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Minggu, 31 Januari 2021

Coronavirus Australia: Pfizer vaccine shipment concerns - NEWS.com.au

Australia’s supply of the Pfizer vaccine should have already arrived from overseas, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese says.

His message comes as the European Union introduces export controls that would give those countries the power to stop manufacturers from sending their vaccine overseas if domestic supply has not be honoured.

The move could have implications for Australia, which is awaiting doses of the Pfizer vaccine so it can start rolling them out among priority groups.

Mr Albanese was on Monday asked if the federal government should be doing more to firm up the nation’s supply agreement.

“The supply should have been here by now,” he said. “It’s February.”

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announced it had given the Pfizer vaccine provisional approval last week.

The government had pencilled Australia’s vaccine rollout to begin in mid to late February after the doses had arrived and been tested for quality.

RELATED: COVID-19 vaccine campaign launched

But Mr Albanese said the vaccine should have been rolled out once approval was given.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton was asked if he had concerns that the vaccine was taking too long to come to Australia.

“No, I don’t,” he told Sky News.

“Anthony Albanese was calling for this vaccine to be rolled out even before the TGA was prepared to authorise that rollout.

“There are no shortcuts here, when you’ve got a rollout of a new drug you want to make sure that it’s going to do what the manufacturers claim.”

In a speech at the National Press Club, Scott Morrison will announce an additional $1.9bn in funding to support the vaccine rollout.

Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce told Sunrise that Australia was at the whim of the “parochialism of countries overseas”.

He said it was important that the nation had established vaccine manufacturing capability for the AstraZeneca jab in Melbourne to prevent vaccine supply issues.

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2021-02-01 01:46:21Z
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Myanmar leaders Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and others detained in raids | ABC News - ABC News (Australia)

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  1. Myanmar leaders Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and others detained in raids | ABC News  ABC News (Australia)
  2. Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi reportedly detained in early morning raid  NEWS.com.au
  3. Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi detained in apparent military coup  Sydney Morning Herald
  4. Myanmar leaders Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and others detained in raids  ABC News
  5. Myanmar leader Suu Kyi and party leaders rounded up  The Australian
  6. View Full coverage on Google News

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2021-02-01 00:15:01Z
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Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi detained - Sydney Morning Herald

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior figures from the ruling party have been detained in an early morning raid, the spokesman for the governing National League for Democracy said on Monday.

The move comes after days of escalating tension between the civilian government and the powerful military that stirred fears of a coup in the aftermath of an election the army says was fraudulent.

Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi.

Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi.Credit:AP

Spokesman Myo Nyunt told Reuters by phone that Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and other leaders had been “taken” in the early hours of the morning.

“I want to tell our people not to respond rashly and I want them to act according to the law,” he said, adding he also expected to be detained.

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Myanmar’s military had a day earlier denied that controversial statements by its chief were meant as a threat to stage a coup, claiming the media had misinterpreted his words.

Political tension in the south-east Asian nation soared after a spokesman for the military said a coup could not be ruled out if military complaints of widespread voting fraud in last November’s election were ignored.

The commander-in-chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, had told senior officers in a speech on Wednesday that the constitution could be revoked if the laws were not being properly enforced. Adding to the concern was the unusual deployment of armoured vehicles in the streets of several large cities.

The military has publicly complained several times since the polls that there was electoral fraud and called on the government and the Union Election Commission to review the results. It has said it has found 8.6 million irregularities in voter lists in 314 townships that could have let voters cast multiple ballots or commit other “voting malpractice”.

The election commission said there was no evidence to support these claims.

Parliament’s new session was set to open on Monday in the capital Naypyitaw.

The military ran Myanmar for some 50 years before beginning a transitioning to democracy in 2010. The current constitution ensures the country’s generals maintain considerable influence in the country’s affairs by guaranteeing them a quarter of the seats in parliament and control of a number of key ministries.

Suu Kyi was the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate for her peaceful struggle for democracy in Myanmar, and after her release from a long stint under house arrest she joined the government in 2015.

In 2019 she appeared before the international court of justice (ICJ) in The Hague over claims of attrocities targeting Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority.

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2021-01-31 23:12:00Z
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Republicans, losing ‘moral authority’, face reckoning before Trump trial - Sydney Morning Herald

Washington: US congressional Republicans face a week of reckoning ahead of Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial as the former president contends with a Tuesday deadline to respond to the charges and his party mulls whether to depose Liz Cheney as one of its House of Representatives leaders for backing impeachment.

House Republican Adam Kinzinger, who also voted to impeach, on Sunday announced a new political action committee called the Country First PAC, intended to challenge Trump’s ongoing grip on the party.

Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger has created a fund-raising body to fight Trumpism within the party.

Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger has created a fund-raising body to fight Trumpism within the party.Credit:Getty

Speaking on NBC’s Meet the Press, Kinzinger said his party had “lost its moral authority in a lot of areas” and under Trump had pedaled “darkness and division.“

Lawmakers on the Republican right flank are aiming to remove Cheney, the daughter of former vice-president Dick Cheney, as the party’s No. 3 in the House. House Republicans are expected to address the issue when they meet as a group.

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The Democratic-led House voted on January 13 to impeach Trump, with 10 Republicans voting in favour, on a charge of inciting a insurrection for his incendiary speech to supporters before the January 6 US Capitol siege. A pro-Trump mob interrupted the formal congressional certification of Biden’s election victory in a rampage that left five people dead.

Liz Cheney is the only member of the Republican leadership team in the House to vote to impeach

Liz Cheney is the only member of the Republican leadership team in the House to vote to impeachCredit:AP

Trump is due to file a response to the House charges by Tuesday. It is unclear who will represent him at the impeachment trial, due to start on February 9, after he parted ways with his two lead defence lawyers, Butch Bowers and Deborah Barberi, as well as three other lawyers associated with the team, sources familiar with the matter said on Saturday.

Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union program, Senator Rob Portman urged his fellow Republicans in the House not to punish Cheney.

“I think she is very smart, and she plays a key role in our party, particularly on foreign affairs. So I would hope that they would not go down that road,” Portman said.

During the impeachment debate, Cheney said of Trump’s actions: “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution” - remarks seized upon by Democrats.

Republican leaders also may have to decide whether to take any action regarding first-term Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, who had expressed support for executing Democrats including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi before she was elected. Greene first gained national attention for her interest in the QAnon conspiracy theory that falsely claims that high-profile Democrats are part of a child paedophile ring.

Trump has been impeached over the January 6, 2021 riot at Capitol Hill which he is accused of inciting.Credit:Parler via ProPublica

Concerning Greene, Portman said Republican leaders “ought to stand up and say it is totally unacceptable what she has said.”

Of the possibility Greene could be stripped of her membership on House committees, Portman said that “I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens.“

There are strong indications that too few Republicans will join the Democrats to achieve the two-thirds majority needed to convict Trump in the Senate. Forty-five of the 50 Republican senators last Tuesday supported a resolution declaring the trial unconstitutional because Trump is now a private citizen, having left office on January 20.

“That sets up a precedent. And I think all former presidents, those alive and those not, could be affected in a negative way,” Portman said.

While Portman said Trump’s behaviour had been “inexcusable,” he added, “Well, it can be inexcusable, and yet not be subject to a conviction after a president has left office.“

Asked whether the trial should be postponed because of the uncertainty surrounding Trump’s legal team, Republican Senator Bill Cassidy told the Fox News Sunday program it was “uncharted territories for multiple reasons.“

“I always thought the president had insufficient time to come up with a rebuttal. This makes it perhaps even more insufficient,” Cassidy said.

Reuters

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2021-01-31 20:27:00Z
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Captain Sir Tom Moore, who raised $57 million for Britain's NHS, is hospitalised with COVID-19 - ABC News

Captain Sir Tom Moore, the 100-year-old World War II veteran who captivated the British public in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic with his fundraising efforts, has been hospitalised with COVID-19, his daughter says.

Captain Sir Tom was thrust into the spotlight in April when he was filmed walking laps, with the help of a frame, around his garden in the village of Marston Moretaine, north of London.

He hoped to raise 1,000 pounds.

Instead, he raised about 31 million pounds ($57 million) for the National Health Service, broke two Guinness world records, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth, scored a number one single recording You'll Never Walk Alone with Michael Ball, wrote an autobiography and helped set up a charity.

"I wanted to update everybody that today ... my father was admitted to hospital," his daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, said on Twitter.

"Over the last few weeks he was being treated for pneumonia and last week tested positive for COVID-19.

"He was at home with us until today when he needed additional help with his breathing. He is being treated in a ward, although he is not in ICU."

She said he had been receiving "remarkable" medical care in the past few weeks.

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Captain Sir Tom Moore was knighted in a unique Windsor Castle ceremony.

The family said they knew the staff at Bedford Hospital would do all they could to make him comfortable and that he would "hopefully return home as soon as possible", she added.

Britain has vaccinated nearly 9 million people against coronavirus, with the over-80s in one of the top priority groups.

But Sky News quoted a family representative as saying Captain Sir Tom had not yet received a vaccine because he was being treated for pneumonia.

His hospitalisation prompted an outpouring of support.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Twitter his thoughts were with Captain Sir Tom and his family.

"You've inspired the whole nation, and I know we are all wishing you a full recovery," Mr Johnson said.

Opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer also wished him well.

"The whole nation hopes you get well soon @captaintommoore. You've been an inspiration to us all throughout this crisis," he said.

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2021-01-31 21:18:00Z
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‘Down with the czar!’: Russia arrests over 4700 at protests for Alexei Navalny - Sydney Morning Herald

Moscow: Chanting slogans against President Vladimir Putin, tens of thousands took to the streets Sunday across Russia to demand the release of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, keeping up nationwide protests that have rattled the Kremlin. More than 4700 people were detained by police, according to a monitoring group, and some were beaten.

Russian authorities mounted a massive effort to stem the tide of demonstrations after tens of thousands rallied across the country last weekend in the largest, most widespread show of discontent that Russia had seen in years.

Police officers in Moscow detain a man during a protest against the jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Police officers in Moscow detain a man during a protest against the jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.Credit:AP

Despite threats of jail terms, warnings to social media groups and tight police cordons, the protests again engulfed cities across Russia’s 11 time zones on Sunday.

Navalny’s team quickly called another protest in Moscow on Tuesday, when he is set to face a court hearing that could send him to prison for years.

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The 44-year-old Navalny, an anti-corruption investigator who is Putin’s best-known critic, was arrested on January17 upon returning from Germany, where he spent five months recovering from nerve-agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin.

Russian authorities have rejected the accusations. He was arrested for allegedly violating his parole conditions by not reporting for meetings with law enforcement when he was recuperating in Germany.

Thousands are protesting across Russia despite the severe winter weather.

Thousands are protesting across Russia despite the severe winter weather.Credit:AP

The United States urged Russia to release Navalny and criticised the crackdown on protests.

“The US condemns the persistent use of harsh tactics against peaceful protesters and journalists by Russian authorities for a second week straight,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Twitter.

The Russian Foreign Ministry rejected Blinken’s call as a “crude interference in Russia’s internal affairs” and accused Washington of trying to destabilise the situation in the country by backing the protests.

On Sunday, police detained more than 4700 people at protests in cities nationwide, according to OVD-Info, a group that monitors political arrests, surpassing some 4000 detentions at the demonstrations across Russia on January 23.

In Moscow, authorities introduced unprecedented security measures in the city centre, closing subway stations near the Kremlin, cutting bus traffic and ordering restaurants and stores to stay closed.

Navalny’s team initially called for Sunday’s protest to be held on Moscow’s Lubyanka Square, home to the main headquarters of the Federal Security Service, which Navalny claims was responsible for his poisoning. Facing police cordons around the square, the protest then shifted to other central squares and streets.

Police were randomly picking up people and putting them into police buses, but thousands of protesters marched across the city centre for hours, chanting “Putin, resign!” and “Putin, thief!” — a reference to an opulent Black Sea estate reportedly built for the Russian leader that was featured in a widely popular video released by Navalny’s team.

“I’m not afraid, because we are the majority,” said Leonid Martynov, who took part in the protest. “We mustn’t be scared by clubs because the truth is on our side.”

At one point, crowds of demonstrators walked toward the Matrosskaya Tishina prison where Navalny is being held. They were met by phalanxes of riot police who pushed the march back and chased protesters through courtyards, detaining scores and beating some with clubs. Still, demonstrators continued to march around the Russian capital, zigzagging around police cordons.

In Moscow, nearly 1500 people were detained, including Navalny’s wife, Yulia. “If we keep silent, they will come after any of us tomorrow,” she said on Instagram before turning out to protest.

Amnesty International said that authorities in Moscow have arrested so many people that the city’s detention facilities have run out of space. “The Kremlin is waging a war on the human rights of people in Russia, stifling protesters’ calls for freedom and change,” Natalia Zviagina, the group’s Moscow office head, said in a statement.

Several thousand people marched across Russia’s second-largest city of St. Petersburg, chanting “Down with the czar!” and occasional scuffles erupted as some demonstrators pushed back police who tried to make detentions. More than 1000 were arrested.

Some of the biggest rallies were held in Novosibirsk and Krasnoyarsk in eastern Siberia and Yekaterinburg in the Urals.

“I do not want my grandchildren to live in such a country,” said 55-year-old Vyacheslav Vorobyov, who turned out for a rally in Yekaterinburg. “I want them to live in a free country.”

Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde, who currently chairs the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, condemned “the excessive use of force by authorities and mass detention of peaceful protesters and journalists” and urged Russia “to release all those unjustly detained, including Navalny.”

As part of a multipronged effort by authorities to block the protests, courts have jailed Navalny’s associates and activists across the country over the past week. His brother Oleg, top aide Lyubov Sobol and three other people were put Friday under a two-month house arrest on charges of allegedly violating coronavirus restrictions during last weekend’s protests.

Prosecutors also demanded that social media platforms block calls to join the protests.

The Interior Ministry issued stern warnings to the public, saying protesters could be charged with taking part in mass riots, which carries a prison sentence of up to eight years.

Protests were fuelled by a two-hour YouTube video released by Navalny’s team after his arrest about the Black Sea residence purportedly built for Putin. The video has been viewed over 100 million times, inspiring a stream of sarcastic jokes on the internet amid an economic downturn.

Russia has seen extensive corruption during Putin’s time in office while poverty has remained widespread.

Demonstrators in Moscow chanted “Aqua discotheque!” — a reference to one of the fancy amenities at the residence that also features a casino and a hookah lounge equipped for watching pole dances.

Putin says neither he nor any of his close relatives own the property. On Saturday, construction magnate Arkady Rotenberg, a longtime Putin confidant and his occasional judo sparring partner, claimed that he himself owned the property.

Navalny fell into a coma on August 20 while on a flight from Siberia to Moscow and the pilot diverted the plane so he could be treated in the city of Omsk. He was transferred to a Berlin hospital two days later. Labs in Germany, France and Sweden, and tests by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, established that he was exposed to the Novichok nerve agent.

Russian authorities have refused to open a full-fledged criminal inquiry, claiming lack of evidence that he was poisoned.

Navalny was arrested immediately upon his return to Russia earlier this month and jailed for 30 days on the request of Russia’s prison service, which alleged he had violated the probation of his suspended sentence from a 2014 money-laundering conviction that he has rejected as political revenge.

On Thursday, a Moscow court rejected Navalny’s appeal to be released, and another hearing on Tuesday could turn his 3 1/2-year suspended sentence into one he must serve in prison. Navalny’s team called for another protest outside the court building.

AP

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2021-01-31 11:09:00Z
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Britain’s pandemic hero, Captain Tom Moore, hospitalised with COVID-19 - Sydney Morning Herald

London: Captain Sir Tom Moore, the 100-year-old World War II veteran who united Britain during the dark early days of the coronavirus pandemic, has been admitted to hospital with COVID-19.

Moore, who was knighted by the Queen last year after raising millions of pounds for National Health Service charities, has been battling pneumonia for several weeks and tested positive to the disease last week.

Captain Tom’s message of hope resonated in hard-hit Britain and around the globe.

Captain Tom’s message of hope resonated in hard-hit Britain and around the globe. Credit:PA

Doctors at Bedford Hospital north of London were “doing all the can to make him comfortable”, the fundraiser’s daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore said in a statement.

“He was at home with us today until today when he needed additional help with his breathing,” she said.

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“He is being treated on a ward, although he is not in the intensive care unit.

“We understand that everyone will be wishing him well. We are of course focusing on my father and will update you when we are able to.”

Moore became a national hero and symbol of Britain’s fighting spirit when he last year smashed global fundraising records by walking 100 laps of his garden with the help of a walking frame.

He initially set out to gather £1000 in support but eventually raised $32.8 million ($58.8 million) after his story and messages of hope captured international attention.

The feat earned him the Guinness World Record for the most money raised by an individual through a walk, and more more than 125,000 cards for his 100th birthday.

His hospitalisation will be a fresh psychological blow to the coronavirus-ravaged United Kingdom, where the death toll last week topped 100,000.

The Queen made Moore – a captain in the British Army – an honorary colonel and in May awarded him a knighthood following a recommendation by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The Windsor Castle service was the Queen’s first public engagement since the start of the pandemic.

Johnson led an outpouring of support for Moore on Sunday local-time.

“My thoughts are very much with Captain Tom and his family,” Johnson said.

“You’ve inspired the whole nation, and I know we are all wishing you a full recovery.”

Some of the 125,000 cards sent to Captain Moore for his 100th birthday.

Some of the 125,000 cards sent to Captain Moore for his 100th birthday. Credit:Getty

The UK’s deadly second wave peaked over the past fortnight, with new cases and hospitalisations on the decline.

A record 598,389 people were given at least one vaccine shot in the UK on Saturday, bringing the total to 8.9 million.

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2021-01-31 18:20:00Z
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Donald Trump's donor reportedly funded Capitol riot rally - SBS News

An heiress to supermarket chain Publix reportedly donated about $US300,000 ($A390,000) to fund a rally that preceded the deadly storming of the US Capitol by supporters of former US president Donald Trump.

The Wall Street Journal said on Saturday the funding from Julie Jenkins Fancelli, a prominent donor to Mr Trump's 2020 campaign, was facilitated by far-right show host Alex Jones.

It said her money paid for the lion's share of the roughly $US500,000 rally at the Ellipse park where Mr Trump spoke and urged supporters to "to fight".

More than 135 people have been arrested in connection with the 6 January attack on the Capitol as Congress met to certify Democrat Joe Biden's victory in the November election.

Five people including a Capitol Police officer died.

According to the Journal, Mr Jones personally pledged more than $US50,000 ($A65,000) in seed money for the rally in exchange for a speaking slot of his choice.

Mr Jones, who has publicised discredited conspiracy theories, has hosted leaders of the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, two extremist groups prominent at the riot, on his popular radio and internet video shows, it said.

Mr Jones did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Ms Fancelli could not immediately be reached.

Meanwhile, Publix Super Markets said in a Twitter post the violence at the Capitol on 6 January was a national tragedy.

"The deplorable actions that occurred that day do not represent the values, work or opinions of Publix Super Markets.

"Mrs Fancelli is not an employee of Publix Super Markets and is neither involved in our business operations, nor does she represent the company in any way. We cannot comment on Mrs. Fancelli's actions."

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2021-01-31 07:45:02Z
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Sabtu, 30 Januari 2021

Former US president Donald Trump reportedly parts with impeachment lawyers a week before trial - ABC News

Former US president Donald Trump has parted ways with his lead impeachment lawyers just over a week before his Senate trial is set to begin, two people familiar with the situation say.

Butch Bowers and Deborah Barbier, both South Carolina lawyers, are no longer with Mr Trump's defence team.

One of the people described the parting as a "mutual decision" that reflected a difference of opinion on the direction of the case.

Both insisted on anonymity to discuss private conversations.

One said new additions to the legal team were expected to be announced in a day or two.

The upheaval injects fresh uncertainty into the make-up and strategy of Mr Trump's defence team as he prepares to face charges that he incited the insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6.

Trump has struggled to build legal team

Police use tear gas against Trump supporters
Police used tear gas against Trump supporters outside the Capitol Building.(Getty: Lev Radin)

However, all but five Senate Republicans this week voted in favour of an effort to dismiss the trial before it even started, making clear a conviction of the former president is unlikely regardless of his defence team.

Greg Harris and Johnny Gasser, two former federal prosecutors from South Carolina, are also off the team, one of the people said.

Mr Trump has struggled to find attorneys willing to defend him after becoming the first president in history to be impeached twice.

He is set to stand trial in the week beginning on February 8 on allegations he incited his supporters to storm Congress before President Joe Biden's inauguration in an attempt to halt the peaceful transition of power.

After numerous lawyers who had defended him previously declined to take on the case, Mr Trump was introduced to Mr Bowers by one of his closest allies in the Senate, South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham.

Mr Bowers, a familiar figure in Republican legal circles, had years of experience representing elected officials and political candidates, including then-South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford against a failed impeachment effort that morphed into an ethics probe.

Republicans and Trump aides have made clear they intend to make a simple argument in the trial: Mr Trump's trial is unconstitutional because he is no longer office.

While Republicans in Washington had seemed eager to part ways with Mr Trump after the deadly events of January 6, they have since eased off of their criticism, wary of angering the former president's loyal voter base.

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Could Donald Trump be removed from office over riots?

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2021-01-31 04:46:00Z
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Trump loses lead impeachment lawyers a week before trial - Sydney Morning Herald

Washington: Former president Donald Trump has parted ways with his lead impeachment lawyers little more more than a week before his trial, two people familiar with the situation have said.

Butch Bowers and Deborah Barbier, both South Carolina lawyers, are no longer with Trump’s defence team. One of the people described the parting as a “mutual decision” that reflected a difference of opinion on the direction of the case. Both insisted on anonymity to discuss private conversations.

One said new additions to the legal team were expected to be announced in a day or two.

Former US president Donald Trump.

Former US president Donald Trump.Credit:Bloomberg

The upheaval on Saturday, US time, injects fresh uncertainty into the makeup and strategy of Trump’s defence team as he prepares to face charges that he incited the insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6. However, all but five Senate Republicans this week voted in favour of an effort to dismiss the trial before it even started, making clear a conviction of the former president is unlikely regardless of his defence team.

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Greg Harris and Johnny Gasser, two former federal prosecutors from South Carolina, are also off the team, one of the people said.

Trump has struggled to find attorneys willing to defend him after becoming the first president in history to be impeached twice. He is set to stand trial the week of February 8 on a charge that he incited his supporters to storm Congress before President Joe Biden’s inauguration in an attempt to halt the peaceful transition of power.

After numerous attorneys who defended him previously declined to take on the case, Trump was introduced to Bowers by one of his closest allies in the Senate, South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham.

Bowers, a familiar figure in Republican legal circles, had years of experience representing elected officials and political candidates, including then-South Carolina governor Mark Sanford against a failed impeachment effort that morphed into an ethics probe.

Bowers and Barbier did not immediately return messages seeking comment on Saturday evening.

Republicans and Trump aides have made clear that they intend to make a simple argument in the trial: Trump’s trial is unconstitutional because he is no longer office.

While Republicans in Washington had seemed eager to part ways with Trump after the deadly events of January 6, they have since eased off of their criticism, weary of angering the former president’s loyal voter base.

CNN was first to report the departure of the lawyers.

Harris and Gasser had reportedly been added to Trump’s team just days ago.

Trump’s legal difficulties are a notable departure from his 2020 impeachment trial, when he had a stable of nationally known attorneys, including Alan Dershowitz, Jay Sekulow and Kenneth Starr.

The House officially transmitted the article of impeachment – accusing Trump of inciting the mob that rampaged through the US Capitol on January 6 – to the Senate on Monday. The trial could have officially begun on Tuesday, but Republicans pushed to delay it to give Trump a chance to organise his legal team and prepare a defence.

If convicted, Trump could be barred from holding public office again, ending any hopes of mounting another White House bid in 2024.

AP

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2021-01-31 02:12:00Z
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Coronavirus live news Australia: Queensland Premier told to play her part in tourism recovery - The Australian

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  1. Coronavirus live news Australia: Queensland Premier told to play her part in tourism recovery  The Australian
  2. Minnesota reports 1087 new COVID-19 cases, 19 more deaths  Minneapolis Star Tribune
  3. Hugh Bonneville, 57, reveals he's had a Covid vaccine  Daily Mail
  4. A Washington hospital system apologizes after offering vaccines to wealthy donors.  The New York Times
  5. Finding that some people people have reaction to the second COVID-19 vaccine shot  FOX 61
  6. View Full coverage on Google News

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2021-01-31 01:13:00Z
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Coronavirus Australia live news: From tomorrow, pharmacies can apply to join the COVID vaccine rollout - ABC News

France reports 242 COVID-19-related deaths in hospitals

Authorities said 192 people infected with the coronavirus were admitted into intensive care.

In total, 27,242 COVID-19 patients are receiving treatment in hospital.

President Emmanuel Macron defended his decision to hold off on a third lockdown on Saturday, telling the public he had faith in their ability to rein in COVID-19 with less severe curbs even as a third wave spreads and the vaccine rollout falters.

From Sunday (local time), France will close it borders to all but essential travel to and from countries outside the European Union, while people arriving from within the bloc will have to show a negative test. Large shopping malls will be shut and police patrols increased to enforce a 6:00pm curfew.

But Mr Macron has stopped short of ordering a new daytime lockdown, saying he wants to see first if other measures will be enough to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

With 10 per cent of cases now attributable to the more contagious variant first found in Britain, senior medics have recommended a new lockdown, and one opinion poll showed more than three-quarters of French people think one is now inevitable.

The poll also showed falling public confidence in the government's handling of the crisis.

Reuters

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2021-01-31 00:51:00Z
CAIiEC8Owgr193KcaUHwyaApJqcqFwgEKg4IACoGCAow3vI9MPeaCDDEvrgG

Coronavirus Australia live news: Sunday, January 31 - ABC News

Iran imposes mandatory quarantine for European travellers, country's vaccine found effective against UK coronavirus strain

Reuters

Travellers to Iran from Europe will be required to self-quarantine for two weeks after testing negative upon arrival, a health official said on Saturday.

Travellers from other regions, including neighbouring countries, will have to have tested negative before arrival in the country, Alireza Raisi, spokesman for the national coronavirus task force, said on state TV.

Mr Raisi said travellers arriving from Europe should be holding negative test results, will be tested again and will have to self-quarantine even if their test is negative.

Previously, people coming from Europe were only required to test negative.

He did not say when exactly the new measures will go into effect, saying only "from now on".

Meanwhile, health officials said the Iranian-manufactured Barekat vaccine was found effective against the highly contagious coronavirus variant that emerged in Britain.

Tests conducted on the blood plasma of three volunteers of 'COVIran Barekat' vaccine completely neutralized the mutated coronavirus, Hassan Jalili, who is in charge of the team that produces the local vaccine, told state TV.

Iran launched human trials of its first domestic vaccine candidate late last month, saying this could help it defeat the pandemic despite U.S. sanctions that affect its ability to import vaccines.

It has also approved Russia's Sputnik V vaccine and plans to both import it and produce it.

The country has recorded more than 1.4 million cases and over 57,800 deaths, according to government data, but there has been a decline in new infections in recent weeks.

Reuters

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2021-01-30 23:59:31Z
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$200 million federal government plan for chemists to deliver free COVID jabs - Sydney Morning Herald

Thousands of Australian chemists will be enlisted in the coronavirus vaccine rollout under a $200 million program to be announced by the federal government on Sunday.

Health Minister Greg Hunt is confident Australia’s current vaccine schedule is on track after talks with the country heads of Pfizer and AstraZeneca, despite a decision by European leaders to give themselves sweeping powers to potentially block crucial coronavirus vaccine shipments to Australia.

Biotechnology company CSL said on Saturday that it was ahead of schedule for its Australian production of the Oxford University Astrazeneca coronavirus vaccine. CSL senior vice president Chris Larkins told 7 News the company was in the final stages of producing 10 million doses of the vaccine at its facilities in Victoria and expects to roll out the first doses by the end of March.

The federal government will pay 5800 community pharmacies across the country to give coronavirus vaccines for free. The program will start in May, when phase 2 of the rollout to people over 50 and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders is due to start.

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Pharmacies in major cities will be paid up to $42 per person – $16 per jab, and $10 after the second vaccination – while the vaccine itself will be provided free of charge. In rural and regional areas the payment will be $48 per person.

Typically people are charged $15-$20 by pharmacies for a flu jab, which includes the cost of that vaccine. The government has already announced additional payments for doctors to work after hours and on weekends to perform coronavirus vaccinations.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the vaccine rollout “will be free and voluntary and for many Australians it’ll be as easy as heading to your local GP or your pharmacy”.

“The vaccine rollout is key to our economic recovery plan so this investment is about giving people as many ways as possible to safely get their jabs at the most convenient location for them.”

Scientists are seen at work inside of the CSL Biotech facility in Melbourne.

Scientists are seen at work inside of the CSL Biotech facility in Melbourne. Credit:AAP

Health Minister Greg Hunt said using community pharmacies would “ensure the general population have broader access to COVID-19 vaccinations, provide choice in where the community receive a vaccine and address barriers to access some parts of rural and regional Australia”.

Phase 1a of the vaccination program uses the Pfizer vaccine and is due to start in late February with about 80,000 shots per week, while the AstraZeneca vaccine rollout is due to start in early March.

About 1.2 million offshore-made doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are due to arrive in March. The first 2 million doses of what will eventually be 50 million locally-made AstraZeneca vaccines are due to begin distribution in late March, ahead of schedule.

European leaders on Friday published new export controls designed to give EU citizens priority access to locally produced jabs even though other countries, including Australia, are also relying on supplies from European factories. Pfizer and AstraZeneca will now have to ask the EU for approval before vaccines can be flown abroad.

The EU’s export scheme will be in place until at least the end of March, raising the prospect that Australia’s early deliveries could be impacted.

Acting Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd said on Saturday the rollout of the overseas-sourced AstraZeneca doses was on track for early March but conceded that was “subject to TGA [Therapeutic Goods Administration] approval and final shipping confirmation”.

“The latest guidance from AstraZeneca is for supply of approximately 1.2 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from offshore during March, and the company remains committed to the full supply of 3.8 million offshore doses, and we’ll reconfirm additional shipping dates.”

However Labor’s spokeswoman for government accountability, Kristina Keneally, said on Saturday that Mr Morrison “had promised there will be 4 million Australians vaccinated by the end of March, frankly, he can’t make that promise”.

“We’re not even going to have 4 million doses of the vaccine in Australia by the end of March, the numbers don’t add up.”

Western Australia announced on Saturday that Queenslanders would be able to enter the state without quarantining from Monday, while Victorians will be able to do so from Friday, February 5. People from New South Wales will still, however, have to quarantine to enter the state – despite 13 consecutive days with no community cases.

With Tom Rabe

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2021-01-30 13:01:00Z
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Australians among 96 foreigners in breach of lockdown rules at top Austrian ski resort - ABC News

Austrian police have found 96 foreigners, including Australians, at one of the country's top ski resorts — potentially putting them in breach of Austria's pandemic-related rules on entering the country as well as its national lockdown.

Helmut Mall, the mayor of St Anton am Arlberg, said this week that dozens of young tourists from across Europe had recently come to his town, circumventing lockdown rules under which ski lifts are open but hotels are closed to tourists.

"Among others Britons, Danes, Swedes, Romanians, Germans, Australians, Irish people and Poles were checked and fined," the police force of the western province of Tyrol said in a statement.

The operation was carried out on Friday evening local time with 15 officers, and those found in breach face fines of up to 2,180 euros ($3,462), the statement said.

Austria, a country of just under 9 million people, has recorded 413,208 cases and 7,703 deaths in the pandemic so far.

Daily new cases have dropped to roughly 1,500 from a peak of more than 9,000 in November but are now falling only slowly.

A snowcat smooths the grade on the ski slope in the early morning in the Austrian province of Tyrol, in Seefeld.
St Anton's mayor said some of the foreigners claimed to be looking for work, even though there are no jobs available in his town.(AP: Matthias Schrader)

It has been in its third national lockdown since December 26, with all non-essential shops closed.

In addition, from December 19 to January 10 even stricter rules on entering the country were put in place, largely to discourage skiers. Arrivals from almost every country in Europe were supposed to go into quarantine.

In recent weeks, however, the public has been stunned to learn of loopholes, often involving work or training.

Although regular skiers cannot stay overnight at a resort, coronavirus clusters emerged at ski teacher training courses, which were allowed to be held for visitors from across Europe.

Tourist accommodation is only available to business travellers, and Mr Mall said new arrivals to St Anton have registered a local address saying they are looking for work even though there are no jobs available.

The police did not say exactly what offences had been committed, but said the foreigners had breached lockdown and immigration regulations as well as the law on registering an address.

Reuters

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2021-01-30 12:52:00Z
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Johnson & Johnson announce details of single shot coronavirus vaccine - 9News

Johnson & Johnson's (J&J's) long-awaited coronavirus vaccine appears to protect against COVID-19 with just one shot — though not as strong as some two-shot rivals, it's still potentially helpful for a world in dire need of more doses.

"If it's a single-dose vaccine, then a billion vaccine doses would translate into a billion people vaccinated," Dr Dan Barouch of Harvard Medical School, who helped develop the vaccine said.

Another advantage is that the J&J shot is expected to cost as little as US$10 ($13) and doesn't require cold storage like some rival vaccines do.

Johnson & Johnson's (J&J's) long-awaited vaccine appears to protect against COVID-19 with just one shot. (AP)
Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center investigational pharmacy technician Sara Berech prepares a dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for a clinical trial on December 15, 2020 in Aurora, Colorado. (Getty)

J&J said on Friday, in the US and seven other countries, the single-shot vaccine was 66 per cent effective overall at preventing moderate to severe illness, and much more protective — 85 per cent — against the most serious symptoms.

There was some geographic variation.

The vaccine worked better in the US — 72 per cent effective against moderate to severe COVID-19, compared to 57 per cent in South Africa, where it was up against an easier-to-spread mutated virus.

"Gambling on one dose was certainly worthwhile," Dr Mathai Mammen, global research chief for J&J's Janssen Pharmaceutical unit, told The Associated Press.

"The level of protection against moderate and severe COVID-19 infection was 72 per cent in the US, 66 per cent in Latin America and 57 per cent in South Africa, 28 days post-vaccination."

Johnson & Johnson headquarters. (AP)

With vaccinations off to a rocky start globally, experts had been counting on a one-dose vaccine that would stretch scarce supplies and avoid the logistics nightmare of getting people to return for boosters.

But with some other competing vaccines shown to be 95 per cent effective after two doses, a question is whether somewhat less protection is an acceptable trade-off to get more shots in arms quickly.

The company said within a week, it will file for emergency use authorisation from the US Food and Drug Administration and expects to supply 100 million doses to the US by June.

Level of protection

The findings are currently preliminary from a study of 44,000 volunteers that isn't completed yet.

Researchers tracked illnesses starting 28 days after vaccination – about the time when, if participants were getting a two-dose variety instead, they would have needed another shot.

After day 28, no one who got vaccinated needed hospitalisation or died regardless of whether they were exposed to "regular COVID-19 or these particularly nasty variants," Dr Mammen said.

When the vaccinated did become infected, they had a milder illness.

A scientist in Janssen laboratory in Leiden, The Netherlands tests the Johnson & Johnson's vaccine. (AP)
The long awaited Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only one dose. (Getty)

Defeating the scourge that has killed more than 2 million people worldwide will require vaccinating billions, and the shots being rolled out in different countries so far all require two doses a few weeks apart for full protection.

Early data is mixed on exactly how well all the different kinds work, but shots made by Pfizer and Moderna appear to be about 95 per cent protective after the second dose.

But amid shortages, some countries have advised delaying the second dose of certain vaccines with little data on how that would affect protection.

"A vaccine that's inexpensive, that's a single dose, and that has no cold chain requirements — that's pretty good," Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told CNN.

Dr Fauci said the results would look even better if J&J did not have to compete against the 94 per cent and 95 per cent efficacy seen in trials of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

"You know what the problem is? If this were out there and we didn't have the Moderna 94-95 per cent — we would have said wow, a 72 per cent effective vaccine that's even more effective against severe disease is really terrific," he said.

"It has a very good efficacy against severe disease."

Dr Fauci said the J&J vaccine has 'a very good efficacy against severe disease.' (AP)

How is it made?

All COVID-19 vaccines train the body to recognise the new coronavirus, usually by spotting the spikey protein that coats it. But they're made in very different ways.

J&J's shot uses a cold virus like a Trojan horse to carry the spike gene into the body, where cells make harmless copies of the protein to prime the immune system in case the real virus comes along.

Rival AstraZeneca makes a similar cold virus vaccine that requires two doses.

Both the AstraZeneca and J&J vaccines can be stored in a refrigerator, making them easier to ship and to use in developing countries than the frozen kind made by Pfizer and Moderna.

It's not clear exactly how well the AstraZeneca version, being used in Britain and several other countries, works.
Moderna appears to be about 95 per cent protective after the second dose. (AP)
Jack McDermott draws up the AstraZeneca/Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine at Acklam Road pharmacy on January 28, 2021 in Middlesbrough, England.
Rival AstraZeneca makes a similar cold virus vaccine that requires two doses. (Getty)

Tests in Britain, South Africa and Brazil suggested two doses are about 70 per cent effective although there are questions about how much protection older adults get. An ongoing US study may provide more information.

J&J said its vaccine works consistently in a broad range of people: A third of participants were over age 60, and more than 40 per cent had other illnesses putting them at risk of severe COVID-19, including obesity, diabetes and HIV.

J&J said the vaccine is safe, with reactions similar to other COVID-19 shots such as fever that occur when the immune system is revved up.

While it released few details, the company said there were no serious allergic reactions.

But occasionally other COVID-19 vaccines trigger such reactions, which can be reversed if promptly treated – and authorities have warned people to be on the lookout regardless of which type of vaccine is used.

J&J had hedged its bets with a study of a two-dose version of its vaccine, which is still underway.

This September 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows a scientist in Janssen laboratory in Leiden, The Netherlands. (AP)

Friday's interim results come on the heels of another vaccine in final testing.

Novavax reported this week that its vaccine appears 89 per cent effective in a UK study and that it also seems to work, though not as well, against new mutated versions of the virus circulating in Britain and South Africa.

A larger study in the US and Mexico is still enrolling volunteers.

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2021-01-30 08:54:00Z
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