Monthly Archives - December 2020

Covid: Moderna vaccine moves closer to US approval

A second coronavirus vaccine is nearing emergency approval in the US after it was endorsed by a panel of experts.The head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said his agency would move quickly to authorise the Moderna vaccine, allowing the company to begin shipping millions of doses.It comes days after the US began its largest ever immunisation campaign with the rollout of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab.The US has recorded more Covid-19 cases and deaths than any other country.Earlier this [...]

Wonder Woman 1984 ‘fills you with wonder’

Gal Gadot returns as the Amazonian Princess Diana in this “funny, sweet-natured, brightly-coloured adventure”, writes Nicholas Barber.There used to be a time when you could follow a Hollywood blockbuster even if you hadn’t memorised all the prequels, sequels and characters’ family trees. You could see it as a child without being traumatised, or as an adult without being patronised, and it had the good grace to admit that it was primarily a piece of big-budget mainstream entertainment, rather than [...]

Mitch McConnell: Top Trump ally breaks silence to congratulate Biden

A top member of US President Donald Trump’s Republican Party, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has congratulated Joe Biden on winning the presidential election last month.Senator McConnell spoke after the electoral college formally confirmed Mr Biden’s victory over Mr Trump.The Democrat won 306 electoral college votes to Mr Trump’s 232.President Trump still refuses to concede, making unsubstantiated claims of widespread fraud.Relations with the Senate, currently controlled by the Republicans, will be crucial to Mr Biden’s presidency.He visited Atlanta, Georgia, [...]

Gerard Houllier: Former Liverpool manager dies aged 73

Former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier has died at the age of 73.The Frenchman managed the Reds from 1998-2004 and led them to five major trophies, including the FA Cup, League Cup and Uefa Cup treble in 2000-01.Prior to Liverpool, Houllier managed Lens, Paris St-Germain and the French national team, and after leaving the Reds won two Ligue 1 titles at Lyon. His last managerial job was at Aston Villa, but he left in 2011 after nine months, following heart problems.Gerard [...]

William Barr: US attorney general to leave post by Christmas

US Attorney General William Barr is stepping down before Christmas, President Donald Trump has announced.Mr Barr’s term was due to end on 20 January, when Mr Trump leaves office.There had been tension between the two after Mr Barr said there was no widespread evidence of voter fraud in November’s election.He was criticised by Mr Trump for not publicly disclosing that the justice department was investigating Joe Biden’s son during the campaign.Mr Trump tweeted Mr Barr’s resignation letter saying: “Our [...]

Tao Geoghegan Hart: The ‘overnight sensation’ 10 years in the making

“I’ve only got one pink jersey…. that feels like a pretty apt metaphor.”British cycling’s latest Grand Tour winner Tao Geoghegan Hart is in a reflective mood as he poses for a photo on home territory outside Hackney Town Hall.Over his right shoulder is the maglia rosa – the pink jersey he’s talking about, from October’s surprise Giro d’Italia victory. When he hands it over for a quick look I can still smell the prosecco from the podium ceremony. In cycling’s [...]

Covid vaccine: US experts recommend Pfizer vaccine approval

Medical experts advising the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have recommended emergency approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine.The decision comes after a 23-member panel met to determine whether the drug’s benefits outweigh the risks.The Pfizer vaccine has already been approved for the public in the UK, Canada, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.The drug still needs to be formally approved by the FDA’s vaccine chief, which is expected in the coming days.The recommendation comes a day after the US recorded [...]

Mt Everest grows by nearly a metre to new height

The world’s highest mountain Mount Everest is 0.86m higher than had been previously officially calculated, Nepal and China have jointly announced.Until now the countries differed over whether to add the snow cap on top. The new height is 8,848.86m (29,032 ft).China’s previous official measurement of 8,844.43m had put the mountain nearly four metres lower than Nepal’s.Everest stands on the border between China and Nepal and mountaineers climb it from both sides.Officials at Nepal’s foreign ministry and department of survey [...]

The woman behind China’s Chang’e-5 Moon mission

A 24-year-old female space commander has become a viral sensation on Chinese social media for her work on the Chang’e-5 Moon exploration programme.Despite being the youngest commander at the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site, Zhou Chengyu is known at work as “Big Sister” as a sign of respect.The Chang’e-5 mission is China’s third successful Moon landing in seven years.Ms Zhou was in charge of the rocket connector system – described as a pivotal role.IMAGE COPYRIGHTCCTVimage captionMs Zhou has been described [...]

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi: Two rivals with more in common than you might think

I can’t think of any question I have been asked more often than “Ronaldo or Messi, who is the greatest of all time?”As the two star players of their generation prepare to face each other for the first time since May 2018, the answer is as simple as it is impossible; they both are the best.Messi the best player ever and Ronaldo the best striker ever. That is what I think anyway. In the process of trying to come one [...]