OPINION: This Christmas will be awkward for many families. We all seem to have at least one close friend or loved one who has refused the Covid-19 vaccine. Some of those people will approach the holiday season newly jobless due to a vaccine mandate at their workplace, or unable to enter a restaurant or take a flight because they can’t produce a vaccine certificate. They might be angry at the world, and at you, for failing to support their stance. I’m thinking about what I’m going to say to the people in my orbit who fall into the anti-vaccine camp. I’m not going to try and convince them of the safety of the Pfizer vaccine or the evidence, or lack thereof, for Covid treatments touted as alternatives to the vaccine. I’m seriously hoping no-one brings up 5G conspiracy theories. READ MORE: Covid-19: Government refuses to reveal price Kiwis pay for Pfizer vaccine, fearing effect on supply FDA advisers review Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for kids Understanding the … [Read more...] about Science is the best system to determine reality
All systems go
Explainer: In the midst of exams and reduced end-of-year celebrations, schools will be getting to grips with what life looks like under the traffic light system. The Ministry of Education has recently released advice about how they can operate under “red”, “orange” and “green” settings. While the rest of the country shifts to the Covid-19 Protection Framework on December 3, schools won’t need to until January 1, 2022 – which means they’ll keep the current public health measures in place for the rest of the year. And many students and teachers won’t notice a change until late January, when they walk through the gates after summer holidays. To give readers a better understanding of how the new traffic light system operates, Stuff is breaking down key areas. Here are some main takeaways for education so far. READ MORE: Covid-19 NZ: How the traffic light system will work and when New Zealand will use it Covid-19: Masks in schools 'recommended but not mandated' at level … [Read more...] about Explainer: What will schools look like under the traffic light system?
Ukraine’s president on has claimed to have uncovered a coup plot organised by Russians that was due to have been put into action as early as next week. Volodymyr Zelenskiy made the claims during a press conference in which he insisted Kyiv was “entirely prepared for an escalation” as Russian troops mass near the border of his country. Intelligence services had obtained an audio recording of unnamed Russians and Ukrainians discussing how to raise a billion from Rinat Akhmetov, a Ukrainian oligarch, to fund a coup that would topple the president. “This is a special operation ... to lead a war against the state of Ukraine,” Zelenskiy said, without pointing the finger directly at the Kremlin. READ MORE: NATO chief warns Russia of 'costs' if it moves on Ukraine Russia will invade in new year, says Ukraine military He said the coup was planned for next Wednesday (Thursday NZ time), but did not provide further details. Akhmetov - a billionaire tycoon who has had … [Read more...] about Russians have been planning a coup in Ukraine for next week, says Kyiv
Law enforcement intercepted footballs filled with contraband goods at a Mississippi prison on Monday. Smugglers threw more than 25 packages over a remote section of fence at the South Mississippi Correctional Institution at 1:30 a.m. Some of the illegal goods were sewn into footballs, which the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) noted "easily cleared" the correctional facility's double 18-foot-tall fences. According to the MDOC, the packages contained tobacco, marijuana, cigars, cellphones and seven pounds of barbecued chicken wings, among other contraband items. However, the footballs alerted the facility's sensors allowing corrections officers to quickly secure the area and confiscate all the thrown contraband. South Mississippi Correctional Institution Superintendent Andrew Mills and Security Chief Michael McLendon also spotted the smugglers' alleged vehicle. The facility has since called on state and local law enforcement to search for the vehicle. "We are … [Read more...] about Smugglers throw footballs over fence to deliver BBQ chicken, marijuana to prisoners
Daily global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) fell by 17 percent in early April of this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to daily averages in 2019, researchers have found. According to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change , the significant reductions in CO2 emissions during April were the result of government policies—such as lockdowns—that were implemented in order to prevent the spread of the disease. The researchers said that, at their peak, the reductions in daily global CO2 emissions were "extreme." Nevertheless, the figure only fell to levels that were last seen in 2006. The lack of real-time global emissions data has presented a challenge for researchers trying to quantify the impact of the lockdown. So in the latest study—the first peer-reviewed paper to be published looking into the effects of coronavirus lockdowns on CO2 emissions—the scientists made estimates using data sources, such as daily electricity use and mobility tracking … [Read more...] about Daily global carbon dioxide emissions fell by 17 percent at peak of COVID-19 confinement measures in April