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The Guardian
Time: Sun, 11.28.2021 08:31 PM Local file generated: Sun, 11.28.2021 06:42 PM
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Covid live news: Third Omicron case found in UK; Netherlands confirms at least 13 cases of new variant

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 19:29:00 GMT

Large contact tracing operation in Westminster; At least 13 of 61 cases on two flights into Netherlands are new variant; Austria becomes latest country to detect Omicron

China could face more than 630,000 Covid-19 infections a day if it dropped its zero-tolerance policies by lifting travel curbs, according to a study by Peking University mathematicians, Reuters reports.

In the report by the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the mathematicians said China could not afford to lift travel restrictions without more efficient vaccinations or specific treatments.

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 Covid live news: Third Omicron case found in UK; Netherlands confirms at least 13 cases of new variant


‘He’s missing’: anxious wait in Calais camps for news on Channel victims

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 16:56:14 GMT

In northern France, friends and relatives of those who died in the tragic crossing on Wednesday are desperate for answers

On Saturday Gharib Ahmed spent five hours outside the police station in Calais, desperately waiting for news. ?€?It was so cold. There was no answer,?€? he said. Ahmed was seeking confirmation that his brother-in-law Twana Mamand was one of 27 people who died in the Channel on Wednesday after the flimsy dinghy taking them to the UK sank. ?€?I want to see his body. I have to understand,?€? Ahmed told the Guardian.

Relatives of the mostly Iraqi Kurds who perished in the world?€?s busiest shipping lane spent the weekend in a state of anxiety and confusion. Ahmed said he last heard from his brother-in-law at 3am on Wednesday, around the time Twana set off in darkness from a beach near Dunkirk. After two days of silence, Ahmed travelled with his wife, Kale Mamand - Twana?€?s sister - from their home in London to northern France, arriving on Friday night.

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 ‘He’s missing’: anxious wait in Calais camps for news on Channel victims


Nobel-winning stock market theory used to help save coral reefs

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 15:00:29 GMT

Portfolio selection rules on evaluating risk used to pick 50 reefs as ?€?arks?€? best able to survive climate crisis and revive coral elsewhere

A Nobel prize-winning economic theory used by investors is showing early signs of helping save threatened coral reefs, scientists say.

Researchers at Australia?€?s University of Queensland used modern portfolio theory (MPT), a mathematical framework developed by the economist Harry Markowitz in the 1950s to help risk-averse investors maximise returns, to identify the 50 reefs or coral sanctuaries around the world that are most likely to survive the climate crisis and be able to repopulate other reefs, if other threats are absent.

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 Nobel-winning stock market theory used to help save coral reefs


‘Shocking’ that UK is moving child refugees into hotels

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 12:28:38 GMT

Children?€?s Society criticises practice of placing unaccompanied minors in hotels with limited care

Record numbers of unaccompanied child asylum seekers who arrived in the UK on small boats are being accommodated in four hotels along England?€?s south coast, a situation that the Children?€?s Society has described as ?€?shocking?€?.

About 250 unaccompanied children who arrived in small boats are thought to be accommodated in hotels, which Ofsted said was an unacceptable practice.

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 ‘Shocking’ that UK is moving child refugees into hotels


Virgil Abloh: Off-White designer dies at 41

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 19:24:40 GMT

The fashion maverick, also creative head at Lous Vuitton, had suffered from an aggressive form of cancer for two years

Fashion designer Virgil Abloh has died after suffering from cancer, it has been announced.

The 41-year-old, who was the creative director for Louis Vuitton and Off-White, was living with cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare aggressive form of the disease, according to an announcement on his official Instagram page.

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 Virgil Abloh: Off-White designer dies at 41


Iran nuclear talks to resume with world powers after five-month hiatus

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 14:28:41 GMT

Expectations of salvaging 2015 deal low amid fears Iran is covertly boosting nuclear programme

Talks between world powers and Iran on salvaging the 2015 nuclear deal will resume in Vienna on Monday after a five-month hiatus, but expectations of a breakthrough are low.

The talks could liberate Iran from hundreds of western economic sanctions or lead to a tightening of the economic noose and the intensified threat of military attacks by Israel.

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 Iran nuclear talks to resume with world powers after five-month hiatus


Lucian Freud painting denied by artist is authenticated by experts

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 07:00:19 GMT

The artist insisted he did not paint Standing Male Nude, but three specialists have concluded it is his work

Almost 25 years ago, a Swiss art collector bought a Lucian Freud painting - a full-length male nude - at auction. He then received a call from the British artist, asking to buy it from him. The two men did not know each other, and the collector politely refused, as he liked the picture.

Three days later, he claims he received another call from a now furious Freud who told him that, unless he sold it to him, he would deny having painted it.

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 Lucian Freud painting denied by artist is authenticated by experts


Brexit leaves EU-bound Christmas presents out in the cold

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 10:45:24 GMT

An increase in red tape and charges means headaches for those sending gifts to Europe

People preparing to send Christmas parcels to family and friends in Europe face being caught out by post-Brexit red tape and charges that threaten to take some of the joy out of gift-giving.

A warning has also been sounded that some of those who have sent gifts to the EU this year have encountered problems ranging from delays and unexpected charges to items going missing.

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 Brexit leaves EU-bound Christmas presents out in the cold


Czech president swears in Petr Fiala as PM behind glass screen

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 13:50:37 GMT

Milos Zeman performs inauguration ceremony from cubicle after testing positive for coronavirus

The Czech president, Milos Zeman, has appointed the leader of a centre-right alliance, Petr Fiala, as prime minister in a ceremony he performed from a plexiglass cubicle after testing positive for Covid-19.

Fiala leads a bloc of five centre and centre-right opposition parties that won an election in October, ousting the incumbent Andrej Babi? and his allies.

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 Czech president swears in Petr Fiala as PM behind glass screen


A new German era dawns, but collisions lie in wait for coalition

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 10:00:23 GMT

The ?€?traffic light?€? parties all want progress but have different ideas about what that means on business and green issues

In Unterleuten, a bestselling novel by the German novelist Juli Zeh, the inhabitants of a village outside Berlin are shocked to find out that a plot of land on their doorstep has been earmarked for a gigantic wind farm.

One of the characters, a birdwatcher called Gerhard Fliess, knows what to do: he calls an old friend at the local environment ministry to remind him that the countryside around Unterleuten is the habitat of an endangered species of sandpiper. Surely that will halt the bulldozers.

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 A new German era dawns, but collisions lie in wait for coalition


Swiss voters back law behind Covid vaccine certificate

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 15:21:17 GMT

After tense campaign, early results show about two-thirds in favour of law giving legal basis for Covid pass

Swiss voters have firmly backed the law behind the country?€?s Covid pass in a referendum, following a tense campaign that saw unprecedented levels of hostility.

Early results on Sunday showed about two-thirds of voters supported the law, with market researchers GFS Bern projecting 63% backing.

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 Swiss voters back law behind Covid vaccine certificate


How bad will the Omicron Covid variant be in Britain? Three things will tell us | Devi Sridhar

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 15:40:29 GMT

A new variant identified in southern Africa is causing global panic - but its real impact will be shown by the data scientists are racing to establish

Omicron, the name of the new Covid-19 variant that is sending worrying signals from southern Africa, sounds like something from Transformers. It has caused panic across the world, among governments, the public and the stock markets. After adding a number of southern African countries to the red list, the UK government has reimposed mandatory masks in England from Tuesday, and will require anyone travelling to the country from abroad to take a PCR test. Omicron is probably the first variant to have scientists worried since Delta became the predominant strain in every country last summer. But how bad it is? What does it mean for future lockdowns - and future deaths?

Scientists are waiting on three pieces of data before they will be able to tell what effect this new variant will have over the next six to 12 months. The first is how infectious Omicron is. Can it outcompete Delta? Earlier this year we saw another worrying variant, Beta, that luckily faded away as a result of a selective advantage in Delta that allowed it to transmit faster between people. Limited data from South Africa shows that Omicron is very infectious, but whether it will become the predominant strain remains to be seen.

Prof Devi Sridhar is chair of global public health at the University of Edinburgh

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 How bad will the Omicron Covid variant be in Britain? Three things will tell us | Devi Sridhar


Travel firms scramble to rearrange holidays amid new Covid measures

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 15:29:39 GMT

Swiss skiing holidays in doubt as country joins Spain in tightening travel rules to contain Omicron variant

Tour operators are scrambling to rearrange Swiss skiing holidays after the country joined Spain in tightening travel restrictions amid rising concerns about the spread of the new Omicron Covid variant.

From Saturday night, Switzerland mandated 10 days of quarantine for all new arrivals, in effect wrecking skiing holidays in the Swiss Alps until further notice. Travel firms are also wrestling with Spain?€?s ban on non-vaccinated arrivals that will affect British holidaymakers from Wednesday 1 December.

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 Travel firms scramble to rearrange holidays amid new Covid measures


Fauci: US could face ‘fifth wave’ of Covid as Omicron variant nears

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 17:42:47 GMT
  • Collins and Fauci emphasise need for vaccines and boosters
  • Warning that variant shows signs of heightened transmissibility
  • Coronavirus: live coverage

Joe Biden?€?s chief medical adviser, Anthony Fauci, said on Sunday the US has ?€?the potential to go into a fifth wave?€? of coronavirus infections amid rising cases and stagnating vaccination rates. He also warned that the newly discovered Omicron variant shows signs of heightened transmissibility.

As Fauci toured the US political talkshows, countries around the world including the US scrambled to guard against Omicron, which has stoked fears of vaccine resistance.

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 Fauci: US could face ‘fifth wave’ of Covid as Omicron variant nears


Channel crossings: who would make such a dangerous journey - and why?

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 07:30:20 GMT

Most of the people who reach the UK after risking their lives in small boats have their claims for asylum approved

Last week?€?s tragedy in the Channel has reopened the debate on how to stop people making dangerous crossings, with the solutions presented by the government focused on how to police the waters.

Less has been said about where those people come from, with most fleeing conflicts and persecution. About two-thirds of people arriving on small boats between January 2020 and May 2021 were from Iran, Iraq, Sudan and Syria. Many also came from Eritrea, from where 80% of asylum applications were approved.

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 Channel crossings: who would make such a dangerous journey - and why?


The world is watching: TV hits around the globe

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 11:00:25 GMT

A Spanish trans woman?€?s memoirs, a Mumbai gangster drama, Israeli sisters in trouble?€? the Covid era is a rich moment for TV drama. Critics from Spain to South Korea tell us about the biggest shows in their countries

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 The world is watching: TV hits around the globe


How settler violence is fuelling West Bank tension

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 10:00:23 GMT

As attacks on Palestinians worsen, we speak to farmers, settlers, Israeli human rights activists, and the mother of a three-year-old boy left injured in a raid

The assault was already under way when, having hastily collected her youngest child from a neighbour, Baraa Hamamda, 24, ran home to find her three-year-old son, Mohammed, lying in a small pool of blood and apparently lifeless on the bare floor where she had left him asleep. ?€?I thought that?€?s it, he?€?s dead,?€? she says. ?€?He won?€?t come back.?€?

Mohammed wasn?€?t dead, though he wouldn?€?t regain consciousness for more than 11 hours, having been struck on the head by a stone thrown through a window by an Israeli settler, one of dozens who had invaded the isolated village of Al Mufakara, in the West Bank?€?s rocky, arid south Hebron hills.

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 How settler violence is fuelling West Bank tension


Stephen Sondheim obituary

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 13:05:56 GMT
Lyricist of West Side Story who went on to write music and lyrics for acclaimed works including Sweeney Todd and Into the Woods

Stephen Sondheim, who has died aged 91, was a leading light of musical theatre over the course of more than six decades, from the moment in 1957 when he achieved renown as Leonard Bernstein?€?s lyricist for West Side Story. He went on to establish a place for himself with intelligent, unconventional works such as Company (1970), Sweeney Todd (1979) and Into the Woods (1987), which brought him a following appreciative of the new departures he made, even if his chosen path was not obvious or easy.

Sondheim saw himself as heir to Oscar Hammerstein II, who had written the lyrics for Oklahoma! (1943) and South Pacific (1949). Many expected him to revive the floundering American musical, supplying new perceptiveness, relevance and verve.

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 Stephen Sondheim obituary


Dancer, singer … spy: France’s Panthéon to honour Josephine Baker

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 14:09:32 GMT

The performer will be the first Black woman to enter the mausoleum, in recognition of her wartime work

In November 1940, two passengers boarded a train in Toulouse headed for Madrid, then onward to Lisbon. One was a striking Black woman in expensive furs; the other purportedly her secretary, a blonde Frenchman with moustache and thick glasses.

Josephine Baker, toast of Paris, the world?€?s first Black female superstar, one of its most photographed women and Europe?€?s highest-paid entertainer, was travelling, openly and in her habitual style, as herself - but she was playing a brand new role.

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 Dancer, singer … spy: France’s Panthéon to honour Josephine Baker


‘Unapologetically truthful and unapologetically Blak’: Australia bows down to Barkaa

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 16:30:31 GMT

After overcoming personal tragedy, the rapper has clawed her way back - with a politically potent debut EP dedicated to First Nations women

Baarka didn?€?t come to mess around. Born Chloe Quayle, the 26-year-old rapper was a former teenage ice addict who did three stints in jail - during her last, five years ago, she gave birth to her third child.

Now the Malyangapa Barkindji woman has clawed her way back from what she describes as ?€?the pits of hell?€? and is on the verge of releasing her debut EP, Blak Matriarchy, through Briggs?€? Bad Apples Music. She has been celebrated by GQ as ?€?the new matriarch of Australian rap?€?; and has her face plastered on billboards across New York, Los Angeles and London as part of YouTube?€?s Black Voices Music Class of 2022. (?€?I nearly fainted when I saw [pictures of it],?€? Barkaa says when we meet over Zoom. ?€?The amount of pride that came from my family and my community ... It was a huge honour.?€?)

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 ‘Unapologetically truthful and unapologetically Blak’: Australia bows down to Barkaa


Readers reply: which monarchs would have lived longer if modern medicine had been available?

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 14:00:28 GMT

The long-running series in which readers answer other readers?€? questions on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific and philosophical concepts

Which British monarchs would have survived their illness or wounding if today?€?s medical knowledge had existed then? (Bonus question: which monarchs would we have had but for illnesses that are now easily preventable?) Jane Shaw

Send new questions to nq@theguardian.com.

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 Readers reply: which monarchs would have lived longer if modern medicine had been available?


Minus 10C Arctic blast predicted as Storm Arwen rages on

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 18:21:33 GMT

Expect more wintry conditions says Met Office, after three people killed and half a million households left without power

A minus 10C Arctic blast is forecast to follow the blizzards and close to 100mph winds of Storm Arwen which left half a million households temporarily without power at the weekend and killed three people.

A cold weather alert issued by the UK Health Security Agency will remain in place until Monday after swathes of the north of England, Scotland, Wales, the south-west and the Midlands were left without electricity. Gales caused transport disruption and damage to buildings, while heavy snow led to lorries getting stuck and ploughs being used in a number of areas. The Met Office said that as the storm was clearing towards Europe temperatures would drop to the coldest of the season so far.

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 Minus 10C Arctic blast predicted as Storm Arwen rages on


Israel seals borders and Morocco bans flights as Omicron Covid fears rise

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 19:13:46 GMT

Red-listing of 50 African countries and use of phone monitoring technology among measures approved by Israel

Israel is barring entry to all foreign nationals and Morocco is suspending all incoming flights for two weeks, in the two most drastic of travel restrictions imposed by countries around the world in an attempt to slow the spread of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus.

Israel?€?s coronavirus cabinet has authorised a series of measures including banning entry by foreigners, red-listing travel to 50 African countries, and making quarantine mandatory for all Israelis arriving from abroad. The entry ban is expected to come into effect at midnight local time (10pm GMT) on Sunday.

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 Israel seals borders and Morocco bans flights as Omicron Covid fears rise


Can the Gambia turn the tide to save its shrinking beaches?

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 13:00:27 GMT

In a developing country reliant on its tourist industry, the rapidly eroding ?€?smiling coast?€? shows the urgent need for action on climate change

When Saikou Demba was a young man starting out in the hospitality business, he opened a little hotel on the Gambian coast called the Leybato and ran a beach bar on the wide expanse of golden sand. The hotel is still there, a relaxed spot where guests can lie in hammocks beneath swaying palm trees and stroll along shell-studded pathways. But the beach bar is not. At high tide, Demba reckons it would be about five or six metres into the sea.

?€?The first year the tide came in high but it was OK,?€? he says. ?€?The second year, the tide came in high but it was OK. The third year, I came down one day and it [the bar] wasn?€?t there: half of it went into the sea.?€?

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 Can the Gambia turn the tide to save its shrinking beaches?


Michael Cohen: prosecutors could ‘indict Trump tomorrow’ if they wanted

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 17:01:13 GMT

New York investigation of Trump Organization is one of a number of sources of legal jeopardy for the former president

Prosecutors in New York could ?€?indict Donald Trump tomorrow if they really wanted and be successful?€?, the ex-president?€?s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen said on Sunday, discussing investigations of Trump?€?s business affairs.

Asked if he was ?€?confident you did help Donald Trump commit crimes?€?, Cohen told NBC?€?s Meet the Press: ?€?I can assure you that Donald Trump is guilty of his own crimes. Was I involved in much of the inflation and deflation of his assets? The answer to that is yes.?€?

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 Michael Cohen: prosecutors could ‘indict Trump tomorrow’ if they wanted


Honduras presidential election: a referendum on the nation’s corruption and drugs

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 10:00:24 GMT

The next congress will have the opportunity to elect a new supreme court, attorney general and state auditors

Hondurans head to the polls on Sunday in the first general election since US federal prosecutors laid out detailed evidence of intimate ties between drug smugglers and the Honduran state.

The country?€?s past three presidents, as well as local mayors, legislators, police and military commanders have been linked to drug trafficking in what US prosecutors have described as a narco-state.

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 Honduras presidential election: a referendum on the nation’s corruption and drugs


New Zealand’s secondary art market is booming - now artists want a share

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 19:00:34 GMT

Without a resale royalty scheme, struggling artists are missing out on much needed money for their work

This month New Zealand artist Ayesha Green watched in surprise as one of her artworks fetched $48,000 at auction - $29,000 more than she sold it for just a year earlier. The hammer price was sizeable for an artist who describes herself as somewhere between emerging and mid-career, and if the country had a resale royalty scheme for artists in place, Green would have taken home a healthy paycheque to put towards her practice.

But, like all local artists whose work sells at auction, Green gets nothing.

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 New Zealand’s secondary art market is booming - now artists want a share


Australia’s Future Fund invested in weapons manufacturers that have sold arms to Myanmar military

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 19:00:34 GMT

Sovereign wealth fund?€?s holdings include 14 companies that have done business with military which has killed more than 1,200 since coup

Australia?€?s sovereign wealth fund, the Future Fund, has invested in a Chinese state-controlled weapons manufacturer that has sold combat aircraft to the Myanmar military, which is accused of crimes against humanity.

A weapons company controlled by India is also among companies the fund has invested in that are linked with the Myanmar military, documents released under freedom of information laws show.

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 Australia’s Future Fund invested in weapons manufacturers that have sold arms to Myanmar military


‘We will start again’: Afghan female MPs fight on from parliament in exile

Sat, 27 Nov 2021 12:00:03 GMT

From Greece the women are advocating for fellow refugees - and those left behind under Taliban rule

It is a Saturday morning in November, and Afghan MP Nazifa Yousufi Bek gathers up her notes and prepares to head for the office. But instead of jumping in an armoured car bound for the mahogany-lined parliament in Kabul, her journey is by bus from a Greek hotel to a migrants?€? organisation in the centre of Athens. There, taking her place on a folding chair, she inaugurates the Afghan women?€?s parliament in - exile.

?€?Our people have nothing. Mothers are selling their children,?€? she tells a room packed with her peers. ?€?We must raise our voices, we must put a stop to this,?€? says Yousufi Bek, 35, who fled Afghanistan with her husband and three young children after the Taliban swept to power in August. Some around her nod in agreement; others quietly weep.

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 ‘We will start again’: Afghan female MPs fight on from parliament in exile


‘Taste this, it’s salty’: how rising seas are ruining the Gambia’s rice farmers

Sat, 27 Nov 2021 07:15:50 GMT

The farmers, mostly women, once grew enough but must now buy imported rice as the climate crisis edges them into poverty

In the sweltering heat of the late-morning west African sun, Aminata Jamba slashes at golden rice stalks with a sickle. ?€?The rice is lovely,?€? she says, music playing in the background as her son, Sampa, silently harvests the grain. But even if the quality is high, the quantity is not.

While once Jamba could have expected to harvest enough rice to last the whole year, this year she reckons it will last three to four months. After that, she will have to look elsewhere for a way to feed her family and make enough money to live.

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 ‘Taste this, it’s salty’: how rising seas are ruining the Gambia’s rice farmers


Myanmar junta accused of forcing people to brink of starvation

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 13:58:52 GMT

Advisory group say military has destroyed supplies, killed livestock and cut off roads used to transport food since February coup

Myanmar?€?s military junta has been accused of forcing people to the brink of starvation with repeated offensives since it seized power in a coup earlier this year.

The Special Advisory Council for Myanmar said the junta had destroyed food supplies and killed livestock while cutting off roads used to bring in food and medicine.

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 Myanmar junta accused of forcing people to brink of starvation


Tanzania to lift ban on teenage mothers returning to school

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 10:10:26 GMT

Girls to have two years in which to return to school after giving birth, but will still be excluded whilst pregnant

The Tanzanian government has announced it will lift a controversial ban on teenage mothers continuing their education.

Girls will have two years in which to return to school after giving birth, the ministry of education said. However, the move is not legally binding and girls will continue to be banned from class while pregnant.

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 Tanzania to lift ban on teenage mothers returning to school


Battery power: five innovations for cleaner, greener electric vehicles

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 09:00:24 GMT

EVs are seen as key in transition to low-carbon economy, but as their human and environmental costs become clearer, can new tech help?

While the journey to a low-carbon economy is well under way, the best route to get there remains up for debate. But, amid the slew of ?€?pathways?€? and ?€?roadmaps?€?, one broad consensus exists: ?€?clean?€? technology will play a vital role.

Nowhere is this truer than for transport. To cut vehicle emissions, an alternative to the combustion engine is required.

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 Battery power: five innovations for cleaner, greener electric vehicles


Nothing can stop Iran’s World Cup heroes. Except war, of course…

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 09:00:22 GMT

The ?€?Persian Leopards?€? are going great guns on the football field, but at nuclear talks in Vienna a far more dangerous game is being played

There is a strikingly topsy-turvy, Saturnalian feel to recent qualifying matches for the 2022 football World Cup. Saudi Arabia (population 35 million) beat China (population 1.4 billion). Canada lead the US in their group. Four-time winners Italy failed to defeat lowly Northern Ireland.

Pursuing an unbeaten run full of political symbolism, unfancied Iran are also over the moon after subjugating the neighbourhood, as is their habit. Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and the UAE all succumbed to the soar?€?away ?€?Persian Leopards?€?.

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 Nothing can stop Iran’s World Cup heroes. Except war, of course…


Early action against Omicron is imperative to avoid devastating consequences | Ewan Birney

Sat, 27 Nov 2021 19:19:41 GMT

Scientists have sprung into action to identify the new Covid variant. We don?€?t yet know if it is a major threat - but we should not take any chances

It was only a matter of time before a new Sars-CoV-2 variant of concern emerged, requiring an urgent global response. It would seem that the Omicron variant, identified by scientists across Africa, including the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), poses the next major threat in the course of the pandemic. Early evidence from their genomic surveillance suggests that this new variant is a serious cause for concern and it is imperative that we act fast in response to this new information.

The variant has also been detected in Botswana and Hong Kong, and will undoubtedly continue to arise in other territories in the coming days; travel-related cases have appeared in Belgium and Israel. Two cases of the new variant have been detected in the UK at the time of writing.

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 Early action against Omicron is imperative to avoid devastating consequences | Ewan Birney


Priti Patel blames ‘evil’ gangs for Channel crossings but the reality is far more complicated

Sat, 27 Nov 2021 17:02:31 GMT

Analysis: The UK government?€?s own experts say many journeys are actually organised directly by desperate families

The government repeatedly insists that sophisticated criminal networks are driving the Channel crossings by people seeking asylum in Britain. Of all the contested claims advanced by the home secretary on the issue, it remains among the most pervasive.

True to form, in the aftermath of Wednesday?€?s drownings, Priti Patel wasted little time reiterating her determination to ?€?smash the criminal gangs?€? behind such crossings.

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 Priti Patel blames ‘evil’ gangs for Channel crossings but the reality is far more complicated


Omicron’s full impact will be felt in countries where fewer are vaccinated

Sat, 27 Nov 2021 15:04:41 GMT

Analysis: the new coronavirus variant seems highly transmissible, but the big question is whether it causes severe disease. Either way, poorer nations will be hit hardest

In early August Gideon Schreiber and a team of virologists at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel began playing around with the spike protein of the Sars-CoV-2 virus - the protein that allows the virus to enter our cells - to see if they could predict future mutations that could yield dangerous new variants of Covid-19.

At the time, Schreiber noted with concern that there were a variety of ways in which the spike protein could evolve. If all of these mutations occurred at once, it could yield a variant that was both extremely transmissible and potentially capable of evading some of the body?€?s immune defences, blunting the efficacy of the vaccines.

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 Omicron’s full impact will be felt in countries where fewer are vaccinated


Sajid Javid: Christmas will be 'great' despite Omicron variant concerns - video

Sun, 28 Nov 2021 12:45:27 GMT

Speaking on Sky's Trevor Phillips on Sunday programme, the health secretary said the government's measures, including compulsory masks on public transport and in shops, were 'proportionate and balanced'

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 Sajid Javid: Christmas will be 'great' despite Omicron variant concerns - video


Two cases of Omicron Covid variant detected in Britain, says health secretary - video

Sat, 27 Nov 2021 15:04:34 GMT

The first cases of the new B.1.1.529 Covid variant have been identified in the UK. Two people found to be infected with the Omicron variant are self-isolating, according to the health secretary, Sajid Javid

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 Two cases of Omicron Covid variant detected in Britain, says health secretary - video


State-affiliated TV purports to show Ethiopian PM on the battlefront against Tigray rebels - video

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 17:03:59 GMT

Footage purporting to show Abiy Ahmed on the battlefront of the country?€?s year-long war against Tigray forces has been broadcast, four days after he announced he would direct the army from there. Wearing military uniform, Abiy said: 'The enemy doesn't know our capabilities and our preparations ?€? Instead of sitting in Addis, we made a change and decided to come to the front'

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 State-affiliated TV purports to show Ethiopian PM on the battlefront against Tigray rebels - video


Macron attacks Johnson for trying to negotiate migration crisis via tweets - video

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 12:37:33 GMT

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, has reprimanded Boris Johnson for trying to negotiate with him about stopping people crossing the Channel in public, via Twitter. He said he was 'surprised' by Johnson?€?s decision to communicate with him in this way, because it was 'not serious'. He added: 'We don?€?t communicate by tweets'

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 Macron attacks Johnson for trying to negotiate migration crisis via tweets - video


Sajid Javid on latest Covid variant: 'Our scientists are deeply concerned' - video

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 10:09:20 GMT

The health secretary, Sajid Javid, has announced the UK will temporarily ban flights from several African countries, after the discovery of the B.1.1.529 Covid variant in the region against which vaccines might be less effective.

Officials characterise the variant, which has double the number of mutations as the currently dominant Delta variant, as the 'worst one yet'.

Flights from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Eswatini will be banned from Friday afternoon, and returning British travellers from those destinations will have to quarantine

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 Sajid Javid on latest Covid variant: 'Our scientists are deeply concerned' - video


French coastguard's mayday call after boat capsized - audio

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 20:55:08 GMT

The French coastguard mayday call emerged on Thursday after 27 people drowned trying to cross the Channel. All ships were alerted in the area about "approximately" 15 people being overboard and to report information to Gris-Nez emergency officials.

An emergency search began at about 2pm on Wednesday when a fishing boat sounded the alarm after spotting several people at sea off the coast of France. The cause of the accident has not been formally established but the boat used was inflatable and when found by rescuers was mostly deflated

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 French coastguard's mayday call after boat capsized - audio


Priti Patel says UK will cooperate with France to stop refugees crossing the Channel - video

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 16:33:21 GMT

The home secretary said it was up to France to stop refugees crossing the Channel in small boats, after 27 people, mostly Kurds from Iraq or Iran, drowned trying to reach the UK in an inflatable boat.

Making a statement to MPs, Patel said that while there was no rapid solution to the issue of people seeking to make the crossing, she had reiterated a UK offer to send more police to France.

Patel told the Commons she had just spoken to her French counterpart, Grald Darmanin, after the disaster in which 17 men, seven women and three adolescents - two boys and a girl - drowned

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 Priti Patel says UK will cooperate with France to stop refugees crossing the Channel - video






US  US NO






Peace demonstrations in the US October 26-28 2007
29.10 - 2007

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Large number of US citizens demonstrated against the war in Iraq (and the possible war in Iran) during this October weekend. Massive turnout in Boston and San Fransisco, and also in Chicago, LA and DC people took to the streets.
The message was: NO more war in Iraq! NO to a war with Iran!