Programme follows approval of vaccinations for 12- to 15-year-olds and is aimed at heading off winter rise in infections
Boris Johnson is to confirm the start of a booster jabs programme for the over-50s on Tuesday after government scientists finally approved vaccinations for older schoolchildren.
Setting out a widespread acceleration of the vaccine programme before what ministers concede will be a difficult second winter coping with the virus, the prime minister will also signal his opposition to any further lockdowns this year.
In a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, the prime minister will highlight the need to keep some measures in reserve, which could include a return to compulsory mask-wearing in some settings, telling people to work from home where possible and the reintroduction of social distancing across England.
The row over Brexit and Northern Ireland has escalated after the UK government issued a new warning to the EU that it will not shy away from unilaterally suspending the Northern Ireland protocol agreed by Boris Johnson last year.
Lord Frost, the Brexit minister, told the House of Lords on Monday night that the EU should take the UK’s proposals to renegotiate part of the protocol “seriously” if it wanted to avoid the protocol collapsing.
He said his July command paper had set out the tests the UK would apply to trigger article 16 of the protocol, which allows either side to suspend the protocol if it is deemed as having a significant impact on everyday life.
“I urge the EU to take this seriously. They would be making a significant mistake if they thought that we were not ready to use article 16 safeguards, if that is our only choice to deal with the situation in front of us. If we are to avoid article 16, there must be a real negotiation between us and the EU.”
The global production of food is responsible for a third of all planet-heating gases emitted by human activity, with the use of animals for meat causing twice the pollution of producing plant-based foods, a major new study has found.
The entire system of food production, such as the use of farming machinery, spraying of fertilizer and transportation of products, causes 17.3bn metric tonnes of greenhouse gases a year, according to the research. This enormous release of gases that fuel the climate crisis is more than double the entire emissions of the US and represents 35% of all global emissions, researchers said.
“The emissions are at the higher end of what we expected, it was a little bit of a surprise,” said Atul Jain, a climate scientist at the University of Illinois and co-author of the paper, published in Nature Food. “This study shows the entire cycle of the food production system, and policymakers may want to use the results to think about how to control greenhouse gas emissions.”
Bogota, Colombia – Colombia is the world’s most dangerous country for environmental defenders, a report published on Monday by Global Witness, an international human rights group, highlighted.
For the second year in a row, the Andean nation saw the highest number of killings in 2020, with 65 land and environmental defenders murdered, the report said.
Since the end of a five-decade war between the Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group and the Colombian government with a peace deal in 2016, new violence has emerged in the rural areas where the FARC demobilised. Existing and new illegal armed groups vie for control to use land for illegal mining, logging, or drug trafficking, and they often operate on Indigenous or Afro-Colombian territories.
The UN hosted a donor conference in Geneva on Monday in a bid to raise $606 million (€513 million) needed by December to keep aid programs in Afghanistan afloat.
By the end of the afternoon, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced that donors had pledged over $1 billion.
"This conference has fully met my expectations in relation to the solidarity with the people in Afghanistan," Guterres said.
Since the collapse of the Western-backed Afghan government and the Taliban takeover in August, Afghanistan stands on the brink of a growing humanitarian crisis.
Many countries that were willing to provide aid have expressed growing hesitation due to concerns about how funds will be spent with the Taliban in power.
Forty government ministers, including German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, as well as dozens of government representatives are attending both in person and virtually.
"For security reasons, demonstrations are banned in Afghanistan from now on," reads the first official decree issued by the Afghan Interior Ministry under the Taliban regime.
The statement added that people must secure official permission before any protests, and security agencies must be informed of all details such as the kind of slogans that will be used during the demonstrations.
The ministry, which is now led by Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is wanted by the United States on terrorism charges, warned that protesters will face "severe legal consequences" in case of violations of the new rules.
The ban seems to be mainly targeted at female activists, who have been at the forefront of anti-Taliban protests since the Islamic fundamentalist group seized power in the country last month.
Ray DeMonia, 73, was born and raised in Cullman, Ala., but he died on Sept. 1, some 200 miles away in an intensive care unit in Meridian, Miss.
Last month, DeMonia, who spent 40 years in the antiques and auctions business, suffered a cardiac emergency. But it was because hospitals are full due to the coronavirus — and not his heart — that he was forced to spend his last days so far from home, according to his family.
"Due to COVID 19, CRMC emergency staff contacted 43 hospitals in 3 states in search of a Cardiac ICU bed and finally located one in Meridian, MS.," the last paragraph of DeMonia's obituary reads, referring to the Cullman Regional Medical Center.
"In honor of Ray, please get vaccinated if you have not, in an effort to free up resources for non COVID related emergencies ... ," the obituary reads. "He would not want any other family to go through what his did."
The Texas Gulf Coast and southwestern Louisiana are under threat Monday, with Tropical Storm Nicholas bringing a "life-threatening storm surge, isolated tornadoes, and significant heavy rain up to 20 inches in places," the National Weather Servicesaid.
Nicholas could strengthen into a hurricane before making landfall on the northwest Gulf Coast later Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm is large, projecting tropical storm-force winds up to 115 miles from its center.
A hurricane watch is in effect from Port Aransas (east of Corpus Christi) to San Luis Pass (south of Galveston). Other alerts include the Houston metro area, which was soaked by Hurricane Harvey four years ago and again by Tropical Storm Imelda in 2019.
Like millions of others, Kathleen Hipps thought she was safe from COVID-19 after she got two shots of the Moderna vaccine last spring. So she figured she just had a summer cold when she got the sniffles in July. But then she opened some Vick's VapoRub.
"Anyone who's ever smelled Vick's VapoRub knows how pungent of a smell it is. And I couldn't smell it. And that's how I knew I had COVID," says Hipps, 40, a Los Angeles lawyer who has two young sons.
And sure enough, Hipps tested positive. "I got very sick. I was very tired, very congested — could barely get out of bed. I couldn't work at all. I had to find colleagues to cover my work for me. And I just spent the next week basically in bed, completely isolated from my family," she says.
Bullets crashed through the walls of Brandy Earthman’s house on Minneapolis’ north side one evening this summer. The shots sheared through the door of the living room where her children were playing. One severed a bone in her 19-year-old son’s arm.
The gunfire was part of a wave of shootings this year in Minneapolis, where killings are on the rise and, Earthman and others complain, the police are frequently nowhere to be seen.
“They don’t care anymore,” she said. “They’re just going to let everybody kill themselves.”
Policing in Minneapolis changed dramatically in the year since a white police officer murdered George Floyd. The video-recorded killing of a defenseless Black man touched off rioting, rekindled a national debate about racial inequities in law enforcement and launched scattershot efforts to strip funding from police. In the months that followed, few cities wrestled more with the question of what the future of American law enforcement should be than Minneapolis. Officials here floated attempts to overhaul, shrink or even abolish the city’s besieged police force – so far with no success.
In the interim, an examination by Reuters found, Minneapolis’ police officers imposed abrupt changes of their own, adopting what amounts to a hands-off approach to everyday lawbreaking in a city where killings have surged to a level not seen in decades.
Southern California football coach Clay Helton has been fired, athletic director Mike Bohn announced Monday.
The decision comes two days after the Trojans, who came into the season with conference-title aspirations, were embarrassed in a 42-28 home defeat to Stanford.
"As I committed to upon my arrival at USC, during the past two off-seasons we provided every resource necessary for our football program to compete for championships," Bohn said in a statement announcing the dismissal. "The added resources carried significantly increased expectations for our team's performance, and it is already evident that, despite the enhancements, those expectations would not be met without a change in leadership."
Donte Williams will serve as the interim head coach. Williams joined the USC staff in 2020 as the cornerbacks coach and defensive pass game coordinator and was elevated to associate head coach after last season.
Do you own an iPhone? Update it right now.
Apple has released an emergency software patch after researchers uncovered a security flaw that could allow hackers to secretly install spyware on your Apple devices even if you do nothing, not even click on a link.
The spyware can then eavesdrop or steal data from your device. All of Apple’s operating systems, including those for iPads, Macs and Apple Watches, are vulnerable.
The University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab said the “zero-click” flaw allowed Pegasus spyware from Israeli hacker-for-hire firm, NSO Group, to infect the iPhone of a Saudi activist by sending an image file via iMessage. The activist asked to remain anonymous.
MATHER, Calif. (AP) — President Joe Biden on Monday used his first Western swing since taking office to hold out the wildfires burning across the region as an argument for his $3.5 trillion rebuilding plans, calling year-round fires and other extreme weather a climate change reality the nation can no longer ignore.
“Even some of my less believing friends are all of a sudden having an altar call,” Biden said of those who have sought to minimize the risks posed by climate change. “They’re seeing the Lord.”
With stops in Idaho and California, Biden sought to boost support for his big rebuilding plans, saying every dollar spent on “resilience” would save $6 in future costs. And he said the rebuilding must go beyond simply restoring damaged systems and instead ensure communities can withstand catastrophic weather that doesn’t strike based on partisan ideology.
The crew of the Overnight News Digest consists of founder Magnifico, regular editors side pocket, maggiejean, Chitown Kev, eeff, Magnifico, annetteboardman, Rise above the swamp, Besame and jck. Alumni editors include (but not limited to) Interceptor 7, Man Oh Man, wader, Neon Vincent, palantir, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse (RIP), ek hornbeck (RIP), rfall, ScottyUrb, Doctor RJ, BentLiberal, Oke (RIP) and jlms qkw.