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South African president criticises global travel bans as Omicron spreads

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The president of South Africa has condemned travel bans enacted against his country and its neighbours over the new coronavirus variant Omicron

The president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa stated that he was “deeply disappointed” by the action, which he described as unjustified, and called for the bans to be urgently lifted.

The UK, EU and US are among those who have imposed travel bans.

Omicron, a new strain of COVID-19, has been classed as a “variant of concern”. Early evidence suggests it has a higher re-infection risk.

The heavily mutated variant was detected in South Africa earlier this month and formally reported to the World Health Organization last Wednesday.

The variant is responsible for most of the infections found in South Africa’s most populated province of Gauteng, over the last two weeks, and is now present in all other provinces in the country.

The World Health Organization has warned against countries hastily imposing travel restrictions, stating that they should look to a “risk-based and scientific approach”. However, numerous bans have been introduced in recent days amid concerns over the variant.

WHO’s Africa director Matshidiso Moeti said on Sunday: “With the Omicron variant now detected in several regions of the world, putting in place travel bans that target Africa attacks global solidarity.”

Omicron continues to be detected in countries across the world / Image: File

“No need to panic”

Speaking to ticker NEWS, Former WHO epidemiologist, Professor Adrian Esterman says while much is still unclear about the new variant – there is no need to panic.

“I would imagine vaccines would still offer some kind of protection against new strains as they arise”

The professor told ticker news.

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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Business

New York Stock Exchange in free fall

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Human error sends the New York Stock Exchange tumbling

We’ve all made mistakes at the office from time to time, but spare a thought for one worker who may have single-handedly brought down the New York Stock Exchange with just one tiny error.

The mistake of one employee has wiped billions of dollars off the charts for some of the globe’s largest companies.

The individual reportedly triggered wild swings and volatility on the New York Stock Exchange.

A number of big brand names were caught up in the catastrophe. It included McDonald’s, Walmart, and Mobil.

The NYSE eventually came clean. Officials admitted the“root cause” of the screw-up was a “manual error” from a staff member in the backup data centre.

The employee accidentally left the system running.

That’s why some stocks behaved as if trading had already started, with no opening prices being set, sending the market into a meltdown. #trending #featured

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Sport

Bombshell pro-Russian video emerges from Australian Open

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A bombshell video has emerged of the father of tennis star Novak Djokovic, amplifying the Russian controversy the Australian Open

 
Djokovic’s father was seen posing for pictures with a group of Putin supporters after his son won against Russia’s Andrey Rublev, to qualify for his 10th semi-final.

Russian flags have been banned from the Australian Open, but that didn’t stop one fan.

A man was seen holding a Russian flag with Putin’s face on it and wearing a t-shirt with the pro-war ‘Z’ symbol on it.

Four spectators were questioned by police and evicted from Melbourne Park.

After losing her semi-final, Belarusian Viktoria Azarenka hit back at media when pressed on tennis’ relationship with Russia’s war on Ukraine.

She told reporters incidents like Novak’s father posing with Russian fans have nothing to do with players.

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World

FBI Director discusses classified documents as U.S. lawmakers demand answers

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Bipartisan outrage on Capitol Hill as politicians say the Biden administration is stonewalling their quest for answers

FBI Director Christopher Wray is speaking out for the first time after several batches of classified documents were discovered in U.S. President Joe Biden’s Wilmington home and Washington think tank office.

On Thursday, Wray urged lawmakers and officials to be “conscious of the rules” when dealing with classified documents.

The statements appear to be a veiled criticism of President Biden after news broke that some of the classified papers in the President’s possession date back 14-years ago to when Biden was a Delaware Senator raising questions if this is a pattern for the president to mishandle classified information.

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, there is bipartisan outrage as lawmakers say the Biden administration is stonewalling them in their quest for answers.

Currently, both Biden and former President Donald Trump are facing special counsel investigations into their mishandling of classified documents—and just this week, former Vice President Mike Pence turned over classified documents to the DOJ.

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