Nancy Pelosi hails 'historic' Covid relief bill as House prepares to vote

Lawmakers poised to approve $1.9tn measure on Wednesday, sending it to Biden for his signature

The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, has hailed the massive $1.9tn Covid relief bill as “historic” and “transformative” as the House stood poised to give the legislation final approval with a vote on Wednesday morning.

Joe Biden, who will mark a year since the pandemic brought shutdowns across the nation with a primetime speech on Thursday, has said he will sign the bill as soon as it lands on his desk.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - 7:51pm
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Medieval women 'put faith in birth girdles' to protect them during childbirth

New findings cement idea that ritual and religion was invoked using talismans to soothe nerves

With sky-high levels of maternal mortality, the science of obstetrics virtually nonexistent and the threat of infectious disease always around the corner, pregnant medieval women put their faith in talismans to bring them divine protection during childbirth.

From amulets to precious stones, the list of items that the church lent to pregnant women was substantial, but the most popular lucky charm was a “birthing girdle”.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - 7:01pm
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Anger after Indonesia offers Elon Musk Papuan island for SpaceX launchpad

Biak island residents say SpaceX launchpad would devastate island’s ecology and displace people from their homes

Papuans whose island has been offered up as a potential launch site for Elon Musk’s SpaceX project have told the billionaire Tesla chief his company is not welcome on their land, and its presence would devastate their island’s ecosystem and drive people from their homes.

Musk was offered use of part of the small island of Biak in Papua by Indonesian president Joko Widodo in December.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - 6:22pm
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China could invade Taiwan in next six years, top US admiral warns

Asia Pacific commander Philip Davidson says Beijing wants to take Washington’s world leadership role by 2050

China could invade Taiwan within the next six years as Beijing accelerates its moves to supplant American military power in Asia, a top US commander has warned.

Democratic and self-ruled Taiwan lives under constant threat of invasion by China, whose leaders view the island as part of their territory and which they have vowed to one day take back.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - 7:24pm
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'I'm his voice today': George Floyd's sister speaks as Derek Chauvin trial begins – video

Bridgett Floyd, George Floyd’s sister, said that her family was glad the trial had finally arrived and was 'praying for justice' as the hearing continued on Monday.

The trial of a former police officer in the US city of Minneapolis charged with George Floyd's murder has begun jury selection on Tuesday.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - 4:01pm
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Australia news live: Dan Andrews moved to trauma ward; Qantas chief highlights risk of long-term border closure

Gladys Berejiklian will be receiving the AstraZeneca jab; Qantas chief Alan Joyce warns tourists and students could abandon Australia. Follow latest updates

10.45pm GMT

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Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - 5:45pm
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Raab summons EU official as anger grows over UK vaccine export claims

Foreign secretary accuses Brussels of falsely accusing UK of not sending vaccines abroad

Dominic Raab has summoned the EU’s UK representative amid government fury over claims by the president of the European council that the UK has banned exports of vaccines, which the government says are entirely false.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - 4:01pm
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'Racism is racism': Meghan and Harry's Oprah interview lauded in US

Media observers and TV viewers praise couple and interviewer as conversation continues 48 hours after airing

Oprah Winfrey’s Sunday primetime interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex following their step back from royal duties amassed over 17 million viewers on the night, and is still being dissected and debated by US media, and in households across the country, 48 hours after it first aired.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - 4:25pm
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Rescuers find 39 bodies off Tunisia after two boats sink

Coastguards were able to save 165 people before rescue called off due to bad weather and nightfall

At least 39 migrants have drowned off Tunisia when two boats capsized, the defence ministry has said, as numbers risking the dangerous crossing to Europe continued to rise.

Rescuers pulled 165 survivors from the foundering boats to safety on Tuesday.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - 5:08pm
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Myanmar: nun begs police to spare protesters – video

Sister Ann Rose Nu Tawng begged a group of heavily armed police officers to spare ‘the children’ and take her life instead, kneeling before them in the dust of a northern Myanmar city.

Her act of bravery in the city of Myitkyina on Monday came as Myanmar struggles with the chaotic aftermath of the military’s overthrow of the civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, on 1 February. 

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Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - 10:53am
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