Skip navigation

Tag Archives: News

New York (CNN Business)In between all the music performances and prank videos that are staples of YouTube’s trending video section, there are a few that would have made no sense before mid-March.

A recent briefing by New York governor Andrew Cuomo and an “NBC Nightly News” broadcast also cracked YouTube’s list of especially popular videos among users in the United States.
The trending list reflects the evolving nature of the pandemic as stay-at-home orders stretch into a second month in many states.
    “We certainly have seen how our users have changed,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said in an interview for CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”
    At first, she said, users were seeking out “really basic information” about coronavirus. YouTube, a unit of Google, worked with its community of professional video creators to generate stay at home messages, reflecting public health recommendations.
    “I never thought we’d have so many videos of hand-washing, for example,” Wojcicki quipped.
    The types of how-to content have changed over time.
    “Now really interestingly, we’re seeing a lot of users come to us and want to know about life under quarantine,” Wojcicki said in mid-April. “And so we see a lot of interest in things like exercise at home, how do I fix my dishwasher? How do I fix my freezer? How do I give myself a haircut when I’m in quarantine?”
    Sure enough, scores of videos about cutting hair at home have been uploaded in the past few weeks, and some already have millions of views.
    Overall usage of YouTube has skyrocketed in recent weeks, according to Nielsen. Overall streaming video viewing time has doubled in recent weeks compared with the same weeks in 2019. YouTube accounts for about 20 percent of all streaming minutes. So in the first full week of April this year, with most of the country hunkered down, Nielsen counted 32 billion minutes worth of YouTube streaming time, up from 15 billion minutes in the same week a year earlier.
    With great reach comes great responsibility, and YouTube has been widely scrutinized for its handling of bogus and downright dangerously misleading videos for several years. As Covid-19 spread around the world, the company has taken proactive steps to combat medical misinformation, relying in large part on guidelines from the World Health Organization.
    Wojcicki said YouTube is both “raising authoritative information” and removing videos filled with falsehoods.
    “We’ve had to update our policy numerous times associated with Covid-19,” she said.
    “Medically unsubstantiated” claims, like videos promoting miracle cures that are actually bogus, “would be a violation of our policy,” she said. “Anything that would go against World Health Organization recommendations would be a violation of our policy.”
    Since the start of the current health crisis, thousands of videos have been removed, Wojcicki said, without getting into the detailed metrics.
    She also said YouTube has “literally served over 10 billion impressions of information that comes from different public health organizations.”
    The YouTube homepage for users in the United States now includes dedicated areas for CDC videos about Covid-19 as well as learning videos for children.
    Wojcicki said she believes education is “one of the most compelling use cases of YouTube.”
    “We have science courses being livestreamed; history classes; how to play an instrument; how to learn a language,” she said.
    The site has pretty much everything, and that makes content moderation a never-ending challenge.
    But Wojcicki argued that YouTube’s efforts against disinformation and other harmful types of videos, dating back to “the last couple of years,” enabled the company to move quickly when the pandemic became the biggest story in the world.
    On March 20, YouTube announced a Covid-19 “news shelf” on its homepage, surfacing news videos from mainstream sources about the virus.
    During the interview for “Reliable Sources,” Wojcicki was quick to say that these types of efforts will continue. “We’re not saying we’re done,” she said. “We need to continue to work on our responsibility efforts and we will continue to do that over the next couple of years.”
    Everyone’s YouTube experience is different. But Wojcicki pointed out some uses of YouTube that have stood out during the coronavirus crisis. Some churches and other houses of worship have signed up for the first time to live-stream their services, she said. And actor John Krasinski has tapped into a huge audience looking for uplifting stories on his new channel called “Some Good News.”
    Krasinski, like most YouTube creators, is working from home right now. That’s one of the keys to the site’s endless fount of fresh content, Wojcicki pointed out: Many creators “were working from home even before Covid-19.”
    Setting up home studios has been an adjustment for many television broadcasters, but it comes naturally to a generation of vloggers and live-streamers.
      “So they’ve been able to update their content,” Wojcicki said, “and talk about what life has been like under quarantine and give tips and tricks to help people get through this really difficult time.”
      To hear more from Susan Wojcicki about the state of YouTube; the company’s actions against harassment on the platform; and the potential for a TikTok-like component to YouTube, listen to the full interview on the “Reliable Sources” podcast.

      Read more:

      (CNN)Are you losing your mind in quarantine? Because I am losing my mind in quarantine.

      Those of us who are just stuck in self-isolation, and not hooked up to a respirator or the next-of-kin of someone who is, are the lucky ones. And no, what’s being asked of us is not excessive: We just need to stay home.
      So why does this feel so hard?
        Around the world, people report feeling stressed, anxious and generally discombobulated by this whole mess. Parents and other caregivers for young children are particularly stretched thin. People have canceled trips, concerts, weddings; new babies are being brought up without the help of extended family or community members; big life milestones like graduations go publicly uncelebrated. We miss the friends and family we can’t see. We miss dinners out, parties in, museums, live music, theater, even the gym. I miss being able to walk through my neighborhood without the stress of staying six feet away from bikers, joggers, cooped-up children gone wild on scooters, and other pedestrians.
        It’s not just working from home. I’ve worked from home for close to a decade, in many different cities and multiple countries. But the general rules of work-from-home life no longer apply. For example: Do something social, or at least that forces you to interact with other human beings, every day, even if that’s just going to the grocery store or the gym. Or: Create a separate dedicated workspace, even if it’s only a particular cushion on your couch; reserve your bed for sleeping (and other recreational activities). Or: Get outside at least once a day.
        That’s all harder when your whole family is stuck inside on top of each other; when there are no gyms to go to; when, at least in dense cities, even going for a walk outside is a stressful (and masked) experience.
        No, we are not being asked to go to war or survive one. But what we are being asked to do is profoundly antithetical to our natures as human beings; it is profoundly destabilizing and difficult. There is little more human than the desire for connection, touch, stimulation and novelty. This is all so hard because in going without those things, it’s not hyperbole to say we have to find new ways of being — or at least feeling — human.
        Esther Perel, a psychotherapist and best-selling author, tells viewers in a brief but compelling video for The New York Times that it’s no wonder we are feeling a sense of grief and anxiety. It’s not just that we’re missing out on travel, dates, or dinners. It’s that we’re also losing the meaning behind all of those things. A date isn’t just a date; it’s the possibility of a romantic future. A trip isn’t just a trip; it’s a new and stimulating experience, a chance to understand oneself in a different context, an opportunity to see things that before you could have only observed through a screen. A dinner out isn’t just a dinner out; it’s a moment of indulgence, pleasure and connection with the person across the table. A longing to hug a friend, a loved one, a far-away child, your mom is more than just “I want a hug” — it’s a primal and fundamental longing for the way touch is so often short-hand for everything we don’t find the words to say.
        Even in the midst of catastrophe — war, natural disaster, destruction — human beings continue to forge connections; we perhaps especially forge connections in the most trying of times so we can survive. In the most dire of circumstances — in war zones and refugee camps, in towns leveled by earthquakes and communities pocked by violence — people create art, paint in bright colors, plant seeds. They play music. They feed their beloveds. They tell stories. They fall in love.

          Esther Perel on life and love under quarantine

        The isolation that this pandemic has forced upon us doesn’t prevent all of those things, but it certainly hinders them. In the days after September 11, 2001, New Yorkers defied stay-at-home suggestions to congregate in bars and restaurants; the city teemed with life and energy (and, for once, not with car horns — a little bit of softness in the aftermath of such brutality). That collective gathering was very much a collective middle finger to those who attacked us: No, we are not scared. Yes, we are still here, and guess what? We’re going to live.
        What is being asked of us now is not quite so satisfying; it does not meet our need, in a time of anxiety and grief, to come together and seek comfort. To touch each other. To even smile at a stranger — you can’t see a person’s expression behind a mask.
        Compared to illness and death, these are small things. Being alive matters more, and so of course we have to continue to live this way for as long as is necessary to keep ourselves and others safe and healthy.
        But it’s also OK to grieve the pieces of life that we’re missing, to express the feeling so many of us have that we can’t take it anymore. It’s necessary to understand that missing the fullness of life, including pleasure and connection, doesn’t make us selfish. Feeling destabilized and disoriented or pushed to a breaking point doesn’t make us flaky or weak. It makes us human.

        Sign up for CNN Opinion’s new newsletter.

        Join us on Twitter and Facebook

          And perverse as it may sound, those of us who are anxious, frustrated and disoriented can be grateful for that exact experience — in disorienting and disconnected times, this reaction is a rational one. It means we’re warm. We love. We’re curious. We seek pleasure, and we revel in it when we experience it. It means we live.
          This article has been corrected to clarify that three million people have been infected, not killed, by the coronavirus.

          Read more:

          (CNN)A Native American woman will no longer adorn the packages of Land O’Lakes butter.

          The change was made in February and received little notice until this week. It comes as many businesses, universities and sports teams have begun to drop Native American images and symbols from logos.
          The new packaging was launched ahead of the company’s 100th anniversary next year. And the company says it’s shifting the focus of the packaging to farmers which is borne out by the words “Farmer Owned” in large text on one side.
            Land O’ Lakes, Inc. is a farmer-owned cooperative founded by a group of Minnesota dairy farmers in 1921. According to a company press release, the change was made to highlight the company’s roots as a farmer-owned business ahead of its 100th anniversary in 2021.
            In announcing the change, the company made no mention of the removal of the Native American woman.
            Some products, including stick butter, will include photos of Land O’Lakes farmers and co-op members and copy that reads “Since 1921” and “Proud to be Farmer-Owned: As a farmer-owned co-op, we stand together to bring you the very best in dairy,” the company said.
            Land O’ Lakes CEO Beth Ford said in a statement that the company is trying to have packaging that reflects the foundation and heart of the company’s culture. “And nothing does that better than our farmer-owners whose milk is used to produce Land O’Lakes’ dairy products,” Ford said.
            “As a farmer-owned co-op, we strongly feel the need to better connect the men and women who grow our food with those who consume it. Our farmer-to-fork structure gives us a unique ability to bridge this divide,” she added.
            Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan welcomed the change. She tweeted: “Thank you to Land O’Lakes for making this important and needed change. Native people are not mascots or logos. We are very much still here.”
            The company says they have been making an effort to better tell its farmer-owned story in recent years. This includes remaking the classic song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” with country music star Maggie Rose and featuring Land O’Lakes member farms in the music video.
            Heather Anfang, senior vice president of Land O’Lakes US Dairy Foods, says consumers care about the fact that the company is farmer owned.
              “Extending that farmer-owned story to our packaging is arguably our most direct vehicle to communicate with consumers,” she said.
              The company says the new farmer-owned packaging has already started to appear on several products is expected to be fully rolled out across all its products by the end of 2020.

              Read more:

              (CNN)Never before have so many people in the world lived in such tiny bubbles. With billions across the globe now under coronavirus-related restrictions, it has been weeks or even months for some since we socialized with anyone outside our homes.

              But these small bubbles could soon get a little bigger. Governments around the world are beginning to gradually lift their lockdowns, and as they do, they are mulling just how much and how widely they should advise people they can socialize.
              The Belgian government has reportedly been considering allowing people to form “social bubbles” of 10 people, according to Belgium’s Le Soir citing a leaked memo. The memo proposed that a bubble of people could spend time together on weekends, as long as all 10 people agreed to socialize exclusively with each other. Overlapping bubbles would not be allowed. The Belgian government did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.
                Forming our own bubbles would no doubt be socially awkward — not unlike leaving that friend or relative off your wedding guest list — and it would also be difficult to enforce. Some experts see the idea as too risky and too premature, given the lack of adequate testing capacity in many countries around the world.
                But some sociologists see it as a logical way to emerge from isolation. If you limit the people you spend time with, you naturally limit the chances of spreading the coronavirus widely.
                Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said last week that her government was looking at the social bubble as an option.
                “Every country is going through these decisions, none of us are through this pandemic yet, but some countries are starting to look at slightly expanding what people would define as their household — encouraging people who live alone to maybe match up with somebody else who is on their own or a couple of other people to have almost kind of bubbles of people,” she told BBC Radio Scotland.
                Keeping the current social distancing measures would be more effective in containing the virus, but some experts argue that such restrictive measure have time limits, as people will inevitably become fatigued by them, as well as the economic impacts they bring.

                So, how could you form a bubble?

                In a new study led by Oxford University sociologists say that changing the way our social networks are structured — rather than simply reducing the amount we socialize — could be effective in flattening the curve. (Flattening the curve is a term used to describe slowing the virus’ spread so heath systems can cope with the number of people needing treatment.)
                One of the study’s authors, Per Block, said that forcing people to stay at home for such long periods of time wasn’t sustainable and brought about problems of its own, including mental health issues.
                “There must be a middle ground between all of us staying at home and all of us meeting the people we want in the ways we want to,” he told CNN.
                “Our main aim here is to give people guidance on how they can structure their social surroundings so that hopefully in a year’s time we are there, and not that people at some point just give up completely on social distancing, and that we are back in a second wave by the end of the year and have to start this whole staying at home business all over again.”
                At the heart of the study, which is yet to be peer reviewed, is the idea that societies should make the paths along which the virus might travel longer than they currently are. One way to think of it is by considering the well-known concept that there are six degrees of separation between everyone in the world (yes, including Kevin Bacon). As people start socializing again, they should increase those degrees of separation, the study proposes.
                Creating a bubble with a small number of people to interact with, rather than allowing unfettered socializing, is one way of doing that.
                The study proposes a “birds of a feather” strategy, in which people of a particular group or demography socialize exclusively. Block says it isn’t practical to expect segregation by age or gender, but starting by geography could help. People could begin by creating bubbles, or clusters, with others in their neighborhoods. The strategy relies on people already interacting with others from the same area, or on people forming new networks with neighbors.
                In the longer term, other parts of society could be structured to protect these bubbles, the study proposes. Workplaces and schools, for example, may be able to keep workers or students who live in one particular area in the same room, and separate them from people who live in other areas, essentially getting rid of this “shortcut” for the virus to spread between clusters.
                In creating a bubble, something to consider is how much contact people in it might have with each other, in what’s known as “triadic closure.” This refers to the idea that contact partners of an individual are often connected themselves, which is what you often see with families.
                So if you include your parents, and your sibling and their partner in your group of 10, for example, that’s a good thing, because they likely already have contact with each other. This lowers the risk level for infection in the community as a whole, the study finds.
                Another factor is the care vulnerable people receive. It’s best if just one person provides all the care for that person, whether it’s a professional or relative. So it’s better if someone receiving healthcare is seen by the same doctor or nurse each time they visit a practice or get seen at home, as this can also reduce infection risk.
                But the idea of social bubbles is not without risk, some experts say, and a major problem with it is that it depends largely on trust.
                “I think this is a situation where you have to look at your individual situation and weigh how well you know the person you are potentially forming that ‘bubble’ with. How sure are you that the person isn’t interacting or socializing with someone that you do not know or that could be at risk for having Covid-19? Because that is the real risk and you could be putting yourself or your loved ones at risk for getting the disease,” said Dr. Krutika Kuppalli, an infectious diseases physician and biosecurity fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
                “I think we need to look at the data and let science guide us before we start making recommendations about socialization. Most importantly, we need to have adequate testing in place and make sure that people who need testing are getting it. When that happens, we need to make sure the numbers of cases are actually going down.
                “Finally, we need to have the ability to contact trace, test, and quarantine people who may be contacts of positive cases because that will be the only way to prevent large outbreaks from taking off again. When we have those things in place we can start talking about letting people socializing in a modest way.”
                William Hanage, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, also warned that social bubbles could still be significant sources of infection.
                “I think that approaches like this to refine distancing are an important part of how we move past the initial surge and get into the space beyond it that will define the rest of the pandemic. I also think that there are multiple reasons to be cautious, from the obvious fact that some people will be more at risk, for example, the elderly, and should not participate, to the fact that some people may be more at risk of already being infected themselves, people working in health care for instance,” he told CNN.

                Could children play in bubbles?

                Social bubbles is something that New Zealand is already trying. The country, which announced it had eliminated the virus, moved Tuesday into a less restrictive phase in its response, with 400,000 more New Zealanders heading back to work and 75% of the country’s economy operating.
                In the very comfortable position of recording just one new infection on Monday, the government there announced that people could begin expanding their bubbles, without even needing to specify by how many people.
                “People must stay within their household bubble but can expand this to reconnect with close family … or bring in caregivers, or support isolated people,” the government wrote in its guidance.
                “It’s important to protect your bubble if you extend it. Keep your bubble exclusive and only include people where it will keep you and them safe and well. If anyone within your bubble feels unwell, they should self-isolate from everyone else within your bubble.”
                This approach could also be valuable for young children, according to Stefan Flasche from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In an article, he argues that while we all need to reduce our contacts, small and exclusive playgroups would help children’s social development.
                “The agreement of exclusivity in this is central to success, as it limits the risk for transmission chains. As a result, such social contact clustering for children would allow them to mingle with their friends while only adding a rather marginal risk for coronavirus infection from, or transmission to, those outside of the play group and their respective households,” he wrote.
                He added that it would be sensible to use the same approach for people without children, particularly single people who may be feeling lonely or people who want to visit family, as long as their bubbles remain exclusive.
                But many countries are still quite far away from making these changes and, as Dr. Kuppalli pointed out, haven’t tested at the level to have a good grasp of how prevalent the virus is.
                Many experts argue that the reproduction rate — how many people one person is infecting, on average — needs to be below 1.0 before any lockdown restrictions are eased, as was the case in Germany.
                A recent model by Imperial College London showed the reproduction rate in the UK and US to be an estimated 2.4.
                In the UK, which has now reported more than 21,000 deaths in hospitals the government has said it will announce its plan to ease out of lockdown on May 7. It would not confirm to CNN whether the idea of social bubbles was being discussed as an option.
                Most European nations and US states that have eased lockdowns have retained social distancing rules, which oblige people to only socialize with others in their homes and keep distances of between one and two meters from other people in public spaces.
                  It doesn’t look like football matches, concerts in stadiums and visiting friends in other countries are on the cards just yet. But Block is hopeful that we can in the future at least start visit friends’ and relatives’ homes, Block said.
                  “I guess this will take quite a long time, but the better we all are at adhering to this, at reorganizing our social lives in such a way that it’s doable in the long run, the better the chances are that in a year’s time, maybe we can go to a music concert together.”

                  Read more:

                  Image copyright AFP
                  Image caption Mick Jagger said he was “devastated” to be postponing the US tour

                  The Rolling Stones have released their first new single in eight years, Living In A Ghost Town.

                  The sparse blues track references the coronavirus crisis, with Sir Mick Jagger singing: “Life was so beautiful, now we all got locked down / Feel like a ghost, living in a ghost town.

                  In a statement, the band said the track was initially recorded a year ago in LA but was “finished in lockdown”.

                  “We thought would resonate through the times we’re living in,” Sir Mick said.

                  Speaking to Apple Music, the singer revealed the track had been written “in 10 minutes” during a jam session last February.

                  “It wasn’t written for now but it was written about being in a place which was full of life, and then now that’s all bereft of life, so to speak,” he told Zane Lowe.

                  “And when I went back to what I’d written originally lyrically, it was all full of plague terms and things like that.

                  “Keith Richards and I both had the idea that we should release it. But I said, ‘Well I’ve got to rewrite it – some of it is not going to work and some of it was a bit weird and a bit too dark’.”

                  Richards said the song had been completed “via satellite” before being released on Thursday.

                  “It’s sort of eerie when suddenly it’s coming to life,” he said. “We sort of did it from outer space. But I actually liked the way it turned out.

                  ‘I’m very hard on myself’

                  Living In A Ghost Town is the first original song the band have released since two new tracks – Doom and Gloom and One More Shot – featured on their 2012 Greatest Hits album Grrr!

                  Before that, their last album of new material was 2005’s A Bigger Bang.

                  “Yeah, it was so long,” Sir Mick told Apple. “And I think one of the problems I personally have with it is that it’s suddenly that you want it to be really good.

                  “So I don’t just want it to be a good album, I want it to be great. You know? Yes, I’m very hard on myself. If I write something or if I write something with Keith Richards or whatever, it’s going to be great. It can’t just be good.”

                  Image copyright Getty Images
                  Image caption The band headlined Glastonbury festival in 2013

                  The singer said he hoped to finish more tracks while in isolation, but added: “there’s obviously no substitute for being together”.

                  He also acknowledged it was hard to say when the band would be able to resume their world tour, which was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

                  “The whole touring thing, we don’t know what’s going to be happening,” he said. “We don’t know when there’s going to be the next football match. We don’t know when the next tour outside’s going to be.

                  “You would imagine that playing outside would be more healthy than playing inside, but you don’t know… This is all in the realm of conjecture.”

                  The Stones were last seen on the One World: Together At Home concert last weekend, playing together from four separate locations – although drummer Charlie Watts did not appear to have a drum kit in his house.

                  Instead, he banged on flight cases and the arm of a sofa for their rendition of You Can’t Always Get What You Want.

                  Reflecting on the current situation, Sir Mick said he was “very aware of how lucky I am.”

                  “A lot of people lost their jobs and it’s not your fault. It’s circumstances completely out of your control. It’s not as though I did a bad job or I screwed up on my job and got fired,” he said.

                  “And also the less money you have, the more worries you have. So for lots of people, it’s really tough.

                  “It’s been a horrible time for everyone. But some people worse than others.”

                  Follow us on Facebook, or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email

                  Read more:

                  Media playback is unsupported on your device

                  Media captionPeter Kay’s corona appropriate music video update

                  The stars of Doctor Who, The Vicar of Dibley and Miranda sent messages of hope and support on BBC One charity special The Big Night In, which has raised nearly £27.4m.

                  The three-hour show saw Children in Need and Comic Relief join forces for the first time, with the government promising to double the total raised.

                  Peter Kay, Catherine Tate and the Little Britain duo also took part along with the EastEnders cast, while the Duke of Cambridge did a surprise sketch with Stephen Fry.

                  The money will go to causes that support vulnerable people around the UK whose lives have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

                  Simon Antrobus, the chief executive of BBC Children in Need, thanked the public for their donations, and said people across the UK had “come together in a beautiful way”.

                  The fundraising show was watched by an average of 6.7 million viewers, the BBC said, with a peak audience of 8.5 million.

                  Ruth Davison, Comic Relief’s chief executive, echoed his thanks and said the funding would “help projects around the country that are doing vital work to support vulnerable, isolated people throughout the pandemic”.

                  11 highlights from The Big Night In:

                  1. The return of Little Britain

                  Matt Lucas and David Walliams brought their iconic show back to screens for the first time in a decade, taking a whistle-stop trip to visit their classic characters in lockdown.

                  First up were Lou and Andy, who had his mind set on eating bat for his tea.

                  Lucas and Walliams had to improvise with home-made costumes and wigs – using the cardboard from toilet rolls for Emily and Florence’s curly hair and a brush to give Dafydd a Mohican.

                  2. Doctor Who actors assemble (virtually)

                  Ten stars who have played the lead role in Doctor Who over the past 50 years recorded a message of thanks for real doctors and health workers.

                  “Tonight, we have all come together for one important reason,” said the actors, who ranged from Tom Baker to Jodie Whittaker.

                  “To praise, salute and give heartfelt thanks to real-life, special doctors, nurses and everyone working on the front lines in our NHS and care homes and hospices.”

                  3. Prince William on Tiger King

                  The Duke of Cambridge took part in a spoof Zoom call with Stephen Fry, who was playing Lord Melchett – a descendent of his character in sitcom Blackadder.

                  The prince complained that royal home schooling was “a bit of a nightmare”, and asked: “Have you seen anything good on TV? It’s hell without EastEnders.”

                  When Melchett suggested Netflix phenomenon Tiger King, William replied: “I avoid shows about royalty.”

                  4. The Vicar of Dibley’s sermon

                  Dawn French revived The Vicar of Dibley to deliver a message to viewers. “Life goes on, and this will pass,” she said. “It’s right, really, that we shouldn’t dwell too much on the sadness, but try and think about all the happiness.”

                  She added: “Please be safe. Be kind. Eat chocolate. Praise the Lord. And praise the NHS.”

                  5. Miranda: ‘Love wins’

                  Miranda Hart performed a virtual sketch with her sitcom co-stars before reflecting on the current “strange time”.

                  Wearing a T-shirt bearing the words “Love wins”, she said: “Much like your nan’s Christmas cake, there are going to be tough moments and parts that are hard to swallow. But we’ll get through it.

                  “Remember, it’s OK if you’re struggling. It’s OK if you’re bored. It’s OK if you’re OK. It’s OK if you’re not OK. Be kind to yourself, be kind to others, and, remember love wins.”

                  6. Catherine Tate’s still not bovvered

                  Tate brought back surly schoolgirl Lauren for a virtual home learning session with her teacher, played by David Tennant.

                  After running rings around him in an argument about coronavirus – with lines like “Are you Chris Whitty though?” (referring to the UK chief medical officer) and “Is my face mask bovvered?” – she persuaded him to take part in a Tik Tok duet of I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me).

                  7. Peter Kay goes back to Amarillo

                  Fifteen years after getting to number one with (Is This The Way To) Amarillo for Comic Relief, Kay made a rare TV appearance to unveil a new version of the video, now featuring key workers and members of the public doing the famous march.

                  He was also praised on social media for telling viewers there was no pressure to donate. “Listen, if you can help tonight, there’s a number on screen,” he said. “If you can’t, then don’t worry about it. You’ve got enough going on.”

                  8. Joe Sugg’s hairdressing fail

                  The YouTuber attempted to give his girlfriend and former Strictly Come Dancing partner Dianne Buswell a live lockdown haircut.

                  When it was revealed, host Davina McCall cried: “Oh no! It’s completely lopsided!” Sir Lenny Henry consoled her with the words: “It’s bad… You look like Billie Eilish’s gran.”

                  9. Paloma Faith’s ironing board cover

                  The show included the premiere of the video for the official charity single – a cover of Foo Fighters’ track Times Like These, recorded by stars like Dua Lipa, Chris Martin, Ellie Goulding, Jess Glynne, Paloma Faith, Mabel and Rag ‘N’ Bone Man.

                  The musicians recorded their parts in quarantine – and the video gives an insight into their lockdown lives, with Brit Award winner Mabel appearing with her dog and Paloma Faith singing next to her ironing board.

                  They were joined on the track by Foos frontman Dave Grohl, who told the programme: “I came in last minute after they were almost all finished, and it is amazing.”

                  10. EastEnders Zoom quiz

                  They may not be filming regular episodes at the moment, but the cast of EastEnders got together for a comedy Zoom quiz, hosted by Ian Beale.

                  But it was Zoom-bombed by Liz McDonald from rival soap Coronation Street, leading the Queen Vic’s landlady Linda Carter to utter the words: “Get out of my virtual pub, you’re barred!”

                  11. Jason Manford’s bookshelves

                  The comedian didn’t have the obligatory backdrop for his video, so instead stuck hand-written signs saying “bookshelves” behind him on his wall.

                  Follow us on Facebook, or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email

                  Read more:

                  Image caption Bruce has been a presenter on BBC Radio 2 since 1980

                  You wouldn’t normally hear a tractor driving past or birds tweeting in the background of Ken Bruce’s BBC Radio 2 show.

                  But, if you listen closely, those are just a few sounds you might be able to pick up on now the presenter is broadcasting from his Oxfordshire home.

                  “I do live in dread of the binmen arriving or the Royal Air Force flying over in extremely noisy Chinooks as they do sometimes,” Bruce laughs. “But so far it’s been fine.”

                  Bruce’s mid-morning show on Radio 2 – which he has hosted continuously since 1992, following an earlier stint in the 1980s – is particularly popular at the moment as more listeners turn to the radio while confined to their homes.

                  “At a time like this, people want to hear the news, but they don’t want it all day,” Bruce says. “From my point of view, I’ll pay attention to one news broadcast a day, and after that I don’t really want to know too much unless it’s a major development.

                  “So escapism is a big part of keeping people feeling right during this and I think we provide a certain amount of that, a chance to put the worries of the world to one side.”

                  Image copyright Getty Images
                  Image caption Radio programmes have seen a significant increase in texts and emails from listeners

                  Any surge in listening won’t be reflected in official figures for a few months, but the BBC says there has been a significant increase in live radio listening via the BBC Sounds app since lockdown measures came into force.

                  Not that Bruce needed any help attracting listeners. With an audience of 8.27 million, his is the most popular show in the UK – a particularly impressive accolade given that he doesn’t host the breakfast show, traditionally a radio station’s flagship programme.

                  Bruce is one of countless radio presenters currently broadcasting from home, but technical advances make this much easier than it used to be.

                  Many listeners won’t even have noticed a change – as was the case when the presenters of Radio 4’s Today programme began broadcasting from home last month.

                  “It sounded so good that we’ve actually had some people calling in asking, ‘Why is everybody in the same studio? They should be socially distancing’,” the BBC’s director of radio and education, James Purnell, told Radio 4’s Feedback.

                  “We’ve told [presenters] to explain [that they’re at home] because actually the sound makes it seem like they’re all in the same place, when they’re very much not.”

                  For the Today programme’s male hosts, the familiar home environment has at least given them the ideal opportunity to start growing a beard.

                  Image caption Today host Justin Webb is normally studio based and beard free

                  “I admit I have embraced a slightly more relaxed approach to the morning,” Justin Webb wrote this week in the Radio Times. “I’m not shaving, largely to compete with Nick Robinson, who came back from a holiday last year looking like a Mills & Boon romantic hero.”

                  Wherever the presenters are, radio is proving to be a valuable source of entertainment now many people are working from home.

                  “Radio does provide friendship, companionship, in an undemanding kind of way, so strong relationships are formed between listener and broadcaster on radio, and I think that will only increase as time goes on,” Bruce says.

                  “We’re certainly aware of more people listening and taking part in Popmaster, for example, than before, and the texts and emails have massively grown, so I think there will be a general rediscovery of radio and how important it can be at times like this.”

                  Petroc Trelawny, who hosts Radio 3’s breakfast show, agrees there has been a surge in listening to music-based programmes as the public seek companionship and escapism from the news agenda.

                  “R3 listeners send several hundred emails, tweets and texts to Breakfast every morning, a significant percentage coming from those taking refuge from Today and news-based breakfast shows on 5 Live and LBC,” he said earlier this week.

                  But there will be some delay before the industry can ascertain how big the increase in listening has been.

                  Last month, industry body Rajar told RadioToday it’s reviewing ways it can continue monitoring listening habits as collecting data from members of the public has been made trickier under lockdown.

                  Image caption Bruce was pictured with fellow Radio 2 DJs Sara Cox and Claudia Winkleman at the BBC’s Biggest Weekend in 2018

                  Bruce embraces the benefits of working from home (which include being able to eat a slice of lemon drizzle cake during the 11 o’clock news bulletin). When lockdown restrictions are eventually lifted, will more DJs actively choose to continue broadcasting from home?

                  “There may be a slight move towards that. However I do know that there is something about being in a particular building, there’s that sort of collegiate feeling of being at Radio 2 or wherever it is, and you take in the culture of the organisation almost by osmosis as you’re in there,” he says.

                  “You get to see everybody else or hear the gossip, not that that’s important, but you get the general feel of what’s going on while you’re there.”

                  Popmaster’s popularity

                  One specific feature within Bruce’s show which has seen a significant increase in engagement is the famous quiz broadcast at 10:30 every morning.

                  “We’re hearing a lot about the Popmaster effect,” says Bruce’s producer Ricky Marshall.

                  “It’s always been an appointment to listen, but I think now more than ever it’s really ramping up – families are sitting down to do Popmaster, people are saying they’re playing along with their friends on a Zoom call.

                  “The hashtag seems to trend most days with people all joining in together, so I think there’s a real sense of online community around the quiz which is quite nice.”

                  Popmaster sees two callers face a series of (often quite difficult) music questions. If they hesitate for too long, a five-second countdown begins, which adds to the pressure.

                  “With the five-second counter, you’ve got to feel it,” Bruce says. “You don’t play it too soon on the early questions, and if you think somebody might be getting a little assistance, shall we say, then you can slam the five-second countdown clock down quite quickly. So it’s a question of touch and feel.”

                  On the unrelenting difficulty of the questions, Marshall says: “It’s fine if you hit that sweet spot of your era or your area, but some of the questions I look at and I don’t have a clue. It’s only worrying if Ken doesn’t know the answer, then you know you’re in trouble! He’s generally seen it all over the years.”

                  Image caption Rob Brydon’s impression of Bruce left listeners in hysterics in 2011

                  Bruce recently told the MediaMasters podcast he’s only had one day off sick in the last 34 years, although there was one occasion where listeners may have noticed he didn’t sound like his usual self.

                  On April Fools Day 2011, comedian Rob Brydon (whose impression of Bruce is uncanny) famously stood in for him – with hilarious results.

                  If, God forbid, Bruce became ill himself in the next few months and had to take a few days off work, is there any chance Brydon could cover for him again?

                  “Well yes, I’m sure he could,” Bruce laughs, “but I don’t think the BBC could afford him.”

                  Ken Bruce presents on BBC Radio 2 from 09:30 until 12:00 BST every weekday morning.

                  Related Topics

                  Read more:

                  (CNN)Parents working nine to five — now from home, amid the coronavirus pandemic — will soon get some help in entertaining their kids, thanks to country music superstar Dolly Parton.

                  The nine-time Grammy winner said beginning this Thursday, she will read bedtime stories to children in a new virtual series called “Goodnight with Dolly.”
                  Each week, Parton will read a new book selected from the Imagination Library, her book gifting program which mails free books to children.
                    “This is something I have been wanting to do for quite a while, but the timing never felt quite right,” Parton said in a statement on the program’s website. “I think it is pretty clear that now is the time to share a story and to share some love.”
                    The free 10-week series will kick off with a reading of “The Little Engine That Could,” a book that has been a source of inspiration for Parton.
                      “Dolly hopes this series of stories will provide comfort and reassurance to coping kids and families during the shelter-in-place mandates,” according to the news release announcing the series.
                      Parton’s storytime will be streamed on Facebook every Thursday at 7 p.m. ET. The series is presented as a collaboration between Parton, Dollywood, Abramorama, and The Dollywood Foundation.

                      Read more:

                      Image copyright Family photo
                      Image caption Riley, eight, and Harley, five, do school work at home – their mum does not speak Welsh

                      Until a few weeks ago, non-Welsh speaking parents who had chosen Welsh-medium education assumed their children would spend about 30 hours a week immersed in the language – at school.

                      Now attempting to “home school” in a language they don’t speak, they face an extra layer of challenge.

                      In Cardiff, for example, about 63% of pupils in Welsh-medium schools come from homes where no Welsh is spoken.

                      On top of anxiety about coronavirus and general concern about education, some parents are worried their children’s Welsh language skills will suffer.

                      Debbie from Cardiff is one of them. She is learning Welsh, but feels she does not know enough to help her two young sons, Riley, eight, and Harley five, with their school work.

                      “I can only help them in English and I’m worried they’ll fall behind with their Welsh language skills, compared to the kids who get Welsh at home every day,” she said.

                      She said the boys had been watching a lot of Cyw children’s programmes on S4C and playing games on Duolingo and other apps. But she wishes they could do more.

                      Ceri Anwen James, assistant headteacher at Ysgol Gyfun Bro Edern, in Penylan, Cardiff, said: “We know that the vast majority of our parents don’t speak Welsh.

                      “When they made the decision, many moons ago, to educate their child through the medium of Welsh, they hardly thought that one day their child would be educated in Welsh from their kitchen or lounge, due to a pandemic lockdown, with them having to navigate the intricacies of a Welsh-medium curriculum.”

                      She said the school had tried to keep tasks as straightforward as possible and given pupils plenty of links and activities to stay in touch with the Welsh language.

                      “It’s essential that they have as much contact as possible with the Welsh language while they are away from school,” he said.

                      To help parents like Debbie, a number of Welsh-speaking parents and others have come forward to help by developing new content to ensure children can have fun at home, as well as do their school work in Welsh.

                      Image copyright Mei Gwynedd/Youtube
                      Image caption Mei Gwynedd hosts new ukulele lessons for kids

                      Ukulele lessons

                      Cardiff-based musician Mei Gwynedd has started ukulele lessons on his YouTube channel every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

                      “I think music should be available for everyone,” he said, adding that he’s trying to secure funding to provide subtitles to help non-Welsh speaking families follow along as well.


                      Cartoonist Huw Aaron provides daily videos to help kids get creative every weekday on YouTube. He said he was motivated partly by his worry about how the lockdown could affect non-Welsh-speaking families.

                      “If there’s no fun, interesting content for kids in Welsh, they might not hear the language much at all for…. months?”

                      “I hope that five or 10 minutes of following simple instructions on how to illustrate a monkey or robots might be helpful to families with long empty days ahead of them for who knows how long.”

                      Keeping fit

                      Joe Wicks might be calling himself the UK’s PE teacher, but Rae Carpenter from Ffit Cymru on S4C is trying to challenge him. She’s doing daily sessions at 09:00 BST.

                      Image copyright Ffit Cymru

                      For children who prefer to exercise in the afternoon, Lleucu Ifans posts her Facebook videos at 13:00 BST.

                      “If anything positive comes out of this, it’s that kids will have sport as part of their daily life,” she said.

                      “I just want to keep everyone moving, not just children.”

                      Welsh lessons for families

                      Aran Jones from Say Something in Welsh spotted the need to help parents early on during the coronavirus crisis, and started new daily lessons to help families learn Welsh together called Bedtime Welsh.

                      “We have two-minute lessons on the phone, and videos on our YouTube channel. We’re keeping it quite short and hope families have fun doing it,” he said.

                      “We have at least 300 involved on our Slack group at the moment. Anyone’s free to join in.”

                      Mr Jones has since started a new venture to help teach the Welsh national anthem by asking famous faces to take part in the video lessons.

                      S4C and BBC

                      Image copyright S4C
                      Image caption “Ysgol Cyw” is a collection of S4C’s new resources for kids

                      S4C has gathered all of its educational children’s programmes together to create Ysgol Cyw so that parents can be assured their children are watching educational programmes at home.

                      The BBC has a variety of educational material available in Welsh too, including Bitesize. From 20 April onwards, a daily service called Bitesize Dyddiol will be available including short films and animations for pupils aged 3-14 years.

                      Image caption CBeebies Cymraeg includes Welsh language games and jigsaws featuring characters including the Teletubbies and the GoJetters.

                      Read more:

                      Image copyright Michael Rudman
                      Image caption Barge East in Hackney Wick is one of several venues subject to a crowdfunding appeal

                      Pubs and restaurants around the UK are turning to crowdfunding websites to survive the lockdown.

                      Village locals and inner-city craft beer bars are among those asking for pledges of up to £30,000.

                      Nick Antona, chairman of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), said many venues have had to become takeaways or shops to pay the bills.

                      But some, faced with rent, rates and cellars of lost stock, are having to ask for help as a last resort.

                      The BBC found at least 15 active appeals on the website raising funds for pubs, restaurants and music venues to help them through the lockdown, though there are likely to be dozens more.

                      Some are using other sites such as GoFundMe, or are launching donation schemes locally.

                      ‘We will get through this’

                      Image copyright Tommo Thomson
                      Image caption Tommo Thomson, Ryan Craig and Robert Bland of the Barge East have raised £32,000 so far.

                      Barge East, a floating pub and restaurant in Hackney Wick, has carved out a reputation as one of London’s top-rated venues on Trip Advisor.

                      But co-owner ‘Tommo’ Thomson said it would only survive until June without some form of emergency funding.

                      He and his two business partners launched an appeal the day after pubs were closed on 23 March.

                      Since then, the venue has raised £32,000 in just under a month, £5,000 more than the target.

                      “It really has helped secure our future,” said Mr Thomson, 34. “It means that, providing this crisis doesn’t go on for the next year, we will survive as a business – we will get through this.”

                      Those pledging will effectively receive vouchers for use in the restaurant on a 19th Century Dutch barge.

                      But other “gifts” are available for those pledging more. For £500, the head chef will cook at a house for up to six people.

                      Crowdfunding during the pandemic

                      The word “covid” appeared more than any other in a sample of 1,000 titles of appeals hosted on the Crowdfunder website.

                      People have been turning to crowdfunding sites to help raise money for the NHS, most notably 99-year-old Captain Tom Moore, who raised tens of millions of pounds through Just Giving, but there are also lots of requests for funding to help “save” businesses and venues or help them “survive”.

                      Over £7m has been raised by projects during the COVID-19 lockdown – £3m of that by small businesses through the site’s Pay it Forward scheme. This encourages people to buy products or vouchers in advance and claim them when the business reopens.

                      Mr Antona said about 2,000 pubs across the country have moved to “effectively becoming off-licences or takeaway restaurants”.

                      Some, particularly those with an on-site micro-brewery, were even thriving during the pandemic by delivering produce.

                      “Unfortunately, others have had to resort to things like crowdfunding to keep money coming in and pay the bills,” said Mr Antona.

                      “If people are there to support their local pubs it’s a great initiative – and it really goes to show how much we love our pubs.”

                      The 15 pubs around the UK contained in the sample are asking for £296,000 worth of funding.

                      As of last week, their combined campaigns had amassed £97,672.

                      Cities around the country, including Bristol, Manchester and Newcastle, have launched voucher schemes to try to encourage people to buy meal and drink tokens for use when the lockdown lifts.

                      But some smaller communities around the UK face losing their only public building if their local pub does not survive.

                      ‘This is our life, our home’

                      Image copyright Bradley Marchant
                      Image caption Bradley and Charlotte Marchant were on course for their best trading year at the Abinger Hatch.

                      Bradley and Charlotte Marchant, who run the Abinger Hatch in Surrey, were on course to have their best trading year since taking over in 2018.

                      Their pub is the centre of village life in Abinger Common, which sits miles away from the nearest shop.

                      However, the lockdown has forced the couple to ask for a month’s worth of costs – £16,000 – through Crowdfunder.

                      “For my wife and I this is our life, this is our home,” said Mr Marchant, 30. “We live above the pub and we love being part of the community.

                      “We’ve gone from having a good income to having nothing coming through the door.”

                      As it stands the couple are still shy of the £16,000 they are hoping for and their premises is just too large to apply for the government’s £25,000 supporting loan.

                      Though they have started a food home delivery service using their suppliers, the venture is just covering costs.

                      Even with their 17 staff on furlough, the couple say they can only last until the end of May without support.

                      “We get new emails coming though every time there is a new donation and it has made us cry nearly every time,” said Mr Marchant.

                      “A name will pop up and we will say ‘I know that person’. The support has been amazing.”

                      The rules of the Crowdfunder site require a campaign to reach its project total or the funds are not paid.

                      ‘It’s come at the worst time’

                      Image copyright Debra Bolam
                      Image caption James and Debra Bolam need to raise £10,000 to help the Cottage Inn re-stock after the lockdown.

                      On the Northumberland coastline, James and Debra Bolam are hoping to raise £10,000 to see The Cottage Inn through the lockdown.

                      The pub in Dunstan village relies largely on passing holiday trade through the summer season.

                      “The lockdown has come at the worst possible time,” said Mrs Bolam, 55. “We were fully booked up on our rooms from mid-March through to June.

                      “The Easter period usually kicks off our finances for the year, but we have lost all of that.”

                      The Bolams also find themselves with a premises that is too large to apply for any discretionary help through the government while their insurance policy only covers outbreaks of a small range of infectious illnesses.

                      They are about £9,000 short of their total and are seeing their utility bills and rent stack up.

                      All of their cellar beer will have to be returned before they reopen as it will be out of date.

                      “We have to make this work as this is our home as well as our business. We will hang on as best as we can but we will have difficulty re-stocking before opening again.”

                      Read more: