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The World This Morning: December 18, 2020

OVER 60 MILLION PEOPLE IN NORTHEASTERN AMERICA HAVE BEEN BADLY IMPACTED BY A POWERFUL SNOWSTORM

Various areas in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New York City have received three feet of snowfall. Multiple car crashes were reported. Weather official said that this situation is dangerous and asked residents of 14 states to stay indoors until absolutely necessary.

INDIA READIES TO CREATE A NEW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT IN ITS NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION.

It will be named Noida International Greenfield Airport. It will be designed on the lines of world airports like London, Moscow and Milan and is expected to give a boost to exports and increase employment opportunities for people in the state of Uttar Pradesh, a state with the lowest per capita income and one of the highest crime rates.

INDIA IS DEMANDING AN EARLY PROBE INTO DEFACING OF MAHATMA GANDHI STATUE IN UNITED STATES

It has strongly condemned vandalisation of the statue outside the Indian embassy in Washington DC. Anurag srivastava, spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs has said that this matter is also being taken up with the US Embassy in New Delhi.

MILLIONS OF PEOPLE IN THE EAST AND SOUTH-EAST OF ENGLAND WILL FACE THE TOUGHEST COVID-19 RULES FROM SATURDAY, SAID THE HEALTH SECRETARY.

Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Hertfordshire will be subject to tier three rules, as will parts of Surrey, East Sussex, Cambridgeshire and Hampshire. It comes as the UK recorded a further 532 coronavirus deaths, taking the total number of people who have died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus to 66,052.

CABINET MINISTER MICHAEL GOVE HAS TOLD PEERS THAT TALKS ABOUT A BREXIT TRADE DEAL MAY "GO ON UNTIL AFTER CHRISTMAS".

Earlier, the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, tweeted "good progress" had been made on a deal but "stumbling blocks remain". He said that while the EU has said it would not have time to ratify a deal if it was not concluded by Sunday, they could "apply a provisional application of the treaty". European Parliament leaders have set Sunday as a deadline for them to see the text of any deal agreed by the negotiating teams.

HEALTHCARE WORKERS IN THE UNITED STATES ARE REPORTING ALLERGIC REACTIONS AFTER TAKING PFIZER VACCINE SHOTS

Britain's medical regulator clarified that people with a history of severe allergies to medicine and food should not be given the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine. Daily death record in the country rose to 3580. US Food and Drug Administration is approving the second vaccine, Moderna, to fight the virus. This vaccine could start being administered as early as next week.

THE INTER-AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK HAS ANNOUNCED MOBILISATION OF $1 BILLION FOR COVID-19 FINANCING IN LATIN AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN

These funds will complement the bank in its efforts to support health care and economic recovery. It will support the countries in three areas: purchase of vaccine doses through multilateral efforts, institutional strengthening to help countries develop effective vaccine deployment mechanisms; and investment to build immunization capacity and finance operational costs. The Bank will also work closely with other institutions, including the Pan-American Health Organization.

PRESIDENT OF CHILE HAS ANNOUNCED THAT FIRST 20,000 DOSES OF PFIZER COVID-19 VACCINES WILL ARRIVE THIS MONTH

President Pinera has said that the vaccinations will be free and voluntary. He has also said that health personnel working in critical patient units, older adults and chronically ill patients will be the priority groups to receive the vaccination.

VIETNAM BEGINS HUMAN TRIALS OF ITS COVID-19 VACCINE

The vaccine is developed by Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC which is based in Ho Chi Minh City. Officials reveal that the vaccinated people will be kept under observation for 72 hours at the academy before they get back to their homes. The two vaccinated men and a woman will further be kept under surveillance for 56 days. The three were chosen amongst 300 volunteers who registered to participate in the human trials of the vaccine.

INDONESIA SPENT MORE ON BIODIESEL SUBSIDIES THAN FUNDS COLLECTED IN 2020

BPDP is the government body in charge of subsidising Indonesia's palm oil programmes. The body said that an estimate of 17-18 trillion rupiah had been raised from levies this year, while 25.7 trillion rupiahs had been spent subsidising the price difference between crude oil and palm oil. Indonesia's diesel is compulsorily blended with 30% bio content made out of Palm oil because it tries to be less dependent on fuel imports and mop up palm supply. The country's plan of increasing the bio content to 40% has been delayed due to funding issues.


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