BEIJING (Reuters) – Different efficacy results for a Chinese COVID-19 vaccine released separately in China and in United Arab Emirates are both real and valid, an executive at China National Biotec Group (CNBG) told state media.
China approved its first COVID-19 vaccine for general public use on Thursday, a shot developed by an affiliate to state-backed Sinopharm, after the developer said the vaccine showed 79.34% efficacy based on an interim analysis of late-stage clinical trials.
That rate is lower than the 86% rate for the same vaccine reported by the United Arab Emirates on Dec. 9.
Countries have certain differences in their standards and procedures in diagnosing patients, and the final results of COVID-19 case identification were different, Yang Xiaoming, chairman at Sinopharm unit’s CNBG, told Global Times, a tabloid published by the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party.
“Therefore, there were differences between the comprehensive multi-country data we reviewed and the protection rate data previously evaluated by the UAE and Bahrain,” Global Times quoted Yang as saying in a report published on Thursday.
“But these two results are both real and valid,” Yang said, without offering further details for the data.
CNBG did not participate in the analysis or review of clinical trial data released by regulators in countries where its vaccine was being trialed, Yang said.
The vaccine, developed by CNBG’s unit Beijing Biological Products Institute, along with another candidate from a Wuhan-based unit of CNBG, are being tested in Phase III clinical trials outside China.
Trials for CNBG’s candidates have recruited over 60,000 participants aged between 18-60, Yang said.
(Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Kim Coghill)
Canadians support government crackdown on hate and racism on social media, poll finds – Global News
A poll conducted in the wake of the storming of the U.S. Capitol by Donald Trump supporters and far-right groups has found that most Canadians want government action against online hate.
Commissioned by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, the poll results also show that almost three-quarters of Canadians are concerned about the rise of right-wing extremism and terrorism.
The results were released Monday by the CRRF, a Crown corporation, as the Liberal government is preparing to introduce measures to regulate social media content.
“The fact that most Canadians see this as a problem is all the more reason why our government needs to make online hate speech regulation a policy priority,” said Mohammed Hashim, the foundation’s executive director.
During the 2019 federal election, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would require social media companies to remove illegal content such as hate speech within 24 hours or face “significant financial penalties.”
The pledge remains unfulfilled, but the government said last week it would soon introduce legislation to regulate internet content.
Under the proposal, online platforms would have to “monitor and eliminate illegal content,” said Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault’s spokesperson Camille Gagné-Raynauld.
“That includes hate speech, terrorist propaganda, violent content, child sexual exploitation and the non-consensual sharing of intimate images,” she said.
“We will also ensure that victims are heard and protected by providing them with a simplified, safe and independent complaint process.”
Pressure on social media companies to crack down on hate
The Abacus Data poll, which surveyed 2,000 Canadians between Jan. 15 and 18, reported that 58 per cent felt hateful content on the internet was increasing, and 60 per cent wanted greater federal regulation.
Support for requiring social media companies to remove racist or hateful content within one day was pegged at 80%, while 10 per cent were opposed, the poll said.
It also reported approval of other measures, such as requiring social media companies to remove users who shared racist or hateful content on their platforms.
Facebook, Twitter and other tech giants have responded to major incidents of extremist violence such as the New Zealand mosque attacks by deplatforming users for violating their rules.
But Bernie Farber, chair of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, said allowing companies to police themselves had not worked.
“They self-regulate and they’re not doing a good job,” he said.
He said right-wing extremists were exploiting online platforms, which he called a “tool for some of the most pernicious hate groups on the continent and around the world.”
“They exist only because they are able to use these platforms,” he said. “That is why they’re growing. That is why we saw what happened in Washington. There have to be rules.”
Twenty-five per cent of those polled were extremely concerned about the rise of right-wing extremism and terrorism, while 23 per cent were very concerned, 23 per cent were somewhat concerned and 20 per cent were “not that concerned.”
Youths aged 18 to 29, racialized Canadians and those on the political left were most likely to be concerned. Among the political right, 60 per cent were concerned and 36 per cent unconcerned about the issue.
The poll found that a third had seen online content inciting violence, while six per cent had experienced it. For racialized Canadians, the figures were significantly higher, at 41 per cent and 11 per cent.
“Across every item, racialized Canadians are more likely to report experiencing or seeing content online,” the poll said.
Overall, 49 per cent thought online hate and racism was a “big problem,” while 44 per cent considered it a “minor” problem. Youths and left-leaning Canadians were most likely to see it as a problem.
“We are encouraged that Canadians appear to be willing to support a strong framework for ensuring we minimize hate and harassment — even in the darkest corners of virtual society,” Hashim said.
The poll’s margin of error was 2.2 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
AIG welcomes new global head of media and communications – Insurance Business CA
AIG has appointed Dana E. Ripley to the newly created role of vice president, global head of media and external communications.
Ripley will be based in New York, and will report to AIG executive vice president, general counsel and global head of communications and government affairs, Lucy Fato. In his new role, he will be focused on articulating and communicating AIG’s strategy and value proposition to external stakeholders.
He joins AIG from 12A Consulting, where he was the founder and chief communications officer. Prior to that, Ripley was the chief communications officer at US Bank from 2014 to 2019, and senior vice president, corporate communications at Voya Financial from 2005 to 2014. He also held the role of director of media relations at Jackson National Life Distributors from 2003 to 2005. In addition, he has served as director of external communications at ING US Financial Services; assistant vice president, corporate communications at Security Benefit Group; and director of media relations at ReliaStar Financial.
Ripley has a master’s of business communication degree from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN, and a bachelor of arts degree from Bethel University, St. Paul, MN.
“Dana is a seasoned professional with significant industry experience and communications expertise. He will play a critical role in all aspects of our strategic communications efforts as we continue on our path to becoming a top performing company and leading insurance franchise,” said Fato.
“I am excited to join AIG at this important time and to be part of the historic turnaround and transformation taking place at this iconic company,” commented Ripley on his appointment. “AIG’s brand is synonymous with risk management and insurance excellence around the globe. It will be a privilege to represent AIG and to tell its compelling story of progress, innovation, change, and growth.”
Forget TikTok. Clubhouse Is Social Media’s Next Star. – Bloomberg
Huawei Technologies in talks to sell premium smartphone brands P and Mate, sources say – The Globe and Mail
Why you need to eat fewer ultra-processed foods like frozen pizza and even granola bars – The Globe and Mail
Astronomers discover huge exoplanet has the density of cotton candy – CBC.ca
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