VIENNA (AFP) — Popular for keeping the pandemic at bay in Austria, Health Minister Rudolf Anschober is preparing for a “major challenge” in an anticipated second coronavirus wave in the autumn. If all goes well, he will consolidate the Green Party’s place in the conservative-led government and prove it is an indispensable ally that can also advance some of its own interests on the environment. The Green minister has seen his profile rise rapidly during the crisis, even eclipsing the popularity of his boss, conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, according to one recent poll. But speaking to AFP this week, Anschober — also known by his nickname “Rudi” — said the ratings did not impress him. “Now comes the difficult… stabilization phase after the reopening,” the 59-year-old said, adding this was also the “phase of preparation for the autumn, which we see as another major challenge.” He added virologists in Austria said the infection risk would “massively increase” when people head indoors again once summer is over. He cited the example of Israel, which had been deemed successful in fighting the virus but which has recently seen infections surge.


The American pentecostal preacher Morris Cerullo died on 10th July aged 88 from pneumonia. He preached across the world, including in Brazil, Mexico and Nigeria and was passionate about training young pastors, with his website saying by the end of his life he had trained 5 million Christian ministers. He was married for 69 years and had nine great grandchildren, after growing-up as an orphan himself. Born in 1931, Cerullo was raised in a Jewish orphanage in New Jersey and became a Christian through a nurse there. He began church ministry in his teenage years and at the age of 17 received a scholarship to a Bible college in New York. When he was 23 he held his first overseas outreach event in Greece. He was ordained by the Assemblies of God as an evangelist minister in 1952. Not without controversy, he resigned from the UK Evangelical Alliance in the 1990s after they nearly booted him out for offering miraculous healing to disabled people. 

Children under 16 years old could soon be able to change legal sex in the Republic of Ireland, the Children’s Minister has said. Roderic O’Gorman, Children’s, Disability, Equality and Integration Minister, has committed to reviewing a change in the law to allow under-16’s to change gender with the consent of their parents and GP. But it has been revealed that the group which advised the Irish Government to make the change does not contain a single medical practitioner. Mr O’Gorman said the Government was following guidance from a review group on Ireland’s Gender Recognition Act. Irish journalist John McGuirk has heavily criticised its lack of medical expertise. In a scathing assessment, he said: “This review panel did not contain one single psychologist, one single gender specialist, or one single GP.” “The review group did contain, however, four representatives from NGOs that advocate for trans rights.” He added: “How can this be said to be ‘expert advice’? It is only expert if one is seeking experts in trans rights activism, and not expertise in children’s medicine or psychology.”