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Health
Boris Johnson: British Covid-19 variant possibly more deadly
Boris Johnson: British Covid-19 variant possibly more deadly
Credit: Ashley Winkler for Pendect

According to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, there is "some evidence" that the variant of the coronavirus first discovered in the UK may be more deadly than the previously prevalent one. Johnson made the announcement at a press conference at Downing Street, the seat of government in London.

Johnson's chief scientific adviser said this was indicated by data from people who tested positive and were not treated in hospital. According to the data, 10 out of 1000 people over the age of 60 die from the old variant and 13 out of 1000 from the new variant. This has not been found in hospital patients. However, the data situation is still uncertain at the moment, the consultant explained.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Music
Glastonbury 2021 cancelled due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic
Glastonbury 2021 cancelled due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic
Credit: Twitter Reproduction

As a study from London's Imperial College revealed that Covid-19 cases in England are "not falling," despite a third lockdown, the Glastonbury music festival has been cancelled once again, festival organizers announced on Thursday.

2021 will mark the second summer in a row where the international festival was not held after the 2020 event was cancelled last March.

"In spite of our efforts to move Heaven & Earth, it has become clear that we simply will not be able to make the Festival happen this year," organizers Michael and Emily Eavis said in a joint statement on Thursday.

Glastonbury has been headlined by a glittering array of British and global stars since its first date in 1970, including David Bowie, the Rolling Stones, Oasis, U2 and Beyoncé.

Law
UK court denies US extradition request for Julian Assange due to mental health concerns

The US extradition request for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was rejected by a London court on Monday. The court cited medical reasons for the decision, in particular Assange's mental condition and suicidal risk. The lawyers for the US judiciary immediately appealed.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
Britain extends Covid-19 restrictions onto England
Britain extends  Covid-19 restrictions onto England
Credit: unsplash.com / John Cameron

In Great Britain, the highest Corona warning level has been applied to further parts of the country. It has been extended beyond London and the southeast of England to large parts of the center, the north and the southwest of England, according to the British Health Minister Matt Hancock.

As a result, three-quarters of England's population is now subject to the most severe restrictions under the country's Corona regulations: It is forbidden for members of more than one household to gather together. Non-essential businesses will be closed, and restaurants and bars can only offer a pick-up service.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Virgin Atlantic passengers require negative Covid-19 tests to fly from London to US
Virgin Atlantic passengers require negative Covid-19 tests to fly from London to US
Credit: Alan Wilson, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Virgin Atlantic has announced that all passengers travelling from London to the United States will be required to show proof of a negative Covid-19 vaccine. The new requirement will go in effect on December 24.

“With the health and safety of our customers and people always our number one priority, we will require all travellers to present evidence of a negative LAMP or PCR Covid-19 test, taken up to 72 hours prior to departure, including on-site at the airport,” Virgin said in a statement.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
UK imposes strict lockdown on southeast England, including London
UK imposes strict lockdown on southeast England, including London
Credit: unsplash/Max van den Oetelaar

After a new Covid-19 strain was detected in the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson abruptly imposed a Tier 4 lockdown on southeast England, including London, banning Christmas gatherings beyond individual households and support bubbles.

All non-essential shops and businesses have to close at midnight and residents are to stay at home except to travel for work or education. The new restrictions apply in London (all 32 boroughs and the City of London) and the East of England (Bedford, Central Bedford, Milton Keynes, Luton, Peterborough, Hertfordshire and Essex (excluding Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring). The new restrictions will be reviewed on December 30.

Health
New Covid-19 strain detected in United Kingdom possibly up to 70% more transmissible
New Covid-19 strain detected in United Kingdom possibly up to 70% more transmissible
Credit: Ashley Winkler for Pendect

A Covid-19 variant discovered in England is massively accelerating the spread of the virus. According to experts, the mutation could also be responsible for the increase in Germany.

According to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the new variant of the coronavirus discovered in Great Britain is, according to initial findings, significantly more contagious than the known form. But there was no evidence that vaccines were less effective, Johnson told reporters in London.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Dame Barbara Windsor has died, aged 83
The late Barbara Windsor, actress and local resident, plants last of 53 trees to be added to Weymouth Street, London in 2010.
The late Barbara Windsor, actress and local resident, plants last of 53 trees to be added to Weymouth Street, London in 2010. Credit: Portlandvillage, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Dame Barbara Windsor, best known for her roles in the Carry On films and as Peggy Mitchell, the landlady of The Queen Vic in Eastenders has died aged 83 in a London care home on Thursday (10/12/20) evening from Alzheimer's.

Her husband, Scott Mitchell, confirmed the news that she had died peacefully. He said that Dame Barbara would be emembered for the "love, fun, friendship and brightness she brought to all our lives".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was one of the first high profile people to react to her death on Twitter. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall also paid tribute to her charity and acting work.

Law
Johnny Depp loses libel trial against The Sun newspaper
Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp Credit: Andy Templeton (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Johnny Depp’s libel action against the publishers of the Sun newspaper – which was dismissed by a judge in London this week – may prove to be the moment the public was finally disabused of any lingering illusions of Hollywood as a place of glamour and sophistication. Depp sued the newspaper over an article that claimed the actor was violent toward Heard while they were together, and branded him a "wife-beater".

Judge Andrew Nicol said in his judgment Monday: "I have reached these conclusions having examined in detail the 14 incidents on which the defendants rely, as well as the over-arching considerations which the claimant submitted I should take into account."

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
Boris Johnson: England will enter national lockdown as coronavirus surges
Boris Johnson: England will enter national lockdown as coronavirus surges
(Open Government Licence v3.0)

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a new month-long stay-at-home order for England will come into effect next week. "From Thursday until the start of December, you must stay at home," Boris Johnson said.

Johnson was forced to make the announcement on Saturday after the government's plans were leaked to numerous national newspapers the previous evening. The plan had been initially to announce the measures on Monday.

The rules apply only to England. Wales and Northern Ireland are already effectively in lockdown and Scotland has implemented a set of tough regional restrictions.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
British House of Lords rejects Single Market Act by a large majority
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Credit: Annie Mole (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The British House of Lords rejected the Single Market Act by a large majority. It voted 395 to 169 against the draft. If the law passes at a later point Boris Johnson's government could use the law to cancel parts of the exit agreement between London and the EU.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Herbert Kretzmer, Les Misérables lyricist, dies aged 95

Herbst Kretzmer, a London journalist and lyricists, has died Wednesday in his London home at the of 95. Kretzmer was known for writing the English-language musical adaptation of Les Misérables.

Lifestyle • Religion
Vatican official Cardinal Becciu resigns unexpectedly
Vatican official Cardinal Becciu resigns unexpectedly
Credit: Claude Truong-Ngoc / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The second most senior official in the Vatican's Secretariat of State, Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, has unexpectedly resigned from office after being involved in a controversial deal to use church funds to invest in the purchase a London building. Becciu has denied any wrongdoings.

"Holy Father accepted the resignation from the office of Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and from the rights connected to the Cardinalate, presented by His Eminence Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu," so the Holy See.

"An investment was made on a building. It was good and opportune occasion, which many people envy us for today," Becciu earlier this year.

Sports • Soccer
Gareth Bale is back to Tottenham on season-long loan
Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Welsh forward Gareth Bale is back to Tottenham on a season-long loan from Real Madrid. Bale left Tottenham in 2013 to join Real Madrid.

On a video released by the Spurs, Bale said: "It's nice to be back. It's such a special club to me. It's where I made my name." said Bale.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Assange's lawyer says in court Trump offered to pardon the Wikileaks founder
Julian Assange
Julian Assange Credit: Snapperjack

Jennifer Robinson, Julian Assange's lawyer, told a court in London she observed a meeting when Dana Rohrabacher and Charles Johnson made an offer of pardon from Donald Trump.
The pardon would be given if the WikiLeaks founder provided the source for the 2016 hacking of the Democratic National Committee emails.Assange's lawyer Trump offered to pardon Assange if he provided source for Democratic emails, lawyer says

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Anthropologist David Graeber, who coined the slogan "We are the 99 percent", dead at 59
David Graeber
David Graeber Credit: Internaz (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

David Graeber, an anthropologist and a leading figure of the Occupy Wall Street movement, has died Wednesday in Venice. He is known for helping to develop the Occupy Wall Street slogan, "We are the 99 percent."

Graeber was a professor at the London School of Economics (LSE), where he studied anarchism and anti-capitalist movements.

“We are very shocked and saddened to learn of David Graeber's death,” the LSE tweeted. “David was a hugely influential anthropologist, political activist and public intellectual. He will be greatly missed as a friend and colleague. His brilliant work will be read by generations to come.”

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Robert Pattinson tested positive for Covid-19
Robert Pattinson
Robert Pattinson Credit: Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Vanity Fair magazine reports Robert Pattinson tested positive for Covid-19. The production of "The Batman" had to be halted just days after the superhero drama resumed work at studios outside of London.

The studio, Warner Bros, released a statement: “A member of The Batman production has tested positive for Covid-19, and is isolating in accordance with established protocols. Filming is temporarily paused.”

Back in March, with the quarantine lockdown, the production had to be shut down, resuming only a few days ago.

Sports • Soccer
Arsenal wins the Community Shield
Arsenal wins the Community Shield
Credit: Arsenal

Arsenal opened the 2020/2021 season of English football by winning the Community Shield against Liverpool on penalties shootout 5:4, after a 1:1 draw in regular time. The match was played at the Wembley Stadium, in London.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the man of the game, after scoring for Arsenal and netting the winning penalty during the shootout. Aubameyang paid tribute to actor Chadwick Boseman during the celebration of his goal.

It is the second year in a row Liverpool have lost the Shield on penalties, after Manchester City's victory in 2019.

Climate & Environment
28 trillion tonnes of ice disappeared in the last 30 years, scientists find
Easton Glacier on Mount Baker in the North Cascades of Washington taken in 2003. It shows the terminus position of the glacier in 1985 as well.
Easton Glacier on Mount Baker in the North Cascades of Washington taken in 2003. It shows the terminus position of the glacier in 1985 as well. Credit: Mauri Pelto (talk · contribs) / Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

Scientists from universities in Leeds, Edinburg and London have analysed satellite images of the Earth's globes, glaciers and mountains and found that around 28 trillion tonnes of ice have disappeared since 1994. The "staggering" loss is due to rising greenhouse gas emission and global heating.

"In the past researchers have studied individual areas – such as the Antarctic or Greenland – where ice is melting. But this is the first time anyone has looked at all the ice that is disappearing from the entire planet. What we have found has stunned us," so Professor Andy Shepherd, director of Leeds University’s Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling.

Their research further warns that sea levels could rise by a metre by the end of the century and the melting could reduce our planet's ability to reflect solar radiation back into space.

"To put that in context, every centimetre of sea level rise means about a million people will be displaced from their low-lying homelands," so Shepherd.

Sports • Soccer
Aubameyang scores twice and Arsenal beat Chelsea to win the FA Cup
Aubameyang scores twice and Arsenal beat Chelsea to win the FA Cup
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Arsenal beat Chelsea 2:1 to win the FA Cup this Saturday at the Wembley stadium in London. The victory gave the Gunners,  besides the silverware, a spot for the group stage of the Europa League 2020/21.

Aubameyang was the name of the game, scoring two goals -- one in each half -- and helped the Gunners to win the FA Cup for the 14th time.