The World This Morning: December 31, 2020

THREE US-BASED COMPANIES ARE WORKING IN COLLABORATION WITH INDIAN COMPANIES FOR MASS PRODUCTION OF THE COVID 19 VACCINE

The commerce ministry has said that trade and cooperation between the two countries has increased during the pandemic. The proposed free deal agreement between India and Mauritius is nearly finalised. This agreement will allow the two countries to cut or eliminate duties on the majority of traded goods.

THE OXFORD-ASTRAZENECA VACCINE HAS BEEN APPROVED FOR USE IN THE UK, WITH THE FIRST DOSES DUE TO BE GIVEN ON MONDAY AMID RISING CORONAVIRUS CASES.

The UK has ordered 100 million doses - enough to vaccinate 50 million people. This would cover the entire population when combined with the full order of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab. It comes as millions of more people in England are expected to be the toughest tier-four restrictions. Vaccination centres will now start inviting patients to come and get the jab from next week.

THAILAND'S HEALTH MINISTRY APPROVED THE USE OF HERBAL MEDICINES FOR COVID-19 TREATMENT

On Wednesday, the ministry said that green chiretta will be used as an alternative treatment to reduce the severity of the outbreak. Initially, the treatment will be available in five state-owned hospitals. Reports reveal that the government has banned large gatherings in high-risk areas. The treatment will be done voluntarily. It is for those who stand in the age group of 18-60 and provided they have minor symptoms. This treatment must be conducted within 72 hours of confirmation of infection.

FIRST CASE OF THE NEW CORONAVIRUS STRAIN FROM UK HAS BEEN REPORTED IN THE UNITED STATES

A man in his early 20's from Colorado was infected with the new strain. He has no travel history. The authorities are investigating his case. New virus is highly contagious. Recent researches say it is 56% more transmissible than the other mutations. This has led to strict lockdown in the UK and other countries banning travel to and from the UK.

MPS HAVE OVERWHELMINGLY APPROVED THE UK'S POST-BREXIT TRADE DEAL WITH THE EU IN A PARLIAMENTARY VOTE.

A bill bringing the deal into UK law was backed by the Commons by 521 to 73 votes after Parliament was recalled. The UK will cut off its ties with the EU at 11:00 PM GMT on Thursday, four and a half years after the Brexit referendum. The agreement hammered out with Brussels over nine months sets out a new business and security relationship between the UK and its biggest trading partner.

THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT HAS SAID THAT IT HAS REACHED CONSENSUS AFTER HAVING TALKS WITH THE PROTESTING FARMERS YESTERDAY

It is firm on backing the farm laws but has offered concessions to farmers on the electricity amendment bill and penal provisions for stubble burning. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar said that the next round of talks will be held on January 4, 2021.

A NIGHT CURFEW HAS BEEN IMPOSED BY INDIAN AUTHORITIES IN WAKE OF THE NEW STRAIN OF COVID-19 INFECTION.

Though the situation has improved in India, authorities and state administrations have reimposed restrictions for New Year celebrations because of the new strain of COVID-19 infection that was reported in the United Kingdom in December. The centre and the state governments have issued a fresh set of guidelines for the New Year celebrations.

CUBA MAY BE DESIGNATED AS A SPONSOR OF TERRORISM BY THE UNITED STATES

In a reversal of the diplomatic progress seen during the Obama administration, current US Secretary of State must decide whether to approve a plan put forward by the State Department to classify Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism. This comes after 4 years of rigid relations between the 2 nations under President Donald Trump. Increased sanctions under the Trump administration and this new consideration have exasperated the already strained relationship between the former Cold War-era rivals.

US BANS IMPORT OF PALM OIL FROM MALAYSIA OVER FORCED LABOUR ALLEGATION

Sime Darby is the third Malaysian company that has been accused of a US ban. The ban will hurt an industry that has faced allegations of labour and human rights abuses in the past. The Customer and Border Protection have issued a withhold release order.

THE ARGENTINIAN SENATE LEGALIZED ABORTION IN A LANDSLIDE MAJORITY VOTE

The historic measure passed with an overwhelming 38 votes in favour, 29 votes against, and 1 abstention. Argentina has now become the third country in South America to legalize the voluntary medical procedure. The Senate approved the elective measure for up to 14 weeks gestation.


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