Prince Charles follows in his father’s footsteps at Belfast shipyard
The Duke of Edinburgh’s visit to the Harland & Wolff shipyard in 1977 came at a time of great political turmoil, with tensions erupting on the streets and widespread violence. When the Prince of Wales followed in his father’s footsteps in Belfast on Tuesday, he faced potential risks of a rather different kind. In a sign of the times, health and safety measures meant that as he walked under the yard's towering cranes, unlike his father, Prince Charles was obliged to don a hard hat and hi-vis vest. The Prince, 72, met workers at the historic shipyard as he embarked on a two-day visit to Northern Ireland with the Duchess of Cornwall.news.yahoo.com
UK apologizes for 1971 Belfast deaths; families want more
The families of 10 civilians killed during a British military operation in Belfast half a century ago have sharply criticized Prime Minister Boris Johnson after he sent a member of his Cabinet to Parliament to apologize for the deaths, instead of doing so himself.
UK agency: Vaccination rates lowest among older Black people
The Office for National Statistics said Monday that among people 70 years old or older, the lowest vaccination rates were seen among people identifying as Black African, at 58.8%, and Black Caribbean, at 68.7%. The vaccination rate among Bangladeshis was 72.7% and for Pakistanis it was 74%. AdOverall, 90% of all residents in England in the age group have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Monday's figures also showed a markedly lower vaccination rate in the poorest areas. It was the first time the statistics agency published analysis on vaccination rates in older people broken down by factors like age, sex, ethnicity and deprivation.
UK-EU talks aim to defuse Brexit tensions over N Ireland
A woman walks past past graffiti with the words 'No Irish Sea Border' in Belfast city centre, Northern Ireland, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. Politicians from Britain, Northern Ireland and the European Union are meeting to defuse post-Brexit trade tensions that have shaken Northern Irelands delicate political balance. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)LONDON – Senior politicians from Britain, Northern Ireland and the European Union held inconclusive talks Wednesday in a bid to ease post-Brexit trade tensions that have shaken Northern Ireland’s delicate political balance. The border checks on goods entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the U.K. are a contentious product of Brexit. British, Irish and Northern Ireland politicians all expressed alarm at the plan, and the EU dropped the idea.
Sea shanties are having a moment amid isolation of pandemic
Konesni started singing sea shanties aboard a schooner in Penobscot Bay and has since traveled the world studying work songs. The app TikTok helped sea shanties surge into the mainstream. Cooped-up sailors who felt the same way on long ocean journeys broke up the tedium with work songs called sea shanties. AdPeople began using the feature to record sea shanties, and shantying quickly became a mainstream thing, starting last month. Geoff Kaufman, who made a living singing sea shanties and directed the Sea Music Festival at the Mystic Seaport in Connecticut, said he’s amused and intrigued by the sudden fascination with shanties.
NIreland stores see empty shelves as Brexit trade rules bite
Depleted shelves are seen in a Sainsbury's supermarker at the Forestside shopping centre in Belfast, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. The U.K.s biggest supermarket chains warned Wednesday, Jan. 13 that food supplies in Northern Ireland face disruption because of new checks imposed by Britains departure from the European Union. A trade deal that took effect Jan. 1 allows Britain and the EU to trade in goods without quotas or tariffs. But that is a far cry from the seamless, hassle-free trade the U.K. enjoyed while it was part of the EU’s single market. Northern Ireland remains closely tied to the bloc’s economy under the Brexit divorce terms in order to protect its open border with EU member Ireland.
Rafael Payare to head Montreal Symphony starting in 2022-23
This March 10, 2020 photo shows Venezuelan conductor Rafael Payare who has been hired as music director of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montral starting with the 2022-23 season. (Gerard Collett via AP)Conductor Rafael Payare was hired Thursday as music director of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal starting with the 2022-23 season. A Venezuelan who turns 41 on Feb. 23, Payare follows the lengthy tenures of Montreal music directors Kent Nagano (2006-20) and Charles Dutoit (1977–02). Payare has been music director of the San Diego Symphony since 2019-20 and has a contract there through 2025-26. Payare first conducted the Montreal orchestra in September 2018 in Schoenberg’s “Verklaerte Nacht,” Mozart’s Violin Concerto No.
UK hits daily virus record, is urged to keep schools closed
(Liam McBurney/PA via AP)LONDON – With daily coronavirus infections surging as a result of a new virus variant, the British government faced mounting pressure Saturday from teachers' unions to keep schools in England closed for at least another two weeks. The government, which oversees schools in England, has already decided to keep all schools in London closed next week to try to stem new infections. The U.K. on Saturday hit a daily record for new coronavirus infections — 57,725 — and looked set to soon overtake Italy once again to become the worst-hit country in Europe with nearly 75,000 COVID-19 deaths. Another union representing teachers, the NASUWT, also called for an immediate nationwide move to remote education due to virus safety concerns. On the inoculations front, Britain began vaccinating people over 80 and health care workers on Dec. 8 with the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine.
FDA chief says agency will quickly approve Pfizer's Covid vaccine for emergency use
The Food and Drug Administration is "rapidly" working toward clearing Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use after a key panel overwhelmingly endorsed the shots Thursday evening, Commissioner Stephen Hahn said in a statement Friday. "The agency has also notified the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Operation Warp Speed, so they can execute their plans for timely vaccine distribution," Hahn and Marks said. Data on Pfizer's vaccine shows it was around 95% effective in preventing Covid-19 among trial participants. At the meeting of the advisory committee on Thursday, Pfizer's head of vaccine research and development, Kathrin Jansen, made her company's case for why the committee should recommend the FDA issue an emergency approval of the vaccine. He pressed Pfizer and FDA staff on what they plan to do to ensure the vaccine is safe for Americans with a history of allergies.cnbc.com
UK's COVID-19 strategy unraveling as regions choose own path
In this photo released by UK Parliament, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks, during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. Fearing Johnson hadn't gone far enough, two regions in the United Kingdom chose to impose tougher measures than the prime minister. The announcement came after talks among political parties in the region’s power-sharing government that stretched from Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. “Why did the prime minister reject that advice and abandon the science?” Starmer asked. “I rule out nothing, of course, in combating the virus but we’re going to do it with the local, regional approach that can drive down and will drive down the virus if it is properly implemented,” he said.
Strong demand for virus testing services; snacking surges
Following are developments Monday related to the national and global response, the work place and the spread of the virus. Quest Diagnostics is seeing growing demand for its COVID-19 testing services, though at a cost. The company said Monday that second-quarter testing volumes in its base business (excluding COVID-19 molecular and antibody testing) declined approximately 34% from a year ago, according to preliminary results. The company said Monday that the increase was driven by better-than-expected demand for its full-suite of solutions aimed at helping support customers COVID-19 testing needs around the world. PerkinElmer experienced strong demand for its RT-PCR and serology tests, RNA extraction systems and kits, and automated liquid handling instrumentation.
Titanic shipyard rescued from bankruptcy
The Titanic Quarter is a regeneration area on the original site of the Harland and Wolff shipyard - birthplace of RMS Titanic. (CNN) - Harland and Wolff, the Northern Ireland shipyard that built the Titanic, has been rescued from bankruptcy. A UK energy company, InfraStrata, said Tuesday that it had agreed to buy the 158-year-old Belfast shipyard and its assets for 6 million ($7.3 million). The shipyard, which completed the Titanic in 1912, has not built a ship since 2003 when it built two ferries. The United Kingdom's planned departure from the European Union poses a particular threat to Northern Ireland because of its close economic ties with Ireland, an EU member state.
Shipyard that built Titanic headed for bankruptcy
The Titanic Quarter is a regeneration area on the original site of the Harland and Wolff shipyard - birthplace of RMS Titanic. (CNN) - Harland and Wolff, the 158-year-old shipyard in Northern Ireland that built the Titanic, is preparing for bankruptcy. The shipyard completed the Titanic in 1912, shortly before its inaugural voyage in April of that year. The company was still successful even after the Titanic disaster and the World War I sinking of the Britannic. That company, now known as Dolphin Drilling, itself filed for bankruptcy earlier this year and put Harland and Wolff up for sale.