2021-09-22 21:48:55 Biden calls on the world to “go big” on Covid.
Biden calls on the world to “go big” on Covid.
President Biden called on leaders, pharmaceutical executives, and civil society organizations on Wednesday to create a global plan to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden cited two urgent goals while speaking at a virtual Covid-19 summit organized with the United Nations: vaccinating the world and resolving an oxygen-supply crisis. “We will not solve this crisis with half-measures or middle-of-the-road ambitions — we must go big,” the president said. “It’s an all-hands-on-deck situation.”
Many of the summit’s leaders sent pre-recorded videos, so a debate and immediate agreement on a plan were unlikely. Pfizer announced a deal with the Biden administration on Wednesday to sell 500 million doses to the US, which will be donated to countries that lack the shots.
Earlier this week, the World Health Organization’s chief scientist pleaded with nations to collaborate in order to distribute vaccines and share excess supplies. “A country-by-country, nationalistic approach will not get us out of this pandemic,” Dr. Soumya Swaminathan stated.
Vaccine disparities: Less than 10% of the population of poor countries, and less than 4% of the African population, has been fully immunized against Covid. Covax, the international vaccine initiative, is falling behind schedule in delivering vaccines to low- and middle-income countries that require them the most.
Here are the most recent pandemic updates and maps.
Other recent developments include:
The Chinese economy is displaying warning signs.
Global markets are watching as Chinese real estate behemoth Evergrande flirts with bankruptcy, and investors are concerned that any failure could reverberate throughout the international financial system. Some market observers believe Evergrande could be China’s “Lehman moment,” referring to the 2008 collapse of the investment bank Lehman Brothers.
The larger threat for Beijing, however, is that China’s growth is slowing, and the government may have to work harder to rekindle it.
The indicators: Retail sales were lower than expected last month, owing to sluggish auto sales. Industrial production has slowed. Infrastructure investment, which Beijing has predicted will drive growth, is keeping the economy afloat for the time being. However, it may not be sustainable in the long run.
Predictions: Bank of America cut its forecast for China’s economic growth next year to 5.3 percent from 6.2 percent on Tuesday.
The latest: Evergrande announced a deal with investors that will give it some breathing room, but it is unclear what will happen on Thursday, when bond interest payments are due.
A top aide to Ukraine’s president has been attacked.
Serhiy Shefir, the adviser, was unharmed, but his driver was injured when a person or people hiding in the woods by the road fired shots at his car outside Kyiv on Wednesday. According to the authorities, it was an assassination attempt.
President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that he would return to Ukraine immediately from New York, where he was attending the United Nations General Assembly, to speak out against Russia’s military intervention in eastern Ukraine.
Zelensky stated that, while the attack was a personal message to him, he would not be deterred by it. “Saying hello to me by shooting from the woods at my friend’s car is weakness,” he explained.
The reason: According to an adviser to Zelensky’s chief of staff, the attack was motivated by the president’s efforts to limit the influence of oligarchs. According to the authorities, there are no suspects and no one has been arrested.
Shefir, 57, is regarded as the president’s closest confidant. In 2003, he and his brother, as well as Zelensky, founded a television production company, which catapulted Zelensky to fame. They live next door to each other.
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Rinko Kawauchi, a Japanese photographer, used to try to take her daughter to visit her parents near Kyoto every two months. The pandemic disrupted that habit, but she documented what it was like to resume the old routines after her parents were vaccinated this summer.
‘Star Wars’ with a Japanese twist
In the anime anthology series “Star Wars: Visions” on Disney+, some of Japan’s most creative animation studios get to explore a galaxy far, far away. According to Robert Ito of The New York Times, the show, which consists of short films with vastly different animation styles, pays tribute to the Japanese influence on “Star Wars.”
George Lucas has previously discussed Star Wars’ debt to Japanese culture, citing Akira Kurosawa’s 1958 period drama “The Hidden Fortress” as a primary inspiration for his first “Star Wars” film. There are also kimono-like robes, lightsaber duels (kendo experts worked with the actors in the films), and the Force itself, with Buddhist and Shinto elements.
The animators created stories for the series that exist outside of the franchise’s cinematic universe. Ito describes the characters as “Sith villains and rabbit-girl hybrids, tea-sipping droids (OK, it’s really oil) and sake-sipping warriors.” “Lightsabers are lovingly tucked away in traditional furoshiki wrapping cloths and red lacquer boxes.”