While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Dec 28

Despite high-tech advances, many Europeans wary of Covid-19 shot

Europe rolled out a huge Covid-19 vaccination drive on Sunday to try to rein in the coronavirus pandemic but many Europeans are sceptical about the speed at which the vaccines have been tested and approved and reluctant to have the shot.

The European Union has secured contracts with a range of drugmakers including Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca, for a total of more than two billion doses and has set a goal for all adults to be inoculated next year.

But surveys have pointed to high levels of hesitancy towards inoculation in countries from France to Poland, with many used to vaccines taking decades to develop, not just months.

“I don’t think there’s a vaccine in history that has been tested so quickly,” Ireneusz Sikorski, 41, said as he stepped out of a church in central Warsaw with his two children. “I am not saying vaccination shouldn’t be taking place. But I am not going to test an unverified vaccine on my children, or on myself.”


Around 200 quarantined British tourists sneak out of ski resort

Hundreds of British tourists forced into quarantine in the Swiss ski resort of Verbier fled in the night rather than seeing their holidays go downhill, the local municipality said on Sunday.

Around 200 of the 420 or so affected British tourists in the luxury Alpine ski station quit under the cover of darkness, the SonntagsZeitung newspaper reported.

Switzerland’s ski resorts were set to boom with snow-seeking British tourists – but a flight ban due to the new Covid-19 variant raging in England put those plans on ice.


Seven dead, seven wounded after knife attack in northeastern China

A man armed with a knife killed seven people and wounded seven others in northeastern China on Sunday, state media reported.

The attack – which police said appeared to have been “random” – reportedly took place at 8.14am local time (8.14am Singapore time) in the city of Kaiyuan in Liaoning province.

The attacker was later arrested in a local bath house, they added.


Football: Late Wolves equaliser extends Spurs slump

Tottenham paid for an overly conservative approach from Jose Mourinho as Romain Saiss’ equaliser four minutes from time earned Wolves a 1-1 draw at Molineux on Sunday.

Spurs made a dream start as Tanguy Ndombele opened the scoring in the first minute.

But Mourinho’s men have now failed to win in four consecutive league games to heavily dent their hopes of a first league title in 60 years.


Wonder Woman takes US$36 million at theatres worldwide

Wonder Woman 1984 pulled in US$36.1 million (S$48 million) at worldwide theatres over the Christmas holiday weekend and boosted streaming viewership on HBO Max, Warner Bros said on Sunday as it confirmed plans for a third film in the superhero franchise.

An estimated US$16.7 million of the box office total came from US and Canadian theatres, the AT&T-owned studio said.

That ranked as the highest domestic opening since the Covid-19 pandemic shuttered theatres in March, though the numbers were a fraction of usual receipts for a big-budget action flick. The 2017 Wonder Woman film opened with US$103.2 million domestically.


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