Geopolitics

Delta Variant: How Effective Are The Vaccines?

As concerns of a substantial wave of hospitalisations due to the Delta variant of the coronavirus grow, we take a look at the latest data on the protection offered by vaccines.What Does Vaccine Effectiveness Mean?Vaccine effectiveness refers to how well a vaccine works in the real world.

25 June 2021
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Indonesia Jails Hard-line Cleric Over Virus Lies

Indonesian police fired tear gas and water cannon at supporters of a hard-line Muslim cleric jailed Thursday for spreading false information about COVID-19 after he held rallies that drew thousands.Rizieq Shihab, 55, was handed a four-year jail term for claiming in a viral video that he was healthy, despite knowing that test results showed he may have been infected with the virus.Thousands rallied outside the courthouse in Jakarta in support of the cleric, whose influential Islamic Defenders

25 June 2021
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Thais Protest Despite COVID Warnings

Hundreds of pro-democracy protesters rallied in Bangkok on Thursday to call for the government's resignation, defying warnings from authorities about the kingdom's soaring coronavirus cases.The marches came on the 89th anniversary of the Siamese Revolution – the uprising that transformed Thailand from an absolute to a constitutional monarchy.Bangkok was rocked by near-daily protests against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's government in the second half of 2020, but the pro-de

25 June 2021
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Mourning In COVID-Hit Indonesia

It should have been a time of celebration for Puji Apriani’s family – she was pregnant with her second child, and just weeks away from giving birth.But instead of welcoming a new life, her family is now in mourning. “I miss her. She was healthy, her pregnancy was normal.

24 June 2021
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Indonesian Extremists Finance Jihad With Charity

Generous Indonesians donating their spare change to the poor and needy are unwittingly helping finance deadly terror attacks and jihadist training camps, in a scam that has netted big money for extremist groups.Former radical Khairul Ghazali once spent his days visiting restaurants, convenience stores and supermarkets to drop off charity boxes, wearing an official-looking uniform to avoid suspicion.Passers-by would slot in coins and crumpled banknotes in the belief that they were helping the

24 June 2021
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WHO Spots Problems At Russian Vaccine Plant

The World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday it had uncovered problems at a Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine production site which Moscow insisted had been resolved.WHO approval has been sought for the Sputnik V jab created by Russia's Gamaleya research institute, which is already being used in 40 countries.The United Nations (UN) health agency inspected four Sputnik V manufacturing sites.On Wednesday, it released a summary report of its preliminary findings, detailing six issues found d

24 June 2021
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Delta Plus: New COVID Variant Identified

India has classified a new variant of the coronavirus first identified in Europe as a "variant of concern", but it's too early to really tell.A mutation is elevated from a "variant of interest" to a "variant of concern" (VOC) when it shows evidence of fulfilling at least one of several criteria, including easy transmission, more severe illness, reduced neutralisation by antibodies or reduced effectiveness of treatment and vaccines.India's health ministr

23 June 2021
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Myanmar's Suu Kyi In Court On Sedition Charges

Deposed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi appeared in a junta court again Tuesday on trial for sedition and for flouting COVID restrictions during an election her ousted party won in a landslide.A mass uprising in Myanmar against a February military putsch has been met with a brutal crackdown that has killed more than 870 civilians, according to a local monitoring group.Under house arrest and invisible apart from a handful of court appearances, Suu Kyi has been hit with an eclectic raft of char

23 June 2021
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‘Vaccine Or Jail?’: Duterte Warns Filipinos

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to send people to prison for refusing to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, as the government placed the country’s border controls on “heightened alert” over new cases of the Delta variant.“You can choose: you get the vaccine or I will send you to jail,” Duterte said in Tagalog during a pre-recorded address on Monday night.

22 June 2021
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Indonesia Hits 2M Cases, COVID Crisis Deepens

Indonesia passed two million coronavirus cases Monday as infection rates soar and hospitals are flooded with new patients, prompting warnings that the Southeast Asian nation's health crisis could spiral out of control.The unwanted milestone comes after daily case rates more than doubled in recent weeks and authorities identified the presence of highly infectious COVID-19 variants.On Monday, official figures showed that Indonesia had recorded a daily record high of 14,536 cases, taking th

22 June 2021
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HK’s Apple Daily Could 'Shut Within Days'

Authorities last week froze HK$18 million (US$2.3 million) of assets owned by three companies linked to Apple Daily.Mark Simon told the BBC that the paper could "do nothing while none of its bank accounts are functioning".Apple Daily, a well-read tabloid, is frequently critical of Hong Kong and mainland Chinese leadership."If you don't have money, you can't order services.

21 June 2021
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