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Serum’s Investment Jab for UK; English Cricketers in ‘Covid Bubble’

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Serum Institute’s Investment in UK Creates Buzz: In a diversification expected after Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla escaped alleged pressure and threats from powerful Indian leaders to arrive in Britain, the company is due to invest about 240 million pounds in the United Kingdom, a part of the billion-pound investment agreements announced between India and the UK. The company will spend that money on clinical trials, research and development, and on developing new products. The SII will join more than 800 Indian companies that have invested in the UK, with more investments due to be announced further. Coming at this time this new investment is likely to dent India’s business, and its reputation as the pharmacy of the world. The biggest of them all has begun to set new footprints outside India.

EU Races UK to Land Trade Deals with India: Now that the long-awaited announcement of an enhanced trade partnership between India and the UK has been made, a deal with the EU is not far behind. India and the EU are due to announce a relaunch of talks on a free trade agreement later this week at the India-EU virtual summit in Porto in Portugal on May 8. That resumption follows tentative agreements over trade in cars and car parts, and over visas for Indian professionals, particularly in services. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen are reported to have spoken about this already. Significantly, that tentative agreement comes just before an announcement on an enhanced trade partnership between the UK and India. The EU is clearly racing the UK to win strong deals with India.

Concerns over Status of England Players in IPL: Following the long-awaited cancellation of the IPL, the ECB is at last making arrangements to get 11 England players back. A media outcry had been picking up over weeks now to get the England players back. Following the Covid positive tests for two KKR players, the supposed bio-bubble in which the tournament was being held proved not as safe as claimed. There is particular concern over Eoin Morgan who captains KKR. The England players will of course have to quarantine for ten days upon return. But the immediate concern is to isolate them and ensure negative results before they can travel out.

Indian Covid Immunity Myth Busted: The current Covid wave in India has ended the myth about some natural Indian immunity to the virus. It has on the contrary raised questions whether Indians and other South Asians could in fact be more vulnerable to it. A disproportionately high number of Indians and other South Asians died in the first wave of the virus last year. Now a study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine finds that the second wave of the virus in December and January hit South Asians even harder than the first wave did about this time last year. The report comes at a time when, after India, cases have begun to rise in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.

British Naval Fleet Sets off on India Journey: A British naval fleet led by the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth has set sail for the Indo-Pacific region via a set of exercises around Scotland. The fleet is due to conduct exercises jointly with the Indian Navy. US and Dutch ships are set to join the British fleet as the US and the UK both shift attention to the Indo-Pacific region as an area of prime interest. Britain is simultaneously upping its defence budget. This is the first operational deployment of HMS Queen Elizabeth, built and equipped at a cost of about 3 billion pounds.​

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Underwater Quake Shakes West Indonesia, No Tsunami Warning

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A strong undersea earthquake shook western Indonesia on Friday, but no tsunami warning was issued and no damage was immediately reported.

People were running from their houses,” said a local disaster mitigation agency official, Hiramo, who goes by a single name.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 6.6 quake struck at a depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles) and was centered 257 kilometers (159 miles) south of Sinabang, a town on the east coast of Simeulue Island, which lies off the western coast of Sumatra.

No tsunami warning was issued by the Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency, and no casualties were immediately reported.

Indonesia, a vast archipelago of 271 million people, is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the Ring of Fire, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

Indonesia’s latest major earthquake was in January, when a magnitude 6.2 earthquake killed at least 105 people and injured nearly 6,500, while displacing more than 92,000, in West Sulawesi province.

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Pro-Palestine protesters attack man wearing Star of David necklace

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Footage from a Pro-Palestine protest in Manhattan, New York depicting a bloodied man wearing a Star of David necklace escaping the protestors went viral on social media on Tuesday. Allegedly, the victim made hateful comments to the protestors, which led to the protestors throwing a metal chair towards the victim’s face and then chasing him. It is not clear what such alleged comments might have been.

The video appears to depict a police officer escorting the victim, who has not yet been identified, with a bloodied face across the street. The incident took place on Tuesday evening.

The video showcases a pro-Palestine protestor woman accusing the victim of making hateful comments. “He said really hateful comments,” the woman says.

As a police officer tries to escort the bloodied victim to safety, someone can be heard shouting intensely ‘Run p***y’ as the man darts across the street, with several protestors carrying the Palestinian flag chasing them.

The bloodied man winds up in a local store as a woman repeats ‘f*** you’ towards him.

Reporter Elad Eliahu, who was covering this situation as it was unfolding, said that the NYPD riot squad managed to catch up to the alleged chair-thrower, but ultimately decided to let him go.

According to the NYPD’s statement to DailyMail.com, “Police observed a verbal altercation with a crowd of people. The complainant entered the crowd and was struck in the head with a metal chair by an unknown individual, causing a laceration to their head. “

‘The complainant was removed to Bellevue Hospital,’ the NYPD continued. ‘There are no arrests at this time.’

The NYPD confirmed that the investigation into the incident remains ongoing. 

Situation in Israel

According to the BBC, at least 103 people have been killed in Gaza and seven in Israel since violence between the two sides was renewed. Gaza authorities claim that at least 27 of those who have died were civilian children. However, Israel has said that many of the deaths were of Gaza militants or due to rocket misfires from Gaza. 

On Thursday, three rockets were fired from Lebanon into the sea off of northern Israel, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). No group has claimed responsibility for those rockets yet.

Israel’s military said on Thursday that it hit several targets in Gaza, including intelligence buildings and homes, as well as businesses that were allegedly being utilized by militants.

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Russian-made Sputnik V launched by Dr Reddy, to cost Rs.995 per dose

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Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, the Indian partner of Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), said it has commenced Sputnik V’s India rollout, with the first doses being administered in Hyderabad on Friday on a limited basis.

Deepak Sapra,, the global head of Custom Pharma Services at Dr Reddy’s Lab became the first person to receive the Sputnik V shot at Hyderabad today.

According to the reports, the Hyderabad-based company said the Russian vaccine – Sputnik V would be priced at Rs 948 per dose with an additional 5% GST to be charged on it, putting the price at around Rs 995.4.

“As part of a limited pilot, the soft launch of the vaccine has commenced, and the first dose of the vaccine was administered in Hyderabad today on May 14, 2021. The imported doses of the vaccine are presently priced at an MRP of Rs 948 + 5% GST per dose, with the possibility of a lower price point when local supply begins,” the company said in its regulatory filing.

Further, the company also said that the first consignment of imported doses that landed in India on May 1, 2021, has received regulatory clearance from the Central Drugs Laboratory, Kasauli, on Thursday, May 13, 2021.

The pharmaceutical company expects more consignments of imported doses in the upcoming months. In later months, the supply of the Sputnik V vaccine produced by the Indian manufacturing partners is also expected to commence. Currently, the Russian vaccine manufacturing company is working closely with its six manufacturing partners in India to fulfil regulatory requirements to ensure a smooth and timely supply.

“Dr Reddy’s will work closely with stakeholders in the government and private sector in India to ensure the widest possible reach of the Sputnik V vaccine as part of the national inoculation effort,” the Hyderabad-based pharma company said.

The rollout of the Sputnik V vaccine at market rates, without any subsidy or philanthropic rate slash, comes at a time when left-liberals are waging war against Indian-made vaccines over its alleged ‘higher costs’ while batting for much costlier foreign vaccines.

Propaganda against Indian vaccines

Ever since various pharmaceutical companies developed vaccines for Covid-19, the left-liberals, joining hands with the opposition parties, have launched a vested campaign against Indian companies. The left-liberals have been attacking the Indian origin Covaxin made by Bharat Biotech and SII’s Covishield over its prices while forcing both the government and manufacturers to slash the prices.

The left-liberals had accused Indian companies of making huge profits at the expense of common people by keeping the prices of their vaccines high. In realilty the Indian made vaccines are among the cheapest in the wolrd.

It is interesting to see how the opposition parties and its left-wing media ecosystem reacts to the roll-out of Russian-made Sputnik V vaccines that cost around Rs.1,000, which is nearly costlier than the two Indian-made vaccines – Covaxin and Covishield.

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