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Brief. Me - April 15, 2021 11:44 pm

Covid-19: EU leaders to discuss boosting vaccine supplies

BBC News says EU leaders are to hold virtual talks to discuss ways of boosting Covid vaccine supplies and improving the rollout of doses across the 27-nation bloc.

The European Commission will ask leaders to support plans for added controls on vaccine exports, which could affect supply to the UK.

Boris Johnson earlier warned against imposing “blockades”. The virtual summit comes as a third wave of coronavirus infections sweeps across much of mainland Europe.

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PM Johnson doesn’t rule out sending British troops to Yemen if ‘conditions were right’

Arab News says Boris Johnson has said the government would look at sending troops to Yemen if the conditions were right.

He said the situation would have to be very different before British military involvement would be considered.

“There has been no specific request or suggestion for UK engagement, but it is certainly something that we would be prepared to look at if the conditions were right,” Johnson said.

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North Korea test-fires suspected ballistic missiles, in challenge to Biden’s US

France24 says North Korea fired two suspected ballistic missiles into the sea Thursday, in what would be its first substantive provocation to the new US administration of Joe Biden.

Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga said the launches threaten “peace and safety in Japan and the region,” and that Tokyo will closely coordinate with Washington and Seoul on the North’s testing activities.

Officials at an emergency National Security Council meeting in Seoul expressed “deep concern” that the North conducted missile launches while the Biden administration is looking to complete a policy review on North Korea.

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Saudi Arabia says restaurant, salon and barbershop workers must be vaccinated

Arab News says starting in mid-May, coronavirus vaccinations will be mandatory for all barbershop, salon, restaurant, cafe and food outlet workers in Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing said on Wednesday.

Workers will be required to be vaccinated in order to protect public health and curb the spread of the virus. Those who are not vaccinated before the deadline must provide a negative PCR test result every seven days at the expense of the employer.

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‘Brazil is suffocating’: COVID surge creates severe oxygen crisis

Aljazeera says earlier this year, the jungle city of Manaus sent shockwaves across the globe when hospitals ran out of oxygen with lethal consequences – turning the city into the world’s COVID-19 epicentre.

Two months on, Brazil’s COVID catastrophe has never been worse. Now, with new coronavirus variants and a series of grim records of deaths and infections, there are fears that a lack of oxygen supplies seen in Manaus, the Amazonas state capital, could unfold elsewhere.

Brazil is approaching 300,000 COVID deaths and it set another weekly record last week with 2,255 deaths and 513,408 new cases. A lack of sufficient oxygen, intubation drugs and medical supplies could push Brazil’s hospitals closer to collapse in the coming weeks.

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Killing of seven-year-old girl in Myanmar crackdown triggers outrage

TRT World says the shooting death of a seven-year-old girl in her own home has triggered fresh outrage at Myanmar’s military crackdown, with at least 20 children reported killed since the junta took charge last month.

The regime has unleashed a deadly wave of violence as it struggles to quell nationwide protests against the February 1 ouster and arrest of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The 75-year-old Nobel laureate has a court hearing scheduled for Wednesday as she faces a series of criminal charges that could see her permanently barred from political office.

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Virginia Becomes First Southern US State to Abolish Death Penalty 

VOA says Virginia is the first state in the U.S. South to abolish the death penalty.

Democratic Governor Ralph Northam signed a bill outlawing capital punishment in the state, saying it was “the moral thing to do.”

Virginia is the 23rd U.S. state to abolish the death penalty. Virginia has carried out more executions — nearly 1,400 — than any other state since its founding as a colony in the early 1600s.

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Live Updates

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  • Over 50s told to book jab before supplies dip
  • Covid: Jab passports possible ‘after all offered vaccine’

  • Merkel defneds vaccine rollout

  • Covid-19: EU leaders to discuss boosting vaccine supplies
  • PM Johnson doesn’t rule out sending British troops to Yemen if ‘conditions were right’
News Briefing

Many of Thursday’s front pages lead on the prospect of pubs being able to ban drinkers who have not had a Covid vaccination or a recent negative test.

The PM’s suggestion that people may have to prove they have been vaccinated before they can visit a pub makes a number of the front pages.

The Times says the prime minister’s comments mark a “significant change of approach” – after he appeared to rule out the idea just a month ago.

The Daily Telegraph agrees it is a “stark departure”, with ministers previously insisting that vaccine certificates would be “discriminatory”, and out of step with British values.

The paper says Mr Johnson’s tacit approval has “triggered a backlash” from lockdown-sceptic MPs, who argue that giving landlords the power to demand proof of vaccination would take the UK down a “dangerous path” to a “two-tier” system.

According to the Guardian, vaccine certificates could allow pubs to bypass social-distancing rules, and allow customers to crowd together. “No jab, no pint” is the headline in the Sun

News Briefing

YOUR QUESTIONS answered

A spat over Covid vaccine doses has erupted between the European Union and the UK threatens to have far reaching implications over coronavirus jab disruption.

Brussels demanded access to AstraZeneca vaccines manufactured in UK plants to make up for a shortfall after the pharmaceutical giant said it would have to cut the amount of doses delivered to the bloc by the end of March.

What do we know about the dispute? And what potential implications could the rumbling dispute have on future Covid vaccine rollouts? – (ITV)

Recent and upcoming changes

Restrictions are easing across the UK.

In England

Step 1 of the roadmap out of lockdown has begun. Shielding ends on 31 March.

In Scotland

People will be asked to ‘Stay Local’ from 2 April. A timetable for further lockdown easing from 5 April is on GOV.SCOT.

In Wales

The stay at home restriction was lifted on 13 March. Read about the rules on GOV.WALES.

In Northern Ireland

The next review will happen on or before 15 April. You can read the guidance on current restrictions on nidirect.

latest Covid-19 news

For the latest Covid-19 news visit the UK governement website 

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