Monday 28 Decemeber
News Briefing VIDEO
- Covid-19: Hospitals face ‘pressure’ as coronavirus cases rise
- Outrage in France as Muslim son of police officers roughed up for ‘un-Islamic’ behaviour after he attended Christmas party
- EU launches mass Covid-19 vaccination as new variant spreads
- Saudi Arabia extends entry ban amid threat of new COVID-19 variant
- US urges release of Hong Kong ‘speedboat fugitives’ as China trial set to begin
- Israel enters 3rd nationwide lockdown; commercial activity shuts down, schools remain open
- Trump signs $900B Covid-19 relief bill – latest updates
- Authorities say suspect in Nashville blast died at scene
- Brexit impact on food prices ‘very modest’ – Tesco
- COVID-19: Online bargain-hunters set for £2.7bn spending spree as stores count coronavirus cost
- Wonder Woman 1984: Superhero sequel nets biggest US opening since COVID shut cinemas – but fraction of usual takings
- Liverpool draw with West Brom shows effect of Sam Allardyce
UK investment platforms raise alarm on misleading adverts – FT
Brexit impact on food prices ‘very modest’ – Tesco – BBC Business
COVID-19: Online bargain-hunters set for £2.7bn spending spree as stores count coronavirus cost – Sky
With just days to go, Britain urges business to prepare for end of Brexit transition – Reuters
Covid-19: Hospitals face ‘pressure’ as coronavirus cases rise
BBC News says hospitals in the south of England say they have seen a “real rise in pressure” as the number of Covid patients receiving treatment increases.
Paramedics in London are now receiving almost 8,000 call-outs a day, with Boxing Day described as one of London Ambulance Service’s busiest in history.
The service and at least two others have urged people to only call 999 if there is a serious emergency.
Outrage in France as Muslim son of police officers roughed up for ‘un-Islamic’ behavior after he attended Christmas party
RT News says a young Muslim was attacked by fellow Muslims after he posted photos online of a Christmas party he had attended. The incident has prompted top French officials to condemn Islamic “separatism” and to pledge to keep fighting it.
The incident, which occurred in the city of Belfort, was reported by local media on Saturday. The 20-year-old victim is the son of law enforcement officers.
EU launches mass Covid-19 vaccination as new variant spreads
The Guardian says the EU has officially launched its programme of mass vaccination against Covid-19, with the goal of making shots available to all its adult population by the end of 2021.
Meanwhile cases of the new coronavirus variant first detected in the UK were confirmed in at least eight European countries, piling further pressure on the vaccine campaign to help get the pandemic under control.
Saudi Arabia extends entry ban amid threat of new COVID-19 variant
Arab News says Saudi Arabia on Monday said it was extending a ban on entry to the Kingdom by air, land and sea for another week.
In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the Ministry of Interior said the decision was a precautionary measure against the spread of the new variant of Covid-19, which had been detected in a number of countries.
US urges release of Hong Kong ‘speedboat fugitives’ as China trial set to begin
France24 says the US called for the “immediate release” of a group of Hong Kong democracy activists facing trial in China on Monday, after they attempted to escape the territory by speedboat for sanctuary in Taiwan.
Ten of the so-called “Hong Kong 12” are due in court in the southern city of Shenzhen facing charges linked to an illegal border crossing.
Chinese authorities took them into custody after their boat was intercepted on August 23.
Israel enters 3rd nationwide lockdown; commercial activity shuts down, schools remain open
The Times of Israel says Israel on Sunday evening entered its third national lockdown since the start of the pandemic to beat back a resurgence of Covid-19.
The lockdown began at 5 p.m. Sunday evening. Although declared to be two weeks with an option to extend, health officials have already warned it will likely go on for a month. Daily virus cases in Israel have been climbing upward in recent weeks, surpassing 3,000 on most days over the past week.
Trump signs $900B Covid-19 relief bill – latest updates
TRT World says Donald Trump has signed a $900 billion pandemic relief package that will deliver long-sought cash to businesses and individuals. It also averts a government shutdown.
The massive bill includes $1.4 trillion to fund government agencies through September and contains other end-of-session priorities such as money for cash-starved transit systems and an increase in food stamp benefits.
Authorities say suspect in Nashville blast died at scene
VOA says U.S. authorities said Sunday they have identified Anthony Quinn Warner, 63, as the man who blew up a motorhome at dawn on Christmas, an explosion that rocked a commercial district in the southern city of Nashville, Tennessee.
Warner acted alone, authorities said at a press conference in Nashville Sunday. A motive has not been determined, they said.
FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND SHARE WTX NEWS WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY:
Facebook – Please like our page
Twitter – Twitter updates available in English and Arabic. Please follow us and we would love to hear from you
Instagram – Follow our pages in English and Arabic
In Review: climate change 2020
While the world has been struggling to get to grips with the coronavirus pandemic, millions of people have also had to cope with the impacts of extreme weather events.
The world continued to pay a very high price for extreme weather in 2020, according to a report from the charity Christian Aid.
Against a backdrop of climate change, its study lists 10 events that saw thousands of lives lost and major insurance costs. – BBC News
Ten worst extreme weather events in 2020 cost world about $140bn, report says – Independent
Extreme weather conditions cost India $10 billion, says UK charity – Business Standard
Year of extreme weather creates confusion for Britain’s flora and fauna – The Guardian
Looking back in 2020: The world in grip of extreme weather events – Down To Earth
Climate extremes result in wildlife winners and losers in 2020 – News Chain
Wild weather, warming planet: In 2020, the fingerprints of climate change appeared around the world – Reuters
‘It’s over for us’: how extreme weather is emptying Bangladesh’s villages – The Guardian
Predictions of mass-migration due to climate change are rife, but not necessarily accurate – Geographical
Fauci: US Facing ‘Critical Time’ in Fight Against Coronavirus
Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday that the country is “really at a critical time” in confronting the coronavirus pandemic, as the number of new cases is soaring even as the first 1.9 million Americans have been vaccinated. – VOA
Thirteen detained during rallies in Belarus, says rights group
A human rights group said that 13 people were detained in Belarus on Sunday during the traditional weekend protests against President Alexander Lukashenko, who won his sixth term in office in a disputed election. – Euronews
Gun shots, attacks as Central Africans vote
With Rwandan and UN guards in tow, President Faustin-Archange Touadera was one of the earliest to cast their ballots as polls opened in the Central African Republic’s presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday. Touadera was keen to show his nervous compatriots that the vote was being held despite renewed rebel violence in the countryside. – Africanews
Turkey stokes fears of new Libya war
Fears of a new military confrontation in Libya grew on Monday after Turkey issued a direct threat to the forces of eastern commander Khalifa Haftar. Turkey is the main backer of Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, which Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) is fighting to oust, backed by Russia, the UAE, and Egypt. – Arab News