The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Thursday refused to hear President Donald Trump’s lawsuit attempting to overturn his loss to Democrat Joe Biden in the battleground state, saying the case must first wind its way through lower courts. Judges in multiple battleground states have rejected his claims of fraud or irregularities. Trump had asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to disqualify more than 221,000 ballots in the state’s two biggest Democratic counties, alleging irregularities in the way absentee ballots were administered.
France will ensure free COVID-19 vaccinations for all who are in its social security system and has earmarked 1.5 billion euros of next year's social security budget to cover the cost, Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Thursday. Castex said the vaccination campaign would begin in a matter of weeks, pending regulatory approval by the European Medicines Agency. "The vaccination will be free for all," Castex told a press conference.
Romanians vote in a parliamentary election on Sunday with rural voters' anger over coronavirus restrictions set to complicate efforts by its centrist prime minister to restore judicial independence and the country's reputation among investors. Limits put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus have angered many farmers, a key constituency in the largely-agricultural eastern European state, swelling support for the leftist PSD party that now controls parliament. In power for a year despite his opponents' parliamentary strength, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban has pledged to overturn years of efforts by leftist-led cabinets to take control of courts amid allegations of corruption and misuse of funds.
Iran is ready to engage in further prisoner swaps after last week exchanging a jailed British-Australian academic with three Iranians detained abroad, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday. "We can always engage in that, it is in the interests of everybody," Zarif told an Italian diplomatic conference speaking via video-link. Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a specialist in Middle East politics at the University of Melbourne, had been serving a 10-year sentence for alleged espionage when she was freed on Nov. 25.
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.
Universities must stagger the return of students over five weeks after the Christmas break, according to official guidance. Coronavirus tests should be offered to all students when they return to campus in the new year to identify any asymptomatic cases. Medical students and those on placements or practical courses with a need for in-person teaching in England should return to university between January 4 and January 18, according to the Department for Education (DfE) guidance. But the remaining students should be offered online lessons from the beginning of term to protect students, staff and local communities. They will be allowed to return to their university gradually over a two-week period from January 25, the DfE has said. The guidance has been published hours before the start of the "travel window" in England - where students can return to their families for Christmas. Many universities are rolling out mass asymptomatic coronavirus testing this week in a bid to get students home safely ahead of the festive break. The DfE has now said all students should be offered Covid-19 asymptomatic tests when they return to university in the new year. All universities will be offered testing facilities to give students two rapid lateral flow tests, three days apart, to control the spread of the virus. Students should restrict contact in the period between their tests - and if they receive a positive test they will have to self-isolate in their accommodation, the DfE said. The Government has also announced a one-off fund of up to £20 million to help students most in need of support in these exceptional circumstances. Michelle Donelan, the universities minister, said: "The health and wellbeing of students, staff and local communities is always our primary concern and this plan will enable a safer return for all students. But we must do this in a way which minimises the risk of transmission. "I know students have had to make sacrifices this year and have faced a number of challenges, but this staggered return will help to protect students, staff and communities." The DfE has said universities should also consider prioritising students who may need to return to campus earlier for other reasons - such as those who do not have access to appropriate accommodation or study space. Students who have spent the winter break in Tier 3 areas where mass community testing is on offer should take a test before travelling back to university if possible, the Government has suggested. A spokesman for Universities UK, which represents vice-Chancellors, said: "While January will undoubtedly be challenging for the country, a staggered approach will allow enhanced testing capacity to be maximised so that Covid-safe in-person teaching can begin at the start of term for some students, and shortly after for others. "Universities now need further clarity from the Government on how they will be supported to deliver testing in the new year, given the significant resource requirements associated with the pilots so far."
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.
Video shows the moment the receiver of the telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico fell and damaged the reflector dish on December 1.In the video, recorded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the receiver can be seen starting to fall toward the ground as cables snap, spraying debris into the air.Another angle, filmed by the observatory’s drone, shows the wires and debris breaking away up close. The drone then retreats and swings around to view the reflector dish, fallen platform, and other damage below.The NSF reported the instrument platform of the Arecibo Observatory telescope, the second-largest single-dish radio telescope in the world according to space.com, fell on December 1.No injuries were reported on the date of the collapse. Credit: National Science Foundation via Storyful
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.
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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.
Eton College should admit girls, the Education Secretary has said, adding that this would be a “good step forward”. Gavin Williamson said he would be “very much in favour” of the 580-year-old institution admitting female students, after being asked whether this would “sort out their problems”. His remarks came amid a free speech row at the school where a Master has been dismissed for gross misconduct after recording a lecture which questioned "current radical feminist orthodoxy". The controversial lecture was part of the Perspectives course taken by older students to encourage them to think critically about subjects of public debate. Mr Knowland alleged that he was banned from delivering the lecture to pupils and then dismissed after he refused to remove a video of the lecture from his personal YouTube channel. But Eton College has said that the dismissal was “not a matter of free speech” and instead one of “internal discipline”. A spokesman for the school said the Head Master was left with "no choice" but to fire Mr Knowland after he "persistently refused" to remove a video of his lecture from the internet. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Williamson said that he is a “great believer in freedom of speech” but added that he did not want to comment on a school’s ongoing disciplinary procedure. On Thursday Downing Street distanced itself from the claim that Eton College should admit girls, stating that single sex schools were an "important part of our education system." A spokesman for the Prime Minister, who is a former pupil at the school, said: "It is a matter for Eton as an independent school, responsible for its own admissions policy. "What is important is that we have more good schools for children across the whole country, regardless of gender, background of where they live. "Broadly, on single sex education, we have said consistently that single sex schools are an important part of our diverse education system and it's right that parents have the opportunity to make decisions about the type of school that their children attend." Mr Johnson’s spokesman added that Eton chose to become a mixed sex school the Government would support it. Pupils have launched a petition calling on the Head Master to reinstate Mr Knowland, and accusing the school of "institutional bullying". Earlier this week, an Eton College Master broke ranks to attack the school’s “indoctrination” of students. Dr Luke Martin, who teaches Divinity at the £42,500-year-old institution, recently stood down from his role as the Master in Charge of Perspectives. In a letter to the school's vice-provost, he said he is beginning to “lose faith” in Eton’s ability to promote independent thinking among its pupils. Mr Knowland's appeal against his dismissal will be considered by an internal panel next week. Eton College's provost has recused himself from the panel after publicly backing the school’s headmaster. Baron Waldegrave of North Hill, has written to parents to explain: “It is not about free speech within the law, behind which Eton stands four-square. It is about a matter of internal discipline, quite properly now subject to appeal “Eton now, as in the past, is a school which prides itself on encouraging open-minded, independent and critical thinking.” A spokesman for Eton College said the school has no plans to admit girls. They said that since the vice-provost is chairing Mr Knowland’s appeal panel he cannot comment on the contents of Dr Martin's letter.
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.
Their pups will approve too. 🐶From Country Living