World News Roundup: South African variant can 'break through' Pfizer vaccine; Myanmar security forces kill 80 protesters and more

The veneration of Philip, who died on Friday at the age of 99, by people on Tanna Island in Vanuatu was one of the more curious aspects of the life of the former husband to the British Queen Elizabeth II. Egypt, Sudan reject Ethiopian proposal for data sharing on Renaissance dam Egypt and Sudan on Saturday rejected an Ethiopian proposal to share data on the operations of its giant hydropower dam on the Blue Nile after negotiations between the three countries in Kinshasa this week ended without progress.

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 11-04-2021 10:17 IST | Created: 11-04-2021 05:24 IST
World News Roundup: South African variant can 'break through' Pfizer vaccine; Myanmar security forces kill 80 protesters and more

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

South African variant can 'break through' Pfizer vaccine, Israeli study says

The coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa can "break through" Pfizer/BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine to some extent, a real-world data study in Israel found, though its prevalence in the country is low and the research has not been peer reviewed. The study, released on Saturday, compared almost 400 people who had tested positive for COVID-19, 14 days or more after they received one or two doses of the vaccine, against the same number of unvaccinated patients with the disease. It matched age and gender, among other characteristics.

Myanmar security forces with rifle grenades kill over 80 protesters - monitoring group

Myanmar security forces fired rifle grenades at protesters in a town near Yangon on Friday, killing more than 80 people, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) monitoring group and a domestic news outlet said. Details of the death toll in the town of Bago, 90 km (55 miles) northeast of Yangon, were not initially available because security forces piled up bodies in the Zeyar Muni pagoda compound and cordoned off the area, according to witnesses and domestic media outlets.

Iran launches advanced uranium enriching machines to mark nuclear day

President Hassan Rouhani reiterated Iran's commitment to nuclear non-proliferation on Saturday while overseeing the launch of advanced centrifuges at the underground Natanz nuclear plant to mark National Nuclear Technology Day. Iran has breached many restrictions imposed by a 2015 deal on its atomic activities in response to former president Donald Trump's withdrawal from the deal in 2018. The two nations have laid out tough stances at indirect talks in Vienna this week on how to bring both back into full compliance with the accord.

Turkey's Erdogan calls for end to 'worrying' developments in eastern Ukraine, offers support

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday called for the "worrying" developments in eastern Ukraine's Donbass region to come to an end after meeting his Ukrainian counterpart in Istanbul, adding Turkey was ready to provide any necessary support. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy held more than three hours of talks with Erdogan in Istanbul as part of a previously scheduled visit, amid tensions between Kyiv and Moscow over the conflict in Donbass.

France extends gap between mRNA vaccine shots to ramp-up rollout

France will lengthen the period between the first and second shots of mRNA anti-COVID vaccines to six weeks from four weeks as of April 14 to accelerate the inoculation campaign, Health Minister Olivier Veran told the JDD newspaper on Sunday. Although France's top health authority advised a six-week period between the two shots in January in order to stretch supplies, the government at the time said there was insufficient data on how well the vaccines performed with a longer interval.

Archbishop of Santiago Chile hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19

The archbishop of Chile's capital Santiago, Celestino Aos, has been hospitalized after testing positive for the coronavirus, the Roman Catholic Church in Chile wrote in a statement posted on Twitter on Saturday. Aos, 76, and Monsignor Alberto Lorenzelli, the auxiliary bishop of Santiago, were confirmed by the church as having tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.

Prince Philip's islander devotees inspired by shared respect for tradition

The late Prince Philip maintained a respectful 50-year relationship with an indigenous group in the island nation of Vanuatu that venerated him based on their shared respect for tradition, in contrast to his history of racially insensitive remarks. The veneration of Philip, who died on Friday at the age of 99, by people on Tanna Island in Vanuatu was one of the more curious aspects of the life of the former husband to the British Queen Elizabeth II.

Egypt, Sudan reject Ethiopian proposal for data sharing on Renaissance dam

Egypt and Sudan on Saturday rejected an Ethiopian proposal to share data on the operations of its giant hydropower dam on the Blue Nile after negotiations between the three countries in Kinshasa this week ended without progress. Ethiopia is pinning its hopes of economic development and power generation on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which Egypt fears will imperil its supply from the Nile. Sudan is also concerned about the impact on its own water flows.

Ash coats Caribbean island of Saint Vincent after volcano eruption

The tiny eastern Caribbean island of Saint Vincent was blanketed with a thin layer of ash and a "strong sulphur" smell hung in the air on Saturday, a day after a volcano spectacularly erupted after decades of inactivity. The eruption of La Soufriere on Friday pumped dark clouds of ash some 10 km (6 miles) into the air, prompting an evacuation of some nearby residents.

Prince Charles pays tribute to 'my dear papa' Philip for devoted service

Britain's Prince Charles paid a personal tribute on Saturday to his "dear papa" Prince Philip, saying the royal family missed him enormously and that the 99-year-old would have been amazed at the touching reaction across the world to his death. Philip, the husband of Britain's Queen Elizabeth who had been at her side throughout her record-breaking 69-year reign, died at Windsor Castle on Friday.

(With inputs from agencies.)


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