101-year-old Italian grandma gets Covid THREE times

Doctors and nurses in Italy are astounded at the resilience of one Maria Orsingher, a 101-year-old who has lived through the Spanish Flu, the Second World War, and who has now survived Covid-19… three times.

Orsingher first tested positive back in the early days of the pandemic in February. 

“In February, mother was hospitalized in Sondalo and then also the doctor of the hospital in Sondalo, where she was treated, told us that she had never had such an elderly person come out of the coronavirus in this way, she was breathing alone and not he had a fever,” says daughter Carla.

Having recovered, the centenarian then celebrated her 101st birthday in July.

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Unfortunately, she was then hospitalized with a fever in September, at which point she tested positive for the disease a second time and underwent treatment for 18 days. Medical staff were amazed at her resilience and told local media the hospitalization was mostly precautionary. 

Alas, the coronavirus came for her one more time, as she tested positive again last Friday. The third time is apparently the charm, though, as Orsingher is currently asymptomatic.

Orsingher remains bedridden and struggles to communicate with her three daughters as she is deaf, but the family are eagerly awaiting their next reunion with this iron woman.

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Born on July 21, 1919 in the small hamlet of Gaggio in Ardenno, Orsingher lived through the Spanish Flu pandemic, was married during World War II and has now endured three bouts of Covid-19.

“Even the doctors are amazed,” say her daughters, confirming that their mother has tested positive three times and tested negative three times, all in the space of nine months. 

“There have been several episodes of negative tests in recovered patients, which was followed by a new positivity that lasted for a long time for one of the reasons mentioned above,” says Carlo Signorelli, professor of hygiene at the San Raffaele University in Milan.

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Beijing slaps sanctions on 4 individuals with links to US democracy promotion efforts in Hong Kong

Chinese officials have said they are imposing sanctions on four individuals who Beijing claims are responsible for interfering in Hong Kong’s affairs, and who are linked to US democracy promotion initiatives.

Hua Chunying, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, told media on Monday that four individuals had been identified as interfering with Chinese domestic affairs in Hong Kong. With immediate effect, the individuals would be banned from entering China. 

“The US behavior blatantly interferes in Hong Kong affairs and grossly interferes in China’s domestic affairs,” the spokeswoman said. 

China’s Foreign Ministry identified the four individuals as senior officials at democracy promotion groups the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and National Democratic Institute (NDI). 

The four sanctioned are John Knaus, senior director of the NED; Manpreet Anand, a regional director of the NDI; Kelvin Sit, NDI program director in Hong Kong; and Crystal Rosario, an NDI specialist. 

Hua said the groups’ efforts oppose and undermine Chinese interests in Hong Kong. 

“It violates basic norms governing international relations, and China firmly rejects and condemns this,” she noted. 

The move comes after the US sanctioned four Chinese individuals earlier in November for their alleged role in crushing dissent in the former British colony during recent and ongoing pro-democracy rallies. 

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US-China relations have deteriorated greatly throughout 2020, with Beijing opposing US interventionism in South East Asia.

Tensions were further heightened last week when a US admiral made an unannounced visit to Taiwan.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian claimed Beijing would bring a “necessary” response to yet another attempt by Washington to undermine China’s domestic interests. 

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Moderna to apply for US & European emergency authorization as Covid-19 vaccine shows 94% efficacy in final analysis

Biotech company Moderna has said it will submit its Covid-19 vaccine candidate for emergency approval in the US and Europe after stage three trials concluded with positive results.

In a statement released on Monday, Moderna said that its vaccine has proven to be extremely effective against Covid-19. 

According to the firm, final analysis from the trial shows their jab was 94.1 percent effective in stopping Covid-19 infections. 

“Today’s primary analysis was based on 196 cases, of which 185 cases of COVID-19 were observed in the placebo group versus 11 cases observed in the mRNA-1273 group, resulting in a point estimate of vaccine efficacy of 94.1%,” the Moderna statement read. 

Furthermore, no trial participants succumbed to a severe Covid infection, leading researchers to say the vaccine is 100 percent effective in preventing severe forms of the disease. 

Moderna added that there were no serious safety concerns identified to date and that the vaccine named mRNA-1273 was “generally well tolerated.” 

“We believe that our vaccine will provide a new and powerful tool that may change the course of this pandemic and help prevent severe disease, hospitalizations and death,” said Stéphane Bancel, chief executive officer of Moderna. 

Following the positive trial results, the firm stated that it planned to immediately request an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and conditional approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA). 

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Moderna’s vaccine is one of four global frontrunners in the race for a safe and effective vaccine.

Russia’s pioneering ‘Sputnik V’ candidate has reported 95 percent efficacy in early trials, while Pfizer and BioNTech’s effort proved to be 95 percent effective in already concluded stage three trials. 

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UK government unveils rural revolution as nation prepares for end of EU subsidies

Environment Secretary George Eustice has rolled out the UK government’s plan for a rural revolution, as the nation prepares for EU farm subsidies to be phased out when the Brexit transition period ends.

The proposal, which the government says will mark the most significant change to farming and land management in 50 years, is designed to be a roadmap for a post-Brexit UK, as it moves towards more sustainable farming from 2021.

Announcing the plan, Eustice said: “We want to support the choices that farmers and land managers take. If we work together to get this right, then a decade from now the rest of the world will want to follow our lead.” 

The current EU-backed scheme gives farmers funding based on the amount of land that they farm. The new UK government system, called Environmental Land Management (ELM), will reward farmers if they prevent flooding, help landscapes recover by planting new woodlands and improve wildlife welfare, as part of a move to improve the nation’s environment.

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In order to support any farmers that oppose the change in funding, the move will be made in phases, halving the old subsidies by 2024 and abolishing them by 2028. Any farmers who wish to retire instead of accepting the new system will be given the option of accepting a lump-sum retirement payment. 

The government’s proposal follows the passing of the Agriculture Bill a few weeks ago, which aims to provide farmers with the tools and incentives to make positive environmental choices and thrive outside of the EU. 

These measures will only apply to England, as, following the departure from the EU, agricultural policy will be handed over to the parliamentary bodies within each devolved nation. 

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Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani could face 3-game ban over ‘negrito’ social media post

The English FA is investigating Manchester United player Edinson Cavani over an allegedly discriminatory Instagram story shared from his account on Sunday evening. The player faces a potential three-game ban.

The 33-year-old striker led his team to a 3-2 victory over Southampton, netting two goals and making an assist after coming on at half-time.

After the match, the Uruguayan star’s Instagram page was flooded with messages of congratulations, with Cavani finding himself under scrutiny for one of his replies.

Responding to a message from a fan, Cavani wrote in Spanish, “Gracias negrito” – a phrase which was deemed racist by some English-speaking fans.

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Cavani deleted the post although Spanish-speaking fans have spoken up in defense of the player, explaining that in Latin America the phrase has no racist implications.

It is often said to friends, and can be compared with the English word ‘mate’.

Nevertheless, the Football Association is investigating the incident, with Cavani facing a possible three game-ban if his post is deemed to have been racist.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson regrets Covid-19 couldn’t become ‘alien invasion’ that united humanity

Mankind missed a chance provided by Covid-19 to unite, but there’s still hope the world will come out of the pandemic as a better place, renowned astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, told RT’s Going Underground program.

“As much as we divide each other by skin color, religion, sexual preferences…the coronavirus doesn’t care. Coronavirus only cares that you’re human,” Tyson pointed out to host Afshin Rattansi.

I thought that when the coronavirus landed that we would’ve all banded together and say: ‘We’re all human and that’s a common enemy, like an alien invasion. We’ve all seen it in the movies. We got to be together on this one.’ But it didn’t happen to my great disappointment in our species.

The US has become the world’s hardest hit country, with over 13.4 million confirmed Covid-19 cases and over 267,000 deaths, because there’s a “conflict” between those who follow medical guidelines and those who insist that America is the ‘land of the free’ and they can risk their lives if they want to, the scientist explained. And very often the divide is exacerbated as the people on the other side of the debate also have opposite policy views.

“I don’t mind political fights. Political fights are fine when you’re talking about policy and legislation. But you should never have a political fight about…scientific research that has been objectively shown to be true in peer-reviewed journals,” Tyson said, adding that doing so is a “recipe for disaster.”

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Policies should be influenced by objectives facts established by science, not the other way around, the astrophysicist said. “The politicians aren’t the experts in medicine. The medical people are…You don’t have to wait for your politician to tell you what to do about that.”

Tyson expressed hope that after Covid-19 is defeated, the world will “pass through some kind of portal” and rethink its readiness to tackle viruses and diseases like cancer; “that we come out on the other side a better world, not one still fighting over who’s going to wear a mask.”

Watch the full interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson on RT.com or RT’s Going Underground YouTube page.

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Russian journalist accused of selling secrets to NATO remanded in custody as treason investigation gets underway

A Moscow court has ruled that Ivan Safronov, a former journalist and adviser to the head of Russia’s space agency, can be held for another three months over claims he gave confidential information to a foreign government.

Reporters were barred from the Lefortovo courtroom for the duration of the hearing, but Safronov’s girlfriend Ksenia Mironova and his sister Irina announced the decision to extend his arrest to the media on Monday. A former special correspondent for popular newspapers Kommersant and Vedomosti, Safronov was arrested in July on treason charges. According to the FSB, Russia’s top security agency, he transferred secret data to Czech spies, who were acting on the orders of the US.

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No further detail has yet been released on the allegations, but they are thought to relate to Russian arms exports to countries in the Middle East. Safronov often covered sensitive political and military subjects, but President Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters at the time: “As far as we know, this is not in any way linked to his previous activity as a journalist.” Safronov denies the charges, which carry up to twenty years in prison if he is found guilty.

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388 people have already signed a petition protesting Safronov’s innocence. They include a number of high-profile figures from Moscow’s media world, including the editors-in-chief of Kommersant, Vedemosti, Novaya Gazeta and Meduza.

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