18 May 2021

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Actions by Governments
  • ‘Can’t wait, can’t wait’ – Holidaying Brits excited to enjoy the sun in Portugal (itv.com)
  • A quicker path to normal: U.K. reopens at 30% vaccination, while Canada waits for 75% (NationalPost.com)
  • Australia has no firm plans for reopening international borders (Special Broadcasting Service)
  • Brits arriving in Portugal discuss ‘unbelievable feeling’ (Mail Online UK)
  • Canada’s summer camps hope to reopen as provinces plan to lift restrictions (NationalPost.com)
  • Entire families wiped out by COVID as virus races through rural India (TheAge.com)
  • Excitement at Stansted as flights get off the ground to Portugal as rules relax (itv.com)
  • Expats’ love-hate relationship with Switzerland continues (Swiss Info)
  • Germany to offer Covid jabs to all adults from June 7 (CourierMail.com.au Breaking News)
  • In second wave, India lost 269 doctors to Covid, toll climbs past 1000 (India Today)
  • India’s tally of coronavirus infections crosses 25 million (Khaleej Times)
  • Italy to Phase Out Curfew in Push to Restart Economy (Bloomberg)
  • No date on when UAE will resume flights from Indian subcontinent:… (Khaleej Times)
  • Portugal welcomes British tourists as travel restrictions ease (Mail Online UK)
  • Scouse family who cancelled ‘seven holidays’ onboard first UK flight to Portugal (Liverpool Echo)
  • Singapore virus can be India’s 3rd wave, extremely dangerous for kids, warns Arvind Kejriwal (Hindustan Times)
  • The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Monday, May 17, 2021 (NationalPost.com)
  • Tourists head to Blackpool and Portugal as restrictions are eased (BBC)
  • UAE sends 48 tonnes of food aid to Indonesia (Abu Dhabi National)
  • UK – Boris Johnson is not to blame for the spread of the Indian variant  (Telegraph)
  • UK – Covid experts warn against foreign holidays, so why is Boris Johnson so keen? (The Guardian)
  • UK – Cummings accuses Boris Johnson’s government of a ‘joke’ borders policy (The Independent)
  • UK – Matt Hancock: Indian Covid variant more transmissible, evidence suggests – video (The Guardian)
  • UK – There will be enough Pfizer jabs available to vaccinate children, Matt Hancock says  (Mail Online UK)
  • US – All major COVID-19 metrics for Nevada trend lower over weekend (Las Vegas Review Journal)
  • US – COVID-19 Restrictions to Be Lifted May 29 in Massachusetts (US News & World Report)
  • US – COVID-19 models forecast the virus in sharp retreat in Minnesota (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
  • US – California to delay adoption of CDC’s new mask guidance (Financial Times – UK Homepage)
  • US – Coronavirus levels in Missouri wastewater are ‘steady,’ suggesting mitigation efforts are working, officials say (STLtoday.com)
  • US – Daily coronavirus updates: COVID-19 hospitalizations, positivity trending downward as Connecticut prepares to reopen (Hartford Courant)
  • US – Fauci, CDC head under fire for controversial change to Covid mask guidance (The Hill)
  • US – Gov. Cuomo finally adopts CDC’s new COVID-19 mask guidelines for New York (New York Post)
  • US – Hawaii reports 83 new coronavirus infections, bringing statewide pandemic total to 33,834 (Honolulu Star-Advertiser)
  • US – Here’s what happens May 29 as Massachusetts lifts most COVID-19 restrictions (Boston Globe)
  • US – Indiana ending enhanced pandemic jobless aid next month (Chicago Tribune)
  • US – Massachusetts lifting COVID-19 restrictions ahead of Memorial Day (The Hill)
  • US – New CDC mask guidance ‘should not send message pandemic is over,’ expert group says (FOXNews.com)
  • US – Take Your Child to (Tele)Work Day (NIH Director’s Blog)
  • US – Why Americans can’t trust the CDC’s advice on COVID-19 (Chicago Sun-Times)
  • Use of masks outdoors in Spain could be relaxed in the coming days, health official announces (El País)
  • WHO’s latest situation report (WHO)
Actions by Companies
Drugs, Treatments & Vaccines
  • Biden announces plan to export Covid doses: U.S. to be ‘the arsenal of vaccines for the rest of the world’ (MSNBC)
  • Coronavirus India Cases: Fresh Cases Drop Below 3 Lakh; Risk Of Adverse Events From Covishield (Bloomberg-Quint)
  • Drugs gang dressed as key workers to dodge police during Covid lockdown (Mail Online – Latest Stories)
  • Eustice: Only be able to exit pandemic when people have had vaccine (Mail Online UK)
  • Immunotherapy in why, who, and when? (Lancet Respiratory Medicine)
  • Medicago and GSK vaccine trial sees impressive Covid antibody response (City A.M.)
  • Ministers to step up vaccine take up calls amid variant fears (BBC)
  • More than 96% of Britons develop Covid antibodies after one dose of vaccine (Mail Online UK)
  • Phase 1 randomized trial of a plant-derived virus-like particle vaccine for COVID-19 (Nature Medicine)
  • Second doses of vaccine stepped up in Jersey amid new Covid-19 variant concern (itv.com)
  • SpaceEx study profiles evolution of antibody response during COVID-19 infection (News-Medical.Net)
  • Vascular mechanisms and manifestations of COVID-19 (Lancet Respiratory Medicine)
  • WHO says pandemic is ‘long way from over’ while countries continue vaccine rollouts (The Hill)
Societal & Economic Impact
Dutch economy shrank 0.5% in Q1 amid coronavirus lockdownReutersAMSTERDAM, May 18 (Reuters) – The Dutch economy shrank 0.5% in the first three months of 2021 from the previous quarter as a lockdown to limit the spread of the coronavirus hit demand and triggered a recession, the national statistics office said on…
Fresh curbs dampen hopes of GDP growth spurt in Q2Straits TimesBut decent growth possible if virus situation improves soon and restrictions are eased Singapore's economic growth may decline in the April to June period compared with the previous quarter because of the recently reimposed coronavirus curbs, putting…
Japan’s economy shrinks, raising fear of double-dip recessionBusiness Standard IndiaGross domestic product contracted an annualized 5.1% from the previous quarter, ending six months of double-digit growth, as businesses cut investment, government outlays fell Japan’s economy shrank more than expected during the first three months of…
Japan’s economy shrinks more than feared amid coronavirus curbsSouth China Morning PostJapan’s economy shrank at an annualised rate of 5.1 per cent in the first quarter, heightening fears of another recession Nine prefectures, including Tokyo, are now under another state of emergency amid a fresh Covid-19 outbreak two months before the…
Massachusetts lawmakers scramble to make pandemic protections permanent as state of emergency end nearsBoston HeraldLawmakers are scrambling to make permanent a slew of pandemic-era protections — including provisions like cocktails to-go and expanded outdoor dining — that have helped float small businesses. Gov. Charlie Baker will end the state of emergency on June…
Massachusetts to lift coronavirus restrictions on businesses May 29, end state of emergency June 15Boston HeraldMassachusetts will lift all coronavirus restrictions on business on May 29 and will end the pandemic state of emergency on June 15 as Massachusetts continues to make great strides in its fight against the deadly virus. “The people in Massachusetts did…
Protests as Bangladesh journalist faces court after Covid-19 reportsThe Straits Times All NewsMay 18, 2021 4:28 PM Rozina Islam was charged with stealing health ministry documents.
Rights groups, activists demand doorstep COVID-19 vaccination for disabledOutlook IndiaNew Delhi, May 17 (PTI) Disability rights groups and activists have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, demanding doorstep vaccination against COVID-19 for the disabled and their caregivers. In a joint letter, 104 disability rights groups,…
Stop blaming individuals for the perils of a global pandemic and global warming and demand more of our leadersToronto Star OnlineWhen I was in Grade 6, I learned about global warming. My memory of this moment plays out something like, me, age 12, sitting at my desk when a man bursts through the classroom door and says, “YOUR GENERATION IS DOOMED.” In reality, this wake up call…
Unemployment falls in North East as economy returns from lockdownsNewcastle Evening ChronicleBoth the headline rate of unemployment and the number of people claiming benefits fell in the region, according to the most recent data Unemployment in the North East has continued to fall as pandemic lockdowns are eased and the economy begins to…
Geopolitical Impact
China exempts 79 U.S. products from further tariffsUPIMay 17 (UPI) — China said it would extend tariff exemptions on goods from the United States and Canada. The Customs Tariff Commission of China's State Council said 79 U.S. products are to be exempt from additional tariffs. The tariffs would be the…
China supports India’s patent waiver for Covid vaccine proposalUnited News of IndiaNew Delhi, May 17 (UNI) China on Monday voiced it's support for waiving intellectual property protections for novel coronavirus vaccines to help developing nations suffering from the ongoing pandemic. "China fully understands and supports the…
Failures of globalization have worsened the pandemicLivemint.comWeak global governance is partly to blame for the glaring covid disparities that now afflict the world In an essay published in 1979 (‘ Pour une morale de l’inconfort’ or ‘For an ethic of discomfort’ ), the French philosopher Michel Foucault posed…
Has China launched biological warfare against India as second COVID-19 pandemic wave, expert questionsIndia BloomsWith India reeling under a devastating second wave of Covid-19 that is largely blamed on several super-spreader events, a geo-politics expert has questioned whether China played a crucial role in waging a biological war against its neighbour. "Amidst…
Hong Kong Closes Taiwan Trade Office Amid ‘One China’ Visa SpatBloombergCity’s government didn’t give a reason for the closure Hong Kong and Taiwan have been in long-running visa dispute Hong Kong has closed its trade office in Taipei, the latest tit-for-tat exchange between the cities as Beijing works to isolate the…
Indian viewpoint on Israel, PalestineNew Delhi PioneerWe proudly state that India is a secular State, but are we actually not communal? For several days the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians has been going on. We in India have seen on YouTube rockets being fired by Hamas, which are often…
Joe Biden announces vaccine donation plan to check China and RussiaYahoo! SingaporeUS President Joe Biden billed a plan to distribute some 80 million Covid-19 vaccine doses worldwide as part of efforts to counter China and Russia, and boasted of quantities distributed overseas that exceed what the two countries have contributed. “Th…
Labour shortage looms after Brexit and Covid cause exodus of overseas workersThe IndependentEmployers expect post-lockdown jobs boom but some are struggling to fill vacancies, says HR body UK employers are facing a shortage of workers as they start hiring again after an exodus of staff caused Brexit and coronavirus , new data indicates. Emplo…
Netanyahu’s master plan for Israel and Palestine has failedAustralian Financial ReviewUntil about a week ago, it looked like Benjamin Netanyahu had a good chance of disproving the adage that “all political careers end in failure”. His grip on power in Israel was weakening. But even if he lost office, Netanyahu would still leave…
Politicians are selfish to throw businesses into geopolitical vortexGlobal TimesIllustration: Xia Qing/GT Due to the fabricated human right issue relating to Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region which some Western politicians have been playing up as a means to vilify China, German companies may move to limit their…
Steve Tsang, the Hong Kong academic and China realistMSN New ZealandSteve Tsang is a political historian and director of SOAS University London’s China Institute. He is originally from Hong Kong but moved to the UK in 1981 to study at Oxford University, where he earned a PhD and stayed in various positions for nearly…
Cybersecurity Impact
Cancer survivor left in ‘complete limbo’ as scan cancelled due to cyberattackIrish TimesMother of two ‘frustrated’ as key hospital test cancelled due to IT shutdown A cancer survivor has said she has been left “in complete limbo,” after her hospital tests were cancelled due to the health service cyberattack, which has resulted in a…
Cyber attacks against organizations increasing as more staff work from homeIT Pro UKThe number of data breaches within organizations has increased by a third as more people worked from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Verizon Business 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report, of 29,207 incidents analyzed, 5,258 were…
Cyberattacks a ‘wake-up call’ for politicians and public, experts warnIrish TimesResourcing cybersecurity properly ‘as necessary as paying your health insurance’ The crippling cyberattacks on the State’s health service are a “wake-up call” to politicians, businesses and the public that more protective action is required, security…
DDoS attacks: Stronger than ever and increasingly used for extortionCSO MagazineRansomware has taken center stage in the cybercrime ecosystem, causing over $1 billion in losses last year around the world and earning criminals hundreds of millions of dollars in profits. At the same time, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS)…
Do consumers now feel more exposed than ever to the risk of fraud?Help Net Security – NewsAs the pandemic drove consumers online en masse to make purchases, consumer anxiety around fraud saw a considerable spike, according to a survey by Marqeta. The company surveyed 2,000 consumers across the United States and United Kingdom about…
Enterprise leaders now see cybersecurity as a business advantageHelp Net Security – NewsEnterprise leaders who previously viewed cybersecurity as part of traditional infrastructure have shifted to rapidly invest in integrated, cloud-based approaches, with ripple effects on innovation, distributed workforce security and competitive…
Hackers Kept Busy During Covid Stealing 774 Million Records in Major BreachesBloombergThe number of records exposed in a breach is one measure of a hack’s severity. And even then, the numbers only tell part of the story. A breach that exposes email addresses isn’t great but isn’t nearly as bad as one that includes social security…
Hackers are leveling up and catching healthcare off-guardHelp Net Security – NewsRemember when ransomware operators promised last year not to attack hospitals under siege from COVID-19? Unfortunately, that didn’t happen: hospitality, entertainment, and retail locations were all shut down as COVID-19 spread, leaving…
The Hard Truth And Good News About The Fight Against CybercrimeForbes.comDerek Manky, Chief, Security Insights & Global Threat Alliances at Fortinet's FortiGuard Labs As we emerge from lockdowns and survey the challenges and changes of a post-COVID digital world, it would be understandable if many security and IT teams…
The Irish Times view on the health service cyberattacks: urgent questions to be answeredIrish TimesIrish security experts have long expressed concerns about Ireland’s level of preparedness against cyberattacks The debilitating ransomware cyberattacks on the information technology systems within the HSE and Department of Health , while dramatic and…

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