French health authorities said the number of people hospitalised for Covid-19 has gone beyond the 6,000 threshold on Wednesday, a first since 27 July, while there are still more than 1,000 patients in intensive care units, levels unseen since the beginning of June.
France has reported soaring Covid-19 infections since the beginning of the month. The renewed strain on the country’s hospital system has prompted the government to announce extra restrictive measures on Wednesday, mainly in big cities, to contain the disease.
The Irish government has imposed tightened Covid-19 restrictions in a second region, banning indoor restaurant dining and non-essential travel in the northwestern county of Donegal a week after similar measures were imposed in Dublin.
Donegal, which has registered over 120 cases per 100,000 people over the past 14 days, borders Northern Ireland, which earlier this week tightened Covid-19 restrictions due to a surge in cases.
Daughter says mother’s health has rapidly deteriorated since she was confined with no access to visitors or time outside
Elderly residents of a Victorian aged care home have been confined to their rooms for more than two months without visitors or trips outside for fresh air, which family members say is distressing and leading to a decline in their health.
Meg Mappin said her 98-year-old mother, a resident of Mercy Place in Parkville, and all other residents of the home have been “totally confined to their rooms for 66 days with no idea when they may be able to move out of their rooms again”.
Bank accounts also frozen as part of lawsuit filed by catering firm, his spokeswoman says
Alexei Navalny’s bank accounts were frozen and his Moscow apartment seized as part of a lawsuit while the Russian opposition politician was recovering from a suspected poisoning in a Berlin hospital, his spokeswoman has said.
His assets were seized on 27 August in connection with a lawsuit filed by the Moscow Schoolchild catering company, Kira Yarmysh said in a video posted on Twitter on Thursday. The politician and his allies have been involved in a long-running dispute with the company.
On Thursday, the UK followed in the footsteps of the German government by adopting a Jobs Support Scheme. The announcement comes as German commentators have spoken of their confusion at the zig-zag approach to tackling the coronavirus, describing a nation caught up in feelings of panic, disbelief and disillusionment.
“Military intervention to control coronavirus rules a possibility,” ran one banner headline in the business daily Handelsblatt this week, while an editorial in the Süddeutsche Zeitung was titled: “Johnson’s skittishness endangers his country.”
Boris Johnson’s Churchillian language does not impress Richard Teverson, while Katherine Arnott dismisses the prime minister’s appeal to people’s common sense. Plus letters from Patrick Cosgrove and David Boyd Haycock
I, like so many others, am slack-jawed at the incompetence of this government’s response to Covid. Our death rate is terrible and the continued mixed messages from “go to work as you are less likely to be sacked if you are in the office/don’t go to work” and “eat out to help out/don’t eat out, certainly not after 10pm” have exhausted the public and make compliance more unlikely.
And now Boris Johnson insinuates that we have a worse death rate than many countries in Europe because we are “freedom loving” (Follow new Covid restrictions, or risk a second lockdown, Johnson warns, 22 September). I would be so grateful if he could stop this faux Churchillian tub-thumping with pernicious Brexit undertones, hinting that we are better than all of Europe because we love freedom more (the inference being that that is why we have voted to leave all those rule adherents behind). Let’s see how “freedom loving” the prime minister thinks we all are when there are queues of 7,000 trucks in Kent in January as Michael Gove now warns.
Mitch McConnell insists ‘there will be an orderly transition’ while Trump ally Lindsey Graham says ‘I assure you it will be peaceful’
Leading Republicans have sought to quell fears that Donald Trump could stoke violence in an attempt to cling to power if he loses the US presidential election – though they stopped short of rebuking Trump directly.
The president sparked fresh anger and disbelief on Thursday after he refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power. “Well, we’re going to have to see what happens,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday evening, before renewing a baseless complaint about mail-in ballots.
Experts believe virus is probably becoming more contagious but US study did not find mutations made it more lethal
The Covid-19 virus is continuing to mutate throughout the course of the pandemic, with experts believing it is probably becoming more contagious, as coronavirus cases in the US have started to rise once again, according to new research.
The new US study analyzed 5,000 genetic sequences of the virus, which has continued to mutate as it has spread through the population. The study did not find that mutations of the virus have made it more lethal or changed its effects, even as it may be becoming easier to catch, according to a report in the Washington Post, which noted that public health experts acknowledge all viruses have mutations, most of which are insignificant.
Salih Mustafa oversaw Kosovo Liberation Army fighters in Llapi region during 1998-99 war
An international tribunal investigating war crimes committed during Kosovo’s 1998-99 independence war has arrested its first suspect, a former commander of separatist fighters.
The Kosovo Specialist Chambers, based in The Hague, said the former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) commander Salih Mustafa was arrested based on a “warrant, transfer order and confirmed indictment issued by a pre-trial judge”. The court’s statement did not identify the charges on which he was indicted.
Over a career of more than 30 years, she’s been Indie Kylie, Moody Kylie and Mature Kylie – but who comes out on top?
Her eponymous 1994 album was supposed to unveil a new, more grownup, hipper Kylie Minogue, free from the influence of Stock Aitken and Waterman: it was not the triumph some expected, but it did contain that rarest of things, a great Kylie ballad in the shape of the trip-hoppy Put Yourself in My Place.
Italy’s president, Sergio Mattarella, said its citizens “also love freedom, but we also care about seriousness”, responding to Boris Johnson’s suggestion that the UK’s rate of coronavirus infection was worse than both Italy and Germany’s because Britons loved their freedom more.
Mattarella’s comments came at the end of a ceremony in Sardinia, in memory of the former Italian president Francesco Cossiga.
Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife said to pack soiled clothes to be cleaned on foreign trips
While black-tie banquets, lavish royal receptions and priceless gifts are the most obvious extravagances of international diplomacy, Israel’s leader and his wife have spotlighted a lesser-known perk of the state visit: free dry cleaning.
Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu have developed a reputation for lugging bags and suitcases of dirty clothes on foreign trips to be laundered at another country’s expense, a practice noticed by staff at the White House guesthouse, according to the Washington Post.
Jalil Muntaqim was one of several black liberation radicals incarcerated for decades in the wake of political and racial turbulence of the 1960s and 70s
A former Black Panther who has been in prison for almost half a century has finally won his decades-long battle for freedom after a New York parole board ordered his release.
Jalil Muntaqim, AKA Anthony Bottom, has been in unbroken custody for more than 49 years having been arrested and later convicted of the 1971 murders of two police officers in Harlem. Under the terms of his parole he must be released from the maximum-security Sullivan correctional facility in upstate New York by 20 October.
Four Covid-19 sniffer dogs have begun work at Helsinki airport in a state-funded pilot scheme that Finnish researchers hope will provide a cheap, fast and effective alternative method of testing people for the virus.
A dog is capable of detecting the presence of the coronavirus within 10 seconds and the entire process takes less than a minute to complete, according to Anna Hielm-Björkman of the University of Helsinki, who is overseeing the trial.
Healthy volunteers in the UK could soon be deliberately infected with coronavirus in the world’s first human challenge trial to find out which Covid vaccines work.
Government-funded studies, which it is believed will be announced next week, could begin in January in London, the Financial Times has reported. Volunteers exposed to Covid-19 would be closely monitored in strict quarantine for as long as a month.
Exclusive: African state says it has agreements with oil companies in Lake Chad area
Chad has asked to suspend an application for world heritage site status for Lake Chad to explore oil and mining opportunities in the region, it can be revealed.
In a letter leaked to the Guardian, Chad’s tourism and culture minister wrote to Unesco, the body which awards the world heritage designation, asking to “postpone the process of registering Lake Chad on the world heritage list”.
The longer the coronavirus lockdown lasts, the more complex the suite of rules governing everyday behaviour seemingly become, despite the government’s efforts to simplify matters with the rule of six.
A new set of restrictions was unveiled on Tuesday, with the full regulations due to be published later on Wednesday. Here are some nuances and quirks to have emerged so far. These apply only to the default rules for England; they differ in other UK nations and where stricter local lockdowns are in force.
David Smith’s sketch: president takes us through the looking glass amid the kneecapping of American democracy
Jared Kushner, the US president’s son-in-law, told journalist Bob Woodward that one of the best ways to understand Donald Trump is to study Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Kushner paraphrased the Cheshire Cat’s philosophy: “If you don’t know where you’re going, any path will get you there.”
Wednesday was one of those days when to have a seat in the White House briefing room felt like stepping through the looking-glass into Blunderland, where the mad hatter has an authoritarian streak a mile wide.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic an abiding fear had stalked the world’s most vulnerable populations. Millions of people displaced by conflict in the Middle East watched with alarm as Europe and the west withered under a caseload that stretched first-world healthcare systems to their limits. They saw field hospitals being set up in capitals. Governments buckling under the strain. The developing world offering aid to the developed.
It seemed inevitable that the contagion would reach those less able to absorb its impact. And now, as second and third waves of Covid-19 surge around the globe, worst fears are being realised. Several months into the crisis, the virus has crept into the populations of refugees and internally displaced people, where stopping its advance will be close to impossible. Up to 15 million people across the region, many of whom were already at risk of disease, now face a rampant spread through their communities.
Larger economies have been flexible and creative coping with Covid’s impact – the same mindset needs to be applied to helping poorer countries
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts Africa will suffer its worst recession since the 1970s. For the first time since the 1990s, extreme poverty will increase. The annual death toll from HIV, tuberculosis and malaria is set to double. We also fear a near doubling in the number of people facing starvation. Many girls out of school will never go back. Life expectancy will fall.
All this will fuel grievances, and in their wake conflict, instability and refugee flows, all giving succour to extremist groups and terrorists. The consequences will reach far and last long. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and G20 nations will feel the blowback just as some start to see light at the end of the Covid tunnel.