World News

Vodafone launches flash 5G smartphone sale incuding Galaxy S10 and Xperia 1 II

VODAFONE has launched a flash sale for shoppers looking to pick up a 5G smartphone – with savings of up to £672 available.

The provider’s new sale offers discounts on a range of devices including Samsung, Sony and Xiaomi; all 5G-ready.

The four-day sale can be found on Vodafone’s online store, and runs until 23:59 on Thursday July 2.

Included you can find discounts for Samsung Galaxy 5G models, as well as offers on Sony’s premium Xperia 1 II.

  • Save up to £672 in Vodafone's 5G smartphone sale – here

In terms of more affordable handsets, the 5G-capable Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is also available for less.

Vodafone’s sale isn’t for every 5G handset available, but there is a decent amount of choice if you’re in the market.

All devices in the sale are available on Vodafone’s Unlimited Max plan, with unlimited data, text and minutes.

Plus, there’s free home delivery with the potential to order before 10pm and have your handset delivered next day – not quite 5G fast, but none too shabby where available:

Galaxy S10 5G

The much-loved Galaxy 10’s 5G version is included in the sale, at a saving of £28 a month, or £672 across the entire two-year contract.

The S10 5G has a 6.1-inch Infnity-O display, triple-rear camera, 8GB of RAM and 128GB internal storage.

  • Galaxy S10 5G, Unlmtd data, from £51 a month, £29 upfront (save £672) – buy here

Galaxy Note 10+ 5G

Samsung’s larger Note 10+ 5G is available from £55 a month – another saving of £28 a month, and another £672 discount across the length of the contract.

The Note 10+ 5G features a 6.8-inch Infinity-O display, and suits shoppers wanting a handset with a tablet-like presence: Samsung’s S-Pen comes included.

  •  Galaxy Note 10+ 5G, Unlmtd data, from £55 a month and £29 upfront (save £672) – buy here

Samsung A90 5G

A more affordable Galaxy and 5G device, the Galaxy A90 has a smart a 6.7-inch display.

Vodafone’s sale cuts both the monthly and upfront costs by £20, saving a total of £500.

  • Galaxy A90 5G, Unlmtd data, from £35 a month and £9 upfront (save £500) – buy here

Sony Xperia 1 II

Recently released, Sony’s Xperia 1 II is slightly geared for mobile gamers but is actually a great all-rounder.

In the sale it’s £202 off, starting from £46 a month with a cost of £19 upfront.

  • Xperia 1 II, Unlmtd data, from £46 a month and £19 upfront (save £202) – buy here

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3

An affordable 5G-ready option, the Mi Mix 3 has a 6.39-inch ‘all-screen display’ – if you’re keen on 5G access from a capable Xiaomi device, this might be for you.

You can save £16 a month and £20 on the upfront cost with a total saving of £404.

  • Mi Mix 3, Unlmtd datam from £55 a month and £9 upfront (save £404) – buy here

All prices in this article were correct at the time of writing, but may have since changed. Always do your own research before making any purchase.


The iPhone 12 might be first EVER to have no charger or headphones in the box – to ‘make it cheaper’.

We show you how to activate ‘Hidden Mode’ on WhatsApp so you don’t appear online or ‘typing’.

And for the best camera phones of 2020 head over to Sun Selects.

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World News

How to activate 'Hidden Mode' on WhatsApp so you don't appear online or 'typing'

LOOKING to keep your WhatsApp antics as stealthy as possible? There are some settings you'll need to activate.

There are loads of ways to stay hidden, from staying offline, removing your 'Last Seen', and even avoiding the "blue ticks" that alert tell pals you've read their text.

First, go into your WhatsApp's Settings, and then head into Privacy.

Change Last Seen to Nobody for a start.

And then you can turn Read Receipts off too – although this will mean you can't see the Read Receipts for other people.

The only true way to stop appearing "online" or "typing" is to activate Airplane Mode.

That means your phone won't be connected to the internet, and so WhatsApp can't tell the other person what you're doing.

Of course, if you read a text, they'll know as soon as you reconnect to the internet.

There is a way around that on the iPhone, however.

This trick only works if you don't have WhatsApp open when the text comes through.

And you also need to ensure you've updated your iPhone to iOS 13.

You'll need to wait for the message to arrive on your phone, so a notification appears on your lock screen.

Then press down for slightly longer than usual on the message on the screen, and the full text will appear.

You can scroll up and down the message in full, even if it's very long.

Importantly, reading this notification won't trigger the blue ticks.

You'll need to make sure you don't swipe away your text notification.

If you do swipe it away, you won't be able to snoop on the text.

This works on any device that can upgrade to iOS 13.

That includes:

  • iPhone 6S and 6S Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
  • iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone XS, XS Max and XR
  • iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max

If you've got an iPhone 5S or older, you're stuck.

In other news, we reveal the new WhatsApp features that could come out in 2020

You can sign up to the beta version of WhatsApp to get all of the latest features before the general public.

Find out how to read deleted WhatsApp messages on your phone.

And, this secret trick lets you change your WhatsApp font to confuse your mates.

We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Tech & Science team? Email us at [email protected]

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World News

Supreme Court Rejects Inmates, Keeps Federal Executions on Track

The U.S. Supreme Court put President Donald Trump’s administration on track to resume federal executions as soon as July 13, rejecting an appeal by inmates who challenged the lethal injection protocol the government plans to use.

Over two dissents, the justices left intact a lower court decision backing the administration’s plan for carrying out the first federal executions since 2003. The Justice Department scheduled four in July and August, all of men convicted of murdering children.

The inmates said the protocol violates a 1994 law that requires the U.S. government to conduct executions “in the manner” required by the state where the sentence was imposed. The inmates said that law requires the U.S. to follow the state’s procedures, including its rules governing the drugs that are used and the qualifications of the people administering the injection.

The Trump administration said the law merely requires the federal government to use the same method of execution, such as lethal injection. A federal appeals court sided with the administration on a 2-1 vote.

Daniel Lewis Lee is scheduled to be the first to die, on July 13. He was convicted of taking part in the 1998 killing of an Arkansas family of three, including an 8-year-old girl, as part of what prosecutors said was a rampage geared toward setting up a Whites-only nation.

Two other inmates are scheduled to die later that week, and the fourth execution is set for Aug. 28. The inmates are still pressing other arguments before a federal trial judge in Washington.

More than 60 people are currently on federal death row. Only three people have been executed for federal crimes since the U.S. death penalty was reinstated in 1988.

Although lethal injection is the primary method in every state that conducts executions, states use different combinations of drugs. The U.S. is planning to use a single drug, pentobarbital sodium, for all its injections.

The case is Bourgeois v. Barr, 19-1348.

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World News

Twitch superstar Dr Disrespect has mysteriously disappeared from site – and gamers think he's been secretly banned

ONE of Twitch's biggest stars has been mysteriously banned from the streaming platform.

Dr Disrespect, real name Herschel "Guy" Beahm IV, was removed from Twitch on Friday for unspecified reasons, apparently on a permanent basis.

The news was first broken by journalist Rod Breslau on Twitter and later confirmed by Dr Disrespect himself.

In a tweet on Sunday, the 38-year-old said his channel had been taken down, adding that Twitch had not informed him why.

"Twitch has not notified me on the specific reason behind their decision," Dr Disrespect wrote.

"Firm handshakes to all for the support during this difficult time."

The California resident had accumulated four million followers on Twitch before his sudden disappearance.

He largely streamed himself playing video games such as Roblox and Call of Duty: Warzone.

Fans first raised concerns for the streamer last week after he reportedly acted out of character and "kind of strange" during his final broadcast.

In the comment section of the stream, some suggested he looked like he was "about to burst into tears".

His final words during the stream appeared to suggest something was up.

"I appreciate everyone watching today. We’ll… we’ll get through this, Champions Club," he said.

"I know it’s a tough. Life’s weird right now. We’ll get through this okay and uh… f**k."

Twitch has since released a statement on the disappearance of Dr Disrespect's channel.

Twitch – the world's biggest streaming site explained

Here's what you need to know…

  • Twitch is a website dedicated to hosting livestreams watched by millions around the world
  • The platform is owned by Amazon and largely focusses on video game livestreams
  • However, content creators also upload clips of themselves creating artwork or music, or simply having a chat
  • Twitch boasts more than 15million daily active users watching clips streamed by around 3million creators
  • Its creators make money through a mix of paid subscripions, advertising revenue and donations from viewers
  • Some of the site's biggest earners make millions every year, largely through sponsorship deals with big brands
  • Twitch is worth an estimated £3billion
  • Its biggest competitors are Microsoft-owned streaming platform Mixer, YouTube (which is owned by Google) and Facebook Live

A spokesperson appeared to suggest the page was taken down due to violations of Twitch's terms of service.

"As is our process, we take appropriate action when we have evidence that a streamer has acted in violation of our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service," they said.

"These apply to all streamers regardless of status or prominence in the community.”

It's not clear if Dr Disrespect's channel will be reinstated in future, or if the ban in permanent.

In other news, Twitch streamer Alinity was recently banned from the site for flashing her nipple on camera.

Twitch recently banned streamers from showing bums and underboob on its platform – but said cleavage is allowed.

And, some streamers on the site are allegedly making £4,000 a night by filming themselves sleeping.

Have you ever tried Twitch? Let us know in the comments!

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World News

Redundancy and job losses: Expert tips on how to cope if you’re made redundant

Coronavirus has severely changed the way we live, and even after the virus has disappeared, it is clear it will forever change the way we work and interact with each other. Last week the Office for National Statistics has announced economic activity dropped by 20.4 percent in April – the largest drop in a single month since records began in 1997. The fall massively outstrips the then-record 5.8 percent drop in March gross domestic product (GDP) that the ONS reported last month.

This means GDP fell by 10.4 per cent in the three months to April and sets the UK on course for one of its worst quarters in history.

Swathes of industries ground to a halt when the lockdown began on March 23, and the effects on the economy have been devastating.

It is estimated a third of all the workforce is either on furlough or Universal Credit.

But it has not just been the economy that suffered. The individual toll on those who have lost their jobs, livelihoods and incomes is immense, and the fallout is expected to last well into the future.


  • Martin Lewis: Do shops legally have to accept cash?

Thousands of people have already lost their jobs and income, forcing them onto Universal Credit if they cannot get onto furlough schemes. And when that ends, there has been wide speculation that another wave of job losses may happen.

Dr Paul McLaren, a consultant psychiatrist and medical director at the Priory’s Hospital in Bromley, has offered readers with some helpful tips on how to cope if you have lost your job due to coronavirus.

“There are a number of different psychological formulations of the process, but it is important to remember that there is no ‘checklist’ and it is not a linear process,” Dr McLaren said.

“Not everyone goes through every stage with every loss, and there is a lot of overlap.”

Helping yourself

It’s well known that if you don’t help yourself, it becomes very difficult for others to help you through tough times.

Dr McLaren said: “People need rhythm and pattern in their lives. Some of us need more pattern than others.

“We can feel stress when patterns are overrun and we have too much to do, but also when we have too little to do.

“We have an optimum level of activity and challenge, and if we veer too far from that we feel stressed.”

He advises taking a step back to take stock of your situation before moving forward with trying to find a replacement for the job you lost.

“Take a step back and think about the usual pattern of your life. How does it work when you’re at your most content? Break it down into its main elements and see if you can quantify them.

“You will need to be proactive and organise your time. Socialising through a video call will never be as powerful as meeting face to face, but it could produce some soothing.

“Replace your ‘work’ with networking and applying for any jobs, including part-time work or volunteering.”

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  • UK banks: Are banks profiting from coronavirus crisis?

Sharing your feelings

“Sharing your feelings is central to grieving,” Dr McLaren says.

“We need to find different ways of sharing for different losses like a job loss. Let someone you trust know how you feel.

“It’s okay to say that it’s painful and that it hurts. It’s okay to feel sad.

“It’s okay to remember the good times and to appreciate what you have lost.

“Don’t pretend to yourself or others that it doesn’t matter. Let them know it does.”

Dr McLaren adds: “Watch out for denial. It’s okay to feel pain when something happens that hurts. Don’t try to numb it with drugs or alcohol.”

“It can be very difficult to keep motivated and remain optimistic in these uncertain times – especially when the financial worries mount up but try to maintain some routines, to help alleviate the anxiety.

“Take advantage of any help your company is offering in terms of retraining, or coaching.

“If you have been made unemployed, it’s important to know how to claim assistance from the government.

“The Citizens Advice Bureau is a valuable resource for coronavirus advice. If you’ve lost your job then you may be eligible to claim for Universal Credit.”

Citizens Advice have got a continuously updated page on Coronavirus advice here:

There’s also a specific page around benefits here:

They also have Adviceline – 03444 111 444 – or you can chat with an adviser online on their website.

Anyone seeking to make a new claim for Universal Credit should call the Universal Credit Help to Claim line on 0800 1448444.

Helping others

Dr McLaren advises that supporting someone close to you who may have lost their job is crucial in helping them recover.

He said: “By far and away, the most important thing you can do to support a loved one who has lost their job is to listen to them. Take the time and trouble to understand how they feel about their loss.

“That allows them to heal. Don’t assume that you know how they feel. Don’t try to cheer them up; walk with them through their dark place.

“Most importantly, help them to feel cared for and valued.”

Source: Read Full Article

World News

Martin Lewis: Money Saving Expert’s fiery challenge to bank’s ‘Brexit snub’ exposed

The warning came in September 2019 as the UK’s departure from the EU was drawing nearer. The founder of Money Saving Expert was speaking on a live broadcast on ITV’s Money Show. He said that if you have savings in a low-paying interest bank account then it is time to “ditch and switch”. Martin spoke to guest Joanne who was keen to find out about the best savings accounts for her money at the time.

Joanne said she had a “good whack” of her savings in a three-year fixed account which ended in 2018.

However, on maturity, the bank then told her that “because of Brexit ” she would only get 0.2 percent interest.

She was advised to “leave it there and see what happens”.

But Martin Lewis said this simply wasn’t true, and advised that if your bank has not given you a good service – leave them.

He said: “There are a load of accounts out there that are easy access that pay 1.5 percent. They shouldn’t just tell you to leave it there and see what happens when there are so many options on the market.

“On the amount of money you’ve got, they’ve taken a couple of grand off you in interest that you could have earned elsewhere.

“My message is this: if you haven’t been given good service by your bank, go and give someone else a go.

“When you get bad service and bad information that means you lose out on money, don’t give them your custom and don’t let them keep your custom.”

He added that because the world’s economy was not in a good way, people with savings at the time needed to check “is my money in the right place”.

This warning was issued before the coronavirus pandemic, but the health crisis has led Mr Lewis to offer advice on how best to protect your savings.

Money Saving Expert offered tips this month on how to get the best deals for a savings account.

Firstly, Mr Lewis advises on how to get around minimum pay-in requirements.

He says: “If you can’t afford some banks’ minimum monthly pay-ins, don’t fret.

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Martin Lewis’ fury at ‘fraudulent’ scandal revealed [ANALYSIS]

“If there is a minimum, you can play the system. Say you need a min £1,000, but only have £500 coming in. If you pay £500 in, withdraw it or move to another bank, then pay it back in… BINGO, that’s your £1,000.

“Note: we’ve had reports some banks may not accept you if your income isn’t high enough to meet the minimum monthly pay-in.”

He also warns that top bank accounts require a credit check.

If you can’t get an account, Mr Lewis advises that “as you can prove your identity, you should be able to get a basic account – here, you’re not credit-checked as strictly, so most can get one”.

He added: “You can do most of the same things as with a normal bank account, except you won’t get an overdraft.”

Finally, he recommends getting a packaged account, as it helps save on things like travel, mobile and breakdown insurance.

Although, they can be worthless if you don’t need the cover or you could have got it cheaper elsewhere, so check first.

Source: Read Full Article

World News

Furlough: Important change this week likely to affect working hours and payment

Furlough was introduced by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of a range of government measures designed to help those affected by the pandemic. Under original rules, the government pays 80 percent of a person’s salary up to £2,500 alongside National Insurance and pension contributions. This was done in order to stop the numbers of unemployed people surging, and to provide extra financial support for the many workers forced to remain at home.


  • Martin Lewis provides update for those affected by banking scandal

In recent weeks, Mr Sunak announced the scheme would be changing to reflect the lifting of lockdown measures.

Companies would also be required to take on additional responsibility in the coming months as the country is eased back into a new normal.

As a result, there is an important deadline occurring this week which workers may be affected by.

After the deadline, new changes will be introduced, likely to affect the working pattern of many people.

On Tuesday, June 30, what is being referred to as Stage One of the Job Retention Scheme will come to an end. 

On July 1, then, Stage Two will be introduced bringing in new rules for employees and employers.

This Stage Two process will be known as flexible furloughing, and is helping Britons get back to work.

Under the new rules, employees will be able to perform some work for their employer, done so under full pay, and be furloughed at 80 percent of pay for the remainder of the time. 

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This means that for some workers, pay could increase, providing them with a well needed financial boost at this difficult time. 

From July 1, only employees that have been previously claimed for under the Job Retention Scheme will be eligible to continue on furlough.

These people must have been furloughed for at least three consecutive weeks anywhere between March 1 and June 30.

From an employer’s perspective, claims up to June 30 must be submitted prior to claims from July 1 2020, due to the maximum numbers an employer can claim for.


  • Universal Credit UK: How to claim, amount and payment dates

And the last day employers can submit claims for periods ending on or before June 30, is July 31, so there are more deadlines to follow.

There is no minimum furlough period from July 1 onwards, meaning employers could rotate employees on furlough more rapidly.

But any furlough arrangement must still cover a period of at least one week.

Later in the year, from August 1, the level of the grant is due to be slowly reduced, until the scheme finally comes to an end in October.

While employees will still be paid 80 percent of their salary up to £2,500 in August, an employer will have to meet National Insurance and pension contributions.

From September, employees will only receive 70 percent of wages up to £2,187.50, with employers required to meet 10 percent.

Finally, in October, the government will only pay 60 percent, with employers meeting 20 percent for their furloughed workers.

Announcing the changes to the scheme, Mr Sunak said the help from the government was unprecedented.

He added: “To protect jobs and help businesses decide how quickly to bring their workforce back, we are introducing a new, more flexible furlough.

“This is a critical part of our plan to kickstart the economy. The financial security of the furlough scheme has been a relief for many, but at the same time people want to work.

“No one wants to be at home on furlough. No one wants to feel unable to contribute. We will develop new measures to grow the economy, to back business, to boost skills and to help people thrive in the new post-COVID world.”

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World News

Property news: The UK’s most in-demand coastal towns revealed as buyers seek seaside homes

The property market may have been on hold for months due to the coronavirus lockdown, but now that it has reopened new trends are emerging. The pandemic has caused potential buyers to rethink their priorities, with data revealing that they are favouring outdoor space and bigger homes over central locations. The latest statistics from Right Move reveal that more Britons than ever are looking to buy a home by the sea. 


  • House prices set to rise over the next quarter as market ‘accelerates’

With the lockdown highlighting the need for outdoor space, it’s no surprise that there has been an increase in buyers looking for gardens and even bike storage – but new data reveals some are going even further. 

Right Move has looked at the demand for coastal towns, and found that more and more people are looking to buy a home by the sea. 

It’s thought that buyers either want to relocate now that they can work remotely, or perhaps they’re shopping for a holiday home given the current travel worries. 

The property site revealed the most popular seaside towns around the UK, and compared the average prices of the places on the market. 

READ MORE: Houses with ‘unlucky’ door number worth £15k MORE than others

The research revealed a huge difference of more than £1million between the cheapest and most expensive coastal areas in the UK.

But which towns are the most sought-after, and how much will it cost you to live there? 

Whitby in North Yorkshire topped the leaderboard for the most in-demand seaside town – and it’s one of the cheaper options too, with an average asking price in May 2020 of £213,053. 

A more expensive Whitley Bay in Tyne and Wear was the next most popular, with average prices of £263,078 – though that’s cheaper than it was at the same time last year. 

Troon in Ayrshire was the third most popular in the top ten list, at a much more affordable price of £165,386 on average. 

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Three towns in Cornwall made the top ten – Padstow, Newquay and Bude – and they’ve also seen some of the biggest price rises in the past twelve months. 

However, the Cornish towns’ average paled in comparison to Devon, where a seaside home in Salcombe will set you back £730,213 on average. 

Devon house hunters are also opting for Ilfracombe, which made the top ten at a much more affordable £203,620. 

The property experts revealed the most expensive coastal town in the UK is Sandbanks in Poole, with average asking prices of over £1.2million – though it has dropped by one percent in the last year. 


  • Cheapest property for sale in the UK is £3,500 – but there is a catch

Meanwhile the cheapest seaside spot is Newbiggin-by-the-sea in Northumberland, where a coastal home could cost just £109,888. 

Property expert Miles Shipside commented: “Having the chance to look out your window to a sea view is something many home-hunters tell us is a dream of theirs. This means that the properties that do offer this are able to charge a premium compared to those in-land.

“Seaside towns in Great Britain have always had wildly different property prices, with some of the most expensive places to live outside London being in coastal areas like Sandbanks and Salcombe, while other coastal locations have prices of only £100,000.

“Lockdown has changed what a number of home-hunters are now looking for from their next home, and while some are looking for more space or a bigger garden, others are now contemplating a move to the seaside.”

Estate agents have revealed why they think Whitby has topped the charts for the most in-demand seaside homes. 

Nick Henderson, Director of Hendersons estate agents in Whitby said: “One of the great things about Whitby is that there’s usually something going on all year round, it’s not just when the sun is shining.

“Since we reopened a few weeks ago we’ve been selling bigger homes a lot more quickly than before, as families are changing the way they live and are swapping a ten minute commute into the office for a ten minute walk to the beach instead.

“Holiday homes have always been popular, often apartments or cottages that have been refurbished to an incredibly high spec, but again there’s been a surge in recent weeks for these as people choose to make an investment now, so they have somewhere for a staycation over the next few years instead of going abroad.”

According to Right Move, these are the UK’s most in-demand seaside towns and their average house prices in May 2020: 

Whitby, North Yorkshire – £213,053

Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear – £263,078

Troon, Ayrshire – £165,386

Padstow, Cornwall – £497,051

Newquay, Cornwall – £275,101

Salcombe, Devon – £730,213

Ayr, Ayrshire – £149,746

Bude, Cornwall – £311,666

Caister-On-Sea, Norfolk – £217,827

Ilfracombe, Devon – £203,620

Source: Read Full Article

World News

Black America’s Jobs Gap Makes Case for Keeping Extra Benefits

Federal unemployment benefits have been especially vital for Black Americans, who’ve suffered some of the worst job losses in the pandemic.

That argument is helping to sway some in Congress toward keeping the extra payments in place after next month’s deadline.

A wave of protests against racial injustice has shone a spotlight on disparities in the economy, like a Black jobless rate that continued to rise last month even as headline unemployment eased.

Early in the pandemic, Congress approved an extra $600 a week in federal unemployment benefits. They’re due to run out at the end of July — one of a series of summer dates when crisis-era fiscal props are due to be removed, testing the economy’s strength.

‘Whatever We Do’

Democrats want to maintain the safety net into 2021, and they’re pointing out that Black Americans — who are historically slower to get rehired after a slump –- and other minorities will take a disproportionate hit if it’s allowed to expire. Unemployment among Latinos has also soared higher than the headline rate.

Many Republicans have opposed further fiscal spending, calling for a halt to allow some $3 trillion of measures already approved by Congress more time to juice the economy. They have also been critical of unemployment payouts as a disincentive for employees to return to their jobs. Republican Senator Rob Portman is pushing a plan that would redirect stimulus into a $450-a-week return-to-work bonus.

But in recent weeks, as calls for racial justice intensified, the views of some in the GOP -– in Congress and President Donald Trump’s administration — have shifted.

Trump’s top economic advisers have acknowledged that such policies are needed in particular as a protection for minority communities.

“Whatever we do to stimulate the economy right now, including expanding or continuing in some form unemployment insurance in it’s slightly expanded form, it’s very likely to disproportionately benefit” minorities, White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett told reporters on June 19.

There’s also more readiness among Republicans in Congress to keep some form of a federal top-up. Voters seem to agree. A recent poll by Morning Consult and Politico found that 75% of Americans — including 42% of Republicans — favor extending the current jobless benefits.

‘Gut Tells Me’

All this means that an extension of the payments will likely be included in the next stimulus package, which the Trump administration and Congress plan to start negotiating in mid-July –- though there may yet be a fight over the exact sums.

Senator Ron Wyden, the top Democrat on the Finance Committee, has backed a plan to maintain the $600 figure and only scale it back gradually as jobless rates decline. Wyden said today’s racial inflection point bolsters the case for generous benefits.

“This is a time when the country is not just going to accept a bunch of reports and studies and task forces,” he said in an interview.

Wyden also said his office will examine how Black Americans in particular have been affected by strains on the state-level unemployment systems, which struggled to cope with a deluge of claims. As of early June, about one-third of owed benefits hadn’t been paid.

“My gut tells me” that those still waiting for their money will likely include “a disproportional number of Blacks who would be eligible,” said Wyden.

Ever since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started reporting data for Black unemployment in 1972, the figure has been higher than the overall jobless rate.

In good times, like the long U.S. expansion of the past decade, the gap tends to narrow. Last year it was the smallest on record, as the Black jobless rate hit a historic low of 5.4%.

But in recessions, the rate surges significantly higher for Black Americans. It reached about twice the level of White unemployment in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. And crucially for the current benefits debate, Black Americans tend to stay unemployed longer.

By the end of 2014, Black unemployment was still in double digits while the rate for White Americans had recovered to within a percentage point of its pre-recession level.

‘Fall Back’

Public benefits are especially important for Black Americans who typically don’t have as much access to private ones. They’re “less likely to be able to fall back on savings and wealth,” or have family and friends they could turn to with the financial resources to help out, said Alix Gould-Werth, director of family economic security policy at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.

The median White household had a net worth of $171,000 in 2016, ten times that of its Black counterpart. The gap in home ownership rates between the two groups is about 30 percentage points, according to government data.

While it’s hit some communities especially hard, unemployment in the Covid-19 crisis has extended into every corner of the U.S., reaching levels not seen since the Great Depression era. And the extra federal cash has provided a lifeline for the whole economy.

Congress should focus on policies that benefit all vulnerable groups, said Rhonda Vonshay Sharpe, founder and president of the Women’s Institute for Science, Equity and Race. She noted that out of about 8 million White women who lost their jobs in the first weeks of the pandemic, only 1 million went back to work in May.

“The bottom line is this: If you remove benefits that help the most vulnerable population in America, it’s bad for America,” she said.

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World News

PS5 price 'revealed' as £449 – but 'all digital' edition could cost £100 less

SONY'S top-secret price for the PlayStation 5 may finally have been revealed.

The main model is expected to cost $499/£449 – with an even cheaper 'all-digital' version alongside it.

That's the claim from gaming leaker @IronMan, who teased the alleged pricing in a post to Twitter.

In June, Sony unveiled the PS5, revealing two versions.

One is a "full-fat" PS5, while the other is a digital-only model without a disc tray.

Sony hasn't detailed pricing, but the latter is expected to be cheaper.

And according to the Twitter leak, the PS5 Digital Edition will cost $399/£349 at launch.

The leaker says both consoles will be available in the USA and Europe on November 20.

 Of course, there's no way to verify this leak, and Sony hasn't revealed actual pricing.

But this isn't the first PS5 price prediction we've seen.

We spoke to gadget expert Paolo Pescatore, who said the console will have a premium price, thanks to the slick new design and high performance.

"Expect a price point somewhere between £400-500 for both models," said savvy analyst Paolo, of PP Foresight, speaking to The Sun.

"Obviously the digital only version should be cheaper (maybe under £400).

He added: "Watch out for some introductory bundles at launch."

Of course, nothing is certain right now, with Paolo warning that the global health crisis might cause stock limitations.

And he says users may "think twice" before splashing out on gadgets, given the state of the economy.

Respected Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter thinks we'll see a major price war.

Speaking to The Sun, Pachter said the Xbox Series X will likely cost $499, while the two versions of the PS5 will come in at $499 and $599.

"They’re playing a game of chicken to see who blinks first," said Pachter, of Wedbush Securities, speaking to The Sun.

"Microsoft is fully prepared to price at $499 regardless of cost, but I think Sony is hopeful that they will announce first.

"Microsoft is going to wait for Sony to blink first."

Sadly, neither Microsoft nor Sony have confirmed pricing for either of their consoles – or even hinted at a range.

In other news, a PlayStation fan has created an "all black" PS5 that disappointed gamers think looks much better than the real thing.

Here are some great Warzone tips and tricks.

And check out this crazy £450 "gaming bed".

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