03 February 2021

Morning headlines – February 3rd 2021

Florin Jipa

Image source: Profimedia

Coronavirus and vaccines

  • China has allowed the WHO team of experts to visit the Virology Institute from Wuhan. The WHO experts got, on Wednesday morning, to the Virology Institute from Wuhan, as they are investigating the origins of the coronavirus in the city, says Reuters. The US government has previously accused China saying that the SARS CoV-2 came from experiments made in these laboratories.
  • The Ministry of Health is establishing the age of those to be vaccinated with AstraZeneca. According to a press release, the Ministry of Health will establish this week the age of those to be vaccinated with AstraZeneca in Romania. AstraZeneca is the third vaccine approved by the EU and some studies are showing that it is not effective with the elderly.
  • Scenarios to schools’ reopening. The government has announced, on Tuesday, the three scenarios for schools’ reopening, starting with February 8th, depending on the infection rate in each village: green – all students and kindergarten kids go back to school; yellow – kindergarten kids, students in the primary schools, eight and twelve grade go back to schools and the other students will continue online; red – kindergarten and the primary school go back to face-to-face classes and the other continue online.

Global political and military events

  • The West is blaming Navalny’s sentence. All Western chancelleries have sent messages blaming the decision of a Court in Moscow, made on Tuesday, to sentence the Russian opponent Alexey Navalny to more than three years in prison. The decision is not definitive. Around 1.400 people were arrested yesterday while they were participating to pro-Navalny demonstrations, after more than 7.000 people were also detained during the weekend, says CNN, quoting OVD-Info, a monitoring group of protests in Russia.
  • The Pentagon is cleaning up after Trump. The Defence Department has announced, on Tuesday, to suspend the activity of 42 advisory boards, where the former US president Donald Trump has appointed tens of sympathizers in his last days of the mandate, says AFP. Through an order given to chiefs of services and commands, the new US Defence Secretary, Lloyd Austin, has announced that 42 advisory boards tasked with giving the Pentagon foreign notification in different fields will be suspended until June and  reviewed in the meantime, and hundreds of experts will be removed until 16th of February.
  • The Emotet network was removed by the Europol and the police forces from 8 states. The police forces in 8 countries, together with Europol, have eliminated the most dangerous malware network in the world, says CNN. The Emotet networks was getting access to users’ computers through infected attachments in emails, being presented as bills, notifications about deliveries or information about COVID-19.
  • The US is withdrawing a group of ships from the Gulf to cool down the tensions with Iran. The group of ships led by the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier will return from the Middle East said, on Tuesday, the Pentagon’s spokesperson, John Kirby.

Romania’s security and defence

  • Aid for Croatia. The government is about to approve, in Wednesday’s meeting, an emergency foreign humanitarian aid  worth of 650.000 RON to Republic of Croatia, after the earthquake that took place in December, close to Zagreb. The aid is composed of: tents, beds, blankets, sleeping bags and small modular structures from the National Administration of State Reserves and Special Issues.
  • The Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister is visiting Bucharest. The Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister, Arancha Gonzalez Laya, is visiting Bucharest, on Wednesday, to plan a common reunion of the two governments, scheduled for this year given the celebration, in 2021, of 140 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
  • Romanians stuck in Mexico. The Foreign Affairs Ministry has announced that 50 Romanians got stuck since January 30th on airports in Mexico, after the Mexican authorities took their papers and phones and did not allow them to enter the country.
  • Save the Romanian Exports. Leaders of the patronal and professional organizations are participating, on Wednesday, to the press conference on the topic “Save the Romanian Exports”, says a press release of the organizers – the Romania’s Export Council and the National Association of Exporters and Importers in Romania.
  • The Constitutional Court of Romania is discussing the “Danube Delta” Biosphere Reservation. The CCR is discussing on Wednesday Klaus Iohannis’s notification on the Law on “Danube Delta” Biosphere Reservation. It is the legislative act sent for approval on December 2nd, which amends the Law no.82/1993.