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EU’s Von der Leyen says AstraZeneca will deliver 9 million more vaccine doses

AstraZeneca will deliver nine million more doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to the European Union in the first quarter of this year, making a total of 40 million for the period, and will start deliveries one week earlier than expected, the president of the European Commission…

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FILE PHOTO: European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen addresses European lawmakers during the presentation of the programme of activities of the Portuguese Presidency on a plenary session at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, January 20, 2021. Francisco Seco/Pool via REUTERS

(Reuters) – AstraZeneca will deliver nine million more doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to the European Union in the first quarter of this year, making a total of 40 million for the period, and will start deliveries one week earlier than expected, the president of the European Commission said on Sunday.

The Anglo-Swedish company unexpectedly announced earlier this month that it would cut supplies to the EU of its vaccine candidate in the first quarter, sparking a row over supplies.

“AstraZeneca will deliver 9 million additional doses in the first quarter (40 million in total) compared to last week’s offer and will start deliveries one week earlier than scheduled,” Ursula Von der Leyen, president of the European Commission wrote on Twitter. The company would expand its manufacturing capacity in Europe, she said.

Last week, the company had offered to bring forward some deliveries to the EU. It had also offered eight million more doses to the European Union to try to defuse the dispute but an EU official told Reuters that was too far short of what was originally promised as AstraZeneca had committed to at least 80 million shots in the first quarter.

Earlier on Sunday, the EU Commission president held a videoconference with CEOs of companies manufacturing vaccines and warned of the threat of coronavirus variants.

“It is crucial to prepare for the appearance of such variants,” Von der Leyen said in a statement.

Reporting by Marine Strauss in Brussels and Ann Maria Shibu in Bengaluru; Editing by Barbara Lewis and Frances Kerry

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Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-europe-astrazeneca/eus-von-der-leyen-says-astrazeneca-will-deliver-9-million-more-vaccine-doses-idUSKBN2A00PW?il=0

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UK seeks to break down digital trade barriers, says minister

Britain will look to break down digital trade barriers to help its businesses export their services, the country’s newly appointed trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan will say on Monday.

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Britain’s Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan walks outside Downing Street in London, Britain, September 15, 2021. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

LONDON, Sept 20 (Reuters) – Britain will look to break down digital trade barriers to help its businesses export their services, the country’s newly appointed trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan will say on Monday.

Britain’s Department for International Trade last week published a report seeking to predict trends in global trade out to 2050 which forecast that demand for digital services will double in the next decade.

“All of us depend on digital trade, yet British businesses face digital barriers in countries who take a protectionist approach,” Trevelyan will say in a virtual speech to London Tech Week, according to advanced extracts released by her office.

“I want the UK to break down these barriers and open up new, exciting opportunities for businesses and consumers so we can see improved productivity, jobs and growth.”

Trade deals typically focus on removing goods trade barriers, but since leaving the European Union, Britain has sought to include agreements on digital trade and common standards in professional services to spur service sector growth.

Trevelyan will use her first speech since taking up the role last week to set out the department’s plan to try to shape international digital policy. This will include establishing cooperation on digital trade via free trade agreements.

Enhanced consumer and intellectual property protections and promoting the development of digital trading systems such as e-contracting are also among the plans Trevelyan will set out.

The department, which said the digital sector contributed 150.6 billion pounds to the UK economy in 2019 and employed 4.6% of the national workforce, also wants to make it simpler and cheaper for businesses which use data to trade internationally by advocating free and trusted cross-border data flows.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Nick Macfie

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

“All of us depend on digital trade, yet British businesses face digital barriers in countries who take a protectionist approach,” Trevelyan will say in a virtual speech to London Tech Week, according to advanced extracts released by her office.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/uk-seeks-break-down-digital-trade-barriers-says-minister-2021-09-19/

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Brazil renews protection of little-seen Amazon tribe for six months

The only two known male members of the Piripkura tribe in Brazil live in isolation on ancestral lands the size of Luxembourg in the Amazon rainforest, resisting decades of invasion by loggers and cattle ranchers.

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An undated image of two male members of the Piripkura tribe during an encounter with a FUNAI (Indigenous National Foundation) unit before they returned to live in the Amazon forest, Rondonia state, Brazil. Survival International/Bruno Jorge/Handout via REUTERS

BRASILIA, Sept 17 (Reuters) – The only two known male members of the Piripkura tribe in Brazil live in isolation on ancestral lands the size of Luxembourg in the Amazon rainforest, resisting decades of invasion by loggers and cattle ranchers.

Brazil’s indigenous affairs agency Funai renewed a protection order on Friday for the 242,500-hectare (599,230-acre) area in western Mato Grosso state. But the renewed protection will last just six months, unlike the three-year extensions granted for the territory since 2008.

The Piripkura’s fate has become a test of indigenous rights under far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who has criticized reservations for giving too much land to too few people and blocking the expansion of mining and farming.

Indigenous rights advocates had pressed for a three-year extension as in previous renewals. Advocate group Survival International called it a “stay of execution” by the government to gauge reactions before ending the protection altogether.

“We are still deeply concerned as the Piripkura’s future still hangs very much in the balance, while the landgrabbers are circling round and poised to invade,” said Fiona Watson, director of research and advocacy at Survival International.

The office of Brazil’s public prosecutor urged the government to renew protection orders that are about to expire for four groups of indigenous people. It said Brazil is the South American country with the largest number of indigenous people living voluntarily in isolation, with 114 groups sighted.

Federal prosecutor Ricardo Pael, who has been seeking a court-ordered extension in Mato Grosso, said it should be renewed until a final decision on making the Piripkura an official tribal reservation is taken by Funai.

SPORADIC ENCOUNTERS

The Piripkura men, Baita and nephew Tamanduá, have only been seen in recent years in sporadic encounters with Funai staffers. Unshaven, long-haired and naked, they quickly disappear back into the forest, where other Piripkura are believed to live.

Baita’s sister Rita Piripkura has been the men’s contact with the outside world since she emerged to marry into another tribe on the nearby Karipuna reservation.

“I’m worried they’ll be killed. There are lots of outsiders around there. They could kill them both and there won’t be anyone left,” Rita told Survival International in a recorded interview, recalling a massacre of her people years ago.

“White men arrived at dawn and killed everyone. They killed nine of us. My family escaped in a canoe,” she said.

In July, federal prosecutor Pael got a court injunction for the eviction of farmers from the Piripkura land, the most deforested territory of any isolated or recently contacted Amazon people. Police have not yet acted on the order.

Anthropologists say the uncontacted tribes of the Amazon cannot survive without their land and are increasingly pitted against armed invaders interested in poaching, farming and mining in their territory.

The invaders have become bolder since the 2018 election of Bolsonaro, who once praised Colonel George Custer in a speech for his role in clearing the U.S. prairies of indigenous people.

He is backing a bill in Congress that would limit indigenous land claims and help to open tribal reservations for commercial mining and plantations.

The public prosecutor’s office said in its statement that mining companies have 55 requests for prospecting licenses on Piripkura land that will be held up by the protection order for another six months.

Indigenous advocates worry that a failure to renew such orders would mean an eventual extinction of protected territories.

“It will be the end of the Piripkura,” said Fabricio Amorim, a former Funai employee now with OPI, an NGO advocating for the rights of isolated and recently contacted indigenous people.

Reporting by Anthony BoadleEditing by Brad Haynes and Rosalba O’Brien

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

“We are still deeply concerned as the Piripkura’s future still hangs very much in the balance, while the landgrabbers are circling round and poised to invade,” said Fiona Watson, director of research and advocacy at Survival International.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/brazil-renews-protection-little-seen-amazon-tribe-six-months-2021-09-17/

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Judge won’t ease release conditions for salon owner facing Jan. 6 riot charges

A federal judge on Thursday declined to ease pre-trial release conditions for a Beverly Hills, California, beauty salon owner facing felony charges for participating in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot.

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Pro-Trump protesters clash with Capitol police at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

WASHINGTON, Sept 16 (Reuters) – A federal judge on Thursday declined to ease pre-trial release conditions for a Beverly Hills, California, beauty salon owner facing felony charges for participating in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot.

A. Charles Peruto Jr., lawyer for Gina Bisignano, 52, owner of Gina’s Eyelashes and Skincare, asked U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols in Washington to terminate a house arrest order and to allow his client to remove an ankle bracelet monitor.

Nichols, however, declined to relax Bisignano’s release conditions, though he said he might reconsider his position.

According to an FBI document, during the riot Bisignano, using a bullhorn, declared “This is 1776, and we the people will never give up.”

The FBI said that as she spoke other members of the crowd sprayed police with a fire extinguisher and attacked their shields “with what appear to be batons.”

Bisignano faces seven criminal charges, including obstruction of an official proceeding and civil disorder.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington said that as of Wednesday, more than 600 defendants had been arrested on charges related to the riot by supporters of Republican then-President Donald Trump, which erupted as Congress met to certify Democrat Joe Biden’s November presidential election victory.

Four people died during the riot, and a Capitol Police officer died the following day.

Also on Thursday, prosecution and defense lawyers told U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan that a plea bargain had been offered to Lewis Cantwell, the 35-year-old former co-owner of a tea shop in Sylva, North Carolina, who faces felony riot charges. The offer is under discussion, the lawyers said.

And during a lengthy status hearing for 16 Jan. 6 riot defendants alleged to be linked to the Oath Keepers militia movement, defense lawyers expressed concern to U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta that government efforts to give them pre-trial access to massive amounts of riot-related evidence would not be completed by Jan. 31. Mehta has tentatively set that as the date for the start of the first of two Oath Keeper-related trials.

Reporting by Mark Hosenball; editing by Jonathan Oatis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

The FBI said that as she spoke other members of the crowd sprayed police with a fire extinguisher and attacked their shields “with what appear to be batons.”

Source: https://www.reuters.com/world/us/judge-wont-ease-release-conditions-salon-owner-facing-jan-6-riot-charges-2021-09-16/

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