December 15, 2022

US Monitors New Variants from China as Beijing Relaxes Zero-COVID Approach

The United States is monitoring for new coronavirus variants as it braces for a potential outbreak of COVID-19 infections following Beijing’s easing of strict controls that kept the pandemic at bay in China. “We have a very robust surveillance program that we use for travelers as people come in, in terms of identifying people who are infected, tracking variants,” Ashish Jha, White House coronavirus response coordinator, told VOA during a briefing with reporters on Thursday. “And if there are new variants that emerge, I’m confident that we will be able to identify them.” Jha said the monitoring mechanism includes testing


Tiny Meteorite May Have Caused Leak From Soyuz Capsule

Russian and NASA engineers were assessing a coolant leak on Thursday from a Soyuz crew capsule docked with the International Space Station that could have been caused by a micrometeorite strike. Dramatic NASA TV images showed white particles resembling snowflakes streaming out of the rear of the vessel for hours. The coolant leak forced the last-minute cancellation of a spacewalk by two Russian cosmonauts on Wednesday and could potentially impact a return flight to Earth by three crew members. Leak posed no danger Russia’s space corporation Roscosmos and the U.S. space agency said the leak on the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft


HE MINISTRY FOR TRANSPORT, INFRASTRUCTURE AND CAPITAL PROJECTS Żebbuġ-Siġġiewi junction project completed: less congestion, more safety

Works to improve the junction between Żebbuġ and Siġġiewi in Triq l-Imdina have been completed.   This was announced by Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Aaron Farrugia together with Infrastructure Malta (IM) CEO Ivan Falzon, Projects and Implementation Executive Director Raphael Abdilla, and Implementation Unit Architect Rebecca Grech.   The minister explained that this project alleviated congestion and minimised the risks of accidents on this main route.   He said that this project reduced the average travel time in this area by approximately 30%.   “This improvement in the junction decreased significantly the circumstances in which cars had