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US President Biden sets COVID vaccine rules for businesses

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US President Joe Biden on jobs

US President Joe Biden has set a new COVID-19 mandate for businesses that employee at least 100 people

Under new requirements, starting January 4, companies with 100 employees or more must enforce a vaccine mandate, with workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or instead be tested weekly.

Republican governors however have hit back at the President, stating that Biden is “overstepping his authority”

A statement from the White House read “Today, the Labor Department issued its rule requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for companies with 100 or more employees. If you work for one of these companies you will either need to get vaccinated or test at least weekly.”

Within hours after the announcement was made by the White House, governors from Florida, Iowa and Indiana had vowed to fight the new rule, arguing it infringes on individual freedom.

Despite growing political opposition to mandating vaccinations, the delayed roll-out of the order has offered a reprieve to businesses across America, currently facing labor shortages during the holiday season.

The President’s related decision to push back a deadline for federal contractors to the same date suggested the White House accommodated requests from companies and industry groups.

Highest day since July: UK COVID cases causing major concern
New vaccine mandate announced for the US /Image: File

The new rules will cover about 100 million Americans – two-thirds of all workers in America

Biden reminded citizens that vaccination mandates are “nothing new” – and have been around “a long time” to curb diseases and outbreaks of viruses.

“We’ve been living with them throughout our lives for all sorts of diseases. Safety rules in the workplace are nothing new either. We require hard hats in construction sites and safety goggles in labs.  And with today’s actions, we now have requirements to protect people from something that has taken the lives of 750,000 Americans.”

While the rollout of the COVID vaccine continues across the US, deaths from the virus continue in the thousands. The average of about 1,100 Americans are dying daily from COVID-19, most of them unvaccinated.

COVID-19 has killed more than 745,000 people in the United States.

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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‘Magic and perfection’ – French Baguette receives heritage status

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The French Baguette has been awarded heritage status by UNESCO

In the words of Emmanuel Macron, the French Baguette is “250 grams of magic and perfection.”

Soft in the centre with a crusty and crunchy exterior, there’s no wonder they’re adored by millions every year.

And now there’s a new reason to celebrate the culinary delight after UNESCO gave French Baguettes heritage status.

The UN agency granted “intangible cultural heritage status” to the tradition of making the bread stick and the lifestyle surrounding them.

Over six billion are baked annually, but the industry is currently suffering through a challenging time.

France has been losing around 400 artisanal bakeries per year since 1970, from 55,000 to 35,000 today.

The decline is due to a combination of factors including the increase of industrial bakeries and supermarkets in rural areas.

It’s hoped this new heritage status will help breathe life back into the bakers’ delight.

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Epstein estate to pay $155m for Virgin Islands sex-trafficking base

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A nine-figure settlement deal has been reached between Jeffrey Epstein’s estate and the U.S. Virgin Islands

Jeffrey Epstein’s estate will pay a $155m settlement to the U.S. Virgin Islands for using the territory for sex-trafficking.

The convicted sex offender used the region as a base for his sex-trafficking operation.

Credit: The Guardian

The settlement will be paid in cash but lawyers say this is not an admission of liability.

The estate’s executors are also denying wrongdoing.

Another fund for victims of Epstein will receive over $100m in compensation.

It follows the territory’s attorney general saying Epstein bought the island to stop people from monitoring him, and from his victims escaping.

The 66-year-old died in August 2019 while awaiting his trial on sex trafficking charges.

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Is there enough protection against racism at Buckingham Palace?

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An activist has suggested there’s a lack of racism protection at Buckingham Palace after falling victim to offensive remarks

Domestic abuse activist Ngozi Fulani was attending a royal function when she was harassed by Prince William’s godmother Lady Susan Hussey.

Ms Fulani said Hussey moved her aside and began interrogating her about her heritage. Hussey insinuated that Fulani wasn’t British, despite Fulani explaining her ethnic background.

Lady Hussey has been forced to quit the royal post, following the racist remarks against Fulani.

‘Racism has no place’

Prince William

She is one of King Charles III’s top officials, but Buckingham Palace have been quick to condemn the comments.

“We take this incident extremely seriously and have investigated immediately to establish the full details…

Unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments have been made.”

buckingham palace statement

Fulani was attending the event organised by King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla. The domestic abuse activist was invited on behalf of an organisation that provides support for women of African and Caribbean background.

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