'Fluctuations' at Iran 's Natanz plant allegedly pushed the purity to which it enriched uranium to 63%, higher than the announced 60% that complicated talks to revive its nuclear deal with world powers.
VIENNA (Reuters) -'Fluctuations' at Iran 's Natanz plant pushed the purity to which it enriched uranium to 63%, higher than the announced 60% that complicated talks to revive its nuclear deal with world powers, a report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Tuesday. Iran made the shift to 60%, a big step towards nuclear weapons -grade from the 20% previously achieved, last month in response to an explosion and power cut at Natanz that Tehran has blamed on Israel and appears to have damaged its enrichment output at a larger, underground facility there. Iran 's move rattled the current indirect talks with the United States to agree conditions for both sides to return fully to the 2015 nuclear deal , which was undermined when Washington abandoned it in 2018, prompting Tehran to violate its terms.
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5 hours agoIndia envoy asks China to help stop price surging of Covid-19 suppliesIndia is calling on China to help stop surging prices and increase cargo flights to get urgently needed supplies to the pandemic-ravaged country. Indian companies have sourced oxygen concentrators and other medical supplies from their Chinese counterparts but have been hit with prices at more than double the usual rate, while cargo flights between the two countries have yet to return to previous levels. Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. India’s envoy in Hong Kong Priyanka Chauhan said price instability and transport disruptions had affected moves to ramp up production in India to deal with its recent surge in coronavirus cases, and the Chinese government could step in. “What I would like say is that our expectation at this point is that the supply chain should remain open and product prices should remain stable,” she said in an interview with the South China Morning Post. “Even if there is a little bit of supply demand pressure, there has to be some stability and predictability to product prices. And there has to be a sense of governmental level support and efforts. I don’t have the information as to how much influence the Chinese government can have in this matter but if they can, then it would be welcome.” India is grappling with the world’s worst Covid-19 outbreak. Daily cases rose by 329,942 on Tuesday, while deaths from the disease increased by 3,876, according to the health ministry. The surge has left the country scrambling for medical supplies and professionals to care for the growing numbers of patients. A number of countries have also slapped bans on travellers from India. Chauhan said she appreciated the need for travel bans based on public health concerns, but added that India was asking China to facilitate cargo flights so that supplies could be delivered. State-owned Sichuan Airlines Logistics suspended cargo flights to India for 15 days last month in response to the surge, which the Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India warned would have a cascading effect on supply chains. The council also appealed to India’s envoy in Beijing to press for a resumption in flights. How missteps led India into an oxygen shortage amid a Covid-19 surge Chauhan said a phone conversation between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in April had helped with the clearance and approval of cargo flights, but they had not returned to the same frequency as before the second wave. She suggested higher level assurances to officials giving clearance to flights could help. “Unreasonable control should be avoided, and transport linkages should be maintained.” China’s efforts have been largely confined to private companies and donations from the Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, while other nations have pledged government help. Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Japan would contribute US$50 million in additional aid to India. Chauhan commended the “friendship that we have seen from the international community”, pointing to more than 50 countries that have supported India by sending supplies. When asked whether there should be more government-level cooperation between China and India during the pandemic for more of a guarantee on price stability and supply chain, Chauhan said India would be open to discussing the issue to see if a better mechanism could be agreed. India has been a key member of the US-led Quad alliance, which also includes Australia and Japan and is seen as a bid to counter China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific region. At a summit in March, the alliance pledged to deliver a billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine throughout the Indo-Pacific by the end of 2022. India, with its giant pharmaceutical industry, is key to the initiative. Hyderabad-based Biological E Ltd was scaling up capacity to produce at least a billion doses by the end of 2022, and the Serum Institute of India was slated to prove more than a billion doses to Covax Facility, the World Health Organization’s programme for equitable access. These commitments are on hold as India’s second wave has forced a stop to its vaccine exports. Chauhan said India was boosting vaccine supply and production, and looking at other vaccines not produced in India, including Russia’s Sputnik and Pfizer. “Once this phase is over, we will go back to producing for the world again,” she said.More from South China Morning Post:Coronavirus: Chinese firms see surge in demand from India for medical oxygen devicesIndia’s Covid-19 surge dashes hopes of world reopening at once: Chinese expertChina labels India, Australia, Japan supply chain plan as ‘artificial’ and ‘unfavourable’ to global economyThis article India envoy asks China to help stop price surging of Covid-19 supplies first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
6 hours agoSouth China Morning PostCoronavirus: Hong Kong releases list of 10 vaccines approved for travellers arriving in city, eases strict quarantine rulesHong Kong eased its strict 21-day mandatory hotel quarantine for most vaccinated travellers on Wednesday, while health authorities have released a list of 10 approved coronavirus vaccines for inbound arrivals. Five Chinese-made and produced vaccines were among those on the approved list, including the single-dose, protein-based vaccine from Sinopharm which has two versions – one developed by the Beijing Institute and another in partnership with the Wuhan Institute. The Sinopharm vaccine was the only Chinese-made Covid-19 vaccine approved for emergency use worldwide by the World Health Organization (WHO) as of last Friday.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. CanSino Biologics’ single-dose jab, developed in partnership with China’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences, and the three-shot vaccine developed by Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical and the Institute of Medical Biology at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences were also on the list. Hong Kong will also recognise the vaccination records of travellers inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNTech and Sinovac jabs, which were also being administered in the city’s inoculation drive. Sinovac has been approved for emergency use in Hong Kong, and other places such as the Philippines and Thailand, but is not on the WHO’s list. The two-shot AstraZeneca vaccine, produced by the British-Swedish company and designed by the University of Oxford, and the single-dose coronavirus vaccines developed by J&J’s unit Janssen are also included, as is the Moderna vaccine developed by the US-based company, which uses the same mRNA technology as the one from Pfizer-BioNTech. Hong Kong has also included the two-dose Covishield vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, the locally produced version of the Oxford-AstraZeneca jabs. Singapore, which is slated to launch the quarantine-free travel bubble with Hong Kong on May 26, is administering both the Moderna and BioNTech vaccine in its inoculation drive. Woman got 4 doses of Pfizer vaccine by mistake Local health authorities announced last Friday that the 21-day hotel quarantine period for inbound arrivals would be shortened starting on Wednesday, depending on the risk classification of countries in their recent travel history. Under the new measures, fully inoculated people arriving from low-risk countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Singapore must undergo seven days of hotel quarantine and another seven of self-monitoring. A Covid-19 test on the 12th day after arrival will also be mandatory. Vaccinated travellers from medium- and high-risk countries, such as the United States, Canada, France, Germany and the United Arab Emirates, will now have to do 14 days of hotel quarantine, plus seven of self-monitoring, with compulsory tests on the 16th and 19th day. But there were no exemptions for the fully vaccinated arriving from very high-risk countries, such as Ireland and Britain, who will still have to do the full three weeks in quarantine. Meanwhile, flights from extremely high-risk countries such as Brazil, India, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines and South Africa remain suspended. All travellers will also have to test negative for the virus, and be able to show certificates proving they have been fully vaccinated, though there will be no antibody testing requirements upon arrival. The city’s 21-day mandatory hotel quarantine for all inbound travellers – one of the longest isolation requirements in the world – was implemented on Christmas Day when coronavirus variants began to emerge in Britain and Brazil in a move to limit the number of imported infections carrying mutant strains. More Covid-19 testing for Hong Kong helpers ordered, mandatory vaccination shelved So far, more than 260 Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong, most of which were imported, have been found to carry the mutated strains of the virus. Separately, all Hong Kong residents living in mainland China have been allowed to return to the city since April 29 without undergoing 14-day quarantine if they test negative for the coronavirus under an easing of some cross-border measures. The one-way arrangement under the “Return2HK” scheme was expanded to include a quota of 1,000 people through Hong Kong International Airport from mainland China, on top of the existing daily quotas for crossing via the Shenzhen Bay Port and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge of 3,000 and 2,000 per day, respectively.More from South China Morning Post:Coronavirus: Hong Kong to overhaul Covid-19 testing at quarantine hotels to improve quality controlSingapore imposes 21-day quarantine on most travellers, closes gyms to manage flare-up in Covid-19 casesThis article Coronavirus: Hong Kong releases list of 10 vaccines approved for travellers arriving in city, eases strict quarantine rules first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021. headtopics.comRead more: Yahoo Singapore »
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