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Boris Johnson does the right thing; Christmas in parts of England in shambles

Liverpool’s Metropolitan Christ the King Cathedral, 10March2015, Photo: Anthony Moretti

The Guardian reports the UK prime minister did what a leaders should do: React quickly and correctly to changing health conditions.

Yet faced with a new, rapidly spreading mutated strain of the coronavirus and a buckling NHS, Boris Johnson announced on Saturday that Christmas was cancelled for 17.7 million people in London and the south of England.

After a week which saw hospital after hospital cut routine operations, with some only able to accept patients with life-threatening conditions, the prime minister said he had “no alternative” but to act against a mutation that was “up to 70% more transmissible” than earlier versions.

“Given the early evidence we have on this new variant of the virus and the potential risk it poses, it is with a very heavy heart I must tell you we cannot continue with Christmas as planned,” Johnson said.

The top 10 news stories of 2020

Lord almighty, it’s been quite a year. What follows is my list of the top 10 news stories of 2020. This list attempts to take on a non-U.S.-centric lens, which explains why some stories that otherwise would rank higher in the eyes of Americans aren’t that way here.

10. Sports all around the world shut down because of coronavirus. Most eventually return (the Olympics are one exception, postponed until 2021), but fans are few, if not totally absent, in the stands.

9. The European Union and the United Kingdom go back and forth on the economic relationship the two sides will observe after the year ends. No deal seems especially risky for the UK.

8. Fires in Australia and on the west coast of the U.S. remind everyone of the beauty of and danger to our fragile planet.

7. Donald Trump becomes only the 3rd U.S. president to be impeached, but he remains in office after the Republican-led Senate refuses to find him guilty of the charges.

6. Joe Biden is elected the next president of the United States, ending a bitter campaign. His running mate, Kamala Harris, will become the first woman and the first Black to become Vice President.

5. China drops the hammer on Hong Kong, crippling freedom of expression. It also maintains its persecution of Uighur Muslims.

4. Israel and multiple Middle East and South Asian nations begin diplomatic relations.

3. Nationalism and racism remain a danger to democracy. The United States is not only in seeing dangerous flare ups of both. Hungary, India, Poland, and the United Kingdom also are places where “us versus them” are evident.

2. The economic fallout from coronavirus causes millions of people around the world to slide into unemployment and thousands of businesses to close. In addition, stock markets and the oil industry aren’t exempt from the financial chaos.

1. Coronavirus. More than 75-million are infected, slightly more than 1-million are dead, and an untold number of other people are convinced it’s all a farce.

Guilty!

You are guilty

No words can express our anger, our outrage

How dare you

But we keep hidden that we do

Exactly what you do

We call it self-preservation