Canada health official says ‘no’ to Russian COVID-19 vaccine

Ottawa: The Russian novel coronavirus vaccine will likely not be approved in Canada at this time, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Howard Njoo told reporters on Tuesday, citing lack of data. Coronavirus vaccine Earlier in the day, President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia became the first country in the world to register a novel coronavirus …


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coronavirus vaccine

Ottawa: The Russian novel coronavirus vaccine will likely not be approved in Canada at this time, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Howard Njoo told reporters on Tuesday, citing lack of data.

Coronavirus vaccine

Earlier in the day, President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia became the first country in the world to register a novel coronavirus vaccine.

“No, I do not think so. Far too much information is missing,” Njoo said regarding the possibility Canada may approve the Russian vaccine.

Njoo said he found the approval of the vaccine in Russia “surprising” given the testing timelines – from initial discovery to approval – that Canadian scientists and experts use.

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr Theresa Tam said the developments to produce a vaccine are exciting and she continues to work with counterparts abroad.

500 million in 12 months

Russian officials said the country is capable of producing 500 million doses of the vaccine in the next 12 months, with production expected to be conducted abroad as well and clinical trials set to start soon in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines.


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American who wanted to become LeT executioner sentenced to 15 years

By Arul LouisNew York, Aug 12 : An American who wanted to go to Pakistan to become an executioner for the Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) terrorist organisation has been sentenced in a US federal court here to 15 years in prison. Federal Judge Ronnie Abrams sentenced on Tuesday Jesus Wilfredo Encarnacion, who had admitted before the judge …


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American who wanted to become LeT executioner sentenced to 15 years

By Arul Louis
New York, Aug 12 : An American who wanted to go to Pakistan to become an executioner for the Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) terrorist organisation has been sentenced in a US federal court here to 15 years in prison.

Federal Judge Ronnie Abrams sentenced on Tuesday Jesus Wilfredo Encarnacion, who had admitted before the judge in January to “attempting to provide material support” to the LeT, which carried out the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed more than 170 people.

“Encarnacion plotted to travel abroad, to join and train with Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, infamous worldwide for the jihadist murder of innocent civilians, and to carry out shootings, bombings, and beheadings in behalf of that terrorist the organisation,” said Audrey Strauss, the acting federal prosecutor in New York, after the sentencing.

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C Demers said, “The National Security Division remains committed to identifying and holding accountable those who seek to join and support designated foreign terrorist organisations.

Encarnacion, 30, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at New York’s JFK Airport in February last year when he tried to take a flight to Europe on his way to Pakistan to join the LeT.

He and his LeT recruiter Michael Kyle Sewell had been tracked by undercover FBI agents or informants, who recorded their interactions, which were introduced in court filings obtained by IANS.

Sewell was only 18 years at that time and has been sentenced in September to 20 years in prison for his role in the conspiracy.

In the filings in the Encarnacion case, Sewell is not identified by name, but by comparing those with documents in his case in a Texas federal court IANS was able to connect them.

Court documents show that Encarnacion is a new convert to Islam.

A chilling portrait of Encarnacion, who used the identities “Jihadistsoldgier,” “Jihadinhear,” “Jihadinheart” and “Lionofthegood,” emerges from the transcripts of interactions between him, Sewell and undercover federal agents.

Encarnacion said, “I want to fight. I want to execute. I want to behead,” and pleaded, “Please. I want to kill on video. Terrify our enemies.”

Encarnacion wrote to an undercover government employee: “You guys are against India. I read up on ya. You are beefing with India over Muslim land. I (expletive) hate Hindus. They can go to hell and I’m going to help you.”

“Will I live in Pakistan? I want to fight. I want to execute. I want to behead,” he wrote.

In a transcript Encarnacion said: “Kuffar treat me bad,” but does not further identify the “Kuffar” or what they did.

He initially wanted to join the Islamic State terrorist organization, but Sewell directed him to the LeT, presciently predicting the doom of IS.

“There is no point in fighting for them. They have no territory,” Sewell told him suggesting he join the LeT that has Pakistan’s backing.

According to a court document, Encarnacion has described himself as a Dominican. But it was not apparent if he was an immigrant from the Caribbean nation of Dominican Republic or had been born in the US.

(Arul Louis can be reached at arul.l@ians.in and followed on Twitter at @arulouis)

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.


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Donald Trump Announces Sixth Vaccine Contract, For 100 Million Doses

President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced a $1.5 billion contract with US biotech company Moderna for 100 million doses of an eventual coronavirus vaccine, the sixth such deal reached since May.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced a $1.5 billion contract with US biotech company Moderna for 100 million doses of an eventual coronavirus vaccine, the sixth such deal reached since May.

‘Is judge who is MP’s son unfair?’: SC on plea in Dubey encounter probe

New Delhi, Aug 11 : Chief Justice S.A. Bobde on Tuesday asked a petitioner, who expressed apprehensions about the Vikas Dubey encounter probe panel’s chief, Justice B.S. Chauhan (retd), as he has relatives in the BJP, if belonging to a political party is an illegal act. The bench, headed by the Chief Justice and also …


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'Is judge who is MP's son unfair?': SC on plea in Dubey encounter probe

New Delhi, Aug 11 : Chief Justice S.A. Bobde on Tuesday asked a petitioner, who expressed apprehensions about the Vikas Dubey encounter probe panel’s chief, Justice B.S. Chauhan (retd), as he has relatives in the BJP, if belonging to a political party is an illegal act.

The bench, headed by the Chief Justice and also comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian, said there are judges who have relatives in the Parliament.

“Are they not fair? There are judges whose father is an MP. They are not fair judges? Is belonging to a political party an illegal act?” the Chief Justice asked the petitioner, advocate Ghanshyam Upadhyay.

As the lawyer cited several articles and raised doubts on the fairness of the committee headed by Justice Chauhan, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Uttar Pradesh government, submitted that the plea’s content has derogatory material.

Mehta argued the petitioner was implying that a former judge of the Supreme Court is connected to the government. “This is what he is saying! Being public spirited is one thing and levelling such aspersions is another. This is derogatory. Highly derogatory!” he added.

The bench replied: “We will not cast aspersions on a former judge of this court on the basis of a newspaper report.”

Upadhyay claimed that Uttar Pradesh was fast becoming a state of encounters and there was an encounter of Rakesh Pandey a few days ago. To this, the bench replied that the lawyer was citing irrelevant material, as thousands of crimes would happen in a state. “How it is connected with the issue in contention?” it asked, but asked the lawyer to give suggestions in writing and reserved the order.

On July 22, the apex court accepted the appointment of a three-member inquiry commission headed by former top court judge Justice B.S. Chauhan into the encounter, and asked it to submit its report within two months to the court and the Uttar Pradesh government.

“We direct that the notification constituting the Commission and incorporating the Terms of Reference as approved by us, shall be issued immediately. The Commission shall sit at Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh and start functioning within a period of one week from today,” said the bench.

The other two members of the commission are Allahabad High Court’s former judge, Justice Shashi Kant Agarwal and former Director General of Police K.L. Gupta.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.


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WHO in contact with Russia on new COVID-19 vaccine: spokesman

Geneva, Aug 12 : The World Health Organization (WHO) is in close contact with Russia regarding a possible pre-qualification of the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine, a WHO spokesman said. “We are in close contact with the Russian health authorities and discussions are underway regarding a possible pre-qualification of the vaccine by WHO,” WHO spokesman Tarik …


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WHO in contact with Russia on new COVID-19 vaccine: spokesman

Geneva, Aug 12 : The World Health Organization (WHO) is in close contact with Russia regarding a possible pre-qualification of the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine, a WHO spokesman said.

“We are in close contact with the Russian health authorities and discussions are underway regarding a possible pre-qualification of the vaccine by WHO,” WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said at a virtual press briefing on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported.

“The pre-qualification of any vaccine involves rigorous review and evaluation of all the data required for safety and efficacy” in clinical trials, said Jasarevic, adding that at the WHO level, this process would be the same for any vaccine candidate.

“Each country has national regulatory bodies that approve the use of vaccines or drugs in its territory,” he said. “Manufacturers are asking for WHO pre-qualification because it is a kind of seal of quality.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that his country has registered the world’s first vaccine against the novel coronavirus.

Putin said he hoped that the mass production of the vaccine registered in Russia should begin in the near future, and vaccination will be available to everyone in the country voluntarily.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said that she expected the production of the vaccine to start at the end of August or the beginning of September and health workers will be the first to be vaccinated.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.


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US TikTok Ban Could Cut App From App Stores: White House Document

President Donald Trump’s executive order banning China’s TikTok could prevent US app stores from offering the popular short-video app and make advertising on the platform illegal, according to a White…

President Donald Trump's executive order banning China's TikTok could prevent US app stores from offering the popular short-video app and make advertising on the platform illegal, according to a White...

Trump Says “Surprised” At Joe Biden’s Pick For “Meanest, Horrible” Harris

President Donald Trump on Tuesday called Kamala Harris the “most horrible” member of the US Senate and said he was “surprised” Joe Biden had picked her as his vice presidential candidate.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday called Kamala Harris the "most horrible" member of the US Senate and said he was "surprised" Joe Biden had picked her as his vice presidential candidate.

Israel closes Gaza crossing

Tel Aviv, Aug 11 : Israel on Tuesday closed the main cargo crossing with the Gaza Strip, after militants in the besieged Palestinian enclave launched incendiary balloons into Israeli territory. “The Kerem Shalom Crossing will be closed, with the exception of the entry of essential humanitarian equipment and fuel,” Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in …


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Israel closes Gaza crossing

Tel Aviv, Aug 11 : Israel on Tuesday closed the main cargo crossing with the Gaza Strip, after militants in the besieged Palestinian enclave launched incendiary balloons into Israeli territory.

“The Kerem Shalom Crossing will be closed, with the exception of the entry of essential humanitarian equipment and fuel,” Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories said in a statement.

The measure is a response to “the continued launching of incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip into the territory of the State of Israel”, the statement said, adding that the move followed an order by Defence Minister Benny Gantz, reports Xinhua news agency.

Israel believes that the balloons are sent by militant opposition groups in Gaza but it holds Hamas, the Islamic Movement that runs Gaza, responsible.

“The IDF and the state of Israel will respond firmly to any violation of our sovereignty and our citizens,” the statement warned.

It added that the balloons “harm the residents of the Gaza Strip, the development of the economy and attempts to improve the civilian situation of its residents”.

Local Israeli media reported that balloons attached to incendiary devices have caused more than 30 fires around border communities.

Commentators on Palestinian and Israeli media said the balloons often aim to pressure Israel to allow the transfer of Qatari money to Gaza amidst an escalating financial and humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian enclave.

Israel and Hamas had fought three rounds of war with occasional bursts of violence between them.

Over the past months, both sides kept an unofficial ceasefire.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.


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Is it safe to ride public transit during the pandemic?

Washington: Is it safe to ride public transit during the coronavirus pandemic? It depends on a variety of factors, but there are ways to minimise risk. The main way that the virus spreads is through droplets people spray when they talk, cough or sneeze. That means the best way to reduce the spread of infection …


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Motorcyclist driving his motorbike.

Washington: Is it safe to ride public transit during the coronavirus pandemic?

It depends on a variety of factors, but there are ways to minimise risk.

The main way that the virus spreads is through droplets people spray when they talk, cough or sneeze. That means the best way to reduce the spread of infection on public transit and elsewhere is to wear and mask and stay 6 feet from others, experts say.

Transit systems around the world are requiring riders to wear masks and encouraging people to socially distance. Compliance could vary, especially as ridership levels start rebounding and trains and buses get more crowded. But there are other steps you can take to make trips less risky.

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention suggests travelling during non-peak hours, avoiding crowded spots in stations and stops, and skipping rows between seats when possible.

Surfaces are also believed to pose a risk, though to a lesser degree, and transit systems are employing a variety of cleaning techniques.

Moscow and Shanghai have experimented with germ-killing ultraviolet light and Hong Kong has deployed a robot that sprays hydrogen peroxide. In New York, subways are shut down overnight overnight for cleaning.

Even so, the CDC says to avoid touching surfaces such as turnstiles and handrails if you can.

Though much remains unknown about the virus and how it spreads, experts note there have not yet been any major outbreaks linked to transit systems.


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