EXTRA
Extra is a daily newspaper published in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is headquartered in this same city and was created in 1998 by Infoglobo.
Geopolitics

The Latest: Peru’s COVID Death Rate, Myanmar Teachers, Tesla Prices

Welcome to Tuesday, where there's a new country with the highest rate of COVID deaths, India registers its worst recession in almost 80 years, and Lithuania's capital city goes full on science fiction. The Latin American business magazine America Economia shows us the massive new port in Peru that's planned to be the gateway for growing Chinese trade into the region.


• Netanyahu's legal challenge rejected: Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's challenge of the legality of a bid by a rival rightist to head a new Israeli government has failed after it was rejected by the country's president.

Uganda minister shot in assassination attempt: Gen. Katumba Wamala, Uganda's Transport Minister, was wounded in an attack by gunmen. His daughter and driver were killed.

• COVID update: Peru's COVID death toll more than doubles following a review of its counting methods, making it the country with the world's highest death rate per capita, with more than 180,000 fatalities. The WHO has announced it will use Greek letters to refer to variants to simplify discussions and avoid stigma, with the UK variant labelled as Alpha for instance.

• Myanmar's schools boycott: Schools in Myanmar reopen for the first time since the military seized power, but teachers and students are set to defy the junta by boycotting classes in protest.

• Tesla prices increase due to supply chain pressure: U.S. automaker Tesla is increasing the prices of its electric vehicles due to supply chain disruptions across the auto industry, notably a shortage in computer chips.

• Osaka withdraws from French Open: Citing recent struggles with depression, Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka pulls out of French Open after she was fined and threatened with expulsion following her decision to boycott the news conferences.

• A portal to another city: The capital city of Vilnius, Lithuania, has installed a futuristic mirror-like "portal" that is connected to a similar installation 600 kilometers away in Lublin, Poland, broadcasting live images from the two cities to encourage people to "rethink the meaning of unity."

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Geopolitics

The Latest: Atlanta Shooting, Japan LGBTQ Breakthrough, Sad St. Patrick's Day

Welcome to Wednesday, where a shooting in Atlanta leaves eight dead, a Japanese court ruling could be a breakthrough for LGBTQ rights and Saint Patrick's Day celebrations are cancelled again. We also travel to Argentine's sea waters where an onslaught of foreign fishing fleets threatens marine life.

Let them have AstraZeneca! The negligence of Europe's leaders

As elsewhere in Europe, the German government's decision to suspend the use of the vaccine makes no logical sense when you weigh up the risks in concrete figures, writes Justus Haucap, Professor of Economics at the University of Düsseldorf, in German daily Die Welt:

Suspending use of the AstraZeneca vaccine is a major blow for Germany's vaccination program. Over the past few weeks, AstraZeneca made up around 40% of vaccines administered in the country.

The vaccination program was already rolling out very slowly, and now the brakes are being slammed on. The promise of every adult being offered at least a first dose of the vaccine before the end of summer is beginning to look quite doubtful indeed.

Even if Germany starts offering the AstraZeneca vaccine again soon, the population may still be reluctant to receive it. But vaccines are our only way out of the pandemic. The collateral damage of suspending use of this specific vaccine could be huge.

The decision to halt all use of the AstraZeneca vaccine will prove to be a grave mistake, with serious consequences. So far in Germany, there have been seven reported cases of blood clots in the brain identified in patients who had received the vaccine.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has reported 41 cases of blood clots among the more than five million people who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine. Even if this number is higher than it should be, the risk is still only 0.0008%.

Many other medicines come with significantly higher risks. If every German citizen received the AstraZeneca vaccine — which won't be the case — we would expect to see at most 650 people experiencing complications. If 30 to 40% of the population received it, it would be between 200 and 260 cases.

The risk of unvaccinated people contracting coronavirus and becoming seriously ill is far higher. In the past seven days alone, there have been 110,000 new infections reported in Germany.

If only 1% of infections are fatal, that would still be more than 1,000 people — and that's only one week's worth of infections. With the threat of a third wave fast approaching, it's unthinkable to allow these very low risks to slow down the vaccination programme.

To salvage what we can, the German government should now make it possible for anyone who wishes to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine to do so. I personally would be first in line.

Anyone who would prefer to wait for a different vaccine and run the risk of being infected with coronavirus can do so. But there's no reason to make everyone wait. In fact, it's negligent, given the risk of a third wave.

Without the AstraZeneca vaccine, we may see fewer blood clots, but we will certainly see many more deaths from coronavirus, to say nothing of the continuing restrictions imposed on our basic freedoms and everyday life.

Justus Haucap / Die Welt

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Rio Mayor Says Security Is 'Horrible' A Month Before Olympics

Extra, July 5th

The Tuesday edition of Brazilian newspaper Extra features a picture of policemen, occupying a portion Rio de Janeiro's international airport Tom Jobim to protest unpaid salaries as security fears rise a month before the Summer Olympics are set to open.

"It is horrible," reads the front-page headline, a quote from Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes about the safety situation of the city for the Olympic Games, which will take place between August 5 and 21.

Rio security forces are suffering from the effects of the country's worst recession in decades, to the point where they sometimes have to ask for donations of pens, cleaning supplies and even toilet paper. Rio state's governor, Francisco Dornelles, declared a state of financial emergency last month.