^
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            [title] => BuCor inmates to get at least 30K jabs from national vaccination program
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            [article_title] => Philippines misses 3-day target but cites gains in vaccination drive
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            [summary] => A total of 7,628,432 individuals were vaccinated against COVID-19 during the campaign, Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said Thursday.
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            [article_title] => LIST: 28 public schools in Metro Manila start in-person classes Monday
            [carousel_alt] => Photo shows students at the Mary Perpetua E. Brioso National High School in Tigbao, Milagros Masbate finally returning to their classroom after the pandemic disrupted physical learning in the Philippines in 2020.
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            [article_title] => Duterte says he respects Go's decision to withdraw as presidential candidate
            [carousel_alt] => President Rodrigo Duterte raises the hand of Sen. Christopher âBongâ Go after filing his certificate of candidacy for vice president at the Harbor Garden Tent of Sofitel Philippines in Pasay City on Oct. 2, 2021.
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French authorities said Thursday they had confirmed the first case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant on the mainland, a man in his 50s who recently returned from Nigeria.

The ARS health agency for the Paris region said the man had not been vaccinated against the virus and showed no COVID symptoms when tested upon his arrival on November 25.

His wife, also unvaccinated, tested positive for COVID and sequencing is underway to determine if she too has the Omicron variant, and their family has been placed in quarantine, the agency said.

Previously the only confirmed Omicron case on French territory was detected on its Indian Ocean island of Reunion, though government spokesman Gabriel Attal said Wednesday that 13 suspected cases were currently being studied.

The country is facing a fifth wave of surging cases since the pandemic emerged last year, and three hospitals in northeast France have implemented emergency protocols because beds are filling rapidly with COVID patients. — AFP

[LastUpdate] => 2021-12-02 18:34:35 ) [1] => Array ( [BiteID] => 903 [Body] =>

President Joe Biden will announce that toughened new rules on Covid-19 testing for travelers to the United States will take effect next week, a senior administration official says.

Biden will "announce that we are further strengthening our testing requirements so that starting early next week, all international travelers will be required to test negative within one day of their departure to the United States," the official tells reporters.

This will apply to all travelers, both US and foreign, and regardless of whether they have been vaccinated, the official adds. — AFP

[LastUpdate] => 2021-12-02 18:17:04 ) [2] => Array ( [BiteID] => 657 [Body] =>

Brand hesitancy and a lack of manpower contributed to the Department of Health vaccinating fewer than the target number in Zamboanga Peninsula, the agency said.

The DOH regional office reported that 418,491 people had been vaccinated during the three-day national vaccination program in Zamboanga Peninsula as of Thursday morning. The total number represents only 91.6% of the target 691,014 individuals.

Health authorities observed that some of the eligible beneficiaries opted not to take the jabs due to brand preference, especially in areas where doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines had run out.
 
"Some were getting choosy already and missed their chance to have their inoculation," a health official said.

DOH-9 said the extension of the NVD until Friday would help them reaching the regional target. — The STAR/Roel Pareño

[LastUpdate] => 2021-12-02 16:30:33 ) [3] => Array ( [BiteID] => 578 [Body] =>

Gunmen killed a policeman in an ambush in Barangay Kauran in Ampatuan, Maguindanao on Thursday.

Lt. Rey Samson, acting chief of the Ampatuan municipal police, identified the victim as Cpl. Henry Mangaser Olindo, Jr., a member of the municipal police force in Lumbatan, Lanao del Sur. 

He died on the spot from multiple gunshot wounds. Olindo was a resident of Barangay Rosary Heights 6 in Cotabato City.

Ampatuan is not too distant from enclaves of the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters that has a reputation for attacking off-duty policemen and soldiers.

The group is operating in the fashion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. — AFP

[LastUpdate] => 2021-12-02 15:41:44 ) [4] => Array ( [BiteID] => 889 [Body] =>

The WHO issued stern warnings Wednesday on the dangers of vaccination apathy and the European Union put mandatory jabs on the table as the United States registered its first case of the fast-spreading Omicron strain of the coronavirus.

The new variant, first reported to the World Health Organization by South Africa a week ago, has quickly popped up across continents, darkening economic forecasts and deepening fears of another difficult winter in the northern hemisphere.

"Globally, we have a toxic mix of low vaccine coverage, and very low testing — a recipe for breeding and amplifying variants," said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, reminding the world that the Delta variant "accounts for almost all cases". — AFP

[LastUpdate] => 2021-12-02 13:51:33 ) [5] => Array ( [BiteID] => 946 [Body] =>

The United States is by far the biggest contributor to global plastic waste in the world, according to a new report submitted to the federal government that called for a national strategy to tackle the growing crisis.

Overall, the US contributed around 42 million metric tons (MMT) in plastic waste in 2016 -- more than twice as much as China and more than the countries of the European Union combined, according to the analysis. 

On average, every American generates 130 kilograms (286 pounds) of plastic waste per year, with Britain next on the list at 99 kilos per person per year, followed by South Korea at 88 kilos per year. — AFP

[LastUpdate] => 2021-12-02 10:40:32 ) [6] => Array ( [BiteID] => 936 [Body] =>

The threat of a US federal government shutdown looms larger Wednesday as lawmakers failed to reach a budget agreement with just two days to go before the funding runs out. 

Congress has until Friday night to come up with a new budget in order to avoid a sudden stoppage of most so-called non-essential federal government operations, putting hundreds of thousands of workers on furlough without pay. 

Various administrative offices, national parks, museums and dozens of other services would see their congressional authorization to spend money stop at the end of Friday. — AFP

[LastUpdate] => 2021-12-02 09:04:39 ) [7] => Array ( [BiteID] => 928 [Body] =>

Facebook's parent company Meta says Wednesday it had derailed an anti-vaccine campaign that harassed medical workers, journalists and elected officials, in a signal of the ongoing pressure from coronavirus pandemic-tied misinformation. 

The social media giant took down accounts in France and Italy that were linked to a conspiracy movement called "V_V", which inundated pro-vaccine posts with potentially tens of thousands of comments.

"V-V" supporters also "mass-harassed" people on YouTube, Twitter, VKontakte and other online platforms, using swastikas or other images as well as calling doctors and media workers "Nazi supporters" for backing vaccines, Meta says. — AFP

[LastUpdate] => 2021-12-02 08:04:30 ) [8] => Array ( [BiteID] => 980 [Body] =>

Twenty Russian athletes will be allowed to compete as neutrals in 2022, doubling the number who were cleared to take part this year, World Athletics announced on Wednesday.

Track and field's governing body acknowledged earlier this week that Russia had made "steady progress" in meeting the requirements to return to international competition but not yet enough to lift the ban imposed in 2015 for systematic state doping.

"Based on the progress being made and conformity with the reinstatement plan, the taskforce recommended an increase in the ANA (Authorised Neutral Athletes) quota for major competition for 2022 to 20 athletes," Rune Andersen, the head of the taskforce charged with monitoring the ban, said after a meeting of World Athletics' Council. — AFP

[LastUpdate] => 2021-12-02 07:02:19 ) )

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