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Israeli Legislators Pass Proposal To Dissolve Parliament

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With support from prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli legislators have passed a proposal on Wednesday to dissolve the country’s parliament. This means Israel will be forced into having its fourth national election in under two years.

This happens just seven months after the coalition took office in a declaration of national unity to confront the coronavirus crisis.

But since then, the alliance between Netanyahu’s Likud Party and defence minister Benny Gantz’s Blue and White has been locked in battles.

The legislation is heading to a committee before coming before parliament for final approval as early as next week.

Prime minister Netanyahu is on trial for a series of corruption charges. Gantz accuses the prime minister of hindering key governmental work, including the passage of a national budget.

Political observers say lack of a budget has caused severe hardships and cutbacks for Israelis at a time when unemployment is estimated at more than 20 percent.

If a budget for 2020 is not passed by December the 23rd, Israeli law stipulates an automatic dissolution of parliament and new elections.

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US: Biden To Reinstate COVID-19 Travel Ban

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A public health official in United States has said that president Joe Biden will on Monday formally reinstate COVID-19 travel restrictions on non-U.S. travelers from Brazil, Ireland, the United Kingdom and 26 other European countries that allow travel across open borders.

The principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Dr Anne Schuchat told Reuters news agency in an interview stating that “we are adding South Africa to the restricted list because of the concerning variant present that has already spread beyond South Africa.”

Schuchat added that the CDC was “putting in place this suite of measures to protect Americans and also to reduce the risk of these variants spreading and worsening the current pandemic.”

Biden is reversing an order from President Donald Trump in his final days in office that called for the relaxation of the travel restrictions as of Tuesday.

More than 25 million persons in the United States have now been confirmed with COVID-19, about a quarter of the world’s total infections.

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Dog Spent Days Outside Turkish Hospital Waiting For Sick Owner

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A devoted dog has spent days waiting outside a hospital in northern Turkey where her sick owner was receiving treatment.

The pet, Boncuk (Bon-DJUK), which means bead, followed the ambulance that transported her owner, Cemal Senturk, to hospital in the Black Sea city of Trabzon on Jan. 14. She then made daily visits to the facility, private news agency DHA reported on Wednesday.

Senturk’s daughter, Aynur Egeli, said she would take Boncuk home but the dog would repeatedly run off and return to the hospital.

Hospital security guard Muhammet Akdeniz told DHA: “She comes every day around 9 a.m. and waits until nightfall. She doesn’t go in.”

“When the door opens she pokes her head inside,” he said.

On Wednesday, Boncuk was finally reunited with Senturk when he was pushed outside in a wheelchair for a brief meeting with his dog.

“She’s very used to me. And I miss her, too, constantly,” he told DHA.

Senturk was discharged from the hospital later on Wednesday and returned home with Boncuk. (AP)

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Hungary approves Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine

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Hungary has become the first country in the European Union to give preliminary approval to the Russian coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V.

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff confirmed both the Russian jab and the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine have been approved.

Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto has been scheduled to travel to Moscow for further talks, where he is expected to discuss a shipment and distribution plans.

Hungarian health officials are also in Beijing for discussions on the approval and immediate delivery of one million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine, already being used in Serbia.

Sinopharm is a Chinese company that announced last month phase three trials of its jab showed 79% effectiveness.

At least 140,000 Hungarians have already been vaccinated with it.

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