International

Sanofi to boost EU vaccine shortages and other stories

France’s Sanofi is to boost EU vaccine shortages by helping with the mass production of Pfizer and BioNtech vaccines. 

Sanofi has signed a deal for producing around 125 million doses of vaccine by the end of the year.

Pfizer/BioNtech has fallen short on producing the EU’s promised 12.5 million doses of vaccine.  

AstraZeneca also struck a deal with the EU but the company’s vaccine is yet to be approved by the European Medicines Agency. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-8.jpeg
Source: “Coronavirus” by danielfoster437 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Putin warned by Joe Biden about election meddling

In their first phone call as counterparts, US President Joe Biden and Russian leader Vladimir Putin not only discussed the ongoing opposition protests in Russia, but also Joe Biden raised election meddling with Putin.

Joe Biden is adopting a non-confrontational attitude, however, he made his sharpest break with Mr Trump, reportedly telling Mr Putin that he knew Russia had tried to meddle in both the 2016 and 2020 elections.

Source: “Joe Biden” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The leaders also discussed other topics, such as the massive SolarWinds cyber-attack, which has been blamed on Moscow; reports that the Kremlin placed bounties on US soldiers in Afghanistan and the poisoning of Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny.

Both sides reportedly also agreed to extend the New Start treaty that was going to expire on 5 February.

This treaty was made when Barack Obama was the US President and it limits the amounts of warheads, missiles and launchers in the two countries’ nuclear arsenals.

Global Emergency: World population is concerned about climate change

The largest opinion poll yet conducted, showed that nearly two thirds of people around the world believe climate change is a global emergency.

The poll, “People’s Climate Vote”, was organized by the United Nations Development Programme cooperated with Oxford University and more than a million people took part in the survey.

Approximately 1.22 million people of all genders, ages and educational backgrounds from 50 countries took part in the poll and half of them are aged between 14 and 18. 

Conserving forests and land has jumped up as the most popular solution to climatic problems, followed by using green energy, climate friendly farming techniques and investing more money in green businesses and jobs. 

Source: “Climate Emergency – PeoplesClimate-Melb-IMG_8280” by John Englart (Takver) is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

World’s ‘most dangerous’ malware disrupted 

UK and other international law enforcement authorities have disrupted what they describe as “one of the world’s most dangerous pieces of malware”. 

Emotet, a malware strain first uncovered in 2014, was used in a major cybercrime operation based in Russia. 

Using a botnet – a system of hijacked computers for cyberattacks – Emotet allowed criminal gangs to steal users’ computer data by installing ransomware.   

The UK National Crime Agency worked with Europol, the FBI and agencies in other countries in a two-year operation to seize control of the infrastructure behind Emotet.    

According to Dutch prosecutors, the malware “evolved into the go-to-solution for cyber criminals over the years”, adding that “it acted as a primary door opener for computer systems on a global scale”. 

US gymnast’s tribute to ‘Black excellence’ goes viral 

Athlete Nia Dennis’ floor routine, titled ‘The Culture’, has gained millions of views on social media following her performance for the University of California in Los Angeles last Saturday.  

The piece, which was rewarded a score of 9.95 out of 10 from judges, was created by the 21 year-old as “a celebration of everything [Black people] can do, everything we can overcome.”  

In an interview with the Washington Post’s publication The Lily, she continued to say of the Black artists featured in the piece, “I’m just literally celebrating what they’ve done and having the time of my life.” 

The performance features the music of Kendrick Lamar, Tupac, Beyonce amongst others, and the video of it has been shared by celebrities and public figures including Naomi Campbell and Michelle Obama. 

Although Dennis wasn’t able to attend the Black Lives Matter protests herself, her performance was inspired by the movement.

Writing on Instagram, she said “I had to… for the culture.” 

 

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