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World: Pictures: students and families heartbroken after Michigan high school shooting

Slammed Nurses Brace for Omicron ‘Nightmare’ in Michigan

  Slammed Nurses Brace for Omicron ‘Nightmare’ in Michigan For the last month, medical workers across Michigan have slogged toward another holiday season defined by surging COVID-19 cases, an almost surreal descent reminiscent of the pre-vaccine era in which the state emerged as an early pandemic hot spot. Cases have spiked dramatically and hospitals across the state have been pushed to the brink. Looming mass gatherings, lax mask-mandate practices, and stagnating vaccination rates already had doctors and nurses fearing further chaos.

An army of 3,000 staff will fan out from Marks & Spencer’s head office this week with one mission in mind: meeting the Christmas boom.

Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA © Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Staff whose day jobs typically range from human resources to procurement will head to its network of stores to help pick and pack Christmas online orders.

With a shortage of delivery drivers, stock gaps and booming demand for online shopping, retailers are turning to increasingly creative ideas, from rail and air freight, cargo bikes and direct-from-store deliveries to chartering their own ships, to ensure they can meet demand at the busiest time of the year. After a lockdown-interrupted year, and with households sitting on record levels of savings, much rests on getting this right.

shooting in a high school: three students killed, six wounded with a teacher

 shooting in a high school: three students killed, six wounded with a teacher © Todd McInturf The Oxford High School High School in Michigan, where a shootout, on November 30. The United States faces a new killing in a school setting. A 15-year-old opened fire Tuesday in a high school in the northern United States, above Detroit. According to the local police, there would be three deaths among students and six wounded with a teacher.

Marks & Spencer is sending head office staff out to stores to deal with the last-minute Christmas rush. © Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA Marks & Spencer is sending head office staff out to stores to deal with the last-minute Christmas rush.

Katie Bickerstaffe, head of M&S’s clothing and home division, calls its stores a “critical part of our supply chain network for [picking up online orders]”. She said the retailer now handles 9% of online orders for its clothing and homeware business direct from 254 stores, compared with just 1% before the pandemic.

Bickerstaffe describes the system as a “genuine competitive advantage”, enabling M&S to make better use of stores and store staff during the peak shopping period.

Workers, who are typically based at its head office in Paddington, west London, normally do one or two days helping with the Christmas rush in M&S’s food department, but this year they will also do an extra day in stores, working on online orders.

‘It All Seemed Like a Movie:’ Inside the Terrifying Shooting at Oxford High School

  ‘It All Seemed Like a Movie:’ Inside the Terrifying Shooting at Oxford High School As the deadly chaos of a mass shooting unfolded at a Michigan high school Tuesday, an 11-year-old student found out from TikTok that someone claiming to be the local sheriff had tried to coax terrified students out of the safety of a classroom. A 15-year-old sophomore at Oxford High killed three people and wounded eight more in the Tuesday shooting rampage, according to Oakland County Sheriff’s Office. Tense video shows a group of Oxford High School students crouching down among their desks. On the wall near the closed door of the classroom hangs a “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster. A voice from behind the door says, “Sheriff’s office. It’s safe to come out.

Related: M&S Christmas ‘food to order’ service sells out of dozens of items

In a blog post, Bickerstaffe said: “Every year our 3,000 support centre colleagues go out into our stores to help deliver the best possible Christmas for our customers – service with a smile and a truly seamless experience. In the past the focus has always been on the final days – keeping the milk fridge full in the buzzing foodhall or being an additional colleague on the till, but part of delivering the best service now means meeting the growth of online and having orders ready quickly, so this year, for the first time, colleagues are going in to help with in-store fulfilment.”

M&S’s tactic of using stores as mini-distribution hubs, enabling shoppers to pick up orders made online locally and avoiding the need for costly lorry or van trips, has also been successfully used by other retailers including B&Q.

Michigan school shooting: Family of victim Justin Shilling loss leaves 'gaping hole'

  Michigan school shooting: Family of victim Justin Shilling loss leaves 'gaping hole' The family of one of the victims killed by a school shooter in Oxford, Michigan released a statement Friday saying the tragedy left a “gaping hole” in their family."Our hearts are broken and yet still go out to the other families suffering this very same loss at this very same moment and which is beyond imagination, nothing any family should have to endure," the family of 17-year-old Justin Shilling, who was one of the four people killed in a school shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan this week, said in a statement.

Other tactics have included chartering dedicated cargo ships to bring in goods, handing out hefty bonuses to attract and retain skilled drivers and switching to rail freight, which Tesco said had helped it keep its shelves better stocked than rivals.

Tesco is not alone. At least four new UK rail freight services a week have begun from UK ports including Liverpool and central distribution hubs such as Doncaster in the last month to service rising demand. Each carries the equivalent of 50 to 80 lorryloads of goods around the country.

Tesco began using a dedicated new train service on Tuesday, which runs from Tilbury in Essex to Scotland, carrying the equivalent of up to 40 lorry loads of goods. Last month three or four “wine express” trains began running from Tilbury and other ports to Daventry in the Midlands.

Julian Worth, chair of the rail freight forum at the Chartered Institute of Transport and Logistics, said that the new train services could carry the equivalent of about 1,000 HGV lorry trips a day.

While hold-ups with international shipping meant that the rail network handled about 5% less consumer goods in the first part of the year, compared with pre-Covid levels, Worth expects volumes to be “well up” this autumn as many more retailers, including smaller specialists, have turned to rail to solve their delivery problems.

School shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley's returning after manhunt underway, lawyers say

  School shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley's returning after manhunt underway, lawyers say Michigan authorities are asking the public to be on the lookout for the parents of Oxford High School shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley."The Crumbleys left town on the night of the tragic shooting for their own safety. They are returning to the area to be arraigned. They are not feeling from law enforcement despite recent comments in media reports," attorneys Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman told Fox News.

Related: Wine and spirits firms warn of Christmas alcohol shortage in UK

“Businesses started [considering rail transport] for decarbonisation and that has been turbocharged by the operational imperative of the driver shortage,” he said.

“Businesses have accelerated their plans for modal shift by two to three years.”

With fuel costs and staff costs on the rise, food and drink producers have also begun looking at building railway sidings or other facilities to bring goods directly to their warehouses by train.

Bottled water producer Highland Spring is building a siding at its main bottling plant in Blackford, Perthshire, while baked bean maker Kraft Heinz has tested bringing in products at night by lifting them straight from a train parked on a line that runs beside its Wigan distribution centre.

The efforts come as driver shortages have combined with poor weather and high demand during the Black Friday sales period to already cause disruption for some major retailers.

John Lewis stretched its standard delivery pledge to 10 days from the usual five days on 23 November partly because of poor weather around the country as well as heavy demand after the Black Friday discount weekend. The company said it expected to shorten delivery times after that glut of orders had been dealt with.

Michigan school shooting: Tipster led Detroit police to parents of suspect with $10K reward on offer

  Michigan school shooting: Tipster led Detroit police to parents of suspect with $10K reward on offer A tipster led Detroit police to the location of the parents of Michigan school shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley early Saturday. James and Jennifer Crumbley were taken into custody following an extensive manhunt for the couple, who had failed to appear for their arraignment on Friday. The pair – who were unarmed – "appeared to be hiding" in the basement of a commercial building at 1111 Bellevue Street and gave themselves up to police, according to Fox 2 Detroit.

The last orders date for standard delivery for Christmas is currently 20 December, which is similar to last year when the industry was under severe pressure. Click and collect orders are expected to be possible until the 23rd, although this may change depending on the progress of the pandemic.

M&S said it was experiencing delays on deliveries to some cities including Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Leeds, Sheffield and York because of problems caused by the weather.

A note on the retailer’s website said: “Due to adverse weather conditions, we are experiencing disruptions in our carrier services causing delivery delays. We are working closely with our carrier partners to get your order to you as soon as we can.”

The total volume of items being ordered online across the UK for home delivery is currently below expectations according to one major provider, as shoppers are able to visit the high street unlike last November when the UK was in lockdown.

Industry experts are expecting a last-minute flood of parcels as late deliveries of goods at ports finally arrive in warehouses and stores.

“We expect to see a lot of volume roll into the last week in December because of delays in product availability,” said Bobbie Ttooulis, marketing director for Global Freight Solutions, which provides services for online retailers.

With the rise of the Omicron Covid variant potentially prompting more people to order from their laptop, retailers will need every new tactic they can find to ensure deliveries arrive in time for Christmas Day.

Michigan school shooting suspect posted direct threat on social media day before tragedy: lawsuit .
Oxford High School shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley made threats on social media before he fatally shot four students, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday against the school district on behalf of two survivors. Plaintiffs Jeffrey Franz and Brandi Franz are suing the Oxford Community School District on behalf of their daughters, who are current 12th and 9th-grade students at Oxford High School — one of whom was shot in the neck and one of whom "narrowly escaped" bullets "discharging toward her." The complaint was filed Thursday in a Michigan district court.

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