2021 Last News Week

The Associated Press

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The Rundown


Cape Town bells to toll in honor of Archbishop Desmond Tutu

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Bells will ring in at midday Monday from St. George's Anglican Cathedral in Cape Town to honor Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, a day after his death at age 90. The bells at the cathedral, where Tutu urged South Africans of all...Read More


Delta: Flight to Shanghai turned back because of COVID rules

BEIJING (AP) — Delta Air Lines said Monday that new pandemic-related cleaning requirements at a Shanghai airport were behind the turning back of a recent flight from Seattle in midair, a move that had prompted a protest from the Chinese Consulate i...Read More


COVID-19 variant disrupts holiday travel but not shopping

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The latest COVID-19 variant is upending holiday plans for tens of thousands of travelers — but it didn’t do much damage to holiday shopping. Airlines canceled hundreds more flights Sunday, citing staffing problems tied to COVID-... Read More


Major storm dumps snow, closes mountain routes in California

COLFAX, Calif. (AP) — A major Christmas weekend storm caused whiteout conditions and closed key highways amid blowing snow in mountains of Northern California and Nevada, with forecasters warning that travel in the Sierra Nevada could be difficult ...Read More


French virus infections spike over holidays

PARIS (AP) — France has recorded more than 100,000 virus infections in a single day for the first time since the pandemic struck, and COVID-19 hospitalizations have doubled over the past month as the fast-spreading omicron variant complicates the g...Read More



Myanmar court postpones verdicts in 2nd case against Suu Kyi

BANGKOK (AP) — A court in military-ruled Myanmar postponed its verdicts Monday on two charges against ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi in which she is accused of importing and...Read More

Bulgarian shoppers find bargains in Turkey as lira struggles

EDIRNE, Turkey (AP) — Bulgarian shoppers are crossing Turkey’s western border in packed cars and buses, taking advantage of a declining Turkish lira to fuel their own shop...Read More

‘Spider-Man’ surpasses $1B globally in the second weekend

Peter Parker’s good fortune continued over the holiday weekend. Even with some mighty competition from new Matrix and Sing movies, and rising concerns over the omicron variant...Read More

Prescott, Cowboys celebrate with 56-14 rout of Washington

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Dak Prescott threw four touchdown passes, DeMarcus Lawrence returned an interception for a score and the Dallas Cowboys celebrated their clinching of...Read More

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Mark Twain


The Reuters Daily Briefing

Monday, December 27, 2021

by Robert MacMillan


Here's what you need to know.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Edward O. Wilson remembered, COVID-19 crimps Christmas travel, and space isn't big enough for Elon Musk and China.

Today's biggest stories

Archbishop Tutu shares a joke with the Dalai Lama. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings


Archbishop Demond Mpilo Tutu, the Nobel Peace laureate whose moral right permeated South African society during apartheid’s darkest hours and the uncharted territory of a new democracy, died on Sunday at the age of 90. The outspoken Tutu was considered the nation’s conscience by Black and white, an enduring testament to his faith and spirit of reconciliation in a divided nation.

Australia reported its first confirmed death from the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 amid its biggest daily surge in infections. Authorities refrained from imposing new restrictions, saying hospitalization rates remained low. Cases also are rising in ItalyChina, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. And in Israel, a hospital administered fourth vaccine doses to a test group as the country considers approving the measure for vulnerable people.

A Russian court added two more years to a 13-year jail sentence for historian Yuri Dmitriev, in a sex abuse case that his supporters say was trumped up to punish him for uncovering mass graves of Stalin's Gulags.

A senior U.N. official called on Myanmar authorities to investigate the reported killing of at least 35 civilians that opposition activists blamed on government soldiers, saying he was "horrified" at the violence.

India froze the accounts of Mother Teresa's charity. The government says it has nothing to do with religious tensions, though Hindu hardliners have repeatedly accused the charity of surreptitiously leading religious conversion programs. Hindu vigilante groups meanwhile disrupted Christmas mass in parts of the country.

China is using the Winter Olympic Games to drive its efforts to improve the environment, but smog-prone capital Beijing is still preparing for the worst as the opening ceremony looms. And two dams gave way in the Brazilian state of Bahia after weeks of heavy rains.

Travelers walk through Philadelphia International Airport. REUTERS/Hannah Beier

The U.S.

U.S. airlines canceled more than 1,300 flights on Sunday as COVID-19 thinned out the number of available crews on the third straight day of pain for some Americans traveling over the weekend as the Christmas holidays coincided with the rapid spread of Omicron.

Edward O. Wilson, the naturalist dubbed the "modern-day Darwin" died on Sunday at the age of 92 in Massachusetts. Alongside British naturalist David Attenborough, Wilson was considered one of the world's leading authorities on natural history and conservation.

President Biden and his wife Jill were taking calls into the NORAD Santa Tracker, which follows the progress of Santa’s reindeer-guided sleigh for millions of children. At the end of one call, a parent who gave his name as Jared said, "Merry Christmas, and Let's go, Brandon." Biden replied, "Let's go, Brandon, I agree," before asking Jared if he was in Oregon.

People ride an escalator at a mall during holiday season shopping. Brooklyn, New York City, December 18, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly


U.S. retail sales rose 8.5% during this year's holiday shopping season from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24, powered by an 11% rise in online sales, according to the Mastercard SpendingPulse report, underscoring the pandemic's role in changing people's shopping habits. In London, Boxing Day sales weren’t quite what they used to be.

Road rage in space: Chinese citizens lashed out online against Elon Musk after China complained that its space station was forced to take evasive action to avoid collision with satellites launched by Musk's Starlink program.

Workplace wellness expert Jennifer Moss shared her thoughts about workplace burnout and what companies can do to relieve their strung-out employees. It’s going to take more than a day off.

Quote of the day

"Lots of couples prefer to remain childless or to have one child only.... It's a tragedy."

Pope Francis

Bishop of Rome, Head of the Catholic Church

Pope bemoans Italy's plunging birthrate

Video of the day

NASA launches revolutionary telescope

The James Webb Space Telescope, built to give the world a glimpse of the universe as it existed when the first galaxies formed, was launched by rocket from French Guiana on Saturday, opening a new era of astronomy.

And finally…

It's too cold for the dog

REUTERS/Taisiya Vorontsova

Members of a local winter swimming club bathe in the icy waters of Boyarskoye lake outside Tomsk, Russia, December 26, 2021.