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Omicron fears – will the U.S go into lockdown?



The US Centre for Disease Control has announced that Omicron is now the dominant strain in America, making up 73 percent of infections as of last week

The World Health Organisation has delivered a Christmas warning… urging people to cancel some of their holiday plans as Omicron spreads.

The head of the organisation says an event cancelled is better than a life cancelled… adding that “difficult decisions” must be made.

The WHO is now convinced the coronavirus variant is spreading faster than the Delta variant, infecting the vaccinated as well as those who have already recovered from covid. 

How is the U.S reacting to this warning?

According to the CDC, we know that Omicron is now the dominant strain in America.

In fact omicron now makes up 73 per cent of infections as of last week.. with more than 650 thousand omicron cases

Since the end of June, the Delta variant had been the main version causing US infections… but certainly not anymore.

The Biden administration says the nation will not be locking down despite the spread of Omicron

CDC Director says the new numbers reflect the kind of growth seen in other countries.

She says these numbers are stark, but they’re not surprising

The virus has since shown up in about 90 countries, even though a-lot of the Omicron variant remains unknown, including whether it causes more or less severe illness.

CDC data showing Omicron overtaking delta is not just happening in the US, similar infection rates are being seen in South Africa, the UK and Denmark.

Many authorities are predicting a huge spread over the holidays, including breakthrough infections among the vaccinated and serious complications among the unvaccinated that could stress hospitals.

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TikTok CEO testifies as U.S. considers nationwide ban



FBI says TikTok threatens U.S. national security

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testified in Washington D.C. on Thursday.

The hours-long fiery hearing on Capitol Hill was incredibly tense as Chew was grilled by both Republicans and Democrats.

With bipartisan support, both parties are pushing for a nationwide ban on the app which the FBI has said threatens the national security of the United States.

TikTok says it has 150 million America users – almost half the country.

The CEO gave testimony to try and reassure lawmakers and Americans that TikTok is not an agent of the Chinese Communist Party, but critics aren’t convinced.

Chew was bombarded with questions from representatives from both sides of the aisle about the company’s ties to the CCP, security, data storage, well-being, and mental health. 

Many lawmakers are growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of answers from the company.

Congress is now weighing a nationwide ban on the popular social media platform amid concerns that it is used to harvest Americans’ information and harm children online.

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Protests continue across France over pension reforms



Protestors blocked a terminal at an airport and sat on train tracks

The ongoing nationwide protests in France over plans by the government to raise the retirement age by two years saw another day of disruption – events which President Emmanuel Macron has recently compared to the storming of the U.S. Capitol by Donald Trump supporters two years ago.

Protestors blocked a terminal at Paris’s Charles De Gaulle airport.

Protesters also sat on train tracks, and reportedly triggered a brief fire in the yard of a police station in once city.

Protests have been mostly peaceful, but tear gas has been used against them on occasions.

The plan is to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.

For comparison, the U.S. is slowly raising its retirement age to 67 and the UK plans to go to 68.

Polls have long shown that a majority of voters in France oppose the move.

Macron earlier in the week said he was standing firm on the law and that it would come into effect by the end of the year.

The government says the change is needed to keep pension budgets from running a deficit – failure would create an annual deficit of about $14 billion by 2030.

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Prosecutors allege Donald Trump misled people on potential arrest



The move prompted Republicans in Congress to interfere with the course of justice

Manhattan prosecutors say Donald Trump has misled people to expect he would be arrested, prompting Republicans in Congress to interfere with the course of justice.

A probe is currently under way into his alleged hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

On Saturday, the former President said he would be arrested on Tuesday.

This saw three Republicans launching an offensive against the District Attorney, who is a Democrat.

They accused him of abusing authority, while also seeking communications, documents and testimony.

A grand jury hearing evidence in the Stormy Daniels case is yet to issue an arrest warrant for Trump.

The attorney’s office has since sent the committee chairmen a letter.

It says the lawmakers’ accusations “only came after Donald Trump created a false expectation he would be arrested”.

It also confirms the attorney’s office is “investigating allegations that Donald Trump engaged in violations of New York State penal law.”

If indicted, Trump would be the first U.S. President to face criminal charges.

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