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Covid 19 World News – 26 August 2021

  • Japan suspends 1.6 million Moderna doses over contamination fears
    Japan has suspended the use of about 1.63 million doses of the Moderna vaccine due to contamination.  The health ministry said “foreign materials” were found in some doses of a batch of roughly 560,000 vials.
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  • South Korea becomes first major Asian economy to raise interest rates
    South Korea has become the first major Asian economy to raise interest rates since the coronavirus pandemic began.
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  • Coronavirus origins: US intelligence report ‘inconclusive’
     A US intelligence report requested by President Biden into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic is inconclusive, US media reports say.  Agencies are reportedly divided on whether the virus – first seen in China – was the result of a natural spillover from animals to humans or was caused by a laboratory accident.
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  • New Australian Virus Cases Soar Over 1,000 For First Time
    Sydney, Australia: Australia on Thursday reported more than 1,000 new local coronavirus cases for the first time during the pandemic, as a Delta variant outbreak surged in Sydney.
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  • Oxygen firms accused of intimidating Mexican hospitals during pandemic
    In March 2020, Benjamin Espinoza Zavala saw an entire floor of his small hospital in Guanajuato, central Mexico, converted into Covid-19 wards. The hospital’s need for oxygen soared.
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  • Fukushima nuclear plant water to be released into the ocean via undersea tunnel
    TOKYO — The operator of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant said Wednesday it plans to build an undersea tunnel so that massive amounts of treated but still radioactive water can be released into the ocean less than a mile away from the plant to avoid interference with local fishing.
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  • Terror threats hamper Afghanistan evacuation as Biden’s deadline looms
    A grave and specific ISIS terror threat is hanging over the frantic endgame of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan with time fast running out to rescue up to 1,500 Americans and the fate of fleeing Afghans looking darker by the hour.
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  • Australia reports record Covid-19 cases as Sydney hospitals set up emergency tents Australia’s new daily cases of Covid-19 topped 1,000 on Thursday for the first time since the global pandemic began, as two major hospitals in Sydney set up emergency outdoor tents to help deal with a rise in patients.
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  • Canada’s Afghanistan evacuation mission to end today: Report
    After caretaker Prime Minister Justin Trudeau emphasised on Tuesday that Canada was “ready to stay” in Afghanistan beyond August 31 to rescue those seeking to flee, it appears that the country’s evacuation mission there will actually cease in less than 24 hours.
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  • Smooth and effective communication’: China establishes diplomatic contact with Taliban in Kabul
    China has established its first diplomatic contact with the Taliban in Kabul after the militant group took control of Afghanistan and the two sides now have “smooth and effective communication”, a Chinese official said on Wednesday.
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