Australia coronavirus news live: low-key new year celebrations as border closures cause chaos

Sydney and Melbourne city streets were largely deserted on New Year’s Eve, while Victoria prepares to close the border to NSW at midnight

9.29pm GMT

The trade minister, Dan Tehan, says Australia’s existing network of free trade agreements will deliver another round of tariff cuts from today.

Tehan has issued a New Year’s Day statement promoting the benefits that will flow to Australian farmers and export businesses when trade barriers are reduced.

Australian fresh or chilled beef exporters will benefit from further cuts to Canadian tariffs in 2021 under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. The value of fresh or chilled beef exports to Canada increased by 92 per cent to reach $33 million in 2019-20.

Tariff reductions on Australian sheep and goat meat exports under our bilateral free trade … Read more

Coronavirus live news: France to deploy 100,000-strong force to police New Year's Eve; UK reports 981 daily deaths

Latest updates: police and gendarmes to crack down on illegal parties; some English schools delay return as UK records highest death toll since April

9.18pm GMT

Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador said a doctor used his influence to have his family members cut in line for early coronavirus vaccines, despite the first doses being reserved for front-line health-care workers.

López Obrador said the doctor used “influences to get the scarce vaccines, and called it “immoral.”

A family that was not on the list to be vaccinated arrived and using influence, got vaccinated,” López Obrador said, noting they included “a doctor, his wife and I think one or two of his … Read more

Live Free or Die if You Must, Say Colorado Urbanites — But Not in My Hospital

ERIE, Colo. — Whenever Larry Kelderman looks up from the car he’s fixing and peers across the street, he’s looking across a border. His town of 28,000 straddles two counties, separated by County Line Road.

Kelderman’s auto repair business is in Boulder County, whose officials are sticklers for public health and have topped the county website with instructions on how to report COVID violations. Kelderman lives in Weld County, where officials refuse to enforce public health rules.

Weld County’s test positivity rate is twice that of its neighbor, but Kelderman is pretty clear which side he backs.

“Which is worse, the person gets the virus and survives and they still have a business, or they don’t get the virus and they lose their livelihood?” he said.

Boulder boasts one of the most highly educated populations in the nation; Weld boasts about its sugar beets, cattle and thousands of oil and … Read more

Do pro-inflammatory diets harm our health? And can anti-inflammatory diets help?

Our emerging understanding of the role of inflammation in major chronic diseases has brought much attention to the effect of diet on the inflammatory process. Understanding the link may help us identify specific dietary patterns and foods than can diminish chronic inflammation and improve health.

Inflammation: Helpful, harmful, or both?

There are two types of inflammation: acute and chronic. Acute inflammation is the body’s protective response to an injury or infection. For example, acute inflammation occurs when you cut your finger. Your body dispatches white blood cells to protect the area. You may see some swelling and redness and feel pain, but this process is critical to preventing infection.

Chronic inflammation may be triggered when the body tries to rid itself of harmful substances such as toxins from smoking. Increased levels of chronic inflammation are also associated with excess fat, especially around the abdomen.

Low-grade chronic inflammation may damage blood … Read more

Coronavirus live news: Denmark extends lockdown for a fortnight; just 40% in France plan to get vaccine

Latest updates: UK records 53,135 new cases and 414 deaths; concern over slow start to France’s immunisation campaign

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The first study of the safety and effectiveness of a coronavirus vaccine in Iran began on Tuesday, state TV reported, with dozens due to receive the domestically developed shot even as details about its production remained slim.

The vaccine, the first in the country to reach human trials, is produced by Shifa Pharmed, part of a state-owned pharmaceutical conglomerate known as Barekat.

I am happy that the scientific process went ahead in a proper way,” said … Read more

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