Brazil has recorded more than 4,000 Covid-related deaths in 24 hours for the first time, as a more contagious variant fuels a surge in cases. Hospitals are overcrowded, with people dying as they wait for treatment in some cities, and the health system is on the brink of collapse in many areas. The country’s total death toll is now almost 337,000, second only to the US.
A top official at the European Medicines Agency says there’s a causal link between AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine and rare blood clots, but that it’s unclear what the connection is and that the benefits of taking the shot still outweigh the risks of getting COVID-19. In Geneva, the World Health Organization said its experts were also evaluating a possible link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and rare blood clots.
Iran has made 55 kg of uranium enriched to up to 20% – the point at which it is highly enriched – indicating quicker production than the 10 kg a month rate required by an Iranian law that created the process in January. The disclosure comes a day after Tehran and Washington held what they described as “constructive” indirect talks in Vienna on Tuesday aimed at finding ways to revive a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.
Taiwan worked with other democracies to help its diplomatic ally Paraguay get COVID-19 vaccines after China put pressure on the South American country to ditch Taipei in exchange for shots, and India stepped in to help, Taiwan’s foreign minister said. Taiwan said last month it was helping Paraguay, its sole diplomatic ally in South America, buy COVID-19 vaccines after protests there over the government’s handling of the health crisis.
Amazon’s founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos has endorsed Joe Biden’s plan to raise corporate taxes after the US president singled out the company over its contributions to federal coffers. Mr Bezos, issued a statement via the company’s website last night to say he supported the White House in its $2.3bn focus on bolstering the country’s infrastructure.