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3 COVID deaths of unvaccinated persons at CD Hospital in 48 hours – Greater Kashmir



3 COVID deaths of unvaccinated persons at CD Hospital in 48 hours  Greater Kashmir

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Joe Biden’s democracy summit risks flattering the enemy



Before the first world war, there were a handful of democratic nations. In December, US president Joe Biden will convene a hundred or so at a virtual summit. Their number has dipped over the past decade, it is true, but from a towering, post-cold war peak that was always going to be a feat to sustain. Even now, after eye-catching lapses and reversals (the US, Turkey), a far larger share of humanity lives under democratic rule than did in 1975.

All of which is to say: don’t do the strongmen’s propaganda work for them. Autocracy tends to live on a sense of historic inevitability as the coming force. An out-of-the-ordinary gathering of free nations, with its air of siege, might inadvertently lend a bogus credence to that idea. Unworried countries don’t meet.

“The liberal state is destined to perish,” said Benito Mussolini in 1932. Some rational people turned to communism or fascism, even anarchism, because they grudgingly believed Il Duce’s teleology, not through active choice. Anything that plays up the momentum of the autocrats is not a merely academic error, then. It can be self-fulfilling. Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden once said people follow the “strong horse”. That, it should be stressed at all times, is still democracy. It does not just rule the greater part of the world but also the richest. What strongmen have achieved against it since the millennium is tantamount to pulling a goal back after conceding five. They should not be allowed to pose as the in-form team, lest wavering spectators believe them. By calling nations together, and barring Russia, Turkey and China, the event reframes a largely domestic problem as a geopolitical one. By calling nations together, and barring Russia, Turkey and China, the event reframes a largely domestic problem as a geopolitical one

This is not the only way in which the summit risks flattering the unfree world. Its premise, that a contest is going on between democracy and its opposite, is right. But the faultline runs mostly through countries, not between them. By calling nations together, and barring Russia, Turkey and China, the event reframes a largely domestic problem as a geopolitical one. It encourages the idea that foreign subversion (which is real enough) is to blame for Donald Trump in the US, the dark vaudeville of Brexit, the numerous flavours of Italian populism and the great mass of anti-liberal votes in France.

No doubt the online bots, state-sponsored news channels and political dark money of hostile regimes all helped to nudge these things along. In Ukraine, as elsewhere, what democrats have to reckon with goes beyond mere misinformation to more tangible menaces. But the civic rot in most backsliding democracies hardly needs external help. There is very little that Russia can do to the US, say, that the US doesn’t do to itself. Even the most ingenious outside force can only ignite the kindling that a country leaves lying around.

The defence of democracy against outside enemies, rather than those within, slightly misses the point, then. It also led to the once-inescapable media coverage of the Trump-Russia dossier, which claimed collusion between the former president and the Kremlin in the 2016 US election. A major source for it was indicted this month for lying to federal investigators. Republicans blame liberal bias for the prominence of the dossier from 2017 onwards. It would be idle to pretend that they are entirely imagining things. But a more innocent force was at work, too. For many, it was comforting to believe that a sort of long-distance coup gave rise to the Trump presidency. After all, malign outsiders can, with effort, be shut out. Endogenous democratic decline is hugely more daunting.

That point threatens to get lost in the very notion of an international democratic gathering. Shoring up democracy is almost entirely domestic work. Nations that excel at it aren’t always the most robust in their foreign policy or the most sheltered from outside pressures. Germany, for instance, is exposed to Russia and Turkey by dint of geography and history. In Poland, Italy and France, Germany has allies and neighbours where illiberal movements flourish. With all this to contend with, German politics remains an almost tedious portrait in moderation. If other democracies are proving frailer, it is hard to see how a common front against foreign authoritarians is meant to help. A show of international solidarity is easier than reckoning with irresponsible politicians and credulous voters at home.

Russian president Vladimir Putin is among those who have rephrased Mussolini’s line for the 21st century. It shows how much autocrats crave a sense of historical momentum. Whether by overstating its crisis, or crediting it to their efforts, the democratic world risks granting this to them at a cheap price. There is a kind of vigilance that is hard to distinguish from its opposite.

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Kathy Griffin Says She’s ‘Slowly Getting Un-Cancelled’ After That 2017 Donald Trump Controversy



By Becca Longmire.

Kathy Griffin joked about being “un-cancelled” as she chatted with Jimmy Kimmel Monday.

The comedian, who is recovering from lung cancer surgery she had in August, referenced that 2017 Donald Trump controversy, in which she faced backlash after she posed with a bloody replica of the then-U.S. president’s severed head.

Griffin shared, “So you guys know I’m cancelled, right? Like, I was like, cancelled cancelled.

“And so I’m very slowly getting un-cancelled. And what I think is funny is that people are kinda like afraid of me now and all that stuff. And you know that guy Paul Gosar made a video, and I was back in the news again? So anyway, so I think I’m gonna get un-cancelled. I think I’m an actress again, guys.”

Kathy Griffin: Donald Trump Should Inject A ‘Syringe With Nothing But Air’

Griffin is now starring in the new season of HBO Max’s dark comedy “Search Party”, with Griffin joking of it having a younger audience: “Apparently, the young kids don’t know that I’m a ‘terrorist’.

“You know the MAGAs think I’m a terrorist. They don’t even know that stuff, they watch the TikTak.”

Kathy Griffin Shares Support For Comedian After ‘Karen’ Heckler Storms The Stage During His Show

Griffin also thanked Kimmel for always standing by her.

She told the host, “By the way, you are really, really, [one] of the people I can count on one hand that rejected my cancellation.”

Kimmel replied: “Yes, it was ridiculous.”

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Omicron Covid variant ‘present in Europe at least 10 days ago’ | Coronavirus



The Omicron variant of Covid-19 was present in Europe at least 10 days ago, before South African health experts alerted the world to their concerns around the transmissibility of the newly identified variant.

The Dutch health authority said it had found the Omicron variant in two local cases going back 11 days, showing it was already in western Europe’s heartland before the reports came out of South Africa on 24 November.

The RIVM health institute said it found Omicron in samples dating from 19 and 23 November. Those findings predate the positive cases found in passengers returning from South Africa last Friday and tested at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport.

Despite the global worry, doctors in South Africa are reporting patients are suffering mostly mild symptoms so far, but warn that it is early. Also, most of the new cases are in people in their 20s and 30s who generally do not get as sick from Covid-19 as older patients.

As countries around the world disclosed scattered instances of Omicron, from Scotland to Hong Kong, Japan and France, the behaviour of the variant appeared to be following previous patterns of dispersal and identification that have seen health authorities race to play catchup, with most cases related to travel to southern Africa.

The disclosure of the presence of Omicron in Europe earlier than previously believed came as the European Union’s medical agency chief said on Tuesday it was ready to deal with the Omicron variant, and that it would take two weeks to have an indication whether the current Covid-19 vaccines would be able to deal with it.

Emer Cooke, the executive director of the European Medicines Agency, said if it did require a new vaccine to counter Omicron, it would take up to four months to have it approved for use in the 27-nation bloc.

“We are prepared,” Cooke told EU lawmakers, adding that cooperation with the medical industry was already ongoing to prepare for such an eventuality. “We know that at some stage there will be a mutation that means we have to change the current approach.”

The emergence of the variant, which features an unusually large number of mutations on its spike protein, has prompted travel bans and new restrictions in a number of countries, as others – including the UK – moved to accelerate vaccination programmes.

While the overwhelming majority of current coronavirus cases behind the winter surge in infections across Europe remain the Delta variant, some experts fear Omicron could escape the protections of vaccines and compete with Delta for dominance.

As of Tuesday, 42 cases of the Omicron variant have been identified in 10 European countries, according to the head of the EU’s public health agency.

Authorities in the bloc were analysing another six “probable” cases, Andrea Ammon, who chairs the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), told an online conference, adding the confirmed cases were mild or without symptoms, although in younger age groups.

“For the assessment whether [Omicron] escapes immunity, we still have to wait until the investigations in the laboratories with sera from people who have recovered have been carried out. These are expected in a couple of weeks,” she said.

Passenger tested for Omicron variant at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam.
Coronavirus test lane at Schiphol airport for travellers from South Africa. Photograph: Remko de Waal/EPA

The variant has been detected in two Israeli doctors, one of whom returned from a conference in London in the past week. The physician who had returned from Britain had probably infected his colleague, a spokesperson for Sheba Medical Centre near Tel Aviv said, adding that the pair had received three doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and so far had shown mild symptoms.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned the global risk from the Omicron variant is “very high” based on early evidence, saying it could lead to surges with “severe consequences”.

Japan confirmed its first case on Tuesday, in a visitor who recently arrived from Namibia, a day after banning all foreign visitors as an emergency precaution against the variant.

A government spokesperson said the patient, a man in his 30s, tested positive upon arrival at Tokyo’s Narita airport on Sunday. He was isolated and is being treated at a hospital.

The new variant was first identified last week by researchers in South Africa.

WHO said there are “considerable uncertainties” about the Omicron variant. But it said preliminary evidence raised the possibility that the variant had mutations that could help it both evade an immune system response and boost its ability to spread from one person to another.

WHO stressed that while scientists were hunting for evidence to better understand the variant, countries should accelerate vaccinations as quickly as possible.

Agencies contributed to this report

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