South Korean authorities are investigating the deaths of two people, both with pre-existing conditions, who died within days of receiving AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine. AstraZeneca said it was aware of the investigation by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), but the safety of the vaccine has been extensively studied in clinical trials with data confirming it is generally well tolerated. "KDCA is conducting epidemiological surveys with relevant local authorities...to confirm any link with inoculation," KDCA Director Jeong Eun-kyeong told a briefing.
Meghan, Britain's Duchess of Sussex, was awarded 450,000 pounds ($630,000) on Tuesday as a provisional payment towards her legal costs after she won a privacy claim against the Mail on Sunday which had printed extracts of a letter she wrote to her father. Last month, a judge at London's High Court ruled the tabloid had breached her privacy and infringed her copyright by publishing parts of the five-page letter she wrote to her father, Thomas Markle, who she fell out with on the eve of her wedding to Queen Elizabeth's grandson, Prince Harry. Judge Mark Warby ruled in her favour without holding a trial, saying the articles were a clear breach of privacy after the paper argued the duchess had intended the letter's contents to become public and it formed part of a media strategy.
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The White House warned that the U.S. may consider a military response to the rocket attack on Wednesday that hit an air base in western Iraq where American and coalition troops are housed, raising concerns this could trigger a new round of escalating violence. A U.S. contractor died after at least 10 rockets slammed into the base.
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The palace responded to a claim that a staff member raised concerns about Meghan's treatment of employees.
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Taiwan will stage six rounds of missile tests this month along with other military drills to step up its defence capabilities, as the People’s Liberation Army conducts a month-long exercise in the South China Sea. From Wednesday, the government-funded National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology plans to test-fire missiles off the eastern and southern coasts, with five more rounds planned between March 10 and March 19, according to a notice made public by the Taiwan Fisheries Agency. It said they would test the power of missiles launched from the Jiupeng military base in the island’s southernmost county of Pingtung and the eastern county of Taitung.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. The notice also said there was “no ceiling” on the height of the missile tests on March 10-11 and March 18-19, meaning they will stretch 300km into the Pacific, encompassing the waters off the counties of Hualien and Taitung, including Orchid Island. There was no mention of which missiles would be tested, but the semi-official Central News Agency quoted an unnamed retired institute official as saying they would likely be Hsiung Feng-2E (Brave Wind-2E) cruise missiles and the extended-range version of the Thunderbolt-2000 tactical missiles. The Hsiung Feng-2E has a firing range of 600km, capable of reaching China, while the extended version of the Thunderbolt-2000 is said to have a firing range of 200-300km, meaning it could reach the mainland coast. Meanwhile, the Taiwanese air force will conduct at least five rounds of live-fire drills between Wednesday and March 25 at waters near Chialutang in southwestern Taiwan. The drills will be near the island’s southwest air defence identification zone (ADIZ) that PLA warplanes have reportedly frequently flown into and been seen off by the Taiwanese air force. Taiwan’s navy will also stage two exercises on March 8 and 11 near Chialutang to improve combat readiness, according to another notice published by the fisheries agency. China’s ban on Taiwanese pineapples sours sentiment towards Beijing The Taiwanese coastguard will also hold a live-fire drill at the contested Spratly Islands in the South China Sea on March 23, after it staged a live-fire exercise on Monday at the Pratas Islands – controlled by Taiwan and claimed by Beijing – amid rising tensions in the region, according to the agency. Taiwan’s drills come as the PLA conducts a month-long exercise, which started on Monday, in a zone with a radius of 5km (3.1 miles) west of the Leizhou Peninsula in Guangdong province. Analysts said although Taiwan’s missile tests and military drills would have been scheduled well ahead of time, publicising the schedule also served as a warning to Beijing over its growing military intimidation against the self-ruled island. “In the face of continuous threats from China, the flurry of missile tests and military drills by the Taiwanese forces are meant to tell Beijing that Taiwan has the ability to defend itself,” said Su Tzu-yun, a senior analyst at the Institute for National Defence and Security Research, a government-funded think tank. Beijing considers Taiwan part of its territory that must be brought under mainland control, by force if necessary. It has suspended official exchanges with the island, staged a series of war games and poached seven of Taiwan’s allies since Tsai Ing-wen, from the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, was elected president in 2016 and refused to accept the one-China principle. More than 1,000 PLA warplanes have entered Taiwan’s southwest ADIZ since last year as part of the pressure campaign, fuelling tensions in the region, with military experts warning of the risk of unintended incidents that could spark a cross-strait conflict. Why France is flexing its muscles in the South China Sea Su said Taiwan was aware of the risks and had been prudent in its military moves. “These tests and drills are … homeland security measures aimed at safeguarding Taiwan while improving the armed forces’ skills and the technological levels of Taiwan’s home-grown weapons,” Su said. Chieh Chung, a senior national security researcher at the National Policy Foundation, an opposition Kuomintang party think tank, said Taiwan had developed its own weapons mainly because of the rapid rise in the mainland’s military power. “In developing our own weapons, we seek to maintain a military balance between the two sides, or at least not to fall sharply behind,” he said.More from South China Morning Post:South China Sea: Vietnam builds up defences against Beijing in Spratly Islands, report saysBeijing keeps up military pressure on Taiwan as island reshuffles security and mainland affairs chiefsTensions rise across the Taiwan Strait as Taipei test-fires missilesChina military may face tough year ahead as Beijing tightens purse stringsThis article South China Sea: Taiwan fires up missile tests to coincide with Beijing’s month of military drills first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
The local distributor of the Blue Oval in the country has already started to jack up the price of certain vehicles by as much as P123,000 following the imposition of Republic Act 8800 (Safeguard Measures Act). Based on its latest announcement, Ford Philippines have increased the prices of select variants of the Ranger and Territory. To note, the Ford Territory was only unveiled to the local market last year, while the updated Ranger lineup, just last month. “In compliance with the Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 20-11 issued by the Department of Trade and Industry that mandates the imposition of provisional safeguard duties on imported vehicles, Ford Philippines is implementing a new pricing structure for selected Ford vehicles starting March 1, 2021,”the local arm of Ford stated. Of the Ranger lineup, the Ranger Raptor and the Ranger Wildtrak 4x4 have retained their current pricing. Below are the models affected by the new pricing adjustment: Model variant MSRP as of Feb. 28, 2021 Price Increase New MSRP effective March 1, 2021 Ranger 2.0L Wildtrak 4x2 AT P1.455 million P85,000 P1.54 million Ranger 2.2L FX4 4x4 AT P1.416 million P94,000 P1.51 million Ranger 2.0L Wildtrak 4x2 MT P1.39 million P90,000 P1.48 million Ranger 2.2L FX4 4x4 MT P1.356 million P94,000 P1.45 million Ranger 2.2L FX4 4x2 AT P1.316 million P64,000 P1.38 million Ranger 2.2L XLT 4x2 AT P1.236 million P94,000 P1.33 million Ranger 2.2L FX4 4x2 MT P1.256 million P64,000 P1.32 million Ranger 2.2L XLS 4x4 MT P1.181 million P123,000 P1.304 million Ranger 2.2L XLT 4x2 MT P1.176 million P123,000 P1.299 million Ranger 2.2L XLS 4x2 AT P1.092 million P123,000 P1.215 million Ranger 2.2L XLS 4x2 MT P1.062 million P93,000 P1.155 million Territory 1.5L EcoBoost Trend CVT P1.199 million P78,000 P1.277 million Just like the Ranger Raptor and the Ranger Wildtrak 4x4, the Ford Territory Titanium will also keep its existing retail price of P1.31 million—together with the rest of the Ford lineup. The American carmaker’s local distributor had taken some of the brunt of the adjustments. “In order to manage the impact of the safeguard duty to its customers, Ford Philippines is taking on the partial amount of the tariff for selected Ranger variants,” Ford Philippines claimed. The first two vehicle distributors who announced the imposition of the upward price adjustment were Sojitz G Auto Philippines (Geely’s local marketer) and Legado Motors Inc. (Philippine partner is Guangzhou Automobile Company). Photos from Ford Philippines, Ruben D. Manahan IV Also read: Ford PH Brings Refreshed Ranger Lineup There's a Kind of Hunch: Ford PH to Likely Bring 2020 Ranger Ford Ranger Bags International Pickup Truck of the Year Award (Again)
A Japanese a woman in her 60s died from a brain haemorrhage three days after receiving a Pfizer coronavirus vaccination, the health ministry said on Tuesday, adding that there may not be a link between the two. The woman was vaccinated on Friday and is suspected to have suffered a brain haemorrhage three days later, on Monday, it said. It was Japan's first reported death following a vaccination.