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Thousands march in Algeria demanding reform - Yahoo Singapore News

"We always went out for the same reasons, to free Algeria, for a better Algeria, to let young people work, for children and youth, for the coming generation, Algeria belongs to them.” Lynda, a protester, told Reuters.The protest movement, known as 'Hirak', brought tens of thousands of people to the streets each week for more than a year until the pandemic hit Algeria in early 2020, forcing them to stop.The 2019 protests prompted the military to oust veteran President Abdelaziz Bouteflika after two decades in power.Elected in December 2019, President Abelmadjid Tebboune has vowed to implement political and economic changes in a bid to put an end to the protest movement which demanded the departure of the whole ruling elite.Tebboune has set June 12 for early legislative elections, after announcing the dissolution of the lower house of parliament last month. The vote is part of political reforms promised by Tebboune.However, protesters have rejected the upcoming elections. Protester Chawaki told Reuters "nothing has changed, we have a president who belongs to the old regime... nothing has changed so people will keep protesting until we get a state of rights and a civil state, not a state governed by the army."

via arabnews04/08/2021

StarzPlay ramps up Turkish content ahead of Ramadan - Arab News

DUBAI: StarzPlay has partnered with distributors to bring more Turkish content for viewers across the Middle East and North Africa. As part of its efforts, the platform has joined forces with MISTCO, an international brand management and content distribution agency, and Calinos, an Istanbul-headquartered Turkish company that distributes Turkish series, movies and television

via arabnews04/07/2021

Russia warns could block Zoom if it prohibits government use - Arab News

MOSCOW: Russia on Wednesday warned Zoom that it could be completely blocked in the country after local media reported that it had restricted access to government agencies and state-owned companies. The US company has emerged as the global leader in video-conferencing applications, becoming ubiquitous as companies and schools moved online after the outbreak of the coronavirus

via arabnews04/07/2021

UAE state-news agency WAM launches service in Hebrew - Arab News

DUBAI: UAE state-news agency WAM launched the latest version of its service in Hebrew on Wednesday following the normalization of relations between the Emirates and Israel last year. The service provided will be comprehensive media content that includes news, written and audio-visual reports that can be accessed on WAM’s website and social media accounts.

via arabnews03/29/2021

Against all odds: How became a go-to Saudi business news site - Arab News

RIYADH: Later this year, — a Saudi financial and economic news site — celebrates its 10th anniversary. For those who don’t know it, the project is the brain child of Mutlaq Al-Buqami, a former business editor at the leading pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat in London and its sister publication Eqtisadiyah, a dedicated business daily in Saudi Arabia. Al-Buqami was also


Thousands of pro-democracy protesters in Algeria clash with police - Yahoo News UK

Thousands of protesters demanded democracy in Oran, Algeria on March 26. Security forces used pepper spray to disperse protesters, according to reports. Protesters are demanding a civilian state, not a military one, following the ouster of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika from office in 2019. The footage was filmed by @ChouichaAdel. +CLIENTS PLEASE NOTE: MANDATORY CREDIT NAME OF FILMER+ — @ChouichaAdel

via who.int04/08/2021

COVAX reaches over 100 economies, 42 days after first international delivery - World Health Organization

The COVAX Facility has now delivered life-saving vaccines to over 100 economies since making its first international delivery to Ghana on 24 February 2021So far, more than 38 million doses of vaccines from manufacturers AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech and Serum Institute of India (SII) have now been delivered, including 61 economies eligible for vaccines through the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment COVAX aims to supply vaccines to all participating economies that have requested vaccines, in the first half of 2021, despite some delays in planned deliveries for March and April.More than one hundred economies have received life-saving COVID-19 vaccines from COVAX, the global mechanism for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. The milestone comes 42 days after the first COVAX doses were shipped and delivered internationally, to Ghana on 24 February 2021.COVAX has now delivered more than 38 million doses across six continents, supplied by three manufacturers, AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech and the Serum Institute of India (SII). Of the over 100 economies reached, 61 are among the 92 lower-income economies receiving vaccines funded through the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).Despite reduced supply availability in March and April – the result of vaccine manufacturers scaling and optimising their production processes in the early phase of the rollout, as well as increased demand for COVID-19 vaccines in India – COVAX expects to deliver doses to all participating economies that have requested vaccines in the first half of the year.“In under four months since the very first mass vaccination outside a clinical setting anywhere in the world, it is tremendously gratifying that the roll-out of COVAX doses has already reached one hundred countries,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “COVAX may be on track to deliver to all participating economies in the first half of the year yet we still face a daunting challenge as we seek to end the acute stage of the pandemic: we will only be safe when everybody is safe and our efforts to rapidly accelerate the volume of doses depend on the continued support of governments and vaccine manufacturers. As we continue with the largest and most rapid global vaccine rollout in history, this is no time for complacency.”“COVAX has given the world the best way to ensure the fastest, most equitable rollout of safe and effective vaccines to all at-risk people in every country on the planet,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “If we are going to realize this great opportunity, countries, producers and the international system must come together to prioritize vaccine supply through COVAX. Our collective future, literally, depends on it.”"This is a significant milestone in the fight against COVID-19. Faced with the rapid spread of COVID-19 variants, global access to vaccines is fundamentally important to reduce the prevalence of the disease, slow down viral mutation, and hasten the end of the pandemic,” said Dr Richard Hatchett, CEO of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). “The extraordinary scientific achievements of the last year must now be matched by an unprecedented effort to protect the most vulnerable, so the global community must remain firmly focused on reducing the equity gap in COVID-19 vaccine distribution." “In just a month and a half, the ambition of granting countries access to COVID vaccines is becoming a reality, thanks to the outstanding work of our partners in the COVAX Facility,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director. “However, this is no time to celebrate; it is time to accelerate. With variants emerging all over the world, we need to speed up global rollout. To do this, we need governments, along with other partners, to take necessary steps to increase supply, including by simplifying barriers to intellectual property rights, eliminating direct and indirect measures that restrict exports of COVID-19 vaccines, and donating excess vaccine doses as quickly as possible.”According to its latest supply forecast, COVAX expects to deliver at least 2 billion doses of vaccines in 2021. In order to reach this goal, the COVAX Facility will continue to diversify its portfolio further, and will announce new agreements with vaccine manufacturers in due course. Furthermore, in March it was announced that the United States government will host the launch event for the 2021 Gavi COVAX AMC Invest Opportunity to catalyze further commitment and support for accelerated access to vaccines for AMC-supported economies. An additional US$ 2 billion is required in 2021 to finance and secure up to a total of 1.8 billion donor-funded doses of vaccines. COVAX is also working to secure additional sourcing of vaccines in the form of dose-sharing from higher income countries.Quotes from donors and partnersPresident of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said: “As we continue our common race to speed up safe and effective vaccination everywhere, I want to commend COVAX for having delivered first vaccines to 100 countries in every corner of the world, including some of the most vulnerable warn torn countries like Afghanistan and Yemen. This is a real milestone. Team Europe has strongly invested in COVAX and I urge all partners to support COVAX to make sure no one is left behind”.  Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Australia said: “Australia welcomes the progress made by COVAX in COVID-19 vaccine distribution across the world. One hundred countries now have access to life-saving COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX. We are proud to work with global partners to achieve equitable global access to safe and effective vaccines.”Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, Canada and co-chair, COVAX AMC Engagement Group said: “Despite the many challenges it faced, the COVAX Facility has continued to deliver. In just a matter of weeks, it’s been supplying vaccines to 100 countries. This is a milestone we can all be proud of. Now, more than ever, we must continue to work together and support multilateral mechanisms like the COVAX Facility and the ACT-Accelerator.”  Jean-Yves le Drian, Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, France said: “One hundred countries have now received safe, WHO-approved vaccines against COVID-19 through the COVAX Facility. France welcomes this crucial step forward, which demonstrates that multilateralism in global health, as well as the spirit of solidarity and responsibility on which it is based, constitutes the most effective response to this pandemic. But the fight against the virus is far from over: we must continue to support COVAX and accelerate equitable access to vaccines in fragile countries, in particular through sharing of vaccine doses. This is what France wants to do, together with its EU and G7 partners.”Dr Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany said: “We either beat the pandemic worldwide or we will not beat it at all. The only way out of the crisis is a global immunization campaign. In order to now be able to vaccinate people quickly, we are using the tried and tested structures of the global vaccine alliance Gavi. Thanks to the vaccination platform COVAX, the structures are in place to provide vaccines for at least 20 per cent of people in developing countries and emerging economies over the course of this year.”Heiko Maas, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Germany said: “The fact that St.Lucia yesterday became the 100th country to be supplied with vaccines via the COVAX platform supported by Germany and the EU, is a milestone on the way out of the pandemic. This progress gives us hope, for we too will only be safe when everyone around the world is safe. Access to vaccines, medicines and tests must not become a geopolitical pawn. Rather, they must be available to all countries in a fair and transparent manner. That’s why we’re committed to COVAX, to a multilateral approach.”Colm Brophy TD, Minister of State for Overseas Development and the Diaspora, Ireland said: “Through our funding to COVAX, Ireland is supporting developing countries, who most need vaccines and can least afford them, secure their share of global supply.”Dag-Inge Ulstein, Minister of International Development, Norway, and Co-chair of the ACT-Accelerator Facilitation Council said: “In less than a year, the world has come together to develop and secure equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines. That is a huge victory. But the risk of vaccine nationalism is still looming large. Countries and manufactures must prioritize global solutions. It is also crucial that all manufacturers continue to make their vaccines available and affordable to COVAX, so that the global rollout can continue. Countries that have more vaccines than they need should share vaccines through COVAX. I also expect all relevant stakeholders to take action to ensure that the world can produce enough vaccines, at a price that even the poorest countries can afford.”H.E. Dr Tawfig AlRabiah, Minister of Health in Saudi Arabia said: “‘People’s health first’ has been the guiding principle, driving all efforts in the fight against the pandemic - both nationally and globally - to ensure that “No one is left behind”. We in the kingdom are proud contributors to GAVI and the COVAX facility, which has now shipped over 37 million vaccines. This show of solidarity is the cure to fighting COVID-19, and our collective resilience will enable us to overcome any future pandemic we may face.”  Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Minister Wendy Morton, United Kingdom said: “From Nigeria to Nepal, COVAX has now delivered life-saving vaccine doses to 100 countries and territories which is a huge achievement and another step towards making us all safe. The UK has played a leading role in achieving equitable access to vaccines by providing £548 million for COVAX early on, which will help to deliver more than one billion doses around the world, as well as lobbying international partners to increase their funding.”United States Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said: “The United States welcomes the news that COVAX has delivered safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines to 100 countries.  The United States signaled our strong support for COVAX through an initial $2 billion contribution to Gavi.  Through unprecedented partnerships among donors, manufacturers, and participating countries, COVAX has achieved extraordinary milestones in equitably distributing doses to the global community in record time.” Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank said: “As part of Team Europe the European Investment Bank is pleased to provide EUR 400 million for COVAX, representing the EIB’s largest ever support for global public health. COVAX has already provided vaccines to vulnerable groups and front line workers and brought hope to millions more. COVAX demonstrates the benefit of global cooperation to tackle the shared challenge of COVID. Congratulations to the COVAX team and global partners in 100 countries around the world. Together we are ensuring equitable access to vaccines and together we are directing our efforts towards a global recovery.”Pascal Soriot, AstraZeneca CEO, said: “Today marks a significant milestone in the global fight against the pandemic as 100 countries have received vaccine through COVAX. I am proud that the supply of our vaccine accounts for the vast majority of doses being delivered through COVAX in the first half of this year. Over 37 million doses of our vaccine have been delivered to date which are protecting the most vulnerable populations around the world.  Together with our COVAX partners, we continue to work 24/7 to deliver on our unwavering commitment to broad, equitable and affordable access.”Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said: “Congratulations to everyone who has worked tirelessly to reach this impressive milestone. At Pfizer we are driven every day by the belief that science will win. Through collaboration and commitment, COVAX has brought forth a global solution that helps to bring breakthrough science to everyone, everywhere. We are proud to work together with the facility and all of its partners and remain firmly committed to working toward the shared vision of equitable access for all to end this pandemic.” Sai D. Prasad, President, Developing Countries Vaccines Manufacturing Network (DCVMN) said: “COVAX has made history by ensuring equitable access for COVID-19 vaccines to all countries irrespective of their economic status. The 100th delivery marks a great milestone for COVAX, leading to enhanced deliveries during 2021. We commend the efforts by all partners in COVAX for this achievement. Developed and developing country manufacturers have played a crucial role in product development and large scale manufacturing. In order to meet the requirements of all countries, more partnerships between innovators and manufacturers are required. COVAX’s leadership in COVID-19 vaccines will ensure that we leave no one behind.”Thomas Cueni, Director General, International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) & founding partner of ACT-A said: “The timeline is truly impressive; one that is difficult to square with warnings of “catastrophic moral failure”. It’s an innovation success story with the first WHO vaccine approval on 31 December 2021, less than a year after the virus was first shared. It’s a manufacturing success story with the scaling up from zero to one billion doses being produced by April 2021. It is a logistics and country preparedness success story, with 100 countries receiving the vaccines. And last but by no means least, it’s a collaboration and solidarity success story thanks to the commitment from donors and the tireless efforts of the partners of COVAX including the developing and the developed world manufacturers. The COVAX public private partnership and political leadership to equitably share surplus vaccines are the best guarantees we have that people who need the vaccine will get it whenever they live, fast enough to outpace the virus’ mutations.”Notes to editorsThe list of 102 Facility participants (as of 14h CET, 8 April) that have received a combined total of 38,392,540 doses of COVAX-delivered vaccines so far is as follows (in alphabetical order):Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bermuda, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Canada, Colombia, Congo (DRC), Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Mauritius, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Oman, Palestine, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Rwanda, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, St. Lucia*, Sudan, Suriname, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Tuvalu, Uganda, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam, Yemen. *100th Facility participant to receive a COVAX delivery About COVAX COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is co-convened by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance Gavi) and the World Health Organization (WHO) – working in partnership with UNICEF as key implementing partner, developed and developing country vaccine manufacturers, the World Bank, and others. It is the only global initiative that is working with governments and manufacturers to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are available worldwide to both higher-income and lower-income countries.CEPI’s role in COVAXCEPI is leading on the COVAX vaccine research and development portfolio, investing in R&D across a variety of promising candidates, with the goal to support development of three safe and effective vaccines which can be made available to countries participating in the COVAX Facility. As part of this work, CEPI has secured first right of refusal to potentially over one billion doses for the COVAX Facility to a number of candidates, and made strategic investments in vaccine manufacturing, which includes reserving capacity to manufacture doses of COVAX vaccines at a network of facilities, and securing glass vials to hold 2 billion doses of vaccine. CEPI is also investing in the ‘next generation’ of vaccine candidates, which will give the world additional options to control COVID-19 in the future.  Gavi’s role in COVAXGavi is leading on procurement and delivery at scale for COVAX: coordinating the design, implementation and administration of the COVAX Facility and the COVAX AMC and working with its Alliance partners UNICEF and WHO, along with governments, on country readiness and delivery. As part of this role, Gavi hosts the Office of the COVAX Facility to coordinate the operation and governance of the mechanism as a whole, manages relationships with Facility participants, and negotiates advance purchase agreements with manufacturers of promising vaccine candidates on behalf of the 190 economies participating in the COVAX Facility. It also coordinates design, operation and fundraising for the COVAX AMC that supports 92 lower-income economies, including a no-fault compensation mechanism that will be administered by WHO. As part of this work, Gavi supports governments and partners on ensuring country readiness, providing funding and oversight of UNICEF procurement of vaccines as well as partners’ and governments work on readiness and delivery. This includes support for cold chain equipment, technical assistance, syringes, vehicles, and other aspects of the vastly complex logistical operation for delivery.WHO’s role in COVAXWHO has multiple roles within COVAX: It provides normative guidance on vaccine policy, regulation, safety, R&D, allocation, and country readiness and delivery. Its Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization develops evidence-based immunization policy recommendations. Its Emergency Use Listing (EUL) / prequalification programmes ensure harmonized review and authorization across member states. It provides global coordination and member state support on vaccine safety monitoring. It developed the target product profiles for COVID-19 vaccines and provides R&D technical coordination. WHO leads, together with UNICEF, the Country Readiness and Delivery workstream, which provides support to countries as they prepare to receive and administer vaccines. Along with Gavi and numerous other partners working at the global, regional, and country-level, the CRD workstream provides tools, guidance, monitoring, and on the ground technical assistance for the planning and roll-out of the vaccines. Along with COVAX partners, WHO has developed a no-fault compensation scheme as part of the time-limited indemnification and liability commitments.UNICEF’s role in COVAXUNICEF is leveraging its experience as the largest single vaccine buyer in the world and working with manufacturers and partners on the procurement of COVID-19 vaccine doses, as well as freight, logistics and storage. UNICEF already procures more than 2 billion doses of vaccines annually for routine immunization and outbreak response on behalf of nearly 100 countries. In collaboration with the PAHO Revolving Fund, UNICEF is leading efforts to procure and supply doses of COVID-19 vaccines for COVAX. In addition, UNICEF, Gavi and WHO are working with governments around the clock to ensure that countries are ready to receive the vaccines, with appropriate cold chain equipment in place and health workers trained to dispense them. UNICEF is also playing a lead role in efforts to foster trust in vaccines, delivering vaccine confidence communications and tracking and addressing misinformation around the world.About ACT-AcceleratorThe Access to COVID-19 Tools ACT-Accelerator, is a new, ground-breaking global collaboration to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines. It was set up in response to a call from G20 leaders in March 2020 and launched by the WHO, European Commission, France and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in April 2020. The ACT-Accelerator is not a decision-making body or a new organization, but works to speed up collaborative efforts among existing organizations to end the pandemic. It is a framework for collaboration that has been designed to bring key players around the table with the goal of ending the pandemic as quickly as possible through the accelerated development, equitable allocation, and scaled up delivery of tests, treatments and vaccines, thereby protecting health systems and restoring societies and economies in the near term. It draws on the experience of leading global health organizations which are tackling the world’s toughest health challenges, and who, by working together, are able to unlock new and more ambitious results against COVID-19. Its members share a commitment to ensure all people have access to all the tools needed to defeat COVID-19 and to work with unprecedented levels of partnership to achieve it.The ACT-Accelerator has four areas of work: diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines and the health system connector. Cross-cutting all of these is the workstream on Access & Allocation.

via arabnews04/08/2021

Spotify collaborates with Jordanian viral star Issam Al-Najjar - Arab News

DUBAI: In March 2020, Spotify launched RADAR, an emerging-artist program spotlighting rising talent from around the globe. Spanning across Germany, Japan, Brazil, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and beyond, the program has now surpassed more than 2 billion global streams. Marking the next chapter of the program in the region, Spotify has collaborated with

via arabnews04/03/2021

India's daily coronavirus infections hit six-month high - Arab News

MUMBAI: India’s daily coronavirus infections hit another record on Saturday for the highest tally since September, while daily deaths reached a five-month high, a Reuters count based on data from the health ministry showed.The south Asian nation recorded 89,129 new infections and 714 deaths, the ministry said.

via arabnews03/30/2021

Racist mockery on a Lebanese TV sparks outrage on social media - Arab News

LONDON: A popular Lebanese TV show has come under fire for another incident of offensive behavior. “Indian, I’m not sure — but British-Indian…” the latest guest on the consistently criticized MTV Lebanon show “3a Gheir Kawkab” (On Another Planet) explained, before shaking her head — mocking the traditional Indian nod — and in a stereotypical Indian accent, said: “Madame you’re

via arabnews03/29/2021

Chinese video-streaming platform iQiyi launches in Mideast - Arab News

DUBAI: iQiyi International has officially launched in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt with over 3,000 pieces of content on the platform. Headquartered in Singapore, it is one of the largest streaming providers of pan-Asian content. The website and app are available in 12 languages, including English and Arabic. “Users can choose their preferred language on their website or the

via arabnews03/27/2021

Google Doodle celebrates prominent Tunisian physician Tawhida Ben Cheikh - Arab News

RIYADH: Search engine giant Google celebrated on Saturday the life of Tawhida Ben Cheikh, the first woman credited to practice medicine in North Africa, with one of its iconic doodles. A young Ben Cheikh can be seen here. (File/Internet) The doodle honors Ben Cheikh as a feminist and pioneer, and marks one year since she was commemorated on Tunisia’s 10-dinar bill, making her

via infomigrants.net03/26/2021

Germany presses on with deportations despite pandemic - InfoMigrants

Germany deported more than 750 people to Africa in 2020. Most African countries are ill-prepared to welcome rejected asylum seekers, and the coronavirus could make matters worse, activists say.

via swissinfo.ch04/07/2021

Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus - SWI -

(Reuters) - Italy has recommended that AstraZeneca's COVID-19 shot only be used on those over 60 and Britain that people under 30 should get an alternative, due to possible links between the vaccine and very rare cases of blood clots. DEATHS AND INFECTIONS EUROPE * European countries should make their own decisions about how to handle the risk of rare blood clots from AstraZeneca's vaccine, based on prevailing infection rates and the availability of alternative vaccines, the EU drugs regulator said. * Germany is about to start bilateral negotiations with Russia to obtain its Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, a source told Reuters. * Norway hopes to gradually unwind many restrictions by the end of June, but must see a decline in infection rates and hospitalisations before it does so, its prime minister said. AMERICAS * The highly contagious variant of COVID-19 first discovered in the United Kingdom has become the most common strain of the virus in the United States. * The Biden administration is in extended discussions with U.S. airlines and other travel industry groups to provide technical guidance for vaccine passports. * Brazil has recorded its first confirmed case of the highly contagious coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa. * Chile's health regulator has approved emergency use of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese company CanSino. ASIA-PACIFIC * India reported a record 115,736 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, a 13-fold increase in just over two months, raising pressure on the government to expand its vaccination campaign. * Taiwan accused China of using an offer of vaccines to lure Paraguay to break off diplomatic relations. MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA * Algeria will start producing Russia's Sputnik V vaccine in September in partnership with Moscow, and part of the production will be intended for African countries. * Tunisia will extend its nighttime curfew hours and will prevent all gatherings and weekly markets, as intensive care units near maximum capacity in most hospitals. * Dubai will offer vaccines to official representatives of countries participating in Expo 2020 Dubai, due to be held from October this year to March 2022. MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS * Moderna Inc Chief Medical Officer Tal Zaks said the company should be able to provide a booster shot for protection against variants of the coronavirus by the end of this year. * The U.S. National Institutes of Health has begun a mid-stage study to determine the risk of allergic reactions to COVID-19 vaccines made by Moderna Inc and Pfizer Inc. * One in three COVID-19 survivors in a study of more than 230,000 mostly American patients were diagnosed with a brain or psychiatric disorder within six months, suggesting the pandemic could lead to a wave of mental and neurological problems. ECONOMIC IMPACT * Federal Reserve officials remain wary about the ongoing risks of the pandemic and are committed to bolstering the economy until its recovery is more secure, minutes of the U.S. central bank's latest policy meeting showed. * The U.S. trade deficit surged to a record high in February as the nation's economic activity rebounded more quickly than that of its global rivals and could remain elevated this year. * The S&P 500 and the Dow closed modestly higher and Treasury yields reversed slight losses after the Federal Reserve said that economic recovery remains far from complete despite showing signs of progress. (Compiled by Ramakrishnan M. and Juliette Portala; Editing by Barbara Lewis and Anil D'Silva)

via arabnews04/07/2021

Dubai-based reality TV show sparks anger in Algeria - Arab News

ALGIERS: An Algerian reality TV show filmed in Dubai is causing a backlash even before hitting the airwaves, with social media users demanding a boycott and accusing participants of bringing “shame” on the country. “Le DZ à Dubaï” — DZ being shorthand for Algeria or Algerian in Arabic — brings together a group of Algerian social media influencers, former models and rappers in


Crowds march in Algiers in weekly pro-democracy protest - Yahoo News Canada

ALGIERS, Algeria — Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched peacefully in Algeria's capital Friday to support the Hirak pro-democracy movement. The huge crowds filling the streets of Algiers headed toward the imposing central post office, the movement's traditional rallying point, in a joyful atmosphere. Many participants sang, brandished the Algerian flag and shouted slogans that included “No to the military state” and “We won’t stop until the Hirak wins” under the watch of police helicopters. Similar marches were organized in other cities across the country. Hirak’s peaceful protests helped force long-time Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika from office in 2019. His successor, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, has promised to reform the power structure that under Bouteflika was marked by corruption and the ever-present shadow of the army. Some of the protesters in the capital chanted for the “independence of justice” and “press freedom,” a reference to journalists and activists who have been arrested and sent to trial amid the Hirak protests. University professor and Hirak activist Nacer Djabi told The Associated Press that the crowd looked like “a human tsunami in the streets of Algiers." “That’s a great response to those saying the Hirak is losing strength,” Djabi said. "Hirak's youth will continue until the revolution fully succeed." The Associated Press

via arabnews03/29/2021

'Depoliticized' Turkish probe urged into killing of prominent journalist - Arab News

LONDON: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called on Ankara to ensure that a transparent investigation is conducted into the 2007 killing of a prominent Turkish-Armenian journalist by a Turkish nationalist. “Turkish authorities must conduct an impartial and depoliticized investigation into the killing of journalist Hrant Dink, and ensure that all those involved in

via arabnews03/29/2021

Algeria jails journalist for 'defamation' - Arab News

ALGIERS – Algerian journalist Abdelhakim Setouane was jailed six months by a court on Monday for defaming a former speaker of the lower house of parliament, his lawyer said. Abdellah Heboul told AFP that the journalist, who was detained on October 20, would be released on April 20 having spent six months behind bars. Editor-in-chief of website Essafir, Setouane was convicted

via hellenicshippingnews03/26/2021

Fed's Daly says U.S. job market is 'in a ditch' - Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

San Francisco Federal Reserve President Mary Daly said the U.S job market was “definitely still in a ditch,” with the economy still nearly 10 million jobs short of where it was before the COVID-19 crisis. Though economic growth is expected to surge this year and unemployment to fall, Daly said, “we are far from done ...