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Australia asks EU to stop blocking vaccine exports

Australia asks EU to stop blocking vaccine exports

Health
Australia is seeking assurances from the European Commission that shipments of vaccines are not blocked again after Italy banned a large export of the AstraZeneca coronavirus shotsByThe Associated PressMarch 5, 2021, 9:38 AM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleBRUSSELS -- Australia is seeking assurances from the European Union's executive arm that future shipments of vaccines will not be blocked, after Italy banned a large export of the AstraZeneca coronavirus shots.The shipment to Australia of more than a quarter-million doses was blocked from leaving the 27-nation bloc — the first use of an export control system instituted by the EU to make sure big pharma companies respect their EU contracts.The ban was requested by Italian authorities and approved by the EU in
Iran to stop ‘snap’ nuclear checks, IAEA confirms

Iran to stop ‘snap’ nuclear checks, IAEA confirms

World
ReutersThe head of the UN nuclear watchdog says Iran has agreed to extend UN inspectors' access to its nuclear sites for three months. But the hastily brokered agreement will give IAEA officials less access and end their right to make snap inspections.Iran is changing its access policy from Tuesday because the US has not lifted the sanctions imposed since Donald Trump abandoned the 2015 nuclear deal. Washington and Tehran now have more time to seek a compromise.The then-Trump administration re-imposed crippling sanctions on Iran, and Tehran retaliated by resuming nuclear activity barred under the agreement signed with six world powers in 2015. Why Iran’s nuclear facilities are still vulnerable to attackClock ticks in Iran as rivals square upIran says it will not reverse the measures unless

How the Texas power grid failed and what could stop it from happening again

Finance
Karla Perez and Esperanza Gonzalez warm up by a barbecue grill during power outage caused by the winter storm on February 16, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Winter storm Uri has brought historic cold weather, power outages and traffic accidents to Texas as storms have swept across 26 states with a mix of freezing temperatures and precipitation.Go Nakamura | Getty ImagesMillions in Texas are still in the dark following the deadly winter storm that caused the state's worst blackouts in decades, leaving households without power as temperatures dropped to record lows. While the state scrambles to restore power, questions are arising about why Texas was so ill-equipped, and what can be done to ensure this doesn't happen again. A confluence of factors led to the historic blackouts, and officials a...
KPMG boss steps aside after ‘stop moaning’ comment

KPMG boss steps aside after ‘stop moaning’ comment

Business
KPMGThe UK boss of KPMG will step aside while the accountancy giant investigates offensive comments he allegedly made at a meeting on Monday. Bill Michael reportedly told consultants to "stop moaning" about the impact of the pandemic and lockdown on people's lives, and to stop "playing the victim card".He later apologised, saying the comments did not reflect his beliefs.But KPMG said an "independent investigation" had begun."Mr Michael has decided to step aside from his duties as chair while the investigation is underway," a spokeswoman said. "We take this matter very seriously and will not comment further while the investigation is ongoing." According to the Financial Times, which first reported the story, about 500 KPMG staff attended the virtual meeting on 8 February.After Mr Michael'...

Next stop Mars: 3 spacecraft arriving in quick succession

Technology
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- After hurtling hundreds of millions of miles through space since last summer, three robotic explorers are ready to hit the brakes at Mars.The stakes — and anxiety — are sky high.The United Arab Emirates’ orbiter reaches Mars on Tuesday, followed less than 24 hours later by China’s orbiter-rover combo. NASA’s rover, the cosmic caboose, will arrive on the scene a week later, on Feb. 18, to collect rocks for return to Earth — a key step in determining whether life ever existed at Mars.Both the UAE and China are newcomers at Mars, where more than half of Earth’s emissaries have failed. China’s first Mars mission, a joint effort with Russia in 2011, never made it past Earth’s orbit.“We are quite excited as engineers and scientists, at the same time quite stressed and hap