World’s poorest face vaccine delays through Covax programme

Technical problems at South Korean vaccine plant and setbacks in export licences from India cause holdup

Some of the world’s poorest countries have been warned to expect delays in the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines through the UN-backed Covax programme after a double blow of technical problems at a South Korean manufacturing plant and setbacks in securing export licences from the Indian government, Unicef has said.

Up to 90m doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine may be affected by the twin issues, which came after reports on Wednesday that India had put a temporary hold on vaccine exports amid a rise in new cases there.

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Sydney peace prize laureates call for more sanctions against Myanmar military figures

Marise Payne says she is considering further sanctions but advocates say it is time for action not words

The Australian government is considering expanding sanctions against military figures in Myanmar, as it faces calls from Sydney Peace Prize laureates to act quickly against individuals who played a key role in the coup.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Dfat) said on Thursday the situation in Myanmar was “highly volatile” and deteriorating.

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New Zealand brings in bereavement leave for miscarriages and stillbirths

Legislation allowing three days’ leave applies to parents, their partners, and parents planning to have a child through adoption or surrogacy

New Zealand’s parliament has voted unanimously to give mothers and their partners three days of bereavement leave after a miscarriage or stillbirth.

Labour MP Ginny Andersen, who presented the bill, said it would allow parents to come to terms with their loss without being forced to use up their sick leave entitlements. “The grief that comes with miscarriage is not a sickness; it is a loss,” she said. “That loss takes time – time to recover physically and time to recover mentally; time to recover with a partner”.

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Nike and H&M face backlash in China over Xinjiang statements

Chinese social media condemns statements by the companies as celebrities cancel contracts with brands

Anger with Nike has erupted on Chinese social media after the company issued a statement saying it was “concerned about reports of forced labour” in China’s Xinjiang province, and that it would not source textiles from the region.

The backlash over the Nike statement was among the highest trending topics on China’s Twitter-like social media Weibo on Thursday.

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