Government

Israeli government to impose second Covid-19 national lockdown



a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Photograph: Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images

Israel’s government has decided to impose a lockdown lasting three weeks, local media have reported, a move that would make it the first country to reimpose such severe restrictions on a national scale.

Fearing mass gatherings during a string of national holidays over the next month, the cabinet decided to shut down the country as of Friday, the Jewish new year, until 9 October, according to the Ynet news website and Channel 12 television.

Ministers had been debating on Sunday a proposal that would see a return to full lockdown, with people banned from moving more than 500 metres from their homes, schools and places of worship closed, the private sector at minimum capacity, and all but essential shops shuttered. Under that plan, a gradual loosening of the rules would only be implemented if the rate of infection drops.

While the

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Our right to spend time with loved ones is being cruelly violated by the government | Dementia

Just as I sat down to write this piece, my phone rang. The woman’s voice was thick with distress. She didn’t want her name to be public, didn’t want practical help; she just wanted to tell her story to someone and she didn’t know who would listen and who would care.

Her husband, to whom she has been married for 57 years, has dementia and is in a home. Before lockdown, she visited twice a day, spending hours with him, kissing him, hugging and holding him. He is at a stage of his dementia where it can be hard to have a conversation, but, she says, “he understands affective language” – the language of touch, of physical presence and affection. People with dementia lose so much, but they usually do not lose their deep feelings, their love and need.

In March, the doors shut. When at last she was

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Coronavirus: Gateshead testing plan ‘held up by government’

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  • Coronavirus pandemic

A medical worker swabs a motorist at a testing centre

image copyrightPA Media

image captionThe government said it was increasing the number of mobile testing centres

Health chiefs in an area battling a Covid-19 spike say they are unable to carry out up to 30,000 tests per day while they wait for government action.

Gateshead was

among several places in the North East added to Public Health England’s watchlist of areas needing “enhanced support” last week.

The council said an empty pathology lab could be used to house extra resources.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the government was “increasing the testing coming into the area”.

Gateshead’s director of public health, Alice Wiseman, told BBC Radio 4’s World at One “people are having great difficulty getting a test”.

“We’re up to 70 cases per 100,000 so it’s a significant increase. With not everyone able to

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Opinion | 7 ways Trump and his cabal are using government to corrupt the election

Quick: What do all these things have in common?

The answer: In all these cases, Trump isn’t just stating claims. He and his cronies are also corruptly manipulating the levers of your government to make them into truths, or inflate them into issues that will garner news coverage that helps him in some way, or both.

Because the crush of governmental manipulation to serve Trump’s personal and political ends is so relentless, we often focus only on isolated examples as they skate past.

But we need to connect the dots. Taken together, they tell a larger story that is truly staggering in its levels of corruption:

Rushing coronavirus treatments. The New York Times just reported that scientists inside Trump’s own government are warning that the White House is laying the groundwork to increase pressure to approve a vaccine before Election Day, “even in the absence of agreement on its effectiveness

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Pelosi, Mnuchin agree on plan to avoid government shutdown

Democrats and the Trump administration are taking a key step toward avoiding a government shutdown in September

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Trump administration have informally agreed to keep a stopgap government-wide funding bill — needed to avert a shutdown at the end of this month — free of controversy or conflict.

The accord is aimed at keeping any possibility of a government shutdown off the table despite ongoing battles over COVID-19 relief legislation, while sidestepping the potential for other shutdown drama in the run-up to the November election.

That’s according to Democratic and GOP aides on Capitol Hill who have been briefed on a Tuesday conversation between Pelosi, D-Calif., and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. They required anonymity to characterize an exchange they were

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Reversal of pesticide ban sparks criticism of French government

France has moved to reverse a ban on a class of pesticides only weeks after it came into force, reigniting a bitter dispute between environmentalists and farmers and embarrassing politicians who have championed ecological causes under President Emmanuel Macron. 

The French cabinet’s approval on Thursday of a draft law allowing sugar beet growers to use neonicotinoids was portrayed by ministers as essential to save the country’s sugar industry, the EU’s largest.

“I don’t want to abandon the sector and have my children eating only Belgian or German sugar,” Julien Denormandie, agriculture minister, said in a television interview. Viruses spread by aphids have severely damaged this year’s sugar beet crop in northern France. 

Environmentalists, however, are up in arms. Delphine Batho, a centre-left MP and head of Génération Ecologie, a green NGO, rejected the reintroduction of the pesticides as “ecocide, an ecological catastrophe”. Scientific studies have shown that neonicotinoids kill bees

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Korean doctors call off strike, reach agreement with government

SEOUL, Sept. 4 (UPI) — Thousands of striking South Korean doctors are ready to return to work as the Korean Medical Association and the ruling Democratic Party came to an agreement Friday that put a halt to the government’s medical reform plans.

South Korean interns and residents have been on strike since Aug. 21 in response to governments plans introduced in July that would have increased medical school admission quotas by 4,000 over the next decade.

The five-point agreement signed Friday morning by the KMA and DP said discussions would start from scratch after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, with special commissions to be formed that include doctors, politicians and health officials.

Later in the day, KMA President Choi Dae-zip signed another agreement with Health Minister Park Neung-hoo to end the strike and call on trainee doctors to return to work.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in reacted with relief on Friday,

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Ethiopia’s Tigray Region to Holds Poll, Defying Federal Government | World News

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region will head to the polls on Wednesday in defiance of the federal government, the latest challenge to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed from a slew of regional leaders flexing their muscles ahead of next year’s national elections.

Abiy has overseen sweeping democratic reforms since taking power in Africa’s second most populous nation two years ago. But the federal government – and major opposition parties – agreed to postpone national and regional elections due in August until the COVID-19 pandemic was under control.

Tigray, whose leaders dominated the previous administration and have often bitterly denounced Abiy, announced it would hold elections anyway.

“We know there is an open threat by Abiy to militarily intervene against Tigray and to cut funds, but we will still go ahead with the vote,” said Getachew Reda, a former federal information minister and now a spokesman for the Tigray

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Roadchef shares scandal widow demands action by UK government

Magor Roadchef services on M4 motorway at nightImage copyright
Lewis Clarke/Geograph

Image caption

If you have travelled on a motorway in the UK, there’s a good chance you stopped at a Roadchef services

A widow is calling on the UK government to act to allow thousands of victims of a share scandal to finally receive tax-free compensation.

Workers at Roadchef motorway services won a legal battle in 2014 after losing millions when shares in an employee scheme were transferred.

It then emerged a further £10m had been taken in taxes.

In 2018, that cash was returned – but a continuing dispute with tax officials means no full payout has been made.

HM Revenue and Customs said it was working to bring the case to a conclusion.

“There’s a lot of people who’ve died and haven’t had the money,” said Eleanor Nicholls, from Llanelli in Carmarthenshire.

Her husband Michael was one of the workers who should have benefited.

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Pelosi, Mnuchin agree to avoid a government shutdown at end of month

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin agreed on Tuesday to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the month by taking up a stopgap government funding bill, according to a person familiar with their Tuesday phone call.



Steven Mnuchin wearing glasses and looking at the camera: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies before a hearing of the House subcommittee investigating the federal response to the coronavirus crisis on Capitol Hill, Sept. 1, 2020, in Washington.


© Graeme Jennings/Pool via Getty Images
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies before a hearing of the House subcommittee investigating the federal response to the coronavirus crisis on Capitol Hill, Sept. 1, 2020, in Washington.

The informal agreement would stave off a government shutdown after Sept. 30, and avoid entangling the issue with ongoing coronavirus relief negotiations, which have been at a standstill for several weeks.



Nancy Pelosi looking at the camera: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks at a news conference at the Mission Education Center Elementary School, Sept. 2, 2020, in San Francisco.


© Eric Risberg/AP
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks at a news conference at the Mission Education Center Elementary School, Sept. 2, 2020, in San Francisco.

The proposal to fund government at current levels could avoid a shutdown before the November election, and potentially through

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