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UK, Israel Ban Travellers From South Africa Over Covid-19 Mutant Variant

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The UK and Israel have placed a temporary ban on flights from South Africa and five other African countries over worries about a newly identified COVID-19 variant.

The UK and Israel have placed a temporary ban on flights from South Africa and five other African countries over worries about a newly identified COVID-19 variant.

In the UK, the travel restrictions would go into effect on Friday to help keep the spread of the new variant in check, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said.

Mr Javid stated that the new variant identified in South Africa “may be more transmissible” than the Delta strain and that “the vaccines that we currently have may be less effective.”

The six countries will be placed on the UK’s red list on Sunday, requiring travellers to quarantine in hotels upon arrival. They include Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini, Mozambique and South Africa.

The variant was identified by a virologist at Imperial College London. Scientists raised concerns over the recently identified B.1.1.529 mutant variant. The variant has the potential to evade immunity built up by vaccination or prior infection.

Though there have been no recorded cases of the new variant in the UK, officials have raised concerns over a rapid rise in cases in South Africa, which has confirmed around 100 specimens as B.1.1.529. The variant was also found in Botswana and Hong Kong, where the patient was a traveller from South Africa.

After consultation with public health personnel in Israel, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett ordered an immediate halt to all flights to and from South Africa and its neighbouring countries.

Individuals returning from these countries will be required to take a seven-day mandatory quarantine at a state-run facility, regardless of vaccination status. They will be released only after two negative PCR tests, and passengers who refuse to get tested will have to stay in quarantine for 14 days.

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French President Macron’s Marriage Hit By Gay Claim

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French first lady Brigitte Macron received an anonymous telephone call alleging that her president husband Emmanuel Macron was with a gay lover, it has emerged.

Despite top-level security checks on all her devices, a tormentor got through to the 68-year-old and said: ‘I know your husband is right now with a man in such and such a place.’

Political commentator Nicolas Prisette makes the claim in a new documentary called ‘In the Hell of the Presidential Campaigns’ on BFM – France’s most popular TV news channel.

It follows frequent scandalous rumours about the couple’s personal life, including claims that Ms Macron was in fact born a man.

The pair first met in 1993, when President Macron, then 15, walked into 39-year-old Brigitte’s high-school literature class in Amiens, France.

Brigitte later divorced her husband, with whom she shares three children, in favour of Mr Macron, a man 24 years her junior.

Senator François Patriat, a member of Mr Macron’s En Marche (On The Move) party, confirmed that Ms Macron was left devastated by the telephone call alleging her 44-year-old husband was with a lover.

Mr Patriat said Ms Macron told friends afterwards: ‘Do you realise what they dare to say? We won’t be spared anything. I was sad and shocked to hear that, but we will push on.’

The 24-year age gap between the Macrons has always caused problems, especially as they began a relationship when Emmanuel Macron was still a schoolboy in their home city of Amiens, northern France.

His affair with the future Ms Macron, then a married teacher and mother-of-three, caused a scandal, but the couple have remained together ever since.

In his book and political manifesto Revolution, President Macron described the affair as ‘a love often clandestine, often hidden, misunderstood by many before imposing itself.’

The Macrons ended up getting married in the Channel beach resort of Le Touquet in 2007, but not before causing extreme angst among those closest to them.

Mail Online

 

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George Floyd’s 4-Year-Old Niece Shot In Houston On New Year’s Day

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George Floyd’s 4-year-old niece, Arianna, was shot while sleeping in her bed Saturday after a gunman opened fire on her home, Houston police said.

The girl was shot in torso and is in stable condition after an emergency surgery, police said. The bullet punctured her lung and liver and also broke three ribs, ABC 13 Houston said. Her family identified her as Floyd’s niece.

Arianna was one of four adults and two kids who were in the Houston apartment around 3 a.m. when it was bombarded with bullets.

Police said in a statement they do not know if was one person or multiple people firing the shots. Cops currently have no suspects and don’t know a possible motive.

Arianna was asleep in her bed when she was shot, according to ABC 13 Houston. Her family often brought her along to marches and rallies calling for justice for her late uncle.

Ex-Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for murdering Floyd after he held his knee on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds in May 2020.

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British Court Orders Dubai Ruler To Pay Ex-Wife £500 Million In Divorce Settlement

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A UK court has ordered Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, to pay his ex-wife, Princess Haya, and their two children a record £500 million as a divorce settlement.

During the ruling held on Tuesday, the court said the amount is essential to protect them from the threat the ruler allegedly poses to them, Guardian UK reports.

The Judge, Philip Moor, said the family needed “water-tight security,” and that “absolutely uniquely,” the main threat to them came from Sheikh Mohammed, rather than outside sources.

Moor ordered that the sheikh should pay over £250 million upfront to Haya and provide a bank guarantee of £290 million for annual payments.

The judge said: “I am entirely satisfied that this means that, although HRH (her royal highness Haya) and the children would require security provision in any event, given their status and the general threats of terrorism and kidnap faced in such circumstances, they are particularly vulnerable and need water-tight security to ensure their continued safety and security in this country.

“Most importantly in this regard, and absolutely uniquely, the main threat they face is from HH (his highness the sheikh) himself not from outside sources. This is compounded by the full weight of the state that he has available to him as seen by his ability to make use of the Pegasus software, which is only available to governments.”

During the ruling, the high court judge also ordered that the costs of security for Haya’s lifetime should be paid upfront rather than annually.

Haya was also given £83 million a year for her household spending plus an allowance of £9 million per annum and ad hoc gifts while in Dubai.

Haya, 47, fled to the UK in 2019 and sought custody of her two children through the British courts.

The princess, who is the daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan, said she was “terrified” of her husband, who is alleged to have ordered the forced return to the Gulf emirate of two of his daughters.

 

 

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