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Everything You Need to Know About the UK Government’s COVID Inquiry

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On May 12, 2021, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced an independent public inquiry into the government’s response to and handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Established under the Inquiries Act 2005, the COVID Inquiry will examine the government’s “actions as rigorously and candidly as possible,” according to the Prime Minister, and will aim to “learn every lesson for the future.” It will do so by summoning the production of documents and witnesses to give evidence under oath in order to examine the government’s response to the pandemic.

Rt Hon Baroness Heather Hallett DBE will act as Chair of the inquiry, which is set to begin “sometime in spring 2022”. In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know about the COVID Inquiry and what we can expect from the process.

How Will The COVID Inquiry Work?

According to BBC News, the Chair of the Inquiry can call whoever they want to give evidence, “whether they are witnesses to an event or people with particular expertise.” As barristers’ chambers Doughty Street Chambers notes, witnesses to an event will be asked to give evidence of their experience or direct knowledge of what took place. They speak on behalf of an organisation, like the NHS or the police.

Evidence sessions will be given in public and under oath, per BBC News, and most sessions will be available to watch on TV and online. There’s no time limit to the inquiry either, and they can often take years due to the “huge amount of evidence that needs to be read.”

What Will Be Included In The COVID Inquiry?

The exact aims, issues, and remits included won’t be announced until closer to the start of the inquiry, but the Prime Minister has said his government would work closely with the devolved administrations and governments in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland before setting out what exactly will be included in the inquiry itself.

Shortly after announcing that an inquiry would take place, the Prime Minister told MPs that the inquiry would consider his government’s handling of the pandemic before the first lockdown in March 2020, per The Guardian. As for other issues, law firm BDB Pitmans suggests that the higher death rate in general, especially among ethnic minority groups, will be a major point of contention, as well as the government’s “procurement processes” of contracts awarded during the pandemic.

What Issues Have Been Raised Around The COVID Inquiry?

Undocumented Migrants

Following the publication of a report by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), it’s vital that the voices of undocumented migrants are properly heard during the COVID inquiry. The report found that the UK “lagged far behind other European countries” in protecting undocumented migrants during the pandemic.

Caitlin Boswell, author of the report and policy officer at JCWI, said in a statement that if the government “wants to learn lessons” from this inquiry and “fully recover from the pandemic”, it needs to “stop prioritising its anti-immigration agenda above saving lives.” An anti-immigration agenda which is more commonly known as the Hostile Environment.

The term “Hostile Environment” is used by many to describe a set of policies that are intended to block undocumented migrants from using public services like the NHS and the police, as well as making work and housing inaccessible; effectively making life as difficult as possible.

Boswell added that the government “must listen to migrants’ voices, including those who’ve lost status, and ensure that in the future, no-one has their life put at risk because of their immigration status.” Boswell concluded that in “doing so will not only protect the most marginalised, it will help protect all of us.”

People With Disabilities

Sense, a charity which focuses on complex disabilities, has also called for the government to take the experiences of disabled people and their families into account. As the charity notes, 6 out of 10 people in the UK who have died from COID are disabled, despite making up 22 per cent of the general population.

“Decision-makers did not engage with us, our needs were often overlooked and communications were largely inaccessible,” Fazilet Hadi, Head of Policy for Disability Rights UK, explained. “Health bodies treated our lives as less valued, disabled people receiving social care were inadequately protected, some disabled children were denied education and support, and supermarkets failed to ensure that we could access food.”

There is yet to be a date announced or confirmed for the COVID Inquiry.

Original Source: bustle.com

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Who Is Samuel Bottomley? ‘The Teacher’ Star Is a School-Based Drama Regular

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Channel 5’s new thriller is going to be a challenging watch.In The Teacher, a Bradford high school teacher is accused of having a drunken encounter with a student. Starring Sheridan Smith as the troubled teacher Jenna Garvey, the four-part series will see the educator struggle to prove her innocence. But who is The Teacher star, Samuel Bottomley? The actor who plays 15-year-old Kyle, the student at the centre of the allegations.

The 20-year old actor may be someone you’re already pretty familiar with, appearing in a number of classic British school-based dramas. West Yorkshire-born, Bottomley notably starred as Jordan Wilson in Channel 4’s school drama Ackley Bridge from 2017, where he was challenged to portray his character’s abusive relationship with his father. He also played school bully, Dean Paxton, in the acclaimed musical comedy, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.

The burgeoning talent made his screen debut aged nine years old, featuring in the BAFTA-winning film Tyrannosaur in 2011, alongside celebrated actor Olivia Colman. In the years since, Bottomley has continued making waves in movies, starring in Amazon Original’s “anarchic comedy” Get Duked! in 2019, which saw four teens embark to the Scottish Highlands for a weekend on the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme. Bottomley’s considerable acting CV also includes features in Ghost Stories (2017) and more recently, in the TV series Ladhood.

The Teacher is Bottomley’s latest acting pursuit alongside BAFTA-winner Sheridan Smith, and it seems despite the series’ difficult themes, the actor rather enjoyed his time on set.

“It’s the first time we’d worked together but as soon as I met her, she welcomed me into the cast with open arms,” the actor said, per The Sun. “We sat down and talked about the characters and the scripts and she never let me feel too nervous,” he added. “We were messing around all the time between takes. Everyone had a really good time filming the series and me and Sheridan were always laughing and joking.

Original Article: bustle.com

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‘And Just Like That’ Episode 9 Looks to Shop

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All the best looks from “And Just Like That,” the “Sex and the City” reboot. They include overalls, cocktail dresses and more.

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Source: bustle.com

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16 Asian-Owned Beauty Brands That Will Become Your New Favorite

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Lunar New Year — oftentimes called Chinese New Year — is one of the most widely-celebrated holidays across the Asian diaspora. Some of my favorite memories center around Lunar Near Year — eating sticky rice cake for breakfast, receiving a red envelope after kow-towing to my parents, and indulging in special Chinese dishes to usher in luck for the new year.

Historically, beauty brands have capitalized on Lunar New Year by offering special edition products (usually emblazoned in red and gold packaging). But Lunar New Year isn’t just a seasonal marketing opportunity. It’s a time for families to gather together, remember past generations’ sacrifices, celebrate how far we have come, and carry our traditions (both new and old) into a hopeful future.

This year, consider celebrating Lunar New Year by supporting these indie, Asian-owned brands and their founders who are paving the way for a more inclusive, equitable beauty space.

Skin Spark Blush Balm
Phytosurgence

Inspired by nature, founder Jason Lau makes the dreamiest blushes and glitter shadows with the intent of capturing the essence of a moment or an emotion to connect with a wider audience. The product textures are ultra lightweight with major payoff and lasting power, and flattering across a wide spectrum of complexions.

BYO Blush
Youthforia

Youthforia is all about making makeup more whimsical, skin-friendly, and, yes, euphoric. Fiona Chan was sick of coming back home late at night (or early in the morning) after staying out all night with her friends and falling asleep in her makeup, only to wake up with breakouts. She decided to make beauty products that she could sleep in — and thus, Youthforia was born. The BYO Blush and the new Pregame Primer were both personally sleep-tested by Chan — she swears they actually helped to improve her skin over time.

Loved for both its efficacy and affordable price point, Cocokind was created by Priscilla Tsai as a sustainable, transparent skincare brand that won’t break the bank. The brand is also dedicated working against anti-Asian hate, teaming up with Tower 28 to create an AAPI Advocacy bundle to celebrate the Lunar New Year and benefit The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF).

Tower 28 Beauty SunnyDays SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen Foundation
Sephora

Known for its milky lip glosses (also included in the Cocokind x Tower28 Lunar New Year bundle) and eczema-friendly face products, Tower28 has gained major buzz since launch. Founder Amy Liu has worked for some of the biggest brands in the skincare game (ever heard of Kate Somerville or Smashbox Cosmetics?), but struggled with finding makeup products that wouldn’t irritate her eczema-prone skin. So, she made her own. Boss move!

Super 8 Vibrant Silk Lipstick

As one of the earliest AAPI beauty brand trailblazers, Jennifer Yen of YenSa Beauty had an untraditional path to beauty. She started her career out as a villain on Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, and became frustrated at the limited roles being offered to her, as well as how stage makeup was wreaking havoc on her skin. She founded beauty brands Purlisse and YenSa Beauty, both of which are heavily inspired by her Chinese heritage and based on the benefits of traditional Chinese medicine.

Vitamin C Brightening Serum
Matter Of Fact

If you’re sick of your vitamin C serums oxidizing, feeling sticky, and smelling pungent, you’re not alone. That’s how former K-pop star Paul Baek felt before founding skincare brand Matter of Fact. Baek wasoverwhelmed and confused upon entering the beauty space to address his own skin issues, and resolved that there must be a way for skincare to be straightforward and simple. His determination led to a vitamin c formulation that retains 94.25% of its initial 20% ascorbic acid concentration after 16 months, according to the brand’s clinical trials. The result is a clear, light serum that brightens the skin, with none of the downsides of other vitamin C serums.

Cosmic Glow Oil
Supernal

In 2019, Melissa Medvedich launched her indie brand Supernal on the Lunar New Year. Her Chinese grandparents instilled in her the importance of taking care of her skin, and Medvedich spent two years researching how to perfect her now cult-acclaimed Cosmic Glow Oil and Illumine Restorative Oil Serum (every bottle is still handcrafted in small batches by Medvedich herself!). In honor of Lunar New Year and Supernal’s third birthday on February 8th, Supernal will be offering a mini Cosmic Glow Oil and Illumine Restorative Oil Serum with every purchase on the Supernal website.

Good Light We Come in Peace Probiotic Serum

After an incredible career as a reporter, writer, and editor-in-chief of website Very Good Light, David Yi felt that the beauty industry was still lacking something — and thus, his skin care brand Good Light was born. The highly-curated skin care line offers clean, high-performance products (its Moon Glow Milky Toning Lotion is an editor-favorite) with a mission to make the beauty space a more welcoming space for all.

Circumference Green Clay Detox Face Mask
Infused with green clay, this face mask will draw impurities out of your skin, leaving it hydrated. It’s best used on combination to oily skin.
Net-a-Porter

Jina Kim started Circumference with the intention of combining her love of skincare with sustainable solutions. But Circumference has always veered away from greenwashing and vague claims of “clean beauty” — the brand is rooted in science, and has always been transparent about its sustainability efforts. Circumference lessens its carbon footprint while also optimizing its products efficacy by sourcing ingredients from plants raised happily in their native, bio-diverse environments.

Nail Artist Polish in Emma
Emelie Heath

As a Korean-American adopted by white Jewish and Christian parents, Emily Rudd struggled with finding her own identity, while also noticing how scarce the Asian representation was in advertisements and pop culture. Her search led her to brightly-colored comics, art, and beauty — and her nail polish brand, Emilie Heathe. The line is an amalgamation of all the places in her journey to self-acceptance, using Asian ingredients like bamboo, rice, and sea buckthorn to help strengthen the nails.

Inner Balance Serum
Strange Bird Beauty

Strange Bird Beauty was born from Tina Chow Rudolph’s desire to prioritize her own emotional self-care, while contributing to a future with more Asian representation in the beauty space so her daughter could see herself. The ingredients of Strange Bird Beauty, like ginseng and licorice root, have been used for thousands of years in Asian culture, and all of the crystal-charged products come with an intention to say aloud as you apply.

Texturizing Cream
Black Bean Grocery

Black Bean Grocery’s food-themed packaging transports you to Chinatown, modeled after the jars of traditional Chinese preserves lining the shelves of Asian grocers. Founded by Brandon Ly and James Bui, Black Bean Grocery’s product lineup seem to be mostly be volumizing and texturizing hair products, like a pomade, root powder (named after Chow Yun Fat), and a “Dai Lo” Styling Powder.

Nail Polish in No.13 Chili Pepper Red
Sundays

Sundays Nailcare takes the therapeutic process of getting your nails done to the next level. The NYC salon is a soothing space without any pressure to socialize or talk if you’re having a low-energy mental health day. Founder Amy Lin also spent a year working with a chemist to formulate the perfect non-toxic nail polish formula that won’t chip for days.

Sound Renewal Moisturizer
Superegg

Superegg’s name and concept is based off of the centuries-old Asian skin practice of using raw egg face masks to boost skin elasticity and brightness. Founder Erica Choi, a licensed esthetician and fashion blogger, decided to start her own business after working 10 years in the luxury beauty, fashion, and hospitality industries and seeing a need for a sustainable, luxury skin care brand rooted in Asian practices. The brand’s packaging is a standout, too — the moisturizer comes in a curved, egg-like shape, and Choi has pledged to work towards refillable packaging options by 2025.

Strangers Parfumerie
Yuzu Soda

Strangers Parfumerie is an indie perfume brand based out in Thailand. The owner and founder, Prin Lomros, created the line to capture whatever inspires him (be that his own memories, his favorite movies, or the music he’s listening to) through experimental fragrances — his fragrance Oliver is actually inspired by Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name. His Parfums Prissana line draws directly from Asian mythology, food, and history, spanning from Russia, to Nepal, to Japan.

Glow Recipe Guava Vitamin C Dark Spot Treatment Serum

Glow Recipe, founded by Sarah Lee and Christine Chang, is one of the most well-known Asian-owned brands on the market — and for good reason. The brand has developed a cult following for its fruit-focused skin care products that feature innovative textures, high-tech delivery systems, and fun packaging.

Original Source: bustle.com

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