While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Jan 9, 2021

US House Democrats to introduce impeachment charges against Trump on Monday

Democrats in the US House of Representatives plan to introduce new articles of impeachment against Republican President Donald Trump on Monday (Jan 11), calling for his removal from office, two people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The sources said the articles, which are formal charges of misconduct, were crafted by Democratic Representatives David Cicilline, Ted Lieu and Jamie Raskin following this week’s assault on the US Capitol by Trump supporters.

A copy of the measure circulating among members of Congress charges Trump with “inciting violence against the government of the United States” in a bid to overturn his loss to President-elect Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.

The articles also cite Trump’s hour-long phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in which he asked the state election official to “find” enough votes to overturn that state’s election, which Biden won.

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London mayor Sadiq Khan triggers crisis plan as coronavirus sweeps city

London Mayor Sadiq Khan declared a “major incident” in the UK capital on Friday and warned the state-run National Health Service is at risk of being overwhelmed by a surge in coronavirus cases.

The announcement represents a stark verdict on the threat of the virus to London’s 9 million residents as pressure mounts on hospitals and ambulance services. It will spark a more coordinated response from emergency services to tackle the crisis, his office said.

“The situation in London is now critical, with the spread of the virus out of control,” Mr Khan said. 

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WHO urges rich countries to stop jumping Covid-19 vaccine queue

The World Health Organisation on Friday urged rich countries to stop jumping the queue and making bilateral deals for the first wave of Covid-19 vaccines.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that right from the outset, wealthier nations had snapped up the majority of the supply of multiple vaccines – potentially bumping up the price for everyone else battling the coronavirus pandemic.

He called on states that have booked excess vaccine doses to release them and donate them to the globally-shared Covax programme, which aims to distribute vaccines equitably around the world.

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Covid-19 variants may lead to false negative results with molecular tests

Genetic variants of the novel coronavirus, including the one found in Britain, could impact the performance of some molecular Covid-19 tests and lead to false negative results, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on Friday.

The agency has alerted clinical laboratory staff and health care providers to the possible false negative results from any molecular test, and has asked them to consider such results in combination with clinical observations, and repeat testing with a different test if Covid-19 is still suspected.

The FDA, however, said the risk that these mutations will impact overall testing accuracy is low.

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Heavy snowfall blankets much of Spain in white

Heavy snow fell across much of Spain on Friday, leaving huge areas blanketed in white as Storm Filomena brought wintry weather not seen in decades to the Iberian peninsula.

With more than half of the country on high alert for snow on Friday and Saturday, the AEMET weather agency described the situation as “exceptional and most likely historic”.

In Madrid, children could be seen hurling snowballs or playing under snow-covered palm trees, while others snapped photos of the rare whiteout which began in earnest the day after Spain celebrated King’s Day – or Epiphany.

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