While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Nov 1

Britain announces new national lockdown as Covid-19 cases top 1 million

Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered England back into a national lockdown after the United Kingdom passed the milestone of one million Covid-19 cases and a second wave of infections threatened to overwhelm the health service.

The United Kingdom, which has the biggest official death toll in Europe from Covid-19, is grappling with more than 20,000 new coronavirus cases a day and scientists have warned the “worst case” scenario of 80,000 dead could be exceeded.

Johnson, at a hastily convened news conference in Downing Street after news of a lockdown leaked to local media, said that the one-month lockdown across England would kick in after midnight on Thursday morning and last until Dec 2.

In some of the most onerous restrictions in Britain’s peacetime history, people will only be allowed to leave home for specific reasons such as education, work, exercise, shopping for essentials and medicines or caring for the vulnerable.


More than 90 million vote early as Trump, Biden make late campaign push

A record 90 million Americans have voted early in the presidential election, data on Saturday showed, as President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden campaigned across the nation to try to sway the few remaining undecided voters.

The high number of early voters, about 65% of the total turnout in 2016, reflects intense interest in the contest, with three days of campaigning left.

Concerns about exposure to the coronavirus at busy Election Day voting places on Tuesday have also pushed up the numbers of people voting by mail or at early in-person polling sites.


Europe’s coronavirus woes multiply with leaders drifting to lockdowns

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson became Europe’s latest leader to retreat from a no-lockdown pledge, faced with a virus pandemic that’s wreaking havoc on government plans and derailing an economic recovery.

Germany and France imposed similar partial shutdowns this week.

Austria and Greece followed the example of the European Union’s two big economic powers on Saturday with expanded shutdowns for November.


Over a million line up as Slovakia begins nationwide Covid-19 test in global first

Over a million Slovaks took a coronavirus swab on Saturday as the country launched a huge logistical operation to test most of its population over the weekend to reverse a rise in the pandemic.

Authorities say the ambitious plan to test most citizens aged over 10 among Slovakia’s 5.5 million people is the first of its kind in a country of its size.

It is being watched by other nations looking for ways to slow the virus spread and avoid overwhelming their health systems.


Sean Connery: The actor who made Bond, Bond, then became a sought-after senior actor

In the 1960s, Sean Connery was ranked with the likes of John Wayne, Julie Andrews, Richard Burton, Tony Curtis and Paul Newman – stars whose name on the marquee could make a movie bankable.

Of that group, he was, until Saturday, one of its last survivors.

The Scottish actor had gone from playing bit parts in British movies in the 1950s to becoming a global brand for playing James Bond, becoming the first Agent 007 in Dr No (1962), and would go on to play the super-spy six more times between 1962 and 1983.


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