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FILE PHOTO: South African Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize confirms the first case of Coronavirus in South Africa at Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, March 5, 2020. Reuters/ Sumaya Hisham

South Africa says downpayments to J&J, Pfizer not refundable

The South African government’s downpayments to Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and Pfizer for COVID-19 vaccines are not refundable under any circumstances, its health minister said on Wednesday, describing the condition as onerous.
U.S. Pharmaceutical company Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech said a new production site in Marburg, Germany, expected to become operational by the end of next month, will be able to make as many as 750 million doses per year.

South Africa signs deal for 20 million Pfizer vaccine doses

South Africa has signed an agreement to buy 20 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech dual-shot COVID-19 vaccine, a senior government official said on Tuesday, boosting plans to ramp up vaccinations from this month

Mozambique army says town attacked by insurgents is now secure

The town in northern Mozambique that was attacked by Islamic State-linked insurgents in late March is now secure after the military killed a “significant number” of militants and cleared one final area, an army spokesman said.
FILE PHOTO - A worker looks on as the second delivery of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine is offloaded at the O.R Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, February 27, 2021. Kim Ludbrook-Pool via REUTERS

South Africa signs J&J vaccine deal, eases restrictions

South Africa has signed an agreement with Johnson & Johnson to secure 11 million COVID-19 vaccine doses and will ease restrictions due to a decline in new cases, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday.
FILE PHOTO - The word COVID-19 is reflected in a drop on a syringe needle in this illustration taken November 9, 2020. REUTERS-Dado Ruvic-Illustration

South Africa: J&J, Pfizer, Moderna vaccines considered for ‘immediate use’

South Africa’s health minister said on Tuesday that government advisers had grouped COVID-19 vaccines into three groups and those considered for “immediate use” were the Johnson & Johnson (J&J), Pfizer and Moderna shots.
FILE PHOTO- A South African health worker receives the Johnson and Johnson coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination at the Khayelitsha Hospital near Cape Town, South Africa, February 17, 2021. Gianluigi Guercia-Pool via REUTERS-File Photo

South Africa: Pfizer ‘still very good vaccine’ despite study

One of the South African government’s top advisers on COVID-19 vaccines said on Friday that the Pfizer shot was “still a very good vaccine”, despite a study showing the dominant local virus variant may reduce its protective antibodies.
Vials of the Sputnik V (Gam-COVID-Vac) vaccine are seen at the Del-Pest Central Hospital in Budapest, Hungary, February 12, 2021. Zoltan Balogh-MTI-MTVA-Pool via REUTERS

African Union says Russia offers 300 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine

The African Union’s vaccine task team said on Friday that Russia had offered it 300 million doses of its Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine and that the offer included a financing package for countries wanting to secure the shots.
FILE PHOTO - A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine sticker and a medical syringe in front of the displayed Pfizer logo in this illustration taken, October 30, 2020. REUTERS-Dado Ruvic

Pfizer study another worry for South Africa’s vaccine rollout

Scientists will meet on Thursday to advise South Africa’s government on its next steps after a study suggested the dominant local coronavirus variant may reduce protective antibodies from Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine by two-thirds.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa gestures as he arrives to receive the Johnson and Johnson coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination at Khayelitsha Hospital near Cape Town, South Africa, February 17, 2021. REUTERS-Mike Hutchings

South Africa launches coronavirus vaccination programme with J&J shots

South Africa launched its COVID-19 vaccination drive on Wednesday, battling to tame a more infectious variant of the coronavirus with a roll-out of the Johnson & Johnson shot for the first time outside a clinical trial.
A health worker holds a multiple-dose vial containing the vaccine against COVID-19 by British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, in Genoa, northern Italy, February 10, 2021 [Luca Zennaro-EPA]

South Africa plans to share AstraZeneca shots via African Union

South Africa plans to share the 1 million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses it received from the Serum Institute of India with other African countries via the African Union (AU), a senior health official said on Tuesday

South Africa’s ex-president fails to show at corruption inquiry

South Africa’s former president Jacob Zuma did not show up on Monday at an inquiry into corruption during his time in office, despite the country’s top court ordering him to appear.
Britain said on Wednesday it was helping Kenya prepare to roll out the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Astrazeneca and Oxford University, as African nations race to ensure their populations are inoculated.

South Africa puts AstraZeneca vaccinations on hold over variant data

South Africa will put on hold use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 shot in its vaccination programme, after data showed it gave minimal protection against mild-to-moderate infection caused by the country’s dominant coronavirus variant.
South Africa’s health minister Zweli Mkhize

South Africa trying to get coronavirus vaccines as soon as February – minister

South Africa is trying to get COVID-19 vaccines as soon as February, but the timing will depend on bilateral negotiations with pharmaceutical companies, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Sunday.
FILE PHOTO- French President Emmanuel Macron stands outside the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, October 28, 2020. REUTERS-Charles Platiau

France to ‘deter’ skiers searching for resorts still open abroad

France will put restrictions on people traveling abroad to find ski resorts not subject to COVID-19 shutdowns this Christmas, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday.
Leveraging on the worsening insecurity in the country, a local airline, Misha Travels, has launched an Abuja-Kaduna air shuttle, the shortest distance in scheduled operations in the country.

IATA: African airlines to lose $2 billion in 2020 on coronavirus impact

International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade association of the world’s airlines, says aviation industry in Africa will lose $2 billion in 2020 while global losses is expected to drop deeper at $118.5 billion in 2020.
The US state of Georgia said Friday it will recount votes from the election in which Joe Biden has eked out a razor-thin lead over President Donald Trump.

Official: Why US vote count takes so long

Three days after polls closed, the United States and the world still do not have final results from the presidential election, although Democrat Joe Biden was on the brink of unseating Donald Trump.
Pope Francis gave Vatican’s top finance officials three months to transfer their financial holdings to another office.

Pope moves against secretariat of state over financial scandal

Pope Francis has given the Vatican secretariat of state three months to transfer all of its financial holdings to another Vatican office following its bungled management of hundreds of millions of euros in donations and investments that are now the subject of a corruption investigation.
The 2020 edition of the Thessaloniki international Film Festival (November 5-15) is moving fully online after previously being set to run as a hybrid event.

Thessaloniki Film Festival to move fully online amid virus surge

The 2020 edition of the Thessaloniki international Film Festival (November 5-15) is moving fully online after previously being set to run as a hybrid event.
Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 20, 2020, to make a statement on the nomination for replacement of recently deceased Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. – US presidential hopeful Joe Biden urged Senate lawmakers to not vote on filling the Supreme Court vacancy left by Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death until after the election in November. (Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP)

Joe Biden urges halt of Donald Trump’s US Supreme Court push

Democratic hopeful Joe Biden on Sunday urged lawmakers to wait until after November’s election to tackle a Supreme Court vacancy that President Donald Trump has pledged to fill quickly, as the nomination becomes a new flashpoint in the battle for the White House.
Brazil’s government sent its support to Neymar Tuesday after he was red-carded for a fight in a Ligue 1 match in France, condemning the “racism” that triggered the brawl.

Brazilian government backing Neymar in racism row

Brazil’s government sent its support to Neymar Tuesday after he was red-carded for a fight in a Ligue 1 match in France, condemning the “racism” that triggered the brawl.
President Donald Trump’s threat to shut down social media companies after Twitter labeled two of his tweets misleading sets up a fresh challenge for platforms as they struggle to deal with political misinformation during a toxic election campaign.

Twitter places warning on Trump’s tweet, says it glorifies violence

Twitter said early Friday that a tweet from President Trump suggesting that protesters in Minneapolis could be shot violated the company’s rules against glorifying violence, in a move that threatens to escalate tensions between Trump and his favourite social media megaphone over its content policies.
Football leagues across Europe have been suspended since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic which has claimed over 100,000 lives throughout the continent.

Coronavirus: Two football games in Belarus postponed due to coronavirus fears

Two games in the top two tiers of Belarusian football have been postponed due to coronavirus concerns.

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Kaduna-owned tertiary institutions threaten strike

Tertiary institutions under the auspices of Joint Unions of Tertiary Institutions of Kaduna State (JUTIKS), have threatened to go on strike over issues that had lingered for over 12 years.
Borussia Dortmund star Emre Can does not believe he should have given away a penalty against Manchester City.

​Borussia Dortmund star Emre Can furious with referees over Man City handball penalty

Borussia Dortmund star Emre Can does not believe he should have given away a penalty against Manchester City.
FILE PHOTO: An Ethiopian woman who fled war in Tigray region carries a jerrycan of water as she walks at the Um-Rakoba camp on the Sudan-Ethiopia border in Al-Qadarif state, Sudan November 19, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/File Photo

Health official alleges ‘sexual slavery’ in Tigray; women blame soldiers

The young mother was trying to get home with food for her two children when she says soldiers pulled her off a minibus in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, claiming it was overloaded.
FILE PHOTO - A harvester is used to deposit wheat crop on a tarpaulin in a field on the outskirts of the western Indian city of Ahmedabad March 24, 2015. REUTERS-Amit Dave-File Photo

New zinc-fortified wheat set for global expansion to combat malnutrition

Scientists at a leading global grains research institute expect to sharply ramp up new wheat varieties enriched with zinc that can boost the essential mineral for millions of poor people with deficient diets, the institute’s head told Reuters.

Group urges support for fight against tuberculosis

The National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme has urged the media to assist in enlightening the public on the causes, prevention and treatment of tuberculosis .

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Canterbury Cathedral is holding a remembrance service for Prince Philip as the UK continues to observe a period of national mourning. The service is being livestreamed now on our website and is being led by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who is also set to lead Prince Philip’s funeral next Saturday.

Prince Philip: Special service to be held at Canterbury Cathedral

A remembrance service for the Duke of Edinburgh is to be held in Canterbury Cathedral this morning as the UK observes a period of official mourning.
Training nurse Sari Roos prepares a dose of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to teach her air bubble technique in Laakso hospital in Helsinki, Finland March 11, 2021. Picture taken March 11, 2021. REUTERS/Essi Lehto

Israeli study: South African coronavirus variant may evade protection from Pfizer vaccine

The coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa may evade the protection provided by Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine to some extent, a real-world data study in Israel found, though its prevalence in the country is very low and the research has not been peer reviewed.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan has thanked Nigerians from different walks of life, who visited him on Friday in his Abuja residence to honour him on the occasion of his 63rd birthday.

Politics: Winners take all syndrome dangerous – ex-President Jonathan

Former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan said, yesterday, that winners take all syndrome in politics has made the Nigerian political environment a very tough and dangerous option.
The allegation of marginalisation against Governor Udom Emmanuel by the Oro Think Tank is unfair and has no basis in objectivity, the Akwa Ibom State branch of the Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, has declared.

Akwa Ibom government sets up interface committee on deep seaport project

Akwa Ibom State government said it has set up a committee to interface with the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) Committee for the implementation of the Ibom Deep Seaport Project.

Afe Babalola seeks sweeping reforms in judicial system

Senior Advocate and founder of Afe Babalola University, Aare Afe Babalola, has made case for urgent far-reaching reforms in the country’s judicial system particularly in the area bothering on the retirement of judges and aftermath.