19 February 2021

Morning headlines – February 19th 2021

Florin Jipa

Image source: Profimedia

Coronavirus and vaccines

  • The vaccination situation in Romania:  More than 750.000 Romanians got vaccinated (526.476 with both doses). In the last 24 hours only, more than 39.000 people got the COVID-19 vaccine (20.996 with both doses).
  • The coronavirus situation in Romania: In the last 24 hours, more than 3.000 new SARS CoV-2 cases were recorded, more than 70 deaths and on ICU there are more than 900 people hospitalized.
  • Pfizer and BioNTech are starting the COVID-19 vaccine tests on pregnant women. Pfizer and BioNTech have started an international study with 4.000 volunteers to assess the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine on healthy pregnant women, have stated on Thursday, the two companies.

Global military and political events

  • The US is discussing with Japan and South Korea about Pyongyang. Washington has announced that it discussed with Japan and South Korea, allies who often disagree, given that president Joe Biden is analyzing the strategy he wants to adopt on North Korea, says AFP.
  • The oil price is increasing given the snowstorm in Texas. The oil prices have increased on Thursday and Brent has reached more than 65 dollars per barrel at the beginning of the session due to the concern that the cold weather in Texas might disturb the US oil production for days or even weeks, says Reuters.
  • The number of military in Iraq is increasing and the decision on the Afghanistan withdrawal is postponed. The NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, has announced, on Thursday, after the reunion of the defence ministers, that the number of allied forces from Iraq will increase from 500 to 4.000. About Afghanistan, the Secretary General has stated that he postponed the decision on the withdrawal of foreign troops from this country. Previously, he announced that NATO will not leave Afghanistan until May, according to an Agreement signed between the US and Talibans.
  • Israel, helped by the US, is developing an anti-ship shield. Israel has announced that Thursday that it is developing a new anti-ship shield, Arrow-4, together with the US, as part of the defense system built to fight the Iranian threat, says Reuters.
  • China is admitting loses in the confrontation with India in 2020. The Chinese military leaders have admitted, on Thursday, that four military have died in the confrontations with India that took place last year, according to a military agency. India has reported then 20 deaths. The military of the two countries have fought in the mountain area in Ladakh region, without using fire arms.

Romania’s defence and security

  • February 19th – Brancusi Day. It is seen as Romania’s modest genius and the man of the infinite. He studied in Bucharest, then in Paris and he was pleased to be called the “peasant from the Carpathians”. He was born on February 19th 1876 and he left us a thesaurus art.
  • The Supreme Council of National Defence will meet to approve the budget of the institutions responsible with national security. The Supreme Council of National Defence will meet on Friday, at Cotroceni Palace, to debate and approve the budget proposals for 2021 for the institutions responsible with national defence.
  • The Foreign Minister, visit in Moldova Republic. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bogdan Aurescu, is making a visit in Chisinau, today, to offer free humanitarian help for Moldova Republic, composed of medical and protection equipment to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, worth of 11.188.600 lei.
  • Government is approving, today, the 2021 budget. The government will meet, on Friday, to approve the laws projects of the state budget and social insurance budgets for this year. Prime-minister Florin Citu has stated, on Thursday, that the budget target stays 7,16%, underlining that comparing to the published version of the project, there might be some amendments in terms of allocations, as there are stipulated more commitment credits. After the approval, the project goes to the Parliament for debates and approval.