After a night of violence in Jerusalem, the Israeli police made over 50 arrests and Palestinian medics said 100 were injured during Ramadan clashes in the contested city at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
From late Thursday night into early Friday, the police in riot gear and on horseback fought to keep apart two groups of protesters — Palestinian youth hurling firecrackers and setting fire to garbage bins, and ultra-nationalist Israelis chanting anti-Arab slogans. The police deployed armoured vehicles spraying foul-smelling skunk water towards Palestinians gathered around Jerusalem’s historic Damascus Gate and hundreds of right-wing Israelis several hundred metres away. — Reuters
Palestinians say the police tried to stop them from holding their usual Ramadan evening gatherings outside Damascus Gate.
Covid Variant Found In India Now In 44 Countries
Covid Variant Found In India In October Now In 44 Countries: WHO
The WHO said the B.1.617 variant of Covid-19, first found in India in October, had been detected in sequences uploaded to the GISAID open-access database “from 44 countries in all six WHO regions.”
The World Health Organization said Wednesday that a variant of Covid-19 behind the acceleration of India’s explosive outbreak has been found in dozens of countries all over the world.
The UN health agency said the B.1.617 variant of Covid-19, first found in India in October, had been detected in more than 4,500 samples uploaded to an open-access database “from 44 countries in all six WHO regions”.
Outside of India, it said that Britain has been the most affected and had reported the largest number of Covid cases caused by the variant.
Earlier this week, the WHO declared B.1.617 – which counts three so-called sub-lineages with slightly different mutations and characteristics – as a “variant of concern”.
It was therefore added to the list containing three other variants of Covid-19 — those first detected in Britain, Brazil and South Africa.
The variants are seen as more dangerous than the original version of the virus because they are either being more transmissible, deadly or able to get past some vaccine protections.
The WHO explained Wednesday that B.1.617 was added to the list because it appears to be transmitting more easily than the original virus, pointing to the “rapid increases in prevalence in multiple countries”.
WHO also pointed to “preliminary evidence” that the variant was more resistant to treatment with the monoclonal antibody Bamlanivimab, and also highlighted early lab studies indicating “limited reduction in neutralisation by antibodies”.
It stressed, though, that “real-world impacts” on the effectiveness of vaccines against the variant for instance “may be limited”.
WHO said the spread of B.1.617, alongside other more transmittable variants, appeared to be one of several factors fuelling India’s dramatic surge in new cases and deaths.
India — a country of 1.3 billion people — is the world’s second-most infected after the United States with nearly 23 million Covid-19 cases, and is currently recording more than 300,000 new cases and close to 4,000 deaths each day.
The new surge in cases has ravaged major cities, including the capital New Delhi and financial hub Mumbai, pushing hospitals to breaking point and leading to severe shortages in oxygen and beds.
“WHO found that resurgence and acceleration of Covid-19 transmission in India had several potential contributing factors, including increase in the proportion of cases of SARS-CoV-2 variants with potentially increased transmissibility,” it said.
It also pointed to “several religious and political mass gathering events which increased social mixing; and, under-use of and reduced adherence to public health and social measures”.
“The exact contributions of each of these factors on increased transmission in India are not well understood.”
WHO stressed that so far, only 0.1 percent of positive Covid tests in India had been genetically sequenced and uploaded to the GISAID database to identify the variant in question.
By the end of April, B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2 accounted for 21 and seven percent respectively of all sequenced samples from India, it said.
Bombing outside School kills 50, with girls as target
Powerful explosions outside a School in Afghanistan’s Kabul on Saturday killed more than 50 School going teenage girls and injured around 147. According to officials, the number reached to 85 recently.
The blasts and the targeting of girls as they left the Sayed Ul-Shuhada high school came as rights groups and others alarmed the American troop withdrawal would leave women, and their educational and social gains, particularly vulnerable.
A car bomb was detonated in the neighborhood of Dasht-e-Barchi, and two more bombs exploded when students rushed out in panic.
The area where the blasts happened is home to a large community of Shiites from the Hazara ethnic minority, which has been targeted in the past by Islamic State, a Sunni militant group.
The U.S blamed a troop of Taliban for the attack whereas Taliban denied it on social media. Many believe the bomb attack was a warning from the Sunnis of the Country as they had declared war against Shiites in the past.
The blast was huge and as per officials many families were searching for Hospitals on Sunday for their daughters.
“The first blast was powerful and happened so close to the children that some of them could not be found,” an Afghan official said
About 200 injured in clashes with police
More than 200 Palestinian worshippers have been injured in clashes with Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and elsewhere in occupied East Jerusalem, as weeks-long tensions between Israel and the Palestinians over Jerusalem soared again.
The violence erupted on Friday near the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and the Damascus Gate. The clashes also left at least six Israeli police officers injured.
“205 Palestinians have been injured,” the Red Crescent said.
The organization set up a field hospital in the area to provide the injured people with medical assistance.
During the protests, an Israeli police officer assaulted a cameraman of RT’s global multimedia agency Ruptly. The video issued by Ruptly shows the officer threatening to break the camera and then striking it from the journalist’s hands.
Following the incident, Ruptly suspended the live broadcast but resumed it soon.
The unrest in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem started a week ago over the plans of the Israeli authorities to resettle 28 Palestinian families from the area.
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