Daily News Briefing
Brief. Me - April 23, 2021 10:19 am
Budget 2021: Furlough scheme to be extended until September
BBC News says Chancellor Rishi Sunak will extend the furlough scheme until the end of September when he makes his Budget speech later.
Rishi Sunak said the scheme – which pays 80% of employees’ wages for the hours they cannot work in the pandemic – would help millions through “the challenging months ahead”.
Some 600,000 more self-employed people will also be eligible for government help as access to grants is widened.
Japanese billionaire looking for people who ‘push the envelope’ for moon flight
The Guardian says it’s the sort of chance that comes along just once in a blue moon: a Japanese billionaire is throwing open a private lunar expedition to eight people from around the world.
Yusaku Maezawa, an online fashion tycoon, was announced in 2018 as the first man to book a spot aboard the lunar spaceship being developed by SpaceX.
Maezawa, who paid an undisclosed sum for the trip expected to launch in 2023 at the earliest said “I’m inviting you to join me on this mission. Eight of you from all around the world,” he said.
Protesters shut down roads as Lebanon pound hits all-time low
France24 says protesters blocked roads with burning tyres and dumpsters across Lebanon after the currency tumbled to a new low in a financial meltdown that has fueled poverty.
“We can’t bear it anymore…The dollar is going up and they don’t care about us. They’re still dividing up their gains,” Rabih Khaled, who has been unemployed for months, said at one of the protests.
Crushed under a mountain of debt, Lebanon is grappling with a financial crisis that has wiped out jobs, raised warnings of growing hunger and locked people out of their bank deposits.
Poland’s judicial independence will be destroyed unless EU moves faster, says MEP
Euronews says Brussels needs to speed up its crackdown on Poland to avoid judicial independence being destroyed in the country, an MEP said.
It comes as the EU’s top court ruled Warsaw’s new regulations for appointing judges to the Supreme Court could violate the bloc’s law.
The regulations, introduced by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, “are liable to infringe EU law”, said the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
The ruling obliges Poland’s right-wing government to discontinue these regulations and observe the principles of judicial independence and the right to judicial protection.
Dubai expands coverage of COVID-19 vaccination program
Arab News says Dubai has expanded the coverage of its Covid-19 vaccination program, with residents aged 40 and above holding valid resident visas now allowed to register and receive jabs at any of the emirate’s inoculation facilities.
Dubai’s health authority likewise said that elderly individuals aged 60 and above with a valid resident visa issued in any emirate can register for the vaccine, provided they can prove they are residing in Dubai, according to state news agency WAM.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can also now be administered to all individuals 16 years and above, instead of 18 years, while the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine can now be injected to anyone aged 18 and above, instead of those between 18-65 years.
‘Catastrophe’ as Brazil hits record-high daily COVID deaths
Aljazeera says Brazil posted its highest number of deaths from COVID-19 in a single day as political infighting exacerbated the country’s health crisis and the pace of its vaccination roll-out faltered.
Some 1,641 people died from COVID-19 on Tuesday, according to Health Ministry data, surpassing the previous single-day high of 1,595 deaths recorded in late July 2020.
More than 257,000 people have died of the disease in Brazil, making it the deadliest outbreak in the world after the United States.
Texas becomes biggest US state to lift mask and business restrictions
TRT World says Texas Governor Greg Abbott lifted a state mask mandate and said he was authorising businesses that have been restricted because of the pandemic to open “100 percent.”
“For nearly half a year, most businesses have been open either 75 percent or 50 percent and during that time, too many Texans have been sidelined from employment opportunities,” Abbott said on Tuesday.
“Too many small business owners have struggled to pay their bills,” the Republican governor said in a speech to the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce.
“This must end. It is now time to open Texas 100 percent,” he said to cheers and applause from his audience.
UK WEATHER FORECAST
Today will be rather cloudy and dry for many with fog in places. Sunny spells for the west and south. A chance of showers for England and Wales though, some of which could be heavy and thundery.
Scattered showers in southern Britain will clear to the east as the night goes on. Patchy rain, wintry on high ground, will move south across northern and central Scotland. Murky but dry elsewhere.
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YOUR QUESTIONS answered
what happened at the capitol?
On January 6, 2021, a mob of rioters supporting United States President Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn his defeat in the 2020 presidential election stormed the U.S. Capitol, breaching security and occupying parts of the building for several hours.
After attending a rally organized by Trump, thousands of his supporters marched down Pennsylvania Avenue before many stormed the United States Capitol in an effort to disrupt the electoral college vote count during a joint session of Congress and prevent the formalization of President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory.
After breaching police perimeters, they occupied, vandalized, and ransacked parts of the building for several hours. The insurrection led to the evacuation and lockdown of the Capitol building and five deaths. – Read on
what does brexit mean?
Brexit was the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or Euratom) at the end of 31 January 2020 CET.
To date, the UK is the first and only country formally to leave the EU, after 47 years of membership within the bloc, after having first joined its predecessor, the European Communities (EC), on 1 January 1973.
It continued to participate in the European Union Customs Union and European Single Market during a transition period that ended on 31 December 2020 at 23:00 GMT. – Read on
It was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern in January 2020 and a pandemic in March 2020.
Meaning of “coronavirus” and related terminology “coronavirus” means severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)