English Service
(Fot. KFP/Slawek Panek)


07 stycznia 2021


Radio Gdansk News in English: Four Dead as Mob Storms US Congress, 2nd EU Vaccine Approved, Stoch Wins Four Hills

The top story this afternoon, at least four people died in Washington DC yesterday after supporters of US President Donald Trump stormed the United States Congress.

Late evening European time, an armed mob of pro-Trump demonstrators who had been protesting outside the Capitol building forced their way past police to enter the Congress. Protesters - many waving flags including the Confederate flag of the US Civil War - were able to make their way into the chamber of the Senate, and an armed stand-off ensued when they attempted to enter the House of Representatives.

The break-in came as lawmakers were meeting to confirm Joe Biden's victory in November's presidential election. Members of Congress as well as Vice President Mike Pence had to be evacuated mid-debate. Mr Pence, for years a loyal supporter of the president, yesterday broke with him for the first time, saying he would not attempt to block Joe Biden's confirmation.

President Trump, who earlier in the day had given a speech to the assembled protesters, has so far failed to condemn the violence. Mr Trump has repeatedly claimed without evidence that the November election was rigged by his opponent - a claim rejected by the dozens of judges.

The rampage also came after Democrats won control of the Senate in a run-off election in the state of Georgia. Candidates John Ossoff and Raphael Warnock both won slim victories in the state, handing control of the US upper house to the Democratic party.

The European Union has granted approval to a second Coronavirus vaccine.

The EU drugs regulator, the European Medicines Agency, yesterday recommended that the vaccine, produced by US pharmaceutical giant Moderna, be authorised for use across the Union.

The Moderna vaccine is the second to be approved in Europe, following the Pfizer-BioNTech jab which received authorisation mid-December. Both vaccines have undergone rigorous testing for both safety and efficacy.

Announcing the authorisation, EMA director Emer Cooke described the vaccine as "a testament to the efforts and commitment of all involved", adding that the EMA will continue to "closely monitor data on the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine".

The approval clears the way for the vaccine to be rolled out in the coming days and weeks, bolstering Europe's newly-launched immunisation efforts.

In Poland, new figures show more than 140,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have now been administered.

Poland's Kamil Stoch has been crowned overall winner at this year's Four Hills ski jumping tournament in Austria, with the Polish team dominating the leaderboard.

Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Cup winner Stoch took first place on the podium after an incredible set of jumps in the final event of the tournament. Scoring an overall total of 1110.6 points, Stoch beat second-placed Karl Geiger of Germany by more than 48 points.

It's Stoch's third victory in the Four Hills competition - he previously took two consecutive wins in 2017 and 2018.

Altogether this year Poles seized four of the top six places on the leaderboard, with Dawid Kubacki taking 3rd, Piotr Żyła in 5th, and Andrzej Stękała tied for 6th with Japan's Ryoyu Kobayashi.

In Gdansk, a three-year restoration of St Mary's Basilica has been completed.

A full renovation and restoration was begun in 2017, including a new roof and repairs to the facade as well as conservation works on the many priceless historic items inside the church. New features including a multimedia centre in a converted boiler room have also been added.

More than 500 years old, St Mary's remains the second-largest brick church anywhere in the world. The church is home to some of the finest masterpieces of the gothic style, including the famous high altar and the Gdansk astronomical clock.

More snow possible as we head into the afternoon but easing off later on.

Temperatures today not likely to go above 0C, that's 32F, dropping to about -2 this evening, 28F. Temperatures tomorrow remaining below freezing with only a small chance of some snow showers

More snow looking likely as we head towards the weekend.


Thomas Holdstock/mw