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One of the world’s largest shipping companies, AP Moller-Maersk, has announced plans to cut an additional 3,500 jobs, following a previous reduction of 6,500 positions earlier in the year. The decision comes as a response to diminished demand and reduced freight rates. Maersk experienced a significant decline in profits, plummeting by 92% during the latest quarter.

The company highlighted the deteriorating prices for sea freight as the primary factor necessitating further job cuts. While the initial period of the COVID-19 pandemic saw a surge in demand and shipping costs, the situation has since shifted. The resurgence of inflation and the impact of increased interest rates have dampened consumer spending, leading to decreased demand for shipping services.

Maersk’s chief executive, Vincent Clerc, acknowledged the challenging circumstances, emphasizing the need for cost-saving measures in light of the current industry landscape. Despite the drastic staff reductions, the company aims to save approximately £600m next year.

The recent announcement will bring Maersk’s global workforce below 100,000, with 2,500 of the job cuts expected to take place in the coming months, and the remainder in 2024. The company has refrained from disclosing the specific locations or job roles that will be affected.

The market response to Maersk’s latest developments was negative, with shares in the group declining by 11.1% following the announcement. The company remains cautious about its revenue and profit expectations, anticipating that both figures will likely fall at the lower end of its estimations. Additionally, Maersk warned that global economic slowdown, financial risks, and geopolitical tensions, such as strained relations between China and the US, conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, could impede any anticipated improvements in the final quarter of this year and affect volumes in 2024.

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The head of the World Health Organization stated in his clearest remarks to yet that the UN body remains dedicated to learning how the virus originated that learning the origins of COVID-19 is a moral necessity and all possibilities must be studied.

The Wall Street Journal stated that a US agency determined that the pandemic was most likely brought on by an unintentional Chinese laboratory leak, putting additional pressure on the WHO to provide an explanation. Beijing contests the analysis.

“Understanding #COVID19’s origins and exploring all hypotheses remains: a scientific imperative, to help us prevent future outbreaks (and) a moral imperative, for the sake of the millions of people who died and those who live with #LongCOVID,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Twitter.

He was writing to commemorate three years since the WHO used the term “pandemic” for the first time to describe the widespread COVID-19 epidemic.

The focus of the anniversary, according to activists, lawmakers, and academics, should be on averting a repetition of the unequal COVID-19 vaccine introduction, which they claim resulted in at least 1.3 million avoidable deaths.

After spending weeks in and around Wuhan, China, the site of the first human cases, a WHO-led team concluded in 2021 that the virus had likely been spread from bats to humans via another animal, though more investigation was required. China has said no additional visits are needed.

Since then, the WHO has established a scientific advisory group on dangerous pathogens, but it hasn’t made any determinations regarding how the pandemic started because it claims that important pieces of information are lacking.

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Covid-19 has claimed the life of one of the main suspects in the assassination of former Russian spy and Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko.

Mr Litvinenko was fatally poisoned in London in 2006, according to UK authorities. Dmitry Kovtun was one of two men accused of poisoning him. Mr Kovtun died on Saturday at a hospital in Moscow, according to the Russian state news agency Tass.

Andrei Lugovoi, another suspect in the murder, posted on social media that his “faithful friend” had died.

Mr Litvinenko, a former KGB officer turned British citizen and outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was poisoned with a radioactive substance at a London hotel where he met the two men.

Shortly after the meeting, he became ill and was admitted to the hospital. His condition deteriorated, and he died on November 23, a few weeks later. The killing was “probably approved” by Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a UK public inquiry conducted ten years later. Mr Litvinenko accused President Putin of ordering his assassination from his deathbed. Russia has consistently denied any involvement in the assassination.

Mr. Kovtun was born in 1965 and attended Moscow’s Soviet command academy before joining the KGB’s protection unit. As the Soviet Union fell apart, he was serving in East Germany and fled to Hamburg with his first wife to seek political asylum. Mr Kovtun later returned to Russia, where Mr Lugovoi is said to have recruited him.

Mr Kovtun told the Interfax news agency after the UK report was released: “I had nothing to do with the death of Litvinenko. On the basis of the falsified and fabricated evidence, the outcome of the public inquiry published in London could not have reached any other conclusions.”

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Twitter says it will begin naming deceiving tweets about COVID vaccines and boycott users who keep on spreading such misinformation.

The microblogging platform presented on Monday a “strike system” that will continuously raise to a lasting ban after the fifth culpable tweet.

“We believe the strike system will help to educate the public on our policies and further reduce the spread of potentially harmful and misleading information on Twitter,” the San Francisco-based organization said in a blog post.

“Particularly for rehashed moderate and high-seriousness infringement of our principles.” Twitter clients will be informed when a tweet is named as deceiving or should be taken out for defying the stage’s norms, acquiring a strike, as per the company.

The second and third strikes will each bring about the disregarding account being obstructed for 12 hours. With a fourth violation, a record will be sidelined for seven days. A fifth strike will get accounts forever suspended, Twitter said.

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The European country of Spain is planning to develop a registry of people who refuse to participate in the vaccination program launched by the country to fight the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic – which has brought the world to a difficult juncture.

The country is likely to share the registry with other countries in the European Union. At the same time, it has assured to protect the right to privacy of its citizens. The country has decided not to share the registry with the common public.

Spain is one of the worst affected countries in the world. The virus outbreak has directly or indirectly affected lakhs of people in the country.  

It is not mandatory for people to take the vaccine in the European country of Spain.

According to a recent poll, the number of Spanish citizens who have said they will not take the vaccine has fallen to 28% from 47% in November.

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At the time the world is facing a serious threat due to a highly contagious variant of Covid-19, the European Union has rolled out a mass vaccination program.

The program has been projected by the union as a symbol of the unity among the member countries of the union.  

While speaking to media personals, a top official of the union has said that the union had delivered vaccine to all member countries.

The European Union is a very powerful economic union. It consists of at least twenty seven countries.

Certain countries began the program last day itself, through the official commencement has happened together.

Europe is one of the most affected region due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The EU alone has witnessed as many as 3,35,000 Covid-related deaths, which is in fact a huge number compared to China.  

The disease has left around 14 million people infected in the EU. Certain EU countries have already imposed certain strict lockdown measures to prevent the resurgence of the virus.

What is depressing is that a contagious variant of Covid-19 is rapidly spreading in Europe, Canada and Japan.

It is high time to find a long-lasting solution to the virus issue. The world needs to develop a powerful program to overcome from the crisis.

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The European country of the United Kingdom has begun its ambitious vaccination programme, in a bid to free the country from the threat of Covid-19.

US Prime Minister Boris Johnson has expressed clearly how his government has evaluated the development. He has assured people of a future, free of the threat of Covid-19. He has requested his countrymen to wait patiently for few more months.

Meanwhile, the company, which has developed the vaccine, has expressed happiness in the determination the country has shown to roll out the vaccine programme in this stage.   

It is said that the vaccine is less likely to show an impact immediately. As per a statement, it may take months for the vaccine to prove its true outcome.

It is said that the vaccine does not have any serious side effects. It is boasted that the majority of those who have participated in the trial has experienced either no side-effect or minimal side-effect such as headache.

The UK is not the first European country which has commenced a vaccine program. Earlier, Russia launched its vaccine program.

It was boasted that the vaccine developed by Russia was effective as the one come from the United Kingdom.

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The European country of Russia has begun its vaccination program in an attempt to bring the Covid-19 crisis under control. The program has commenced in the Russian capital of Moscow.  

For the program, it uses Sputnik V, a vaccine it developed few months ago. The vaccine is said to be around 95 per cent effective.

The vaccine was originally registered in August. Initially, it was denounced on the ground that it lacked the backing of proper clinal trials.

It is said that the vaccine is still in the stage of mass testing.  

This weekend, thousands of people will receive the first of two jabs.

Recently, a top Russian official indicated that the country would commence its vaccination program soon.

The world is closely watching the development in Russia. It is still not clear how fast Russia will be able to meet its vaccine production target.

As many as two million doses of the vaccine is expected to be produced with in the end of this year.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin recently said in the preliminary stage the vaccine was being offered to people in the city of 13 million who work in schools and the health service, and social workers.

He added that the list would grow as more of the vaccine became available.

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The European country of Italy has imposed a strict inter-region travel ban in order to make sure that the Covid-19 crisis does not intensify between 21st December and 6th January.

The ban has been introduced in view of the possible spike in travel during the Christmas week.

As part of the ban, a curfew has also been introduced in the country. A curfew will be in place from 22:00 to 05:00.

The ban is expected to affect almost all services, including restaurants. In some region, takeaways will be allowed.

Italy is one of the worst affected countries in the continent of Europe.

The latest ban is an attempt to minimize the impact of the second wave of Covid-19. The first wave has brought a devastating impact on the country.

“We cannot let down our guard;” says Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, while speaking in a press conference to discuss the matter.

The ban is not to affect medical services and emergency services.

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The majority of the people of Croatia has expressed their distrust in the effectiveness of the process of vaccination against Covid-19.  

In a survey recently conducted in the country, only 43 per cent have responded in favour of the process. Notably, around 57 per cent has taken a stand against the process.

The shocking data has been revealed by a survey conducted by a market research firm, named Valicon.

The report has come at the time pharma giants are aggressively competing with each other to dominate the vaccination platform.

What the survey report actually reflects is the confusion prevail in the universe about the effectiveness of the vaccination process against the virus.

As many as 523 people, all of them Croatians, have participated in the survey conducted by the market research firm.

Anyway, the latest statement released by US-based pharma giant Pfizer contradicts the survey presented by the market research firm.

As per the statement, the vaccine developed by the US-based firm is more than 95 per cent efficient.

Another vaccine developed to fight the virus outbreak is said to be around 90 per cent effective. It is one developed by Oxford.

The assurances come from the vaccination sector dismisses the confusion raised by the surveys like the one conducted in Croatia baseless.

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