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Covid: England facing weeks of ‘pingdemic’ disruption to services and food supply

23 horas 19 minutos ago

No 10 scrambles to extend self-isolation exemption scheme for critical workers as companies and councils warn of chaos

England is facing weeks of disruption to bin collection, transport and food supply due to staff self-isolating, companies and councils have warned, amid concerns the 16 August date to lift quarantine for the double-vaccinated could be delayed.

No 10 was on Friday scrambling to set up a system to let more key workers take daily tests rather than isolate for 10-days, over fears that large parts of the economy could grind to a halt over the so-called “pingdemic”.

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Rowena Mason Deputy political editor

Atagi changes vaccine advice for Sydney – as it happened

1 día ago

Deputy chief medical officer Michael Kidd says NSW will get additional 50,000 vaccines from national stockpile. This blog is now closed

8.35am BST

And this is where we are going to leave the blog for today. It’s been breathless. Again.

8.26am BST

The New South Wales premier, Gladys Berejiklian, has issued a statement on today’s protest. She says:

I am utterly disgusted by the illegal protesters in the city today whose selfish actions have compromised the safety of us all.

The protesters have shown utter contempt for their fellow citizens who are currently doing it tough.

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Ben Smee (now) and Josh Taylor (earlier)

‘Eid was very different’: my fortnight watching South Africa descend into chaos

1 día 2 horas ago

Durbanites expected another lockdown, not isolation enforced by violence and looting. But as the city I love turned to ruin, I saw fear change to bravery and community spirit

The past week has been one of the most difficult of my life. My home descended into chaos. Durban, a holiday city with a melting pot of cultures and a diverse range of people who live and work here, came to a standstill as rioters took to the streets to spread chaos after the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma.

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Fernaaz Hussain

Fox News backs Covid vaccination – a pity no one told Tucker Carlson

1 día 2 horas ago

The rightwing channel has urged viewers to get the vaccine but some opinion hosts see stoking scepticism as a ratings winner

When Fox News launched a public service announcement urging people to get the Covid-19 vaccine this week, it was hailed in some quarters as a virtuous move. What the network might not have expected was for the message to be almost immediately undermined by the network’s biggest star, Tucker Carlson.

It looked like an onscreen, real-time battle between Fox News and Carlson, who has previously challenged the safety and questioned the effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccine, that pointed to wider mixed messaging at the network over the issue of vaccination.

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Adam Gabbatt

UK holidaymakers booked for France could lose money if they do not go

1 día 2 horas ago

Some accommodation providers refuse to defer breaks despite Covid quarantine decision

Holidaymakers who were hoping to head to France in the coming weeks are in some cases being told by accommodation providers that they will lose their money if they do not turn up.

Last weekend’s surprise decision by the UK government to require travellers returning from France to quarantine for 10 days – even those doubly vaccinated against Covid-19 – has left thousands of holiday plans in tatters, and many out of pocket as a result.

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Miles Brignall

Boris Johnson wants to mimic Tony Blair’s project, say No 10 sources

1 día 2 horas ago

PM wants to echo Blair’s promise of an ‘opportunity society’ and energise those who feel left behind

Boris Johnson intends to mimic aspects of Tony Blair’s political project in the hope of winning over more voters in former Labour heartlands, Downing Street sources have revealed.

While the Conservatives’ 2019-intake MPs are more likely to model themselves on Margaret Thatcher than the former Labour prime minister, No 10 insiders said Johnson had been studying Blair’s approach.

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Heather Stewart Political editor

Thousands gather across Australia in anti-lockdown protests – video

1 día 2 horas ago

Anti-lockdown protesters have marched in major Australian cities, as Covid cases spiked to record numbers in Sydney and authorities warned of a 'continuing and growing problem'. Thousands of angry, unmasked people marched through the Sydney central business district on Saturday afternoon demanding an end to the city’s lockdown, which is entering its fifth week. Police made several arrests of protesters who broke through barriers or threw plastic bottles at officers. Similar scenes unfolded in Melbourne and Adelaide, which are both in lockdown, and Brisbane, which is not.

• Anti-lockdown protests across Australia as Covid cases surge to record levels in Sydney

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Most unvaccinated Americans unlikely to get shots, poll finds, as Delta spreads – as it happened

1 día 7 horas ago

12.58am BST

That’s all from the Guardian US politics liveblog, here’s what happened today:

12.39am BST

Cameras, computer modeling, drones: the higher-tech ways to fight fires

As dozens of wildfires continue to burn in across the US, the Associated Press has a new report out on the new technology that firefighters are using to fight increasingly ferocious blazes. The AP writes:

As drought- and wind-driven wildfires have become more dangerous across the American West in recent years, firefighters have tried to become smarter in how they prepare.

That includes using new fire behavior computer modeling that can help assess risks before fires start, then project their path and growth.

Related: Wildfire watchmen: the mountain tower where lookouts spot blazes

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Lois Beckett and Jessica Glenza

Coronavirus live: efforts to trace Covid origin ‘not blame game’ says WHO – as it happened

1 día 9 horas ago

Latest updates: all countries must work together to find the origin of the coronavirus that sparked the coronavirus says WHO; Indonesia’s daily death toll reaches 1,566

12.19am BST

11.46pm BST

Mexico’s health ministry on Friday reported 16,421 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country and 328 more fatalities, Reuters reports.

It brings the total to 2,726,160 infections and 237,954 deaths.

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Nadeem Badshah (now), Mattha Busby ,Nicola Slawson, Miranda Bryant ,Helen Sullivan (before)

Inflatable dinghies and Zoom medical training: how a remote Pacific atoll got Pfizer

1 día 9 horas ago

Tokelau, one of the most inaccessible atolls in the world, can only be reached by small boat, but received boxes of vaccine this week

The elders of Nukunonu atoll in Tokelau at the wharf on Monday morning, dressed in white and singing songs, held a banner that said: “Welcome”.

In the distance, a small inflatable boat made its way to them carrying a New Zealand defence officer dressed in full protective gear and 12 precious boxes. Inside the boxes were just over 700 doses of Pfizer vaccine, enough to cover the 346 residents of Nukunono who are eligible for the vaccine.

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Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson

'Stop the Olympics': hundreds protest outside Tokyo 2020 opening ceremony – video

1 día 9 horas ago

Hundreds of protesters carrying placards that read 'Lives over Olympics' gathered outside Japan's National Stadium where the opening ceremony for the Tokyo Olympics was being held. The Games, to be held largely without spectators and opposed by many in Japan, are going ahead a year later than planned amid sharply rising coronavirus cases. Tokyo recently recorded a six-month high in new Covid cases and the city is in a state of emergency because of the virus. 

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Gareth Southgate joins campaign to encourage people to get Covid vaccine

1 día 10 horas ago

No 10 releases message from England football manager urging younger people in particular to get a jab

The England manager Gareth Southgate has joined the campaign to encourage people to have their coronavirus vaccine, saying it will allow them to “get your freedom back”.

Downing Street has released a message from the football manager thanking the public for their support during the team’s journey to the Euro 2020 final and urging younger people in particular to get the jab.

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Nadeem Badshah