President-elect Joe Biden has selected former Obama administration official Jeff Zients to be his White House coronavirus coordinator and former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to return in that role, Politico reported on Thursday. Politico, citing two people familiar with the decision, also said Marcella Nunez-Smith, a co-chair of Biden's COVID-19 advisory board, will play a key role in the incoming administration's response to the pandemic, focusing on health disparities. Dealing with the health crisis and resultant economic fallout is one of Biden's top priorities once he takes office on Jan. 20.
Fans will have to wear face masks when they return to Premier League grounds in small numbers at the weekend and avoid hugging each other when celebrating goals, clubs have been told. The Premier League's protocol for the return of up to 2,000 fans to 10 of their 20 venues makes clear that even though sitting outdoors does not require a face mask in the UK, fans will have to cover up inside stadiums. Fans have not been allowed in Premier League stadiums since the stoppage in March caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and all games since have been played behind closed doors.
Hundreds of British troops have arrived in Mali to join the United Nations peacekeeping mission there, which is the world's deadliest, UK officials said on Thursday. Britain already has three Chinook helicopters and 100 personnel in a logistics role in West Africa's Sahel region to support France's Barkhane operation against Islamist militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State. The UK mission to the United Nations said the latest deployment, which was first announced in July 2019, would "provide a highly specialised reconnaissance capability" to the 14,000-strong mission, known by its French acronym MINUSMA.
The shootings occurred in August in Kenosha, Wisconsin amid civil unrest sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man. Rittenhouse's lawyers have said he was helping protect property and that he acted in self defense. Rittenhouse, 17, was charged with first-degree reckless homicide and five other criminal counts related to the shootings, in which Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber were killed and Gaige Grosskreutz was wounded.
* There is no guarantee that Pfizer/BioNTech's vaccine will be distributed in English care homes but the health service is working on a solution, an official said, as total UK deaths surpassed 60,000. * U.S. President Donald Trump said he would support a coronavirus relief bill, as lawmakers in Congress seek to hammer out an agreement to help Americans hit by the economic fallout before the end of the year. * Mexico's president said he hopes distribution of Pfizer's vaccine will begin this month, a day after the government said it had agreed to acquire 34.4 million doses.
Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], December 3 (ANI): The team of elite javelin throwers including Neeraj Chopra, Shivpal Singh and Annu Rani led by coaches Uwe Hohn and Dr Klaus arrived in Bhubaneswar on Thursday to train and prepare for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics 2021.
President Alexander Lukashenko's attempts to stifle opposition in Belarus through violent repression are no longer working, giving life to a popular uprising against his rule, leading human rights activist Ales Bialiatski said on Thursday. Bialiatski, founder of the organisation Viasna that supports political prisoners, spoke to Reuters in an interview in Stockholm, where he was due to pick up the 2020 Right Livelihood Award, known as Sweden's alternative Nobel Prize. Tens of thousands have been detained and leading opposition figures were jailed or driven into exile.
Now that it's clear Joe Biden soon will be president, the fight over automobile pollution and fuel efficiency standards is likely to peter out, and U.S. consumers should see a broader selection of electric and efficient vehicles. At a board meeting earlier this week, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, a big industry trade association, recognized that change is coming. Alliance CEO John Bozzella said automakers are committed to working with the Biden administration, which will renew the fight against climate change and likely will undo gas mileage rollbacks under President Donald Trump.
Former U.S. Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton said they were willing to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus on television in order to ease any public skepticism over the safety of new vaccines. "I may end up taking it on TV or having it filmed, just so that people know that I trust this science," Obama, a Democrat who left the White House in 2017, said in an interview with Sirius XM radio that aired on Wednesday. Bush, a Republican and Obama's predecessor, is willing to get a vaccine on camera once the U.S. Food and Drug Administration grants emergency approval, according to Freddy Ford, Bush's chief of staff.
Police searching for missing British hiker Esther Dingley said on Thursday they had widened the search in the Pyrenees. Spanish and French authorities have been trying to track down the 37-year-old from Durham for over a week. The Spanish Civil Guard said they were scouring mountains surrounding the Pic de Sauvegarde where she was last seen on November 22 when she sent her partner Dan Colegate a picture via Whatsapp. From there she planned to walk between Port de la Gléré and Port de Venasque - a route of some eight miles - before hiking down from the mountains on November 25. When she was not seen for two days, Mr Colegate reported her missing on November 24, starting a huge search.
Formula E is in good shape and still attracting strong manufacturer interest despite BMW and Audi announcing their departures after next season, the electric racing series' founder and chairman Alejandro Agag said on Thursday. The Spaniard told Reuters he was talking to three other big car companies keen to enter the city-based championship. "Manufacturers come and go and make their decisions based on many different factors... some car manufacturers have been impacted very heavily by COVID," he said.
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The Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, which was recently demonstrated to have 94 percent efficacy, causes the human immune system to produce potent antibodies that endure for at least three months, a study showed Thursday.
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Strong Santa Ana winds triggered power shutoffs in California as new wildfires sparked and continued to spread on Thursday, December 3, officials said.San Diego Gas and Electric (SDGE) said it cut power to about 73,300 customers to lessen wildfire risk. The power company said on Thursday that “record” wind speeds were reported at SDGE weather stations, with the top gust reaching 94 mph at Sill Hill in San Diego County.Twitter user @Tippolphotograp said this video shows gusty wind and wildfire smoke at around 6:30 am on Thursday in Santa Ana, located in Orange County. The Bond Fire burning in Orange County grew to about 3,650 acres as of Thursday morning, fire officals said.The National Weather Service of San Diego issued a red flag warning for high wind that was in effect until Saturday night. Credit: @Tippolphotograp via Storyful
Care home residents in Scotland will receive the Pfizer Covid vaccine from Dec 14, the Health Secretary disclosed on Thursday despite senior NHS officials in England stating this had not yet been approved. Jeane Freeman said the latest data on the vaccine showed it was more portable than previously thought, despite having to be stored at -70C. Ms Freeman said this temperature posed "particular logistical challenges" when vaccinating people at or close to their homes.
Sweden is to close upper secondary schools from next week as it tried to control a surge in coronavirus infections that has led to 209 new deaths being registered in the last two days alone. From next Monday, students at the country's upper secondary schools, or gymnasiums, will no longer be taught on-site, but will instead study online from home. "You are going to need to change the way you are getting educated. I fully understand that this isn't easy, but in the current situation, it is necessary," Stefan Löfven, the Swedish prime minister, said at a press conference on Thursday. He warned students to stay home and avoid contact with those outside their households. "I trust that you are wise and understand that this is not an extended Christmas break," he said. "It's not a go-ahead for parties with friends. You are still in school and should study." Sweden's second wave came later than other countries in Europe, prompting its state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell to voice hopes that immunity might be bringing some protection. But over the past month, infection, hospitalisation and death rates have once again soared far above those of the country's Nordic neighbours, with the country registering more than 1,000 coronavirus deaths in the last month alone -- more than Finland, Norway and Iceland combined have registered over the entire pandemic. In a press release, the government said that upper secondary students would shift to online teaching from December 7th until January 6th. Upper secondary schools for pupils with special needs will not need to shift online, and students will still be able to visit their schools for national exams, some other exams, and introductory programs.
A top Indian teacher has pledged to give away half of his $1m prize money after winning an international teaching award, while the British nominee was given a special mention as a 'Covid hero'. Jamie Frost, a teacher from Tiffin School in Kingston, received a special recognition from the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize for helping young people to learn from home during the Covid-19 crisis. He won the £34,000 "Covid hero" prize for running a free maths tuition website during the pandemic in a ceremony hosted by Stephen Fry. Ranjitsinh Disale, 32, who teaches in a village primary school in western Maharashtra state, won the $1m (£750,000) award for using QR codes and other innovative teaching techniques in his lessons, which were credited with reducing student drop-out rates. Mr Disale arrived at the school - which is wedged between a cattle shed and a storeroom - in the drought-prone village in 2009. With few resources, he took on the challenge of specially learning the local language Kannada in order to translate textbooks. Mr Disale also redesigned the textbooks, embedding them with QR codes to give students access to audio poems, video lectures, stories and to set them homework. Mr Disale's school was the first in Maharashtra to introduce QR codes, and after he submitted a proposal regarding their efficacy to the state education authorities 2017, the government introduced QR-coded schoolbooks across the province for all grades. His enthusiasm led to the 100 per cent attendance of girls in classrooms, in an area where girls commonly drop out of school after getting married. He also provides online science lessons to students in 83 countries and oversees an international project building associations between young people living in conflict zones. Mr Disale’s decision to share half his prize money with the remaining nine teacher finalists will mean over £41,000 will be given to educators from Brazil, Italy, Malaysia, Nigeria, South Africa, South Korea, the US and Vietnam.
German police on Thursday raided dozens of locations and confiscated more than 330 data carriers as they searched for child pornography belonging to 56 people charged with acquiring and storing the illegal material, a prosecutor said. The raids in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia were carried out on the basis of information provided by the U.S.-based National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. German media said houses and flats were searched.
"The Masked Singer" and "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" went head-to-head on Wednesday night, with the NBC festive event coming out on top in the total viewers column. A total of 7.1 million viewers tuned in to the special, which featured the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Meghan Trainor, Earth, Wind & Fire, Dolly Parton and Jimmy Fallon. Meanwhile 6.4 million […]