Updated: December 17, 2021 7:45:20 am
Here is a round-up of the top developments around the world today.
Soaring infections rattle Europe, fuel dread about holidays
Soaring infections in Britain driven in part by the omicron variant of the coronavirus rattled Europe on Thursday, prompting new restrictions on the Continent and fueling a familiar dread on both sides of the Atlantic about entering a new phase of the pandemic just in time for the holidays.
After the UK recorded its highest number of confirmed new Covid-19 infections since the pandemic began, France announced Thursday that it would tighten entry rules for those coming from Britain. Hours later, the country set another record, with a further 88,376 confirmed Covid-19 cases reported Thursday, almost 10,000 more than the day before.
US schools step up security in response to threats on TikTok
Educators announced plans to increase security in response to TikTok posts warning of shooting and bomb threats at schools around the country Friday as officials assured parents the viral posts were not considered credible.
The anonymous social media threats had many educators on edge, as they circulated in the aftermath of a deadly school shooting in Michigan, which has been followed by numerous copycat threats to schools elsewhere.
Warrant issued for Alec Baldwin’s cellphone in ‘Rust’ shooting probe
Police obtained a search warrant Thursday for actor Alec Baldwin’s cellphone in the investigation of October’s fatal shooting of a cinematographer on the New Mexico set of his Western movie Rust, court documents showed.
The search warrant and accompanying affidavit were filed in Santa Fe County Magistrate Court nearly two weeks after a prosecutor overseeing the probe said that some people who handled guns on the film set may end up facing criminal charges stemming from Halyna Hutchins’ death. The warrant authorised investigators to seize Baldwin’s Apple iPhone in order to examine text messages, email correspondence, social network communications, browser activity and other information stored on the device, according to the documents.
Australia mourns deaths of five school children from jumping castle accident
Australian police Friday said investigations were continuing into the deaths of five children after a jumping castle was lifted into the air from strong winds at a school end-of-year celebration, including if it was properly tied to the ground.
Three boys and one girl aged 12 years, and one girl aged 11, died in the accident which saw children fall 10 metres to the ground at a school in Devonport in the northwest of Tasmania state. Another three children remain in the hospital. It was one of Australia’s deadliest accidents involving an amusement ride.
Chilean dictator’s widow dies at age 98 after years in seclusion
The widow of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet died Thursday in the apartment where she led a secluded life in her final years, away from the luxuries and power she held during the military regime of 1973-1990, her family said. She was 98.
Lucia Hiriart died at her home in Santiago’s affluent La Dehesa neighborhood surrounded by close relatives, six days after her birthday, her son Marco Antonio said. She had been admitted on several occasions this year to Chile’s military hospital, mainly affected by respiratory problems. Pinochet died in 2006, on Dec 10, his 91st birthday.