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- US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was interrupted by a protester shouting “Let’s Go Brandon” as she was delivering a speech in San Francisco on Monday.
- Elon Musk sparked a torrent of comments after he posted a snippet from a 1995 interview with Bill Gates on the David Letterman Show. The footage shows the Microsoft co-founder talking to the host about the Internet, with Letterman making sarcastic remarks about the World Wide Web and doubting that it will become a big thing. “I can remember a couple of months ago, there was, like, a big breakthrough announcement that on the Internet, or on some computer deal, they were going to broadcast a baseball game. You could listen to a baseball game on your computer and I just thought to myself, ‘does radio ring a bell?’” the TV host said. Musk captioned his post with the question: “Given the almost unimaginable nature of the present, what will the future be?”
- “The World Economic Forum will defer its Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, in the light of continued uncertainty over the Omicron outbreak. The Annual Meeting was scheduled to take place in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland between 17-21 January, 2022. It is now planned for early summer,” the organizers said in a statement. “Participants will instead join a headline series of State of the World sessions bringing together global leaders online to focus on shaping solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges,” the statement went on.
- Venezuela has condemned the decision by the UK Supreme Court on Venezuelan gold, saying that the ruling creates serious risks for investors who have entrusted their funds to the British financial system, the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday. According to the ministry, with its decision, the UK Supreme Court showed that it is not impartial and independent of the government. Venezuela will continue to use all the resources at its disposal to protect international reserves, the ministry added. The long-running legal battle for the gold began after Guaido declared himself interim president in the wake of public protests in Venezuela in January 2019. After that, the Bank of England refused to fulfill a request made by the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) to have access to the gold to buy medicine and equipment to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Since autumn, Europe has been experiencing skyrocketing natural gas prices. Gas futures surged to an at the time all-time high of $1,900 per thousand cubic metres in early October after the post-pandemic recovery in Europe spurred demand and a rush to fill gas storage ahead of the winter season.
- New York City is offering $100 to every resident who will receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose before the new year, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday.
- Closing arguments in the Jeffrey Epstein “Madam” case were made on Monday afternoon and the jury is now deliberating. During the arguments, the prosecution labeled Ghislaine Maxwell a dangerous and sophisticated predator, while her defense tried to argue the British socialite is an “innocent woman.” Assistant U.S. Attorney Alison Moe said Jeffrey Epstein could not have preyed on teenage girls for more than a decade without the help of the British socialite, who she described as the “lady of the house” as Epstein abused girls at a New York mansion, a Florida estate and a New Mexico ranch. “Ghislaine Maxwell was dangerous,” Moe told jurors.
- White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci has called for the firing of Fox News host Jesse Watters.
- Giant millipedes the size of a vehicle once slithered across north England before the age of the dinosaurs, a new study has revealed after scientists discovered the creature’s 326-million-year-old fossilized remains. Researchers believe the 75-centimeter-long specimen represents a portion of Arthropleura’s exoskeleton that was shed near a river bed and then preserved by sand. The creature’s total length is estimated to have been 2.7-metres (about nine feet) and it would have weighed about 50kg (roughly 110 pounds).
- On Friday, the British High Court in London overturned an earlier lower court decision blocking the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States. The ruling sends the case back to the Magistrate’s Court with instructions to allow the extradition to be approved or denied by British Home Secretary Priti Patel. The extradition is now in the hands of Patel, unless Assange’s lawyers, as expected, file an appeal to the UK Supreme Court. If extradited to the United States, Assange – who oversaw the WikiLeaks publication of documents and videos that exposed US war crimes and a range of other illegal and nefarious activities – faces a 175-year prison sentence.
- The FDA has just confirmed that it plans to authorize the Merck and Pfizer pills, which have proven reasonably successful at suppressing serious COVID symptoms in potentially high-risk patients. Three senior administration officials leaked the news to Bloomberg, which called it a “milestone” in the fight against the pandemic.
- The Japanese government has told its citizens “do not discriminate against those who have not been vaccinated.” Germany is set to follow Austria by imposing mandatory jabs, with refuseniks who still resist taking them facing escalating fines and eventually prison sentences. However, Japan is taking a very different approach, asserting that vaccines should only ever be administered with full consent and that they shouldn’t be used as tools of coercion or intimidation.
News Burst 22 December 2021