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#AceNewsRoom With ‘Kindness & Wisdom’ Mar.02, 2022 @AceNewsServices
#AceNewsService says the Russian outlets have been barred from airing in Europe from WednesdayThe European Council announced a decision on Wednesday to ban all broadcasting activities by RT and Sputnik in its jurisdiction. It accused the channels of spreading disinformation to their audiences: according to RT – Daily news
The ban will remain in place “until the aggression to Ukraine is put to an end, and until the Russian Federation and its associated outlets cease to conduct disinformation and information manipulation actions against the EU and its member states,” the statement said.Brussels claimed that the two news organizations were “essential and instrumental” in “bringing forward and supporting” the Russian military offensive in Ukraine.
It further claimed they were part of a “systematic, international campaign of disinformation, information manipulation, and distortion of facts” aimed at destabilizing Russia’s neighbors and EU members.RT’s deputy editor-in-chief Anna Belkina condemned the decision and said critics of the outlet had not “pointed to a single example, a single grain of evidence that what RT has reported over these days, and continues to report, is not true.”Moscow for years has said that Western nations were trying to suppress Russian media through various restrictions. Some EU members imposed outright bans on RT and Sputnik long before the Russian invasion of Ukraine started.US-based tech giants previously imposed their own restrictions against Russian media.
YouTube and Facebook made their content inaccessible on their platforms in Europe, while Apple and Google banned their apps from their stores for European users. In Apple’s case, the official store is the only way to install apps on devices.Ofcom, the British media regulator, is currently investigating RT after the British government strongly implied that the outlet should be banned in the country.
#AceHealthReport – Nov.28: The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday classified the B.1.1.529 variant, now designated as Omicron, as a SARS-CoV-2 “variant of concern”, saying it may spread more quickly than other forms.
Infections in South Africa had risen steeply in recent weeks, coinciding with the detection of the variant.
After a closed meeting of independent experts who reviewed the data, WHO realised a statement saying there had been a “detrimental change in COVID-19 epidemiology”.
The travel restrictions are to apply to the nations of South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
The border measures follow a confirmed case of the new variant being in Belgium.
Virologist Marc Van Ranst, whose laboratory works closely with Belgium’s public health body Sciensano, said on Twitter that the variant was found in a traveller returning to Belgium from Egypt on November 11.
Italy’s health ministry earlier announced that the measures would apply to anyone who has been to the seven southern African nations in the past 14 days.
Germany said a flight ban could be imposed as early as Friday night, local time.
In Amsterdam, several hundred passengers arriving on two flights from South Africa on Friday already faced hours of delays and testing due to concerns over the new variant.
“This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning. Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant, as compared to other [variants of concern],” the WHO said.
“This variant has been detected at faster rates than previous surges in infection, suggesting that this variant may have a growth advantage.”
Current PCR tests continue to successfully detect the variant, WHO said.
South African Health Minister Joe Phaahla called the travel restrictions “unjustified”, telling a media briefing that travel bans contravened the norms and standards of the World Health Organization (WHO).
He specifically lashed out at Britain, saying it had imposed travel restrictions on his country without prior discussion.
Away from Europe, Israel also imposed a travel ban covering most of Africa.
“We are currently on the verge of a state of emergency,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said.
Under the broader restrictions, all African nations, except those in North Africa, were added to Israel’s “red list” of high-risk countries.
Morocco has also banned travel from seven southern African countries.
Asian nations follow suit
Japan, Hong Kong and the Philippines also all imposed new travel restrictions.
The Philippines announced flights from South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, and Mozambique are banned until December 15.
The measure, effective from Saturday, affects people arriving from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
“Along with South Africa which is already a specified high-risk place, non-Hong Kong residents who have stayed in these places within 21 days will not be allowed to enter the city”, it said.
Despite the bans the WHO cautioned countries from doing so too quickly.
“At this point, implementing travel measures is being cautioned against,” WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said.
“The WHO recommends that countries continue to apply a risk-based and scientific approach when implementing travel measures.”
A senior South African health official said he had been told on Friday that the WHO would designate the new strain a variant “of concern”.
“We are busy trying to get some information behind the scenes about what was discussed at the WHO meeting today,” Nicholas Crisp, acting director general in the health department, told a media briefing.
“Earlier in the day I just got a message to say that they were going to promote this variant to a variant of concern.”
US considering travel ban, says Fauci
Top US infectious disease official Dr Anthony Fauci said a ban on flights from southern Africa was a possibility and the United States was rushing to gather data on the new COVID-19 variant.
“There is always the possibility of doing what the UK has done, namely block travel from South Africa and related countries,” Dr Fauci told CNN.
“That’s certainly something you think about and get prepared to do. You’re prepared to do everything you need to protect the American public. But you want to make sure there’s a basis for doing that.”
“Obviously as soon as we find out more information we’ll make a decision as quickly as we possibly can.”
Mr Fauci said US scientists would speak with South African counterparts on Friday about the new variant but also said there was no evidence the variant had arrived in the US.
#CoronavirusNewsDesk says according to health news media #COVID19 Europe region faces 700,000 more deaths by March – WHO has reported: The death toll already exceeds 1.5 million in the 53 countries of what the WHO terms as its Europe region.
‘160,000 lives could be saved’ from Covid in Europe if 95% of people wear masks
Unlike the UK – and England in particular – many parts of Europe kept major restrictions in place for much longer.
Whereas England fully unlocked in mid-July, parts of Europe did not do this until the autumn, and in many places kept tougher restrictions in place even as they did.
Part of this was to do with timing. The UK was hit by the more infectious Alpha variant and then Delta sooner, meaning it was in a position to push ahead with unlocking before others.
But it was also a conscious choice backed by the government’s top scientists, Prof Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance.
The logic – along with the benefit of ending restrictions that themselves cause harm to health – was that it was better to have the rebound in infection, the so-called exit wave, in the summer.
It was felt the increase in the spread of the virus would be mitigated by the better weather, meaning more time spent outdoors, and would avoid the winter crunch when pressure on the health system increases across the board.
#AceNewsReport – Nov.06: The outage appears to be affecting users around the world, including in Australia, across Europe and Central America: We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing Messenger, Workplace Chat and Instagram DMs,” Meta said to The Independent in a statement on Thursday.
#AceSocialDesk says according to Australia 7News Report: META’s Users across the world are reporting the newly-named Meta’s services including Facebook, Messenger and Instagram – are down and facing major outages.
Gus Bruno: Published: 03/11/2021:
“We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible and we apologize for any inconvenience.”A number of users across Australia reported issues with Facebook, Messenger and Instagram on Thursday. Credit: DownDetector
Most users reported issues with accessing Facebook and Instagram through the mobile apps, with others suggesting the outage is not affecting the online versions of the website.
Messenger services appear to be offline for thousands trying to access via the mobile app and the website.
Users reported issues with sending direct messages across the various platforms, which see up to 100 billion messages sent on any given day.
“Everything is working fine on Instagram and Facebook except their messaging services,” one user wrote.
Many others said they were unable to post on either app.
Both Instagram and Messenger share the same underlying infrastructure, meaning it’s more likely outages occur across both platforms at the same time.
Facebook, Messenger and Instagram down… AGAIN
The tech giant apologised in October for two major outages within the same week.
In the first, routine maintenance on Meta’s network stitching together its data centres caused a collapse of its global system for more than six hours.
The outage was the largest that Downdetector said it had ever seen.
It blocked access to apps for billions of users of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.Users across the world are reporting the newly-named Meta’s services including Facebook, Messenger and Instagram – are down and facing major outages. Credit: EPA
During the second outage, some users were unable to load their Instagram feeds, while others were not able to send messages on Facebook Messenger.
People swiftly took to Twitter to share memes and jokes about the second service disruption in a matter of days.
“Looks like Facebook went to a 3-day work week. Monday and Friday shutdowns?” a Twitter user said
Instagram thanked users for their patience and “for all the memes this week”.
The social media giant blamed a “faulty configuration change” for a nearly six-hour outage that prevented the company’s 3.5 billion users from accessing its social media and messaging services such as WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger.
The outage on Monday was the largest that web monitoring group Downdetector had ever seen and blocked access to the apps for billions of users, leading to a surge in usage of rival social media and messaging apps.