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Germany hit 2 million infections as WHO tackled the new strain | Instant News

MAIN FRANKFURT AM: Germany on Friday passed two million coronavirus cases as the World Health Organization’s emergency committee prepares to issue suggestions to stem the spread of a new, more contagious strain of disease.
Europe’s biggest economic boom comes as countries on the continent have again tightened restrictions, with Portugal entering a new lockdown and Britain requiring a negative test to enter.
Despite the launch of a vaccine – India’s giant program is due to kick off on Saturday – many countries are doubling down on efforts to stop a pandemic that has now claimed nearly two million lives.
New population curbs were announced from Brazil to Lebanon, and Mexico has been hit by the deadliest week of the pandemic.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday pushed for “significant” tightening of restrictions to slow infection rates as the European Union’s most populous nation added more than 22,000 new cases.
The chancellor said he wanted to carry crisis talks with regional leaders into the coming week, attendees at a meeting of the center-right CDU party told AFP.
They quoted his statement as saying that the virus could only be stopped by “significant additional measures” and that people were urgently needed to reduce social contact.
At the Meissen crematorium in the state of Saxony, coffins were piled up to three high or even stored in an aisle awaiting cremation. The eastern region has become one of the worst hit regions in Germany in recent weeks.
Manager Joerg Schaldach, 57, said anyone who still denied the severity of the pandemic should come and take a look at the piled up bodies.
“This is tough work, so why don’t the Covid-19 deniers come and do it,” he said.
“We are facing a catastrophic situation here.”

Germany fared better than many of its European neighbors in the pandemic, with France, Italy, Spain and Britain recording more infections despite smaller populations.
Britain on Thursday said it would ban all arrivals from South American countries from Friday over concerns about importing a new strain of the coronavirus.
“I have taken an urgent decision … to follow evidence of a new variant in Brazil,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Twitter.
The new strain, known as E484K, has raised awareness among researchers of its possible impact on immunity.
London will also start Friday asking all arrivals to show evidence of clean coronavirus tests taken in the past 72 hours to enter the country.
Brazil’s northern Amazonas state announced a curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. as the health system pushed to a breaking point in the state capital Manaus.
Global health experts are expected on Friday to issue recommendations to stem the spread of this variant and other new strains, which the WHO has called “alarming.”
WHO emergency committees usually gather every three months but meetings move forward in two weeks.
“When you first met nearly a year ago, only 557 cases of the disease that we now call Covid-19 have been reported to WHO,” said director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in his opening remarks at Thursday’s emergency meeting.

Scientists say large-scale vaccination is the only way out of the crisis but 95 percent of the doses given so far are restricted to 10 countries, the WHO’s European branch said.
Progress in vaccine delivery is often slow, as in the United States, where about 10 million people have received their first injection, even 4,000 people die from the virus each day.
American policymakers on Thursday focused on tackling the economic damage from the pandemic, with President-elect Joe Biden announcing proposals for a $ 1.9 trillion aid package aimed at revitalizing the world’s largest economy.
Biden aims to raise the federal minimum wage to $ 15 an hour, help struggling state and local governments reopen schools safely, ramp up vaccination campaigns and increase the size of stimulus checks that Congress approved last month.
“At this time of crisis … we cannot tolerate inaction,” said Biden.


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CNPE Brazil Establishes A Guide To A New Biodiesel Marketing Model – Energy and Natural Resources | Instant News

Brazil: CNPE Brazil Sets Out A Guide To A New Biodiesel Marketing Model

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On December 30, 2020, the National Energy Policy Council (“CNPE”) issued Resolution No. 14/2020 (“Resolution No. 14”), which establishes guidelines for the marketing of biodiesel on the national territory and regulates other measures.

Resolution No. 14 stipulates that all biofuel required to meet the mandatory percentage stipulated by Law no. 13.033 / 2014 should be contracted through a marketing model, replacing public auctions. The National Agency for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (“ANP”) is responsible for regulating the biodiesel marketing model, which will be effective January 1, 2020.

ANP should pay attention to the following points when defining the marketing model: (i) protecting the interests of consumers in relation to price, product quality and supply; (ii) guarantee of fuel supply in the national territory; (iii) promotion of free competition; (iv) increasing the participation of biofuels in the national energy mix from an economic, social and environmental perspective; and (v) the objectives, basis and principles of the National Biofuels Policy.

The marketing model does not prohibit the use of imported raw materials for biodiesel production.

Resolution No. 14 provides for a 12 month transition period calculated from the date the marketing model becomes effective, during which all biodiesel marketed must come exclusively from ANP-certified production units. During the transition period, ANP may, unless, authorize the marketing of imported biodiesel.

The marketing model should stipulate that up to 80 percent of the total volume of biodiesel marketed comes from the biodiesel producing unit with the “Social Biofuel Seal”. The regulation will be the object of study by the Joint Technical Committee for the Development of the Market for Fuels, Oil by-Products and other Biofuels, which is stipulated by Decree No. 9,928/2019.

Marketed biodiesel which equips this percentage may also come from biodiesel producing units with such seals.

Finally, until the marketing model becomes effective, public auctions will continue to be promoted and operated within their current structure, as stipulated in CNPE Resolution No. 5/2007, and in other specific guidelines established by the Ministry of Mines and Energy.

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This article provides information and commentary on legal issues and the development of interest. The foregoing is not a comprehensive treatment of the subjects covered and is not intended to provide legal advice. Readers should seek specific legal advice before taking any action on the issues discussed here.

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The Italian foreign minister, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, discussed the relationship | Instant News

ROME: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio met on Sunday to discuss relations.

They also discussed regional and international developments when meeting in the historic city of AlUla.

Earlier, Di Maio and his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a “strategic bilateral dialogue” between the two countries.

The Italian foreign minister reiterated praise for the agreement signed in AlUla last week at the GCC summit to resolve a dispute between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

“This is a fundamental premise for increasing stability and security in the region,” said Di Maio. “We appreciate the parties’ constructive commitment to resolving controversy, a goal which Italy has always supported with confidence.”

The foreign ministers also discussed the G20 summit organized by Saudi Arabia last year. The Presidency is demoted from the Kingdom to Italy, which will host the event in October.

They discussed coordination with member states to finalize and strengthen the G20 during the Italian presidency, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Di Maio arrived in Saudi Arabia after a two-day visit to Jordan.

He said that in recent years Italy and Saudi Arabia “have steadily strengthened their friendly and cooperative relations”.

He added: “Bilateral cooperation has made positive progress in recent years in the commercial, political, cultural and security fields.”

For Italy, Saudi Arabia is its largest trading partner in the Gulf and second in the wider region. Di Maio said Italy wanted to strengthen bilateral economic partnerships and that Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 reform program offered opportunities for Italian companies, particularly in the infrastructure, energy, manufacturing and logistics sectors.

Italy is one of the top ten suppliers to Saudi Arabia with exports reaching 3.279 billion euros in 2019 – a 6 percent increase compared to 2018.

Imports to Italy from the Kingdom totaled 3.795 billion euros in 2019.

More than 70 Italian companies operate in Saudi Arabia.


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Germany accuses the Turkish think tank of encouraging government propaganda in Europe | Instant News

ANKARA: Germany accuses a Turkish think tank of being a front for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party and of spreading government propaganda in Europe.

The Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) has had offices in Berlin since 2017.

SETA is known to be financed by the family of Erdogan’s son-in-law and former finance and treasury minister, Berat Albayrak, and has offices in Brussels and Washington DC

The German parliament has accused SETA of gathering intelligence and spreading the views of the Turkish government by using scientific research activities as a cover.

The federal government says SETA’s goal is to gain influence in German public opinion and frame political debates about Turkey with a variety of instruments, including nominating candidates in local elections. It acted in response to a parliamentary inquiry from the Free Democratic Party (FDP).

Stephan Thomae, of the FDP, said the government had lost its temper and abandoned a cautious approach to Turkey’s efforts to build diplomatic influence in Germany, Deutsche Welle reported.

“It has been clear for some time that SETA is part of the Turkish government’s information game,” tweeted Steven A. Cook, a senior fellow at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations. “Too few in Washington understand that this is not really a research organization.”

SETA previously came under fire from the international community in 2019, when it published two reports.

It catalogs the correspondents of international news outlets in Turkey, while other reports on the structure of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) are banned in Europe claiming the group collaborates with racist white supremacists on the continent.

Press freedom groups condemned SETA media reports as a dangerous increase in the treatment of journalists, and a criminal complaint against the SETA report was filed on a range of charges including “inciting the public to hatred and hostility.”

The report profiles the social media sharing and personal backgrounds of Turkish journalists working for international media, including Arab News, effectively targeting them by the government.

Germany’s internal intelligence agency, BfV, has been investigating SETA activities in Germany for a while. Last month published a report accusing SETA of pursuing the Turkish government’s agenda in Germany.

“US authorities must follow suit with SETA counterparts in Washington. This propaganda shop has long been a major beacon of Erdoganism in the United States, ”Sinan Ciddi, professor of national security studies at the Marine Corps University in the US, wrote on Twitter.

Turkey’s opposition party request for a parliamentary inquiry into SETA’s financial resources and activities was rejected by Ankara in 2019.

SETA has been tax-exempt since 2013, unlike other think tanks in Turkey.

Turkey’s presidential communications director Fahrettin Altun and presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin used to work at SETA.

SETA has not released an official statement regarding the German government’s claim.


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News of end of travel ban leads Saudis to search for flight options | Instant News

JEDDAH: Saudis leaving the Kingdom after March 31 will not need a COVID-19 vaccine to travel, a spokesperson for the Saudi Ministry of Health said on Saturday. “There is no requirement that you have to be vaccinated to travel. Studies on this subject are still in progress. This question is related to the Kingdom. Other countries could apply it, but there is no condition in the Kingdom so far, ”said Dr Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly. The Health Passport is a unique service delivered by the Ministry of Health’s “Twakkalna” app in cooperation with the Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence and other entities. It is important that vaccine recipients have their appointments documented. The ministry on Saturday registered 110 new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Saudi Arabia, bringing the total number of infections to 363,692. recorded the highest number of cases with 40 cases, while Mecca reported 31, and the Eastern Province and Medina region saw 12 each. Hail, the northern border region and Al-Jouf recorded no cases. FASTFACTS • The ministry recorded 110 new cases of COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia on Saturday. • The Kingdom has recorded one of its lowest death rates in weeks. • There are now 2,024 active cases, of which 308 are in intensive care. There are now 2,024 active cases, of which 308 are in intensive care, and 174 new cases have been registered, bringing the total number of healings to 355,382. The Kingdom’s recovery rate remains steady at 97.7%. recorded one of its lowest death rates in weeks after just four new coronavirus-related deaths were reported, bringing the death toll to 6,286. More than 11.3 million chain reaction tests per polymerase have been conducted in the Kingdom since the start of the pandemic, with 37,043 completed in the past 24 hours. .

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