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Geopolitics

US Embassy Security Official Shot Dead In Yemen

YEMEN OBSERVER (Yemen), REUTERS

Worldcrunch

SANA'A - A U.S. Embassy employee was assassinated on his way to work in the Yemeni capital Thursday.

Yemen Observer reports that Qassem Aqlan, a Yemeni senior security officer working at the U.S. Embassy, was shot dead by masked gunmen on a motorcycle around 10 am Thursday.

Gunmen opened fire on Aqlan's car, as he made his way along Sittin Street, a busy thoroughfare in Sana'a.

A security source, remaining anonymous, said, "This operation has the fingerprints of al-Qaeda which carried out similar operations before."

Reuters reports that this assassination is the latest in a series of attacks in the Yemeni capital, as al-Qaeda attempts to strengthen its presence, with U.S. forces responding to the growing threat with a higher concentration of drone strikes in the Arabian peninsula.

A security checkpoint in al-Dalea, southern Yemen, was also attacked late on Wednesday, resulting in two injured police officers.

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Coronavirus

As COVID Explodes, An Inside Look At China's Gray Market Of Generic Drugs

COVID infections have skyrocketed since China eased restrictions as public health policy has not been able to keep up. Unable to find medications, many have turned to generic drugs of questionable safety. It's the culmination of a longstanding problem.

Photo of a pharmarcist walking past shelves with medication in Yucheng, northern China

A pharmacy in Yucheng, northern China

Xian Zhu and Feiyu Xiang

BEIJING — When her grandfather joined the millions of infected Chinese, Chen quickly decided to buy COVID-19 drugs to limit the effects of the virus. She woke up early to shop on Jingdong, one of China’s biggest online shopping websites, but failed in snatching the limited daily stocks made available.

Fearing COVID's effect on her grandfather, who suffers from dementia, she contacted an independent drug agent and bought a box of generic pharmaceuticals.

With China having suddenly ended its zero-COVID policy, infections have peaked. According to the latest estimates by Airfinity, a British medical information and analysis company, severe COVID outbreaks happened over Chinese New Year with 62 million infections forecast for the second half of January.

In a press conference held by China's State Council on Jan. 11, COVID-19 pills were mentioned as part of the new epidemic control mechanisms. In late 2021, Pfizer developed Paxlovid, the world's first potent COVID drug, with one 100 mg white ritonavir and two 150 mg light pink nirmatrelvir tablets taken every 12 hours. China imported the first batch of Paxlovid for clinical use in March 2022 and included it in the ninth edition of the treatment protocol.

But the first 21,200 boxes of Paxlovid were dispersed to only eight provinces, and no further information is available on where the drug ended up and how much it was used.

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