comes ahead of the Prime Minister’s appearance in the Commons, where he will face senior MPs who are likely to question him on the Government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has admitted that it might be ‘a matter of weeks’ before the testing problems are resolved, and on Tuesday announced that tests in England will be rationed.

He said there would be ‘prioritisation’ of tests for people with acute clinical need and those in social care settings as he acknowledged ‘operational challenges’ in the system.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

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‘The Masked Singer’ season 4 episode 2 recap: Group B celebrities take the stage on September 30 [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]




It’s a brand new week on “The Masked Singer,” which means it’s time to meet an entirely fresh group of secret celebrities. During Wednesday’s second episode, America got its first look at Group B, consisting of Baby Alien, Crocodile, Gremlin, Seahorse, Serpent and Whatchamacallit. These six singers gave it their all on the stage in front of a virtual audience (that’s right, the various shots of the live crowd are from previous seasons), with five advancing to the next round. That meant one costumed character was eliminated and forced to reveal their true identity.

SEE Coronavirus controversy: Why isn’t ‘The Masked Singer’ live audience wearing masks for health reasons?

Below, read our minute-by-minute “The Masked Singer” recap of Season 4, Episode 2, titled “Six More Masks,” to find out what happened Wednesday, September 30 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. Then be sure to sound off in the comments section about your favorite costumed celebs on Fox’s reality TV show, reflect on every reveal for all seasons, and tell us who you think will ultimately join the “Masked Singer” winners list.

Keep refreshing/reloading this “Masked Singer” live blog for the most recent updates.

8:00 p.m. — “Previously on ‘The Masked Singer’!” In the first episode, Group A performed in front of host Nick Cannon and panelists Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy, Ken Jeong and Nicole Scherzinger. Giraffe, Popcorn, Snow Owls and Sun all advanced to the next round, while Dragon received the lowest number of votes. He then removed his scaly mask to reveal rapper Busta Rhymes. “I felt like I was in an oxygen tank without oxygen,” the ex-Dragon told Nick. Who will be unmasked tonight?

8:15 p.m. — Kicking things off is the Crocodile who saunters out with some serious swagger in his glittering pink pantsuit. Here are the clues: Becoming a crocodile was a “natural selection” because he’s happiest in water. Ever since he was a kid, growing up in Hollywood surrounded by heartache and instability, he was forced to develop a thick skin. We see an Italian flag, a crooner on stage and a fish inside a pineapple. Crocodiles are known for cold-blooded, but he’s just a warm, sensitive creature who just wants to be loved back. We also see a prominently featured hotel in his clue package. Crocodile is singing “It’s My Life” by Bon Jovi and he’s definitely got some chops. He’s got a raspy voice that fits well within the rock genre and he’s got a natural stage presence. I definitely think Crocodile is a seasoned vocalist. The panel believes Crocodile could be John Hamm, Nick Lachey, or Donnie Wahlberg.

SEE exclusive predictions: Who will win ‘The Masked Singer’?

Be sure to make your predictions to influence our reality TV racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the episode airs on Fox. You’ll compete to win eternal bragging rights and a spot on our “The Masked singer” Season 4 leaderboard. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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Stream Neil Cicierega’s New Mashup Album Mouth Dreams




Neil Cicierega is the guy responsible for early-2000s Flash animation gold like Potter Puppet Pals and “Ultimate Showdown Of Ultimate Destiny.” He also makes music as Lemon Demon, and since 2014, he’s been releasing a series of jokey mashup albums inspired by Smash Mouth under his own name. So far, we’ve gotten Mouth Sounds, Mouth Silence, and Mouth Moods. And today, he’s sharing another installment, Mouth Dreams. It’s got Aerosmith, Green Day, Owl City, and much, much more, and you can listen to the whole thing below.

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Here’s Why NXIVM Leader Keith Raniere Is Still Not in Prison




HBO’s The Vow explores the history of self-improvement organization NXIVM, its members, and its founder, Keith Raniere. For years, Keith appeared to be a magnanimous life coach who helped his followers find purpose in their lives. But over the course of the nine-part documentary, audiences come to see his true manipulative personality and the dark, cult-like nature of the multi-level marketing group.

It’s now been over two years since Keith was arrested by Mexican authorities in Puerto Vallarta, where he had fled after the New York Times article about DOS, the secret women’s group within NXIVM, was published. Along with Keith, other key members like Allison Mack, the Bronfman sisters, Nancy and Laura Salzman, and Kathy Russell were also arrested on various charges related to NXIVM. 

But where exactly is Keith Raniere today and what happened at his trial? 

Where is Keith Raniere today?

After Keith was arrested and extradited from Mexico, authorities transported him back to the U.S. where he faced charges of sex trafficking, conspiracy, possession of child pornography, racketeering, and more. Keith was also accused of creating a sex cult under the guise of self-improvement, through which he pressured women to sleep with him and used them for his own financial benefit.

Over the course of his six-week trial, several women came forth and testified about the disturbing details of what they had done while in the cult. Prosecutors said that dozens of women had been lured into Keith’s sex cult with the promise of personal empowerment and growth, while he in fact was using the group to control these women. 

Source: HBO

One woman even testified to being kept in captivity in a closet for around two years after she did something that displeased Keith.

At the end of the trial, it reportedly took the jury less than five hours to determine that Keith was guilty of seven out of the 11 charges. He now faces a potential 15 years to life in prison. 

Did Keith Raniere go to prison?

Despite the conviction being over a year old now, Keith is still awaiting sentencing from a jail cell in Brooklyn. The convicted sex-cult leader was scheduled to be sentenced during an April 16 hearing but the proceedings were delayed due to the fact that Keith had been unable to meet with his attorneys because of a 30-day prohibition of visitors at his jail to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Source: HBO

Since then, there have been two more delays, all related to the pandemic, but in August, a federal judge rescheduled Keith’s sentencing to Oct. 27, in a courtroom that has been closed since March. 

But jail time isn’t the only consequence that Keith faces. He’s also a defendant in a lawsuit that was filed in January of this year against him and 14 of his key NXIVM associates. 

The lawsuit, which includes 80 plaintiffs, accuses NXIVM of duping them out of thousands of dollars through a pyramid scheme and making it “financially, physically, and psychologically difficult, and in some cases impossible, to leave the coercive community.”

Stream The Vow on HBO. New episodes premiere every Sunday at 10 p.m. ET.

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