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Call to close loophole that lets adults prey on teens for sex

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Sports coaches, faith and cadet leaders are legally allowed to have sex with 16 and 17-year-olds in their care, leading to the campaign from the children’s charity. But it is a crime for teachers, social workers and other professionals legally in a position of trust to have sex with teenagers in the same age group who they care for. The situation has led a brave survivor to reveal her harrowing ordeal after she was preyed upon by a swimming coach as soon as she turned 16.

In a letter to the Lord Chancellor, Hannah, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, catalogues how her swimming coach who she refers to as Jeff abused his position of power.

She would have training sessions with him eight times a week but when she turned 16, he started to compliment her on her appearance before legally having sex with her.

Hannah said: “Jeff was always pushing the boundaries but staying on the right side of the line. Initially he would just give me a hug.

“Then one day he gave me a hug and put his hand on my bottom. Jeff spent a long time making me feel comfortable. This was my first sexual experience but when this relationship came tumbling down, I changed with it. I was left feeling really angry, I was a difficult person to be around. It took me a long time to trust friends and family, to let them hug me.”

She confided in a friend what had happened and then told police but no action could be taken as a result of the loophole.

Thousands of campaigners, including MPs and national organisations, are backing the crusade. So far a 4,420-strong signature petition has been raised in two weeks backing the NSPCC’s Close the Loophole campaign.

Hannah’s letter comes in the wake of a review into the Positions of Trust Law, which is soon due to be released by the Ministry of Justice in the coming weeks.

NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless said: “It’s unacceptable that gaps in our law mean that teenagers are protected from predatory behaviour in the classroom, but not on the sports pitch.”

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July 4 reopening: What is NOT opening tomorrow? Full list

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced changes to the UK lockdown in June, after the UK’s medical and scientific officers reduced the UK from Level 4 to Level 3 on its Covid Alert System. While many businesses will be opening on July 4, a number of others won’t be. Express.co.uk outlines what isn’t allowed to reopen from July 4.

On “Super Saturday” many Brits will be planning trips to restaurants, cinemas or pubs.

However, the Prime Minister has warned all those planning to celebrate on July 4 that the “shark is still out there” with regards to COVID-19.

For those planning to take advantage of the reopening of many businesses, the PM is asking people to be sensible and stick to the current coronavirus guidelines.

In a direct message to those planning to celebrate tomorrow, the Prime Minister told the Evening Standard: “Do not undo the sacrifices you have made with reckless behaviour.

“The public need to stay alert and realise that the threat is not over, follow the guidance and behave responsibly so that this virus cannot re-emerge in communities across the country.

“We are working through our roadmap but this could easily be undone.

“We do not want to see businesses have to close again. Here in London, the virus seems to be very much in retreat.

“But as I said yesterday the shark is still out there in the water.”

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What will be reopening on July 4?

A number of businesses within the hospitality sector will be allowed to start reopening from July 4.

This includes restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs but also hotels and holiday accommodation.

From July 4 hairdressers and barbers will be allowed to reopen.

Cinemas and theatres can also reopen, and concert halls can open but live performances are not permitted.

Theme parks, cinemas and indoor attractions such as zoos and aquariums are also allowed to reopen.

Bingo halls, museums, galleries and outdoor gyms have also been given the green light to reopen.

All businesses will need to prove they are “Covid-secure” and can keep customers safe before reopening.

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What is not opening on July 4?

According to the Government’s latest guidance, the following businesses will not be allowed to reopen from July 4.

  • Nightclubs
  • Casinos
  • Bowling alleys
  • Indoor skating rinks
  • Indoor play areas, including soft-play areas
  • Spas
  • Nail bars
  • Beauty salons
  • Tanning salons
  • Massage parlours
  • Tattoo parlours
  • Piercing parlours
  • Indoor fitness and dance studios
  • Indoor gyms
  • Sports venues/facilities
  • Swimming pools
  • Water parks
  • Exhibition or conference centres

Announcing the changes in Parliament last month, Mr Johnson said: “Close proximity venues such as nightclubs, soft play areas, indoor gyms, swimming pools and spas will, I’m afraid, need to remain closed for now, as will bowling alleys and water parks.

“But my right honourable friends the Business and Culture Secretaries will establish task forces with public health experts and the sectors to help them become Covid-secure and reopen as soon as possible.

“We will also work with the arts industry on specific guidance to enable choirs, orchestras and theatres to resume live performances as soon as possible.

“Recreation and sport will be allowed, but indoor facilities including changing rooms and courts will remain closed and people should only play close contact team sports with members of their household.”

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Leicester lockdown: Is Coalville in lockdown? Is Market Harborough?

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The Leicester lockdown, approved by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, announced on Monday by Health Secretary Matt Hancock. Mr Hancock said from Tuesday, June 30, all non-essential shops in the city would be forced to close and all schools would shut from Thursday, July 2. Express.co.uk has published a guide to explain which areas in and around Leicester are under lockdown?

In recent weeks, the confirmed cases of coronavirus in Leicester have been increasing at an alarming rate.

In the two weeks leading up to June 23, Leicester City Council reported 944 positive coronavirus tests.

On Monday, Mr Hancock announced that the city’s seven day infection rate was “three times higher than the next highest city”.

He added in the past week, Leicester city was responsible for 10 percent of all positive Covid-19 cases throughout the country, which is hugely out of proportion for its population size of around 330,000.

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What areas are included in Leicester’s lockdown?

Mr Hancock revealed on Monday the lockdown would cover the city of Leicester as well as the “surrounding conurbation including, for example, Oadby, Birstall and Glenfield”.

An official map was released on Tuesday to show the precise boundaries for the localised lockdown.

Leicester County Council published the map to show where the boundary of the lockdown falls and is has now create a postcode checker to verify the exact homes under lockdown.

Is Coalville in lockdown?

Coalville is an industrial town in North West Leicestershire, East Midlands England, with a population at the 2011 census of 34,575.

Coalville borders the upland area of Charnwood Forest to the east of the town.

Coalville is located outside of the lockdown region according to the council’s website.

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Is Market Harborough in lockdown?

Market Harborough is a market town within the Harborough district of Leicestershire, England.

The town is situated in the far southeast of the county, forming part of the border with Northamptonshire.

Harborough District has a population of 91,461 and Market Harborough is the district’s administrative headquarters.

Currently, Market Harborough is located outside of the established localised lockdown zone.

The following areas in and around Leicester are currently included in the localised lockdown:

  • Leicester city
  • Blaby District: Braunstone Town (including Fosse Park), Glenfield, Glen Parva, Leicester Forest East (East of the M1) and Thorpe Astley
  • Charnwood Borough: Birstall and Thurmaston
  • Oadby and Wigston Borough.

For those concerned about their own home, you can check your postcode on the Leicester County Council’s postcode checker tool here.

Leicester’s mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said this week the local authority and experts are still trying to work out where the virus is in the city.

He said: “We do still need to know more about where it is in the community.

“I’ve had lots of speculation and lots of questions about where it is in the community and we have not as yet been able to give satisfactory answers even to ourselves, no matter anybody else, about which parts of the community need the intervention.

“Which neighbourhoods, which communities, indeed which streets.”

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Princess Diana birthday: How old would Diana be today?

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On August 31, 1997, Princess Diana died in Paris at the age of 36. She is survived by her two sons Prince William and Prince Harry, with her eldest son William recently celebrating his 38th birthday. But according to a royal expert Katie Nicholl, William would have felt sadness over his mother’s absence on the day.

Ms Nicholl told OK! Magazine: “William misses his mother. It must be emotional for him that she’s not here to share this.

“She’s still a significant part of his life so inevitably, on his birthday, his thoughts will be with her.”

William bravely spoke out about his own experience of losing his mother in the recent BBC documentary Football, Prince William and Our Mental Health.

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He said: “You feel pain like no other pain.

“And you know that in your life it’s going to be very difficult to come across something that’s going to be even worse pain than that.

“But it also brings you so close to all those other people out there who have been bereaved.”

Today on July 1, Diana would have been celebrating her own birthday.

How old would Princess Diana have been today?

Born in 1961, Princess Diana would have celebrated her 59th birthday today.

Diana was born as Lady Diana Spencer, the daughter of Earl Spencer and Frances Spencer.

Diana was actually born at Park House, which was located on Queen Elizabeth II’s Sandringham Estate.

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The Spencer family leased the home from the Queen, and historically the Spencer’s have always had strong links to the Royal Family.

Diana was introduced to her future husband, Prince Charles, via her sister Sarah in 1977.

She was 16-years-old at the time, and later the pair would begin courting.

Charles would later propose in 1981, and Diana chose a ring from royal jewellers Garrard, which now belongs to Prince William’s wife Kate.

On July 29, 1981, a 20-year-old Diana married Prince Charles at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

She subsequently became the Princess of Wales, and their wedding was widely dubbed a “fairytale” and was watched by millions of royal fans around the world.

Diana’s iconic wedding dress included a 25-foot train and was designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel.

Diana and Prince Charles had two children together, Prince William (born 1982) and Prince Harry (born 1984).

Charles and Diana eventually divorced in 1996, following years of unhappy marriage.

Diana died in a car crash in Paris while her driver was fleeing the paparazzi in 1997.

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UK weather map: July heatwave to bring 110F blast to continent as charts turn blood RED

The end of June has seen temperatures dip back down to the low 20C, with the highs of 33C replaced by cloudy skies and chilling winds. However, as we head into July temperatures could once more shift to see heatwave conditions sweep the country.

According to forecasters, Europe will be facing sweltering heat as July begins, with up to 43C – 110F – possible in Spain on the weekend of July 4 and 5.

Much of the continent will experience highs of above 30C at the beginning of July.

In France, conditions will be slightly cooler than that of Spain, with highs of 31.5C on Saturday but increasing to 33C to the south of the country on Wednesday, July 8.

While highs of 40C may not be felt across the UK, temperatures will once again pick up in the UK in July.

Read More: BBC Weather: 36C heat to boil Europe before ‘sharp’ showers sweep in

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From Monday, July 12, the Met Office long-range forecast predicts a warmer weather pattern for the UK.

The forecast reads: “It looks as if relatively dry, settled and warm conditions may be established at the start of this period, bringing some sunshine for most parts, particular southern and central areas.

“The northwest may still be more changeable with nearer normal temperatures.”

According to maps from WXCharts, the UK may see highs of 24C over this coming weekend, with temperatures rising in time for lockdown restrictions easing.

From Saturday, July 4, England’s pubs, restaurants and cinemas will be allowed to reopen as long as social distancing measures can be ensured.

This means beer gardens will once again be open, and Britons can spend time in the sunshine with a pint.

However, Britons have been cautioned to stick to social distancing guidelines after thousands flocked to beaches when hot weather hit in June. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Brits to “stop taking too many liberties” ahead of lockdown measures easing this weekend.

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Weather maps show in the first full week of July temperatures will continue to rise across the country, with up to 26C possible in London by Friday, July 10.

There could be interludes of both sunny and rainy conditions, with a “very windy wet spell” forecast at the end of this week.

Maps from WXCharts also show temperatures rising from Saturday, July 4 onwards – turning red as the mercury heats up.

The Met Office long-range forecast states: “The best of any drier, brighter weather more likely across the south and east of the UK.”

However, it is the second week of July which will see improvement, with “signs that the weather may become drier, more settled and warmer again.”

Netweather maps forecast 27C in the south of England on July 14, with maps turning red with heat that week.

Forecasts from Met Check also predict hot weather in July, as despite “a mixed start to the month” the middle of the month will see “high pressure starting to become more dominant”.

This means conditions will turn “warm across many parts of Central and Southern areas with hot weather possible for parts of England.”

These areas of high pressure are forecast to push away any low pressure, bringing highs again to the UK.

Netweather charts also show the heat returning to Britain, with temperature maps forecasting 26C highs by Thursday, July 9.

A forecast for the month ahead from Met Check reads: “A mixed start to the month is expected with low pressure continuing to dominate the weather and somewhat cool for Northern and Northwestern areas.

“An improving picture for the middle of the month with high pressure starting to become more dominant and turning warm across many parts of Central and Southern areas with hot weather possible for parts of England.

“Turning thundery later in the month as low pressure tries to move in once again from the West with plumes approaching from the South.”

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Sophie Wessex follows in the Queen’s footsteps with remarkable royal first

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The royal family have had to adapt to new ways of working during the coronavirus pandemic. In this royal first, the Countess will be sculpted to mark the centenary of a sight loss charity.

The Leeds-born sculptor told Richard Eden from the Daily Mail: “It is a privilege.

“It will be the first time a member of the royal family has sat for me as part of a live virtual event, and the first royal sculpture I have created as a tactile piece of art for blind and partially sighted people.”

The art will reportedly be released in 2021 to mark Vision Foundation’s centenary.

The Countess of Wessex has been a patron of the charity since 2003.

She took over the role from Her Majesty the Queen.

Ms Segelman has previously made sculptures of royals and celebrities, including a bronze bust of the Queen in 2008.

In 2017, Ms Segelman told Hello magazine: “She’s [the Queen] just an amazing lady.

“I literally almost cried when I was leaving because I felt that I’d learned so much just being in her presence.

“She’s a very special person. She came in the room and she was so calm and so poised and so willing to change her tiara, to change the jewellery, to try different things on and she seems so ordinary.”

Ms Segelman added: “She was sitting on a slightly higher area than I was sculpting so I had to measure her with callipers so I was going backwards and forwards from her hair.

“I was nervous, you know, I was touching the Queen.”

Ms Segelman has also created pieces of the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Kent along with many other celebrities and famous faces.

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The Earl and Countess of Wessex have their own foundation The Wessex Youth Trust which was established in 1999.

The trust supports charities and initiatives that help children and young people.

Last week, for Children’s Hospice Week the Countess of Wessex joined volunteers at a charity shop.

She spent the day at her patronage Shooting Star Children’s Hospices’ Weybridge who reopened their charity shop last week.

The Countess helped steam children’s clothes before putting them on display in the shop.

The Shooting Star Children’s Hospices care for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions.

The Countess has been a patron of the charity since 2002 and continues to make regular visits to their shops.

In an Instagram post, the charity wrote: “It’s always nerve-wracking starting something for the first time, so imagine how student volunteer Georgia felt when she turned up for her very first shift at our Weybridge shop to find out she was going to be volunteering alongside our Royal Patron, the Countess of Wessex.

“As part of the royal Family’s support of Children’s Hospice Week, the Countess rolled up her sleeves to help as we reopen our first couple of shops.

“She worked with Georgia to create a brand new window display and steamed some of the fantastic children’s clothes we have on display. As we are highly grateful for her support.”

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Royal connection: Sophie Wessex and Kate Middleton share one major similarity

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Traditionally Royal Family members have married another person with aristocratic lineage, especially if the royal is an heir to the throne. However, in recent decades modern royals have taken a much more progressive approach to choosing a spouse, with royals known to favour a match based on love and connection rather than wealth and titles nowadays.

As was the case for royals of the past, some of the Queen’s children married within the aristocracy and British upper classes in recent decades.

Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981, the daughter of an Earl, while Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson, who also had aristocratic links.

However, a number of the Queen’s children and grandchildren have married ‘commoners’ in recent years.

Anyone without any official titles is technically classed as a “commoner” in Britain.

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Historian Marlene Koenig explained to Town & Country: “It sounds complicated, but in the UK, the only people who are not commoners are the Sovereign and peers of the realm, people with titles like Duke, Marquess, Earl, Viscount and Baron.”

The Queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward, married Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999 and the couple have two children together.

Sophie comes from a middle-class family, as her mother was a secretary and her father a sales director for a tyre company, which would technically mean she is a “commoner” herself.

Sophie and Edward’s marriage has been highly successful as, unlike the rest of the Queen’s children, Sophie and Edward have bucked the royal trend and have not divorced.

While Edward’s choice to marry someone outside of the aristocracy may have been very unusual centuries ago, it has become much more common in recent years.

Like Prince Edward, many in the next generation of royals have also decided to marry someone outside of the upper-class bubble.

Prince William met his future wife, Kate Middleton, while studying at the University of St Andrews.

Although Kate’s family are known to have significant wealth, they are still without any official titles, meaning Kate is technically a ‘commoner’ like the Countess of Wessex.

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But more unusually in William’s case, when he married Kate in 2011 it was the first time an heir to the throne had married someone with no aristocratic lineage for more than 350 years.

William’s brother Prince Harry also decided to marry someone without titles, and he wed actress Meghan Markle in 2018.

As well as both being born to families without official titles, Kate and Sophie also shared similarities with their own working backgrounds.

Both Kate and Sophie held their own jobs before joining the Royal Family.

Kate worked for designer Jigsaw after graduating from St Andrews, and later worked for her family’s party business.

Sophie had a thriving career in public relations, and at one point worked for Capital Radio.

In 1996 Sophie also launched her own public relations agency, RJH Public Relations, which she ran with her business partner, Murray Harkin, for five years.

After marrying Prince Edward, Sophie became a full-time working member of the Royal Family, but explained in a recent interview she struggled to adapt to her new role at the time.

Sophie told Sunday Times Magazine: “Certainly it took me a while to find my feet.

“The frustration was I had to reduce my expectations of what I could actually do.

“I couldn’t turn up at a charity and go, right, I think you should be doing this, because that’s what I was used to doing in my working life.

“I had to take a really big step back and go, OK, they want you to be the icing on the cake, the person to come in to thank their volunteers and funders, not necessarily to tell them how to run their communications plan.”

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When will shielding end? Date in sight for 2.2 million people confined to their homes

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‘Shielding’ is one of a host of new words that has entered our daily lives since the outbreak of the coronavirus. The term is used to describe the advice for those who are most at risk from the coronavirus outbreak, including those over 70 or with pre-existing health conditions such as severe lung conditions or those undergoing cancer treatment.

Shielding meant those who fell into the vulnerable bracket were told not to go outside at all.

So since shielding began, these people have been confined to their homes – unable to leave even to do their food shopping or take their dog for a walk.

The rules were reviewed on June 1 so those shielding could exercise outside once a day and meet one person from another household outdoors.

And now, after months of being housebound, the rules are about to change again. Express.co.uk has all you need to know about the end of shielding, and when you’ll be able to leave your home.

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When will shielding end?

Millions of people shielding from coronavirus will be able to spend more time outside their homes from Monday, July 6, the Health and Social Care Secretary has announced.

The 2.2 million clinically extremely vulnerable people across England will be able to spend time outdoors in a group of up to 6 people including those outside of their household, while maintaining social distancing.

They can also form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household.

Then from August 1, the restrictions will be eased further, so these people will no longer be advised to shield.

They can go back to work and participate in normal activities, such as shopping or visiting their place of worship.

They can even return to work, although the guidance stated some people may feel “uncertain about returning to work” and instructed employers to “ease the transition for their clinically extremely vulnerable employees, ensuring robust measures are put in place for those currently shielding to return to work when they are able to do so”.

Support will remain available from NHS volunteers and local councils as the shielding measures are lifted, however.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Jenny Harries, said: “Shielding was introduced to safeguard those who, at the start of the epidemic in the UK, were thought to be most clinically vulnerable in our communities.

“We know how difficult this period has been and the impact shielding has had on many people’s mental health.

“The prevalence of the virus in the community is now lower and chances of getting infected are reduced, so we believe it is the right time to relax some of the advice so people can start to regain a degree of normality once more in their daily lives.”

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Guidance will be issued on July 6 and August 1 to confirm the new measures for those shielding.

However, health secretary Matt Hancock urged those shielding to continue to remind ta home as much as possible.

The Government guidance adds they should “take care to minimise contact with others outside their household and practise good, frequent handwashing.”

It is important to note the rules only effect England.

In Scotland, shielding remains in place until at least July 31, with more advice and communication expected from Nicola Sturgeon in the coming days.

Northern Ireland has already said people will no longer need to shield from July 31.

While the guidance in Wales is to continue shielding until at least August 16.

The lifting of the rules will come as a huge relief to many people who have not seen their friends and family for some three months.

However, some charity bosses have warned the lifting of restrictions could have negative effects.

Nick Moberly, Chief Executive of the MS Society, said: “We are gravely concerned that certain key support measures – such as food packages and Statutory Sick Pay – will be taken away prematurely.

“Without this help, and with many people still terrified of infection, for some the idea of normal life returning will feel more like a threat than an opportunity.”

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Kate Middleton’s heartbreaking reaction to the tragic death of a young boy

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The royal was moved by the tragic death of nine-year-old Fraser Delf and gave a sunflower in memory of his life. Kate had been marking Children’s Hospice Week by planting a garden at a hospice near Norwich.

The garden is being created to provide enjoyment for children and families at the hospice.

Mr Delf died in January and sunflowers were his favourite plant.

Carla Delf, his mother, told the Mirror: “I’m speechless. We are very touched as a family that she has done this and will be going to see Fraser’s sunflower when we can.

“Fraser was always quite girly, and he would have loved to have known a princess was planting a flower for him.

“He would be very honoured.”

The Duchess re-potted the plant and took it to The Nook, one of East Anglia Children’s Hospices (EACH).

As a patron of EACH, the Duchess helped create the new garden.

Wearing a £180 floral midi-dress and £135 shoes, she brought plants, fruit trees and herbs.

The Duchess used plants which she brought during her visit to Fakenham Garden Centre last week.

She spoke to families at The Nook who use EACH services.

The Duchess and Prince William’s children George, Charlotte and Louis were reportedly competing with each other over the flowers.

According to the Mirror, the Duchess said: “The children are really enjoying their sunflowers, Louis’ is winning so George is a little grumpy about that.”

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During a video call to mark Children’s Hospice Week, The Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cornwall met Fraser Deli’s parents Carla and Stuart and his brother Stuie.

The young Mr Deli spent his final seven weeks at EACH in Milton.

His mother said: “Telling them about Fraser brought up mixed emotions.

“We call him our shining star.”

Eight days before his death, Mr Deli’s parents renewed their wedding vows in front of him.

Stuie Deli, raised £18,000 for the hospice after running 5km everyday in May.

The Duchess’ congratulated him for his fundraising.

Stuie Deli said: “Fraser was my best friend.

“He was always a happy, bright child.

“We used to play in the garden with water, he loved it.”

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Brexit victory: Andrew Neil celebrates £100m European Space Agency park in Leicester

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Mr Neil said: “I couldn’t find mention of this in the business coverage of the British media, including the FT. I thought it worth a retweet.” He retweeted news of the new ESA centre for Leicester.

A multi-million-pound infrastructure project that will create thousands of jobs and has attracted some of the biggest names in the aerospace industry.

A tweet by Jefferson, who are advocates for the British manufacturing sector said: “The European Space Agency has selected Leicester for its new space tech incubation centre.

“It is expected to create 2,500 jobs.

“The £100m-plus Space Park Leicester development has already attracted global companies including Lockheed Martin, Thales, Airbus and Hewlett Packard.”

The Space Park Leicester website can be viewed at www.le.ac.uk/spacepark.

The website said: “Space Park Leicester will provide state-of-the-art, high-tech facilities for research and development and ultimately manufacturing.”

The European Space Agency is spending £100 million on the Leicester centre for developing a world-class research and business facility.

The ESA facility will be built beside the National Space Centre, which is already in Leicester.

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The National Space Centre is located on the north side of the city of Leicester, in the Belgrave area.

The Leicester Space Park will concentrate on the research behind the building of small to medium-sized satellite production.

The investment from the European agency will focus on building a laboratory for Earth observation.

This laboratory will research methods, technologies, and applications involved in technologies used for Earth monitoring systems.

The world is now in the Space 4.0 era.

The European Space Agency defines Space 4.0 as “a time when space is evolving from being the preserve of the governments of a few spacefaring nations to a situation in which there is the increased number of diverse space actors around the world.

“This is including the emergence of private companies, participation with academia, industry and citizens, digitalisation, and global interaction.”

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