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SHAUN EDWARDS: It was very quiet at breakfast after Antoine Dupont’s injury.. but hopefully he will be back to play a part later in the tournament

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It was a very quiet breakfast hall at our team hotel on Friday morning. I’m one of the early risers and Antoine Dupont was one of the first players down. He’d spent the night in the hospital after fracturing his cheekbone and there was a bit of swelling around his face.

Obviously you don’t want to see your captain suffer an injury. Someone like Antoine is very tough so when he was down on the floor we all knew it was something serious. The atmosphere in Marseille was bouncing — it reminds me of Old Trafford or Anfield with its steep stands — but there was a bit of a lull when they saw Antoine go off against Namibia.

Sometimes you can’t eat for a couple of weeks after an injury like that so I was delighted to see Antoine having a yoghurt and a protein shake. If you can’t eat then you might lose a stone and that really affects your power. Antoine is all muscle so it’s a real positive that he can maintain his weight.

If we make it to the latter stages of the World Cup then I’d be very surprised if he isn’t available for the quarter or semi-final.

The mood in the changing room was different to when we lost Romain Ntamack a few weeks ago. Everyone knew Romain was out for seven or eight months and the news sucked the life out of the room. This time it felt different. It’s a very different injury and we’d just won 96-0 so some of the boys still enjoyed a beer after three very intense matches. We’ve all got a few days off now and Antoine will go back to Toulouse for surgery. An injury like that always needs surgery. 

France captain Antoine Dupont has suffered an injury and will miss his side's next few games

France captain Antoine Dupont has suffered an injury and will miss his side’s next few games

There is hope he could be back for later on in the World Cup as his side bid to lift the trophy

There is hope he could be back for later on in the World Cup as his side bid to lift the trophy

France defence coach Shaun Edwards admitted things were quiet in the hotel after the injury

France defence coach Shaun Edwards admitted things were quiet in the hotel after the injury

It happened to me when I was playing and they did the operation the very next morning. It’s a very painful injury but a broken cheekbone is easier to manage than a broken jaw. Of course the tackle was a total red card but things like that happen so quickly on the pitch.

The Namibian captain, Johan Deysel, who made the challenge looked distraught after the match and he apologised to Antoine. I feel a bit sorry for him in a way because a lot of people will be pointing fingers but I’m sure he didn’t set out to do it on purpose. It was a mistimed tackle and things like that just require training, training, training.

Fabien Galthie went to visit Antoine at the hospital and that shows how he cares about his players. Winning games is very important but the players are like your family. It’s a bit like being a parent. I never forget the terrible injury that Danny Cipriani suffered under my watch when I was head coach at Wasps. Part of the role is making sure your players get home safe and sound with proper care.

Antoine’s an iconic figure at the moment. There’s no doubt about that. His form has been strong and everyone knows his capabilities but we’ve got brilliant scrum-halves and brilliant leaders who will step up. Baptiste Couilloud came off the bench and nearly scored a hat-trick. He made a brilliant impact. As far as captains are concerned, Charles Ollivon has done it before and Gael Fickou is an outstanding leader.

The injury is front page news around France and everyone wants to see him play a part in this competition. He’s so popular in France and around the world, so it didn’t surprise me to hear someone like Kevin Sinfield wishing him a speedy recovery.

When Romain Ntamack picked up his injury it would clear he would miss the World Cup

When Romain Ntamack picked up his injury it would clear he would miss the World Cup 

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Trump likens VP selection to ‘The Apprentice’ ahead of pre-convention rally

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Donald Trump compared his upcoming vice presidential announcement to a “sophisticated version” of his former TV show, “The Apprentice” as the Republican candidate drummed up the suspense ahead of a rally Saturday in Pennsylvania. The running mate hype comes days before the Republican National Convention begins in Milwaukee next week.

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Number of on-street electric car chargers installed by councils fell by more than 80 per cent last year, official figures show

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The number of on-street electric car chargers installed by councils fell by more than 80 per cent last year, according to official figures.

An audit of Government data by the Daily Mail reveals that town halls delivered just 656 charge points last year. This was down from 4,066 the year before.

Meanwhile, more than half of councils failed to deliver any – with just 146 of 320 or so across the UK having done so.

Critics last night said it made a mockery of Labour’s decision to re-introduce the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars, as having enough chargers will be crucial for meeting the target.

The figures relate to the number of publicly available chargers installed using the Government’s flagship On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS).

An audit of Government data by the Daily Mail reveals that town halls delivered just 656 charge points last year. This was down from 4,066 the year before (stock image)

An audit of Government data by the Daily Mail reveals that town halls delivered just 656 charge points last year. This was down from 4,066 the year before (stock image)

Former Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last year delayed the 2030 ban on sales of petrol and diesel cars by five years amid falling popularity of electric vehicles, which can be as much as £10,000 more expensive than their fossil fuel equivalents

Former Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last year delayed the 2030 ban on sales of petrol and diesel cars by five years amid falling popularity of electric vehicles, which can be as much as £10,000 more expensive than their fossil fuel equivalents

Launched by the Government in 2017, the fund provides grants for local authorities towards the cost of installing publicly available charge points.

Former Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last year delayed the 2030 ban on sales of petrol and diesel cars by five years amid falling popularity of electric vehicles, which can be as much as £10,000 more expensive than their fossil fuel equivalents.

But the new Labour government has decided to reinstate the 2030 date along with a slew of other Net Zero policies.

Councils installed just 50 chargers using the ORCS fund in 2018. This jumped to 429 the following year, 1,407 in 2020, 1,746 in 2021 and 4,066 in 2022.

But last year this fell to 656, according to official data published by the Department for Transport. It means that, in total, 8,354 on-street chargers have been installed by councils since the ORCS fund’s launch.

The failure of councils to play more of a part in the planned electric vehicle revolution has fuelled falling demand for EVs among private individuals.

Some 15.2 per cent of new cars registered in March were battery electric vehicles, down from 16.2 per cent a year earlier.

The findings last night sparked fresh calls for ministers to rethink the 2030 target, designed to turbocharge Britain’s efforts to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2050.

Tory MP Greg Smith said: ‘The lack of charging points is certainly putting off people from switching from their reliable petrol or diesel cars – that they can fill up in minutes – to a battery electric vehicle.

Tory MP Greg Smith said: 'The lack of charging points is certainly putting off people from switching from their reliable petrol or diesel cars - that they can fill up in minutes - to a battery electric vehicle'

Tory MP Greg Smith said: ‘The lack of charging points is certainly putting off people from switching from their reliable petrol or diesel cars – that they can fill up in minutes – to a battery electric vehicle’

‘Councils are not daft and don’t see any great revolution happening in electric vehicle ownership. The 2030 date was always bonkers.’ 

Publicly available chargers are crucial if the new Government wants to hit its 2030 target, because an estimated 40 per cent of households do not have access to off-street parking, such as a private driveway.

This means they can’t install their own plug-in point at home and are reliant on public ones.

It is believed that many councils do not have the expertise to install chargers.

But they are also getting held up by the planning system and issues with connecting devices to the electricity grid.

Government officials point out for example, that thousands more applications for installing chargers have been approved and could come online soon.

The private sector is also installing publicly available plug-in points at a much faster rate.

There were 59,670 across the UK at the beginning of April, when council and privately installed ones are counted together. It means council-installed chargers account for just over 14 per cent of all devices.

The last Tory government’s target was to create 125,000 on-street residential chargers by 2030.

If the new Labour government keeps this, an average of around 58 a day need to be fitted between now and the end of the decade.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: ‘We recognise the importance of reliable electric vehicle charging infrastructure and will set out plans to turbocharge the rollout in due course.’

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Alec Baldwin weeps as involuntary manslaughter trial collapses over withheld evidence

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A nearly three-year legal saga for Hollywood star Alec Baldwin following the 2021 fatal shooting of a cinematographer ended on Friday when a US judge dismissed the involuntary manslaughter case due to the withholding of evidence by police and prosecutors.

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Dip your toes into the foot of Italy: With new direct flights and Mafia members being locked up, could Calabria become the new Tuscany?

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In the early 19th Century, the Scottish traveller Patrick Brydone was weighing up how to get to Sicily from the Italian mainland.

He could sail down the coast to Messina – or travel on land through Calabria. 

He chose the boat – and wrote to a friend: ‘The danger from the banditti is so great, the accommodation so wretched and inconvenience of every kind so numerous… that we soon relinquished that scheme.’

And that, pretty much, is how tourists have seen the land at the ‘toe’ of Italy’s ‘foot’ ever since: poor, Mafia-infested, with nowhere decent to stay.

But all that is changing. Ryanair has launched a weekly flight from Stansted to Lamezia Terme, a city in the heart of Calabria, and easyJet is starting one from Gatwick. There are new and updated coastal resorts, ‘agriturismo’ farm-stays and rural B&Bs starting up in the mountains. 

On a trip to Calabria, Italy, Mark Jones visits the award-winning town of Tropea (pictured)

On a trip to Calabria, Italy, Mark Jones visits the award-winning town of Tropea (pictured)

Above is Tropea's spectacular Santa Maria dell’Isola cathedral, perched atop a rocky cliff surrounded by the Tyrrhenian Sea

Above is Tropea’s spectacular Santa Maria dell’Isola cathedral, perched atop a rocky cliff surrounded by the Tyrrhenian Sea

Happily, authorities have also been busy locking up leading members of the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta gang’, so there’s good reason to feel safer. 

Best of all, Calabria is cheap compared to the Amalfi coast or even its neighbour Puglia – and the beaches and scenery are more than a match. The food isn’t bad, either.

I’ve given myself a week to drive between the far north in Pollino National Park to the town of Reggio Calabria at the southern tip – then followed by east to west, facing Greece and then Sicily.

Mark says Calabria's beaches rival the Amalfi coast. Above is the Michelino Beach near Tropea

Mark says Calabria’s beaches rival the Amalfi coast. Above is the Michelino Beach near Tropea 

It turns out to be both great fun and hugely interesting. But you know what Italian drivers are like. Hundreds of miles with someone just inches from your back bumper takes its toll.

Fortunately, you can have a wonderful time making a base near the town of Tropea without needing the hire car at all.

It’s been named one of the most beautiful ‘borghi’ (villages) in Italy, with a historic centre perched high above the Med.

Panorama: Mark checks into an 'agriturismo' farm-stay in the town of Morano, which is framed by the Pollino mountains

Panorama: Mark checks into an ‘agriturismo’ farm-stay in the town of Morano, which is framed by the Pollino mountains 

Calabria is known as the 'toe' of Italy's peninsula

Calabria is known as the ‘toe’ of Italy’s peninsula 

With my wife, Annie, I head to the viewpoint next to the house of Francesco Mottola, a priest from Tropea who died in 1969, and has since been beatified. Below, the emerald sea is clear, sunbathers dot the shore, while less hedonistic types tramp up to the Santa Maria dell’Isola cathedral.

We drive south to the Baia del Sole resort. The weather is sultry but the meadows are full of wildflowers. Bumping along the ill-made roads, we could be on a Caribbean island – all the more so as we enter the resort, with its round huts and lush gardens lined with palm trees.

Baia del Sole is a family property, while its sister resort along the coast, Capovaticano, is more geared to couples seeking cocktails, spa treatments and fine sunset views. From a grassy bank we watch the sun sink behind the volcano island of Stromboli. Next day I take a cycle tour. With my guide Alessandro, we wind up fertile hills of olive groves to the village of Spilinga, celebrated as the birthplace of the spicy salami, ’nduja. Every August they have a festival – a pretty hot occasion.

Then we ride back to the outskirts of Tropea. Here, Marco, who also works in tourism, his fiancée and sister, meet us by his family smallholding. They grow a Tropea speciality: sweet red onions. But Marco has also gone into winemaking and we end the day sipping rosés and whites between the vines. It’s charming, homemade and quirky – a bit like Calabria itself.

We then go to the swanky de’Minimi restaurant in town for a seriously long tasting menu. You can do swish, upmarket things in Calabria – though our favourite experience is anything but.

Golden sands: The beach at the Capovaticano resort, which is 'geared to couples seeking cocktails, spa treatments and fine sunset views'

Golden sands: The beach at the Capovaticano resort, which is ‘geared to couples seeking cocktails, spa treatments and fine sunset views’

Mark finishes his trip in the mountain village of Santa Severina (pictured)

Mark finishes his trip in the mountain village of Santa Severina (pictured)

The Locanda del Parco is an agriturismo in farmland below the spectacular mountain village of Morano (topped, as so many Calabrian villages incongruously are, with a Norman castle). It’s slightly bonkers. Outside, there’s a black London cab being used as a flowerbed. The bar by the pool is inside a giant lemon. Inside, we make fresh pasta and polenta, serenaded by local musicians.

We finish the trip on the other coast and another mountain range – La Sila – via the mountain village of Santa Severina, and another superb, value-for-money agriturismo hotel and restaurant, Le Puzelle. On this quiet, rockier coast, we spend the last night enjoying the kind of hospitality Calabria has been crying out for since Patrick Brydone’s time: the Praia Art resort.

The rooms are arranged neighbourhood-style around an empty beach, the combined sounds of waves and wind in the pines soothing you to sleep after dinner at the super-healthy, stylish Pietramare restaurant. Calabria just seems to be getting better all the time.

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Scientists find subtle change happens to people’s speech before they get dementia – and it’s not good for Biden

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Slowed speech, pauses, and using the same handful of words.

If you’ve witnessed these habits in an elderly loved one, it could be an early warning sign of dementia.

New research is beginning to untangle what the natural signs of aging look like and which could be due to serious brain conditions when it comes to how people talk.

For example, forgetting the name of a person, place or having difficulty finding words is natural and linked to memory retrieval, which gets worse as we get older.

However, this combined with slowed or slurring speech, blank pauses, and limited vocabulary may represent broader decline, signaling conditions like dementia and Parkinson’s.

Lawmakers and citizens have called on President Joe Biden to drop out of the presidential race over concerns about his cognitive health

Lawmakers and citizens have called on President Joe Biden to drop out of the presidential race over concerns about his cognitive health

That was the finding of a University of Toronto study in February, which looked at over 100 adults ages 18 to 90. Those who were unable to quickly verbalize what they were looking at in pictures were more likely to say the wrong word. 

The findings may be considered timely, as lawmakers and voters repeatedly call for President Joe Biden to step down over concerns about his cognitive health.

The 81-year-old suffered another disastrous press conference this week, during which he repeatedly misspoke and lost his train of thought. 

At one point, he mistakenly referred to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine as ‘President Putin.’ He then accidentally called Vice President Kamala Harris ‘Vice President Trump.’ 

And at a presidential debate against Donald Trump last month, Biden found himself trailing off.

‘Making sure that we’re able to make every single solitary person eligible for what I’ve been able to do with the… with the COVID… excuse me… dealing with everything we have to do with…’ he said before freezing for several seconds.

‘…look, we finally beat Medicare,’ he continued.

Then it emerged the White House was visited eight times by a Parkinson’s doctor in the past year, amid speculation that Biden’s speech problems are signs of the brain disorder.

To test if trouble finding words really is an accurate indicator of brain health in older adults, the University of Toronto researchers looked at 125 healthy adults.

The patients were divided into three groups: young, middle-aged, and old.

Young participants had an average age of 26, middle-aged were 48 years old on average, and older adults had an average age of 70. 

The first phase involved a ‘picture-word interference task.’ Researchers showed the participants pictures of everyday objects – a broom, for example – while playing an audio clip of a word that is either related – such as ‘mop’ – or one that sounds similar – ‘groom,’ for instance.

The team found that older adults who naturally spoke faster were quicker to correctly name the pictures, suggesting that slower language processing might be a sign of cognitive decline rather than having trouble remembering words. 

Neurologists have also told DailyMail.com that President Biden shows signs of Parkinson's disease, such as a stiff gait (seen here)

Neurologists have also told DailyMail.com that President Biden shows signs of Parkinson’s disease, such as a stiff gait (seen here) 

While this might sound obvious, people’s communications styles do change as they get older, and sometimes it’s nothing to worry about.

For example, struggling to find words is something that comes with age. Older people also exhibit subtle changes to their speech, such as speaking slower, pausing between words, and a lack of variety of words used. 

But struggling to identify the word itself from memory, sometimes called the ‘tip-of-the-tongue’ phenomenon, combined with these speech changes could be a precursor of conditions like dementia, the researchers warned. 

Dementia researchers at the University of Sussex Claire Lancaster and Alice Stanton, who were not involved in the research, wrote for The Conversation: ‘This study underscores the potential of speech rate changes as a significant yet subtle marker of cognitive health that could aid in identifying people at risk before more severe symptoms become apparent.’

‘This study has opened exciting doors for future research, showing that it’s not just what we say but how fast we say it that can reveal cognitive changes.’

Biden’s cognitive health has widely been called into question, with neurologists telling DailyMail.com the President exhibits signs of Parkinson’s disease, including speech difficulties and a stiff gait. 

However, Biden maintains that he intends to stay in the presidential race, despite mounting concerns.  

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GWS delivers epic troll to crosstown rivals Sydney over dramatic Isaac Heeney video message to fans – but Swans boss is not amused

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  • Heeney was suspended for high shot on St Kilda’s Jimmy Webster 
  • Took to social media with a message to sponsors and fans 
  • Has been brutally mocked by GWS star Toby Greene 

AFL club Greater Western Sydney has delivered an A-grade troll to crosstown rivals the Sydney Swans and suspended star Isaac Heeney.

The midfielder was one of the favourites to win the prestigious Brownlow Medal this season after steering his club to the top of the AFL ladder and poised for a charge to the grand final in September.

However a high shot on St Kilda’s Jimmy Webster ended his Brownlow chances, with Heeney suspended for the club’s clash against North Melbourne on Saturday.

The Swans then delivered a peculiar response to the suspension, putting Heeney in front of a video camera to deliver an apology to fans.

‘Hey guys, obviously extremely disappointed with that result, yeah pretty shattering to be honest,’ it begins. ‘But I just wanted to jump on here and give a heartfelt thank you.

‘Obviously the show of support from the club here, from the top down, being (Swans CEO) Tom Harley, Horse (coach John Longmire), (footy manager) Leon (Cameron) and our lawyer Duncan (Miller), thank you guys very much. 

‘I also wanted to jump on and just say thank you so much to the support from the fans, the members and the wider community, it’s been truly incredible.’

‘I just wanted to also say that I can guarantee one thing and that’s when I’m back I’ll make sure I do this club proud, the supporters proud, my family proud,’ he added.

‘It starts this weekend. Obviously I won’t be on the footy field, but I’ll be there to support the boys and the coaching staff and the staff at the club here.

‘And then obviously I want to flow on from that and make sure this year’s a special one.

‘So thank you guys very much for everything and I’ll be back out there soon.’

GWS star Toby Greene mocked the Isaac Heeney video put out on social media by the Swans

GWS star Toby Greene mocked the Isaac Heeney video put out on social media by the Swans

Heeney was suspended for one match for his high shot on St Kilda's Jimmy Webster

Heeney was suspended for one match for his high shot on St Kilda’s Jimmy Webster

AFL premiership winner and footy analyst Kane Cornes labelled the video as ‘rubbish’.

“In the gun is Isaac Heeney for this rubbish he posted online,” Cornes said on SEN Breakfast.

“Isaac, you haven’t done your knee, you haven’t missed a shot on goal, after the siren in a grand final, that hasn’t happened, you’re just suspended for a week,” Cornes said.

“We don’t need to thank the community; we don’t need the statement that you’re going to return bigger and better than ever.

And GWS took it a step further, putting star Toby Greene in front of the camera to mock the Swans’ video.

‘Hey guys, obviously pretty shattered to get fined again over the weekend,’ Greene says sarcastically.

‘I just wanted to jump on here and give a heartfelt sorry to all the Giants fans and the wider AFL community, along with my family.

‘I can guarantee one thing is that it will not happen again — that’ll be tough.

‘And I’ll promise to pay the fine all by myself.

‘I’ll do everything I can to make sure this year is a special one. Again, thank you all for your support.’

While plenty of footy fans could see the funny side of the Greene video, Sydney Swans CEO Tom Harley was not one of them, fuming that it was ‘low brow’.

‘I did see the Giants video and I’m not going to give it any air but (I thought it was) pretty low-brow,’ Harley told SEN’s Crunch Time.

‘Isaac is a champion of our club and a champion of the game and talk about growing the game a bloke from Newcastle brought up on rugby league, I wouldn’t have done it.’

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Biden drops ANOTHER gaffe during huge campaign stop in crucial battleground state – before making shock admission

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President Joe Biden couldn’t avoid another embarrassing gaffe at his rally in Michigan Friday night. 

The 81-year-old commander-in-chief insists he plans to stay in the race despite a disastrous debate performance just over two weeks ago raised questions over his fitness to serve a second term.

However, after confusing former President Trump with Vice President Harris and mixing up presidents Zelensky and Putin all in one Thursday, he made a troubling error again tonight, all while he was trying to reassure supporters of his health.

‘I promise you, I am – I’m OK,’ he said, before thanking a member of Congress he called ‘Debbie Haley.’ 

He was referring to five-term Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell but possibly confused her with former presidential candidate and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. 

Later in the speech, the president candidly admitted, ‘sometimes I confuse names.’ 

President Joe Biden couldn't avoid another embarrassing gaffe at his rally in Michigan Friday night

President Joe Biden couldn’t avoid another embarrassing gaffe at his rally in Michigan Friday night

'I promise you, I am ¿ I'm OK,' he said, before thanking a member of Congress he called 'Debbie Haley.' He was referring to five-term Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (pictured right) but possibly confused her with former presidential candidate and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley

‘I promise you, I am – I’m OK,’ he said, before thanking a member of Congress he called ‘Debbie Haley.’ He was referring to five-term Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (pictured right) but possibly confused her with former presidential candidate and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley 

‘And by the way, I want you to know that I’ve spent a lot of time with Debbie,’ he said after flubbing Dingell’s name. ‘She helped me a lot.’

Dingell was in attendance Friday night at the rally and accompanied Biden to events in Michigan. 

He even made a joke about Dingell resembling his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, according to the New York Post.

‘I forget which event we were at, and someone said, you’re his wife, aren’t you?’ Biden said, saying she ‘looks like Jill.’ 

The defiant president vowed to win Michigan again in 2024 and hit back at the press, pundits and ‘insiders.’

‘There’s a lot of speculation right now, ‘What’s Joe going to do, is he going to stay in?’ Biden said. ‘I am running, and we’re gonna win.’

‘I am the nominee of the Democratic party and the only Democrat who has beat Donald Trump ever,’ Biden said. ‘I know him. Donald Trump is a loser.’

Biden cut a rejuvenated figure after his one-hour press conference on Thursday and a week rubbing shoulders with NATO leaders in Washington.

He spoke for 36 minutes—long by his standards—feeding off the energy of the crowd. 

The embattled president also pushed back on coverage of his recent flubs where he messed up names and pointed out the ex-president has mixed up Nancy Pelosi and Nikki Haley.

A defiant President Biden hits back at the press and pundits during energized rally in Detroit where he vows to stay in the race and win while slamming Trump as a 'loser'

A defiant President Biden hits back at the press and pundits during energized rally in Detroit where he vows to stay in the race and win while slamming Trump as a ‘loser’

‘You may have noticed since the debate, the press, you good guys and women up there, they’ve been hammering me,’ he said at one point as the crowd booed. ‘Donald Trump has gotten a free pass.’

After phoning into his favorite morning show to rail against elitist opponents this week, the boos were the simply the latest echo of a Trumpist turn as he fights for survival. 

Biden, for his part, at least had the decency to look nonplussed and quickly quieted the crowd.

The Detroit stop was all part of the latest effort to reassure lawmakers and donors that he can not only do the job but is ready to take on another four years.

Supporters packed into the Renaissance High School auditorium Friday chanted ‘four more years’ and ‘we want Joe’ as they waited for the president to make his appearance. 

The noise went up several notches when he took the stage. ‘Don’t you quit,’ was the cry of 2000 voices.

The president’s stop in Detroit is his third trip to the city this year and his fourth to the state of Michigan this year.

It is easy to see why. The latest average of polling in the state shows Trump up by less than one point. 

The ex-president won Michigan in 2016. But Biden then flipped the state back to blue in 2020 winning against Trump by just over 150,000 votes.

'I am running, and we're going to win' Biden tells the crowd as they chant 'don't quit' and that they have his back in Michigan

‘I am running, and we’re going to win’ Biden tells the crowd as they chant ‘don’t quit’ and that they have his back in Michigan

With Trump looking dominant in the Sun Belt states of Arizona, Nevada, and Georgia, Biden must look to secure an advantage in the so-called ‘Blue Wall’ of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Biden’s campaign has been looking to reset the narrative and focus on contrasting Biden and Trump with less than four months to go before Election Day.

‘Trump doesn’t get out of his golf cart,’ Biden told supporters in the overflow room who couldn’t get into his main event, during brief remarks before the rally.

At the rally, he went after Trump for Project 2025 and called him a ‘threat to this nation.’ 

Biden’s arrival in the crucial swing state comes after he spent the week meeting with world leaders at the NATO summit in Washington and held a nearly hour-long press conference Thursday evening where he gave a mix of in-depth policy answers scattered with a series of flubs.

‘Joe Biden has been making gaffes for 40 years. He made a couple of last night. He will probably continue to do so,’ Biden campaign communications director Michael Tyler said on Friday.

Biden has also given a series of interviews, but the numerous appearances have done little to stem the calls for him to step aside.

Supporters of President Biden gather at the Renaissance High School in Detroit as they wait for him to make remarks

Supporters of President Biden gather at the Renaissance High School in Detroit as they wait for him to make remarks

Joining the president Friday were a number of black activists and union leaders who lined up to show Biden still has grassroots support in the battleground despite concerns.

The speakers also included Academy Award winning actress Octavia Spencer, the city’s mayor and the state party chairman.

Michigan’s Lt. Governor was at the rally, but Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who is also co-chair of Biden’s campaign, was out of state.

Before heading to his rally, Biden met with supporters at the Garage Grill & Fuel Bar in Northville where he worked to reassured supporters. 

‘I promise you, I’m okay,’ he told the crowd of fans.

He strolled around the tables, speaking without notes for 14 minutes. 

‘We have real opportunities, and so we’ve got to finish the job,’ the 81-year-old added, echoing the defiant comments from his NATO press conference on Thursday night.

Ahead of his rally in Detroit, Biden met with supporters at the Garage Grill and Fuel Bar in Northville, Michigan. The president made jokes about his age but also talked about how important this election year is

Ahead of his rally in Detroit, Biden met with supporters at the Garage Grill and Fuel Bar in Northville, Michigan. The president made jokes about his age but also talked about how important this election year is 

Protester Tom Moran holds a banner outside President Biden's Detroit rally on July 12

Protester Tom Moran holds a banner outside President Biden’s Detroit rally on July 12

Biden spoke without notes and was joined by Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell, a staunch supporter who praised him for being by her side when her husband John died.

The president repeated the story that the Charlottesville Unite The Right rally in 2017 was the reason he decided to run again.

‘There’s a lot at stake,’ he added and said the nation was at an ‘inflection point.’

Democrats calling on Joe Biden to withdraw from the 2024 election

  1. Sen. Peter Welch, Vermont
  2. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, Texas
  3. Rep. Raúl Grijalva, Arizona
  4. Rep. Seth Moulton, Massachusetts
  5. Rep. Mike Quigley, Illinois
  6. Rep. Angie Craig, Minnesota 
  7. Rep. Adam Smith, Washington
  8. Rep. Mikie Sherrill, New Jersey
  9. Rep. Pat Ryan, New York
  10. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Oregon
  11. Rep. Hillary Scholten, Michigan
  12. Rep. Brad Schneider, Illinois 
  13. Rep. Greg Stanton, Arizona
  14. Rep. Ed Case, Hawaii 
  15. Rep. Jim Himes, Connecticut 
  16. Rep. Scott Peters, California 
  17. Rep. Eric Sorensen, Illinois 
  18. Rep. Brittany Pettersen, Colorado 

He made jokes about his age but didn’t discuss his disastrous debate performance or questions about whether he should run again.

‘That’s why I’m running to finish this job. There’s more to do. I know I’m only 41,’ he said. ‘This is an important one, ‘ he said referring to the election.

‘For the longest time, I was too young because I was the second youngest man ever elected to the United States Senate and now I’m too old.’

And Biden has a lot of work to do tho convince some Democrats he’s up for the challenge including some in Michigan.

Rep. Hillary Scholten, who faces a difficult reelection fight in western Michigan, went public with her concerns on Thursday and called on Biden to stand aside.

‘With the challenges facing our country in 2025 and beyond, it is essential that we have the strongest possible candidate leading the top of the ticket—not just to win, but to govern,’ she said in a statement before Biden’s visit.

She was the first member of Congress from the state to break ranks. 

But Biden supporters have dismissed the concerns coming out of Washington.

‘I want to see how he is performing for myself. I’m one rely on my own gut feelings and my own gut instinct,’ said Angela Heard, 61, as she waited for Biden to give his remarks in Detroit. She plans to vote for the Biden-Harris ticket. 

‘I like Joe. I thought he was what we needed in 2020. He beat Trump and I hope he can do it again,’ said Robert Clymar, 71. 

He said he does not agree with Democratic lawmakers calling for Biden to exit the race. He argued they would be invalidating the votes of those who cast ballots in the primary.

‘I’m one of those votes, and I voted for Biden,’ he said. 

President Biden said he is determined to stay in the race during his press conference Thursday evening in Washington following the NATO summit. He argued during the hour long event that the polling data in the presidential race is 'premature' and the campaign has not really begun yet

President Biden said he is determined to stay in the race during his press conference Thursday evening in Washington following the NATO summit. He argued during the hour long event that the polling data in the presidential race is ‘premature’ and the campaign has not really begun yet

At his press conference, Biden said the polling data was ‘premature.’

‘The campaign really hasn’t even started,’ he said. ‘I mean, it hasn’t started in earnest yet. Most of the time, it doesn’t start till after September after Labor Day. 

‘So a lot can happen.’ 

Supporters in attendance for Biden’s rally in Detroit told DailyMail.com they were with the president 100 percent and wanted to show their support.

The president will spend the weekend at his Delaware beach home.

On Monday, President Biden heads to Austin, Texas, where he will speak about the 60th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act and lay out proposals to address the role of the Supreme Court. 

Then it is on to Las Vegas, Nevada, where he will outline proposals to make housing more affordable. 

Republicans are headed to Wisconsin next week where they will be gathering for the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee where Donald Trump will officially accept the Republican presidential nomination.  

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Archaeologists find more evidence of Bible story about Moses leading his people to the Promised Land 3,200 years ago

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Archaeologists have uncovered secrets of a Biblical city that sat within the ‘Promised Land’ where the Israelites settled after Moses led them out of Egypt.

The Israeli Antiquities Authority recently shared their findings from Zanoah, which is mentioned in the Old Testament, revealing stone walls, pottery and other artifacts that date back more than 3,200 years.

The Bible states that the Israelites reached the Promised Land, also known as Canaan, around 1406 to 1407 BC after wandering 40 years in the desert.

The team also uncovered a broken jar handle that featured the name of a king described in the Bible, providing more evidence to the Biblical story of Moses.

Archaeologists have discovered ancient artifacts that may coincide with Moses leading the Israelites from Egypt to the Promise Land. Researchers found retaining walls for farming terraces that are used to create level areas for planting and to protect steeper soil from erosion

Archaeologists have discovered ancient artifacts that may coincide with Moses leading the Israelites from Egypt to the Promise Land. Researchers found retaining walls for farming terraces that are used to create level areas for planting and to protect steeper soil from erosion

The Israeli Antiquities Authority recently shared their findings from Zanoah which is mentioned in the Old Testament, revealing stone walls, pottery and other artifacts that date back more than 3,200 years

The Israeli Antiquities Authority recently shared their findings from Zanoah which is mentioned in the Old Testament, revealing stone walls, pottery and other artifacts that date back more than 3,200 years

The Exodus story is spread over the biblical books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

It begins with the Israelites enslaved in Egypt, before the Pharaoh – coerced by 10 terrible plagues – agrees to release them and Moses leads them across the miraculously-parted Red Sea.

Once they reached the Sinai Peninsula, scripture says they traveled to Mount Sinai, where Moses received the 10 commandments.

The group then headed to the southern border of Canaan, but being too scared to enter, were condemned to spending decades in the wilderness by God.

After passing the years at the oasis of Kadesh Barnea, the Israelites then traveled to the eastern border of Canaan, where Moses died and was buried on Mount Nebo.

In the subsequent Book of Joshua, Joshua takes over the leadership of the Israelites, leading them into the Promised Land across the River Jordan and conquering Jericho – and Zanoah is mentioned in the Book of Joshua.

Joshua 15:34,56 outlines the boundaries and cities within the tribal allotment of Judah once they entered the Promised Land, which includes Zanoah.

Archaeologists also recovered well preserved pottery, complete with an LMLK stamp on the jar handle which is very rare in the Judah foothills. These markings are ancient Hebrew seals meaning 'of the King'

Archaeologists also recovered well preserved pottery, complete with an LMLK stamp on the jar handle which is very rare in the Judah foothills. These markings are ancient Hebrew seals meaning ‘of the King’

The shard had a wide rim with three concentric bands in a grid-like pattern and featured a rope decoration

The shard had a wide rim with three concentric bands in a grid-like pattern and featured a rope decoration

Archaeologists uncovered several stone walls throughout the ancient city

Archaeologists uncovered several stone walls throughout the ancient city

Researchers excavated the area in 2019 but released their findings in March.

The team uncovered walls fashioned with rows of large, white rocks, which they believed were retaining walls for farming terraces used to create level areas for planting and to protect steeper soil from erosion.

Preserved pottery was also pulled from the ground, with one featuring a stamp on the handle that read ‘of the King,’ which was to honor King Hezekiah’s reign in Judah in 701 BC.

The life of Hezekiah is described in the Bible book of 2 Kings, chapters 18-20. 

In 2 Chronicles, the king is said to have reopened the Temple of Solomon,  known as ‘the First Temple’ and built on the spot where God created Adam.

Hezekiah also smashed the bronze snake statue God commanded Moses to make, which is mentioned in Numbers 21:8-9: ‘Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Make a snake image and mount it on a pole.’

The Biblical story of Moses starts with the Israelites enslaved in Egypt, before the Pharaoh - coerced by 10 terrible plagues - agrees to release them and Moses leads them across the miraculously-parted Red Sea

The Biblical story of Moses starts with the Israelites enslaved in Egypt, before the Pharaoh – coerced by 10 terrible plagues – agrees to release them and Moses leads them across the miraculously-parted Red Sea 

Pottery fragments littered the landscape, with about 20 percent dating to the time the Israelites were said to have arrived after the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness- the rest were fashioned over the next 900 years.

A decorated fragment of a cosmetic bowl made of white limestone.

‘It has a wide rim adorned with a decoration of three concentric bands separated by gaps: the external and internal bands are narrow and feature a rope decoration, while the central band is wide and features an intermittent grid pattern,’ the researchers shared in the study.

Other findings included bowls and jugs, one of which had perforations that suggested it may have been used as a lantern, and metal objects were also discovered.

However, the researchers did not specify when they were made, only that they were bronze jewelry such as a ring and earring fragment.

Other remnants that ancient humans once lived in the region included iron tools, nails of various sizes and bronze strips used for welding iron.

‘While it is likely that some of the finds originated in the ruin and were subsequently washed down the slope over the years, the majority of the finds, especially those dating from the early Byzantine period, relate to farming activities conducted on the hill slopes,’ the researchers said.

They added that the large number of finds indicates the importance of the site ‘and highlights [its] potential significance.’

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As political uncertainty drives their prices down… Look to Europe for some star performers

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France should be in a state of high excitement ahead of the start of the Paris Olympics later this month. Instead, the nation is in a state of turmoil following a deadlocked election.

There are fears of a market rout if the far-Left, which gained most votes in last weekend’s poll, forms a government and announces large spending plans – as public finances are already perilously stretched.

A hung Parliament, without a clear agenda, would also be hazardous to investor confidence.

These outcomes would also send tremors through the rest of the eurozone, thanks to the bloc’s currency and fiscal links.

Jamie Ross, joint manager of the Henderson European Trust, comments: ‘Political uncertainty in France is political uncertainty at the heart of the EU.’

The right specs: Essilor Luxottica is the worldwide leader in the sunglasses sector

The right specs: Essilor Luxottica is the worldwide leader in the sunglasses sector

So what does this mean for Europe’s pharmaceutical, software and other companies, which are seen as the nearest thing to America’s ‘Magnificent Seven’ tech stocks?

Earlier this year, US banks extolled the virtues of these businesses.

Citi tipped its ‘Super Seven’ – ASML, Ferrari, LVMH, Novo Nordisk, Richemont, Schneider Electric, and SAP.

Goldman Sachs recommended ‘the Granolas’ – GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Roche, ASML, Nestle, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, L’Oreal, LVMH, AstraZeneca, SAP and Sanofi.

This actually spells out ‘Grannnolass’ and includes two UK names, GSK and AstraZeneca.

But Goldman describes them as ‘internationally-exposed quality growth compounders’, suggesting that they have the ‘je ne sais quoi’ to transcend upheaval.

If you want to take a European flutter this Olympic summer, here’s what you need to know.

THE OUTLOOK

Further volatility is a threat, with the Germans going to the polls in October. Ross comments: ‘The German public is increasingly being swayed by the far- Right, which could achieve a mid-teen percentage vote share.

‘A strong EU needs a stable political situation in France and Germany – and at the moment, this is certainly in question.’

However, he argues that the European markets are now being dominated by ‘companies that are exposed to global structural trends not to domestic European politics’.

Ross continues: ‘These markets now have more semi-conductor exposure in the shape of the Dutch group ASML, which manufactures the machinery to make chips, and more global pharmaceutical companies, like Novo Nordisk, the Ozempic weight-loss drugs group.’

Henderson European Trust offers exposure to ASML, Novo Nordisk, German software group SAP and the French industrial automation company Schneider.

The trust’s shares stand at an 8 per cent discount to its net asset value (NAV), suggesting it could be a bargain way to follow Europe’s stars. Other best buy funds include Fidelity European. But if you are keen to back individual stocks, here are some shares that fund managers have in their sights.

STOCKS TO WATCH

BEAUTY

The brands owned by the €214billion (£180billion) beauty colossus L’Oreal range from high-end Aesop and Lancome to the cheap and cheerful Maybelline and Cerave, which is a hit among Generation Z. Nicolas Hieronimus, L’Oreal’s chief executive, says this year’s growth in the global market for these and other brands may be 4.5 to 5 per cent, rather than 5 per cent, as earlier forecast.

But this would be due not to France’s summer of unrest, but to a slowdown in China.

Shares are down by 8.4 per cent this year to €412.60. But analysts are upbeat: the average target price is €450, but one optimist argues they could hit €526.

ENTERTAINMENT

Bollore Group, a €15.5billion (£13billion) family-controlled French conglomerate is described by Joe Bauernfreund, manager of the AVI Global trust, as ‘one of Europe’s last byzantine corporate structures’.

Among its varied shareholdings are Universal Music and Vivendi, owner of the Canal+ TV channel and the Havas advertising agency. Bauernfreund will be adding to the trust’s stake in Bollore, arguing that ‘political instability has provided an opportunity’.

LUXURY

LVMH, the French giant behind such brands as Tiffany and Louis Vuitton, will be in the spotlight as a main sponsor of the Olympics.

But its shares have fallen 16 per cent in a year, amid weakening demand for bags and baubles.

This could be a good moment to take a closer look at L’Oreal, or so argues Gerrit Smit, manager of the Stonehage Fleming Global Best Ideas Equity fund.

He contends that this is not a domestic enterprise, but a truly global operator.

Smit makes the same case for Essilor Luxottica, which is the worldwide leader in the glasses and sunglasses sector, thanks to its Oliver Peoples, Persol and Ray-Ban brands.

TECHNOLOGY

ASML shares have surged by more than 50 per cent to €1002 over the past 12 months propelled by excitement over generative AI (artificial intelligence).

But analysts are continuing to rate the company as a buy, with some analysts targeting a price of €1,302.

Smit says that the €386billion (£324billion) group is set to be a beneficiary of the onshoring of semiconductor capacity to the West, and, specifically, to the US.

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Hamlet’s home from home: Shakespeare was inspired by this Danish castle – and you will be, too

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To be or not to be a pushy parent. That is the question, or one of them at least, that faces anyone who embarks on the epic project of having children – and, when it comes to Shakespeare, I am nothing if not pushy.

My son Nicholas, who is ten, had iambic pentameters thrust upon him from birth. I recall crooning: ‘O mistress mine, where are you roaming?’ from Twelfth Night over his cot. It helped to get him off to sleep.

To my delight, Nicholas is a fan of Macbeth (the graphic novel version). And when I proposed a visit to Kronborg Castle, the basis for Elsinore Castle, in Hamlet – in tribute to the 75th anniversary of Laurence Olivier winning the best picture Oscar for his film adaptation of the play – he was keen.

Centre stage: Thomas W. Hodgkinson visits Kronborg Castle, the world-famous setting for Shakespeare's Hamlet

Centre stage: Thomas W. Hodgkinson visits Kronborg Castle, the world-famous setting for Shakespeare’s Hamlet

The castle is located in Helsingor, Denmark, and has 'pointy turrets and cannons galore'

 The castle is located in Helsingor, Denmark, and has ‘pointy turrets and cannons galore’ 

The castle, in Helsingor, on the north-east corner of Denmark 45 minutes from Copenhagen, is as castle-like as you could wish. It has limestone walls, pointy turrets and cannons galore.

Guide Louise tells us that the Bard never visited the castle, but he knew actors who did. They went there to perform, like the actors who turn up in the play and carry out the Murder of Gonzago at Hamlet’s request, with the aim of smoking out his uncle Claudius, who has murdered Hamlet’s dad, married his mum and stolen his crown.

Ample reason for revenge, you might think. But, instead, Hamlet mooches about delivering soliloquies on the meaning of life and death. The iconic image is of the prince staring at a skull as he broods on his own mortality. Which is why Nicholas and I have brought a lifesize replica of a skull as a prop.

Helsingor is a 'fine example of a Danish medieval town, with cobbled streets, a beautiful Carmelite Priory, and a great Maritime Museum', writes Thomas

Helsingor is a ‘fine example of a Danish medieval town, with cobbled streets, a beautiful Carmelite Priory, and a great Maritime Museum’, writes Thomas

We whip it out and strike poses on the battlements, where the ghost appears in the opening scene. We explore the ornate chapel, where Hamlet almost kills his uncle. Ditto the great hall, where drums rolled and trumpets blasted whenever King Frederick II made a speech during drinking binges.

For those less devoted to the Bard, Helsingor offers more. It’s a fine example of a Danish medieval town, with cobbled streets, a beautiful Carmelite Priory, and a great Maritime Museum.

There is a 200-year-old tradition of performing Shakespeare in the grounds of the castle. If you want to see it, come in early August and see Hamlet in the most atmospheric situation imaginable.

Kronborg Castle is just 45 minutes from Copenhagen, Denmark's cool capital

Kronborg Castle is just 45 minutes from Copenhagen, Denmark’s cool capital 

Thomas bases himself at Hotel Alexandra in Copenhagen, near to the Tivoli Gardens (pictured)

Thomas bases himself at Hotel Alexandra in Copenhagen, near to the Tivoli Gardens (pictured) 

We reach the castle as part of the Grand Day Trip laid on by Hamlet Tours. This takes in another castle, a Viking ship museum and the cathedral at Roskilde, which houses the body of King Harald Bluetooth (the technology was named after the dentally challenged Viking).

Afterwards, Nicholas and I collapse in the stylish comfort of the Hotel Alexandra in Copenhagen. One benefit is how close it is to Tivoli Gardens.

This is his reward for the Shakespeare overdose: hours of drop towers, rollercoasters and video arcades. We develop a technique for dealing with terrifying rides: we close our eyes and shout lines from Hamlet.

No fun for our neighbours, of course. But, remember, it’s the anniversary of that Oscar. I’m sure Olivier would have been delighted.

TRAVEL FACTS 

Thomas and Nicholas stayed at the Hotel Alexandra, where deluxe rooms start from £201 (hotelalexandra.dk). The Grand Day Trip with Hamlet Tours costs £125 pp and takes in Roskilde Cathedral, the Viking Ship Museum, Frederiksborg Castle and Kronborg Castle (hamlettours.com). Open-air performances of Hamlet are at Kronborg Castle on August 7 to 10 (hamletscenen.dk).

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