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U.K. considers reducing COVID-19 isolation period as cases fall

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New Scientist

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson says his government is considering reducing Covid isolation periods as new Omicron infection numbers begin to fall

Looking at the science, the PM says there is a possibility of moving to an isolation period of five days in England instead of seven for a positive Covid case…

Johnson’s comments come as calls grow to enact measures that will help ease staffing shortages across the economy.

Several of the government’s cabinet colleagues have also made it clear they would like to see a shift to a five-day isolation period.

The PM reassured residents that free lateral flow tests would be available for “as long as it is necessary” as he reiterated the importance of getting vaccinated.

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom’s booster programme is in full swing, with 36 million Britts having now received three doses.

Johnson says this is a good start, but there is still a long way to go to ensure the whole country is protected.

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Julian Assange wins small but important UK court victory

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A British court ruled that the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can appeal a decision that would allow for his extradition to the United States to face charges under the Espionage Act.

He is accused of obtaining and publishing secret government documents.

The latest twist in the long-running case comes after a decision last month that he could be extradited to the United States to face the charges.

A small. but important win

The decision to extradite Mr. Assange has turned on whether prison conditions in the United States during his detention would be too harsh for his mental health, which his lawyers argue has grown increasingly fragile.

Last year, a lower court judge in Britain rejected the extradition request, saying Mr. Assange might be driven to suicide if he was held at the highest security prison in the United States.

But last month, Britain’s High Court said that it was satisfied by assurances made by the Biden administration that Mr. Assange would not be held in this facility.

What he’s charged with

The charges against Mr. Assange stem from the 2010 publication of diplomatic and military files on his website, WikiLeaks, after they were leaked by Chelsea Manning, a former Army intelligence analyst.

Assange spent years living in an embassy in London. When he left, he was immediately arrested.

The indictments, which were handed down during the Trump administration, accuse Mr. Assange of participating in a criminal hacking conspiracy by offering to aid Ms. Manning in covering her tracks and also encouraging hackers to obtain and send secret material.

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U.K. begins withdrawing embassy staff from Ukraine

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The UK has begun withdrawing its staff from the Ukrainian embassy in Kyiv amid the rising tensions between the country and Russia.

The United Kingdom Foreign Office has begun withdrawing some diplomats and their families from the British embassy in Ukraine.

The move follows the US state department ordering American diplomats and their families to leave Kiyv as soon as they could.

According to reports UK officials said the decision was not the result of intelligence targeting British Diplomats – instead it was a response to the growing risk that Russia could invade Ukrain.

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Man survives after flying from Africa to Amsterdam in Boeing 747 landing gear

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Dutch police have confirmed a man has been found alive after being found in the wheel section of a plane that landed at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport from South Africa

The stowaway travelled in the landing gear of a Boeing 747 cargo jet.

Flights from Johannesburg to Amsterdam take approximately 11 hours, with the cargo plane believed to have made one stop, in Nairobi, Kenya.

It is very unusual for stowaways on long flights to survive, due to the cold and low oxygen at high altitudes.

Police say the man’s age and nationality have not yet been determined.

“The man was found alive in the nose wheel section of the plane and was taken to hospital in a stable condition,” Royal Dutch Military Police spokeswoman Joanna Helmonds told the AFP news agency.

“It is quite remarkable that the man is still alive”

According to Dutch broadcaster NOS, the man’s body temperature was raised at the scene and by the time an emergency services arrived, he was able to answer basic questions.

A spokesperson for freight carrier Cargolux confirmed in an email to ticker NEWS affiliate, Reuters, that the man had been on a flight operated by Cargolux Italia.

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