17 December 2020

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Actions by Governments
  • Coronavirus pandemic in France: ‘Vaccination will start in retirement homes’ (France24)
  • Germany eyes coronavirus vaccination kick-off on December 27 (Politico.eu)
  • Germany got it wrong when easing restrictions after the first wave of Covid-19, expert says (CNBC)
  • Indonesia's capital to ease coronavirus curbs from Monday (indonesianews.net)
  • Indonesia- Protecting historical temple from eruptions, pandemic (indonesianews.net)
  • Nigeria to immediately reopen four land borders -cabinet statement (NationalPost.com)
  • Norway holds rates at zero, but hike draws closer (Reuters)
  • S. Korea extends advisory against overseas travel amid pandemic (Korea Herald)
  • Saudi Arabia plans spending cuts to trim deficit amid virus (The Hindu)
  • Singaporeans expect better service during pandemic: survey (Singapore Business Review)
  • Ski resorts reopen in Sweden and Norway – just in time for Christmas (Telegraph)
  • South Korea and Japan eventually found success with opposing COVID-19 strategies. How did they both end up in trouble? (ABC Online)
  • Sweden struggles under second virus wave (France24)
  • Sweden’s Covid-19 Policy Comes Under Fresh Scrutiny (WSJ.com World News)
  • Sweden’s King On “We Have Failed” (Forbes.com)
  • Sweden’s king says country’s coronavirus strategy has failed (FT.com – World)
  • Switzerland: COVID-19 and the ski season (Deutsche Welle)
  • The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Monday, Dec. 17, 2020 (NationalPost.com)
  • The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020 (NationalPost.com)
  • UK – Boris Johnson sticking with relaxed Covid-19 rules for Christmas despite surge in infections (ONE News)
  • UK – Boris Johnson talks about worrying rise in Covid-19 cases in Kent (Mail Online UK)
  • UK – Christmas relaxation will go ahead but UK Government to issue stronger warnings (The Scotsman)
  • UK – Covid Rules: How Boris Johnson’s Christmas Bubble Plan Came Close To Popping (Yahoo! News Australia)
  • UK – The borrowing will have to end, says Rishi Sunak (Telegraph)
  • US – Amid coronavirus surge, California calls for 5,000 body bags, dozens of refrigerated storage units (FOXNews.com)
  • US – Arkansas’ One-Day COVID-19 Death Increase Hits New Record (US News & World Report)
  • US – CDC orders temporary halt to evictions amid pandemic (MSN Canada)
  • US – COVID-19 vaccinations continue in Kansas, Missouri. How many have gotten a shot so far? (KansasCity.com)
  • US – California orders 5,000 more body bags as virus runs rampant (Straits Times)
  • US – Daily coronavirus updates: Full shipment of COVID-19 vaccine doses arrives in Connecticut before snowstorm (Hartford Courant)
  • US – Florida potentially ‘manipulated Covid-19 death data ahead of election’, report says (The Independent)
  • US – Kansas inmates return from Arizona after pandemic delay (star-telegram.com)
  • US – Massachusetts residents urged to ‘stay put’ as snowstorm looms, pandemic to slow cleanup (Boston Herald)
  • US – Meridian Bioscience receives NIH funding for COVID-19 molecular test (Seeking Alpha)
  • US – Tennessee’s COVID-19 outbreak is now among the worst in the nation as vaccine rollout nears (Tennessean)
  • US – United Airlines works with CDC to start COVID-19 contact tracing on all flights (UPI)
  • US – Yes, Arizona can manage this COVID-19 spike without more shutdowns. Here’s how (AZCentral.com)
  • WHO’s latest situation report (WHO)
  • led team expected in China in January to probe COVID-19 origins – experts (NationalPost.com)
Actions by Companies
Drugs, Treatments & Vaccines
Societal & Economic Impact
Congressional leaders near deal on Covid-19 relief with stimulus checksMSNBCRep. Pramila Jayapal joins Ali Velshi to discuss the importance of House progressives demanding leadership include both direct stimulus checks and expanded unemployment benefits in the next Covid-19 relief bill despite the pushback from Republicans:…
Economy rebounds from Covid-19 downturnNational Business ReviewBut it was the largest annual economic decline ever recorded in the GDP series.
Fighting against a tide of marine plastic as Covid-19 worsens pollution problemThe Straits Times All NewsDecember 17, 2020 2:35 PM Images of plastic littering oceans, hurting wildlife and polluting beaches are ever present. Now, Covid-19 may be worsening the problem because of a surge in the use and improper disposal of plastics and waste, including…
Houston allocates last of its federal pandemic relief funds to extend contact tracing through FebruaryHouston ChronicleHouston will spend its last federal relief funds to ensure it can continue testing residents for COVID-19 and tracing exposures in early 2021, as congressional leaders reportedly close in on a stimulus package that would not include more money for…
NCW, Plan International present recommendations to ensure protection of women from violence amid COVID-19Daily News EgyptIn conclusion of the activities of the 16-day campaign on violence against women and girls, the National Council for Women, in partnership with Plan International Egypt, organized a virtual conference, entitled “Protecting women and young women from…
Powell praises progress on COVID-19 relief bill as economy weakensThe HillFederal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday praised progress toward another coronavirus economic relief bill as the U.S faces a daunting and deadly winter. During a Wednesday press conference, Powell hailed lawmakers for nearing an agreement…
United Airlines to begin contact tracing program with CDC this week to help slow spread of COVID-19Chicago TribuneStarting this week, passengers traveling to the U.S. on international flights will be asked to voluntarily provide their email address, phone number and an address where they can be reached, the Chicago-based carrier said Wednesday. United will ask…
United Airlines works with CDC to start COVID-19 contact tracing on all flightsUPIDec. 16 (UPI) — United Airlines said Wednesday it has started a COVID-19 contact tracing program that will collect key health information from passengers on all domestic and international flights. The carrier said the effort, which is being supported…
Vietnamese economy bucks global trendDeutsche WelleA strong response to the coronavirus pandemic, surging exports and healthy public spending have helped Vietnam buck a global recession in 2020.
Geopolitical Impact
Australia To Challenge China At WTO Over Devastating Barley TariffsZero HedgeAustralia has pulled the trigger on its prior threats to take China to the World Trade Organization where its steep tariffs on Australian barely exports will be challenged. "We will make this formal request to the WTO tonight," Trade Minister Simon…
BLISTT mayors issue enhanced border control regulationsPhilippine Information AgencyBAGUIO CITY, Dec. 17 (PIA) — Local chief executives in the Baguio City, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba, and Tublay (BLISTT) area agreed to enhanced border control measures for a week   amidst the increasing COVID-19 cases. On Monday (Dec. 14),…
China’s trade war is helping Australia with iron ore prices now expected to stay higher longerMail Online UKTreasury's Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook more upbeat about iron ore Budget update forecasting a delay in commodity prices falling back to $US55 Smaller budget deficit for 2020-21 also predicted with unemployment down China 's trade war against…
Nato’s new 10-year strategy seems to be all about ChinaAbu Dhabi NationalDecember 17, 2020 On November 25, Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg released a report titled Nato 2030 , meant to reveal the 30-nation security alliance's strategic orientations. The last time such a report was issued was in 2010, titled…
Nearly half of China’s investments in India’s neighbourhood went to PakistanHindustan TimesIndia provided support for a slew of connectivity and cross-border development projects and extended currency swaps and financial support in the region spanning from Bangladesh to the Maldives, even as China invested more than $4 billion in the…
PH touts ASEAN to uphold UNCLOS, speed up Code of Conduct in the South China SeaManila BulletinNews / National / Share it! [mashshare] PH touts ASEAN to uphold UNCLOS, speed up Code of Conduct in the South China Sea The Philippines has called on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) states to uphold the 1982 United Nations…
Strengthen our front line by vaccinating border control workers firstSydney Morning HeraldProgress with vaccine development has been phenomenal. But there is still much we do not know that will affect the rollout of vaccination programs. And there are some specific issues – opportunities actually – that Australia has that most other…
Troubled Waters: Where The U.S. And China Could Clash In The South China SeaBloombergSorry, your browser doesn’t support embedded videos. December 17, 2020, 5:00 AM Perhaps nowhere do the U.S. and Chinese militaries come closer to each other than in the South China Sea . And the brinkmanship in the waters could soon rise under…
U.S. trade czar Lighthizer’s advice for Biden on China: ‘Hold their feet to the fire’Asahi.comU.S. trade czar Lighthizer’s advice for Biden on China: “Hold their feet to the fire” WASHINGTON–President-elect Joe Biden should keep pressing China to stick to the “Phase 1” trade deal and use tariffs as leverage, U.S. Trade Representative Robert…
WA imposes new COVID-19 border control rules after new Sydney cluster9News.com.auWestern Australia has imposed coronavirus quarantine restrictions for NSW arrivals in response to a new virus cluster on Sydney's northern beaches. "Due to the evolving situation in New South Wales, with six locally acquired cases recorded so far, the…
Cybersecurity Impact
After hack of COVID-19 vaccine data, EU unveils plans for greater cybersecurityLos Angeles TimesThe European Union unveiled plans Wednesday to revamp the 27-nation bloc’s dated cybersecurity rules, days after data on a new COVID-19 vaccine were unlawfully accessed in a hack attack on the European Medicines Agency. The EU recorded about 450 cyber…
BEC Hits Double Digits as COVID-19 Scams AboundInfosecurity – Latest NewsBEC Hits Double Digits as COVID-19 Scams Abound Business email compromise (BEC) attacks have surged over the past year-and-a-half, while scams designed to part users with their money remain a persistent phishing threat, according to …
Eight Cyber Challenges In An Uncertain WorldForbes.comSteve Durbin is Managing Director,  Information Security Forum . He is a frequent speaker on the Board's role in cybersecurity and technology. With the pandemic precipitating a health crisis that continues to threaten the global economy and the real…
Metacurity – RT @latimes: After hack of COVID-19 vaccine data, EU unveils plans for greater cybersecurity https://t.co/Y3aWu7uqi4Metacurity – TwitterRT @latimes: After hack of COVID-19 vaccine data, EU unveils plans for greater cybersecurity https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-12-16/hack-covid-19-vaccine-data-eu-cybersecurity-overhaul
Security Expert Re: US-CERT Notes Record Number Of Vulnerabilities For 4th Year In A RowInformation Security BuzzToday the   US-CERT Vulnerability Database  recorded 17,447 vulnerabilities , which is a new high and makes 2020 the fourth year in a row that a record number of vulnerabilities has been published.  There were 17,306 vulnerabilities recorded in 2019….
SideWinder APT: Active and Targeting South-Asian CountriesCywareSideWinder, also known as Rattlesnake, is an APT group that mainly targets Southeast Asian countries, including Pakistan and China. Recently, the group was found using a server to deliver a malicious LNK file hosting credential phishing pages. What…
The Cyber Pandemic is Here – Protect Your OrganizationCheck Point BlogThe COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic effect on organizations globally. As previously reported, threat actors will always seek to take advantage of major events or changes for their own gain. The COVID-19 pandemic presented cybercriminals the…
Zebrocy’s Evolution with Golang-Based Version Enjoys Low DetectionCywareThe hackers behind Zebrocy malware have added a new chapter in their malware delivery tactics book. Key points about new Zebrocy variants Researchers at Intezer have analyzed the latest versions of Zebrocy and discovered that the malware operators,…
kaspersky – This year saw the expansion of Brazilian threat actors, more targeted ransomware, and a number of financial cyberat… https://t.co/SwPiwMPDzEkaspersky – TwitterThis year saw the expansion of Brazilian threat actors, more targeted ransomware, and a number of financial cyberattacks linked to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. We share our predictions of what's in store for the #financial industry in 2021:…
securityaffairs – RT @cybersecmnl: “In November, we uncovered COVID-19 phishing lures that were used to deliver the Go version of Zebrocy. https://t.co/SuuD8…securityaffairs – TwitterRT @cybersecmnl: "In November, we uncovered COVID-19 phishing lures that were used to deliver the Go version of Zebrocy. https://cstu.io/677f4c via @securityaffairs #Cybersecurity

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