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England is likely to extend third national lockdown till March

10 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
England is facing a third national lockdown, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday said will last at least six weeks. However, Cabinet minister Michael Gove on Tuesday morning reportedly said that the country would be able to begin easing the curbs only in March. "We will keep these [lockdown curbs] constantly under review but you are absolutely right, we can't predict with certainty that we will be able to lift restrictions in the week commencing February 15-22... I think it is right to say that as we enter March we should be able to lift some of these restrictions, but not necessarily all," Sky News quoted Gove as saying. Johnson had announced the tough, new stay-at-home order for England as authorities were struggling to stem a surge in COVID-19 infections that threatens to overwhelm hospitals around the UK. The restrictions took effect at midnight Tuesday. Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon imposed a lockdown that began Tuesday. 944 more die in GermanyMeanwhile, Germany report..
                 

Coin removed from Russian man's nose, half-a-century later

13 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
When a 59-year-old unnamed Russian man was six years old, he wedged a coin into his right nostril. First, he was too scared to tell his strict mother; later, he forgot about it and somehow managed to live for the next 53 years unimpeded by the blockage. It was only recently, that he started complaining of not being able to breathe at all through his right nostril. A scan at the hospital showed the coin in the nasal passage and also rhinoliths-stones in the nasal cavity-that had formed around the coin, constricting his ability to breathe. Medics conducted an endoscopic surgery under general anaesthesia, removing the stones and retrieving the Soviet one kopek coin from his nose. The money that was officially worth around one penny at the time, had been ceased to be used in Russia after the USSR's collapse in 1991. The famous hammer and sickle emblem was no longer visible on the coin. Specialist otorhinolaryngologist Elena Nepryakhina said, "We operated on Friday and he was discharged on..
                 

Curfew imposed in Washington D.C. following Capitol Hill siege

9 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
In the wake of the unprecedented chaos which unfolded in the US capital city after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building, a curfew has been imposed in Washington D.C. In a statement late Wednesday, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said the curfew, which came into effect at 6 p.m., would last until 6 a.m. on Thursday morning, Xinhua news agency reported. The curfew however, will not apply to essential workers, including media professionals, she said. "During the hours of the curfew, no person, other than persons designated by the Mayor, shall walk, bike, run, loiter, stand, or motor by car or other mode of transport upon any street, alley, park, or other public place within the District," Bowser added. Earlier on Wednesday, thousands of Trump supporters shouting "Trump" and "USA, USA", marched to the Capitol launching their assault after the joint session adjourned following objections against Arizona's electoral college votes and the Senate and the House ..
                 

Congress defiantly resumes ratifying Biden's victory after violence

9 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
After a deadly attack on the citadel of American democracy, Congress defiantly resumed its constitutional task of tallying the electoral colleges votes to plant the final seal on Joe Biden's election as the 46th US President and Kamala Harris as Vice President. Sitting President Donald Trump was roundly condemned for his role in instigating the rioters on Wednesday who stormed the Capitol, the domed building that houses Congress, resulting in the death of a woman from gunfire inside it and sending members of Congress to seek refuge in secure areas when mobs invaded. Mitch McConnell, the Republican Party's leader in the Senate, said: "We have never been deterred before, we'll be not deterred today. They tried to disrupt our democracy. They failed." Democratic Party's Senate leader Chuck Schumer said: "This temple to democracy was desecrated." Speaking to CBS TV, Indian-American Representative Pramila Jayapal called for impeaching Trump, even though he would be in power for two more week..
                 

Woman killed by gunfire in Capitol as Trump supporters launch assault on Congress

9 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
A woman was killed in gunfire inside Capitol building after President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the building to disrupt the democratic functioning of Congress as it was in the middle of ratifying the election of Joe Biden as President and Kamala Harris as Vice President. The woman was not identified as of Tuesday evening. Smoke was seen emanating from the Capitol that was under occupation by supporters as the National Guard and federal law enforcement personnel moved in to remove the rioters. On Wednesday, nearly three hours after Trump-backers stormed the Capitol that houses Congress, TV broadcasts showed what appeared to be flash bombs going off and smoke, which may be from teargas, coming out of a part of the building and some of the mob leaving the area jumping out a window. A curfew came into effect at 6 p.m. local time. The riot started when Congress that was holding a joint session to ratify the electoral the college votes electing Democrats Joe Biden as President and Ka..
                 

Lose WhatsApp account if you don't accept new changes by February 8

10 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Millions of Indian users received an in-app notification from WhatsApp as part of an upcoming global roll-out for over 2 billion users, asking them to either accept the changes in its Terms of Service and privacy policy by February 8 or their accounts will be deleted. The in-app notification did not elicit much details but clicking on the links clearly mentioned the key changes in how WhatsApp will collect and process users' information going forward, and the partnership with Facebook, its parent company, as part of a larger unification drive between the family of apps. "WhatsApp must receive or collect some information to operate, provide, improve, understand, customise, support, and market our Services, including when you install, access, or use our Services," the updated policy read "Businesses you interact with using our Services may provide us with information about their interactions with you. We require each of these businesses to act in accordance with applicable law when provi..
                 

Wisconsin city braces for protest

10 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
A southeastern Wisconsin city braced on Monday for another round of protests as prosecutors prepared to announce whether they'll charge a white police officer who shot a Black man in the back, leaving him paralysed. Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey shot Jacob Blake seven times on August 23 as Blake was about to get into an SUV during a domestic dispute. The police union has maintained Blake resisted arrest and was armed with a knife, although state investigators have said only that a knife was found on the floor of the vehicle. Blake's three children were in the back seat of the SUV when he was shot. The shooting sparked protests that went on for several nights. Some of them turned violent. Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley is expected any day to announce whether Sheskey will face criminal charges. Fearing a repeat of the August protests, city officials were expected to adopt an emergency resolution and take other steps, including setting up a limited area for prot..
                 

Obama administration knowingly funded al-Qaeda affiliate: US Senate report

11 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Former US President Barack Obama's administration knowingly funded a sanctioned affiliate of the pan-Islamist banned terror outfit al-Qaeda, as per a recently released report of a US Senate committee. The report is based on a probe by the office of the Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) into the Obama administration's approval of a $200,000 grant to a US evangelical aid organisation World Vision for the al-Qaeda affiliate, Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA). Incidentally, World Vision works in India as well and is a member of InterAction, America's largest alliance of international non-profit organisations. Last year, IANS in a major expose revealed how the US government agencies have been funding the Islamic charities linked to terror groups based in Pakistan and the Middle East through InterAction. InterAction's Together Project involves the most controversial Islamic charities including Helping Hand for Relief & Development (HHRD), which works with the charitabl..
                 

In hour-long call, Trump pressured Georgia official to 'find' him vote

11 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
President Donald Trump pressured Georgia's Republican secretary of state to "find" enough votes to overturn Joe Biden's win in the state's presidential election, repeatedly citing disproven claims of fraud. The hour-long phone call with Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Saturday was the latest step in an unprecedented effort by a sitting president to press a state official to reverse the outcome of a free and fair election that he lost. "All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have," Trump said. "Because we won the state." Georgia counted its votes three times before certifying Biden's win by a 11,779 margin, Raffensperger noted. "President Trump, we've had several lawsuits, and we've had to respond in court to the lawsuits and the contentions," he said on the call. We don't agree that you have won." At one point in the conversation, Trump appeared to threaten Raffensperger and Ryan Germany, the secretary of state's legal counsel, by..
                 

Jack Ma 'disappears' after conflict with Chinese govt

12 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Tech billionaire and Alibaba founder Jack Ma has "disappeared" from public life and has not been spotted for at least two months amid the conflict with the Chinese regulators. The Financial Times reported that Ma was recently replaced as a judge in the final of TV show 'Africa's Business Heroes'. "His photograph was removed from the judging webpage, and he was conspicuously left out of a promotional video," the report claimed. The final took place in November, shortly after Ma "made a candid speech criticising China's regulators and its state-owned banks". "Ma was dressed down by officials in Beijing and the $37 billion initial public offering of his company Ant Group was suspended. He has not been seen in public since," the report further said. A spokesperson for Alibaba was quoted as saying that "due to a schedule conflict Mr Ma could no longer be part of the finale judge panel of Africa's Business Heroes earlier this year (2020)". Last month, as China's top market watchdog began inv..
                 

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube must 'kick off' Trump now

9 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
As Big Tech miserably failed to spot, act and tackle the US Capitol chaos going viral and being live-streamed, voices grew louder on Thursday to remove President Donald Trump altogether from digital platforms for inciting the mob and staging the coup, saying blocking him for couple of hours won't be enough. Several tech leaders and social activists called on Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to move beyond labelling Trump messages, and aggressively curb his posts amplifying and endorsing violence. "Twitter and Facebook have to cut him (Trump) off. There are no legitimate equities left and labeling won't do it," Alex Stamos, Facebook's former chief security officer, said in a tweet. "You've got blood on your hands, (Jack) and Zuck. For four years you've rationalized this terror. Inciting violent treason is not a free speech exercise. If you work at those companies, it's on you too. Shut it down," posted Chris Sacca, one of the earliest investors in Twitter. Facebo..
                 

US Capitol violence: Twitter, FB, Instagram block Donald Trump temporarily

9 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Social media giants Twitter and Facebook have temporarily blocked US President Donald Trump from further posting after his supporters violently stormed the Capitol building in Washington D.C. In a video on Wednesday, Trump urged his supporters, who forced their way into the Capitol earlier in the day, to go home, but repeated his unsubstantiated claims about widespread fraud in the November 3, 2020, presidential election. In a statement late Wednesday night, Twitter said that Trump's personal Twitter account will be locked for 12 hours as he violated the platform's violent threats policies and will be permanently suspended if he continues to do so, Xinhua news agency reported. "Future violations of the Twitter Rules, including our Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account," Twitter Safety said in a statement. Earlier in the day, several of the President's tweets had been labelled "disputed" due to the fraud claims. ..
                 

Protesters storm US Capitol, clash with law enforcement

9 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
US President Donald Trump's die hard supporters clashed violently with local police and law enforcement officers Wednesday, sending the US Capitol campus into utter chaos and forcing evacuation of lawmakers from the building. Crowds waving "Trump" flags , "Stop the Steal!" signs with some of the members wearing capes who were gathering in the city over the last 24 hours broke through the security layers at the Capitol by early afternoon. Lawmakers inside the Chamber were told to wear gas masks and take the underground tunnels to safety. Both chambers are now in recess. The Washington D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser, issued a curfew for 6 p.m. "We will not let them silence your voices," Trump told protesters at a rally today. This is a developing story and will be updated. Keep scrolling to read more news Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates. Mid-Day is now on Telegram. Click her..
                 

WHO team investigating COVID-19 origins denied entry to China

10 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
A World Health Organization (WHO) team due to investigate the origins of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) in Wuhan city has been denied entry to China. Two members had already set out on their journey - one has now turned back and the other is in transit in a third country, the BBC reported on Wednesday. The WHO said the problem was a lack of visa clearances. The long-awaited probe was agreed upon by Beijing in December after many months of negotiations with the WHO. The virus was first detected in Wuhan in late 2019, with the initial outbreak linked to a market. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was "very disappointed" that China had not yet finalised the permissions for the team's arrivals "given that two members had already begun their journeys and others were not able to travel at the last minute". "I have been assured that China is speeding up the internal procedure for the earliest possible deployment," he told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday, explaining that he had bee..
                 

'Will fight like hell to keep presidency'

10 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
With mounting desperation, Donald Trump declared he would "fight like hell" to hold on to the presidency and appealed to Republican lawmakers to reverse his election loss to Joe Biden when they convene this week to confirm the Electoral College vote. Electoral voters won by President-elect Biden are "not gonna take this White House!" he shouted as supporters cheered at an outdoor rally on Monday night in Georgia. Trump's announced purpose for the trip was to boost Republican Senate candidates in Tuesday's runoff election, but he spent much of his speech complaining bitterly about his election loss - which he insists he won "by a lot." It's unclear the extent to which GOP leaders in Congress will be able to control Wednesday's joint session, which could drag into the night, though the challenges to the election are all but certain to fail. Trump himself is whipping up crowds for a Wednesday rally near the White House. One of the Georgia Republicans in Tuesday's runoff - Sen. Kelly Loeff..
                 

All you need to know about the new coronavirus strain

11 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Just when our hopes about the vaccine for COVID19 were becoming a reality, the UK government announced the discovery of a highly contagious new variant circulating in England. Citing the rapid spread of the virus through London and surrounding areas, Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed the country's most stringent lockdown. Scientists are worried about these variants but not surprised by them. Like all viruses, Coronavirus is a shapeshifter. Some genetic changes are inconsequential. Researchers have recorded thousands of tiny modifications in the genetic material of the Coronavirus as it has hopscotched across the world. The British variant has affected how the virus locks onto human cells and infects them. These mutations may allow the variant to replicate and transmit more efficiently. So, the questions arise: 'Does India need to be worried? Will the vaccines that are underway work? How do we go about being more cautious and if at all we need be stop its spread, what should we do?' ..
                 

UK judge refuses extradition to US of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

12 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
A British judge has rejected the United States' request to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to face espionage charges, saying it would be ‘oppressive’ because of his mental health. District Judge Vanessa Baraitser said on Monday that Assange was likely to commit suicide if sent to the US. The US government said it would appeal the decision. US prosecutors have indicted Assange on 17 espionage charges and one charge of computer misuse over WikiLeaks publication of leaked military and diplomatic documents a decade ago. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison. Thank you to everyone who campaigned against one of the most dangerous threats to press freedom in decades. https://t.co/SVHvliVxLl — Edward Snowden (@Snowden) January 4, 2021 Lawyers for the 49-year-old Australian argue that he was acting as a journalist and is entitled to First Amendment protections of freedom of speech for publishing leaked documents that exposed US military wrong..
                 

Vandals target McConnell, Pelosi homes for not approving USD 2K relief

12 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Vandals lashed out at the leaders of the US House and Senate over the holiday weekend, blighting their homes with graffiti and in one case a pig's head as Congress failed to OK an increase in the amount of money being sent to individuals to help cope with the coronavirus pandemic. Spray paint on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's door in Kentucky on Saturday read, "WERES MY MONEY." "MITCH KILLS THE POOR" was scrawled over a window. A profanity directed at the Republican senator was painted under the mailbox. At House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's home in San Francisco, someone spray-painted graffiti and left a pig's head and fake blood on New Year's Day, police said. The vandalism was reported around 2 am on Friday and a special investigations unit is trying to determine who did it, police added. KGO-TV reported that graffiti found on the garage door of the Democratic leader's home included the phrases "$2K," "Cancel rent!" and "We want everything," apparently referencing Democratic law..
                 

US Senate rejects challenge to Biden's Arizona win

9 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
The Senate has overwhelmingly turned aside a challenge to US President-elect Joe Biden's victory in Arizona, guaranteeing the result will stand. The objection to the results in Arizona -- spearheaded by Rep. Paul Gosar and Sen. Ted Cruz -- was rejected 93-6 on Wednesday night. All votes in favour came from Republicans, but after violent protesters mobbed the Capitol earlier Wednesday a number of GOP senators who had planned to support the objection reversed course. The Republicans raised the objection based on false claims pushed by President Donald Trump and others of issues with the vote in Arizona, which were repeatedly dismissed in Arizona's courts and by the state's election officials. Keep scrolling to read more news Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates. Mid-Day is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@middayinfomedialtd) and stay updated with the latest..
                 

Trump urges supporters to 'go home' after US Capitol stormed amid demonstrations

9 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
US President Donald Trump urged his supporters to "go home" after some of them stormed the Capitol on Wednesday, where lawmakers were certifying Democrat Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election. "You have to go home now. We have to have peace," Trump said in a video clip posted on Twitter. "We have to have law and order. We have to respect our great people in law and order. We don't want anybody hurt." The President, however, continued to push claims of a "fraudulent" election, which had been dismissed by US courts at different levels due to a profound lack of evidence, the Xinhua news agency reported. The Republican addressed a massive crowd of his supporters outside the White House earlier in the day and encouraged demonstrations on Capitol Hill. Keep scrolling to read more news Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates. Mid-Day is now on Telegram. Click here t..
                 

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange denied bail in UK

10 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
A British judge on Wednesday denied bail to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been jailed in Britain since 2019 as he fights extradition to the United States. District Judge Vanessa Baraitser ordered Assange to remain in prison while the courts consider an appeal by US authorities against a decision not to extradite him. On Monday, the judge rejected an American request to send Assange to the US to face espionage charges over WikiLeaks publication of secret military documents a decade ago. She denied extradition on health grounds, saying the 49-year-old Australian was likely to kill himself if held under harsh U.S. prison conditions. The judge said Wednesday that Assange “has an incentive to abscond” and there is a good chance he would fail to return to court if freed. Keep scrolling to read more news Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates. Mid-Day is no..
                 

Citing India, Trump blocks 8 Chinese apps over national security

10 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Taking India's example of banning more than 200 Chinese apps, US President Donald Trump has signed a new executive order that blocks transactions with Chinese companies running eight apps, including Jack Ma-owned Ant Group's Alipay, Tencent's QQ and WeChat Pay applications. Transactions will be prohibited in 45 days, said the order. Other apps include CamScanner, QQ Wallet, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate, WeChat Pay, and WPS Office -- which are already banned in India. "The Government of India has banned the use of more than 200 Chinese connected software applications throughout the country; in a statement, India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology asserted that the applications were stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users' data in an unauthorised manner to servers which have locations outside India," Trump wrote in his new executive order. The new executive order follows two earlier ones from Trump in August last year where he tried to ban transactions with ByteDa..
                 

'End abnormal culture of overtime'

10 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
China's official Xinhua News Agency is calling for shorter work hours in the tech sector following the sudden death of a young employee at a leading e-commerce firm on December 29. The tragedy refocused attention on "the pain of an abnormal culture of overtime," Xinhua said in a brief editorial posted on Tuesday on its Twitter-like Weibo account. Dreams should be pursued through striving, but workers' legitimate rights and interests should not be sacrificed and employers may be breaking the law in encouraging health-sapping overwork, Xinhua said. The 22-year-old employee of Pinduoduo died as she was walking home. She apparently suffered stomach pains before collapsing, but internet users have seized on the case as an example of the health impacts of long working days. Keep scrolling to read more news Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates. Mid-Day is now on Telegram. Click ..
                 

COVID-19: UK PM Boris Johnson announces new lockdown in England

11 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that England will enter another national lockdown, the third of its kind since the coronavirus pandemic began in the country early last year. The lockdown came into force at 12 a.m. on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported. In a televised address on Monday, he urged people across the country to "stay at home" except for permitted reasons, echoing the message back in March 2020. Under the new lockdown, people are only allowed to go to work if it's impossible to work from home, such as construction workers. Britons will be allowed to go out to shop for necessities including food and medicines, and to exercise, ideally once a day and locally. Meanwhile, all schools and colleges will close from Tuesday (except for vulnerable children and those of key workers), and switch to remote learning until the middle of February. Johnson said schools were "not unsafe" and children are "very unlikely" to be significantly affected by even the new Covid-19 va..
                 

UK dialysis patient among first to be vaccinated by Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

12 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
The UK's National Health Service (NHS) on Monday began rolling out the Oxford University vaccine developed by AstraZeneca as protection against COVID-19, with an 82-year-old Oxford-born dialysis patient becoming the first to receive the new jab. Brian Pinker is among the first to be vaccinated by the Oxford University Hospital's (OUH) chief nurse, hailed as a major milestone in the phased vaccination programme being undertaken by the NHS as the Oxford jab became the second vaccine approved for rollout after the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. A retired maintenance manager who has been having dialysis for kidney disease at the hospital for a number of years, Pinker said he was pleased to be getting protection against the virus, giving him peace of mind as he continues to receive treatment. "I am so pleased to be getting the COVID-19 vaccine today and really proud that it is one that was invented in Oxford. The nurses, doctors and staff today have all been brilliant and I can now really look fo..
                 

Many funeral homes run out of space as US toll tops 3.5 lakh

12 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ International  
Mortuary owners in hard-hit Southern California say mortuaries are being inundated as the United States surpasses a grim tally of 3,50,000 deaths due to COVID-19. Experts anticipate another surge in coronavirus cases and deaths stemming from holiday gatherings over Christmas and New Year's. 2,77,000 cases on Saturday The US on Saturday saw its highest number yet of coronavirus cases recorded in one day, with more than 2,77,000 infections. Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University shows the US passed the threshold early on Sunday morning. More than 20 million people in the country have been infected. The US has begun using two coronavirus vaccines to protect health care workers and those over 80 but the rollout of the inoculation program has been criticised as being slow and chaotic. Record tally in several states Multiple states have reported a record number of cases over the past few days, including North Carolina and Arizona. Mortuary owners in Southern California say they must turn ..