Connect with us

Breaking News

COVID-19: From the Tokyo Olympics to Eurovision – things you can look forward to in 2021 | US News

Published

on

Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States in January

There was a lot of optimism around at the beginning of 2020, before the global coronavirus pandemic brought normal life around the globe to a halt.

As the virus spread and lockdowns were imposed, everything from weddings to music festivals were cancelled or postponed.

2021 will, surely, be better than last year, so what can we look forward to?

Politics and public life

A new US president

Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States on 20 January, bringing an end to Donald Trump’s tumultuous four years in the White House.

While Mr Trump certainly has his supporters, his departure from the Oval Office will be a welcome change for people who prefer a more conventional, less Twitter-ranty, form of leadership.

Image:
Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States in January

Mr Trump’s efforts to overturn the election result have failed and his administration has grudgingly begun transition arrangements with Mr Biden’s team ahead of inauguration.

The year 2021 will allow Mr Trump to spend more time where he spent much of presidency – on the golf course.

U.S. property magnate Donald Trump practices his swing at the 13th tee of his new Trump International Golf Links course on the Menie Estate near Aberdeen, north east Scotland June 20, 2011
Image:
Donald Trump came out swinging during the election but failed to secure enough votes

Royal milestones

The Queen will celebrate her 95th birthday on 21 April, while Prince Philip will turn 100 less than two months later.

The Queen’s 94th birthday was not marked with the traditional gun salutes after Her Majesty decided they would be “inappropriate” during the pandemic.

It is unclear if the gun salutes will return in 2021.

Trooping The Colour, which takes place on the Queen’s “official” birthday on the second Saturday in June, may also return after it was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

The Queen, left, will turn 95 in 2021 while her husband Philip, right, will turn 100
Image:
The Queen, left, will turn 95 in 2021 while her husband Philip, right, will turn 100

Entertainment

The return of music festivals

Thermo scanners and interactive vibrating wristbands are reported to be among the technology being considered to help get the 2021 festival season under way.

The pandemic more or less wiped out live music in 2020 and led to nearly all of the major European festivals being cancelled.

The UK festivals confirmed for 2021 include Download, the Isle of Wight and Reading and Leeds.

However, Glastonbury has not yet confirmed whether it will be returning in 2021.

Reading Festival is due to return in 2021
Image:
Reading Festival is due to return in 2021

Eurovision

The UK’s efforts to win the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in more than 10 years were put on hold in 2020 after the event was cancelled due to the pandemic.

However, the continent’s most outrageous singing competition will be making a comeback in 2021.

The event will take place in the Dutch city of Rotterdam – where it had been due to be held in 2020.

Eurovision is one of the most colourful events in the music calendar
Image:
Eurovision is one of the most colourful events in the music calendar

Friends reunited

The hit US sitcom Friends is set to return with filming having been due to start in August 2020.

Matthew Perry, who played Chandler Bing in the show, has since said filming has been rescheduled to March next year because of the pandemic.

It remains unclear when the one-off special will be aired.

The cast of Friends will begin filming for a one-off special in 2021
Image:
The cast of Friends will begin filming for a one-off special in 2021

The next James Bond should finally be released

Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007 has faced numerous delays along the way – and the news it would not hit screens in 2020 was a massive blow to the struggling cinema industry.

A message on the official James Bond Twitter feed said it was be delayed until April 2021 “in order to be seen by a worldwide theatrical audience”.

James Bond: No Time To Die - new trailer released
Image:
No Time To Die will be Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond

It had originally been due out in April this year before being delayed until November 2020.

Next year will also see a Ghostbusters sequel hit cinema screens 36 years after the original.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife was originally due for release in July 2020 but will now be released in March 2021.

Sonic the Hedgehog’s 30th anniversary

Everyone’s favourite quick-footed blue hedgehog is reportedly making a return in 2021, with the expected release of new games to mark Sonic’s 30th anniversary.

Tails’ Channel, a Sonic fansite, has said SEGA has promised a “year of celebration” including “new games” to mark the anniversary.

PS5 and Xbox gamers can also look forward to the arrival of Hitman 3 in January 2021.

Final Fantasy XVI is also due to come out on the PS5 later in the year.

Sonic The Hedgehog. Pic: Paramount Pictures
Image:
Sonic the Hedgehog games are set to be released in 2021. Pic: Paramount Pictures

Day to day life

Vaccine roll-out

The vaccine roll-out, hailed by health leaders as a “huge turning point” in the fight against coronavirus, will continue into 2021.

More than 137,000 people were given the first of two jabs of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in the first week of the roll-out in 2020.

Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, has said he expects four different vaccines to be available by the middle of 2021.

:: Subscribe to the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

The likely easing of restrictions

The vaccine breakthrough sparked hopes life could return to something resembling normal in the months ahead.

Senior sources told Sky News that restrictions are likely until Easter even if large numbers of people are vaccinated from January.

This means life could begin returning to normal from April.

The easing of restrictions could allow people to start enjoying normal meals out again
Image:
The easing of restrictions could allow people to start enjoying normal meals out again

Dating

The pandemic has put many people’s love life on hold – with restrictions limiting the number of opportunities they have for meeting others.

Dating has been difficult as singles have only been able to socialise with people they live with or those in their support bubble.

However, the vaccine roll-out and subsequent easing of restrictions could mean people are able to start organising dates in 2021.

The coronavirus pandemic has made dating very difficult for singles
Image:
The coronavirus pandemic has made dating very difficult for singles

Nights out

The pandemic decimated British nightlife in 2020 – with pubs and nightclubs closed to slow the spread of the virus.

Some pubs were able to open with social distancing measures in place, only to have to close again when cases began to rise.

The vaccine roll-out has led to hopes the great British night-out could be set to make a comeback.

The owners of a Canadian brewery have been left with a sore head after the mistake
Image:
Britain’s nightlife could begin returning to normal in 2021

Christmas with family

Boris Johnson told the British public a “smaller Christmas is going to be a safer Christmas” as urged people not exceed the festive bubble limit of three households in 2020.

He told the public: “So have yourselves a merry little Christmas and, I’m afraid, this year I do mean little.”

However, he added that with the vaccine roll-out and other measures Christmas should be back to normal for every family in the country next year.

Families will hopefully be able to enjoy a more normal Christmas in 2021
Image:
Families will hopefully be able to enjoy a more normal Christmas in 2021

Major sporting events

The Tokyo Olympics

The Olympic games was postponed for the first time in its history in 2020 after it was due to take place in Tokyo.

Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister at the time, said holding the Games in 2021 would be “proof of a victory by human beings against coronavirus infections”.

The Tokyo Olympics will now be celebrated from 23 July to 8 August 2021, with the Paralympic Games being celebrated from 24 August to 5 September 2021.

The Olympics was suspended for the first time in 2020
Image:
The Olympics was suspended for the first time in 2020

One of the biggest boxing matches in history

Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua could be set to step into the ring for what is likely to be billed as the biggest fight in British boxing history.

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has said he has held “positive” negotiations with Fury’s US promoter Bob Arum.

The two camps are attempting to finalise a two-fight deal, with the rematch set to take place in November or December.

Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua
Image:
Tyson Fury, left, could finally face Anthony Joshua in 2021

Euro 2020

The Euro 2020 international football tournament was put back a year due to the coronavirus.

The competition is set to return between June and July in 2021, with 24 countries playing across 12 host cities.

England will begin the tournament in Group D with Croatia, Czech Republic and Scotland.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Breaking News

COVID-19: Town’s rapid coronavirus testing centres close as snow sweeps across parts of England | UK News

Published

on

COVID-19: Town's rapid coronavirus testing centres close as snow sweeps across parts of England | UK News

All three rapid COVID testing centres in Luton have been shut because of snow in the area, the council has said, while other parts of England have also woken up to snowfall.

Confirming the decision on Twitter, the council said it would be closing the centres “for the safety of the public and our staff”.

But social media users have complained of a lack of snow, with some branding the council’s move “utterly embarrassing”.

“Just been to the shop….more ‘snow’ in a snow globe!!!” wrote one Twitter user, while others said closing the testing sites was a “bizarre decision”.

Luton had a rate of new COVID cases in the seven days to 11 January of 808.3, according to Public Health England data. That was down from 961.7 on the previous week.

It comes after the Met Office warned that parts of southeast England and East Anglia will continue to see further snow on Saturday, with between 2cm and 4cm falling over the coming hours.

An amber snow alert was put in place for the east of England until 2pm, with yellow snow warnings for the South East until 8pm.

A further yellow snow and ice warning has been issued in a band stretching from the Midlands to the top of Scotland until 6pm on Saturday.

The Met Office said there was a likelihood of “delays or cancellations to rail and air travel, possible travel delays on roads stranding some vehicles and passengers”.

Continue Reading

Breaking News

TikTok video showing car parked across live railway line investigated by police | UK News

Published

on

The video had the caption 'would you take risk to get the shot no one else would?'

Police are appealing for information after a video posted on TikTok showed a car parked across a live railway track for a photoshoot.

The short clip shows the vehicle across the tracks in Bolton, Greater Manchester, with the caption: “Would you take the risk to get the shot no one else would?”

Network Rail’s North West route director has condemned the behaviour as “sheer stupidity at a staggering level”.

British Transport Police is investigating the footage.

Image:
The video had the caption ‘would you take risk to get the shot no one else would?’

Inspector Becky Warren from the force said: “No picture or video is worth risking your life for.

“There is simply no excuse for not following safety procedures at level crossings. The behaviour shown by the individuals in this video is incredibly dangerous and reckless.”

The video showed the car across tracks at The Oaks level crossing, at Bromley Cross near Bolton.

More from Greater Manchester

Police are investigating a video posted on TikTok that shows a car photoshoot on a live railway crossing at Bromleys Cross, Bolton
Image:
The photoshoot took place in Bromley Cross in Bolton

Phil James, Network Rail’s North West route director, said: “The danger this person has put themselves and passengers in is sheer stupidity at a staggering level.

“Trespassing on the railway is a crime, as is endangering the lives of rail users.

“No-one should ever trespass onto the railway – so for it to be used as a backdrop for a photo shoot beggars belief.

“Lives could so easily have been lost by this reckless behaviour and we will be working closely with British Transport Police to make sure the person responsible for the video is brought to justice.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the British Transport Police on 61016 quoting the reference number 122 of 14/01/21.

Continue Reading

Breaking News

Alexey Navalny: Poisoned Putin critic faces jail on return to Russia | World News

Published

on

Alexei Navalny and his wife Yulia pose for a selfie with their children in a video released on 31 December on his Instagram account

Alexey Navalny is flying back to Russia and straight into the hands of the authorities.

Not only does he face a slew of fresh criminal charges against him but he will also once again be at the mercy of Russia’s domestic spy agency, the Federal Security Service (FSB), which he says tried to poison him.

It is an extraordinarily brave and risk-filled undertaking. It is also true to form.

Arrest for Alexey Navalny is nothing new. Nor is carving out a life of activism between court appearances, house arrest and prolonged periods in detention.

Image:
Alexei Navalny and his wife Yulia pose for a selfie with their children on NYE

He has repeatedly said he would return to Russia after his convalescence in Germany.

Had he not been poisoned by a novichok nerve agent, with treatment abroad the only way to keep him alive, he never would have left in the first place.

He is now on the Federal Wanted List and is implicated in a number of criminal and administrative cases which give law enforcement broad scope to keep him under prolonged investigation, most probably well beyond September’s parliamentary elections which the powers that be in the Kremlin do not want him around for.

Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service has submitted a request to revoke a three-and-a-half-year suspended sentence which wrapped up in December and imprison him instead.

They say he “systematically and repeatedly violated” the terms of his probation both whilst he was in Germany and on a number of occasions before.

If the court agrees, he could serve three-and-a-half-years in jail, minus a few months already spent under house arrest.

Alexei Navalny is seen at a Siberian airport before boarding the plane where he was taken ill. Pic: @djpavlin
Image:
Mr Navalny at a Siberian airport before boarding the plane where he was taken ill. Pic: @djpavlin

On top of that, Russia’s investigative committee has opened a new criminal case accusing him of the supposed misallocation of crowd-sourced funds at his RBK anti-corruption foundation.

“If they really want to go after him, this would be the worst case scenario,” says his lawyer Vadim Kobzev.

“Three-and-a-half-years and then 10 years on top of that which is the maximum he can get for this new criminal case.”

He thinks a jail term of that length is unlikely. Recent cases against Mr Navalny have all resulted in suspended sentences, “but we’re all trying to read the tea leaves here,” Mr Kobzev says.

Vladmir Putin is ready to improve ties with the US, the Kremlin says
Image:
Mr Putin has joked that if the FSB were responsible, they would have ‘finished the job’

The authorities’ most likely course of action – at least in the medium term – will be extended periods under house arrest with restrictions placed on, for example, his use of the internet.

Mr Navalny off-line is far less of a threat to Mr Putin’s cronies than the anti-corruption investigations he posts to his YouTube channel. His team will endeavour to keep those going but it is not the same.

And suffice to say, despite the slew of investigations into Mr Navalny’s own alleged wrong-doing, authorities have still refused to open any kind of inquiry into how exactly the symbol of Russia’s democratic opposition ended up fighting for his life on a work trip to Siberia, with a deadly novichok nerve agent coursing through his veins.

:: Subscribe to Into The Grey Zone podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

President Vladimir Putin’s glib comment that the FSB would have finished the job if they had really wanted him dead is no substitute.

Nor, as Mr Navalny so convincingly proved in a telephone call with one of the FSB officers tasked with cleaning up the evidence of his poisoning, is it true.

Continue Reading

Trending