19 January 2021

Morning headlines – January 19th 2021

Florin Jipa

Image source: US Army

Coronavirus and vaccines

  • WHO has criticized China for how it handled the coronavirus crisis, a year ago, says a preliminary report made by a team of experts who are in Wuhan right now, says CNN.
  • The US recorded more than 24 million cases of coronavirus and is close to reaching 400.000 deaths. The Trump Administration has announced that it will resume flights from Brazil and many European countries, starting with January 26th, says CNN.
  • Great Britain has vaccinated 4 million people, double than any other European country, said prime-minister Boris Johnson, says BBC. He announced that the restrictions will be gradually lifted.
  • Countries in the European Union have trouble with the number of vaccines they got, but also the vaccination campaign, says BBC.
  • Romania has vaccinated a record number of people. Our country registered 1.509 new coronavirus cases in the last 24h and 50 deaths. In the specialized medical units, the total number of people hospitalized due to COVID-19 is 8.710.  1.084 of them are in intensive care units. 30.000 people were vaccinated yesterday, a record number since the vaccination campaign has started.

Global political and military events

  • Russia. Alexey Navalny called on the population to get out on the streets, after the court decided to detain him for 30 days, says CNN. Western leaders and organizations like the UN and EU have asked for the immediate release of Navalny, says BBC.
  • The US is in a state of alert, one day before Joe Biden’s official inauguration. More than 50.000 military from the National Guard were mobilized in 50 states to support the federal and local authorities. In Houston, Texas, strongly armed people were seen on the streets, but they called on the 2nd Amendment right of the US Constitution for carrying guns.
  • Active troops at the White House. The Pentagon has mobilized 750 active troops in Washington, DC, specialized in pyrotechnic missions and the prevention of risks generated by chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological weapons, besides the already 25.000 troops from the National Guard. Also, members of the military medical teams were also dislocated there.
  • Sanctions for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The US is announcing sanctions against the Russian ship “Fortuna”, involved in the construction works of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
  • The UN is criticizing Israel. The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, asked Israel, on Monday, to “suspend and cancel” the recent decision to build around 800 accommodations in the occupied West Bank, says AFP, according to Agerpress.
  • Military drills in Sahara. The Algerian armed forces have conducted air and land maneuvers in Tindouf (South), a province at the border with Western Sahara and Morocco, according to images published on Monday, says Agerpress.
  • Crucial vote for Italy’s government. The Italian Senate is organizing, on Tuesday, a crucial vote for the future of the government led by prime-minister Giuseppe Conte, abandoned by Matteo Renzi, says Agerpress.

Romania’s security and defence

  • The Constitutional Court is making a decision on Government’s ordainment. Romania’s Constitutional Court is discussing, on Tuesday, the notifications of the Alliance for Romanians’ Unification on the Parliament’s Decision no.31/2020 on the ordainment of Florin Citu’s Government.
  • There are no problems with the gases and energy distribution. The minister of energy, Virgil Popescu, said on Monday that there will be no problems with providing energy in this frosty period, saying that there are enough gases reserves in the deposits, says Agerpress.
  • Romania wants more US troops. President Klaus Iohannis said, on Monday, that Romania continues to be a strong ally and trustable friend of the US and the new administration. He said that last year, through the roadmap in the defence fields signed between Romania and the US, it was consolidated the cooperation between the two countries on the defence and security domains. Thus, Iohannis reiterated our country’s increased interest in hosting more US troops.