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Iran Denies ‘Cover-Up’ Amid Public Anger Over Plane Crash

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Iranians have expressed public anger running into the third day even as the country’s leadership repeatedly denied it was to blame for the shooting down of the Ukrainian commercial jet liner which killed all one hundred seventy-six on board.

The Iranian government has denied a “cover-up” after it took days for officials to admit that the plane was mistakenly shot down during a confrontation with the United States.

On Monday, government spokesman Ali Rabiei said in remarks aired on state television “in these sorrowful days, many criticisms were directed at relevant officials and authorities … some officials were even accused of lying and a cover-up but, in all honesty, that was not the case.”

Protesters took to the streets early Monday expressing outrage over the authorities’ admission that they had accidentally shot down the passenger plane during a confrontation with the united states.

Videos from inside Iran showed riot police and protesters back on the streets on Monday after two days of violent anti-government demonstrations. Images of the earlier protests showed slogans against the supreme leader, with pools of blood on the streets and gunfire in the air.

Authorities denied that police had opened fire, as U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted: “don’t kill your protesters.”

Tehran has blamed human error for the downing of the jetliner.

Health News

Canada: COVID-19 Death Toll Exceeds 12000

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Canada’s COVID-19 deaths have passed another grim milestone of 12, 000 fatalities.

The country also recorded fifty-four hundred sixty-eight new cases of coronavirus infections which pushed the total number of confirmed cases to 370,014.  More than 290,000 persons have recovered from the virus.

A new report from an epidemiological analysis showed about 90 per cent of those who died were seniors, from 70 years and older.

The data also shows a significant increase in patients hospitalized from the virus.

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World News

New York City Will Reopen Elementary Schools And Reduce Hybrid Learning

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New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio has confirmed public elementary schools will begin reopening next Monday.

The largest public school system in the country closed in November when the city reached a seven-day covid-19 testing positivity average of 3%.

Meanwhile, middle and high schools will remain closed. There are more than one million students in New York City’s public school system, and around 330,000 students could be eligible to return to school under this plan.

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Health News

Moderna Files For U.S. Vaccine Authorization, Will Seek EU Nod

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Drug maker, Moderna has filed for U.S. and European emergency regulatory approval of its coronavirus vaccine for widespread use.

It is now left for regulators to look at trial data for the MRNA vaccine and decide if it is safe and effective enough to recommend for roll out.

Clinical studies have revealed the vaccine is more than 94% effective at protecting against COVID-19 infection.

Another drug maker, Pfizer, has already filed for the U.S. Emergency approval for its own vaccine.

UK regulators are reviewing data for emergency approval of the Pfizer, Astrazenca, and Oxford University coronavirus vaccines.

Moderna says it hopes to gain UK approval soon, now that it has trial data from 30,000 volunteers including the elderly.

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