14 April 2021

Morning headlines – April 14th 2021

Florin Jipa

Image source: US Navy

Coronavirus and vaccines

  • Vaccination in Romania: In the last 24 hours, more than 76.000 people got vaccinated (more than 30.000 with both doses). Totally, more than 2.3 million people got the vaccine, more than 1.4 million getting both doses.
  • Coronavirus in Romania: In the last 24 hours, there were recorded 3.883 new SARS CoV-2 cases, 193 deaths and in ICU there are now 1.530 people hospitalized.
  • The first Johnson&Johnson doses will arrive today in Romania, but their administration is postponed indefinitely. The first batch of 60.000 vaccine doses will arrive today at the Cantacuzino Institute. By the end of June, the coordinators think the country will have 2 and a half million vaccine doses. Valeriu Gheorghita says the vaccination with this serum will only start after we will have enough data on its safety.

Global political and military events

  • The Ukraine crisis. Joe Biden reiterated the US support for Ukraine, and Vladimir Putin has proposed solutions for overcoming the crisis. Russia’s president proposed his US counterpart political solutions to overcome the Ukraine crisis, said the Kremlin, after the phone talk wherein the US leader reiterated his support for Ukraine’s sovereignty.
  • The two US ships will enter the Black Sea today. The Roosevelt and Donald Cook ships will pass though the Bosporus Strait in the Black Sea on April 14 and 15th and will get back on May 4 and 5th, said a Turkish channel, quoting a press release of the Turkish Foreign Affairs Ministry. The Russian deputy Foreign Affairs minister, Alexander Grushko, has immediately stated for Sputnik that the presence of the US ships in the Black Sea will only complicate the security situation in the region, without giving further explanations.
  • The US will withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan until 11 September 2021. Today, the US president Joe Biden is expected to announce that the US troops will withdraw from Afghanistan until September. The withdrawal of the 2.500 troops will end until the 20th celebration of the 9/11 attacks, which drew the US in the longest war in its recent history.
  • The third day of violent street actions in the US. One thousand soldiers from the National Guard have been dislocated in Minneapolis to prevent the violent actions, in the third night of demonstrations, after the Sunday death of a young Afro-American shot by the police, during the trial on the George Floyd death. 20 years old Afro-American, Dante Wright, was shot by a 26 years old police woman after she handcuffed him because he opposed the arrest and entered his car.
  • Iran will start to enrich uranium at 60% capacity. Iran will start “enriching uranium at 60% capacity”, said on Tuesday the IRNA official agency, two days after the “sabotage” of its Natanz facility, wherefore the Tehran is accusing Israel, says Le Figaro. The announcement was made a few hours after a meeting, in Tehran, between the Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov. Currently, Iran is enriching uranium with 20% in the 235 isotope, a lot more than the 3.67% limit imposed by the nuclear agreement signed in Vienna, in 2015.
  • The Vienna talks on Iran were postponed. The Vienna talks, which were about to restart on Wednesday, were postponed until Thursday, said the Russian ambassador to the international organization, Mikhail Ulianov. The meeting of the mixed committee which reunited the signatory states (Germany, France, UK, China, Russia and Iran), under the EU aegis, will take place on April 15th in the Austrian capital. They will obviously discuss the latest nuclear measures of Iran, especially the 60% enrichment of the uranium, he wrote on Twitter.
  • Tensions between China and Taiwan. Tens of Chinese military aircrafts entered, in the last 24 hours, in the security area surrounding Taiwan, said the Taipei Administration, given the tensions with Beijing.
  • Egypt has seized the ship that blocked the Suez Canal. Egypt has seized the Ever Given ship and is asking its owners to pay 900 million dollars as compensation for blocking the Suez Canal.  The amount includes the loses recorded by the Authority of the Suez Canal, the costs of relocating the ship and also the maintenance ones.

Romania’s defence and security

  • Protests at Government’s doors. The biggest five unionist confederations are organizing, on Wednesday, anti-governmental protests in front of the Government, said a press release published by the National Trade Union Bloc, according to Agerpress. The organizers of the protests are the National Trade Union Confederation ALFA, The National Trade Union Bloc, the National Confederation of Free Unions – Brotherhood, The Democratic Unions Confederation from Romania and the National Trade Union Confederation Meridian. Their claims are: the increase of the minimum average salary, fair pensions, qualitative public services, unlocking collective negotiations, fair taxes and the fair law implementation.
  • Education becomes a major national security problem. The Minister of Education, Sorin Cimpeanu, said, on Tuesday, that we must all be concerned with the losses and the inequalities in the education system, suggesting that it becomes a national security problem  the way they manage the education system, says Agerpress.