22 December 2020

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Actions by Governments
  • Colombia to launch mass Covid-19 vaccination in Feb (IANS Live)
  • Coronavirus travel ban: talks with France to reopen full trade are ‘ongoing’ (The Scotsman)
  • Covid-19 wrap | US Congress approves relief package, Netherlands bans all flights from South Africa (News24)
  • Empty streets and squares amid Germany’s second lockdown (Deutsche Welle)
  • Germany and Switzerland ban flights from South Africa over Covid variant (FT.com – Africa)
  • India finds five with coronavirus on UK flight, testing for strain (NationalPost.com)
  • Ireland clearly in the grip of third COVID-19 wave – health chiefs (Today Online)
  • Ireland coronavirus: Pubs may stay closed until March (Mail Online UK)
  • Millions of pounds worth of Scottish seafood at risk as urgent talks take place to lift France border ban (Herald Scotland)
  • New strain of COVID-19 is driving South Africa’s resurgence (Mainichi JP)
  • Relaxed rules will help ease Singapore’s labour crunch: Contractors (The Straits Times All News)
  • Saudi Arabia halts all international travel for 1 week (The Hill)
  • Ski resorts in Switzerland and Austria remain open for Christmas (Telegraph)
  • South Africa says new strain driving resurgence (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
  • South Korea to shut down ski resorts (TownsvilleBulletin.com.au)
  • Sweden’s Covid-19 failures have exposed the myths of the lockdown-sceptics (New Statesman)
  • The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Monday, Dec. 22, 2020 (NationalPost.com)
  • UK – Boris Johnson Calls Emergency Meeting Over New Covid-19 Strain As Growing Number Of Countries Ban U.K. Travel (Forbes.com)
  • UK – Boris Johnson doesn’t rule out schools not reopening at start of January and says measures under ‘constant review’ (Manchester Evening News)
  • UK – Boris Johnson plans mass Covid testing of lorry drivers to reopen ports – The Telegraph (NationalPost.com)
  • UK – Boris Johnson under pressure amid calls for national lockdown to curb new strain of coronavirus (Manchester Evening News)
  • UK – Never mind Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak is central to the UK’s Covid mess (The Guardian)
  • UK and France aim to restart freight as queues grow (BBC News – Business)
  • UK and France to set out plan to restart freight (BBC)
  • UK coronavirus variant is in Belgium, NL, but ‘not yet’ in France (EFE)
  • US – AAA projects far fewer people traveling for holidays in Connecticut, New England as pandemic weighs on plans (Hartford Courant)
  • US – All Apple Stores in California Closed as Virus Surges (NewsMax.com)
  • US – California governor in precautionary coronavirus quarantine (star-telegram.com)
  • US – California governor says new coronavirus strain not yet detected in state (Reuters India)
  • US – California hospitals discuss rationing care as virus surges (star-telegram.com)
  • US – California quelled virus surge with March stay-at-home order. Why isn’t this one working? (star-telegram.com)
  • US – Coronavirus behind death of Rhode Island inmate: report (FOXNews.com)
  • US – Covid-19 vaccinations move to nursing homes as pandemic rages in California (The Straits Times All News)
  • US – Covid-19 wrap | US Congress approves relief package, Netherlands bans all flights from South Africa (News24)
  • US – House Subpoenas Health Secretary And CDC Chief As Documents Suggest Trump Appointees Interfered With Covid-19 Reports (Forbes.com)
  • US – NIAIDNews – NIAID Director, Dr. Anthony Fauci will be rolling up his sleeve tomorrow to get @moderna_tx #COVID19 vaccine alongs… https://t.co/05yBC1AjEG (NIAIDNews – Twitter)
  • US – NIAIDNews – RT @SecAzar: Tomorrow I’ll receive my COVID-19 vaccine @NIH alongside @NIHDirector, @NIAIDNews Dr. Fauci, & several @NIHClinicalCntr frontl… (NIAIDNews – Twitter)
  • US – NIH to Study Allergic Reactions Linked to Covid-19 Shots (Bloomberg Law)
  • US – Number of virus hospitalizations in Nebraska declines again (Washington Times)
  • US – Therapy dogs go virtual at California hospital during pandemic (NationalPost.com)
  • US – U.S. Congress reaches deal on $900B COVID-19 relief package (Global News Canada)
  • US – US House of Representatives approves $900b coronavirus package (GoldCoastBulletin.com.au)
  • WHO’s latest situation report (WHO)
Actions by Companies
  • Amazon Shuts Down Warehouse Before Christmas: Will You Still Get Your Package In Time? (International Business Times)
  • Amazon shuts US warehouse after spike in Covid-19 cases (Abu Dhabi National)
  • Amazon, Target, and Walmart launch last-minute delivery efforts as holidays close in (Business Insider)
  • BNY Mellon: New virus restrictions in Europe could impact markets into the end of the year (CNBC)
  • BioNTech chief executive ‘confident’ Pfizer Covid vaccine works against new coronavirus strain (London Evening Standard)
  • Coal India’s fuel allocation under spot e-auction rises 59% during Apr-Nov (Business Standard India)
  • DocuSign, Check Point lead work from home gainers on new COVID-19 strain, SolarWinds breach tailwinds (Seeking Alpha)
  • EasyJet defers aircraft deliveries in response to pandemic (Yorkshire Evening Post)
  • Egypt among least affected markets by coronavirus: Lenovo (Daily News Egypt)
  • Emirates NBD recognised for Robotic Process Automation powered by Automation Anywhere (WAM.ae Business)
  • European Medicines Agency recommends conditional OK to coronavirus vaccine made by BioNTech and Pfizer (San Antonio Express-News.com)
  • First batch of Pfizer vaccine to arrive in February, says PM (thestar.com.my)
  • Global markets slip, UK coronavirus strain, SoftBank Spac (FT.com – Companies)
  • Google launches new tool to help travel industry recover after suffering loss due to Covid-19 (Indian Express)
  • IKEA unpacks fourth year of losses despite sales boom (Sydney Morning Herald)
  • Investec spin-out launches recovery fund to save South African economy “in… (AltAssets.net)
  • Kia Motors and its union tentatively agree on wage freeze (Korea Joongang Daily)
  • LATAM Airlines shareholder to exit Chile investment vehicle (CH-Aviation)
  • Malaysia buys 6.4 million doses of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine (South China Morning Post – News)
  • NAACP and Experian Pilot Program Helps 21 Homeo… (ADVFN Deutschland)
  • Ooredoo’s ICT solutions ready to take on changing world (Qatar Tribune)
  • Philippines may sign deal with AstraZeneca for 30M doses of COVID vaccine next week (Philippine Star)
  • Royal Mail halts mail to Europe as DHL suspends road deliveries into UK (itv.com)
  • Russia, AstraZeneca sign pact to test combination of Covid-19 shots (Business Standard India)
  • SK Telecom to develop pandemic-fighting AI with Samsung and Kakao (Korea Herald)
  • Singapore gets Asia’s first batch of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine (News5 – InterAksyon)
  • Sinovac secures annual output of 300 million COVID-19 vaccine doses by end of year (Globaltimes.cn)
  • Sinovac’s COVID-19 shot effective in Brazil trials – WSJ (Seeking Alpha)
  • Takashimaya, Anchorpoint Shopping Centre among places visited by Covid-19 cases while infectious (Today Online)
  • Tata Motors to hike prices of commercial vehicles from January 2021 (Livemint.com)
  • Telia says Swedes watched 5% more TV in first 11 months, 11% more streaming (Telecompaper)
  • Trump Covid vaccine czar says ‘extremely low’ chance Pfizer and Moderna shots won’t work against new strain (CNBC)
  • Vodafone terminates talks to sell Egyptian business to Saudi Telecom Company (Abu Dhabi National)
  • Volkswagen India Inaugurates Das WeltAuto Excellence Centre in Ahmedabad and Bengaluru (Yahoo! India)
  • Wipro extends work from home till April 2021 (Business Today India)
  • ‘Pre-COVID life won’t be back in 2021’, says Deutsche Bank’s CIO⁠ — he also says Asia will continue to rise (Business Insider India)
Drugs, Treatments & Vaccines
  • A Neutralizing Monoclonal Antibody for Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19 (New England Journal of Medicine)
  • Anger as Republican lawmakers who played down pandemic jump vaccine queue (The Independent)
  • Biden receives first dose of coronavirus vaccine publicly (TheHill – The Hill News)
  • Biden receives the coronavirus vaccine. (NYT.com U.S.)
  • Doctor who received COVID-19 vaccine wants to be ‘role model for the community’ in getting the jab (FOXNews.com)
  • EU backs first COVID-19 vaccine with Pfizer, BioNTech’s Comirnaty (FirstWord Pharma)
  • Ethical issues in using ambient intelligence in health-care settings (Lancet)
  • Feds Deploying More Than 400,000 Coronavirus Antibody Treatment Courses To States (Forbes.com)
  • France expects national COVID-19 vaccine approval by… (Mail Online UK)
  • In a community devastated by covid-19, vaccine brings hope but not healing (Washington Post)
  • Multiplex assays for the identification of serological signatures of SARS-CoV-2 infection: an antibody-based diagnostic and machine learning study (Lancet)
  • NMDAR antibodies in patients with psychosis (Lancet)
  • Surgeon general calls on coronavirus survivors to donate convalescent plasma (FOXNews.com)
  • Vaccine ‘should stop new variant coronavirus’ (BBC)
Societal & Economic Impact
California hospitals discuss rationing care as virus surgesstar-telegram.comCalifornia’s overwhelmed hospitals are setting up makeshift extra beds for coronavirus patients, and a handful of facilities in hard-hit Los Angeles County are drawing up emergency plans in case they ……
Climate Change Legislation Included in Coronavirus Stimulus DealNYT.com Main NewsThe legislation calls for cutting the use of powerful planet-warming chemicals common in air-conditioners and refrigerators.
Health Officials Fear COVID-19 Pandemic-Related Suicide Spike Among Indigenous YouthTimeF allen pinecones covered 16-year-old Leslie Keiser’s fresh grave at the edge of Wolf Point, a small community on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation on the eastern Montana plains. Leslie, whose father is a member of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux…
House approves $600 stimulus checks in COVID-19 stimulus billNew York PostThe House of Representatives voted Monday to approve a $2.3 trillion package that includes $600 COVID-19 stimulus checks for most Americans. The nearly  5,593-page  bill was published on Monday and now goes to the Senate, which is expected to also…
Indian economy to witness double-digit growth in next fiscal: ReportBusiness Standard IndiaHaving gone through a rough patch on account of the coronavirus pandemic, the Indian economy is expected to record a double-digit growth at 10 per cent in 2021-22, according to a report. Having gone through a rough patch on account of the coronavirus…
New stimulus bill provides $300 per week of enhanced unemployment for 11 weeksCNBCAfter months of negotiations, Congressional Republicans and Democrats have finally come to an agreement on a new $900 billion pandemic relief package , which includes provisions to extend enhanced unemployment benefits to workers experiencing job…
STIMULUS Congress rushes to pass huge Coronavirus relief billboston.comWASHINGTON — Congress was poised on Monday to approve a $900 billion stimulus package that would send billions of dollars to American households and businesses grappling with the economic and health toll of the pandemic. Treasury Secretary Steven…
Sudan Bans Travel from Countries with New Coronavirus Variant from WednesdayAsharq Al-AwsatSudan will ban travelers from Britain, the Netherlands and South Africa from Dec. 23 due to the discovery of a new variant of the coronavirus, the head of the civil aviation authority told Reuters on Monday. The ban will last three weeks subject to…
The U.K. was braced for potential food shortages and disruption to manufacturing Monday if France continued a ban o… https://t.co/3hFrAx0WIzWSJ – TwitterThe U.K. was braced for potential food shortages and disruption to manufacturing Monday if France continued a ban on freight as well as people traveling from Britain in an effort to stop the spread of a new strain of the coronavirus…
What’s in the $900 billion coronavirus relief plan: Stimulus checks, unemployment aid and moreCNBCCongress released a $900 billion coronavirus relief package, which it hopes to pass Monday along with a $1.4 trillion spending bill. The legislation includes a $300 weekly unemployment supplement, $600 direct payments, nearly $300 billion in Paycheck…
Geopolitical Impact
Brexit & Is Boris Johnson feeling the heat?Deutsche WelleThe United Kingdom is set to leave the European Union in less than two weeks with no deal on their future trading arrangements. How is Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government coping with the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit and the economic and…
China delays Australian writer Yang Hengjun’s espionage trial by three months: friendSouth China Morning PostYang, a naturalised Australian citizen known for advocating greater democracy in China, was detained in Guangzhou in January 2019 His case is one of a number of disputes straining relations between Beijing and Canberra, including clashes over…
China issues new requirements for travelers from U.S.Philippines Daily TribuneBEIJING, China (Global Times) — China has tightened requirements for passengers flying in from the US amid a spike in imported Covid-19 cases among those traveling from the US. Despite the inconvenience the stricter rules have created for those…
Chinese peacekeepers in Lebanon build vehicle-mounted living cabinsChina Military OnlineThe interior settings in one of the vehicle-mounted living cabins (Source: Xinhua News Agency) BEIRUT, Dec. 22 — Recently, some members of the 19th Chinese peacekeeping construction engineer contingent to Lebanon moved into the vehicle-mounted…
NBN caught in the middle of a geopolitical stormAustralian Financial ReviewChanticleer NBN Co's fragile supply chain reflects rising geopolitical and trade tensions between the US and China. It could also point to a tectonic shift in global tech leadership. Global supply chains will never be the same thanks to the combination…
Quarantine extended to 21 days for all arrivals, except from mainland China, TaiwanMacau Daily TimesThe government has announced that from 10 p.m. today (Monday) all travellers entering the territory other than from medium risk regions in mainland China and from Taiwan will be required to quarantine for 21 days in designated hotels. These arriving…
The quarantine of the UK is about coronavirus, not BrexitNew StatesmanWhile the British government has acted irresponsibly towards its own citizens, it has been a good neighbour in communicating about the new strain. The European Union and a host of countries across the wider world have closed their borders to the…
UK in crisis amid EU travel ban and mutated coronavirus rampaging uncheckedFrance24British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was in crisis talks Monday, amid an EU ban on UK travel and goods, and the continued breakdown in Brexit talks. The Channel Tunnel was shut for the first time in 12 years, leaving up to 10,000 lorries carrying…
Cybersecurity Impact
BleepinComputer – US seizes domains used for COVID-19 vaccine phishing attacks – @serghei
BleepinComputer – TwitterUS seizes domains used for COVID-19 vaccine phishing attacks – @serghei
Cyber warfare confrontation looms after US hackingThe Straits Times All NewsDecember 22, 2020 5:00 AM After spending most of this year shielding from the coronavirus pandemic by mostly keeping away from public events, Russian President Vladimir Putin braved Moscow's icy winds for a rare appearance at the weekend to attend a…
CyberScoopNews – How the US military used a creepy island to test cyberattacks on the grid — in the middle of a pandemic… https://t.co/BPaZCaS0VHCyberScoopNews – TwitterHow the US military used a creepy island to test cyberattacks on the grid — in the middle of a pandemic https://hubs.ly/H0CSNdc0 by @snlyngaas
Moment of reckoning for cyber securityThe Straits Times All NewsDecember 22, 2020 5:00 AM While full details are yet to be known, the hostile cyber attack effected through the SolarWinds supply chain is clearly the most virulent in recent memory, and bookends a year when a malignant virus of another sort, the one…
Ransomware Attacks Surge in Q3 as Cyber-Criminals Shift TacticsInfosecurity – Latest NewsRansomware Attacks Surge in Q3 as Cyber-Criminals Shift Tactics A record growth in ransomware attacks took place in Q3 of 2020 compared to Q2, from 39% to 51% of all malware attempts, according to …
Securityblog – US seizes domains used for COVID-19 vaccine phishing attacks https://t.co/bDlHPap8gASecurityblog – TwitterUS seizes domains used for COVID-19 vaccine phishing attacks https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/us-seizes-domains-used-for-covid-19-vaccine-phishing-attacks/
Survey of 53 business leaders shows that cybersecurity and data loss are major concerns as the pandemic continues to drive digital trendsClusterstock 15 July 2020, North Rhine-Westphalia, Unna: A policeman checks the temperature of brake disks of a truck in the Kolberg parking lot on the Autobahn 2 in the direction of Hanover. The Unna district police authority, together with the…
US seizes domains used for COVID-19 vaccine phishing attacksBleepingComputer.comThe US Department of Justice has seized two domain names used to impersonate the official websites of biotechnology companies Moderna and Regeneron involved in the development of COVID-19 vaccines. […]
cybersecboardrm – Five ways COVID-19 will change cybersecurity #Cybersecurity #security https://t.co/P4OIKeqYCfcybersecboardrm – TwitterFive ways COVID-19 will change cybersecurity #Cybersecurity #security https://www.helpnetsecurity.com/2020/12/21/covid-19-cybersecurity/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HelpNetSecurity+%28Help+Net+Security%29

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