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Loch Lomond: Man, woman and child die, with boy, 7, in intensive care after getting into difficulty

25 July

A man, woman and child have died and a seven-year-old boy has been left fighting for his life after getting into difficulty in the water in Loch Lomond.

Police Scotland was called to reports of concerns for people's safety in the water near Pulpit Rock, Ardlui, on Saturday evening at about 6.40pm.
A 41-year-old man, a 29-year-old woman and a nine-year-old boy were pronounced dead at the scene, while another boy, seven, was taken to intensive care at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow, where he remains.
The force added: "A multi-agency operation took place and sadly three people were pronounced dead at the scene.
"Formal identification has still to take place but the family of a 41-year-old man, 29-year-old woman and nine-year-old boy have been made aware."
The case will now be sent to the procurator fiscal - which investigates all sudden deaths in Scotland.
It means that six people have died this weekend in Scotland after getting into trouble in water.
Earlier on Saturday afternoon, an 11-year-old died after being found in a river at Alexander Hamilton Memorial Park in Stonehouse, South Lanarkshire.
Just after that, a 13-year-old boy got into difficulty in a river in Hazelbank, South Lanarkshire, and his body was recovered from the water on Sunday.
And on Friday, a 16-year-old boy also died at Loch Lomond, at the Balloch Country Park.
Police Scotland has warned of the dangers of open water swimming following the deaths, which Assistant Chief Constable Mark WIlliams said "is hard to comprehend".
He added: "The warm weather can make open water swimming and paddling very inviting but it is extremely dangerous, even for the most experienced swimmers or supervised children. The conditions can change very quickly and there are often hidden risks like deeper water and strong currents.
"The message I want to send to everyone is exercise extreme caution. It is better to keep a safe distance from water if possible.
"Tragically, this weekend has highlighted that open water is very, very dangerous. If you see someone in the water and distressed call 999 immediately. Remember, you could get into difficulty yourself trying to help so please take care and seek help as soon as possible."

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COVID-19: Health Secretary Sajid Javid apologises for saying people should no longer 'cower from' vi

25 July

The health secretary has apologised for saying people should no longer "cower from" coronavirus.

Sajid Javid said he had deleted the tweet, which he posted on Saturday to say he had made a "full recovery" a week after testing positive for COVID-19.
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"I was expressing gratitude that the vaccines help us fight back as a society, but it was a poor choice of word and I sincerely apologise," he said.
"Like many, I have lost loved ones to this awful virus and would never minimise its impact."
Mr Javid's initial tweet drew criticism for being insensitive to those who had stayed home during the pandemic due to health conditions or in an effort to protect others.

Jo Goodman, co-founder of COVID-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, said the health secretary's comments were "deeply insensitive on a number of levels".
"Not only are they hurtful to bereaved families, implying our loved ones were too cowardly to fight the virus, but they insult all those still doing their best to protect others from the devastation this horrific virus can bring," she said.
Reacting to the apology, the campaign group said it welcomed Mr Javid's remarks and repeated an earlier call for him to visit the COVID memorial wall in London with them to "understand the hurt and insult" caused by his "poor choice of word".
Professor Devi Sridhar, chair of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, said the remarks would be "painful to read for those who were severely ill" and those who lost loved ones to COVID.
"It wasn't because they were weak, just unnecessarily exposed to a virus," she said.
In a statement released before Mr Javid's apology, Labour's Vicky Foxcroft said his tweet was "offensive and ill-informed".
"More than 1 in 60 people in the UK are estimated to still be shielding. In the first and second waves more than three million people shielded at the request of the government," the shadow minister for disabled people said.
"Most have been happy to do this as we know this has kept us safe."
Mr Javid replaced Matt Hancock as health secretary in June, after Mr Hancock resigned following the publication of CCTV footage that showed him kissing an aide in breach of coronavirus restrictions.

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Tokyo 2020: Team GB's Bradly Sinden takes silver after losing in the men's 68kg taekwondo final

25 July

Team GB's Bradly Sinden has taken silver in Tokyo after losing to Uzbekistan's Ulugbek Rashitov in the men's 68kg taekwondo final.

Rashitov beat Sinden 34-29 at the Makuhari Messe Hall on Sunday, meaning Sinden narrowly missed out on Team GB's first gold medal of the Games.
The 22-year-old reigning world champion was guaranteed a silver after beating China's Zhao Shuai in the semi-finals earlier in the day.
But despite his 19-year-old opponent being seeded 17th in the world, Sinden was overtaken in the last few seconds of the final match.
Appearing tearful afterwards, he spoke of his "disappointment".


"It was my gold medal to give away," he said. "I made a few mistakes, but that's taekwondo."
Sinden's was the second British medal in Tokyo, after Chelsie Giles secured the first by winning bronze in the 52kg judo earlier on Sunday.
The 24-year-old from Coventry came third after beating Switzerland's Fabienne Kocher in the repechage, having been given a shot at third place following her defeat in the quarter-finals.
The first two medals followed huge disappointment for Team GB earlier in the day when double Olympic champion Jade Jones lost in the first round.
Jones, 28, was vying to become the first ever British woman to secure three golds at three consecutive Games.
But she was denied even a bronze in the repechage when the Refugee Team's Kimia Alizadeh beat her in the semi-finals.
Commenting on the result, Jones said: "I'm absolutely gutted. It's not how I planned the day to go and just really frustrated with myself, I wasn't the best today so I just have to take it on the chin and congratulate the other girl."
She added that the lack of spectators and family support was a "struggle".
There was further upset for Team GB in the early hours of Sunday when Sir Andy Murray announced he was pulling out of the men's singles due to a thigh strain.
He was due to play world number nine Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada, but was replaced by Australian Max Purcell.
Murray had been hoping for his third consecutive singles gold, but will now only play in the doubles with partner Joe Salisbury.
He said: "I am really disappointed at having to withdraw but the medical staff have advised me against playing in both events, so I have made the difficult decision to withdraw from the singles and focus on playing doubles with Joe."
There was better news for Team GB swimmer Adam Peaty who powered through to the 100m breaststroke final with the fastest time on Sunday morning.
The 26-year-old world and Olympic champion won his semi-final comfortably in 57.63 seconds, slower than the 57.56 in Saturday's evening heats but more than a second quicker than China's Yan Zibei.
While way off his world record 56.88, it meant he now has the top 16 fastest swims of all time in the event.
Also on Sunday:
• Lizzie Deignan finished 11th in the women's cycling road race, with Austria's Anna Kiesenhofer getting gold
• British swimmers Max Litchfield and Aimee Willmott missed out in the 400m individual medley
• Team GB boxer Ben Whittaker beat Jorge Luis Vivas of Colombia to reach the last 16 of the men's light heavyweight
• Australian tennis player and Wimbledon champion Ash Barty was defeated in the first round by 48th-ranked Spanish opponent Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-4, 6-3
• Ahmed Hafnaoui stunned by winning Tunisia's second ever Olympic gold in the men's 400m freestyle
• Japanese swimmer Yui Ohashi won gold in the 400m individual medley, touching first with 4mins 32.08secs
• Yuto Horigome of Japan won the first ever Olympic gold medal in skateboarding
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It comes after 11 more coronavirus cases were announced at the Games, including three athletes.
Golfers Bryson DeChambeau of Team USA and world number one Jon Rahm of Spain were forced to pull out on Sunday after positive tests.
Rahm has tested positive for the virus twice in two months and was also forced to pull out of a tournament in Ohio in June.
It brings the total number of COVID cases since 1 July to 138.
Elsewhere, the International Olympic Committee has confirmed there will be no relaxation on mask-wearing rules in Tokyo.
Spokesman Mark Adams said: "It's not a 'nice to have', it's a 'must to have'."
He was responding to a question about several swimmers removing their masks during medal ceremonies.
The teams from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan were also mostly mask-less when they paraded through the stadium at Friday's opening ceremony, despite other national teams covering their faces in according with COVID-19 rules.

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COVID-19: UK cases fall for fifth day in a row as country records 29,173 new infections

25 July

The number of new COVID cases in the UK has continued to fall for a fifth day, according to government data.

The country has recorded 29,173 new cases, compared to 31,795 infections recorded on Saturday, and 48,161 recorded this time last week.
No data has been released on COVID-related deaths due to technical difficulties. On Saturday, 86 deaths were reported and 58 were recorded at the same time last week.
The number of people to have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine has risen by 43,454, taking the total to 46,563,452.
And 37,160,659 people have now been double jabbed after 206,968 adults had their second vaccination yesterday.
Meanwhile, analysis by Labour has shown nearly six million Britons could have their travel plans ruined if Spain and Greece get added to a new "amber plus" list, requiring isolation on return to the UK.
It comes after the government introduced an exemption for the requirement to isolate at home for 10 days for fully vaccinated holidaymakers returning from countries on the amber list.
But ministers removed the exemption for France amid concerns over the Beta variant, creating what critics call an "amber plus" designation on the traffic light system for foreign travel.
There has been speculation that Greece and Spain could face the same measures as France, though this has not been confirmed.

Earlier, Sajid Javid apologised for a tweet he posted on Saturday that said people should no longer "cower from" coronavirus.
The health secretary, who has deleted the original tweet, said: "I was expressing gratitude that the vaccines help us fight back as a society, but it was a poor choice of word and I sincerely apologise."

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COVID-19: Large events such as Premier League matches could be open only to the fully vaccinated

25 July

Large events such as Premier League games could be open only to fully vaccinated people from October under government plans.

Talks are under way with the Premier League to discuss whether supporters who have not received both jabs could be barred from entry, according to the PA news agency.
The rule could also be used for lower divisions and other sports, and for seated events with a capacity of more than 20,000 people.
For unseated events, such as gigs, the threshold could be as low as 5,000 attendees.
A government source said: "It's important that fans can continue to watch sporting events over the autumn, which is why we're exploring the role vaccines might play in this.
"This will not only allow full capacity stadiums but has the added bonus of incentivising people of all ages to go and get their jab."
Crime and policing minister Kit Malthouse did not deny that the government was considering vaccine passports for large events, saying in a broadcast pool clip: "We'll have to assess as we go over the next few weeks what we need to do next.
"Because we are tracking this virus very carefully, we're at a critical moment in our release from COVID restrictions.
"We need to take care that we are cautious, understanding that sometimes this virus has been a bit unpredictable and we need to be able to adapt as we go."
It is not clear whether a recent negative test could allow entry to football matches, but this has been ruled out for nightclubs.
Malcolm Clarke, chairman of the Football Supporters' Association, warned that vaccine passports would need to be "managed very carefully" if they are introduced - otherwise some fans might stop going to games.
"I think if they're going to do this with big football crowds then they need to have the resources to do the checks. I'm not convinced that all football clubs will be able to manage that in a way that doesn't cause some chaos," he told Times Radio.
"There will certainly be some football supporters for whom this will be an incentive, who are desperate to get back in the ground and watch their teams.
"There may be others who will say 'you know what, I've got used to being without going to the games and this is the last straw, I'm not coming back'. How it breaks down between those two groups and everything in between, I wouldn't like to predict."
Labour's shadow sports secretary Jo Stevens said: "To insist on vaccine passports less than a month before the start of the season will cause major disruptions, especially for clubs at the lower end of the pyramid.
"Labour has been clear that the use of COVID vaccination status alone will exclude those who can't be vaccinated or haven't had the jab because of delays.
"Being double jabbed doesn't prove you aren't carrying the virus. Testing for access to venues would be more efficient."
The English Football League declined to comment but it is understood that contingency plans are being discussed to deal with any change in government policy.
The government's chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance has previously said nightclubs could be "super-spreading events" but it is not clear whether there are similar fears about football matches.
There were worries about fans travelling to London during Euro 2020, however, and Public Health Scotland figures showed nearly 1,300 coronavirus cases linked to fans heading to the capital for matches in the group stages.
On Saturday it was announced that people in frontline roles such as police, fire and the Border Force, will be able to avoid quarantine - regardless of vaccine status - if they are a close contact of a positive COVID case.
It is part of government efforts to deal with the current situation where certain sectors are being left severely under-staffed due to workers being told to self-isolate because they have come into contact with someone who has COVID.
More than 600,000 people in England and Wales were told to quarantine by the NHS COVID-19 app in the week to 14 July.
Emergency service workers and other critical staff, including those in transport, freight and haulage, were already going to be exempt from isolation - but only if their employers specified their names and that they were double jabbed.
Now they will be able to take part in the scheme whether they are vaccinated or not, as new testing sites will be established.
Also on Saturday, the number of new COVID-19 cases in the UK fell for the fourth consecutive day.
There were 31,795 new cases recorded, compared to 36,389 cases on Friday and 54,674 infections on the same day the previous week.

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