France risks new lockdowns if Covid surge worsens: PM

PARIS, France (AFP) — French authorities could be forced to impose new lockdowns in a bid to contain another surge in coronavirus cases that is putting a strain on hospitals, Prime Minister Jean Castex warned Monday. “If over the next two weeks we see the epidemic indicators worsen, if intensive care beds fill up even more than we expect, we will indeed take additional measures,” Castex said in an interview with France Info radio. Asked […]

Two earthquakes strike off Greek island of Crete

ATHENS, Greece (AFP) — Two moderate earthquakes of over 5.0 magnitude struck off the Greek island of Crete early Monday but there were no reports of casualties or damage. The Athens Geodynamic Institute said the first quake, with a 5.1 magnitude, hit at 4:11am local time (0111 GMT) about 47 kilometers (29 miles) northeast of the city of Sitia. A second quake, with a magnitude of 5.2, struck the same point exactly three hours later, […]

British PM to outline new virus lockdown system

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to present a new three-tiered alert system for coronavirus cases in England on Monday, with northwestern Liverpool expected to be the only city placed in the top category. Like governments throughout Europe, Johnson’s conservative cabinet is seeking to balance bringing down the rate of new infections against concern about the economy and frustration among voters. The new alert system, which will classify all […]

El gobierno de España decreta el estado de alarma en Madrid

Egie Asis Eagle News (Madrid, España)–Después de la reunión de ministros de hoy, el gobierno  de España impuso el estado de alarma a la Comunidad de Madrid para evitar la expansión del coronavirus. La decisión se tomó después de tensiones políticas entre el gobierno central y el gobierno de la capital en cuanto a qué medidas se deberían tomar contra  COVID-19. La presidenta de Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, estaba en contra del estado de alarma. […]

Spain imposes state of emergency in Madrid to curb virus

  MADRID, Spain (AFP) — Spain’s government on Friday declared a state of emergency in and around Madrid to enforce a partial lockdown to curb rampant virus infections, overriding opposition from the regional authorities. “The government has decided to declare a state of emergency… for the next 15 days,” said Health Minister Salvador Illa following an urgent cabinet meeting after the region’s top court shot down restrictions imposed on 4.5 million people in and around […]

Russia sees record daily virus infections of more than 12k

  MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — Russia registered a record daily number of new coronavirus infections on Friday, surpassing its previous high from May. Officials reported 12,126 new infections, edging above the previous high of 11,656 on May 11 and bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 1,272,238 — the fourth highest in the world. Widespread restrictions were lifted after new cases began to drop in May, and officials have shown no sign of moving […]

Virus cases top 4,000 a day in Germany, a first since April

BERLIN, Germany (AFP) — New cases of coronavirus infections in Germany have soared past 4,000, official data showed Thursday, reaching a daily level not seen since April 11 when the country was still in lockdown. Europe’s biggest economy recorded 4,058 new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours, including 16 deaths, according to latest data compiled by the disease control agency RKI. The alarming jump in numbers came with autumn school holidays about to begin, prompting calls […]

Storms devastate rice paddies in Italy’s ‘golden triangle’

by Francesco Gilioli with Ella Ide in Rome PALESTRO, Italy (AFP) — With a deafening roar, the swollen Sesia river swept down the Alpine valley in northern Italy to engulf the plains below, drowning the country’s so-called “golden triangle” of rice paddies in mud. Storms at the weekend, when the region was lashed by half the yearly average rainfall in just one day, dealt a severe blow to Europe’s biggest rice producer, flooding the marshy […]

France, Italy step up rescue efforts after floods

by Chloe Fabre with Vincenzo Pinto in Garessio, Italy SAINT-MARTIN-VERSUBIE, France (AFP) — French and Italian rescue services stepped up search efforts Sunday after floods cut off several villages in the mountainous border regions, causing widespread damage and killing at least four people. Others remained unaccounted for on the French side of the border after storms, torrential rain and flash floods battered the area, washing away roads and houses, cutting off entire villages and triggering […]

Britain passes 500,000 coronavirus cases

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — The United Kingdom passed 500,000 confirmed coronavirus infections on Sunday, official figures showed, in the latest grim milestone for the European country worst-hit by the pandemic. Health authorities blamed a technical glitch for a sudden spike in cases announced in evening figures that had kept several thousand cases from the last week of September off the official tally. Sunday’s numbers showed 22,961 cases for the day, a rise of more […]

French govt warns Paris may go on maximum virus alert from Monday

by Joseph Schmid PARIS, France (AFP) — French authorities may place Paris on maximum virus alert as soon as Monday, potentially requiring all bars to close and other new restrictions as Covid-19 cases surge, Health Minister Olivier Veran said Thursday. The capital and its closest suburbs, comprising nearly seven million inhabitants, have already breached the maximum alert thresholds, Veran told a press conference. “We need a few days to confirm the trends, but if they […]

100 million extra Covid-19 vaccine doses for poorer countries: Vaccine Alliance

GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — Up to 100 million additional doses of any eventual safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines will be secured for delivery to poorer countries in 2021, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance announced Tuesday. The announcement means 200 million doses have been secured from the Serum Institute of India, following a previous announcement in August from Gavi and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that they had secured an initial 100 million doses from SII, […]