America News

The UAE is scrapping its Covid mask requirements after 2½ years

The ruling officially applies to just the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, but the country's six other emirates, including Dubai, are expected to follow suit.

Pfizer asks FDA to authorize omicron Covid booster shots for kids ages 5 to 11

Pfizer's application to the FDA comes before clinical trial results of the omicron BA.5 booster shots have been published.

Biden administration awards $1.5 billion to fight opioid crisis

The Biden administration announced Friday it is awarding $1.5 billion in grants to help states, territories and tribal lands combat the opioid crisis.

Moderna asks FDA to authorize omicron Covid boosters for children as young as 6 years old

Moderna has asked the FDA to authorize omicron boosters for adolescents ages 12 to 17-years-old and for kids ages 6 to 11-years-old.

WHO warns ability to identify new Covid variants is diminishing as testing declines

Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO's Covid-19 technical lead, said the virus is spreading rapidly and continues to evolve even as deaths from the disease decline.

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Europe News

BLOG: Far right set for clear win as Italy awaits official results

Italy is set to have elected the first far-right government in the country’s postwar history, projections show.

Doubts rise over 'loose cannon' Salvini after Italy's election

Italian anti-immigrant leader Matteo Salvini was disappointed on Monday at his party's result in general elections but pledged to work with Giorgia Meloni, who triumphed, to form a government.

Germany and Denmark investigate Russian pipeline pressure drop

Germany said Monday it was investigating an unexplained pressure drop in the inactive Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia, which was blocked by Berlin in the run-up to the invasion of Ukraine.

German city residents sue government over air pollution

Seven residents in Germany are taking the government to court over the poor air quality around their homes, an organisation representing them said on Monday.

Menú del día map: Where has Spain's staple meal become most expensive?

With inflation putting up the price of everything from olive oil to electricity bills, now a Spanish custom renowned for its value for money is also being affected: the menú del día.

Europe News is brought to you by TheLocal

BBC World News

Edward Snowden granted Russian citizenship

The former US intelligence contractor leaked a vast US intelligence surveillance programme in 2013.

Ukraine war: Russia admits mobilisation errors, amid growing public opposition

Reports say people with no military experience, or who are too old or disabled, are being enlisted.

Ukraine war: Inside Bakhmut, the battered Donbas city holding off Putin's troops

The battered city is a stumbling block in Russia's plan to take the Donbas, writes the BBC's Orla Guerin.

Uganda's Ebola outbreak: Trainee doctors go on strike over safety fears

Trainee nurses, pharmacists and doctors at a Ugandan hospital fear their lives are being put at risk.

Sri Lanka power cuts - wrong oil blamed

The head of the country's utilities regulator says poor quality oil led to the shutdown of a power plant.

Giorgia Meloni: Italy's far right wins election and vows to govern for all

Giorgia Meloni is set to lead a right-wing coalition as Italy's first female PM.

Canada ends vaccine entry rules, makes ArriveCan optional

US vaccine mandate remains in place. Lawmakers have urged Joe Biden to follow in Canada's footsteps.

Hurricane Ian forces Nasa to shelter Artemis Moon rocket

The Artemis-I vehicle will be pulled off the launch pad in Florida to protect it from storm forces.

Kenya Kiambu building collapse: Rescue efforts under way

Emergency workers pull a child from the rubble in Kiambu county but at least six people have died.

Deadly gun attack at Russian school

At least 15 people - including 11 children - are killed when a gunman opens fire at a school in Izhevsk.

BBC World News is brought to you by BBC

Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Case Tracker

Provided by Johns Hopkins University this COVID-19 Global Case Tracker Dashboard shows you the most up-to-date information about the global spread of the new corona virus.

About the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern regarding COVID-19 on 30 January 2020, and later declared a pandemic on 11 March 2020. As of 2 June 2021, more than 171 million cases have been confirmed, with more than 3.56 million confirmed deaths attributed to COVID-19, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in history.

Symptoms of COVID-19 are highly variable, ranging from none to life-threateningly severe. COVID-19 transmits when people breathe in air contaminated by droplets and small airborne particles. The risk of breathing these in is highest when people are in close proximity, but they can be inhaled over longer distances, particularly indoors. Transmission can also occur if splashed or sprayed with contaminated fluids, in the eyes nose or mouth, and rarely via contaminated surfaces. People remain contagious for up to 20 days, and can spread the virus even if they do not develop any symptoms.

Recommended preventive measures include social distancing, wearing face masks in public, ventilation and air-filtering, hand washing, covering one's mouth when sneezing or coughing, disinfecting surfaces, and monitoring and self-isolation for people exposed or symptomatic. Several vaccines have been developed and widely distributed since December 2020. Current treatments focus on addressing symptoms, but work is underway to develop medications that inhibit the virus. Authorities worldwide have responded by implementing travel restrictions, lockdowns and quarantines, workplace hazard controls, and business closures. Numerous jurisdictions have also worked to increase testing capacity and trace contacts of the infected.

The pandemic has resulted in significant global social and economic disruption, including the largest global recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It has led to widespread supply shortages exacerbated by panic buying, agricultural disruption, and food shortages. However, there have also been decreased emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases. Numerous educational institutions and public areas have been partially or fully closed, and many events have been cancelled or postponed. Misinformation has circulated through social media and mass media, and political tensions have been exacerbated. The pandemic has raised issues of racial and geographic discrimination, health equity, and the balance between public health imperatives and individual rights.

Source: Wikipedia (June 2, 2021)

Please find below further updates from The World Health Organization (WHO).

Suspension of supply of COVID-19 vaccine (COVAXIN®)

Suspension of supply of Covaxin produced by Bharat, through UN procurement agencies and recommending to countries that received the vaccine to take actions as appropriate.

WHO, Qatar, FIFA leaders agree actions to promote health at FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™

As part of a unique global partnership to promote health, the senior leadership of the World Health Organization (WHO), the State of Qatar and FIFA today agreed a range of measures that will be implemented at this year’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ to protect and encourage health; and take lessons learned from the first tournament in the Middle East and Arab world to share with future mega sporting events.

The heads of WHO, Qatar Ministry of Public Health, FIFA and the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) met together for the first Steering Committee meeting of the “Healthy FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ – Creating Legacy for Sport and Health” partnership. Launched in late 2021, the partnership is committed to:

"The State of Qatar is proud to be the first country from the Middle East to host the FIFA World Cup,” said HE Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, Qatar’s Minister of Public Health and Chair of the Steering Committee Meeting. “Our overall goal is not just to hold a successful sporting event, but to also show how football and sports in general can be drivers of better health for all people. This is why we are working so closely with WHO, FIFA and the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy.”

At today’s meetings, the Steering Committee leaders agreed a range of action areas to be taken for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ and future events, including:

“WHO is committed to working with the State of Qatar and FIFA to leverage the global power of football to help people lead the healthiest lives possible,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “This partnership will help to make the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 a role model for healthy sporting events.”

The first-of-its-kind agreement was also lauded by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who said, “It’s important that the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East will be the healthiest World Cup ever. Here, we put our efforts together through this innovative partnership to promote health in a different way, using the power of football to communicate certain messages. We have been working together on different awareness campaigns and what better platform now than the FIFA World Cup for passing the Health for All message?"

“You have to do whatever you can to protect your health and that of those around you. That is part of education and that is why we are proud to be part of this team here. We need health for football, and we need football for health. Let’s win this World Cup, our World Cup, which is a World Cup of humanity in the end,” Mr Infantino added.

As part of the agreement, two SC legacy programmes – Generation Amazing and B4Development (B4D) – will provide operational and technical collaboration on a range of projects. Generation Amazing is a football for development programme that has positively impacted more than 725 000 people globally since being launched during Qatar’s bid to host the FIFA World Cup™, while B4D is the region’s first “nudge unit” that utilizes behavioural science to solve a range of societal issues.

H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, SC Secretary General, said, “As FIFA World Cup hosts, Qatar has worked to underscore the importance of leaving sustainable and transformative social legacies that improve lives – in Qatar, within our region and around the world.”

“This partnership is critical for us as we prepare for hosting the world at the end of this year in the context of the pandemic, which has affected so many lives around the world.  We’re engaging in every effort along with local and international partners to ensure a healthy and safe FIFA World Cup.”

“Together, our work with FIFA and WHO will add to our current efforts, including projects delivered by our legacy programmes such as Generation Amazing and B4Development, to ensure the first FIFA World Cup in our region serves as a benchmark for future mega-events across the globe,” he added.

Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, reinforced the Organization’s commitment to advancing health for all in the Region, and said that the partnership between WHO and Qatar would support improvements in physical activity, mental health and organized sports.

“WHO looks forward to working closely with Qatar in the months ahead to use the platform that sporting events offer to bring people together and foster solidarity, which is the core of our regional vision of 'Health for all by all: a call for solidarity and action', while at the same time promoting healthier habits, from diet to physical activity, for people of all ages, genders and cultures.”