The Times Of India World
Taliban taking over Afghanistan will make it a ‘pariah state’, warns US secretary of state
If the Taliban took Afghanistan by force and abused the rights of the people, they would make the country a “pariah state” and no international recognition or support would be forthcoming, US secretary of state Antony Blinken said here on Wednesday, in the strongest warning yet to the extremist group amid mounting atrocities and continuing violence in the restive country.
Pfizer raises 2021 Covid-19 vaccine sales forecast to $33.5 billion
Pfizer Inc on Wednesday raised its forecast for sales of the Covid-19 vaccine that it developed with Germany's BioNTech by 28.8% to $33.5 billion, as countries scramble to secure supply of the shots. The company said the raised sales forecast of the vaccine is based on signed deals for 2.1 billion doses this year, and that it could increase if it signs additional contracts. Pfizer and BioNTech expect to produce 3 billion doses of the vaccine this year.
Afghanistan will not be base for separatists, Taliban tell China
A top-level Taliban delegation visiting China assured Beijing the group will not allow Afghanistan to be used as a base for plotting against another country. For Beijing, a stable and cooperative administration in Kabul would pave the way for an expansion of its Belt and Road Initiative into Afghanistan and through the Central Asian republics.
Covid-19: Sydney lockdown extended by four weeks
The lockdown has been extended until at least August 28. The restrictions began on June 26, when 12 new cases were recorded in the local community. The city’s outbreak has since swelled -- fueled by the spread of the highly-contagious delta variant -- with 177 more cases recorded on Wednesday.
US tells vaccinated people in high Covid risk areas to mask again
President Joe Biden said the announcement showed that America needs to "do better" on vaccinations, adding that a vaccine mandate for the country's more than two million federal workers was now "under consideration."
Police officers recount mayhem, 'attempted coup' in US Capitol riot
Four police officers on Tuesday told lawmakers they were beaten, taunted with racial insults, heard threats including "kill him with his own gun" and thought they might die as they struggled to defend the US Capitol on January 6 against a mob of then-President Donald Trump's supporters.