15 December 2021

Morning headlines – December 15th 2021

Florin Jipa

Image source: Mediafax

Coronavirus and vaccines

  • Vaccination in Romania: In the last 24 hours, more than 35.000 people got vaccinated. Totally, more than 7,86 million people got the vaccine, with more than 7,67 getting both doses and 1,82 of them getting the third dose.
  • Coronavirus in Romania: In the last 24 hours, there were recorded 946 new SARS CoV-2 cases, 106 deaths, and in ICU there are now 665 people hospitalized.
  • Omicron spreads faster than the other variants. No coronavirus variant spread as fast as Omicron does, said, on Tuesday, the WHO chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who estimates that most of the countries is currently affected by this new variant.

Global political and military events

  • Macron-Putin discussion on the Russian troops at Ukraine’s border. Presidents Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin have discussed, on Tuesday, about the tense relation between Russia and NATO, focusing on the Russian troops dislocated at the border with Ukraine and the migrants’ crisis at the border between Belarus and Poland. The two agreed to continue the dialogue. (Tass)
  • The presidents of Russia and China will discuss about the tensions with NATO. The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, will discuss, on Wednesday, with the Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, about the difficult security situation with some NATO member states. The two will analyze the security situation from Asia and Europe. (Tass)
  • North Macedonia and Albania, closer to the EU accession. The EU accession has reiterated, on Tuesday, the commitment to continue the extension process by receiving some Western Balkans countries, underlining the intention of starting negotiations for North Macedonia and Albania. (Mediafax)
  • The Israeli spy program Pegasus could be closed or sold. Israeli intelligence firm NSO Group is considering closing its controversial Pegasus operation and selling the entire company. Two anonymous US funds have reportedly taken control of Pegasus through a € 200 million deal. This comes after the United States decided to blacklist the Israeli company in terms of trade, which caused it to incur debts estimated at $ 500 million. (Mediafax)
  • The UN is urging the United States and Iran to return to the Nuclear Agreement. UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo on Tuesday called on the United States to lift sanctions on Iran under the 2015 nuclear deal and on Tehran to return to its commitments to limit its nuclear program. (AP)
  • American-Palestinian economic dialogue. American and Palestinian officials met virtually on Tuesday, the first such meeting in five years, to renew the US-Palestinian Economic Dialogue suspended by the Trump administration, according to the US State Department. (Press release)
  • A spacecraft entered the atmosphere of the Sun for the first time. The Parker spacecraft became the first spacecraft to enter the solar atmosphere, NASA announced on Tuesday. The probe flew through the solar corona and took samples of particles and magnetic fields. (Hotnews)

Romania's defense and security

  • The ruling coalition discussed the indexation of military pensions. Military pensions could be indexed by 2.6% in 2022, depending on the budget deficit, government sources said on Tuesday. This indexation has been discussed in the coalition, but there is no decision yet. (Mediafax)
  • Romania received the sixth C-130 Hercules aircraft. A C-130 Hercules aircraft, variant H, transferred, free of charge, from the surplus of the United States Government to the Romanian Air Force, landed on Tuesday, December 14, at Bucharest Baneasa International Airport "Aurel Vlaicu". The Romanian Air Force also has five C-130 Hercules aircraft, four in the "B" variant and one in the "H" variant. (Mediafax)
  • Demonstrations dedicated to the 32nd anniversary of the Revolution of December 1989. The 32nd anniversary of the outbreak of the Revolution will be marked by a series of events that will take place in Timisoara between December 15 and 20 and will begin with the March Libertăţii, organized by the City Hall, on the route Maria Square - Victoriei Square - Opera - Cathedral and will continue with commemorative services, wreath-laying, exhibitions and concerts. (Agerpres)
  • Searches of 25 people illegally possessing weapons. The Department of Weapons, Explosives and Dangerous Substances of the Romanian Police is coordinating today a national action on non-compliance with the regime of weapons and ammunition, during which 26 home searches will be carried out. (Mediafax)