A global immunization campaign to save the lives of up to 3 million children a year in the developing world will be launched next year as the result of a US$4 billion-a-year vaccination project backed by the UK, France and Bill Gates, the multibillionaire founder of Microsoft. \nGovernment-backed bonds will be floated on financial markets to fund a mass immunization program designed to tackle easily preventable diseases. \nUK Treasury sources said the proposal was at an advanced stage and would be unveiled in the first half of 2005, when the UK intends to make Africa the focal point of its presidency of the G8 industrial countries. \nThe UK was approached by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) to see if it would back a plan to frontload extra cash into health programs. \nBritish finance minister Gordon Brown believes the plan could speed up the flow of drugs to tackle diseases such as tetanus, measles, polio, diphtheria, whoop-ing cough, hepatitis B, yellow fever and gastroenteritis. \nHe also sees the initiative as a pilot for his proposed International Finance Facility, a plan to double global aid to US$100 billion a year through the sale of bonds. \nTreasury officials said Brown had discussed the project with Gates, who has pledged part of his personal fortune to the immunization campaign. The British and French governments, with the World Bank, GAVI and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, are working out the final details.
TARNISHED LEGACY: Woodrow Wilson served as the university’s president before becoming the US’ 28th leader, but his racism was ‘significant and consequential’ Princeton University is removing former US president Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school and one of its residential colleges after trustees concluded that the 28th president’s “racist thinking and policies” made him “an inappropriate namesake.” The Ivy League school’s trustees made the decision on Friday, according to a statement on Saturday. It comes at a time of widespread rethinking of the US’ racial legacy. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, energized by a series of high-profile deaths of black Americans, has resulted in the removal of Confederate monuments, flags and symbols of racism across the US. Deleting Wilson’s name at Princeton
‘FULLY ENCLOSED’: Residents of Anxin County would be confined to their homes and would only be allowed out once a day to buy necessities such as food and medicine China yesterday imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people near the capital to contain a fresh COVID-19 cluster as authorities warned the outbreak was still “severe and complicated.” After China largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in Hebei Province. Health officials said that Anxin County — about 150km from Beijing — would be “fully enclosed and controlled,” the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earlier this year. Only one person from each family would be allowed to go out once a
Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around