As Biden takes office, South Korea’s Moon seeks to renew North Korea-US talks for inter-Korea peace

The US-South Korea alliance has grown into a crucial partnership in the world order after seven decades of diplomatic relations. With new geopolitical realities, the partnership has entered into its eighth decade under a new administration led by US President Joe Biden.

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Notably, the Washington-Seoul alliance faced increasing tensions under the Trump administration as the former US President undermined the partnership between the two countries. In the four years of his presidency, Trump consistently bullied South Korea on various security, military, and economic issues by levying tariffs and threatening Seoul for more funds for the deployment of US troops. …

After Pfizer’s still unresolved delays and the announcement of the considerable delays with which AstraZeneca will also deliver its doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, the European Union seems willing to take a counterattack by putting on the plate even decidedly heavy interventions that could give life to a real and own war of vaccines. After pledging legal action against Pfizer and criticizing AstraZeneca for failing to provide sufficient information on the reasons for the promised dose delays, the EU now threatens to block exports of Covid vaccines produced in Europe to make up for the AstraZeneca shortage.

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The pharmaceutical company’s new distribution plans were deemed “unacceptable” by the European Commission after the company on Friday suddenly announced that there would be significant shortages from the original dose delivery schedule. At the further request for clarification from Brussels, AstraZeneca gave explanations deemed unsuitable or sufficient, sparking the ire of the European Executive who announced that it wanted to establish a mechanism for export control antidotes against coronavirus produced in the Union to countries third parties. …

Switzerland is applying for a seat as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. The elections for membership in the period 2023/2024 will take place in June 2022. With a virtual event held in New York, to which the President of the Confederation, Simonetta Sommaruga, and Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis participated with a speech each, the candidacy is entering the final stage.

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Switzerland officially presented its candidacy for the UN Security Council as early as 2011. After the election of its direct predecessor within the Western European and Others Group (WEOG) regional group for the period 2021/2022, it is now starting for Switzerland, the final phase of the candidacy. Which, with the slogan “A Plus for Peace”, was virtually presented to representatives of all UN missions on the evening of 29 October in New York. On Friday 30 Oct., the President of the Confederation and Federal Councillor Cassis informed the media in Bern about the event and the state of implementation of the candidacy. …

On Monday, US president Joe Biden signed a new executive order to focus on enhancing the US manufacturing and industrial sector. The Democratic president signed the executive order to promote the country’s long-standing ‘buy America’ policy. Biden used it to eliminate legal loopholes that limit the federal agencies in providing a favorable push to “Made in America” products. Biden’s order stands in line with his predecessor Donald Trump’s ‘America first’ policy.

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While emphasizing about the existing ‘Buy American Act of 1933’, Biden said that the new order would make federal agencies to prioritize buying goods produced on US soil, but “these preferences have not always been implemented consistently or effectively”.

Community Party of Vietnam has begun the 13th National Congress to finalise its new leadership

Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party has gathered on Monday with the aim of selecting its new leadership which will guide the country’s future policy over the next five years.

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Amid the ongoing fight against COVID-19 and recovery efforts, around 1,600 leading members of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) have come together from all parts of the country to Hanoi for the 13th National Congress.

The conclave takes place every five years to choose the new leadership and set key diplomatic and economic policies that will lead the way for the country in the world order. This year’s gathering is being dubbed as the most crucial conclave since its introduction in 1935, noting that it is taking place at a time when Vietnam is grappling with the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. …

In Europe, the idea of ​​granting benefits to travelers who have been vaccinated is gaining ground. However, the idea of ​​a European vaccination passport seems at least premature, if not downright reckless, at this stage of the pandemic. Initially proposed by the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and welcomed by political leaders of other countries with a significant tourist economy, the vaccine passport should serve in the coming months to overcome the limitations of travel within the Union. The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, welcomed it as a medical requirement necessary to keep borders open.

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As Alberto Alemanno chair of European Union Law at the Grande École des Hautes Etudes Commercials (HEC) in Paris, and Luiza Bialasiewicz chair of European Governance at the University of Amsterdam, write in an editorial published on the Italian “La Repubblica,” the adoption of this measure, risks having a series of unintended consequences. Because it is based on wrong premises from a legal, scientific, and territorial point of view. Also, instead of uniting Europe by reducing travel restrictions, the vaccine passport would simply create new frontiers between people registered as safe and those who are not safe. …

On Friday, Two senior British parliamentarians called for a probe on a British-registered company likely connected to the Beirut blast last year.

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A lady listed as Savaro’s proprietor and sole head at Companies House, Marina Psyllou, informed Reuters that she was posing as an agent on account of another beneficial proprietor, whose name she couldn’t reveal.

“The individual who was and has consistently been the UBO’s proprietor of the organization was consistently the same, and we can’t reveal his name,” she added. She didn’t state why she was unable to tell his name.

Savaro Ltd. is listed at a London address, and all British firms are required to register their owner’s name with Companies House. …

The country that was boasting about combating the Corona Virus through herd immunity has failed yet again, in mitigating the virus spread, as it administered vaccines to its Swedes stored at the wrong temperature while being transported.

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Swedish medical facilities have landed up giving some 1000 patients the Covid-19 vaccine stored in the wrong temperature. All those administered the doses were medical professionals. A total of 2100 such doses were stored in wrong temperature. They amount to 20percent of what Sweden had to receive and were (unfortunately) stored in rather low temperature.

Apparently, there was a problem with delivery itself. As of now, there have been so side effects, but those administered are being observed for any adverse reactions. The other doses have been withheld for further investigation to ascertain whether their efficacy remains effective even after they were stored on low temperatures while being transported. …

One of the poorer nations of the world, Lebanon is now getting a medical financial stimulus from the World Bank, official reports have confirmed. The World Bank has approved $34million to back the Lebanese Covid-19 vaccination drive.

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This is the first such huge outlay of funds by the bank. Previously, Lebanon has taken several loans from the bank to keep its economy from sinking. …

Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader is proposing a delay in impeachment trial of Donald Trump to February, to give his team some time to prepare and review for the trial case.

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House, led by Democrats, had voted last week to impeach Trump for inciting the violence and Capitol Hill attack on January 6. The House wants quick progression into the trial with President Joe Biden beginning his term. Majority of representatives are in favor of stern action to bring justice to the heinous crime against American democracy and the sanctum sanctorum of it, Capitol Hill.

During a call on Thursday with other GOP senators, McConnell said that a short delay in trial would help Trump’s legal team prepare for the case. …

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