Oct 24, 2021

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117 patients, staff at Bukit Merah polyclinic given wrong, lower dose of Covid-19 vaccine

  • Said Dr Ee: "We have taken immediate steps to rectify the error, and staff have been reminded on the proper use of the new syringe to administer the Covid-19 vaccine.
  • A total of 117 patients and staff at a Bukit Merah polyclinic were given wrong doses of their Covid-19 vaccine, with only one-tenth of the recommended dosage, between Wednesday (Oct 20) and Friday.
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BVI inquiry hears claims of systemic corruption and jury intimidation

By Patrick Wintour Diplomatic editor
  • Allegations of systemic corruption, cronyism, jury intimidation and misuse of public funds are being aired in a courtroom in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) after the UK government set up a commission of inquiry into mis-governance in the British overseas territory.
  • At one point in the livestreamed hearings, Cox turned on the UK government by asking the commissioner conducting the inquiry, Sir Gary Hickinbottom: “The governor has sat for 20-30 years in cabinet, seeing these decisions go past him.
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Aftershocks expected in coming days after year’s strongest earthquake

  • The two earthquakes of magnitude 6.5 and 5.4 that occurred in Yilan's Nan'ao and Datong townships at 1:11 p.m. and 1:12 p.m., respectively, are in a subduction zone, where two plates converge, and one plate is thrust beneath the other, said Chen Kuo-chang (陳國昌), head of the CWB's Seismological Center.
  • Taipei, Oct. 24 (CNA) Aftershocks of magnitude 4 or over are expected over the next three days after the strongest earthquake recorded in Taiwan this year struck Yilan County Sunday afternoon, a Central Weather Bureau (CWB) official said.
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Sprinter Alex Quiñónez, 2019 world bronze medallist, shot dead in Ecuador

By Guardian sport and agencies
  • The Ecuadorian sports ministry announced the news in a statement on its Twitter feed, saying: “Today we lost a great athlete, a person who made us dream, who made us excited.
  • The 32-year-old, who finished third in the 200m at the World Athletics Championships in Doha two years ago, was reportedly shot dead outside a shopping centre in the port city of Guayaquil on Friday night, along with another unnamed person.
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Around the World in 80 Books by David Damrosch review – an erudite tour of the author’s head

By Peter Conrad
  • Damrosch took his cue from Phileas Fogg, the London clubman who speeds across continents and oceans in Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days .
  • David Damrosch, a Harvard specialist in comparative literature, projected himself further afield: when conference dates in Tokyo and a smattering of European venues were cancelled, he decided to circumnavigate the globe without leaving his library.
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China passes new border law amid concerns about India, Afghanistan

  • The Land Borders Law, which will go into effect on January 1, comes at a time when China is concerned with security on its frontier with Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, COVID-19 entering the country via illegal border crossings from its southeast Asian neighbors and a tense standoff with India over their mutual border that has seen deadly skirmishes in the past year.
  • India's Hindustan Times reported that the new measure "formalizes combining the military defence of China's land borders with improving social and economic development in border areas." It also empowers citizens in border regions, such as Tibetan villagers living near India, Bhutan, and Nepal, to act as a "first line of defense."
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Sunak refuses to commit to wearing mask in crowded Commons

By Peter Walker Political correspondent
  • Rishi Sunak has refused to commit to wearing a mask inside a crowded House of Commons, as a leading government scientific adviser said ministers were mistaken to believe that vaccinations alone would keep Covid levels under control.
  • The chancellor also reiterated that ministers did not yet believe it was necessary to move to the government’s “plan B” for Covid over the winter, which would reintroduce mandatory mask wearing for crowded spaces, vaccine passports and more home working.
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‘We know who we are’: Inuit row raises questions over identity and ancestry

By Leyland Cecco in Toronto
  • Two years ago, the NunatuKavut community council signed a memorandum of understanding with Canada’s federal government that established their Inuit identity, effectively laying the groundwork for myriad benefits and paving the way for future negotiations over land claims.
  • “We are quite concerned about the ability for a newly formed collective to then demand rights and compensation and overlapping claims for areas that have been identified Inuit lands under modern treaties,” said Obed, who represents more than 65,000 Inuit in Canada.
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After a smooth path to the top, is Sunak now in for a bumpy ride?

By Michael Savage
  • Meanwhile, he has been dealing with a prime minister keen to keep the spending taps running for pet projects and to solve the political problems of the day – most recently, Boris Johnson sided with business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng in ordering his chancellor to help energy-intensive businesses with their ballooning energy costs.
  • Yet before a spending review and budget that has seen Sunak forced to fend off the demands of cabinet colleagues including the prime minister, even his allies believe the chancellor will now have to get his boots dirty.
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DR Congo’s rethink of logging deals ahead of COP26 climate change summit could hit Chinese firms

By Jevans Nyabiage
The Democratic Republic of Congo has ordered an audit of all logging contracts and the suspension of all dubious concessions ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow next month.President Felix Tshisekedi told a meeting of the council of ministers last week that such actions were necessary “to make it easier for the country to benefit from the funds provided on the international market”.The DRC is hoping to secure US$1 billion funding for its conservation plans from the […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Highwire hocus pocus

  • As a student at UNSW at the time, David Gordon of Cranebrook remembers that in an effort to counter any replication of the student unrest sweeping other international universities at the time, appointing “the Wizard (C8), who offered the students other things to think about instead of destroying the uni and society, seemed to work because I don’t recall anything happening that was remotely like what was happening overseas.”
  • Honourable mentions also go to the Lois Lane that also exists in Dandenong, South Kempsey and Wollongong.
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German police halt armed far-right vigilantes on Polish border

By Reuters
  • Germany has stationed an extra 800 police officers on the Polish border to control the flow of migrants trying to enter the European Union from Belarus, the interior minister was quoted as saying on Sunday.
  • German police say they have stopped more than 50 far-right vigilantes armed with pepper spray, a bayonet, a machete and batons who were trying to patrol the Polish border to stop migrants from entering the country.
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Diana Rigg remembered: ‘Ma didn’t suffer fools: she exploded them at 50 paces’

By Rachael Stirling
  • I can’t remember which poor actor it was that had to take her hand at the end of a play, after she’d copped it in the plot, and deliver a grief-stricken speech to the Corpse of Mother, but she had a warm wet frankfurter in her palm waiting for him.
  • She didn’t like the loss of independence, hated the thought of being a burden and flatly refused to use the doorbell that Guy had taped to her bedside table in case she needed help.
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The Boss Baby 2: Family Business review – needs a nap

By Wendy Ide

Infants turn app designers in this sugar-rush sequel definitely aimed at a young audience

Put an infinite number of babies in a room with tablets and they may, as posited by this frenetic sequel to the 2017 animation, dream up hugely successful apps. More likely, though, they would binge on sugar-based snack foods and spend 107 minutes bouncing off the walls, which is essentially the approach taken here. The film reunites the now adult protagonists of the first film – estranged brothers Ted (Alec Baldwin) and Tim (James Marsden) – and shrinks them back to baby size in order to investigate a suspicious instance of educational hothousing at a primary school.

The pro-family, anti-tech messaging is designed to play to the parents, but while not entirely unwatchable, the film’s demented levels of energy will recommend it to younger audiences and may trigger stress headaches in anyone over 12.

Continue reading […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Dear Evan Hansen review – cynical adaptation of the hit musical

By Wendy Ide

The coming-of-age Broadway show about a depressed teenager has been crudely turned into a screen tearjerker

What works as a Broadway musical, where subtlety is lost on everyone but those in the front of the stalls, performances are big and plot points are thunderously emphatic, does not always translate to cinema. Dear Evan Hansen is a case in point. The coming-of-age stage musical, written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic, but the story’s angst klaxon of an emotional register swamps the frame in this cinema adaptation, which is directed by Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower).

The stage show’s original star, Ben Platt, reprises his role as Evan Hansen, the anxiety and depression-afflicted high-school senior who accidentally carves out a fictitious role for himself in the life and death of a fellow student. It has been noted elsewhere that Platt, at 28, is pushing it as a school-age teenager, but really that’s the least of the problems with the picture’s crudely manipulative storytelling and honkingly insincere musical numbers. It’s the cinema equivalent of rubbing cut onions in the eyes of the audience: film-making that is cynically and artificially engineered to make the audience weep.

Continue reading […]Read more >Similar articles >
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‘Kill them all, don’t spare anyone’: A massacre in Burkina Faso – Al Jazeera English

  • According to Heni Nsaibia, a senior researcher at ACLED, these may include: continuing efforts to control and cut off the population in Yagha – some nearby towns have been blockaded for months; revenge on villages that support the country’s volunteer fighters – armed civilians who fight alongside the army; and a lack of cohesion within the al-Qaeda-linked group known as Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM).
  • Dori, Burkina Faso – Lying concealed atop his bus while watching armed men murder people below, the only thought that brought Abdoulaye Diallo some comfort was the hope that if he died on a Friday, a holy day in Islam, he would go to heaven.
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Campaign launched to boost Indigenous vaccination rates

  • "If we see hospitalisation rates continue to decrease, despite NSW opening up, then it would be very difficult, in fact I don't think anyone would suggest you would need more lockdowns in that sort of situation," Prof Coatsworth told Sky News' Sunday Agenda program.
  • Prof Coatsworth said children needed to be back at school whether they were vaccinated or not, noting the deep state of anxiety among parents during lockdowns.
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China expects new Covid-19 outbreak to worsen in coming days

  • China reported 26 new local confirmed Covid-19 infections on Saturday, including seven in Inner Mongolia, six in Gansu, six in Ningxia, four in Beijing, one in Hebei, one in Hunan and one in Shaanxi, according to the National Health Commission.
  • China's new Covid-19 infections will increase in coming days and the areas affected by the epidemic may continue to expand, a health official said.
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Communist Party number 3 hails superiority of ‘Chinese democracy’ and warns against Western influences such as multiparty elections and independent judiciary

By Guo Rui
China should resolutely resist “erosive” political Western influences such as multiparty elections and an independent judiciary and “tell the story of China’s democracy” well, the chairman of the country’s top legislative body said on Saturday.“We need to learn from the beneficial achievements of foreign political civilisations, but we must not abandon the fundamentals of China’s political system,” Li Zhanshu, chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee during a parliamentary […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Transition to electric vehicles ‘won’t happen overnight’ but it needs to start now

By Katina Curtis
  • Ms Terrill said if governments didn’t act to encourage commuters back onto buses, trains and trams, this could be compounded once people realise driving electric is cheaper.
  • What we won’t do is force Australian motorists out of the car they want to drive through bans, taxation or restricting choice through imports,” Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said.
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Strong quakes leave several injured, transport disrupted

  • Taipei, Oct. 24 (CNA) A series of earthquakes Sunday -- including one of a 6.5 magnitude -- have left several injured, with reports of building damage and disruption to transport links across Taiwan.
  • The Taiwan Power Company reported that although seismic alert systems at Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant and Kuosheng Nuclear Power Plant had been triggered by the strong temblors, the plants had not been damaged.
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Sunak criticised for failing to deliver on key infrastructure projects

By Peter Walker Political correspondent
  • Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, said that while she welcomed moves to improve transport in cities such as her own, Leeds, she was deeply sceptical about what would happen, citing long delays and uncertainty surrounding projects such as Northern Powerhouse Rail and HS2.
  • Sunak said: “So what we’re announcing is funding to create a network of family hubs which are broader than the Sure Start centres, and they bring together lots of different services for new parents, and for the first time, we’re going to roll those out.”
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Nationals agree to net zero target by 2050 despite Barnaby Joyce’s opposition

By Sarah MartinChief political correspondent and Katharine MurphyPolitical editor
  • In a two-hour long partyroom meeting on Sunday, Joyce said the party had agreed to a “process” to support the net zero target, dependent on cabinet signing off on a package that would protect regional economies.
  • Nationals MPs have agreed to sign up to a net zero emissions target by 2050, despite the opposition of leader Barnaby Joyce, in exchange for a regional transition package and an extra cabinet position.
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‘I hug them’: meet the farmer raising 2,000lb pumpkins

By Gabrielle Canon in Napa, California
  • “This is one of the seeds that’s going to be in big demand in the coming year,” Urena said, adding that he has not even began to harvest them and he’s already fielding requests.
  • The production manager for Hudson Ranch, a winery and farm in Napa, California, he also grows a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and flowers – from mini gourds suspended on vines overhead to beets poking up from the ground – but his prized pumpkins are the showstoppers.
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In Germany, global warming is changing more than just the climate. It’s changing politics, too.

By Rachel Elbaum and Andy Eckardt
  • The difference in the urgency to fight climate change felt by the American and the German electorates comes as a result of decades of environmental messaging in Europe, according to Andreas Goldthau, a research leader at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam, Germany.
  • Remarkably, the share of people in Germany who are very concerned that climate change will harm them personally at some point during their lives has increased 19 percent since 2015, according to the survey published in September.
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Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | Oct. 24

  • President Vladimir Putin will not meet people face-to-face during Russia's nationwide week-long paid holiday starting on October 30 designed to curb Covid infections amid record deaths, his spokesman said Thursday.
  • — Russia on Monday reported 29,409 new coronavirus cases — the second highest number of daily infections since the beginning of the pandemic — and 957 deaths from Covid-19.
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Mystery of the environmental triggers for cancer deepens

By Robin McKie
  • Michael Stratton, director of the Wellcome Sanger Institute, said recent results from an international cancer research study – which aimed to pinpoint environmental triggers involved in oeosophageal cancer – indicated current scientific understanding of tumour formation was inadequate.
  • The research – on a type known as oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma – was aimed at uncovering why certain parts of the world suffer extremely high rates of the disease.
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Home Office refuses to reveal details of Afghans’ resettlement

By Helen Pidd, Amelia Gentleman, Jessica Murray and Libby Brooks
  • Nonetheless, in Yorkshire, all 15 local authorities have agreed to house Afghans on a roughly proportional per capita basis, said Dave Brown, from Migration Yorkshire, which is coordinating the resettlement.
  • London council officials have requested that most of the 4,000 Afghans living in hotels in the capital be dispersed around the country for longer term resettlement, protesting against the disproportionate burden and pointing out that housing costs and shortages in the capital make it challenging to find permanent housing for them all.
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Coalition avoids meltdown over emissions target – but at what price?

By Katharine Murphy Political editor
  • Barnaby Joyce came back to the leadership of the National party in the middle of the year believing that he was the leader to stop Scott Morrison landing a net zero commitment.
  • By the end of of a two-hour partyroom conversation, a majority of colleagues were in favour of the net zero transition, provided Morrison followed through on the various high-level policy undertakings.
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Survivors of 1965 Indonesia massacres urge UK to apologise

By Paul Lashmar and Nicholas Gilby
  • Soe Tjen Marching’s father was also tortured and imprisoned for two and a half years because the military suspected him of being a member of the PKI.
  • Survivors and descendants of those massacred in Indonesia’s anti-communist purge of 1965-1966 are urging the UK government to apologise for its role in what was described in a secret CIA report as “one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century”.
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Women in 60s Soho: ‘In Soho, you were less judged. You could do what you wanted’

By Rachel Cooke
  • Such places, dingy and stage-less, were usually rented to a strip-club because the end of their lease was nearly up (no other business would be interested in such a short-term venture), and they kept their more or less continuous shows on the road by sharing the same girls, a gaggle that would “trot” through Soho “at a fast clip seldom pausing for a cup of coffee”, their faces thick with makeup and their costumes in little suitcases they carried in their hands.
  • When I walk down the street, it’s still: ‘Hi, hi, hi!’” Is Soho a better place now than when she first came here, or has something been lost since Westminster council set about clearing it up and rents duly rocketed?
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Adrien Brody: ‘Actors are attention seekers. But I’m an introvert’

By Kate Dwyer
  • “Adrien’s character says – and I’m paraphrasing – that the whole point of an artist making art is to show it,” Benicio del Toro, who plays Rosenthaler, told me.
  • R oughly a year after Adrien Brody became the youngest recipient of the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, he sat for an interview and a “glammed-up” photo shoot for the August 2004 issue of Details magazine, the now-defunct men’s publication.
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Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to return to work on Monday after fracturing elbow in fall

By Ng Kang-chung
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor will return to work on Monday after fracturing her elbow in a fall at her official residence last week.Lam said in a post on her official Facebook page on Sunday that she would resume her duties as chief executive and take over official business from Monday, seven days after her accident, though she noted she still faced a long road to a full recovery.“For a full recovery to be made so that I can live a normal life, I am afraid it will still take […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Tsunami-hit Fukushima school opens as memorial to 2011 tragedy

  • An elementary school in Fukushima Prefecture opened Sunday as a memorial to those impacted by the massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster and subsequent Fukushima nuclear crisis, with its mission to pass on lessons learned from the tragedy.
  • Visitors to the school can tour buildings to see damaged walls and items left in the wake of the disaster, such as a clock stopped at 3:37 p.m., the exact time when the tsunami struck.
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Australia’s National Party gives preliminary nod for net zero emissions target

  • The junior partner in Australia's coalition government said on Sunday (Oct 24) it will provisionally support a net zero emissions target by 2050, giving Prime Minister Scott Morrison a green light to take the country's updated climate ambitions to Glasgow talks.
  • Mr Joyce would not reveal the details of the agreements with Mr Morrison, but said the National party was calling on the prime minister for assurances that rural and regional communities will not be adversely affected by implementing more ambitions climate change policies.
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The week in theatre: Get Up, Stand Up!; Value Engineering: Scenes from the Grenfell Inquiry; Love and Other Acts of Violence

By Susannah Clapp
  • It is roughly framed as a concert, beginning with a warmup act who plays an Island Records precursor to Marley and reggae – My Boy Lollipop – and observes that Jamaican patois is no more difficult to follow than Shakespeare.
  • Live on stage are some of the most glorious, ear-changing numbers of the past 60 years: Is This Love, I Shot the Sheriff, Redemption Song.
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Why the witch-hunt victims of early modern Britain have come back to haunt us

By Sally Howard
  • “Most women were burned, rather than buried, their identities erased by authorities and families out of fear and shame,” says Claire Mitchell QC, who is campaigning for a legal pardon for, and monument to, the estimated 2,558 Scots who were executed in the brutal centuries of femicide after Scotland’s 1563 Witchcraft Act (the same year England enacted its own bloody statute).
  • Our cultural reappraisal of the European witch-hunts began in the 1960s, when second wave feminists reinterpreted these pogroms as patriarchy’s “original sin”: brutal, three-century campaigns that destroyed ancient female practices and means of income, from traditional midwifery to the ale business (once dominated by ale women, who wore pointed hats to signify their trade and kept cats to chase rodents away).
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Re-introducing face masks indoors considered as Covid-19 situation worsens

By Lauren Walker
  • De Croo said he wants to focus on “vigilance and caution,” adding that the current increase in the number of coronavirus infections and hospitalisations show that a phasing out of the federal phase is not yet possible, according to reports from VRT News.
  • Virologist Steven De Gucht had previously warned that wearing face masks indoors was a measure that was “written off too early,” saying this was the opinion of all virologists at the time, yet politicians went ahead with the abolition in Flanders.
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Baldwin’s film crew raised safety concerns hours before fatal on-set shooting

  • Hours before actor Alec Baldwin fired a fatal gunshot from a prop gun that he had been told was safe, a camera crew for the movie he was filming walked off the job to protest conditions and production issues that included safety concerns.
  • The Los Angeles Times, citing two crew members it did not name, reported that five days before the shooting, Baldwin’s stunt double accidentally fired two live rounds after being told the gun didn’t have any ammunition.
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Sudan: Political tensions continue as protesters block roads

By Samy Magdy | AP
  • Pro-military protesters briefly blocked major roads and bridges in Sudan’s capital Sunday, amid growing tensions between the generals and the pro-democracy movement that fueled the uprising against autocratic former president Omar al-Bashir.
  • Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, the head of the ruling Sovereign Council, said that dissolving the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok could resolve the ongoing political crisis.
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Mathematics in Africa has been written out of history books – it’s time we reminded the world of its rich past

By Michael Brooks
  • Sub-Saharan Africa has largely been written out of histories of mathematics because many of its traditions were passed down by word of mouth and then lost because of disruptive events such as the slave trade .
  • Jean-Jacques Crappier found the evidence in the Akan gold-weights that were used to weigh gold powder – the prevailing currency of the region we know today as Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire – during trades with the Arabs, Portuguese, Dutch and English from the 15th to the late 19th centuries.
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Delayed response blamed in COVID-19 patient’s death at home

By Kim Arin
  • According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare announcements, the 68-year-old patient, who was not vaccinated, died while under home isolation Thursday, just a day after testing positive.
  • 25, home care has been the default for patients under 70 years of age if they have mild or no symptoms at the time of diagnosis, and if they are free of risk factors such as chronic lung disease, kidney failure or an organ transplant history.
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Italy’s Berlusconi says early elections would be ‘irresponsible’

  • Early elections in Italy would be "irresponsible," former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi said Sunday (Oct 24), reiterating his support for the coalition government led by Mr Mario Draghi.
  • In an interview with the Corriere della Sera newspaper, the scandal-plagued leader of the centre-right Forza Italia party also expressed frustration with political infighting on the right that contributed to the bloc's poor showing in recent mayoral contests around the country.
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STI rates ‘at their highest numbers’ in US as Covid dominates health funding

By Gloria Oladipo
  • Health officials in the US are concerned about how to divert key resources to combatting a rise in sexually-transmitted infections (STI) that is now continuing despite the social restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic and is now in its sixth consecutive year of increase.
  • America has continually combatted rising STI rates pre-pandemic, one of many poor public health outcomes in the US, despite massive spending on healthcare.
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‘No scientific basis’ for giving everyone third dose, vaccine expert says

By Lauren Walker
  • The head of Belgium’s Vaccination Taskforce has argued that there is not enough scientific evidence to support the Flemish government’s decision to give booster shots to almost the entire population.
  • However, Dirk Ramaekers, head of the Vaccination Taskforce, argued that there is no scientific basis that a third shot would be needed for the entire population, as there is no evidence that “immunity against the coronavirus is declining in the young, healthy population.”
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Football fans’ banner protesting Saudi-led consortium’s Newcastle takeover investigated by police

  • A banner unfurled by Crystal Palace fans ahead of Saturday's draw with Newcastle, protesting the recent Saudi-led takeover of the Tyneside club is being investigated by police.
  • It listed offences the regime is accused of by human rights groups - terrorism, beheading, civil rights abuses, murder, censorship and persecution - which were all ticked off on a clipboard under the heading " Premier League Owners Test".
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Oct. 24: ‘Highway 413, as well as the Bradford Bypass … drivers outside the GTA would be forever grateful if these roads came to pass.’ Should Ontario build them? Plus other letters to the editor

  • Re: Critics Call Out Plant-based Food Companies Over Sustainability Claims (Report on Business, Oct. 18): I believe it is unreasonable to expect a company to measure the environmental impact of absolutely everything in its operations and supply chains.
  • Re Canadians Among World’s Biggest Energy Users, Expected To Remain So In Years To Come (Oct. 15): The International Energy Agency forecasts that removing fossil fuels from the power grid will contribute to a decline in Canada’s per capita energy use.
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Malaysia’s Health Ministry issues ban on political gatherings in Melaka over Covid-19 fears

  • PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - With election fever building up in Melaka, Malaysia's Health Ministry has issued a ban on political gatherings in the state from Monday (Oct 25) to Nov 27 over Covid-19 concerns.
  • Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said on Sunday that while there will be standard operating procedures (SOP) for the state election, it will only take effect during the campaigning period from Nov 8 and the ministry is concerned there will be plenty of mass gatherings before that.
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The Dante Project review – bold, beautiful and utterly engaging

By Sarah Crompton
  • Dean provides a chalk-drawn backdrop of icy mountains, lit by Lucy Carter and Simon Bennison to become an ever-changing landscape against which the dancers in chalk-covered black costumes embody the sinners Dante encounters.
  • Then Edward Watson, the most distinctive interpreter of McGregor’s work and the most significant English dancer of the past 20 years, who retires as a principal after these performances, was placed at the centre of the world created.
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Vigils held for Halyna Hutchins as US police probe Alec Baldwin shooting

By Reuters
The crew was setting up a difficult shot during filming on the New Mexico set of Rust, and the movie’s cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, wasn’t quite satisfied.She turned to Lane Luper, a member of the camera crew, who suggested some adjustments that she found worked perfectly. That kind of collaborative spirit, Luper said at a candlelight vigil on Saturday, was what made Hutchins such a joy to work with.“Her photography was beautiful, and every day, everybody on the camera team was proud to be […]Read more >Similar articles >

Taiwan’s Lo finishes second in world’s longest road race

  • New York, Oct. 23 (CNA) Taiwanese ultra-marathon runner Lo Wei-ming (羅維銘) on Saturday finished second among seven runners in a 52-day road race in New York, becoming the first Asian to have completed the 4,989-km run.
  • Lo thanked his supporters and said the key for him in finishing the race was the motto of "gratitude, peace, purity and discipline" he learned from the event's initiator Sri Chinmoy.
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US, South Korea discuss ways to resume talks

By Choi Si-young
  • The US will explore possibilities surrounding declaring a formal end to the Korean War with South Korea, with regards to resuming talks on North Korea’s denuclearization, the US nuclear envoy for North Korea said Sunday during talks with his South Korean counterpart in Seoul.
  • The two allies were also ready to engage with North Korea on any other issues the regime finds interesting, Noh added, urging Pyongyang to return to negotiations.
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‘Kill them all, don’t spare anyone’: A massacre in Burkina Faso

  • According to Heni Nsaibia, a senior researcher at ACLED, these may include: continuing efforts to control and cut off the population in Yagha – some nearby towns have been blockaded for months; revenge on villages that support the country’s volunteer fighters – armed civilians who fight alongside the army; and a lack of cohesion within the al-Qaeda-linked group known as Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM).
  • Dori, Burkina Faso – Lying concealed atop his bus while watching armed men murder people below, the only thought that brought Abdoulaye Diallo some comfort was the hope that if he died on a Friday, a holy day in Islam, he would go to heaven.
Read more >Similar articles >
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Hong Kong finance chief warns jobs market recovery is slowing, backs more even spread of gains from economic growth

By Fiona Sun
Hong Kong’s financial secretary warned on Sunday that the recovery in the jobs market was slowing as he called for a more people-centric focus on economic development to spread the benefits of growth across a wider cross-section of the population.Paul Chan Mo-po said the disparity in the fortunes of workers from different sectors remained a negative feature of the city’s unbalanced economy, which he described as a “major problem” that needed fixing.“This employment structure means that although […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout review – Lucy Barton’s return brings intense pleasures

By Jonathan Myerson
  • T hey say good things come in threes and although it feels as though this latest novel about Lucy Barton marks the completion of a trilogy, can I put in an early request?
  • Meanwhile, William, Lucy’s first husband and the central case study of this new instalment, tells her, mid-argument: “Once every so often – at the most – I think someone actually chooses something.
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Delegates at Bloomberg forum in S’pore can dine in groups of 5 at specific venues

  • In response to queries from The Straits Times, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Economic Development Board (EDB) said all foreign delegates must be fully vaccinated, and undergo daily pre-event testing on conference days.
  • The forum is one of the events under the Mice event pilot by STB that aims to allow business conferences and exhibitions to gradually restart and support Singapore's hospitality and travel industry.
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Turkey’s Erdogan threatens to expel U.S. ambassador and 9 others

  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday that he had ordered 10 foreign ambassadors who called for the release of a jailed philanthropist to be declared persona non grata.
  • “I gave the instruction to our foreign minister and said ‘You will immediately handle the persona non grata declaration of these 10 ambassadors,’” Erdogan said during a rally in the western city of Eskisehir.
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COVID-19 tracker: Tokyo posts 19 new cases, the lowest figure since June last year

  • The seven-day average of new cases in Tokyo dropped to 31.3 from 60.4 a week before, while the number of patients with severe symptoms remained unchanged from Saturday at 22.
  • The announcement came the day before the metropolitan government, three neighboring prefectures — Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama — and Osaka are set to lift their requests that restaurants and bars limit the hours in which alcohol can be served.
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In Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev heads for a predictable landslide

  • The only Mirziyoyev challenger who got significant notice in the campaign was Alisher Qodirov, with his proposal that Uzbeks working outside the country should pay taxes in Uzbekistan, a widely unpopular idea for the large share of the population that depends on remittances from family members abroad.
  • Mirziyoyev, who took office in 2016 upon the death of Islam Karimov, faces four relatively low-visibility candidates who didn't even show up for televised debates, instead sending proxies who failed to engage in substantial discussions.
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Challenging road ahead for the next billion Covid-19 vaccine doses in India

  • When India's first billionth Covid-19 vaccine dose was finally administered on Thursday (Oct 21) - a little more than nine months after the country launched its vaccination campaign - the government welcomed it with a big bash.
  • Another potential sign of falling demand for vaccination is that the number of first doses administered daily has been outstripped by second doses since Oct 13, with the former's proportion on a clear decline over the last six weeks.
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Food import ban key agenda in talks with Japan in joining CPTPP

  • Speaking during an recent interview, Minister without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中), the head of the Cabinet's Office of Trade Negotiations, said Taiwan needs to deal with its existing ban on imports of agricultural and food products from the areas in Japan affected by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster of March 11, 2011.
  • Some of the issues likely to be discussed in future bilateral talks on lifting the ban include specifying what kind of food and agricultural products will be allowed to enter the Taiwan market, what government unit will be responsible for inspecting the imported products from Japan, and what kind of certificate documents need to be prepared beforehand, according to the minister.
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Islamists suspend march under agreement with Pakistan govt

  • A radical Islamist party has agreed to suspend for three days its march of thousands toward the capital Islamabad after Pakistan agreed to drop pending charges against the party’s leader
  • Raja Basharat, provincial law minister, told The Associated Press that under the agreement Punjab will withdraw charges against Rizvi and release all those detained during the protest march by Tuesday.
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Anger over ‘shambolic’ phone app shares sale

By Jon Ungoed-Thomas
  • The South African Police Service said last week that the company’s chief executive, Gert Viljoen, and a female consultant, Connie van Nieuwkerk, were arrested over fraud allegations earlier this month .
  • Britain’s financial regulator faces criticism this weekend over the “shambolic” listing on the London Stock Exchange of a healthcare company facing allegations that some of its shares were traded fraudulently.
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Dune review – sci-fi epic gets off to a flying start

By Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
  • Opening with the words “Part One” and closing with a declaration that “this is just the beginning”, Villeneuve’s Dune sensibly tackles only one manageable section of the story, avoiding the baffling narrative compressions and ellipses that blighted Lynch’s version, while reining in the extravagant excesses that thwarted Jodorowsky before he’d even started.
  • Crucially, Pavich’s engrossing doc suggested that although Jodorowsky’s film never actually existed, it still cast a long creative shadow, with the pre-production work of the French graphic novelist Moebius and Swiss artist HR Giger influencing Star Wars, Alien and pretty much all subsequent screen sci-fi, a claim that cannot be made about David Lynch’s finished but fatally flawed 1984 version.
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Why are Red Bull quickest again? US GP all you need to know

  • And the Circuit of the Americas has long been a happy hunting ground for Verstappen's title rival Lewis Hamilton, who has won five of the eight races held on this marvellous circuit close to a wonderful, vibrant city.
  • The last race in Turkey, where Verstappen was out-paced by Mercedes number two Valtteri Bottas, despite it being held in wet conditions in which the Dutchman normally excels, was a bit of a wake-up call.
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Raab’s negligence over Kabul is now clear. If he had any honour, he’d quit | Simon Tisdall

By Simon Tisdall
  • Official cables from Britain’s ambassador in Afghanistan, published last week, confirm that Raab, if he had been fully paying attention, could have foreseen and more effectively managed the consequences of the rapid Afghan government collapse and the fall of Kabul on 15 August.
  • Chronic misjudgments over Britain’s withdrawal from Afghanistan necessitated his sacking as foreign secretary.
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Hong Kong marathon, first event of its kind since pandemic hit, marred by injuries, allegations of political censorship

By Jonathan White
Mass-participation sporting events returned to Hong Kong after a hiatus of more than 18 months with the running of the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon on Sunday, though the race was marred by injuries and accusations of political censorship.The event was not only the first of its kind since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, but also the first since the implementation last year of a Beijing-decreed national security law, which has seen some previously tolerated forms of expression […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Climate change: China’s power crisis may cast a shadow over its new climate commitments expected to be announced at COP26 in Glasgow

By Yujie Xue
China is still on track to meet its 2025 goal of peak coal consumption even after missing emissions targets in the first half of 2021 and policy missteps that resulted in a severe power supply crunch, according to analysts.But the power crisis may invite some resistance from sceptical delegates at the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) if, as many expect, Beijing commits to accelerating its environmental efforts at the event in Glasgow.“If a result of these power […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Asylum accommodation deaths ‘twice as high’ as Home Office admitted

By Jessica Purkiss, Mirren Gidda, Aaron Walawalkar and Mark Townsend
  • As recently as three months ago the Home Office said 51 people had died in its asylum accommodation, following FoI requests made by the Scottish Refugee Council (SRC).
  • Pressed for an explanation, the Home Office said the discrepancy came from its interpretation of an extra phrase included in one of the requests from the Scottish Refugee Council – “whilst staying in asylum support accommodation”.
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Facebook boss ‘not willing to protect public from harm’

By Dan Milmo
  • The New York Times reported that workers had repeatedly warned that Facebook was being flooded with false claims about the 2020 presidential election result being fraudulent and believed the company should have done more to tackle it.
  • The Facebook whistleblower whose revelations have tipped the social media giant into crisis has launched a stinging new criticism of Mark Zuckerberg, saying he has not shown any readiness to protect the public from the harm his company is causing.
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Government launches campaign to boost Indigenous vaccination rates

  • "If we see hospitalisation rates continue to decrease, despite NSW opening up, then it would be very difficult, in fact I don't think anyone would suggest you would need more lockdowns in that sort of situation," Prof Coatsworth told Sky News' Sunday Agenda program.
  • Prof Coatsworth said children needed to be back at school whether they were vaccinated or not, noting the deep state of anxiety among parents during lockdowns.
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US envoy Sung Kim urges North Korea to return to nuclear talks

A senior US diplomat on Sunday urged North Korea to refrain from additional missile tests and resume nuclear diplomacy between the countries, days after the North fired-off its first underwater-launched ballistic missile in two years.Sung Kim, the top US official on North Korea affairs, spoke after meeting South Korean officials to discuss North Korea’s recent missile tests that have come amid a long-running stalemate in nuclear diplomacy between Washington and Pyongyang.“We call on the DPRK to […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Colombia captures most wanted drug lord, ‘Otoniel,’ in bust compared to Pablo Escobar’s fall

By Rachel Pannett, Diana Durán and Samantha Schmidt
  • Úsuga, 50, a former left-wing guerrilla and later a paramilitary fighter, is the alleged leader of the notorious drug trafficking group Clan del Golfo, or Gulf Clan, which dominates major cocaine smuggling routes through thick jungles in the country’s restive north.
  • Colombia’s most wanted drug lord, Dairo Antonio Úsuga, widely known by his alias Otoniel, has been captured by armed forces in his jungle hideout.
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Our democracy will be impoverished if MPs are too scared to do their jobs | Andrew Rawnsley

By Andrew Rawnsley
  • Many MPs share Sir David’s view that constituency surgeries are a fundamental component of their role, a precious opportunity to be able to talk directly to voters about their problems and concerns.
  • The talent pool of politicians will shrink when able and decent people who might have made a valuable contribution to national life see MPs living in fear and make a different career choice rather than expose themselves and loved ones to atrocious abuse and risk to life.
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Hong Kong elderly centre gets a robot receptionist who answers questions, gives health tips and compliments visitors too

By Cat Wang
Visitors to a retirees’ social club in a Kwun Tong public housing estate are greeted by Tung Zai, the voice-activated robot receptionist.They can ask a question in Cantonese about the day’s activities at the centreby pressing a button on its head.Press a button on its stomach, and Tung Zai will make a random comment, offering healthy lifestyle tips, perhaps, or deliver a compliment such as: “You are very pretty!”It can also tell jokes and quote Chinese poetry.“I’ve never seen anything like […]Read more >Similar articles >
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From Facebook to Tinder, older Americans increasingly targeted in love scams amid Covid-19 pandemic

Do you know the cost of love? True love’s cost may be immeasurable, but the cost of romance scams totalled at least US$304 million in 2020.And that is just the tip of the iceberg, says the Federal Trade Commission, because many victims of romance scams are embarrassed to come forward.One woman who did, Kate Kleinert, a widower in Pennsylvania, told the Senate Special Committee on Ageing last month how she got caught up in a romance scam that cost her about US$39,000 – and her pride.Money lost […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Brussels bars linked to alleged sexual assault vouch to improve women’s safety

  • “We believe that if the hatred that our establishments are subjected to regarding violence against women can help to raise awareness of this unacceptable behaviour, it will be a disaster for the better,” the bars’ management said in a statement on Facebook, adding that it had immediately dismissed the waiter accused in the complaints.
  • “We have never been and will never be complicit in acts of violence against women,” it added.
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Coronavirus live: UK travel rules relaxed as arrivals can now use cheaper lateral flow tests

By Caroline Davies

Latest updates: from today fully vaccinated travellers do not have to use more expensive PCR test on arrival

Hi. Caroline Davies here in London. In the UK, as from 4am today, the coronavirus rules have been relaxed for travellers returning to England who are fully vaccinated in what has been hailed by the government as a “huge boost” for the travel industry.

Just in time for half-term, fully vaccinated people arriving in England from a non-red list country can use a lateral flow test rather than the more expensive PCR version on or before day two.

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Andy Burnham hails ‘alignment’ with Whitehall after £1bn funding boost

By PA Media
  • Burnham, the region’s metro mayor, had asked for £1bn to help to develop his London-style Bee Network transport system to integrate the area’s trams and buses.
  • But Burnham said that whether this was granted or not, buses in Greater Manchester were going to be run in-house with the ambition that the whole system would become the first net zero transport system in the country.
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‘Finally doing right’: Democrats’ big bill offers Sanders chance to deliver

By Lauren Gambino in Washington
  • After decades of furious speech-making from the political fringe, followed by two popular but ultimately unsuccessful bids for the presidency, the democratic socialist from Vermont is – against all the odds – the closest he’s ever been to delivering on the policy ideas that have defined his political career.
  • But every concession made to accommodate them moves the bill further and further from Sanders’ initial vision, leaving progressives deeply worried that Democrats will squander what they view as their best chance in decades to transform the American economy and confront the climate crisis.
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High vaccination rate paves way for positive recovery

By The Herald's View
  • The surge in vaccination rates in NSW and Victoria in recent weeks has paved the way for a genuine recovery in the broader Australian community and offers the brightest signs yet for a strong rebound in economic activity.
  • In Victoria, where access to vaccinations was problematic earlier this year, more than nine in 10 people over 16 have had their first dose and the Andrews government expects the state will reach the 80 per cent double-dose threshold by Friday.
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Taiwan reports 4 new COVID-19 cases, no deaths

  • Taipei, Oct. 24 (CNA) Taiwan reported four new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, all of which were contracted overseas, and no deaths from the disease, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
  • The number of confirmed COVID-19 fatalities in the country remains at 846, with the most recent death being reported on Oct. 9, according to the CECC.
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Experts in Germany comb through 100 contestants to find ‘Beard Olympics’ champion

By dpa
Some 100 men sporting beards and moustaches took part in a contest in Germany on Saturday to find out who had the best whiskers.The competitors came from the Netherlands, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and Israel as well as Germany to compete in at the Beard Olympics and the German Beard Championships, held in Eging am See, Lower Bavaria.They were competing in a range of categories from Dali to Muscateer, as well as “natural”, for entrants who did not use styling products.A jury of seven trained […]Read more >Similar articles >

Taiwanese first at Jacques Lancelot International Clarinet Competition

  • Taipei, Oct. 24 (CNA) Julien Chun-yen Lai (賴俊諺) of Taiwan's National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) took home first prize at the prestigious Jacques Lancelot International Clarinet Competition, which took place Oct. 19-23 in Rouen, France.
  • The competition featured a total of 143 musicians from 33 countries, with the three contestants in the final round vying for the judges approval with performances of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto in A major, KV.
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Covid-19 cases in eastern Europe near 20 million as vaccinations lag

  • According to a Reuters analysis, three of the top five countries reporting the most deaths in the world are in eastern Europe - Russia, Ukraine and Romania.
  • Hungary tops the region's vaccination rates with 62 per cent of its population having gotten at least one shot, whereas Ukraine has given just 19 per cent of its residents a single dose, according to Our World in Data.
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WWF Singapore ex-employee says workplace bullying gave her PTSD

By Robin Hicks
A former WWF Singapore employee who was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after allegedly being bullied by her old boss has spoken out against the global conservation body, which she says rejected her request for compensation to cover medical treatment. French national Coralie Ponsinet, 31, claims she suffered emotional abuse as a junior member of the sustainable finance team at the NGO’s Singapore branch from July 2015 to February 2017, after which she left the city state for a […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Germany’s Love Affair With Crime Fiction

By Thomas Kniesche
  • Taking inspiration from the American hard-boiled school of the 1930s and 1940s—in which a private eye roams the mean, corrupt streets of a big city to fight crime — in addition to Marxist philosophy and works by Belgian author Georges Simenon and Swedish crime writing duo Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, the Soziokrimi showed a West German society where corrupt political and economic elites have their way and the common man is forced into criminal behavior to make ends meet.
  • As more and more Soziokrimis were published, German-speaking authors were able to capture a part of the crime fiction market and sell their work to radio, television, and film networks.
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Coronavirus: northern China battens down to contain outbreaks

By Simone McCarthy
China recorded 26 new community cases of Covid-19 across seven regions and provinces on Saturday, as infections linked to tourism across the north grew, testing the country’s health defences as winter approaches.New local cases were reported on Saturday in Inner Mongolia, Gansu, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Hebei and Beijing, adding up to more than 130 new confirmed cases reported in China since last Sunday, according to a tally of daily official reports.Saturday’s cases included seven in Inner Mongolia, […]Read more >Similar articles >
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UK and EU still ‘far apart’ on Northern Ireland trade

By Laurens Cerulus
  • High-level talks will resume next week between the European Union and United Kingdom on rules governing trade in Northern Ireland but the two sides remain “far apart on the big issues,” a British government source said Saturday.
  • While insisting the U.K. government wants a speedy solution on the Northern Ireland Protocol, the source repeated London would not accept oversight by the EU’s highest court as part of a deal.
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India’s Salman Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, other stars eye NFTs amid global craze

By Reuters
Indian celebrities from the world of Bollywood and cricket are increasingly launching digital memorabilia through non-fungible tokens (NFT), hoping to rake in thousands of dollars by cashing in on growing interest in such assets.NFTs are a type of digital asset which use blockchain to record the ownership of items such as images, videos and other collectibles. Their roaring popularity has baffled many but the explosive growth shows no sign of abating.Bollywood superstars such as Amitabh […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Somalis in UK targeted with death threats and abuse after David Amess killing

By Mark Townsend
  • Speaking as darkness fell on Friday – just a day after Ali Harbi Ali, a 25-year-old, British-born man of Somali heritage, was charged with the murder of the Conservative MP Sir David Amess in Essex – Sharif said the intersectionality of being black and Muslim was hitting young men particularly hard.
  • Sharif said that while British Somali young men are too easily criminalised and targeted by police, their female peers are also viewed through the prism of inaccurate stereotypes.
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‘Darker skies and colder weather provide perfect conditions… for Covid-19 to thrive’

By James Tapper, Robin McKie, Michael Savage and Donna Ferguson
  • Until last week, ministers appeared to be holding the line that although at least 40,000 people a day were testing positive for Covid, vaccinations were restraining the worst effects of the virus, with most of the 900 patients being admitted to hospital each day coming from the ranks of the unvaccinated.
  • But if the health and care services run out of capacity: the system has to either leave people waiting for treatment, or try to reduce demand.
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What is ‘lying flat’, and why are Chinese officials standing up to it?

By Ji Siqi,He Huifeng,Brian Peach
“Lying flat” is a movement about doing nothing. And that makes it about everything.For months, the chatter surrounding lying flat, or tang ping, has permeated Chinese society, sowed discourse and become ubiquitous enough to finally warrant a public condemnation by President Xi Jinping.“It is necessary to prevent the stagnation of the social class, unblock the channels for upward social mobility, create opportunities for more people to become rich, and form an environment for improvement in […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Turkey expels European, U.S. ambassadors over Osman Kavala statement

  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared 10 foreign ambassadors - including seven from Europe - as persona non grata after they called for the release of a businessman and philanthropist that was jailed in 2017 despite having not having been convicted of a crime.
  • “I gave the instruction to our foreign minister and said ‘You will immediately handle the persona non grata declaration of these 10 ambassadors,’” Erdogan told supporters during a rally in Eskisehir.
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Japan election campaign promises include potential market-movers

By Noriyuki Suzuki
  • Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida may have witnessed the harsh reality of how investors react when his suggestion of higher capital gains tax rates apparently sent Japanese stocks lower shortly after he was elected president of the ruling party last month.
  • The ruling parties support developing a “green international financial center” in Japan for bonds issued to address climate change and help attain carbon neutrality.
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Mummy’s older than we thought: new find rewrites the history books

By Dalya Alberge
  • The sophistication of the body’s mummification process and the materials used – including its exceptionally fine linen dressing and high-quality resin – was not thought to have been achieved until 1,000 years later.
  • Tom Cook, the series producer for Windfall Films, said: “They knew the pottery in the tomb was Old Kingdom but [Ikram] didn’t think that the mummy was from [that period] because it was preserved too well.
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1,000 Years of Joys and Sorrows by Ai Weiwei review – a life of dissent

By Sean O’Hagan
  • “The whirlpool that swallowed up my father upended my life too, leaving a mark on me that I carry with me to this day,” Ai writes in the opening chapter of this ambitious memoir, in which his father’s story gives way to, and often echoes, his own.
  • For the Chinese authorities, who would take time to come to terms with and control the internet, this was the first of many transgressions that would lead to his blog being shut down in 2009 and to his subsequent arrest and detention in 2011.
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Hilary Mantel tells a great tale but ruined abbeys tell a different one, says expert

By Julian Coman
  • In The Mirror and the Light, as in the preceding volumes, Mantel projects herself into the mind of Cromwell as he brings to an end a 1,000-year tradition of religious houses in England and deals with the Pilgrimage of Grace, a northern rebellion against Henry VIII’s rule.
  • The Dissolution of the monasteries – the ruin of places such as Fountains Abbey and Rievaulx in Yorkshire – has become part of a narrative which is somehow about saving England and putting it on an enlightened path to what will eventually become secular liberal democracy.”
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T20 World Cup 2021 fixtures: England match dates, start times and full TV schedule

By Telegraph Sport
  • Eight further teams - in Group A: Sri Lanka, Ireland, Namibia and Netherlands; in Group B: Bangladesh, Oman, Papua New Guinea and Scotland - began a round robin elimination process to decide the four to join the Super 12 stage.
  • Two-tiered: eight teams have qualified automatically for the 'Super 12 stage' by virtue of their ICC ranking in December 2018 - (de jure if not de facto) hosts India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, England, Australia, New Zealand, West Indies and South Africa.
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African effort to replicate mRNA vaccine targets disparities

By Lori Hinnant, Maria Cheng and Andrew Meldrum | AP
  • Afrigen Managing Director Petro Terblanche said the Cape Town company is aiming to have a version of the Moderna vaccine ready for testing in people within a year and scaled up for commercial production not long after.
  • “We are doing this for Africa at this moment, and that drives us,” said Emile Hendricks, a 22-year-old biotechnologist for Afrigen Biologics and Vaccines, the company trying to reproduce the Moderna jab.
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Hungary’s Orban, opposition rival hold rallies as election race heats up

  • At Hungary's parliamentary vote expected to be held next April Orban, 58, will face Marki-Zay, a 49-year-old conservative provincial mayor, who won an opposition primary election last Sunday.
  • Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and newly elected opposition leader Peter Marki-Zay held separate rallies in Budapest on Saturday six months from an election expected to be the tightest race in 15 years.
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Manchester United can beat Liverpool today – but they might have to drop Cristiano Ronaldo

By Daniel Zeqiri
  • He is a person whose work-rate is appreciated by his team-mates and will be important when they face Manchester United today and attempt to press their backline into mistakes.
  • “When he scores it is always this extra little bit of joy because we always have these discussions which are not ridiculous but we never had the discussion [within the club] of Bobby not scoring enough but we face the questions quite frequently and then it appears when he does not do that but he wouldn’t play if he would not be incredibly important anyway,” Klopp added.
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All hail the net zero strategy: a year late and lacking in both ambition and funding

By Guardian Staff
  • Last week the government set out its strategy for meeting its net zero carbon targets : this came a year later than expected, and less than a fortnight before the UK finds itself front and centre on the global stage as host of the Cop26 UN climate talks in Glasgow.
  • Chris Stark, chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change, said the success of the government’s net zero plans would rely on ministers putting in place major and at times expensive policy changes.
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Prosecutors resummon key suspects amid growing calls for special probe

By Ji Da-gyum
  • Prosecutors on Sunday again summoned key suspects of the high-profile land development scandal for continued questioning amid growing calls for an independent counsel investigation into the case.
  • Since South Korean prosecutors failed to prove the key misconduct allegations on the part of Yoo, there have been growing calls for an independent counsel investigation into a high-profile land development corruption scandal.
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‘Lesser evil’? disapproval of presidential candidates rises

By Shin Ji-hye
  • About four months before the upcoming presidential election, voters increasingly disapprove of three key candidates from both the ruling and opposition parties amid constant scandals, doubts and slip-ups.
  • According to a survey conducted by Gallup Korea with 1,000 adults nationwide between Oct. 19-21, Lee Jae-myung, the ruling Democratic Party of Korea’s sole presidential candidate, marked a 32 percent approval rating.
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Murder, missing money and cover-up claims: South Carolina family mystery grips America

By Edward Helmore in Columbia
  • Last week, Murdaugh appeared in court in Columbia, the state capital, on a bond hearing over charges he misappropriated $3.5m in insurance settlements relating to the death of the family’s longtime housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield.
  • Newman’s stated rationale was that Murdaugh, who appeared a shadow of the portly man pictured in earlier photographs, was a danger to himself and others because he – prosecution and defense acknowledged – has a 20-year addiction to opioids and, the judge said, close to 80% of criminal cases that come before the court have a component of addiction.
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In Trump’s Shadow: David Drucker surveys the Republican runners and riders for 2024

By Lloyd Green
  • Drucker delivers deeper dives on former vice-president Mike Pence; the Florida senator Marco Rubio and governor, Ron DeSantis; Nikki Haley, Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations; the Arkansas senator Tom Cotton; and the governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan.
  • Drucker names an array of Republican presidential hopefuls, among them long-shots such as the Texas governor, Greg Abbott; the Nebraska senator Ben Sasse; and Trump’s last national security adviser, Robert O’Brien.
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Myanmar says it is committed to Asean peace plan, despite snub

  • Myanmar's military rulers pledged on Sunday (Oct 24) to cooperate "as much as possible" with a peace plan agreed with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), despite a stern rebuke of the regional bloc for excluding the country's top commander from a summit this week.
  • In an announcement in state media on Sunday, the junta said it upholds the principal of peaceful coexistence with other countries and would cooperate with Asean in following a five-point "consensus" agreed in April, a plan backed by the West and China.
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Bollywood stars, Indian celebrities launch NFTs amid global craze

  • Indian celebrities from the world of Bollywood and cricket are increasingly launching digital memorabilia through non-fungible tokens (NFT), hoping to rake in thousands of dollars by cashing in on growing interest in such assets.
  • "NFTs are right now alien to Bollywood but I am sure they (film stars) will see this as another platform where they can use their existing content and generate revenue," said Ayaan Agnihotri of Bollycoin, an NFT marketplace for Bollywood assets.
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Australia Covid update: as most Victoria restrictions lift next month, ‘vaccinated economy’ to stay for 2022

By Nino Bucci
  • The state is now at 73% full vaccination for those aged 16 and older (increasing at a rate of about a percentage point a day), but the number of people in hospital (787, up from 770 on Saturday), intensive care (146, compared to 144 on Saturday) and on a ventilator (93, 90 on Saturday) also continues to climb.
  • Those restrictions were expanded on Sunday, when Andrews made clear that non-essential retail and events would be vaccine mandated, effectively banning those who are unvaccinated from attending or working in those settings.
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Wuhan Marathon postponed after China Covid-19 surge

  • China reported 26 new domestic Covid-19 cases on Sunday, in an outbreak that has become latest test of the country's zero-tolerance approach with just over 100 days until the start of the Games.
  • The Wuhan Marathon, which had been due to take place on Sunday (Oct 24), has been postponed at short notice as worries increase over a coronavirus resurgence in China ahead of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
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‘World conflict and chaos’ could be the result of a summit failure

By Fiona Harvey, environment correspondent
  • Global security and stability could break down, with migration crises and food shortages bringing conflict and chaos, if countries fail to tackle greenhouse gas emissions, the UN’s top climate official has warned ahead of the Cop26 climate summit .
  • Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said: “We’re really talking about preserving the stability of countries, preserving the institutions that we have built over so many years, preserving the best goals that our countries have put together.
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