An international team of researchers found that 320,000 years ago humans already developed impressive social structures and technological innovations such as using color pigments and manufacturing more sophisticated tools. The first evidence of human life in the Olorgesailie Basin comes from about 1.2 million years ago. For hundreds of the thousands of years, people living there…
Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced the 11-day closure a day after President Vladimir Putin ordered a nationwide paid week off at the end of the month to curb fast spreading infections.
Russia reported a record 1,036 Covid-19 deaths in a single day Thursday, but officials have warned the worst is yet to come, with only 35 percent of Russians fully vaccinated.
Sobyanin said all non-essential retail, sporting and entertainment venues must close for the period. Shops selling food, medicine and other essentials will remain open.
Restaurants and cafes will be able to sell take-away food, the mayor said in a statement.
Mass events will be banned and schools will be closed, with the days off coinciding with national school holidays.
Theatres and museums can stay open, but entry will be allowed only with QR codes.
The mayor said the measures were necessary because the "situation in Moscow is continuing to develop according to the worst-case scenario."
When restrictions end on November 8, Moscow will also halt free public transport passes for unvaccinated passengers over 60 or with chronic disease.
"Please take this decision with understanding. It was adopted with the aim of protecting the lives and health of the most vulnerable Muscovites," Sobyanin said.
He had previously told unvaccinated over-60s in the Russian capital to work from home and extended mandatory vaccinations for service workers.Officials this week said the virus is spreading faster than ever, with Russia registering 36,339 new cases on Thursday Dimitar DILKOFF AFP/File
Officials this week said the virus is spreading faster than ever, with Russia registering 36,339 new cases on Thursday.
Putin on Wednesday linked Russia's high death rates to what he called an "unfortunately" low vaccination rate.
"Please, show responsibility," Putin urged Russians.
Despite multiple pleas from Putin and the homegrown Sputnik V vaccine being widely available since December, many Russians are reluctant to vaccinate themselves.
Putin's own spokesman Dmitry Peksov said Wednesday that he had not been inoculated, even if he repeatedly urged Russians to do so.
Although it is being used in dozens of countries, Sputnik V is not approved by the EU or by the World Health Organization.
An aide to Russia's health minister, Alexei Kuznetsov, told local media on Thursday that the date for an inspection by the EU's drug regulator, the European Medicines Agency, is "still being discussed."
"We are preparing a visit (by the EMA) this year," he was quoted as saying by state news agency TASS.
Western vaccines are not available in Russia and the Kremlin this week insisted that bringing them into the country would not help the sluggish vaccination rates.
The fatalities on Thursday brought the country's official death toll from the disease to 227,389.
But figures published by statistics agency Rosstat in October paint a far darker picture, suggesting that more than 400,000 people have died in the country from the coronavirus.
© 2021 AFP
Marjorie Taylor Greene hopes to boost influence over GOP with help from scandal-plagued Tom DeLay deputy
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has hired an aggressive new chief of staff with a scandal-plagued background to boost her national profile.
The conspiracy-mongering Georgia Republican coaxed disgraced former House majority leader Tom Delay's one-time chief of staff, Ed Buckham, out of retirement as she looks to announce a round of endorsements for 2022 candidates, reported the Washington Examiner.
"I need some helpers in there," Greene said.
Executives from the Russian energy company Naftasib funneled nearly $3.4 million in the late 1990s to corporations linked to fraudster lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the U.S. Family Network that was operated by Buckham, who was never charged in the scheme.
"[Buckham is] a strong conservative, definitely believes in the America First agenda, has had more experience in the swamp, so to speak, probably than most people working on the Hill right now, and I need that wisdom and experience on my team to achieve what I'm looking to do, and so this is a serious hire," Greene said. "It's the first of more to come, and I'm not afraid of the controversy."
"What I am more interested in doing is bringing on a chief of staff that will help me achieve the things that I think need to be done for our country," Greene added, "and that is forcing the Republican Party to be the Republican Party they say they are on television and on the campaign trail, but actually doing it in action in the conference."
Buckham has been away from Capitol Hill for years, although he was a candidate in 2016 for chief of the House Freedom Caucus.
"I wouldn't come back for just any member, and I'm excited to get started," Buckham said. "I see Marjorie Taylor Greene as an absolute game changer, and that's why I'm coming back to the Hill to join her team. Congresswoman Greene is fighting to secure our border and make our country safe, stop the mountain of debt burying future generations, and to end the genocide of abortion in America. MTG truly wants to change Washington and put America First."
Digital rights advocates on Wednesday shrugged off reports that Facebook is planning to change its name by accusing the company of attempting to divert attention from its failure to address problems plaguing the platform and calling for meaningful regulation of—and in some cases, breaking up—the social media giant.
"Like Big Tobacco and Big Oil rebranded to deflect attention for their crimes, Facebook thinks that a rebrand can help them change the subject."
According to The Verge, Facebook will be rebranded next week "to reflect its focus on building the metaverse," a shared digital environment enhanced by virtual and augmented reality. The new name remains a secret.
Earlier this year, Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg told The Verge that the metaverse "is going to be a big focus, and I think that this is just going to be a big part of the next chapter for the way that the internet evolves after the mobile internet."
Critics were quick to deride the potential name change, which comes on the heels of whistleblower testimony accusing the company of threatening children and democracy, as well as a "How to Stop Facebook" campaign launched last week by a coalition of over 40 advocacy groups.
"Just to be clear Facebook, our problem with you is not your name," tweeted the progressive political action committee MeidasTouch.
In a statement, the Real Facebook Oversight Board (RFOB) said, "Like Big Tobacco and Big Oil rebranded to deflect attention for their crimes, Facebook thinks that a rebrand can help them change the subject."
Some observers responded to the news of the possible rebrand with tongue-in-cheek tweets:
Others wondered how a name change would help reduce the dissemination of misinformation and hate speech on Facebook.
"When are you going to profiting off hate?" tweeted the NAACP. "Our advice: Keep the name, change the policy!"
"It's easy to dismiss this as a joke or think Nick Clegg has snapped a tether," RFOB said, referring to the company's vice president for global affairs and communications, "but this is a sign Facebook will go to any length to distract from their failure to keep hate off of their platforms."
"Whatever they call themselves, the issue remains," the group added. "Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp, under any parent brand or name, need real and independent regulation and oversight now."
Still others renewed calls for more aggressive measures against the social media giant.
"Now would be a great time to break up Facebook," tweeted the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen.
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