Gavin Williamson defends taking holiday during A-levels crisis

Noble Horvath
Gavin Williamson photographed in his office at the Department of Education after the crisis. (Getty)
Gavin Williamson photographed in his office at the Department of Education after the crisis. (Getty)

Gavin Williamson has defended his decision to go on holiday during the A-level exams fiasco earlier this month.

The education secretary has faced searing criticism for his handling of the crisis after the government was forced to perform an embarrassing U-turn on its grading system.

Despite frantic preparations for A-level results day on 13 August, The Sunday Times reported that Williamson took a week-long holiday to the seaside town of Scarborough until 9 August.

He also allegedly cancelled a crucial meeting to make the Yorkshire getaway possible.

Students from Codsall Community High School march to Williamson's constituency office. (Getty)
Students from Codsall Community High School march to Williamson’s constituency office. (Getty)
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Sorry, but your beloved L.A. holiday event has probably been canceled. Blame coronavirus

Noble Horvath

Does anyone remember summer 2020? Because somehow, our novel coronavirus spring of masks and marching came and went and suddenly, we’re facing Labor Day, the bittersweet three-day weekend when we traditionally celebrate the last few moments of beach and barbecue while looking ahead to that magical pumpkin-spice time of year, when we’re all cookies and candies and anticipation of holiday delights.

a close up of a fruit: This is the time of year when we typically start thinking about traditional fall festivities — such as pumpkin carving. (Ross May / Los Angeles Times; Getty Images)

© (Ross May / Los Angeles Times; Getty Images)
This is the time of year when we typically start thinking about traditional fall festivities — such as pumpkin carving. (Ross May / Los Angeles Times; Getty Images)

Except it’s 2020, remember? Our through-the-looking-glass pandemic year when nothing is as it should be, nor will be, because in case you didn’t get the memo, most of the traditional holiday events and beloved light shows that enliven the last quarter of the year have already been canceled.

In other words,

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Holiday Weekend Heat Will Again Stress The Power Grid But Outages Less Likely: LAist

Noble Horvath
The sun sets behind power lines and poles in Rosemead, California (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

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The coming three-day holiday heat wave will be just as hot as the one in mid-August, and Californians are forecast to use just as much energy, pushing the state’s utilities to the brink of running out of power.

But will we experience rolling outages, as happened in mid-August?

The simple answer:

The state’s power managers forecast demand and production one day ahead of time, and on Thursday they said it’s too early for them to know if rolling outages will be needed. The worst of the heat starts on Saturday, and things could change.

The more complicated answer:

Rolling outages happen if there is too much

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Ho, ho, hum: Struggling retailers brace for a muted holiday season

Noble Horvath

It’s only September, but Santa Claus is already nervous about coming to town.

And he is not worried about whether kids are naughty or nice, as much as he is about the chance that taking photos with them on his lap at a local mall could expose him to the coronavirus.

“Santas are concerned about catching it, especially considering they’re immunocompromised,” said Stephen Arnold, a Memphis, Tennessee, resident and president of the International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas, a trade group with nearly 2,300 members. “Almost all of us have diabetes and heart conditions and are overweight and elderly.”

Arnold’s Santas are not the only ones thinking about how different the holidays will be at malls and department stores this year. Thanksgiving, the traditional start of the holiday shopping calendar, is still more than two months away, but retailers pummeled by the coronavirus pandemic have already been making decisions about

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What Trends Will Emerge as the Holiday Season Draws Closer?

Noble Horvath

With the coronavirus pandemic creating wide adjustments to consumer behavior, brands and retailers are having to rethink how they will approach the soon to arrive, holiday shopping season.

According to experts from Dynamic Yield, the experience optimization platform that works with brands including Sephora, Urban Outfitters and Ikea, this season will look much different from years past. Experience-minded gifts, a favorite in 2019, will see decreased engagement as consumers continue to socially distance and the competition for online sales will heighten.

More from WWD

The largest change, said Shana Pilewski, director of marketing at Dynamic Yield, will be an even greater shift to online shopping. And with many stores planning to remain closed this season, “there is increased competition to capture the attention of consumers likely shopping online from the comfort of their own homes.”

Here, Pilewski talks to WWD about the COVID-19 impacts on the upcoming holiday season, the

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History behind the national holiday and why we celebrate it

Noble Horvath

For many, Labor Day simply signifies the end of summer and it offers a great excuse for an extended weekend.

However, there’s a deeper meaning behind the national holiday, which has roots as far back as the 1880s.

Labor Day is a creation of the labor movement. It’s dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers, the bedrock of the U.S. economy and the country’s prosperity.

“It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country,” according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

The first Labor Day was celebrated in New York City on Sept. 5, 1882, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union.

As for the founder of Labor Day, there is still some doubt about who first proposed the holiday for workers.

Some records show Peter J. McGuire, a co-founder of the

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No vacation for holiday homes in UAE as bookings rise

Noble Horvath

a group of people looking at a phone: No vacation for holiday homes in UAE as bookings rise

© Provided by Khaleej Times
No vacation for holiday homes in UAE as bookings rise

Holiday homes in Dubai are busy booking business with markets, schools and colleges fuelling demand to a sector that did witness the impact of the global Covid-19 outbreak.

Vinayak Mahtani, CEO of holiday home management company bnbme, said: “We have several types of residents staying with us: Those who have bought homes and are waiting for them to get ready; residents who have lost their jobs; colleges renting a place to stay with a month-to-month commitment rather than annual agreements; and parents who have just moved to Dubai and have yet to decide where they want to live based on kids’ schools before making a commitment.”

“Investors are looking at short-term rentals as a more lucrative prospect than long-term yields today. The major factor benefiting investors is that

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Bank holiday sales: pick up a cheap laptop deal with the latest offers from Lenovo

Noble Horvath

If the latest bank holiday sales have you on the lookout for cheap laptop deals we strongly recommend checking out the latest offers over at Lenovo, some of which are yielding discounts of up to £300 off right now.

Using the code BANKHOLIDAYSAVE on select items, you’ll be able to knock some considerable chunks off the asking prices of a whole range of brand new laptops. Our favorites include this Lenovo IdeaPad S540 for just £629.99 – a great price on a laptop that’s equally at home at work or play. Considering you’re getting an AMD Ryzen 7 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and a gorgeous, near bezel-less QHD screen, that’s a lot of laptop for the money for sure. 

If you’re more into your gaming, check out this Lenovo IdeaPad 3 for £749.99 (was £799). That’s not only a super sleek gaming laptop for the price, but

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Holiday weekend is not time to relax COVID-19 precautions, doctor says

Noble Horvath

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Whether you are traveling or staying close to home this holiday weekend, doctors are asking everyone to stay safe as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Dr. Fred Jenkins, ER Medical Director at Memorial Hospital, shared some do’s and don’ts for a safe holiday weekend.

“A rule of thumb is you want to resist going into large crowds or enclosed public spaces,” Jenkins said, adding that outdoors is the safest option. “It’s easier to socially distance and you don’t have the issue of recirculating air, but you have to social distance, and if you’re going to be in a crowded area, it’s a good idea to wear a mask.”

For those traveling this weekend, Jenkins said you should research the COVID-19 safety practices where you are staying and in other public places like restaurants:

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home if you aren’t feeling well
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Will Labor Day Weekend Bring Another Holiday COVID Surge?

Noble Horvath

Hopefully, summer won’t end the way it began. Memorial Day celebrations helped set off a wave of coronavirus infections across much of the South and West. Gatherings around the Fourth of July seemed to keep those hot spots aflame.

And now Labor Day arrives as those regions are cooling off from COVID-19. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned Wednesday that Americans should be cautious to avoid another surge in infection rates. But travelers are also weary of staying home — and tourist destinations are starved for cash.

“Just getting away for an hour up the street and staying at a hotel is like a vacation, for real,” says Kimberly Michaels, who works for NASA in Huntsville, Alabama, and traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, with her boyfriend to celebrate his birthday last weekend.

Lifting Restrictions for Summer’s End

In time for the tail end

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