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Corona demons tower over India's Durga Puja festival


Artisans preparing Hindu festival have responded creatively to the pandemic and its problemsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageEvery autumn the streets of Kolkata come alive with the sounds of Durga Puja. The Hindu festival, which celebrates the triumph of good over evil, is marked in West Bengal and neighbouring states as a time for dancing, drumming, eating and worship.Yet the festival’s most defining feature is the pandal – towering displays of religious sculptures depicting the story of Durga Puja: the moment that the Hindu goddess Durga triumphed over the demon Mahishasura. Continue reading... [...]

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'Covid parties' could become the norm, immunology expert says


Suggestion prompts warning that long-term effects of virus are not yet knownCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageParties in which young people try to catch Covid-19 to gain immunity could become the norm if the virus is not eradicated, a Cambridge professor has suggested, prompting others to caution that the long-term effects of infection are not yet known.Paul Lehner, professor of immunology and medicine at the University of Cambridge, told a briefing held by the Science Media Centre that the virus could be here to stay and that there might be “Covid parties” for the young to expose them to coronavirus while their risk was low. Continue reading... [...]

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CDC rewrites definition for coronavirus 'close contact'


New definition includes people who come into close contact with infected individuals in multiple short bursts over 24-hour periodThe leading US federal public health agency has rewritten its definition of who is at risk of contracting coronavirus to include people who come into close contact with infected individuals in multiple short bursts over a 24-hour period.The new definition of “close contact” issued on Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will sharply expand the pool of those deemed in danger of being infected by the virus. Continue reading... [...]

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Doctors in South Korea call for flu vaccinations to be paused after 25 deaths


Authorities say programme will continue after finding no direct links between the deaths and the vaccinesSouth Korean officials refused on Thursday to suspend a seasonal influenza inoculation effort, despite growing calls for a halt, including an appeal from a key group of doctors, after the deaths of at least 25 of those vaccinated. Health authorities said they found no direct links between the deaths and the vaccines.At least 22 of the dead, including a 17-year-old boy, were part of a campaign to inoculate 19 million teenagers and senior citizens for free, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said. Continue reading... [...]

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Coronavirus live news: France curfew extended as country sees record 41,622 new cases; curfew imposed in Greece


Further 38 départements have curfew measures imposed on them in France, as record case numbers reported; movement banned from 12.30am to 5am in locations with high infection rates in Greece; Italy cases break records for second day in a rowSurge ‘very serious’ in Germany and ‘out of control’ in SpainBelgium’s deputy PM in intensive care with coronavirusNumber of US states seeing record one-day deaths rises to sixSee all our coronavirus coverage 9.57pm BST Supermarkets in Wales will not be allowed to sell items such as clothing and hardware during the Covid-19 firebreak lockdown, first minister Mark Drakeford has said.Drakeford said it will be “made clear” to supermarkets they are only able to sell products that are classed as “essential goods”.In the first set of restrictions people were reasonably understanding of the fact that supermarkets didn’t close all the things that they may have needed to.I don’t think that people will be as understanding this time and we will be making it clea [...]

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US signs anti-abortion declaration with group of largely authoritarian governments


Move is part of a campaign by Trump administration to reorient US foreign policy in a more socially conservative directionThe US has today signed an anti-abortion declaration with a group of about 30 largely illiberal or authoritarian governments, after the failure of an effort to expand the conservative coalition.The “Geneva Consensus Declaration” calls on states to promote women’s rights and health – but without access to abortion – and is part of a campaign by Trump administration, led by secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to reorient US foreign policy in a more socially conservative direction, even at the expense of alienating traditional western allies. Continue reading... [...]

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Trump releases unedited 60 Minutes interview days before air date


Footage shows president growing increasingly frustrated as Lesley Stahl presses him on pandemic, slipping support and economyDonald Trump on Thursday leaked his own unedited and bad-tempered TV interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes on Facebook ahead of the show’s Sunday broadcast date and just hours before the final presidential debate with Joe Biden in Nashville.The president tweeted “Look at the bias, hatred and rudeness” about his CBS interviewer Lesley Stahl. Continue reading... [...]

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Alarm as Arctic sea ice not yet freezing at latest date on record


Delayed freeze in Laptev Sea could have knock-on effects across polar region, scientists sayFor the first time since records began, the main nursery of Arctic sea ice in Siberia has yet to start freezing in late October.The delayed annual freeze in the Laptev Sea has been caused by freakishly protracted warmth in northern Russia and the intrusion of Atlantic waters, say climate scientists who warn of possible knock-on effects across the polar region. Continue reading... [...]

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Ghislaine Maxwell deposition unsealed after court ruling


Document contains details about Jeffrey Epstein relationship Maxwell charged with involvement in Epstein’s sexual crimesA court document containing detailed information about Ghislaine Maxwell and her relationship with the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was unsealed on Thursday morning in New York just moments before a court-imposed deadline.This document, an April 2016 deposition, is among about a dozen long-awaited Maxwell files that have been unsealed, with the first filing involving Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre’s lawyer alleging the British socialite avoided a question “about allegedly ‘adult’ sexual activity related to Jeffrey Epstein”. Continue reading... [...]

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Trump's Twitter hacked after Dutch researcher claims he guessed password – report


Victor Gevers claimed he had access to president’s account, De Volkskrant reported, but Twitter said ‘we’ve seen no evidence’Donald Trump’s Twitter account was allegedly hacked last week, after a Dutch researcher correctly guessed the president’s password: “maga2020!”, Dutch media reported.Victor Gevers, a security expert, had access to Trump’s direct messages, could post tweets in his name and change his profile, De Volkskrant newspaper reported. Continue reading... [...]

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Iraq's prime minister says country on tightrope between US and Iran


Mustafa al-Kadhimi also urges Europe to assist the Middle Eastern nation’s debt-ridden economyIraq’s prime minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, has warned that he is being forced into an impossible balancing act between the US and Iran, as he urged Europe to come to the aid of his country’s debt-ridden economy.Appointed as prime minister in June, Kadhimi – a British citizen and former journalist – came to power after unprecedented street protests over corruption, and has since governed with a simple programme of early elections, better security and preventing the collapse of his oil-dependent economy. Continue reading... [...]

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Nigerian president criticised over response to protests crackdown


Muhammadu Buhari addresses nation but fails to mention shootings by security forces on Tuesday Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, has called for an end to nationwide demonstrations against police brutality, but failed to directly mention the fatal shooting of peaceful protesters.In a televised address on Thursday night – his first public appearance since security forces were accused of killing at least 12 people in Lagos on Tuesday – Buhari called on protesters to “resist the temptation of being used by some subversive elements to cause chaos”. Continue reading... [...]

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China warns Canada to halt ‘blatant interference’ as feud continues


Canada concluded China’s actions against ethnic Uighurs in the Xinjiang province constituted a genocide and called for sanctions China has warned Canadian lawmakers to halt their “blatant interference” in its internal affairs, in the latest episode of a rumbling diplomatic feud between the two nations.Earlier this week, a Canadian parliamentary committee concluded China’s actions against ethnic Uighurs in Xinjiang province constituted a genocide and called for sanctions against officials complicit in the government’s policy. Continue reading... [...]

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Brexit: £3bn standoff over UK-EU scientific collaboration


Sector calls for compromise to ensure UK researchers stay in Horizon EuropeThe UK’s post-Brexit collaboration with European scientists hangs in the balance after it emerged that the EU offer of staying in the Horizon research programme could leave London with a £3bn deficit.“The financial negotiations are not in a good position and the offer that the [European] commission has made to the UK is not appealing,” Vivienne Stern, the director of Universities UK International, told a Lords Brexit committee on Thursday. Continue reading... [...]

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Banksy's Show me the Monet painting sells for £7.5m at auction


Reimagining of Claude Monet’s Impressionist water lilies easily surpassed expectations at Sotheby’s eventBanksy’s reimagining of Claude Monet’s impressionist water lilies has fetched more than £7.5m at auction, easily surpassing expectations.Show Me The Monet was created in 2005 and adds abandoned shopping trolleys and a traffic cone to the famous garden scene. Continue reading... [...]

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Adele – every song ranked!


As the all-conquering queen of the blockbusting weepy ballad makes her return, hosting Saturday Night Live this weekend, we sift through her back catalogue, from No 1 hits to bonus Japanese tracksReleased on the flipside of 2008 single Cold Shoulder, Now and Then really sounds like a B-side. A gently wistful two-chord acoustic ballad, it’s notable only as point of comparison: Adele’s voice sounds noticeably mannered next to her later work. Continue reading... [...]

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Furlough replacement scheme: the winners and losers


Hospitality sector and eligible self-employed may benefit, but many will miss outCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageRishi Sunak has responded to growing pressure over the level of government support for parts of the country facing tough new coronavirus restrictions with a last-minute expansion of the new furlough scheme. Continue reading... [...]

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Canary Islands added to UK travel corridor list


Holidays to the Spanish islands will be on sale in time for half-term. The Maldives, Mykonos and Denmark also added to listCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageLast-minute holidays to the Canaries will be back on sale in time for a half-term getaway after the islands were added to the UK travel corridor list.Holidaymakers will be able to visit any of the eight main islands in the archipelago without the need to quarantine for 14 days on their return. The move comes into effect from 4am on Sunday (25 October), the transport Grant Shapps confirmed on Twitter on Thursday. Continue reading... [...]

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Trump says he wants supreme court to 'end' Obamacare as final debate looms – live


President tests negative for Covid before debate, Meadows saysTrump releases unedited 60 Minutes interview days before air dateSenate committee votes to advance Amy Coney Barrett nominationTrump’s Twitter allegedly hacked after password guessed: ‘maga2020!’Trump and Biden to have second TV debate in NashvilleSign up for Fight to Vote – our weekly US election newsletter 9.48pm BST Edward Snowden’s lawyer said the whistleblower has been granted permanent residency in Russia, according to the AP.The AP reports: Snowden, a former contractor with the U.S. National Security Agency, has been living in Russia since 2013 to escape prosecution in the U.S. after leaking classified documents detailing government surveillance programs.‘Today, Snowden was handed a residency permit for an unlimited period of time,’ his Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena told Russia’s state Tass news agency. 9.38pm BST In a possible preview of tonight’s debate, the Trump campaign just held a press call that was exclusively de [...]

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Calls for a Covid 'kava bubble' as supply from Pacific to Australia dries up


With little of the homemade Pacific brew available in Australia, prices have skyrocketed, and there’s been a spike in seizures at the borderThe questions are asked quietly, but urgently: “Kava, do you have any? Do you know where to get any? Have you heard what they are paying for it in Sydney?”When Pasifika meet in Australia, it is often kava that dominates: now, it is the absence of it. Continue reading... [...]

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Coronavirus Australia latest updates: national cabinet eyes Christmas reopening as stranded travellers en route to Darwin


Today’s meeting between federal, state and territory leaders will focus on removing social and border restrictions to jumpstart the economy. Follow liveFollow our global live blogFull Australian Covid stats; Covid restrictions state by stateNSW cases map; Vic cases mapNSW hotspots list; Qld hotspots listSign up for Guardian Australia’s weekly coronavirus email 9.55pm BST Here is AAP’s report on today’s national cabinet meeting:Prime minister Scott Morrison will push to increase the weekly cap of 6000 international arrivals when he chairs a national cabinet meeting on Friday. 9.48pm BST Victoria’s head of contact tracing, Prof Euan Wallace, is on ABC RN Breakfast talking to Dr Norman Swan. He says in that northern Melbourne outbreak, the contact tracing team has “put a ring around it” in terms of “making sure that we keep that fire break between cases and contacts on the rest of the community”. Continue reading... [...]

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Progress in fight against child poverty could be wiped out by Covid, says report


UN and World Bank call for structural changes to tackle the effects of the pandemic on children, who make up half the world’s poor Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe world’s limited progress in tackling child poverty over recent years could be destroyed by the coronavirus pandemic, the UN and World Bank have warned.“Slow-paced, unequally distributed” progress meant one in six children were living in poverty even before the pandemic, according to a joint study. Continue reading... [...]

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‘I have to do this’: Myanmar garment workers forced into sex work by Covid


Factory closures due to fashion industry order cancellations have pushed many former employees into often dangerous workCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageWhen Hla, 19, tried to go back to work seven months ago after having a baby, there were no jobs. Hundreds of garment factories in Myanmar had closed after western fashion brands cancelled orders due to the pandemic, leaving thousands of women jobless.As lockdown gripped Yangon, her marriage broke down, her husband left, and her father had to sell his trishaw – no longer able to take passengers in the city. Her parents and baby were hungry. Five months ago, she became a sex worker. Continue reading... [...]

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Kenyan efforts to end FGM suffer blow with victims paraded in 'open defiance'


Almost 3,000 girls from the Kuria community have undergone female genital mutilation in recent weeks, despite crackdownKenya has seen a setback in its progress to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) after an open parade in defiance of the government clampdown on the practice took place this week.Almost 2,800 girls from the Kuria community in south-western Kenya have undergone FGM, which involves the removal of the outer layers of female genitalia and sometimes the clitoris, in the past three weeks, say local activists. Continue reading... [...]

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Croatian police accused of 'sickening' assaults on migrants on Balkans trail


Testimony from asylum seekers alleging brutal border pushbacks, including sexual abuse, adds to calls for EU to investigatePeople on the Balkans migrant trail have allegedly been whipped, robbed and, in one case, sexually abused by members of the Croatian police.The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) has documented a series of brutal pushbacks on the Bosnia-Croatian border involving dozens of asylum seekers between 12 and 16 October. Continue reading... [...]

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The loss of family reunion rights will lead to enormous suffering for child refugees | Harriet Grant


I’ve interviewed those seeking safe passage to the UK: their plight was obvious, their stories shockingLast night the government voted against attempts to protect the right of unaccompanied child asylum seekers to join family in the UK. Only six Conservative MPs rebelled to support the amendment, put forward by former child refugee Lord Dubs, that would have enshrined the legal right to family reunion for child refugees after the UK leaves the EU at the end of the year.It’s hard to emphasise the immeasurable loss that this vote will impose on thousands of families in the years to come. Over the past few years I’ve interviewed young people trying to reach their relatives in the UK and families here desperate to get children and young people to safety. The suffering was always enormous, consuming every minute of their day. Continue reading... [...]

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'We need prison time': Purdue's belated guilty plea gets skeptical reaction


While the guilty plea was welcomed, there was also anger over the US justice department’s failure to prosecute executivesLawyers and public relations firms for the Sackler family who own Purdue Pharma have spent months pushing an aggressive campaign to deny that the company’s powerful painkiller, OxyContin, unleashed the devastating US opioid epidemic.They manipulated statistics and attacked critics to paint the company and the Sacklers as victims of an unwarranted smear campaign driven by a sensationalist media and grasping addicts trying to lay their hands on the billions of dollars of profits generated by a legitimate drug. Continue reading... [...]

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Ardern urged to review New Zealand Covid measures after election landslide


Veteran epidemiologist calls for review, and openness to adopting measures suggested by political rivals, now that voters have given PM a mandateJacinda Ardern won New Zealand’s election with a commanding majority, in part attributed to her handling of the Covid-19 pandemic in her country. But a veteran epidemiologist is exhorting the prime minister to use the political capital gained in her decisive victory to scrutinise the coronavirus response by her government and officials, and adopt strategies proposed by her opponents before Saturday’s vote.“New Zealand has shown it can be quite smart and flexible, but we can see we’ve got these blind spots and we need to have no blind spots,” said Nick Wilson, a University of Otago epidemiologist. “This is such an unforgiving disease and very few countries are doing it right so we need to smarten up our act quite substantially.” Continue reading... [...]

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Police brutality is just tip of the iceberg for protesters in Nigeria


Police violence prompted latest protests but anger at the government is growingThe signs held up by protesters have been clear. “We have no leaders,” said one. “The power of the youth is stronger than you that is in power,” ran another. A third read: “Nigeria bleeds.” This last statement has been all too true over the last 24 hours. At least seven people are thought to have been killed when soldiers opened fire on a protest site in an upscale part of Lagos, the commercial and cultural centre of Africa’s most populous nation. Continue reading... [...]

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Even if Biden wins US election, time is running out to save Iran nuclear deal


Events in the US are being watched closely as Iran’s presidential election looms in early 2021Even if Joe Biden triumphs at the polls, Iran’s weakened government may only have a few months to negotiate a revived nuclear deal before facing its own electoral challenge by hardliners who oppose any engagement with the west. The narrow window has prompted calls for Biden to offer a phased approach to rejoining the Iran nuclear deal abandoned by Donald Trump in 2018, in order to show progress before the Iranian presidential election. Continue reading... [...]

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Room for improvement with test and trace, says Patrick Vallance – video


Sir Patrick Vallance said there was ‘room for improvement’ with test and trace in the UK as only about two-thirds of the close contacts reached are done so within 48 hours of the case entering the system, according to performance figures released on Thursday. Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak presented a new package of government support grants during a televised briefing and also discussed vaccines and local restrictionsUK coronavirus live: Boris Johnson gives briefing after chancellor unveils new business support measures Continue reading... [...]

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Covid tier system in England has confused the messaging, says police chief – video


The assistant chief constable Owen Weatherill said during a home affairs committee meeting that England’s three-tier system of coronavirus regulations was confusing and, as a result, difficult for police to implement.In response, the minister for crime and policing, Kit Malthouse, has said it is important that people inform themselves about restrictions in their areasUK Covid breaches 'like antisocial behaviour', police chief says Continue reading... [...]

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My weekend at man camp: trauma, wrestling and tears – video


Earlier this year, pre-pandemic, Adam Gabbatt spent a weekend with Sacred Sons, a male-only community that aims to help men explore their vulnerable side and listen to their emotions. In an era when masculinity is under scrutiny, could Adam open up too?What does it mean to be a man in 2020? Introducing our news series on masculinity Continue reading... [...]

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Trump responds to Barack Obama's speech at Biden-Harris rally – video


Donald Trump has responded to Barack Obama's speech at a campaign rally for Joe Biden, saying the former president underestimated him in 2016. "I think the only one, the only one more unhappy than crooked Hillary that night was Barack Hussein Obama," Trump said. Less than two weeks from the election, Trump's campaign took him to North Carolina, where he told supporters "I love this particular state, but I might not have come here so often. I've been all over your state, you better let me win" Continue reading... [...]

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Barack Obama likens Donald Trump to 'crazy uncle' in Joe Biden rally speech – video


Barack Obama has delivered a stinging rebuke of president Donald Trump in a speech delivered in Philadelphia while campaigning for Joe Biden. Obama criticised Trump's handling of the coronavirus crisis as well as divisive behaviour including retweeting conspiracy theories that you wouldn't tolerate from  anyone “except from a crazy uncle". The former president also praised the positivity shown during the pandemic and recent Black Lives Matter movement . "We see that what is best is us is still there, but we've got to give it voice." Continue reading... [...]

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Voting 'makes things better': Barack Obama praises youth – video


Barack Obama has praised young Black Lives Matter demonstrators saying they gave him 'optimism', during a discussion with black male community leaders ahead of a drive-in rally for Joe Biden on Wednesday night.At his Philadelphia campaign event, Obama emphasized the need for young voters to make it to the polls to ensure a better future for the country Continue reading... [...]

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Nigeria: security forces in Lagos open fire on protesters fighting against police brutality – video


Nigerian security forces have opened fire on hundreds of protesters in Lagos, as rallies against police brutality continued in defiance of a 24-hour curfew. Footage shared on social media shows shots being fired in the Lekki district of Africa's largest city. Demonstrators continued their protest against the notorious Sars police unit, now dissolved but long-accused of extra-judicial killings, torture and extortion. The government has adopted measures including judicial panels to investigate abuses and compensation for victims, and officials have called for protesters to suspend the demonstrations to give the government time to make good on its pledgesPolice brutality in Nigeria: what is the #EndSars movement? – video explainerNigeria protests lead to 24-hour Lagos curfew Continue reading... [...]

Click here to Read full Details Sources @ https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2020/oct/20/protesters-vow-to-defy-nigerian-curfew-in-fight-against-police-brutality-video
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