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The World This Morning: December 15, 2020

India/ South Asia

THE INDIAN AGRICULTURAL MINISTER NARENDRA SINGH SAID THAT THE GOVERNMENT WILL REPEAL THE FARM LAWS IF FARMERS INSIST.

But he defended the farm laws, suggesting to the farmers that he is willing to discuss them clause by clause. The farmer protest has blown in the face of the BJP government. It tried to push its way through with an ordinance which does not need a debate in the parliament. But the protests have put the government on the back foot. The Indian farmers say that the laws are anti-farmer and pro-corporate, especially the Gujarat lobby.

INDIAN GOVERNMENT HAS LAID OUT ITS PLAN ON HOW IT PLANS TO START ITS COVID VACCINATION PROCESS

It said that they will announce dates once the front runner vaccine is available for emergency use. The Indian government wants to vaccinate 300 million people in the first round. Priority will be given to healthcare and frontline workers, also people above 50 years of age and those below 50 with medical conditions.

UK/Europe

UK HAS IDENTIFIED A NEW DEADLY STRAIN OF THE CORONA VIRUS. THE GOVERNMENT IS CONCERNED ABOUT THE RISING NUMBERS OF INFECTIONS ACROSS THE CAPITAL.

London is likely to move to tier 3 that means restrictions are to be put in place on movement and social distancing. The UK has already notified the World Health Organization about the new variant and scientists have started investigating.

UK AND EU HAGGLE AS THEY ARE UNABLE TO REACH A TRADE DEAL POST THEIR DIVORCE

This new phase of the talks is expected to focus on how close the UK should stick to EU economic rules in the future. The EU is determined to prevent the UK from gaining what it sees as an unfair advantage of having tariff-free access to its markets, not paying taxes on goods being bought and sold while setting its own standards on products, employment rights and business subsidies.

US/ North America

US ROLLED OUT ITS FIRST COVID VACCINATION, STARTING WITH HEALTHCARE WORKERS.

Sandra Lindsay, a critical care nurse from Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens got the first shot. The US Food and Drug Administration issued emergency use authorization to the American vaccine Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech to eradicate Coronavirus. It has killed over 294,000 people in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

CANADA WILL CONTRIBUTE $450 MILLION TO HELP DEVELOPING COUNTRIES FIGHT THE PANDEMIC

International Development Minister Karina Gould announced the funding during a news conference in Ottawa on Monday. It also includes therapies to ease the burden of the healthcare system. Canada's contribution could help in training healthcare workers to administer the vaccine and eliminating the infection.

Latin America/ South America

BOLIVIAN GOVERNMENT CONFIRMS ACCESS TO THREE MILLION COVID 19 VACCINES AND THEIR INITIAL PLANS TO VACCINATE.

The government will present in the next few hours a comprehensive prevention plan against Covid-19. Like the rest of the world, they are identifying the most vulnerable population. In addition, the Cabinet of Ministers will analyze other measures to reactivate the economy.

GREEN SCARVES WAVE AS ARGENTINA CELEBRATES LEGALIZATION OF ABORTION

Moving away from the legislation drawn in 1921, Argentina is all set to legalize abortion in normal cases. Demonstrators were seen wearing green scarves as they took to streets to celebrate. Green scarves have become an emblem for the campaign for legal abortions.

Asia

MALAYSIA, SINGAPORE IN TALKS OVER HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROJECT

Singapore's Ministry of Transport said that Singapore and Malaysia are still in discussions over the twice-delayed high-speed rail project. Malaysia proposed to build a HSR station at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport but Singapore rejected the proposal. Sources reveal that the Republic perceived this as a threat to its aviation industry. The ministry further said that Malaysia is planning to continue the project without Singapore's involvement and end the line.

THAI WARNED ITS CITIZENS TO FOLLOW COVID-19 GUIDELINES DURING NEW YEAR

On Monday, Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul asked its citizens to strictly follow social distancing and maintain the norms of Covid-19 while celebrating the new year 2021. The Public Health Minister said that the authorities will not stop people from organising or participating in New Year celebrations and countdown events, but people will be required to strictly observe the Covid-19 restrictions.


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