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Daily Briefing Dec. 27 – Omicron dominates and bird flu decimates

Health writer Nathan Jeffay discusses fast-approaching Omicron effects; environmental reporter Sue Surkes looks at a fowl disease affecting wild and domestic birds, green successes

Welcome to The Times of Israel’s Daily Briefing, your 15-minute audio update on what’s happening in Israel, the Middle East, and the Jewish world, from Sunday through Thursday.

Environmental reporter Sue Surkes and health and science writer Nathan Jeffay join host Jessica Steinberg on today’s podcast.

Jeffay discusses reports that Omicron will become the dominant strain of COVID in Israel within one to two weeks, with rampant quarantining. He also expands on a recent article summing up what’s known so far about the variant.

Surkes looks at how the bird flu reached Israel and how it’s affecting local poultry farms and wild birds in the Hula Valley, along with recommendations about where to buy eggs and poultry.

Surkes offers some updates about progress in the government regarding climate change legislation, along with a victory from green groups to limit the oil deal signed between a state company and an Israeli-United Arab Emirates business consortium.

Discussed articles include:

Transmission rate highest since July; positive COVID tests top 2% as Omicron spreads

Rising cases, empty wards: Israel’s COVID situation explained in six graphs

5,000 dead cranes counted at Hula Lake reserve amidst bird flu outbreak

Hundreds of thousands of chickens to be culled as bird flu spreads; egg shortage due

Coalition MKs to push climate law within weeks to force PM’s hand

Green groups claim victory, withdraw court petition against Eilat oil deal

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