May 16, 2021

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Biden expresses concerns over conflict as Netanyahu defends Israel’s actions in Gaza

By Allan Smith
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended the bombing of a building in Gaza that housed media organizations as U.S. President Joe Biden expressed concerns about the safety of civilians and journalists amid the ongoing violence.
  • Netanyahu spoke with CBS's "Face the Nation" after press freedom advocates and others condemned the Israeli military's airstrike on a Gaza building that housed the offices of foreign media including the Associated Press and Al-Jazeera.
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Cyclone Tauktae: Indian states put on alert ahead of storm – Al Jazeera English

  • At least four people have died in torrential rain and winds as coronavirus-hit India braces for a powerful cyclone, officials said on Sunday, with tens of thousands set to be evacuated from their homes.
  • Cyclone Tauktae – India’s first major tropical storm this season – is moving northwards in parallel with the country’s western coast, bringing heavy rains, thunderstorms and strong winds to several states, the meteorological department said.
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MP says Covid inquiry must examine delay in adding India to ‘red list’

By Jessica Elgot Deputy political editor
  • It came as Downing Street and the health secretary, Matt Hancock, denied politics was involved in the decision to wait 17 days before putting India on the list of countries requiring mandatory hotel quarantine, after Bangladesh and Pakistan were added despite having significantly lower Covid case rates.
  • A public inquiry must examine whether Boris Johnson’s decision to delay adding India to the travel “red list” of countries was influenced by his desire to start trade talks with Delhi, the chair of a cross-party Covid inquiry group has said.
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India: More corpses found washed up on Ganges River banks

  • Recent reports of large numbers of people falling ill in villages, and then putting dead bodies in the river, comes as COVID-19 has seemingly spread to India's rural hinterland, where 70% of its 1.3 billion people live.
  • Indian police on Sunday were reaching out to villagers in the north of the country after hundreds of corpses were found in shallow sand graves or washed up on the banks of the the Ganges River .
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Coronavirus: Top Indian virologist quits government panel after airing differences

  • NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - A top Indian virologist has resigned from a forum of scientific advisers set up by the government to detect variants of the coronavirus, he told Reuters on Sunday (May 16), weeks after questioning the authorities' handling of the pandemic.
  • Health Minister Harsh Vardhan also did not immediately respond to a text message seeking comment.
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Two found dead after standoff in First Nations community in eastern Quebec

  • Meanwhile, the local band council issued a statement Sunday saying the Mi’kmaq government would be offering support services, including grief counselling, for community members.
  • The Bureau of Independent Investigations issued a statement saying officers from the Listuguj Police Department were dispatched to the residence near the New Brunswick border at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday to investigate reports of gunfire.
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Cyberattack in Asian countries hits subsidiary of French insurance giant Axa

By Agence France-Presse
A subsidiary of French insurance giant Axa has been hit by a ransomware attack affecting operations in several Asian countries, the company said on Sunday, confirming a Financial Times report.“Asia Assistance was recently the victim of a targeted ransomware attack which affected its IT operations in Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and the Philippines,” Axa Partners said in a statement.“Certain data processed by Inter Partners Asia (IPA) in Thailand has been accessed,” it added, saying it would […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Gaza suffers deadliest airstrikes yet as Israel targets Hamas leader – video report

At least 33 Palestinians have been killed and 50 injured in the deadliest airstrikes since the start of fighting between Israel and Hamas six days ago. Israel targeted the home of the Hamas leader Yehya al-Sinwar over the weekend anddestroyed the buildingthat housed the offices of Al-Jazeera and the Associated Press. At least 181 people in Gaza and 10 in Israel have been killed so far

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Tree poaching from B.C. forests increasing as lumber hits record prices

By Carey Bermingham
  • Sunderland said the high lumber prices are likely driving the thefts, but they’ve also resulted in the cutting down of other tree species beyond firs and cedar.
  • Government natural resource officers have investigated situations where the poachers have caused environmental damage by taking down large Douglas fir or red cedar trees near sensitive waterways, he said.
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Turkey eases measures for tourists despite lockdown

A 17-day confinement remained in effect in Turkey on Sunday, ahead of the easing of some restrictions on Monday, while restaurants and cafes will remain closed, the Interior Minister said. Other restrictions that are to remain in effect include a 9:00 PM curfew until 1 June, and the continued closure of schools. On the other hand, inter-city travel will be authorised once more. The restrictions do not apply to tourists, a fact which, like the ban on alcohol sales, has aroused the anger of many Turkish people. In fact, a promotional tourist video was withdrawn from the internet due to public anger, as it showed tourism-sector workers wearing […]Read more >Similar articles >
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US legislator AOC calls Israel an ‘apartheid state’ – Al Jazeera English

  • Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the US House of Representatives, is part of a cadre of progressive legislators who have been increasingly critical of US support for Israel and have called for the administration of President Joe Biden to take a harder line amid the most recent escalation.
  • As of Sunday, Israeli attacks had killed more than 180 Palestinians, including at least 52 children, in the Gaza Strip since the escalation began on Monday.
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Fraser Health becomes “flexible, agile and adaptable” to cool COVID-19 hot spots

By Glenda Luymes
  • The higher transmission in some Surrey neighbourhoods may reflect risk factors in those places that aren’t as prevalent in others, said Lee.
  • B.C. CDC data shows that several Surrey neighbourhoods in particular have borne a “disproportionate burden of the pandemic,” including West Newton, which recorded an average of 60 daily cases per 100,000 people between May 4 and 10 — more than anywhere else in B.C.
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Thousands of Alberta workers have claimed compensation for COVID-19 infection: WCB

By Jason Herring
  • The board developed a pilot program at its Millard Health rehabilitation centre in Edmonton to work with long COVID patients, aiming to provide specialized care for post-COVID symptoms medical professionals are still attempting to understand fully.
  • “The research we found was pointing in the direction that the client population really needed an interdisciplinary approach to help address medical, physical, functional and psychological challenges associated with long COVID,” said Kevin Drake, a service manager at Millard Health who helped develop the program.
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The Community of Miguel Colorado — So Much More Than a Cenote

By Yucatan Times
  • With Pronatura behind them, the farmers of Miguel Colorado have developed a wide repertoire of inspiring chemical-free products, like a chili and garlic-based insecticide, and a limestone cork fungus-repellant.
  • Travelling along a bumpy dirt track to the east of Miguel Colorado — a remote town in the center of the state of Campeche — Don Ramón drags his ancient pick-up to a halt.
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A tough sell: In Dubai amid clash, Israel promotes tourism

  • DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- As violence flares within Israel and on a day in which Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City killed at least 42 people Sunday, it was business as usual for a senior Israeli tourism official in Dubai as she promoted the country as a must-see destination for Muslim visitors.
  • Kobiakov said the hope is that Emirati citizens and foreign residents of the UAE will visit Israel in return and help its tourism sector rebound when the country is open again to tourists.
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As foreign travel rules ease, what is required to enter the UK?

By Jamie Grierson Home affairs correspondent
  • The details are to be confirmed but it’s expected that up to three polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests will be required: one before entry showing a negative result and up to two afterwards depending on the country from which a traveller has arrived.
  • Depending on the country of origin, up to two more tests could be required, both of which would need a certificate to prove a negative result.
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Fake Covid vaccine and test certificate market is growing, researchers say

By Jamie Grierson
  • Israel-based researchers found evidence of forgeries of vaccine cards by the NHS and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alongside fake test certificates, all available for sale on the dark web and through easy-to-access platforms including the messaging apps WhatsApp, Telegram and Jabber.
  • A Border Force official told the Guardian the majority of travellers being caught as they arrive in the UK with fake negative Covid test certificates are from poorer nations including African, South American and Asian countries.
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The Guardian view on David Cameron’s lobbying: a cynical defence won’t wash | Editorial

By Editorial
  • L ast week, David Cameron, Britain’s former Conservative prime minister, claimed rather implausibly that his frantic lobbying of ministers and officials last year on behalf of failed Australian financier Lex Greensill was motivated by public service rather than private gain.
  • It is startling to hear Mr Cameron suggest there was nothing wrong in using the British state as a piggybank for politically connected financial firms.
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What threat does Indian Covid variant pose and do vaccines work against it?

By Denis Campbell Health policy editor
  • Prof John Edmunds, a member of Sage, said that while the Indian variant represented “a new threat”, the UK was in a much better position than it was before Christmas, soon after the Kent variant was discovered.
  • According to the minutes of a meeting last Tuesday of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (Sage), advisers believe the transmission of B.1.617.2, as the Indian variant is known, “is currently faster than that of the B.1.1.7 variant” – the Kent variant.
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‘It’s pretty common’: fake documents add to Border Force officials’ Covid woes

By Jamie Grierson Home affairs correspondent
  • “It’s now the case that on top of the job we normally do, which is immigration control, we spend 95% of our time doing the quarantine.
  • “If you find there’s a problem, if you find they haven’t got a certificate or they’re from a red-list country and they’ve not booked the relevant test, you have to fill out forms to issue fines.
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Why China’s dire demographic news signals need to adapt, focus on productivity

By Paul Yip
The latest census on China’s population has confirmed the much-anticipated concern about ageing and low fertility. In 2020, China had a population of 1.41 billion people, an increase of about 72 million from 1.34 billion in 2019. This represents a smaller annual percentage rise of 0.53 per cent compared to 0.57 per cent from 2000 to 2010. The proportion of the population aged 60 years or above and 65 and over increased to 18.7 per cent and 13.5 per cent, respectively. Based on United Nations […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Keir Starmer vows all-new Labour manifesto and economic offer

By Jessica Elgot Deputy political editor
  • Keir Starmer has said Labour will have a completely new blueprint for power not based on previous manifestos, as he told activists he would spend the summer making extended visits to places the party must win.
  • Mandelson offered up his experience to Starmer at the conference, saying the party should start listening more closely to those who had won elections for Labour, rather than seeing the Blair years as an “embarrassing aunt”.
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Israel committing war crimes in Gaza, Palestinian FM tells UN

  • Al-Maliki – part of the Palestinian Authority, not Hamas, the group that controls the Gaza Strip and has been firing rockets into Israel – voiced regret over Israeli deaths but urged the Security Council to examine the power balance.
  • Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki on Sunday accused Israel of committing “war crimes” in its nearly weeklong offensive on Gaza as he urged international pressure at a United Nations Security Council session.
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Biden aides defend controversial Covid mask guidance change

By Richard Luscombe
  • This week’s surprise reversal of mask-wearing guidance for those vaccinated against Covid-19 was a “foundational first step” towards returning the US to normal, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) insisted on Sunday, as the agency continued to draw criticism for the sudden and confusing advice.
  • A growing number of groups and health experts have questioned the new guidance, which reversed the CDC position that even those fully vaccinated should continue to wear masks indoors.
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UN chief Antonio Guterres calls for immediate end to fighting in Israel and Gaza

By Reuters
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the UN Security Council on Sunday that hostilities in Israel and Gaza were “utterly appalling” and called for an immediate end to fighting.Opening the 15-member council’s first public meeting on the conflict, Guterres said the United Nations is “actively engaging all sides toward an immediate ceasefire” and called on them “to allow mediation efforts to intensify and succeed.”The death toll in Gaza jumped to 181 overnight, including 47 children, amid an […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Fauci: ‘Undeniable effects of racism’ have worsened Covid for US minorities

  • Speaking to students from Washington, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), who leads the Covid-19 response in the US, said many members of minority groups work in essential jobs where they might be exposed to the coronavirus.
  • Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, Dr Anthony Fauci, said on Sunday “the undeniable effects of racism” have worsened the coronavirus pandemic for Black, Hispanic and Native Americans.
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Timeline: How US presidents have defended Israel over decades

  • The White House on Saturday said the US president called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the second time since the crisis began and “reaffirmed his strong support for Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket attacks from Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza”.
  • “This recent outburst of violence was instigated by Hamas – a Palestinian terrorist group supported by Iran and Syria that calls for Israel’s destruction,” Bush said, as reported by NBC News at the time.
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Girl who uses wheelchair deemed to have no mobility concerns by NDIS independent assessment

By Luke Henriques-Gomes
  • A nine-year-old girl who sometimes uses a wheelchair was described as not having mobility concerns in a report prepared for the National Disability Insurance Scheme trial of independent assessments.
  • The response was baffling to Tape given the previous question notes Eliza uses a manual wheelchair, while other reports generated from the assessment also referred to Eliza’s mobility issues.
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Anti-coup rebels say six dead in Myanmar clashes

  • Six opposition rebels have been killed after days of clashes in Myanmar, an anti-junta defence force made up of civilians said Sunday, as Britain and the United States condemned the military's violence against civilians.
  • "Six members of our CDF who tried to protect the security of the people in Mindat attacked (junta forces) and sacrificed their lives for the national revolution," said a CDF statement on Sunday.
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Human waste spills on to Gaza’s blacked-out streets as crisis looms

By Hazem Balousha in Gaza and Oliver Holmes in Jerusalem
  • A week of relentless Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip has destroyed power lines, smashed water pipes beneath roads and left human waste spilling out of the ground.
  • Supplies of vital animal feed sitting in trucks are being held on the Israeli side of the frontier waiting to go in, OCHA said, adding that Gaza’s stockpiles would run out on Sunday.
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Letter: Lyn Macdonald obituary

By Brian Harding

In the 1980s Lyn Macdonald organised guided tours to the Somme battlefields. I was planning to make a film about the Battle of the Somme for Channel 4 with the photographer Duffy and the journalist Peter Crookston, and we managed to get the last three places on one of these coach-trips.

Lyn coaxed many veterans who had remained silent about their experiences to speak out for the first time by convincing them that their stories were important. She did this by flirting with them and showing them that she really cared about what they had to say. As elderly men melted under her attention, they gratefully rewarded her with the interviews which became the substance of her books. We credited her on Lions Led by Donkeys, as a major inspiration in our filming.

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Box Office: Angelina Jolie’s ‘Those Who Wish Me Dead’ DOA as ‘Spiral’ claims No. 1

By Reuters
  • LOS ANGELES, May 16 (Variety.com) – Angelina Jolie’s survival action thriller “Those Who Wish Me Dead” didn’t do much to revive the North American box office.
  • “The film was barely promoted even by pandemic standards and effectively went under the radar as both as a theatrical and streaming release,” says Shawn Robbins, the chief analyst at Box Office Pro.
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Universities are failing to tackle rape culture on campus, students say

By Jessica Murray
  • Students have said universities are still failing to tackle rape culture on campus as a sit-in protest over sexual misconduct at Warwick University enters its ninth week.
  • Student group Protect Warwick Women has been camping in tents outside the student union building since March to protest over what they see as the university’s failure to tackle an “ingrained” problem of rape culture and sexual harassment on campus.
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Inflation fears rise as US consumer prices surge – Al Jazeera English

  • A worrisome bout of inflation struck the United States economy in April, with consumer prices for goods and services surging 0.8 percent, the largest monthly jump in more than a decade, and the year-over-year increase reaching its fastest rate since 2008.
  • Over the past 12 months, consumer prices have jumped 4.2 percent — the fastest rise since a 4.9 percent gain in the 12 months that ended in September 2008.
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The Wycombe Abbey School Hong Kong UK Boarding School iFestival is back

By Advertising partner
[Sponsored Article] Wycombe Abbey School Hong Kong and BE Education will be hosting the 2nd Annual UK Boarding School iFestival on Saturday, May 29th, 2021 at 2:30pm HKT. The UK Boarding School iFestival hosted by Wycombe Abbey School Hong Kong and BE Education is a free public online event available to all Hong Kong families interested in learning more about British Boarding School Education. The event will provide a platform to connect attendees with the Heads and Senior Representatives […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Coronavirus: domestic workers queue up outside testing centres across Hong Kong braving scorching heat

By Kathleen Magramo
Domestic workers lined up outside Covid-19 testing centres on one of the hottest days of the year in Hong Kong on Sunday to comply with what many called a discriminatory government order they be screened again.A few of them were dressed in red after a migrant rights group last week urged workers to wear the colour as a sign of protest over the requirement that all 340,000 helpers undergo a second test, despite the first round at the start of the month uncovering just three cases.In ordering the […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Israeli-Palestinian crisis escalates as diplomacy lags — live updates

  • Saudi Arabia called for international action to stop the ongoing Israeli offensive on Gaza as the kingdom accused Israel of committing "flagrant violations" against Islamic holy sites and Palestinians.
  • The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a 57-member bloc of Muslim nations, assembled for an online emergency meeting of regional foreign ministers that was called by Saudi Arabia.
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Joe Biden feels political ground shift as Israel-Gaza conflict rages on

By Julian Borger in Washington
  • In his staunch defence of Israel, Joe Biden is sticking to a course set decades ago as a young senator, and has not so far given ground on the issue to the progressive wing of his party or many Jewish Democrats urging a tougher line towards Benjamin Netanyahu.
  • The liberal Jewish American lobby, J Street, has growing influence in the Democratic party, and has urged Biden to do more to stop the bloodshed, and the Israeli policies that have helped drive the conflict.
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LED Tube Light

By Yucatan Times
  • The first and most obvious benefit of using the LED tube lights is, they are energy efficient and can easily save up a lot of money.
  • For example, if you are repulsed by high energy costs and want to incorporate efficient lighting in the house, bring the LED lights in your home right now.
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Afghanistan Cease-Fire Ends Amid Calls for Fresh Peace Talks

By KATHY GANNON and TAMEEM AKHGAR / AP
  • KABUL, Afghanistan — A three-day cease-fire marked by violent attacks — most claimed by the Islamic State group — ended Sunday in Afghanistan amid calls for renewed peace talks between the government and Taliban.
  • In a statement Sunday, the IS affiliate took responsibility for the mosque attack, saying its fighters planted an explosive device in “a worship place for disbelievers Sufis,” killing the “apostate Imam,” or prayer leader.
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Dan Fumano: New chapter for old Army & Navy building

By Dan Fumano
  • The pods provided more privacy and a better experience for residents seeking stability during difficult times, Fader said, and PHS saw success in Victoria with transitioning residents from the shelter to longer-term housing.
  • “We’ve come a long way since throwing a mat on a gym floor, or people sleeping in a church pew,” said Fader, director of housing for the PHS Community Services Society, the non-profit running the shelter.
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The out of body girl: My fragmented life with dissociation – Al Jazeera English

  • Even though we had all been yelled at by the babysitter, and even though the woman had spanked my younger brother, even though a strange boy had unzipped my red church dress, on the car ride home in the dark, when asked how the day had gone, all I could say was the food was terrible.
  • While my parents and siblings continued to talk, I turned my body to look out the back window of the car.
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Israeli PM says Gaza building housing media ‘legitimate target’

  • "An intelligence office for the Palestinian terrorist organization (was) housed in that building that plots and organizes the terror attacks against Israeli civilians," Netanyahu told CBS News.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday defended the strike on the Gaza tower that housed the Associated Press and Al Jazeera bureaus, alleging it also hosted a Palestinian "terrorist" intelligence office.
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Covid-19 tests should be compulsory for youth camps, says socialist leader

  • The socialist party is in favour of a relaxation of the measures but wants it to be done in all safety, according to Rousseau, who said he expects a lot from the Consultative Committee session scheduled for the end of May.
  • Testing for the coronavirus should be mandatory – instead of only recommended, as it is now – for participants in youth camps, according to Conner Rousseau, the president of the Flemish socialist Vooruit party.
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Why Your Business Should Be Using Social Media

By Yucatan Times
  • The point of spreading your name isn’t to make people immediately rush and buy whatever product or service you are offering, it is so when they do need it, they will think of you.
  • My point I’m trying to make is that sponsorship brings in a beloved figure or personality on the internet, and then has them tell people the benefits of your product or service.
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“Parque Animaya Zoo” will reopen its doors next Wednesday, May 19.

By Yucatan Times
  • The Mérida City Council reported that after being closed for more than 14 months due to the restrictions established in the face of the coronavirus pandemic and the meteorological phenomena that affected the municipality last year, the Bicentennial Zoo “Animaya” will reopen its doors to the public as of this Wednesday, May 19, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Likewise, on June 2 the accesses to the rustic Serpentarium area will be reactivated, with a controlled influx, and from June 16 it will be possible to do the guided tours in the safari, as well as, enjoy the water park, with limited capacity and with all the necessary measures to guarantee their health.
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US: Muslim groups to boycott Biden Eid event over Israel support

  • Prominent Muslim advocacy groups in the United States are boycotting a White House event on Sunday to celebrate the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, saying the Biden administration “aids, abets and justifies” Israeli air strikes on Palestinians in Gaza.
  • In a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday, Biden “reaffirmed his strong support for Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket attacks from Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza”, the White House said in a statement.
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Israeli Strikes Kill 42 and Topple Buildings in Gaza City

By FARES AKRAM and JOSEPH KRAUSS / AP
  • GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City flattened three buildings and killed at least 42 people Sunday, medics said, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled the fighting between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza would continue despite international efforts to broker a cease fire.
  • In its airstrikes, Israel has leveled a number of Gaza City’s tallest office and residential buildings, alleging they contain Hamas military infrastructure.
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Iran unveils its strongest domestic supercomputer – Al Jazeera English

  • Tehran, Iran – Iran has unveiled a supercomputer – its strongest till date – developed domestically by Tehran’s Amirkabir University of Technology (AUT), according to the state-run news website IRNA.
  • The supercomputer is reported to be wholly designed and built by a team of Iranian engineers [Courtesy: Mehr news agency] ICT Minister Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi said that work on the next supercomputer has already started, and it will have 100 times the capacity of Simorgh.
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Blairite thinktanks join forces in bid to broaden appeal

By Toby Helm
  • Wes Streeting, newly promoted to the shadow cabinet in the reshuffle carried out by Keir Starmer in the wake of the results, said the move to set up a new membership organisation was aimed at rescuing the party from crisis by building a desperately needed consensus around ideas and policy that could propel Labour back to power.
  • Patrick Diamond, a former policy adviser to Tony Blair and until now chair of Policy Network, said the time had come to recognise that much of New Labour’s thinking was now outdated and no longer appropriate or relevant to the challenges facing the party.
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Boris Johnson can’t keep making the same Covid mistakes – the risk of new variants isn’t going away

By Yvette Cooper
  • First, we need a much faster system in place to respond both to new variants and to rapidly rising cases while the vaccine programme is still being rolled out.
  • But that is why it is so frustrating that we now have a shadow cast over the latest lifting of restrictions by the spread of a new variant from India that the government could have avoided or slowed down.
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Police break up crowds in Barcelona after state of emergency lifted

  • Explaining the new measures, a member of the national police told Euronews: "People can go out on the street, they can be on the street - there are no restrictions in force in that sense.
  • Some residents said the events were inevitable given the length of time restrictions have been in place in Spain, where 79 new infections per 100,000 people were reported last week - about 16 percent of the peak rate in January.
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Tuition, enrichment classes in S’pore must move online till June 13 amid Covid-19 spike

  • SINGAPORE - All centre-based tuition and enrichment classes must move activities online till the end of phase two (heightened alert) on June 13, or until further notice is given, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing announced on Sunday (May 16).
  • Speaking at a virtual press conference, Mr Chan noted that his ministry is concerned about the recent spate of Covid-19 cases that have occurred during interactions and activities that took place outside of schools, including two pupils from St Andrew's Junior who tested positive for Covid-19 after taking the same school bus as an infected student.
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B.C. real estate services firm ordered to cease operations following regulator’s investigation

By Gordon Hoekstra
  • The regulatory body issued the emergency orders against Cricket Property Management Inc. on May 6 following an investigation and “numerous” complaints from industry members, tenants, owners, members of the public and the Burnaby RCMP.
  • Hiroti maintained the company does not carry out property management services in B.C., but instead provides matchmaking services that connect prospective property owners and tenants, which would not require licensing.
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Full home-based learning to start on May 19 to give schools time to prepare: Chan Chun Sing

  • SINGAPORE - Full home-based learning for schools will only start on Wednesday (May 19) as most schools will need a day or two to prepare, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said on Sunday.
  • "For the rest of the schools, they will typically take about one to two days to get their materials ready, and for them to brief the students and parents," he said, noting parents have said they will need to make adjustments to their plans to facilitate HBL for their children, including making alternative childcare arrangements.
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German lawmaker confronts online hate speech, death threats

  • Lindh said the nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD) — which he called a party with "a political finger on the trigger" — had created the climate for internet abuse.
  • As casually as if he were talking about the weather, Lindh said he had received scores of threats, some pledging to mutilate him and others to make him the next Walter Lübcke, the regional politician shot and killed point-blank in his garden by a neo-Nazi .
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Lockdowns and panic-buying in Taiwan as Covid cases rise

By Helen Davidson in Taipei
  • The sudden rise in cases in a country widely considered to have had one of the world’s leading pandemic responses prompted partial lockdown measures in two cities including the capital, Taipei, and sent worried residents indoors, clearing usually busy shopping districts and temples.
  • Taiwan reported 206 new local cases of Covid-19 on Sunday, breaking the previous day’s record high of 180 as authorities brought in partial lockdown measures in two major cities in a bid to contain the virus.
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Is John Cabot getting cancelled? Where the streets have explorers’ names, some Halifax residents call for change

By Canadian Press
  • “We live today in a society that does not honour explorers and what they did,” Frances Early, a retired Mount Saint Vincent University history professor, said in a recent interview.
  • Early lives on Stairs Place in the Hydrostone, named after the Halifax-born explorer who was instrumental in some of the most violent expeditions across Africa.
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The case for free speech

Freedom of speech is frequently under attack. Perhaps that’s to be expected in countries where dictators call the tune but the problems still exist in free societies in the definition of hate speech. One recent example is the accusations against Päivi Räsänen, a respected politician whose Christian views are well known. She faces prosecution by the Finnish General Prosecutor for expressing her religious beliefs. She didn’t express hate towards anyone.

[…]Read more >Similar articles >
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Police move revellers off streets as Barcelona parties after lockdown easing

By Reuters
  • BARCELONA — Spanish police said they cleared 9,000 revellers from Barcelona’s city centre streets and the nearby beach on Sunday to prevent dangerous overcrowding on the first full weekend after COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.
  • “I know what it means to have lived with lots of restrictions and that need to go out, but I ask you to do it carefully, to enjoy yourself, but to be very careful and to continue to respect security measures,” Rodriguez Uribes said.
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Peter Tonagh, Fiona Balfour, Mario D’Orazio join ABC board

By Zoe Samios
  • Mr Tonagh also led a government-funded efficiency review on the ABC and SBS which found the national broadcaster needed appropriate funding to maintain the level of service it currently provides, while also recommending a back-office merger of the two.
  • Mr Fletcher was sitting on a shortlist of candidates proposed by an independent panel, which is required to provide the government with three potential board members for each vacancy.
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Massive spend papers over cracks in rickety economy

  • This attempt by the Israeli government to shroud these crimes against humanity in secrecy will never repress the inalienable sovereign rights of Palestinians to self-determination.
  • Australia’s former deputy chief health officer Nick Coatsworth asserts it is unreasonable to aim for zero healthcare workers to be infected with COVID-19 (“ Risk misdiagnosed by activist doctors ”, May 15-16).
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Video: Pope Francis calls for end to fighting in Israel and Gaza

By Telegraph Video
  • Pope Francis called on Sunday (May 16) for an end to the conflict in Israel and Gaza, saying the deaths of so many innocent people in recent days, including children, was unacceptable.
  • Israeli air strikes killed 33 Palestinians, including 13 children, in Gaza early on Sunday, Gaza health officials said, and militants fired rockets into Israel as hostilities stretched into a seventh day.
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More and more Germans ready to be vaccinated

More and more Germans are ready to be vaccinated against the coronavirus since a vaccination campaign begun almost five months ago, a YouGov survey commissioned by German press agency DPA revealed on Sunday. Close to three-quarters of German adults (18+) now wish to be vaccinated, up from 65% just before the campaign kicked off on 27 December 2020. At the time, 19% refused to receive a vaccine against the virus. Today 15% still prefer not to take it. The undecided group, which made up 16% of the adult population in December, has now gone down to 11%. The Brussels Times […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Teaching no longer a secure job, with one-fifth of the workforce temporary

  • Principals could not put a temporary teacher in a permanent position without good reason, such as maternity, long service or annual leave, she said.
  • Yvette Cachia, Chief People Officer for the NSW Department of Education, said schools were given a permanent staffing entitlement based on student enrolments under agreements with the NSW Teachers Federation.
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Mérida residents protest against the use of face masks; “COVID-19 is planned”, they say

By Yucatan Times
  • A group of people, including members of the Church of God ( Iglesia de Dios ), as well as some others from civil society, peacefully demonstrated at the Monument where they demanded freedom to work and move freely, and also respect for their person for not wearing face masks and crossed out the COVID-19 pandemic as “planned.”
  • On the manipulation of people, he said that it is done through tests to detect COVID-19 since they (the authorities) already know if they are going to test positive or negative, which is why he asked to stop believing in the media, especially television because their reports on the coronavirus pandemic are part of a scam.
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‘Tsunami-like’ surge in application for forming new unions puts ‘enormous pressure’ on authorities, Hong Kong labour minister says

By Natalie Wong
A “tsunami-like” surge of applications to register trade unions in Hong Kong following the 2019 social unrest has posed “an enormous pressure” on the authorities, the labour minister has revealed.But Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong on Sunday pledged that the city government would ensure any unions that failed to comply with local laws would not be allowed to exist and would be deregistered, as it aimed to fulfil new duties under the national security law.The Labour Department’s […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Palestinian FM slams moves to normalise relations with Israel

  • Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki has criticised countries that moved to normalise relations with Israel last year, as violence escalates between the Palestinians and Israeli forces.
  • “Normalisation and running towards this colonial Israeli system without achieving peace and ending the Israeli occupation of Arab and Palestinian lands represents support for the apartheid regime and participation in its crimes,” Maliki told an emergency meeting of foreign ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on Sunday.
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This is a crucial week for the economy – but the Indian variant of Covid-19 has clouds forming on the horizon

By Hamish McRae
  • This will be a crucial week in the march back to normality – a week that will tell us lot about how quickly and how safely the world can back to business as usual, and how the new normality may be rather different to what we remember from those distant pre-lockdown days.
  • Other governments around the world were doing much the same, with the US leading the way.
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Iran unveils its strongest domestic supercomputer

  • Tehran, Iran – Iran has unveiled a supercomputer – its strongest till date – developed domestically by Tehran’s Amirkabir University of Technology (AUT), according to the state-run news website IRNA.
  • The supercomputer is reported to be wholly designed and built by a team of Iranian engineers [Courtesy: Mehr news agency] ICT Minister Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi said that work on the next supercomputer has already started, and it will have 100 times the capacity of Simorgh.
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Killer dad’s emails to disgraced private eye

  • Court documents obtained by NCA NewsWire reveal the full extent of how Edwards wielded private investigators to stalk and terrorise Olga and an adult daughter, who can’t be named, in the years before the murders.
  • Police believe the private eye Edwards spoke to in December 2016 was disgraced investigator Brett Sutcliffe, who lost his licence in 2008 after being busted lying to a 77-year-old woman who later spotted him on TV.
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Huge cash boost for Aussie refineries

  • A lifeline has been thrown to two of Australia’s three remaining oil refineries, protecting 1250 jobs and locking in the nation’s fuel security, the federal government says.
  • A package detailed in the federal budget on Tuesday showed payments will be made to Ampol’s last remaining oil refinery in operation, Lytton in Queensland, and Viva Energy Australia’s refinery in Geelong, Victoria, when margins reach certain levels, linked to actual production of key transport fuels.
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Palestinian foreign minister criticises moves to ‘normalise’ Israel ties

  • "Normalisation and running towards this colonial Israeli system without achieving peace and ending the Israeli occupation of Arab and Palestinian lands represents support for the apartheid regime and participation in its crimes," Maliki told an emergency meeting of foreign ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
  • SAUDI ARABIA (AFP) - Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki on Sunday (May 16) criticised countries that moved to normalise relations with Israel last year, as Muslim nations slammed the Jewish state for "barbaric" attacks against the Palestinians.
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From the Archives, 1966: God save the Queen — but not always

  • The Independent Theatre plays the anthem at the beginning or end of each performance, but the Phillip Theatre says in its program: “In accordance with modern theatre practice the National Anthem will only be played in the presence of Vice-Regal patronage or Heads of State.”
  • Orchestras can make a good fist of it (although in at least one of its Australian performances this year the London Symphony Orchestra did not bother to play the anthem), but some foreign artists have actually played it rather badly, and others have complicated matters by insisting on playing their own anthems as well.
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Cyclone Tauktae: Indian states put on alert ahead of storm

  • At least four people have died in torrential rain and winds as coronavirus-hit India braces for a powerful cyclone, officials said on Sunday, with tens of thousands set to be evacuated from their homes.
  • Cyclone Tauktae – India’s first major tropical storm this season – is moving northwards in parallel with the country’s western coast, bringing heavy rains, thunderstorms and strong winds to several states, the meteorological department said.
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‘Naughty favours’: Matt Gaetz seeks to ridicule allegations he paid underaged girl for sex

By Martin Pengelly in New York
  • “I’m being falsely accused of exchanging money for naughty favors,” he said, speaking to Republicans in Ohio on Saturday.
  • The embattled Florida congressman Matt Gaetz has compared allegations of sexual misconduct involving a minor to earmarks, a congressional process by which spending measures beneficial to representatives’ districts are attached to legislation.
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Muslim states condemn Israel’s ‘barbaric attacks’ against Palestinians

  • The OIC statement came after a virtual meeting in which Saudi Arabia condemned the violation of the sanctity of Muslim holy sites and evictions of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem.
  • DUBAI (REUTERS) - The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) called on Sunday (May 16) for an immediate halt to what it described as Israel's barbaric attacks on Gaza and blamed "systematic crimes" against the Palestinians for hostilities now in their seventh day.
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Trouble brews between Trappist monks and Belgian mineral empire

By Daniel Boffey in Rochefort, Belgium
  • For a decade the monks of Notre-Dame de Saint-Remy, in Rochefort, south Belgium – one of only 14 abbeys in the world producing Trappist beer – have been fighting with a quarry owner over the purity of the local spring water.
  • The saga began a decade ago when Lhoist announced its plan to deepen the Boverie quarry in Rochefort to extend its life from 2022 to 2046.
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Germany’s governing coalition argues over whistleblower law

  • That's why several international organizations that Germany belongs to — from the United Nations to the G20 to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to the European Council — have declared the importance of making whistleblower protection comprehensive and legally unambiguous.
  • In 2019, the European Union issued a directive requiring member states to protect whistleblowers more comprehensively, including covering people who facilitate whistleblowing, such as colleagues and relatives.
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‘SNL’s’ Kate McKinnon spoofs new CDC mask rules, Liz Cheney’s ousting from House leadership

By Washington Post
  • “Weekend Update” co-host Colin Jost returned to the new CDC mask guidelines later in the episode, quipping that President Joe Biden’s “take off your mask and smile” directive sounded like “the first example in every workplace harassment seminar.”
  • “To clear things up, I found a few doctors at the CDC who minored in theatre to demonstrate correct mask behaviour,” she continued, introducing various scenarios, including: Beck Bennett strolling into Aidy Bryant’s pretend bar; Bowen Yang and Ego Nwodim’s flirty businessman and flight attendant characters interpreting “the friendly skies” on another level; and Chloe Fineman telling her date, played by Andrew Dismukes, that his beard “looks like you grew mold under your mask.”
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UN chief, opening Mideast session, warns of ‘uncontainable’ crisis

  • "It has the potential to unleash an uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis and to further foster extremism, not only in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel, but in the region as a whole," he said.
  • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday pleaded for an immediate end to deadly Israeli-Palestinian violence, warning a Security Council meeting that the fighting could plunge the region into an "uncontainable" crisis.
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Several injured in east Jerusalem car-ramming attack: police

  • A car-ramming attack wounded several people including four police officers in the flashpoint Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem on Sunday, police said, adding that the attacker was shot.
  • A car-ramming attack wounded several people including four police officers in the flashpoint Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem on Sunday, police said, adding that the attacker was shot.
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Coronavirus: Britain ‘confident’ existing vaccines protect against B1.617.2 variant, health secretary says

By Agence France-Presse
Britain is confident that existing vaccines will provide protection from a more transmissible coronavirus variant that was first identified in India and is now spreading across the country, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Sunday.England, Scotland and Wales are set to unlock parts of their economy on Monday, but further steps have been put in doubt by the Indian strain.Hancock told Sky News the government had a “high degree of confidence” that vaccines would stand up to the B1.617.2 […]Read more >Similar articles >
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China’s private sector ‘uncertainty’ is pushing young jobseekers to look for work in its vast bureaucracy

By He Huifeng,Orange Wang
Sick of working long hours for average pay, Dong Liang is looking to throw in his job at a small tech company in Shenzhen for work with China’s civil service.The 24-year-old from Huizhou city in Guangdong province is one of millions of young Chinese desperate to find steady work in a time of deep economic uncertainty following the coronavirus pandemic.Though he has been employed in China’s fast-growing tech sector since he graduated in 2018, China’s vast bureaucracy holds an irresistible allure […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Saudi Arabia condemns Israel for ‘flagrant violations’ in Gaza – Al Jazeera English

  • Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister condemned Israel’s “flagrant violations” of Palestinian rights and called on the international community to act urgently to put an end to deadly military operations in the Gaza Strip.
  • Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud made the televised remarks on Sunday at the start of an emergency virtual meeting of the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) following a week of intense Israeli bombings of Gaza – an enclave of two million people – which has remained under an air, land and sea blockade imposed by Israel.
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The fallacy of the colonial ‘right to self-defence’ – Al Jazeera English

  • Colonial occupiers have long claimed a “right” to defend themselves from the resistance of native communities, including by committing mass murder.
  • Lukewarm expressions of “dismay” and “grave concern” at Palestinian deaths have been interspersed with declarations of “unwavering support for Israel’s security and for Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself”.
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Could England’s future be a left-leaning south facing off against a conservative north? | John Harris

By John Harris
  • All of this is accelerating a change that was starting to become clear before the pandemic: in many places once seen as conservative with both a big and small C, signs of a shift towards a different kind of politics.
  • But as England enters a new age of political polarisation, those endless lifestyle articles about whichever places beyond the capital are now held to have the correct mixture of artisan cafes and organic food markets also suggest other social changes that are much narrower, and introverted: what some people call “clustering”.
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Coronavirus: Singapore to close schools from Wednesday amid fears B.1.617 variant ‘affects children more’

By Kok Xinghui
Singapore will close public schools this week as it grapples with a sharp rise in domestic cases of Covid-19 that have resulted in the city state returning to lockdown-like conditions in place at the height of the pandemic last year.The country on Sunday reported 38 new local cases of the virus, 18 of which were unlinked. This month, Singapore has racked up 193 domestic infections, compared to 55 in April and just nine in March. It has reported more than 61,000 cases in total since the start of […]Read more >Similar articles >

Flanders also wants to vaccinate teens aged 16-17 by 11 July

By Maïthé Chini
  • The Vaccination Taskforce called the target date of mid-August “achievable” if the deliveries happen according to plan, and also said that, logistically, it is not a difficult task to include 16 and 17-year-olds in the campaign, as at most two to three days have to be added to the schedule
  • He said that he wants the vaccination campaign to be completed by mid-August, meaning that all adults in Flanders should have received their second dose by then.
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The out of body girl: My fragmented life with dissociation

  • Even though we had all been yelled at by the babysitter, and even though the woman had spanked my younger brother, even though a strange boy had unzipped my red church dress, on the car ride home in the dark, when asked how the day had gone, all I could say was the food was terrible.
  • While my parents and siblings continued to talk, I turned my body to look out the back window of the car.
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First-hand stories shed new light on Nazi death marches

By Caroline Davies
  • The Wiener Holocaust Library, which collected testimonies from some of the small numbers of survivors in the 1950s and 1960s, aims to bring light to these “mobile concentration camps” in its new London exhibition, Death Marches: Evidence and Memory.
  • First-hand accounts from survivors of Nazi death marches, which formed a last ruthless chapter of the genocide, are to go on display with testimonies translated into English for the first time.
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Matt Hancock: unlocking will go ahead next week despite India variant – video

The health secretary told the BBC's Andrew Marr that the next stage of opening England up from lockdown would still go ahead this week despite concerns about the India variant.

'I'm confident that we can take the step tomorrow, but we should all be careful about how we take that step,' Hancock said.

He added that the government would announce a decision on whether to end all lockdown measures – currently planned for 21 June – on 14 June

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ABBA’s Waterloo named best song in Eurovision Top 50

The Swedish pop group ABBA’s 1974 hit “Waterloo,” was crowned the best song of the Top 50 of Eurovision Song Contest, organised by Dutch NPO Radio2, on Saturday evening. It placed first among some 1,500 songs nominated by people in 14 countries, who voted for the best titles from the finals of the competition. For Belgium, Sandra Kim with “J’aime la vie” –1986 Eurovision winner – came in in 37th place, Loïc Nottet with “Rhythm Inside” (2015) was 39th and Blanche was in 40th place with “City Lights” (2017). Related News:Eurovision 2021 tickets go on saleEurovision Song Contest can go ahead with live audience as test event Two Swedish […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Fresh local Covid-19 cases in China trigger run on vaccines

By Guo Rui
Authorities in China have stepped up Covid-19 controls and residents are lining up to get vaccines after two provinces reported the country’s first cases of community transmission in over three weeks.Yingkou, a port city in northeast China’s Liaoning province, reported five confirmed and eight asymptomatic cases as of Saturday.The cities of Luan and Hefei, in the eastern province of Anhui, reported seven confirmed cases, and seven cases of asymptomatic infection as of Sunday afternoon.Shenyang, […]Read more >Similar articles >
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‘Shocked and horrified’: Israeli strike on media building provokes outrage

By Yuliya Talmazan
  • Press freedom advocates have condemned Saturday's Israeli airstrike on a Gaza building which housed offices of foreign media, including The Associated Press and Al-Jazeera.
  • Israel's military has defended the targeting the tower by claiming that Hamas had a military intelligence office in the building and used journalists as human shields, without providing evidence.
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IMF chief: ‘We ought to support Africa in this genuinely historic moment’

By Stephen CARROLL
Leaders from more than a dozen African countries will attenda summit in Paris from Mondayto discuss their financial needs after the Covid-19 pandemic. Ahead of the gathering, the head of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, has told FRANCE 24 the international community must step up efforts to ensure a "dangerous divergence" of fortunes between advanced and developing economies is avoided. "This divergence would mean more insecurity, more instabilty and lost opportunities for the world economy to grow," she warned. […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Fitness: Canadians can’t get enough of pickleball

By Jill Barker, Special to Montreal Gazette
  • The sport was created in the mid-1960s by three American dads and their bored kids, who grabbed whatever pieces of equipment they could find — a badminton net, a Wiffle ball and some table-tennis paddles — and started playing a mash-up of their families’ favourite games.
  • “It’s an easy sport to pick up, learn and enjoy,” said Jim Parrott, president of Pickleball Canada, an organization designed to promote pickleball’s growth.
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UN champions Mauritian control of Chagos Islands by rejecting UK stamps

By Haroon Siddique Legal affairs correspondent
  • Stamps issued by the British Indian Ocean Territory could soon be rendered invalid after the Universal Postal Union’s (UPU) council recommended they no longer be recognised, in the latest step rejecting the UK’s claim to the Chagos Islands .
  • Mauritius, the African Union and many other countries are taking active steps to give effect to Mauritian sovereignty, ensuring that no international organisation recognises Britain’s illegal occupation: from fishing to transport, stamps and coins, even the .io domain name, change is in the air.”
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US legislator AOC calls Israel an ‘apartheid state’

  • Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the US House of Representatives, is part of a cadre of progressive legislators who have been increasingly critical of US support for Israel and have called for the administration of President Joe Biden to take a harder line amid the most recent escalation.
  • As of Sunday, Israeli attacks had killed more than 180 Palestinians, including at least 52 children, in the Gaza Strip since the escalation began on Monday.
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