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Should the government compensate for COVID deaths?

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India’s Supreme Court has ruled that the Indian government is bound by law to compensate the families of those who died from COVID.

The National Disaster Management Authority now has six weeks to frame guidelines for the payouts.

The court says the disaster management body will decide on the amount of money, which may not be too high given the current economic conditions of the country.

Grim milestone

The verdict now adds to the mounting criticism of Modi’s government handling of the pandemic, with India’s death toll about to reach 400,000 this week.

The coronavirus variant first detected in India has spread to more than 50 territories.

The coronavirus variant first detected in India has spread to 53 territories

Last month, the World Health Organization has received information from unofficial sources that the Indian variant has been found in seven other territories

This now takes the potential total to 60.

The report said B.1.617 had shown increased transmissibility, while disease severity and risk of infection were under investigation.

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  • Jack is a journalist and producer at Ticker NEWS. He's previously worked for digital media publications in Australia and the US. Jack is particularly interested in reporting on international affairs and sport.

Jack is a journalist and producer at Ticker NEWS. He's previously worked for digital media publications in Australia and the US. Jack is particularly interested in reporting on international affairs and sport.

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Hong Kong reopens to those vaccinated – but what’s the catch?

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Good news for those eager to travel – parts of the world is slowly reopening

Hong Kong will allow vaccinated tourists from all but 10 places in the world to enter the city starting from August 9…

It’s a significant easing of some of the tightest border curbs in the world.

Vaccinated visitors from countries now considered “medium-risk” — which includes the U.S. and Canada will be able to enter the city for the first time since the pandemic started.

There is a slight catch, however

Visitors and residents from medium-risk countries must spend seven days in hotel quarantine after they arrive.

Those entering Hong Kong will also be required to have a positive antibody test from a laboratory recognized by the Hong Kong government to prove they were vaccinated against Covid-19.

Antibody testing facilities at the airport will be available starting in mid-August, according to an official government statement.

Associated risk level:

For these “high-risk” places, only fully inoculated residents can return but they must serve a hotel quarantine period of 21 days.

Hong Kong has fully vaccinated 2.5 million people — about 33% of its population.

Author

  • Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

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Global Politics

Biden battles on – Trump Turmoil deepens

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As Washington prepares to take its summer break, President Biden continues to battle on the policy and program fronts he has led since Inauguration Day

On his agenda?

  • Ending the pandemic
  • Restoring the economy
  • Pursuing voting rights
  • Social equity
  • Racial justice
  • Gun control
  • Confronting climate change
  • And restoring America’s leadership in the world

In each area, there is progress – and challenges

With 70% of Americans now vaccinated, the Delta strain is hurting, with infections accelerating to significant levels – but the vaccines work. 

This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated

of the 164 million Americans who are inoculated, 99.9% have not tested positive for Covid

Fewer people still are hospitalized or dead.

The renewed push to get as many as possible protected is now being augmented by mandates from governments and businesses that their employees are to get the jabs as a condition of employment.  (This may prove ultimately to be the key for the last mile of protection here in Australia.)

What about the economy?

Employment is up, the economy is growing at over 6%, and wages are increasing, with $15 per hour the new norm in many businesses.

Child poverty is being cut in half, but employment is still not back at pre-Covid levels. Millions who are behind in their rent face possible eviction in the coming weeks.

While Biden has campaigned strongly on protecting voting rights, ending police violence, gun control, greater access to education and tackling global warming, no legislation on those fronts has yet been enacted. 

On a foreign front – under Biden’s leadership, America is absolutely back with US alliances strong across Europe and Asia

U.S President Joe Biden, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, talk during their meeting at the ‘Villa la Grange’ in Geneva, Switzerland in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Mikhail Metzel/Pool Photo via AP)

However, there is turmoil in Afghanistan, prospects have dimmed for a renewed nuclear agreement with Iran, relations with Russia are testy, tensions with China are as intense as ever, and there is no dialogue with North Korea.

In Washington, the toughest tests of Biden’s legislative program are pending right now 

He is applying all the lessons learned from his and President Obama’s first term in working his Democrats and those Republicans who are willing to win his policies on infrastructure, education, climate, and health care. 

Biden knows that his presidency is in the balance.

As Biden battles on, the man he defeated, Donald Trump, continues to spread turmoil and division.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump waves as he arrives at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., January 20, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo

Trump will not countenance any blame or responsibility for the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6 – an attack intended to stop the certification of Biden’s electoral victory. 

Trump’s hold over the Republican Party, and especially the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, upended the formation of a bipartisan independent commission to examine the threat to democracy posed by Trump.  

Trump is determined to remain a potent force in the party, and the decider of its future. 

He has raised more money this year than anyone else – over $100 million – and supplicants journey to his homes to pay tribute and seek favour.  

Trump is hardly invincible. There are chinks in his cladding.  His preferred candidate for a House seat in Texas lost to another Republican Trump declined to endorse. 

Damning notes from the Justice Department show Trump’s intense pressure on the Acting Attorney General to declare the election corrupt; he refused.

The Biden Justice Department has ruled that Trump’s tax returns have to be turned over to Congress.  Trump attacked the Republicans supporting the bipartisan infrastructure deal with Biden – but the agreement is holding.

In this Washington summer, Biden is steady at the helm, but the waters are choppy.  And Trump keeps making waves whenever he plunges into the pool.

Author

  • Bruce Wolpe is a Ticker News US political contributor. He’s a Senior Fellow at the US Studies Centre and has worked with Democrats in Congress during President Barack Obama's first term, and on the staff of Prime Minister Julia Gillard. He has also served as the former PM's chief of staff.

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Global Politics

Love Actually in real life – Brits unite with U.S vaxxed travellers

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At 4 am local time, Britain officially opened its borders to fully vaccinated travellers from both the US and EU, allowing friends and family to reunite after months apart

LONDON’S HEATHROW AIRPORT

The border restrictions apply to all of the countries on the UK’s so-called “amber list” – except for France which is suffering from a recent uptick in Covid-19 infections.

Travellers wanting to arrive in Britain will be required to take a test prior to departure as well as another swab on the second day after touching down.

Since July 19, all people in who were vaccinated in the U-K have been able to travel freely to and from amber nations – but these new laws open the borders up to travellers who were vaccinated in other countries.

It follows major airline companies welcoming the changes to border restrictions, saying it will provide a much needed boost to the aviation and travel sector.

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