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AP president details evacuating staff from Gaza building : worldnews From “World News”



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Walmart To End Mask Mandate For Vaccinated Shoppers, Staff From “NDTV News – World-news”



Walmart mandated customers wear face masks starting last July (File)Washington, United States: US retail giant Walmart on Friday said customers who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 no longer have to wear masks in their stores, and staff can do the same starting next week.”Beginning today, vaccinated customers and members are welcome to shop without a mask, and we will continue to request that non-vaccinated customers and members wear face coverings in our stores and clubs,” the company said in a statement, while adding that masks would still be required where mandated by local authorities.Employees who are more than two weeks past their vaccination can stop wearing masks from May 18, the company said, and all employees are eligible for a $75 bonus if they prove they have got their jab.”These are positive developments. We can do this. We’ve been through a lot this year, and now we need to do our part to finish this,” Walmart said in a statement signed by corporate leadership.The announcement follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s lifting on Thursday of mask-wearing guidance for people who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, a decision that came over a year after it was first issued at the beginning of the pandemic that has killed more than 585,000 people in the United States.Walmart mandated customers wear face masks starting last July, and is now among the first major American corporations to end the requirement.”We are also reviewing whether masks may still be required for certain job codes for health and sanitation purposes and will share additional guidance soon. Some associates may choose to continue to wear masks, and as part of our value of respect for the individual we should all support their right to do so,” the company said.The largest private employer in the United States, Walmart has a staff of about 1.5 million people in the country and saw soaring sales throughout 2020 despite the pandemic’s business disruptions.(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)







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French troops who warned Macron of ‘brewing civil war’ must RESIGN if they put free speech over duty, army chief of staff says — RT World News From “RT World News”



French military personnel who signed another letter to President Emmanuel Macron warning him about a supposedly impending “civil war” should resign so they can voice their concerns freely, the Armed Forces chief of staff said.

Those among the French soldiers and officers who feel the urge to make public statements about the political situation in the country can find a perfect way to defend their opinions without compromising the neutrality of the army – by resigning, said Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Francois Lecointre.“The most reasonable thing is certainly to leave [the army] in order to be able to make one’s ideas and convictions public in a perfectly free [way],” the general said in a letter addressing officers, non-commissioned officers, active-duty soldiers, sailors and airmen as well as reservists.His words came as a reaction to yet another open letter – a second of its kind – signed by an unidentified number of the French military personnel. Published in the conservative Valeurs Actuelles magazine last Sunday, the missive warned top French officials about a “civil war brewing” in the country and slammed the government’s response to the first such letter, signed by 25 retired generals as well as a hundred of officers and more than a thousand of soldiers.

Also on rt.com
‘Civil war is brewing in France and you know it’: French military launches another salvo at Macron with new open letter

The authors of the second letter criticized the government for making what they said were “concessions” to Islamism and risking “disintegration” of France. Active duty military members who signed the second letter, Lecointre argued, “transgressed” their obligations of “neutrality” imposed on every French soldier. “In the name of personal convictions,” these soldiers and officers involved the Armed Forces in a debate, in which the military had neither legal nor moral right to intervene, he said. Lecointre called on those who signed the letter “to demonstrate common sense” and resign, while stopping short of threatening them with any official sanctions.Each soldier is free to think what he wants, but it is up to him to distinguish [between]… what comes from his responsibility as a citizen from what emerges from his responsibility as a soldier.

Also on rt.com
18 French active-duty servicemen to face MILITARY COURT over open letter blasting ‘Islamist hordes’ & looming ‘civil war’

The first letter, published on April 21 – on the 60th anniversary of a failed coup d’état against General Charles de Gaulle over his support of Algerian independence – caused an uproar among France’s top officials. Lecointre said at that time that 18 servicemen identified as its signatories would face a military tribunal. The chief of staff also vowed to personally write a damning letter to General Christian Piquemal – a former commander of the French Foreign Legion, who signed the first letter as well. “I deny them all… a right to make political statements by highlighting their rank,” Lecointre added.The second letter was also met with a harsh response from the French top officials. Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin questioned the courage of the authors, who preferred to stay anonymous, while former president Francois Hollande accused them of a “desire to challenge the very principles of the Republic.”Defense Minister Florence Parly said that “armies are not there to campaign but to defend France.”

Also on rt.com
As the French military attack Macron with SECOND ‘civil war’ warning, how really likely is an Islamist-fuelled internal conflict?

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How Italy's healthcare staff survived the pandemic From “BBC News – World”



Nurses in Italy have been instrumental in helping to fight Covid-19 – but it’s taken a heavy toll.







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Three children, two staff killed in machete attack at Brazilian daycare centre From “World News”



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Hospital staff in Toronto deal with Covid crisis – in pictures | Art and design From “World news | The Guardian”


Every day, several more patients must be placed on ventilators. On Wednesday, a 52-year-old man with low blood oxygen levels was intubated by a team of four caregivers fully dressed in protective gowns, gloves, masks and visors. ‘He was so scared, he could barely breathe,’ recounts Melody Baril, who performed the intubation







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Grenfell Tower landlord ‘blocked staff access to residents’ blog’ | Grenfell Tower inquiry From “World news | The Guardian”



Grenfell Tower’s landlord blocked staff computers from accessing a residents’ blog which raised concerns about the building’s refurbishment and warned of a potentially disastrous fire, the inquiry into the 14 June 2017 blaze has heard.The Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) considered the Grenfell Action Group blog “scaremongering and potentially frightening to the residents”. It blocked access to it on its servers so staff working on the project could not view posts from around 2013 onwards.The censored blog was co-written by Edward Daffarn, a 16th-floor resident, and in November 2016, eight months before the fire that killed 72 people, the blog warned: “Only an incident that results in serious loss of life of KCTMO residents will allow the external scrutiny to occur that will shine a light on the practices that characterise the malign governance of this non-functioning organisation.”Claire Williams, the TMO’s refurbishment project manager, told the inquiry she read some of the critical blogs before they were blocked and considered them “negative and vitriolic”. She decided “I would not look at them again.” She also complained the blog didn’t sufficiently praise the work of the TMO.“There was never any comment about the good work we were doing in terms of employment initiatives, all the things we did for residents – they were just overlooked,” she said.The inquiry also heard confirmation that the TMO did not tell residents that non-combustible zinc cladding had been swapped for plastic-filled aluminium cladding which would later prove to be combustible and the main source of fire spread.Williams said: “It wasn’t mentioned and that was an omission.”She said it was because construction had already begun when the decision was made. The combustible panels were hundreds of thousands of pounds cheaper and were introduced in a cost-cutting exercise, the inquiry has previously heard.KCTMO’s decision to block the blog emerged as the inquiry investigated how the landlord handled residents’ concern about quality of workmanship and fire safety.Daffarn was part of the Grenfell Compact, a representative residents’ group which in January 2016 called on the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to launch an independent inquiry into the TMO’s regeneration works and complained of “ill-treatment, incompetence and abuse”.Counsel to the inquiry, Richard Millett QC, asked Williams: “Did you consider that the blogs might be a way in which some of the residents sought to bring issues that affected them personally and their homes to the TMO’s attention?”She replied: “As a means of communication with the TMO, it was not an appropriate media … There was concern over how representative the blogs were and a lot of the time they were libellous, unsubstantiated and clearly slanted.”She added: “This was not the way people were thinking … people would disassociate from the Grenfell Action Group. They would tell me specifically, ‘I am not part of that, we do not think like that, we think what you are doing for this building is positive, thank you’.”Daffarn gave evidence to the inquiry last week and said RBKC and the TMO had treated residents with “hostility”, “neglect” and “contempt”.Leaseholders in the tower also voiced serious concerns about the works and three months before the blaze said they were “seriously concerned” that people might die in a fire, but their fears were not properly addressed and they were treated as “sub-citizens”.David Collins, another resident who chaired the Grenfell Compact, told the inquiry: “Residents were experiencing threats, lies, bullying and harassment from TMO and Rydon [the main contractor].”In April 2015, with the works well under way, Williams warned a senior colleague against attending a meeting of a residents group called Grenfell Community Unite because it could become “a showcase for Mr Daffarn”.“The agenda would be disrupted by Mr Daffarn raising issues in a loud voice and generally making an organised meeting quite difficult to hold,” Williams told the inquiry.She said he just wanted to “spoil” meetings between residents and the TMO, and “would shift the goalposts”.The inquiry continues.







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Two die and more than 100 test positive in coronavirus outbreak among US diplomatic staff in India : worldnews From “World News”



States are implementing lockdowns and stronger actions now. The spike is projected to peak by mid May I read. I would imagine by end of May they will have it under control. If they can vaccinate 100m a month that would help a lot too. They were doing 3m a day last time I checked, maybe they can ramp it up even more.







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