JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Battling a COVID-19 resurgence driven by a more infectious variant, South Africa is preparing to roll out its first vaccines to the country’s frontline healthcare workers. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said a delivery of 1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to arrive at Johannesburg’s international airport on Monday and there are plans for jabs to be given to doctors and nurses starting in mid-February. Mkhize said South Africa intends to vaccinate 67% of its 60 million people in 2021, starting with the most vulnerable health care workers.
CSENGELE, Hungary (AP) — A kosher slaughterhouse in southern Hungary has increased its exports to Belgium since the European Union’s highest court upheld a Flanders region law that prohibited slaughtering animals without first stunning them into unconsciousness. But the traditional methods practiced at Quality Poultry also are at the center of a debate over animal rights and religious rights. Last month’s European Court of Justice ruling has provoked fears of eventual EU-wide prohibitions on ritual slaughter. Animal rights groups say that slitting the throats of livestock and poultry while they are conscious amounts to animal cruelty. Jewish religious authorities consider pre-slaughter stunning to be a prohibited form of injury that renders meat and poultry non-kosher.
SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Google will pay $2.6 million to more than 5,500 employees and past job applicants. The payments are to resolve allegations that the internet giant discriminated against female engineers and Asians in California and Washington state. The settlement announced Monday closes a 4-year-old case that the Labor Department brought as part its reviews of the pay practices at federal government contractors such as Google. That inquiry resulted in accusations that Google had been paying its female engineers less than men in similar positions during a period spanning from 2014 to 2017. Google isn’t admitting any wrongdoing, but the settlement still could blemished its once-cherished reputation as an employers that pampers its workers.
BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Serbia’s leader says he is proud his country became the first in Europe to give its population the COVID-19 vaccine product made in China. President Aleksandar Vucic expressed his gratitude to Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday for the 1 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine delivered to Serbia. Vucic said that by receiving the jabs, “the citizens of our country expressed deep trust in the Chinese vaccine and with that also in the Chinese state and Chinese experts.” Last year, Vucic kissed the Chinese flag when China delivered masks and other protective equipment and he criticized the European Union for an alleged lack of solidarity at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.