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Moments You Missed As The G-7 Leaders Meet For The 1st Time Since COVID-19 : NPR

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, his wife Carrie Johnson and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau get ready to pose for a picture during the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall. PHIL NOBLE / POOL / AFP via Getty Images Hide caption

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PHIL NOBLE / POOL / AFP via Getty Images

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, his wife Carrie Johnson and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau get ready to pose for a picture during the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall.

PHIL NOBLE / POOL / AFP via Getty Images

For the first time since the pandemic halted in-person events, leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States have gathered for three-day talks in a British coastal city to try some of the most urgent Problems in the world.

The focus of the talks is on containing the coronavirus pandemic. But the summit also offers a glimpse into the dynamics between world leaders beyond their declarations and press conferences.

Here’s a look at some of the moments you might have missed on Day 1:

A royal gathering

For the first time, Queen Elizabeth II and her family are taking part in the G7, part of a diplomatic charm offensive. Along with Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Queen attended a Friday night reception with G-7 leaders and her spouses at the Eden Project, which claims to be the largest indoor rainforest in the world designated.

“Should you look like you’re enjoying this?” the Queen asked British Prime Minister Boris Johnson as they sat down for a group photo, which made the other leaders laugh.

Prince Charles spoke to the leaders and applauded them for their urgent work. “Ladies and gentlemen, we are doing it for the pandemic. So if you don’t mind me saying this, we have to do it for the planet too, ”he said.

Most important meal of the day

“Multilateralism is back @ G7,” tweeted Charles Michel, President of the European Council, alongside a photo of heads of state and government gathered for breakfast before the day’s talks. French President Emmanuel Macron also shared a photo of the meeting on Twitter.

“The EU wants to make sure that the world is vaccinated as soon as possible. Only together can we achieve this by upholding our values,” wrote Michel, adding the hashtag “BuildBackBetter”, a phrase that the G-7 hosts Johnson took over and campaigned President Biden to outline his “rescue, recovery and rebuilding” agenda after the pandemic.

On Thursday, Biden announced that the US will donate 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to nearly 100 countries that are struggling to afford them. On the first day of talks, G-7 leaders are expected to announce their pledge to share 1 billion of their COVID-19 vaccine resources with low-income countries.

Shaking hands out, elbow greetings in

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greeted Johnson, the G-7 host, and his wife Carrie as he arrived for the summit on Friday. Phil Noble / Pool / AFP via Getty Images Hide caption

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Phil Noble / Pool / AFP via Getty Images

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greeted Johnson, the G-7 host, and his wife Carrie as he arrived for the summit on Friday.

Phil Noble / Pool / AFP via Getty Images

At the start of Friday’s summit, world leaders and their spouses took turns walking up a pier to snap a picture with Johnson and his wife, Carrie.

Exaggerated elbow kicks as a safety measure replaced the traditional handshakes between the guides.

“Everyone in the water,” joked Biden to the pool of photographers.

Family photo

The G-7 leaders gather for the traditional group photo ahead of Friday’s talks. Ludovic Marin / AFP via Getty Images Hide caption

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Ludovic Marin / AFP via Getty Images

The G-7 leaders gather for the traditional group photo ahead of Friday’s talks.

Ludovic Marin / AFP via Getty Images

As usual, leaders gathered for an official photo before the talks began.

It didn’t take long for the moment to become a meme.

Harry and Meghan’s newborn baby is mentioned

First Lady Jill Biden and British Duchess Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, visit Connor Downs Academy in Hayle, England, on the sidelines of the G-7 summit on Friday. Daniel Leal-Olivas / AFP via Getty Images Hide caption

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Daniel Leal-Olivas / AFP via Getty Images

First Lady Jill Biden and British Duchess Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, visit Connor Downs Academy in Hayle, England, on the sidelines of the G-7 summit on Friday.

Daniel Leal-Olivas / AFP via Getty Images

On Friday, Duchess of Cambridge Catherine and First Lady Jill Biden toured a Connor Downs Academy classroom and held a round table on early childhood education.

That made for an uncomfortable moment.

Reporters traveling with Biden asked former Kate Middleton if she had any wishes for her new niece Lilibet Diana, the newborn daughter of Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, who have withdrawn from British royalty in a very public way.

The baby was named in honor of Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana of Wales, and Queen Elizabeth II. The name sparked some controversy over whether the Queen had given her blessing for using her childhood nickname.

“I wish her all the best. I can’t wait to get to know her,” said the Duchess of Cambridge. “We haven’t met her yet.

She was asked if she did FaceTime with her new niece. “No, I haven’t,” she said.

Johnson sees a “more feminine” world after COVID-19

Cameras were briefly admitted as the leaders began their formal meeting. Johnson made some introductory remarks, noting how refreshing it was to work with people in person.

He nodded on the subject of climate change and said, “We are united in our vision for a cleaner, greener world, a solution to the problems of climate change.”

As Frank Langfitt of NPR reported, any concrete action that was announced during the climate change talks could give impetus to the UN climate conference in the fall. Johnson is also hosting this meeting in Glasgow, Scotland.

“Build better together again … build greener and fairer and build more equitable, more gender-neutral, maybe more feminine”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson starts his “chimney chat” with other G7 leaders https://t.co/OfzwQgtI4G pic.twitter.com/TtSzcmbLUP

– BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) June 11, 2021

But he focused on COVID-19. “We need to make sure we learn the lessons from the pandemic,” he said.

“We are building better together again, and building greener and fairer again, and building again with more equality, more gender-neutral and perhaps more feminine. How about that? ”Said Johnson.

Body language contrast between Biden and Trump

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen speak during the official welcome of the heads of state or government. WPA Pool / Getty Images Hide caption

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WPA-Pool / Getty Images

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen speak during the official welcome of the heads of state or government.

WPA-Pool / Getty Images

Part of Biden’s mission is to repair connections damaged after four years of former President Donald Trump’s rather discrete approach – an approach that forever changed the international summits that set it, as shown in this iconic photo of a G- 7 detained in Canada:

There’s less drama at this meeting than there was in the Trump years. Take, for example, the memorable images of Trump pushing himself to the top with handshakes and pushing the Prime Minister of Montenegro aside, obviously trying to get to the top in a photo op.

Some leaders were happy to turn the page.

Compare that to the “handshake wars” between French President Emmanueal Macron and Trump during the bilateral negotiations.

Pandemic

Kremlin blames ‘nihilism’ as Moscow sees record COVID-19 infections

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A specialist wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) sprays disinfectant while disinfecting Rizhsky train station, one of the measures taken to contain the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Moscow, Russia, June 17, 2021. Moscow Department for Russian Emergencies Ministry / Handout via REUTERS

MOSCOW, June 18 (Reuters) – The Kremlin on Friday blamed a surge in COVID-19 cases on reluctance to get vaccinated for “nihilism” after fears raised a record of 9,000 new infections in the capital third wave had stoked.

Russia, the largest country in the world, reported 17,262 new coronavirus infections nationwide.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin extended the restrictions he had previously imposed, including a ban on public events with more than 1,000 people, the closure of cafes and restaurants at 11 p.m. and the closure of fan zones set up for the European Football Championship. Continue reading

Sobyanin said earlier this week that Moscow, home to 13 million people, was facing a new, more aggressive and contagious variant of the coronavirus and that the situation in the city was rapidly deteriorating.

It was not clear if he was referring to the Delta variant, which was first identified in India and which led to a resurgence of cases in the UK.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said President Vladimir Putin is closely monitoring the situation.

When asked to explain the increase in cases, Peskov blamed the virus’ “cunning nature”, an indication of its mutations, and “total nihilism and low vaccination rate”. Continue reading

At a briefing, he rejected the idea, postulated by some critics, that Russians were reluctant to vaccinate because they mistrusted the authorities.

As of June 2, the latest available census, only 18 million Russians had received at least one dose of vaccine: that is far less than most western countries for one eighth of the population.

The Moscow authorities this week ordered all workers with public functions to be vaccinated. Continue reading

Sobyanin said Friday he expected the city government to begin vaccinating migrant workers with Sputnik Light – a single dose of the Sputnik-V vaccine – early next month.

But he also said it was “vital” to give more booster doses – a third dose, in effect. He said he had just received a booster himself after being fully vaccinated twice a year ago.

He said the third dose offered was a repeat of the first dose of the double Sputnik-V vaccine.

Several Russian officials and members of the business elite, as well as some members of the public, have already secured third and fourth doses of Sputnik V, Reuters reported in April. Continue reading

How long a vaccine will protect against COVID-19 will be crucial as countries assess when or if re-vaccination is needed, and Russia’s results are closely monitored elsewhere.

Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov; Letter from Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Maria Kisselyova

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Global COVID-19 death toll exceeds 4 million

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June 18 (Reuters) – Coronavirus-related deaths worldwide passed a dismal 4 million milestone on Thursday, as many countries struggle to get enough vaccines to keep their populations safe, according to a Reuters tally.

While the number of new cases and deaths has declined in countries like the United States and the United Kingdom, several countries are experiencing vaccine shortages as the Delta variant becomes the dominant strain worldwide.

According to a Reuters analysis, it took over a year for the COVID-19 death toll to hit 2 million, while the next 2 million were recorded in just 166 days.

The five largest countries by total deaths – the United States, Brazil, India, Russia, and Mexico – account for about 50% of all deaths worldwide, while Peru, Hungary, Bosnia, the Czech Republic, and Gibraltar have the highest death rates when populations adjust is. (Chart on worldwide cases and deaths)

Countries in Latin America are facing the worst outbreak since March, with 43 out of 100 infections reported in the region worldwide, according to a Reuters analysis. The nine countries that reported the most deaths per capita in the past week were all in Latin America.

Hospitals in Bolivia, Chile and Uruguay mostly see COVID-19 patients between the ages of 25 and 40 as the trend towards younger patients continues. In Sao Paulo, Brazil, 80% of intensive care unit (ICU) inmates are COVID-19 patients.

Rising deaths are straining the operating capacity of crematoriums in developing countries, and gravediggers in several countries have been forced to add a number of new graves to cemeteries.

India and Brazil are the countries with the highest number of reported deaths on a seven-day average each day and are still facing cremation issues and shortage of burial sites. According to a Reuters analysis, India is responsible for every third death reported worldwide on a daily basis.

Many health experts believe the official death toll is underestimated worldwide, with the World Health Organization (WHO) estimating the death toll as much higher last month.

Last week, the Indian state of Bihar significantly increased its COVID-19 death toll after discovering thousands of unreported cases, adding weight to concerns that India’s total death toll is well above the official figure.

As poorer countries struggle to vaccinate their populations due to vaccine shortages, wealthier countries have been urged to donate more to help contain the pandemic.

“The main problem in America is access to vaccines, not vaccine acceptance,” said Carissa Etienne, director of the Pan American Health Organization, on Wednesday, urging donor countries to send vaccinations as soon as possible.

The Group of Seven (G7) rich nations had pledged to provide 1 billion COVID-19 vaccinations to help poorer countries vaccinate their populations.

(Corrects the day of the week in the first paragraph)

Reporting by Roshan Abraham and Ahmed Farhatha in Bengaluru; Additional coverage from Lasya Priya M; Edited by Lisa Shumaker and Karishma Singh

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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CureVac Shares Plunge Premarket on Disappointing Covid-19 Vaccine Trial

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Shares in Germany’s CureVac CVAC -3.47%

NV fell nearly in half in pre-trading hours, suggesting significant losses for investors as the market reopened after the drug company reported disappointing results from a study on its experimental Covid-19 vaccine.

Nasdaq-listed CureVac said late Wednesday that its vaccine was 47% effective against the disease in an interim analysis of a large clinical trial, a disappointing result that will likely cloud the vaccine’s prospects for wider use.

For the main listing in the US, shares fell 45% in over-the-counter trading. The shares of the Frankfurt-listed company traded 43% lower on Thursday.

The setback could hamper vaccination campaigns in Europe because the German company has a contract with the European Commission to supply up to 405 million doses, one of the bloc’s largest deals with a single company. CureVac has partnered with major pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline GSK 0.22%

SPS and Novartis AG

NVS -0.13%

to help make cans.

CureVac was once considered one of the most hopeful candidates for developing a successful Covid-19 vaccine. It received support from the German government, which had a 17% stake in the company, and the company was listed in the US last August. The company had a market valuation of $ 18.29 billion at the close of trading on Wednesday.

The share price had already declined in the past few days due to growing doubts about the study and the company’s ability to get its vaccine approved in Europe in the second quarter as planned.

A government spokesman declined to comment on the interim analysis, but said it would not affect the German vaccination schedule. On its website, the German Ministry of Health no longer includes CureVac in its vaccine delivery forecasts for the remainder of 2021.

CureVac’s vaccine uses a gene-based technology, messenger RNA, similar to that used by Moderna Inc.

and Pfizer Inc.,

with his partner BioNTech SE,

Manufacture Covid-19 vaccines.

In comparison, these vaccines were at least 94% effective in large clinical trials last year before new virus variants spread significantly. The Moderna and Pfizer shots have formed the backbone of mass vaccination campaigns in the US and other countries.

CureVac’s vaccine is slightly different from the Pfizer and Moderna shots, with a formulation that allows for storage at higher temperatures than the other shots.

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CureVac, together with its partner Bayer AG, carried out a combined clinical phase 2/3 study with its vaccine from December, in which around 40,000 people in 10 countries in Latin America and Europe took part.

The study volunteers received two doses of either the CureVac vaccine or a placebo, and the researchers tracked how many in each group got Covid-19.

The proliferation of new coronavirus variants may have played a role in the disappointing effectiveness, CureVac said.

Approximately 57% of Covid-19 cases for which virus sequence data was available were caused by variants of concern – those that are more easily transmitted or can cause more serious illness – and most of the remaining cases were caused by other, less characterized variants, announced the company.

“Although we had hoped for a stronger interim result, we are aware that demonstrating high efficacy in this unprecedented variety of variants is a challenge,” said Dr. Franz-Werner Haas, CEO of CureVac.

The company said the effectiveness of the vaccine in the study varied based on age, with results suggesting effectiveness in younger people but not conclusive effectiveness in those over 60 years of age.

CureVac’s early work on a Covid-19 vaccine last year first caught the attention of then-President Donald Trump. In March 2020, the German government accused the US of tricking CureVac into moving to the US to work on a vaccine.

The company continued to develop the shot after its founder, who returned as CEO, suffered a debilitating stroke and took medical break.

Write to Peter Loftus at peter.loftus@wsj.com

Copyright © 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

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