A new variant of interest in South Africa
Health officials said yesterday that a new variant of the coronavirus, whose mutations show evidence of a “major evolutionary leap,” is driving an increase in new Covid-19 infections in South Africa. Scientists have so far detected 22 cases of the B1.1.529 variant in Gauteng, the economic center of the country.
The Ministry of Health in Botswana confirmed that four cases of the mutant were detected in all fully vaccinated people. All four were tested prior to the planned trip. According to South African scientists, one sample was also found in Hong Kong and was carried by travelers from South Africa.
The mutant is wary of its density of mutations, raising concerns that it can be highly contagious. Scientists do not yet know how effective existing vaccines are against it. It shares similarities with lambda and beta variants, both of which are associated with congenital avoidance of immunity.
Naming ceremony: South African scientists meet with the WHO technical team today to assign the Greek alphabet to variants.
Desperate bid for immigrants across the strait
The English Channel is where at least 27 people died this week trying to cross on a flimsy inflatable boat, making it the last dangerous journey for immigrants wanting to reach Britain. Despite the extreme danger, migrants living in temporary camps on the northern coastline of France dream of building a crossroads.
Over the last few months, the number of people leaving the channel has skyrocketed as authorities cracked down on other routes to the United Kingdom, especially trucks through tunnels under the channel.
French and British leaders have vowed to crack down on the channel’s immigrant crossroads this week and blame each other for organized smuggling rings. For the past five years, both countries have sought to discourage asylum seekers by making the situation of asylum seekers as difficult as possible. According to experts, this policy creates unnecessary danger.
analysis: Parliament said last month that the French government’s immigration policy was unsuccessful, leading to infringement of immigrant rights and that most public spending was spent on security measures rather than health and other support.
First person: Sasd Amiens, who fled the war in South Sudan four years ago, said he had hopes for a truck to the Channel Tunnel, despite the dangers. “Death is nothing new in this life,” he said.
Dozens of people killed in Russian land mine explosion
Gas accumulation and explosions at a Siberian coal mine about 2,200 miles east of Moscow have killed at least 52 people, including six rescuers, according to Russian officials.
The accident at the Ristovyaznaya mine in the Kemerovo region of Russia occurred after the ventilation towers began to be filled with gas, a Russian investigative commission reported. Rescue efforts at the mine, which plunges 1,300 feet to Earth, continued all day long, despite the ever-increasing death toll.
Miners, initially thought to be missing, were gradually moved to the list of dead until late yesterday, when authorities said the methane explosion most likely made it impossible for miners to escape. .. Russian news agency Interfax reported that it seems unlikely that anyone else would be alive.
environment: Coal mining accidents have long been common in Russia, some due to sporadic enforcement of regulations. Government agencies have discovered hundreds of violations at the Listvyazhnaya mine this year. They fined them and ordered them to suspend their work, but the mine continued to operate.
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Prior to moving to Sydney in 2017, Australian Director Damien Cave was a loyal landslider who flew into the ocean several times a year and retired to a beach chair.
“Something has changed in Australia,” he writes. “I moved from ignoring swimming to hating swimming, craving for the feeling of being submerged, and stretching my body and mind with sea creatures and currents.”
Fight for the Turner Prize
Founded in 1984, the Turner Prize was used to honor a lively individual artist. But for the past three years, no one has won the British Visual Arts Award, Elizabeth Fullerton reports to The Times.
In 2019, the artist surprised the judges and shared the award. During the coronavirus pandemic, the award organizers distributed the funds. And this year, the judges will select the winner from a list of five aggregate candidates. The works of each group are related to social activities as well as art.
The nominations of these groups highlight the challenges of today’s Turner Prize. Is its role to capture the zeitgeist or to reward excellence?
Some people celebrated this move as an anti-capitalist decision. Others ridiculed it as a kowtow to the creator of actionable social justice. “Everything that has these views is working. Perhaps real, but where is the bloody art?” Said a long-time critic of the award.
Play, see, eat
What to cook
Hanukkah starts on Sunday night. Celebrate the celebration of light with pure potato Latkes.
What to listen to
Take a look at Margo Galyan’s 1968 album “Take a Picture” again. The singer-songwriter, who died this week at the age of 84, gained unexpected fame 30 years after the album was released.