country 's

Current account balance sees $3.76 bln gap in May  


Turkey's current account balance saw $3.76 billion deficit in May, the country's Central Bank revealed on July 13.


'Pandora's Box Is Open': After Journalist's Arrest, Russian Civil Society Fears Crackdown By Emboldened Security Services   7%

Following the July 7 jailing of longtime journalist Ivan Safronov on suspicion of treason, many in Russia are warning that the country's vaguely written espionage laws could be used as a tool for a significant crackdown on independent journalists and civil-society activists.


British Embassy in Libya welcomes resumption of NOC oil exports, calls for dialogue  


The British Embassy in Libya welcomed the announcement that the country's National Oil Corporation (NOC) had resumed oil exports in the country after a half-year blockade.The NOC lifted force majeure


Poland's Andrzej Duda wins 2nd term by narrow majority  

Polish President Andrzej Duda has won the country's presidential election, the country's National Electoral Commission has said. The right-wing politician will lead Poland for five more years.


Music photographer admits 'I'm an abuser' after #MeToo posts   50%

Photographer Jack Stafford, who has shot some of the country's leading musicians, has confessed to sexual misconduct after Instagram posts by musician Jaguar Jonze.


At 'wartime speed', China now leads in vaccine race   1%

SEOUL/SINGAPORE-China is forging ahead in the race to develop a vaccine to help control the COVID-19 pandemic, with Sinovac Biotech's experimental vaccine set to become the country's second and the world's third to enter final stage testing later this month, Reuters reported.

It has brought the state and private sectors together in a quest to combat a disease that has infected more than 11,874,000 people worldwide and killed more than 545,000 of them.

Meanwhile, many other countries, including the United States, are coordinating closely with the private sector to try to win the vaccine development race, and China faces many challenges.

In China, an entity, for example, completed two vaccine plants at what it called the "wartime speed" of a couple of months, while some researchers of state-owned enterprises and the military have volunteered to take experimental shots.

The People's Liberation Army's medical research unit, which has been a driving force in China's efforts to fight infectious diseases, is also working with private firms including CanSino to develop vaccines.

Challenging the West's traditional dominance of the industry, China is behind eight of the 19 vaccine candidates in human trials, with Sinovac's experimental shot and one jointly developed by CanSino and the military among the front-runners.

It is also focused mainly on inactivated vaccine technology-a technology that is well known and has been used to make vaccines against diseases such as influenza and measles-something which could raise the chances of success.

"It's a tried and true strategy," said Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, about inactivated vaccine technology.

"If I had to pick a vaccine that I think would be the most likely to be safe and effective, it would be that one," he said. Offit is also co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine, RotaTeq, manufactured by Merck& Co.

By contrast, Western companies such as US-based Moderna and Germany's CureVac and BioNTech are using a new technology called messenger RNA that has never before yielded a product approved by regulators.

Four of the Chinese candidates in human trials are inactivated vaccines, including Sinovac's and two vaccines from China National Biotec Group, or CNBG, a unit of state-owned China National Pharmaceutical Group, or Sinopharm.

Phase III trials

There are only two experimental COVID-19 vaccines in final Phase III trials-one from Sinopharm and another from AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford. Sinovac's is set to become the third later this month.

To speed up the process, Sinopharm and Sinovac combined Phase I and Phase II trials for their vaccine candidates.

For CanSino's experimental vaccine, the PLA research institute played an important role, with the two working on a method using an adenovirus-a similar approach to AstraZeneca's.

The PLA has its own approval process for "military specifically-needed drugs", and approved the military use of the candidate developed by its research unit and CanSino last month.

Chen Wei, the PLA's lead scientist who has been the face of its vaccine development effort, was among the first to take the experimental COVID-19 shot developed by her team, as well as its potential SARS treatment years before, according to state media.

China has challenges, though, as the epidemic has petered out in the country, hampering efforts to conduct large trials.

It has since shifted its focus overseas, and a handful of countries have shown willingness to collaborate-the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico.

 


On fifth attempt, UN Security Council renews Syria aid via Turkey  

The United Nations describes the aid as a 'lifeline' for Syrians in the country's northwest ■ Russia and China abstained from the vote after blocking the move repeatedly


How Israel discriminates against evangelical Christians   -5%

When Israel shuts down a channel run by one of the world's largest Christian broadcasting networks, it appears that the country's much-touted promise of religious freedom doesn’t include evangelicals


Haim Gouri, renowned Israeli writer and poet, dies at 94   50%

Haim Gouri was a prominent figure among Israel's founding generation. He received the country's highest honors for his work, including the Bialik Prize and the Israel Prize


Alibaba touts unstoppable digitization as growth engine  


China’s ongoing digital transformation is attracting attention from the state as well as the country's biggest tech companies including Alibaba.


Where's the beef? Lebanon's currency crash puts desperation on the menu   20%


The Lebanese are used to eating plenty of meat, but the country's economic woes have made it a luxury as rampant inflation takes its toll.


Palace letters show Queen did not order 1975 removal of Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam  


Queen Elizabeth II was not forewarned of the 1975 removal of Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam by then Governor-General John Kerr, according to classified papers released Tuesday, which reveal new details about the country's biggest constitutional crisis.


Hong Kong used to be a 'safe harbor' for tech companies. Not anymore   19%


For decades, Silicon Valley giants shut out of China by the country's massive censorship apparatus have continued to operate in Hong Kong thanks to the city's unique political status that guaranteed it a free internet.


Mali protest leader calls for calm after demonstrations turn deadly   -22%

A Malian protest leader called for calm Sunday after four more people were killed during demonstrations calling for President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita's resignation, the West African country's worst civil unrest in years.


Mali PM promises to quickly form a government following violent protests   -100%

Malian Prime Minister Boubou Cisse on Saturday vowed to rapidly form a government "open to facing the challenges of the day", adding that four more people had died in the country's worst civil unrest in years.


Iran reports its highest one-day Covid-19 death toll, topping record set earlier in week  

Iranian health authorities on Sunday announced 163 new deaths due to the COVID-19 disease, the country's highest official one-day toll since the outbreak began in February.


Lebanon holds Baalbeck concert despite virus, economic crisis   28%

Lebanon Sunday hosted its annual music festival in the ancient northeastern city of Baalbeck without an audience for the first time, a move organizers dubbed "an act of cultural resilience" to the coronavirus pandemic as well as the country's unprecedented economic meltdown.


'At war time speed', China leads COVID-19 vaccine race   2%

China is forging ahead in the race to develop a vaccine to help control the COVID-19 pandemic, with Sinovac Biotech's experimental vaccine set to become the country's second and the world's third to enter final stage testing later this month.


Korean Pop, Away From The Hit Factories   36%

The country's K-pop idols have found success worldwide, to the point that they are now synonymous with the country's popular and/or modern music. But there's a lot more where that came from.


Poland's Nationalist President Narrowly Wins Reelection   13%

President Andrzej Duda's victory further empowers Poland's ruling Law and Justice party, which has worked to weaken the country's independent judiciary and free press.