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  • Namitha Ragunath

Thursday 3rd December 2020

Europe

The UK yesterday became the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer vaccine for widespread use. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the first to receive the vaccination will be the elderly in care homes.


"All the time we've been waiting and hoping for the day when the searchlights of science would pick out our invisible enemy and give us the power to stop that enemy from making us ill and now the scientists have done it and they've used the virus itself to perform a kind of biological jiu-jitsu to turn the virus on itself in the form of a of a vaccine in an idea that i think was pioneered in this country by Edward Jenner in 1796. And today we can announce that the government has accepted the recommendation from the independent Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency to approve the Pfizer biontech vaccine for distribution across the united kingdom."


In Switzerland, there will be random border checks to stop French citizens who are looking to ski, from entering the country. Prime Minister Jean Castex announced yesterday that it was his duty to protect the people of Switzerland. France, Germany and Italy are all shutting their ski sites over Christmas to stop the spread of Covid-19. Switzerland however has already opened their slopes. The ski season at Christmas and the New Year is a vital part of the economy for many European countries.


Africa

In Ethiopia, the UN and the government agreed yesterday to allow aid into the country's conflict-torn Tigray region. There has been no comment so far from the Ethiopian government. Food and medicines are said to be running out for millions of people in Ethiopia. Hundreds of people have reportedly been killed in the month-long fighting between the federal army and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF).


In Uganda, musician and politician Bobi Wine said yesterday that he will resume campaigning today. Bobi Wine suspended his campaign on Tuesday, after his team members were injured. He has asked the commission to ensure that the security forces stop blocking roads and venues to prevent opposition candidates from campaigning. The police have repeatedly defended themselves, saying they were only following guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Asia

In Russia, President Vladimir Putin has ordered mass voluntary vaccinations against COVID-19. The move, announced yesterday, came after Russia said last month that its Russian produced Sputnik V vaccine was 92 percent effective.The country will have produced two million doses of the vaccine within the next few days. Putin said that teachers and medics will be the first to receive shots.

India has responded to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's comments on the ongoing farmer protest in India's capital. Mr Trudeau made comments this week expressing concern over India's response to the demonstrations.


"The situation is concerning and we're all very worried about family and friends I know that's the reality for many of you. Let me remind you Canada will always be there to defend the right of peaceful protest. We believe in the importance of dialogue and that's why we've reached out through multiple means directly to the Indian authorities to highlight our concerns."


On Tuesday, India's foreign ministry spokesman responded to comments saying they were unwarranted.


Americas

In the United States, an election official in the state of Georgia has said President Trump will be held responsible for any violence that results from his election fraud claims. Gabriel Sterling also said there has been attacks and death threats towards vote counters.

"It has all gone too far. Mr president, it looks like you likely lost the state of Georgia; we're investigating, there's always a possibility, I get it, you have the rights to go through the courts. What you don't have the ability to do, and you need to step up and say this, is stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence. Someone's going to get hurt someone's going to get shot someone's going to get killed. Be the bigger man here and stop step in tell your supporters don't be violent don't intimidate. All that's wrong, it's un-American."

In Brazil, a recent report from inpe, has shown that deforestation of the Amazon rainforest has reached its highest level since 2008. Scientists say it has suffered losses at much higher rates since Jair Bolsonaro became president. Bolsonaro has encouraged agriculture and mining activities in the world's largest rainforest. The Amazon is home to about three million species of plants and animals, and one million indigenous people.

And finally, Singapore has given approval for the world’s first “clean meat” that does not come from slaughtered animals. The product, by the company Eat Just, is different because it is not plant based, but instead grown from animal muscle cells in a lab. The company called it a "breakthrough for the global food industry" and hopes that other countries will follow along.

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