As countries around the world try to combat the latest wave of coronavirus infections by expanding vaccine access, China is trying to boost its vaccination rate through a combination of rewards and punishments. As of April 11, Beijing had administered 167.3 million doses of vaccine across the country but that's still far from the goal of vaccinating 560 million people, or about 40% of the population, by the end of June. Different cities and institutions have deployed different tactics to reach that goal. In some, citizens can get freebies for getting vaccinated, in others, teachers have asked parents to share whether they have been vaccinated, and in extreme cases, private companies have forced employees to get the jab or be fired. In the southern industrial hub of Shenzhen, for instance, banners hang across major streets with slogans calling on citizens to get vaccinated and in one case, a teacher reportedly pressured parents to share their vaccination status in a WeChat … [Read more...] about COVID-19: Why is China’s vaccination rate so low?
To have high ground
A drill-rapping jihadist has been jailed for life for plotting a terrorist attack using a Gladiator-style sword, balaclava and combat vest, just weeks after he was released from prison. Sahayb Munye Abu, 27, from Goodmayes, East London, is among a growing number of former prisoners causing concern for the authorities following attacks at Fishmongers' Hall and Streatham. It can be disclosed that Abu was jailed for breaking into a jewellery store in a suspected effort to raise funds to travel abroad for terrorism. Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player Abu was convicted in March 2021 He was not charged with a terrorist offence but he mixed with other convicts in Wandsworth prison, including Husnain Rashid, who had been sentenced to 19 years for encouraging attacks on Prince George at his school. Abu also associated with Abuthaher Mamun, who had been jailed for 13 years for showing Islamic State videos to schoolchildren. … [Read more...] about Drill-rapping jihadist Sahayb Abu jailed for life for plotting terror attack with Gladiator-style sword
More than every second person in the world now has a cellphone, and manufacturers are rolling out bigger, better, slicker models all the time. Many, however, have a bloody history. Though made in large part of plastic, glass, ceramics, gold and copper, they also contain critical resources. The gallium used for LEDs and the camera flash, the tantalum in capacitors and indium that powers the display were all pulled from the ground — at a price for nature and people. "Mining raw materials is always problematic, both with regard to human rights and ecology", said Melanie Müller, raw materials expert of the German think tank SWP, "Their production process is pretty toxic." The gallium and indium in many phones comes from China or South Korea, the tantalum from the Democratic Republic of Congo or Rwanda. All in, such materials comprise less than ten grams of a phone's weight. But these grams finance an international mining industry that causes radioactive earth dumps, poisoned … [Read more...] about Toxic and radioactive: The damage from mining rare elements
Germany is getting 500 more US troops. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made the announcement at a news conference with German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer on Tuesday in Berlin. "These forces will strengthen deterrence and defense in Europe," Austin said. "And, if necessary, fight and win." If the deployment bears out, which Austin said could happen as early as the fall, it would reflect a sharp departure from the policies of Former President Donald Trump. In 2020, Trump said he wanted to move as many as 12,000 US troops out of Germany — as well as the headquarters of the US military's European and African Commands. President Joe Biden ordered that decision paused for review shortly after taking office in January. "Today's visit and the approval of new troops send a very strong signal about the alliance between America and Germany," Kramp-Karrenbauer said. "The American decision to do this encourages us in Germany to further contribute" to strengthening both … [Read more...] about Germany, US revive security cooperation
A megaship which blocked Egypt 's Suez Canal and crippled world trade for nearly a week has been 'seized' on court orders until the vessel's owners pay $900 million, canal authorities said Tuesday. The MV Ever Given was seized due to its failure to pay $900 million in compensation, Suez Canal Authority chief Osama Rabie was quoted as saying by Al-Ahram, a state-run newspaper. The Japanese-owned, Taiwanese operated and Panama flagged vessel got diagonally stuck in the narrow but crucial global trade artery in a sandstorm on March 23, setting in motion a mammoth six-day-long effort by Egyptian personnel and international salvage specialists to dislodge it. A megaship which blocked Egypt's Suez Canal and crippled world trade for nearly a week has been 'seized' on court orders until the vessel's owners pay $900 million, canal authorities said Tuesday The MV Ever Given was seized due to its failure to pay $900 million in compensation, Suez Canal Authority chief … [Read more...] about Egypt ‘seizes’ megaship Ever Given which blocked the Suez Canal until the owners pay $900MILLION compensation