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Covid puts a damper on Christmas Eve again around the world

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Gotabaya Rajapaksa - Basil Rajapaksa - Forex shortage is short-lived, says Basil while assuring sufficient stocks of many goods - newsfirst.lk - Sri Lanka
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Forex shortage is short-lived, says Basil while assuring sufficient stocks of many goods
COLOMBO (News 1st): The foreign exchange shortage experienced in Sri Lanka will be short-lived, said the country’s Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa.Speaking to officials at the Finance Ministry of Friday (11), Rajapaksa said the government expects to minimize the effects the forex shortage might have on the people.On Monday (7) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa instructed the officials to take steps to immediately release the containers containing essential items at the custody of Customs.The President also appointed a committee headed by Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa to ensure that there is no shortage of essential commodities including food, and this committee met for the first time on Friday (11).A statement from the Finance Ministry noted that though there is a shortage of Milk Powder, Gas, Wheat Flour, and Cement in the local market, there are sufficient stocks of all other essential items and there will be no shortage.In addition, the tax reliefs granted by the government for essential food items not being enjoyed by the people were discussed and it was revealed at the meeting that errant traders abuse the concessions granted by the government and sell goods at exorbitant prices.The implementation of a new mechanism to expedite the release of essential commodities including food to the market, and to regulate and oversee this matter, was also discussed.
Health workers continue to strike over pay disparities - newsfirst.lk - Sri Lanka
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Health workers continue to strike over pay disparities
COLOMBO (News 1st); Thousands of Sri Lankan health workers continued their strike action for the fifth consecutive day on Friday (11), despite a court issuing an order against a nurses trade union that is also taking part in the strike.Health workers in Sri Lanka have been staging demonstrations and strikes since November 2021 to draw attention to the issue of salary anomalies.Their major demands include the rectification of salary anomalies, higher allowances, and an increase in overtime rates.Supplementary and paramedical services, nursing services, and professionals from 16 health services including medical laboratory technologists, pharmacists, radiologists, public health inspectors, and family health officers are participating in the indefinite strike.Thousands of poor patients who visited government hospitals were turned away, as a result.A Sri Lankan court on Thursday (10) issued two enjoining orders preventing the strike action by the Government Nursing Officer’s Association from continuing.The Attorney General filed an action against the Government Nursing Officer’s Association and its president Saman Rathnapriya, seeking an enjoining order from the court to immediately suspend the trade union action of the said union.The Attorney General appraised the court of the present deplorable conditions in hospitals due to patient care being severely affected.District Court Judge of Colombo Aruna Aluthge issued two enjoining orders preventing the union from continuing the said trade union strike endangering the lives of the patients.As a result of the strike, over this week the activities at the Colombo General Hospital, Kandy General Hospital, 24 Teaching Hospitals, 26 General Hospitals, 46 Base Hospitals, 410 District
Amanda Holden - Simon Cowell - David Walliams - Alesha Dixon - Simon Cowell struck down with Covid and forced to miss BGT auditions just after bike crash - express.co.uk - Usa - Britain - city London
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Simon Cowell struck down with Covid and forced to miss BGT auditions just after bike crash
Simon Cowell, has been delivered a double dose of disappointment as amid his recovery from a horror bike crash - his second in less than two years - he has now contracted Covid and found himself out of action yet again.The bad news leaves him with no choice but to be absent from Britain's Got Talent 2022 auditions while he gets better.Long-suffering Simon was noticeably missing from the judging panel, although Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams all appeared as usual.A spokesperson for the star revealed the bad news, stating to MailOnline: "Simon was unable to attend filming today as he was isolating at home after testing positive for Covid-19."Until February 24, all those with a positive test are legally obliged to isolate, which leaves his judging seat empty for the time being.It comes within days of a terrifying bike crash which saw Simon being rushed to hospital with a suspected concussion, cuts to his face, and a broken arm.Simon has made promises in the past that he'll curb his obsession with "boy-toy" bikes, but his latest crash is said to have been another wake-up call for him about the risks involved.He had been riding the Das Spitzing Evolution S-Pedelec bike, which comes with a hefty £7,921 price tag, when the accident happened.Friends have reportedly claimed he is ready to give up on the dangerous rides, with one source telling the aforementioned publication: "Simon has vowed not to go on a bike again."It was a horror show but fortunately it looked worse than it actually is."The 62-year-old had previously injured his back after a similar crash in Malibu, USA.After it was reported that locals had seen Simon race around the streets near his home in London at startling speeds, he revealed that he
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