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Covid-19: India vaccination crosses 100 million doses

Covid-19: India vaccination crosses 100 million doses

Health
India says it has become the "fastest country in the world" to administer more than 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccines, amid a deadly second wave of infections.It achieved the feat in 85 days, whereas the US took 89 days and China 102 days, the health ministry said.But the country reported a record daily increase of over 150,000 cases - and more than 800 new deaths - on Sunday.And there are reports the vast vaccination drive itself is struggling.This week, half a dozen states reported a shortage of doses even as the federal government insisted that it had 40 million doses in stock and that the "allegations" of vaccine scarcity were "utterly baseless".The inoculation drive aims to cover 250 million people by July, but experts say the pace needs to pick up further to meet the target.E...

30 million people may receive $1,400 stimulus checks after Social Security Administration provides payment information to IRS

Finance
zimmytws | iStock | Getty ImagesThe Social Security Administration has sent information to the IRS that will help clear the way for almost 30 million people to receive their $ 1,400 stimulus checks, lawmakers said on Thursday.The development comes after Democratic leaders on the House Ways and Means Committee gave the agency 24 hours to turn over the payment information so that the IRS could process the payments.In a statement, the lawmakers, led by House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal, D-Mass., blamed Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul for the delays, which "defied congressional intent and imposed needless anxiety and pain on taxpayers."In response, Saul released a statement on Thursday strongly denying those claims.Saul said the Social Security Administration was init...
Energy firms overcharged one million switching customers

Energy firms overcharged one million switching customers

Business
Getty ImagesMore than one million people were overcharged by energy firms during the process of switching suppliers, the regulator Ofgem has said.When a customer decides to switch, the rules state they should be protected from price rises while moving - which could take up to three weeks.Eighteen suppliers made errors leading to overcharging of £7.2m.They are refunding the money and making extra payments in some cases, taking the compensation total to £10.4m.The biggest names in the sector - including British Gas, E.On, EDF, Npower, Scottish Power, SSE and Octopus - made the mistakes.They failed to protect customers who switched tariffs or suppliers after price rises were set between 2013 and 2020.Although the average amount overcharged was only £6.27, the sums would be higher for those wi...
Toxic air puts six million at risk of lung damage

Toxic air puts six million at risk of lung damage

Science
About six million people aged over 65 in England are at high risk of lung damage and asthma attacks because of toxic air, according to a new report. It finds that older people and those with lung disease who are most vulnerable to the effects of pollution are often the most exposed. The new document is from the British Lung Foundation (BLF) and Asthma UK. It comes as MPs also demand the government sets tougher targets for air pollution.Improving air quality needs to be "at the core" of the UK's post-pandemic rebuild, say members of a House of Commons committee that focuses on environmental issues.The new report by two of the UK's leading respiratory charities finds that a quarter of all care homes and a third of all GP practices and hospitals in England are in places where particulate poll...

China plans to hand out $1.5 million in a digital currency test during the Lunar New Year

Finance
Men wearing face masks walk past a Gap store at a shopping area, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the new coronavirus, in Beijing, China February 7, 2020.Jason Lee | ReutersBEIJING — China's capital city will hand out about $ 1.5 million in a limited trial of the central bank's digital currency, the municipal government announced over the weekend.That marks the third major test of the digital currency under development by the People's Bank of China. The cities of Shenzhen and Suzhou held similar experiments in the last few months.In this trial, Beijing said it will select 50,000 from a pool of applicants to receive 200 yuan, or about $ 30 each, in the digital currency. Recipients can spend the money at designated offline locations or on parts of e-commerce site JD.com during the u...