Your Monday Summary: Omigron avoids many vaccines

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good morning. We cover the latest Omigron news, the Hong Kong elections and the Times Inquiry into civilian casualties from US airstrikes.

A growing body of preliminary research suggests that most Govt vaccines provide no protection against infection from the highly contagious Omigran variant. Only booster-backed vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna, which are not widely available worldwide, are effective against infections.

Other vaccines – including AstroGeneca, Johnson & Johnson and vaccines made in China and Russia – have done nothing to stop the spread of omigran, according to preliminary research. As most countries have developed vaccination programs around these vaccines, this gap could have a profound impact on the course of the epidemic.

However, most vaccines used worldwide offer significant protection against serious diseases. Early Omigron data suggest that hospitals in South Africa are significantly lower in this wave.

Us: The fourth wave came just days before Christmas. More than 125,000 Americans get tested positive every day, and hospital admissions in two weeks have increased by almost 20 percent. Only one in six Americans has received a booster shot.

Here are the latest updates and maps of the epidemic.

Among other developments:

  • Some Southeast Asian tourist sites have reopened, but some foreigners are still traveling.

  • Two lawyers and a civil rights activist are under investigation after trying to prosecute the country’s leaders for their devastating handling of the epidemic in Iran.

  • The UK is considering locking up as cases increase.


Hong Kong held assembly elections this weekend, imprisoning or deporting several opposition leaders for the first time since Beijing changed its constitution to a strict “patriot” only.

Under the restructuring, only 20 sites were directly selected by residents; The rest were selected by industry groups or Beijing believers. My colleague Austin Ramsey says that total control of the establishment in the legislature is now guaranteed.

Analysis: Although the government has effectively determined the outcome of the election, it is still pressuring voters and the opposition to participate in order to give legitimacy to the vote.

Profile: Polls suggest that Gary Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, is the region’s most influential leader. But Lam appears to have been revived and is ready to seek a second term if Beijing allows it.


The five-year Times investigation into US air wars in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan has been plagued by deeply flawed intelligence, a rapid and often inaccurate target, with thousands of civilian deaths – with very little responsibility.

The military’s own covert estimates, obtained by The Times, document the death toll of more than 1,300 civilians since 2014, many of them children. All of these findings are in stark contrast to the US government’s image of war waged by drones and precision bombs.

Documents also show that despite the Pentagon’s highly codified system for investigating civilian casualties, its promises of transparency and accountability have led to opacity and impunity.

details: Here are the key points from the first part of the investigation. The second part will be released in the coming days.

Posts: The Times received records of claims for information freedom and lawsuits filed against the Department of Defense and the U.S. Federal Command. Click here to access the full draw.

Asia

Raguko, one of the oldest and worst forms of comedy in Japan, has long been dominated by men. But a female artist, Neo Katsura, is now praised for her uncanny ability to portray drunkards and idiots alike – male and female.

The New York Times Faces Quiz provides an opportunity to see how well you know some of the personalities for 2021. We have selected 52 people. When each face is shown to you, you must tell us the name. (Yes, we are good at spelling.)

Compared to other Times readers, play it here.

What to cook

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