Daily News Briefing Video
- Boris Johnson to chair emergency meeting amid travel bans
- UK reports highest daily increase in cases as concerns grow over new virus strain
- German verdict due in deadly anti-semitic rampage
- Top Hong Kong court upholds emergency law to ban face masks at protests
- China aircraft carrier sails through Taiwan Strait raising alarm
- More than 400,000 register for vaccine in Saudi Arabia
- US Congress reaches deal on $900B Covid relief bill
- Christmas debacle caps a bad year for Johnson on Covid-19
- Pound slides lower as European borders close to UK
- Tesla’s rise made 2020 the year the U.S. auto industry went electric
- Sports Personality of the Year 2020: Lewis Hamilton crowned winner
- Rosalind Knight: Friday Night Dinner and Carry On star dies aged 87
Covid-19: Boris Johnson to chair emergency meeting amid travel bans
BBC News says the PM will chair a meeting of the government’s emergency committee later after France closed its border with the UK for 48 hours.
The move, announced on Sunday, means no lorries or ferry passengers will be able to sail from the port of Dover.
France said the action was necessary because of the prevalence of a new variant of coronavirus in the UK. EU member states are due to meet in Brussels to discuss a coordinated response.
COVID-19: UK reports highest daily increase in cases as concerns grow over new virus strain
Sky News says the UK has reported a record daily rise in confirmed coronavirus cases, with another 35,928 infections.
The update comes amid growing concern over a new variant of COVID-19 which appears to be causing a dramatic uptick in infections in London and the southeast of England, prompting the prime minister to enforce new Tier 4 restrictions.
German Verdict Due in Deadly Anti-Semitic Rampage
VOA says a German court is to hand down its verdict Monday on a deadly far-right attack in Halle last year that nearly became the country’s worst anti-Semitic atrocity since World War II.
A bolted door at the eastern city’s synagogue with 52 worshippers inside marking Yad Vashem, the holiest day of the Jewish year, was the only thing that prevented a heavily armed assailant from carrying out a planned bloodbath, prosecutors say.
After failing to storm the temple on October 9, 2019, the attacker shot dead a female passer-by and a man at a kebab shop instead.
Top Hong Kong court upholds emergency law to ban face masks at protests
France24 says the Hong Kong government’s decision to use a colonial-era emergency law to ban face masks at protests last year was both proportionate and legal, the city’s top court ruled Monday.
The ruling is a blow for democracy supporters who had been hoping the Court of Final Appeal would side with a lower court and overturn the order.
It also confirms that Hong Kong’s chief executive — a pro-Beijing appointee — has the power to enact any law in a time of public emergency without needing the approval of the city’s partially-elected legislature.
China aircraft carrier sails through Taiwan Strait raising alarm
Aljazeera says an aircraft carrier group led by China’s newest carrier, the Shandong, sailed through the Taiwan Strait on its way to routine drills in the South China Sea, China’s navy said on Monday, after Taiwan mobilised its forces to monitor the convoy.
The Shandong sailed through the Taiwan Strait a day after a US warship passed through the same stretch of sea.
More than 400,000 register for vaccine in Saudi Arabia
Arab News says more than 400,000 people from Saudi Arabia’s high-risk group have registered to receive the coronavirus vaccine through the Sehaty app, according to the Ministry of Health.
“Participants who received the first dose of the vaccine are in stable condition with no issues arising,” said the Ministry of Health spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly. “We remind all that it’s vital that everyone receives their second dose (booster shots) in order to ensure full immunity against the virus.”
US Congress reaches deal on $900B Covid relief bill
TRT World says US lawmakers reached a deal for a nearly $900 billion Covid-19 relief package for millions of Americans as the nation struggles against the world’s largest outbreak of the virus.
The agreement, announced by congressional leaders, would establish a temporary $300 per week supplemental jobless benefit and a $600 direct stimulus payment to most Americans, along with a new round of subsidies for hard-hit businesses and money for schools, health care providers and renters facing eviction.
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Lewis Hamilton named Sports Personality of the Year 2020.
One of F1’s all-time great drivers, he equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world titles with his fourth consecutive championship in 2020.
“I want to say congratulations to all the incredible nominees,” said Hamilton. “I’m so proud of what they have achieved and I want to say thank you to everyone that has voted for me.
“I wasn’t expecting this knowing there’s so many great contenders.
“I want to say Merry Christmas to everyone – it’s been such an unusual year and I want to mention all the front line workers and all the children round the world, I want you to try and stay positive through this difficult time, I’m sending you all positivity. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
“I still don’t think those penalties were necessary”: Hamilton vows he won’t be caught out next year – Racefans
RATS RICH F1 team Mercedes set to announce backing by Britain’s fifth richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe worth whopping £13 BILLION – The Sun
Hamilton exclusive: Why being F1’s GOAT isn’t the goal – AutoSport
Mercedes hail Lewis Hamilton as ‘one of greatest F1 drivers of all time’ – The Guardian
Lewis Hamilton deserves the public acclaim on SPOTY for being one of the most high-achieving sportsmen in history… but the Formula One great is still is something of an enigma to the British public – Daily Mail
In US, People Over 75 and Essential Workers Next in Line for Vaccine
An expert committee put people 75 and older and essential workers like firefighters, teachers and grocery store workers next in line for COVID-19 shots as a second vaccine began rolling out to hospitals, a desperately needed boost as the nation works to bring the coronavirus pandemic under control. – VOA
Brexit negotiations continue as MEPs’ deadline to approve trade agreement passes
Brexit talks are set to continue on Monday after negotiations failed to reach an agreement over the weekend, passing the Sunday deadline set by the European Parliament for the UK and EU to agree on a trade deal. – Euronews
Anti-Jihadist Highway Patrols Led by Activists in Northeast Nigeria
A group of government-supported activists patrolled one of the main roads in north-eastern Nigeria on Sunday. The patrols are carried out on the Maiduguri-Damaturu highway in Born. – Africanews
Yemeni riyal on rebound as people voice optimism over new government
Seoul to ban gatherings larger than 4 as South Korea reports record daily COVID-19 deaths
South Korea’s capital Seoul and surrounding areas banned gatherings of more than four people over the Christmas and New Year holidays as the country recorded its highest daily death toll from COVID-19 on Monday. – CNA