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G7 summit: St Ives hotel housing security staff and media forced to close after COVID outbreak | Politics News

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A hotel housing security staff and media for the G7 summit in Cornwall is to shut completely following an outbreak of COVID-19.

The Pedn Olva hotel in St Ives – the host town for the summit of world leaders and just one mile from Carbis Bay – said it would “fully close” after discussing the outbreak with Public Health England.

It’s understood 13 staff are infected out of around 17 workers.

There were just 45 cases of COVID-19 in Cornwall in the week between 30 May and 5 June.

People walk outside the Pedn Olva hotel in St Ives
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The hotel is in St Ives – a mile away from the location of the summit

One staff member, who was leaving the hotel to self-isolate carrying two packs of COVID tests, told Sky News the hotel was “closing and boarding up”.

Sky News spoke to a number of security staff protecting the German G7 delegation who are staying at the hotel.

They said they had “been told nothing” but that they might end up buying a tent and sleeping on the beach.

Most hotels in the county are fully booked because of the summit.

A number of media crews – including CBS – are understood to have been staying at the hotel and operating a live presenting position from its roof.

An empty terrace at the Pedn Olva hotel after it is closed
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The terrace at the Pedn Olva hotel was empty following the closure

In a statement, the hotel owners – St Austell Brewery – said: “We can confirm that a number of our team at the Pedn Olva, St Ives, have tested positive for COVID-19.

“We immediately notified Public Health England of these cases and have been working closely with them to ensure we follow all appropriate safety guidelines.

“Following extensive discussions over the last few days with PHE and Cornwall Council, we have taken the decision to fully close the hotel.

“We fully appreciate the inconvenience given the limited accommodation options available in the area at the moment but the safety and security of our team and guests is our upmost priority. The hotel will reopen once a full COVID-19 deep clean has taken place and we have the available staff to run it.”

The outbreak comes on the eve of the start of the G7 summit, with thousands of police, delegates and media in the county.

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Emmanuel Macron slap: Man jailed for hitting French president in the face | Breaking News News

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A 28-year-old man has received a four-month prison sentence after slapping French President Emmanuel Macron in the face.

Damien Tarel was also given an additional 14-month suspended sentence for the offence, which took place on Tuesday as the leader was greeting a crowd in southeastern France.

Tarel was banned from ever holding public office and from owning weapons for five years.

He was quickly arrested after the slap that hit Macron’s left cheek and charged with violence against a person invested with public authority.

In court, the defendant described himself as a right-wing or extreme “patriot” and a member of the yellow vest economic protest movement.

The man was wearing glasses and a mask when he attempted to hit the president
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The man was wearing glasses and a mask when he hit the president

He told the court in the southeastern city of Valence that the attack was unplanned and impulsive and prompted by anger at France’s “decline”.

He was heard shouting a centuries-old royalist war cry as he struck the president.

In a video of the incident, Macron’s security entourage quickly intervened and moved the leader away from his attacker.

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China: Elephants become online stars after napping during epic trek around south of country | World News

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A group of 15 elephants have become social media sensations after hundreds of millions of people watched a video of them napping.

The herd have been travelling around southern China for more than a year, covering some 310 miles (500km) from their home on a wildlife reserve in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, all the way to Kunming, the provincial capital and home to seven million people.

They have been wreaking gentle havoc along the way, breaking into farms for food and water, and trespassing into a retirement home, startling one elderly resident who had to hide under a bed.

The animals may have left their forest home because of a lack of food. Pic: Xinhua via AP
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The animals may have left their forest home because of a lack of food. Pic: Xinhua via AP

Authorities in China have been trying to keep people out of harm’s way and have been monitoring the group non-stop using drones.

The footage has been viewed by hundreds of millions of people, with some tracking their every move.

But there’s little agreement on exactly why the elephants are on the move.

“In the past few years, the number of elephants has increased because poaching has stopped,” Wenjing Pan, forest and ocean project manager at Greenpeace East Asia, told Sky News.

“Meanwhile, the population in the area has also increased, and more land that could be their potential habitat for elephants has been occupied by human activities.

“The preferred option is to try and guide the elephants and try to get them to change their direction. Meanwhile, the local authorities will pay for any of the losses farmers suffer due to damage caused by the elephants.”

The herd has  been spotted spotted in urban areas. Pic: Eshan County Fang Yuan Car Care Center/ via Reuters
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The herd has been spotted in urban areas. Pic: Eshan County Fang Yuan Car Care Center via Reuters

Even thousands of kilometres away in Beijing, the huge animals were a topic of discussion.

One commuter told Sky News she thought the COVID-19 pandemic was to blame, saying: “Before, animal lovers and local people took care of them, like the elephants in Africa. But now, affected by the pandemic, maybe, people don’t have the time or the effort to care for them.”

However, she thought China – which has largely controlled COVID – was the best place for the herd.

“China is very safe,” she said. “I think the elephants know China’s situation and they want to stay in China. They want to explore a new habitat in China.”

The herd is being observed with drones. Pic: Xinhua via AP
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The herd is being observed with drones. Pic: Xinhua via AP

Her primary school-age son was more equivocal on the appeal of the elephants. He said: “I think every animal is special. Some look ugly, some cute. I have no favourite one. I think they are all animals – we should protect them all.”

Another Beijing resident said the elephants’ journey “must be because of mankind”. They pondered: “Why have they walked so far to find a new habitat? It’s because people destroyed their habitat.”

The beasts have walked around 500km. Pic Xinhua via AP
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The beasts have walked around 500km, causing around $1m worth of damage. Pic Xinhua via AP
The animals have caused around $1m in damage. Pic: Xinhua via AP

The most recent information from state media places the herd at Yuxi city, around 46 miles (75km) from Kunming.

One elephant was left behind in Kunming, apparently late to wake from a nap. Their destination remains unknown.

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Pope rejects German cardinal’s offer to resign over Church sex abuse crisis | World News

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Pope Francis has rejected the resignation of German Cardinal Reinhard Marx over the Catholic Church’s sex abuse crisis.

Cardinal Marx wrote a letter to the Pope last week offering to resign as the archbishop of Munich and Freising over the Church’s mishandling of abuse cases.

He is not under investigation himself, either for abuse or for covering it up.

In the letter, he said: “It is important to me to share the responsibility for the catastrophe of the sexual abuse by Church officials over the past decade.”

However, Francis responded saying he must continue in his role and “shepherd my sheep”.

German Cardinal Reinhard Marx attends a press conference by Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi at the Vatican's press center. Pope Francis refused Thursday, June 10, 2021 to accept the resignation offered by German Cardinal Reinhard Marx over the sex abuse scandal in the church, but said a process of reform was necessary and that every bishop must take responsibility for the “catastrophe” of the crisis. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, file)
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German Cardinal Reinhard Marx offered to resign last week. Pic: AP

He said what was necessary instead was a process of reform “that doesn’t consist in words but attitudes that have the courage of putting oneself in crisis, of assuming reality regardless of the consequences”.

Declaring that “the whole Church is in crisis”, Francis said it could no longer take a “head-in-sand policy” over the scandal.

A report commissioned by the Catholic Church itself, in 2018, found more than 3,600 people in Germany had been sexually assaulted by priests between 1946 and 2014.

More than half of the victims were 13 or younger when the abuse took place, and nearly a third of them were altar boys, according to the report.

Cardinal Marx, who is one of Roman Catholicism’s most influential liberal figures, is a member of the pope’s kitchen cabinet, a small group of cardinals from around the world who advise the pontiff on various issues.

The letter from the Pope appears to give Cardinal Marx papal backing to continue with reforms in Germany, launched as a response to the abuse crisis.

The so-called “Synodal Path” which aims to give lay Catholics more influence over the running of the Church has come under fire in Germany, mainly by those opposed to opening debates on issues such as homosexuality and priestly celibacy.

There has also been criticism of the German reform process from the Vatican and bishops elsewhere, including church leaders in the United States.

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