Archive for Sinéad Baker

The CDC director has designated racism as a ‘serious public health threat’ facing Americans

GettyImages black lives matter protest
An anti-racism protest in Washington, DC.
  • The CDC designated racism as a "serious public health threat" facing Americans.
  • Its director said the pandemic exposed an "epidemic impacting public health: racism."
  • The American Medical Association defined racism as a public-health threat last year.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has designated racism as a "serious public health threat" facing Americans.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the agency's director, noted in a Thursday statement that the coronavirus pandemic had affected communities of color "more severely" in terms of cases, deaths, and social effects, adding that this inequality was not caused by the virus.

"Instead, the pandemic illuminated inequities that have existed for generations and revealed for all of America a known, but often unaddressed, epidemic impacting public health: racism," she said.

"What we know is this: racism is a serious public health threat that directly affects the well-being of millions of Americans. As a result, it affects the health of our entire nation."

She added: "Racism is not just the discrimination against one group based on the color of their skin or their race or ethnicity, but the structural barriers that impact racial and ethnic groups differently to influence where a person lives, where they work, where their children play, and where they worship and gather in community."

She said the CDC would study the relationship between social factors and health and use coronavirus funding to invest in "racial and ethnic minority communities and other disproportionately affected communities around the country." She also said the agency itself was trying to make itself more inclusive and diverse.

The American Medical Association officially defined racism as a public-health threat last year.

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Greta Thunberg says she is skipping the UN’s climate change conference, citing vaccine inequality between rich and poor nations

greta thunberg
Greta Thunberg.
  • Greta Thunberg said she won't attend the UN's climate change conference over vaccine inequality.
  • Rich countries have secured most of the world's vaccines, leaving other populations unprotected.
  • Thunberg said many people would not be able to travel to the conference and speak as a result.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has said she is skipping the UN's climate change conference, citing vaccine inequality between rich and poor nations.

The 18-year-old tweeted on Friday: "Of course I would love to attend the Glasgow #COP26 But not unless everyone can take part on the same terms."

"Right now many countries are vaccinating healthy young people, often at the expense of risk groups and front line workers (mainly from global south, as usual...)."

The COP26 summit is due to take place in Glasgow, Scotland, in November, bringing together world leaders to form plans to tackle climate change.

The event's website makes no mention of the coronavirus or vaccines, but Thunberg said that vaccine inequality would affect the event.

She said: "Inequality and climate injustice is already the heart of the climate crisis. If people can't be vaccinated and travel to be represented equally that's undemocratic and would worsen the problem."

"Vaccine nationalism won't solve the pandemic. Global problems need global solutions."

"But if current trends continue and the #cop26 has to be delayed that doesn't mean we have to delay the urgent action required."

"We don't have to wait for conferences nor anyone or anything else to dramatically start reducing our emissions. Solidarity and action can start today."

Rich countries have secured access to most of the world's vaccines, leaving campaigners warning that poorer countries' populations have been left unprotected.

Insider has contacted the COP26 organizers for comment.

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Video shows the Soyuz spacecraft’s view of Earth minutes after takeoff on its trip to bring 2 Russians and 1 American to the ISS

Souyz view of earth
  • A Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft launched Friday to bring two Russians and one American to the International Space Station.
  • They launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 12:42 p.m. local time, or 3:42 a.m. ET.
  • They are due to arrive at the ISS around 7:07 a.m. ET.
  • NASA shared a video of its third-stage separation minutes after takeoff, showing its view of Earth. Watch here:
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Myanmar’s ambassador to the UK – who didn’t support the military coup – was locked out of his embassy and had to spend the night in his car

myanmar embassy london
Myanmar's ambassador to the UK Kyaw Zwar Minn stands outside the Myanmar Embassy in London on April 8, 2021, after he was locked out the day before.
  • Kyaw Zwar Minn, Myanmar's ambassador to the UK, said he was locked out of the embassy on Wednesday.
  • Sources told Reuters that his deputy took over.
  • Kyaw Zwar Minn had called for Myanmar's civilian leader to be released after her detention in the coup.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Myanmar's ambassador to the UK, who did not support the military coup in the country, said he was locked out of the embassy on Wednesday night.

Sources told Reuters that his deputy had shut him out and taken over.

Kyaw Zwar Minn told Reuters: "It's a kind of coup, in the middle of London ... you can see that they occupy my building."

The BBC's Charlotte Wright said Kyaw Zwar Minn told her that he spent the night sleeping in his car outside the embassy.

The ambassador also said that embassy staff were being threatened with "severe punishment if they don't continue to work for the military general," the BBC reported.

Myanmar's military staged a coup on February 1 after claiming voter fraud in its November 2020 election, and detained its leaders. Since then it has also cracked down on anti-coup protests and killed hundreds of demonstrators.

Kyaw Zwar Minn has called for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, the civilian leader that the military detained during the coup.

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Video shows a massive fireball destroying the deck of a supply ship in the Antarctic Ocean

Screenshot 2021 04 08 at 09.29.11
A screenshot from a video of the fire.
  • A video shows shows a fire erupting on a vessel in the Antarctic Ocean.
  • It left the ship with a damaged engine and only able to move at slower speeds.
  • No injuries were reported, and authorities are investigating.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Video footage shows a fire erupting on a supply vessel in the Antarctic Ocean.

The fire started at around 2 p.m. on Monday on MPV Everest, The Guardian reported, while it was five days into a 14-day journey back to Australia.

Watch the video here:

The fire was suppressed, but it left the ship only able to go at much slower speeds, according to The Guardian.

No injuries were reported, and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating.

A Maritime Union of Australia official said the fire caused "significant damage" to one of the ship's engines and "resulted in the destruction of two smaller vessels stored on the deck," The Guardian reported.

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Russia now requires all smartphones and devices in the country to be pre-installed with the country’s software

Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin on the phone.
  • A new Russian law that requires devices to have Russian software installed is now in force.
  • It's intended to allow Russian software companies to compete with foreign ones.
  • Some are calling it a "law against Apple," though Apple has relented to the rule.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Russia now requires all smart devices, including smartphones, computers, and smart TVs, in the country to be pre-installed with Russian software, in what some locals have called a "law against Apple."

The new came into force on Thursday, applying to all devices bought in the country from that day onwards.

Reuters noted that Russia views it as a way to help Russian software companies compete with international ones.

The outlet added that the law had been an issue for Apple, with many in the country calling it a "law against Apple."

But Apple agreed last month to allow people to install Russian software when the phones are being set up, Reuters reported.

The company said it would offer apps from Russian developers to users as they start to activate and set up their new phones, but said that all apps are checked to make sure they meet Apple's own privacy and security policies, Reuters said.

This means that users would be able to choose Russian apps over foreign ones when setting up their devices.

Russia has been trying to crack down on US tech companies in the country in recent years, and strengthen the country's reliance on its own, government-controlled "sovereign internet." Last month Russia slowed down Twitter in response to the company's refusal to remove various banned content, but it backfired as it ended up blocking many more domains, including the Kremlin's own website.

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Ben Shapiro said long lines at polling places aren’t a sign of voter suppression, comparing them to Disneyland queues

ben shapiro
Ben Shapiro.
  • Ben Shapiro defended Georgia's new voting law against claims that it amounts to voter suppression.
  • He said long lines weren't voter suppression "any more than long lines at Disneyland are."
  • Democrats and activists say the Georgia law harms voters and targets minority voters in particular.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The conservative commentator Ben Shapiro has defended Georgia's new voting law, saying long lines at polling places are not voter suppression but rather are comparable to Disneyland queues.

The Republican-backed law includes requiring voters to show ID while requesting and returning absentee ballots and makes it illegal to provide food or water to people standing in line to vote.

Democrats have criticized the law, saying that it amounts to voter suppression and that Republicans were using it to target Black and other nonwhite voters. Those groups' turnout was credited with flipping the state for Democrats in the latest presidential and US Senate elections in the state.

Shapiro told his namesake "The Ben Shapiro Show" that "voter suppression doesn't involve long lines any more than long lines at Disneyland are ride suppression."

"You know what voter suppression is?" he said. "Voter suppression is where you don't get to vote."

Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, signed the bill into law last week.

President Joe Biden called it a "blatant attack on the Constitution and good conscience" and even likened it "to Jim Crow in the 21st century." Civil-rights groups and CEOs have also condemned it.

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Officials found an unaccompanied 4-year-old boy walking toward the US border, as Biden faces a surge in migrant children trying to enter

Migrant child
An unaccompanied 4-year-old Honduran child is pictured after being rescued by Mexican officials in the border city of Reynosa, Mexico. Photo edited by Reuters.
  • A four-year-old child was found trying to cross the US-Mexico border by himself.
  • Mexican officials said he was found walking towards the border near the Rio Grande river.
  • An increased number of unaccompanied migrant children have been trying to enter the US.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

A four-year-old child was found walking towards the US-Mexico border by himself, officials said Wednesday.

He was found unaccompanied and walking towards the border near the Rio Grande river, said Mexico's National Migration Institute, according to Reuters.

The boy, from Honduras, was rescued by members of the National Migration Institute and the US National Guard, Reuters reported.

He was found near a group of mothers and children also from Honduras, but none of them claimed responsibility for him or said he was their relative, Reuters said.

The boy and the group were taken into what Reuters described as "a local branch of a Mexican authority dedicated to family welfare."

An increased number of unaccompanied children have been arriving at the border after policy changes by President Joe Biden's administration, including measures to reverse controversial Trump-era policies.

The administration says that it doesn't want to turn them back and to dangerous conditions, and doesn't want to send them to someone in the US who has not been properly vetted - leading to crowded detention centers at the border.

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The FDA could authorize Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for 12 to 15 year olds ‘in time for the fall school year,’ former FDA commissioner says

Coronavirus vaccine
A coronavirus vaccine.

Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine could get FDA approval for 12 to 15 year olds "in time for the fall school year," the former FDA commissioner said.

Scott Gottlieb was asked on CNBC on Tuesday when he thought the FDA could approve the vaccine for that age group. Gottlieb is also a member of Pfizer's board.

His comments come after Pfizer announced on Wednesday that its vaccine was highly effective at preventing COVID-19 infection in kids aged 12 to 15 in a late-stage trial of more than 2,000 participants.

Pfizer said it plans to submit the data to the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency to request for emergency authorization of the vaccine.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said: "We plan to submit these data to FDA as a proposed amendment to our Emergency Use Authorization in the coming weeks and to other regulators around the world, with the hope of starting to vaccinate this age group before the start of the next school year."

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23 countries and the WHO are calling for a treaty to prepare the world for future pandemics

Brazil coronavirus
Relatives of Neide Rodrigues, 71, who died of COVID-19, mourn in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • 23 world leaders and the head of the WHO want a treaty to prepare for future pandemics.
  • This would help with information sharing, vaccines and medicines access, they said.
  • Formal negotiations for such a treaty have not happened, but the leaders wrote a joint opinion piece.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The leaders of 23 countries and the World Health Organization are calling for a global treaty to prepare the world for future pandemics.

The treaty would be aimed at countries sharing helpful information as well as ensuring universal vaccine access and medicines, Reuters reported.

Diplomats told Reuters that Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the WHO, has endorsed the idea.

Formal negotiations to actually create such a treaty hasn't started, Reuters reported, but the heads of 23 countries have cosigned a joint opinion piece published in major newspapers saying that they supported its creation.

"There will be other pandemics and other major health emergencies," they said in the letter, which you can read here. "No single government or multilateral agency can address this threat alone."

"We believe that nations should work together towards a new international treaty for pandemic preparedness and response."

The leaders of China and the US, Xi Jinping and Joe Biden, did not sign the joint letter, but Reuters reported the WHO as saying that they had reacted positively to the idea.

China, where the virus was first detected, has been widely criticized for its early pandemic response. The WHO says the virus' origin is still unclear, though it likely jumped from animals to humans.

It was signed by the heads of of Fiji, Portugal, Romania, Britain, Rwanda, Kenya, France, Germany, Greece, Korea, Chile, Costa Rica, Albania, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, the Netherlands, Tunisia, Senegal, Spain, Norway, Serbia, Indonesia, and Ukraine, as well as the WHO.

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