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Coronavirus: Lebanon To Impose Round-The-Clock Curfew As Cases Spike



Lebanese authorities say they will enforce an 11-day curfew, effective Thursday, because the country’s fragile health system is getting overwhelmed.

With few exemptions, people will be forbidden from leaving their homes. They will be unable to shop in supermarkets and will need to rely on deliveries.

The airport will remain open, but number of passengers will be reduced.

Despite a rise in the number of new cases, the government relaxed restrictions ahead of Christmas and new year, hoping to boost the country’s crumbling economy.

Health officials said this has now led to a dramatic spike in infections.

Lebanon, with a population of six million, has reported more than 222,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and more than sixteen hundred deaths since the start of the pandemic.

In the past week alone, more than thirty thousand persons have tested positive.  One hundred seventeen have died.

Health News

COVID-19 Infection Gives Some Immunity, But Virus Can Still Be Spread, Study Finds




As United Kingdom, struggles to contain the coronavirus pandemic and amid attempt to accelerate vaccination efforts, a study of healthcare workers in the European country has found people who have had COVID-19 are highly likely to have immunity to it for at least five months but there is evidence that those with antibodies may still be able to carry and spread the virus.

Preliminary findings by scientists at Public Health England (PHE) showed that reinfections in people who have COVID-19 antibodies from a past infection are rare – with only 44 cases found among 6,614 previously infected people in the study.

But experts cautioned that the findings mean people who contracted the disease in the first wave of the pandemic in the early months of 2020 may now be vulnerable to catching it again.

They also warned that people with so-called “natural immunity” – acquired through having had the infection – may still be able to carry the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in their nose and throat, and could unwittingly pass it on.

Susan Hopkins, the senior medical adviser at PHE and co-leader of the study, whose findings were published on Thursday said “we now know that most of those who have had the virus, and developed antibodies, are protected from reinfection, but this is not total and we do not yet know how long protection lasts.”

“This means even if you believe you already had the disease and are protected, you can be reassured it is highly unlikely you will develop severe infections. But there is still a risk you could acquire an infection and transmit (it) to others.”

A statement on the study said its findings did not address antibody or other immune responses to vaccines now being rolled out against COVID-19, or on how effective vaccines would be. Vaccine responses will be considered later this year, it said.

According to British government data, a daily record of 1,564 deaths was on Wednesday reported in the country bringing the total death toll to more than 89,000 persons.

The UK with its population of more than 66 million has injected 2.6 million persons with the first dose of a vaccine. Earlier, the British government approved three main COVID-19 vaccines – by Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca-Oxford and Moderna.

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World News

Dark Day In Capitol Hill Beclouds Superiority Of US Democracy




The scenes of violence and bloodshed which erupted in the U.S. Capitol last week, after outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump incited an uprising against his democratically-elected opponent, Joe Biden, marked one of the darkest days in the history of the United States.

The chaos in Washington, DC, which left at least five dead, led to dozens of arrests, and resulted in widespread and global condemnation.

This ugly picture, viewed in horror around the world as it unfolded, has affected the global view of the U.S.-style democracy.  Its most hallowed chamber was desecrated and damaged in that incursion.

The mob invasion of the U.S. Capitol was the culmination of president Trump’s continued bogus claim that he won an election he had actually lost by more than seven million popular votes, and seventy-four electoral college votes, and his constant heated rhetoric that had clearly whipped up passion among his supporters.  He had called them to march on the capitol and “take your country back.”

A Kenyan newspaper, the nation, and Colombia’s national paper, Publimetro, had asked the same question the next day, “who’s the banana republic now?”

In the face of the Capitol riots, Palestinian-American scholar, Yousef Munayyer, tweeted last Wednesday as the riots unfolded “we exported so much democracy that we don’t have any left.”

It was Mr. Trump who said in his inauguration speech in January 2017 when he quoted a passage of the holy bible that, “the bible tells us, how good and pleasant it is when god’s people live together in unity.”

he continued in that speech “we must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity.”

The world is asking today, a day after Trump was impeached for the second time, whatever happened to that spirit?  Many of his advisers and close aides told journalists covering the white house on Wednesday night, after the impeachment vote, Trump was the architect of whatever has happened to him and his legacy, and for the ignominious end to his administration.

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World News

Trump Impeached For ‘Inciting’ US Capitol Riot In Historic Second Charge




The United States House of Representatives has on Wednesday impeached President Donald Trump for “incitement of insurrection” after a mob of his supporters stormed the United States Capitol last week, marking the first president in US history to be impeached twice.

The House of Representatives accused Trump of encouraging violence with his false claims of election fraud, the House resolution, which passed by a vote of 232-197 on Wednesday afternoon, states that Trump’s actions and remarks ahead of the storming of the Capitol building in Washington, DC incited the rioters in which five persons died.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said as she signed the article of impeachment after the vote “today, in a bipartisan way, the House demonstrated that no one is above the law – not even the President of the United States.”

Trump now faces trial in the upper chamber, the Senate, but not before he leaves office next Wednesday.

Senators can vote to bar him from ever holding public office again.

Shortly after his impeachment on Wednesday, in a video posted on the White House Twitter, Trump called on his followers to remain peaceful, he said “violence and vandalism have no place in our country… No true supporter of mine would ever endorse political violence.”

The article of impeachment stated that Trump “repeatedly issued false statements asserting that the presidential election results were fraudulent and should not be accepted”.

It says he then repeated these claims and “wilfully made statements to the crowd that encouraged and foreseeably resulted in lawless action at the Capitol”, leading to the violence and loss of life.

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