While most of the UK population is asleep, it’s easy to think that the rest of the world is too. But not so – for many, our night is their day.
But what are their newspaper websites reporting on; what stories are holding their front pages? Here’s a brief roundup.
The New Zealand Herald‘s site is headed by the country’s Covid vaccination efforts. It states that 17.9 per cent of people have had a third dose or been boosted, and 92.5 per cent have received at least two doses.
There are also articles about stories you may be familiar with: Ukraine, Novak Djokovic and so on. Yet this one features highly, under the headline of “Mystery at the Mill: The strange and unresolved disappearance of scientist Jim Donnelly”.
The report says more than 450 people go missing in New Zealand each year, and while most are found within hours, some simply vanish. Jim Donnelly was a scientist working at the Glenbrook steel mill, south-west of Auckland. On June 21 2004, he left the home he shared with his wife Tracey and their children Liam and Siobhan and went to work. He parked his car, walked into the mill, went into his office and then – nothing.
Jim hasn’t been seen since. His wife is quoted as saying: “We had two children we were raising, they were going to school and we were just going about our lives in a normal way. I don’t know what it was that destroyed that.”
Then there are more anitipodean views. One, a quite scathing opinion piece, refers to the Duchess of Cambridge, in the wake of the Prince Andrew saga, saying that: “If she wants there to actually be a throne still waiting for her then, in recent days, achieving that gilt-edged ambition became that much harder thanks to her uncle-in-law Prince Andrew.”
News.com.au, a leading Australian site, has a story about Hollywood star Nicole Kidman, who has explained “the sad reason” why she is staying in her home country for the time being.
It says Kidman arrived in Australia for the Sydney premiere of her latest film, Being the Ricardos, in December. But instead of returning to the US, where she is based with her musician husband Keith Urban, Nicole has remained in Australia. Apparently, her 81-year-old mother, Janelle, is unwell, and that the family was “taking care” of her.
While many foreign sites pick up UK news quickly, the San Francisco Chronicle focuses largely on local issues. A breaking story, at around 4am our time, reports that $7 million of personal protective equipment was left outside in San Mateo County and damaged by storms.
It said: “The PPE – mostly face shields, goggles, non-medical-grade gowns and cleaning supplies – was purchased during the early days of the pandemic and stored inside a building at the San Mateo County Event Center in San Mateo. When an event in mid-September required extra space, the supplies, stored in cardboard boxes, were moved to an uncovered fenced area in the parking lot.”
Like many sites across the globe, Boris Johnson’s partying travails are, surprisingly, hardly mentioned. Perhaps they are bored or not bothered any more.
But politics is never far from view. The German site DW.com, while operating on roughly the same time-band as the UK, reports that Silvio Berlusconi – he of the Bunga-Bunga parties – may be making a comeback. It says: “Italian centre-right parties on Friday confirmed their support for former prime minister Silvio Berulusconi to become president.” Italy’s new head of state, who will replace the outgoing Sergio Mattarella, will be chosen by 1,000 lawmakers who will begin voting on January 24.
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