Your Thursday Briefing

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Security scares over the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have jeopardized campaigns to inoculate the world, undercutting religion in two photographs with the potential to be international workhorses and threatening to extend the coronavirus pandemic in poor international locations.

In Malawi, individuals are asking medical doctors find out how to flush the AstraZeneca vaccine from their our bodies. In South Africa, Johnson & Johnson doses have been paused, a repeat blow after the nation dropped the AstraZeneca shot. Two million AstraZeneca doses languish within the Democratic Republic of Congo, the place nobody has been vaccinated.

In international locations the place colonialism and unethical medical practices left a legacy of distrust, well being officers fear about an explosion of antivaccine fervor if a notion takes maintain that wealthy international locations — the place officers worry the 2 photographs could possibly be linked, in very uncommon circumstances, to blood-clotting issues — are dumping second-rate vaccines on poorer ones.

Options: The E.U. introduced yesterday that it was placing belief and cash into the Pfizer-BioNTech shot to salvage its vaccination rollout. However a lot of the world has no such backup plan. The AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are cheaper and simpler to retailer than others, which has made them mainstays of the plans for international inoculations.

Listed below are the newest updates and maps of the pandemic.

In different developments:

  • The Moderna vaccine has been greater than 90 % efficient within the U.S. at defending in opposition to Covid-19 six months after vaccination, the corporate introduced Tuesday.

  • Preserving an airplane’s center seats vacant may scale back passengers’ publicity to airborne coronavirus by 23 to 57 %, researchers reported in a brand new examine.


In mild of the information that the U.S. will pull all its forces from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, NATO’s international and protection ministers agreed yesterday to start withdrawing their 9,600 troops on Could 1 and end “inside a couple of months,” in line with a press release.

In Washington, President Biden formally introduced the U.S. withdrawal, however he warned the Taliban that if Individuals are attacked on the way in which out, “we’re going to defend ourselves and our companions with all of the instruments at our disposal.” Right here’s what you’ll want to know.

The withdrawal will finish the longest conflict in U.S. historical past, however it’s prone to begin one other troublesome chapter for Afghanistan’s folks. It’s unclear what the long run holds and if the preventing will ever cease. Some worry that the whole lot can be misplaced when the Individuals depart.

Private account: “I’m so fearful about my future. It appears so murky. If the Taliban take over, I lose my identification,” mentioned Wahida Sadeqi, 17, a highschool scholar in Kabul. “I used to be born in 2004 and I don’t know what the Taliban did to ladies, however I do know ladies have been banned from the whole lot.”

Context: U.S. intelligence officers paint a grim portrait of what lies forward for Afghanistan, however they don’t anticipate it to grow to be a terror risk to America instantly. Mr. Biden’s resolution to withdraw makes clear his perception that contending with a rising China takes priority.


Simply over two months into his tenure, Mario Draghi, the Italian prime minister, has shaken up a Brussels management that had gave the impression to be asleep on the wheel.

His seizure of a cargo of AstraZeneca vaccines destined for Australia was a turning level for each Europe and Italy — and a transparent signal {that a} new, aggressive and potent pressure had arrived within the European bloc. The E.U. has since approved even broader and harsher measures to curb exports of Covid-19 vaccines badly wanted in Europe.

In his quick time in workplace, Mr. Draghi, famend as the previous European Central Financial institution president who helped save the euro, has rapidly leveraged his European relationships, his ability in navigating E.U. establishments and his almost messianic popularity to make Italy a participant on the continent in a method it has not been in many years.

Muldrow Glacier, within the shadow of Denali in Alaska, is at the moment transferring at as much as 90 toes a day, about 100 instances sooner than regular. This uncommon surge has provoked the delight of glaciologists, who’ve seized on the possibility to check it.

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