- Jersey to enter ‘hospitality circuit breaker’ until 4 January.
- Boris Johnson warns of ‘immense logistical challenges’ in distributing vaccine.
- Ex-French leader Valery Giscard d’Estaing dies at age 94.
- Cyclone hits Sri Lanka as southern India hunkers down.
- US to draw down staff from Baghdad embassy amid ‘security concerns’ as anniversary of Soleimani assassination draws near – reports.
- Rights groups urge Bangladesh to halt Rohingya relocation.
- UAE launches satellite to celebrate National Day
Jersey to enter ‘hospitality circuit breaker’ until 4 January
BBC News says pubs, bars and restaurants in Jersey are set to close on Friday for up to a month in order to tackle a surge in Covid-19 cases.
The “hospitality circuit breaker” comes amid fears health services could be overwhelmed.
Food and hospitality outlets, except takeaways, will have to shut.
All shops can stay open, but indoor sport and fitness classes and gyms must close and the 2m distancing law is to be brought back into force.
Boris Johnson warns of ‘immense logistical challenges’ in distributing vaccine
Sky News says it will take “some months” for the UK’s most vulnerable people to be vaccinated against coronavirus, the prime minister has said.
“It will inevitably take some months before all the most vulnerable are protected – long, cold months,” he said.
Ex-French leader Valery Giscard d’Estaing dies at age 94
Euronews says Valery Giscard d’Estaing, the president of France from 1974 to 1981 who became a champion of European integration, died on Wednesday. He was 94.
Giscard d’Estaing’s office said he passed away in his family home in the Loir-et-Cher region, in central France, after contracting Covid-19.
“In accordance with his wishes, his funeral will take place in strict privacy,” his office said.
Cyclone hits Sri Lanka as southern India hunkers down
France24 says Cyclone Burevi hit Sri Lanka overnight, rattling the island nation but leaving it relatively unscathed on its way to southern India, officials said Thursday.
Burevi, the second cyclone in the southern Bay of Bengal in a week, slammed into north-eastern Sri Lanka just before midnight.
Packing winds up to 60 miles an hour, it soaked parts of the country but caused no casualties and less devastation than feared.
US to draw down staff from Baghdad embassy amid ‘security concerns’ as anniversary of Soleimani assassination draws near – reports
RT News says Washington is set to pull diplomatic staff from its embassy in Baghdad in an effort to “minimize risk” as the one-year anniversary of the US kill strike on Iranian general Qassem Soleimani approaches, according to several reports.
The drawdown comes amid heightened security concerns in Iraq, namely fears of upcoming attacks from militant groups looking to avenge Soleimani’s assassination last year, AFP, CNN and the Washington Post reported independently on Wednesday, citing American and Iraqi officials familiar with the move.
Rights groups urge Bangladesh to halt Rohingya relocation
Aljazeera says Bangladesh has begun preparations to move thousands of Rohingya refugees to a remote island off its coast, officials said, despite opposition from many refugees and human rights groups who have urged to halt the relocation.
“Bangladesh should halt this hasty relocation process,” said Ismail Wolff, regional director of Fortify Rights. “Not one refugee should be moved until all human rights and humanitarian concerns have been resolved and genuine informed consent is assured.”
UAE launches satellite to celebrate National Day
Arab News says the UAE has launched the “Falcon Eye” satellite into space to mark its 49th National Day, state news agency WAM has reported.
The Soyuz ST-A rocket took off from the French Guiana Space Centre carrying the Gulf country’s earth-observation satellite that could take high-resolution images.
The satellite will be used for mapping, agricultural and environmental monitoring, urban planning, helping with response planning for natural disasters, as well as monitoring the UAE’s borders and coasts.
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Former President Barack Obama has cautioned young Democrat activists against using snappy slogans such as “defund the police” if they want to bring about genuine reforms in the US.
Defund the Police became a widely-used phrase after the killing of George Floyd.
Mr Obama said “you lost a big audience the minute you say it”, making it “a lot less likely” to effect change.
What’s the media saying?
Barack Obama criticizes ‘Defund the Police’ slogan but faces backlash – The Guardian
The Squad teams up on Obama: AOC, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley slam Obama for saying ‘defund the police’ is a ‘snappy slogan that alienates voters’ by insisting it is a MANDATE and say they are fed up with attacks on activists – Daily Mail
‘It’s not a slogan’: Ilhan Omar fires back at Obama for attacking ‘defund the police’ campaign – The Independent
“DO YOU WANT TO ACTUALLY GET SOMETHING DONE, OR DO YOU WANT TO FEEL GOOD?”: OBAMA URGES ACTIVISTS TO TALK REFORMING, NOT DEFUNDING, THE POLICE – Vantiy Fair
Obama’s denouncement of defunding police opens Democratic divisions – Boston Herald
COVID-19 hospitalizations pass 100K in US and could double soon; experts fear weary staff will be ‘overrun’ by patients
The number of hospitalised Covid-19 patients nationwide passed the 100,000 mark on Wednesday, an alarming statistic fueling enormous strain on the health care system and its brave but beleaguered workers. – USA Today
Hungarian MEP facing expulsion from EPP group over Gestapo comments
The head of the European Parliament delegation representing Hungary’s ruling party is being targeted for expulsion from his political group in the European Union legislature after comparing the group’s leader to the Gestapo. – Euronews
Damaged roads, airports could slow aid work in Ethiopia’s Tigray
Aid workers hoping to access Ethiopia’s Tigray region will have to overcome challenges such as the region’s damaged infrastructure to develop tons of relief items to those in need.- Africanews
Lebanon crisis: France’s Macron announces fund for sustained aid
Emmanuel Macron announced a World Bank-hosted humanitarian fund for crisis-hit Lebanon on Wednesday, saying relief would bypass the country’s increasingly ostracised politicians and go directly to the Lebanese people and trusted NGOs. – Aljazeera