Japan to extend Tokyo area state of emergency to March 21
The Japanese government plans to extend a state of emergency to combat COVID-19 for Tokyo and three neighbouring prefectures until March 21, two weeks longer than originally scheduled, Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said on Friday.
9 great apes become first non-human primates vaccinated for Covid-19
Nine great apes at the San Diego Zoo - four orangutans and five bonobos - made veterinary history in recent weeks as the world's first non-human primates known to be vaccinated against Covid-19, zoo officials said on Thursday.
Daily U.S. COVID-19 cases below 40,000 for first time in months: monitor
International: The number is back down to the levels of before Thanksgiving and Christmas, when holiday travel and gatherings in defiance of safety warnings were blamed for spreading the virus further in the U.S.
Charlie LeDuff on suing Whitmer for info on COVID nursing home death counts: 'I've been asking for months'
Michigan investigative journalist Charlie LeDuff told Fox News on Thursday he is suing the state's Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, after trying for months to get straight answers and statistics detailing the coronavirus-related death toll in nursing homes.
Fact-checking Republican critiques of the Covid-relief package
Ahead of the Senate debate on the stimulus bill, Republican Senate leadership criticized the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package during a news conference Tuesday. Instead of focusing on the bill's economic provisions designed to revive the US economy, Republicans have attacked it for including funds for non-health care related spending and failing to push schools to reopen for in-person learning.
China sets growth target of 'above 6%' for 2021
Asia|: Beijing: China’s leaders set an economic growth target of “above 6 per cent” for 2021 on Friday, at the opening of the country’s annual legislative session. “A target of over 6 per cent will enable all of us to devote full energy to promoting reform, innovation, and high-quality development,” the Premier Li Keqiang will say, according to an advance copy of his speech. Officials avoided a specific target in 2020 for the first time in years, after the Covid-19 outbreak handed China its first economic contraction in decades. The freezing of the economy then raised some doubts about the Communist Party’s pledge of continued prosperity in return for unquestioned political power. Some analysts had believed that global uncertainty and distortions from the pandemic would lead China to holding off on a target for a second year. But with China containing the coronavirus domestically thanks to strict lockdowns and mass virus testing, the world’s second-largest economy is set for a strong comeback. “In setting this target, we have taken into account the recovery of economic activity,” Li said, according to the advance copy of his speech. The government usually sets economic growth targets that it regularly exceeds. Based on many analysts’ forecasts, China’s economy is expected to grow around 8 per cent to 9 per cent this year, said OCBC Bank’s head of Greater China research Tommy Xie. Apart from a growth target, China’s authorities are also looking to create over 11 million new urban jobs, and keep a surveyed urban unemployment rate of around 5.5 per cent, according to Li’s speech. China also set the budget deficit ratio at “around 3.2 per cent” — slightly lower than last year’s figure.
Burnett: Sen. Johnson is trying this as simplistic circus stunt
CNN's Erin Burnett says Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) is not trying to improve the Covid-19 relief bill or change any senators minds by having the over 600 page bill read on the floor, but rather pulling a "simplistic circus stunt."
Abbott rejects Biden proposal for migrant testing at border, says it will create ‘magnet’
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Thursday that he had rejected a Biden administration proposal for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to partner with Texas to test and potentially quarantine migrant adults and children surging across the border -- amid a controversy over the release of COVID-positive migrants into Texas.