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The World This Morning: December 10, 2020

US/North America

4 VOLUNTEERS HAVE DEVELOPED FACIAL PARALYSIS AFTER TAKING PFIZER COVID 19 JAB

The Food and Drug Administration said that the issue must be monitored as the jab becomes more widely available. These cases have been revealed after the US drug regulator published an analysis of the Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine. There are side effects of taking the vaccine and many in the UK are complaining that they were not made aware of it before taking the vaccine.

US PRESIDENT-ELECT IS SETTING UP HIS TEAM. JOE BIDEN IS ALL SET TO INTRODUCE LLOYD J. AUSTIN III AS HIS DEFENSE SECRETARY

He has chosen the retired Army General to lead the Pentagon. In addition to this, Biden has also picked Marcia Fudge as Housing Secretary and Tom Vilsack as Agriculture Secretary.

CANADA HAS APPROVED PFIZER'S VACCINE AFTER AN INDEPENDENT REVIEW

The review by Canada comes after the approval by Britain which was done on an emergency basis and relied heavily on Pfizer's analysis. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the first doses will arrive at 14 Canadian distribution centres next week.

UK/Europe

'UK AND EUROPE HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO REACH AN UNDERSTANDING IN SPITE OF THE MEETING BETWEEN UK PM BORIS JOHNSON AND EU CHIEF URSULA VON DER LEYEN

The teams came out and said that there are large gaps in what are the expectations on both sides. They have been deadlocked and have time only to reach a deal before 31 December, when the UK stops following EU trading rules. Major disagreements remain on fishing rights, business competition rules and how a deal will be policed. The meeting was seen as a last-ditch opportunity to work through the main sticking points and for the two sides to try and find some common ground.

HACKERS STEAL PFIZER-BIONTECH VACCINE DATA IN EUROPE.

Pfizer and BioNTech say documents related to their development of a COVID-19 vaccine have been 'unlawfully accessed' in a cyberattack on Europe's medicines regulator. Pfizer and BioNTech said they did not believe any personal data of trial participants had been compromised and EMA "has assured that the cyberattack will have no impact on the timeline for its review." It was not immediately clear when or how the attack took place or who is responsible or what other information may have been compromised.

India/ South Asia

THE INDIAN FARMERS ARE NOT RELENTING. THEY HAVE NOW THREATENED TO BLOCK THE HIGHWAY THAT LEADS WEST OUT OF NEW DELHI TO JAIPUR BY DECEMBER 12

The farmer's unions have rejected the draft proposal on an amendment to the farm laws by the government. The farm leaders have declared that they will continue to protest until all three farm laws are repealed. The minimum support price, hoarding laws and land parcel size in favour of the corporates is what they are protesting against.

THE INDIAN UNION CABINET IS TAKING STEPS TO MAKE INTERNET ACCESSIBLE TO THE POOR

The public Wi-Fi Access Network Interface will be known as PM-WANI. This scheme will improve the wi-fi availability throughout India and is expected to revolutionise access for the poor. The Indian government says that this access will boost incomes as well as ensure that the youth gets seamless internet connectivity. It is expected to strengthen the Digital India mission. India may have been a hub of the world's technology but the IT systems of the Indian government are dysfunctional and people's access to the digital is poor. India provides over 3.18% of the world adult content traffic.

Latin America/ South America

COLOMBIA'S GOVERNMENT URGES ITS CITIZENS TO AVOID GATHERINGS

The country has reported over 1.3 million cases till date. Christmas shoppers are seen gathering at the malls and shops in large numbers. To curb the spread of covid infection, Health Minister Fernando Ruiz asked citizens to avoid mass gatherings and celebrate their holidays with their families. The government has only allowed shops to reopen with safety measures. Masks, sanitization and temperature check is mandatory.

PASSENGER FLIGHT RESUMES IN BRAZIL WITH BOEING 737 MAX

This aircraft has been grounded since March 2019. Brazil's Gol is the first flight to restart commercial services after the two fatal crashes last year. 346 people were killed in the accident. Gol is the biggest domestic airline in Brazil. It owns seven Boeing 737 Max planes and plans on using them for 27 commercial domestic flights

Asia

ASIAN NATIONS ARE LIKELY TO MANDATE COVID-19 SHOTS FOR TRAVELLERS

On Wednesday, the AirAsia Group's chief executive officer said that the governments in Asia could require travellers to receive Covid-19 vaccinations. Qantas Airways is the first airline to announce that it will require vaccine shots for its passengers on future international flights. Discussions over mandatory Covid-19 vaccination for passengers have intensified as impending drug approvals triggers debate.

CHINA IS PUSHING BACK AGAINST AUSTRALIA. BY RAISING THE TEMPORARY DUTIES ON AUSTRALIAN WINE BY UPTO 218.5 PER CENT IT HAS MADE IT CLEAR THAT CHINA IS CAPABLE OF COLLAPSING AUSTRALIA'S ECONOMY.

Australia is heavily dependent on China but in the last few months with Australia working with the US in the QUAD and pushing trade barriers, the relationship has soured. Australian timber has been also impacted and so has coal, barley, copper ore and concentrate, sugar, and lobsters. The ban by China will impact Australia with billions of dollars with losses.


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