Panama Covid-19 update – application of the booster dose (the third dose) of the vaccine in children from 5 to 11 years of age in Panama is to be discussed during the coming week by the Ministry of Health and its vaccine advisors. The discussions will also consider the application of the vaccine booster to those of 12 to 15 years, which has so far only applied to those who are immunosuppressed.
Meanwhile, 924 cases of possible side-effects associated with COVID-19 vaccination had been reported to the National Pharmacovigilance Centre (CNFV) – 866 relating to the Pfizer/Biotech vaccine and 58 to the AstraZeneca vaccine. This was despite over 8 million doses of vaccine being administered. Most of the cases were classified as mild and moderate and related to the vaccine apparently affecting the area where the person was injected or were general disorders, such as headaches. There was only one report of suspected adverse reaction in children, and this was classified as mild.
Today saw 5 new fatalities for the third day in a row, and 2,167 new cases being reported, although there was a substantial decrease in the number of active cases, to 28,014. Nevertheless, testing rates continue high at over 20% positive. there remain 36 people in ICU, with another 193 in other wards and 86 in hospital-hotels.
22 MAY 2022
LITHIUM-ION (LI-ION) BATTERIES BEING CARRIED ON CONTAINERSHIPS AMID RISING MISDECLARATIONS IS A MAJOR CONCERN FOR MARINE INSURERS
On 16 May, Loadstar reported that experts in a recent report a recent report said that misdeclared cargo has been implicated in a number of near-miss incidents recently, with false declarations including labelling them as “computer parts”.
CHINA’S SECURITY DEAL WITH THE SOLOMON ISLANDS COULD INCLUDE “DUAL-USE” PORTS
On 20 May, Maritime Executive reported that the exact terms of the final, signed security agreement haven’t been made public; and the Solomon Islands Prime Minister has assured regional nations including Australia and the US that there will be no Chinese military base in the Solomons. A leaked draft agreement promised deep-sea fishing bases, oil and gas development and undersea mining ventures, wharves, submarine optical cables, shipbuilding and repair, as well as solar, wind and tidal clean-energy projects. It is said that, for China, dual-use facilities would probably make much more sense than a traditional naval base, which would be a more expensive and overtly aggressive move.
ZURICH INSURANCE TO EXIT RUSSIA AMID MOUNTING SANCTIONS
On 22 May, Arab News reported that Switzerland-based Zurich Insurance Group will sell its Russia business to 11 members of its team as it withdraws from the country.
RUSSIA PUBLISHES LIST OF 963 AMERICANS PERMANENTLY BANNED FROM ENTRY
On 22 May, Business Standard reported that it was also announced that 26 Canadian nationals are permanently banned from entering Russia in retaliation to Ottawa’s anti-Russian sanctions, including the wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The new list of US citizens includes all 39 members of the House of Representatives left off an earlier list. It also an assortment of former lawmakers and officials, business executive, think tank leaders and others.
NEW CANADIAN SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA INCLUDES LUXURY GOODS
On 21 May, Jurist reported that the new round of Canadian sanctions will also cover luxury goods such as “alcoholic beverages, tobacco, some textile products and sportswear, footwear, luxury clothing and accessories, jewellery, kitchenware, and art”.
UAE: 79 PEOPLE CONVICTED OF FRAUD, MONEY LAUNDERING
On 22 May, a news release from the Emirates News Agency announced that the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court has convicted an organised criminal group consisting of 79 people of different nationalities, who specialised in internet fraud by using fake URL (Uniform Resource Locators) of a Chinese website offering securities brokerage and trading services, and using deception to induce victims to invest in securities, as well as money laundering in order to conceal the source of the proceeds. The defendants included 72 Chinese nationals, 1 Jordanian, 2 Nigerians, 2 Cameroonians, 1 Ugandan and 1 Kenyan.
SPAIN’S POLICY SHIFT ON WESTERN SAHARA
An analysis article from Eurasia Review on 22 May considers the Spanish attitude on Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony. Currently, Morocco controls over 80% of the territory and contends that its jurisdiction over the region even predates the Spanish rule. To date, Spain has remained neutral on the Western Sahara conflict and has pushed for a political resolution which is mutually acceptable to the parties involved. However, Spain announced a shift in its policy stance on Western Sahara on 18 March, with decision to back Morocco, at the cost of upsetting its energy partner, Algeria. It notes that Spain was already shifting its dependence from Algeria to LNG imported from other countries.
ATTACK ON YACHT OFF YEMEN HIGHLIGHTS NEED FOR CONTINUED MARITIME SECURITY
On 20 May, Defence Web reported that the incident highlights the continued potential danger from pirates and militants in the region. It is said that vessels should be avoiding the area due to the extended war risk emanating from the conflict in Yemen.
US DoJ ANNOUNCES NEW POLICY FOR CHARGING CASES UNDER THE COMPUTER FRAUD AND ABUSE ACT
A news release from US DoJ on 19 May advised that the policy for the first time directs that good-faith security research should not be charged. The new policy states explicitly the longstanding practice that “the department’s goals for CFAA enforcement are to promote privacy and cybersecurity by upholding the legal right of individuals, network owners, operators, and other persons to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information stored in their information systems”. However, the new policy acknowledges that claiming to be conducting security research is not a free pass for those acting in bad faith. The new policy replaces an earlier policy that was issued in 2014, and takes effect immediately.
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