17 March 2021

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Actions by Governments
  • 3 new COVID-19 variants found in India: Centre (The Freepress Journal)
  • A look at COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 (NationalPost.com)
  • Chaos in Germany and Italy after suspension of Oxford vaccine (The Guardian)
  • Covid-19 one of the lowest causes of death in Ireland between June and September 2020 (Irish Times)
  • Filipinos in Israel get free COVID-19 jabs (Manila Bulletin)
  • France’s Macron mulls new lockdown 1 year after first (France24)
  • Germany extends tax deferral for pandemic-hit firms by… (Mail Online UK)
  • Germany’s vaccine race against time (Deutsche Welle)
  • Germany: Top virologist warns COVID rates to spike again (Deutsche Welle)
  • India’s coronavirus infections rise by highest in three months (The Straits Times All News)
  • Life In The Red Zone As Italy Returns To Coronavirus Lockdown (Forbes.com)
  • Russia extends ban on UK flights by a month over COVID-19 variant (Channel NewsAsia)
  • Slideshow In pictures: A look back, one year after France went into lockdown (France24)
  • South Africa: Covid-19 Third Wave – Ignore the Science and You Will Crash and Burn (AllAfrica.com)
  • Spain: Benidorm without tourists (Deutsche Welle)
  • The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (NationalPost.com)
  • The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Tuesday, March 16, 2021 (NationalPost.com)
  • UK – Boris Johnson faces growing calls to launch public inquiry into handling of the coronavirus crisis (Mail Online UK)
  • UK – Boris Johnson said UK should ‘ignore’ the coronavirus, before it became one of the worst hit countries in the world (Business Insider)
  • UK – Northern Ireland SDLP’s Colm Eastwood accuses UK Government of ‘breaking international obligations’ over nuclear weapon reversal (Belfast Telegraph)
  • UK – Pressure on Boris Johnson over inquiry into handling of coronavirus crisis (London Evening Standard)
  • UK – The British government laid out plans to increase its stockpile of nuclear weapons as part of a shift in its defense policy hxxps://on[.]wsj[.]com/3vyjdg3 (WSJ – Twitter)
  • US – Actual Covid-19 infection rate in the US may be more than double official CDC figures, study says (The Independent)
  • US – Biden’s CDC claims former Trump officials issued ‘non-scientific’ guidance that downplayed pandemic (Mail Online UK)
  • US – COVID-19 NEWS: In collaboration with @NIAIDNews and @BARDA, Moderna is conducting a Phase 2/3 study of the mRNA-1273 #COVID19 #vaccine in healthy children: hxxps://clinicaltrials[.]gov/ct2/show/NCT04796896 (NIAIDNews – Twitter)
  • US – COVID-19 variant first detected in Brazil confirmed in Massachusetts (Boston Globe)
  • US – Daily coronavirus updates: Connecticut reports highest COVID-19 positivity rate in weeks, days ahead of reopening (Hartford Courant)
  • US – Florida coronavirus: 4,791 new infections, 101 more residents dead (Orlando Sentinel)
  • US – Hospitalizations in Texas from COVID-19 continue to drop (star-telegram.com)
  • US – Let’s not play games on reopening in Maryland (Washington Post)
  • US – Michigan State details plan to deal with COVID-19 variant found on campus (Detroit News)
  • US – Montana’s governor says all adults eligible for jab from April 1 — ahead of Biden’s deadline (Financial Times – Europe homepage)
  • US – Rhode Island coronavirus resources: Vaccine clinics and the latest numbers (Boston Globe)
  • US – Spring break crowds flock to Florida amid coronavirus pandemic (FOX Business – Video)
  • US – Wyoming officials expect Interstate 80 to reopen at Nebraska border by early Wednesday (Omaha World-Herald)
  • WHO’s latest situation report (WHO)
  • What are the rules for France travel and can I go on holiday there? (The Independent)
  • Will Brits be allowed to holiday in Spain, Greece, France, Turkey and Cyprus this summer? (Manchester Evening News)
  • ‘VERY REAL RISK TO AUSTRALIA’: PM’s grave warning on virus threat (HeraldSun.com.au Top News)
Actions by Companies
  • 32 Indian organisations hit by hackers exploiting Microsoft Exchange servers vulnerability: Check Point Research (Indian Express)
  • ADIB Response To COVID-19 Praised by Customers – RFI Research (Albawaba)
  • Apple adds covid-19 vaccination locations to Maps app and Siri (Livemint.com)
  • AstraZeneca Ineffective Against South African Variant, Says Study (Philippine News)
  • Average Home Has 36 Things That Could Sell On EBay, Report Says (Forbes.com)
  • Cathay Pacific posts record $2.8 bln annual loss because of pandemic Mar 9, 2021 (Nasdaq)
  • EU to lay out plan for easing curbs amid AstraZeneca setback (Straits Times)
  • Europe’s pause on the AstraZeneca vaccine is worrying (MSN Canada)
  • Facebook partners with Boston Children’s Hospital to connect users to COVID-19 vaccines (FOXBusiness.com)
  • Former Microsoft, Amazon exec pleads guilty to $5.5M PPP fraud scheme (FOXBusiness.com)
  • Honda Motor temporarily cutting production at all US, Canada plants (Business Standard India)
  • Hyundai, Kia’s plant utilization rate below 80% in 2020 (Korea Herald)
  • Indian shares inch lower as rising virus cases weigh; Reliance top drag (Reuters)
  • Italy and France ready to restart AstraZeneca vaccinations if regulators give the green light (CNBC)
  • JAL to let flight attendants choose fewer work hours with salary cuts (Mainichi JP)
  • Londoners receiving AstraZeneca jab dismiss fears (France24)
  • Medicines regulator gives nod for Pfizer’s coronavirus shot to be administered in SA (Dispatch Live)
  • Moody’s – Faster recovery from COVID-19 pandemic for MTU and Safran than Rolls-Royce (Business Insider)
  • NRA to delay TEPCO’s reactor restart plan over ‘shoddy’ repairs March 17, 2021 NEW (Asahi.com)
  • Nedbank doubles retail digital sales in year-end results (IT Web)
  • Nornickel cuts production forecast 15%-20% as flooded mine restarts delayed (Seeking Alpha)
  • Ooredoo ranked second most valuable brand in Qatar… (Qatar Peninsula)
  • Pfizer execs discuss hiking vaccine price after pandemic wanes (CBS News)
  • Preparations for AstraZeneca vaccinations to resume amid optimism on safety clearance (Irish Times)
  • Retail landlords don’t deserve a cut from online sales: eBay (Sydney Morning Herald)
  • Robust growth trajectory drives gains for Asian Paints (Business Standard India)
  • Samsung sees demand growth in chip biz (IANS Live)
  • Shionogi unlikely to start shipping COVID-19 vaccines in 2021 (Japan Times)
  • South Africa: Interim Results – Shoprite Hits the Mark With Savings Rewards Programme (AllAfrica.com)
  • Taiwan health chief says AstraZeneca rollout to continue as planned (Formosa Television (FTV))
  • Telia Finland says travel down 14% in February as it marks pandemic declaration anniversary (Telecompaper)
  • Toyota, Honda to halt some US production over supply shortages (Livemint.com)
  • Visa, Mastercard to delay merchant fee hikes another year (AmericanBanker.com)
  • WHO experts to meet on AstraZeneca shot (Bangkokpost.com Most recent)
  • eBay CEO: Pandemic brought huge momentum for the site (CNN)
Drugs, Treatments & Vaccines
  • A legacy of disease (Lancet Infectious Diseases)
  • An efficient way to assess the effect of COVID-19 on mental health in the general population (Lancet)
  • China aprueba su quinta vacuna contra el COVID-19 (Orlando Sentinel)
  • Covid-19 live updates: World figures tout vaccines as ‘exit’ from pandemic amid skepticism, AstraZeneca concerns (Washington Post)
  • Efficacy of the ChAdOx1 Vaccine against the B.1.351 Variant (New England Journal of Medicine)
  • Faith leaders get COVID-19 shot to curb vaccine reluctance (The Washington Times stories: News)
  • High COVID-19 death rates in prisons in England and Wales, and the need for early vaccination (Lancet Respiratory Medicine)
  • Living with a COVID-19 case brings worse symptoms and stronger antibody response (News-Medical.Net)
  • Moderna Gives First Vaccine Shots To Young Kids As Part Of COVID-19 Study (NPR)
  • One in three people in England have coronavirus antibodies, new estimates show (The Independent)
  • Rapid Spread of the B.1.1.7 Variant across England (New England Journal of Medicine)
  • Rhode Island coronavirus resources: Vaccine clinics and the latest numbers (Boston Globe)
  • SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission in primary schools in England in June–December, 2020 (sKIDs): an active, prospective surveillance study (Lancet)
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the need for community mental health-care models in Uganda (Lancet)
  • The controversies over the AstraZeneca’s vaccine may sow doubts and cause more people to shun vaccinations, prolonging the pandemic hxxps://econ[.]st/38JcE0z (TheEconomist – Twitter)
  • Up to TWICE as many Americans have antibodies against coronavirus compared to official estimates (Mail Online UK)
  • Where are we up to with vaccines? (BBC)
Societal & Economic Impact
BOK Chief: Pandemic Could Have Long-term Impact on S. Korean EconomyKorea Broadcasting SystemPhoto : YONHAP News Bank of Korea(BOK) Governor Lee Ju-yeol said the COVID-19 pandemic could have long-term effects and place considerable burden on economic operations even after the crisis is over. The central bank chief made the comment on Wednesday…
Economy and deficit projected to grow, says budgetYahoo! CanadaThe Higgs government says the economy will rebound in the coming fiscal year as COVID-19 wanes, but it won't be enough for the province to avoid a large deficit. Finance Minister Ernie Steeves is projecting the provincial economy will grow by 2.9 per…
Hawks at 47% capacity fighting Covid-19 lootingMail & Guardian OnlineGovernment departments not providing information as requested, Covid-19, lack of capacity and a skills shortage are the never-changing challenges plaguing South Africa’s top law enforcement units, which are meant to bring to book those connected to…
Hundreds rally at state Capitol as COVID-19 pandemic opens up new front for anti-vaccine activists in ConnecticutHartford CourantAn individual has a sign tethered to their backpack as hundreds gather at the Connecticut State Capitol to rally against legislation Ñ HB-6423 and SB-568 Ñ that would eliminate the religious exemption for vaccination surrounding the COVID-19…
Japan mulls lifting coronavirus state of emergency as strain on healthcare system easesNewKerala.comJapan mulls lifting coronavirus state of emer [newkerala]Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide said he hopes to make a decision after listening to the opinions of experts and examining figures, such as the number of new cases and the hospital bed…
Pandemic shutdowns led to a rare decline in air pollution around the world during 2020, except in those cities affected by smoke that spewed from huge wildfires, including much of the Western U.S. hxxps://on[.]wsj[.]com/3qQl10vWSJ – TwitterPandemic shutdowns led to a rare decline in air pollution around the world during 2020, except in those cities affected by smoke that spewed from huge wildfires, including much of the Western U.S. hxxps://on[.]wsj[.]com/3qQl10v
Stimulus updates, coronavirus news & more: What’s trending todayCleveland.comCLEVELAND, Ohio – about coronavirus developments around the world, get the latest stimulus updates and see more stories trending online today. Top stories Biden’s $1.9T coronavirus aid package to supercharge US economy: Goldman Sachs (Fox Business) A…
Thai economy seen recovering in fourth quarter – finance ministerToday OnlineBANGKOK – Thailand's economy is seen recovering in the fourth quarter of the year, amid expectations that easing coronavirus restrictions will bring in tourism income, the finance minister said on Wednesday.
What will the $1.9 trillion stimulus package signed into law last week mean for your family?Boston GlobeThe $1.9 trillion stimulus package signed into law last week by President Biden could go a long way in helping families and businesses recover from a devastating year of loss due to the pandemic. The $1,400-per-person checks are landing in bank…
Geopolitical Impact
Chinese peacekeeping helicopter unit to Darfur completes verification before withdrawalChina Military OnlineBy Ma Yichong KHARTOUM, Mar. 17 — The 3rd Chinese peacekeeping helicopter unit to Darfur, Sudan passed the equipment verification organized by the United Nations-African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) with high standard on March 15. This…
Corona’s consequences – How the pandemic is changing globalizationDeutsche WelleAround the world, pandemic-related lockdowns have hit our globalized economy hard. Supply-chains have been disrupted, industries crippled. The Coronavirus has laid bare the risks of global interconnectedness. Is the crisis the beginning of the end of…
DPRK condemns military drills by US, South KoreaShenzhen DailyTHE Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Monday slammed the ongoing military exercises jointly held by South Korea and the United States, and warned of possible retaliation, the official Korean Central News Agency reported yesterday. As…
Major study reveals where international trade grew despite the pandemicZawya.com42 percent of companies saw international revenue expand in the first half of 2020, despite global trade falling by over 20% in the same period DUBAI – United Arab Emirates: A global study of private sector perspectives highlights how international…
Quad pact on vaccines could inject needless geopolitical tensionsAbu Dhabi NationalMarch 17, 2021 March 17, 2021 SHARE Should swiftly vaccinating as many people as possible be an endeavour that brings us all together, around the world? Or is it in reality yet another arena for political one-upmanship and great power contestation? China…
Russia Criticizes U.S. for Pressing Brazil to Reject Its VaccineBloombergSputnik V developers say effort is unethical and costing lives U.S. report called Russian influence a detriment to safety Russia condemned the U.S. for applying diplomatic pressure on Brazil to reject its Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine, adding that…
U.S. officials pushed Brazil to reject Russia’s coronavirus vaccine, according to HHS reportWashington PostBuried deep in the dry, 72-page annual report of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services lay a startling admission: U.S. health officials under former president Donald Trump worked to convince Brazil to reject Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus…
UK PM Johnson to visit India, discuss China threatIndia BloomsCalling the Indo-Pacific "increasingly the geopolitical centre of the world", United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson will visit India in April to ostensibly create a democratic counterweight to China. The government also highlighted a British…
US sanctions 24 China, Hong Kong officials ahead of talksThe Gulf TodayPicture used for illustrative purposes only. Gulf Today Report Just ahead of talks aimed at reducing tensions between the two countries the US sanctioned an additional 24 Chinese and Hong Kong officials over Beijing’s ongoing crackdown on political…
Why home-produced Covid vaccine hasn’t helped India, Russia and China rolloutsThe GuardianChallenge of reaching vast, far-flung populations is combined with a lack of public interest T he day India started coronavirus vaccinations, Amit Mehra’s name was on the priority list. But he never made an appointment. “I’m not inclined to get…
Cybersecurity Impact
Assessing Damages in Data Privacy and Data Breach Class Actions Involving Health Data in the Wake of COVID-19DataBreaches.netVildan Altuglu, Maria Salgado, Omur Celmanbet, Rezwan Haque, and Lucia Yanguas of Cornerstone Research write: The COVID-19 pandemic, which has generated a surge in telehealth and introduced the concept of contact tracing into our daily lives, is…
Fewer students expected to return to Hempfield’s cyber program next year, survey showsPittsburgh Tribune ReviewFewer students expressed interest in attending Hempfield’s cyber program next school year compared to those currently enrolled. Initial results from a survey sent to parents last month show 130 students across the district are interested in attending…
Intellicheck Offers Free Fraud Protection to Financial Institutions and Retailers as Online Fraud Soars During Nationwide Stay-At-HomeNasdaqMELVILLE, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Intellicheck, Inc. (Nasdaq: IDN) is offering its leading fraud fighting technology solution Retail ID Web to banks, credit card issuers, payment providers and retailers at no cost for 90 days in response to the…
No, Your iPhone Is Not More Secure Than Android, Warns Cyber BillionaireForbes.comOne of the world’s leading cybersecurity experts has just warned that the alarming new surge in malicious apps is a much more serious threat to iPhone users than you might think. iPhones, he says, have a surprising security vulnerability. “We're all…
Ransomware and IoT Malware Detections Surge by Over 60%Infosecurity – Latest NewsRansomware and IoT Malware Detections Surge by Over 60% Last year saw a double-digit surge in ransomware, IoT threats, new malware and cryptojacking, in what SonicWall has described as a “tipping point” in the cyber-arms race. The security…
Ransomware attack forces college to tell students to stay at homeGraham CluleyA UK college says it has closed its campus buildings for one week, and advised students that all lessons and lectures will be taking place online, following a ransomware attack. South & City College in Birmingham, which has over 20,000 students aged…
Report finds ransomware and ransom payments continued to surge in 2020SiliconANGLENot only did ransomware surge over 2020 but the average ransom payment also rose rapidly, according to a new report from Palo Alto Networks Inc.’s and the Crypsis incident response team. The Ransomware Threat Report 2021, based on global data from…
Threat actors thriving on the fear and uncertainty of remote workforces The pandemic’s work-from-home reality resulted in an unprecedented change for organizations as they fought to defend exponentially greater attack surfaces from cybercriminals armed… hxxps://bit[.]ly/38P6wDQ hxxps://twitter[.]com/InfoSecHotSpot/status/1372128366506168322/photo/1InfoSecHotSpot – TwitterThreat actors thriving on the fear and uncertainty of remote workforces The pandemic’s work-from-home reality resulted in an unprecedented change for organizations as they fought to defend exponentially greater attack surfaces from cybercriminals…
US, Japan to boost information sharing related to cyber threats — State DeptBernamaWASHINGTON, March 17 – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Japan's Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi pledged to enhance efforts to share information related to cyber threats and collaborate on holding countries accountable for cyberattacks,…
‘Financial sector most targeted by cybercriminals’Business MirrorTHE financial industry was among the most targeted segments by the cybercriminals in the past year in Southeast Asia, cybersecurity and anti-virus provider Kaspersky Lab said. In a virtual event on Tuesday, the Russian company shared that banks are…

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