Two New Vaccines Could Be Authorised In December
Following on from the news of both the new Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine having an over 90% effectiveness rate the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen said that the European Medicines Agency could begin marketing the two new vaccines before the end of December. Currently the Commission has signed contracts with five vaccine manufacturers those being BioNTech, CureVac, AstraZeneca, Johnson and Johnson and Sanofi. Ms. von der Leyen has asked for states to co-ordinate plans on how and who they intend to prioritize the vaccine for.
India Surpasses 9 Million Covid-19 Cases
Earlier this week India became the second country along with the US to surpass 9 million Coronavirus cases. With case numbers reaching over 45,000 a day the death toll has risen to over 132,000. The country itself imposed a nationwide lockdown back in March and has been gradually opening up to preserve business and while the high number of 45,000 may shock people the numbers are beginning to decrease. The biggest problem according to experts has been the reluctance of many to wear adequate face covering and to maintain a physical distance.
39 Afghans ‘Unlawfully Killed’ By Australian Special Forces
"Some patrols took the law into their own hands, rules were broken, stories concocted, lies told and prisoners killed," those were the words of Chief of the Australian Defence Forces, General Angus Campbell after it emerged this week that Australian Special Forces had shot and killed 39 Afghanistan civilians and prisoners. General Campbell “sincerely and unreservedly” apologised to the people of Afghanistan and said that the action of the Special Forces has left a “stain” on the regiment.
UK’s New Military Investment Largest Since The Cold War
Despite heavy blows to the economy due to Covid-19 Boris Johnson has pledged to end the “era of retreat” whilst announcing the highest military investment for the UK military since the Cold War. This new budget will also provide for plans of a new space command and artificial intelligence agency as the country tries to define itself as it begins to exit the European Union. When announcing the further £16.5 billion on top of the already established just under £42 billion per year in military spending Mr. Johnson said, "I have taken this decision in the teeth of the pandemic because the defence of the realm must come first."