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Since the last year, Australia has been gliding along, almost blissfully standing apart from the global pandemic. It had acclaimed the stage of a “Covid normal” where people could visit restaurants and nightclubs and join crowds at festivals and theatres. The country’s strict Covid defences – border closures and mandatory quarantine – proved effective 99.99% of the time. When cases leaked, officials acted swiftly, locking down cities and following every infected contact. Sydney – Australia’s biggest and the wealthiest city – managed to avoid regular snap lockdowns enabled by a “gold standard” contact-tracing system. But in the previous fortnight, the…

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The Covid control system in England’s schools, according to which groups of pupils have to self-isolate if one tests positive, could be brawled in the autumn. As per the latest development, ministers are looking at asking schools to start daily testing instead. Official figures indicated that in England alone this month, 172,000 children were self-isolating, possibly being in contact with a positive case in school. Health Secretary Sajid Javid has vowed to address the issue. Frustration among parents and teachers is rising over the disruption because a rising number of children and their households presently have to quarantine. The Department…

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Kim Jong-un has criticized top officials over lapses that caused a “grave incident” related to Covid-19, North Korean state media reports. It was an erratic sign of the pandemic’s severity in North Korea, which previously asserted that it had no Covid cases – a claim suspected by experts. The country has shut its borders to keep out the virus. But coupled with international sanctions, it has resulted in food shortages and a worsening economy. Mr Kim earlier admitted a “tense” food situation and told citizens to be ready for the “worst-ever” outcome, raising comparisons to the country’s deadly 1990s famine.…

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Malta, Madeira, and the Balearic Islands have now been included in the UK’s travel green list. The list also includes several UK overseas territories and Caribbean islands comprising Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, Antigua, Barbuda, Dominica, Barbados and Grenada. The change implies that holidaymakers need not self-isolate themselves on their return to the UK from these areas. However, the additions – other than Malta – will be on the “green watchlist”. It means that if conditions change in any of the countries, they are at risk of being shifted to the amber or red list. Israel has also shifted to…

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The gap will shut all of its 81 stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland by the end of September and go online, while the brand adjusts to changes in shopping habits after the pandemic. The American apparel retailer, which possesses Old Navy and the Banana Republic, mentioned in a statement on Thursday that the closures will impact company-operated stores. It also added that plans were also in progress to sell its outlets in France and Italy. The retreat comes after a strategic review of its European business that started last year “with the goal of finding new, more cost-effective…

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A day post a village in British Columbia experienced Canada’s highest recorded temperature, the inhabitants of Lytton have been asked to evacuate due to a wildfire. Mayor Jan Polderman delivered the evacuation order late Wednesday, as per a news release from the Village of Lytton. “All residents are advised to leave the community and go to a safe location,” it mentioned. Lytton, which is situated about 195 miles east of Vancouver, has a population of 249 residents. “It’s dire. The whole town is on fire,” Polderman shared with CBC News. “It took, like, a whole 15 minutes from the first sign of…

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A British man has been accused of a spate of “savage” stabbing attacks on 16 pet cats in the coastal city of Brighton, southern England, Sussex, as established by the police. Steve Bouquet, a 54-year-old security guard, attacked the pet cats over nine months near his home address, starting October 2018. Nine of the cats were killed to death, while seven survived their injuries. Bouquet, who refused the charges of criminal damage and possession of a knife in a public space, was established guilty at Chichester Crown Court on Wednesday following an eight-day trial, police mentioned. The jury was apprised…

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An enquiry has disclosed 182 human remains in unmarked graves at a new residential school in British Columbia. The Lower Kootenay Band, a member band of the Ktunaxa Nation, has declared that remains were found at the former St. Eugene’s Mission School near Cranbrook. This declaration comes after hundreds of unmarked graves believed to contain the remains of Indigenous children were recently found at the sites of two other former boarding schools in Canada, and many First Nations communities have called for a halt to Canada Day celebrations Thursday. “It is believed that the remains of these 182 souls are…

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