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  • Oxford Malaria vaccine proves highly effective in Burkina Faso trial
    by Sarah Boseley Health editor on April 23, 2021 at 4:01 am

    Vaccine developed by scientists at Jenner Institute, Oxford, shows up to 77% efficacy in trial over 12 monthsA vaccine against malaria has been shown to be highly effective in trials in Africa, holding out the real possibility of slashing the death toll of a disease that kills 400,000 mostly small children every year.The vaccine, developed by scientists at the Jenner Institute of Oxford University, showed up to 77% efficacy in a trial of 450 children in Burkina Faso over 12 months. Related: Scientists sound warning note over malaria drug resistance in Africa Continue reading... […]

  • Chinese Don Quixote is translated into Spanish after 100 years
    by Sam Jones in Madrid on April 23, 2021 at 4:00 am

    Lin Shu’s forgotten 1922 text, The Story of the Enchanted Knight – with a less deluded Don Quixote – in edition for China and SpainIn the early 20th century a pioneering and appropriately idiosyncratic man of letters took it upon himself to translate the first part of Don Quixote into classical Chinese.Undaunted by his lack of Spanish – or indeed any western language – and helped by a friend who had read two or three English translations, Lin Shu published The Story of the Enchanted Knight in 1922. Continue reading... […]

  • Astronomers map asteroid’s 22m-year journey to Earth
    by Ian Sample Science editor on April 22, 2021 at 11:16 pm

    Flight path of Kalahari’s six-tonne asteroid is first tracing of meteorite shedding rock to solar system originAstronomers have reconstructed the 22m-year-long voyage of an asteroid that hurtled through the solar system and exploded over Botswana, showering meteorites across the Kalahari desert.It is the first time scientists have traced showering space rock to its source – in this case Vesta, one of largest bodies in the asteroid belt that circles the sun between Jupiter and Mars. Continue reading... […]

  • One dose of Pfizer or Oxford jab reduces Covid infection rate by 65% – study
    by Ian Sample Science editor on April 22, 2021 at 11:01 pm

    Analysis of test results from more than 350,000 people finds older people just as protected as youngerCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageOne shot of the Oxford/AstraZeneca or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine reduces coronavirus infections by nearly two-thirds and protects older and more vulnerable people as much as younger, healthy individuals, a study has found.The results from Oxford University and the Office for National Statistics are a welcome boost to the vaccination programme and the first to show the impact on new infections and immune responses in a large group of adults in the general population. Continue reading... […]

  • Children with brothers and sisters overlooked for adoption
    by Robert Booth Social affairs correspondent on April 22, 2021 at 11:01 pm

    Latest data from councils in England shows siblings make up largest number of ‘harder to place’ childrenHundreds of children are being overlooked for adoption because they have brothers or sisters who also need a new home, according to a campaign to reverse the trend whereby a third of potential parents do not consider adopting siblings.Siblings make up the largest number of “harder to place” children still waiting for families, according to the latest figures from local authorities in England. These include boys and girls aged over five, children with a disability, and those from minority ethnic backgrounds. Related: Why are adoption numbers falling, when there are so many children in need? | Margaret Reynolds Continue reading... […]

  • Leak inquiry launched as No 10 insiders accuse Dominic Cummings
    by Jessica Elgot , Dan Sabbagh and Aubrey Allegretti on April 22, 2021 at 10:29 pm

    Reports over former adviser could draw attention away from the contents of leaks such as texts to James DysonThe Cabinet Office is to launch an internal investigation into the leak of Boris Johnson’s text messages with the billionaire businessman James Dyson – with reports saying that some in No 10 are accusing the prime minister’s former adviser Dominic Cummings of being the source.The prime minister’s spokesperson said the decision had been made to launch a formal investigation into the leak, which showed that Johnson promised to change tax rules by saying: “I will fix it tomo!” It comes amid growing concern over Johnson’s use of a personal mobile phone in government. Related: James Dyson: the Brexit cheerleader now caught up in ‘Tory sleaze’ Related: A lot of people pitched in during Covid, but only Dyson got a tax waiver for it | Gaby Hinsliff Continue reading... […]

  • Welsh government accused of ‘playing politics’ by speeding up lockdown easing
    by Steven Morris on April 22, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    Opponents say first minister, Mark Drakeford, is making capital out of timing of announcements during election campaignThe easing of the lockdown in Wales is being accelerated, with a range of indoor activities for adults and children to be allowed earlier than expected and a date set for when pubs, bars, cafes and restaurant could serve indoors.Hospitality firms and workers, exercise enthusiasts and families fond of a trip to soft play areas will cheered by the move.Outdoor attractions such as funfairs, theme parks and swimming pools will be able to openOutdoor hospitality will be allowedOutdoor organised activity for up to 30 people will be permitted but only run by a responsible individual or an organisation such as a football, rugby, tennis or cricket clubOutdoor wedding receptions for up to 30 people can go aheadGyms, other fitness facilities and leisure centres will be allowedPeople will be able to form an extended household with one other householdSupervised indoor activities for children such as soft play areas will be allowedIndoor organised activities for up to 15 adults, for example, exercise classes and swimming lessons, can re-startCommunity centres can reopenBars, pubs, cafes and restaurants will be able to serve customers indoors (in line with England)All tourist accommodation, indoor entertainment and attractions will open Continue reading... […]

  • David Cameron kept pushing Bank and Treasury to risk £20bn to help Greensill
    by Kalyeena Makortoff, Rajeev Syal and Jessica Elgot on April 22, 2021 at 8:02 pm

    Former prime minister sent string of emails to Bank officials and argued firm should be a priority for Treasury fundingDavid Cameron repeatedly pushed the Bank of England and the Treasury to risk up to £20bn in taxpayer cash to help Greensill Capital, just as the lender started to face “significant” financial pressure at the start of the pandemic.The UK’s central bank was urged to provide support to Greensill, including by setting up a fund that would buy loans made by the financial services company and its competitors, in a string of emails to senior officials. Related: Mandarins reveal virtually endless string of virtual meetings with Greensill | John Crace Continue reading... […]

  • ‘Aren’t our lives worth more?’: Daunte Wright mourned at Minneapolis funeral
    by Chris McGreal in Minneapolis on April 22, 2021 at 7:50 pm

    Days after streets filled with people celebrating Chauvin’s conviction the city held a funeral for the Black man shot by policeTwo days after the streets of Minneapolis filled with people celebrating the conviction of a former police officer for murdering George Floyd, the city held a funeral on Thursday for Daunte Wright, a young Black man shot dead by police during a traffic stop.The killing of Wright, 20, two weeks ago by a police officer who said she mistook her gun for a Taser shocked a city still reeling from Floyd’s death and anxiously watching the trial of his killer, Derek Chauvin. The shooting of Wright, the father of a one-year-old boy, in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center sparked days of protests and led to dozens of arrests. Related: ‘We don’t have the benefit of doubt’: the fear of driving while Black Continue reading... […]

  • Les McKeown, Bay City Rollers frontman, dies aged 65
    by Ben Beaumont-Thomas on April 22, 2021 at 7:09 pm

    Singer died suddenly at home according to family, with no cause of death announcedLes McKeown, the singer who led the Bay City Rollers in their most successful period, has died aged 65.His family said that he “died suddenly at home”, and asked for privacy following “the shock of our profound loss”. No cause of death has been announced. Continue reading... […]

  • People in England could get Covid passports for foreign travel by 17 May
    by Aubrey Allegretti, Jessica Elgot and Miles Brignall on April 22, 2021 at 6:53 pm

    Documents still under development but should be available by time international travel restrictions lift, sources sayCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageMillions of people in England could be provided with so-called Covid passports by 17 May to let them take holidays abroad this summer and potentially avoid quarantine when they reach their destination, the Guardian has learned.The documents – likely to be different from domestic Covid certificates, which the government is working on separately – are still under development but should be made available before restrictions on international travel lift next month, sources said. Continue reading... […]

  • Fossil fuel subsidies are a ‘disgrace’, Greta Thunberg tells US House panel
    by Oliver Milman on April 22, 2021 at 6:45 pm

    Climate activist asked to speak at hearing as part of push by Democrats to include fossil fuel subsidy elimination in billSubsidies given to fossil fuel companies are a “disgrace” and must be immediately ended, Greta Thunberg, the Swedish climate activist, has told a US congressional committee.A sweeping $2tn infrastructure plan put forward by Joe Biden has proposed the rolling back of support and tax breaks for oil, gas and coal producers to help lower planet-heating emissions and pay for new investments. Eliminating such subsidies would bring in $35bn to the US government over a decade, according to the Biden administration. Related: Greta Thunberg dubs herself a ‘bunny-hugger’ after Boris Johnson’s climate remarks Related: Biden vows to slash US emissions by half to meet ‘existential crisis of our time’ Continue reading... […]

  • EU’s legal pursuit of AstraZeneca looks short-sighted
    by Nils Pratley on April 22, 2021 at 6:39 pm

    Only semi-guaranteed outcome is that big pharma will never again agree to work for no profit during a pandemicIt’s been hard to keep up with the European commission and EU leaders’ changing stances on the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine. But the ferocity of complaints about delayed deliveries seemed to have lessened in recent weeks. When Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, had her first dose of the product last week, she thanked everyone who was involved in the vaccination campaign.News that the commission is about to sue AstraZeneca for its failure to deliver promised doses to the bloc takes things back to the bitterness of January. Stephen Donnelly, Ireland’s health minister, spoke in the Irish parliament on Thursday about the company’s “complete failure” to meet contractual agreements and said the country would be joining the legal action. Continue reading... […]

  • Covid: Lancashire firm wades into Dyson ventilators row
    by Rob Davies on April 22, 2021 at 6:07 pm

    NorVap says it has been unable to sell devices it created in response to Hancock’s ‘ventilator challenge’Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageA small medical ventilator firm has hit out at the apparent special treatment given to the engineering firm Dyson on tax, after it was left unable to sell more than 100 devices built at the request of the health secretary, Matt Hancock.The Lancashire-based NorVap started building ventilators at the onset of the Covid pandemic in mid-March 2020 after the government called on British industry to join a “ventilator challenge” to help the NHS treat a flood of Covid-19 patients. Related: A lot of people pitched in during Covid, but only Dyson got a tax waiver for it | Gaby Hinsliff "If you produce a ventilator, we will buy it. No number is too high."Health Secretary @MattHancock says "the thing the NHS needs now more than anything is more ventilators", and the has been "buying as many as we can".Follow #Ridge live: Continue reading... […]

  • Grenfell landlord didn’t take ‘risk of another fire seriously’, inquiry told
    by Robert Booth Social affairs correspondent on April 22, 2021 at 6:01 pm

    Landlord took five years to replace ventilation system after 2010 fire spread smoke across 11 storeysThe landlord of Grenfell Tower took five years to replace a smoke ventilation system that the London fire brigade said had suffered “catastrophic failure” in a fire in 2010 that spread smoke across 11 storeys and injured three people, the inquiry into the disaster has heard.The Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) was told by the LFB that the system needed a full test after it failed causing injuries to residents, including Sayeda Ahmed who lived in flat 156. She received an admission of liability from the council landlord after she inhaled heavy smoke that had spread from the fire on the sixth-floor landing, the inquiry heard. Related: Grenfell resident who raised fire concerns labelled troublemaker, inquiry told Continue reading... […]

  • Home Office breaches own rules deporting Vietnamese migrants
    by Diane Taylor and Chris Humphrey in Hanoi on April 22, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    Six of 14 enforced removals did not spend required five working days in immigration removal centre prior to flightAlmost half of the Vietnamese migrants forcibly removed from the UK on a Home Office charter flight are understood to have been put on the plane in breach of the department’s own rules, the Guardian has learned.Twenty-seven Vietnamese nationals were removed on Wednesday on the flight, which took off from Birmingham. It is believed to have been booked with the holiday airline Tui, although the company refused to confirm or deny this. Fourteen were enforced returns and 13 were voluntary departures. Related: UK Home Office charters its first ever deportation flight to Vietnam Continue reading... […]

  • Airlines fail to add extra flights from India on eve of UK ban
    by Jamie Grierson and Rebecca Ratcliffe on April 22, 2021 at 5:43 pm

    Heathrow refuses more incoming flights ahead of Covid red list bar starting early Friday for most travellers from IndiaCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageAirlines have attempted to lay on extra flights to cope with passengers hoping to leave India and beat the Covid ban on entering the UK, but have been hit with rebuttals by airports and by cancellations.India, which reported more than 314,000 new coronavirus infections – a daily Covid-19 infection record globally – is facing a critical shortage of hospital beds and oxygen, and will be added to the UK red list from 4am on Friday 23 April. Continue reading... […]

  • UK MPs declare China is committing genocide against Uyghurs in Xinjiang
    by Patrick Wintour Diplomatic editor on April 22, 2021 at 5:34 pm

    Vote does not compel government to act but marks further decline in relations with ChinaBritish MPs voted to declare that China is committing genocide against the Uyghur people in Xinjiang province.The motion passed on Thursday does not compel the government to act but is likely to mark a further decline in relations with China. In response, Beijing’s embassy in the UK accused the MPs of having “cooked up” the motion “with a view to discrediting and attacking China”. Continue reading... […]

  • UK south-Asian diaspora despairs as India joins Covid red list
    by Lucy Campbell on April 22, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    With travel from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh banned, some UK families are stuck abroad, while others cannot visit frail relatives Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageFor the past 17 months, Saurav Dutt has had to watch from afar as relatives were lost to Covid, ancestral homes were damaged by a typhoon, and the mental toll of isolation, grief and illness led elders to question their very existence.He had flights booked for May, but with cases soaring and India on the UK’s travel red list from 23 April, that is no longer an option. “It’s a very worrying time,” Dutt said. “You would think there are a million ways to help from over here, but we’re handcuffed. To deal with these things we need to be there.” Continue reading... […]

  • High court to hear legal battle over UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia
    by Dan Sabbagh on April 22, 2021 at 5:07 pm

    Campaign Against Arms Trade claims UK-made weapons have been used in airstrikes in Yemen that breach humanitarian lawAnti-arms trade campaigners have been given permission to challenge in the high court the UK government’s decision to resume the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia that could be used in the war in Yemen.Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) won leave to seek a judicial review of a decision taken by international trade secretary, Liz Truss, last summer, which was followed by £1.4bn worth of arms exports soon after. Related: British arms sales prolonging Saudi war in Yemen, says Oxfam Continue reading... […]