President Trump, upset that Twitter and Facebook have been fact-checking his conspiracy theories alleging widespread fraud in the 2020 election, is attempting to strong-arm Congress into rolling back legal protections for social media companies by threatening to veto a $740 billion defense spending bill. Trump, with less than two months remaining in office before he's […]
People in Britain will be prioritised for COVID-19 vaccines according to their risk but operational practicalites could influence who gets it first, the chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation said on Wednesday. Older care home residents and their carers will be the highest priority to receive the vaccine, followed by those over 80 years of age and frontline health workers. "Age is by far the single most important factor in terms of risk from COVID-19," Professor Wei Shen Lim said at a news conference, adding there would be operational flexibility in where the vaccine could be distributed first.
Portugal's health authority said on Wednesday its chief had tested positive for the new coronavirus, but displayed only mild symptoms of the disease which has infected more than 300,000 people in the southern European nation. Graca Freitas, 63, whose daily updates on the pandemic have made her a familiar face to the Portuguese public, tested positive on Tuesday and is in isolation, the General Directorate for Health (DGS) said in a statement. Wednesday's news conference on the pandemic situation in Portugal had been cancelled, the DGS said, and authorities were now tracking those who had been in recent contact with her.
Goodbye cold, damp feet.
Lebanon wants maritime border talks with Israel to succeed and difficulties that surfaced in the last session round can be overcome, President Michel Aoun told a U.S. mediator on Wednesday, after the latest round was postponed. The negotiations between the old foes were launched in October, with delegations convening at a U.N. base to try to resolve a dispute about their maritime border that has held up hydrocarbon exploration in the potentially gas-rich area. Aoun told visiting U.S. official John Desrocher that Lebanon wanted the talks to succeed to strengthen stability in southern Lebanon and allow for oil and gas investment.
It will take until 2022 to vaccinate the whole population of Germany against COVID-19 due to capacity limits, according to the head of an expert panel that will help decide in which order people should receive the vaccine. "If you can administer shots on 150,000 to 200,000 people a day, so on five or six days a week -- assuming vaccines are available and people are willing to be vaccinated -- then you can calculate how long it will take," Thomas Mertens, head of STIKO, Germany's expert panel on vaccine use, told Rheinische Post. Germany is rushing to prepare vaccination centres across the country so it can start offering shots quickly once a vaccine has been approved in Europe.
Heavily armed bank robbers invaded the Brazilian city of Cameta just one day after criminals struck another mid-sized city on the opposite side of the country, taking residents hostage as they looted a bank. Para state’s public security secretariat said in a statement that more than 20 criminals with assault rifles were targeting a branch of the state-run Bank of Brazil in the city in the Amazon region. Video on social media showed a line of roughly a dozen hostages being led away from a square in Cameta, a city of 140,000 people, and shots ringing out in the night.
Norwegians can invite up to 10 guests in their homes on two separate occasions between Christmas and New Year, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said on Wednesday. European countries are grappling with what guidance to give their inhabitants on how to celebrate during the coming holidays while trying to limit the spread of the coronavirus. "We do not wish to start the new year with rising infection numbers and new restrictions in January," Solberg told a news conference.
Afghan government and Taliban representatives said on Wednesday they had reached a preliminary deal to press on with peace talks - their first written agreement in 19 years of war. The agreement, while only laying out modalities for further discussions, is considered a major breakthrough because it will allow negotiators to move on to more substantive issues, including talks on a ceasefire. "The procedure including its preamble of the negotiation has been finalised and from now on, the negotiation will begin on the agenda," Nader Nadery, a member of the Afghan government's negotiating team, told Reuters.
Bananeira Filmes’ Vania Catani, a producer on Lucrecia Martel’s “Zama” and Lisandro Alonso’s “Eureka,” is set to produce Anne Guimaraes’ “Super Powers,” as Catani primes films from leading lights in Brazil’s youngest generation of emerging female filmmakers. Two titles from such directors - Flavia Neves, with Primer Corte’s “Fogaréu” and Monica Demes’ with “Requiem for […]
"I've never laughed so much at This Morning in my life."
The governors of five Republican states are ready to fight Democratic President-elect Joe Biden if he tries to require the power sector to slash greenhouse gas emissions. The litigious stance reflects just one of the many obstacles Biden will face as he seeks to deliver on a campaign promise to bring the U.S. economy to net zero emissions by 2050 to combat climate change. Biden's pledge includes a goal of cutting net emissions from the power sector – a top source of nationwide greenhouse gases - to zero by 2035, though the president-elect has yet to detail how he intends to make it happen.
European Union lawmakers on Wednesday voted in favor of a “right to disconnect” from the internet and email, with around one third of people now working from home across the 27-nation bloc due in large part to coronavirus restrictions. In a resolution, the parliamentarians argue that disconnecting from work should be a fundamental right and they want the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, to draw up rules allowing people to take time out from the pressures of working at home. “The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we work and we must update our rules to catch up with the new reality,” said Maltese Socialist lawmaker Alex Agius Saliba, who led work on the resolution.
With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across its shores earlier this year, the U.S. government in April announced orders for almost $3 billion of ventilators for a national stockpile, meant to save Americans suffering from severe respiratory problems brought on by the disease. But of the 140,000 machines added since then by the government to the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile, almost half were basic breathing devices that don’t meet what medical specialists say are the minimum requirements for ventilators needed to treat Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, the main cause of death among COVID-19 patients, according to a Reuters review of publicly-available device specifications and interviews with doctors and industry executives. Only about 10% are full intensive care unit (ICU) ventilators of a type that doctors and ventilator specialists say they would normally use to intubate patients suffering from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome or ARDS, the Reuters review found.
Britain’s battered pub trade re-opens for business…
Give yourself the gift of festive cheer this holiday season and watch one of the best Christmas movies of all time
Lebanon’s president said Wednesday he wants maritime border talks with Israel to succeed and that disagreements during the last round of negotiations can be resolved based on international law. President Michel Aoun spoke during a meeting with John Desrocher, the U.S. mediator for the negotiations, who was in Beirut for discussions with Lebanese leaders. During the second round of the talks the Lebanese delegation — a mix of army officers and experts — offered a new map that pushes for an additional 1,430 square kilometers (550 square miles).
Prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong was sentenced to over a year in jail on Wednesday, after pleading guilty to organizing and inciting an unlawful protest last year. The sentencing comes as government critics say Beijing is intensifying its crackdown on Hong Kong's opposition and wide-ranging freedoms, guaranteed by the 1997 handover of the former British colony. Authorities in China and Hong Kong reject that assessment. The protest in question, near Hong Kong's police headquarters last June, came when the city's sometimes violent pro-democracy rallies were already in full swing. Wong's long-time colleagues Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam were sentenced to ten and seven months, respectively, on charges linked to the same siege. Wong first rose to prominence during the city's pro-democracy Umbrella Movement in 2014, and his continued activism has drawn the wrath of Beijing. Wong disbanded his pro-democracy group Demosisto just hours after China's parliament passed a sweeping national security law for Hong Kong this summer. Under the new law, any activity Beijing considers subversion, secession, terrorism, or collusion could be punished by up to life in prison.
A Hong Kong pro-democracy activist who is visiting Denmark urged European nations on Wednesday to allow protesters in Hong Kong "a safe haven from the terror” of China's Communist Party. “The situation in Hong Kong is getting worse by the day and it is important that the world knows that Hong Kong is no longer a free city,” Ted Hui said in an email to The Associated Press.
Having premiered in San Sebastian’s Culinary Zinema and passed through Canada’s Devour Film Festival, Festimania Films’ latest documentary -after Pedro Peiras’ ‘LA QueenCiañera’ - introduces the viewer to Catalan cuisine through an almost baroque structure that pivots around its two main characters, Raül Balam and his mother, Carmen Ruscalleda, the latter being one of the […]