Early Bird: Melania Trump endangered pediatric patients. Another vaccine close to approval. New law on rape
The Early Bird wishes you a fine Wednesday! Hopefully the day will treat you better than it did Melania Trump, who has to explain why she took off her face mask at the pediatric ward. On the contrary, women in Pakistan can celebrate today because a new law on rape is finally coming into force! What else has happened in the past hours at home and abroad?
Greater cooperation in the construction of Smíchov
The first phase of the construction of the Smíchov City project began this autumn on one of the most important brownfields in Prague. But there are more construction plans in store for the whole site, such as the reconstruction of the Smíchov railway station or the creation of a P+R car park. For faster communication and easier planning in the long term, the key owners are founding a project that should involve, among others parties, the Capital City and the City District of Prague 5.
"The aim of the association is to build a new modern Prague district, the construction of which is associated with the coordination of all projects from various investors. To achieve this, it is necessary to define the principal tasks such as the identification of the main problems in the area or the establishment of effective cooperation between Prague, the city district and key owners,"
Petr Hlaváček, First Deputy Mayor, describes the reason for the establishment of the association.
The association will be founded by the companies that owners of the largest part of the area, the Sekyra Group and Česká spořitelna NHQ. The entry of the capital City and the City District of Prague 5 into the association will strengthen the role of Prague in terms of development, transport and other public interests in this locality, such as the construction of a primary school. The new city district will be complemented by the modern Smíchov terminal, which will enable the interconnection of railways, metro, trams and buses, as well as offer sufficient parking capacity for cars in the P+R mode.
Melania Trump took off her mask at a children's hospital
First Lady Melania Trump broke the face mask regulations at the Children's National Hospital when she removed her mask to read a holiday book to children.
Melania has been visiting pediatric patients every year since she became the first lady and continues the tradition despite the coronavirus pandemic. The first lady arrived at the main atrium of the hospital in a face mask, but as she sat down in front of the Christmas tree, she removed her mask. Although she practiced social distancing, the hospital's policy requires all visitors to wear a mask.
"Everyone must wear a mask at all times while in any Children's National facility to prevent the spread of COVID-19,"
the hospital's policy says.
The first lady's office did not immediately comment on why Melania had removed her mask and whether she had special permission to do so.
The new Moderna vaccine is close to approval
According to regulatory authorities, the American vaccine Moderna is safe and 94% effective, which allows its use in an emergency mode. A successful analysis by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) means it could become the second coronavirus vaccine allowed in the United States. A total of 30,000 people have been tested with an efficiency of 94.1%. This information appeared the day after Americans across the country had begun receiving Pfizer-BioNTech shots.
The 54-page document stated that there were no particular safety concerns and that serious side effects were rare. The most common side effects were fever, headache, muscle and joint pain. Like Pfizer, Moderna requires a second dose, which should be administered 28 days after the first dose.
Last week, the FDA released similar information about Pfizer's vaccine before voting for approval. If Moderna is approved by the FDA team of experts and its chief this week, supplies could begin to be distributed within 24 hours.
A new law regarding rape enters into force in Pakistan
Pakistani President Arif Alvi has signed new anti-rape measures aimed at expediting convictions and increasing penalties. The new decree will create a national register of sex offenders, protect the identity of victims and allow chemical castration of some offenders. Special fast-track courts will hear rape cases and are expected to give a verdict within four months.
However, some criticized the decree, saying the penalties were too harsh and that officials had not followed the necessary consultation process before approving it. The government now has 120 days to take action in parliament and have it put into law permanently.
Awareness of sexual violence has been rising in Pakistan in the last few years. In 2015, a woman was brutally raped in a remote village and footage of the attack appeared on social networks. The country did not have laws that prevented the sharing of the record online.
LeBron and Microsoft challenge fans to make a video game
To celebrate the upcoming film Space Jam: A New Legacy, Microsoft plans to create a video game. Basketball star LeBron James, along with Microsoft, are therefore asking fans for help with making it happen.
On December 14, the technical giant and gaming division Xbox launched a fan contest, asking the participants to present a potential Space Jam video game, based on the arcade experience. Anyone over the age of 14 is eligible to participate, and all the contestants have to do is select a game genre using a key image and then describe their idea in 500 words.
The team will eventually select two winners and turn their ideas into reality - a game that will be available to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members next year. Of course, a number of other prizes have been prepared for the winners: their names will be put in game credits, they'll receive an exclusive package with signed LeBron James souvenirs, VIP packages and Space Jam: A New Legacy goodies. Microsoft will even offer a virtual coding workshop for their local community.
That's all from us for today! We wish you a successful day and don't forget to start it with replenished energy reserves. As Bob Marley said: