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Brief. Me Better Faster April 15, 2021 2:15 am

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Covid: Moderna vaccine UK rollout to begin in Wales

BBC News says a third Covid19 vaccine will be rolled out across Wales from Wednesday with patients in Carmarthenshire becoming the first in the UK to receive it.

The Moderna vaccine was approved as safe and effective for use in the UK in January this year.

Supplies arrived in Wales on Tuesday, with 5,000 doses sent to Hywel Dda University Health Board vaccination centres.

Read on


Labour MP praises church where pastor opposed LGBT+ rights amid Starmer visit row

The Independent says a Labour MP has provoked anger by praising a church whose pastor opposed gay rights despite the party’s leader Keir Starmer apologising for visiting it.

Stephen Timms was accused of “trolling” LGBT+ people after praising the “extraordinary work” of Jesus House for All the Nations in Brent, north London.

His comment came hours after Sir Keir accepted it was a “mistake” for him to visit the church, which has opened up as a vaccination centre, last week.

Read on


Amnesty International condemns rich countries for hoarding Covid-19 vaccines

France24 says richer countries are failing a “rudimentary” test of global solidarity by hoarding Covid vaccines, Amnesty International said as it accused China and others of exploiting the pandemic to undermine human rights.

In its report, it said the health crisis had exposed “broken” policies and that cooperation was the only way forward.

“The pandemic has cast a harsh light on the world’s inability to cooperate effectively and equitably,” said Agnes Callamard, who was appointed Amnesty’s secretary general last month.

Read on


Iranian ship linked to IRGC attacked in Red Sea

Arab News says an Iranian ship linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has been attacked in the Red Sea.

The Saviz was hit by limpet mines, Iran’s Tasnim news agency reported on Tuesday. The attack took place off the coast of Eritrea and led to several injuries.

The New York Times reported, citing an unnamed American official, that Israelis had informed the US that its forces had hit the vessel at about 7:30 a.m. local time. The attack was carried out as a retaliation for strikes on Israeli vessels and that the Iranian ship had sustained damage below the water line, according to the official.

Read on


India sees record 115,736 new COVID cases, night curfew in Delhi

Aljazeera says India on Wednesday reported a record 115,736 new coronavirus infections, taking the total to more than 12.8 million cases, data from the health ministry showed.

The death toll in the world’s third-worst-hit nation after the US and Brazil reached 166,177, including 630 new fatalities, the most in four days.

On Monday, India reported more than 100,000 cases for the first time since the pandemic began last year. Nearly 97,000 cases were registered on Tuesday.

Read on


Americans lose their faith, as church membership sees downward spiral

TRT World says a poisonous political climate is increasingly driving Americans away from organised religion.

Despite being governed by a party steeped in political Christianity over the past fours years or perhaps because of it, Americans are increasingly abandoning established churches.

In a first, church membership in the US has declined to below 47 percent, according to a survey by Gallup. The figures are down from 70 percent two decades ago and speak to a trend of declining religiosity and how Americans process religious identity.

Read on


Biden Mulls US Boycott of Beijing Olympics

VOA says the political dispute over a new election law in the southern state of Georgia has broadened into a debate over whether the US should participate in a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China. 

On Tuesday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price acknowledged the U.S. will discuss with allies whether to jointly boycott the games to protest Beijing’s repression of minorities and major human rights abuses. 

“A coordinated approach will be not only in our interest but also in the interest of our allies and partners,” he told reporters at a daily briefing. But he stressed that no final decision has been reached. 

Read on

LIVE NEWS UPDATES

Live Updates

  • Covid: Moderna vaccine UK rollout to begin in Wales

  • Amnesty International condemns rich countries for hoarding Covid-19 vaccines

  • India sees record 115,736 new COVID cases, night curfew in Delhi

  • Americans lose their faith, as church membership sees downward spiral

  • Biden Mulls US Boycott of Beijing Olympics

News Briefing

TODAY'S PAPERS

Wednesday’s front pages lead with the prospect of foreign travel this summer and the Oxford jab children trial being paused. 

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Jab blood clot concerns

The Guardian’s front splash leads with the latest news on the Oxford vaccine, as an investigation is launched into a possible link with rare blood clots in adults. A trial of the vaccine in children has stopped giving out the jab.

The PM has set out to reassure the people about its safety, and urges the public to take the vaccine when offered. Scientists have stressed side-effects are extremely rare and the benefits of the jab were great, the paper adds. 

Read the full story on the Guardian

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The Times also leads with the pause on the Oxford jab. The Oxford team running the trial on children say they had seen no specific safety concerns, the paper says. The Times adds that European regulators will decide soon whether evidence suggests a causal link between the jab and blood clots. 

Read the full story on the Times

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The Daily Telegraph is also leading with the story. The paper has spoken to a government adviser who said the rollout should be paused for younger people until regulators have issued firm guidance on the safety of the Oxford jab. Though the adviser was speaking in a personal capacity – she suggests slowing down the rollout to maintain public confidence. 

Read the full story on the Daily Telegraph

Summer hols hope

The prospect of a trip abroad is also making the front of a few papers. 

The Metro is focused on the likely cost of travelling abroad this summer. According to the paper, citing consumer group Which?, travellers could face a £420 per person bill for specific COVID tests. The paper quotes a warning from EasyJet boss who says foriegn holidays will only be”for people who can afford it” and urged the government to allow the cheaper lateral flow tests to be used instead.

Read the full story on the Metro

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The Daily Express also says there is “hope” for summer holidays, but its main story is on Mr Johnson’s latest comments about lockdown. As he visited an AstraZeneca lab, the PM insisted he is sticking to the roadmap out of lockdown and the government will continue to “build up defences”, despite warnings of a third wave that could hit the UK.

Read the full story on the Daily Express

News Briefing

NEWS ROUNDUP

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

A spat over Covid vaccine doses has erupted between the European Union and the UK threatens to have far reaching implications over coronavirus jab disruption.

Brussels demanded access to AstraZeneca vaccines manufactured in UK plants to make up for a shortfall after the pharmaceutical giant said it would have to cut the amount of doses delivered to the bloc by the end of March.

What do we know about the dispute? And what potential implications could the rumbling dispute have on future Covid vaccine rollouts? – (ITV)

Recent and upcoming changes

Restrictions are easing across the UK.

In England

Step 1 of the roadmap out of lockdown has begun. Shielding ends on 31 March.

In Scotland

People will be asked to ‘Stay Local’ from 2 April. A timetable for further lockdown easing from 5 April is on GOV.SCOT.

In Wales

The stay at home restriction was lifted on 13 March. Read about the rules on GOV.WALES.

In Northern Ireland

The next review will happen on or before 15 April. You can read the guidance on current restrictions on nidirect.

latest Covid-19 news

For the latest Covid-19 news visit the UK governement website 

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