News Briefing

Daily News Briefing: NHS boss calls for tighter lockdown – SpaceX launch & Trump abandons part of lawsuit

Johnson self-isolating as week of policy announcements begins

Monday 16 November


Monday 16 November 2020 News Briefing. As of 6:30 am (GMT), these are the global active Covid-19 numbers.


Coronavirus Cases: 54,819,040

Deaths: 1,324,540

Recovered: 38,140,951

Today’s Outlook
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  • Johnson self-isolating as week of policy announcements begins
  • Hull NHS boss calls for tighter lockdown and school closures
  • Downing Street lifts boycott of ITV’s Good Morning Britain
  • Syrian FM Walid Muallem dies at the age of 79 – state media
  • Azerbaijan gives Armenia more time to vacate Kalbajar
  • India’s deadly oil well blaze extinguished after five months
  • SpaceX, NASA successfully launch first ‘operational’ private space mission
  • Trump Campaign abandons parts of Pennsylvania election lawsuit

UK’s poor GDP performance rooted in weak household spending 

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J&J to launch UK trial of its Covid-19 vaccine 

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Johnson self-isolating as week of policy announcements begins

BBC News says Boris Johnson starts his first working day in self-isolation in Downing Street after meeting with a Tory MP who later tested positive for Covid-19.

The PM said he was “pinged” by NHS Test and Trace on Sunday and told to self-isolate, but remains well.

Mr Johnson on Thursday spent about 35 minutes with Tory MP Lee Anderson, who lost his sense of taste the next day.

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Hull NHS boss calls for tighter lockdown and school closures

Sky News says the UK’s Covid-19 hotspot should have a tighter lockdown and school closures to reduce spiralling cases, Hull’s NHS boss has said.

Hull became England’s worst affected area this week as infection rates soared to well above 700 per 100,000 people.

This weekend, around 180 people are being treated at the Hull Royal Infirmary for Covid-19, with numbers expected to increase significantly in the next two weeks.

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Downing Street lifts boycott of ITV’s Good Morning Britain

The Independent says ministers will once again submit to interviews by Piers Morgan after Downing Street lifted a months-long boycott of the breakfast programme GMB.

The health secretary will appear on the show on Monday, in the first appearance by a member of the government on the programme since April.

The symbolic move could signal a new attitude towards the media in Downing Street following the departure of Lee Cain and Dominic Cummings, who were both happy to pick fights with outlets they did not like.

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Syrian FM Walid Muallem dies at the age of 79 – state media

RT News says Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem has passed away at the age of 79, SANA reports, saying that the ministry mourns the veteran politician.

The cause of his death was not immediately revealed, but back in 2014 he reportedly underwent heart surgery at a Beirut hospital. 

Muallem has served as Syria’s top diplomat since 2006 while also serving as the country’s deputy prime minister since 2012, over almost the entire nearly decade-long conflict. Back in the ’90s he was Syria’s ambassador to the US.

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Azerbaijan gives Armenia more time to vacate Kalbajar

TRT World says Azerbaijan has agreed to extend the deadline for Armenians to withdraw from the Kalbajar district as part of a Russian brokered ceasefire deal to end weeks of fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh.

“Azerbaijan agreed to prolong the deadline for the withdrawal from Kalbajar of Armenian armed forces and of illegal Armenian settlers until November 25,” foreign policy adviser, Hikmet Hajiyev, said on Sunday.

“By displaying humanity,” Azerbaijan accepted the request to leave the region, which was under occupation for 27 years, he said.

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India’s deadly oil well blaze extinguished after five months

Aljazeera says an enormous oil well fire that raged for more than five months in the Indian state of Assam has finally been extinguished, officials said on Sunday.

Engineers from state-run OIL had battled the blaze in Assam state since an explosion on June 9, weeks after the well blew out and began discharging huge quantities of natural gas.

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SpaceX, NASA successfully launch first ‘operational’ private space mission

France24 says Elon Musk’s SpaceX launched four astronauts on a flight to the ISS on Sunday, NASA’s first full-fledged mission sending a crew into orbit aboard a privately owned spacecraft.

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule, which the crew has dubbed Resilience, lifted off atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 7:27 p.m. eastern time from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

“That was one heck of a ride,” astronaut Mike Hopkins said from Crew Dragon to SpaceX mission control about an hour after liftoff. “There was a lot of smiles.”

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Trump Campaign abandons parts of Pennsylvania election lawsuit

VOA says Donald Trump’s campaign on Sunday dropped a major part of a lawsuit it brought seeking to stop Pennsylvania from certifying its results in the election, narrowing the case to a small number of ballots. 

In an amended complaint filed in federal court, the Trump campaign dropped a claim that election officials unlawfully blocked observers from watching the counting of mail-in ballots in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. 

The lawsuit now focuses on a claim that Democratic-leaning counties unlawfully allowed voters to fix errors in their mail-in ballots in violation of state law. 

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A round-up on this morning’s top stories

As well as sports phenomenon – Lewis Hamilton’s victory in the Turkish F1 Grand Prix – will push equal rights globally.  

A fabulous Formula 1 driver, an exceptional role model and  an unbelievable human being, who has symbolised hope!

Take your pick of morning Backpages, globally, and here are our top picks;

Lewis Hamilton has pledged to race on in Formula 1 and continue his fight for equality and sustainability after clinching his seventh drivers’ title. – BBC News

Lewis Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world championships on Sunday by winning the Turkish Grand Prix and said afterwards that he hoped his success as a black man in an almost exclusively white sport would act as inspiration to children everywhere. The Guardian 

World champion in congratulations

Lewis Hamilton is world champion – again. With his seventh title, the Mercedes driver draws level with Michael Schumacher. Sebastian Vettel took care of the race day scene after crossing the finish line. Spiegal


Obama says election results show nation is deeply divided

“What it says is that we are still deeply divided. The power of that alternative worldview that’s presented in the media that those voters consume — it carries a lot of weight,” Obama told CBS News’ Gayle King.

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Trump supporters harassed, attacked at MAGA march in DC amid clashes with counter-protesters; arrests made

More than 20 people were arrested amid violent clashes between supporters of President Trump and counter-protesters following the “Million MAGA March” in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.

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Police break up ‘giant’ illegal party near Paris

Police near Paris intervened to break up a middle-of-the-night house party attended by 300-400 people in a blatant flouting of health rules in the midst of the country’s second lockdown.

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Pro-EU candidate Sandu leads in preliminary results

Opposition candidate Maia Sandu holds a narrow lead over current leader Igor Dodon in Sunday’s presidential run-off election in Moldova, preliminary results say.

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Tigray Fires Rockets at Ethiopian Airports and Eritrea’s Capital

The Tigrayan regional government has fired rockets at two airports in the neighbouring Amhara region in Ethiopia with spokesman Reda asserting that further retaliation could continue and even Asmara in Eritrea could be targeted.

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Polisario Mobilises Armed Forces Against Morocco

Mohamed Salem Ould Salek head of diplomacy of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic proclaimed in 1976 by the Polisario independence fighters declared Sunday that the movement was mobilizing “thousands of volunteers” to join its armed forces.

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Iran Pounds Rebels in Second Day of Northwestern Border Clashes, State Media Reports

Iranian forces launched an artillery barrage on armed rebels in a northwestern border area, a day after three Iranian border guards were killed in the remote region where the borders of Iran, Iraq and Turkey meet, Iranian state media reported.

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South Korea mulls stricter distancing as COVID-19 takes ‘a very dangerous turn’

South Korea reported more than 200 new coronavirus cases for the third consecutive day on Monday, as the government mulls tightening social distancing to curb persistent outbreaks from offices, medical facilities and small gatherings.

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sports news

arts & ent

Lewis Hamilton celebrates his 7th Formula 1 victory - after winning the Turkish F1 Grand prix
Dustin Johnson

Lewis Hamilton to race on in Formula 1 to ‘push for equality’

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Masters 2020: Dustin Johnson wins at Augusta at record 20 under par

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I'm A Celebrity

Ellen scoops best talk show award – despite show’s controversy

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I’m A Celebrity: New series from Welsh castle

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