Covid live: France to announce timetable for easing curbs tonight; Austria extends lockdown by 10 daysNHS England Covid absences fall amid signs staffing crisis is easingPM announces end to all Omicron Covid restrictions in EnglandUnvaccinated Chelsea players could be barred from match at LilleIncreased Covid risk ‘trade-off’ in reopening Australian schoolsBoris Johnson, Covid and the UK – latest updates
Hong Kong will likely suspend face-to-face teaching in secondary schools from 24 January, local media reports.
The city’s Education Bureau made the announcement on Thursday, because of a rising number of coronavirus infections in several schools.Continue reading... Guardian January 20, 2022, 2:48 pm
State had been due to open up to double-jabbed international and interstate travellers on 5 FebruaryCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage
The reopening of Australia’s most isolated state has been suspended indefinitely to allow West Australians to get booster shots, as the more transmissible Omicron variant rips through the nation.
Just one month after promising that from 5 February double-vaccinated interstate and international travellers would be allowed to enter Western Australia without quarantine, the WA premier, Mark McGowan, has said that all entrants will need to self-isolate for 14 days, be triple-dose vaccinated and take tests.Continue reading... Guardian January 20, 2022, 2:46 pm
Numbers don't tell the whole story, but they do paint a picture of Biden's first year in the White House.CBS January 20, 2022, 2:10 pm
Officials from Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, Kansas and California have all announced new or renewed Covid emergency orders since the start of the month.CNBC January 20, 2022, 2:10 pm
It's been a year since President Joe Biden took the reins at the White House. How's the stock market doing?CNN January 20, 2022, 1:59 pm
Boris Johnson’s easing of restrictions is in stark contrast to what other countries are doing to control OmicronCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage
On Wednesday, Boris Johnson’s government announced that plan B measures for England, which were put in place in December, will be scrapped. This includes mandates on face coverings, which will no longer be compulsory in indoor public spaces from 27 January or for secondary school classrooms from 20 January. The Department for Education is likely to remove guidance on their use in school communal areas in the coming days.
This is in stark contrast to what other countries are doing in the midst of the Omicron pandemic – and let’s not forget, this is still a pandemic. With daily Covid-19 case numbers in the UK still above 100,000, and more than 400 deaths a day, our situation is among the worst in the world. Though our case numbers are indeed falling, this may well be partly due to the measures imposed in plan B, such as wearing face masks and working from home. There is a risk that the removal of these measures could reverse this trend.
Claire Horwell is professor of geohealth at Durham University and has an honorary contract with the UK Health Security AgencyContinue reading... Guardian January 20, 2022, 1:54 pm
The Biden administration hopes to make deeper inroads in Southeast Asia but lags far behind China, which has already built up major trade ties, as well as roads and a high-speed rail.NPR January 20, 2022, 1:43 pm
Staff still under pressure, health leaders warn, with more than 35,000 off due to Covid on an average dayCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage
Absences among NHS staff in England due to Covid have fallen by 22% on the previous week, figures show, with signs the staffing crisis in the health service may be easing, although health leaders have cautioned that staff are still under “intense” pressure.
There were more than 35,000 Covid absences on an average day in the week to 16 January, down from almost 46,000 the week before. However, the figures are still significantly higher than the absence levels before the Omicron surge. At the start of December, there were about 12,000 absences on an average day.Continue reading... Guardian January 20, 2022, 1:12 pm
Anger over corruption and economic inequality is largely directed at Nursultan Nazarbayev and family
Walking through the home-town museum built to honour Nursultan Nazarbayev, the former Kazakhstan president who built a personality cult around his rule, there are few signs of the anger that swept across the central Asian country earlier this month.
Visitors to the imposing three-storey building in Shamalgan are treated to a maquette of the house where the young Nazabayev grew up, a Mercedes that was part of his presidential motorcade in a glass box in the museum’s grounds, and family artefacts including a suit worn by his brother.Continue reading... Guardian January 20, 2022, 1:00 pm
Foreign secretary to travel to Brussels on Monday with target of finalising post-Brexit arrangements
Liz Truss, the foreign secretary, will travel to Brussels on Monday with a target of agreeing a deal with the EU on the post-Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland by the end of February.
The two sides have agreed that a window of opportunity for an agreement will close when campaigning starts for May’s elections to the Northern Ireland assembly.Continue reading... Guardian January 20, 2022, 12:43 pm
Keynes warned the world against using economic sanctions. His alternative is worth considering | Nicholas Mulder
In 1924, the economist argued that aiding our allies is more effective than sanctioning our foes. That lesson should be heeded today
The United States has come to rely on economic sanctions more than ever before. Following its retreat from Kabul in August, Washington has maintained economic pressure on the Taliban. The treasury’s freezing of $9.5bn in Afghan state assets has left that impoverished country facing starvation this winter. Two weeks ago, US officials warned Iran, already under heavy economic pressure, that it will face “snapback” sanctions unless Tehran restrains its nuclear ambitions.
Most prominent of all is the sanctions threat that the Biden administration issued against Russia last month. In the face of a large Russian military buildup on the borders of Ukraine, Joe Biden announced on 8 December that Vladimir Putin will face “severe consequences, economic consequences like none he’s ever seen or ever have been seen” if he escalates into open conflict.Continue reading... Guardian January 20, 2022, 12:12 pm
Johnson won’t save his skin by threats of war with another ailing populist, and Putin will not be stopped by the west
Nothing in politics is as dangerous as a populist in trouble – unless it is two populists in trouble. Today we have Britain’s Boris Johnson and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, both with plunging popularity ratings and both desperately in need of a distraction. There is no distraction as enticing as war.
War across Ukraine’s conflict-ridden Donbas region is now said by western strategists to be just round the corner, imminent and possibly inevitable. President Biden clearly expects Russia to “move in” on Ukraine. The UK’s chief of defence staff, Tony Radakin, said that a Russian invasion could trigger conflict on a scale “not seen in Europe since world war two”.Continue reading... Guardian January 20, 2022, 12:00 pm
Democrats see the vice president as a net-positive in the administration; independents and Republicans do not.CBS January 20, 2022, 11:57 am
Ahead of the March primary, local elections officials in Texas are starting to deal with the effects of a new GOP-backed voting law.NPR January 20, 2022, 11:01 am
President Biden's first year in office was marked by the pandemic fight, a chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan and a tough push to get his agenda through Congress.NPR January 20, 2022, 11:00 am
Letter to head of Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights comes amid fears over democracy standards
A cross-party group of MEPs has called for a large-scale election observation mission to Hungary, citing fears about democratic standards.
Hungarians go to the polls on 3 April in parliamentary elections that will decide the fate of the incumbent prime minister, Viktor Orbán, whose last 12 years in office have seen tighter executive control over courts, a withering of independent media and widespread concerns about corruption and cronyism.Continue reading... Guardian January 20, 2022, 10:56 am
PM who shot to fame at Cop26 climate talks vows to ‘lead country first to safety then to prosperity’
Mia Mottley, who shot to international fame during the Cop26 climate talks and oversaw Barbados’s break with the Queen last year, has won a second term as the Caribbean nation’s prime minister
The 56-year-old’s Barbados Labour party (BLP) won all 30 seats, up from 29 in 2018 in an election marred by complaints that thousands of Covid-positive Bajans were denied a vote.Continue reading... Guardian January 20, 2022, 10:55 am
It’s not just Johnson: the whole culture that cheered him on needs booting out | Aditya Chakrabortty
I was mourning my mother as Downing St partied. But even I can’t blame this morally bankrupt prime minister alone
On the last Sunday before the 2019 general election, the Sunday Times cast its vote. “Mr Johnson is regarded with some suspicion by voters,” its editorial admitted. “He has an on-off relationship with the truth,” often preferred “bluster to grasp of detail”, and had a “colourful private life more typical of a French president”. Nonetheless, the paper urged its readers to put a liar, a bullshitter and a renowned moral incontinent in charge of the country. In making this argument, it was joined by the vast majority of national newspapers, and by the end of that week they got their wish.
Over the past few days, those very same papers have discovered that a liar, a bullshitter and a moral incontinent runs the government. They are, naturally, horrified.
Aditya Chakrabortty is a Guardian columnistContinue reading... Guardian January 20, 2022, 8:00 am
‘No vax, no play’: surfer Kelly Slater won’t be let into Australia if he’s not vaccinated against Covid
World Surf League events are due in Victoria and WA but federal health minister says position on coronavirus vaccine is ‘pretty clear’ following Novak Djokovic visa sagaDjokovic has 80% stake in biotech firm developing Covid drug
Surfing great Kelly Slater could be the next big name in sport to be refused the right to compete in Australia, with the federal health minister saying the 11-time champion will not be allowed into the country if he is not vaccinated against Covid.
Slater, who has not publicly disclosed his Covid vaccination status, has aired some controversial views on the Covid vaccine, including an Instagram comment in October that claimed he knew “more about being healthy than 99% of doctors”.Continue reading... Guardian January 20, 2022, 7:18 am
Did Dark Reign foresee Trump? Was Iron Man about US military might? Who was Unbeatable Squirrel Girl – and was her superpower really non-violent conflict resolution? Only one man knows …
This should not be too hard, I thought, as long as I stay disciplined. All I have to do is read 27,000 comic books, then write about them. I had just signed a contract to write All of the Marvels, a book about reading every superhero story Marvel has published since 1961 as one single gigantic narrative. The Marvel story is omnipresent – its characters are everywhere, in movies, on television, even gracing shampoo bottles and bags of salad – yet also unknowable. It purports to be one big story: any episode can refer to, and be compatible with, any earlier one. But not even the people telling the story have read the whole thing. That’s not how it was meant to be experienced.
I did not, however, read six decades of stories in order. That would have been unbearable – and it is one of the two mistakes Marvel-curious readers often make. It is a surefire route to boredom and frustration as the fun lies in following your whims. The other error is trying to cherrypick the greatest hits, the pivotal single issues. Taken in isolation, these are peaks without mountain ranges. Their dramatic power comes from their context.Continue reading... Guardian January 20, 2022, 7:00 am
Analysis: Kim Jong-un’s pressure on Joe Biden has so far elicited only fresh sanctions. Pyongyang has now signalled it may resume nuclear and ICBM tests
North Korea has already conducted four test launches of ballistic missiles this year, but they could be a mere precursor to more serious provocations, as Kim Jong-un’s regime attempts to break the nuclear stalemate with the US.
Superficially, the recent tests were a reminder of the North’s ability to manufacture more sophisticated weapons – perhaps including those capable of evading missile defences – despite years of international sanctions.Continue reading... Guardian January 20, 2022, 6:20 am
Lawyers submit documents under seal seeking a new trial after a juror said he was a victim of sexual abuse
In a letter to the court, Maxwell’s lawyers wrote that they filed her “motion for a New Trial … and accompanying exhibits under seal.” The documents were filed under seal, and their contents were not known.Continue reading... Guardian January 20, 2022, 6:17 am
At St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, COVID-19 hospitalizations have tripled in recent weeks. Few of those patients are vaccinated. Carter Evans has more.CBS January 20, 2022, 5:52 am
Biden marks first year in office as agenda stalls; Boston Bruins, Congress honor Willie O'ReeCBS January 20, 2022, 5:20 am
President Biden began his 10th White House news conference by reviewing the accomplishments of his first year in office. He fielded questions on his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, tensions with Russia, and setbacks in his efforts to get voting rights and his Build Back Better plan through Congress. Norah O'Donnell anchors CBS News coverage from Washington.CBS January 20, 2022, 3:32 am
The coffee giant said it was responding to last week's Supreme Court ruling that rejected the Biden administration's plan to require vaccines or COVID testing at companies with more than 100 workers.NPR January 20, 2022, 3:29 am
Starbucks is no longer requiring employees to get vaccinated or submit to weekly testing, following the US Supreme Court's rejection last week of President Joe Biden's vaccine and testing requirement for large businesses.CNN January 20, 2022, 2:28 am
Court’s move leaves no legal impediment to turning National Archives documents over to congressional committee
The US supreme court has rejected a request by Donald Trump to block the release of White House records to the congressional committee investigating the deadly January 6 attack on the Capitol, dealing a blow to the former president.
The order, which casts aside Trump’s request to stop the House select committee from obtaining the records while the case makes its way through the courts, means more than 700 documents that could shed light on the attack can be transferred to Congress.Continue reading... Guardian January 20, 2022, 2:28 am
President touts accomplishments but acknowledges failure to foresee Trump’s grip on Republican party
Joe Biden spent decades in Washington, striving to reach the White House. When he achieved the goal a year ago on Thursday, at the age of 78, he spoke of a “winter of peril and possibility”, of cascading crises as an opportunity to think big and aim high.
It turns out the Washington he knows so well has proved more foe than friend, offering more peril than possibility. The 46th US president discovered that not being Donald Trump isn’t enough to get things done or make people love him.Continue reading... Guardian January 20, 2022, 2:25 am
January 6 riot probe to get 4 pages of Trump White House documents while his lawyer threatens legal action
The January 6 Capitol riot is being probed by a House select committee that is seeking hundreds of pages of Trump White House records.CNBC January 20, 2022, 1:45 am
Biden said he believes Congress will support climate and early childhood education policies contained in his Build Back Better plan.CNBC January 20, 2022, 1:43 am
President Joe Biden on Wednesday said he supports Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's expected move to begin tightening monetary policy.CNBC January 20, 2022, 1:16 am
US president alarms government in Kyiv by saying Nato was divided on how to respond to ‘minor incursion’
Joe Biden has said he thinks Russia will attack Ukraine, warning that Moscow would face a “stiff price”, but he admitted Nato was divided on how to respond if there is only a “minor incursion”.
The White House was forced to issue a hasty clarification to that last point, saying that any movement of Russian forces over the border would be treated as invasion.Continue reading... Guardian January 20, 2022, 1:11 am
Letitia James' office says it has evidence the Trump Organization "used fraudulent or misleading asset valuations to obtain a host of economic benefits" — and wants him and Trump Jr. and Ivanka to testify about it.CBS January 20, 2022, 12:54 am
"My guess is [Putin] will move in, he has to do something," Biden said when asked about the more than 100,000 Russian troops positioned along Ukraine's border.CNBC January 20, 2022, 12:41 am
The former president's White House records are sought by the Democratic-led House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.NPR January 20, 2022, 12:37 am
Biden plan to require vaccines or regular testing at large companies was blocked by Supreme Court last week.CBS January 19, 2022, 11:35 pm
Congressional investigators are demanding information from former President Donald Trump's onetime lawyer Rudy Giuliani about contacts with members of Congress and state election officials, his fee arrangements and any evidence to back up bogus and sometimes outlandish claims of voter fraud.CNN January 19, 2022, 10:28 pm
Under President Biden, U.S. border officials have used a pandemic-related order put in place by the Trump administration to expel migrants over 1 million times.CBS January 19, 2022, 9:53 pm
The Biden administration will be in court Wednesday defending the use of a controversial Trump-era policy that's resulted in more than 1 million expulsions of migrants arrested at the US-Mexico border.CNN January 19, 2022, 9:07 pm
Americans are now able to order free, at-home COVID-19 test kits. The website went live on Tuesday, one day before its official launch. Ed O'Keefe reports.CBS January 19, 2022, 8:27 pm
The tracksuit era is over, and denim is back. But with a dizzying number of styles – and claims of sustainability to wade through – which will you pick?
The tracksuit era began – as every history student will learn from now on – on 11 March 2020, the day that the WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic, and the age of lockdowns commenced. The details of its demise are, as yet, not officially verified – but they say that journalism is the first draft of history, so I’m calling it for 31 October 2021, when the dystopian seaweed-green tracksuits of Squid Game became the go-to Halloween costume.So now it is time to get back into your jeans. I don’t just mean getting them done up, although there is no doubt that may be a little tricky after two turgid years spent feeling dissatisfied with life while in eyeballing distance of the fridge. No, the real challenge is getting your head back into jeans, not your waistline. The most telling marker of the casualisation of our wardrobes is that jeans, which used to be what we wore to dress down, can now feel like too much effort. It’s not that I’m saying our standards have slipped, but – well, actually, that is exactly what I’m saying.There is nothing more satisfying to reach for in the morning than your favourite denims. Jeans are timeless and democratic, because while silhouettes, colours and washes come and go, everyone who owns a pair of jeans makes them their own. To look at someone who is wearing a pair that they love and that suit them is like looking at the perfect black and white portrait: candid, but flattering.
This year’s Golden Globes ceremony had no red carpet, but it was a fashion moment that has turbocharged the denim revival. Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog, one of the night’s big winners, is set in rural Montana in the 1920s, hinged between the dust-and-horses iconography of the cinematic western tradition and the modernity and raw energy of the 20th century as it begins to roar to top speed. Benedict Cumberbatch as Phil acts out masculine swagger in broken-in jeans with chaps, but it is Kodi Smit-McPhee as Peter who steals the fashion show. Slight and gawky in the stiff new jeans that his mother has bought him so that he will fit in on the ranch, he looks like a boy soldier in new uniform.In westerns, jeans stand for real-world toughness – resilience, to use the buzzword of the hour – but also for the American dream. The brass rivets that are a feature of every traditional pair glint like the nuggets for which goldrushers once panned the rivers of the western states. Also, jeans represent sex – as they always have and always will. (Think of the album cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA, with the Boss’s jeans-clad back view standing in front of the stripes of the flag.) Resilience, fantasy, adventure and sex appeal: it is little wonder, really, that jeans are a style icon.Continue reading... Guardian January 19, 2022, 11:00 am
Disgraced former PM and one-time ship’s crooner resorts to joke phone invitations to ‘bunga bunga’ parties
The one thing missing from the list of 22 personality traits and accomplishments flaunted in a full-page newspaper advert entitled “Who is Silvio Berlusconi?” was the former Italian prime minister’s talent for singing. But the one-time cruise ship crooner, one of Italy’s most controversial leaders, well known for his myriad legal woes, is hoping his pleasant voice will seduce dozens of parliamentarians into backing his bid to become Italy’s next president.
The secret ballot begins on 24 January and Berlusconi, 85, has broken from tradition by shamelessly campaigning for the job, a largely ceremonial role with powers to resolve political crises, even without officially throwing his hat into the ring. His charm offensive, which includes telephone canvassing of unaffiliated parliamentarians whose votes could secure his victory and jokingly inviting them to his “bunga bunga party”’, is stoking tensions in Italy’s ruling coalition, blocking meaningful debate on an impartial candidate who all parties can agree on – and igniting protests among Italians who find the prospect of the scandal-plagued Berlusconi becoming head of state abominable.Continue reading... Guardian January 18, 2022, 3:08 pm
Serbian president Aleksandar Vučić criticises the Australian federal court's decision to dismiss Novak Djokovic's visa appeal as 'political'. 'Of course, all of us in Serbia are very much disappointed with the court's ruling,' says Vučić. 'I think Australian authorities humiliated themselves with these kinds of procedures against Novak Djokovic.'
Djokovic was trying to use a medical exemption to get around the requirements that everyone at the Australian Open - players, their support teams, spectators and others - be vaccinated against Covid-19.‘Such a mess’: Andy Murray and tennis world react after Novak Djokovic deported from AustraliaSerbia’s leaders hit out at ‘scandalous’ treatment of Novak Djokovic Continue reading... Guardian January 17, 2022, 3:14 am
Growing political divisions over Covid rules have emerged in run-up to presidential election in AprilCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage
Emmanuel Macron is facing growing political divisions over Covid rules in the run-up to the spring presidential election, after his proposed vaccine pass was delayed and teachers took strike action, amid ongoing street demonstrations and a rise in violent threats against politicians.
With an increasing mood of fatigue among French voters after two years of the pandemic and a significant mistrust of the political class, the president –– who is likely to hold off declaring his re-election bid for several weeks as the coronavirus health crisis continues –– wants to be seen as reliable but firm.Continue reading... Guardian January 14, 2022, 3:38 pm
Cities around the world ring in 2022 with fireworks and light shows following a year of lockdowns and new Covid variantsNew Year’s Eve 2021: celebrations around the world – live updatesNew Year’s Eve 2021 around the world – in picturesAustralia cautiously rings in 2022 with firework displays but smaller crowds
UK has warmest New Year’s Eve on record as temperatures top 15C
Continue reading... Guardian January 1, 2022, 3:11 am
Healthcare workers around the world have been on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic for almost two years, which put them through the darkest days of their careers. Five doctors who have worked in hospitals in Uganda, New Zealand, the US, India, the UK and Brazil told the Guardian about how the pandemic had tested them personally and professionally, but how they continue to find hope and resolve to keep working.
Thanks to Dr Peter Kavuma, Dr Dalilah Restrepo, Dr Yogesh Kalkonde, Dr Anne Menezes and Dr Megan Smith, who is also a spokesperson at the campaigning organisation EveryDoctorICU is full of the unvaccinated – my patience with them is wearing thin | The Secret Consultant
Voices of the Covid bereaved: 'Our loved ones aren't just a number' – video
Continue reading... Guardian December 23, 2021, 1:08 pm