Up to 100 jobs at risk as Langham’s brasserie teeters on brink

Langan’s Brasserie, the London restaurant once co-owned by the actor Michael Caine and famous as a 1980s celebrity haunt frequented by diners as diverse as Princess Margaret, Muhammad Ali and Mick Jagger, is teetering on the brink of administration.

Up to 100 jobs are at risk at the brasserie, which was opened in 1976 by Caine, and the restaurateur and bon viveur Peter Langan.

The eatery was a favourite destination for the rich and famous, and especially was known for the antics of Langan, who would climb on tables and crawl beneath them to nibble his customers’ ankles, and who once put out a fire in the kitchen with vintage champagne.

The restaurant, in Stratton Street, Mayfair, central London, has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators, a legal measure that provides 10 working days of protection from creditors as advisors examine options for the business.

The brasserie has been battered by Covid-19 restrictions and a lack of tourists in the capital; it also faces the end of the UK government furlough scheme, due to end on 31 October.

The financial advisory firm Begbies Traynor has been lined up as potential administrator and is understood to be in talks with a number of possible rescuers, thought to include Richard Caring, owner of The Ivy restaurant and a string of other upscale London diners including Scott’s.

UK retail and hospitality job cuts on back of Covid-19 crisis

Marston’s – 2,150 jobs
15 October: Marston’s  – the brewer which owns nearly 1,400 pubs, restaurants, cocktail bars and hotels across the UK – said it would cut 2,150 jobs due to fresh Covid restrictions. The company has more than 14,000 employees. 

Whitbread – 6,000 jobs
22 September: Whitbread, which owns the Premier Inn, Beefeater and Brewers Fayre chains, said it would cut 6,000 jobs at its hotels and restaurants, almost one in five of its workforce

Pizza Express – 1,100 jobs
7 September: The restaurant chain confirms the closure of 73 restaurants as part of a rescue restructure deal.

Costa Coffee – 1,650 jobs
3 September: The company, which was bought by Coca-Cola two years ago, is cutting up to 1,650 jobs in its cafes, more than one in 10 of its workforce. The assistant store manager role will go across all shops.

Pret a Manger – 2,890 jobs
27 August: The majority of the cuts are focused on the sandwich chain’s shop workers, but 90 roles will be lost in its support centre teams. The cuts include the 1,000 job losses announced on 6 July.

Marks & Spencer – 7,000 jobs
18 August: Food, clothing and homewares retailer cuts jobs in central support centre, regional management and stores.

M&Co – 400 jobs
5 August: M&Co, the Renfrewshire-based clothing retailer, formerly known as Mackays, will close 47 of 215 stores.

WH Smith – 1,500 jobs
5 August: The chain, which sells products ranging from sandwiches to stationery, will cut jobs mainly in UK railway stations and airports. 

Dixons Carphone – 800 jobs
4 August: Electronics retailer Dixons Carphone is cutting 800 managers in its stores as it continues to reduce costs.

DW Sports – 1,700 jobs at risk
3 August: DW Sports fell into administration, closing its retail website immediately and risking the closure of its 150 gyms and shops.

Marks & Spencer – 950 jobs
20 July: The high street stalwart cuts management jobs in stores as well as head office roles related to property and store operations.

Ted Baker – 500 jobs
19 July: About 200 roles to go at the fashion retailer’s London headquarters, the Ugly Brown Building, and the remainder at stores.

Azzurri – 1,200 jobs
17 July: The owner of the Ask Italian and Zizzi pizza chains closes 75 restaurants and makes its Pod lunch business delivery only

Burberry – 500 jobs worldwide
15 July: Total includes 150 posts in UK head offices as luxury brand tries to slash costs by £55m after a slump in sales during the pandemic.

Boots – 4,000 jobs
9 July: Boots is cutting 4,000 jobs – or 7% of its workforce – by closing 48 opticians outlets and reducing staff at its head office in Nottingham as well as some management and customer service roles in stores.

John Lewis – 1,300 jobs
9 July: John Lewis announced that it is planning to permanently close eight of its 50 stores, including full department stores in Birmingham and Watford, with the likely loss of 1,300 jobs.

Celtic Manor – 450 jobs
9 July: Bosses at the Celtic Collection in Newport, which staged golf’s Ryder Cup in 2010 and the 2014 Nato Conference, said 450 of its 995 workers will lose their jobs.

Pret a Manger – 1,000 jobs
6 July: Pret a Manger is to permanently close 30 branches and could cut at least 1,000 jobs after suffering “significant operating losses” as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown

Casual Dining Group – 1,900 jobs
2 July: The owner of the Bella Italia, Café Rouge and Las Iguanas restaurant chains collapsed into administration, with the immediate loss of 1,900 jobs. The company said multiple offers were on the table for parts of the business but buyers did not want to acquire all the existing sites and 91 of its 250 outlets would remain permanently closed.

Arcadia – 500 jobs
1 July: Arcadia, Sir Philip Green’s troubled fashion group – which owns Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins, Burton, Evans and Wallis – said in July 500 head office jobs out of 2,500 would go in the coming weeks.

SSP Group – 5,000 jobs
1 July: The owner of Upper Crust and Caffè Ritazza is to axe 5,000 jobs, about half of its workforce, with cuts at its head office and across its UK operations after the pandemic stalled domestic and international travel.

Harrods – 700 jobs
1 July: The department store group is cutting one in seven of its 4,800 employees because of the “ongoing impacts” of the pandemic.

Harveys – 240 jobs
30 June: Administrators made 240 redundancies at the furniture chain Harveys, with more than 1,300 jobs at risk if a buyer cannot be found.

TM Lewin – 600 jobs
30 June: Shirtmaker TM Lewin closed all 66 of its outlets permanently, with the loss of about 600 jobs.

Monsoon Accessorize – 545 jobs
11 June: The fashion brands were bought out of administration by their founder, Peter Simon, in June, in a deal in which 35 stores closed permanently and 545 jobs were lost.

Mulberry – 470 jobs
8 June: The luxury fashion and accessories brand is to cut 25% of its global workforce and has started a consultation with the 470 staff at risk.

The Restaurant Group – 3,000 jobs
3 June: The owner of dining chains such as Wagamama and Frankie & Benny’s has closed most branches of Chiquito and all 11 of its Food & Fuel pubs, with another 120 restaurants to close permanently. Total job losses could reach 3,000.

Clarks – 900 jobs
21 May: Clarks plans to cut 900 office jobs worldwide as it grapples with the growth of online shoe shopping as well as the pandemic.

Oasis and Warehouse – 1,800 jobs
30 April: The fashion brands were bought out of administration by the restructuring firm Hilco in April, with all of their stores permanently closed and 1,800 jobs lost.

Cath Kidston – 900 jobs
21 April: More than 900 jobs were cut immediately at the retro retail label Cath Kidston after the company said it was permanently closing all 60 of its UK stores.

Debenhams – 4,000 jobs
9 April: At least 4,000 jobs will be lost at Debenhams in its head office and closed stores after its collapse into administration in April, for the second time in a year.

Laura Ashley – 2,700 jobs
17 March: Laura Ashley collapsed into administration, with 2,700 job losses, and said rescue talks had been thwarted by the pandemic.

Langan lined the walls of the restaurant with work by artists including David Hockney, a regular at the restaurant, who helped design the menus turning them into collectors’ pieces, and Patrick Caulfield.

The Irish restaurateur had a reputation for throwing out customers, but the restaurant, which had no dress code, pulled in stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando and Mick Jagger in 1970s and 1980s to dine on its signature dish of spinach soufflé with anchovy sauce.

Caine reportedly said of Langan: “Peter stumbles around in a cloud of his own vomit and is a complete social embarrassment. You would have a more interesting conversation with a cabbage.” Langan died in 1988 aged 47.

The chef Richard Shepherd, who joined Langan’s in 1977 and was instrumental in its survival for more than 40 years, retains an interest in the business, although it is controlled by the entrepreneur Vijay Malde and former Bolton Wanderers chairman Ken Anderson.

Langan’s closed temporarily in March just ahead of high-street lockdowns. It has not reopened. Staff were retained under the furlough job protection scheme but have been told their jobs are at risk now.

Restaurateurs said London’s dining establishments were under serious strain from the loss of tourists and high-spending shoppers during the pandemic. New coronavirus restrictions on meeting other households indoors and the advice to avoid public transport were also taking a toll.

One rival restaurant group said it had thousands of cancellations last weekend as “tier 2” restrictions were imposed; another said that many restaurants in London were experiencing a 75% slump in takings.

One said Langan’s might struggle to find a buyer. “All restaurants have been struggling since March. After lockdown we were starting to see a recovery when more restrictions came in and knocked it for six.

“Restaurants like Langan’s? How can they survive without regular visitors from out of town who want a relaxing long lunch or dinne? Those people are not around any more. London has been crippled and on the course we are on it could take a decade or more for it to recover.”

Other London landmarks including Simpsons on the Strand, several Brasserie Blancs, and Le Caprice restaurant have also kept their doors closed since the lockdown in England ended. The Soho restaurant Polpo went into administration as did the dining chains Carluccio’s and Gourmet Burger Kitchen.

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Bolsonaro Slams Chinese Vaccine His Government Said It Would Buy

Brazil’s health minister Eduardo Pazuello — the third person to hold the job this year during the coronavirus pandemic — is in hot water with President Jair Bolsonaro.

Bolsonaro took to social media to disavow his minister on Wednesday after a flurry of negative comments from his supporters opposing the purchase of the Coronavac vaccine being developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd. The deal to purchase the vaccine to be distributed nationwide was announced the previous day by the Health Ministry in conjunction with the state of Sao Paulo whose Butantan Institute is working with Sinovac.

“The Brazilian people WON’T BE ANYONE’S GUINEA PIG,” the President wrote on his Facebook and Twitter pages, adding that billions can’t be spent on medication that is still being tested. “My decision is to not acquire the aforementioned vaccine.”

Calling it “Joao Doria’s Chinese vaccine,” in reference to the Sao Paulo governor, Bolsonaro said his government won’t buy any vaccine before the Health Ministry and regulator Anvisa approve it. Doria, a former ally turned rival, has been promoting the work with the Chinese firm.

Following a meeting with Doria, Pazuello said the government had signed a preliminary agreement to acquire 46 million doses of the Butantan-Sinovac vaccine. The purchase would only be made after regulator Anvisa had approved the medication, according to a statement.

Doria responded to Bolsonaro by asking for greater comprehension about the medication and asking him not to take it out on the minister. Two of Bolsonaro’s health ministers exited this year over disagreements on his handling of the pandemic including lockdown measures and the use of unproven treatments.

Doria and Bolsonaro have publicly bickered about everything from social distancing to the use of face masks and whether vaccines should be obligatory or not throughout the tumultuous year. Municipal elections next month have added more tension to the public debate.

Earlier this week, the Sao Paulo government said that the phase 3 trial for Coronavac had shown the vaccine was the safest available thus-far, though it’s efficacy still needs to be proven.

The federal government has already agreed to buy the vaccines being developed by AstraZeneca and Covax, for a total of 186 million doses. Brazil has been one of the hardest-hit countries by the virus, with about 5.3 million confirmed cases and 154,837 deaths from the respiratory disease.

— With assistance by Simone Preissler Iglesias, Andre Romani Pinto, and Caroline Aragaki

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A White House coronavirus task force member says Trump barely meets them anymore, and is only getting updates from Mike Pence and anti-lockdown advisor Scott Atlas instead

  • A member of the White House coronavirus task force has told NPR that President Donald Trump has not attended a meeting "for quite some time."
  • Dr. Francis Collins said that Trump mainly gets his updates from Vice President Mike Pence and Dr. Scott Atlas, the task force member who has advised against lockdowns.
  • The US has entered its third wave of coronavirus cases, with the Midwest recording new spikes.
  • Collins said Pence is "incredibly engaged" in task force meetings but that the president appears to be prioritizing campaigning for his reelection. Election Day is in less than two weeks.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A member of the White House coronavirus task force has told NPR that President Donald Trump has not met with them "for quite some time," and suggested that he was more focused on campaigning for his reelection than attending meetings about the pandemic.

Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes for Health (NIH) said that Trump is mainly getting his updates from Vice President Mike Pence and fellow task force member Dr. Scott Atlas, a health-policy expert who has been criticized by the medical community for his anti-lockdown advice. Neither Pence nor Atlas are infectious-disease experts.

"I think the president primarily is getting his information from the vice president, from Dr. Atlas, obviously it's a bit of a chaotic time with the election," said Collins.

"So, yeah, there's not a direct connection between the task force members and the president as there was a few months ago. But this seems to be a different time with different priorities."

Collins did not say how long it had been since Trump had attended a task force meeting, but told NPR: "The task force continues to meet regularly at least once a week and to wrestle with a whole lot of the issues, especially now that we see the worsening of the pandemic in the middle of the country, which is really quite a serious concern."

The US has entered its third wave of coronavirus cases, with the Midwest recording new spikes.

Collins added that Pence, who leads the coronavirus task force, presides over its meetings and is "incredibly engaged."

The White House did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment on Collins' interview.

The remarks underline the growing influence of Atlas with the president over other experts on the task force.

Atlas' specialisms are in health policy and neuroradiology, while other task force members have expertise in infectious diseases and public health. 

Like the president, Atlas is against lockdowns and has issued mixed messages on mask wearing. According to The Washington Post, he has also pushed for a "herd immunity" strategy, though he has vehemently denied it.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious-disease expert, and CDC Director Robert Redfield have also questioned Atlas' scientific advice. Redfield was overheard saying last month that "everything" Atlas said "is false," while Fauci has said that he worried about Atlas passing misleading information to the president.

Atlas hit back at both of those criticisms in an interview with Business Insider earlier this month, adding: "I'm here because the country's off the rails."

Do you have a personal experience with the coronavirus you’d like to share? Or a tip on how your town or community is handling the pandemic? Please email [email protected] and tell us your story.

Get the latest coronavirus business & economic impact analysis from Business Insider Intelligence on how COVID-19 is affecting industries.

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Younger Americans Stressed by Election, School Closures

Pandemic-induced uncertainty along with a shaky economy, citizen unrest and a tumultuous presidential election are seriously threatening America’s mental health, according to a new national survey from the American Psychological Association.

Younger people in particular are experiencing elevated stress and reporting symptoms of depression, according to the latest Stress in America survey. The August study, which has been conducted annually since 2007, queried 3,409 adults over the age of 18 and 1,026 teenagers between 13 and 17.

More than 80% of the teens said they have been negatively impacted due to school closures as a result of the pandemic, and many of them say they’re less motivated to do schoolwork or engage in extracurricular activities.

More than two-thirds of college students said the pandemic has made “planning for their future feel impossible.”

In addition, two-thirds of young adults born after 1997 say the 2020 U.S. presiden­tial election is a source of stress, and only 64% say they intend to vote in the election.

The coronavirus pandemic is a significant source of stress for nearly 80% of all Americans. And nearly one in five adults report that this stress is being released in the form of “snapping” or getting angry very quickly and unexpected mood swings. One in six report yelling at a loved one.

More than half of all adults report they were very restless or they felt so tired they just sat around and did nothing at some point in the past two weeks.

The APA survey data is bolstered by the latest Household Pulse Survey from the U.S. Census, which looks into how people’s lives have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. It found that during the Sept. 16-28 period, the majority of Americans under the age of 50 had feelings of being down, depressed, or hopeless at least several days a week.

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Fox News Host Asks Trump Official If It’s A Good Idea To Call Disease Experts ‘Idiots’

Fox News host Martha MacCallum questioned Trump campaign press secretary Hogan Gidley on Monday about his boss’ decision to call his own top public health advisers idiots as COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations continue to mount around the country.

Earlier on Monday, President Donald Trump complained on a call with campaign staffers that Americans are “tired of” COVID-19 and of hearing the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, “and these idiots, all these idiots who got it wrong.” 

Trump called Fauci, who is a member of the White House coronavirus task force, a “disaster” as he sought to pass the buck on his poor handling of the health crisis ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

“The president went after Dr. Fauci today, talking about ‘the idiots’ who worked on the task force and all of that, saying that people have COVID fatigue, they’re tired of hearing about it,” MacCallum said, playing a video of Trump’s Democratic opponent Joe Biden slamming Trump for pretending the country is turning a corner when things are, in fact, getting worse.

“We are seeing an uptick in hospitalizations in 39 states across the country. What do you say to that?” MacCallum asked.

Gidley celebrated the “good news” that case mortality rates are low, attacked Biden and claimed Trump has listened to Fauci on everything except his decision to ban travelers from China. 

MacCallum interrupted: “Do you think it’s a good idea for him to call him an idiot at this point?”

She pointed out that voters in swing states in the Midwest where hospitalizations are spiking may be feeling nervous. “So they thought they were out of the woods, but now they’re seeing what we saw here [in New York and New Jersey]. Not in the numbers, I should point out … but the hospitalization rates are increasing around those people as they get ready to vote,” MacCallum said.

Gidley said Fauci “isn’t the only doctor out there” and that there’s “competing science on various things.” He then called for the country to be opened back up, saying, “we know that we can do things safely if we wear masks, if we socially distance, if we use hand sanitizer and all the guidelines that the CDC talks about.”

Trump, who was recently infected with COVID-19 along with dozens of people in his orbit, has been holding campaign rallies for thousands of attendees around the country with no social distancing and few masks, despite pleas from local officials.

Watch the interview below. The discussion of COVID-19 begins around the 3-minute mark.

  • Get the latest coronavirus updates here
  • What will life be like once a coronavirus vaccine arrives?
  • Everything you need to know about face masks right now.
  • What should you still be disinfecting to prevent COVID-19?
  • Is it possible you had coronavirus earlier this year?
  • Constantly arguing with your partner about coronavirus risks? You are not alone.

Everyone deserves accurate information about COVID-19. Support journalism without a paywall — and keep it free for everyone — by becoming a HuffPost member today.

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Trump Makes His Weirdest War On Christmas Attack Yet

Halloween is nearly two weeks away, but President Donald Trump just fired a salvo in the “war on Christmas” with a strange new line of attack on former Vice President Joe Biden. 

While speaking in Carson City, Nevada, on Sunday, Trump seemed to blame the coronavirus lockdowns earlier this year on Biden. 

“Under the Biden lockdown, the lights of Reno and Las Vegas were extinguished,” he said.

Yet Trump was president during the lockdowns this year. Biden was a private citizen with no government role at all. 

Trump then claimed Biden would cancel the upcoming Christmas season if elected.

“If he comes in, Carson City will become a ghost town and the Christmas season will be canceled,” Trump said.

Biden would not take office until Jan. 20 ― well after the Christmas season ― should he win the election. The former vice president is also a practicing Catholic who celebrates the holiday.

There is, however, one person who might not mind canceling Christmas: first lady Melania Trump, who was caught on audio trashing the holiday. 

“I’m working my ass off on the Christmas stuff, that you know, who gives a fuck about the Christmas stuff and decoration?” Melania Trump said in recording released by former friend and aide Stephanie Winston Wolkoff. “But I need to do it, right?”

In the past, Trump has made random shout-outs to Christmas in just about every season, including summer, often claiming he brought the holiday back along with the phrase “Merry Christmas.” Neither the holiday nor the phrase had ever fallen out of favor. 

Trump’s latest out-of-season Christmas reference drew quite the reaction on Twitter:

  • Get the latest coronavirus updates here
  • What will life be like once a coronavirus vaccine arrives?
  • Everything you need to know about face masks right now.
  • What should you still be disinfecting to prevent COVID-19?
  • Is it possible you had coronavirus earlier this year?
  • Constantly arguing with your partner about coronavirus risks? You are not alone.

Everyone deserves accurate information about COVID-19. Support journalism without a paywall — and keep it free for everyone — by becoming a HuffPost member today.

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'Masks work? NO': Twitter removes tweet by White House coronavirus adviser that says face coverings are not effective against COVID-19

  • Twitter removed a tweet by White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Scott Atlas who claimed that face coverings were not effective in stopping the spread of the coronavirus.
  • The doctor, who joined the coronavirus task force in August, tweeted on Saturday: "Masks work? NO", alongside a link to an article that argued against the success of face coverings.
  • Atlas told Newsweek he had appealed the decision, adding: "Twitter seems to be censoring the science if it goes against their own goals of public indoctrination."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Twitter has removed a tweet from White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Scott Atlas who claimed that face coverings are not effective in stopping the virus's spread.

Atlas, who has previously spoken out against lockdowns, tweeted on Saturday: "Masks work? NO", alongside a link to an article that argued against the success of face coverings.

He later followed up this tweet by writing: "That means the right policy is [President Trump's] guideline: use masks for their intended purpose – when close to others, especially hi risk." Dr. Atlas also added that he believes widespread mask mandates are not needed.

Twitter has since removed his original tweet.

The social media platform has been cracking down on misinformation in recent months, posting warning labels on controversial tweets and,most recently, even temporarily blocking President Trump's account.

Under the new misinformation policy, Twitter prohibits sharing false or misleading content related to COVID-19, which could lead to harm.

According to a company spokesperson, Atlas's tweet was in violation of this policy, Newsweek reported.

"Twitter seems to be censoring the science if it goes against their own goals of public indoctrination," Atlas told Newsweek in an email, adding that he has since appealed the company's decision.

He also said that he made sure to "specifically and immediately" clarified in the second tweet that the correct policy was "use masks when one cannot socially distance." 

Atlas has a background in neuroradiology, not infectious diseases. He joined the White House coronavirus task force in August after becoming a fixture on Fox News.

He has previously been critical of top US infectious-disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, advocating for the full reopening of schools and speaking out against lockdown measures.

His new hiring has sparked concern in the scientific community, as more than 100 of Atlas' former colleagues at Stanford Medical School signed a letter warning that many of his "opinions and statements run counter to established science."

Billionaire Bill Gates also suggested last month that Atlas was hired because he "agrees" with what he described as the White House's "crackpot COVID theories." 

In an interview with Business Insider earlier this month, the doctor said that he thinks the criticism "stems from people who are either politically motivated or are interested in maintaining their own stature in the public eye."

"I'm not here to be an epidemiologist. I'm here because I can translate complicated medical science … in a way that is plain English and understandable by the public and by the White House," he said.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, face coverings "help stop the spread of COVID-19 to others." It recommends people wear them in public, especially when it is not possible to maintain social distancing. 

Business Insider has contacted Twitter for comment.

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Australian State Eases Lockdown as Covid-19 Cases Fall

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The state at the epicenter of Australia’s Covid-19 outbreak announced an easing of restrictions on Sunday, but left many businesses shuttered until next month to ensure community transmission is further curbed.

From midnight, the 5 million residents of Victoria state capital Melbourne, who have been under lockdown for more than 100 days, will be allowed to travel as far as 25 kilometers (16 miles) from their homes and the two-hour time limit on daily exercise will be scrapped, state Premier Daniel Andrews said.

The stay-at-home order will be completely lifted from Nov. 1 and the retail and hospitality sectors will largely reopen. That timeframe may be brought forward if case numbers continue to fall.

“These lockdowns have come with pain and damage and hurt, but the strategy is working,” Andrews told reporters. “As other parts of the world are going into a deadly winter, with lockdowns and restrictions that are heartbreaking,” Victoria can now “build a Covid-normal 2021,” he said.

The state’s response has demonstrated the effectiveness of tight controls, just as the U.S., U.K. and many European countries weigh their policy response to a second wave. New cases have plunged from a daily peak of 687 on Aug. 4, with infections slowing to a trickle.

For more on coronavirus:
Victoria Eases Curbs; U.S. Cases Rise by 69,000: Virus Update
New Zealand Has First Community Case of Covid-19 in Three Weeks
Treat Covid-19 Early to Save Patients’ Lives, SARS Veteran Urges
Who’s Succeeding Against the Coronavirus and Why: QuickTake

But Andrews has come under sustained criticism for imposing the strict lockdown that’s risked people’s mental health and dragged on the national economy. Victoria is responsible for about a quarter of gross domestic product and the restrictions have deepened Australia’s first recession in almost 30 years.

“The second wave, which led to the lockdown, has taken an extreme toll on the mental health of Victorians and their economic prospects,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg wrote in an opinion piece. “Now is time for the Victorian government to give Victorians their freedom back and allow businesses to reopen in a Covid-safe way.”

The state reported two new coronavirus cases on Sunday and no deaths, bringing the 14-day average to eight, with 15 cases from an unknown source. Victoria has been focused on cutting the rolling average and number of mystery cases to below five.

Andrews noted that daily cases in his state and the U.K. were comparable back in August.

“Today, as Victoria records two new cases, the U.K. hit 16,171,” he said. “And as we continue easing our restrictions, they are being forced to increase theirs.”

From midnight across Melbourne, tennis courts, golf courses and skateparks will reopen, hairdressers can resume business and as many as 10 people can take part in outside auctions for residential property — an important boost for the housing market. Up to 10 people from two households can gather outdoors.

From Nov. 1, remaining retail and restaurants, cafes, pubs and services such as beauty salons will reopen.

In regional Victoria, where numbers are considerably lower, many of the controls have already been eased and pubs and restaurants will be allowed to have more customers from midnight.

Australia has been at the vanguard of nations seeing success in controlling community transmission. Its first nationwide lockdown, which lasted roughly from March to May, was one of the most successful in the world, reducing the number of cases to just a handful a day. But security failures at quarantine hotels for returning travelers and poor communication of critical information to migrant communities allowed the virus to roar back in Victoria.

Much of the nation has crushed community transmission, as states such as Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania restrict entry to people from virus hotspots. The international border remains closed to non-residents, other than a limited travel bubble with New Zealand, and those returning from overseas must undergo 14 days of quarantine in hotels or other government-run facilities.

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THE ONLINE GROCERY REPORT: The coronavirus pandemic is thrusting online grocery into the spotlight in the US — here are the players that will emerge at the top of the market

  • This is a preview of the Business Insider Intelligence Online Grocery premium research report. Purchase this report here.
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The coronavirus pandemic has brought online grocery — a promising but formerly niche industry — to the fore. The combination of consumers' interest in avoiding public places, government orders to stay at home, and the continued need for groceries and essential goods has made online grocery delivery services from the likes of Walmart, Amazon, Target, and Instacart indispensable.

Previously, some consumers resisted the shopping method because they wanted to pick out their groceries themselves and avoid extra fees, but the pandemic has forced many to change their priorities. And the sudden focus on online grocery is set to alter consumer behavior well after the pandemic subsides, accelerating the industry's penetration in the US.

How well online grocers meet demand during the pandemic will play a major role in determining the top online grocers after the pandemic abates. Grocers' ability to fulfill as many orders as possible in a variety of convenient channels throughout the pandemic will be important, as consumers may turn to different providers if they can't place an order from one grocer through the channel they want — an issue that's popped up in some markets for several grocers during the crisis.

But online grocers that can keep customers throughout the pandemic may be able to keep those shoppers for the foreseeable future: 75% of online grocery shoppers still shopped with their first-ever online provider, per a survey from Bain and Google from 2018. So, the grocers that meet the most consumers' needs during the pandemic will likely lead the industry even after it subsides.

In The Online Grocery Report, Business Insider Intelligence first looks back at how online grocery adoption was progressing prior to the coronavirus pandemic to understand the state of the industry before the shopping method became vital to many consumers. Next, we examine why the pandemic is popularizing online grocery services and the impact it's already having on adoption. We then forecast how online grocery's penetration will grow in the coming quarters and years due to the pandemic, and consider the factors that will determine the industry's staying power. Finally, we analyze top online grocery players' ability to meet surging demand during the pandemic and how that positions them to build customer bases that can last well beyond the pandemic. 

The companies mentioned in this report are: Albertsons, Aldi, Amazon, BJ's Wholesale Club, Costco, FreshDirect, Grubhub, Hannaford, H-E-B, Instacart, Kroger, Ocado, Peapod, Publix, Target, Uber Eats, Walgreens, Walmart, and Whole Foods.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • The coronavirus pandemic is pushing consumers to buy essential products digitally, which is rapidly accelerating adoption of online grocery services in the US.
  • Online grocery's staying power will come down to the length of the pandemic — because if the crisis stretches on, more consumers may be pushed to try an online grocery service — and how well online grocers meet surging demand, because consumers may abandon online grocery if they find it difficult to receive orders.
  • The online grocery services that are best able to handle surging order volume will likely be the most popular services after the pandemic subsides because consumers will be able to rely on those services to consistently bring them groceries.
  • Walmart and Instacart are best positioned to lead the pack post-pandemic given Walmart's massive brick-and-mortar network and Instacart's wide reach thanks to its platform model.

In full, the report:

  • Examines the US online grocery industry prior to the coronavirus pandemic to highlight what was driving the industry's adoption, and what obstacles it faced.
  • Analyzes why the realities of the pandemic — such as concerns about contracting the virus — have pushed many consumers to try an online grocery service for the first time.
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A Paris teacher who had shown his class cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad was beheaded in 'Islamist terrorist attack'

  • A teacher who had shown his class controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad was beheaded near a school in a Parisian suburb on Friday afternoon.
  • The 47-year-old history teacher had shown his pupil's caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad from the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo as part of an obligatory "moral and civil education" course.
  • President Emmanuel Macron has called the incident an "Islamist terrorist attack." 
  • The knifeman was an 18-year-old Moscow-born man who, according to witnesses, shouted "Allahu Akbar" as he attacked the teacher with a large kitchen knife, later posting pictures of the killing on social media.
  • The attack comes just three weeks after two journalists were stabbed outside the former Charlie Hebdo offices.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A teacher who had shown his class highly controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad was decapitated in a Parisian suburb on Friday afternoon, in what President Emmanuel Macron has called an "Islamist terrorist attack." 

French police shot dead an 18-year-old man who allegedly beheaded the teacher with a large kitchen knife near a school in a residential suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine.

According to a police source, witnesses had heard the knifeman shout "Allahu Akbar" ("God is Greatest ") as he attacked the teacher, Reuters reported. He is also said to have shared photos of the attack on social media. 

The 47-year-old history and geography teacher had shown his pupils, aged 12 to 14, caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad from the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo that many Muslims found highly offensive 

The lesson was part of an obligatory "moral and civil education" course that all primary and secondary French schools have in their curriculum.

Visiting the scene shortly after the attack, Macron said the teacher was a "victim of an Islamist terrorist attack" killed because he "taught the freedom of expression, of believing and not believing," according to Sky News

"They won't win …We will act," the French president added, the BBC reported.

The 18-year-old knifeman, who has not been named, was born in Moscow and is said to have had Chechen roots, according to the Associated Press (AP). He fled after the attack but local police confronted him in the nearby area of Éragny.

After police ordered him to give himself up, the knifeman is said to have threatened them, prompting them to shoot him. The suspect, who had a petty criminal record and was not known to the country's intelligence service, died a short time later. 

Four people, including a minor, have also been arrested.

The history teacher's lesson had sparked complaints from several parents.  One family lodged a legal complaint while another parent posted a YouTube video after the lesson complaining about the teacher.

In response, another parent wrote a comment below the video on Friday, defending the teacher.

"I am a parent of a student at this college. The teacher just showed caricatures from Charlie Hebdo as part of a history lesson on freedom of expression. He asked the Muslim students to leave the classroom if they wished, out of respect … He was a great teacher. He tried to encourage the critical spirit of his students, always with respect and intelligence," the parents wrote, according to the Guardian.

"This evening, I am sad, for my daughter, but also for teachers in France. Can we continue to teach without being afraid of being killed?" the parent added. The video has now been removed.

France has suffered a wave of Islamist violence since the terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo headquarters in 2015 that left 12 people dead. A trial over the Islamist assault is currently underway in Paris.

Three weeks ago, two journalists from a production company were stabbed and seriously injured outside the satirical magazine's former offices.

Charlie Hebdo responded to Friday's attack on its Twitter account, writing: "Intolerance has crossed a new threshold and does not seem to give ground to anything in imposing its terror on our country."

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