A new strain of coronavirus has been detected in Europe. The strain is said to be 70% more transmissible and was detected in September in the English county of Kent. It has sent the UK into a new and more severe lockdown. The British prime minister Boris Johnson has taken a lot of criticism for the new restrictions but has stuck to his guns on the subject of the new strain. The new strain is more lethal and it is unknown if the vaccine will be as effective against it as the COVID-19 strain but initial tests are displaying good results.

The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been vaccinated against the coronavirus, live on national TV, a big boost to his political career after actuations of alleged corruption dented it months earlier. Netanyahu’s representatives have stated they have secured enough doses for almost every Israeli citizen. The prime minister has not specified if his secured plan involves the quarter million Palestinians living under his rule.

The UN is sounding the alarm of a humanitarian disaster in the northern region of Ethiopia. The fear is that millions are without food and water after being displaced by violence from the conflict between the Ethiopian government and rival political groups. The UN has been denied access to a large portion of the area and phone and internet services have been cut. Tens of thousands more Ethiopians have fled to neighbouring Sudan to a handful of refugee camps that do not necessarily mean living any longer. The camps are poorly supplied and disorganized while mostly filled with women and young children.

Thousands of Rohingya refugees are making perilous journeys out of overcrowded refugee camps in Bangladesh to escape disease and extreme famine. They pay human traffickers to smuggle them into Malaysia and Thailand. Many, however, do not reach their destination often drifting, sometimes for months, washing up dead and alive in Indonesia and Brunei. At least 1 million Rohingya refugees have fled military lead genocide in their home country of Myanmar. Those that are not lost at sea can be subjected to abuse and girls often disappear just after boarding the boats, never to be seen again. The UN fears these girls are being sold into sex slave trade after their abduction. Some of the abducted girls are as young as 12 years old.

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