Germany is planning to extend restrictions on restaurants and hotels until Jan. 10, sources familiar with discussions between the federal government and 16 states said on Wednesday. Chancellor Angela Merkel is holding talks with regional governors on whether coronavirus lockdown measures introduced last month are enough to turn the tide. While the daily rise in infection numbers has started to fall, Germany reported its highest single-day death toll since the start of the pandemic on Wednesday and regions that had been spared the worst of the virus are seeing case numbers surge.
Indigenous people, health workers and those aged 75 years and older will be at the front of the line to be vaccinated against COVID-19, Brazil's Health Ministry said on Tuesday as it unveiled a four-stage preliminary plan for national immunization. The final stage, before making a vaccine available to the wider population, would include teachers, security personnel and first responders, along with prison staff and inmates, the Health Ministry said. The four stages would cover 109.5 million people out Brazil's total population of 212 million.
Bangladesh has begun preparations to move thousands of Rohingya refugees to a remote island off its coast, officials said on Wednesday, despite opposition from many refugees and human rights groups who have termed it an "island detention center". Bangladesh says transporting refugees to Bhasan Char – a Bay of Bengal island hours from the mainland by boat – will ease chronic overcrowding in its camps at Cox’s Bazar, which are home to more than 1 million Rohingya, members of a Muslim minority who have fled neighboring Myanmar. Humanitarian and human rights groups have urged a halt to the move, saying the island, which emerged from the sea 20 years ago and has never been inhabited, is flood prone and vulnerable to frequent cyclones, while the government has not allowed the United Nations to carry out a safety assessment.
Democrat Joe Biden is headed towards victory in Georgia in the 2020 U.S. presidential election after the state's second recount, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said on Wednesday, rejecting false claims of fraud in the election. "It looks like Vice President Biden will be carrying Georgia, and he is our president-elect," Raffensperger, a Republican, said after noting that no substantial changes have been seen in a second recount demanded by the campaign of Republican President Donald Trump.
Pfizer's Portuguese unit said on Wednesday the pharmaceutical company would be able to distribute its COVID-19 vaccine in the Iberian country three days after the European Union's medicines agency (EMA) has given it the green light. "Once approved and once we know (...) where the vaccines should be delivered, we will get the vaccines to those places in a maximum of three days," Susana Marques, medical director at Pfizer Portugal, told RTP Television.
Britain stands by clauses in legislation the government has admitted breach a divorce deal with the European Union, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday, repeating they were necessary to provide a legal safety net. The Internal Market Bill, which the government says is necessary to provide for unfettered trade between the four nations of the United Kingdom next year, is expected to return to parliament next week. The mood of trade talks could sour further if the government presses on with the controversial clauses.
Singer to be replaced by comedian Joel Dommett
Celebrating Britain's swift approval of BioNtech and Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine as a benefit of Brexit is misplaced since the vaccine was itself a product of the European Union that Britain has left, German Health Minister Jens Spahn said. Some hailed Britain's success in being first to approve the vaccine, developed by Pfizer with German biotechnology start-up BioNtech, as a pay-off from leaving the EU's regulatory orbit.
Singer is in the process of rerecording her first six albums following the sale of her masters
The first batch of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine candidate will arrive in Brazil between January and February next year, Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello said on Wednesday, with 100 million doses to arrive in the first half of 2021. "To leave things clear, in January or February, 15 million doses ... will start to arrive," he said. Although officials say they can start making COVID-19 vaccines within a year, experts say it will take at least twice as long, which could leaving Brazil reliant on imports.
Armenia said on Wednesday it had dropped some of the martial law restrictions it imposed in September when war broke out between ethnic Armenians in the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh and Azeri forces. The Karabakh conflict, which erupted on Sept. 27 came to a halt on Nov. 10 when a Russian-brokered peace deal ushered in a ceasefire. Swaths of territory in Nagorno-Karabakh previously controlled by ethnic Armenians were handed over to Azerbaijan, whose forces had recaptured some areas which Baku lost in an earlier war in the 1990s.
Egypt executed 57 men and women in October and November, nearly double the 32 people reported in the whole of 2019, Amnesty International said on Wednesday. At least 15 of those executed had been sentenced to death in cases related to political violence following what Amnesty called unfair trials, the London-based human rights group said in a report. "The Egyptian authorities have embarked on a horrifying execution spree in recent months, putting scores of people to death, in some cases following grossly unfair mass trials," said Philip Luther, Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Research and Advocacy Director.
AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli conceded that his job looked easier on the television and said he could understand why he got criticised as he returned from a COVID-19 enforced absence on Wednesday. Pioli was out of action for nearly three weeks after testing positive and was forced to watch his team on the television, giving him a fresh perspective. "Everything seems much easier from the television," said Pioli, who will return to the bench for Thursday's Europa League match at home to Celtic.
A strategic change is underway at South Korea's Hyundai. It said on Wednesday (Dec 3) it will introduce an electric vehicle-only platform early next year. And will use its own battery technology to cut production time and costs. The plan underscores efforts by the world's No.5 auto group to become a major player in the global EV market. Car makers around the world are pouring billions of dollars of investment to improve battery technology. That's kept EV prices high compared with combustion engine models. Market leader Tesla said in September it aims to halve the cost of its EV batteries and bring more production of the key auto component in-house to lower EV prices to $25,000 each. Hyundai expects its dedicated Electric Global Modular Platform will allow it to use its own battery module technology across EV models and more than halve the number of components. It's also aiming to offer a driving range of 500 kms or 310 miles or more on a single charge. That's an improvement of at least 23% from its Kona EV, the longest driving range model among Hyundai's EV lineups. However, Hyundai's said it doesn't see the need to make its own battery cells and is content with its suppliers Hyundai Motor and its sister company Kia Motors together aim to sell 1 million EVs in 2025. That would help them become the world's third-largest seller of electric vehicles.
You can choose from sturdy, reversible patterns or even create your own designs. From Good Housekeeping
Italian's late-career results disqualified for biological passport violation
Ahead of me, a pair of black-and-white spaniels sniffed their way around luggage trolleys and legs in the queue for Air France’s bag drop. Behind me, a cluster of families were unpacking and repacking their suitcases – victims of the baggage allowance rules for their respective airlines. It felt almost like a normal morning in Heathrow’s Queen’s Terminal, aside from all the masks and Covid-era signage. It wasn’t normal, of course, as today marked the return of international leisure travel for people in England, who have been under the Government’s non-essential travel ban since November 5. With flights leaving for Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong and plenty more destinations, the world opened up again to travellers – even those without a ‘reasonable excuse’ for leaving the country. But, despite this good news for eager holidaymakers and suffering travel businesses, there was little jubilation at Terminal 2 this morning, and certainly no sign of the mass exodus I saw on the last day before lockdown on November 4.
Some cats will always get up to no good at Christmas. It's totally expected!
These four ferrets are treated to a new toy - an RC Audi A8! Awesome!
Whale sharks are aptly named because they are the biggest shark species in the ocean. They are the biggest fish, and they are second in size only to a few species of whale, which are all mammals. They are gentle giants that can reach lengths of almost 17m (55 feet) and have been estimated at a weight of up to 45,000kg (100,000lbs). Despite their enormity, they pose no threat to humans and they have no intent or ability to hurt one, unless somebody was foolish enough to swim too close to the gigantic tail. When threatened, they simply outswim their adversary, or dive too deep to be pursued. Their food consists almost exclusively of tiny fish, krill, plankton, and fish eggs. They have no teeth and are incapable of biting a person. Instead, they filter water over large combs, like whales, and then it passes out the gills as the food remains inside the mouth to be swallowed. These scuba divers are studying the whale sharks in the Galapagos Islands. The videographer has followed a large, pregnant female as she casually drifts past on the ocean current. A second female appears to the left, on a collision course with the first. Like a freight train in motion, the whale sharks are much too enormous to stop suddenly. The change in fin position and body position suggests that the first whale shark is slowing as much as possible. The second whale shark passes underneath and arcs up in what appears to be an intentional contact. She then wiggles and seems to enjoy a little back scratch on the underbelly of the first whale shark. This is a very rare sight and the seasoned scuba divers are clearly excited. We can hear underwater shouts and delighted laughter as they exchange shocked looks. The diver with the video camera turns it on himself to record his own wonder and disbelief. He tries to for an "OK" sign with his hand but the fact that he is holding a Covid mask (to be worn in preparation for his return to the dive boat) prevents him from doing so and he tries for "number 1" sign instead. Whale sharks are a wondrous sight to behold, even from a distance, but to be in the presence of one, or even two, when they are almost close enough to touch is a life changing experience.