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The speed with which new variants of the COVID-19 virus spread around the world can leave government's scrambling to catch up. It has taken barely two weeks from the initial testing of 'patient zero', before potentially the entire globe is readying itself to examine COVID test samples to see if they contain the Omicron variant. Patient zero, called n=1 or the index case by the scientific community, arrived at Hong Kong International Airport on 11 November, having flown in from South Africa via Doha in Qatar, on flight QR818.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson says another "great surge" in vaccinations will be needed for the UK to be protected against the new Covid Omicron variant. He stresses that while there is "doubt" over the real risk of the variant, a booster vaccine can give you "a lot of protection" and it is "overwhelmingly" likely it will protect against Omicron.
Bag yourself some Black Friday beauty
Malala Yousafzai has celebrated her graduation from Oxford University at a restaurant in central London. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate, 24, marked finishing her philosophy, politics and economics degree on Monday with a meal at the Indian restaurant Colonel Saab in Holborn. The education activist was joined by her husband Asser Malik, also 24 - whom she married at a ceremony in Birmingham earlier this month, and close friends.
The Prince of Wales will highlight the shared goals and enduring bonds between Barbados and the UK during a ceremony marking the Caribbean country’s transition to a republic. Charles will also tell the nation it is “important” for him to attend the event, being staged in the capital Bridgetown, to “reaffirm those things which do not change” as the major constitutional shift takes place. The heir to the throne will deliver his address just after midnight, local time, as Barbados begins a new chapter in its history on November 30 – the 55th anniversary of independence from Britain – after its first president Dame Sandra Mason is sworn in.
Teams of TfL enforcement officers were out in force across London on Tuesday and swooped on commuters without face masks on public transport. As the renewed requirement to wear face coverings kicked in officers stopped those flouting the rules and warned them they would face fines next time. Officers shouted “face coverings are mandatory on the network” as commuters passed through.
A condolence ceremony is held for Iraqi Kurdish migrant Maryam Nuri Hama Amin, who drowned in the English Channel trying to reach her fiance in Britain. At least 27 migrants died when their inflatable boat sank off the French port of Calais.
‘I have never seen anything like it ... piles of dead pups in the water, just bodies floating,’ ranger says
It was not the first time Angela Rayner had been overshadowed by internal party wrangling.
The World Health Organization has called for a new international accord on tackling pandemics, following the emergence of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus.During a special session of the World Health Assembly on November 29, WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the new variant “underlines just how perilous and precarious our situation is.”“Omicron demonstrates just why the world needs a new accord on pandemics,” he said. “Our current system disincentivizes countries from alerting others to threats that will inevitably land on their shores,” he said.Tedros called on richer nations to commit to vaccine equity in order to bring an end to the pandemic. “More than 80 percent of the world’s vaccines have gone to G20 countries. Low income countries, most of them in Africa, have received just 0.6 percent of all vaccines,” he said. “The longer vaccine inequity persists, the more opportunity this virus has to spread and evolve in ways we cannot predict.”Tedros also said South Africa and Botswana “should be thanked for detecting and sequencing and reporting this variant, not penalized,” and said it was not yet known whether the variant is associated with more transmissions, severe disease, or vaccine resistance. Credit: World Health Organization via Storyful
The government currently has "no plan to move to plan B" in their Covid response, after nine cases of the Omicron variant were found in England and Scotland. Health Minister Ed Argar said restrictions expected to come into force on Tuesday, including mask-wearing on public transport and in shops, were "proportionate" but "we will see cases rise".
A 52-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Residents in Sumas, Washington, were advised to shelter-in-place on Monday, November 29, as the Nooksack River spilled its banks and overflowed into parts of the city.Footage filmed by local resident Karen Blair LeBlanc, who said it was filmed on Monday at 9:30 am, shows the flooded bridge at Cherry Street.Most roads in and out of Sumas were closed as of Monday morning, the city said.The City of Sumas in Whatcom County said the water level had bypassed the bridge on Monday morning but was expected to drop slowly throughout the day. Credit: Karen Blair LeBlanc via Storyful
The Queen has been Barbados’s head of state since it became independent in 1966 but Dame Sandra Mason will be sworn in as its first president.
Thomas Schreiber seethed with resentment over how he felt couple treated him, jury hears
Scores of tents pitched at makeshift migrant camp in France
Letters:Don Macdonald points to the cuts in youth services and Tom Challenor wonders if 007 is fit for the job
A serving Metropolitan Police officer will stand trial over an allegation that he raped a woman at a hotel in central London. PC Adam Zaman, 28, allegedly attacked the woman at the Andaz Hotel in Liverpool Street on October 24, at a time when he was off-duty. The police officer, from Romford, who has been suspended, appeared at the Old Bailey via videolink from prison on Monday morning.
Singer shared a clip of the hilarious moment to her Instagram
Guests at the Tan Hill Inn in Yorkshire have finally been able to leave the pub after a snowstorm.