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India prepares for world's largest vaccination drive.

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JANUARY 12, 2021

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS TODAY

India prepares for ‘world’s biggest vaccination drive’
Indian airlines started delivering batches of COVID-19 vaccines across the country, getting ready for the launch of a campaign to offer shots to 1.3 billion people in what officials call the world’s biggest vaccination drive.

Authorities hope to inoculate 300 million high-risk people over the next six to eight months. Vaccinations are scheduled to begin on Saturday.

First to get the vaccine will be 30 million health and other front-line workers, followed by about 270 million people aged over 50 or deemed high-risk.

Another Chinese city goes into lockdown
Authorities in China introduced new COVID-19 curbs in areas surrounding Beijing, putting 4.9 million residents under lockdown as new infections raised worries about a second wave in a nation that has mostly contained the disease.

The number of new cases in mainland China reported on Tuesday almost halved from a day earlier and remains a small fraction of what it was at the height of the outbreak in early 2020. However, local authorities are implementing strict curbs whenever new cases emerge to prevent the kind of economic paralysis seen a year ago.

The city of Langfang in Hebei on Tuesday said its 4.9 million residents will be put under home quarantine for seven days and be subject to mass COVID-19 testing.

9 million Americans now vaccinated
Nearly 9 million Americans had been given their first vaccination dose, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, as states scrambled to step up inoculations.

The 8,987,322 people who have been jabbed with the first of two shots, according to the CDC, represent less than one-third of the 25 million total doses distributed to states by the U.S. government.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Monday sought permission from the Trump administration to directly purchase 100,000 doses of the vaccine manufactured by Pfizer and partner BioNTech, which was cleared by the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use.

Israel expects to start vaccinating children by March
Israel may include children over the age of 12 in groups receiving COVID-19 vaccines within the next two months if research shows this is safe, a top health official said.

Vaccinating at a world-record pace, Israel says it aims to have administered one or both shots to 5 million of its 9 million citizens, and reopen the economy, by mid-March.

Elderly Israelis and adults with medical conditions or jobs in critical high-risk sectors have been given priority. But with Israeli officials anticipating more regular vaccine shipments, the eligibility categories have been expanded.

Gorillas diagnosed with COVID-19
As many as eight gorillas at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park are presumed to have contracted COVID-19 from a human handler after one of the animals tested positive, marking the first known transmission of the virus to apes, zoo officials said.

Three among the band of critically endangered western lowland gorillas at the sprawling wildlife park have shown symptoms of the respiratory virus, such as coughing, though none appears severely ill, and all are expected to fully recover, the zoo said.

Track the global spread with our live interactive here.

Breakingviews - Corona Capital: Delivery Hero, TPG, Influencers Delivery Hero branches out in random areas, TPG bets on a post-vaccine surge in outdoor activities, and online influencers become a chunkier part of The Hut Group’s bottom line. Catch up on the latest pandemic-related financial insights.

Reuters reporters and editors around the world are investigating the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

We need your help to tell these stories. Our news organization wants to capture the full scope of what’s happening and how we got here by drawing on a wide variety of sources.

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TOP STORIES

President Trump plans to emerge from seclusion for the first time since the Capitol was ransacked by pro-Trump protesters and will travel to Alamo, Texas, to visit his signature border wall. Trump agreed to the trip as members of his staff encouraged him to undertake events highlighting his legacy. He has spent the last two months in a futile attempt to contest the election won by Democratic President-elect Joe Biden.

Trump is heading for second impeachment. Here's what to expect: The House of Representatives expects to vote on whether to begin a second impeachment of President Donald Trump, accusing him of inciting insurrection ahead of last week’s storming of the Capitol, congressional Democrats said. Here's a primer on what a second impeachment proceeding of Trump would look like.

Republicans in the U.S. Congress faced growing blowback from businesses that said they would cut off campaign contributions to those who voted last week to challenge President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. The announcements by Amazon.com, General Electric, Dow, AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, American Express, Airbnb, among others, threaten to throttle fundraising resources for Republicans who will soon be out of power in the White House and both chambers of Congress.

REUTERS NEXT

Sweeping changes to the global labor market caused by the coronavirus pandemic will likely be permanent, policy makers said, as some industries collapse, others flourish and workers stay home. “I think it would be a fallacy to think we will go back to where we were before,” Philippines central bank Governor Benjamin Diokno told Reuters.

Social media firms are hampered by their commercial interests when tackling fake news, Singapore’s law minister said, underlining the need for the city-state’s law against online falsehoods, which critics say stifles free speech.

Australia’s competition regulator has warned that planned laws to make the country the first in the world to force Google and Facebook to pay for news content were likely just the start of more regulation for digital platforms.

India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said that trust with China had been deeply impaired after last summer’s border clash which resulted in the first combat deaths in 45 years.

THE SHELTERING OF ROCHELLE AND OMARI

Luck brought the pair together a decade ago when Rochelle Woody discovered a grandson she never knew she had. They've been together ever since. During the pandemic, they've rarely left the cramped D.C. apartment they share, but this safe harbor may not last. Like millions across America, they're facing eviction.

BUSINESS

Jabs equal jobs? Fed sees possible economic boom if vaccine gets on track

One U.S. Federal Reserve official says there is now a “clearer focus” about the economy’s path forward and a horizon for a fuller recovery. Another says the pandemic’s “endgame” is here. A third predicts 2021 will prove “impressive.”

6 MIN READ

Biden should expand antitrust cases, break up tech companies, high-profile group says

The Biden administration should expand antitrust cases against Alphabet’s Google and Facebook and encourage breaking up companies, according to a group whose founder is working with the president-elect’s transition team.

3 MIN READ

Stressed out? Blame bad technology

There is no question that we are all more dependent on technology than ever. So what happens when that tech does not work? In the past, Emily Dreyfuss used an old-school strategy: She yelled. When Amazon’s Alexa spat out wrong answers or misunderstood questions, Dreyfuss let the virtual assistant have it.

4 MIN READ

TOP STORIES ON REUTERS TV

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