Virus protesters arrested
Police have made 32 arrests during a demonstration in central London against COVID-19 restrictions and mass vaccinations. More than 1,000 people are estimated to have joined the rally in Trafalgar Square, among them 5G conspiracy theorists, coronavirus skeptics and “anti-vaxxers.” Sections got into scuffles with police — some officers, with their batons drawn, were pushed back by crowds on the margins of the demo. By early evening on Saturday, the Metropolitan police said the area had been cleared. The police force said it attended the Resist and Act for Freedom rally, which began at about midday, and attempted to encourage protesters to leave throughout the day. “Despite this, protesters remained, putting themselves and others at risk,” it said. “It is important to remember that we are still in the middle of a global pandemic, and the changes have been introduced to help control the spread of the virus, keep everybody safe and save lives.” Among the crowds were people selling T-shirts bearing 5G conspiracy theories and advocating the legalization of cannabis, with banners calling for government scientific advisers to be sacked and declaring COVID-19 a “hoax.”
Homes sought for 110 cats
Animal charities in the country’s south were on Saturday urgently seeking homes for 110 cats after they and their owner were evicted from an apartment in the Valencia region. SPAMA Safor, an animal shelter in the southeastern town of Gandia, had initially thought there were 96 cats in the apartment. However, by Saturday evening, the charity said it had removed 110 cats and urgently needed help to shelter them “at least until they are vaccinated or sterilized.” “Apparently the owner took in a pair of cats three years ago and they have been procreating ever since,” Salvadora Tormas, who works with the shelter, told reporters. The shelter said that it did not have enough space to take them all in, as it was already housing about 200 cats. Tormas said they had collected 48 of the cats on Friday and were going to get the rest later on Saturday with the help of the owner, whom she described as a young man. “It’s a disaster. Someone should have helped this guy,” she said. They had been tipped off by the local authority, but had received no help to recover all the animals, she added.
Former PM dies at 91
John Turner, a Liberal Party politician who served stints as justice and finance ministers before a very brief turn as the country’s 17th prime minister, has died at age 91, his family reported on Saturday. Marc Kealey, a former aide speaking on behalf of Turner’s relatives as a family friend, said that Turner died peacefully in his sleep at home in Toronto on Friday night. Turner failed to live up to the great expectations of his early career, serving as prime minister for just 79 days in 1984 after a difficult, decades-long climb to the top job. A track star, Turner graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1949, winning a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University. After studying law, he went to Paris to work on a doctorate at the Sorbonne. The young lawyer caused a stir when he danced with Princess Margaret at a party in 1959, giving rise to speculation that the two would become a couple. The two remained friends for life. As justice minister in then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau’s Cabinet from 1968 to 1972, Turner proposed a national legal aid system and created the Federal Court, among other reforms.
LIFE GOES ON: After a strict lockdown that left millions on the brink of starvation, Indians embrace work to avoid starvation and get ready for several major festivals India is on course to top the world in COVID-19 cases, but from Maharashtra’s whirring factories to Kolkata’s thronging markets, people are back at work — and eager to forget the pandemic for festival season. After a strict lockdown in March that left millions on the brink of starvation, the government and people of the world’s second-most populous country decided life must go on. Sonali Dange, for instance, has two young daughters and an elderly mother-in-law to look after. She was hospitalized this year in excruciating pain after catching the novel coronavirus. However, after the lockdown exhausted the family’s savings, the 29-year-old had
A COVID-19 outbreak among hundreds of Russian and Ukrainian fishers flown to New Zealand to bolster its struggling deep-sea fishing industry has prompted that country’s largest daily increase in infections in months, authorities said yesterday. More than 230 fishers were flown in from Moscow last week, with 18 of the crew members then testing positive for COVID-19 while in quarantine, New Zealand Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said. The Pacific nation has almost eliminated local transmission of the virus, but regularly records small numbers of new cases in returned travelers. The fishing cluster pushed the daily tally of new infections to 25,
From monitoring vital signs to filtering filthy air and even translating speech into other languages, the COVID-19-fueled boom in mask-wearing has spawned an unusual range of high-tech face coverings. As masks become the norm worldwide, tech companies and researchers are rolling out weird and wonderful models to guard against infection and cash in on a growing trend. One of the wackiest comes from Japan, where start-up Donut Robotics has created a face covering that helps users adhere to social distancing and also acts as a translator. The “C-Face” mask works by transmitting a wearer’s speech to a smartphone via an app, and allows
JAPAN Deer-edible bags invented The deer that roam Nara no longer face discomfort — or far worse — after local firms developed a safe alternative to the plastic packaging discarded by tourists that often ended up in the animals’ stomachs. Last year, several of the 1,300 deer that wander around the ancient capital’s central park were found dead after swallowing plastic bags and food wrappers. Firms collaborated to develop bags that pass safely through the animals’ complex digestive system. The bags are made with recycled pulp from milk cartons and rice bran, one of the main ingredients of the shika senbei savory