In yesterday's debate, the Minister of Health, Jan Blatný, stated that if hospitals reach their maximum capacity, the measures will have to be tightened vigorously. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, on the contrary, plans to finally start easing measures, following a successful vaccination campaign. Actor James Franco has settled a 2019 class-action lawsuit that accused him of sexual misconduct while teaching. Read about it in today's Early Bird!
With more than 120,000 deaths so far, Britain has suffered the fifth-highest pandemic death toll in the world. At the same time, the country has experienced the biggest economic crash in more than 300 years. However, a rapid start of the vaccination campaign combined with a nearly two-month-long rigorous lockdown have significantly reduced the number of infected people. This means that the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson can now provide for a gradual easing of measures, starting with the return of children to school.
"Our decisions will be made on the basis of the latest data at every step and we will be careful about this approach so as not to undo the progress we have made so far,"
said Johnson, who is under great pressure from both the politicians from his own party and scientific advisers who fear a resurgence of the virus if measures are eased too quickly.
Britain has been making much faster progress with the vaccine than most of the West. About 17.6 million people have already received the first dose, which is more than a quarter of the population. The government aims to give the first dose to all adults by the end of July.
In the CNN Prima News debate yesterday, the Minister of Health commented on the current situation. He said that if hospitals reached their maximum capacity, the measures would have to be tightened vigorously. However, he believes the Czech Republic is not in such a situation yet.
"If they get into a situation where they won't be able to provide other than intensive care and everything else will have to be put on a halt, then that is, in my view, a reason to make a completely fundamental change, which would have to be truly draconian,"
the minister said in the debate. According to epidemiologist Roman Prymula, the Czech Republic would benefit from a really strict lockdown. However, he stated on Czech Television that it was too late, because such a measure should have come much earlier. He identified the failure to go through with the regulations in early December as the main mistake.
"At this point, it is very difficult to imagine the introduction of any further measures, precisely because of their acceptance,"
Yesterday, white House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said that the United States began communicating with Iran over detained Americans. Iran has arrested dozens of foreign citizens in recent years, including several Americans, mostly on espionage charges.
Sullivan said for CBS News that this issue was a major priority for Joe Biden's administration. He added that the US president was determined to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and that diplomacy was the best way to achieve that. The United States is ready to negotiate with Iran about the return of the two nations to the 2015 agreement, which aimed to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons while lifting most international sanctions. However, Iran has not yet responded.
Actor James Franco has settled a 2019 lawsuit that accused him of sexual violence against his students at the acting school he founded. According to the girls' accusations, Franco was to force the students to perform explicit sex scenes in front of the camera, they themselves described it as "class orgies".
Franco's lawyers called those allegations false and outrageous, legally unfounded and filed as a class-action lawsuit with the obvious aim of gaining as much publicity as possible for plaintiffs who seek attention. However, according to a joint report, the girls eventually dropped the previous charges; it is not yet clear how much money was included in the settlement agreement.
The Cincinnati authorities in Ohio found a shipment that contained an incredible 20 kilograms of cornflakes wrapped in cocaine. According to a US press release, the shipment was on its way to a private residence from Peru to Hong Kong.
"When the police opened the box to take a closer look, they saw that the cereal contained white powder and the flakes were coated with a grey film. The police tested the flakes as well as the powder and found out that they contained cocaine,"
says the report. According to it, such an amount of cocaine is worth more than 61 million crowns. The port of Cincinnati has been fighting the influx of dangerous drugs for a long time.
Have a successful start to the workweek. Forget all previous setbacks and remember the words of writer Catherine Pulsifer:
"Every day is a chance to begin again. Don't focus on the failures of yesterday, start today with positive thoughts and expectations."