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LEICESTER accounts for 10 per cent of ALL cases in the UK with 1,000 contracting the killer bug in the past two weeks alone.

Last night Leicester City Council said there have been 944 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the past two weeks. Rates of infection in the city are now three times that of the town with the next highest rate.

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Simon Jones - The Sun 4 Military personnel have been deployed to Leicester as the city becomes the first one in Britain to have a local lockdown enforced

PA:Press Association 4 Sir Peter Soulsby has pledged to minimise the time these restrictions need to be in place

And as cases are starting to drop, 10 per cent of tests in the city are currently coming back positive – five times the national rate.

Rates of infection in the city are now three times that of the town with the next highest rate.

Non-essential shops in the city will have to shut again in a local lockdown, and schools will close for most pupils from Thursday – taking it back to the more severe restrictions of May.

While the rest of the country opens up on Saturday, the city’s pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will instead remain closed for two more weeks — until July 18 — at least.

Sir Peter Soulsby, the city’s mayor, said: “These measures are stricter than we anticipated but we understand the need for firm action.

“I am determined that we will make this work and to minimise the time these additional measures need to be in place in the city.”

Yesterday, Sir Peter accused the the government of “picking on the city” after after Public Health England (PHE) sent him a report of the situation.

He told the BBC: “I’ve looked at this report and, frankly, it’s obviously been cobbled together very hastily.

“It’s superficial and its description of Leicester is inaccurate and certainly it does not provide us with the information we need if we are to remain restricted for two weeks longer than the rest of the country.”

LOCAL LOCKDOWN

This morning, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he didn’t know why Leicester was so badly hit.

When asked about probably causes such poverty, language difficulties and higher-density housing told BBC Breakfast: “We are still doing the work to understand exactly why the outbreak has been so bad in Leicester.

“But lots of the reasons that you mentioned just then are familiar to me and people will find them intuitive.”

The Department of Health has deployed four military-run mobile testing units to the area to check residens for the disease.

Furthermore, thousands of home testing kits are being made available.

Health chiefs hope to track and trace as mush as possible to try and slow the spread of the virus in the town.

They will also be contacting businesses that are open to encourage them to take measures to control the spread of the virus.

Adverts in multiple languages on TV, radio and street signs will encourage people to stay at home.

Officials will review the situation in two weeks before deciding to ease the restrictions or keep them.

Mr Hancock said yesterday Leicester would be the only place in England not allowed to ease restrictions.

Speaking to the Commons yesterday, he said: “We cannot recommend the easing of the national lockdown, set to take place on July 4, happens in Leicester.

“Having taken clinical advice on the actions necessary, and discussed them with the local team in Leicester and Leicestershire, we have made some difficult but important decisions.

“We have decided that from tomorrow, non-essential retail will have to close.

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“And, as children have been particularly impacted by this outbreak, schools will also need to close from Thursday — staying open for vulnerable children and children of critical workers as they did throughout.

“Unfortunately, the clinical advice is that the relaxations of shielding measures cannot now take place in Leicester.

“We recommend to people in Leicester — stay at home as much as you can. And we recommend against all but essential travel to, from and in Leicester.”

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Tags: coronavirus

Mike Pence claims there are 'early signs' Texas, Arizona and Florida are flattening coronavirus curve as cases top three MILLION - but pleads with medical staff to re-use PPE

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Facebook Takes Down Accounts Tied to Roger Stone

By BARBARA ORTUTAY, AP Technology Writer

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Facebook on Wednesday said it has removed dozens of accounts linked to the hate group Proud Boys, to President Donald Trump’s longtime ally Roger Stone and to employees of Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, among others.

A network tied to both Stone and the Proud Boys had fake accounts post about local politics in Florida, as well as Stone’s books, websites and media appearances, Facebook said. Stone’s own Facebook and Instagram accounts were also banned.

“Roger Stone’s personal accounts and his branded assets will be coming down as part of this network,” said Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy, in a call with reporters. “Because we saw them deeply enmeshed in the activities here.”

Facebook said these accounts were most active from 2015 to 2017 and most have been dormant since.

Stone was sentenced to more than three years in prison after he was convicted of lying to Congress, tampering with a witness and obstructing the House investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to tip the 2016 election. Attorney General William Barr is scheduled to testify before Congress in July after two of his employees testified that he has politicized the department on behalf of Trump and allowed special treatment of Stone's case.

The Proud Boys were banned from Facebook and Instagram in 2018, but supporters of the organization have tried to get around the ban by creating new pages or accounts. It’s the third time in recent months that Facebook has announced the removal of accounts and pages linked to the group.

The accounts linked to Bolsonaro were removed for spreading misinformation, using fake identities and otherwise violating Facebook's rules.

Facebook’s said the accounts were linked to Brazil's Social Liberal Party, which Bolsonaro left last year after winning the 2018 presidential election, and to employees of the president, two of his sons, Sen. Flávio Bolsonaro and congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro, and two other lawmakers.

Brazil’s justice is investigating the spread of false news in connection with Bolsonaro, which could affect him in the criminal and in the electoral arenas.

Facebook also removed fake accounts in Ukraine focused on stirring up domestic divisions, as well as a network of accounts originating in Canada and Ecuador and focused on El Salvador, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, Ecuador and Chile.

__

Associated Press writers David Klepper in Providence, Rhode Island, and Mauricio Savarese in Sao Paolo, Brazil, contributed to this article.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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