France agrees to sell 30 Rafale fighters to Egypt

France agrees to sell 30 Rafale fighters to Egypt

Two French air force Rafale F3-R jets take off from the military airport of Andravida, southern Greece, April 19, 2021. (AFP Photo) With an aim of shoring up “national security,” Egypt ordered 30 Rafale jets from French defense firm Dassault Aviation, the North African country’s military confirmed in a statement late Monday. The order, which follows the 2015 purchase of 24 Rafale jets, will be financed through a 10-year loan, the military said. Investigative site Disclose had reported earlier Monday that the order was part of a secret mega-defense deal…

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Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine shows 97.6% efficacy

Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine shows 97.6% efficacy

The Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) have reported that the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine showed a 97.6% efficacy. This was based on the analysis of data on disease infection rate among people receiving both shots of the vaccine. The vaccine, which is based on an established and well-studied platform of human adenoviral vectors, uses two different vectors for the two jabs for vaccination. Data from 3.8 million Russians who received both components of Sputnik V from 5 December last year…

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Madrid Open: Russia’s Andrey Rublev continues to impress

Madrid Open: Russia’s Andrey Rublev continues to impress

Russia’s Andrey Rublev overcame a tough challenge on his Madrid Open debut to beat the United States’ Tommy Paul 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 for a place in the third round on Tuesday. Paul put forth a brilliant effort while Rublev struggled to control the ball in the unfamiliar high altitude, according to atptour.com. “It’s important to win when you’re not (playing) your (best) game and things are not going well,” the Russian said. “So it’s really important to win this match to have more confidence. I’m happy that I turned it…

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Finland to end state of emergency as COVID-19 cases drop & will finance post-Covid stimulus with debt

Finland to end state of emergency as COVID-19 cases drop & will finance post-Covid stimulus with debt

Finland should end its COVID-19 state of emergency as infection rates decline, Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Tuesday, adding that the issue would go before parliament. “We see that the conditions no longer call for the emergency powers legislation,” Marin said. On April 9, Marin had presented a plan to relax restrictions in the run-up to the summer. The state of emergency was declared on March 1 because of a third spike in COVID-19 infections that began in late January. The daily number of coronavirus infections has been decreasing since…

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Sweden’s King Carl XVI Celebrates 75th Birthday Without Pomp

Sweden’s King Carl XVI Celebrates 75th Birthday Without Pomp

Sweden’s King Carl XVI celebrated his 75th birthday on Friday, but due to the pandemic celebrations were kept to a minimum, without the lavish flair of a royal anniversary. In contrast to the monarch’s 70th birthday when people lined the streets of Stockholm to fete him, the Swedish Royal Court said celebrations would be “limited” because of the pandemic. Instead of playing host to royals from other countries, smaller receptions were planned for the the morning with Prime Minister Stefan Lofven and other senior politicians, and one with representatives from…

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Third pandemic wave in Sweden slowing down,but cases still high

Third pandemic wave in Sweden slowing down,but cases still high

The number of new COVID-19 cases in Sweden has decreased in the past week, but infections are still at a high level and it is too early to say whether the trend will continue, the Health Agency said on Tuesday. Swedenhas experienced a severe third wave of the pandemic and the number of patients treated at intensive care has been the highest since during spring last year, although deaths have remained low. The country, which has shunned lockdowns throughout the pandemic, registered 14,911 new coronavirus cases since Friday, health agency…

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Norway’s prime minister gets COVID-19 vaccine as it speeds up its vaccinations

Norway’s prime minister gets COVID-19 vaccine as it speeds up its vaccinations

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg has received her first dose of a vaccine against COVID-19, her office said on Monday. Four other cabinet ministers were also vaccinated, all receiving the vaccine produced by Moderna (MRNA.O), the office said in a statement. “I hope everyone who is offered a vaccine will accept it. Vaccination will eventually allow us to reclaim the everyday life we all long for,” said Solberg, who is 60 years old. The prime minister is due to attend a NATO summit in June, and the military alliance has recommended…

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Russia’s spokesperson Maria Zakharova erupts in fury over Norway’s military deal with the United States

Russia’s spokesperson Maria Zakharova erupts in fury over Norway’s military deal with the United States

Oslo follows a deliberate and destructive line towards aggravating tensions in the Euro-Arctic region, and destroying Russian-Norwegian relations, the spokeswomen for Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in her weekly press briefing. Maria Zakharova is known for her undiplomatic comments and few raise eyebrows as she lashes out against neighboring countries. The spokeswomen’s wordings at this week’s briefing, however, were especially strong. Zakharova said Oslo’s enthusiasm over US steps to strengthen its military presence in Norway is provocative. Pointing to the recently signed agreement which opens for the United States to use four dedicated…

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