17 February 2021

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Actions by Governments
  • 4 detected with SA variant of SARS-CoV-2 in India, one with Brazil strain (Outlook India)
  • Australia needs national COVID-19 schools plan, experts say (TheAge.com National)
  • Biophytis to enroll patients in France and Belgium for COVID-19 study (Seeking Alpha)
  • Coronavirus Curfew in Netherlands Must be Lifted Immediately, Court Rules (US News & World Report)
  • Germany dashes hopes of businesses for quick reopening of economy (Mail Online UK)
  • How Covid-19 hits youngsters hard in Switzerland (Swiss Info)
  • India Covid-19 numbers plunge amid warnings of virus comeback (Abu Dhabi National)
  • India’s fight against COVID-19 is inspiring the world: PM Modi (Manorama Online)
  • Indonesia starts 2nd phase of Covid-19 vaccination drive at biggest textile market (The Straits Times All News)
  • Iran warns of spread of new Covid-19 variant (IANS Live)
  • Italy won’t let ski slopes open after coronavirus variant detected in country (FOXNews.com)
  • Japan begins COVID-19 vaccination drive amid Olympic worries (star-telegram.com)
  • Japan begins COVID-19 vaccination in ‘first major step’ to halt pandemic (NationalPost.com)
  • Made in Germany – Living and working on remote (Deutsche Welle)
  • Norway Rejects Seeking Curfew Powers for Handling Pandemic (Bloomberg)
  • Norway scraps plan for curfew legislation (Mail Online UK)
  • Singapore adds to spending spree to drive rally from COVID-19 pandemic (Taipei Times Online)
  • South Korea warns against lax distancing as daily COVID-19 count hits one-month high (Channel NewsAsia)
  • Sweden Readies Tougher Lockdown Measures Amid Third Wave Fears (Bloomberg)
  • UK – Business leaders welcome Scottish Government ‘lifeline’, flagging importance to firms’ survival (Herald Scotland)
  • UK – Climate crisis: Scottish government must have ‘more devolved approach’ to hit net zero emissions target, experts say (The Independent)
  • UK – Coronavirus cases need to plummet before lockdown can be eased, Boris Johnson warned (Manchester Evening News)
  • UK – Covid roadmap: What travel rules might be announced by Boris Johnson next week? (The Independent)
  • UK – Rishi Sunak urged to boost pandemic recovery with £190 billion stimulus (The Independent)
  • US – California test positivity rate down to 3.4%; other numbers decline, too (Fresno Bee)
  • US – California’s vaccine pace is up; Sacramento region near 2,000 dead (Sacramento Bee)
  • US – Coronavirus Tuesday update: Minnesota has administered more than 927,000 vaccine doses (TwinCities.com)
  • US – False claim that CDC inflating COVID-19 death count (USA Today)
  • US – Hawaii sees 17 new coronavirus infections, bringing state’s total to 26,906 (Honolulu Star-Advertiser)
  • US – Indiana billboards critique Michigan’s response to COVID-19 pandemic (Detroit News)
  • US – Ohio developing centralized, statewide system for coronavirus vaccine signup (Cleveland.com)
  • US – Oregon Is Vaccinating Teachers. It Might Not Be Enough to Reopen Schools. (NYT.com U.S.)
  • US – U.K. variant of the coronavirus is found in Rhode Island (Boston Globe)
  • US – University of Minnesota’s Osterholm: Respect COVID-19 aerosol threat (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
  • US – With virus numbers improving, California could reopen more (star-telegram.com)
  • Virus hits output at more metal, electrical firms in Germany (Mail Online UK)
  • WHO’s latest situation report (WHO)
Actions by Companies
Drugs, Treatments & Vaccines
  • 4 People Contract COVID-19 After Receiving Coronavirus Vaccine (International Business Times)
  • Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in healthy donor plasma pools and IVIG products (Lancet Infectious Diseases)
  • Breaking the inverse care law (Lancet)
  • Common cold antibodies won’t prevent coronavirus infection, study finds (FOXNews.com)
  • Deaths among over-80’s fall faster as vaccine impact emerges (The Independent)
  • Doctor on COVID-19 variants’ potential spread, impact on vaccines (CBS News)
  • Future scenarios for the COVID-19 pandemic (Lancet)
  • La vacuna COVID-19 trae optimismo, pero persisten muchos temores (Chicago Tribune)
  • Mass. reports 23,086 new COVID-19 vaccinations (Boston Globe)
  • Measles: the long walk to elimination drawn out by COVID-19 (Lancet)
  • Pan-coronavirus vaccine needed to deal SARS-CoV-2 variants (News-Medical.Net)
  • Pfizer-BioNTech anuncian un acuerdo para enviar otros 200 millones de dosis de su vacuna contra el COVID-19 a la UE (San Antonio Express-News.com)
  • Pfizer-BioNTech to get EU 200 million more COVID-19 shots (star-telegram.com)
  • The Latest: Winter weather delays some COVID-19 vaccinations (STLtoday.com)
  • The need for social group interventions to increase malaria rapid diagnostic test uptake in Nigeria (Lancet)
Societal & Economic Impact
All Virus Stimulus Payments Have Been Sent, IRS SaysLaw360The Internal Revenue Service said Tuesday it has sent all first- and second-round coronavirus stimulus payments to qualified recipients and is now fully devoted to processing tax returns during the current…
Biden asked for 6 months of extra unemployment benefits. Here’s why House Democrats gave him 5.Business InsiderSpeaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA), and other members conduct a news conference in the Capitol. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via House Ways and Means extended extra unemployment benefits through…
Bulls-Hornets game postponed for coronavirus contact tracingChicago Sun-TimesThe NBA said in a statement that the league was following health and safety protocols. The Bulls announced in a tweet this morning that Wednesday night’s game against the Charlotte Hornets has been postponed. The NBA said in a statement that the…
Contact tracing may cut the coronavirus R rate by as little as 2%, Dido Harding admitsMail Online UKReport said contact tracing impact is 'relatively small' and not likely to improve Overall, test, trace and isolate may cut R rate by up to 33%, Harding said But contact tracing makes up a tiny percentage; critics questioned its budget Baroness…
Dutch ordered to end virus curfew after riots, vaccine scramble intensifiesYahoo! News AustraliaA Dutch court ordered the government Tuesday to lift a nationwide coronavirus curfew that sparked riots in the Netherlands, as frustration mounts throughout the world against virus measures almost a year into the deadly pandemic. Governments face…
Fed’s Bowman Warns Economy at Risk Amid New Virus StrainsBloombergNo time for ‘complacency’ despite vaccine news: Bowman Kansas City Fed’s George says recovery ‘incomplete and uneven’ The U.S. economy still has “a long way to go” to heal from the Covid-19 pandemic and new variants of the virus are troubling, said…
Hawaii suicide rate decreases during coronavirus pandemicSan Antonio Express-News.comWAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) — The Hawaii Department of Health said suicide rates decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic compared with previous years. Data for 2020 provided by the health department did not indicate a significant connection between suicide…
Mnuchin: Coronavirus stimulus would work best if passed in stagesFOX Business – VideoFormer Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discusses economic recovery, inflation, markets and more in his first interview since leaving the White House.
The House moves to finalize the next coronavirus stimulus package by end of next week.NYT.com U.S.Lawmakers are racing to move the package through the House by the end of February, before unemployment benefits lapse in mid-March.
can Hong Kong law enforcers access data on city’s official Covid-19 contact-tracing app?Yahoo! SingaporeLaw enforcers with court warrants could access data from Hong Kong’s Covid-19 risk exposure app for crime detection purposes, according to security and legal experts, despite officials stressing it would only be used for contact tracing. While…
Geopolitical Impact
Biden team looks to repair US ties with Europe in first NATO meetAl JazeeraUS President Joe Biden’s administration will begin the work of renewing the United States’s relationships with its European allies when NATO defence ministers participate in meetings this week. The two-day meeting, to be held via teleconference on…
China overtakes U.S. as Europe’s main trading partner for the first timeCNBCThe latest figures, released by Eurostat on Monday, showed that China now has an even bigger role in how European economies perform. The Chinese economy is performing slightly closer to pre-Covid levels in comparison with other parts of the world,…
Global trade recovers in Q4, cuts decline to 9%Trade ArabiaLed by trade in goods, global trade recovered in the last quarter of 2020, reducing its overall decline for the year to about 9%, said UNCTAD in a new report, noting that the rebound, while uneven, was largely powered by developing countries. But…
India to host regional countries meet on COVID crisis next week, Pakistan invitedDNA IndiaThe meet is expected to be addressed by high-level dignitaries. Many of the invited countries have confirmed that they will take part in the meet. India will host a meet of regional countries on COVID-19 crisis next week, expectedly on February 22….
NATO chief urges joint spending as budget debate rolls onDayton Daily NewsThe former Norwegian prime minister believes that by spending more together, members would also be demonstrating their commitment to defend each other if one comes under attack, which is the common defense clause enshrined in Article 5 of NATO’s…
Palestine urges for int’l pressure on Israel to allow Covid-19 vaccines into GazaIANS LivePhoto Credit: IANS IANSLive Ramallah, Feb 17 (IANS) Palestine called for an urgent international intervention to pressure Israel to allow the shipment of the coronavirus vaccines into the besieged Gaza Strip. To get full access of the story, click here…
Taiwan ‘blames China’ for blocking its deal to purchase 5m Covid-19 vaccines from GermanyMail Online UKTaiwan's deal to buy five million doses of a German Covid-19 vaccine is on hold  Its health minister implied that China forced political pressure on the suspension Comes at a time of high diplomatic and military tensions between the two sides Taiwanes…
The U.S. can’t meet its responsibilities alone. That’s why we believe in NATO.Washington Postis the defense secretary. President Biden made it clear two weeks ago that diplomacy will be our primary means of engaging with the world, and it must be our first tool of choice. At the same time, the president also recognizes that all of our…
U.S. ship sails in South China Sea by China-claimed islandsMail Online UKFeb 17 (Reuters) – A U.S. Navy warship sailed by islands claimed by China in the South China Sea on Wednesday in a freedom of navigation operation, marking the latest move by Washington to challenge Beijing's territorial claims in the contested…
Cybersecurity Impact
Afternoon Cyber Tea: Evaluating individual and organizational cyber risk in a pandemicMicrosoft Security – Blog – RSSCybersecurity professionals find themselves in high demand as organizations worldwide continue to grapple with how to secure millions of remote workers. …
China’s online speech crackdown extended as cyber watchdog targets bloggersSouth China Morning PostSocial media sites say those without government permit may not post on current affairs, politics and ‘distorting content of [Communist] Party, China’s history’ Posts on Covid-19 are criticised and newly banned topics include health and judicial…
Cybereason vs. NetWalker RansomwareCybereason – Blog – RSS
Cybersecurity spending for critical infrastructure to reach $105.99 billion in 2021 Cybersecurity spending in critical infrastructure has been little impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, save for some reshuffling on where that spend is most needed. The e… hxxps://bit[.]ly/2NtgaEG hxxps://twitter[.]com/InfoSecHotSpot/status/1361641783386648582/photo/1InfoSecHotSpot – TwitterCybersecurity spending for critical infrastructure to reach $105.99 billion in 2021 Cybersecurity spending in critical infrastructure has been little impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, save for some reshuffling on where that spend is most needed. The…
Cybersecurity trends affecting cybersecurity stocks in 2021HackReadCybersecurity continues to be a hot topic , both for business and organizations trying to protect themselves and for investors looking to cybersecurity providers as significant growth opportunities right now and well into the future. Below are some of…
North Korea accused of hacking Pfizer for Covid-19 vaccine dataYahoo! News AustraliaNorth Korea attempted to steal Covid-19 vaccine technology from US pharmaceutical company Pfizer, according to South Korean intelligence officials. It is currently unclear as to what, if any, data was stolen. South Korea's National Intelligence Agency…
RT @malwrhunterteam: “COVID-19 Financial recovery payment.”: hxxps://gov[.]uk-alert[.]digital/
Remember, “strictly zero tolerance for phishing activities”… hxxps://twitter[.]com/malwrhunterteam/status/1361619156848807937/photo/1
malwrhunterteam – TwitterRT @malwrhunterteam: "COVID-19 Financial recovery payment.": hxxps://gov[.]uk-alert[.]digital/
Remember, "strictly zero tolerance for phishing activities"… hxxps://twitter[.]com/malwrhunterteam/status/1361619156848807937/photo/1
S. Korea spy agency: N. Korea hackers targeted vaccine techMainichi JPIn this June 16, 2017 file photo, North Korean men and women use computer terminals at the Sci-Tech Complex in Pyongyang, North Korea. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E) SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean hackers attempted to steal information about…
Thanks in part to the pandemic, cyber-attacks against businesses have continued to rise – but IT security budgets continue to shrink.

How can IT decision makers do less with more? Learn more: hxxps://kas[.]pr/k2ii #SecurityEconomics hxxps://twitter[.]com/kaspersky/status/1361963673087049733/video/1kaspersky – TwitterThanks in part to the pandemic, cyber-attacks against businesses have continued to rise – but IT security budgets continue to shrink.

How can IT decision makers do less with more? Learn more: hxxps://kas[.]pr/k2ii #SecurityEconomics…

The Cybersecurity 202: Industry groups urge Congress to include cybersecurity funding in coronavirus relief packageWashington Postwith Aaron Schaffer Cybersecurity groups are urging Congress to make federal and state cybersecurity funding a priority as lawmakers iron out a $1.9 trillion dollar coronavirus relief package. They want to see the more than $10 billion in cybersecurity…

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