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Game of politics as UK removes 11 countries from red list

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The UK government has announced that it will remove 11 countries from the country’s travel red list

Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia are three of the nations that are currently on the no-go list, which was reintroduced in November as a precaution to halt the spread of Omicron.

Britain’s health minister says the variant has now spread so much that these rules no longer serve any purpose.

The minister told Parliament “now that there is community transmission of Omicron the travel red list is now less effective in slowing the incursion of Omicron from abroad”.

Testing measures will remain in place for international arrivals but the need to stay in hotel quarantine for ten days will be scrapped.

Now, this all comes as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced one of the biggest tests to his leadership since becoming prime minister

The UK government voted on new plan B measures to tackle the Omicron variant in the House of Commons.

MPs voted 369 to 126 to introduce mandatory use of Covid passes for entry into nightclubs and large venues in London.


But there were many in parliament that spoke out against the regulations. The British Health Minister says mandatory covid passes would take away individual liberty.

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Mass Casualty Commission delivers assessment of 2020 tragedy

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Twenty-two people were killed as the gunman evaded capture for 13 hours

 
Members of a joint provincial and federal inquiry into Canada’s deadliest mass shooting to date have provided their assessment of the tragedy – which left 22 people dead.

On the 18-19 April 2020, a gunman driving a fake police car spent more than 13 hours evading capture and killed 22 people.

The Mass Casualty Commission is the taskforce assigned to investigate the Nova Scotia incident.

Now, the Commission’s damming report has found a cascade of failures within Canada’s federal police actually worsened the mass shooting.

The report says the nation’s police force has shown little interest in reforming in the years since.

The commission details fixes to systemic failures within the Royal Canadian Mounted Police that are needed to restore trust in policing and ultimately prevent another national tragedy.

It found the attack profoundly damaged the collective identity of those affected by the killing, with many residents no longer feeling safe in their rural homes.

The report has also provided the most detailed account of what happened over those two fateful days.

The 51-year-old shooter assaulted his partner and then, armed with illegal firearms, left his home in a replica police vehicle, driving around a beachside community.

In less than an hour, he killed 13 neighbours and set fire to five homes and structures.

He managed to escape capture and, the next morning, killed nine more people.

The commission’s hearings began in early 2021 and ran for nearly a year – and stemmed from the frustration and grief of families who demanded answers.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says lawmakers will look at the findings and make appropriate changes to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

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Donald Trump indicted over hush money payment to Stormy Daniels

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Donald Trump has become the first former U.S. President to be indicted as he makes another run for the White House

Donald Trump has been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury following a probe into hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels.

The probe was led by Democratic Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, which could change the 2024 presidential race.

It means Donald Trump becomes the first former U.S. President to be criminally charged.

It is unclear what the specific charges are, however, the indictment will likely be announced in the coming days, according to the New York Times.

The former president will then have to travel to Manhattan for fingerprinting and other processing.

If he is convicted, Trump could face significant fines and possibly jail time.

The payment stems from a Trump Organisation reimbursement to Trump’s then-lawyer Michael Cohen.

He paid Daniels to keep her quiet about an alleged sexual encounter she allegedly had with Trump in 2006.

Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance law violations in 2018. He testified Trump directed him to make the payments and was sentenced to three years in prison.

“For the first time in our Country’s history, a President (current or former) of the United States has been indicted. I take no pride in issuing this statement and wish to also remind everyone of the presumption of innocence; as provided by the due process clause,” Cohen told NBC News.

Trump has previously said he would continue campaigning for the Republican Party’s nomination if he was charged with a crime.

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Li Qiang: “China can be an ‘anchor for world peace’

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Premier Li Qiang was keen to portray China as a stable presence in Asia despite increased global tensions

 
China’s new Premier says his country can be an “anchor for world peace”, and called for an avoidance of “chaos and conflict” in Asia.

Premier Li Qiang made the comments at a Boao Forum in Hainan.

This was a keynote speech for Premier Li – the man who was just recently installed as the second-most powerful leader in China behind President Xi Jinping.

Mr Li was speaking at the Boao Forum – which is often seen as an Asian version of the World Economic Forum.

The audience included some notable names including prime ministers from Spain, Singapore and Malaysia and the managing director of the IMF.

Mr Li was keen to portray China as a stable presence in Asia despite increased global tensions – and he even described his country as an anchor for global peace and development.

He also stressed that Chaos and conflict must not happen in Asia – warning that the future of the continent could be lost.

As Chinese Premier – Mr Li has the job of managing the world’s second largest economy and it’s a considerable challenge given how damaging years of covid restrictions have been for China’s growth.

But he was pretty bullish in this speech, pointing to a rebound in China’s economy at the start of this year – with improvements in retail spending and investment in real estate.

He’s also continuing to try and drum up more foreign investment – promising that Beijing is willing to reopen to the world and reform their business practices.

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