AstraZeneca said Thursday that it intends to seek U.S. authorization for its Covid-19 vaccine in the second half of this year, offering a new timetable for the much-delayed application. The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker announced the schedule as it released second-quarter financial results, which showed that the company and its sub-licensees delivered more than 700 million doses of the vaccine to over 170 countries in the first half of this year.
Israeli authorities have inspected the offices of the surveillance outfit NSO Group in response to the Pegasus project investigation into abuses of the company’s spyware by several government clients. The French president, Emmanuel Macron, is one of the highest profile figures whose phone numbers appeared on a leaked database of 50,000 numbers that are believed to have been selected as candidates for possible surveillance by clients of NSO.
Devastating wildfires have spread across parts of southern Europe, tearing through the Spanish and Greek countryside and forcing around 1,000 people from their homes on the Italian island of Sardinia. Sardinia’s local government declared a state of emergency on Sunday, due to what it described as a “disaster without precedence.” Over recent days, the region deployed 7,500 people and over 20 aircraft to fight the fires.
An 8.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the coast of Alaska triggered a tsunami watch in Hawaii – with a warning that waves may even be felt as far away as Australia. Alerts were issued for the US state, as well as the Peninsula and Pacific coastal areas from Hinchinbrook Entrance to Unimak Pass, Guam, and American Samoa. However, these threats were later revised down after the US Tsunami Warning System deemed they “had passed”.
A prominent Chinese billionaire has been sentenced to 18 years in prison, the latest in a string of punishments against outspoken corporate bosses. Sun Dawu runs one of the country’s largest private agricultural businesses in the northern province of Hebei. Sun, 67, has in the past spoken out about human rights and politically sensitive topics. He was found guilty of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”.