Glimpses: The Bonifacio Shrine in Manila in the eyes of today’s youth

The Bonifacio and the Katipunan Revolution Monument located at the Bonifacio Shrine in Ermita, Manila, near the Manila City Hall, is one of the major monuments that give tribute to the country’s Philippine revolutionary hero, Andres Bonifacio. This masterpiece sculpture of noted Filipino sculptor Eduardo Castrillo was unveiled in 1998. The Bonifacio Shrine had a makeover and was rehabilitated upon orders of Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso in July 2019. Upon inspection in […]

Pfizer seeks US approval for Covid boosters for ages 16-17

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Pfizer announced Tuesday it was seeking US authorization for Covid booster shots among adolescents aged 16 and 17, as concerns grow about the impact of the new Omicron variant. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has so far only granted emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for boosters to people aged 18 and over, six months after their primary series of the Pfizer or Moderna Covid vaccine, or two months after the […]

Tel Aviv ranked world’s priciest city for first time

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Tel Aviv is the world’s most expensive city to live in as soaring inflation has pushed up living costs globally, according to a survey published on Wednesday. The Israeli city climbed five rungs to score top place for the first time in the authoritative ranking compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The Worldwide Cost of Living Index is compiled by comparing prices in US dollars for goods and services […]

US health panel endorses Merck Covid pill

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — A panel of health experts appointed by the US government voted Tuesday to endorse Merck’s Covid pill for high-risk adult patients who are within five days of experiencing their first symptoms. There were 13 votes in favor and 10 against, a narrow margin that reflected concerns about a recent downgrading of the treatment’s efficacy results and fears over its potential harms. © Agence France-Presse

Uber Eats to quit Hong Kong after five years

HONG KONG, China (AFP) – Online food delivery platform Uber Eats announced on Tuesday it will quit Hong Kong at the end of 2021, ending five years of a battle for a share of the competitive food delivery market. Uber announced the “difficult decision” in an online statement, which gave no reason for why it was winding down operations. The company said it would now redouble its commitment to its ride-sharing in Hong Kong, a […]

Moderna boss says vaccines likely no match for Omicron: FT

  HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Existing Covid-19 jabs will struggle against the Omicron variant and it will take months to develop a new shot that works, the head of US vaccine manufacturer Moderna has told the Financial Times. Stephane Bancel told the newspaper in an interview published Tuesday that data would be available on the effectiveness of current vaccines in the next two weeks but scientists were not optimistic. “All the scientists I’ve talked […]

Pfizer already working on Covid vaccine targeting Omicron: CEO

  NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Pfizer has already started working on a version of its Covid-19 vaccine specifically targeting the new Omicron variant in case the current inoculation is not effective against the latest strain, the US drugmaker’s CEO Albert Bourla said Monday. Bourla told CNBC that his company on Friday began testing the current vaccine against the Omicron variant, which was first reported in South Africa and has reignited fears of a […]

PCRs detect Omicron, studies under way for other tests: WHO

GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — While PCR tests can detect infection with Omicron, studies are looking to whether the Covid-19 variant of concern has any impact on other test types, the WHO said Sunday. “The widely-used PCR tests continue to detect infection, including infection with Omicron, as we have seen with other variants,” the World Health Organization said in an update on what is known so far about the new variant. “Studies are ongoing to determine […]

First image of Omicron shows many more mutations than Delta

    ROME, Italy (AFP) — The new Covid variant Omicron has many more mutations than the Delta variant, according to a first “image” of this new variant initially detected in South Africa, produced and published by the prestigious Bambino Gesu hospital in Rome. On the three-dimensional “image”, which looks like a map, “we can clearly see that the Omicron variant presents many more mutations than the Delta variant, concentrated above all in one area […]

What is known so far about new Covid variant Omicron

  JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AFP) — South African scientists have discovered a new Covid-19 variant, Omicron, with multiple mutations that is thought to be highly contagious. The World Health Organization has designated it a variant of concern and many countries are racing to try and contain it, banning flights from southern Africa. Scientists are working round-the-clock to dissect the variant and try understand its behaviour. Here is a brief explainer of what is known so […]

Legendary Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim dies aged 91

  Legendary Broadway songwriter Stephen Sondheim, widely credited with revolutionizing American musical theater, died Friday at the age of 91. Rick Miramontez, the publicist for the ongoing Broadway production of Sondheim’s musical “Company,” confirmed to AFP that the musical theater titan had passed away. Sondheim’s attorney F. Richard Pappas said Sondheim — known for works including “West Side Story” and “Sweeney Todd” — died suddenly in his Roxbury, Connecticut home the day after celebrating Thanksgiving […]

B.1.1.529 declared Covid ‘variant of concern’, renamed Omicron

  The World Health Organization on Friday declared the recently-discovered B.1.1.529 strain of Covid-19, first detected in southern Africa, to be a variant of concern and renamed it Omicron. The classification puts Omicron into the most-troubling category of Covid-19 variants, along with the globally-dominant Delta, plus its weaker rivals Alpha, Beta and Gamma. Nations rushed to ban flights to slow the spread of Omicron on Friday, while stock markets and oil prices plunged on fears […]