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New health alert as weekend temperatures to hit 30C in UK

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A heat-health alert has been issued for parts of England as temperatures are predicted to hit 30C (86F) over the weekend.

The alert is in place from 09:00 BST on Friday 9 June to 09:00 on Monday 12 June in London, the Midlands, eastern and southern England.

People are being asked to check on vulnerable friends and family.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) says the health and social care sector could be impacted.

This first alert – graded yellow – means this weekend, predicted to be hotter than Ibiza and Madrid, could affect the vulnerable including the over-65s and those with an underlying health condition.

Dr Agostinho Sousa, head of extreme events and health protection at UKHSA, said: “In the coming days we are likely to experience our first sustained period of hot weather of the year so far, so it’s important that everyone ensures they keep hydrated and cool while enjoying the sun.

“Forecasted temperatures this week will primarily impact those over the age of 65 or those with pre-existing health conditions such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

“If you have friends, family or neighbours who you know are more vulnerable to the effects of hot weather, it is important you check in on them.”

The UKHSA also advises people to:
  • Know the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke and what to do if you or someone else has them
  • Keep out of the sun at the hottest time of the day, between 11:00 BST and 15:00
  • Exercise or walk your dog at cooler times of the day, such as in the morning or evening
  • Close windows and curtains in rooms that face the sun to keep your home cool
  • Cover up with suitable clothing if going outdoors, wear a hat and sunglasses, seek shade and apply sunscreen
  • Drink plenty of fluids and limit your alcohol intake

BBC Weather meteorologist Tomasz Schafernaker said some parts of the UK official heatwave threshold might be met in parts ofcentral and southern England this weekend.

In order for a heatwave to be declared, temperatures must be above the official heatwave threshold for at least three consecutive days.

He said: “Typically highs will reach the mid to high 20s widely across the country, but there is an outside chance of 30C in England. This is dependent on sunshine.

Last year was the UK’s warmest ever – Coningsby, in Lincolnshire, reached a record 40.3C on 19 July.

The UKHSA expects heatwaves are “likely to occur more often, be more intense and last longer in the years and decades ahead”.

The new colour-coded alert system, launched last week, is run by the UKHSA and the Met Office. It is aimed at reducing illness and deaths among the most vulnerable.

With climate change, heatwaves are likely to be more frequent.

There are two further alerts, not yet issued, representing more of a risk:

  • amber meaning the impact could affect the wider population and is likely to be felt across the whole health service
  • and red means a significant risk to life even for healthy people and a severe impact expected across all sectors

“The forecasts point to increasing amounts of cloud and the chance of thunderstorms which will have a bearing on the highest temperatures.

“Due to the increasing humidity the nights will also become uncomfortable over the weekend.”

Large parts of the country have seen little rain recently, with some areas in England not experiencing any rain since 11 May.

Foreign

Putin Registers As Candidate For Russia’s Next Presidential Election

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Russia on Monday officially recognised Vladimir Putin as a candidate for the presidential elections in March, a vote that he is all but certain to win.

The 71-year-old has led Russia since the turn of the century, winning four presidential ballots and briefly serving as prime minister in a system where opposition has become virtually non-existent.

The Central Election Commission said it had registered Putin, who nominated himself, as well as right-wing firebrand and Putin-loyalist Leonid Slutsky as candidates for the vote.

The election will be held over a three-day period from March 15 to 17, a move that Kremlin critics have argued makes guaranteeing transparency more difficult.

Following a controversial constitutional reform in 2020, Putin could stay in power until at least 2036.

Rights groups say that previous elections have been marred by irregularities and that independent observers are likely to be barred from monitoring the vote.

While Putin is not expected to face any real competition, liberal challenger Boris Nadezhdin has passed the threshold of signatures to be registered as a candidate.

However, it is still unclear if he will be allowed to run, and the Kremlin has said it does not consider him to be a serious rival.

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Hong Kong court grants Chinese real estate giant reorganisation postponement

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Hong Kong’s Supreme Court has once again granted the highly indebted Chinese real estate giant Evergrande a postponement for its reorganisation plan.

Judge Linda Chan surprisingly postponed the decision until Jan. 29, the South China Morning Post reported on Monday.

The property developer, which has liabilities estimated at more than 300 billion dollars, is threatened with liquidation.

However, creditors from abroad had taken the company to court because of its missing several payments.

Chan had already said at the previous hearing that this would be the last postponement and that she would very likely agree to liquidation if China Evergrande did not find a plan for restructuring with its creditors.

According to reports, however, the lawyers of the Hong Kong-listed group had now held out the prospect of being able to reach an agreement with the lenders in the coming weeks.

In the case of liquidation, an insolvency administrator would monetise the company and pay out the creditors.

Meanwhile, some experts were of the opinion that liquidation would return less money to creditors than a reorganisation, China Evergrande argued the same in court, according to reports.

The group had been trying to submit a restructuring plan since 2022, without success. Its founder and once China’s richest man, Hui Ka Yan, is being investigated by the Chinese authorities.

Like many other property groups, the company had been in a serious crisis for some time because it is earning significantly less on the slumping property market.

The company is finding it more difficult to obtain state support and is no longer able to service its loans.

“The Evergrande case also shows that the era of large private property developers in China is coming to an end,’’ says Max Zenglein from the Merics China Institute in Berlin.

If Chan decides to wind up China Evergrande, this could also have an impact on other companies.

“One challenge for the government will be to prevent domino effects in the economy caused by major bankruptcies,’’ says Zenglein.

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