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Dark Day In Capitol Hill Beclouds Superiority Of US Democracy

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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.

World News

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte Resigns As Political Crisis Escalates

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Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte has resigned, amid the country’s deepening political crisis, and division among political parties over spending in the coronavirus crisis which has claimed more than 85,000 Italian lives.

Conte, a law professor, who has headed coalition governments since 2018, tendered his resignation to the president and is now discussing the political crisis with senate president, Elisabetta Casellati.

President Mattarella is expected to spend at least two days in talks with party leaders on the next move.

The centrist coalition government was plunged into crisis two weeks ago, when former prime minister Matteo Renzi pulled his small, liberal Italia viva party out of it.  He said his party would rejoin the coalition if Conte accepted a list of demands.

Renzi says EU funds should be invested in promising sectors like digital and green technologies, and wants MPs, rather than technocrats, to decide on the allocations. But he also wants more investment in the country’s embattled health service.  He had governed Italy from 2014 to 2016.

Conte survived a vote of confidence in the lower house, the chamber of deputies, last week. He then won a senate vote, but not an absolute majority.

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Health News

Global Number Of COVID Cases Surpasses 100 Million

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According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide has passed 100 million in just over a year since the first cases of the then ‘mysterious’ new illness were reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

More than 2.1 million persons around the world have died from COVID-19, and more than 55 million persons have recovered from the disease.

During the past 12 months, the pandemic has forced governments to order shutdowns, curfews, travel bans and other public health restrictions to try and stem the spread of infections. Economies have been hard hit and inequalities of all types have been exacerbated.

The United States with the highest number of cases and fatalities globally has recorded 5.3 million cases – approximately one-quarter of the global total and more than 424,000 deaths.

With 217,000 fatalities, Brazil has the second-highest death toll and has confirmed more than 8.8 million cases.

India has confirmed the second-highest total number of cases in the world, with more than 10.6 million infections reported. More than 153,000 persons have died from the virus there.

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Health News

Moderna Begins Work On Booster To Protect Against South African Variant

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Pharmaceutical company, Moderna, said on Monday, it is working on a vaccine to address coronavirus situation in South Africa, and the new mutated variant there. Moderna plans to start clinical trials of an altered booster version of its covid-19 vaccine to treat the South African variant after tests showed its approved-vaccine may produce a diminished antibody response.

The company said, in a press release, it was being cautious and that the two-dose regimen of the vaccine was still expected to be protective against the South African and other variants detected to date. Moderna said it will publish data from its tests against the South African and U.K. Variants.

Meanwhile, the U.S has included South Africa on its travel ban.

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