Geopolitics

Geopolitics

Can COVID Vaccine Tech Make A Better Flu Jab?

Winter is coming to the northern hemisphere, and with it the flu season – however advances spurred by the fight against COVID-19 are boosting hopes of finding a more reliable vaccine. Flu jabs have long been available to fight off the seasonal virus, but their rate of effectiveness can vary from between 40 and 70 percent. They work by injecting an inactivated virus strain into humans to trigger immunity. That inactivated virus must be prepared well in advance, and this can cause problems if the strains don't match up.  But now drugmakers and laboratories are rushing to apply what has been

Should COVID-19 Vaccines Be Mandatory?

Governments across the world are turning to vaccine mandates as the Delta variant continues to wreak havoc and vaccine uptake in some communities begin to slow down. New Zealand - which has abandoned its COVID-Zero strategy amid persistent infections - introduced last week a “no jab, no job” policy for doctors and teachers, while neighbouring Fiji says all of its public and private sector workers are liable to lose their jobs if they fail to get fully inoculated by November. In the United States (US), where a surge of infections this summer disrupted plans to restore some sense of normality

From COVID To Cancer: High Hopes For mRNA Tech

The coronavirus pandemic has made vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna and the mRNA technology that they use into household names.  These types of jabs are new but researchers have been working for decades to try to figure out how to use messenger RNA for other vaccinations and to treat illnesses from AIDS to cancer.  How Does It Work?  Messenger RNA's job in the body is to help deliver specific instructions from DNA to cells. In the case of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna jabs, lab-generated mRNA tells human cells to create antigens – proteins that are similar to ones found in the

Coronavirus: Latest Global Developments

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis: Russia Daily Deaths Pass 1,000 Russia records 1,000 deaths over 24 hours for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic – a new record for a third day running – with less than a third of Russians vaccinated and few restrictions in place.  The Kremlin, which says authorities have to ensure "the economy continues working", has avoided re-introducing major measures despite calling the vaccination rate unacceptably low. It also insists Russia's medical system is not overwhelmed and could take in the rising number of

Energy

The World's Slow Transition To Cleaner Energy

The transition towards cleaner energy has made progress but not quick enough to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, as agreed in the 2015 Paris climate agreement. While the COVID-19 pandemic initially…

ASEAN To Push Utilisation Of Storage Technologies

ASEAN Member States (AMS) need to step up their game on energy storage development. As the 6th ASEAN Energy Outlook foretells, ASEAN’s Total Final Energy Consumption (TFEC) projects to increase by 38 percent by 2025 and…

Asia Disputes IEA Call To Curb Energy Investments

Asian energy officials on Wednesday disputed a call from the International Energy Agency (IEA) for no new oil, natural gas and coal investments for the world to be able to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,…

Geothermal Key To Philippines’ Energy Demand

Today, there are nearly eight billion people living on the planet. As this number continues to grow, the need for water, food, land, and energy will also rise. The climate is one of the earth’s fundamental life support…

Markets

Supply Chain Woes Slowing Global Recovery

Power outages in China, chaos in Britain's petrol stations, factory closures in Germany – supply chain problems around the world are threatening to gnarl up a global recovery as countries try to re-emerge from pandemic-…

Philippine Economy Needs 10 Years To Recover

The Philippine economy will take more than a decade to return to pre-pandemic growth, an official said Thursday, warning the next two generations of Filipinos would be paying for the cost of COVID-19. Lockdowns and…

Global Brands Trapped In Vietnam’s COVID Lockdown

From shoes and sweaters to car parts and coffee, Vietnam's strict and lengthy coronavirus lockdown has sparked product shortages among worldwide brands such as Nike and Gap which have grown increasingly dependent on the…

China Rules All Crypto Transactions Illegal

China's central bank on Friday said all financial transactions involving cryptocurrencies are illegal, sounding the death knell for the digital trade in China after a crackdown on the volatile currencies. The global…

Technology

Facebook Harms Children, Stokes Division: Ex-Employee

Frances Haugen, a 37-year-old former product manager turned whistleblower, heavily criticised the company at a hearing on Capitol Hill. Facebook has faced growing scrutiny and increasing calls for its regulation.…

Tech Titan Shake-Up

A big quake may be headed towards California. No, it is not the 7.5 magnitude earthquake that Californians have been worried about. This has only a 31 percent chance of happening. And that too from now to 30 years. Of a…

Can Vaccine Passport Apps Be Trusted?

The next time you attend a wedding or concert, visit a place of worship, eat indoors at a restaurant or even go to work, you may need to show digital proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test results. On Friday,…

New FB Undersea Cables To Boost Region’s Internet

Facebook and Google are planning two new undersea internet cables to connect Southeast Asia to North America. The project with regional telecoms companies aims to supply faster internet speeds to Singapore and…

Environment

195 Nations Back 'Kunming' Pledge On Biodiversity

Almost 200 nations pledged Wednesday to tackle ecological destruction at a key United Nations (UN) conservation summit in China, but environmentalists criticised the proposal as vague and lacking accountability.…

Climate Activists Fight For Inclusive COP26

The COVID-19 pandemic offered young climate activists from Africa, Asia and South America a unique opportunity to connect online with their counterparts in the West and have their voices heard. But now many are worried…

Thai Diners Whet Their Appetites At Flood Cafe

A Thai restaurant has taken dining with a water view to the next level – its customers perch precariously on wooden stools as murky brown floodwater laps at their tables. Tropical storm Dianmu and heavy monsoon rains…

Bangkok On Alert As 70,000 Homes Flooded

Thai authorities on Tuesday rushed to protect parts of Bangkok from floodwaters that have already inundated 70,000 homes and killed six people in the country's northern and central provinces. Tropical storm Dianmu has…

10 Fun & Exciting Places in Singapore to Take Your Kids to

As a parent, thinking of a holiday in Singapore with your children will be equal parts fun and stressful. It’ll be fun because you get to project your own childhood dreams of visiting or experiencing a certain activity (wink wink) and also get to spend time with your little buddies.  However, it can also get...