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The top U.S. infectious disease expert on Sunday urged eligible Americans to get booster coronavirus vaccinations to give them the best protection against the new omicron variant.Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, told ABC’…

The top U.S. infectious disease expert on Sunday urged eligible Americans to get booster coronavirus vaccinations to give them the best protection against the new omicron variant.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, told ABC’s “This Week” show that omicron can evade the protection provided by the three vaccines available in the United States. Nearly 202 million Americans are considered fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, but only 53.8 million of them have received booster shots.

“If you want to be optimally protected, absolutely get a booster,” he said.

“The somewhat encouraging news is that preliminary data show that when you get a booster… it raises the level of protection high enough that it then does do well against the omicron,” Fauci said.

Health experts say that early anecdotal evidence shows that those who contract the omicron variant experience a mild illness, but its long-term effects are unknown.

Omicron is highly transmissible, but the delta variant is still driving a sharp increase in the number of new cases in the U.S. The U.S. is now adding another 118,000 cases a day, a 42% increase in the last two weeks, but so far there are only 140 reported omicron cases.

The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus now stands at nearly 794,000, more than in any other country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC.

Fauci said 60 million eligible Americans have not been vaccinated and that about 100 million are eligible for boosters.

Source: Voice of America

OIC Secretary General Calls for Emergency Humanitarian Aid for Cameroonian and Sudanese Refugees Arriving on Chadian Territory following Inter-communal Conflicts in Darfur and Northeast Cameroon

Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), H.E. Mr Hissein Brahim Taha, follows with deep concern the humanitarian situation in Chad marked by the arrival of thousands of Cameroonian and Sudanese refugees on the territory of Ch…

Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), H.E. Mr Hissein Brahim Taha, follows with deep concern the humanitarian situation in Chad marked by the arrival of thousands of Cameroonian and Sudanese refugees on the territory of Chad, following inter-communal conflicts in Darfur and northeastern Cameroon.

Building on the call for aid launched on 08 December 2021 by H.E. Army General Mahamat Idriss Deby, President of the Military Transitional Council in Chad, the OIC Secretary General invited the Member States, OIC financial institutions and international partners to provide prompt assistance to enable Chad to address this humanitarian emergency.

Source: Organisation of Islamic Cooperation

Man United reports positive tests for virus ahead of PL game

London, Some players and staff members at Manchester United reported positive tests for the coronavirus on Sunday, reports AP.The people who tested positive were sent home before training and the Premier League was notified. The rest of the squad train…

London, Some players and staff members at Manchester United reported positive tests for the coronavirus on Sunday, reports AP.

The people who tested positive were sent home before training and the Premier League was notified. The rest of the squad trained and practice was adjusted to individual and non-contact sessions.

United is scheduled to play Brentford in the Premier League on Tuesday. Tottenham had a coronavirus outbreak last week, forcing the postponement of two of its games — including a match at Brighton in the Premier League.

British newspaper The Sun was the first to report the positive tests at United. United played Norwich away on Saturday, winning 1-0, and the whole travelling group tested negative in routine tests.

Source: Bahrain News Agency

Samuel Eto’o elected as Cameroon FA president

YAOUNDE, Former Barcelona and Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o has been elected as the President of the Cameroonian Football Federation (Fecafoot) on Saturday.Eto’o saw off challenge from the interim President of Fecafoot, Seidou Mbombo Njoya after five ot…

YAOUNDE, Former Barcelona and Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o has been elected as the President of the Cameroonian Football Federation (Fecafoot) on Saturday.

Eto’o saw off challenge from the interim President of Fecafoot, Seidou Mbombo Njoya after five other candidates opted out of the electoral race.

Prior to the election, Eto’o was acting as the global ambassador for the Qatar 2022 World Cup while Mbombo Njoya is currently the fourth vice-president of the Confederation of African Football.

The election took place at the Hotel Mont Febe in Yaounde and it was supervised by the president of the Fecafoot electoral commission, Glibert Schlick.

Eto’o’s triumph at the poll means he will now take charge of the smooth running of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon between Jan 9 and Feb 6.

The 40-year-old won the continental title twice with the Indomitable Lions in 2000 and 2002, and he is celebrated as one of the icons of Cameroon football after claiming the African Player of the Year award for a record four times (2003, 2004, 2005 and 2010).

Back in September, Eto’o declared his candidacy for the top leadership position in Cameroonian football with the target of revamping the sport in the Central African nation.

Eto’o, who spent the majority of his playing career in Spain, had stints at Real Madrid, Leganes, Espanyol, Mallorca and Barcelona between 1997 and 2009 where he won several laurels including La Liga, Copa del Rey, Uefa Champions League, Fifa Club World Cup amongst others.

He continued his winning sojourn at Inter Milan for two years before he moved to Turkey’s Anzhi Makhachkala and England where he turned out for Chelsea and Everton.

The African legend ended his playing career in Qatar in 2019, four years after he called time on his international career that produced 56 goals in 118 games for Cameroon.

Source: Nam News Network

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Italian opera masterpieces at Shaikh Ibrahim center on Monday

Manama, Italian Soprano Laura Baldassari and Pianist Sabrina Avantario will enthrall spectators on Monday with arias and songs from Italian opera. During the concert at Shaikh Ibrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Center for Culture and Research in Muharraq,…

Manama, Italian Soprano Laura Baldassari and Pianist Sabrina Avantario will enthrall spectators on Monday with arias and songs from Italian opera.

During the concert at Shaikh Ibrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Center for Culture and Research in Muharraq, historical masterpieces of Italian opera will be rendered.

The concert, to be held under strict health precautionary measures, including only 50% seating capacity, will start at 8 pm. It will be streamed live on the center’s YouTube channel.

Laura Baldassari was born in Ravenna in 1985. At the age of 18 she started studying Opera with professor Patricia Brown.

She perfected her art with Maestro William Matteuzzi and followed Soprano Edda Moser masterclasses at the Mozarteum in Salzburg where she sang as best alum of her class in the wiener saal and in schloss hoch.

In 2008 she won the first prize at the contest “Dino Caravita” and gained a two-year scholarship awarded by the Lions Club Dante Alighieri, Ravenna.

She has appeared in several concerts as a soloist presenting an opera repertoire including chamber music and contemporary compositions.

In 2009 she was chosen to play the role of Cunegonda in the opera Candide by L. Bernstein for the opera studio L.T.L. supported by the theaters of Pisa, Lucca and Livorno.

Subsequently she has been selected for the opera Die Groschenoper by Kurt Weill, where she played the roles of both Polly and Jenny.

She attended the Scuola dell’Opera del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, and debuted there as the main character in “Le bel indifferent” by Marco Tutino.

According to Artemusicale, she also played “Catherine” in the operetta “Pomme d’Api” by J.Offenbach at Teatro Comunale di Bologna.

She has taken part in a touring performance in Italy and at Royal Opera House in Muscat of “Il Trovatore” (a Ravenna Festival Production) in the role of Ines, directed by Maestro Paskowsky

Source: Bahrain News Agency

COVID-19 Disrupts Education for More Than 400 Million in South Asia

NEW DELHI — More than 400 million South Asian children have been affected by school closures extending into a second year in some countries during the COVID-19 pandemic according to a new UNICEF report.The United Nations agency has urged the region’s c…

NEW DELHI — More than 400 million South Asian children have been affected by school closures extending into a second year in some countries during the COVID-19 pandemic according to a new UNICEF report.

The United Nations agency has urged the region’s countries to fully reopen schools, warning that the consequences of lost learning are huge and will be long-lasting in a region where access to remote learning is limited.

“The remarkable achievements our region has made in advancing child rights over recent decades are now at risk,” said George Laryea-Adjei, UNICEF regional director for South Asia.

“If we fail to act, the worst impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt for decades to come,” he said.

School closures in South Asia have lasted longer than in many other parts of the world with schools remaining fully closed on an average for nearly 32 weeks between March 2020 and August this year, according to the report.

In Bangladesh, schools were shut for 18 months, until September, one of the longest closures in the world. In countries such as India and Nepal they have only partially reopened.

The transition to remote learning has been difficult in a region where many houses do not have internet connectivity and where access to smartphones is limited – an earlier study showed that in India for example nearly half of the students between ages 6 and 13 reported not using any type of remote learning during school closures.

Many teachers also found they lacked the training to make remote learning work effectively, according to UNICEF.

The loss of learning happened in a region where many children were already lagging.

Citing examples, the report said that one study in India showed that the proportion of third grade children who could read a first grade level text fell from around 42% in 2018 to 24% in 2020.

It said girls were at a particular disadvantage because they had more limited access to mobile devices and were under increased pressure to perform domestic work.

There have been some successes – in Sri Lanka and Bhutan the distribution of published material to continue out-of-school learning helped children keep up with their studies.

UNICEF has called on countries to prioritize helping students catch up on the learning they have missed, pointing out that South Asia is home to more adolescents than any other part of the world and will need 21st century skills to gain a foothold in a region where jobs remain scarce.

The report also flagged concerns about the disruption of health services such as regular immunization drives due to the pandemic. It said that key actions are needed to “reverse the alarming rollback in child health and nutrition.”

The report said that the picture in South Asia remains bleak compared to developed countries, where more people are immunized, and economies are recovering.

Only 30% of South Asians are fully vaccinated, the report said, “and as the region braces itself for future waves of the virus, more children and families are slipping into poverty.”

Source: Voice of America