Amanda Holden is ‘reported to police’ for breaching Covid rules


Amanda Holden has been reported to police after breaking lockdown rules in a 215-mile trip from London to Cornwall.

The Britain’s Got Talent judge went to see her parents after she got a ‘distressing phone call’ from her stepfather Les Collister.

The 49-year-old took a black Mercedes from Richmond to a small hamlet near Bude to see the 75-year-old and her 71-year-old mother Judith on Friday.

Locals were up in arms at her arrival, said she was putting residents at risk and reported her to the police.

She was spotted by a neighbour – thought to be a police officer – who is understood to have reported her for breaching Covid travel restrictions.

It is understood the star stayed overnight on Friday before making the return journey to her house in south west London yesterday.

The Britain’s Got Talent judge (pictured yesterday) went to see her parents after she got a ‘distressing phone call’ from her father Leslie

The 49-year-old took a black Mercedes from Richmond to a small hamlet near Bude to see the 75-year-old and her 71-year-old mother Judith (pictured) on Friday

The 49-year-old took a black Mercedes from Richmond to a small hamlet near Bude to see the 75-year-old and her 71-year-old mother Judith (pictured) on Friday

She was spotted by a neighbour – thought to be a police officer – who is understood to have reported her for breaching Covid travel restrictions. Pictured: Bude - a town in Cornwall near to where the parents of the Britain's Got Talent star live

She was spotted by a neighbour – thought to be a police officer – who is understood to have reported her for breaching Covid travel restrictions. Pictured: Bude – a town in Cornwall near to where the parents of the Britain’s Got Talent star live

One local told the Sun: ‘I was really shocked when I saw it and then felt quite angry. A man unloaded quite a lot of luggage from the boot and then the car sped off.

‘There are a lot of key workers and vulnerable people around here, and we need to keep them safe.’

They added: ‘They also know she had travelled miles from Surrey to get down here and she dashed into the house. She must have known what she was doing was wrong.’

Ms Holden is a well-known figure in the area after visiting her parents before the pandemic but residents were still furious.

Friends of Ms Holden said although she knew she should not have made the journey, she was so concerned about her parents’ welfare she felt she had no option.

One said: ‘Amanda got a call on Friday afternoon and felt she had no other choice but to get down there as quickly as she could.

The 49-year-old took a black Mercedes from Richmond to a small hamlet near Bude to see the 75-year-old and her 71-year-old mother Judith on Friday. Pictured: Yesterday

The 49-year-old took a black Mercedes from Richmond to a small hamlet near Bude to see the 75-year-old and her 71-year-old mother Judith on Friday. Pictured: Yesterday

‘Because of the issues involved with their health, she knew she had to go – there was no way she couldn’t.

‘She knows she has done something wrong and she is regretful but until you are in that moment, how can you judge?

‘In order to ensure she posed as little risk as possible, she drove alone, leaving her husband and daughters at home.

‘She did not come into contact with anyone else.’

It was claimed Ms Holden arrived after dark, but her spokesman said she got there at 4pm and had just one bag.

He said she was aware of the rules but was ‘devastated she had to break them’.

He told MailOnline: ‘Amanda is aware that all families are going through difficulty during these turbulent times but received a distressing telephone call from her elderly father on Friday afternoon.

‘On balance Amanda felt the round-trip to Cornwall was necessary to contain the matter at her family home.

‘The very personal situation has now been aided and Amanda is back in London.

‘Amanda did not act on a whim and has adhered to Covid rules every step of the way in all three lockdowns.

‘Amanda is aware of the travel rules and is devastated she had to break them on this one occasion.

‘Her parents are vaccinated and with Amanda testing for Covid weekly (and is negative), she felt she was not putting her parents at risk. She did not come in contact with any member of the public.’

Devon and Cornwall Police refused to comment. Today, in a social media post which made no reference to the star’s visit, Cornwall Council posted a video urging ‘everyone to stick to the rules this half-term’.

The video, which was accompanied by the caption ‘We know it’s tough. But this won’t last forever’, featured members of the council’s public health team speaking about how they would be staying at home next week.

It comes as Ms Holden approaches her 50th birthday on Tuesday and said she felt ‘so grateful and overwhelmed at the thought and love’ her Heart Radio colleagues put into her celebrations.

She was surprised with 50 presents by her radio colleagues to mark the occasion.

They included a massage chair, flowers, prosecco, a margarita cocktail, a roast dinner and a cake.

Ms Holden approaches her 50th birthday on Tuesday and said she felt 'so grateful and overwhelmed at the thought and love' her Heart Radio colleagues put into her celebrations

Ms Holden approaches her 50th birthday on Tuesday and said she felt ‘so grateful and overwhelmed at the thought and love’ her Heart Radio colleagues put into her celebrations

Her co-host Jamie Theakston told listeners: ‘Our very own Amanda Holden is celebrating her birthday – as a gentleman I wouldn’t say how old – but what we thought we would do is pull together 50 of her favourite things.’

An advertising board outside the radio studio also displayed a birthday message to Holden.

She wrote on Instagram: ‘So grateful and overwhelmed at the thought and love they’ve put into it.’

Holden shared the message alongside a photo of her drinking prosecco, which she said was taken at 6.30am.

A number of her friends also sent her birthday messages.

Her fellow Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon said: ‘Happy 50th birthday to my amazing TV wife.

‘I love you very, very much and I’m absolutely gutted that we cannot celebrate today and celebrate with you, as you deserve to be celebrated, on this incredibly momentous occasion.

‘Your 50th birthday! You still look 25, woman!’

Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan called in to the show to wish Holden a happy birthday.

‘I’ve actually got out of bed on my day off just to pay homage to the queen, Amanda Holden,’ he said.

‘You know what, I just think, seeing pictures of you drinking prosecco at 6.30am in the morning, it brings back such fond memories of working with you on Britain’s Got Talent.’

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Over 75% of poor households in India reported a decline in income as a result of road accident, says World Bank Report


New Delhi: More than 75 percent of poor households in India reported a decline in their income as a result of a road traffic crash, said a World Bank report released on Saturday.

The financial loss for the poor amounted to more than seven month’s household income, while it was equivalent to less than one month’s household income for rich households, said the findings of the report.

The report highlights the disproportionate impact of a road crash on poor households that pushes them into a vicious cycle of poverty and debt. It sheds light on the links between road crashes, poverty, inequality, and vulnerable road users in India.

The study was done in collaboration with SaveLIFE Foundation – a national non-governmental organization focused on road safety. Based on the survey data collected from around 2,500 respondents across four Indian states – Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, the research assesses the social, financial, gender, and psychological impacts of road crashes on poor and disadvantaged households.

The report recommends policy-oriented approaches for saving lives and improving the ability of victims and their families to get back on their feet, including providing immediate financial, medical and legal aid.

Speaking at the release of the report, union transport minister Nitin Gadkari said that automobile manufacturers should provide basic safety in vehicles at a minimum affordable price.

“We have taken a number of positive initiatives to reduce road crash deaths in India. With the support of all stakeholders in our society, I am committed to reducing road crash deaths by 50 percent by 2025,” Gadkari added.

The report also brings out the sharp rural-urban divide and the disproportionate impact on women. The survey shows that the income decline for low-income rural households (56 percent) was the most severe compared to low-income urban (29.5 percent) and high-income rural households (39.5 percent).

Women bore the burden of crashes across poor and rich households, often taking up extra work, assuming greater responsibilities, and performing caregiving activities after a crash.

About 50 percent of women were severely affected by the decline in their household income after a crash, the report revealed.

The study also documented low rates of access to insurance coverage and poor awareness related to legal compensation among truck drivers.

“Road crashes can have a devastating and disproportionate impact on the poor, thrusting a family into deep poverty,” Hartwig Schafer, World Bank Vice President for the South Asia region was quoted as saying in a statement.

“The World Bank is committed to supporting the Indian government in creating safety nets for poor households to ease their financial burden and help them cope with the sudden emergency linked to road crashes,” Schafer added.

The report recommends making health infrastructure and coverage more accessible and inclusive, providing a social security net for crash victims from low-income households through state support, creating an accessible legal framework for availing insurance and compensation for road crash victims, among other measures.

“The findings of the report identify the areas that require immediate improvements such as efforts towards post-crash emergency care and protocols, insurance and compensation systems,” said Piyush Tewari, CEO and founder of SaveLIFE Foundation.



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Biden ‘Inheritance’ Larger than Previously Reported


The young Biden administration has already settled into an odd pattern of dissonance between the economic data the government reports and the president’s characterization of the economy. Encouraging updates from federal agencies are followed by gloomy proclamations from the Oval Office intended to justify massive federal action. Tuesday brought another bleak political message on the heels of a positive market reading.

In the morning the Labor Department reported that U.S. job openings ticked up in December to 6.6 million. This not only represented a slight increase from November’s historically high reading of 6.5 million but also exceeded the prior-year level during the pre-Covid salad days.

Recently this column noted that, in the language of the Obama-Biden administration, our new President Joe Biden has received a sizable “inheritance” from his predecessor in terms of a rebounding economy. Measured in terms of the number of open positions for U.S. workers, the last full month of the Trump presidency is the greatest “inheritance” any U.S. president has ever passed on to his successor.

December’s 6.6 million job openings exceed by more than a million the number in President Barack Obama’s last full month in office. And President Biden’s “inheritance” from Donald Trump is more than twice the size of the one President George W. Bushbequeathed to Mr. Obama.

But you would never know it listening to Mr. Biden at the White House today. Prior to a meeting with corporate chieftains, the president didn’t mention the good news his government had reported just hours earlier. Instead, he offered essentially the same talking points he’s been using since last spring’s shutdowns.

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Man charged with high-range PCA after being reported for dangerous driving during Australia Day Operation – 16 News


Police have charged a man with high range PCA in Port Stephens after a member of the public reported him for dangerous driving before confiscating his keys when he pulled over, during the Australian Day road-safety operation.

Between 12.01am last Friday (22 January 2021) and 11.59pm last night (Tuesday 26 January 2021), officers from Traffic and Highway Patrol Command with assistance from Police Area Commands and Police Districts conducted Operation Australia 2021 across NSW.

About 6.50am on Sunday (24 January 2021), police received reports from a motorist that the driver of a Nissan Navara was driving dangerously on the Pacific Highway near Heatherbrae, Port Stephens.

Police have been told the man, aged 44, drove onto a median strip and hit a small tree before pulling over on Six Mile Creek Road, Eagleton, where the motorist – a 46-year-old man, also stopped and took the driver’s keys away.

Officers from Port Stephens-Hunter Police Area Command arrived a short time later and breath tested the man, who allegedly returned a positive result.

The man was arrested and taken to Raymond Terrace Police Station, where a subsequent breath analysis returned an alleged positive reading of 0.186.

The man was issued a Court Attendance Notice for drive with high range PCA; and is due to appear in Raymond Terrace Local Court on Monday 22 February 2021.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Acting Assistant Commissioner Stephen Hegarty, said it’s encouraging to see motorists concerned for the safety of others by reporting dangerous driving to police.

“As part of our Four Ds campaign, we’ve been urging all road users to report drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving, when safe to do so,” said Acting Assistant Commissioner Hegarty.

“In this instance, the actions of the motorist have helped keep the community safe during the Operation Australia Day 2021 period.”

During the operation, motorists faced double demerit points for speeding, mobile phone, motorcycle helmet and seatbelt offences.

Police conducted more than 96,000 breath tests, with more than 300 drivers charged with drink driving.

In addition to the drink-driving charges, 386 people returned positive results for drug-driving. More than 9200 people were fined for other traffic offences, including not wearing a seatbelt and speeding.

“While the poor behaviour of some drivers is disappointing, we’re overall encouraged by the behaviour of the vast majority of drivers over operation,” said Acting Assistant Commissioner Hegarty.

“Sadly, three people lost their lives on NSW roads over this period. We continue to work hard in improving road safety for all road users across our state,” said Mr Hegarty.

Other incidents of note include:

• A man disqualified from driving until 2078 will reappear in court today after allegedly being caught driving dangerously and possessing drugs in Sydney. About 5.20pm on Saturday (23 January 2021), officers from Traffic and Highway Patrol Command were conducting a stationary random breath and drug test on Pitt Street, Chippendale, when they attempted to stop the driver of a Holden Commodore. Police will allege the driver, a 47-year-old man, swapped seats with his front seat passenger, a 36-year-old woman, causing the car to swerve into oncoming traffic. Officers stopped the car and arrested the pair before searching the vehicle and locating a clear vial believed to contain gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB). Further checks revealed the man was disqualified from driving until 2078. The pair was taken to Surry Hills Police Station. He was charged with drive motor vehicle during disqualification period, drive recklessly/furiously or speed/manner dangerous, and possess prohibited drug. He was refused bail and appeared at Parramatta Bail Court, where he was formally refused bail to reappear at Central Local Court today (Wednesday 27 January 2021). The woman was fined for not complying with P1/P2 high performance vehicle restriction, driver not wear seatbelt, and not comply with P2 licence conditions not display P-Plates.

• About 7.10am yesterday (Tuesday 26 January 2021), Traffic and Highway Patrol officers were conducting stationary random breath testing on Hogbin Drive, Coffs Harbour, when they stopped a Hyundai and spoke with the driver, a 15-year-old boy. He allegedly returned a positive breath test before being taken to Coffs Harbour Police Station, where a subsequent breath analysis returned a reading of 0.054. The boy was charged with low-range drink driving, and driving without licence.

• Officers from Traffic and Highway Patrol Command were conducting stationary speed enforcement duties on the north on the M1, Yallah, when they detected a Mitsubishi Lancer allegedly travelling about 185km/h in an 80km/h signposted area, about 2.10am on Sunday (24 January 2021). Police attempted to stop the vehicle; however, the driver allegedly failed to stop, and a pursuit was initiated. The driver continued towards Picton before road spikes were deployed and the car stopped a short time later on Maldon Bridge Road. The driver, a 34-year-old woman, was arrested and taken to Camden Police Station, where she was charged with police pursuit – not stop – drive at speed, licence expired less than two years before – prior offence, and class exceed speed (more than 45 km/h). She was granted conditional bail to appear in Wollongong Local Court on Thursday 4 February 2021. Inquiries continue.

• At 11.30am yesterday (Tuesday 26 January 2021), officers from St George Police Area Command were called to the intersection of Princes Highway and Baxter Avenue, Kogarah, after reports of a single-vehicle crash. Police have been told a man was driving a Mazda sedan south on the Princes Highway when the car mounted the kerb and crashed into a no stopping/clearway sign. While officers were speaking to the man, they allegedly noticed an opened cask of wine inside a black bag. The man was subjected to a roadside breath test which allegedly returned a positive reading, before being taken to Kogarah Police Station, where a further breath analysis returned an alleged reading of 0.264. He was charged with drive with high range PCA and his licence was suspended. He was granted conditional bail to appear in Sutherland Local Court on Tuesday 16 February 2021.

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Deaths Reported After Explosion Hits Building in Central Madrid



At least two people died and several were injured after an explosion destroyed at least four floors of a building in central Madrid, Spain, on January 20, local reports said. This footage, posted to Twitter, shows smoke rising from the site of the blast. The explosion hit a building located between a school and a senior center near the city’s iconic Puerta de Toledo monument, RTVE reported. Credit: @naia_belz via Storyful

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Hailstones rain down on coastal towns as flooding reported


Sawtell and Boambee won the storm lottery early yesterday evening as rain and hail battered the towns, while others hardly received a drop.

The Bureau of Meteorology rain gauges at Boambee reserve and Sawtell recorded 53 mm and 50 mm respectively while Red Hill just west of Coffs Harbour town received 0.5mm.

Flooding in Toormina following a heavy downpour yesterday evening. Photo: Tarryn Agst

People immediately took to social media pages, sharing images and video of hail and heavy rain.

There were also reports of flash flooding across some roads, trees down and traffic lights out.

 

Rainfall data since 9am on Friday:

Boambee Reserve – 53 mm

Sawtell – 50 mm

Coffs Harbour Airport – 17 mm

Gundagai St – 11 mm

Macauleys Reserve – 5 mm

Red Hill – 0.5 mm



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NBA: James Harden reported to be joining Brooklyn Nets as they beat New York Knicks


James Harden joined the Houston Rockets in October 2012

The Brooklyn Nets fought back to beat the New York Knicks 116-109 on a night they reportedly signed James Harden.

US reportsexternal-link say Harden, NBA top scorer for the past three seasons, has left the Houston Rockets after nine years.

The 31-year-old was asked to miss Rockets training on Wednesday, having said that they were not good enough to be title contenders after Tuesday’s defeat at the Los Angeles Lakers.

Kevin Durant scored 26 points in the Nets’ win over the Knicks.

Star forward Durant, a former Oklahoma City Thunder team-mate of Harden, led seven Nets players in double figures as they moved sixth in the Eastern Conference on seven wins and six defeats.

The deal for Harden – which has been reported in the US but not confirmed – is said to be part of a huge trade that also involves the Indians Pacers and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

As part of the trade, Houston would receive guard Victor Oladipo from the Pacers, guard Dante Exum from the Cavaliers and forward Rodions Kurucs of the Nets.

The Rockets would also get three first-round draft picks from the Nets, one unprotected 2022 first-round pick from the Cavaliers – via the Milwaukee Bucks – and the right to swap four first-round picks with the Nets.

After Tuesday’s defeat against the Lakers, 31-year-old Harden – the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2018 – said Houston were “not even close, honestly” to the league’s top competition.

James and Lakers win away (again)

LeBron James attempts a lay up
LeBron James was again influential for the Los Angeles Lakers

Elsewhere in the Western Conference on Wednesday, Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded his 20th career triple-double with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists as the visiting Milwaukee Bucks beat the Detroit Pistons 110-101.

The win leaves the Bucks second behind Boston Celtics in the west, while the Los Angeles Lakers, the Eastern Conference leaders, were helped by 26 points from LeBron James in a 128-99 win at the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The success means the Lakers have won their opening seven away matches in a season for the first time in their history. They remain favourites to win the NBA title this season and have now trailed for just 11 seconds in total during their last three games.

The Los Angeles Clippers moved second in the Western Conference as Kawhi Leonard scored 28 points, nine assists and six rebounds, in a 111-106 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Luka Doncic collected 34 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists to lift the Dallas Mavericks to a fourth win in a row as they proved too strong for the Charlotte Hornets, their hosts, in a 104-93 victory.

The Mavericks sit sixth in the West, a place behind the Portland Trailblazers, who won 132-126 at the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday.

Damian Lillard notched 40 points and 13 assists for Portland as they overhauled a 19-point third-quarter deficit to record a fourth win in a row and elsewhere, the Memphis Grizzlies earned a 118-107 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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Victorians stuck in Queensland hopeful border will reopen if no more coronavirus cases are reported


Five-months pregnant Silvia Serra is one of many anxious Victorians stuck in Queensland who are crossing their fingers that no more coronavirus cases are reported from the Greater Brisbane area today.

Ms Serra, from South Melbourne, is in Port Douglas and isn’t allowed to fly home because she and her partner were in Brisbane on January 2 and 3.

The Victorian Government shut the border on Friday to anyone who had been in the hot spot since January 2.

The decision was made after a Brisbane quarantine hotel nurse tested positive to the more infectious UK strain of the virus and the Queensland Government imposed a three-day lockdown.

Since then, no more cases of community transmission have been reported and the Victorian health authorities said they would review the situation when the lockdown ends at 6:00pm today.

Needing to get back for medical appointments, including her important 22-week scan, Ms Serra said she was hopeful that another day of zero cases would be enough for the Victorian Government to let them back in.

“They’re kind of stuck in no man’s land, because they were like us just returning from family holidays or summer holidays. And now they don’t know where to stay and they have to wait.”

Victorian Government playing wait and see

Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley yesterday said it was “reassuring” to see Queensland had not recorded any locally acquired coronavirus infections on Saturday or Sunday.

However, he said the state would “await further advice from our Queensland colleagues” before making any decision on the border.

COVID-19 testing commander Jeroen Weimar said they would also have “more to say in the coming days” about the thousands of people stuck in NSW who want to return to Victoria.

“I’m very grateful for the patience of people who are still waiting to come back to the state,” he said.

“We will look to bring you back as safely and as quickly as we possibly can.”

No more cases should see border closures lifted, says epidemiologist

Professor Catherine Bennett, chair in epidemiology at Deakin University, said the closure of Victoria’s border with NSW was a precaution in case the coronavirus had spread to regional areas of the state.

“I think the hotspot will still stay at hotspot for a while longer in terms of travel restrictions — so Greater Sydney and surrounding areas where the cases are,” she said.

“But with very few exposures in regional NSW, and no cases resulting locally from those exposures, I think they will be able to look favourably at opening up the borders up with NSW and maintaining some restrictions around hotspot travel.”

A woman with brown curly hair and glasses smiles at the camera.
Professor Catherine Bennett says the Victorian Government may ease border restrictions this week.(Supplied)

Professor Bennett said the Greater Brisbane area lockdown was intended to prevent any spread of the virus and buy time to identify and quarantine close contacts of the infected case.

If no more cases were found then she expected that the Commonwealth would decide the Greater Brisbane area no longer fit the definition of a hotspot.

“If that changes, then that should change the travel restrictions and so on,” she said.

However, she said that even if the Queensland Government decided to lift the lockdown some precautions — such as masks — may remain in place.

It also might take a little while for the travel restrictions to ease, she added.

“Tuesday would be good. Let’s hope.

“I think if people’s expectations are that they will stop the lockdown on Monday, and then everything will be back to normal … it just might work a little slower than that.”

‘You’ve just got to keep adjusting’

A CityCat crosses the Brisbane River underneath the Story Bridge
An unknown number of Victorians who visited the Brisbane area are stuck in Queensland until the border restrictions ease.(ABC News: Stephen Cavenagh)

Karen Walters, from the Glen Eira area in Melbourne, drove up by car to Brisbane with her husband and two children so has to wait for both the Queensland and NSW borders to reopen before they can go home.

Ms Walters said the family was also concerned that the Victorian Government might decide they needed to self-isolate for two weeks once they got back, which would impact on the children going back to school.

From Brisbane originally, the Walters family moved down to Melbourne just before Easter last year, in time for the lockdown there.

Ironically, they extended their Queensland holiday because they were concerned Melbourne’s Black Rock cluster might prompt another lockdown in Victoria.

“If they open the borders this week, we’ll probably come back on the weekend but if they say you have to quarantine, then I don’t know,” Ms Walters said.

“We’ve changed plans multiple times with this trip. You’ve just go to keep adjusting.”

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4 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Nova Scotia, 28 active cases remain – Halifax


Nova Scotia reported four new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and said 28 active cases remain in the province.

According to the province, two cases are in the central zone and are close contacts of previously reported cases.

One case is in the eastern zone and is a close contact of a previously reported case.

Read more:
Nova Scotia reports 12 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday

One case is in the northern zone and is related to travel outside Atlantic Canada.

“While the case numbers in our province are encouraging, we are closely monitoring the rise in cases in New Brunswick,” Premier Stephen McNeil said in a press release. “The situation there is a reminder of how quickly the virus can spread, and also reminds us of the importance of following all the public health protocols.”

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The Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs said they completed 1,467 Nova Scotia tests on Jan. 6.










Managing COVID-19 in correctional facilities 


Managing COVID-19 in correctional facilities 

Since Oct. 1, 2020, Nova Scotia said it has completed 122,652 coronavirus tests. There have been 435 positive COVID-19 cases and no deaths.

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No one is currently in hospital. Four hundred and seven cases are now resolved.

“As we continue to see new COVID-19 cases every day, it is apparent that the virus is still in our communities,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health. “We must remain vigilant and do our part by continuing to follow public health guidelines and orders.”

As of Jan. 4, the province said restaurants and licensed establishments in areas of Halifax Regional Municipality and Hants County can reopen for dine-in service.

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Dentists, pharmacists in Nova Scotia ready to aid with COVID-19 vaccine rollout

“They must follow the provincewide restrictions, including ending service by 10 p.m. and closing by 11 p.m. They can continue takeout and delivery service with no restrictions,” the province stated.

The province is also encouraging post-secondary students returning to Nova Scotia from outside of Atlantic Canada to visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/ to book a COVID-19 test for day 6, 7, or 8 of their 14-day self-isolation period.

COVID-19 testing appointments can be booked up to three days in advance.

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Arrests reported at anti-government protest outside Netanyahu’s home, as Israelis kick off 2021 with weekly demo — RT World News



Israeli demonstrators began the new year where they ended 2020, flooding the streets outside Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s home in Jerusalem, accusing his government of corruption and botched coronavirus response.

Anti-corruption protesters in Israel extended their demonstrations into the new year, marching for a 28th straight week and clashing with police near Netanyahu’s official residence. Eleven protesters were detained by police outside Netanyahu’s home, while about 100 others were relocated to another street further away from his house on Saturday afternoon, Haaretz newspaper reported.

Thousands more people joined the protests in the evening in Jerusalem and other locations around the country, including Netanyahu’s private residence in Caesarea.

Police also arrested two teenagers, 14 and 15, who threw rocks at anti-corruption protesters in Yavne’el. Video footage shows protesters being dragged away by police one-by-one, including one man with a megaphone.

Journalist Ben Caspit posted a video of protesters marching to Balfour Street, where Netanyahu’s official residence is located. He said the number of participants has declined, given that it’s winter, but the protest movement is “alive and well.”

One of the protest organizers, the Movement for Quality Government in Israel, said it won’t allow the “corrupt” transitional government to ruin democracy or “squash any basic norms” as the country’s March 23 election — its fourth national election in just two years — approach. “We are not going to stop, not even in quarantine,” the group said. “We will not stop until we cleanse corruption from power.”

READ MORE: Netanyahu’s rival says Israeli PM ‘only working to save himself from trial’ as country might hold FOURTH election in 2 years

Netanyahu has also faced growing criticism for his government’s handling of the pandemic. Harsh coronavirus restrictions have dealt a heavy blow to the economy, which is struggling to recover, with the nation being under a third partial lockdown since the start of the outbreak.



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Israel to enter third national lockdown for at least two weeks as Covid-19 infections surge


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