After successful vaccine rollout in UK, COVID could be ‘eradicated’ by winter, senior scientist says


A professor emeritus of bacteriology in the UK predicts that COVID-19 could be “eradicated” in the country by winter due to the successful deployment of the vaccine, according to reports.

“I see no reason why we should be locked out again,” Hugh Pennington told The Sun. “We are now approaching China and Taiwan to effectively eradicate it in our own territory.”

BIDEN SAYS WEARING MASKS INSIDE ‘ALWAYS GOOD POLICY’, EVEN WHEN VACCINATED

A total of 1,770 new COVID-19 cases were recorded in the UK on Sunday, with a total of 14,659 cases for the week down 4.3% from the previous week, Reuters reported.

The country has recorded two new deaths within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test. The weekly death toll of 67 was down 39.1% from the previous week.

Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 127,605 people have died in the UK within 28 days of testing positive for COVID-19.

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Pennington said he thought the virus might be more like the flu.

“By next winter, COVID could be pretty much the same problem as an average flu season and we can deal with it like we do with the flu. I think we’ll see COVID extinguished in the UK In fact, COVID vaccines are more effective than flu shots. , so the flu might even become more of a problem in the future. We might not even need reminders in the fall, let’s wait and see. “

Data showed that 35.37 million people, or 67.2% of the UK’s adult population, have now received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Of these, 17.67 million, or 33.5% of adults, received the two recommended doses.

The country experienced a second devastating wave that peaked at the end of January.

The number of new infections, hospitalizations and deaths has fallen since the mass vaccination program and the strict lockdowns in place from January to March which are now only gradually relaxed.

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Pennington predicted that COVID could become a disease that Britons can cope with.

“I have always been skeptical of the magnitude of the threat associated with importing variants,” he said. “Sometimes it was about blaming the variants for other system failures. You can’t predict a pandemic – just be prepared for them. COVID-19 can turn out like SARS and just go away.”

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Afghanistan girls’ school bombing toll hits 50


KABUL, Afghanistan – The death toll in a horrific bomb attack at a girls’ school in the Afghan capital has risen to 50, many of them aged 11 to 15, the Interior Ministry said on Sunday.

The number of injured in Saturday’s attack also rose to more than 100, Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said.

Three explosions outside the school entrance struck as the students left for the day, he said. The explosions occurred in a predominantly Shiite neighborhood west of the capital. The Taliban denied responsibility, condemning the attack.

The first explosion came from a vehicle full of explosives, followed by two more, Arian said, adding that the number of victims could rise further.

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In the capital rocked by relentless shelling, Saturday’s attack was among the worst. Criticism has grown over the lack of security and growing fears of even greater violence as the United States and NATO complete their final military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Afghan men try to identify corpses in a hospital after a bomb exploded near a school west of Kabul, Afghanistan on Saturday, May 8, 2021 (Associated Press)

Afghan men try to identify corpses in a hospital after a bomb exploded near a school west of Kabul, Afghanistan on Saturday, May 8, 2021 (Associated Press)

The attack targeted the ethnic Hazaras of Afghanistan who dominate the western neighborhood of Dasht-e-Barchi, where the shelling took place. Most Hazaras are Shia Muslims

The region has been hit by violence against the Shiite minority and most often claimed by the Islamic State affiliate operating in the country. No one has yet claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attacks.

The radical Sunni Muslim group has declared war on the Shiites of Afghanistan. Washington blamed ISIS for a vicious attack last year on a maternity hospital in the same region that killed pregnant women and newborn babies.

Shortly after the shelling, angry crowds attacked ambulances and even beat health workers as they tried to evacuate the injured, Health Ministry spokesman Ghulam Dastigar Nazari said. He implored residents to cooperate and allow ambulances free access to the site.

An injured student is taken to a hospital after a bomb exploded near a school west of Kabul, Afghanistan on Saturday, May 8, 2021 (Associated Press)

An injured student is taken to a hospital after a bomb exploded near a school west of Kabul, Afghanistan on Saturday, May 8, 2021 (Associated Press)

Bloody backpacks and school books lay outside the Syed Al-Shahda school. In the morning, the boys attend classes in the large school grounds and in the afternoon, it is the girls’ turn.

US WITHDRAWAL FROM AFGHANISTAN COULD LEAVE 17,000 INTERPRETER’S LIVES AT RISK

Locals said the explosion was deafening. Naser Rahimi told The Associated Press he heard three separate explosions and immediately thought the sheer power of the explosions meant the death toll would almost certainly increase.

One of the students fleeing the school recalled the attack, the girls’ cries of the girls, the blood.

“I was with my classmate, we were leaving school, when suddenly an explosion occurred,” said Zahra, 15, whose arm was broken by a shrapnel.

“Ten minutes later there was another explosion and a few minutes later another explosion,” she said. “Everyone was screaming and there was blood everywhere, and I couldn’t see anything clearly.” Her friend is deceased.

Outside Muhammad Ali Jinnah Hospital in Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood, dozens of people lined up to donate blood, as family members checked the lists of injured people posted on the walls .

Most of the dozens of wounded brought to the EMERGENCY hospital for war wounded in the Afghan capital, “almost all girls and young women aged 12 to 20,” said Marco Puntin, the program coordinator of the war. hospital in Afghanistan.

In a statement following the attack, the EMERGENCY hospital said the first three months of this year saw a 21% increase in war casualties.

ISIS has previously claimed responsibility for attacks against a Shiite minority in the same region, claiming two brutal attacks on educational institutions last year that killed 50 people, most of them students.

Even though ISIS has been degraded in Afghanistan, according to the US government and officials, it has stepped up its attacks, especially against Shia Muslims and working women.

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Previously, the group had taken responsibility for the targeted assassination of three female members of the media in eastern Afghanistan.

The attack comes days after the remaining 2,500 to 3,500 US troops officially began to leave the country. They will be released on September 11 at the latest. The pullout comes amid the resurgence of the Taliban, who control or dominate more than half of Afghanistan.

The senior US military officer said on Sunday that Afghan government forces face an uncertain future and perhaps “possible bad results” against the Taliban insurgents as the withdrawal accelerates in the coming weeks.

Associated Press photographer Rahmat Gul and video journalist Ahmad Seir in Kabul, Afghanistan and Kathy Gannon in Islamabad, Pakistan contributed to this report.

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Israel shared Iranian General Soleimani’s cellphones with US intelligence before drone attack: report


Israel shared three cell phone numbers used by Qasem Soleimani with US intelligence services in the hours leading up to the launch of Hellfire missiles by US drones at the Iranian general last year, Yahoo News reported on Saturday.

The revelation sheds new light on the role Israel played in the murder of Soleimani, who the State Department said was responsible for hundreds of U.S. troop deaths as leader of the elite Quds Force of the Guardians of the Revolution.

The drone strike took place shortly after midnight on January 2, 2020, as Soleimani and his entourage left Baghdad International Airport.

FILE - In this September 18, 2016 file photo released by an official website of the Office of Iran's Supreme Leader, Revolutionary Guard General Qassem Soleimani, center, attends a meeting in Tehran, Iran.  (Office of the Supreme Leader of Iran via AP, dossier)

FILE – In this September 18, 2016 file photo released by an official website of the Office of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Revolutionary Guard General Qassem Soleimani, center, attends a meeting in Tehran, Iran. (Office of the Supreme Leader of Iran via AP, dossier)
(Office of the Supreme Leader of Iran via AP, dossier)

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As three Delta Force sniper teams kept watch on Soleimani on the ground and three US drones kept a bird’s eye view of him, Israel shared intelligence with the US military.

“In the six hours preceding Soleimani’s embarkation in Damascus, the Iranian general changed his cell phone three times, according to a US military official,” the Yahoo report said.

“In Tel Aviv, US Joint Special Operations Command liaison officers worked with their Israeli counterparts to help follow Soleimani’s cell phone models. The Israelis, who had access to Soleimani’s numbers, passed them on to the Americans, who traced Soleimani and his current phone to Baghdad. “

Shortly after Soleimani’s car left Baghdad airport, two Hellfire missiles rained down, killing him, the deputy commander of Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and five others.

Yahoo also reported on Saturday that prior to Soleimani’s death, Israeli intelligence had shared intelligence with the CIA about an Iranian leaving the country to pick up cell phones or Iranian officials. U.S. intelligence services were then able to set up bugged cell phones for the courier to buy, according to the report.

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Soleimani’s assassination was one of the most important actions the United States has taken in the Middle East in years. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said in a tape leaked to the New York Times last month that Soleimani’s death caused more damage to the country than if the United States destroyed an entire city.

Meanwhile, President Biden has taken a different approach from Trump, offering to resume talks with Iran on reinstating the nuclear deal Trump withdrew in 2018.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Over 200 Palestinians injured in Al-Aqsa clashes with police


Israel’s national police chief said on Saturday he was reinforcing forces in Jerusalem ahead of the unrest expected in the coming days following a night of heavy clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police in the holy city.

Palestinian doctors said more than 200 Palestinians were injured in Friday night’s clashes inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and elsewhere in Jerusalem. The violence drew condemnation from Israel’s Arab allies and calls for calm from the United States and Europe.

Israel has faced the most violent unrest in Jerusalem for several years, with near-night clashes between police and Palestinian protesters throughout the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

An injured Israeli policeman is helped in clashes with Palestinian protesters in East Jerusalem on Friday, May 7, 2021. Palestinians protested after Israel's threat of deportation of dozens of Palestinians in Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood -Is, who have been involved in a long legal battle with Israeli settlers who are trying to acquire property in the neighborhood.  (AP Photo / Mahmoud Illean)

An injured Israeli policeman is helped in clashes with Palestinian protesters in East Jerusalem on Friday, May 7, 2021. Palestinians protested after Israel’s threat of deportation of dozens of Palestinians in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood -Is, who have been involved in a long legal battle with Israeli settlers who are trying to acquire property in the neighborhood. (AP Photo / Mahmoud Illean)

PALESTINIANS, ASSIGNMENT OF THE ISRAEL POLICE TO THE AL-AQSA MOSQUE; DOZENS OF INJURIES

The protests erupted at the start of Ramadan three weeks ago when Israel restricted gatherings at a popular meeting place outside of Jerusalem’s Old City. Israel lifted the restrictions, briefly calming the situation, but protests have revived in recent days over the threat of eviction of dozens of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem, which is claimed by both sides in their long-standing conflict. several decades.

Other recent developments, including the cancellation of the Palestinian elections, the deadly violence in which a Palestinian teenager, two armed Palestinians and a young Israeli were killed in separate incidents in the West Bank, and the election to the Israeli parliament of a far-right Jewish nationalist party, contributed to the unrest.

It is unclear what sparked the violence in Al-Aqsa, which erupted when Israeli police in riot gear deployed in large numbers as thousands of Muslim worshipers held evening prayers on the plaza. sprawling from the top of a hill.

Throughout the night, large groups of protesters could be seen throwing stones as police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades. At one point, police entered one of the buildings in the complex, which includes the mosque and the iconic Golden Dome of the Rock.

The Palestinian Red Crescent emergency service said 88 of the injured had been hospitalized. The Palestinian health ministry said 83 people were injured by rubber-coated bullets, including three with gunshots in the eye, two with serious head injuries and two with broken jaws.

Police said protesters threw stones, fireworks and other objects at them, injuring 17 officers, half of whom were hospitalized.

The Al-Aqsa complex is the third holiest site in Islam. It is also the holiest site of the Jews, who call it the Temple Mount because it was the location of the Biblical temples. It has long been a flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the epicenter of the 2000 Palestinian Intifada, or uprising.

Palestinians react to stun grenades fired by Israeli police to clear the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem's Old City after clashes inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Friday, May 7, 2021. Palestinian worshipers clashed with the Israeli police on Friday night at the holy place sacred to Muslims and Jews, in an escalation of weeks of violence in Jerusalem that reverberated throughout the region.  (AP Photo / Maya Alleruzzo)

Palestinians react to stun grenades fired by Israeli police to clear the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City after clashes inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Friday, May 7, 2021. Palestinian worshipers clash with the Israeli police on Friday night at the holy site sacred to Muslims and Jews, in an escalation of weeks of violence in Jerusalem that reverberated throughout the region. (AP Photo / Maya Alleruzzo)

JARED KUSHNER LAUNCHES GROUP TO PROMOTE RELATIONS BETWEEN ARAB STATES AND ISRAEL

Saturday night is “Laylat al-Qadr” or “Night of Destiny”, the most sacred of Ramadan. Thousands of devotees were to gather for intense nightly prayers in Al-Aqsa.

Israeli Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai said he ordered reinforcements before Laylat al-Qadr, saying “the right to protest will be respected but public unrest will be met with force and zero tolerance. I call on everyone to act. responsibly and with restraint. “

Police have stopped more than a dozen buses full of Arab citizens on the main road to Jerusalem for Ramadan prayers. Israeli public broadcaster Kan said police stopped buses for a security check, prompting travelers to get out of vehicles, block traffic and pray on the highway in protest. The road was reopened several hours later.

In recent days, protests have grown over the threat of Israel’s expulsion to Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem, of dozens of Palestinians involved in a protracted legal battle with Israeli settlers trying to acquire property in the area. district.

The United States said it was “deeply concerned” about both the violence and threats of evictions, and was in contact with leaders on both sides in an attempt to defuse tensions.

“It is essential to avoid measures that exacerbate tensions or take us away from peace,” the State Department said. “This includes evictions in East Jerusalem, settlement activity, house demolitions and acts of terrorism.”

The European Union also called for calm and expressed concern over the potential expulsions, saying they are “illegal under international humanitarian law and only serve to fuel tensions on the ground”.

Egypt and Jordan, which made peace with Israel decades ago, condemned his actions, as did the Gulf Kingdom of Bahrain, which was one of four Arab countries to have signed normalization agreements. negotiated by the United States with Israel last year.

Israeli police arrested a young Palestinian at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City after clashes inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday, May 7, 2021. Palestinian worshipers clashed with Israeli police on Friday evening in the holy holy place of Muslims and Jews, in an escalation of weeks of violence in Jerusalem that reverberated throughout the region.  (AP Photo / Maya Alleruzzo)

Israeli police arrested a young Palestinian at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City after clashes inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday, May 7, 2021. Palestinian worshipers clashed with Israeli police on Friday evening in the holy holy place of Muslims and Jews, in an escalation of weeks of violence in Jerusalem that reverberated throughout the region. (AP Photo / Maya Alleruzzo)

ISRAEL STAMPEDE: AT LEAST 44 KILLED AT RELIGIOUS FESTIVAL IN ISRAEL

Israelis and Palestinians are bracing for more unrest in the days to come.

Sunday evening marks the start of Jerusalem Day, a national holiday during which Israel celebrates its annexation of East Jerusalem and religious nationalists hold parades and other celebrations in the city. On Monday, an Israeli court is expected to deliver a verdict on the deportations.

Israel seized East Jerusalem, as well as the West Bank and Gaza – territories the Palestinians want for their future state – in the 1967 Middle East War. Israel annexed East Jerusalem in an unrecognized move internationally and considers the entire city as its capital.

Palestinians regard East Jerusalem – which includes major holy sites for Jews, Christians and Muslims – as their capital, and its fate is one of the conflict’s most sensitive issues.

In a Palestinian television call on Friday evening, President Mahmoud Abbas praised the “courageous stand” of the protesters and said Israel bears full responsibility for the violence. Abbas postponed scheduled parliamentary elections last week, citing Israeli restrictions in East Jerusalem for the delay.

Israel’s foreign ministry had previously accused the Palestinians of seizing on threats of evictions, which it called “a real estate dispute between private parties”, in order to incite violence.

Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip and opposes Israel’s existence, has called for a new intifada.

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Hamas-affiliated protest groups said they would resume demonstrations and the launching of incendiary balloons along Gaza’s heavily guarded border. Israeli media said the military sent additional troops to the area in response. Hamas has largely curtailed these actions over the past two years as part of an informal ceasefire that now appears to be unraveling.

In an interview with a Hamas-run television station, the group’s main leader, Ismail Haniyeh, warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to “play with fire”.

“Neither you, nor your army and your police, can win this battle,” he said. “What is happening in Jerusalem is an intifada that must not stop.”

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Palestinians and Israeli police clash at Al-Aqsa Mosque; dozens of injured


Palestinian worshipers clashed with Israeli police on Friday night at the compound of Al-Aqsa Mosque, a major holy shrine for Muslims and Jews, in an escalation of weeks of violence in Jerusalem that spilled over into the whole region.

The Palestinian Red Crescent emergency service said 136 people were injured in clashes with police there and elsewhere in Jerusalem, including 83 hospitalized. He says most were injured in the face and eyes from rubber-coated bullets and stun grenade shards. Israel said six police officers were injured.

Earlier on Friday, Israeli troops shot and killed two Palestinians and injured a third after the men opened fire on a base belonging to the Israeli paramilitary border police in the occupied West Bank, the latest in a series of Deadly clashes in recent weeks which coincided with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Further troubles seem likely next week.

Tensions have soared in recent weeks in East Jerusalem, which both Israel and the Palestinians claim. At the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Israel blocked off a popular gathering place where Palestinians traditionally socialize at the end of their one-day fast. The move sparked two weeks of clashes before Israel lifted restrictions.

Worshipers take part in the last Friday prayers of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan at the Dome of the Mosque of the Rock within the grounds of Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem's Old City on Friday.

Worshipers take part in the last Friday prayers of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan at the Dome of the Mosque of the Rock within the grounds of Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday.
(AP Photo / Mahmoud Illean)

But in recent days, clashes have resumed over Israel’s threat of eviction of dozens of Palestinians in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, who have been embroiled in a protracted legal battle with Israeli settlers trying to ‘acquire properties in the neighborhood.

The United States said it was “deeply concerned” by the heightened tensions and called on all parties to work to defuse them. He also expressed concern about threats of evictions.

“It is essential to avoid unilateral measures that would exacerbate tensions or move us away from peace. And this would include evictions, settlement activity and house demolitions,” the US State Department spokeswoman said. Jalina Porter to reporters in Washington.

ISRAEL STAMPEDE: AT LEAST 44 KILLED AT RELIGIOUS FESTIVAL IN ISRAEL

The compound of Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam. The site is also the holiest site of the Jews, who call it the Temple Mount and worship it as the location of the Biblical Temples. It has long been a flashpoint for Israeli-Palestinian violence and was the epicenter of the 2000 Palestinian Intifada, or uprising.

Israeli police deployed in large numbers as Muslim worshipers held evening prayers at the site. It is not known what triggered the violence, but videos posted online show worshipers throwing chairs, shoes and stones at police, who fired stun grenades and rubber-coated bullets to disperse them. Smaller clashes erupted elsewhere in Jerusalem.

Israeli police said protesters threw stones, fireworks and other objects at them, injuring six policemen who required medical attention. “We will respond with a heavy hand to all violent disturbances, riots and attacks against our forces,” he said in a statement.

Previously, some 70,000 worshipers had attended the last Friday prayers of Ramadan at Al-Aqsa, said the Islamic Endowment which oversees the site. Thousands of people subsequently protested, waving the green flags of the Islamic militant group Hamas and chanting pro-Hamas slogans.

Protesters burn representations of Israeli and American flags at the annual Al-Quds, or Jerusalem, Day rally with the tower of the Azadi (Freedom) monument seen to the left, in Tehran, Iran on Friday, May 7, 2021.

Protesters burn representations of Israeli and American flags at the annual Al-Quds, or Jerusalem, Day rally with the tower of the Azadi (Freedom) monument seen to the left, in Tehran, Iran on Friday, May 7, 2021.
(AP Photo / Vahid Salemi)

Neighboring Jordan, which serves as the guardian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, had previously warned Israel against further “provocative” measures, while Iran, Israel’s nemesis, encouraged violence.

During the attack on Friday morning, Israeli police said three assailants fired at the base near the northern West Bank city of Jenin. Border police and an Israeli soldier retaliated, killing two of the men and injuring the third, who was evacuated to a hospital.

Israelis and Palestinians are bracing for more violence in the days to come.

Sunday night is “Laylat al-Qadr” or “Night of Destiny”, the holiest of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Worshipers will gather for intense nightly prayers in the grounds of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Sunday evening is also the start of Jerusalem Day, a national holiday during which Israel celebrates its annexation of East Jerusalem and religious nationalists hold parades and other celebrations in the city. On Monday, an Israeli court is expected to deliver a verdict on the deportations.

Iran marked its own Quds Day, or Jerusalem, on Friday. The national holiday typically includes anti-Israel protests and fiery speeches from Iranian leaders predicting Israel’s demise.

ISRAEL SAYS IT HITS TARGETS IN SYRIA AFTER MISSILE ATTACK

“The downward and downward movement of the Zionist regime has started and will not stop,” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a televised speech. He called for the continuation of armed “resistance” in the Palestinian territories and urged Muslim nations to support it.

This year, Ramadan coincided with an upsurge in Israeli-Palestinian violence centered on Jerusalem.

On Thursday, Israeli forces arrested a Palestinian suspected of carrying out a drive-by shootout earlier this week in the West Bank that killed one Israeli and injured two others. The day before, Israeli troops shot and killed a 16-year-old Palestinian near the West Bank city of Nablus. The military said several Palestinians threw firebombs at the soldiers.

Israel seized East Jerusalem, as well as the West Bank and Gaza – territories the Palestinians want for their future state – in the 1967 Middle East War. Israel annexed East Jerusalem in an unrecognized move internationally and considers the entire city as its capital.

Palestinians react to stun grenades fired by Israeli police to clear the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem's Old City after clashes inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Friday, May 7, 2021. Palestinian worshipers clashed with the Israeli police on Friday night at the holy place sacred to Muslims and Jews.

Palestinians react to stun grenades fired by Israeli police to clear the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City after clashes inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Friday, May 7, 2021. Palestinian worshipers clashed with the Israeli police on Friday night at the holy place sacred to Muslims and Jews.
(AP Photo / Maya Alleruzzo)

Palestinians regard East Jerusalem – which includes major holy sites for Jews, Christians and Muslims – as their capital, and its fate is one of the conflict’s most sensitive issues. In an appeal on Palestinian television, President Mahmoud Abbas praised the “courageous stance” of the protesters and said Israel bears full responsibility for the violence.

Israel’s foreign ministry had previously accused the Palestinians of seizing on threats of evictions, which it described as “a real estate dispute between private parties”, in order to incite violence.

“The Palestinian Authority and Palestinian terrorist groups will bear full responsibility for the violence emanating from their actions. The Israeli police will ensure law and order are maintained,” he tweeted earlier today.

Neighboring Jordan, which made peace with Israel in 1994 and is the guardian of Al-Aqsa, said Israel’s “continuation of its illegal practices and provocative measures” in the city is a “dangerous game” “.

<< La construction et l'expansion des colonies, la confiscation des terres, la démolition des maisons et l'expulsion des Palestiniens de leurs maisons sont des pratiques illégales qui perpétuent l'occupation et sapent les chances de parvenir à une paix juste et globale, qui est une nécessité régionale et internationale >>, said Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman al. -Safadi tweeted.

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The Islamic militant group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip and opposes the existence of Israel, has pushed for violence, and Palestinian militants in Gaza have fired rockets to support the protesters.

Earlier this week, the shadowy commander of the armed wing of Hamas, Mohammed Deif, issued his first public statement in seven years, in which he warned Israel that it would pay a “heavy price” if it expelled Palestinians from Their houses.

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EU calls on US to push exports to tackle vaccine shortage


The European Union on Friday called on the United States to start boosting its vaccine exports to contain the global COVID-19 crisis, and said US support for patent waivers would only provide a long-term solution at best. term.

“We invite all those who engage in the debate on a waiver of (intellectual property) rights to join us in pledging to be willing to export much of what is produced in this region,” said declared the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

Following US calls for support for patent waivers on vaccine technology, French President Emmanuel Macron summed up Europe’s point of view when he said at a European summit in Porto, Portugal : “You can give the intellectual property to labs that don’t know how to produce it. They won’t produce it tomorrow.”

The flags of the European Union flutter in the wind in front of the EU headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 (AP Photo / Virginia Mayo)

The flags of the European Union flutter in the wind in front of the EU headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 (AP Photo / Virginia Mayo)

‘HORRIBLE’ WEEKS TO COME AS INDIA’S COVID-19 CRISIS WASTERS

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez this week reserved the idea endorsed by US President Joe Biden, but immediately added: “We believe it is insufficient. It should be more ambitious.”

While the US has kept a tight lid on exports of US-made vaccines so it can inoculate its own population first, the EU has become the world’s largest supplier, allowing about as many doses to come out. of the bloc of 27 its 446 million inhabitants. Many EU countries, however, have demanded an end to vaccine nationalism and export bans.

Von der Leyen said any patent waiver “will not bring a single dose of vaccine in the short to medium term.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and other EU leaders on Friday called on the United States to start boosting its vaccine exports to contain the global COVID-19 crisis.  (Julien Warnand)

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and other EU leaders on Friday called on the United States to start boosting its vaccine exports to contain the global COVID-19 crisis. (Julien Warnand)

THE EUROPEAN UNION WILL ALLOW THE VISIT TO AMERICANS THIS SUMMER

Macron said it was more important for Biden to work on exports. “The Anglo-Saxons are blocking many of these ingredients” necessary for the manufacture of vaccines, said the French leader, referring to Washington and London. “Today, 100% of vaccines produced in the United States of America are destined for the American market.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said this week that the EU had distributed around 200 million doses within the bloc while around the same amount had been exported abroad.

“About 50% of what is produced in Europe is exported to almost 90 countries,” said von der Leyen, and called on Biden and other vaccine-producing regions or nations to step up their efforts.

“We are the most generous developed countries in the world. Europe should be proud of itself,” Macron said.

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The EU is trying to take back the diplomatic initiative on vaccines after Biden sets it up with his surprising approval to lift patent protections on COVID-19 vaccines, seeking to address the vaccine problem in the arms of people in the poorest countries.

EU leaders have said they are ready to discuss US support for proposals first submitted to the World Trade Organization by India and South Africa, but said many other initiatives would be more effective at this stage, ranging from increasing production capacity to distributing raw materials. . So far, they insisted, the issue of patent waiver is not a big deal.

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Boris Johnson Tories take place in Hartlepool, puncturing Labor ‘red wall’


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party won a major victory on Friday, winning a seat in the northeast town of Hartlepool – a seat held by the opposition Labor Party since its inception and a brick in the red wall of the Plow now in ruins. “

Conservative candidate Jill Mortimer got almost 52% of the vote, while Labor candidate Paul Williams only got around 29%.

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“Labor has taken the people of Hartlepool for granted for too long,” Mortimer said in his victory speech.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses the media next to a large inflatable of him and flanked by Jill Mortimer, the Conservative Party's winning candidate in the Hartlepool by-election on May 7, 2021 (AP Photo / Scott Heppell)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses the media next to a large inflatable of him and flanked by Jill Mortimer, the Conservative Party’s winning candidate in the Hartlepool by-election on May 7, 2021 (AP Photo / Scott Heppell)

Johnson’s Tories had crushed Labor in the 2019 general election in part by winning key seats in parts of north, central England and Wales that had voted Labor for generations. Seats like Burnley, Wrexham and Stoke-on-Trent have all turned conservative blue.

The Brexit issue, which Johnson promised to respect and which was popular with many working class voters traditionally supporting Labor in the north of the country, and the shift of Labor to the far left under the then leader Jeremy Corbyn were seen as the main reasons for Labor’s crushing defeat.

Since then, Corbyn has been replaced by the more moderate Keir Starmer, who has sought to bring the party more to the center. The Brexit issue has largely been resolved and was eclipsed in mid-2020 by the coronavirus pandemic.

However, even after a year in which Johnson was widely criticized for his handling of lockdowns, both by those who thought he had not gone far enough and those who felt they were too strict and saw an economic downturn , the Conservatives still managed to win the seat in Hartlepool.

BORIS JOHNSON STRUGGLES TO PUT GLOVES IN VACCINE CENTER, MAKES OJ SIMPSON CRACK

Johnson on Friday hailed Brexit and the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines as the keys to victory. This deployment has been in stark contrast to the disastrous deployment of the European Union – something Brexit supporters have noted.

“What happened is they can see we’ve done Brexit,” Johnson said during a visit to the city on Friday, where he posed next to an inflatable of him- even. “What people want us to do now is keep delivering everything else. The first is keep rolling out vaccines, making sure we go from jab to jab, jab to jobs, to jobs, to jobs. “

UK opposition Labor Party leader Keir Starmer leaves his home in London on May 7, 2021, following the declaration that the Labor Party has lost the Hartlepool parliamentary election.  (Stefan Rousseau / PA via AP)

UK opposition Labor Party leader Keir Starmer leaves his home in London on May 7, 2021, following the declaration that the Labor Party has lost the Hartlepool parliamentary election. (Stefan Rousseau / PA via AP)

The Conservatives’ victory is likely to increase the pressure on Starmer, and the Labor Party in general, which has seen its traditional crater of working class support as it turns more drastically to the left under Corbyn and has continued to be divided. by identity politics and “awakened” issues – – popular among leftist activists but unpopular with many of its voters. Starmer has faced a crackdown from the left and accusations of being too bland against the more rowdy Johnson.

Starmer’s lack of impact on the electorate was demonstrated in a televised moment this week in which a Sky News reporter arrested a voter in Hartlepool and singled out the Labor leader, who was visiting the town, and him asked if she knew who he was – to what the woman said she didn’t.

“It’s Keir Starmer”, the reporter said.

“Good,” the woman replied categorically. “No idea.”

Members of the “Blairite” wing of the party are likely to urge Starmer to continue to alienate the party from the Corbynite left; Corbyn’s allies were already sharpening their knives – noting that even Corbyn had managed to hold the siege of Hartlepool.

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“A crushing defeat for Labor at Hartlepool,” tweeted former shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott, a key ally of Corbyn. “Jeremy Corbyn cannot be blamed for this result. Labor has won the seat twice under his leadership. Keir Starmer needs to rethink his strategy.”

There were, however, a few highlights for the Labor Party. The mayors of London and Manchester, Sadiq Khan and Andy Burnham, were on track for re-election, while the Labor government in Wales is expected to remain in power.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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EU prince killed EU’s biggest bear on hunting trip, environmentalists complain


A Prince of Liechtenstein is under investigation for allegedly killing a huge male bear in Romania’s Carpathians earlier this year in violation of the country’s preservation laws, authorities said on Wednesday.

Prince Emanuel von und zu Liechtenstein, who resides in Austria, was granted a four-day hunting permit in March in Covasna County in Romania, according to hunting documents. On March 13, he “harvested” a 17-year-old brown bear, for which he allegedly paid 7,000 euros, or about 8,400 dollars.

A senior Romanian environment ministry official, Octavian Berceanu, told The Associated Press that an investigation into the case was opened last Thursday and poaching was one of the suspicions in the case.

In this October 2019 photo provided by NGO Green agent, Arthur, a 17-year-old bear, is seen in Covasna County, Romania.

In this October 2019 photo provided by NGO Green agent, Arthur, a 17-year-old bear, is seen in Covasna County, Romania.
(AP)

Local newspapers quoted the prince as saying he would not comment on the matter.

Romanian NGO Agent Green, which has monitored the large male bear they called “Arthur” for nine years, said he lived “deep in nature” and had no contact with human settlements .

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Romania officially banned trophy hunting in 2016, but hunting permits for “problematic” bears – those that damage things such as agricultural crops or pets – can be issued to hunting associations, but only in last resort, after the failure of the relocation measures. These permits are then sold to trophy hunters.

Due to the large size of Arthur the brown bear, he was considered in the parlance of the hunt as a “golden” trophy, prized specimens that can fetch over 20,000 euros, or nearly 25,000 dollars. .

“All the farmers I spoke to in the village of Ojdula said that nothing had changed since the male bear was shot and the female bear continued to come to the homes daily. It’s poaching as the prince shot the wrong bear – it was murder, “Paun said.

Environment Minister Barna Tanczos told local media on Wednesday that determining whether the right bear was killed was “extremely complicated”.

A petition launched yesterday by Agent Green calling for a total ban on trophy hunting in Romania has collected more than 13,000 signatures.

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Romania is home to the largest population of brown bears in Europe, officially around 6000. The killing of the large omnivore took place in a protected Natura 2000 site, areas of special natural interest and home to some of the most common species. precious and most threatened in Europe, protected by EU law.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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At least 25 dead in Brazilian police raid in Rio


Police targeting drug traffickers raided a slum in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday and at least one policeman and two dozen others died after being shot, authorities said.

The Civil Police press office confirmed the deaths of the cop and 24 suspected “criminals” in a message to the Associated Press.

A police helicopter flew over the Jacarezinho favela as heavily armed men fled the police, jumping from roof to roof, according to images broadcast on local television.

Police exit an armored vehicle during an operation against suspected drug traffickers in the Jacarezinho favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Thursday, May 6, 2021.

Police exit an armored vehicle during an operation against suspected drug traffickers in the Jacarezinho favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Thursday, May 6, 2021.
(AP)

A woman told The Associated Press she saw police kill a seriously injured man she described as helpless and unarmed, whom they found after he fled home.

Felipe Curi, a detective in Rio’s civilian police, denied that there had been any executions. “No suspect was killed. They were all traffickers or criminals who tried to kill our police and there was no other alternative,” he told a press conference .

The police had to struggle to enter the favela because of the concrete barriers built by the criminals, according to the detective. The gunfire spread throughout the community. During the operation, several people described by Curi as criminals invaded neighboring houses trying to hide. Six were arrested, he said.

Police also seized 16 pistols, six rifles, a machine gun, 12 grenades and a shotgun.

Service on a metro line has been temporarily suspended “due to intense gunfire in the area,” according to a statement from the company that operates it. Earlier, two subway passengers were injured when a stray bullet shattered a car window.

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Jacarezinho, one of the city’s most populous favelas, with some 40,000 inhabitants, is dominated by Comando Vermelho, one of Brazil’s main criminal organizations. Police consider Jacarezinho to be one of the group’s headquarters.

Thursday’s operation was aimed at investigating the recruitment of teenagers to hijack trains and commit other crimes, police said in a statement.

A group of around 50 Jacarezinho residents poured into a narrow street on Thursday afternoon to follow members of the state legislature’s Human Rights Commission as it carried out an inspection. They shouted “justice” while clapping their hands and some raised their straight fists in the air.

Police conduct an operation against suspected drug traffickers in the Jacarezinho favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Thursday, May 6, 2021.

Police conduct an operation against suspected drug traffickers in the Jacarezinho favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Thursday, May 6, 2021.
(AP)

Human Rights Watch Brazil said in a statement that the public prosecutor must immediately investigate possible police abuses.

The police statement said the criminal gang has a “warlike structure of soldiers equipped with rifles, grenades, bulletproof vests, pistols, camouflage clothing and other military accessories.”

Candido Mendes University’s Public Security Observatory said at least 12 police operations in Rio state this year left at least three people dead.

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Observatory director Silvia Ramos said Thursday’s raid was one of the deadliest in the city’s recent history.

Many of them appear to violate a decision by Brazil’s Supreme Court last year that ordered police to suspend operations during the pandemic, limiting them to “absolutely exceptional” situations.

The Supreme Court declined to comment on the Associated Press question whether Thursday’s operation would qualify.

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Rio police killed an average of more than five people a day in the first quarter of 2021, the deadliest start to the year since the state government began regularly releasing such data more than 2021 years ago. two decades, according to the Observatory.

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UK and France send ships to island of Jersey: why is there a fight over fishing and how could it get worse?


Two Royal Navy ships were sent to Jersey amid fears of a possible blockade of the island by French ships – but why were they deployed?

Sky News examines what sparked the tensions and how the row could escalate.

What is happening?

UK has deployed HMS Severn and HMS Tamar to Jersey to conduct ‘maritime security patrols’ as a ‘strictly preventive measure’ following discussions with the Jersey government, Defense Ministry said .

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HMS Severn entered service in June last year – after being rescued from scrapping – to bolster the UK’s ability to patrol its waters after Brexit.

HMS Tamar entered service in December last year as one of five new offshore patrol vessels.

At the same time, France sent its own patrol boat to Jersey to “guarantee the safety” of people at sea and “accompany” French fishing vessels.

Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands, is a dependency of the British Crown and is internationally defended and represented by the British government.

It lies just 14 miles from the French coast and 85 miles south of the English coast.

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Why was the Royal Navy sent?

The ships were deployed amid concerns of a possible blockade of Jersey by French boats.

As of Thursday morning, up to 60 vessels were reported off the south Jersey coast near the island’s capital, Saint-Helier, as part of a protest by French fishermen.

Some have launched flares, but the protest has so far remained peaceful, according to the Jersey Evening Post.

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There had been concerns about more direct action by the protesters.

Paul Luxon, Managing Director of Condor Ferries, posted on Twitter that the Commodore Goodwill freight ferry had been “trapped” in the port of St Helier.

However, it was later reported that the ship would be cleared to leave.

Downing Street said any blockade would be “totally unjustified”.

Why are French fishermen protesting?

French fishing crews demonstrate in a dispute over post-Brexit fishing rights.

Under the Brexit trade deal, which entered into force on January 1, EU fishermen continue to have certain rights to fish in UK waters as part of a transition period until in 2026.

However, under the new rules, EU vessels wishing to fish within 12 miles of the UK coast must be licensed and prove that they have fished in those waters before in order to continue operating.

This includes presenting evidence of their past fishing activities.

Jersey has not granted licenses to some of the boats that have applied to fish in its waters.

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Ian Gorst, the island’s foreign affairs minister, said of the 41 boats that applied for licenses under the new rules last Friday, all but 17 provided the required evidence.

“The trade deal is clear but I think there has been some confusion over how it should be implemented as we absolutely respect the historic rights of French fishermen to fish in Jersey waters as they see fit. have been doing for centuries, ”he said.

“I think a solution can be found. I am optimistic that we can allow more time to allow this evidence to be provided.”

The French government has also expressed its anger at what it called conditions unilaterally imposed on fishing licenses, including the time that French fishing vessels could spend in Jersey waters.

Jersey said it had issued permits under the terms of the post-Brexit trade deal.

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Could the line get any worse? Could the lights go out on Jersey?

French Maritime Affairs Minister Annick Girardin warned this week that her country was ready to take “retaliatory measures” on the fishing dispute.

This included a threat that France could cut power to Jersey, which – with a population of 100,000 – receives 95% of its electricity from France via three submarine cables.

And Ms Girardin told the French parliament this week: “In the deal (Brexit) there are retaliatory measures. Well, we are ready to use them.

“As far as Jersey is concerned, I remind you of delivering electricity along submarine cables. While it would be unfortunate if we had to do this, we will if we have to.”

However, the Jersey government has assured residents that “the island’s essential infrastructure will not be disrupted as local facilities are able to meet our electricity needs in the event of an external disruption.”

When the current EU-UK fishing transition period ends in 2026, it is also possible that new tensions will arise when the two parties enter into annual negotiations to decide how to share fish stocks between them.

Have there been any fishing disputes before?

During the UK’s 47 years of EU membership, fishing rights have been decided under the Union’s Common Fisheries Policy.

However, before that there had been what was called the “cod war” between Icelandic and British fishing vessels from 1958 to 1976.

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These violent clashes were triggered by Iceland asserting its control over the seas surrounding the island.

The Royal Navy got involved by escorting British trawlers.

In what has been dubbed the “Scallop Wars” in the summer of 2018, tensions erupted between French and British boats around the waters of the Bay of Seine.

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