Frankie and Benny signage.

Frankie & Benny’s owner to permanently close 120 restaurants

Restaurant Group closures will also affect Garfunkel’s with up to 3,000 UK job losses expected. The owner of Frankie & Benny’s and Garfunkel’s is to permanently close up to 120 restaurants with almost 3,000 jobs losses expected as it accelerates plans to restructure under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic. The Restaurant Group, a British chain that also owns Wagamama and a number of pubs and concessions in airports, has about 600 outlets, nearly all of which closed in March under the government’s plan to prevent the spread of Covid-19.…

Read More
Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Seoul. Photo on Wikimedia Commons

South Korea returns to lockdown after new spike

Museums, parks, and art galleries will all be closed again from Friday for two weeks, with authorities struggling to identify transmission routes South Korea has reimplemented strict lockdown measures in the capital Seoul following the biggest spike of new coronavirus infections in nearly two months. Museums, parks, and art galleries will all be closed again from Friday for two weeks, health minister Park Neung-hoo said. Companies are being urged to reintroduce flexible working hours among other measures. The move follows the biggest daily increase in coronavirus cases in 53 days,…

Read More
Oscars. Photograph: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Pandemic forces Academy to break with Oscars tradition for streaming films

For the first time, and only for this year, movies that debuted on a streaming service without a theatrical run will be eligible. The Academy Awards will for the first time allow films that debuted on a streaming service without a theatrical run to be eligible for nominations, a break with tradition in direct response to the coronavirus pandemic. The Academy announced the new criteria for the Oscars in a statement on Tuesday. The change is not permanent, however, and will only apply to films released this year. The Academy…

Read More