AP Top News at 8:13 a.m. EST

Updated Saturday, November 27th, 2021 | 5:13 am

High alert: the world is rushing to contain a new variant of COVID

DEN HAAG, Netherlands (AP) – With each passing hour, new restrictions on travel from countries in southern Africa were put in place as the world rushed on Saturday to contain a new variant of the coronavirus that has the potential to become more resistant to the protection offered be through vaccines. A number of countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Iran, Japan, Thailand, and the United States, have joined others, including the European Union and the United Kingdom, to serve southern African countries in response to warnings of portability to impose restrictions on the new variant. against the Council of the World Health Organization. Despite the flight shutdown, there were more and more indications that the variant was already spreading.

South African scientists are gearing up for wave powered by Omicron

JOHANNESBURG (AP) – As the world grapples with the emergence of the new highly transmissible variant of COVID-19, concerned scientists in South Africa – where Omicron was first identified – are scrambling to combat its lightning spread across the country. Within two weeks, the Omicron variant sent South Africa from a period of low transmission to rapid growth in new confirmed cases. The country’s numbers are still relatively low, with 2,828 new confirmed cases as of Friday, but Omicron’s pace in infecting young South Africans has alarmed health workers. “We’re seeing a significant change in the demographic profile of patients with COVID-19,” Rudo Mathivha, director of intensive care at Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, told an online press conference.

Large flotilla of illegal gold miners split up in Brazil

IN THE MADEIRA RIO, Brazil (AP) – Hundreds of illegal miners’ barges in search of gold sailed along the Madeira River in the Brazilian Amazon on Friday, and researchers said they posed a pollution threat – including toxic mercury. The barges were sighted this week by the community of Autazes, about 120 kilometers (70 miles) from Manaus, the capital of the state of Amazonas. Smaller gatherings of barges are common along rivers in the area, but the latest collection caught international attention this week as Greenpeace and the news media released pictures of several rows of rafts.

Black Friday is back, but it’s no longer what it used to be

NEW YORK (AP) – On Black Friday this year, things seem almost normal. Malls and stores report decent crowds, if not crowds, who used to fight over the latest toys and electronics – online shopping is now far too common for that, and discounts are both subdued and spread out over the weeks leading up to Christmas , both on websites and in stores. Sold-out items due to delivery bottlenecks, higher gasoline and grocery prices, and labor shortages that make it harder to respond to customers also create frustrations for shoppers. Christian MacDonald, first in a line of about 75 people waiting for a Target store to open in Costa Mesa, California, was left blank.

Solomon Islands police found 3 bodies after violent protests

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Solomon Islands police found three bodies in a burned-out building and arrested more than 100 people in the violence this week sparked by concerns over the Pacific nation’s growing ties with China. Australian media reported that the bodies were recovered late Friday after the unrest and protests subsided. No further information was given. Authorities imposed a curfew in the capital, Honiara, after a 36-hour lockdown ordered by embattled Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare ended Friday. Sogavare blamed outside interference for fueling the protests calling for his resignation, with a thinly veiled reference to Taiwan and the United States. Sogavare has been widely criticized by the leaders of the country’s most populous island, Malaita, for its decision in 2019 to sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of mainland China.

Workers paradise? Portugal’s new teleworking law is stalling

LISBON, Portugal (AP) – Portugal’s new homework law makes the European Union country sound like a workers paradise. Companies cannot try to contact their employees outside of working hours. You need to help employees pay their gas, electricity, and internet bills at home. Bosses are prohibited from using digital software to track what their teleworkers are doing. There is only one problem: the law may not work. Critics say the new rules are half-baked, insufficiently detailed and impracticable. And they can even backfire by making companies reluctant to be able to work from home at all. “The law is badly written and does no justice to anyone,” says José Pedro Anacoreta, labor lawyer at PLMJ, one of the largest law firms in Portugal.

Can Biden strike the right balance with immigration?

WASHINGTON (AP) – Democrats in the 2020 election campaign called for the nation’s broken immigration system to be used as a club against Republicans. Vote us, it was argued, and we will end the cruel treatment of migrants at the border and have durable and humane policies that work. However, a year after Joe Biden’s presidency, action on this issue has been difficult, and there is growing concern among some in the party that the Biden administration is failing to strike the right balance on immigration. In public it’s a different story. Most Washington lawmakers largely shut up and are unwilling to criticize their leader on a polarizing issue that has sparked divisions within the party – especially as concerns mount over whether the Democrats can stay in power for the next year.

EXPLANATORS: What is this new variant of COVID in South Africa?

LONDON (AP) – WHAT IS THIS NEW COVID-19 VARIANT? South African scientists this week identified a new version of the coronavirus that they say is behind a recent surge in COVID-19 infections in Gauteng, the country’s most populous province. It’s unclear where the new variant first appeared, but scientists in South Africa first alerted the World Health Organization and it has now been seen on travelers to Belgium, Botswana, Hong Kong and Israel. Health Secretary Joe Phaahla said the variant has been linked to an “exponential increase” in cases over the past few days, although experts are still trying to determine whether the new variant is actually responsible.

AP week in pictures: Global

November 20-26, 2021 From an emotional Wanda Cooper-Jones hugging a supporter at the trial in which three men from Georgia were convicted of the murder of their son Ahmaud Arbery, to the enthusiastic reaction of German Alexander Zverev after he had defeated the Serb Novak Djokovic in their ATP World Tour final, individual and semi-final tennis match in Turin, Italy, for the French city climber Alain Robert, who is climbing the Skyper tower in downtown Frankfurt while a man looks on from his office Images from around the world created or published by The Associated Press in the past week.

The outstanding music theater master Stephen Sondheim dies at the age of 91

NEW YORK (AP) – Stephen Sondheim, the songwriter who started American musical theater in the second half of the 20th. He was 91 years old. Sondheim’s death was announced by Rick Miramontez, President of DKC / O&M. Sondheim’s Texas attorney Rick Pappas told the New York Times the composer died on Friday at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut. Sondheim influenced several generations of theater songwriters, especially with groundbreaking musicals such as “Company”, “Follies” and “Sweeney Todd”, which are among his best works. His most famous ballad “Send in the Clowns” has been recorded hundreds of times, including by Frank Sinatra and Judy Collins.

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