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China war becoming ‘more likely every single day’ – warning issued amid Beijing threat

Liberal Senator Jim Molan spoke to Sky News Australia’s Paul Murray about the rising threat of China. Mr Molan reacted to reports that China has sent a second spy ship to monitor war games between the US, Japan and Australia. He warned that China is one of the greatest threats to Australia in the medium to long term.

He claimed the nation was dangerous and considered itself an “adversary” to the nations conducting the war games.

Mr Murray said: “Everyone does war games to some degree.

“They do it in international waters so they can’t get pinged, but the fact that China has sent two spy vessels, besides muscle-flexing, does it cause you any different view than when it was one?”

Mr Molan replied that it did not make a difference to him and how he felt towards China.

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He said: “It doesn’t change things really, two for the price of one.

“I think it is fantastic, it brings a degree of realism to an exercise which I think is very valuable.

“I would just say that we should, without doubt, that Covid, the coronavirus enquiry and the economy are the most immediate problems that we face.

“But we must remember that China is the most dangerous in the medium to long-term.

“These spy ships are a manifestation of that.

“We must be preparing our nation as a whole and our military.”

China caused an international uproar last week after threatening Japan with nuclear warfare if it intervened with the communist countries goal to unify Taiwan.

Initially posted on the Chinese Communist Party’s military channel the video warned that Beijing would nuke Japan until it surrendered to the Communist state for meddling in, what it called, domestic affairs.

This follows after Japan pledged it would defend Taiwan with the United States if China attempted an invasion. 

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: World Feed

Torrential rain: Yellow danger warning issued for Eastern Norway

Heavy rain showers will hit parts of Eastern Norway on the night to Wednesday. The meteorologists have issued a yellow warning.

There will be large local variations in intensity and quantity of the rain, and the weather can change quickly, meteorologists warned on Tuesday.

The danger warning applies from night to Wednesday to Wednesday morning in Østfold, Oslo, Akershus, Buskerud, and Vestfold.

There is a danger of local floods, stream and river course changes, as well as landslides where the rain showers hit.

The rain can also lead to closed roads, surface water, and difficult driving conditions in some places.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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This post originally posted here Norway News

Euro 2020 final: Warning issued as England fan loses £1,200 in ‘shocking’ tickets scam

Last month, Action Fraud published an alert, urging people to take extra care when buying tickets of festivals and events online.

Figures from the national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime show almost £1million has been lost to ticket fraud so far this year.

The Action Fraud data revealed 1,085 reports of ticket fraud have been made so far in 2021, equating to an average loss of £850 per victim.

How to spot signs of ticket fraud

Action Fraud shared some tips on how to spot the signs of ticket fraud and protect oneself:

“Only buy tickets from the venue’s box office, official promoter or agent, or a well-known and reputable ticket site.

“Avoid paying for tickets by bank transfer, especially if buying from someone unknown. Credit card or payment services such as PayPal give you a better chance of recovering your money if you become a victim of fraud.

The FDA and CDC issued an unusual rebuke to the pharmaceutical company hours after it warned of waning immunity from its coronavirus vaccine

But as the Biden administration struggles to boost low vaccination rates in Southern states amid a troublesome level of Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy, decisions about safety precautions in schools will be made, as always, at the local level.
Those decisions have already become a hot political topic as fall approaches, with Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, for example, banning mask mandates in public schools earlier this year, while California health officials announced Friday that they would continue to require students and teachers to wear face coverings indoors even though the CDC’s new guidance said vaccinated teachers and students don’t need to wear masks inside school buildings.
The CDC’s new guidance comes when many parents are still anxious about the risks of Covid-19 variants, as well as the many unknowns about what the long-term effects of Covid infections could be in children.
As school districts brace for the uncertainty of another semester with many unvaccinated children, Pfizer sent a jolt of alarm through the country by announcing Thursday that it is seeing waning immunity from its coronavirus vaccine and it will seek emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration in August for a booster dose. In an unusual rebuke, the FDA and the CDC released a joint statement hours after the Pfizer missive saying boosters were not needed yet, and Biden administration officials sought to amplify that message Friday.
A very small number of children up to age 18 have died from Covid-19 in the US — 391 out of more than 606,000 deaths, according to CDC data. But there is great uneasiness among parents since only children 12 and older are currently eligible to be vaccinated. There have been notable outbreaks at summer camps this year, including infections among more than 125 campers and adults who attended a summer camp run by a South Texas church. And the risk of new variants remains an intense concern in communities with high numbers of unvaccinated people.
Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, voiced those concerns about the lack of study on the long-term effects of Covid-19 in children during an interview on CNN’s “The Lead” Friday afternoon. He noted that the data about children is often presented in terms of deaths and hospitalizations, numbers he acknowledged are “relatively low” in that population.
“We need clarification on the percentage of children who have debilitating effects from Covid, especially neurological effects in the developing brain,” Hotez told CNN’s Pamela Brown. “We need the pediatric neurological societies to really look into this more in depth. … We tend to use very blunt instruments when talking about either adolescents’ or children’s deaths, and only hospitalizations. There are so many more dimensions to Covid than that.”

New confusion about booster shots

This week’s Pfizer announcement not only sparked new confusion about when booster shots might be needed for adults but also created a potential opportunity for anti-vaccine activists who are looking to undermine public confidence in the shots.
Back in April, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla suggested that “there will be likely a need for a third dose, somewhere between six and 12 months” after the first round. On Thursday, the company confirmed his prediction in a formal statement, citing a recent statement from Israel’s Ministry of Health that said the efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine declined after six months, along with unreleased data from the company’s ongoing studies.
Pfizer offered an important caveat that was mostly lost in the shock of its announcement, confirming that the vaccine’s protection against “severe disease remained high across the full six months.” The drop in efficacy manifested as a rise in symptomatic illness, the company said, while also pointing to the emergence of dangerous new variants as reason to get a jump on authorization for a booster.
But the hazy reasoning behind Pfizer’s declaration, which was delivered without clear clinical evidence of its underlying assertion, was met with the sharp contradictory statement from the leading US regulatory agencies.
“Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time,” the CDC and FDA said in their rare joint statement. “FDA, CDC, and NIH (the National Institutes of Health) are engaged in a science-based, rigorous process to consider whether or when a booster might be necessary.”
The message from the government agencies was clear: The decision was not Pfizer’s to make.
“This process takes into account laboratory data, clinical trial data, and cohort data — which can include data from specific pharmaceutical companies, but does not rely on those data exclusively,” they said in the statement.
In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Friday night, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious diseases specialist, disputed the idea that Americans were receiving a “mixed message” and said it is important for them to trust that their government agencies will tell them when and whether they might need a booster shot.
“We respect what the pharmaceutical company is doing, but the American public should take their advice from the CDC and the FDA,” said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “The important bottom line in all of this is that the efficacy (of the vaccine) against severe disease — particularly hospitalization that might lead to death in some individuals — was still really very good.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki stressed Friday afternoon that the decision about when a booster might be needed is “going to be led by the data and by the science.”
“We wanted to make clear that that is not something that the American people need to plan for at this moment,” Psaki said.
As concerning as Pfizer’s claim might have been to some, the public clash between the pharmaceutical giant and top US government agencies could foreshadow something worse.
Public and private institutions have largely spoken with one voice as the vaccines were developed and distributed, a useful tool for public health leaders working to chip away at hesitance as they pushed forward with this unprecedented mass vaccination campaign.
But signals of a divide between the two could deal a devastating setback to that project, offering fodder to anti-vaccination agitators.
Asked at the briefing whether the administration would push for coordination on these kinds of announcements — as a way of preventing another similar back-and-forth — Psaki appeared to betray some frustration with Pfizer’s actions.
“They are a private-sector company. I can’t speak to the origin or the motivation of their announcement. You’d have to ask them that,” Psaki said. “But the role we can play, from the US government, is to provide accurate information and public health information, which is what we’ve ventured to do last night pretty rapidly in response to the announcement.”

Huge challenge in regional divide over vaccines

As school districts look to the fall semester, Biden’s team is redoubling its efforts to deploy trusted messengers into communities where vaccine uptake is low, but the challenge is monumental given the political polarization in this country and the unfortunate fact that masks and vaccines remain divisive territory.
An analysis by Georgetown University this week underscored the political challenge of changing the mindset of those who remain unvaccinated by showing the huge clusters of unvaccinated people in the Southern United States. An increasing number of studies have demonstrated that vaccine coverage maps bear a striking resemblance to the 2020 election results map — meaning it may be very hard for the Biden administration to shift attitudes toward vaccine acceptance in those regions.
The CDC guidance on schools is likely to become part of that debate, just as it was last year when President Donald Trump was in office.
The CDC stressed Friday that schools should continue using safety precautions, including masking and physical distancing, while encouraging those who are eligible to get vaccinated, such as offering vaccines on site and providing paid sick leave for employees to get vaccinated.
Fully vaccinated teachers and students do not need to wear masks, the guidance said, but the CDC still wants to see unvaccinated children masked indoors and for schools to continue physical distancing if not everyone is vaccinated.
Schools that want to begin phasing out pandemic precautions should do so carefully, the CDC said, by removing them one at a time — if community transmission levels are low — while continuing a robust testing regimen to monitor for increases in spread before removing the next safety measure.
Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency physician at Rhode Island Hospital and an associate professor at Brown University, noted that she has been a proponent of schools being open even before vaccines were on the scene. But now she is concerned that “the states that have low vaccination rates are also the states that are less likely to put the non-pharmaceutical interventions in place.”
“They’re going to be less likely to say that kids should mask in school,” Ranney said Friday on CNN’s “Inside Politics.” “So they’re going to be setting up their communities, not just for the spread of the virus within the kids, but also within the larger community. Because those kids are then going to spread Covid on to their parents and grandparents and extracurricular school instructors. That’s what worries me even more than whether we can open the schools or not.”

Author: Analysis by Maeve Reston and Gregory Krieg, CNN
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Tracking Elsa: New Tropical Storm Warnings Issued For North Carolina, Mid-Atlantic States

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As Tropical Storm Elsa continues north, new tropical storm warnings issued for North Carolina and the mid-Atlantic states.

As of the 11 p.m. advisory, Elsa was about 80 miles northwest of Brunswick, Georgia with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph and moving north-northeast at 16 mph.

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A turn toward northeast is expected overnight, followed by a faster northeastward motion by late Thursday.

Elsa 11 p.m. stats for Wednesday, July 7. (CBS4)

On the forecast track, Elsa will move over Georgia Wednesday night, over South Carolina early on Thursday, over North Carolina later on Thursday, pass near the eastern mid-Atlantic states late Thursday and move near or over the northeastern United States on Friday.

Slow weakening is expected through Thursday as Elsa moves over land, and some re-strengthening is possible on Friday while the system moves close to the northeastern United States.

Elsa is forecast to become a post-tropical cyclone late Friday.

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Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles, mostly southeast of the center near the coast.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • Little River Inlet, South Carolina to Great Egg Inlet, New Jersey.
  • Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds
  • Chesapeake Bay south of North Beach and the tidal Potomac south of Cobb Island
  • Delaware Bay south of Slaughter Beach

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:

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  • North of Great Egg Inlet, New Jersey to Sandy Hook, New Jersey
  • Long Island from East Rockaway Inlet to the eastern tip along the south shore and from Port Jefferson Harbor eastward on the north shore
  • New Haven, Connecticut to Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts including Cape Cod, Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket.

Elsa is the earliest fifth-named storm on record.

Author: CBSMiami.com Team
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Azerbaijani minister discloses amount of state guarantees for business credits issued in 5M2021

BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 7

By Zeyni Jafarov – Trend:

The Entrepreneurship Development Fund under the Ministry of Economy has provided state guarantees for new business credits amounting to 129.7 million manat ($ 76.29 million) through Electronic Credit Platform in the first 5 months of 2021 under the loan-guarantee mechanism, the ministry’s head Mikayil Jabbarov said on Twitter, Trend reports on July 7.

According to Jabbarov, demand for the credits on 847 applications through the platform made up 224.1 million manat ($ 131.8 million).

As the minister earlier said, the Entrepreneurship Development Fund issued preferential loans for 24.9 million manat ($ 14.6 million) via the authorized credit organizations from January to May 2021.


Follow the author on Twitter: @jafarov_zeyni

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Read more here >>> Trend – News from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran and Turkey.

State pension age rises force retirement plan changes – ‘vital’ funding guidance issued

State pension ages have been steadily rising in recent years as state legislation pushes retirement ages upwards. Currently, most people will reach their state pension age on their 66th birthday but this will rise over the coming years.

Canada Life detailed changes to state pension legislation have impacted the retirement plans of homeowners over 40, with only a quarter saying they will retire at their state pension age.

Nearly a third (31 percent) of respondents said they plan to work beyond their state pension age, with this increasing to 50 percent of the over 60s.

Equally, 34 percent plan to finish up work early and retire before their nominated state pension age. One in ten (11 percent) said they had already stopped working before their state pension kicked in.

When asked what they expect their main source of income to be in retirement, nearly a third (28 percent) of homeowners aged 40 and above expect the state pension will provide the “bedrock” of their income (22 percent for men vs 36 percent for women), even with the full state pension currently standing at just £179.60 per week, or £9,350 per year.

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When looking at what sources of income will be incorporated into retirement planning, a gender gap emerged.

Canada Life noted while men and women both expect to rely on the state pension equally, gaps emerged in the following assets:

  • Workplace pension – 67 percent (73 percent for men vs 61 percent for women)
  • Personal pension – 34 percent (38 percent for men vs 29 percent for women)
  • ISAs – 26 percent (30 percent for men vs 22 percent for women)
  • Financial investments – 15 percent (19 percent for men vs 11 percent for women)

“However, the amount received is not generous by any standard and, as a result, the onus is on individuals to take personal responsibility to save for retirement.

“Employees can build on the state pension and any workplace savings they have.

“Self-employed people face more of a challenge as they don’t have an employer to help fund their retirement.

“As the goalposts for the state pension shift, it is vital people check their state pension age, the amount they are due to receive, and whether they are eligible for the full state pension.

“It’s equally important that those who have spent time out of employment check their record, claim any National Insurance credits possible, and think about making any top-ups in order to be entitled to as much state pension as possible.

“Taking a proactive approach, seeking the help of an adviser, and making good decisions now will all help to fund retirements.”

Author: Connor Coombe-Whitlock
Read more here >>> Daily Express :: Finance Feed

London dispersal order issued as Met fear ‘anti-social behaviour’ as England play Ukraine

The force tweeted: “Due to recent reports of anti-social behaviour we have implemented a section 35 Dispersal Zone in the #City until 7am 04/07/21. Anyone involved will be directed by officers to leave the #City, and may be arrested for not doing so.”

Police have confirmed this is due to reports of anti-social and not directly linked to the England v Ukraine Euro 2020 game.

Section 35 orders derive from the 2014 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

It grants police heightened, temporary powers to disperse and people, and confiscate items from those gathering in certain areas.

More to follow…

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Author: Steven Brown
Read more here >>> Daily Express :: UK Feed

Man Utd and Chelsea issued harsh transfer reminder as Italy defeat Austria at Euro 2020

It was Real Madrid who won the race to sign the talented defender, who issued a reminder of his undoubted quality during Austria’s Euro 2020 Round of 16 defeat to Italy.

Listed as major favourites to come out on top, Roberto Mancini’s side struggled to find a way past the resolute Austrian defence and could consider themselves fortunate to take the match to extra-time.

Italy were relieved to see VAR intervene in the 65th minute of the match as Marko Arnautovic headed home from close range – an opportunity that arose following a powerful header inside the area by Alaba.

His emphatic individual performance went somewhat under the radar due to his country conceding two goals in extra-time, as Italy’s second-half substitutions began to make an impact on the game.

Alaba was able to keep the likes of Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne at bay for the opening 90 minutes, but persistence eventually paid off as Mancini’s men continued to probe.

The Austria captain led by example all evening at Wembley, painting a clear picture as to why so many sides were keen to tie him down to a deal.

Manchester United and Chelsea were two teams listed as potential destinations for the ten-time Bundesliga winner, with both teams yet to recruit in this position.

It is unlikely that either side will find an option as strong and dependable as Alaba, who put in a performance that deserved much more than a cruel early exit from the Euros.

Real Madrid may well have lost one leader in Sergio Ramos, but they will soon have a new figure ready to take centre stage at the Bernabeu.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Russia issued brutal threat to Royal Navy warship: ‘If you don't change course I'll fire’

The British warship was reportedly warned it would be fired upon unless it changed course. The dramatic encounter came as tensions continue to mount in the region.

More than 20 Russian aircraft and two coastguard ships were said to be shadowing the HMS Defender.

However, Moscow claimed the Royal Navy ship violated territorial waters near the disputed peninsula and opened warning fires.

The UK Government has rejected Russia’s account of the incident and denied that any warning shots were fired.

A BBC journalist who was on-board the British warship said hostile warnings were being issued over radio by the Russian forces.

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“No shots were directed at HMS Defender and we do not recognise the claim that bombs were dropped in her path.”

On Wednesday night, Russia released footage filmed from one of its Su-24M attack jets, showing the HMS Defender sailing off the Crimea.

However, no shots were seen being fired in the footage.

The incident is the first time since the Cold War that Russia acknowledged using live ammunition to deter a NATO warship.

The HMS Defender’s Captain, Vincent Owen, said his mission was confident but non-confrontational and insisted he was maintaining course on an internationally recognised shipping lane.

The BBC’s correspondent on the ship, Jonathan Beale, claimed it was a “deliberate move to make a point to Russia”.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: World Feed