The damning case against Ghislaine Maxwell

The damning case against Ghislaine: The lawyer who devoted his life to nailing paedophile Jeffrey Epstein uncovered evidence that his socialite friend not only helped him procure young girls – but that she abused some too

American lawyer Bradley Edwards made it his life’s mission on behalf of countless young female victims to put Jeffrey Epstein behind bars. Following the billionaire paedophile’s death, he has written a book, Relentless Pursuit, stories from which we are summarising. Last week, we told how teenager Virginia Roberts’s life was devastated after Epstein introduced her to Prince Andrew. Here, we recount the book’s shocking claims about the complicity of Ghislaine Maxwell…

Hidden inside the bags of rubbish seized by police from Jeffrey Epstein’s mansion in the billionaire area of Palm Beach Island, not far from Donald Trump’s Mara-Lago Club, was a set of old-style telephone message pads. 

For detectives investigating troubling reports of sexual abuse involving local teenagers, they were gold-dust. Handwritten messages revealed the names of everybody who had phoned Epstein’s home over a period of months in 2005. 

Regular callers included Trump, the magician David Copperfield and the former US national security adviser Sandy Berger. There were also numerous messages from girls. 

Ghislaine Maxwell was a well-known and well-liked socialite. Seen here attending the Alzheimer’s Association Rita Hayworth Gala at the Waldorf Astoria on October 26th, 2010

Young women with names like Courtney, Lynn, Molly, Holly and Rebecca would call with messages such as ‘Has girl for tonight’ or, ‘Wondering if she can work tomorrow.’ 

At least three girls a day were scheduled to go to the house, sometimes with little time between appointments. 

‘Samantha hadn’t confirmed Veronica for 11am yet, so she is keeping Becki on hold in case Veronica doesn’t call back’, read one message. 

‘Becki is available on Tuesday. No one for tomorrow’, said another. 

And so it went on. The need for a constant flow of girls was clear. All were, shockingly, later identified as underage girls being paid to ‘work’ as sexual masseuses inside Epstein’s mansion. 

Logically, one adult had to be at the top of the pyramid of recruiters. Most messages were taken by the butler and other members of staff. 

But another name cropped up frequently: Ghislaine Maxwell. Although once well known as the daughter of the disgraced, deceased media tycoon Robert Maxwell, her name meant little to US detectives at the time. 

Only as their investigations continued would the crucial role in the Epstein story played by this privileged, public-school and Oxford-educated British socialite finally emerge. 

Despite her strenuous and consistent denials, Maxwell would eventually stand accused by numerous of Epstein’s alleged victims of not only recruiting underage girls to feed his voracious and depraved sexual appetite, but of instructing them in ways to please him and even, according to some, being involved in the abuse herself. 

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell were described as being ‘Bonnie and Clyde’

She would also reveal a talent for making herself invisible that continues to this day. 

In 2008, lawyer Bradley Edwards was preparing to represent a group of alleged victims as part of an 11-year investigation which became his personal life’s mission, and during which the more he learned, the more determined he was to bring Epstein’s manipulation and abuse to an end. 

The Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office passed Edwards phone messages from Epstein’s house. It soon became clear that Ghislaine Maxwell was the witness that he most needed to speak to. 

Who was she, and what was her role in Jeffrey Epstein’s life? 

An elegant woman with a distinctive British accent, Ghislaine had short dark hair and captivating, warm facial features. Those Edwards spoke to described her as fun, funny and a social chameleon, as open-minded as she was intelligent – able to blend in with high and low society as it suited her. 

It is Ghislaine (right), a well-connected socialite, who introduced Prince Andrew to Jeffrey Epstein. Prince Andrew is seen here with accuser Virgina Roberts (centre)

Her circle in London included the highest-powered businessmen and members of the Royal Family. She could sit at a dinner table having the most sophisticated conversation with a brilliant scientist and an hour later attend a burlesque show and make the raunchiest joke. 

As Edwards researched her background, there was a wealth of publicly available information regarding the mysterious death of her father, who had drowned aged 68 after ‘falling’ from his megayacht, the Lady Ghislaine, in 1991. 

The most popularly reported theories were that he committed suicide or that his involvement as a super-spy for Israel’s elite intelligence agency Mossad got him murdered. Ultimately, his death was ruled an accident. 

These suspicions are strikingly similar to those surrounding Epstein’s death in a prison cell last August. Maxwell’s daughter was crucial to understanding Epstein’s sexual deviancy. She was the one woman who, by all appearances, he treated as his equal. 

Virginia Roberts claims that she was forced to have sex with both Jeffrey Epstein and Andrew 

Sometimes she even referred to him privately as her husband. After losing her father, Ghislaine, his favourite child, had been heartbroken. She was also virtually penniless after it emerged that he had stolen nearly £500million from employee pension funds. 

Humiliated and distraught, she fled Britain for the United States. Shortly afterwards, she met Epstein, and so began one of the most extraordinary relationships ever documented. 

For the best part of two decades, the pair were inseparable, sleeping in the same bed and travelling together on private planes all over the world. She knew his secrets and could not credibly deny all of them. 

At the height of their relationship, Maxwell, with her high-society connections, had everything that Epstein needed – while in material terms he had everything she could possibly ever want, and more. 

One of Epstein’s former butlers said Maxwell kept typed lists on her computer – her little black book – of the names of girls, who she called ‘my children’ and who gave massages. 

Ghislaine Maxwell has successfully evaded prosecution for her part in the Epstein scandal

But here was the interesting part. 

As soon as the Palm Beach criminal investigation began, Maxwell became a ghost. She completely distanced herself from Epstein, later claiming that she had no longer been a part of his life between 2001 and 2005, when sex crimes against dozens of underage girls had been committed. 

This looked like someone with a guilty conscience – even more reason to track her down. But she had her connections and Epstein’s financial resources, and was able to make herself extremely difficult to locate. 

This would prove to be her modus operandi for many years to come. Edwards needed her testimony in the form of a deposition – a statement given outside the court system, but under oath. 

But how was he to serve the subpoena, or summons, forcing her to give the evidence he needed, when she was so elusive? Through contacts, it was established that she was a close friend of Bill Clinton.

Last year, Prince Andrew gave an extraordinary interview on the Epstein scandal

If that were true, then surely she would attend the prestigious 2009 Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting at New York hotel? This hunch was correct. Investigators were hired to get into the event and serve her with a subpoena for her deposition, which they duly did. 

To say she was upset about this being done at such a public event is an understatement, and over the following years she employed a range of tactics to get out of speaking to the lawyers. The first time this happened was in July 2010, when a date for her deposition had finally been agreed. 

As Edwards was preparing to board a plane to New York to take her evidence, he received a call from her lawyer explaining that Maxwell’s mother was very ill in Europe, so she was leaving the country, with no plans ever to return to the United States. Edwards’s expenses were to be paid in full. 

Eptein’s photo provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry after he was arrested for sex trafficking. Prosecutors and the FBI have contacted Prince Andrew for an interview

Shortly afterwards, Edwards was in his kitchen and saw a copy of the August 2010 issue of People magazine. Inside was a large spread featuring Bill Clinton walking his daughter Chelsea down the aisle at her wedding on July 31. 

Who else was in the photographs, at the centre of it all? 

Ghislaine Maxwell. 

She hadn’t left the US for ever. Perhaps she hadn’t left at all. Clinton had been on Epstein’s private plane many times and Epstein had subsequently been arrested for sexual contact with minors and gone to jail. 

Yet still his former lover and closest adviser was invited to Clinton’s daughter’s wedding? How odd. THAT was just the start of the cat-and-mouse game with Ghislaine Maxwell. 

Over the subsequent years, Edwards spent inordinate amounts of time trying to build a convincing and provable case against her, as well as against Epstein himself. Gradually, bit by bit, witness by witness, a story emerged. 

In 2016, Edwards tracked down Maria Farmer, who he had been told had been abused by both Maxwell and Epstein. Maria explained how Epstein had been intrigued when he discovered that she had a younger sister, Annie, then in her early teens, and insisted on seeing pictures of her. 

Virginia Roberts gave an interview to BBC Panorama about her alleged sex sessions with Prince Andrew which were allegedly orchestrated by Ghislaine Maxwell

He asked about her sister’s future plans. Maria said Annie wanted to go to an Ivy League college but didn’t have the money. Epstein told Maria he could make that happen, but first Annie had to go to New York so that he could meet her and vouch for her qualifications. Annie was just 15. 

In New York, Epstein was his charming self, explaining again that he was willing to make all of her dreams come true. After Annie returned home, her mother was contacted by Maxwell and told that all students being sponsored by Epstein through college were invited to his ranch in New Mexico to discuss their future courses. 

But when Annie, by then 16, arrived at the 7,500-acre compound, she was surprised to find she was the only student there. Before she could question why, Maxwell and Epstein took her shopping and bought her a pair of cowboy boots she had admired.

Later, back at Epstein’s home, Maxwell told Annie to model them for Epstein. He told her they looked really good and that she deserved a massage. Maxwell massaged Annie herself, at one point pulling the covers off the teenager and exposing her breasts before beginning to massage them. 

When the massage was over, Annie stood up and realised that Epstein had been watching them the entire time. Annie went to sleep in her own bed and woke up to find Epstein lying next to her under the covers, cuddling her. 

Before she left later that day, Epstein and Maxwell, who she described as ‘Bonnie and Clyde’, told her that they couldn’t wait to see her again. Maria described how there was nothing that Epstein did without Maxwell knowing about it; in fact, she personally facilitated almost every aspect of his life. 

It was a horrific story, but it was just one of many. One weekend in 2016, Edwards’s office got a call from a woman aged nearly 40, whom we will call Fantasia. She described how in 1994, when she was 17, she had been recruited by Maxwell to provide Epstein with a massage in Europe. 

She had also been flown to his private island in the Caribbean and his other fancy homes, and introduced to powerful billionaires. She ended up spending time with them, sporadically, for more than a decade, and had tremendous insight into the relationship between Maxwell and Epstein. 

Fantasia believed that Maxwell felt eternally indebted to Epstein for taking her in so soon after her father’s death. Fantasia explained that Maxwell’s role in life was basically to please Epstein, a job that included telling Fantasia which sex outfit to wear to make him happy. 

A schoolgirl costume was his favourite. Once, while in London, Fantasia and Maxwell encountered a very young-looking girl who Fantasia thought looked innocent and should be left alone. 

She remembered Maxwell disagreeing and telling her that someone had to perform a sex act on Epstein, and if this new girl didn’t do it, then Maxwell herself would have to, and clearly she did not want to. 

Fantasia explained that when underage girls were around, Epstein’s desire to have sex with them was so overwhelming that he would physically shake. He couldn’t survive without a constant supply of new girls. 

She even went so far as to say she had seen enough of his ‘evil’ side that she believed he wasn’t beyond killing someone, especially if it was necessary to keep his sex addiction alive. 

It had taken years, but Edwards was finally piecing together a picture of how Epstein and Maxwell’s bizarre relationship worked. The lawyer turned his attention to one of the people who had seen it all at first hand: Epstein’s former housekeeper at Palm Beach, Juan Alessi. 

He told Edwards’s team that Maxwell had been deeply controlling and did things Juan did not like. When Epstein’s former girlfriend Eva was in charge, Juan said, there were no other females around the house. 

But as soon as Maxwell took over the house, there were female visitors who were referred to as ‘masseuses’, but who did not look professional and appeared to him to be too young. 

Juan also recalled that Maxwell loved to take nude photographs of girls, which she stored in a big album on her desk. This tied in with information from other witnesses about the photos of naked girls that covered the walls of Epstein’s homes in New York City, Palm Beach, New Mexico, and the Virgin Islands, many of which were, by all accounts, also taken by Maxwell. 

Juan testified that after the novice ‘masseuses’ had performed their duties, he would go upstairs to clean up the massage room. While there, he found sex aids which he returned to a laundry basket filled with similar sex toys Maxwell kept in her closet. 

Juan had connected more dots. The attack on Maxwell was tightening. The chessboard was looking pretty good. By the start of 2017, Edwards and his team were ready for action. 

On January 26 that year, they filed a lawsuit against Epstein for his violation of the sex-trafficking statute and Ghislaine Maxwell for her role in his activities. Having done that, they turned back to a case against Maxwell brought by Virginia Roberts [the 17-yearold who says she was hired by Maxwell and was forced to sleep with Prince Andrew]. 

Virginia was claiming defamation against Maxwell for calling her a liar over her sex abuse claims. The case was heating up for a trial set to begin in May 2017. Witnesses were lined up, exhibits were ready, and the lawyers had a large war room set up at the hotel across the street from the court. 

There was one last deposition to take: Maxwell’s. 

Because she had refused to answer certain questions during previous depositions she had finally and reluctantly given, this deposition was set to take place in the courtroom with a judge. It was set for the week before the trial. 

To this day, Edwards says it pains him to think about what happened next. Just days away from the hearing, he got a surprising late-night call. The case had been settled. 

Once again, she had eluded them. Just like 12 years earlier, at the start of the investigation into Epstein’s activities, Maxwell had become a ghost. She simply disappeared. And now she seems to have done the same again. 

Today, more than six months after Epstein’s death, there is no sign of an arrest, or of any charges being brought. Like so many questions relating to Jeffrey Epstein, the answers Ghislaine Maxwell can undoubtedly provide may be many years away – if indeed they are ever given at all. 

© Bradley J. Edwards, 2020 lBy The Mail on Sunday, based on Relentless Pursuit: My Fight For The Victims Of Jeffrey Epstein, by Bradley J. Edwards, published by S&S on March 31, priced £20. Offer price £16 (20 per cent discount) until April 30. To preorder, go to or call 01603 648155. Free delivery on all orders – no minimum spend.

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What are the top five dirtiest jobs?

US must think of ‘jobs of the future’: Rep. Ro Khanna

Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., provides insight into his proposed bill focusing on 21st-century technology jobs that would cost roughly $900 billion over the next 10 years.

From high stress to downright dirty, there are scores of jobs that have Americans turning the other cheek. Despite that, the grim jobs with long hours and dangerous conditions need to be filled.

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Some of the jobs may seem bleak and gross to some, but these opportunities can provide a nice paycheck. In some cases, these jobs may even come with a six-figure salary, and some will pay more than $400,000 a year.

Chron, using data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, compiled of ten gross yet viable job options for earning a living.

Here are the top five according to Chron:

Garbage Collector

Topping the list are garbage collectors, which requires a hefty amount of manual labor.

The job is grouped together with hand laborers and material mover, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics which defines the category as those who “feed or remove material to or from machines, clean vehicles, pick up unwanted household goods, and pack materials for moving.”

The average salary for garbage collectors differ from state to state. They are paid as little as $30,000 a year in North Carolina to more than $42,000 in New York, according to ZipRecruiter.

[Credit: iStock]

Dairy Farmhand

Farmhands are responsible for maintaining the quality of farms, crops, and animals through the use of heavy machinery and manual labor. Dairy farmers have a specific focus on milking cows, clearing dung and barn maintenance, according to Chron.

Employees usually receive on the job training. Salary for farmhands range from about $21,000 to a little more than $30,000, depending on which state the job is in, according to ZipRecruiter.


A gastroenterologist is a doctor focused entirely on the management of diseases in the gastrointestinal tract and liver. These trained professionals provide diagnosis, treatment and health care plans to patients suffering with several digestive-related medical conditions.

Unlike garbage collectors, gastroenterologists have a hefty amount of education and training to accomplish before being hired. Following medical school, gastroenterologists must attend a three-year internal medicine residency before embarking on a fellowship in Gastroenterology, which is generally two to three years long, according to the American College of Gastroenterology.

Of all physician specialties, gastroenterologists earn the most with an average yearly salary of $417,000, according to Medscape.

[Credit: iStock]

Sewage Cleaners

Sewage cleaners are responsible for inspecting and cleaning sewage systems. However, the job comes with its risks.

Works must deal with toxic gases and they are also confronted with other dangers like electric shock. Workers use heavy equipment during the job, which poses a risk for injury as well. Additionally, workers are exposed to waterborne microorganisms and bloodborne pathogens that can make them sick.

Sewer pipe cleaners are paid the highest pay in Connecticut. The can earn $46,600 salary, according to Recruiter. Sewage pipe cleaners have the highest average income in New Jersey, Oregon, Massachusetts, California, Colorado, and Washington, after Connecticut.

[Credit: iStock]

Oil Rig Personnel

Rigs are all around the world, so the job can take can be in Gulf of Mexico, the Middle East or the United Kingdom.

However, the job comes with its dangers. Oil rigs are filed with combustible materials and heavy machinery, according to NES Global Talent. In order to work on an oil rig, prospective employees must go through extensive training and a medical examination.

Oil rigs are typically close-knit communities with approximately 200 people living and working on a rig at any given time, according to the NES Global Talent. Workers are housed together and work 12-hour shifts, which take place throughout the day and overnight since operations run around the clock.

Oil rig personnel may find themselves alternating between living on the rig for a stretch of 2 to 3 weeks and onshore for 2 to 3 weeks, although sometimes these shifts can be longer, according to NES Global Talent.

As of March 19, 2020, the average annual salary in the United States for an oil rig worker is $75,521, according to ZipRecruiter.

According to the online employment marketplace, annual salaries can swell to about $293,000. However, the majority of salaries are between $32,000 to $90,000.


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Bikini model shows the basic household items you can use as makeshift weights during coronavirus lockdown

WORKING out at home during the lockdown doesn't have to mean ditching the weights.

A bikini model has revealed how to use everyday household items to add resistance to your workout – trying everything from a fake pot plant to bottles of bleach to tone up while the gyms are closed.

Fitness star Rachel Dillon, who's behind the Bodies by Rachel fitness transformations, told “Basically, if something provides sufficient resistance, is not fragile or dangerous to handle, and is easy to hold or lift – it can be used.

“For some movements, you may be used to using a bench – and any steady household surface can replace it.”

In a new IGTV video, posted this week, Rachel does a "no gym, no problem challenge" with her sister Emma Jane.

In the clip, shared with her 884,000 Instagram followers, the sisters use everything from the sofa to a coffee table as a makeshift bench.

Rachel advised: “Make sure to test them before going full throttle. A simple towel is also a great prop for moves such as hamstring curls, core rollouts, and stretching."

In order to get the most out of your workout, Rachel advises reducing your rest time and doing more reps and sets than usual.

Jump squats, alternating jump lunges and burpees are also great for getting your heart rate up.

She added: “Do what you can, have fun challenging yourself to new ways of training and remember that any movement beats no movement.”

Rachel even puts her sister on her shoulders for an added challenge at the end.

While we wouldn't recommend human squats for any weight lifting novices, we think you'd be surprised how much you can feel the burn with some of their other items.

If you're not one for experimenting, check out Davina's McCall's guide to working out with no equipment.

Meanwhile, we revealed The Body Coach Joe Wicks’ rise from broke personal trainer handing out flyers to £14m star with a glamour model wife.

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Here’s how much the surgeries on My 600-lb Life cost

My 600-lb Life is a TLC series featuring morbidly obese patients as they navigate the difficult and dangerous process of extreme weight loss with the help of pioneering bariatric surgeon Dr. Nowzaradan. Surgeries with this much risk can be difficult for a patient to obtain on their own as managing the surgery, lack of income, and medical insurance approvals can be difficult. Fortunately for those who appear on the reality series, TVOvermind explains that the life-saving surgeries are covered by the show. All doctor’s visits, surgeries, and hospital stays supervised by Dr. Now (as patients call him) is covered during the year of the show’s filming. In addition, people appearing on the show for weight loss also get some cash compensation. Just for showing up, patients get a flat $1500 fee and a $2500 moving fee if they need to relocate closer to Dr. Now’s office.

These fees may not add up to much, but the overall value offered is a once in a lifetime deal. Money shares expert costs describing how staying obese costs 42 percent more for medical care and 77 percent more for drugs than people of healthy weight, plus 48 percent more in hospital stays. Many small business insurance plans won’t even cover bariatric surgery, so those without this support frequently foot a bill of $20,000-$30,000 just for surgery, with one patient reporting $67,000 before insurance paid less than half.

Bariatric surgery is only one step for patients on My 600-lb Life

Yet while the show offers a great value in support for extreme weight loss, it doesn’t cover quite everything. Most patients that experience a change in shape this significant will have extra skin that may warrant eventual removal. As this is considered a cosmetic procedure, TVOvermind states it is not covered in the appearance contract. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons lists average fees for three common procedures for skin removal: a thigh lift costs $4,863, a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) costs $5,798, and an upper arm lift (brachioplasty) costs $4,257.

In addition, My 600-lb Life patients will need to purchase new wardrobes and still treat any additional medical issues that may be ongoing during this time. The costs can definitely add up. Overall, however, it’s difficult to put a price tag on quality and length of life — and the majority of people who have achieved health have enjoyed it. In addition, these costs upfront prevent many expensive medical issues down the road, helping to save money in the long term.

So good luck to all the patients as they share their stories on a life-changing journey — this surgery seems like a great deal for their health.

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The truth about Susan Boyle’s medical misdiagnosis

Medical diagnostics have evolved, and thank goodness for that. Susan Boyle is one of many people who’ve been misdiagnosed, only to have that original label be incorrect over time. 

Diagnosed as “brain-damaged” after complications at birth, Boyle fought many stigmas as she was growing up. According to The Guardian, “It was the wrong diagnosis when I was a kid,” she said. “I was told I had brain damage. I always knew it was an unfair label.” 

Her new diagnosis indicates that she is not “damaged” in any way, and simply has Asberger’s, a name for a high-functioning type of autism. WebMD explains that Asberger’s has no effect on intelligence, but people with this syndrome often struggle with social skills. As for Boyle herself, she welcomes the correct diagnosis but says that it does not define her. “It will not make any difference to my life. It’s just a condition that I have to live with and work through.”

Susan Boyle's surprise rise to fame

Susan Boyle shocked the world in 2009 during her appearance on Britain’s Got Talent. The now-famous video clip (with over 242 million views on YouTube) takes us back to Susan’s jaw-dropping debut. To say that Boyle didn’t fit the traditional star/singer mold may be the understatement of the decade, but her flawless performance of “I Dreamed a Dream” quickly took the world by storm. While she didn’t go on to win the competition (instead taking second place with a performance that brought tears to judges’ eyes, via MTV), Boyle has still had a highly successful career. 

The voice behind multiple albums, concerts, and media appearances, Boyle is also a three-time Guinness Book of World Records holder. She has entries for: Only British female artist to top both the us and UK album charts with two releases, Oldest female at No. 1 on UK albums chart, and Most successful Christmas album in the UK.

Susan Boyle’s success is a reminder to us all that no matter what you medical (mis)diagnosis, it’s never to late to dream your own dream.

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The 7 Best Educational YouTube Channels To Help Kids Learn During the Coronavirus Outbreak

The global COVID-19 outbreak has sent millions of parents home from work and just as many children home from school. But if you’re not ready to be an overnight homeschooling expert amid the coronavirus pandemic, fear not!

These educational YouTube channels will help your kids learn all about literature, science, history, and art as you self-isolate with your family.

Science Max

Many parents think Science Max is an underrated educational YouTube channel. With a fun, hands-on, and interactive approach, Science Max teaches kids the ins and outs of concepts like tides, tension and gravity, electricity, flight, chemical reactions, and more. The channel also includes a number of science experiments you can replicate at home during the coronavirus outbreak.

Peekaboo Kidz

This fun, easy-to-follow, animated video series answers kids’ common questions about all sorts of topics. If you’re not sure to answer one of your curious child’s questions, you might want to see if Peekaboo Kidz has covered it already.

Examples of popular videos include “What is pollution?”, “What is dyslexia?”, and “How does the internet work?” The channel also includes several how-to videos on protecting yourself from the spread of COVID-19.

Lotty Learns

With nursery rhymes and games, the Lotty Learns channel teaches toddlers and preschoolers the building blocks of reading (and other important concepts, like shapes and colors). Each animated video focuses on the basics of learning to read, like phonics, letter blending, and sight words.

The Smithsonian Channel

Where better to learn about animals, history, and culture than through the Smithsonian Channel? These brief, engaging YouTube videos offer bite-sized, two-minute lessons on interesting phenomena in nature and everyday life.

Homeschool Pop

Homeschool Pop videos are produced specifically for at-home educators (which almost all of us are during coronavirus quarantine!). Ranging from five minutes to an hour, each video offers a comprehensive lesson on mostly elementary- and middle-school-appropriate topics.

Popular videos include a deep dive into Leap Year, a lesson on civil rights heroes, and an episode on Christopher Columbus. Topics range from specific math skills, like double-digit subtraction, to famous historical landmarks and iconic figures in history.


Flocabulary is sometimes described as today’s take on Schoolhouse Rock. Each video takes a particular lesson topic, from Sacagawea to hyperbole and pronouns, and crafts a hip-hop song around it. It’s ideal as a memorable supplement to literature and history lessons for kids of all ages.

The Art Assignment

The Art Assignment is a great channel to use if you want to integrate art and cultural history into middle schoolers’ or high schoolers’ homeschool curriculum.

The channel includes deep-but-digestible dives into specific paintings by artists from Frida Kahlo to Claude Monet, as well as big-picture videos on more complex, eclectic issues in popular culture and the art world, like how Instagram is changing art, why video games aren’t so bad after all, and what makes something a masterpiece.

Especially during self-isolation, you might encourage yourolder kids and teens to use The Art Assignment to get them thinking more criticallyabout the world in preparation for high school or college.

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ROBERT HARDMAN on the Corona Home Guard

ROBERT HARDMAN on the Corona Home Guard: Selfless, supportive and utterly inspiring… as the Government calls up a people’s army of volunteers, how villages are uniting to go to war on coronavirus

  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

We are now almost numb to the pace of daily developments. The graph lines of infection and mortality grow steeper as the global situation verges on the Biblical; many of our most prominent public figures are going down like nine pins; our economy lurches from one epochal blow to the next. 

As we all know, of course, the worst is still to come. All of which makes the flipside of this week’s cataclysmic news all the more important and reassuring. For what we have also witnessed in recent days is a public spirit that defies superlatives. These, too, have been scenes previously unimaginable in peacetime Britain. 

On Tuesday, not long before contracting the first symptoms of coronavirus, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock issued his urgent appeal for 250,000 volunteers. Inspired by the Daily Mail’s hugely successful campaign for NHS volunteers in 2018-19, ministers were confident they would reach their target by the end of the week.

No one imagined that they would get double that number within 24 hours. By yesterday, the number stood at more than 650,000 while the Government expects to hit 750,000 this weekend. That is ten times the size of the British Army — recruited in just four days. 

Next came that tearful but exuberant outpouring on Thursday night as millions emerged from their homes to applaud the staff of the NHS. There was nothing contrived about it; it was as though everybody’s favourite football club had won the FA Cup at the same time. 

From families bashing saucepans on the streets to solitary souls on tower-block balconies (and even a convalescent Prince Charles up at Birkhall), here was a heartfelt vote of thanks to those who will be in the frontline of the battle ahead. Yet none of this will have come as a surprise to the very considerable numbers who, unprompted, have already got stuck in. 

For a week or more now, countless bands of volunteers have been tracking down the vulnerable and pounding the streets with medication, loaves, milk, teabags, newspapers and cat food. It will be a few days yet before the Government can process, register and deploy its vast new legions of the willing. 

However, up and down the country — especially in rural areas, where people are perhaps more used to resolving community problems unaided — thousands of local groups are already up and running under their own steam. 

I have come to Wiltshire where the council has identified more than 200 volunteer groups currently acting as a delivery service-cum-helplinecum-agony aunt. Some are tiny village operations, like the one I meet in Rowde. This weekend, they should have been finalising their plans for the big VE Day village fete in May. 

‘We were going to have bunting, trestle tables, cream teas, the lot,’ says Wayne Cherry, an old soldier and fundraiser for the local Royal British Legion. 

Instead, Wayne and his antiviral comrades now spend their days planning who is going to pick up the next batch of prescriptions, who will do the next bit of shopping, who will distribute it all to those in need, who will put in a call to the most vulnerable… Rowde has two pubs, one church, a village school and 1,300 residents — but no shop, since the community store shut last year. 

Now, up to a third of the village are housebound. When the parish council held its monthly meeting at the beginning of March, it transpired Rowde is also home to a trained epidemiologist. 

Robert Hardman visits Devizes in Wiltshire to witness the Covid-19 support workers

‘She turned up at the meeting to tell us what was coming and that we really did need to start getting organised. So we did,’ says Wayne. ‘We’ve been lucky to have that headstart.’ 

A core group came together including parish clerk Rebekah Jeffries, nursery worker Lisa Wills and Wayne. Having spent his military career in the Royal Logistic Corps, rising to Warrant Officer Class 1, he was on familiar turf. 

‘The most important thing with logistics is to get a line of good quality information,’ he says. 

Within a week, the group had printed up a leaflet with details of the new Rowde Coronavirus Volunteer Group and put one through every letterbox in the village. They also recruited another 15 volunteers, from housewives to Colonel Mike, late of the Royal Artillery (who now cheerfully takes orders from Warrant Officer Cherry).

So, before Matt Hancock had even issued his call to arms, Rowde was already fully operational. I arrive to find Lisa, 43, fresh from sorting out an 83-yearold woman who had run out of blood-pressure pills — as had her chemist. 

‘We sorted it out in 48 hours,’ says Lisa, ‘but it was very stressful for her.’ 

Mrs Dorothy Hague with her groceries delivered by volunteer Cathy Stockwell 

That is why this national stampede to volunteer is so vital. It is not just about easing the pressure on NHS staff and keeping the most fragile off the streets and out of the shops. It is about removing an extra layer of worry from a cohort of society who are quite worried enough as it is. 

As a result, the mood is as positive as it can be here in Rowde. The elderly residents of Coach House Mews, for example, have taken to standing in front of their houses at 5.30 each evening for a glass of wine and a few (unshared) nibbles to boost morale (except for this Thursday when the muckspreader was out and about in an adjacent field).

I drive on through neighbouring Bromham where 100 volunteers are supporting those who can’t get out (there’s a weekly newsletter, including plenty of jokes). Nearby, in the pretty market town of Devizes, it is a similar story on a bigger scale. Here, again, the locals did not wait for the Government to get the ball rolling. For days they have had their own network of volunteers. 

‘I just felt I couldn’t sit and watch this on television. I had to do something,’ says Cathy Stockwell, 55, whom I find coming down the street staring at her mobile phone. 

Volunteer Cathy Stockwell on her way to deliver Mrs Dorothy Hague’s, 84, groceries

She has received her orders from HQ and is trying to locate Dorothy, 87, in a cul-de-sac of sheltered housing on the edge of town. Dorothy has lived alone since being widowed several years ago. 

She has requested a modest delivery of essentials — bread, butter, cheese and apples — and has left money in a bag outside her door. Cathy picks it up, walks round to Sainsbury’s and, 20 minutes later, leaves the bag on the doorstep, rings the bell and retreats. 

The smile on Dorothy’s face amply illustrates her gratitude as we chat from a very safe distance (I am not going beyond her garden gate, let alone within the regulation two metres). I ask if she has family in the area. 

‘I’ve outlived them all!’ she laughs, adding that she has a niece in London whom she talks to on the phone. Her thoughts on volunteers like Cathy? ‘They’re brilliant!’ 

One resident of the village covers his mouth with his scarf as a precaution

It’s easy to spot the volunteers here. They are the ones with shopping bags walking around purposefully rather than furtively with council-endorsed lanyards flapping around their necks. I bump in to Trish, 63, a retired school librarian, weighed down with two bags and a rucksack full of prescription drugs. 

She is taking them to headquarters where another team will arrange onward delivery across town. HQ is the handsome, Georgian town hall wherein a team of seven are manning a call centre in the grand old council chamber and sorting out distribution from the equally grand old Cheese Hall. 

It all kicked off two weeks ago after Joe Brindle, the 17-year-old son of the local vicar, decided something should be done. He rounded up a group of fellow sixthformers to start dropping leaflets around town. A core team of regulars at St James’s Church then set up a network which has reached 344 and which, for the moment, needs no further recruits. 

One of the co-ordinators, Jonathan Hunter, 52, kindly invites me in to view the scenes inside the town hall but I decline. Thus far, Devizes has had no cases of Covid-19 and, as a visitor from germ-infested London, I keep my distance from everyone inside. 

Emma Lang delivers food to elderly Poole residents, Tina Wootton, 72, and Tina’s husband Barrie, 77. She is one of the army of volunteers across the country who has helped out 

Travelling around the country this week (the media qualifies as a ‘key’ profession, though I would be the first to concede we may be towards the back of the queue), I have found an increasing wariness towards anyone from the capital. It is as well to accept it. I ask Jonathan to take a picture on his phone and send me that instead. 

I arrange to meet some of the team in the churchyard where we can all talk safely in the open air. The system is being fine-tuned all the time and now seems to operate like a sort of community Uber. Every call for help from an isolated person is taken down and despatched to the whole group via WhatsApp, citing a reference number and the relevant area of the town. 

The first available volunteer sends a private message accepting the call, goes round to get cash or a contactless card and then confirms the job is done. All have to be registered in advance. There is no time for full police checks so every volunteer has to have some sort of reference — many belong to the same church, for example. 

The volunteers span a range of skills — bankers, builders, lawyers and students — which have quickly been brought to bear. Jonathan, for example, works in retail management. Another member of the team, Eliott Wallace, 49, was looking for a new job in the health insurance sector when the balloon went up. 

A volunteer arrives with food donated to the project at the Queen’s Crescent Community Association on March 24, 2020 in Kentish Town, North London

‘Looking back, I’m rather glad I was jobless so I could get involved right away,’ he says. 

One of the early refinements to the scheme, he explains, was to contact all the local pharmacies to arrange block bookings of prescription drugs. 

‘To begin with, we had some volunteers waiting three hours at the chemist to get a prescription for an elderly person. Then they’d have to go back again with another one,’ he says. 

Now the volunteers drop off a batch of requests and turn up at the back door later to pick up all the medicines. It not only speeds things up but reduces volunteers’ exposure to the virus. Local councillor Laura Mayes was also one of the original core team in Devizes. 

Formerly an advertising executive in London — working on everything from Maltesers to Fairy liquid — she has been on the council for 13 years and is the Cabinet member in charge of public health for Wiltshire’s 470,000-strong population. She explains that voluntary operations like this are removing a huge burden from local government so that staff can keep the usual services going. 

NHS nurses and staff carry food deliveries inside St George Hospital as Coronavirus spreads

‘People will carry on having strokes and heart attacks. They are still going to be falling over inside their homes,’ she says. ‘Our care workers need to be able to focus on that.’ 

Philip Whitehead, leader of Toryrun Wiltshire Council, says there is now at least one community volunteer group for each of the county’s 215 parishes. As well planning for the rise in cases of Covid-19, he has also set up a separate ‘recovery cell’ to ensure that normality can resume as swiftly as possible. 

‘For example, I’ve asked our planning department to work through all noncontroversial planning applications right now,’ he tells me. ‘They amount to 95 per cent of the total. If we get them through now, then the building trade can get straight to work the moment restrictions are lifted. The last thing you want is a six-week time lag waiting for the paperwork.’ 

At every level here — county, town, village — we are seeing a potent blend of common sense and compassion driving the largest civic movement this country has known in peacetime. 

And it has all come about in little more than a week. This may be ‘lockdown’. But it has also unlocked something phenomenal. Back in Rowde — and everywhere else — that is surely worth a toast the next time we get to wine o’clock. 

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'The Last Kingdom' Season 4: Get a Behind-The-Scenes Look at Lady Aelswith in the New Season

Fans of The Last Kingdom can’t wait for season 4 to finally drop on Netflix. We’ve been anxiously waiting for a release date, and we finally have it. Along with it, the series has been quick to share teases for the new season before it’s released. Read on to get a behind-the-scenes look at Lady Aelswith (Eliza Butterworth).

When does season 4 of ‘The Last Kingdom’ return?

The show will return on Sunday, April 26. The news was released through the official social media accounts for the hit series and fans couldn’t be more excited about this new content. Luckily, the show’s social media has been on it and keeping fans occupied in-between seasons.

Get a behind-the-scenes look at Lady Aelswith

Lady Aelswith was King Alfred’s (David Dawson) wife and sheis the mother of the current King of Wessex, King Edward (Timothy Innes). She’sknown for being a devout Christian who is more than a little opinionated. In thenew behind-the-scenes images, Butterworth is posing as Aelswith in a few shots.Her facial expressions are slightly different in each one, yet she looks likeher usual serious self.

“Maintaining Aelswith’s composed face takes a bit ofpractice. #TheLastKingdom,” the post is captioned.

Butterworth decided to comment on the post with a hilariousmessage: “I call this look the ‘Triple S’ – SASSY. SAXON. SENORITA. 💁🏻‍♀️.”

Fans react to the new images of Lady Aelswith

Butterworth is clearly a talented actress to play the extremelycomplicated Aelswith. A lot of fans seem to dislike the character and it’smostly because of the way she treats Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon). She plays thecharacter well and people seem to notice.

One Instagram user might dislike her, but they appreciatethe actress’ beauty. “I hate her but the actress is so pretty! 🥺,” the usersaid.

Another fan hopes that Aelswith has changed this season. “Aelswith,I hope your attitude has changed in this new season..👀,” the fanwrote.

It’s hard to believe when looking at pictures of Aelswithcompared to Butterworth who plays her that they are the same person. “Honestlycan’t get over how different you look. Great actress holding that composure 👌👌👌,” a fansaid.

Fans “love to hate” Lady Aelswith. “Cannot wait. Love to hate this character. She works me up with her proper arrogance! Great job,” someone else wrote.

Others seem to wholeheartedly agree. “I hate her character,which means that she is an amazing actress,” another fan said.

Someone else is hoping Aelswith will be nice to Uhtred in season 4. “I too hate and love your character. I just wish you could be nicer to Uhtred. How many times he’s helped you,” the Instagram user commented.

Another fan of the series actually hopes something badhappens to Lady Aelswith. “This is one character I hope is killed off in season4,” they wrote.

Fans can’t wait to see Lady Aelswith and everyone else in season 4 of The Last Kingdom again when the series returns.

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Carson Daly Reveals the Inspiration Behind Newborn Daughter Goldie’s Name

Back to his roots. Carson Daly and his wife, Siri Daly (née Pinter), chose their newborn daughter Goldie’s name because of its ancestral tie to the TV host.

“In this time that we’ve had quarantined, a lot of time on our hands with our families, I just got the results of my Ancestry DNA kit that my sister got me for Christmas back not long ago,” the Voice host, 46, said on the Today show on Friday, March 27. “And it confirmed my 98 percent Irishness.”

Carson explained that he began browsing Irish names but wasn’t able to find one that caught his attention. However, the train of thought reminded him of an Irish legend.

Daly Planet Exclusive!Carson & Siri Daly (Hi! That’s us!) along with proud siblings Jackson James (11) Etta Jones (7) and London Rose (5) are beyond thrilled to announce the arrival of Goldie Patricia Daly!She was born at 4:08pm (ET) coming in at 8.2lbs & 20 inches long. Go Go and mom are doing great. The Daly family wants to send a special shout out to the incredibly brave & selfless medical staff at our hospital in New York and also the many courageous people on the front lines of this dreadful virus.We thank God not only for the safe birth of our daughter, but for their tireless work attending to so many in need. It is a bittersweet event for us as we are extremely grateful, but also mindful of this unparalleled time in our history. We appreciate your well wishes and ask that you join us in praying for the many suffering around the world. God Bless you all.

A post shared byCarson Daly (@carsondaly) on

“We had a short list of names that we liked, but nothing was sticking its neck out,” he said. “And I thought about it, you know, this is our fourth kid. She seems like the pot of gold at the end of our family rainbow.”

The Total Request Live alum asked Siri, 39, for her thoughts on the name Goldie Patricia and she was on board. Goldie’s middle name Patricia is in honor of Carson’s mother, Pattie Daly Caruso, who passed away in 2017.

“I said, ‘What do you think about Goldie Patricia?’ And that was it,” he explained. “It was just one of those things. We knew.”

Carson and Siri welcomed their third daughter on Thursday, March 26. The couple, who wed in 2015, are also the parents of son Jackson, 10, and daughters Etta, 7, and London, 5.

“Daly Planet Exclusive,” Carson wrote via Instagram on Thursday. “Go Go and mom are doing great.”

Carson also acknowledged the doctors and nurses working in New York City amid the widespread coronavirus outbreak.

He added, “The Daly family wants to send a special shout-out to the incredibly brave & selfless medical staff at our hospital in New York and also the many courageous people on the front lines of this dreadful virus.”

Carson revealed that he and the Siriously Delicious author were expecting their fourth child on the Today show in September 2019. “Siri Daly, my incredibly wife, she is gearing up for a big spring because that is when she’s going to give birth to our fourth and newest member of the Daly family,” he told his cohosts at the time. “That’s right, she’s pregnant. I love you. Have a great weekend everybody.”

The pair casually revealed that they were having a baby girl during a cooking segment on the Today show in January. “It’s a girl. That’s better than hitting one of those golf balls that explodes pink,” he said at the time.

Given the constantly evolving nature of COVID-19, UsWeekly wants our readers to have access to the most accurate resources. For the most up-to-date coronavirus information, guidance, and support, consult the CDCWHO, and information from local public health officials. If you’re experiencing coronavirus symptoms, call your primary care provider for medical advice.

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The House Has Passed A $2 Trillion Coronavirus Aid Bill

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi talks with reporters as she arrives at the Capitol on March 27.

The journalists at BuzzFeed News are proud to bring you trustworthy and relevant reporting about the coronavirus. To help keep this news free, become a member and sign up for our newsletter, Outbreak Today.

The House of Representatives has passed a historic $2 trillion coronavirus aid bill, approving hundreds of billions in support to businesses and $1,200 cash payments to most people who live in the US.

The bill is expected to be signed into law by President Trump later today.

The House passed the bill by a voice vote, which was its original plan that would have allowed members to stay home. However, Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie, who opposed the bill, attempted to force a full recorded vote.

“I came here to make sure our republic doesn’t die by unanimous consent in an empty chamber, and I request a recorded vote,” Massie said on the House floor.

For his plan to work, Massie needed to show that a majority of the House — at least 216 members — were not present. But hundreds of members had already traveled from across the country to the Capitol to block his procedural move. They gathered into the House chamber keeping as much distance between themselves as possible.

With a majority of members present, Massie’s attempt failed. The bill was passed through the House on a voice vote. The Senate previously passed the aid package Wednesday 96–0.

Massie tweeted that party leaders were blocking a recorded vote “just to insulate members of Congress from ACCOUNTABILITY.” He took heat from members of both parties, and President Trump went on Twitter to denounce Massie as “a third rate Grandstander” and “a disaster for America.” Trump called for Massie to be kicked out of the Republican Party.

The bill authorizes direct payments of $1,200 to every US resident with a Social Security number who makes up to $75,000 per year. Those who make more than that will see smaller checks, and the payments are phased out entirely for incomes over $99,000. The government will also give $500 for every child in the household.

Other provisions include $500 billion in loans to distressed businesses, $350 billion for small businesses to retain employees, $100 billion for hospitals, and $600 per week in unemployment insurance for laid-off workers, on top of state benefits, for up to four months.

Party leaders celebrated passing the legislation but simultaneously said they expect more aid will be needed as a nationwide shutdown continues for an unknown amount of time. The Senate is scheduled to be in recess until April 20.

Other key parts of the bill include:

  • A tax credit of up to $10,000 for wages paid by businesses hit hard by the coronavirus, to incentivize keeping staff on the payroll
  • More than $3 billion in emergency funding for childcare

  • Funding for states to immediately begin paying out unemployment benefits when someone is laid off

  • Allowing employers (but not employees) to defer paying their share of Social Security tax on wages; that tax would have to be paid over the next two years

  • A series of measures that expand telehealth services

  • $100 billion for hospitals and health care providers

  • A $150 billion relief fund for the states

  • $16 billion to acquire ventilators and other medical equipment

  • $4 billion for homeless assistance (although SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program formerly known as food stamps, was not expanded in the bill)

  • More on this

    • Doctors And Nurses Say More People Are Dying Of COVID-19 In The US Than We KnowNidhi Prakash · March 26, 2020
    • The Senate Is Planning To Shut Down Soon Through Late April Amid The Coronavirus OutbreakKadia Goba · March 25, 2020
    • A Single Republican Is Forcing Hundreds Of Members To Come Back To Washington For The Coronavirus Aid VotePaul McLeod · 3 hours ago
    • The Senate Passed A Massive Coronavirus Aid Package That Would Give Most Americans A $1,200 CheckPaul McLeod · March 26, 2020

    • Paul McLeod is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.

      Contact Paul McLeod at [email protected]

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