n the UK’s vaccination effort, the supply of vaccines is the rate-limiting factor and not distribution by the National Health Service, Matt Hancock said(Reuters)
n the UK’s vaccination effort, the supply of vaccines is the rate-limiting factor and not distribution by the National Health Service, Matt Hancock said(Reuters)

Vaccines may work less well on Covid-19 variants, UK's heath minister warns

Hancock’s warning came as the UK reported it had vaccinated more than 5 million people, including three-quarters of over 80s. Hancock said the government is conducting a vaccine trial on the South African variant to study its response to the inoculation.
Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 03:46 PM IST

The UK’s heath minister warned that coronavirus vaccines may be less effective against new variants of the disease, such as those found in South Africa and Brazil, which justifies stricter border controls.

“We don’t know the degree of that,” Matt Hancock said in an interview on Sky News on Sunday, commenting on the extent of any potential reduced efficacy of the vaccines. “In the meantime, we’ve got to have a precautionary principle that says let’s not bring these new variants back to the UK.”

Hancock’s warning came as the UK reported it had vaccinated more than 5 million people, including three-quarters of over 80s. Hancock said the government is conducting a vaccine trial on the South African variant to study its response to the inoculation. Hancock also said he’s worried about new variants developing elsewhere in the world.

“The new variant I really worry about is the one that’s out there but hasn’t been spotted,” he said, adding that the UK is offering its genome-sequencing capability to other countries to help them identify new strains.

In the UK’s vaccination effort, the supply of vaccines is the rate-limiting factor and not distribution by the National Health Service, Hancock said. He also couldn’t confirm that schools would be open again by Easter, saying that the government would have to look at the data around the pandemic at the time.


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Globally, 265 million doses of vaccines have been administered, with 80% in just 10 countries, WHO's top emergency expert Mike Ryan said on social media on Wednesday night.(AFP)
Globally, 265 million doses of vaccines have been administered, with 80% in just 10 countries, WHO's top emergency expert Mike Ryan said on social media on Wednesday night.(AFP)

Waive Covid vaccine patents to benefit poor nations, activists say

Posted by Harshit Sabarwal | Reuters
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 10:00 PM IST
Activists seeking a waiver of intellectual property rules unfurled a huge sign reading "No Covid Monopolies - Wealthy Countries Stop Blocking TRIPS Waiver" in the park next to World Trade Organization's (WTO's) headquarters on Lake Geneva.
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Pope Francis begins his historic trip to war-scarred Iraq tomorrow to comfort one of the world's oldest and most persecuted Christian communities.(AFP)
Pope Francis begins his historic trip to war-scarred Iraq tomorrow to comfort one of the world's oldest and most persecuted Christian communities.(AFP)

Iraq beefs up security for pope amid rising violence, pandemic

Posted by Kunal Gaurav | Reuters, Baghdad
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 09:38 PM IST
Security forces and armoured vehicles filled otherwise empty streets surrounding two cordoned-off churches the pope is scheduled to go to in central Baghdad.
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Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan announced on Thursday he would seek a vote of confidence in the National Assembly this weekend to prove he still has the support of majority lawmakers despite the shock defeat of the finance minister in the Senate's elections.(File Photo/REUTERS)
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan announced on Thursday he would seek a vote of confidence in the National Assembly this weekend to prove he still has the support of majority lawmakers despite the shock defeat of the finance minister in the Senate's elections.(File Photo/REUTERS)

‘If I lose, …’: PM Imran Khan’s emotional pitch ahead of trust vote this week

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 09:50 PM IST
  • Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan insisted that he wouldn’t abandon his campaign against corruption even if loses the trust vote.
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From a high of 39,090 in 2010-11 to a low of 16,550 in 2016-17, there has been a steady downward spiral of Indian students coming to the UK, but for the first time in recent years, the number is on the upswing(Reuters/ Representative Image)
From a high of 39,090 in 2010-11 to a low of 16,550 in 2016-17, there has been a steady downward spiral of Indian students coming to the UK, but for the first time in recent years, the number is on the upswing(Reuters/ Representative Image)

New UK post-study graduate route to open for Indian students in July

PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 09:02 PM IST
  • The UK has also extended concessions for students unable to travel to the UK after getting admission to British educational institutions because of the Covid-19 pandemic. This was done due to the continuing disruption in international travel.
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Sakae Kato plays with cats that he rescued, called Mokkun and Charm, who are both infected with feline leukemia virus, at his home, in a restricted zone in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.(Reuters)
Sakae Kato plays with cats that he rescued, called Mokkun and Charm, who are both infected with feline leukemia virus, at his home, in a restricted zone in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.(Reuters)

Wider Image: The man who saves forgotten cats in Fukushima's nuclear zone

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 08:54 PM IST
The 57-year-old, a small construction business owner in his former life, says his decision to stay as 160,000 other people evacuated the area was spurred in part by the shock of finding dead pets in abandoned houses he helped demolish.
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French President Emmanuel Macron in Bobigny near Paris.(Reuters)
French President Emmanuel Macron in Bobigny near Paris.(Reuters)

French President Macron could still squeeze in a pension reform: Le Maire

Bloomberg
UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 08:56 PM IST
  • According to Le Maire, a pension reform to address the financial imbalances in the country’s system is still possible before voters head to the polls in April 2022.
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A 3D plastic representation of the Facebook logo(Reuters)
A 3D plastic representation of the Facebook logo(Reuters)

Thai military denies involvement in network removed by Facebook

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 08:42 PM IST
  • Marking the first time it had taken down Thai accounts alleged to be linked to the government, Facebook said on Wednesday it had removed a Thailand-based network that included 77 accounts, 72 pages and 18 groups on Facebook and 18 accounts on Instagram, citing "coordinated inauthentic behaviour".
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A parking sign for electric vehicles. (Reuters)
A parking sign for electric vehicles. (Reuters)

Singapore won’t allow new diesel cars and cabs from 2025

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 08:39 PM IST
About 2.9% of passenger cars in Singapore run on diesel, while the proportion is as high as 41.5% for taxis, according to Land Transport Authority figures. Most goods vehicles and buses in the city-state run on diesel and won’t be affected by the new rule, announced Thursday by the government.
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A UN report released on Thursday, March 4, 2021 estimates 17% of the food produced globally each year is wasted.(AP)
A UN report released on Thursday, March 4, 2021 estimates 17% of the food produced globally each year is wasted.(AP)

UN report says 17% of food wasted at consumer level

Posted by Kunal Gaurav | Reuters
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 08:38 PM IST
The report, produced jointly by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and WRAP, also found that consumer waste was broadly similar in rich and poor countries.
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Indian diaspora hold 'Tiranga Yatra' against Republic Day violence, in Vancouver on January 26, 2021. (ANI/FILE)
Indian diaspora hold 'Tiranga Yatra' against Republic Day violence, in Vancouver on January 26, 2021. (ANI/FILE)

India calls on Canada to ensure safety of Indo-Canadians

UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 08:35 PM IST
This communication comes in the wake of reports of threat and intimidation against Indo-Canadians by pro-Khalistani elements in the country
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Police officer stands guard in front of the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, where one of two mass shootings occurred.(AP / File Photo)
Police officer stands guard in front of the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, where one of two mass shootings occurred.(AP / File Photo)

New Zealand police charge man after threat against mosques attacked in 2019

Posted by Kunal Gaurav | Reuters
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 08:28 PM IST
Police said an online threat was made this week on the 4chan website against the Al Noor mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre.
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European Union flags flutter outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.(Reuters)
European Union flags flutter outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.(Reuters)

EU wants employers to report pay levels to fix gender gap

AP
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 08:27 PM IST
  • Even though the gender pay gap across the 27-nation bloc has been reduced to 14% for people doing exactly the same work, the European Commission wants to eliminate the disparity by imposing specific rules to make pay levels public.
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Thursday's report from the Labor Department showed that jobless claims rose by 9,000 from the previous week.(AP)
Thursday's report from the Labor Department showed that jobless claims rose by 9,000 from the previous week.(AP)

US jobless claims tick up to 745,000 as layoffs remain high

AP
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 08:25 PM IST
  • 4.3 million Americans are receiving traditional state unemployment benefits. Counting supplemental federal unemployment programs that were established to soften the economic damage from the virus, an estimated 18 million people are collecting some form of jobless aid.
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Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives at Downing Street in London, Britain March 3, 2021.(REUTERS)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives at Downing Street in London, Britain March 3, 2021.(REUTERS)

Boris Johnson gives up ‘late-night cheese’ to lose 14 pounds

Posted by Kunal Gaurav | Bloomberg, London
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 08:23 PM IST
In a video posted on Instagram, Johnson said he had lost “quite a lot” of weight by eating fewer carbohydrates and going for early-morning runs.
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While Biden has called for a ban on assault weapons, any new gun legislation will likely face an uphill climb given the political polarization that has tripped up past administrations.(AP)
While Biden has called for a ban on assault weapons, any new gun legislation will likely face an uphill climb given the political polarization that has tripped up past administrations.(AP)

GOP state lawmakers seek to nullify federal gun limits

Posted by Harshit Sabarwal | AP
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 08:16 PM IST
Legislation in at least a dozen states seeks to nullify any new restrictions, such as ammunition limits or a ban on certain types of weapons. Some bills would make it a crime for local police officers to enforce federal gun laws.
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