News ID: 91255
Publish Date : 13 June 2021 - 22:07

BALTIMORE (Reuters) – The U.S. Food & Drug Administration says Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) must throw away millions of doses of its COVID-19 vaccine that were manufactured at a problem-plagued Baltimore factory but also cleared millions for use. Two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters that the agency had cleared about 10 million doses. The New York Times said that the batches being discarded amount to around 60 million doses, citing people familiar with the matter. Without disclosing or confirming the number of vaccine doses, the FDA said in a news release that it had authorized two batches of the vaccine for use, that several other batches were not suitable for use and that others were being evaluated. The agency said it was not yet ready to authorize Emergent BioSolutions Inc’s (EBS.N) plant for manufacturing the J&J vaccine. Production of J&J’s vaccine at the Baltimore site was halted by U.S. authorities in April and J&J was put in charge of manufacturing at the plant. One source familiar with the matter told Reuters that the J&J doses are expected to be exported to other countries. The doses are already in vials and ready for use, the other source said. Safety concerns about the J&J vaccine paired with flagging U.S. demand for vaccinations in general have slowed rollout of the one-shot vaccine to a crawl. Close to half of the 21 million doses produced for the United States sit unused.

TUNIS (AFP) – Youths clashed with officers again Saturday evening, hours after a demonstration in the Tunisian capital, Tunis, to protest police violence following the latest death of a man arrested by police. In the working class district of Sidi Hassine, several dozen young people threw projectiles, including fireworks, at police near the station, an AFP reporter witnessed. Police responded with tear gas. The district has been rocked by angry protests since Tuesday, when the man died after being arrested by police on suspicion of dealing drugs, according to local media. His family has accused the police of having beaten him to death and the authorities have opened an investigation, but the interior ministry denied Thursday that he had died from ill treatment following his arrest. Earlier Saturday, several dozen leftwing activists and residents of working-class districts demonstrated in front of the interior ministry in protest at the death.

BEIJING (Sputnik) – At least 11 people were killed and over 140 injured in a gas explosion in the Chinese province of Hubei, China Central Television reports. The explosion occurred on the territory of a residential complex in the city of Shiyan at 6:30 a.m. local time on Sunday (22:30 GMT on Saturday). According to China Central Television, rescuers have managed to get 144 people from under the rubble, all of them were hospitalized (37 are in critical condition). At least 11 people were killed.

ROME (Sputnik) – A gunman opened fire in the streets of the Italian city of Ardea near Rome, killing two children and an elderly man, the Italian media reported on Sunday. The elderly man reportedly died on the spot, while the children, a three-year-old and an eight-year-old, were hospitalized, but medics were unable to save their lives. The suspect is reported to be a 34-year-old man with a mental illness. Several photos allegedly taken at the scene of the attack have since emerged on social media. “I was there and the situation is now under the control of the police. It saddens me enormously what happened. All the people involved in the incident are local residents, including the person who opened fire. I have provided all the necessary information, I hope the perpetrator will be caught as soon as possible”, the mayor of Ardea, Mario Savarese, told ANSA. “It seems that everything was caused by a pointless quarrel”, he stressed.

MADRID (Reuters) – Thousands of Spaniards protested in Madrid on Sunday against government plans to pardon 12 Catalan politicians who were convicted over the region’s failed independence bid in 2017, a move the demonstrators see as a threat to national unity. Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo gave the clearest indication yet that the pardons of the Catalan separatists were “close” in an interview published on Sunday with La Vanguardia newspaper, but the issue has bitterly divided Spaniards. Around 63% of Spaniards oppose granting the pardons while some 25% backed it and about 6% were indifferent, according to a poll published on Sunday for niusdiario.es, an online newspaper. “We should stop this now because for a pardon you must show contrition, and the separatists will not show that,” Carlos Bandecha, 47, a businessman, said at the rally, where many protesters waved red and yellow national flags. Opposition lawmakers from the conservative People’s Party (PP), the far-right Vox party and the centrist Ciudadanos joined the rally in Madrid’s central Plaza Colon. Asked when Spain’s centre-left government might approve the pardons, Calvo told Vanguardia: “Soon, they are close. After the Supreme Court report arrives, we will immediately follow up on them. They should arrive soon at the cabinet.” Spain’s Supreme Court said in a non-binding report last month that it opposes potential government pardons for the Catalan separatist leaders.

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