Both Germany and France announced new nationwide lockdowns on Wednesday as Europe enters a deadly new phase of the coronavirus pandemic. Chancellor Angela Merkel says German officials have agreed to a four-week shutdown of restaurants, bars, cinemas, theaters and other leisure facilities in a bid to curb a sharp rise in coronavirus infections. More than half of France’s intensive care units are already occupied by COVID-19 patients.
A woman has been decapitated in a suspected terror attack in Nice, French police say. Three people have died and several others are injured after a knife attack took place near the Notre Dame church. Nice’s mayor Christian Estrosi tweeted the attacker shouted “Allahu Akbar” several times. The nation raised the security alert for French territory to the highest level in response to the attack.
An anonymous Trump administration official who wrote a 2018 New York Times opinion article criticizing the president has identified himself. Miles Taylor is a former chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security. “We do not owe the President our silence,” Mr Taylor said. “We owe him and the American people the truth.” Shortly afterwards, Mr Taylor wrote a book about working under President Trump, called The Warning.
Vietnam hunted for survivors on Thursday after landslides triggered by Typhoon Molave, one of its strongest storms in decades, lashed a central region already reeling from weeks of heavy rains that have killed at least 160 people. Hundreds of soldiers with heavy equipment were deployed to landslides in remote areas of Quang Nam province, where 19 people were killed and 12 were missing.
La Niña climate event is under way, heralding a colder and stormier winter than usual across the northern hemisphere, but 2020 remains likely to be one of the warmest years on record. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has declared La Niña event – a cooling of surface ocean water along the Pacific coast of the South American tropics – to help governments and humanitarian agencies plan for extreme weather events around the world.