Daily News Briefing: Tempers flare over new Covid-19 rules as PM warns: ‘We must act now’

Tuesday 13 October


Tuesday 13 October 2020 News Briefing – Today’s headlines are dominated by the global Coronavirus Pandemic. As of 6:30 am (GMT), these are the global active numbers.


Coronavirus Cases: 38,043,916

Deaths: 1,085,375

Recovered: 28,606,252

Today’s Outlook
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  • Covid-19: Sage scientists called for short lockdown weeks ago.
  • Tempers flare over new Covid rules as PM warns: ‘We must act now’.
  • Johnson & Johnson pauses Covid-19 vaccine trials after participant becomes ill.
  • Mr ‘immune’ Trump back on campaign trail with a roar.
  • Iran says deal reached to unlock funds frozen in Iraq.
  • Pandemic worsens across the US as we count down to Election Day.

Covid-19: Sage scientists called for short lockdown weeks ago

BBC News says the government’s scientific advisers called for a short lockdown in England to halt the spread of Covid-19 last month, newly-released documents show.

The experts said an immediate “circuit breaker” was the best way to control cases, at a meeting on 21 September.

Labour said the advice was ignored but No 10 said it took “robust” action.

Read the full story on BBC News 


Tempers flare over new Covid rules as PM warns: ‘We must act now’

The Guardian says Boris Johnson warned northern leaders that a failure to agree tougher coronavirus restrictions within days would be “unforgivable” as he faced doubt and frustration over a new system designed to prevent the “inexorable” spread of Covid-19.

The PM unveiled a three-tier system splitting England into medium risk (tier 1), high risk (tier 2) and very high risk (tier 3) areas. Under the new rules, nearly a third of the country – more than 17 million people – face localised curbs.

Read the full story on The Guardian 


Johnson & Johnson pauses Covid-19 vaccine trials after participant becomes ill

France24 says Johnson & Johnson said on Monday it had temporarily paused its Covid-19 vaccine clinical trials due to an unexplained illness in a study participant, delaying one of the highest-profile efforts to contain the pandemic.

The participant’s illness is being reviewed and evaluated by an independent data and safety monitoring board as well as the company’s clinical and safety physicians, the company said in a statement.

Read the full story on France24


Mr ‘immune’ Trump back on campaign trail with a roar

Arab News says immune to COVID! Stronger than Joe Biden! Superman? Not quite, but Donald Trump wants America to know he’s back.

“Here we are!” he cried with a triumphant roar — made slightly hoarse by his bout with Covid-19 — at the opening of a rally in Sanford, Florida, on Monday.

Just a week after getting out of hospital with the coronavirus, Trump strode onto the stage, tossing out face masks, like a rock star handing out autographs.

But he wasn’t wearing a mask himself,

Read the full story on Arab News


Iran says deal reached to unlock funds frozen in Iraq

Aljazeera says Iran’s central bank chief on Monday announced an agreement has been reached with Iraqi officials to unlock Iranian funds frozen in Iraqi banks as part of US sanctions to buy humanitarian goods.

The announcement follows in the wake of Washington’s decision last week to blacklist Iran’s entire financial sector – a move critics contend will further hamper Tehran’s ability to buy vital food and medicines as it battles the worst Covid-19 crisis in the Middle East.

Read the full story on Aljazeera 


Pandemic worsens across the US as we count down to Election Day

CNN says just three weeks out from Election Day, the Covid-19 pandemic is making its feared fall comeback across the US — and influenza season has not even kicked in yet.

Health officials have worried the virus would take hold again as Americans returned to school and as pandemic fatigue encouraged cities, counties and states to loosen restrictions.

Now it’s happening — and the West, Midwest, and South, in particular, have seen numbers going in the wrong direction.

Read the full story on CNN



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A quick look at the other top headlines 

Hurricane Delta’s wrath in Louisiana brings Mercy Chefs back to Lake Charles, dishing out meals

Fox News says for a second time this year, help has arrived in Louisiana to offer a slice of comfort to families reeling after yet another devastating hurricane.

Mercy Chefs, a faith-based disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization, has deployed from its home in Portsmouth, Va., to Lake Charles for the second time in a matter of weeks to serve meals in the wake of Hurricane Delta.

Read on

Belarus: Demonstrations continue after mass arrests and live-fire threats

Euronews says Belarus authorities said they arrested 713 people during protests on Sunday and warned that live ammunition could be used against further demonstrations against President Alexander Lukashenko.

In a statement, the country’s interior ministry said that 570 of those arrested in the biggest crackdown in weeks on protesters were yet to appear before a judge.

Read on

Amnesty International Reports Foul Play in Tanzanian Politics

Africanews Amnesty International alleges in a report published on Monday that Tanzanian President John Magufuli’s government is actively repressing the political opposition as rapidly-passed laws restricting the freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association are being weaponized to control and stifle anyone within the population that opposes the current head of state.

Read on

China, Russia, Saudi Arabia set to join UN Human Rights Council

Aljazeera says China, Saudi Arabia and Russia are poised to join the United Nations Human Rights Council, raising alarms among rights groups, who say the countries are among the world’s “worst rights violators”.

The UN General Assembly is expected to hold elections on Tuesday for 15 seats in the 47-nation council, with the new members serving for three years from January 2021.

Read on

Indonesia president warns risk of floods, agriculture damage from La Nina

CNA says Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Tuesday urged his ministers to prepare for the potentially hazardous impact of an upcoming La Nina weather pattern that can cause flooding, landslides and impact agricultural output.

Read on


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