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Pushed out at Levi’s after opposing COVID closures, Jennifer Sey now fights for women in sports

After losing her high-level fashion gig for daring to disagree with progressive orthodoxy, Jennifer Sey is back and ready to make more waves. In 2022, Sey claims, she was pushed out of her job as the global brand president at Levi’s. During the pandemic, the exec, now 55, spoke out against public school closures, masking for toddlers and school vaccine mandates. She wanted to open playgrounds. A good lefty living in San Francisco, Sey believed in free speech, civil liberties and helping the little guy. But she discovered that Democrats and her company, for which she created a successful ad campaign urging customers to “use your voice,” did not. She became the face of pandemic-frenzy cancellation. Today, Sey is looking pretty damn correct on all things COVID. And now the executive is trying to topple another verboten topic — one that is just as illiberal and illogical: trans women in female sports. Last week, Sey launched XX-XY Athletics, billed as “the only athletic brand to stand up for female athletes and the protection of women’s sports.” “[Protecting women’s sports] I’s not bigoted. It’s empathy for girls and the acknowledgment of reality,” Sey, a former elite gymnast who competed on the US Women’s National team, told me. “Fairness has taken a back seat. Americans have to stand up and marginalize this viewpoint that is not based in fact.” Poll after poll shows a majority of Americans are against trans women participating in women’s and girls’ sports. But if you dare speak out on this obvious injustice, you’re the problem. In fact, just before XX-XY Athletics’ first photo shoot for its website, the modeling agency providing the talent pulled out, Sey said. “We told them up front about the concept. We’re not here to trick anyone. I guess they thought it was fine at first and then reconsidered. They thought they might be cancelled,” she explained. Sey instead tapped friends of staffers to model the brand’s offerings. The new brand has also enlisted former college swimmers Riley Gaines (University of Kentucky) and Paula Scanlan (UPenn) as ambassadors. Both have been vocal about the inherent biological edge that males have, speaking from the experiences of having competed against and alongside trans swimmer Lia Thomas. “Yes, it’s scary and you will get called names,” Sey said of speaking up for fairness in women’s sports. “It’s really hard but we can do it together. It’s the vast majority of people who agree. Imagine if we all stood up. We have to coax the people with common sense out of the closet so to speak. Otherwise the loudest, most irrational bullying voices win.” Her new business arrives as there is buzz of a parallel or “patriot” economy, with conservatives launching startups to compete with woke corporate initiatives. I’m weary of the division — but I’m also weary of the need for it. While I found Bud Lite partnering with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney to be a foolish marketing blunder, I was truly taken aback by Nike signing Mulvaney as a model. A biological dude with virtually no chest, prancing around in a Nike sports bra, was supposed to sell me an item that is an essential and functional part of my participation in sports? No thank you. Sey resists being categorized as part of this parallel economy, though. “I am in the regular economy,” Sey said. “But in order to be part of the regular economy, your product has to be so good — and that’s a bar I’ve set for myself. You can’t just make garbage products that people buy once because they appreciate your message.” Most consumers don’t want a manifesto. We simply want innovation, quality and something that looks good. “I have said publicly that brands need to get back to the normie capitalism: great product, relevant marketing — and stop pushing ideology on us,” Sey said of her own philosophy. “So people will say, I am sure, aren’t you pushing ideology?” But she insists she is not. “I am speaking truth,” she told me. “This is not political [to say] that biology is real. That’s just common sense.” In June, her brand will roll out their performance line, followed by a July mini drop to celebrate freedom — which, she notes, “should not be a right wing concept.” The premium athletic brand (leggings run $110 and T-shirts go for $40) has already received a warm welcome. “We sold out of a bunch of stuff and actually ended up doing about three weeks’ worth of sales in the first five days,” Sey said. I’m buying what she’s selling. I hope XX-XY Athletics can shake up the industry and our collective reticence to speak out for fairness, safety and common sense.

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Why Republican Supreme Court justices and judges are fighting amongst themselves

A federal court is picking an unusual fight with one of the federal judiciary’s governing bodies — one with implications for literally all aspects of US policy. In March, the Judicial Conference of the United States, one of the federal courts’ internal governing bodies, announced a new policy intended to combat “judge-shopping.” Some federal courts effectively allow plaintiffs to choose their own judges, which has allowed many litigants with dubious or even ridiculous claims to obtain court orders blocking pretty much any federal policy that they find objectionable. One court that allowed such judge-shopping, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, announced on Friday that it will defy the Judicial Conference and refuse to implement the new policy. This defiance, if allowed to stand, would render the Judicial Conference’s new policy virtually useless, as the Northern District of Texas is the locus of the nation’s worst problem with judge-shopping. Among other things, the fact that many right-wing plaintiffs can select Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk to hear their lawsuits has turned this obscure Trump appointee to this Texas federal court into one of the most powerful public officials in the country. Kacsmaryk is a former lawyer at a Christian right law firm with a long record of hostility toward LGBTQ rights, abortion, and even many forms of heterosexual sexuality. He is the judge who attempted to ban the abortion medication mifepristone. And, in his brief period on the bench, he’s handed down a long line of orders implementing right-wing policies on birth control, immigration, and LGBTQ discrimination. He even backed a ban on theater performances he finds objectionable. The Northern District of Texas’s decision to defy the Judicial Conference sets up what could be a very significant conflict between this far-right court, and a broader federal judiciary that is controlled by more center-right judges — and it’s hardly the only such conflict brewing within the federal courts. In its current term, the Supreme Court heard an unusually long list of cases arising out of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the MAGA movement’s most loyal stronghold within the judiciary. These include the mifepristone case, a case where the Fifth Circuit held that many domestic abusers have a right to own guns, a decision allowing Republican lawmakers to seize control of what content is published online, and a decision about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that, if upheld, could trigger a second Great Depression. At least based on the oral arguments in those cases, however, it appears likely that an alliance between the Court’s three Democrats and its three least hardline Republicans will prevent the Fifth Circuit from reshaping the nation in MAGA’s image. Similarly, it’s significant that, when the Judicial Conference announced its new policy against judge-shopping, it chose Chief Judge Jeffery Sutton as its spokesperson on this issue. Sutton is a conservative George W. Bush appointee to the Sixth Circuit, and is an intellectual leader among more traditionalist Republican judges who believe in limited judicial power. By making Sutton the face of the new judge-shopping rules, the Judicial Conference seemed to signal that the federal courts’ non-MAGA Republicans shared many Democrats’ frustration with judges like Kacsmaryk. It remains to be seen how the broader judiciary — and the Supreme Court in particular — will react to the Northern District of Texas’s insistence that anyone who wants to sabotage a Biden administration policy should be allowed to select Matthew Kacsmaryk as their judge. And, no matter how the broader judiciary reacts in the short term, lawyers like Kacsmaryk could easily find themselves in charge of the entire court system if former President Donald Trump has the opportunity to appoint more of him to the federal bench. But, for the time being, there are significant signs that more traditionalist Republican judges are willing to ally with Democrats against the federal judiciary’s far right. If you’re an elected Republican, publicly disagreeing with Donald Trump is a dangerous proposition. Some Republicans who cross Trump face literal death threats from MAGA voters, and even those who don’t are unlikely to prevail in their next primary election. As the Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey and Michael Scherer described Trump’s approach to the 2022 midterms, “he made it a near-singular mission to defeat GOP lawmakers who voted for his impeachment and who publicly disputed his claims of election fraud.” The federal courts, by contrast, are designed to insulate judges from shifting political winds. Federal judges serve for life, and as a practical matter can only be removed against their will through impeachment. So they have no reason to take a stance that they personally disagree with out of fear that acting according to their own conscience will cost them their job. Of course, the fact that judges serve for life does not mean that they are immune to far-right ideas. Many federal judges, including Kacsmaryk, already embraced a reactionary worldview when they joined the bench. Others have flexible ideologies that match whatever views are ascendant within the Republican Party at any given moment. Still others hope for a promotion and seek to catch the next Republican president’s eye by deliberately handing down extreme opinions. (Democratic judges sometimes engage in similar behavior, although they often have to temper their views because a GOP-controlled Supreme Court can reverse them if they push too hard.) But the fact that judges have more freedom to break with their party than, say, members of Congress, means that the federal judiciary is currently a better reflection of the diversity of viewpoints within the GOP than, say, the US House of Representatives. Nearly every Republican member of the House is there because they survived a Republican primary, often after adjusting their public stances to ensure that they will not attract Trump’s ire. The judiciary, by contrast, includes holdovers appointed during the Reagan and Bush administrations, as well as some Trump appointees who reject at least some of MAGA’s goals. That explains why Trump-appointed Justice Brett Kavanaugh has become one of the judiciary’s most vocal critics of Republican proposals to control who gets to speak online. It also explains why some of Trump’s attempts to overturn his loss in the 2020 presidential election were rejected by his own judicial appointees. Of course, the fact that some Republican judges are more moderate than others does not mean that they are not Republicans. All six of the Supreme Court’s Republican appointees, for example, voted to end affirmative action at nearly all universities. All of them voted for a sweeping expansion of gun rights. All of them back novel legal doctrines which seek to dismantle much of the federal administrative state. All of the Republican justices except for Chief Justice John Roberts voted to overrule Roe v. Wade, and Roberts did not so much endorse Roe as suggest that his Court dismantle it more slowly. What all of these issues share in common, however, is that the Republican Party long ago reached a consensus on them. Abortion foes, gun groups, and opponents of affirmative action have long been powerful voices within the GOP. And, while most Americans probably have no opinion on how the administrative state should function, the Federalist Society — the powerful conservative lawyers’ group which functions as the de facto legal arm of the Republican Party — has been obsessed with weakening federal agencies since the Obama administration. There are plenty of issues, however, where the post-Trump Republican Party has broken with its pre-Trump consensus. And, on these issues, Republican judges are much more divided. Consider, for example, free speech. Before Trump took over the GOP, there was a broad bipartisan consensus that even the most repugnant speech is protected by the Constitution. Thus, in United States v. Stevens (2010), the Supreme Court struck down a poorly drafted federal law banning “crush” videos, fetish videos that often depict a woman crushing an animal to death (Congress reenacted the ban in a differently worded statute that is less vulnerable to a First Amendment lawsuit). And, in Snyder v. Phelps (2011), the Court sided with members of a notorious church who protested a fallen marine’s funeral with signs featuring anti-gay slurs and the message “Thank God for Dead Soldiers.” Both were 8-1 decisions, with only Justice Samuel Alito in dissent. Indeed, before Trump ran for office, Republican judges generally took an even more expansive view of free speech than their Democratic colleagues. That’s because Republicans typically saw the First Amendment as a vehicle to dismantle campaign finance laws, while Democrats believed that the public interest in preventing political corruption overcomes the free speech arguments against such laws. Much of the post-Trump GOP, by contrast, is eager to use the power of government to control political debates. The Republican legislatures of Texas and Florida, for example, both enacted laws seeking to seize control of content moderation at major social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. When the Texas law reached the Supreme Court in 2022, however, it cleaved the Republican justices down the middle. Roberts, Kavanaugh, and Justice Amy Coney Barrett all voted to suspend the law, while Justices Clarence Thomas, Alito, and Neil Gorsuch voted to let it take effect. Similarly, when the Court heard oral arguments last February to decide whether to permanently block these laws, Roberts, Kavanaugh, and Barrett all seemed to cling to the pre-Trump Republican position that the government should not regulate speech. Similarly, while all six of the Court’s Republicans voted in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen (2022) to drastically expand gun rights, Roberts, Kavanaugh, and Barrett all appeared to recoil from Bruen’s implications once they realized it could arm domestic abusers who are subject to restraining orders. Kacsmaryk’s order attempting to ban mifepristone could have also forced the courts to remove thousands of medications from the market if it were upheld by higher courts — which may explain why only two justices, Thomas and Alito, dissented from the Court’s decision to block Kacsmaryk’s order last year. So, while the Court’s Republican appointees tend to see eye-to-eye on issues that unite Republicans, they also divide on the sort of issues where there is no GOP consensus. And that means there’s a meaningful divide between the judiciary’s center right and its far right. That said, this divide could stop mattering very quickly if Trump gets to fill additional seats on the Supreme Court. While lifetime appointments allow long-serving judges like Roberts or Sutton to drift away from their political parties, they do nothing to prevent a sitting president from appointing new judges who share that president’s views. And so, if Trump wins, he could potentially fill the bench with Kacsmaryks — destroying the relevance of holdover Republicans with more moderate views, and tipping the debate in favor of the far right for good.

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Royal Mail wants to keep first class deliveries on six days

Royal Mail wants to maintain daily deliveries of first class letters between Monday and Saturday under new proposals it has set out for reform. Its parent company is under pressure to cut costs and has suggested second class letters should be delivered every other weekday. Its boss said the changes would give it a “fighting chance” as the regulator Ofcom reviews options for its future. The government previously opposed to reducing the current six-day service.

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Japan ready to support Taiwan following strong quake: PM Kishida

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Wednesday that Japan is ready to provide any support necessary to Taiwan, “a neighbor across the sea,” following a powerful earthquake that struck off the east coast of the island. In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Kishida expressed his sympathy for victims of the magnitude-7.7 temblor that struck earlier in the day. Kishida also expressed appreciation for the “heartwarming support offered by Taiwanese people, who are our dear friends,” in the wake of an earthquake that hit Japan on New Year’s Day as well as after a massive quake and tsunami disaster in 2011. In response, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen thanked Kishida for his message and said on the X platform that she was reminded of the friendship between Taiwan and Japan, having seen the encouraging messages Japanese people have posted on social media. “The Taiwanese government has already implemented various measures and conducted rescue operations,” Tsai said in the post in Japanese, adding that she is thankful for the concern shown for Taiwan. At a regular news conference, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi said Japan has not currently received a formal request for support, adding the Taiwanese side is now managing the crisis on its own. There are currently no reports of Japanese casualties, the top government spokesman said, citing local information. Related coverage

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JLS’ Oritsé reveals he has ‘a lot of unanswered questions’ after wife’s miscarriages

JLS’ Oritsé Williams says he’s been left with “a lot of question marks” after his wife, Kazz, suffered two miscarriages. The X Factor star, 37, who has a son Omre, eight, with his ex Aimée Jade (AJ) Azari, got married three years ago after meeting Kazz online in 2019. However, the couple have since sadly lost two babies, which Oritsé says has been “very difficult to deal with”. Opening up about his tragic loss, he said: “Baby loss and miscarriage is a very, very, very, very difficult thing to be able to deal with. You’ve got a lot of question marks that will never be answered.” The One Shot star, who shot to fame on the X Factor in 2008 alongside pals Marvin Humes, JB Gill, and Aston Merrygold, praised Kazz for forcing him to open up to her about how he was feeling, instead of keeping his pain to himself. Speaking about their suffering, he continued: “Women go through things physically, emotionally, psychologically when it comes to that type of thing but [so do] men. I was left with certain scars and open wounds that needed to heal,” reports Metro.co.uk. In a deep heart to heart with his wife, Oritsé finally let go of his emotions to the point where he was left “inconsolable.” He recalled on GB News, speaking to Ellie Costello and Peter Andre: “When my wife first forced it out of me, how I felt, I ended up a mess on the floor. I was crying, almost inconsolable. We cried together. I needed that release so badly, it came out in a flood of tears and emotions. Ever since, I have been able to speak to other men, who have shared their own experiences and we have cried together.” Reflecting on his mental health now, the singer told the Metro that men need to talk more and realise that being strong doesn’t mean you ‘carry on like nothing has happened’. “I’ve learned from that and have grown,” he said. “I’ve encouraged other men to speak openly and have had a lot of men reached out to me.” Oritsé started his passion for music when his mum was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He made a pact with his brother that one of them would be a musician and the other a medical scientist, in the hope of raising money. Speaking about his life before fame, the singer, who is releasing his latest musical flavour, Afro-Island, at a preview party in London later this month, said: “A lot of people also don’t know, but I’m very well-travelled. I lived in the Caribbean as a small boy, and I lived in Africa for some time. I came back and forth from the UK, so a lot of these experiences, for me right now, is to be able to show people who I really am. People see me as the founding member of a group, but there is actually a lot of substance and life experience.” * If you have been affected by this story, advice and support can be found at the Miscarriage Association. You can call them on 01924 200799 or email info@miscarriageassociation.org.uk Follow Mirror Celebs on TikTok , Snapchat , Instagram , Twitter , Facebook , YouTube and Threads.

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Spain faces ‘worst crisis in 200 years’ as Brits warned to prepare for new rules

Brits heading on Spain holidays are being warned of tough new rules and restrictions in place as the country faces one of its worst droughts in 200 years. The popular holiday area of Catalonia, including Barcelona, is suffering from severe water shortages, and emergency rules have been put in place, with pools being closed and other measures introduced. In fact over the Easter holidays there have been of large signs in English warning tourists: “Drought alert. During your stay, save water”, while beach showers have also been switched off in a bid to save water. The drought is also taking its toll on the country’s agricultural industry, with farmers warning that the situation is ‘critical’ as crops aren’t growing, reports Birmingham Live. “It’s the first time our well has gone dry in over 13 years,” a local from Seville shared. “We are having to completely redesign our garden to make it more drought resilient. We’ve changed our vegetable garden to a fruit orchard, and we recycle the greywater from the washing machines by filtering it through three ponds.” While tourism will also be having an impact on water resources during the peak travel season, one hotel manager said that there has been a shift in recent years as people are more aware of their effect on the local resources. They explained: “Tourists have always done their bit in small ways. They no longer demand their towels are washed or their sheets changed on a daily basis. They use the right buttons when flushing the loo. They take shorter showers. In general, people are happy to be sensible on holiday, and to help their hosts out.” Meanwhile David Mascort, the regional government’s environmental chief, has urged people not to panic about their holidays. He explained: “The message from Catalonia’s tourism agency and business department to campsites and hotels is one of calm: (People) can enjoy their holidays here as usual.” However in other Spanish hotspots, there has been a growing tension with locals demanding tougher rules on tourism numbers as their infrastructure struggles to cope. In the Canary Islands specifically, residents have been demanding a tourism tax and stricter restrictions for visitors after warning that the hotspots could be on the brink of collapse. In Palm-Mar, a small town on the southern side of Tenerife, residents and visitors woke up to messages graffitied on walls including ‘Tourists go home,’ ‘My misery your paradise,’ and ‘Average salary in Canary Islands is 1,200’, in a move that The Canarian Weekly dubbed ‘tourismphobia’. However, that’s not to say that all locals are showing hostility to holidaymakers. Carmelo J. León, a professor of tourism at Las Palmas University, told the Mirror: “Most of the population is very happy with tourists, of all nationalities. The Canary Islands have always been very friendly. The great majority understand it adds value to them, in terms of the flow of culture, the cultural value of tourists from Germany, Sweden, Britain. People are very happy with the British coming to the Canary Islands.” Check out more of Daily Mirror’s latest travel stories by signing up to our free weekly newsletter.

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I’m a tattoo artist and some outdated designs make me cringe – they age you

From peace symbols on your back, to ‘live, love, laugh’ on your arm – there are countless classic tattoos you’ve probably seen hundreds of times before. And as the new year rolls on, one tattoo artist has unveiled which of these are ‘so 2023’ and what designs will be trending next. Alice Nicholls, owner of the Fine Art of Tattoo studio in Essex, claims she’s seen tonnes of trends come and go in her 10 years of experience as an artist. But this year, it’s bad news for some very recognisable symbols and old-school patterns which may seem meaningless on the face of it. She told The Mirror: “The top five tattoo trends becoming outdated will be tribal patterns, stars, infinity symbols, bottom of the back designs, and choosing something random from a studio wall. The popularity of these things are changing and styles are evolving into something different. “People are considering their designs more deeply before having them tattooed and, like any fashion, everything changes and is slightly rebranded into something new for the next generation.” Alice’s comments come amid a wave of TikTok videos that shine a light on the typical differences between classic Gen-Z tattoos and millennial designs. This has included a group of San Diego-based artists at Axiom Tattoo studio, with one recently sharing: “[A typical] millennial tattoo… I’m gonna go with dream catcher – maybe on the hip. And then Gen-Z, angel numbers.” In the same video posted to (@axiomtattoo), another shared: “Millennials get water-coloured tattoos and Gen-Z get Pinterest tattoos.” The tropes shared are certainly true for many in the public eye, with millennials like Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato often snapped flaunting their dream catcher designs. And what may appear to be water-coloured inks have also been spotted on the likes of Ed Sheeran and plus-size model Tess Holliday, alongside many others. Alice continued: “I think the coolest new trends are how cover-ups and blast over tattoos are evolving. The skills of artists to create something detailed and powerful over older tattoos is phenomenal. “Huge black out tattoos are gaining popularity too, which has seen the rise of some enormous magnum needles -amazing to see! Scrap book tattoos are becoming popular with the younger crowds which is quite a fun way to wear your personality literally on your sleeve. And fine line tattoos have become a huge trend, very beautiful, delicate and detailed.” However, the pro advises people to be careful when thinking about a fine line design, as their shape may not hold like a bold outline in the years to come. She added: “But I think all tattoo fashion trends have their positives and negatives. Each trend which comes around helps evolve what tattoo artists are capable of and pushes the limits of our equipment.” Do you have a story to tell? Reach out, at lauren.haughey@reachplc.com

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Emmerdale star Amy Nuttall’s seven strict rules to save marriage to ‘cheating’ husband Buchan

Actress Amy Nuttall has reportedly implemented some strict ground rules for her ‘cheating’ husband after giving him a third chance. The former Emmerdale and Downton Abbey star, 41, was left heartbroken when partner Andrew Buchan, 44, allegedly walked out on her for actress Leila Farzad, 42 – his Better co-star. But the couple, parents to two children, got back together before splitting months later, and now it appears they have reconciled once again. Appearing to confirm her marriage was intact, Amy addressed their reunion during an interview about her finances. She told The Sunday Times: “I’m married so it all goes into one pot. So it’s not as scary because I can lean on that.” She added: “I’m the joint owner of our comfortable family home in Buckinghamshire. We owned a smaller house before.” The couple, who tied the knot in 2012, were said to have split at Christmas 2022 amid reports that the Broadchurch actor cheated on his wife with his Better co-star Leila Farzad. Nuttall took him back last summer. At the time sources claimed she had implemented seven strict rules in a bid to save their marriage. However, it seems it initially didn’t go to plan, as she had reportedly pulled the plug on their relationship, leaving her ‘gutted’ – before now giving it another go. The first rule, a source told The Sun, was that Buchan was banned from contacting Farzad. The second was that he must check in via FaceTime when working away from home. Thirdly, the couple would reassess their careers to ensure equality – Buchan has been in Bafta award-winning shows including The Crown and Broadchurch while Nuttall has taken on fewer roles and focused on motherhood. The fourth rule was for both to have access to the other’s phone at all times, and the final three clauses involved the ‘777 approach’ whereby couples have a date every seven days, a night away every seven weeks and an adults-only holiday every seven months. “She doesn’t want to throw away over a decade together but at the same time she is far from a pushover,” the insider said. Amy and Andrew started dating back in 2007 and have two children together – a daughter who was born in April 2015, and a younger son. However, their marriage was rocked when Amy allegedly discovered lingerie that wasn’t her size in the run-up to Christmas 2022. A source said previously: “The penny started to drop over a period of time. He was away a lot, which wasn’t unusual because of the nature of his work. But at one point Amy realised he had been staying in hotels near to home — and wondered why… the final straw was the lingerie. Amy just knew instinctively that it wasn’t meant for her.” Nuttall is thought to have asked Buchan for a divorce in March last year following this revelation. However, the actor reportedly begged for forgiveness after his relationship with Farzad collapsed. The spouses reconciled, but it was said to have ‘taken a lot’ for Nuttall to give him a second chance. Following reports of their split for the second time, a source told The Sun: “It took a lot for Amy to give the marriage another chance but she thought it was worth one final roll of the dice. There is no suggestion he has cheated again, but as far as she is concerned this is it. She is obviously gutted but also accepts that their time together has come to an end.” A version of this article was published on August 24, 2023. * Follow Mirror Celebs on Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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Lewis Hamilton’s possible Mercedes replacement shares name with legendary F1 champion

Mercedes prodigy Andrea Kimi Antonelli has a genuine chance of replacing Lewis Hamilton in 2025 as the team weigh up their options for the future. The Silver Arrows know that they need a new driver for next season with Hamilton calling time on his 12-year association with the team. He’ll head off to Ferrari for the 2025 campaign, with Mercedes now scouring the market for a man to sit alongside George Russell. Antonelli is one of their junior products and he is among several candidates being considered by boss Toto Wolff. The teenager is tipped for huge things and his middle name was inspired by his father’s admiration for Kimi Raikkonen – the Finn who won the world championship in 2007. Raikkonen won numerous races for McLaren and Ferrari during his lengthy career and remains the last man to have won a world title for the Scuderia. He produced a stellar comeback in the second half of the season to pip Hamilton in the season decider in Brazil. Now Antonelli will be hoping to eventually emulate the Finn as a future world champion. Hamilton too may take some inspiration from Raikkonen as he looks to do what the likes of Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel have failed to do – win a championship with Ferrari. Antonelli is set for several F1 outings over the course of 2024 with the first of those due to come in the form of a two-day test at Austria’s Red Bull Ring on April 16 and 17. The youngster will get behind the wheel of the Mercedes W12, which won the constructors’ championship in the infamous 2021 F1 season in which Hamilton missed out on the title in Abu Dhabi. Wolff has said on their driver search: “I’ve said that we need to look long-term also, and on the driver line-up not in one year but in three, five or 10, and with that perspective I just wanted to keep the options open and with all the consequences that could potentially bring. Antonelli has claimed titles in the lower grades and is currently operating in Formula 2 at the age of 17. Wolff has continued to discussed the teenager’s future prospects and admits he needs to stop doing so. He confessed: “I’m probably guilty in having talked too much about Kimi, because he’s just 17, he jumped F3, he’s going into F2. He needs to learn, he needs to be more, let’s say, in the shadows to be able to develop, understand what to do and whether he’s going to be in Formula 1 if everything goes to plan, but I don’t know if that is next year or whether it’s with us or someone else.” Mercedes have enjoyed plenty of continuity since returning to F1 back in 2010. During that time they’ve only had five drivers with the team often settling and sticking with driver line-ups.

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Terrifying moment ride breaks at student festival leaving teenager injured in hospital

A student was rushed to hospital after a terrifying incident at a university festival when a ride broke. The scary moment happened at the ‘Chestival’, a fun day organised by the University of Chester’s Students’ Union, when a part of the ‘Superstar’ ride came loose and hit two of the attraction’s fast-moving cars before crashing to the ground. The video shows the large panel narrowly missing people as it fell, sending pieces of glass flying everywhere. Caitlin Colclough, 19, a first year history and politics student, was on the ride at the time and had to be taken to the Countess of Chester Hospital by ambulance. Caitlin’s mum, Mandy Hancock, said she was really upset after seeing the video of the accident. She said: “I was crying my eyes out watching the video. When I watched in slow motion it was very, very scary. It has given me a few nightmares.” Mandy wasn’t sure if Caitlin heard the loud noise during the ride because everyone was screaming and having fun. She explained: “I don’t know if she heard the bang or not, because obviously there was a lot of screaming on the ride from people on it and enjoying it. The piece landed on them, but the ride kept going. I thought it would have had an emergency stop.” Ms Hancock, from Kidsgrove, Staffordshire, said the CT scan carried out Sunday came back all clear. She added: “They [staff at Countess of Chester Hospital] said the concussion can take a few weeks to resolve. She’s having blurred vision and really bad headaches, and she’s going dizzy when she stands up which makes her feel sick.” The event continued after the incident, but the ride was shut down, reports Cheshire Live. Chester Students’ Union said it had informed the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and that the ride was provided by an external operator. Ms Hancock, from described the response following the incident from the University and Students’ Union as “radio silence.” “It’s disappointing how it has been handled post-accident,” she said. “The support that has been in place has been very limited. I know it was the Easter weekend, but just a note under her door would have gone a long way, just to say ‘give us a call on this number if you need anything. “I would never say a bad word about Chester Uni, because up until this point it has been very positive, but it’s just looking at what can change moving forward.” Jamie Morris, Chief Executive Officer of Chester Students’ Union, said: “There was an incident involving a fairground ride at Chestival (a Chester Students’ Union organised event held at Exton Park Campus) on Wednesday, March 27, and the ride was closed immediately. Two students were taken to hospital as a precaution and were discharged on the same day. “Both the Students’ Union and the University’s Wellbeing team has been in close contact with the students throughout to offer support. The incident has been reported to the HSE to pick up with the external ride operator as necessary.” A spokesperson for North West Ambulance Service confirmed two ambulances attended the University of Chester after being called to the site at 3.10pm. There were no serious injuries and one person was taken to hospital.

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