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Confirmed cases in France have been accelerating from about 1,000 a day in mid-August

France has reported a sharp rise in the number of coronavirus cases – 4,771 – up a thousand on Wednesday’s figure.

It is the first time more than 4,000 daily cases have been seen since May.

Meanwhile Spain, Germany and Italy have also recorded their highest numbers of cases since late April or May.

Many of the new Spanish cases are reportedly among the young, while German cases are said to be driven by a lack of social distancing and travellers returning from abroad.

The UK – which has Europe’s highest coronavirus death toll – registered a further 1,182 cases on Thursday.

Why are cases rising in France?

The number of confirmed cases has been accelerating since mid-August.

France has increased its testing capacity and carried out 664,000 tests over the past week, the health ministry said, but the rate of positive cases has also been increasing. It stood at 3.3% for the week between 11-17 August, up from 2.1% previously and more than double the 1.5% rate seen at the end of July.

Officials say the virus is now mostly circulating in major cities among the young, who typically do not have serious symptoms, and this is why the number of people being treated in hospital has not changed much.

Nevertheless three more cities – St Etienne, Nice and Toulouse – have made wearing a mask mandatory in their city centres. Mask-wearing is already required in busy areas of the capital Paris.

Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer has ruled out any postponement of the new school year, which begins on 1 September, although he conceded there “could be local exceptions”.

Pupils aged 11 and above will be required to wear masks when they are moving around schools in confined spaces and in classrooms when they are face to face and separated by less than a metre.

What’s the picture in Spain?

Spain reported 3,349 new cases on Thursday, with the health ministry’s emergencies coordinator Fernando Simón saying that no-one in the country should be in any doubt that “things are not going well”.

“Although the epidemic is not out of control at a national level, it is [out of control] in certain concrete ways,” he added, quoted by El País newspaper.

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“Things are not going well,” according to a Spanish health official

If cases continue to rise there would be “many hospitalisations, many people in intensive care and many deaths”, he said. The country has seen 131 deaths over the past week, more than ten times the level seen a month ago.

The average age of those confirmed to have the virus was now 39 for men and 37 for women – far lower than at the height of the epidemic in the country, when the average age of those infected was over 60.

Mr Simón appealed to social media influencers for help in containing the epidemic, asking them to emphasise to their followers that young people could end up infecting older members of their families.

“I understand that people want to go partying, but there are ways and ways of doing that,” he said. “Those with influence over the population must raise awareness about what needs to be done.”

What about Germany?

The country reported 1,707 new cases, with much of the rise blamed on returning holidaymakers as well as parties and family gatherings.

The Robert-Koch Institute said the highest rates of infection were among those returning from Kosovo, Turkey and Croatia.

In the most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia, more than a third of returnees who tested positive were coming from Kosovo and nearly 20% were coming from Turkey. However, those returning from Spain and Greece made up just 2.5% and 0.5% of positive cases in the state.

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Travellers returning from Kosovo are offered tests at Berlin’s central bus station

Germany has now designated two Croatian regions – Sibenik-Knin and Split-Dalmatia – as virus risk regions and warned against travel there. Arrivals in Germany from those areas will face mandatory tests for coronavirus.

Tourist Cheyenne Maschkewitz in Split told Reuters she had seen less social distancing than at home.

“We arrived here 10 days ago, it’s quite different here than in Germany, like the masks – when you go to shopping they don’t take it seriously, I think,” she said.

The UK and neighbouring Slovenia have also added Croatia – which recorded 255 new infections on Thursday – to their quarantine lists. Slovenia says it has recorded dozens of cases among people returning from Croatian party destinations.

However Croatia’s Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic insisted that “less than 1% of tourists got infected in Croatia” and said a ban on nightclubs opening beyond midnight would probably be extended

And in Italy?

Italy has also reported a sharp rise in infections, with 845 new cases in its latest daily count. The number is not as high as some other European countries but it is a rate of infection that has not been seen there since late May.

“We are not in as bad a position as France and Spain, but the current situation is not satisfactory,” said Professor Massimo Galli, head of infectious diseases at Milan’s Sacco hospital.

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Several countries have warned of holidaymakers returning from Croatia with the virus

The highest number of cases were reported in Veneto with 159 cases and Lombardy with 154 in Italy’s north, and in Rome’s Lazio region with 115.

“The end of confinement has resulted in an excessive feeling of false security,” Prof Galli added, quoted by La Repubblica newspaper.

He also pointed to young people returning from summer holidays, citing the example of nine people with the virus coming back from Croatia.

“I don’t want to look like the one blaming young people,” Prof Galli said, but “every day we receive reports of this type”.

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The Culture Secretary Has Told Netflix To Put A Warning Into “The Crown” Telling Viewers The Drama Is Fictionalised

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Oliver Dowden is expected to write to Netflix calling for a warning message to be placed on episodes of The Crown (PA)


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The culture secretary Oliver Dowden wants Netflix to place a warning at the start of episodes of “The Crown” telling viewers the drama is fictionalised.

He said people could be in danger of thinking the events depicted in it are a wholly accurate version of what happened after a number of complaints about the new series of the hit show.

The minister is expected to write to the streaming service requesting a message is placed on screen, echoing a similar suggestion from Earl Spencer, the brother of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Speaking to the Mail on Sunday Mr Dowden said the series, which stars Olivia Colman as the Queen, was a “beautifully produced work of fiction”.

But he raised concerns younger viewers who do not have prior knowledge of some aspects might mistake the fictional representations for an accurate version of what happened.

There has been criticism of how various members of the Royal Family have been depicted, including Prince Charles after the latest episodes show the tensions in his marriage to Princess Diana.

And the widow of an army officer killed in an avalanche at a Swiss ski resort said she was “very upset” to learn the disaster features in the new series.

Sarah Horsley, whose husband Major Hugh Lindsay, a friend of the Prince of Wales and a former Queen’s equerry who died in 1988, asked The Crown’s producers not to include it, and was “horrified” when she was told the episode was going ahead.

Mr Dowden told the Mail on Sunday: “It’s a beautifully produced work of fiction, so as with other TV productions, Netflix should be very clear at the beginning it is just that.

“Without this, I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact.”

Last week Earl Spencer told ITV’s Lorraine: “I think it would help The Crown an enormous amount if, at the beginning of each episode, it stated that: ‘This isn’t true but it is based around some real events’.”

He added: “I worry people do think that this is gospel and that’s unfair.”

But actress Emma Corrin, who plays Princess Diana, has defended the show, saying: “I think for everyone in the The Crown, we always try and remind everyone that the series we are in is fictionalised, to a great extent.

“Obviously it has its roots in reality and in some fact, but Peter Morgan’s scripts are works of fiction.”

She added: “At the same time, I understand why people would be upset, because this is history… and even with Diana, you know, it’s still very much fresh, I suppose, everything that happened. So I do really understand if people would be upset.

“But obviously, for all of the cast, we just want to constantly remind people that we approach these people that we play as characters, which is why it’s such a joyous job, because Peter [Morgan, the show’s creator] writes such rich and complex characters, and as an actor it’s such a joy to be able to really bring a lot to them.”

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Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr share an engaging draw in ‘exhibition’ bout

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Tyson and Jones were said to have drawn after eight, two-minute rounds

Mike Tyson said he will “continue to go further and do more” in the boxing ring after his return to the sport ended in an engaging draw with Roy Jones Jr.

The 54-year-old former world heavyweight champion ended 15 years of inactivity to take on 51-year-old Jones in a high-profile pay-per-view ‘exhibition’ – but fears the pair would serve up a some form of money-making farce were not realised as they did enough to provide entertainment.

While rap artist Snoop Dogg said it was like watching “two of my uncles fighting at a barbecue” during his stint as a ringside commentator at the spectator-less Staples Center in Los Angeles, former world champions including David Haye, Lennox Lewis and George Foreman expressed satisfaction.

Tyson last fought in 2005 and looked focused as he walked to the ring for his highly-anticipated return
Tyson last fought in 2005 and looked focused as he walked to the ring for his highly-anticipated return

There were glimpses of the past as Tyson swayed from the hips, ploughed forward and tried to unload shots, while Jones sought to move fluidly, though he was visibly drained by the halfway stage.

Tyson landed a couple of eye-catching left hooks, some solid body shots and unquestionably forced the pace. Many on social media felt he had won well but the judges – not employed by the sanctioning body but by the WBC to offer added entertainment – thought otherwise.

Tyson said he was happy with the draw and made clear his future pursuits would not be in a professional capacity: “This is bigger than championships, we are humanitarians, we are helping people. I’m happy I got this under the belt and I’ll continue to go further and do more.”

Jones, a former four-weight world champion, said he would talk to his family before considering fighting again, and added: “I don’t do draws but the dude is so strong, man. When he hits you, his head, his punches, his body shots, everything hurts. I’m cool with the draw.”

So did it work?

Tyson punches Jones
Tyson landed some solid work on Jones, who looked to hit, move and tie his opponent up

Former heavyweight champion Foreman tweeted it was the “best exhibition I have ever seen”, Haye said the event was “competitive” and former world super-middleweight champion Richie Woodhall said the pair “didn’t disgrace themselves in any shape or form”.

What an ‘exhibition’ would look like was up for debate. The California State Athletic Commission, which sanctioned the fight, had required two-minute rounds instead of the usual three minutes, larger than normal 12-ounce gloves and had said neither fighter could seek a knockout. In a bid to make make the bout safer for the 50-something fighters, the commission even stated a winner would not be named.

Ultimately when the bell sounded Tyson tried to fight aggressively, Jones looked to survive and tie his rival up a bit and any fears they would walk around and do little were quickly overcome.

Music artists including Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg performed in a bid to add to the pay-per-view offer, and moments before his ring walk Jones questioned the small ring in use, stating: “It’s like they are feeding me to the bear.”

Moments before he walked to the ring in his glory years Tyson was known to punch holes in changing room walls. Here, he admitted to fears moments before his ring walk as he stated: “I’m just pushing myself. Whatever I’m afraid to do, I do.”

Tyson got himself in shape for his return and looked less fatigued than Jones as the fight progressed
Tyson got himself in shape for his return and looked less fatigued than Jones as the fight progressed

Jones’ energy tank looked close to empty by halfway but Tyson – who will give some of the reported $10m (£7.5m) he earned to charity – appeared well conditioned over the eight rounds.

UFC president Dana White watched and said: “Time is undefeated and takes us all down. Fighting is a young man’s game. Mike looked awesome tonight. I was blown away. It exceeded my expectations.”

Since his first heavyweight world-title win aged 20 – a record that still stands – Tyson has been in prison for rape, battled drug and alcohol abuse, been bankrupt, acted in films and fronted his own one-man show.

Despite scandal and chaos he has stayed relevant and fans posted images of the hell-raising figure they hoped they may see moments before a ring return that had been anticipated by some and ridiculed by others.

While it was acceptable and entertaining, it is hard to see how repeat editions can prove as enticing. This was largely all about seeing if a 54-year-old former champion had anything left.

Tyson showed he did. He was in shape, he punched with menace and it can be argued some high-profile professional fights have offered less in terms of entertainment.

Whether there was enough quality, risk and drama on offer to keep people paying to watch more is another matter.

‘Snoop Dogg wins’ – reaction

Robin Lundberg tweets
Like many, broadcaster Robin Lundberg enjoyed the contributions of rapper Snoop Dogg
Tweet: Former British champion Ashley Theophane was satisfied with what the boxing legends served up
Former British champion Ashley Theophane was satisfied with what the boxing legends served up
Tweet: Former world heavyweight champion George Foreman was glowing in his praise
Former world heavyweight champion George Foreman was glowing in his praise
Like many others, Amir Khan expressed his relief neither Tyson or Jones were hurt
Like many others, Amir Khan expressed his relief neither Tyson or Jones were hurt
Tweet: Meanwhile former wrestler the Iron Sheikh feels WWE legends could profit by getting back in action
Meanwhile former wrestler The Iron Sheikh feels WWE legends could profit by getting back in action

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Whole Foods sent some customers a disconcerting email about their turkey

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An undetermined number of Thanksgiving chefs who purchased their bird from Whole Foods woke up this morning to a concerning email.

A “small number” of fresh market turkeys that were purchased from Whole Foods “did not meet our high expectations for quality,” the letter from Amazon customer service said. The note stressed there was no known food safety or health risk with any of the turkeys, but still, its recipient would be given a $50 Amazon gift card credited to their account.

“We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and are grateful to be a part of your holiday feasting,” the email said.

Reached for comment by CNN, Whole Foods confirmed that it had “discovered a small number of fresh turkey products in our South region that did not meet our high expectations for quality.”

“While these products do not pose any known health risks, we know how important holiday meals are to our shoppers and have proactively contacted customers who potentially purchased one of these turkeys,” the company said.

Stores in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, as well as two in the Florida panhandle were impacted, Whole Foods said.

The company assured that not all fresh turkey products were affected, nor did it say what, exactly, went wrong.

Whole Foods was also seen responding to some customers on Twitter re-affirming that the turkeys were safe to eat, and pointed them to US Food and Drug Administration guidelines for safely roasting a turkey.

The FDA’s website says fresh turkeys shouldn’t be bought more than 1-2 days before they are cooked. The guidelines say ovens should be set to no cooler than 325, and a whole turkey is safe when its cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees.

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