NEWS
10/03/2020 14:59 GMT | Updated 10/03/2020 15:05 GMT

5 Things Happening That Have (Almost) Nothing To Do With Coronavirus

From Harvey Weinsten to the reason some prices are being slashed at the petrol pumps, here are the other big news stories of the day.

Coronavirus is dominating the daily headlines - and large aspects of our lives. 

But as with any big news story, there are a lot of other important things happening within the UK and around the world too. 

You can still read the latest coronavirus news here, but for a taste of what else is going on around the globe, here are five stories to be aware of:

HIV-free patient reveals identity

A hospital patient from London who was the second person in the world to be cleared of HIV has revealed his identity and will share his experiences on social media.

Adam Castillejo, 40, achieved “sustained remission” from HIV after being treated at Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust announced last year – over a decade after the first known case in Berlin in 2007. 

“By publicly revealing my identity and my story I hope to help improve people’s understanding of the science and HIV generally,” Castillejo, who works in the hospitality industry, said in a statement.

Castillejo was diagnosed with HIV infection in 2003 and developed an Aids-defining cancer, advanced Hodgkin’s lymphoma, in 2012.

In 2016, he received a transplant of haematopoietic stem cells from a donor carrying a genetic mutation in the HIV receptor CCR5, which hinders the HIV virus from entering human cells.

After antiretroviral drugs were discontinued, researchers said Castillejo has been in remission for 30 months “with no viable virus in bloods, brain fluid, intestinal or lymph tissue”.

Castillejo said he plans to share his experiences through a podcast and his Twitter and Instagram accounts, @londonpatient and LondonPatientofficial, and said he recently began to “rekindle his passion” for cooking as a trained chef.

Harvey Weinstein falls

Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is reportedly being treated for an injury he suffered in a New York jail as he awaits sentencing for rape and sexual assault.

New York Daily News via Getty Images
Harvey Weinstein will be sentenced on Wednesday 

The 67-year-old, who faces up to 29 years in prison after being found guilty of sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and raping former aspiring actress Jessica Mann in 2013, is alleged to have fallen over last weekend at Rikers Island Prison after he tried to walk without his frame. Jurors acquitted Weinstein on the two most serious charges against him, predatory sexual assault, which carried a maximum life sentence. He denied the accusations and said any sexual encounters were consensual.

Weinstein’s spokesman Juda Engelmayer said: “Harvey says his head throbs all the time and thinks he has a concussion. He has not been officially diagnosed.

“I do not see anything that suggests it was anything but an accident.”

The ex-mogul’s lawyers have asked a New York court to take into consideration his health and age and sentence him to a maximum of just five years behind bars. They cite his “accomplishments” and “charitable endeavours” in a letter ahead of sentencing on Wednesday.

Fuel wars

Supermarket Asda has announced a price cut of 2p per litre (ppl) for petrol and diesel amid an oil war between Saudi Arabia and Russia which led to stock markets and oil prices tanking around the world.

Motorists filling up at an Asda forecourt will pay no more than 114.7ppl for petrol and 116.7ppl for diesel.

Asda said these are its lowest fuel prices since November 2017.

The retailer has brought fuel prices down by up to 11ppl since January.

As investors already deal with the fallout from coronavirus, Saudi Arabia announced plans to flood markets with extra supply – wiping billions off companies.

The Saudis are trying to punish Russia after the two sides failed to agree to supply targets.

Leaders will also be hoping it pushes US shale gas companies under, as their operations become economically unviable.

The move sent the price of a barrel of Brent Crude down 30% initially on Monday, before settling at around 20% down on a day earlier, to just 36.1 dollars a barrel.

Heartbreak for autistic girl 

A 12-year-old autistic girl has been left heartbroken after her beloved therapy dog was stolen and found dead.

Chloe Hopkins’ Dalmatian Lottie was taken during a burglary from the family home in Peatling Parva, Leicestershire in December.

Gemma Hopkins/ Facebook

Even conservationist Chris Packham joined the search for Lottie in a bid to return the three-year-old dog to her owners in time for Christmas.

But on Monday, Chloe’s mother Gemma wrote on Facebook: “I’m not sure it has sunk in. Yesterday morning we got the call we didn’t want. Lottie has been found but passed away. Having to identify her was the hardest thing I’ve done by miles and I cannot thank everyone enough for the shares of posters via social media. I’ve got to break my 12-year-old’s heart tonight… we are all heartbroken. We never wanted this ending, we kept hopeful. Goodbye my crazy bunch of spots, RIP Lottie.”

Luxury London mansion under the spotlight 

An Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO) hearing at the High Court on high-security mansion occupied by Nurali Aliyev, the grandson of Kazakhstan’s former so-called president for life, will take place today.

The high security property is so large it as an underground swimming pool and a private cinema, the BBC reports. It is owned by companies based in tax havens and is one of three worth more than £80m in total that has been subject to UWOs since last May.

The property is one of three worth more than £80m in total that has been subject to UWOs since last May.

A High Court judge can issue an UWO requiring a person reasonably suspected of involvement in, or of being connected to a person involved in, serious crime to explain the nature and extent of their interest in particular property, and show how the property was obtained.

It is confined to cases where there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the individual’s known lawfully obtained income would be insufficient to allow him or her to obtain the property.