Most scientists are of the view that coronavirus originated from China, after all Wuhan was ground zero for the pandemic which began early last year.
Since then, millions have died and many more have been infected. Our way of life has been turned upside down.
Now the World Health organisation has granted emergency approval for China’s COVID vaccine – which is made by Chinese state-owned company Sinopharm.
It is the first vaccine developed by a non-Western country to get WHO backing. And it’s big news, especially for developing nations.
The vaccine has already been given to millions of people in China and elsewhere.
Already, health regulators in various countries – especially poorer ones in Africa, Latin America and Asia – have approved Chinese jabs for emergency use.
The effectiveness of the various Chinese vaccines has long been uncertain.
WHO says the addition of the vaccine had “the potential to rapidly accelerate Covid-19 vaccine access for countries seeking to protect health workers and populations at risk”.
It is recommending that the vaccine be administered in two doses, especially to those aged 18 and over.
Does it even matter?
The green light from the global health body is a guideline for national regulators that a vaccine is safe and effective.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it would give countries “confidence to expedite their own regulatory approval”.
In addition to China, countries already using the vaccine include the UAE, Pakistan and Hungary.
The decision on Friday to approve the vaccine for emergency use was made by the WHO’s technical advisory group, which reviewed the latest clinical data and manufacturing practices.
It said the vaccine’s efficacy for symptomatic and hospitalised cases of Covid-19 was estimated to be 79%.
Be careful what you do at the airport this holiday season
Passengers are being urged to stay on the ‘Nice List’ at Australian airports as the festive season approaches
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) will step up its patrol of major airports across Australia as the festive season gets underway.
The aviation sector is recovering from over two years of pandemic-related turbulence.
However, travel demand is beginning to return to pre-pandemic levels.
Melbourne International Airport recently recorded 78 per cent passenger numbers when compared to figures from October 2019.
These figures are expected to increase during the festive season, which has prompted the AFP to bolster its commitment to protecting passengers.
Authorities are working with airlines, airports and regulatory authorities to help ensure a safe environment for passengers.
More than 330 alleged offenders have been charged around 420 charges at Australian airports between May and October this year.
In most cases, the charges involved intoxication, offensive behaviour, possessing a prohibited weapon, carrying prohibited items, public disturbance and incidents relating to assault.
“This is a special time of the year, and the AFP is at airports to keep passengers safe,’’ Assistant Commissioner Scott Lee said.
“The majority of passengers do the right thing, but we know those who do not can be disruptive for other passengers.”
How prepared are Australian airports?
The Australian Airports Association concedes this upcoming holiday season will be a “busy one”.
However, company chief executive officer James Goodwin said it is important travellers do the “right thing” and respect each other.”
“Australian Airports Association chief executive officer James Goodwin said the holiday season would be a busy one, but it was important travellers did the right thing and respected each other,” he said.
Australian airports have been impacted by staff shortages, because of pandemic-related illness.
The national carrier, Qantas has come under fire for firing thousands of staff during the height of the pandemic, which have impacted consumers at many Australian airports.
The airline apologised for its barrage of delayed or cancelled flights, and lost luggage as travellers returned to the skies since the height of Covid-lockdowns brought the sector to a grinding halt.
“On behalf of the national carrier, I want to apologise and assure you that we’re working hard to get back to our best,” said Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce at the time.
FTX’s Bankman-Fried hires top defence lawyer
FTX founder and former chief executive Sam Bankman-Fried has hired former prosecutor Mark S. Cohen to represent him, as U.S. authorities probe the crypto exchange’s collapse.
Regulators around the globe, including in the Bahamas where FTX is based and in the United States, are investigating the role of FTX’s top executives including Bankman-Fried in the firm’s stunning collapse, Reuters has previously reported. The crypto exchange filed for bankruptcy last month after a liquidity crisis that saw at least $1 billion of customer funds vanish.
Bankman-Fried has retained Cohen, of Cohen & Gresser, Bankman-Fried’s spokesperson Mark Botnick said in an emailed statement. Cohen could not be reached for comment.
Prosecutors and regulators have not charged Bankman-Fried with wrongdoing. He is facing civil lawsuits from investors and FTX customers.
David Mills, a professor at Stanford Law School, is consulting on the matter, Botnick said. Mills did not respond to requests for comment. Semafor previously reported Mills’ advisory work for Bankman-Fried.
Cohen, a former assistant United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, recently defended Ghislaine Maxwell in her sex trafficking trial.
Bankman-Fried had previously hired Martin Flumenbaum of law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, but the law firm said last month it was no longer representing him due to conflicts.
In recent weeks, U.S. authorities have sought information from investors and potential investors in FTX, according to two sources with knowledge of the requests. Federal prosecutors in New York are asking for details on any communications such firms have had with the crypto firm and its executives, including Bankman-Fried, the sources said. Bloomberg previously reported the information requests.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has been asking for similar information from investors as well, one of the sources said.
Those sources and attorneys, speaking on condition of anonymity, have said that U.S. authorities are likely looking for any evidence of material misrepresentations of information to investors.
Spokespeople for the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office and the SEC declined to comment on the information request.
FTX secretly transferred customer funds to its affiliate Alameda Research to fill a shortfall at the crypto trading firm, Reuters has previously reported.
Speaking via video link at the New York Times’ Dealbook Summit with Andrew Ross Sorkin on Wednesday, Bankman-Fried said he did not knowingly commingle customer funds on FTX with funds at his proprietary trading firm, Alameda Research.
Most crypto likely to be regulated as securities
Most cryptocurrency tokens will likely be regulated as securities under existing securities laws in the fallout of the collapse of crypto exchange FTX.
That’s according to Jeff Sprecher, chief executive officer of NYSE-owner Intercontinental Exchange Inc.
“I think you’re going to see essentially tokens become securities – I mean they probably already are, but they’re going to be regulated and dealt like securities,” Sprecher said at a financial services conference hosted by Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
Britain’s Treasury is finalising plans for a package to regulate the cryptocurrency industry, including limits on foreign companies selling into the country and restrictions on advertising, the Financial Times reported on Monday.
The package will give the Financial Conduct Authority broader powers to regulate the sector, including monitoring how firms operate and advertise their products, sources familiar with the matter told FT.
There would also be restrictions on companies selling into the British market from overseas, as well as plans for how crypto firms can be wound down, the people added.
These new regulations come on the heels of the market turmoil following the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, which filed for U.S. bankruptcy court protection last month.
‘Orgy of destruction’ – UN’s stark climate warning
Should a non-strike rule apply to UK emergency staff?
Bella Hadid named Model of the Year 2022
Crypto.com accidentally transfers $10.5m to woman instead of $100
What is happening between SHIB and Vitalik? | TICKER VIEWS
Russia has cancelled itself. But the world should beware of poking the Russian bear￼
World1 day ago
Kirstie Alley dead after a secret health battle
Crypto1 day ago
Australian woman looking for love loses thousands in crypto scam
Media23 hours ago
Who will win Time Magazine’s person of 2022?
World1 day ago
Why Xi Jinping is moving in on Saudi Arabia relationship
Business2 days ago
Oil production slashed to keep petrol prices high
World1 day ago
Ukraine hits two Russian airbases in missile attack
Business1 day ago
Australian companies see profits slashed as inflation soars
World2 days ago
Matt Wright speaks out following court appearance