Thursday, July 07, 2022 |
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Britain first to authorize antiviral pill for COVID-19
Britain became the first country on Thursday to authorize the use of an antiviral pill for COVID-19, a treatment that could help tame the pandemic. The drug, known as molnupiravir and sold by pharmaceutical company Merck, was shown in a key clinical trial to reduce by half the risk of hospitalization and death in high-risk COVID patients who were treated early in their infections. Dispensed from a pharmacy and taken at home, the drug is expected to reach more people than treatments like monoclonal antibodies, which are typically administered at a hospital or clinic. The drug is expected to become available in the United States as soon as December.
Over 40 countries pledge to end use
of coal power
More than 40 countries pledged to phase out coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, in a deal announced Thursday at the United Nations climate summit that prompted Alok Sharma, the head of the conference, to proclaim that “the end of coal is in sight.” But several of the biggest coal consumers were notably absent from the accord, including China and India, which together burn roughly two-thirds of the world’s coal, as well as Australia, the world’s 11th-biggest user of coal and a major exporter. The United States, which still generates about one-fifth of its electricity from coal, also did not sign the pledge.
Crackdown sweeps Ethiopia’s capital as war draws near
House-to-house searches. Arbitrary arrests. Families cowering in their homes, dreading a knock on the door. A wave of fear spread across the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Thursday as authorities accelerated their campaign against members of a once-powerful ethnic group accused of sympathizing with rebels now pressing toward the city. The sweeping measures targeting Tigrayans, from the same ethnic group as fighters who have been locked in civil war with Ethiopian government forces for the past year, raised concerns that the stage has been set for bursts of ethnically motivated violence. “The situation is very intense and really frightening,” said Hailu, an ethnic Tigrayan.
Biden administration sues Texas over new voting restrictions
The Biden administration on Thursday sued Texas over new election laws that outlasted a summer of dramatic protests by Democrats, who remain unable in Congress to pass legislation they say is needed to counteract a year of Republicans adding restrictive voting measures nationwide. The lawsuit does not go after the entirety of a sweeping bill signed in September by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in Texas. Instead, the challenge filed in a San Antonio federal court targets provisions surrounding mail-in voting requirements and voter assistance, which the Justice Department argues violate federal civil rights protections.
Analyst who aided Trump-Russia dossier charged with lying
A Russian analyst who contributed to a dossier of Democratic-funded research into ties between Russia and Donald Trump was arrested Thursday on charges of lying to the FBI about his sources of information, among them a longtime supporter of Hillary Clinton. The case against Igor Danchenko is part of special counsel John Durham’s ongoing investigation into the origins of the FBI’s probe into whether Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia had conspired to tip the outcome of that year’s presidential campaign.
Scientists find fossil of early hominid in South Africa
The fossil remains of an early hominid child have been discovered in a cave in South Africa by a team of international and South African researchers. The team announced the discovery of a partial skull and teeth of a Homo naledi child who died almost 250,000 years ago when it was approximately 4 to 6 years old. The remains were found in a remote part of the cave that suggests the body had been placed there on purpose, in what could be a kind of grave, said the announcement Thursday.
By wire sources
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