19 April 2021

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Actions by Governments
  • Canada to roll out big spending in Covid-19 pandemic recovery budget (The Straits Times All News)
  • Don’t need masks, says vaccinated Israel (Mid Day)
  • Germany’s Green Party selects Annalena Baerbock as candidate for chancellor (CNBC)
  • Israel Government Lifts Order To Citizens To Wear Face Mask Outdoors (Philippine News)
  • Israel relaxes mask mandate (The Hindu)
  • Macron is discussing opening France to vaccinated ‘American and European’ travellers this summer (Mail Online UK)
  • Macron says France close to easing restrictions for vaccinated travelers (CBS News)
  • Pope Francis makes return to Sunday blessing as Italy eases lockdown (The Independent)
  • Second wave of These different variants of coronavirus are plaguing India (zeenews.com)
  • Strata boosts PPE supply chain between UAE and Japan (Epicos.com)
  • The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (NationalPost.com)
  • The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Sunday, April 18, 2021 (NationalPost.com)
  • There’s a new COVID-19 variant in India. How worried should we be? (JapanTimes.co.jp)
  • UK – Boris Johnson CANCELS trip to India amid surging coronavirus cases and alarm about new variant  (Mail Online UK)
  • UK – Boris Johnson cancels trip to India in wake of new coronavirus variant (Herald Scotland)
  • UK – Integrity and a good product isn’t enough in this country, apparently – you need Matt Hancock’s number, too (The Independent)
  • UK PM Boris Johnson cancels trip to India due to coronavirus worries (Business Standard India)
  • US – ‘Ripe for fraud’: Coronavirus vaccination cards support burgeoning scams (Washington Post)
  • US – A Maryland woman wore her wedding dress to her COVID-19 vaccine appointment after the pandemic canceled her plans (Business Insider India)
  • US – Alabama football tops Globe Life Field for highest attended event during pandemic (Dallas Morning News)
  • US – Data shows strong teacher retention in Utah despite pandemic (San Antonio Express-News.com)
  • US – Kroger closes two California stores following $4 per hour coronavirus ‘hero pay’ (Mail Online UK)
  • US – Oregon delayed COVID-19 vaccinations for seniors. Here’s how many have died since. (Oregonian)
  • US – Oregon officials weigh mandating COVID-19 rules in all businesses indefinitely (FOXBusiness.com)
  • US – Supreme Court Tackles Alaska Native Rights to Pandemic Relief (Bloomberg Law)
  • US – Ticker: Casino revenues hit pandemic high; Vermont city bans gas-powered leaf blowers (Boston Herald)
  • US – Whitmer blames Michigan coronavirus numbers on travelers after top staffer vacationed in FL (FOXNews.com)
  • US – Why a COVID-19 surge now could be even harder for Arizona to stop (AZCentral.com)
  • WHO’s latest situation report (WHO)
Actions by Companies
  • After IndiGo & SpiceJet, AirAsia to not charge extra for changing journey date. Details here (Livemint.com)
  • AirAsia to cover COVID-19 vaccination of over 1,500 employees (Rappler)
  • Argentina receives AstraZeneca jabs amid anti-lockdown protests (Al Jazeera)
  • AstraZeneca could have Covid-19 vaccine against variant by 2021 end (Business Standard India)
  • Britain’s M&S to boost online capacity with second warehouse (Mail Online UK)
  • Canada’s Ontario to expand use of AstraZeneca COVID vaccine as epidemic rages (Mail Online UK)
  • China Huarong Bond Panic Eases After Government Breaks Silence (Bloomberg Law)
  • Concepcion lauds FDA decision allowing use of AstraZeneca for persons below 60 (Manila Bulletin)
  • EU hints it might not order AstraZeneca jab again (Manila Bulletin)
  • Fauci Expects Decision to Lift Pause on Johnson & Johnson Vaccine by Friday (Slate Magazine)
  • Fauci expects J&J vaccinations to resume later this week (Seeking Alpha)
  • From reading sessions to career mentoring: How corporate volunteering is evolving beyond Covid-19 (Straits Times)
  • Health Minister urged to move fast on J&J concerns (ENCA)
  • Heard on the Street: The Covid-19 pandemic helped Netflix solidify its place on the TV dial. The streaming company now needs to show it can stay there—profitably. hxxps://on[.]wsj[.]com/32sdQC6 (WSJ – Twitter)
  • IBM engaged in research to arm computers with Indian languages (Business Standard India)
  • Infosys COO asks all staff to work from home, get vaccinated if eligible (Business Standard India)
  • J&J jabs expected to resume this week (Times Live South Africa)
  • Luxury brands traditionally depend on tourism and consumer optimism, but LVMH has shown it can survive even a pandemic. @WSJheard explains. #WSJWhatsNow hxxps://on[.]wsj[.]com/2OPb5HN hxxps://twitter[.]com/WSJ/status/1383944686096711686/video/1 (WSJ – Twitter)
  • Netflix Is Chill About Pandemic’s End (WSJ.com: Markets)
  • Netflix is chill about pandemic’s end (Livemint.com)
  • Ooredoo Group continues winning streak with host of new awards in 2021 (Gulf Times)
  • Renesas restarts semiconductor production in fire-hit factory (Nikkei Asian Review)
  • Renesas resumes production at plant hit by blaze: reports (Taipei Times Online)
  • SK Telecom launches 5G-based disinfection robot (The Korea Times News)
  • Samsung Rolls Out Pick and Drop Repair Service in 46 Indian Cities Amid Rising COVID-19 Cases (News18.com)
  • South Africa health regulator recommends resuming Johnson & Johnson vaccinations (FT.com – Africa)
  • Tata Motors rubbishes rumours on certain car models’ production being halted (Hindustan Times)
  • Tata Steel, SAIL, AMNS India supplying oxygen for treatment of COVID-19 patients (Outlook India)
  • Vaccine confidence holds despite AstraZeneca woes (Sydney Morning Herald)
  • Volvo to provide cars for China-based Didi’s self-driving test fleet (Business Standard India)
  • Why expectant, new mums plan to take Pfizer jab at earliest (Khaleej Times)
Drugs, Treatments & Vaccines
  • Almost 10 million Britons have had both coronavirus vaccine doses (Sky News Latest)
  • EU secures additional 100 mln COVID-19 doses from Pfizer/BioNTech (Nasdaq)
  • Fauci says a COVID-19 booster shot is a ‘public health decision’ and not up to companies like Pfizer and Moderna (Clusterstock)
  • Illinois administers over 8 million COVID-19 vaccinations (The Washington Times stories: News)
  • Japan asks Pfizer for more coronavirus vaccine as nation’s inoculation drive lags (The Hill)
  • Living in the emerging COVID-19 netherworld of vaccines, lethal variants and normalcy (Washington Times)
  • Novel mRNA delivery vehicle provides alternative to LNPs for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines (News-Medical.Net)
  • Oregon delayed COVID-19 vaccinations for seniors. Here’s how many have died since. (Oregonian)
  • Scientists plan to reinfect dozens of volunteers with the coronavirus in the second U.K. clinical trial to study deliberate Covid-19 infection in quarantine—this time among people who have already recovered from the virus hxxps://on[.]wsj[.]com/3ebEapj (WSJ – Twitter)
  • Vaccines provide good protection against the virus that causes Covid-19. But how long does that last? Will you need a booster shot? Here’s what we know. hxxps://on[.]wsj[.]com/3eb5X9h (WSJ – Twitter)
Societal & Economic Impact
Activists question using police to tackle COVID-19 transmission in OntarioGlobal News CanadaAs the province issues new guidelines giving police the ability to stop people if they believe they are part of social gatherings, advocates say this directive could unfairly target those in racialized communities. And as Katherine Ward reports, some…
Boao Forum to further integrate Asian economies, boost global governanceGlobal TimesPhoto taken on April 8, 2021 shows the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) International Conference Center in Boao Town, south China's Hainan Province. Over 4,000 people will attend the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA)'s annual conference, which is scheduled for…
Pandemic will leave deep and lasting scars in world economyStraits TimesLegacies of job loss, debt, stunted education, wider inequalities to hit poorer nations more HONG KONG • Just as some patients recovering from Covid-19 suffer long-lasting symptoms, it is becoming clear that the same will be true of the global…
Tech tools help, but human input for Covid-19 contact tracing still essentialThe Straits Times All NewsApril 19, 2021 5:00 AM People are still needed to sift through data and draw inferences, and make decisions such as whether or not to issue quarantine orders.
UK economy picks up steam as hiring restartsShenzhen DailyTHE U.K. economy is building momentum, with real-time indicators suggesting consumers have started to splurge some of the cash they’ve saved now that the government has loosened lockdown rules. Restaurant bookings and job postings surged to the…
Why the chief economist’s job matters at the BoE, ECBAustralian Financial ReviewLondon | When most people update their LinkedIn profile with a new job, all that happens is a few boilerplate messages of congratulation. But Andy Haldane’s job news last week had a bigger reaction: he managed to give the British pound a little bump….
Workers are a year into collecting unemployment benefits. It’s causing problemsCNBCTens of millions of Americans applied for unemployment benefits in the initial weeks of the Covid pandemic. These individuals are reaching the end of their "benefit year." That may trigger issues for workers, like a gap in relief or a reduced amount…
Geopolitical Impact
Afghan Pullout Fits With U.S. Shift to China Focus, Blinken SaysBloombergBiden has pledged to end U.S.’s ‘forever war’ by September Diplomat says U.S. to guard against terror threat reemergence Withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan meshes with the Biden administration’s goal of focusing resources on challenges such as…
Hong Kong bans flights from India, Pakistan and the Philippines for 2 weeksThe Straits Times All NewsApril 19, 2021 8:31 AM The move takes effect from April 20.
Japan’s Exports Jump Most Since 2017 Amid Global Trade RecoveryBloombergJapanese exports posted a double-digit gain for the first time in more than three years in March, offering another indication that a recovery in global trade is gaining strength. The value of overseas shipments jumped 16.1% from a year ago, for the…
Pakistan FM Qureshi praises UAE ties, urges dialogue with IndiaThe Gulf TodayShah Mehmood Qureshi speaks during an event in Dubai on Saturday. Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter Pakistan Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi has categorically denied any ‘backdoor diplomacy’ between Pakistan and India while lauding the role of…
So, what are the chances Azmin, Zuraida and Saifuddin will get re-elected in GE15?Malay MailDatuk Seri Azmin Ali and Zuraida Kamaruddin arrive during the National Congress: Unite For Malaysia event at Malaysia International Trade & Exhibition Centre in Kuala Lumpur, August 22, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon Subscribe to our Telegram…
Trip[.]com up more than 4% in Hong Kong IPO; top executive expects ‘record number’ of China travelersCNBCTrip[.]com on Monday saw a positive start to its debut in Hong Kong, with shares jumping more than 4% from their issue price in afternoon trade. As much of the global travel market continues to reel from the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic,…
Cybersecurity Impact
‘Ripe for fraud’: Coronavirus vaccination cards support burgeoning scamsWashington PostOne listing offered eBay customers an “Authentic CDC Vaccination Record Card” for $10.99. Another promised the same but for $9.49. A third was more oblique, offering a “Clear Pouch For CDC Vaccination Record Card” for $8.99, but customers instead…
14 cybersecurity startups that raised gobs of funding and became unicorns since the start of the pandemicBusiness InsiderSymbol photo on the subject of Touch ID Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Since the start of the pandemic, a record number of cybersecurity startups became unicorns. Investors are pouring cash into firms that solve emerging security problems for…
Europol Report Highlights Pandemic’s Effect on CybercrimeSecurityWeek RSS FeedEuropol’s Serious Organized Crime Threat Assessment report 2021 summarizes the criminal threat of the last four years and provides insights into what to expect over the next four years. While focused on Europe, it will not be substantively…
Nation-State Attackers Taking Over Global Cyber RealmCywareAccording to new research by an academic group, nation-state cyberattacks are becoming more common and varied. The report analyzed over 200 cybersecurity incidents linked with nation-state actors since 2009 and disclosed that there has been a 100%…
The cost of a cyber attack in 2021IT Governance BlogIt’s been rough sailing for organisations in the past year or so. In addition to the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, there are the effects of Brexit, increasing public awareness of privacy rights and regulatory pressure to improve data protection…

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