The world responds to Omigron
A new corona virus variant named Omicron, named by the WHO, is being shown around the world, triggering stock market crashes and border closures. It has so far been found in Britain, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, the Netherlands and elsewhere, generally among returnees from South Africa. Here is a map of the cases.
Countries in South Africa have bitterly protested, many of the world’s richest nations have cut them off from travel, renewed the debate over epidemic border closures and exacerbated the problems faced by poorly vaccinated nations. Australia, Britain and the European Union have banned travelers from South Africa and neighboring countries.
Scientists are scrambling to gather data on variation. Early findings suggest that Omigran may be more contagious than previous versions of the virus and may be able to prevent the body’s immune response. But vaccines can prevent serious illness and death. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are preparing to rearrange their footage if needed.
What’s in a name: In naming the variant the WHO is very easily confused with the two Greek letters, except Nu, “new” and Xi, the common Chinese surname and the name of the leader of China.
Britain fights deficit
Distribution shortages continue to plague Britain, and the government is concerned about disruptions during the holidays. Along with a shortage of truck drivers, global shipping delays, product shortages, epidemics and Brexit restrictions, some supermarket shelves have been emptied and retailers are warning that not every Christmas gift will be available.
The British government’s offer to issue 5,000 temporary visas to 5,000 truck drivers did not appeal to Polish drivers. In mid-October, a Conservative party official said more than 20 applications had been approved.
To reduce the reliance on truck drivers, some have come up with creative solutions. Each weekend, the 32-car, 1,600-foot “wine train” travels 100 miles between Tilbury and Davenport Harbor, carrying nearly 650,000 bottles of wine to deliver to stores. The British may at least have alcohol during Christmas.
Talking Turkey: Companies in the Food and Beverage Federation deliver 97 percent of their orders on time. Now, one-fifth of the items will not be shown when expected and whoever is left out of the holiday schedule is anyone’s guessing, the group’s chief executive said.
The escalating cyber war between Israel and Iran
The protracted secret cyber war between Israel and Iran extends past military targets as millions of civilians bear the brunt of the shadow campaign. No one was killed in the recent attacks, but if their goal was to create large-scale chaos, anger and stress, they were largely successful.
In recent weeks, a cyber attack on Iran’s nationwide fuel supply system has shut down 4,300 gas stations in the country, which took 12 days to fully restore service. In Israel, private details of the sexual lives of hundreds of thousands of people were stolen from an LGBTQ dating site and uploaded on social media.
Such attacks are likely to escalate as hopes for a diplomatic revival of the Iranian nuclear deal fade. Unsecured computer networks are generally less secure than those connected to state security assets.
News from the region: As most parts of the country faced drought, Iran violently suppressed protests against growing water shortages.
Other great stories
Woman on the Bridge: Police and prosecutors spent five years pursuing a domestic violence case. Is that enough?
The art and fashion worlds lost two adults this weekend. Stephen Sonheim, one of the most influential songwriters in the history of musicals, has died at the age of 91. On Sunday, Virgil Aplo, a black dress designer who broke the barrier, died at the age of 41 after a two-year battle with rare cancer.
The star changes by pint size cast
Many young people have received accolades for their roles in the play of honor this season among them Jude Hill, who played the bar in “Belfast”; Sania Sidney and Demi Singleton as Venus and Serena Williams in “King Richard”; Woody Norman appears in “Simon Simon” with Joaquin Phoenix; And Daniel Ranieri in the play “The Tender Bar” directed by George Clooney.
For The Times, Sarah Bahr talked to these young stars about the time they were in the limelight. Edited excerpts from their conversations are here.
Jude Hill, 11: When I first saw my face on a poster, I thought, “That’s not true.” I’m still a normal kid, this is my first film, but I think I can achieve anything if I work hard.
Demi Singleton, 14: Any role that exemplifies how powerful women can be is a role I like to play. I also like to make an action movie like “Wonder Woman” or “Black Widow” because it’s been my dream since I was a kid. .
Daniel Ranieri, 10: I have never had the desire to be an actor. I wanted to be a race driver, then I changed my mind and wanted to be a firefighter, but now I’m determined to be an actor.
Woody Norman, 12: I want people watching the film to say that young people like you are right-minded people. We are not children or infants.
Play, watch, eat
What to cook