Brief. Me Better Faster October 20, 2021 11:33 pm



Israel declares emergency in Lod as unrest spreads

BBC News says Israel has declared a state of emergency in the central city of Lod after rioting by Israeli Arabs, as conflict between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants intensified.

Cars were set alight and 12 people were reported injured in clashes Lod’s mayor likened to a civil war.

Palestinian militants fired hundreds of rockets deep into Israel, while Israel carried out heavy airstrikes on Gaza.

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‘Tireless work’ by nurses during pandemic inspires thousands to join the ranks

Sky News says the work done by nurses during Covid-19 appears to have resulted in a recruitment boost.

NHS England said there are thousands more nurses working in the health system after being inspired by the “Nightingale effect”.

There were 330,000 nurses, midwives and health visitors working in the NHS in England in January – over 11,000 more than in January 2020.

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Unicef calls on UK to give 20% of vaccines to other countries

The Guardian says the UK should commit to giving 20% of its vaccines to other countries that are in urgent need of them as early as June, according to Unicef, which says the UK will still have enough to vaccinate every adult by the end of July.

The children’s charity estimates the UK will have enough spare doses this year to fully vaccinate a further 50 million people around the world and urges the government to set an example to the G7 by starting to share them next month. Vaccinating the populations of other countries is the only way to ensure new coronavirus variants do not spread, it says.

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Indian Covid-19 variant found in 44 countries around world, says WHO

France24 says the WHO said that a variant of Covid-19 behind the acceleration of India’s explosive outbreak has been found in dozens of countries all over the world.

The UN health agency said the B.1.617 variant of Covid-19, first found in India in October, had been detected in more than 4,500 samples uploaded to an open-access database “from 44 countries in all six WHO regions”.

“And WHO has received reports of detections from five additional countries,” it said in its weekly epidemiological update on the pandemic.

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Bodies Found in Indian River Raise Questions About COVID Links

VOA says authorities in India said they have yet to determine the cause of death of dozens of people found dead in the Ganges River.

Officials in Bihar state said 71 bodies were recovered Monday, while officials in the neighboring state of Uttar Pradesh said around 100 bodies were found, some on Tuesday. 

Images of the bodies floating in the river sparked anger and speculation they died from COVID-19, which is surging throughout the South Asian country at a faster rate than anywhere else in the world. 

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Arbery killing: Three plead not guilty to US hate crime charges

Aljazeera says three white men in Georgia have pleaded not guilty to federal hate crime charges in connection with the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was gunned down last year while jogging.

Arbery was running through a south Georgia coastal community in February 2020 when the three men, Gregory McMichael, his son Travis McMichael and neighbour William “Roddie” Bryan, chased him down and killed him.

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Death toll from anti-government protests in Colombia climbs to 42

TRT World says at least 42 people have been killed in near-daily protests against the government of Colombian President Ivan Duque since April 28, the country’s human rights ombudsman said.

All but one – a member of the armed forces – were civilians, the ombudsman’s office said.

The updated toll made these the bloodiest demonstrations since Colombia signed a peace agreement with the FARC guerilla group in 2016 to end decades of civil war.

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Live Updates

  • Israel declares emergency in Lod as unrest spreads

  • Unicef calls on UK to give 20% of vaccines to other countries

  • Indian Covid-19 variant found in 44 countries around world, says WHO

  • Bodies Found in Indian River Raise Questions About COVID Links

  • Arbery killing: Three plead not guilty to US hate crime charges

  • Death toll from anti-government protests in Colombia climbs to 42

News Briefing


Many of Wednesday’s front pages lead with Tuesday’s the Queen’s Speech – in which the government set out its programme for the coming parliament. 

The Guardian reports that plans to introduce voter ID could freeze out more than 2 million voters. The paper says the photo ID risks “disproportionately hitting older, disabled and homeless voters” who are less likely to have such documents. 

Daily Mail asks “when will they show they care?”. The paper says Bris Johnson has faced massive backlash after devoting just nine words of the Queen’s Speech to social care. The paper adds that “despite lengthy negotiations” No 10 and the Treasury have been unable to reach agreement on how to limit the amounts pensioners have to pay towards their own care.

The Times leads on attacks on “cancel culture” in the Queen’s Speech, as it says the government is introducing laws to protect university free speech. The paper says the new laws will make it easier for visiting speakers to take action against universities and student unions if they are gagged.

The Daily Express leads with the prime minister’s promise to make Britain a “land of opportunity”. Alongside a picture of the Queen, it says the speech unveiled 30 key laws to “help Britain ‘bounce forward’ to prosperity”.

News Briefing



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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