PDCO earnings call for the period ending October 24, 2020.
Travelers from Brazil and South Africa, and neighbouring countries, will be met on arrival and escorted to hotels to quarantine, under plans being discussed by UK ministers, the Daily Mail said. Johnson favoured a more targeted approach than making all air passengers go into quarantine, said the report, which added that the quarantine decision would be taken on Monday.
In the Taliban controlled-fields and villages of central Helmand, residents report a sound that would once never have been allowed – music blaring from mobile phones. The playing of music would once have earned a swift beating or humiliating punishment from the militant movement's austere local enforcers. Now they turn a blind eye. “The Taliban have changed a lot on some things,” explained Mohammad Saber, a farmer from Nad-e Ali. “They are much less serious about many things, like music, television and shaving off beards,” he said, while still insisting on hiding his real name in case he offended the militants. “They are now thinking about bigger issues, because they have a lot of territory and resources.” A decade after the fields and lanes outside Helmand's capital were patrolled by thousands of British and American troops, the Taliban now rule almost unopposed. Afghan government forces built up at great expense and effort by the Nato allies melted away in early October in the face of a militant push on Lashkar Gah. The Taliban in these districts were always a formidable foe for the government forces and their international backers, but they now have almost complete control. "The government has no authority in our areas and the Taliban are not afraid of them," explains Abdul Salaam, a farmer from Marjah. The consolidation of Taliban power in these villages and market towns has allowed their parallel government to come out of the shadows and take charge. While the insurgents' envoys broach negotiations with the Afghan government on how the country should be run after American troops leave, in these districts of Helmand, they are already able to put their plans in place. Their rule has allowed residents a glimpse of whether the Taliban have changed since they imposed their severe and backward vision of Islamic governance on the nation in the 1990s. Elders in these central Helmand districts told the Telegraph that the militants appeared to have back-pedaled on some of their most draconian pronouncements and made an effort to be more approachable. Yet they still ruled by coercion and threats where they deemed it necessary and many of their previous red lines for the population remained. Residents of Marjah, Nad-e-Ali and Garmsir said that the militants once notorious for using beatings and public humiliation to enforce edicts banning music, or decreeing men grow long beards had stepped back from such unpopular rules. “Although the Taliban have not given formal permission to young people, they let them listen to music on their phones, cut their beards and hold gatherings with music,” said Abdul Salaam. They have also stepped up efforts to bring services demanded by locals. Vows to provide better governance than the corrupt and predatory central government have always been at the heart of the Taliban's insurgency campaign. They no longer attack schools and clinics as symbols of the government and instead now take-over government services in their area, allowing doctors and medics to continue their work as long as they abide by Taliban rules. The shift has even seen them relax one of their most notorious restrictions from the 1990s, and allow girls to go to school. Girls can study up to their early teens, residents said, while government monitors can visit schools. However the Taliban demand a say in who is employed and often try to force their officials onto school payrolls. They have also tried to ban some books from the curriculum, locals said. Justice remains one of the Taliban's main selling points, residents said. Robbers and criminals face harsh punishment. A system of courts, with two levels of appeal, brings quick and binding judgments on land disputes and disagreements and is at odds with the tortuous and corrupt government judiciary. Criticism of the Taliban had been unheard of in the past, said Abdul Salaam. “No one could talk about their rights and no one could question their policies,” he recalled. Residents had now at times been able to stop some of the most onerous Taliban practices, like the billeting of fighters on families, after complaining to leaders, he said. A recent study of Taliban governance in Nad-e Ali by the Afghanistan Analysts Network found that: “Although there are very few direct ways in which residents or elders can influence the Taliban in the district, let alone hold them to account, the Taliban do seem a little less intolerant – at least in some cases – to community concerns.” Yet for some signs of changes in Taliban policy, residents said that the militants' religious and moral strictures remained severe. Accusations of immorality between men and women, or of neglecting prayers remained a “serious red line to the Taliban,” said Abdul Salaam. “If the Taliban hear something like that happened, they 100 per cent, the person will see heavy punishment.” Mild policy changes to appease conservative villagers in the Taliban heartlands are also unlikely to give much reassurance in Afghanistan's cities. Even as the militants attempt to tell Helmandis they are more tolerant and approachable, they are accused of waging an unrelenting assassination campaign in Kabul, targeting journalists, civil servants and members of civil society. “The Taliban still think like villagers,” said one prominent Kabul businessman. “They have no idea how the country has evolved in the past two decades.”
Latest developments from Washington DC and beyond
An SNP plan to hold an independence referendum without the consent of Westminster has been branded “deluded” and “pointless” by constitutional experts. At an internal SNP online assembly on Sunday, party activists and politicians discussed a new “roadmap” to independence, published at the weekend, which raises the prospect of a court battle with UK ministers if they resist an attempt to hold a new vote. The 11-point plan states that if a majority of pro-independence MSPs are elected after May’s election, an SNP government would once again request a Section 30 order from the UK Government allowing it to organise a new referendum. However, should the request be refused - as Boris Johnson has repeatedly insisted it would be - SNP ministers would seek to legislate for one anyway. The strategy, written by SNP minister Mike Russell, acknowledges that the UK Government could seek to block a referendum on the grounds that it is outwith Holyrood’s powers, but adds that such court action would be “vigorously opposed by an SNP Scottish Government”.
‘The new variant I really worry about is the one that’s out there but hasn’t been spotted’
When their beloved cocker spaniel, Lupo, died last month, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were heartbroken. But their grief was tempered by the arrival of a new puppy, with whom the whole family is said to be “besotted.” The new cocker spaniel, whose name has not yet been revealed, was given to the family by the Duchess’s brother, James Middleton, before Lupo died. And ensuring it remains a family affair, the puppy is Lupo’s niece. Mr Middleton, 33, bred his first litter of puppies from his dog Ella in 2011. He kept one, called Luna, but gave her brother Lupo to the Duchess in early 2012 after the Duke deployed for six weeks to the Falkland Islands while serving as an RAF search and rescue pilot. Last summer, Mr Middleton, who at the time was staying with his parents at their Berkshire home, bred another litter of six puppies with Luna as their mother. The Cambridges, along with their children Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, two, are said to have had the pick of the litter.
The number receiving the first dose of the vaccine across the UK has passed 5.8 million.
Former officials in the Trump administration have spoken out over the chaos they faced as they tried to cope with the coronavirus pandemic. Anthony Fauci and his family faced months of death threats after he started contradicting Donald Trump over the severity of the coronavirus pandemic. And Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response co-ordinator, said there were coronavirus deniers in the administration and Donald Trump was working with data which had not been produced by his own health experts. Speaking to the New York Times, Dr Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, set out the difficulties he faced working with the former president. The problems began when the pandemic gathered pace in the northeast of the US, especially around New York. “I would try to express the gravity of the situation, and the response of the president was always leaning toward, ‘Well, it’s not that bad, right?’” Dr Fauci was also alarmed by Mr Trump’s willingness to heed advice from associates, with no medical experience, on an array of “cures” for Covid. “He would take just as seriously their opinion — based on no data, just anecdote — that something might really be important. It wasn’t just hydroxychloroquine, it was a variety of alternative-medicine-type approaches.” Mr Trump was surrounding himself with people saying things which made no scientific sense, Dr Fauci said. He was not keen to openly challenge Mr Trump, but Dr Fauci felt he had no alternative. “It isn’t like I took any pleasure in contradicting the president of the United States. I have a great deal of respect for the office.
A new poll says 49 per cent of people in Scotland back independence compared with 44 per cent against
Global report: France warned of third lockdown, as Dutch protests turn violent. Italy threatens legal action against Pfizer over vaccine supply; Israel to close all airports to most flights
Patrick James Lee, 38, from York, coughed and spat at the officers as they guarded him in hospital following his arrest for domestic violence.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced the establishment of its embassy in Tel Aviv as the US national security advisor announced that America hopes to build “on the success of Israel’s normalisation agreements” under the Biden administration. The UAE cabinet decision to approve establishing the embassy comes after they signed the Abraham Accords in September, becoming the first Gulf state to establish a full diplomatic relationship with Israel. No further details about the embassy were given in UAE media. While Israel’s government recognises Jerusalem as its capital, the international community does not, with Palestinians claiming East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. Most countries base their embassies in Tel Aviv. Before the deal, Israel only had peace deals with only two Arab countries, Egypt and Jordan - where it has fortified embassies. Most Arab countries had previously refrained from recognising Israel, believing that recognition should only be granted if serious concessions are made in the Palestinian peace process. Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco later agreed to follow in the UAE’s footsteps and normalise ties with Israel under US-brokered deals.
Former NYC mayor laments being ‘portrayed as some kind of money-grubbing ambulance chaser’
More than 418,000 people have died of the virus in the United States
The health secretary warned the NHS is still under pressure from high COVID infection rates.
The Government said a further 610 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Sunday, bringing the UK total to 97,939. There had been a further 30,004 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK. It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 3,647,463.
‘The Diamond’ gained revenge for his brutal defeat by the same opponent in 2014, producing a barrage of heavy punches to force a surprise stoppage in round two of the eagerly-anticipated rematch on the UFC’s Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. With nearly 2,000 socially-distanced fans watching on at the brand new Etihad Arena, Poirier wore down McGregor with some painful calf kicks and absorbed everything the powerful Irishman had to throw at him before unleashing a volley of thundering strikes. McGregor was initially disorientated by a stunning right hook from his lightweight rival, who did not let up as he forced ‘The Notorious’ - fighting for the first time since destroying veteran Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone inside 40 seconds 12 months ago - to the mat and the referee rightly intervened with just over two-and-a-half minutes on the clock in round two.
Alexei Navalny’s home makeover show exposes Vladimir Putin on every front. The video of the Russian leader’s $1bn secret palace reveals his terrible taste as well as his corruption
Fight likely to consume GOP’s energies for months – if not years
Riot police called in to help in Urk while thousands fined on first night of new curbs