BERLIN -- Germany has carried out more than a million vaccinations as new infections and deaths remain high and officials mull whether to increase lockdown measures. Figures released by the national disease control centre, the Robert Koch Institute, on Saturday showed nearly 1.05 million vaccinations have been recorded — 79,759 more than a day earlier — in the nation of 83 million people. Chancellor Angela Merkel and the country’s 16 state governors will consult Tuesday on how to proceed with lockdown measures, which are currently due to expire on Jan. 31. On Saturday, Germany recorded 18,678 confirmed cases in the previous 24 hours and another 980 deaths. It says there have been 139 cases per 100,000 residents in the past seven days -- far above the maximum of 50 authorities want to reach. ___ THE VIRUS OUTBREAK: Spain confident of vaccine program despite delay after record 49,197 daily coronavirus cases. India starts world’s largest COVID-19 vaccination drive, President-elect Joe Biden: We’ll ‘manage the hell’ out of COVID response. A study indicates in pandemic era, older adults isolated but resilient. China builds hospital in 5 days after surge in virus cases. ___ Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak ___ HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING: LOS ANGELES — California officials are touting a new mass vaccination site at Dodger Stadium while acknowledging it’s unclear how much more supply is coming from the federal government. Gov. Gavin Newsom says he’s trying to find out how much will be delivered. Governors says the Trump administration promised it would send hundreds of thousands of doses from its stockpile, but now says it can’t deliver that amount. Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles is expected to handle 12,000 vaccinations a day. San Francisco officials say the city can handle 10,000 people a day at mass vaccination sites. However, they say they can’t put plans in motion because it’s unclear how many doses will be available. California has received more than 3.5 million doses of the vaccine and administered over 1 million doses in a state with nearly 40 million people. Dr. Paul Simon, chief science officer of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, says without a steady and predictable supply, long-range planning for vaccine distribution is challenging. Los Angeles county — the nation’s most populous with 10 million residents — is struggling to vaccinate its 800,000 health workers. Simon says the county doesn’t anticipate providing large-scale inoculations of its 1.3 million people 65 and older until February. California has the second-highest number of deaths in the nation at more than 33,000, behind New York at 40,000. ___ BARCELONA, Spain — Spain’s health minister says the government is standing by its pledge to vaccinate a large part of its population by the summer despite the delay in the distribution of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Spain reported 49,197 new cases on Friday, its highest daily figure since the start of the pandemic. Minister Salvador Illa says although Spain will only receive 56% of the expected doses next week from Pfizer, Spain’s vaccination program has reached “cruising speed.” U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced Friday it will temporarily reduce vaccine deliveries for three to four weeks to European countries while it upgrades production capacity. Illa says despite this hiccup “there is no change to our supply calendar. Between now and the summer we will ensure that 70% of Spaniards receive the vaccine.” Spain has administered 768.000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. It is also rolling out the Moderna vaccine, with fewer than 500 doses administered so far. ___ JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia has logged a record daily high number of coronavirus cases for the fourth day in row as the Health Ministry reported 14,224 new infections over the 24 hours to Saturday. The country’s daily virus count first topped 11,000 cases on Wednesday, then climbed to 11,557 on Thursday and 12,818 cases on Friday. Indonesia’s official COVID-19 tally nationwide reached 896,642 on Saturday, making it the largest number in Southeast Asia and second in Asia only to India’s 10.5 million cases. The figure includes 25,767 deaths. Jakarta remains the worst-hit province in the country with nearly 224,000 cases and 3,705 deaths, followed by neighbouring West Java province with more than 111,000 cases and 1,336 deaths. The government has began efforts to vaccinate millions of people across the vast archipelago nation. Health workers and other at-risk groups will get priority under an ambitious plan to inoculate nearly 182 million people over the next 15 months. Indonesia has already signed deals for nearly 330 million vaccine doses from a string of pharmaceutical companies including UK-based AstraZeneca, American company Pfizer and Chinese suppliers including Sinopharm and Sinovac. ___ BELGRADE, Serbia — Serbia has received 1 million doses of the Chinese Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine, becoming the first European state to get such substantial quantities of the vaccine, enough to vaccinate 500,000 people. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic greeted the shipment at Belgrade airport on Saturday, saying he will take the jab to show people that the Chinese vaccine is safe. Serbia has so far imported lesser quantities of the American and German-made Pfizer-BioNTech and Russian Sputnik V vaccines. Serbian government officials have publicly received shots of both in order to increase interest in the country, which has a strong anti-vaccination sentiment. The Sinopharm and Sputnik V vaccines have not been approved by European Union regulators and the Chinese vaccine is still to be certified by Serbian health authorities. Serbia is formally seeking EU membership but also has been forging close ties with Russia and China. ___ UNITED NATIONS — A new U.N. report estimates the COVID-19 pandemic reduced the number of international migrants by 2 million by the middle of 2020 because of border closings and a halt to travel worldwide — an estimated 27% decrease in expected growth. Clare Menozzi, principal author of the report by the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ Population Division, says for the second half of 2020 “we have a sense that it will be probably comparable, if not more so.” She says international migration had been projected to grow by 7 to 8 million between mid-2019 and mid-2020. Border closures and travel clampdown starting in March, as the pandemic circled the globe, meant zero growth for four months, Menozzi says. By August 2020, Population Division Director John Wilmoth noted, “there had been more than 80,000 travel restrictions imposed by 219 countries or territories across the world.” Wilmoth says according to estimates, “the number of international migrants worldwide reached 281 million persons in 2020, up from 173 million in 2000,” They account for 3.6% of the total global population, he says. ___ MEXICO CITY — Mexico posted a record spike in coronavirus cases on Friday, with 21,366 newly confirmed infections, about double the daily rate of increase just a week ago. The country also recorded 1,106 more deaths. It was unclear if the spike was due to the presence of the U.K. virus variant, of which only one case has so far been confirmed in a visiting British citizen. The country has nearly 1.61 million confirmed total infections and registered more than 139,000 confirmed deaths. The country’s low testing rate means that is an undercount, and official estimates suggest the real death toll is closer to 195,000. ___ BEIJING — China on Saturday reported 130 new confirmed coronavirus infections and no deaths. The National Health Commission said 90 of those confirmed cases were in Hebei province, adjacent to Beijing, where the country’s biggest recent outbreak occurred. Another 23 cases were in Heilongjiang province in the northeast, the commission said. There were 15 infections that were determined to have been contracted abroad. China’s death toll stands at 4,635, with a total of 88,118 confirmed cases, the commission said. ___ SALEM, Ore. - Gov. Kate Brown says plans to vaccinate Oregon residents over 65 starting next week will be delayed and scaled back substantially, saying the Trump administration backtracked on a promise of more than 100,000 additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from the federal reserve. State health officials announced this week that vaccine eligibility would be expanded to educators and seniors on Jan. 23. However, following news that there is “no federal reserve” of doses, Brown says she has limited vaccinations to educators on Jan. 25 and to people 80 or older on Feb. 8 — with a 12-week rollout to reach all seniors who are 65 and over. “I am shocked and appalled that the federal government would set an expectation with the American people, on which they knew they could not deliver, with such grave consequences,” Brown said. The governor says she was told late Thursday by Gen. Gustave F. Perna, the leader of the “Operation Warp Speed” federal vaccine effort, that states will not be receiving increased shipments of vaccines from the national stockpile next week “because there is no federal reserve of doses.” ___ MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Tony Evers blasted federal officials for promising to release the remainder of their COVID-19 vaccine stockpile when it apparently was already exhausted, calling the pledge a “slap in the face.” Evers has been taking pointed criticism from Republican legislators for weeks over the slow pace of Wisconsin’s vaccine rollout. He told reporters on a conference call on Friday that Vice-President Mike Pence and U.S. Health Services Secretary Alex Azar told governors this week that they planned to release whatever vaccines the federal government had been holding in reserve to speed inoculations. But federal officials have since said the stockpile was exhausted when those promises were made and governors can’t expect any windfall shipments. The news has escalated tensions and uncertainty about the sluggish pace of inoculations and who’s responsible for it. Evers accused Pence and Azar of misleading governors. “It was just plain old obfuscation,” Evers said. “I was told by the vice-president, a couple days ago, and the secretary of health services that they’re opening the gates, we’re going to send you the remainder of what was stockpiled. I guess they may have been telling the truth because it’s zero.” A total of 213,056 people had been vaccinated in the state as of Friday, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services said. That’s about 0.036% of the state’s population. ___ BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum says he'll drop a statewide mask requirement and limits on the number of people who gather in restaurants, bars and event venues, citing a dramatic drop in active coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. The Republican governor says he will allow an executive order to expire on Monday, as scheduled. “The fight is far from over but we can certainly see the light of the end of the tunnel from here,” he said. Burgum issued the executive order on Nov. 13 and had extended it once. Earlier this month, he eased restrictions on food service establishments that let them operate at 65% capacity. North Dakota ranked among the worst states in the nation for coronavirus spread for several weeks this fall, but cases have been in decline for weeks. ___ WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden issued a rebuke of Republican lawmakers who refused to wear masks while sheltering in crowded rooms during last week’s violent insurrection on the Capitol. “What the hell’s the matter with them?” Biden asked, adding that “it’s time to grow up.” Dozens of lawmakers were ushered off the House floor to an undisclosed location as a mob of Donald Trump supporters descended on the Capitol last week to protest Biden’s election win. Democrats say Republicans refused to wear masks, with some even resisting when Delaware Democratic Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester tried to pass them out to the crowd. Five members of Congress announced they tested positive for the coronavirus after being taken to a safe space when the riot began. ___ The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden on Saturday filled out his State Department team with a group of former career diplomats and veterans of the Obama administration, signalling his desire to return to a more traditional foreign policy after four years of uncertainty and unpredictability under President Donald Trump. Biden will nominate Wendy Sherman as deputy secretary of state and Victoria Nuland as undersecretary of state for political affairs — the second- and third-highest ranking posts, respectively. They were among the 11 officials announced to serve under the incoming secretary of state, Antony Blinken. The team “embodies my core belief that America is strongest when it works with our allies,” Biden said in a statement. He said he was confident "they will use their diplomatic experience and skill to restore America’s global and moral leadership. America is back.” Among the others are: —longtime Biden Senate aide Brian McKeon, to be deputy secretary of state for management. That deputy position has been vacant for some time and McKeon and Sherman are expected to share duties as the department's No. 3 official. —former senior diplomats Bonnie Jenkins and Uzra Zeya, to be under secretary of state for arms control and undersecretary of state of democracy and human rights, respectively. —Derek Chollet, a familiar Democratic foreign policy hand, to be State Department counsellor. —former U.N. official Salman Ahmed, who also served as head of strategic planning in the Obama National Security Council, as director of policy planning. —Suzy George, who was a senior aide to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, will be Blinken's chief of staff. —Ned Price, a former Obama NSC staffer and career CIA official who resigned in protest in the early days of the Trump administration, will serve as the public face of the department, taking on the role of spokesman. —Jalina Porter, communications director for Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., who is leaving Congress to work in the White House, will be Price's deputy. Price and Porter intend to return to the practice of holding daily State Department press briefings, officials said. Those briefings had been eliminated under the Trump administration. Jeffrey Prescott, a former national security aide when Biden was vice-president, is Biden's pick to be deputy ambassador to the United Nations, He would serve under U.N. envoy-designate Linda Thomas-Greenfield. Five of the 11 are either people of colour or LGBTQ. Although most are not household names, all are advocates of multilateralism and many are familiar in Washington and overseas foreign policy circles. Their selections are a reflection of Biden's intent to turn away from Trump's transactional and often unilateral “America First” approach to international relations. Sherman led the Obama administration’s negotiations leading to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, from which Trump withdrew, and had engaged in talks over ballistic missiles with North Korea during President Bill Clinton's second term. Nuland served as assistant secretary of state for European Affairs during the Ukraine crisis.. Sherman, McKeon, Nuland, Jenkins and Zeya will require Senate confirmation to their posts while the others will not. Matthew Lee, The Associated Press
States nationwide are closing their Capitols and activating National Guard troops ahead of possible protests. More details on arrests. Latest news.
LOS ANGELES — Hours after an angry mob of Trump supporters took control of the U.S. Capitol in a violent insurrection, Selena Gomez laid much of the blame at the feet of Big Tech. “Today is the result of allowing people with hate in their hearts to use platforms that should be used to bring people together and allow people to build community,” tweeted the singer/actor. “Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, Jack Dorsey, Sundar Pichai, Susan Wojcicki — you have all failed the American people today, and I hope you’re going to fix things moving forward.” It’s just the latest effort by the 28-year-old Gomez to draw attention to the danger of internet companies critics say have profited from misinformation and hate on their platforms. Gomez has been calling out Big Tech for months — publicly on the very platforms she’s fighting and privately in conversations with Silicon Valley’s big hitters. In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, Gomez said she’s frustrated by what she views as the companies’ lacklustre response and that they have to “stop doing the bare minimum.” “It isn’t about me versus you, one political party versus another. This is about truth versus lies and Facebook, Instagram and big tech companies have to stop allowing lies to just flow and pretend to be the truth,” Gomez said in a phone interview from New York. “Facebook continues to allow dangerous lies about vaccines and COVID and the U.S. election, and neo-Nazi groups are selling racist products via Instagram. “Enough is enough,” she said. Facebook and Twitter representatives declined to comment. Google didn't respond to an AP request for comment. Gomez is among a growing number of celebrities using their platforms to call out social media, including Sacha Baron Cohen, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Kerry Washington, and Kim Kardashian West. Gomez became passionate about the issue in 2017 when a 12-year-old commented on one of her Instagram posts: “Go kill yourself.” “That was my tipping point,” she said. “I couldn’t handle what I was seeing.” Social media experts have argued that companies like Facebook and Twitter played a direct role in the Capitol insurrection both by allowing plans for the uprising to be made on their platforms and through algorithms that allow dangerous conspiracy theories to take flight. That’s even though executives, such as Facebook’s Sandberg, have insisted that planning for the riots largely took place on other, smaller platforms. “The operational planning was happening in spaces that Selena, for example, was identifying to Sheryl Sandberg in advance saying, ‘You know, we need to do something about white supremacist extremism online and their ability to just form a group on Facebook and happily talk away to each other, plan what they’re going to do next,’” said Imran Ahmed, CEO of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, which has helped educate Gomez about online misinformation. In emails shared exclusively with the AP, Gomez told Sandberg in September that “a search for a militia group ‘Three Percenters’ results in dozens of pages, groups and videos focused on people hoping and preparing for civil war, and there are dozens of groups titled ‘white lives matter’ that are full of hate and lies that might lead to people being hurt or, even worse, killed.” That’s even though Facebook banned U.S.-based militia groups from its service in August. In the same email, Gomez also points to several ads with lies about election fraud being allowed to remain on Facebook and Instagram and questions why that was being allowed. “I can’t believe you can’t check ads before you take money, and if you can’t you shouldn’t be profiting from it,” she wrote. “You’re not just doing nothing. You’re cashing in from evil.” In an email response to Gomez, Sandberg defends Facebook’s efforts to remove harmful content, saying the platform has removed millions of posts for hate speech, and bans ads that are divisive, inflammatory, or discourage people from voting. She didn’t directly address the advertising examples Gomez pointed to. “It’s beating around the bush and saying what people want to hear,” Gomez said about her interactions with Sandberg and Google, among others. "I think at this point we’ve all learned that words don’t match up unless the action is going to happen.” Following the violence at the U.S. Capitol, tech companies made some of their biggest changes to date. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other platforms banned President Donald Trump, drawing criticism from some including the American Civil Liberties Union that it was censorship, and praise from others who say the president abused his platform by encouraging violence. In a thread defending Twitter’s Trump ban, CEO Jack Dorsey said “offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all.” In addition to banning Trump, Facebook has been removing video and photos from Capitol rioters. The company also added text on posts questioning the election, confirming that Joe Biden has been lawfully elected, and saying it was taking enforcement action against militarized social movements like QAnon. While the changes are positive, they’re “just a drop in the bucket,” said Jeff Orlowski, director of Netflix’s “The Social Dilemma,” a popular 2020 film that showed how Silicon Valley’s pursuit of profit could pose an existential threat to U.S. democracy. Voices like Gomez’s can be a huge help to get the message across, considering her hundreds of millions of followers, Orlowski said. “Think of the advertising revenue from every Selena Gomez post. Think of the advertising revenue from every Donald Trump post, the advertising revenue from every post from The Rock or whoever,” he said. “Those people are literally generating millions of dollars for these companies ... The top 20 people on Instagram have probably the most influence over Mark and Sheryl compared to anybody else until finally Congress as a whole gets enough momentum and energy to put some legislation together.” Orlowski and Ahmed both said they’re looking to Biden’s administration for reforms, including a measure that would hold social media companies accountable for the posts they allow, an effort that has gained momentum and drawn bipartisan support. “The question no longer is ‘Is there going to be change,’” Ahmed said. “The question is, ‘What kind of change are we going to get?’” Meanwhile, Gomez vows to keep fighting as long as she has a pedestal. “While I have this, I’m going to do good things with it,” she said. “I think that’s my purpose.” ___ Associated Press writer Barbara Ortutay contributed to this report from Oakland, California. Amanda Lee Myers, The Associated Press
New Delhi [India], January 16 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that a change has come in thinking about startups as people who used to ask "why don't you do a job?" are now asking "why not create a startup?"
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Dubai on Saturday unveiled the signature pavilion for the upcoming Expo 2020, the world's fair that is scheduled to open later this year even as the global pandemic that forced its postponement continues to rage. The Terra Pavilion, which features a towering 130 meter-wide (426 feet) canopy blanketed with thousands of solar panels, is part of the sheikhdom's push to rally enthusiasm for the high-stakes expo amid the pandemic that has pummeled its economy. The massive structure, devoted to environmental sustainability, rises from the fairgrounds on the desert outskirts of Dubai, where construction workers still scurry around national pavilions in various stages of completion.
Securities Litigation Partner James Wilson Encourages Investors Who Suffered Losses Exceeding $50,000 In SolarWinds To Contact Him Directly To Discuss Their Options New York, New York--(Newsfile Corp. - January 16, 2021) - If you suffered losses exceeding $50,000 investing in SolarWinds stock or options between February 24, 2020 and December 15, 2020 and would like to discuss your legal rights, click here: www.faruqilaw.com/SWI or call Faruqi & Faruqi partner James Wilson directly at 877-247-4292 or ...
Greece's sports ministry urged judicial and sports authorities on Saturday to look into Olympic sailing champion Sofia Bekatorou's statements that she had been sexually assaulted by a sports official in 1998.
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