January 2022

Winter Olympics: What it’s like to fly into Beijing’s Covid ‘bubble’

The journey inside the bubble starts with a copy of the “Playbook,” an 83-page rule book described by Olympic officials as a “way of life.” The guide instructs participants to upload their daily temperature readings into an app 14 days before the Games and to isolate during that time to avoid infection. As Omicron cases are surging in Tokyo, where I live, I didn’t take any chances. By the time I departed for Beijing, I was fully vaccinated, had tested negative for Covid twice, and had stocked my suitcase with face masks and snacks to eat if I failed a…

Discover it® Cash Back Review

0% intro APR for 14 months for purchases — on top of the high cash back rate, this card also features a very competitive 0% intro APR offer. The go-to variable rate applies after the intro period expires. This can be a smart way to finance larger purchases, or simply if you find yourself in a temporary bind and want to avoid interest into 2023. 0% intro APR for balance transfers –– The same length 0% intro APR for 14 months applies for balance transfers. The go-to variable rate applies after the intro period expires. If you have credit card…

Authorities rush to contain oil spill moving toward eastern Thailand resort island

Bangkok — Authorities are rushing to prevent an oil spill in eastern Thailand from damaging fragile corals, after officials said on January 30 that the leak that began last week was drifting towards more coastal areas. Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Varawut Silpa-archa said it was crucial to try to prevent the main mass of oil from reaching the shore at Ao Prao, a small bay on Koh Samet, which is a popular resort island. “If the oil reached inside this area it could impact the beach and cause heavy damage to the shallow water corals,” Varawut said….

Jacinda Ardern in self-isolation as Covid cases rise in New Zealand

“The exposure event took place on Saturday 22 January during flight NZ8273 from Kerikeri to Auckland,” the New Zealand government said in a press release Saturday. The statement added that the country’s Governor-General — Dame Cindy Kiro — and members of her staff were also on board this flight and are following the same isolation instructions. It added that Ardern was exposed as a close contact when she and the Governor-General were in Northland “undertaking advance filming at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds” for the Waitangi Day broadcast. The genome sequencing result for the case is due on Sunday and it…

Mattarella: Italy’s ruling parties agree president should remain in position

After seven rounds of ballots, Italy’s “grand electors” — members of Parliament and regional representatives who are charged with selecting a new president in a process that does not directly involve the general public — seem to have found agreement in Mattarella staying in position. Mattarella was voted president of Italy in 2015 and his seven-year term is due to expire on February 3. However, the 80-year-old has previously ruled out remaining in office and made no public comments on Saturday amid speculation that he will remain president. CNN reached out for comment but did not receive an immediate response….

Australia to spend a record $35 million to protect koalas

“Koalas are one of Australia’s most loved and best recognised icons, both here at home and across the world, and we are committed to protecting them for generations to come,” Morrison said in the statement. The fund will be used for “restoring koala habitat, improving our understanding of koala populations, supporting training in koala treatment and care, and strengthening research into koala health outcomes,” Morrison said. With the new investment, the Australian government will have dedicated $74 million Australian ($52 million US) on koalas since 2019, it added. Since 2018, about 30% of Australia’s koalas have been lost due to…

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