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Soccer-Everton’s COVID-19 cases, injuries force Premier League to postpone Burnley game



COVID-19 cases and injuries at Everton forced the Premier League to accept the club’s request for a postponement and called of their Boxing Day fixture away at Burnley, the league said on Friday.

It is the 13th Premier League game to be called off due to COVID-19 and third Boxing Day fixture to be postponed after Liverpool v Leeds United and Wolverhampton Wanderers v Watford were called off on Thursday due to cases in the visiting teams.

Everton manager Rafa Benitez said on Thursday that his club had a request to postpone Sunday’s match rejected by the Premier League, adding it was unfair as he had six injuries and five players down with COVID-19.

“The Board reviewed the club’s request today to postpone the match following further injuries to their squad,” the Premier League said in a statement.

“They concluded that the club will not be able to fulfil their fixture this weekend as a result of an insufficient number of players available to play due to COVID-19 cases and injuries.”

The Premier League only grants a postponement if a club has fewer than 14 players — 13 outfield players and one goalkeeper — available, with the board examining requests on a case-by-case basis.

Both clubs have already had matches postponed this month with Burnley now staring at a fixture pile-up with four games in hand after Boxing Day.

The East Lancashire club had games against Watford and Aston Villa postponed due to COVID-19 outbreaks while a home clash against Tottenham Hotspur was called off less than two hours before kickoff due to heavy snowfall.

Burnley are in the relegation zone, in 18th place on 11 points from 15 matches. Everton are in 14th spot on 19 points from 17 games.

Britain reported a record 119,789 new daily COVID-19 cases on Thursday as it battles a surge in infections fuelled by the Omicron variant.


(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Alison Williams and Christian Radnedge)


Sinovac regimen gets strong boost from Pfizer, AstraZeneca or J&J COVID shots – study



A third booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine made by AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech or Johnson & Johnson increases antibody levels significantly in those who have previously received two doses of Sinovac’s CoronaVac shot, a study has found.

The study found that CoronaVac received the strongest boost from a viral vector or RNA shot, including against the Delta and Omicron coronavirus variants, researchers from Brazil and Oxford University said on Monday.

China-based Sinovac’s vaccine uses an inactivated version of a coronavirus strain that was isolated from a patient in China. It is currently approved in more than 50 countries including Brazil, China, Argentina, South Africa, Oman, Malaysia, Indonesia and Turkey.

“This study provides important options for policymakers in the many countries where inactivated vaccines … have been used,” said Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group and study lead.

However, another study in December found that Sinovac’s two-dose shot followed by a booster dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine showed a lower immune response against the Omicron variant compared with other strains.

Viral vector vaccines such as the ones developed by AstraZeneca-Oxford and J&J use a weakened version of another virus to deliver genetic instructions for making proteins from the virus against which protection is sought. Pfizer and BioNTech’s mRNA vaccines deliver a genetic transcript with instructions for making viral proteins to teach the body how to defend against infections.

A third dose of CoronaVac also increased antibodies, but the results were better when a different vaccine was used, according to the latest study that included 1,240 volunteers from the Brazilian cities of Sao Paulo and Salvador.

Antibody levels were low before the booster doses, with only 20.4% of adults aged 18-60 and 8.9% of adults aged over 60 having detectable levels of neutralising antibodies. These were seen to significantly increase across every booster vaccine regimen, according to the study, which was published in the Lancet medical journal on Friday.


(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil and Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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A Unstoppable Universal Plague



During the 15th Century, the world was exposed to what seemed like an unstoppable plague. Victims a new and terrifying plague was upon Europeans, and then spread throughout Europe, to Africa, Asia, and beyond. where it came from no one really knows.

Victims experience pustules erupting on their noses, lips, eyes, swelling into ulcers as the sores crept into their mouths and down their throats. Their muscles and bones became painful, especially at night. Most physicians thought they were seeing either leprosy or elephantiasis, or something worst.


These medical professionals were experiencing mass Syphilis for the first time. In a two hundred year period over a hundred million people were affected with many millions dying. This plague was an equal opportunity infliction. Rich and poor, Kings and their Queens, Lords and their ladies, members of the growing middle class were all inflicted. This STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) became most difficult to not only treat but also identify. As mentioned above, the inflicted showed various symptoms, this disease began as painless and easily missed sorely at an infection site, which over a short period of time disappeared, followed by a copper penny rash on the hands and feet. When the rash cleared up, the disease became latent, infecting the brain, eyes, heart, blood vessels, liver, and bones. These symptoms did not follow the same pattern, making it difficult to recognize what the inflicted was suffering.

Syphilis spreads through skin-to-skin contact mutating into a much deadlier sexually transmitted disease. Known as the great pretender, syphilis affected young men who succumbed to the wiles of prostitutes. These young men went home to their wives, girlfriends, and family members inflicting these innocents with this disease. Syphilis can be transmitted by either gender. In the middle ages, women were often blamed for the spread of this disease. The Catholic Church prohibited sex outside of marriage, in an attempt to stop the spread. Previously prostitutes had been considered a needed service to the community, with brothels and prostitutes a common community element. Brothels and prostitution became illegal in many lands, and sex workers could face prison time.

Condoms, a linen sheath infused with chemicals was introduced to European cultural life. The use of mercury was also introduced, and in time many realized they were poisoning themselves using this method of medical treatment.
Society’s response to this deadly disease was to persecute women of the lower classes, those who may be forced to become active in the sex trade so they could feed their families. Unfortunately, the religious organizations of the world and their powerful allies assaulted Womanhood in many ways, attempting to control the disease (not the men who spread it) buy controlling women. The Spanish Inquisition, British Witch Persecutions, divestment of women within the Church all were efforts to assert man’s predominance within society and protect manhood everywhere. To admit and recognize that men were the super spreaders of this disease could not become common knowledge, or at least acted upon openly.
In 1908 a German Scientist named Paul Ehrlich discovered Salvarsan, a magic bullet that could kill the microbes without harming the inflicted. This antibiotic-like material worked well to bring Syphilis under control.

Unfortunately, this pandemic continues to spread throughout the world today. Like Covid-19 there are many syphilis mutagens, different strains with similar, yet slightly different symptoms. In 2019 over 27 million people worldwide were recognized to be inflicted with syphilis, many in parts of the world where needed medicine cannot be readily found. Syphilis also facilities both HIV transmission and acquisition. The Great Pretender of STDs will find a way to spread and kill. Better watch out, and better not cry, just know what harmful things are out there folks. Be very much aware, alert, and alive.

Steven Kaszab
Bradford, Ontario

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Canada’s Trudeau slams ‘fear mongering’ over COVID vaccine mandate for truckers



Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday accused conservative politicians of stoking fear that COVID-19 vaccine mandates for cross-border truck drivers are exacerbating supply chain disruptions and fueling inflation.

The United States imposed a mandate, meant to aid the fight against the fast spreading Omicron variant of the coronavirus, on Jan. 22, while Canada’s started on Jan. 15. The trucking industry has warned the measure will take thousands of drivers off the roads during what is already a dire labor shortage in the industry.

Alberta’s conservative provincial leader, Jason Kenney, called for a pause of the mandate last week, and on Monday posted pictures on Twitter of empty shelves in supermarkets, calling for “immediate action” by both the U.S. and Canadian federal governments.

“This is turning into a crisis,” Kenney wrote.

“I regret that the Conservative Party and conservative politicians are fear mongering to Canadians about the supply chain, but the reality is that vaccination is how we’re going to get through this,” Trudeau told reporters when asked about supply chain disruptions resulting from the policy.

Pierre Poilievre, finance critic for the main federal opposition Conservative Party, last week called the requirements a “vaccine vendetta against our hardworking truckers” that will drive up inflation and result in “empty shelves” at stores.

Trudeau has resisted industry pressure to delay the mandate, saying everyone should be vaccinated and Canada is aligned with the United States, its largest trading partner. More than two-thirds of the C$650 billion ($521 billion) in goods traded annually between Canada and the United States travels on roads.

Canada’s inflation rate hit a 30-year high of 4.8% in December and economists said the vaccine mandate may contribute to keeping prices higher for longer. In the United States, inflation surged 7% on a year-on-year basis in December, the largest rise in nearly four decades.

Canadian Manufactures & Exporters President and Chief Executive Dennis Darby said he and other manufacturing lobbies spoke with Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne on Friday about problems caused by the vaccine mandate.

Manufacturers are already seeing delays and price increases, Darby said.

“Our supply chain in North America is a very, very efficient supply chain, but it’s not very resilient,” Darby said in an interview on Monday. “It doesn’t have a lot of slack.”

After the meeting with Champagne, Darby’s group and some 30 other trade associations called for concrete action to tackle supply chain problems, including reversing the trucker inoculation mandate.

A convoy of truckers started off from Vancouver on Sunday on its way to protest the mandate in the capital city of Ottawa.


(Reporting by Steve Scherer, additional reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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