Pope condemns Europe’s mistreatment of migrants and efforts to ‘cancel Christmas’

Pope condemns Europe’s mistreatment of migrants and efforts to ‘cancel Christmas’

Speaking on the Greek island of Lesbos, Pope Francis called the neglect of migrants the “shipwreck of civilisation”. The Pope first visited Lesbos in 2016, when it was a major entry point for people trying to reach Europe. Since then, new flashpoints have emerged and the Pope expressed regret that little had changed. Last month 27 people died when their inflatable dinghy sank in the Channel between France and the UK. The number of people attempting the crossing has been growing, with more than 26,000 people arriving in the UK…

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BIDEN & PUTIN TO HOLD TALKS AMID UKRAINE INVASION FEARS

BIDEN & PUTIN TO HOLD TALKS AMID UKRAINE INVASION FEARS

US President Joe Biden and Russia’s Vladimir Putin will speak via video call on Tuesday, the White House says, amid mounting tensions over Ukraine. It comes after Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US had evidence that Russia had made plans for a “large scale” attack on Ukraine. But he added it was unclear if Mr Putin had made a final decision to invade. Russia has denied any such intention, and accused Ukraine of executing its own troop build-up. In a statement released on Saturday evening, White House Press…

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SIX MORE AMERICAN STATES FIND OMICRON CASES: DELTA STILL TOP U.S. CORONAVIRUS THREAT

SIX MORE AMERICAN STATES FIND OMICRON CASES: DELTA STILL TOP U.S. CORONAVIRUS THREAT

Six more U.S. states confirmed infections of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 on Friday but the Delta strain likely remains a greater threat as winter sets in and Americans gather for the holidays, experts said. New Jersey, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Utah each reported their first cases of the Omicron variant on Friday. Missouri was awaiting CDC confirmation of a case involving a St. Louis resident who had recently traveled within the United States. Scientists are still investigating the impact of the highly contagious Omicron variant, which was first…

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IMF’S KRISTALINA GEORGIEVA: OMICRON VARIANT LIKELY TO USHER GROWTH DOWNGRADES

IMF’S KRISTALINA GEORGIEVA: OMICRON VARIANT LIKELY TO USHER GROWTH DOWNGRADES

Global economic growth projections from the International Monetary Fund will likely be downgraded due to the emergence of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Friday. “A new variant that may spread very rapidly can dent confidence, and in that sense, we are likely to see some downgrades of our October projections for global growth,” Georgieva said during the Reuters Next conference. The IMF said in October it expected the global economy to grow 5.9% this year and 4.9% next year, pointing then to…

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WILL MAKE ANY RUSSIAN INVASION OF UKRAINE “VERY, VERY DIFFICULT”: SAYS BIDEN

WILL MAKE ANY RUSSIAN INVASION OF UKRAINE “VERY, VERY DIFFICULT”: SAYS BIDEN

Washington: US President Joe Biden said Friday he would make it “very, very difficult” for Russia to launch any invasion of Ukraine, which warned that a large-scale attack may be planned for next month. Washington and Kiev say Moscow has massed troops near Ukraine’s borders and accuse Russia of planning an invasion. Biden and President Vladimir Putin are due to hold a video call shortly to discuss the rising tensions, both sides confirmed Friday. Biden told reporters in Washington he was putting together “the most comprehensive and meaningful set of initiatives to…

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U.S. ADMINISTERS 468.5 MILLION DOSES OF COVID-19 VACCINES- CDC

U.S. ADMINISTERS 468.5 MILLION DOSES OF COVID-19 VACCINES- CDC

The United States had administered 468,516,782 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Saturday morning and distributed 581,107,805 doses, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Those figures are up from the 466,348,132 vaccine doses the CDC said had gone into arms by Dec. 3 out of 580,893,145 doses delivered. The agency said 235,297,964 people had received at least one dose, while 198,592,167 people had been fully vaccinated as of 6:00 a.m. ET on Saturday. The CDC tally includes two-dose vaccines from Moderna (MRNA.O) and Pfizer/BioNTech…

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US, EU, UK AND CANADA ANNOUNCE NEW SANCTIONS ON BELARUS

US, EU, UK AND CANADA ANNOUNCE NEW SANCTIONS ON BELARUS

The United States, United Kingdom, European Union and Canada have imposed sanctions on Belarus, accusing the government of President Alexander Lukashenko of human rights violations and “orchestrating” irregular migration at the EU’s border. The two North American countries, Britain and the European bloc announced the sanctions in a joint statement on Thursday, saying they were targeting “certain individuals and entities”. “We remain committed to supporting the democratic aspirations of the people of Belarus and stand together to impose costs on the regime – and those who support it – for…

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IRAN NUCLEAR TALKS BREAK, US & EUROPE DISMAYED BY IRANIAN STANCE

IRAN NUCLEAR TALKS BREAK, US & EUROPE DISMAYED BY IRANIAN STANCE

Indirect US-Iranian talks on saving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal broke off until next week as European officials voiced dismay on Friday at sweeping demands by Iran’s new, hardline government. The seventh round of talks in Vienna is the first with delegates sent by Iran’s anti-Western President Ebrahim Raisi on how to resuscitate the agreement under which Iran limited its nuclear program in return for relief from economic sanctions. Raisi’s election in June caused a five-month hiatus in the talks, heightening suspicions among US and European officials that Iran is…

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U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT APPLE IPHONE HACKED WITH ISRAELI COMPANY SPYWARE – SOURCES

U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT APPLE IPHONE HACKED WITH ISRAELI COMPANY SPYWARE – SOURCES

Apple Inc iPhones of at least nine U.S. State Department employees were hacked by an unknown assailant using sophisticated spyware developed by the Israel-based NSO Group, according to four people familiar with the matter. The hacks, which took place in the last several months, hit U.S. officials either based in Uganda or focused on matters concerning the East African country, two of the sources said. The intrusions, first reported here, represent the widest known hacks of U.S. officials through NSO technology. Previously, a list of numbers with potential targets including…

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EU member states agree to ban flights from southern Africa over new coronavirus variant ‘Omicron’ rapidly spreading there

EU member states agree to ban flights from southern Africa over new coronavirus variant ‘Omicron’ rapidly spreading there

The new coronavirus variant — B.1.1.529 — is rapidly spreading in southern Africa.It prompted the European Commission to recommend a flight ban from the region.European Union member states have agreed to ban flights from southern African countries, citing the new coronavirus variant rapidly spreading there, Associated Press journalist Zeke Miller reported on Twitter. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had earlier on Friday recommended that the member states take action over concerns of the new variant. The World Health Organization has named it “Omicron” and classified it as a…

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