News ID: 95360
Publish Date : 12 October 2021 - 21:42

MOSCOW (Dispatches) -- Russia has angrily rejected a recent allegation in a British tabloid that it has stolen and used the design for the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to develop its Sputnik V shot. The British tabloid newspaper The Sun published an article on Monday accusing Russia of having “stolen… the vaccine blueprint and crucial documents” ad used it to “help create” Sputnik V. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which promotes and sells Sputnik V, issued a statement, describing the allegations as fake and a “blatant lie based on anonymous sources.” “We find such attacks highly unethical as they undermine the global vaccination effort,” it said. The RDIF argued that the allegations “also make absolutely no sense scientifically as Sputnik V and AstraZeneca use different platforms.” Sputnik V is widely used in Russia and approved for use in over 70 other countries.

MEXICO CITY (Dispatches) -- Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says famous Western firms, including global energy trader Trafigura, have engaged in smuggling fuel into the country. “We have found that some of these famous foreign companies were transporting contraband fuel and Trafigura’s import permit has been suspended,” Lopez Obrador said at a press conference. His remarks marked a new development in a web of corruption investigations of some of the world’s biggest energy traders in several Latin America countries. Dutch energy company Vitol could also face criminal charges for tax evasion as Mexico has launched an investigation into the world’s largest independent energy trader over “irregularities” in the documenting of its refined oil products entering Mexico. Lopez Obrador has previously criticized Western policies toward Latin America. Last month, he urged the United States to put an end to its decades-old trade embargo on Cuba. He described the U.S. sanctions policy as “perverse,” saying that nations should not take advantage of the “misfortune of other peoples” to further their own agenda.

LONDON (AP) — The British government failure to impose a lockdown in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic ranks among England’s worst public health blunders, lawmakers concluded Tuesday in the country’s first comprehensive report on the pandemic. The deadly delay led to thousands of unnecessary deaths and derived from the failure of government ministers to question the recommendations of scientific advisers, resulting in a dangerous level of “groupthink” that caused them to dismiss the more aggressive strategies adopted in East and Southeast Asia, the report said. It was only when Britain’s National Health Service risked being overwhelmed by rapidly rising infections that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government finally ordered a lockdown. in late March 2020.

LA PALMA, Spain (Reuters) -- Over 700 residents were ordered to abandon their homes on Tuesday on the Spanish island of La Palma as red-hot lava advanced towards their neighborhood. As the river of molten magma descended from the Cumbre Vieja volcano in the northeast of the Canary Island, authorities ordered between 700 and 800 inhabitants of La Laguna to leave home with their belongings and pets, according to the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan (Pevolca). Lava gushing from the volcano engulfed a cement plant on Monday, raising clouds of smoke and prompting authorities to instruct people in the area stay at home. Torrents of molten rock have destroyed 1,186 buildings in the three weeks since the eruption, the Canary Islands Volcanic Institute said. About 6,700 people have been evacuated from their homes on La Palma, which has about 83,000 inhabitants.

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A strong earthquake has jolted the Greek island of Crete, three weeks after another temblor killed a man on the island and damaged hundreds of buildings. The Geodynamic Institute in Athens said the earthquake that struck Tuesday morning had a preliminary magnitude of 6.3 and occurred at 12:24 p.m. local time (9:24 a.m. GMT) undersea off the eastern coast of the island. Magnitude 4.1 and 4.5 quakes that are believed to be aftershocks took place minutes later, the institute said. There were no immediate reports of serious damage or injury. Authorities said police and fire crews were checking buildings in eastern Crete for damage. The quake was felt on Greek islands to the east of Crete, including Karpathos, Kassos and Rhodes. Hundreds of people from villages south of the island’s largest city, Heraklion, remain homeless following a 5.8-magnitude quake that struck on Sept. 27.

MANILA (Reuters) -- Nine people have been killed in the Philippines and 11 were missing on Tuesday due to floods and landslides caused by heavy rain from tropical cyclone Kompasu, the national disaster agency said. Kompasu, with maximum sustained winds of 100 kilometers (62 miles) per hour, had absorbed remnants of an earlier cyclone before making landfall in the Philippines on Monday evening. Nearly 1,600 people were evacuated. The disaster agency said it was verifying information from its regional units that reported four people killed in landslides in northern Benguet province and five killed in flash floods in Palawan, an island province in the country’s southwest. Authorities were conducting search and rescue operations for 11 people missing mostly after landslides. The Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7,600 islands is hit by about 20 storms or typhoons annually, bringing heavy rains that trigger deadly landslides.

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