21 April 2021

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Actions by Governments
  • Armin Laschet: is the conservative alliance pick ‘too nice’ to be Germany’s next chancellor? (The Guardian)
  • Canada looks at travel curbs as US border ban extended (FT.com – Companies)
  • Chile vets accused of using dog coronavirus vaccines on people (Philippine Daily Inquirer)
  • Coronavirus digest: Netherlands lifts curfew, opens cafes (Deutsche Welle)
  • Deep links to China’s growth help South Korea, Australia ‘odd couple’ weather coronavirus economic storm (South China Morning Post)
  • Do Sweden’s COVID liberties cost lives? (Deutsche Welle)
  • Made in Germany – Reinventing Mobility (Deutsche Welle)
  • Norway Proposes Further Postponement, Extension of Temporary Tax Payment Deferral Regime Due to Coronavirus (Bloomberg Law)
  • PM told Dyson he would ‘fix’ tax issue and the passport helping Denmark open up (BBC)
  • Photos: A Deadly Second Wave of COVID-19 in India (Atlantic.com – The Wire)
  • Post-COVID-19 Canada: What the federal budget tells us about the end of the pandemic (Global News Canada)
  • Protesters gather as Germany debates COVID-19 lockdown law (Mail Online UK)
  • Russia says Iran nuclear talks to resume next week after consultations (NationalPost.com)
  • The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada for Tuesday, April 20, 2021 (NationalPost.com)
  • The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Tuesday, April 20, 2021 (NationalPost.com)
  • UK – Boris Johnson ‘sent texts to Sir James Dyson saying he would “fix” tax issue for staff (Mail Online UK)
  • UK – Boris Johnson confirms ‘path to freedom’ on June 21 on track despite third wave fears (Liverpool Echo)
  • UK – Boris Johnson launches search for virus ‘pill’ to treat Covid at home, with new wave expected in winter (Newcastle Evening Chronicle)
  • UK – Boris Johnson’s refusal to admit victory over Covid comes at a high cost  (Telegraph)
  • UK – UK government must save Liberty Steel soon to protect supply chain jobs, warns Labour (The Guardian)
  • US – 5 California counties move to orange COVID-19 restrictions, Sacramento stays in red (Sacramento Bee)
  • US – COVID-19 hospitalizations up 20% in Alabama in 10 days (seattlepi.com)
  • US – Daily coronavirus updates: Connecticut’s hospitalizations, daily positivity rate tick up; metrics overall remain close to flat (Hartford Courant)
  • US – Expert who spoke to Whitmer on new orders: Michigan is ‘losing the race to the virus’ (star-telegram.com)
  • US – Illinois coronavirus positivity rate falls back below 4%: ‘Things are looking up a little bit’ (Chicago Sun-Times)
  • US – Massive supply imbalance fueled by vaccine hesitancy: Illinois’ latest struggles with COVID-19 mass vaccination (star-telegram.com)
  • US – Minnesota launches program to help pay rents; many have fallen behind during pandemic (TwinCities.com)
  • US – Santa Barbara County among 5 joining orange tier as California’s reopening continues (Los Angeles Times)
  • US – The COVID-19 disaster that did not happen in Texas (Chicago Sun-Times)
  • US – The state of COVID-19 in North Dakota (Global News Canada)
  • WHO’s latest situation report (WHO)
  • What Germany’s Next Leader Means for Europe and the World Order (Bloomberg)
  • Who are the rivals to lead Germany after Chancellor Merkel? (BBC)
  • Why have Britain’s poorest been hit so much harder by the pandemic than those in France and Germany? (The Independent)
  • foreigners in Japan head elsewhere for shots; Modi urges India to avoid lockdowns despite infection surge (South China Morning Post)
  • ‘It is much worse this time’: India’s devastating second wave (Financial Times – US homepage)
Actions by Companies
  • Absa forces out first Black CEO (ChannelAfrica.co.za)
  • American Airlines says it will resume hiring pilots this fall as travel demand recovers (CNBC)
  • American Airlines to start hiring pilots again for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began (Dallas Morning News)
  • AstraZeneca supply woes outside India resolved, says Unicef (Gulf Times)
  • Bajaj Auto will aggressively participate in the EV space, in India and overseas: Rakesh Sharma, ED (Hindu Business Line)
  • COVID-19 update for April 20: British Columbians 30 and older can register for vaccine | NACI to update AstraZeneca guidelines today | Record hospitalizations as infant dies (VancouverSun.com)
  • Cell C: Slowly, steadily goes the turnaround (Daily Maverick)
  • China Shenhua says Australian state to buy out coal mine permit for $77 mln (Nasdaq)
  • Discord ends sale talks with Microsoft, likely to pursue IPO: Sources (Business Standard India)
  • FirstRand Bank, South Africa’s second largest bank, to exit India after 12 years (Economic Times)
  • HSBC bosses swap plush executive floor for hot desking (Yahoo! Finance UK and Ireland)
  • Hero MotoCorp takes a break (Calcutta Telegraph)
  • Hero MotoCorp to stop production for ten days due to rising Covid-19 cases (Livemint.com)
  • J&J to resume COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Europe (New York Post)
  • J&J to resume rollout of Covid-19 vaccine in Europe with safety warning (Today Online)
  • J&J vaccine rollout to resume in Europe with blood clot warnings (TheAge.com)
  • JR West to transfer up to 300 employees on loan (Japan Times)
  • Japan Post to sell part of Australia’s Toll logistics for $6.5 mil. (Mainichi JP)
  • Johnson & Johnson to Resume European Union Vaccine Rollout (NYT.com Main News)
  • Johnson & Johnson to resume vaccine rollout in Europe (CNBC)
  • M&G reopens £2bn property fund after trapping investors for 17 months (Telegraph)
  • Netflix set to report earnings after the bell (CNBC)
  • Netflix will spend $17 billion on content this year as pandemic restrictions loosen and production resumes (Business Insider)
  • Reliance to provide oxygen to gasping states (Deccan Herald)
  • Roche confirms 2021 outlook as diagnostics sales… (Mail Online UK)
  • Sabic urges global collaboration in post-pandemic era (Gulf Industry Online)
  • Saskatchewan expands AstraZeneca age eligibility to 40, extends public health orders (Global News Canada)
  • Saudi Arabia’s Al Rajhi Bank reports first quarter profit surges 40% on stronger economic recovery (Abu Dhabi National)
  • Sinovac vaccine gives 70 per cent less protection against South African variant, but Hongkongers urged to still get jab (South China Morning Post – News)
  • South Sudan Halts Use of Doses of Covid-19 AstraZeneca Jab (AllAfrica.com)
  • Sweden will give different second vaccine dose to people under 65 who had first dose of AstraZeneca (CNN Philippines)
  • Sweden’s Handelsbanken posts profit beat, says cost cuts on track (Nasdaq)
  • Tata Steel supplying 200-300 tons oxygen for treatment of COVID-19 patients (DNA India)
  • Tata, Reliance groups pledge help to increase production, supply of medical oxygen for Covid-19 patients (India Today)
  • Why limiting AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccines over blood clot fears could do more harm than good (South China Morning Post)
Drugs, Treatments & Vaccines
  • Antibody response induced by mRNA vaccination differs from natural SARS-CoV-2 infection (News-Medical.Net)
  • Can fingerprick blood tests help evaluate antibody response and longevity against SARS-CoV-2 post-vaccination? (News-Medical.Net)
  • Characterization of lab-produced neutralizing antibodies targeting SARS-CoV-2 (News-Medical.Net)
  • Humoral immunity developed by DNA vaccine INO-4800 is effective against SARS-CoV-2 variants (News-Medical.Net)
  • Johnson & Johnson sells $100m of coronavirus vaccines in first quarter (FT.com – Companies)
  • Mass. reports 79,162 new COVID-19 vaccinations (Boston Globe)
  • Mexico president receives AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19 (Mail Online UK)
  • Thailand gov’t negotiating to buy Pfizer coronavirus vaccine (The Washington Times stories: News)
  • UK Government launches COVID-19 Antivirals Taskforce (Pharmafile)
  • ‘I feel completely back to myself’: Coronavirus vaccines helping some long haulers but not others, for reasons not yet known (Cleveland.com)
Societal & Economic Impact
Australia must learn the lessons of this pandemic when it comes to climate changeCanberra TimesThe coronavirus pandemic has exposed a global lack of resilience as a result of a collective failure to assess and act on national risks and vulnerabilities in the face of a rapidly changing world. The pandemic has also exposed both unrealistic…
B.C. budget projects deficits in each of the next 3 years as part of its COVID-19 recovery planCBCTotal debt to rise from $87 billion to $127 billion in the next 3 years The B.C. government is projecting a $9.7 billion deficit in this year's $69 billion budget — and additional deficits in the next two years — as it recovers from the effects of the…
Central banks to pour money into major economies despite sharp reboundBusiness Standard IndiaThe outlook suggests officials still want to guarantee the recovery from last year's coronavirus recession by maintaining ultra-low borrowing costs and asset-buying programs The aggressive rebound in global economic growth still isn’t enough for most…
European Central Bank meets as new coronavirus lockdowns complicate the region’s recoveryCNBCRecent economic figures do point to a stronger-than-expected economic recovery. And further coronavirus lockdowns across the euro zone won't likely warrant further action by the central bank. FRANKFURT — With a policy change pretty much off the table…
German court throws out challenge against EU virus recovery fundHeraldSun.com.au Breaking NewsThe German Constitutional Court on Wednesday threw out a legal challenge that had stopped Europe's biggest economy from ratifying a 750-billion-euro ($885 billion) EU coronavirus recovery fund.
Heard on the Street: Apple’s tablet and PC sales got a strong boost from the Covid-19 pandemic. Changed work habits should keep demand elevated. hxxps://on[.]wsj[.]com/3aKpehhWSJ – TwitterHeard on the Street: Apple’s tablet and PC sales got a strong boost from the Covid-19 pandemic. Changed work habits should keep demand elevated. hxxps://on[.]wsj[.]com/3aKpehh
Japan weighs state of emergency for Tokyo, Osaka regions amid virus surgePhilippine Daily InquirerTOKYO — Japan’s government is considering a state of emergency for Tokyo and Osaka as new COVID-19 case numbers surge, broadcaster NHK reported on Wednesday, a move that would enable prefectural authorities to impose curbs to try to stop infections…
Police captain commits suicide after catching Covid-19 virus Published : April 21, 2021The Nation – ThailandPolice captain commits suicide afte… A policeman committed suicide while being treated for Covid-19 at a Bangkok hospital, the Royal Thai Police (RTP) said on Wednesday. Police Captain Boonchu Panklin, 59, hanged himself in a restroom at the Police…
Suicide rate ‘did not rise during first lockdown’BBCThe number of suicides in England did not rise following the first national lockdown in 2020, research has found. Charities had reported more people seeking mental health support, leading to fears the number of suicides would also increase. But…
Unemployment benefits ended prematurely for 300,000 workers during pandemic, study saysFOXBusiness.comLa Goulue partner Hassan El Garrahy says he is struggling to find ‘reliable, qualified staff’ for his restaurants. At least 300,000 out-of-work Americans have seen their unemployment benefits cut short during the coronavirus pandemic due to an…
Geopolitical Impact
2020 Wine Consumption Up In Brazil, Down In China And Flat In U.S.Forbes.comGlobal wine consumption fell only 3% during 2020, according to the OIV in Paris, in their annual state of industry report today. The decline was primarily due to the impact of Covid, reported Pau Roca, Director General of the OIV, who compared it to…
China, Russia’s ruling parties meet amid rising US pressureGlobal TimesThe Communist Party of China (CPC) and the United Russia party, the ruling political party of Russia, hold their ninth meeting of dialogue via video link on Tuesday. Photo: courtesy of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee The…
HK suspends flights from India, Pakistan, PhilippinesEmirates-Business.aeBloomberg Hong Kong banned flights from India, Pakistan and the Philippines for 14 days starting from Tuesday as the city reported the first two cases with highly transmissible virus variant in the community over the weekend. Visitors who have stayed…
Pakistan slaps two-week ban on travelers from IndiaIndia BloomsPakistan has enforced a two-week ban on travellers from India through air and land routes, citing the spread of a new variant of the novel coronavirus in its neighboring country, Dawn reported. A statement from Pakistan’s National Command and…
Pandemic hits UK household finances harder than EU peersFT.com – UK NewsBigger income shock caused by the inadequacy of the UK’s welfare safety net, says report
Press review: What to expect from Putin’s annual address and NATO boosts eastern presenceItar TassTop stories in the Russian press on Wednesday, April 21 Izvestia: What to expect from Putin’s address to parliament This year’s presidential address to Russia’s Federal Assembly may become a landmark one, just like the 2020 speech, when Russian…
Russia, China pose increasing threats in, officials sayUPIApril 20 (UPI) — Defense officials told lawmakers Tuesday that China and Russia are both working to increase their nuclear capabilities — and are increasing threats in space. "For the first time in our history, the nation is facing two…
The Impending Geopolitical Battle Over the Dalai Lama’s ReincarnationSlate MagazineOn a rainy afternoon on Sunday, April 11, Rinzin Lhundup was a quiet presence, listening to his friends intently as they chatted about the day’s proceedings over cups of steaming hot butter tea. The reticent 50-year-old, who works as a housekeeper in…
War tension over South China SeaBusiness MirrorCHINA’S aggressive building of man-made islands and the recent presence of hundreds of Chinese fishing vessels and/or paramilitary ships over the South China Sea could provide a flashpoint for a big war. According to the 2020 “Powerindix of the Global…
‘Claims of weak border control, SOP compliance in Ba Kelalan way off the mark’Borneo Post OnlineSam Laya MIRI (April 21): There has neither been any uncontrolled entry of Indonesians into Ba Kelalan nor non-compliance with the standard operating procedures (SOP) pertaining to the supply of food and construction materials under the bilateral…
‘Peter Grimes’ Sails on Choppy Seas of Brexit and the PandemicNYT.com EuropeA production of Benjamin Britten’s opera at the Teatro Real in Madrid highlights the difficult new conditions for British artists working in the European Union.
Cybersecurity Impact
Cybersecurity only the tip of the iceberg for third-party risk managementHelp Net Security – NewsMost companies are missing key risks at more than one stage of the vendor risk lifecycle, yet few are expanding their TPRM programs to address these risks, according to Prevalent. Increased focus on third-party risk due to COVID-19 COVID-19 was…
Giving Ransomware the Boot with CentraGuardiCore BlogRansomware. Yikes.  WannaCry, NotPetya, Ryuk – they’ve unfortunately become part of our everyday lingo. Whether you’re proactively defending against it, fighting it currently, or reverse engineering it – ransomware has become a big part of…
How to Turbocharge Your Phishing Response PlanRapid7 Community : Blog List – MetasploitA quick reaction to a phishing threat can mean the difference between a massive breach or a fast fix. This reaction typically requires strong coordination across non-tech…
North Korea-linked Lazarus APT hides malicious code within BMP image to avoid detectionSecurity AffairsNorth Korea-linked Lazarus APT group is abusing bitmap (.BMP) image files in a recent spear-phishing campaign targeting entities in South Korea. Experts from Malwarebytes have uncovered a spear-phishing attack conducted by a North Korea-linked …
North Yorkshire Police launch video to highlight rise in cyberstalkingitv.comNorth Yorkshire Police have launched a new video highlighting the rise in cyberstalking during the pandemic. The force has said they have seen the number of cyberstalking incidents reported to them have doubled over the last year. Cyberstalking…
Protecting agents working from home should be priority in war against cyberattacksPhilippine Daily InquirerThe pandemic has led to many workplaces adopting a hybrid setup where a number of its employees work from home and while it has since become a norm, cybersecurity threats remain as work devices can be quite vulnerable being outside the protection of…
Ransomware 2021 has evolved. Are you keeping up with network security?Security Bloggers NetworkAs we head deeper into 2021, it’s beginning to feel like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and we can all take a deep breath. 2020 was a tumultuous year, one marked by a global pandemic, natural disasters and civil unrest. Last year also…
Scammers stole the driver’s license numbers of some Geico customers in a data breach, and they could be used to file for fraudulent unemployment benefitsClusterstockYouTube/GEICO Some Geico customers had their driver's licence number compromised. The insurer said a security bug may have been exploited for unemployment fraud, TechCrunch reported….
UK to force tech firms to disclose device security plans amid cyber fearsCity A.M.Tech firms could be forced to tell customers how long their products will be guaranteed to receive security updates under draft new laws outlined today. Manufacturers including Apple, Samsung and Google would have to make upfront disclosures for smart…

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