Infections in India have hit another grim daily record as demand for medical oxygen jumped seven-fold and the government denied reports that it's slow in distributing life-saving supplies from abroad. The number of new confirmed cases breached 400,000 for the second time. The Times of India reported that 11 COVID-19 patients died as the pressure in the oxygen line dropped suddenly in a government medical college hospital in southern India, possibly because of a faulty valve. Demand for hospital oxygen has increased seven times since last month as India scrambles to set up large oxygen plants and transport cryogenic tankers, cylinders and liquid oxygen. A sea bridge has been set up to ferry oxygen tankers from Bahrain and Kuwait.
China has suspended an economic dialogue with Australia, stepping up a pressure campaign that began over Australian support for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus. Beijing has blocked imports of Australian coal, wheat, wine and other goods, plunging relations to a multi-decade low. But it has failed to force Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government to offer concessions. The Chinese Cabinet’s planning agency accused Australia of taking steps “to disrupt normal exchanges” due to a “Cold War mindset and ideological discrimination.” China holds such dialogues with Australia, the United States and some other governments to discuss trade disputes and other economic issues.
On the frontlines of the battle against Russia-backed separatists and in the halls of government in Kyiv, Ukrainians hold strong hopes for the visit of the U.S. Secretary of State — increased military aid and strong support for NATO membership among them. By visiting so early in his tenure, before any trip to Russia, Antony Blinken is signaling that Ukraine is a high foreign-policy priority for President Joe Biden's administration. But what he can, or will, deliver in Thursday’s meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is uncertain. Zelenskyy has made it clear that he wants significant action.
Australia’s drastic COVID-19 strategies of preventing its citizens leaving the country and returning from India are being challenged in court. The government is resisting growing pressure to lift the Indian travel ban imposed last week until May 15 to reduce infections in Australian quarantine facilities. Federal Court Chief Justice James Allsop said the challenge to the Indian travel ban will be heard by a judge on Monday. A libertarian group took its case against a ban on most Australians from leaving the country to the full bench of the Federal Court. The three judges are likely to announce their verdicts later.
An online message from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing has prompted anger online in China. The message sent out on Chinese social media says applications are being accepted for study at American universities and those wishing to go should “jump at the chance like little puppies." That description triggered hundreds of thousands of comments calling the post, along with a video of puppy striving to cross a fence, racist. The controversy comes amid heightened tensions between Beijing and Washington over disputes involving intellectual property, trade and human rights, among others. China has taken a hard line under President Joe Biden’s administration as it increases its military spending and diplomatic strength.
Nearly two decades after an Australian woman was convicted of killing her four children, dozens of scientists are backing the claim that they may have died of natural causes. Australian law says Kathleen Folbigg is one of the nation’s worst female serial killers who smothered her four children over a decade. But a growing number of scientists say she could be the victim of a tragic miscarriage of justice. The 53-year-old’s freedom hinges on a petition to the New South Wales state governor for a pardon. The petition lodged in March carries the signatures of 90 scientists, medical practitioners and related professionals including two Nobel laureates. They cite new evidence of the children’s genome sequencing.
The military and police in the Pacific nation of Fiji have surrounded and locked down a major hospital amid concerns of a growing coronavirus outbreak. Health authorities say they’re quarantining 400 patients, doctors, nurses and staff within the compound until they can determine who had contact with a COVID-19 patient who died. The patient was just Fiji's third fatality from COVID-19, but there are worries this outbreak is spreading, especially after two doctors at Lautoka Hospital tested positive for the virus. Fiji's health secretary says the hospital is closed and all medical services are being diverted to other facilities. Those sequestered in the hospital would be provided with food, bedding and other supplies.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has arrived for a one-day visit that is highly anticipated in the country as it faces heightened tensions with Russia. The top American diplomat arrived late Wednesday. He is to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday. The Ukrainian leader has said he wants to hear strong signals from the United States supporting Ukraine's desire to join the NATO military alliance. Ukraine is also expected to push for more military aid from the U.S. amid rising hostilities from Russia-backed separatist rebels in the east of the country. Russia also raised tensions this year with largescale military exercises near the border with Ukraine.
ROME (AP) — A jury in Rome has convicted 2 US youths in slaying of police officer, sentences both to life in prison.
A 16-year-old Palestinian youth has been killed by Israeli gunfire in a clash in the northern West Bank, while a young Israeli man wounded in a shooting attack early this week died from his injuries. The Palestinian Health Ministry says the teen was killed near the city of Nablus. The Israeli military says it opened fire after firebombs were hurled at troops operating in the area. Meanwhile, Israel's defense minister has announced the death of a 19-year-old Israeli who was shot by a gunman in a drive-by shooting earlier this week in the West Bank.
Mexico has ordered drug lord Hector “El Güero” Palma held for 40 more days pending investigation, staving off at least temporarily what would have been international embarrassment had he walked free. The attorney general's office said Wednesday a judge had granted an order to hold Palma under a form of non-prison arrest while he is investigated on drug and organized crime charges. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said earlier this week that Palma's release could affect Mexico's reputation. Mexico has a poor track record in winning organized-crime convictions, and the measure appeared to be a last-ditch attempt to avoid releasing him.
More than 200 global organizations urged the U.N. Security Council to impose an arms embargo on Myanmar, saying the time for statements has passed and immediate action is needed to help protect peaceful protesters against military rule and other opponents of the junta. A statement by the non-governmental organizations says the military “has demonstrated a callous disregard for human life” since their Feb. 1 coup, killing at least 769 people including 51 children as young as six years old and detaining several thousand activists, journalists, civil servants and politicians. It says hundreds of others have disappeared.
The COVID-19 death of a popular comedian has prompted an outpouring of grief across all sectors of society in Brazil, a nation otherwise deeply divided over how to cope with the disease. Forty-two-year-old Paulo Gustavo died Tuesday evening at a Rio hospital after nearly a month in intensive care. Fans had begun a vigil in the streets outside. Conservative President Jair Bolsonaro tweeted his regret at the death of Paulo Gustavo, “who with his talent and charisma conquered the affection of all Brazil.” His leftist hrival, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, mourned Gustavo as “a great Brazilian, who celebrated our country with so much joy.”
The Taliban have issued a threat to Afghan journalists they accuse of siding with the government's intelligence agency in Kabul. The warning came amid a U.S. troop pullout and rising fears of more violence in the war-wrecked country. A Taliban spokesman said on Wednesday that an unspecified number of Afghan journalists give “one-sided news in support of Afghanistan’s intelligence” service and warned them to stop or “face the consequences.” The U.S. and Britain responded, with their embassies in Kabul quickly condemning the Taliban threat just two days after World Press Freedom Day. Afghanistan is considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be a journalist.
The largest section of the rocket that launched the main module of China’s first permanent space station into orbit is expected to plunge back to Earth as early as Saturday at an unknown location. Usually, discarded rocket stages are immediately guided into a controlled demolition by friction in Earth’s atmosphere, but the Chinese rocket section was not. China’s space agency has yet to say whether the “core stage” of the huge Long March 5B rocket is being controlled or will make an out-of-control descent. Last May, another Chinese rocket fell uncontrolled into the Atlantic Ocean off West Africa. The U.S. Defense Department expects the rocket stage to fall to Earth on Saturday.
The Mexico City elevated subway line that collapsed, killing 25 people, was so poorly designed from the start in 2012 that passengers and experts came to fear many things. The screeching and bouncing of the wheels on the line’s too-tight curves were quickly wearing away the tracks, raising fears of an accident. Few expected the rail bed to simply collapse. But evidence of poor construction revealed by the city’s 7.1 magnitude quake in 2017 should have shut the line down immediately. Defects detected then, like a sagging section of too-weak steel, could have contributed to Monday’s collapse.
The U.K. has granted full diplomatic status to the European Union’s ambassador to the country, in a reversal of policy that settles one of the disputes that have strained bilateral relations since Brexit. In a joint statement Wednesday, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, said they had reached an agreement that was “based on goodwill and pragmatism.” The U.K. had argued that the EU was not a state even though other countries give it equivalent credentials. The change of course came during a discussion between Raab and Borrell on the margins of the Group of Seven meeting of foreign ministers in London.
Iraq's president says talks between regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia have recently taken place more than once and are still ongoing. The Iraqi president says officials from Riyadh and Tehran met for the Baghdad-mediated talks more than once. His remarks came during an interview broadcast by the Beirut Institute think tank on Wednesday. He said the first round of talks was held between Riyadh and Tehran early last month. The Iraqi president did not respond when asked what the fruits of those talks have been. Neither Iran nor Saudi Arabia have confirmed the talks took place.
Pakistan's military says militants in Afghanistan fired across the border at troops in southwestern Pakistan, killing at least four soldiers before fleeing. The attack took place on Wednesday as a unit oversaw fencing installations near the town of Zhob in Pakistan's Baluchistan province. The military said the troops returned fire. Six soldiers were wounded and transported to a hospital in Quetta. No one claimed responsibility for the attack and the military provided no further details. Pakistan started erecting a fence along the Afghan border in 2017, to contain militant movement and to curb smuggling and illegal border crossing.
The U.S. envoy for the Horn of Africa has met with Egypt's president as part of Washington’s new push to resolve a regional decade-long dispute over Ethiopia’s massive dam on the Nile River’s main tributary. Jeffrey Feltman's tour also includes stops in Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan. It comes amid growing concerns the dispute could escalate into a military conflict. Feltman met on Wednesday with the Egyptian president who reiterated his warnings that Cairo will not tolerate any moves by Addis Ababa that could reduce Egypt’s share of water from the Nile because of the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam.
The memories are so painful that Birhanu Haile sometimes forgets to eat. He is one of thousands of ethnic Tigrayans clinging to a marginal existence after fleeing their homes amid a conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region that has left countless dead. No one knows how many hundreds of thousands of Tigrayans have left their homes during the war. “I don’t want to think of going back,” says one student who recalled stepping on bodies as she fled. The fighting remains intense in some rural areas, complicating efforts to reach communities where some fear the real toll is yet to be known.
Faced with an overstock of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in her practice unwanted by her patients, a doctor in western Germany took matters into her own hands and set up shop in a grocery store parking lot, offering it on a first-come-first-vaccinated basis. Millions of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered in Europe, but Dr. Nicola Buhlinger-Goepfarth said concerns linger over a rare type of blood clot seen in an extremely small number of recipients. Regulators say the benefits of getting inoculated against COVID-19 far outweigh the risks and if the turnout for Buhlinger-Goepfarth’s event Wednesday is anything to go by, many are quite happy to get the shot.
The office of Lebanon’s prime minister says a German company has removed hazardous materials stored in 59 containers from Beirut’s port and is shipping them abroad. It's part of efforts to secure the port following last year’s catastrophic blast. Germany’s ambassador to Lebanon tweeted on Wednesday that the ship carrying the material has left and will arrive in the German town of Wilhelmshaven in about 10 days where it will be destroyed. Nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate — a highly explosive material used in fertilizers — had been improperly stored in the port for years. The August blast killed 211 people and injured more than 6,000.
Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, has won her remaining copyright claim against a British tabloid publisher over the publication of a personal letter she wrote to her estranged father. Meghan, 39, had already won most of her claim for misuse of private information and copyright infringement against Associated Newspapers Limited, the publisher of the Mail on Sunday and the MailOnline website. Meghan sued over five 2019 articles that published large portions of a letter she wrote to her father after her 2018 wedding to Prince Harry. On Wednesday, the judge sided with Meghan’s lawyers regarding the remaining parts of their copyright claim, after lawyers representing Queen Elizabeth II refuted the defense’s claims that the letter’s copyright belonged to the Crown.
President Emmanuel Macron is marking the bicentenary of the death of Napoleon Bonapart, the warrior and emperor who famously bequeathed to France its civil code still in place but whose legacy is today tarnished in the eyes of some for reinstating slavery. In a speech Wednesday, Macron is expected to commemorate, not celebrate, the larger-than-life figure who died in exile on the remote volcanic island of St. Helena exactly 200 years ago. He will then lay a wreath at Napoleon’s tomb under the gold-dome Invalides, a grandiose resting place for a man who gave France its civil code and penal code, established the system of prefects, representatives of the state in each French territory, and lycees, or high schools.
Mali’s Ministry of Health says a Malian woman has given birth to nine babies after only expecting seven. The 25-year-old Halima Cisse gave birth to the babies by cesarean section on Tuesday in Morocco where she was sent for special care. Mali’s health minister confirmed that the five girls, four boys and the mother are all doing well. He said Malian doctors, under government orders, sent Cisse to Morocco for the births because the country's hospitals did not have adequate equipment to deal with this extremely rare pregnancy.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stressed the importance of the trans-Atlantic relationship with the United States. “The United States are and will remain the most important partner of Europe,” Merkel said Wednesday in Berlin. She conceded that, “our partnership during the last few years wasn’t as vital as it could have been,” but expressed relief that after the election of President Joe Biden the cooperation with the U.S. has become closer again. She said: “The news about trans-Atlantic cooperation is ‘back to business. Which is, however, different from ’business as usual.’”
The European Union is planning to tighten rules on foreign investment in its 27 members and increase production autonomy for sensitive strategic goods, two measures bound to hit China — amid already precarious relations with Beijing. The moves comes at a time when the ratification of a business investment deal between the two massive trading powers hangs in the balance because of a rapidly deteriorating political climate over accusations China abuses an ethnic minority. Brussels has long been unhappy about Chinese subsidy-driven imports driving European producers out of business. On Wednesday it promised rules to make sure that EU industries would no longer be undercut by foreign investors that have faced slacker rules up to now.
Egyptian and Turkish officials are meeting for talks aimed at resetting ties between the two regional powers after years of enmity. The two-day “political consultations” between the two nations starting in Cairo on Wednesday, chaired jointly by Egypt’s deputy foreign minister and his Turkish counterpart. Egypt’s Foreign Ministry described the talks as “exploratory discussions” that would focus on “the necessary steps that may lead towards the normalization of relations between the two countries, bilaterally and in the regional context.” Egypt and Turkey have been at loggerheads since the Egyptian military’s 2013 ouster of an Islamist president.
An official tells The Associated Press that Canada’s health regulator has authorized Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for ages 12 to 16. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also is expected to authorize Pfizer’s vaccine for young by next week, setting up shots for many before the beginning of the next school year. The official spoke on condition of anonymity for lack of authorization to speak prior to the formal announcement. It comes barely a month after the company found that its shot provided protection for the younger group.
Officials in Germany have proposed accelerating the plans to cut the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by setting a new goal of reaching “net-zero” by 2045. Under the proposal announced by the German environment and finance ministers, the country would increase its emissions reduction targets from 55% to 65% below 1990 levels by 2030, and to 88% by 2040. The timetable would put Germany in a position to have net-zero emissions five years earlier than the previous target of 2050. The proposed targets so far don’t include corresponding emission-reduction measures. Experts maintain that to speed up the process of cutting emissions, Germany would have to more aggressively phase out coal-fired power plants.
Nine Italians convicted of left-wing terrorism for attacks in the 1970s and 1980s are expected in a Paris court for an extradition hearing. Their arrest last week was seen as an important move toward resolving a long-festering legal dispute between Rome and Paris. They are accused of killing police officers or other serious crimes, and had been living in France for decades. France for a long time refused to extradite left-wing activists wanted by Italy. The extradition process is expected to take up to two or three years. Their appearance in court Wednesday is the first time they've been seen publicly since their arrest.
A prominent politician in Kashmir who challenged India’s rule over the disputed region for decades has died while in police custody. He was 78. Mohammed Ashraf Sehrai was admitted to a government hospital with multiple ailments on Tuesday from a jail in the southern Jammu region. His son says Sehrai was denied proper medical care while in jail. Sehrai was arrested last July under the Public Safety Act, which allows authorities in Indian-controlled Kashmir to imprison anyone for up to two years without trial. Sehrai spent more than 16 years in various Indian jails in a political career that spanned nearly six decades.
Scotland holds an election Thursday that could hasten the breakup of the United Kingdom. The pro-independence Scottish National Party is leading in the polls and a big victory will give it the the moral right and the political momentum to hold a referendum on whether Scotland should end its three-century union with England. But many voters, even if they support independence, are cautious. Britain’s exit from the European Union and the coronavirus pandemic have caused economic upheaval, and some argue it’s not the right time to gamble on independence. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has downplayed independence in her campaign, stressing her credentials as a safe pair of hands to lead Scotland’s recovery from the pandemic.
A joint Italian-German police investigation into the ’ndrangheta organized crime group has led to the arrests of at least 31 people. Officials said the suspects are accused of drug trafficking, money laundering and “systematic” tax evasion on the part of Italian pizzerias and restaurants in Germany. European law enforcement agencies Europol and Eurojust said more than 800 police officers and tax officials were involved in the operation in Germany and Italy. Italian officials said Wednesday that experts from both countries formed a joint team to investigate the case and that the encrypted phone systems the suspects used to communicate complicated the job.
Bulgaria is likely to hold another election on July 11 after the largest three parties in parliament gave up on trying to form a government. President Rumen Radev said Wednesday that he would dissolve parliament, appoint a caretaker government and call a new election once a new electoral commission is appointed. Bulgaria's general election in April produced a fragmented parliament, an expression of widespread desire for change after months of protests against three-time Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. But the opposition failed to assemble a working majority. Opinion polls suggest the July election could have a similar outcome, which would add to the woes of the European Union’s poorest member country.
A defense lawyer says an Iranian diplomat convicted of masterminding a thwarted bomb attack against an exiled Iranian opposition group in France has decided against appealing the verdict. Assadollah Assadi was sentenced to 20 years in prison earlier this year for attempted terrorist murder and participation in the activities of a terrorist group after a Belgian court rejected his claim of diplomatic immunity. Assadi previously worked at the Iranian Embassy in Vienna, Austria. His lawyer told The Associated Press that he informed an appeals court during a preliminary hearing Wednesday that his client did not intend to challenge his conviction because he does not recognize the standing of the appeals court.
A Thai court has ruled that an influential politician and deputy agriculture minister could keep his job and continue as a lawmaker, even though he was convicted and jailed in Australia in 1994 for smuggling heroin. Under Thai law, anyone found guilty of narcotics offences is barred from holding public office. But the Constitutional Court decided that the rule did not apply in the case of Thammanat Prompao because his conviction in a foreign country had no standing in Thailand. Court documents discovered by The Sydney Morning Herald showed that Thammanat, then using a different name, pleaded guilty in 1993 to involvement in trafficking 7 pounds of heroin into Australia. The newspaper said evidence showed Thammanat played a major part in the operation.
A skeptic of sweeping pandemic lockdowns is vowing to use her party’s victory in a regional Madrid election to remain as a “counterpower” to the left-wing coalition of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez. Isabel Díaz Ayuso’s Popular Party won 44% of the vote in Tuesday's regional election, more than the total secured by all of its center-to-left rivals. The election’s outcome opens a fresh chapter in Spain’s volatile politics by putting conservatives back in the race to control the national government. Diaz Ayuso told Spanish station EsRadio on Wednesday that the party's win “is going to be a stimulus and a change of cycle.”
Malaysian rubber maker Top Glove says it hopes to swiftly resolve a U.S. ban on its products due to allegations of forced labor after one of its shipments was seized at a U.S. port. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Tuesday it had seized a shipment of 3.97 million nitrile disposable gloves from Top Glove _ the world’s largest maker of rubber gloves _ in Cleveland, Ohio. This followed a ban on Top Glove products as of March 29 based on various indicators of forced labor. Top Glove said the British consultancy Impactt Ltd. had verified in an report last month that the company had fixed those problems. Top Glove said U.S. CBP was reviewing a submission based on that report.
The chief of Reporters Without Borders says that French journalist Olivier Dubois was kidnapped April 8 while working in Mali’s northern city of Gao. A video released Wednesday shows Dubois saying he was kidnapped by the al-Qaida-linked group JNIM. In the video he calls on his family, friends and authorities to work for his release. The video could not be independently verified. Reporters Without Borders chief Christophe Deloire confirmed the kidnapping to The Associated Press, and called for the release of the reporter. Islamic extremist rebels were forced from power in Mali’s northern cities with the help of a 2013 French-led military operation. However, the insurgents quickly regrouped in the desert and began launching frequent attacks.
India’s foreign minister has pulled out of in-person meetings at a Group of Seven gathering in London because of possible exposure to the coronavirus. Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar tweeted that he was “made aware yesterday evening of exposure to possible Covid positive cases." He said that out of “abundant caution” he would attend Wednesday's meetings virtually. Britain’s Foreign Office did not immediately confirm whether any delegates had tested positive. Diplomats from theG-7 group of wealthy nations are meeting in London for their first face-to-face gathering in two years. India is not a G-7 member but was invited along with South Korea, Australia and South Africa to attend the group's meeting on Wednesday as a guest.
BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Reporters Without Borders says that extremists kidnapped French journalist Olivier Dubois on April 8 in northern Mali.
A jury in Rome is deliberating the fates of two young American men who are charged with killing an Italian police officer while they were on summer vacation in 2019. Finnegan Lee Elder, who is 21, and Gabriel Natale-Hjorth, who is 20, were indicated on charges of homicide, attempted extortion, assault, resisting a public official and carrying an attack-style knife without just cause. The presiding judge indicated the verdicts could come later Wednesday or on Thursday. Prosecutors alleged that Elder stabbed Vice Bridgadier Mario Cerciello Rega 11 times with a knife he brought with him on his trip to Europe from California and that Natale-Hjorth helped him hide the knife in their hotel room.
Health officials rushed to vaccinate thousands of people in Bangkok’s biggest slum on Wednesday as new COVID-19 cases spread through densely populated low-income areas in the capital’s central business district. The government of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha is facing mounting criticism for its handling of a surge that began in early April. Thailand recorded 2,112 new cases and 15 deaths on Wednesday. The country has been logging about 2,000 cases a day and double-digit deaths recently, in the third mass outbreak since the pandemic started. Bangkok and other regions have closed bars, parks and other facilities and imposed restrictions on dining out to fight spreading infections.
Authorities on the island of Jersey have accused France of acting disproportionately after Paris threatened to cut off electricity amid dispute over fishing rights following Britain’s departure from the European Union. The French maritime minister has warned that her country was ready to take “retaliatory measures” after it accused Jersey of stalling in issuing licenses to French boats under the terms of the U.K.’s post-Brexit trade deal with the EU. The external affairs minister for Jersey said the island was just following new rules that took effect last week. Jersey and the other Channel Islands are closer to France than to Britain, but are self-governing dependencies of the British Crown.
The German government has banned a Muslim organization that it accused of supporting “terrorism globally with donations.” German news agency dpa reported that police raised buildings in 10 German states associated with Ansaar International. The news agency said the money the organization collected went to welfare projects but also to groups such as the Syrian al-Qaida affiliate known as the Nusra Front, the Palestinian group Hamas and al-Shabab in Somalia. German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said, “When wanting to fight terrorism, one needs to dry out its money sources.” A man who answered a phone call to the organization’s headquarters immediately hung up when The Associated Press called seeking comment.
The Australian government faces a court challenge to its temporary Indian travel ban brought by a 73-year-old citizen stranded in the city of Bengaluru. The government is resisting growing pressure to lift the travel ban imposed last week until May 15 to reduce COVID-19 infection rates in Australian quarantine facilities. Lawyers for Gary Newman, one of 9,000 Australians prevented from returning home, made an urgent application to the Federal Court in Sydney for a judge to review the travel ban. Justice Stephen Burley says an expedited hearing date will be announced within 48 hours. Some critics have accused the government of racism because such drastic travel restrictions were not introduced for the United States and Europe.
The Stellantis automotive company has reported a 14% increase in first-quarter revenues despite a drop in production due to the semiconductor shortage. Stellantis was created out of the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Peugeot. Chief Financial Officer Richard Palmer said Wednesday that lost production due to the global chip shortage for the period was 190,000 vehicles. , with the impact likely higher in the second quarter. Palmer said the impact was likely higher in the second quarter but “is still very controlled." Nearly all automakers are struggling with the chip shortage from semiconductor makers switching their factories to more profitable consumer-electronics processors when automakers closed last year due to the pandemic.
Ambassadors from World Trade Organization countries are set to discuss trade rules protecting the technological know-how behind COVID-19 vaccines. The WTO’s General Council's agenda for a two-day meeting starting Wednesday includes a waiver on intellectual property protections for vaccines. South Africa and India first proposed the idea in October. It has gained support in the developing world and among some progressive lawmakers in the West as a way to help developing countries fight the pandemic. The proposal has faced resistance from many countries with influential pharmaceutical industries. The authors have been revising it in hopes of making it more palatable, but no consensus is expected to emerge from the meeting.
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