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Covid surge worsens as Omicron grips Europe

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1640112849 UK

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would tighten coronavirus curbs to slow the spread of the Omicron variant if needed, after the Netherlands began a fourth lockdown and as other European nations consider Christmas restrictions.

Reports said Britain might impose new curbs after Christmas, Johnson said the situation was ’’extremely difficult’’ and hospitalisations were rising steeply in London.

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“I have to say to the British public, and I say to everybody, we will not exclude the possibility of going further if we have to do things to protect the public,” Johnson said.

Omicron infections are multiplying rapidly across Europe and the United States, doubling every two or three days in London and elsewhere and taking a heavy toll on financial markets, which fear the impact on the global economic recovery.

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The variant was first detected last month in southern Africa and Hong Kong and so far been reported in at least 89 countries. The severity of illness it causes remains unclear.

Any limits on Christmas celebrations would come at a high political cost for Johnson, already under fire over reports he and his staff broke lockdown rules last year.

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Asked about speculation the government would ban indoor socialising and limit tourism, Johnson said: “We’re looking at all kinds of things … we will rule nothing out.”

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced a shutdown on Saturday, ordering the closure of all but essential stores, as well as restaurants, hairdressers, gyms, museums and other public places until at least Jan. 14.

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Germany plans to limit private gatherings from Dec. 28 to a maximum of 10 people who have been vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19, according to a draft of proposed steps. The document also said access to restaurants would remain limited to people who could provide proof of vaccination or recovery.

Ireland on Friday ordered bars and restaurants to close at 8 p.m. and reduced the capacity in all public events. Italy is also considering new measures, reports said.

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Raging

Coronavirus cases surged in New York City and around the United States over the weekend, dashing hopes for a more normal holiday season and stretching the country’s testing infrastructure just days before Christmas.

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In Washington D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser said the city would reinstate an indoor mask mandate beginning Tuesday and running until the morning of Jan. 31. All employees, contractors and grantees of the District of Columbia government must be fully vaccinated against COVID and have a booster shot, she said.

In Geneva, World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Omicron is spreading faster than the Delta variant and causing infections in people already vaccinated or who have recovered from COVID-19.

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China, where the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus was first detected in late 2019, must be more forthcoming with information about its origin, Tedros said. “We need to continue until we know the origins. We need to push harder because we should learn from what happened this time in order to (do) better in the future.” WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said it was too early to conclude Omicron is milder than prior versions of the virus, adding that it could still make enough people sick to “overburden” healthcare systems.

Many monoclonal drugs “will not work with Omicron,” she said of the infused treatment used to lessen disease severity of COVID-19 patients.

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Monoclonal antibody drugs deliver lab-made versions of the body’s natural antibodies to fight infection, while vaccines spur the body to make its own antibodies and build its own immunity.

Wall Street’s main indexes opened lower on Monday, dragged down by concerns about the impact of tighter COVID-19 curbs on the global economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 500 points, or nearly 1.5% in afternoon trading.

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European stocks were down 1.33%. Shopper numbers across Britain’s high streets fell 2.6% over the Dec. 18-19 weekend versus the previous weekend, researcher Springboard said.

Last week, the European Central Bank cut its euro zone growth forecast for next year to 4.2% from 4.6% previously, citing the pandemic among “headwinds”.

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[VIDEO] “We Are Not One Doctor, We Are 17 Thousand Doctors!!” – Docs ROCK the Vax Mandate Protest

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On Sunday, tens of thousands of patriots gathered at the Lincoln Memorial to protest the vaccine mandates and “vax passes” that are dividing this nation for no logical reason.

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People who have the vaccine and the booster are catching COVID, so many people are now asking, why on earth do we have these mandates?

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The protest was very successful, and many medical professionals were there to talk and share their points of view on what’s happening in this country.

Bizpacreview reported that those in attendance included firefighters and nurses who have lost their jobs or risk doing so for declining the jab as well as concerned moms. The crowd also included those who are pro-vaccine but anti-mandate.

MORE NEWS: [VIDEO] Two Elderly White Women in an Elevator Hit a Black Man For Not Wearing His Mask 

“The goal is to show a unified front of bringing people together — vaccinated, unvaccinated, Democrats, Republicans, all together in solidarity,” one of the event organizers told The Washington Post. A former lifelong Democrat told ... that “This is not a political thing. If you want to get the vaccine, get it.”

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“You’re going to hear a lot of people talk about on the left say this is a big, anti-vax rally — it’s people coming in to deny science. But this march is about the mandate, and this march is about the draconian measures that we’re seeing all across this country right now, especially in places like D.C., New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco,” march organizer Will Witt told Fox News Digital prior to the event.

One doctor by the name of Richard Urso really got the crowd riled up when he announced how many doctors support the movement.

He said “We are not one doctor. We are seventeen thousand doctors!!!” And the crowd went wild.

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I am obligated to tell you that the CDC says COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and that you may have side effects after vaccination, but these are normal. They also say that it typically takes two weeks after you are fully vaccinated for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19. They also urge you to get vaccinated if you’re not vaccinated already.

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I am also compelled to tell you it’s okay to think freely, read and listen to all different opinions and draw your own conclusions about what’s right for you with guidance from your personal doctor who knows your medical history and your family members who love you.

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That’s the American way, and nothing on earth should ever change that.

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South Africa: Former Chief Justice Told to Apologize for Pro-Israel Sentiment

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Mogoeng Mogoeng

Mogoeng Mogoeng is a greatly respected jurist in South Africa, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court until he retired in October 2021. But now he is in hot water, for what is apparently an unpardonable sin. In an online seminar in 2020, he dared to defend Israel, criticizing the South African government for its implacable hostility toward the Jewish state. A report on what he said, and its outrageous consequences, is here: “Ex-South African Justice Must Apologize for Pro-Israel Comments, Panel Rules,” Algemeiner, January 21, 2022:

A South African judicial panel has ordered former chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng to issue a public apology within 10 days for comments criticizing his government’s hostile stance towards Israel, dismissing his appeal of a ruling last year.

In a statement released Thursday, the Judicial Conduct Appeals Committee directed Mogoeng to issue an “unconditional apology for becoming involved in political controversy,” over comments made at a 2020 online seminar.

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Mogoeng Mogoeng is being asked to apologize not for “becoming involved in political controversy” as the Judicial Conduct Appeals Committee pretends, but for being “involved” and taking the wrong side in daring to defend Israel. Had he instead said that he was appalled by the “apartheid state of Israel” and thoroughly approved of the South African government having withdrawn its ambassador from Israel in 2018, he would have been praised to the skies by the late Bishop Tutu, and Nelson Mandela’s anti-Israel grandson, and by the pro-Palestinian claque in the African National Congress. No one would have complained about him; no Judicial Service Commission would have investigated complaints against him; no one would have demanded that he issue a public apology for “becoming involved in political controversy.”

South Africa’s Judicial Service Commission (JSC) — which investigates complaints made against judges — found against Mogoeng in March 2021, when he was still serving as chief justice, for misconduct during the seminar, in which he appeared alongside South African Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein.

Among other remarks, Mogoeng invoked his Christian faith as a source for his “love” of Israel, and criticized the South African government for maintaining close ties with the country’s former colonizers yet still frequently attacking the Jewish state.

I take Mogoeng Mogoeng to mean that South Africa maintains close ties with Great Britain, its former colonizer, but at the same time attacks the Jewish state, which has done South Africa no harm.

“Did Israel take away our land or the land of Africa? Did Israel take our mineral wealth? We’ve got to move from a position of principle here,” Mogoeng declared at one point during the seminar, which was hosted by the Jerusalem Post.

The questions are purely rhetorical. Israel was never a part – it was founded only in 1948 – of the European colonizers and empire builders who were engaged in the well-known “Scramble For Africa.” It is possible that Mogoeng Mogoeng may also be thinking of the Muslim slaveholders and slave-traffickers, both Arab and Berber, who no longer bring slaves from East Africa as they once did to the Islamic slave markets of the Middle East, but continue to hold black African slaves in Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Chad. In West Africa, too, Arab traders are prominent in the market for conflict diamonds(“our mineral wealth”).

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Thursday’s decision by Judges Dumisani Zondi and Nambitha Dambuza found that Mogoeng had been “involved in extra-judicial activities which are incompatible with the confidence in and the impartiality of judges,” citing South Africa’s Code of Judicial Conduct.

Mogoeng Mogoeng is being pilloried, and an attempt is being made to humiliate him by demanding he publicly apologize, in craven Cultural Revolution fashion, for his defense of Israel. I am sure that none of this would have happened to him had he expressed instead an anti-Israel animus. Look at how Bishop Tutu, of late memory, was hailed as a saintly figure despite his decades of spittle-flecked venom directed at the Jewish state.

In a minority opinion, Judge Margaret Victor said she would have set aside the judgement against Mogoeng and upheld his appeal, which invoked his constitutional rights to freedom of religion and expression.

Mogoeng, who served as chief justice until October 2021, has so far refused to apologize, telling a prayer meeting after the committee ruling last year that his comments on Israel were a matter of faith.

Judge Victor was willing to overturn the judgment against Mogoeng in the court below based on his right to free speech and freedom of religion. His Christian faith, he has explained, has led to his “love for Israel”; he is being punished, in essence, for expressing views that he regards as dictated by his faith.

Chief Justice Mogoeng had said nothing in that online seminar that remotely related to any cases before his court, nothing that might have compromised the public’s faith in his judicial opinions. Had there been a case involving Israel, however tangentially, that would of course have been a different thing. He might then have recused himself. But would judges who were hostile to Israel, and expressed their views, be similarly criticized If they failed to recuse themselves? You know the answer to that.

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“I respect the law. I will not defy the law,” he said. “But if it does come to the point where I am forced to do the abominable, or I am forced to reject God, then I would rather be without money, be without any position. I will never refuse to obey the Lord.”

“If I get to the point where there is a judgment that says, ‘You must say you hate Israel and the Jews’, I would rather cease to be Chief Justice,” he continued. “If I get to the point where they say, ‘Mogoeng, you must say you hate the Palestinians and Palestine,’ I would rather cease to be Chief Justice than to do it, because my God has instructed me to love and not to hate. I hate evil deeds, I don’t hate anybody.

The complaint against Mogoeng was lodged by the groups Africa4Palestine, the South Africa BDS Coalition, and the Women’s Cultural Group.

Mogoeng Mogoeng is free now to express himself; he’s been retired from the Supreme Court since October 2021. But two judges, Dumisani Zondi and Nambitha Dambuza, on the Judicial Service Commission, have insisted on making Mogoeng apologize publicly for remarks he made while still a judge in 2020. He will not humiliate himself in that fashion. And when he refuses to bend to their will, what will Judges Zondi and Dambuza do? They can’t dismiss him from the Court; he’s already retired. This witch hunt unleashed on a respected judge will only hurt the vindictive army of pro-Palestinians in Africa4Palestine and the BDS Coalition, groups that were the first to complain about Mogoeng. They are trying to persecute and prosecute all those who express any support for Israel. Mogoeng Mogoeng, given his prominence, is at the top of their list. He will stand firm against his would-be tormentors. He’ll be seen by many black Christians in South Africa (in opinion polls, despite Bishop Tutu, despite Mandela’s grandson Zwelivelile who claims that Israel’s “apartheid” is the “worst form of apartheid in the world,” more black Africans in the country express support for Israel than support the Palestinians) as an African Thomas More, and the spectacle of the eminent judge, his head unbowed, who “can do no other,” will be a morality play about freedom of belief and freedom of speech. His persecutors will look bad, while Mogoeng Mogoeng will be seen as what, in fact, he now is: a Daniel come to judgment.

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