New White House physician is a longtime primary care doctor to President Joe Biden, and will now oversee his medical care for the next four years
Britain's Covid vaccine supply is in jeopardy after the EU threatened to block exports of the Belgian-made Pfizer jabs amid a row with UK-based AstraZeneca. Brussels decided to impose tighter controls on exports after reacting with fury to the news that AstraZeneca will deliver 50 million fewer doses to the EU than it had expected. Ministers now fear deliveries of the Pfizer jabs will – at best – be delayed by extra paperwork and that the EU could try to stop doses being sent to non-EU countries after saying it will "take any action required to protect its citizens". In March, the bloc imposed export restrictions on personal protective equipment after it struggled with supply to its member states. On Monday night, MPs accused the EU of acting out of "spite" and trying to deflect blame for its own mistakes in getting vaccination programmes off the ground.
‘I put my emotions behind me to do what I thought was right,’ Jackson Reffitt says
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The work and pensions secretary called a halt to an interview with the ITV show on Monday.
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Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has defended the efficacy of its Covid-19 vaccine after media reports said the German government had doubts about the effectiveness of the treatment among those over 65. The Handelsblatt economic daily reported Monday that Berlin had estimated the efficacy of the jab among over-65s was just 8 percent, citing sources.The tabloid paper Bild reported that Berlin did not expect the vaccine -- developed with Oxford University and set to get the green light from the EU this week -- would receive a license for use among the elderly, presenting a significant challenge to distribution and vaccination plans in many countries."Reports that the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine efficacy is as low as 8 percent in adults over 65 years are completely incorrect," the firm said in a statement late Monday."In November, we published data in The Lancet demonstrating that older adults showed strong immune responses to the vaccine, with 100 percent of older adults generating spike-specific antibodies after the second dose," it added. European Union warns AstraZeneca over delay in delivering Covid-19 vaccineThe European Union issued an angry warning to AstraZeneca Monday over its unexpected delay in delivering millions of doses of its Covid-19 vaccine to the bloc.Last Friday, the pharmaceutical multinational said it would not meet its contractual delivery commitments to the European Union because of unexplained "reduced yields" in its European supply chain.The European Union has currently authorised two vaccines for widespread distribution, manufactured by BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna.The EU is set to add the AstraZeneca vaccine to that list this week, on the understanding that the treatment would be already on hand and available for immediate distribution.
Boris Johnson intends to start easing some coronavirus lockdown restrictions 'where he can' on 15 February, his spokesman has confirmed.
A Texan teenager who tipped off the FBI about his father's alleged involvement in the Capitol riots said he would "do it again", despite claiming his father threatened to shoot him for being a "traitor". Jackson Reffitt, 18, said he felt a moral obligation to report his father to the authorities after watching him participate in the violent riots on live TV. His father, Guy, 48, was arrested at his home in Wylie, Texas on January 16 and faces charges of obstruction of justice and knowingly entering a restricted building. According to court documents, Mr Reffitt had allegedly threatened his wife and children, saying: “If you turn me in, you’re a traitor and you know what happens to traitors … traitors get shot”. The younger Mr Reffitt said he was "afraid" of what his father might think of him, but told local station Fox 4 that he had acted according to his "moral compass".
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The schools are going to open after half-term. No, they are going to open after Easter – maybe. Lockdown restrictions will start to be lifted from mid-February, once the most vulnerable groups have been vaccinated. No, make that April at the earliest, with many restrictions lingering until July, once the over-50s have had their second jab. It has always been a struggle to keep up with the government on Covid restrictions. One minute the Prime Minister said it would be ‘inhumane’ to stop families meeting up at Christmas; the next minute he did just that. One day, the schools were being forced to reopen their doors; later the same day they were ordered to close indefinitely. But at the moment it is harder than ever to make sense of the strategy. What the public sees is this: infection numbers coming down, more steeply, even, than after the first peak in the spring – the seven day average is down 22 percent in a week, with hospital admissions (6.3 percent down) beginning to follow suit. The vaccination programme – to the government’s credit – is running on schedule, with 491,000 first doses delivered in the 24 hours to Sunday. Nearly ten percent of the population has had a first shot. And yet the timetable for lifting lockdown seems to be slipping by the day. Now, it seems that far from lifting any restrictions in mid-February, that is merely the date when the government will start looking at coming up with a timetable for relaxing them. That’s quite a difference. It’s like being on train which you thought was supposed to arrive at St Pancras at 11.26, only to be told when you get on board that, no, that is the time when the driver should be able to give you an ETA. There is something to be said for under-promising and over-delivering, of course. Just look how the stock market punishes companies which do the opposite and put out unexpected profit warnings. But when it comes to putting off a return to normal life the government is going to have to be extremely careful. If people see the timetable slipping ever backwards they are going to start asking themselves: why should we get vaccinated if we are now being told it is not, after all, a route out of lockdown? Ever since November, when the results of the Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccine phase 3 trials were first released, Covid policy and public attitudes around it have hinged on the assumption that the vaccine would be rolled out very rapidly, followed by the dismantling of the draconian infrastructure which has been used to try to suppress the virus. Public support for the vaccine has steadily grown since last July, when only 53 percent of Britons were saying they would get the vaccine to over 70 percent now. Most older people, perhaps, can be relied on to turn up for vaccination appointments out of self-preservation. But as for people in their 20s, who know they are unlikely to come to much harm if they catch the virus, it is vital that they can be persuaded vaccination is a route back to normal life, being able to socialise, take holidays and so on. We can’t afford for them to be left feeling they have Hobson’s Choice: refuse vaccination and stay in lockdown; get vaccinated and stay in lockdown. Chris Whitty has already floated the idea that restrictions will still be required next winter. At present, the timetable to lifting the current lockdown has slipped to July. Any more drift and all we will be able to see is everlasting lockdown.
The teens are still in danger.From Digital Spy
Boris Johnson fights to reopen schools before Easter EU threatens to block exports of Pfizer Covid vaccine Coronavirus latest news: Quarantine hotels set to be high-risk countries only William Hague: Constitutional tinkering won't stop SNP juggernaut Subscribe to The Telegraph for a month-long free trial The EU's threat to block exports of the Belgian-made Pfizer vaccines will not affect the UK's supply, a minister has pledged this morning. Brussels last night imposed tighter controls on exports after becoming embroiled in a row with AstraZeneca, with the drugs company expected to deliver 50 million fewer doses to the EU than expected. This morning German health minister Jens Spahn backed the EU's stance, saying Europe should have its "fair share". The UK is is expecting almost 3.5 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine in the next three weeks. Nadhim Zahawi, the vaccines minister, said he had spoken with bosses at both pharma giants, telling Sky News he was "confident they will both deliver the supplies we need to meet mid-February target and beyond that". However he dodged questions about whether he had received guarantees on deliveries. He later told the BBC "supplies are tight... they are lumpy and bumpy", but stressed that deliveries would come through. Mr Zahawi insisted relations with the EU were still positive, saying "We will always support them, they are our neighbours, friends, allies, trading partners." He added: "I think it would be very unwise for me to engage in their negotiations and their deliberations on their vaccine policy", although warned against any "vaccine nationalism". Follow the latest updates below.
At the very least, the measure will apply to Britons returning from countries such as Brazil and South Africa, which are known to have dangerous new mutations of the coronavirus. The dramatic move to defend the UK from more deadly mutations of Covid-19 is by far the toughest border measure yet. The key question to be settled by ministers, who are in meetings with scientists today, is whether to target the measure only at passengers who have visited countries such as Brazil and South Africa or whether to target passengers from other countries.
Navalny’s report has already racked up more than 85 million views
A woman who slit the throat of a seven-year-old girl has had her minimum term increased after the judge said it had been "calculated in error". Last month, paranoid schizophrenic Eltiona Skana, 30, was sentenced to life imprisonment for the killing of Emily Jones in a park in Bolton. Mr Justice Wall explained in a brief hearing at Teesside Crown Court, where he is currently sitting, that he had arrived at the original figure by halving the notional determinate sentence of 16 years.
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"There is no endorsement of mistreatment of animals in this programme."
Indian and Chinese soldiers armed with sticks and stones have brawled again along their disputed frontier, Delhi said, as the neighbours' months-long border stand-off continued. Indian security officials said there were clashes after at least 18 Chinese soldiers tried to cross into Indian-claimed territory at Naku La in Sikkim on January 20. Soldiers on both sides were carrying firearms, but did not use them. A senior Indian Army official told the Telegraph that four Indian soldiers were wounded after they challenged the Chinese PLA soldiers. All four Indian wounded had been hospitalised, and their condition was described as stable. The officer said the number of injured Chinese was “in double figures”. An official army statement gave few details, describing the clash as a minor stand-off and saying it had been "resolved by local commanders as per established protocols". The military asked journalists "to refrain from overplaying or exaggerating" the incident. Zhao Lijian, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, urged India "not to take any unilateral action that may further complicate or exacerbate the border tension." Yet an opinion piece in China's Global Times, a hawkish state-owned tabloid, said the reports were false and blamed Indian rumour-mongering. Tensions have been high since May when deadly clashes erupted high in the Karakoram mountains along the poorly defined frontier between the rivals. Both sides have mobilized tens of thousands of soldiers, artillery and fighter aircraft along the fiercely contested border known as the Line of Actual Control, or LAC, that separates Chinese and Indian-held territories from Ladakh in the west to India's eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims in its entirety. May's brawl exploded into hand-to-hand combat with clubs, stones and fists on June 15 that left 20 Indian soldiers dead. China is believed to also have had casualties, but has not given any details. Indian and Chinese army commanders met for the ninth round of talks after a gap of two-and-a-half months in Ladakh on Sunday but neither side released any details of the outcome.