Your Thursday Briefing


Safety 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 world workhorses and threatening to extend the coronavirus pandemic in poor international locations.

In Malawi, individuals are asking docs the right way 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 might be linked, in very uncommon instances, to blood-clotting issues — are dumping second-rate vaccines on poorer ones.

Alternatives: The E.U. introduced yesterday that it was placing trust and money into the Pfizer-BioNTech shot to salvage its vaccination rollout. But 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 world inoculations.

Here are the most recent updates and maps of the pandemic.

In different developments:

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

  • Keeping an airplane’s center seats vacant may reduce passengers’ exposure to airborne coronavirus by 23 to 57 p.c, researchers reported in a brand new examine.


In gentle 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 May 1 and end “within a few months,” in accordance with an announcement.

In Washington, President Biden formally announced the U.S. withdrawal, however he warned the Taliban that if Americans are attacked on the best way out, “we’re going to defend ourselves and our partners with all the tools at our disposal.” Here’s what you need 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 individuals. It is unclear what the longer term holds and if the combating will ever cease. Some fear that everything will be lost when the Americans go away.

Personal account: “I am so worried about my future. It seems so murky. If the Taliban take over, I lose my identity,” stated Wahida Sadeqi, 17, a highschool scholar in Kabul. “I was born in 2004 and I have no idea what the Taliban did to women, but I know women were banned from everything.”

Context: U.S. intelligence officers paint a grim portrait of what lies ahead for Afghanistan, however they don’t count on it to grow to be a terror menace to America immediately. Mr. Biden’s choice to withdraw makes clear his belief that contending with a rising China takes priority.


Just over two months into his tenure, Mario Draghi, the Italian prime minister, has shaken up a Brussels leadership 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 drive had arrived within the European bloc. The E.U. has since licensed even broader and harsher measures to curb exports of Covid-19 vaccines badly wanted in Europe.

In his brief time in workplace, Mr. Draghi, famend as the previous European Central Bank president who helped save the euro, has rapidly leveraged his European relationships, his talent in navigating E.U. establishments and his nearly messianic reputation to make Italy a participant on the continent in a means it has not been in many years.

Muldrow Glacier, within the shadow of Denali in Alaska, is at present shifting at as much as 90 ft a day, about 100 times faster than normal. This uncommon surge has provoked the delight of glaciologists, who’ve seized on the prospect to review it.



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