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W.H.O: COVID variants will now be renamed to avoid “stigmatizing”

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Boss of World Health concerned


The World Health Organization has said it will rename COVID-19 variants to avoid stigmatization of countries where new strains of the virus are first reported.

The new system applies to variant of concerns – the most troubling of which four are in circulation.

“While they have their advantages, these scientific names can be difficult to say and recall, and are prone to misreporting,” the WHO says in a statement.

The new names:

The four coronavirus variants considered of concern by the United Nations agency and known generally by the public as the UK, South Africa, Brazil and India

Under a new system revealed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Kent variant will now be known as Alpha, the Indian variant as Delta, and the South African variant as Beta.

Their scientific names – B.1.1.7, B.1.617.2 and B.1.351 – had been considered too complicated to remember, but there were also concerns about referring to them by the locations where they were discovered.

Critics have warned the current format can stigmatise countries where variants are first found.

Some have warned the rise in coverage of the so-called Indian variant as it becomes more widespread could fuel racism against Indian people.

In 2020, due to the fact that COVID-19 originated in China, experts say it led to an increase in hate crimes against Asian people.

Former US president Donald Trump was condemned for regularly referring to coronavirus as the “China virus”, among other such labels.

Jack is a journalist and producer at Ticker NEWS. He's previously worked for digital media publications in Australia and the US. Jack is particularly interested in reporting on international affairs and sport.

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Time is running out for Biden’s death penalty abolition

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President Joe Biden is facing increasing pressure as his administration grapples with the challenge of fulfilling a key 2020 campaign promise – the abolition of the federal death penalty.

The issue has gained renewed attention as the Department of Justice reviews its policies on capital punishment.

Despite initial steps like imposing a moratorium on federal executions, the President’s commitment to a complete abolition faces hurdles in Congress and legal complexities.

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What can be learned from the AT&T outage?

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The outage lasted for several hours and impacted thousands of customers across the United States.

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security were looking into an AT&T outage that lasted for several hours and impacted thousands of customers across the United States.

AT&T said the hour-long outage to its U.S. cellphone network appeared to be the result of a technical error, not a malicious attack and that the Federal Communications Commission was in touch with the company.

Hugh Odom a former AT&T Attorney and the Founder and President of Vertical Consultants joins Veronica Dudo to discuss. #IN AMERICA TODAY #featured #telecommunications #cellphone #AT&T #AT&Toutage

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Extremism top concern for U.S. voters ahead of election

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Worries over political extremism and threats to democracy have surged to the forefront as the primary concern for U.S. voters, setting the stage for a high-stakes showdown in the upcoming November election.

The three-day Reuters Ipsos poll, which concluded on Sunday, found that 21% of respondents identified “political extremism or threats to democracy” as the nation’s most pressing issue, narrowly edging out concerns about the economy and immigration.

President Joe Biden appears to hold a slight advantage over his predecessor, Donald Trump, in addressing this issue, with 34% of respondents believing Biden has a better approach compared to 31% for Trump.

The findings underscore the deeply polarized political landscape in America, with Democrats prioritizing extremism as the top issue, while Republicans overwhelmingly focus on immigration.

Independent voters

The poll also highlights the pivotal role of independent voters, with nearly a third citing extremism as their primary concern, followed closely by immigration and the economy.

This suggests that the handling of extremism could significantly influence voter behavior in the upcoming election.

The rise of extremism as a top concern comes amid ongoing political turmoil, with Trump continuing to challenge the legitimacy of U.S. institutions and perpetuate false claims of election fraud.

His rhetoric has not only fueled division but also incited violence, as seen in the January 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol.

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