UK, Germany and Italy detect Omicron variant cases, Israel closes borders as the world waits
- Britain, Germany, Italy say Omicron cases detected
- UK PM Johnson unveils new measures to prevent Christmas lockdown
- Israel bans entry to all foreigners
- Dutch authorities test air passengers for Omicron variant
Britain, Germany and Italy are detecting cases of the new Omicron coronavirus variant as countries around the world reimpose travel restrictions..
The discovery of the variant sparked global concern, with a fresh wave of travel bans and a global sell-off on financial markets.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced new steps to contain the virus.
Face coverings will become mandatory again in shops and on public transport in England from next week.
More stringent testing
PCR tests for everyone entering the UK will be introduced and all contacts of new variant cases will have to self-isolate.
The two linked cases of Omicron found in Britain are connected to travel to southern Africa.
But Boris Johnson is promising that Christmas will be “considerably better” than in 2020.
The measures are “temporary and precautionary”, he says.
The UK PM laid out measures which included stricter testing rules for people arriving in the country.
Mr Johnson said: “Our scientists are learning more hour by hour, and it does appear that Omicron spreads very rapidly and can be spread between people who are double vaccinated.”
Israel will ban the entry of all foreigners into the country and reintroduce counter-terrorism phone-tracking technology to contain the spread of the variant.
In Germany, the health ministry announced two confirmed cases of the variant. The two people entered Germany at Munich airport on Nov. 24.
In Italy, the National Health Institute says case of the new variant had been detected in Milan.
New strain, old pain
Omicron, dubbed a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization, is than previous variants of the disease.
Experts do not know yet if it will cause more or less severe COVID-19 compared to other strains.
The variant was first discovered in South Africa and had also since been detected in Belgium, Botswana, Israel and Hong Kong.
Epidemiologists say travel curbs may be too late to stop Omicron from circulating globally.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and State Department are advising against travel to eight southern African countries.
Streaming wars: can Apple compete with Spotify?
Spotify’s 2023 Wrapped has dropped prompting listeners to review their top artists, genres, and songs of the year.
Many are taking to social media platforms to share their listening trends with family, friends, coworkers, and even other fans on the internet.
While Apple Music, a rival platform, has its own year-end campaign—it hasn’t quite ignited the same online response.
Seth Schachner, the Managing Director at StratAmericas and a former Sony Music Executive joins Veronica Dudo to discuss. #Spotify #music #Apple #AppleMusic #SpotifyWrapped #streaming #featured #IN AMERICA TODAY
What Australia can learn from NZ’s supermarket inquiry
Coles and Woolworths, two of Australia’s largest supermarket chains, are about to face a Senate inquiry that aims to scrutinise their market dominance and business practices.
The inquiry’s parallels with a past New Zealand investigation highlight the growing concern over the duopoly’s impact on consumers and smaller businesses.
The Senate inquiry, set to begin next month, comes as a response to mounting public pressure and allegations of anti-competitive behavior in the grocery sector.
New Zealand example
Similar concerns led New Zealand to conduct its own inquiry into the supermarket industry back in 2019, resulting in recommendations for increased regulation and transparency.
The central question here is whether Coles and Woolworths wield too much power in the Australian market, potentially stifling competition and limiting choices for consumers.
With the New Zealand example as a cautionary tale, many are wondering if this inquiry will result in meaningful changes to the Australian grocery landscape.
Elon Musk: Nikki Haley’s ‘campaign is dead’
Elon Musk has thrown a verbal jab at former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, declaring her political campaign as “dead” on X.
The unexpected comment from the Tesla and SpaceX CEO has ignited a new wave of discussion within the political sphere, leaving many wondering about the implications for Haley’s political future.
In a tweet that garnered significant attention, Musk criticized Haley’s recent policy stance, writing, “Nikki Haley’s campaign is dead on arrival if she continues to ignore the urgency of climate change.
We need leaders who prioritize the planet’s future.” The tech mogul’s remarks come as Haley, a prominent Republican figure, has been exploring the possibility of running for president in the upcoming election cycle.
Musk’s statement has reignited the debate over climate change within the Republican Party, with many conservatives emphasizing economic interests over environmental concerns.
This raises questions about whether Musk’s endorsement or critique could influence the GOP’s stance on climate issues and potentially impact the 2024 presidential race.
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