UK green light for travel to Malta
The UK has given the green light to holiday travel from and to Malta, Madeira and the Balearic Islands. ITV reports that from Wednesday, June 30, tourists from England, Scotland and Northern Ireland who visit those destinations, which were previously on the amber list, will not have to quarantine on their return. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps also announced plans to allow vaccinated people to travel to amber list countries without having to quarantine.
Europe braces for surge in COVID’s Delta variant
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned Europe is “on thin ice” with the spread of COVID-19’s Delta variant. Deutsche Welle quotes her telling the German Parliament, “the pandemic is not yet over”. Her warning came as the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said the variant would account for 90% of EU cases by late August. Meanwhile, Australian authorities have ordered a week-long lockdown for residents of four central Sydney districts to contain the outbreak of the Delta variant.
EU impasse over direct contact with Russia
Leaders of the EU summit in Brussels have not been able to agree on renewing the bloc’s direct contact with Russia, broken off when Russia annexed Crimea. Le Soir reports German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Emmanuel Macron of France have said the EU can’t leave it to President Biden after his recent summit with President Putin. In the early hours of this morning, Merkel told AFP the European Council ruled out the possibility of a summit with Putin. EU leaders were mostly united in their condemnation of the new Hungarian law which discriminates against LGBTIQs.
Massive search and rescue underway in Florida
Miami Herald says at least 99 people are still unaccounted for after a building partially collapsed in Surfside, Florida. At least one person was killed and many more were injured. The Miami-Dade mayor said at least 102 people have been accounted for as rescue efforts continue.
18 dead in China martial arts school fire
Xinhua news agency reports 18 boys, between the ages of seven and 16 died. 16 others were injured inthe fire that broke out in a martial arts school in central China. The head of the facility, located in Henan province, was arrested.
Trudeau responds to another unmarked graves find
CBC News quotes Canadian Prime Minister Justine Trudeau saying his counry must learn from the mistakes of the past after the second find in a month of unmarked graves at former Roman Catholic residential schools. Ground-penetrating radar had found 751 bodies, but the site was believed to contain the grave of adults. The discovery follows a similar one last month which indicated the remains of 215 children.
Emotional farewell to pro-democracy Hong Kong paper
The latest edition of the pro-democracy Apple Daily, forced to close in the grip of the new Chinese national security law, sold like hot cakes this morning in Hong Kong. Long lines of people waiting to buy a copy of the newspaper formed across the former colony, as many retailers ran out of stock within minutes and waited for new deliveries. Overall, the tabloid plans to print a million copies of its last edition.
Away goals rule scrapped in UEFA competitions
BBC Sport announces that the away goals rule in European club football is to be abolished from the start of next season. Governing body UEFA has confirmed games in the Champions League, Europa League, Europa Conference League and Women’s Champions League will no longer use the rule, used since 1965. It decided drawn two-legged games by favouring the team that scored the most away goals. All ties level on aggregate at the end of the second leg will instead go to extra time and potentially penalties.
Copa America: Chile v. Paraguay 0-2; Bolivia v. Uruguay 0-2.