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US pharmacist jailed for tampering with COVID vaccines

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A former US pharmacist who purposefully ruined more than 500 doses of COVID-19 vaccine has been jailed

Wisconsin-based pharmacist Stephen Brandenburg pleaded guilty to trying to spoil hundreds of COVID vaccines because he was ‘skeptical of them.’

He was jailed for three years after he purposefully removed vaccines from a dedicated refrigerator.

He had admitted to intentionally removing the doses manufactured by Moderna from a refrigerator for hours at Aurora Medical Center in Grafton, located just north of Milwaukee.

In a statement before receiving his sentence, Brandenburg said he felt “great shame” and accepted responsibility for his actions. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported he apologised to his co-workers, family and the community.

Reports state that Aurora destroyed most of the tampered doses, but not before 57 people received inoculations from the supply.

Those doses are believed to have still been effective, but weeks of uncertainty created a storm of anger, anxiety, and anguish among the recipients, according to court documents.

Court statements claim that Brandenburg purposefully removed a box of COVID-19 vaccine vials from a hospital refrigeration unit during two successive overnight shifts in December last year.

The pharmacist was also ordered to pay $83,800 in compensation to the Wisconsin Hospital where he worked.

Jack is a journalist and producer at Ticker NEWS. He's previously worked for digital media publications in Australia and the US. Jack is particularly interested in reporting on international affairs and sport.

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Business

Russia defaults on foreign debt for the first time in a century

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Russia has failed to pay out its overseas debt for the first time in over 100 years

The country missed its Sunday deadline due to challenges in transferring the payments to international creditors.

Moscow has the funds to make the 100 million dollar payment but sanctions have complicated the process.

The country is unhappy with the situation with the finance minister calling the situation “a farce”.

The last time that Russia defaulted on its foreign debt was in 1918 when leader Vladimir Lenin did not pay out debts on behalf of the Russian Empire.

Russia has been hit with sanctions by a number of countries in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

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World

Over 20 young people mysteriously die at nightclub

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Authorities in South Africa are investigating the deaths of 22 people, who were mysteriously found in a nightclub

Victims were found spread across the tables and floors in a coastal town.

They have been taken for testing, as authorities scramble to find a cause of death.

South Africa’s President is sending his “deepest condolences” to families of the victims, most of whom are teenagers.

The tragedy has taken place during Youth Month, where South Africa pushes for more opportunities to help young people from poor socio-economic backgrounds.

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World

Deadly stadium collapse at bullfighting event in Columbia

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At least four people have died, and 500 injured at a bullfighting stadium in Columbia

Videos show a stand collapsing during the event, as emergency workers race to help.

Local media reports that hospitals have begun helping those who were injured.

The nation’s newly-elected President is calling for an end to bullfighting, tweeting that tragedies like this have already happened in the past.

He is urging local authorities to not allow more shows that involve the death of people or animals.

Investigations continue into the cause of the collapse.

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