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One dead after three-vehicle crash involving horse float near Rangiora

One person has died after a three-car crash involving a horse float just outside Rangiora in North Canterbury this afternoon.

Multiple St John, fire and police vehicles rushed to the smash at the intersection of Plaskett and Oxford roads about 3.55pm.

A spokeswoman for St John said two ambulances, a rapid response vehicle and two managers attended.

One person was rushed to Christchurch Hospital with serious injuries, while two others were also hospitalised with moderate injuries.

Police later confirmed that one person had passed away.

One of the vehicles had been towing a horse float, said a spokesman for Fire and Emergency New Zealand, which sent three crews from the nearby Rangiora station.

The horse has been removed.

Wide cordons and diversions were put around the crash site but have now been lifted.

The 100km/h stretch of road has experienced several bad crashes in recent years.


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3 Brilliant Ways to Transform Leftover Stuffing

Every year, I look forward to Thanksgiving as an opportunity to eat bread by the spoonful. That’s all stuffing is: bread, which is already delicious, made more perfect by being ripped into bite-size bits, tossed with seasonings and mix-ins, and baked until crisp on the outside but still squishy and soft on the inside. It’s forkable, ideal for sopping and ready to play nice with whatever else is on the plate.

I grew up in a Stove Top household, but fancied up, with milk swapped in for water, and seared giblets and sautéed vegetables added to the stuffing mix. It would appear once a year alongside all the classics: jellied cranberry sauce from the can, sliced thick along every other ridge; creamy green bean casserole topped with French’s fried onions; and a basket of doughy Pillsbury crescent rolls.

Over time, we’ve moved away from the traditional Thanksgiving spread, sometimes opting for roast duck instead of turkey, and losing the canned sauce for fresh cranberry-pomegranate relish. But I still love a casserole dish filled with stuffing; nothing else hits me with all the nostalgia of those cream-of-something soup years.

I also believe that stuffing is the pinnacle of Thanksgiving leftovers. Not only can you make stuffing with any bread, mix-ins and seasonings, it’s also a chameleon of an ingredient, ready to take any form you want to give it — quite literally. I’m enamored by how I can smash and squash stuffing, bend it to my will, to make something totally new. Show me a roast turkey that can do that!

Anywhere you might find bread, stuffing can step in and step it up, bringing with it a certain holiday flair. For my Thanksgiving leftovers turkey club, I press the stuffing into a big slab as thick as a slice of bread before cutting it into squares and griddling until seared and toasty. Each square then replaces the middle slice of bread in my turkey club, a distinctive divider for the rest of the sandwich layers. Everyone knows the sandwich you make the day after Thanksgiving is the best part of the holiday, and now it may be the best sandwich you eat all year.

This pressed-and-fried technique is useful beyond sandwiches. I also like to squeeze stuffing into a loaf pan, so it’s dense and thick, before chilling and cutting it into chunky cubes. I’ll fry the cubes until they are crackly and golden on the outside and tender and custardy on the inside. These delicate yet rich stuffing pieces top a salad of mixed greens and shaved crunchy vegetables that’s dressed with cranberry vinaigrette. It’s hot and cold, creamy and crisp, and a way to eat holiday food while technically also having a salad.

Anything bread can do, stuffing can do better, and this is especially true of dumpling soup. I mash leftover stuffing with a splash of turkey stock until all the big nuggets are broken up. Then I’ll stir in eggs, flour and baking powder to make a dumpling dough. I’ll simmer a simple bone broth with the turkey carcass — another hero of Thanksgiving leftovers — and then load up the soup with kale and sweet potato before dropping in dollops of the stuffing dumpling mix. The dumplings soak up the broth, growing plump and tender, while also adding body to the soup. Because the stuffing is already packed with flavor, the dumplings are too, without any extra help from you.

Regardless of what your holiday plans are, whether you’re cooking for only a few people or skipping the turkey altogether, go ahead and make all the stuffing. I will be making a family-size casserole for my teeny pod of two because I am here for the leftovers. I’ll be playing with my food, transforming stuffing into something new, and I hope you will be too.

Recipes: Best Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich | Stuffing Panzanella With Cranberry Vinaigrette | Stuffing Dumpling Soup

And to Drink …

Turkey sandwiches with cranberry? Salad with stuffing croutons? Soup? Regardless of how you decide to eat your leftovers, your best choice for wine is to finish whichever bottles were left over from the holiday feast. Just as you are efficiently creating dishes that may be even more satisfying than the original meal, why not be as economical with the wine? Whether Beaujolais, Oregon chardonnay or any bottles you were creative enough to open the night before, enjoy them in the same spirit of relief and joy that comes with a successful meal and the realization that you don’t have to do it again for an entire year. You drank all the wine last night? Then reward yourself with the beer or cider of your choice. ERIC ASIMOV

Follow NYT Food on Twitter and NYT Cooking on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest. Get regular updates from NYT Cooking, with recipe suggestions, cooking tips and shopping advice.

Source: Leftovers with Stuffing

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Covid 19 coronavirus: Jack Tame – My experience in managed isolation

OPINION:

One person from my plane tested positive for Covid-19.

We knew pretty soon thereafter. The day three test results came back and everyone in our managed isolation facility got a phone call telling them to stay in their rooms until further notice.

No walks in the car park. No trips to the nurse. The poor soul who tested positive was picked up and taken to JetPark in Auckland. The staff called us a couple of hours later and said we were good to resume our normal schedule.

I can’t say how typical my experience of MIQ was. People in different facilities in different cities have different experiences.

I was at The Distinction hotel in Hamilton, and my experience throughout the two weeks was that the system in that facility was extremely well-organised. Despite the fact everyone when I was there was from the same flight… the hotel divided us into different groups, just as it does when people from different flights have to be separated.

Every day, our dinner bag had a little piece of paper with the next day’s schedule. It would tell you what time your group could go for a walk, and what time you had to go and see the nurse to have your temperature taken. The idea was that the groups didn’t cross over each other. Despite living alongside them for two weeks, I wouldn’t recognise the vast majority of people who flew with me back home from the United States.

A couple of days after I arrived, I felt a bit phlegmy. This isn’t the sort of thing I would usually burden you with, except that it was interesting to go through the experience in an isolation facility. Basically, it was the sort of sickness I would usually expect after a month of crazy work, two elections, no sleep, and travel around the world.

Nonetheless, I told the nurses, and they immediately put me in isolation. For two or three days, I wasn’t allowed to leave my room for anything. A nurse would come up, in full PPE, accompanied by a soldier, to take my temperature and check in on me. Even though I tested negative on my day three test, I wasn’t allowed to have any washing done or leave my room until my symptoms had gone and the medical staff were satisfied.

How did I pass the time? Was it intolerably boring? This is the first question everyone asks. For me, the answer’s no. I had a bit of work to do, but in two weeks. I didn’t actually get half of the stuff done that I’d been planning.

I didn’t get through half of my reading or watch half of my shows. And I was never bored. Part of that, was the MIQ kept us pretty busy. Each of our groups was assigned two one-hour walks in the carpark every day. As well as that, you could go for a run in the morning, and at a different time every day you had to go and visit the nurse and have your temperature taken.

So, with three meals, on a typical day, my schedule might go like this:

6.30am: Wake up. 7am: Run in the carpark. 8am: Breakfast in my room. 10am: One hour walk in the car park. 12.30pm: Lunch in my room. 2pm: Visit to the nurses. 4pm: One hour walk in the car park. 6pm: dinner. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

The walking space was definitely a major bonus of our hotel. I reckon there were people from our flight who probably left isolation fitter than when they arrived. I didn’t, because I was eating everything.

The food was plentiful, hot, rich, and tasty. People in my group ordered in Domino’s pizza and KFC. The first week I got a delivery from Countdown with chocolate and lollies. The second week I was feeling a bit guilty, and got fancy yoghurt and fresh blueberries instead.

Again, I can only speak for my experience in MIQ. My auntie is in isolation in a fancy downtown Auckland hotel. She doesn’t have opening windows and she has to catch a bus to go for a walk every couple of days. That’d be tough. But here are my overall observations:

When an MIQ facility is well-organised just as mine was, there aren’t many chinks in the armour. Yes, there will always be little failings, but at no time in my two weeks in Hamilton did I see any mistake or error that I thought could spread the virus.

You’d hope that by now, most MIQ facilities had their processes down. That being said, it’s a blunt tool. One of the nurses said to me she was surprised we only had one positive case on our flight from the US, given how many cases they have over there.

So do we need to be treating people from Australia or the Covid-free Pacific Islands the same way we’re treating people from a place with 150K cases a day?

I don’t think so. I think we need to consider a more nuanced system for people arriving, depending on where they’ve come from. It absolutely makes sense for Pakistani cricketers or other people arriving from hotspots to go through the full two week MIQ.

I also think the vast majority of people going through MIQ, should feel, and do feel grateful. I know there been stories in the news with people moaning about the food and this and that. In my experience, we were treated generously and sensitively. None of us wanted to be there, but everyone got on with it and honestly – it was fine. The time went much faster than I expected.

Once the Day 12 test results were back, we only had one more night. We woke up early, each group visited the nurse, and we were allowed to sit in the massive atrium of the hotel and remove our masks for breakfast. It was the first time I’d seen most people’s faces.

The soldiers, nurses, hotel staff all said goodbye. We were the 27th flight they’d had through isolation. On Thursday morning at 7.35am, exactly two weeks since our plane landed in Auckland, we climbed on a bus and left the hotel. A Tainui representative gave us one final farewell: “Welcome to the team of Five Million.”

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3 Brilliant Ways to Transform Leftover Stuffing

Every year, I look forward to Thanksgiving as an opportunity to eat bread by the spoonful. That’s all stuffing is: bread, which is already delicious, made more perfect by being ripped into bite-size bits, tossed with seasonings and mix-ins, and baked until crisp on the outside but still squishy and soft on the inside. It’s forkable, ideal for sopping and ready to play nice with whatever else is on the plate.

I grew up in a Stove Top household, but fancied up, with milk swapped in for water, and seared giblets and sautéed vegetables added to the stuffing mix. It would appear once a year alongside all the classics: jellied cranberry sauce from the can, sliced thick along every other ridge; creamy green bean casserole topped with French’s fried onions; and a basket of doughy Pillsbury crescent rolls.

Over time, we’ve moved away from the traditional Thanksgiving spread, sometimes opting for roast duck instead of turkey, and losing the canned sauce for fresh cranberry-pomegranate relish. But I still love a casserole dish filled with stuffing; nothing else hits me with all the nostalgia of those cream-of-something soup years.

I also believe that stuffing is the pinnacle of Thanksgiving leftovers. Not only can you make stuffing with any bread, mix-ins and seasonings, it’s also a chameleon of an ingredient, ready to take any form you want to give it — quite literally. I’m enamored by how I can smash and squash stuffing, bend it to my will, to make something totally new. Show me a roast turkey that can do that!

Anywhere you might find bread, stuffing can step in and step it up, bringing with it a certain holiday flair. For my Thanksgiving leftovers turkey club, I press the stuffing into a big slab as thick as a slice of bread before cutting it into squares and griddling until seared and toasty. Each square then replaces the middle slice of bread in my turkey club, a distinctive divider for the rest of the sandwich layers. Everyone knows the sandwich you make the day after Thanksgiving is the best part of the holiday, and now it may be the best sandwich you eat all year.

This pressed-and-fried technique is useful beyond sandwiches. I also like to squeeze stuffing into a loaf pan, so it’s dense and thick, before chilling and cutting it into chunky cubes. I’ll fry the cubes until they are crackly and golden on the outside and tender and custardy on the inside. These delicate yet rich stuffing pieces top a salad of mixed greens and shaved crunchy vegetables that’s dressed with cranberry vinaigrette. It’s hot and cold, creamy and crisp, and a way to eat holiday food while technically also having a salad.

Anything bread can do, stuffing can do better, and this is especially true of dumpling soup. I mash leftover stuffing with a splash of turkey stock until all the big nuggets are broken up. Then I’ll stir in eggs, flour and baking powder to make a dumpling dough. I’ll simmer a simple bone broth with the turkey carcass — another hero of Thanksgiving leftovers — and then load up the soup with kale and sweet potato before dropping in dollops of the stuffing dumpling mix. The dumplings soak up the broth, growing plump and tender, while also adding body to the soup. Because the stuffing is already packed with flavor, the dumplings are too, without any extra help from you.

Regardless of what your holiday plans are, whether you’re cooking for only a few people or skipping the turkey altogether, go ahead and make all the stuffing. I will be making a family-size casserole for my teeny pod of two because I am here for the leftovers. I’ll be playing with my food, transforming stuffing into something new, and I hope you will be too.

Recipes: Best Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich | Stuffing Panzanella With Cranberry Vinaigrette | Stuffing Dumpling Soup

And to Drink …

Turkey sandwiches with cranberry? Salad with stuffing croutons? Soup? Regardless of how you decide to eat your leftovers, your best choice for wine is to finish whichever bottles were left over from the holiday feast. Just as you are efficiently creating dishes that may be even more satisfying than the original meal, why not be as economical with the wine? Whether Beaujolais, Oregon chardonnay or any bottles you were creative enough to open the night before, enjoy them in the same spirit of relief and joy that comes with a successful meal and the realization that you don’t have to do it again for an entire year. You drank all the wine last night? Then reward yourself with the beer or cider of your choice. ERIC ASIMOV

Follow NYT Food on Twitter and NYT Cooking on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest. Get regular updates from NYT Cooking, with recipe suggestions, cooking tips and shopping advice.

Source: Leftovers with Stuffing

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Rare albino boar that was emblem of King Richard III captured in on camera

An extremely rare white wild boar has been spotted in a Romanian forest.

Once the official emblem of King of England, Richard III, the albino boar was caught on surveillance cameras mounted in a protected area of south-western Romania’s Caras-Severin county.

Wild Caras-Severin NGO shared the stunning footage taken on November 17 of the white boar eating with others which indicates it is part of the family group.

They wrote alongside the footage: "Dear friends, as we told you on other occasions, in nature surprises do not take long to appear.

"The other day we caught a white (albino) wild boar on video. It seems that it is a rather rare phenomenon in our country, it is the second case that we have ever encountered here."

The biologist Teodora Stinculet saw the images and confirms she believed it to be an albino wild boar with the colouring created by a genetic defect.

Teodora told local media outlet Adevarul: "There are two hypotheses. One is that this is a genetic defect and the other is that it is an albino."

Although albinism can be caused by factors other than genetic mutations, which can include living conditions, diet, age, injury or disease, she speculated that "mixed parentage of possibly a domestic pig and the wild boar was probably more likely".

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She added: "Albinism is a congenital disorder characterised by the complete or partial absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes due to the absence or defect of tyrosinase, a copper-containing enzyme involved in the production of melanin.”

According to statistics published by the Ministry of Waters and Forests, while the optimal number of wild boars in Romania would be around 37,000, it was estimated that there were 117,000 wild boars in 2018 and about 99,700 in 2019.

The White Boar was the personal device or badge of the English King Richard III of England (1452—1485, reigned from 1483).

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Ancient Californian teens ‘took hallucinogens to contact supernatural’ says book

Ancient Californian teenagers ingested hallucinogenic drugs designed to help them "contact a supernatural" plane and "acquire power animals" and even visit the land of the dead, according to the authors of a new study.

Initiates of the Chumash, a Native American people that inhabited coastal regions in California including what is now Los Angeles, would enter a trance-like state thanks to psychoactive substances in the plant Datura, according to the study.

Dr David Robinson, a Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Central Lancashire, claims people ingested Datura "primarily as a way of contacting the supernatural in order to achieve certain things".

He added that people who died without undergoing the initiation ceremony were thought to be somewhat "culturally ignorant" and would find it difficult to reach the land of the dead – usually equated with travelling through the Milky Way in Chumash culture – because they lacked the secret knowledge from consuming the plant.

He added: "What they would do is they would sequester the initiates, around puberty, and they would prepare a drink called the Toloache.

  • Six young people rushed to hospital after 'taking LSD' at drug-fuelled flat party

"An elder who had experience doing this would go find the plant, and often talk to it and ask for its permission to use the plant."

He said that the hallucinogens were used so initiates could "acquire power animals" which are also known as "familiars".

"Different groups call them different things but basically, the central idea in California was that you aligned yourself, you tried to get allies in the supernatural, animals’ powers, who would then be your advocates and helpers throughout the rest of your life," he said.

Dr Robinson said the cave paintings in Pinwheel Cave, California, may have been drawn under the influence of the hallucinogenic drug.

The authors of the study, in their article, said one painting in the cave on the ceiling possibly represents the flowers of Datura.

  • College student declared ‘insane’ when he ate man’s face after killing couple

"These results confirm the use of hallucinogens at a rock art site while calling into question previous assumptions concerning trance and rock art imagery," they wrote.

Speaking about whether the pinwheel rock art image was something that people saw and drew during the trance or whether it was something that was created afterwards, Dr Robinson said: "Well, this is the debate!

"Because a lot of people think that the rock art is a reflection of what people see in trance."

Datura is used in modern medicine, most notably for its compound scopolamine, which is used to treat motion sickness, and nausea and vomiting after surgical operations.

Another compound in the plant, atropine, is used to treat lower heart rates and reduce salivation before an operation, among other uses.

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Trump 2024 warning: President won’t ‘simply exit stage’ as he prepares to overshadow Biden

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Donald Trump has said he will leave the White House if the US electoral college confirms Joe Biden’s win. This comes after a federal appeal’s court rejected attempts by the US President’s campaign to bloc Mr Biden from being declared the winner in Pennsylvania. Niall Stanage, a columnist at The Hill, spoke to Sky News about whether Mr Trump would stand again in the 2024 presidential election.

He said: “I think he will keep alive the possibility of standing again.

“Simply because he likes to be the centre of attention.

“He’s not going to exit the stage and golf in Florida for the rest of his life, in my opinion.

“But whether he will actually make a run in 2024 is more debatable.”

Mr Stanage continued: “If he ran in 2024, he would be 78 by the time of that election.

“Same age as Biden is now but is that what Trump really wants to do?

“Or does he want the TV coverage and the attention and the rallies and excitement that go with the idea that he might run?

“That is more enticing rather than the hard work of actually running.”

After having their federal appeal rejected, President Trump’s legal team says they will now appeal to the Supreme Court.

Despite hinting at a potential concession, the American leader recently tweeted: “Biden can only enter the White House as President if he can prove that his ridiculous ‘80,000,000 votes’ were not fraudulently or illegally obtained.

“When you see what happened in Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia & Milwaukee, massive voter fraud, he’s got a big unsolvable problem!”

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Experts and officials said there has been no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 US elections.

The election process was secure and voter fraud of any type is incredibly rare, according to The Associated Press and Reuters.

Courts have overwhelmingly rejected the arguments of the Trump team.

Almost 40 cases have been taken by the President and his allies.

However they have lost all but one of them so far.

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US election: Donald Trump says Joe Biden has to ‘prove’ his 80 million votes to get into White House

Mere hours after finally conceding the election to Joe Biden if the democrat won the Electoral College vote, Donald Trump has now flipped back to his previous stance and refused to acknowledge he has lost.

Taking to Twitter, Trump said US president-elect Biden could now only get into the White House “if he can prove that his ridiculous ‘80,000,000 votes’ were not fraudulently or illegally obtained”.

“When you see what happened in Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia & Milwaukee, massive voter fraud, he’s got a big unsolvable problem,” said Trump, who lost the election.

Twitter quickly flagged the tweet for contained “disputed” information.

President-elect Biden is currently projected to have received 306 electoral votes and a total of 80,026,721 public votes, while Trump received 232 electoral votes with a total of 73,890,295 public votes.

Despite the numbers and the lack of evidence of widespread voter fraud, Trump continues to make baseless accusations.

Biden will take his oath of office on January 20, in a public ceremony on the West Front of the US Capitol Building in Washington DC.

It is customary for the losing candidate to concede but it is not necessary that Trump does so in order for Biden to move into the White House.

Meanwhile Trump’s legal team has suffered yet another defeat in court as a federal appeals court in Philadelphia roundly rejected the campaign’s latest effort to challenge the state’s election results.

Trump’s lawyers vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court despite the judges’ assessment that the “campaign’s claims have no merit.”

“Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here,” 3rd Circuit Judge Stephanos Bibas wrote for the three-judge panel.

The case had been argued last week in a lower court by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who insisted during five hours of oral arguments that the 2020 presidential election had been marred by widespread fraud in Pennsylvania. However, Giuliani failed to offer any tangible proof of that in court.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann had said the campaign’s error-filled complaint, “like Frankenstein’s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together” and denied Giuliani the right to amend it for a second time.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals called that decision justified. The three judges on the panel were all appointed by Republican presidents. including Bibas, a former University of Pennsylvania law professor appointed by Trump. Trump’s sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, sat on the court for 20 years, retiring in 2019.

“Voters, not lawyers, choose the president. Ballots, not briefs, decide elections,” Bibas said in the opinion, which also denied the campaign’s request to stop the state from certifying its results, a demand he called “breathtaking.”

In fact, Pennsylvania officials had certified their vote count Monday for President-elect Joe Biden, who defeated Trump by more than 80,000 votes in the state. Nationally, Biden and running mate Kamala Harris garnered nearly 80 million votes, a record in U.S. presidential elections.

– Additional reporting: AP

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Many Americans turning to real Christmas trees as bright spot amid coronavirus

PORTLAND, Ore. — Ani Sirois, a respiratory nurse, has spent months caring for coronavirus patients at a Portland, Oregon, hospital, and she’s only getting busier as infections — and hospitalizations — surge before the holidays.

But on a recent sunny day, COVID-19 seemed far away as she, her husband and their 2-year-old daughter roamed a Christmas tree farm in search of the perfect evergreen for a holiday season unlike any other. The family was tree-shopping nearly a week before Thanksgiving and, for the first time, they were picking their own tree instead of buying a pre-cut one.

“It’s nice to have home be a separate safe space away from the hospital, and whether we can have a gathering with family or not, I know we’ll have our own little tree with the purple lights, and that’ll be something small to look forward to,” she said.

The real Christmas tree industry, which has been battling increased interest in artificial trees, is glad to see that more Americans appear to be flocking to fresh-cut evergreens this season, seeking a bright spot amid the virus’s worsening toll.

It’s early in the season, but both wholesale tree farmers and small cut-your-own lots are reporting strong demand, with many opening well before Thanksgiving. Businesses say they are seeing more people and earlier than ever.

At some pick-your-own-tree farms, for example, customers sneaked in well before Thanksgiving to tag the perfect tree to cut down once the business opened. As demand surges, big box stores are seeking fresh trees up to a week earlier than last year, and Walmart is offering free home delivery for the first time.

“The season is running approximately six to seven days ahead of what we’ve seen in the past. We’ve never seen the demand like we’ve had this year,” said McKenzie Cook, who ships between 1.8 million and 2 million trees a year combined from McKenzie Farms in Oregon and Happy Holiday Christmas Trees in North Carolina.

A number of reasons are driving the uptick in interest. More Americans are staying home for the holidays amid pandemic restrictions and are realizing that for the first time in years — or maybe ever — they will be home to water a fresh-cut tree. With holiday parades and festivals canceled, stir-crazy families also are looking for a safe way to create special memories.

Plus, fresh-cut Christmas trees are largely displayed outside, where there’s a lower risk of viral spread, said Marsha Gray, executive director of the Christmas Tree Promotion Board.

The national organization says industry research tells them many people who put up an artificial tree last year plan to buy a real tree this year, and most are citing the pandemic as the reason.

“Yes, it’s a product, it’s a decoration that you put in your home, but getting a real tree involves the choosing, the hunting for it, the family outing. It really is a memory maker, it’s a day you spend together, and it really becomes much bigger than the tree itself,” Gray said. “It’s really making family memories and people really seem to gravitate to that right now.”

The growing interest in real trees comes after the industry has struggled to attract new, younger customers in recent years as more Americans buy artificial trees.

Between 75% and 80% of Americans who have a Christmas tree now have an artificial one, and the $1 billion market for fake trees has been growing by about 4% a year — despite them being reusable.

No one tracks annual sales of real trees because independent tree lots are so scattered, but those in the business estimate about 20 million trees or more are sold each year, most of them at big box stores such as Costco and Home Depot.

Oregon, the nation’s No. 1 supplier of fresh-cut trees, expects to ship nearly 6 million evergreens this season to places as far away as Japan and China. Other top tree exporters are Washington state, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

The fresh-cut tree industry in 2018 launched a social media campaign called “It’s Christmas. Keep It Real!” to attract young families and media-savvy millennials.

This year, the Christmas Tree Promotion Board also asked Rob Kenney, creator of the “Dad, How Do I?” YouTube channel, to make an instructional video for newbies on how to shop for and put up a real tree, then keep it alive. It’s gotten tens of thousands of views.

“We want to introduce real Christmas trees to young families and new buyers and create greater demand among those people who say, ‘I’m a little nervous about just taking a tree and dragging it into my house,’” Gray said.

It appears that message is breaking through as Americans seek a happier way to close out a difficult year.

Lee Farms, a sixth-generation family farm in Tualatin, Oregon, opened for the season a week earlier than last year. It sold more than 100 trees in the first four hours and was seeing new faces at a business that normally welcomes the same customers each year.

“It’s almost a new — or a renewed — experience for a lot of families this year,” said Teagan Milera, co-owner of Lee Farms. “Having that real tree smells so good in your house, something to take care of and decorate together, that nothing beats that for the holiday season.”

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Pub punters in Tier 2 have to leave ‘as soon as they’ve finished their food’

Drinkers visiting pubs in England's Tier 2 regions will have to leave the premises once they have finished their food.

Under the new post-lockdown guidance, pubs in Tier 2 areas can only stay open if they can function as a restaurant and alcohol can only be served with a substantial meal.

And there'll be no hanging around with a pint once the meal is over, the Government confirmed on Friday.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman, when asked how long drinkers can stay in the pub after purchasing a substantial meal, said: "We've been clear that, in Tier 2 I believe, that you need to have a substantial meal if ordering any alcohol and it remains the case that the guidance says that once the meal is finished, it is at that point."

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Pubs in Tier 1 and 2 regions will be able to re-open on December 2 when the national lockdown comes to an end, while Tier 3 pubs and restaurants can only open for takeaway and delivery services.

Punters will only be able to dine with people they live with indoors, but can sit with people outside their household under the returning Rule of Six.

Venues in Tier 1 will be able to operate closer to normal with table service and social distancing being practised.

However only three regions — Cornwall, the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly — will be going into Tier 1 next week, with the vast majority of England placed in Tiers 2 and 3.

The controversial 10pm pub and restaurant curfew is also set to be scrapped, with customers given an extra hour of drinking and eating time until 11pm.

But hospitality bosses have slammed the new Covid-19 rules, claiming they will cause more jobs to be lost in the hard-hit sector.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak reportedly argued for pubs and restaurants to be removed from the tiering system on December 22, just before the start of the "Christmas bubble" system comes into effect.

But he was reportedly overruled by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Scientific advisers have insisted hospitality businesses were responsible for a significant spread of the virus after they were allowed to reopen over the summer.

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