‘You Need to Back Up’: New York State Cop Has Conversation With Chatty Turkey



The Ramapo Police Department in New York’s Rockland County shared footage of one of its officers having a conversation with a turkey on January 22. Police said the footage shows a turkey approaching Officer Robert Navarro’s window on Pascack Road in Chestnut Ridge. Navarro tells the turkey, “I don’t care what he did. We’re not taking a report for that. You need to go away.” The department said Officer Navarro “was attempting to clear several parties from the roadway, when he was met with some resistance.” Credit: Town of Ramapo Police Department via Storyful

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State preparing for massive vaccine rollout



ROVING clinics could be employed across Tasmania to help ensure COVID-19 vaccinations are delivered in a timely and thorough manner, one of the state’s top doctors says.

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EU approves German coronavirus state aid scheme





FILE PHOTO: Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age and European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton, leave at the end of a news conference on the Digital Services and Digital Markets Acts at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium December 15, 2020. Olivier Matthys/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

January 21, 2021

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission said on Thursday it had approved the German government’s 12-billion-euro scheme to compensate companies for damages incurred due to coronavirus lockdowns last year.

The Commission, which monitors to ensure that governments do not unfairly help companies for competitive advantage, said in a statement the German scheme was a “proportionate” response and in line with EU state aid rules.

The scheme entitles companies from all sectors to compensation for damages incurred during lockdowns imposed in Germany to contain the coronavirus pandemic in March-April and November-December last year.

The aid comprises grants covering up to 100% of the damage suffered during the lockdowns, or 75% of a company’s turnover in November and December 2019.

The European Union’s antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager, said the measures would complement German state aid schemes, already approved by the EU, offering support of up to 4 million euros per company.

(Reporting by Kate Abnett; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)




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State border closure cost tourism businesses billions



Closed state borders have set tourism businesses back $7 billion in what should have been the busiest trading period of the year.

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Facebook blocks events around D.C. and state capitals ahead of inauguration


Facebook is cracking down on events in an effort to prevent its users from organizing violence ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration. The social network says it will block all events in areas around Washington D.C. and state capitals through next week’s inauguration.

“We are blocking the creation of any new Facebook events happening in close proximity to locations including the White House, the US Capitol building and any of the state capitol buildings through Inauguration Day,” Facebook writes in an update. “Our operations center is also conducting a secondary review of all Facebook events related to the inauguration and removing ones that violate our policies.”

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WA’s hard border with Victoria will come down on Monday with the State now classified as ‘low-risk’



Western Australia will move to a controlled border with Victoria from Monday.

It means people will be able to enter the state without needing a special exemption but they will still be required to self-quarantine for a fortnight and get a COVID-19 test before leaving quarantine.

The decision was made at an emergency meeting this afternoon.

Victoria will now be classified as a “low-risk” state after it went nine days with no local cases of the virus.

The WA Government will still look for 28 consecutive days of no community cases in Victoria before it will consider allowing quarantine-free travel.

More to come.

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Northern Brazilian state declares curfew over virus


Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Amazonas state in northern Brazil on Thursday announced a curfew to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus, as cases soar and hospitals run out of beds and oxygen supplies.

Authorities warned of a dire situation across the vast state. In its capital Manaus, the health system has been pushed to breaking point.

The city has “run out of oxygen and some health centers have become a type of suffocation chamber,” Jessem Orellana, from the Fiocruz-Amazonia scientific investigation institute, told AFP.

Amazonas governor Wilson Lima said the state was “in the most critical moment of the pandemic.”

The 7:00 pm to 6:00 am curfew will begin Friday.

According to official figures, Manaus recorded 198 deaths on Wednesday, the fourth day straight it had set a new record.

Oxygen is needed to treat COVID-19 patients suffering from respiratory complications.

Amazonas produces “significant quantities of oxygen, but now our people need oxygen and solidarity,” said Lima, who added some patients would be transferred to other states.

Military personnel delivered 400 oxygen cylinders to Amazonas over the last five days.

Brazil has recorded more than 205,000 deaths from COVID-19, second only to the United States.

The national average of deaths is 98 per 100,000 inhabitants but in Amazonas, the figure is 142, surpassed only by Rio de Janeiro (158) and Brasilia (145).

An expert studying coronavirus mutations in Amazonas told AFP a new strain detected in the state is “very probably” more contagious than the original virus, just like new strains found in Britain and South Africa.

Felipe Naveca said the variant, which the World Health Organization described as “worrying”, may have spread throughout Brazil and could already be the dominant strain in Amazonas.

The worsening situation in Manaus was not due only to one variant, he added, noting that authorities were expecting a rise in virus cases due to end-of-year parties.

“We need urgent support from the population to reduce the transmission and slow down the virus’s evolution,” Naveca said.

Experts worry new mutations could eventually show resistence to the vaccines developed to combat the original strain.

However, “right now there’s no evidence that this line prejudices the vaccine’s response,” Naveca said.

There is concern, though, the new variant could already have spread throughout Brazil and it has been detected as far afield as Japan.

Britain on Thursday said it was suspending all arrivals from South America due to the new coronavirus variant.


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Watch Live: QLD U18 state basketball championships



Watch the Queensland U18 state basketball championships live as teams from division 1 and 2 battle it out.

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Mother and baby homes scandal: Irish PM apologises to victims – saying ‘the state failed you’ | World News


The Irish prime minister has issued an apology following a report into the deaths of 9,000 children in institutions for unmarried mothers and their babies.

A five-year investigation by a judicial commission of investigation detailed how the children died at 18 institutions between 1922 and 1998.

Speaking today in the Dail, the lower house of the Irish parliament, Taoiseach Micheal Martin said that as a society “we embraced a perverse religious morality and control, judgementalism and moral certainty, but shunned our daughters.”

Image:
The entrance to what is believed to be the site of a mass grave in Tuam

Mr Martin added: “On behalf of the government, the state and its citizens, I apologise for the profound generational wrong visited upon Irish mothers and their children who ended up in a mother and baby home or a county home.

“As the commission says plainly – ‘they should not have been there’.

“I apologise for the shame and stigma which they were subjected to and which, for some, remains a burden to this day.

“In apologising, I want to emphasise that each of you were in an institution because of the wrongs of others. Each of you is blameless, each of you did nothing wrong and has nothing to be ashamed of. Each of you deserved so much better.

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“The lack of respect for your fundamental dignity and rights as mothers and children who spent time in these institutions is humbly acknowledged and deeply regretted.

“The Irish state, as the main funding authority for the majority of these institutions, had the ultimate ability to exert control over these institutions, in addition to its duty of care to protect citizens with a robust regulatory and inspection regime.

The infants graveyard at Sean Ross Abbey in Roscrea, Tipperary, which was mother and baby home operated by the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary from 1930 to 1970.
Image:
The infants graveyard at Sean Ross Abbey in Roscrea, Tipperary

“This authority was not exerted and the state’s duty of care was not upheld. The state failed you, the mothers and children in these homes.”

Several of the religious orders which ran the homes have already apologised since the report’s publication, while there was a contrite apology from the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin.

Accepting that the Church was part of an oppressive culture, he said “for that, and for the long-lasting hurt and emotional distress that has resulted, I unreservedly apologise to the survivors and to all those who are personally impacted by the realities it [the report] uncovers.”

Mother and baby homes were institutions where young pregnant women were sent, often under pressure from local clergy. There, they would give birth and eventually be separated from their children, who were offered up for adoption, sometimes in the US.

Irish society in the mid-20th century was deeply intertwined with the teachings of the Catholic Church, and pregnancies out of wedlock were seen as scandalous.

A shrine in Tuam, in memory of hundreds of children allegedly buried at the site
Image:
A shrine in Tuam, in memory of hundreds of children allegedly buried at the site

There were about 56,000 unmarried mothers and about 57,000 children in the mother and baby homes investigated by the commission.

Mr Martin had said the report describes “a dark, difficult and shameful chapter of very recent Irish history”, and spoke of the deep-rooted misogyny and “oppressive culture” that pressured women to enter the homes.

The Irish government will also provide financial recognition to the specific groups identified in the report, and push ahead with laws to support excavation, exhumation and, where possible, identification of remains at burial sites.

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Coronavirus live news: Japan extends state of emergency; travellers to US will soon need negative test pre-flight | World news


The president of the Federated States of Micronesia has said the country’s first case of Covid-19 – detected in a sailor on board a ship held in an island lagoon – does not pose a threat to the wider community.

David Panuelo’s government announced last week that a lone sailor on board the government ship, MV Chief Mailo, had tested positive to the coronavirus after returning from the Philippines.

In a nationally televised address broadcast this week, Panuelo said the crew was permitted to return to the country after being tested for the virus, and because they feared piracy

“The crew was rightly fearful of increasing numbers of pirates in the region which contributed to their fears. So I could either abandon the ship that the government uses to service the state of Chuuk and leave its crew and the 12 year-old boy from Poluwat outside of our care or I could bring them home.”

Panuelo said the single case had been successfully quarantined, with the ship held in Pohnpei lagoon under guard.

“Citizens across the nation should remain calm… do not panic because the situation is contained.

“The individual with Covid-19 on the Chief Mailo does not present any immediate risk of the virus spreading to the broader community in Pohnpei,” he said.






The central business district of the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Oceania, South Pacific Ocean. Photograph: Dmitry Malov/Alamy

The Federated States of Micronesia have recorded zero cases of Covid-19 before this case.

Schools, churches and business remain open and there is no mandated requirement to wear masks in the archipelago, though it is encouraged, along with social distancing.

Already, FSM has received 9000 doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine from the United States, with which it has a compact of free association. An inoculation program for the 100,000-strong population has already begun.

Pacific island nations have been among the most successful in the world at keeping out the virus after closing their borders early in response to the threat, despite the huge cost to tourism-dependent economies.

Several island nations which were virus-free have lost that status recently with Solomon Islands, the Marshall Islands, Samoa and Vanuatu falling to the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world.

However, several other island countries including Tonga, Palau, Nauru and Kiribati are believed to remain virus-free.

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