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WASHINGTON - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday advised against travel to 22 nations and territories because of a rising number of COVID-19 cases including for Israel, Australia, Egypt, Albania, Argentina and Uruguay. The CDC elevated its travel recommendation to "Level Four: Very High," telling Americans they should avoid travel to those destinations, which also include Panama, Qatar, the Bahamas, Bahrain and Bolivia. (Reporting by David Shepardson)...
LONDON - Dan Fallows will join Aston Martin on April 2 as the Formula One team's new technical director after rivals Red Bull agreed to let him go. The 2022 season starts in Bahrain on March 20. "We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Red Bull which releases Dan early from his contract and are looking forward to him joining the team," said Aston Martin's group CEO Martin Whitmarsh in a statement on Tuesday. Fallows has been with Red Bull since 2006, most recently as chief engineer for aerodynamics, and was reported to have a contract to mid-2023. Aston Martin announced his signing last June but Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said then that Fallows would have to see out his contract, adding that any move would "not be within the next couple of years." "It goes without saying that Dan will be missed as he has played an important role during his time at Red Bull Racing," Horner also said at the time...
- Everton have appointed Duncan Ferguson as caretaker manager after sacking Spaniard Rafa Benitez, the Premier League club said on Tuesday. Benitez was dismissed on Jan. 16 following a 2-1 defeat at Norwich City which left the Merseyside club six points above the Premier League relegation zone in 16th place, after 19 matches. Former Everton striker Ferguson, who scored 72 goals in 273 appearances across two spells at the club, took charge of first-team training on Tuesday ahead of a home match against Aston Villa on Saturday. This will be Ferguson's second stint as interim manager of Everton, following a spell in December 2019 when he took charge of the club after the sacking of Portuguese coach Marco Silva. "An announcement on a permanent managerial appointment will be made in due course," Everton said in a statement. (Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)...
- Olympique de Marseille have signed defender Sead Kolasinac from Premier League club Arsenal on a one-and-a-half-year deal, the Ligue 1 side said on Tuesday. Kolasinac made 118 appearances for Arsenal since joining in 2017 on a free transfer, but has fallen out of favour under manager Mikel Arteta, playing five times in all competitions this season. Kolasinac has represented Bosnia on 42 occasions. The 28-year-old spent the 2020-21 season on loan at German club Schalke 04. (Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)...
MADRID - Spain's coronavirus infection rate dropped for the first time in two and a half months, health ministry data showed on Tuesday, suggesting the Omicron variant's rapid-fire advance may be slowing. Even as Spain reported over 94,400 new cases, the rate as measured over the preceding 14 days fell to 3,306 cases per 100,000 people from a record 3,397 cases on Wednesday, the first decline since Nov. 2 when it was below 50. The seven-day rate fell even more sharply, to 1,522 from 1,657 per 100,000. Infections had climbed without interruption amid mass testing, turbo-charged by Omicron's elevated transmissibility and large swathes of the population mixing over Christmas. Hospital admissions remain well below those seen in earlier waves, however, thanks to Spain's high vaccination rates. Hospital occupancy with COVID-19 patients was practically unchanged on Tuesday from Wednesday at just over 15%, while about a quarter o...
WASHINGTON - Verizon Communications said Tuesday it would temporarily limit some 5G deployment around airports, in a move aimed at averting a major aviation safety crisis. Verizon said it "voluntarily decided to limit our 5G network around airports" but would still launch its 5G Ultra Wideband network Wednesday. The announcement follows AT&T's decision earlier Tuesday to halt some tower deployments near airports. Airlines had warned without a delay near airports hundreds of daily flights or more could have been canceled or impacted. (Reporting by David Shepardson, Editing by Franklin Paul)...
- Heavyweights Senegal failed to fire again and were fortunate not to concede a penalty in a 0-0 draw with unfancied Malawi on Tuesday but they still finished in top spot in Group B at the Africa Cup of Nations. Senegal won the group with five points, despite scoring only once in their three matches via a late Sadio Mane penalty against Zimbabwe in their opening game. Malawi and Guinea both finished with four points but the latter took second spot on the head-to-head rule, while the Malawians must now wait to see if they are one of the four best third-placed teams, who also advance to the next round. Malawi were left fuming when Cameroon referee Blaise Ngwa cancelled a late penalty he initially awarded them at the Kouekong Stadium in Bafoussam, after Gomezgani Chirwa was brought down in the box by defender Bouna Sarr. The decision was overturned on review, but Senegal can regard themselves as fortunate as there was both a p...
By Sabine Siebold and Susan Heavey BERLIN/WASHINGTON - Germany signalled on Tuesday that it could halt the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia if Moscow invades Ukraine, and Western nations rallied behind Kyiv over a Russian troop buildup that has stoked fears of war. Stepping up diplomacy after talks with Russia ended in stalemate last week, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken https://www..com/world/europe/uss-blinken-visit-ukraine-following-russia-talks-2022-01-18 will visit Kyiv on Wednesday before heading to Berlin to discuss "joint efforts to deter further Russian aggression against Ukraine" with German, British and French officials. As fears of conflict rose, Britain said this week it had begun supplying Ukraine with anti-tank weapons https://www..com/world/uk/uk-says-supplying-ukraine-with-weapons-system-defend-against-russia-2022-01-17, Canada's foreign minister visited Ukraine and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock held...
By Daniela Desantis ASUNCION - Paraguay's President Mario Abdo has tested positive for COVID-19 and has mild symptoms from the virus, the country's health ministry said in a tweet on Tuesday, as the South American region sees a spike in cases driven by the Omicron variant. "We inform that the President of the Republic, Mario Abdo, tested positive for COVID-19 today," the ministry said. "The president has mild symptoms and will continue to maintain preventive isolation in accordance with the provisions of the current health protocols." (Reporting by Daniela Desantis; Writing by Adam Jourdan)...
- Gilead Sciences Inc said on Tuesday that tampered and counterfeit versions of its HIV treatments worth $250 million were sold to pharmacies over two years by a network of drug distributors and suppliers. The drugmaker said in August that distributors not authorized by Gilead to sell its HIV treatments, Biktarvy and Descovy, have sold counterfeits to pharmacies where genuine Gilead bottles have been tampered with a counterfeit foil induction seal or label and contain incorrect tablets. "After becoming aware of counterfeit Gilead HIV medication being distributed we notified federal law enforcement authorities, including the FDA, as well as dispensing pharmacies, and then took direct and urgent legal action," a Gilead spokesperson said on Tuesday. Gilead said the distributors, against whom it had filed a lawsuit, had sold 85,247 bottles of counterfeit HIV drugs. (Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Edit...
By Prak Chan Thul PHNOM PENH - Cambodia is set to resume the treason trial on Wednesday of banned opposition party leader Kem Sokha after a two-year delay due to the pandemic, in a case condemned by the United States as politically motivated. Kem Sokha was arrested in 2017 and his opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) was banned ahead of a 2018 election that was swept by the Cambodian People's Party (CPP) of Prime Minister Hun Sen. CNRP has since been decimated https://reut.rs/3FFbMI7, with many of its members arrested or fleeing into exile in what activists say is a sweeping crackdown designed to thwart challenges to CPP's power monopoly. "He will go to court to fight the charges," Kem Sokha's lawyer Pheng Heng told , confirming his attendance. Kem Sokha was freed from house arrest in 2019 but remains banned from political activities. His daughter urged the court to drop the charg...
LONDON -A former senior adviser to Boris Johnson who claims the British prime minister lied about a party held at his residence during a COVID-19 lockdown will be questioned by an investigation into allegations of rule-breaking, the Mirror reported. British media have reported that at least 11 gatherings took place at 10 Downing Street - the prime minister's official residence and office - or in other government departments between May 2020 and April 2021, when COVID-19 rules limited how many people could meet socially. An internal investigation is being carried out to establish the facts. Dominic Cummings, an architect of Britain's departure from the European Union and a former senior adviser to Johnson who left government under acrimonious terms in November 2020, will be interviewed by Sue Gray, a senior government official who is carrying out the investigation, according to the Mirror. Cummings said on Monday the prime minister knew in adv...
By Steven Scheer JERUSALEM -Israel's parliament will seek an explanation from police over the force's reported use of a controversial hacking tool against citizens of the country, a senior legislator said on Tuesday. Without citing sources, the Calcalist financial daily said police have possessed the Pegasus spyware made by Israel's NSO Group - which is now on a U.S. government blacklist -- since 2013. Calcalist said the police used it against targets including anti-government protest leaders, sometimes without the required court warrants. The report added a new domestic angle to global pressure on Israel following allegations that Pegasus has been abused by some foreign client governments to spy on human rights activists, journalists and politicians. Responding to the Calcalist report, Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai said the force had acquired third-party cyber technology, but he stopped short of confirming or...
By Elizabeth Piper and Alistair Smout LONDON - British health officials are aiming to be ready to start charging Britons for COVID-19 tests that are currently free at the end of June, a document seen by shows, in what could be a risky gambit for the government. Britain has been increasingly dependent on rapid testing to try to tackle the more-transmissible Omicron variant, which has spread rapidly through the population but is less severe. The government has previously said it will end the universal free provision of easy-to-use lateral flow devices (LFDs) at a "later stage", with individuals and businesses bearing the cost. The Department of Health has declined to say what the tests cost, citing commercial contracts. One source has said they can run to 30 pounds ($40.75) for a pack of seven. The tests have freely available to order online or pick up from local pharmacies since April. The UK Health Security Ag...
By Pavel Polityuk and Matthias Williams KYIV - Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly condemned Russia massing troops near Ukraine's borders on Tuesday and said Ottawa would take a decision at the appropriate time on supplying military hardware to Ukraine. Speaking alongside Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba at a briefing during a visit to Kyiv, Joly said any new offensive by Russia would incur serious consequences. Ukraine and its NATO allies have sounded the alarm as Russia massed tens of thousands of troops near Ukraine's borders in recent weeks in preparation for a possible new military offensive. Russia has denied such plans but pressed the West for security guarantees, including a block on Ukraine joining the NATO alliance. Washington described some of Moscow's demands as non-starters, while Ukraine has sought reassurances from allies that nothing would be decided without its input. Canada, with a siz...
PARIS - The European Central Bank will adapt its monetary policy more quickly if inflation remains high for longer than expected, ECB policymaker and French central banker Francois Villeroy de Galhau said on Tuesday. French inflation, which hit a 13-year high in December, is expected to ease progressively in the coming months to below 2% by year-end, Villeroy told a conference at Paris' Dauphine University. "If inflation should prove more persistent, have no doubt that we would have the will and capacity to adapt our monetary policy faster to ensure the return towards our 2% objective," Villeroy said. (Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Gareth Jones)...
LONDON - British lender HSBC said on Tuesday it had appointed Natalie Blyth as Global Head of Commercial Banking Sustainability, as part of the company's efforts to help corporate clients transition to a low-carbon economy. Blyth, a member of the commercial bank's executive committee who has been at the bank for 14 years, begins her new role immediately and will report to Global Commercial Banking Chief Executive Barry O’Byrne, HSBC said in a statement. In addition, the bank said it had appointed Christian Deseglise as Group Head of Sustainable Infrastructure and Innovation, and Chris Webb as Group Head of Carbon Markets. Deseglise, previously Head of Sustainable Finance and Investments in Global Banking and Markets, would focus on developing ventures to help the bank meet its commitment to spend $1 trillion financing the net-zero shift. Webb joins the bank from environmental organisation The Nature Conservancy, where he led...
By Kacper Pempel ZAKOPANE, Poland - While some European countries have restricted access to ski lifts to those vaccinated against COVID-19, no such restrictions apply in Poland - and some of those taking to the slopes are delighted. Poland has one of the highest COVID-19 death rates in the world, a fact that doctors have attributed to its low vaccination rate but also public reluctance to follow rules and their lax enforcement. While the country faces its most serious wave of infections yet, this was not a worry in the southern resort of Zakopane as the winter holiday season kicked off. "Today's conditions are super - the sunshine, the view," said 31-year-old Dominika, who works in the military. Countries such as Austria and Italy have said that COVID-19 passports will be required for ski lifts. Poland has not imposed those limits and regulations state that 30% of the capacity of public spaces li...
By Huw Jones LONDON - Britain's accounting watchdog said on Tuesday that KPMG and one of its former employees have admitted misconduct during the regulator's spot checks on an audit of software company Regenersis in 2015. The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) said Stuart Smith has admitted that he misled inspectors from the watchdog, and that his conduct was contrary to his ICAEW professional accounting body's code of ethics. "KPMG has admitted that Mr Smith’s conduct amounted to misconduct, and that the firm is liable to be sanctioned in this respect," the FRC said in a statement. The watchdog fined Smith 150,000 pounds ($203,745) and banned him from practising as an accountant for three years. The FRC said sanctions on KPMG will be determined at the conclusion of an on-going tribunal hearing on checks on audits of Regenersis and builder Carillion. Five other former KPMG employees are contesting...
LONDON - A former senior adviser to Boris Johnson who claims the British prime minister knew a party was being held at his residence during a COVID-19 lockdown will be questioned by an official investigation into the allegations, the Mirror reported. British media have reported that at least 11 gatherings took place at 10 Downing Street - the prime minister's official residence and office - or in other government departments between May 2020 and April 2021, when COVID-19 rules limited how many people could meet socially. An internal investigation is being carried out to establish the facts. Dominic Cummings, an architect of Britain's departure from the European Union and a former senior adviser to Johnson who left government under acrimonious terms in November 2020, will be interviewed by Sue Gray, a senior government official who is carrying out the investigation, the Mirror said. Cummings said on Monday the prime minister knew in advanc...