While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Aug 17

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Coronavirus: Pfizer submits data for third dose approval in US

Pfizer and BioNTech on Monday submitted preliminary clinical data to US health authorities as part of their effort to seek authorisation for a third dose of their Covid-19 vaccine for all Americans.

Last week, the United States approved the booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for people with weakened immune systems.

Pfizer and BioNTech presented the results of their Phase One trial that evaluated the safety and efficacy of a third shot.


Taleban takeover is world’s failure, says UK

The Taleban takeover in Kabul is a “failure of the international community”, Britain’s Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said Monday, as London called for a G7 leaders’ meeting on Afghanistan.

With Britain holding the rotating presidency of the Group of Seven richest nations, Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged its leaders to discuss the situation in the South Asian nation and to prevent humanitarian fallout from the Taleban victory.

Downing Street said Johnson “outlined his intention to host a virtual meeting… in the coming days”, during a call to French President Emmanuel Macron, when he stressed the need for a “unified approach”.


As storm looms, medics rush to hospitals overrun by Haiti quake

Doctors and aid workers rushed on Monday to get flights to southwestern Haiti ahead of a looming storm, with hospitals in the devastated area struggling to cope with casualties from a major earthquake that killed at least 1,419 people and injured more than 6,900.

Saturday’s 7.2 magnitude quake brought down thousands of homes and buildings in the deeply impoverished country, which is still recovering from another major temblor 11 years ago and the assassination of its president, Jovenel Moise, last month.

The areas in and around the city of Les Cayes – some 150 km west of the Caribbean nation’s capital Port-au-Prince – suffered the biggest hit, putting enormous strain on local hospitals, some of which were badly damaged by the quake.


Russia says Kabul situation ‘stabilising’, claims Taleban ‘restoring public order’

The Russian foreign ministry said Monday the situation in Kabul “is stabilising” after the Afghan capital fell to the Taleban this weekend and claimed that the militants have started to “restore public order”.

Russia, whose ambassador is due to meet with the Taleban Tuesday, claimed the militants had vowed to “guarantee the safety of local people”, despite thousands of Afghans trying to flee the group’s hardline version of Islam.

In the statement, Moscow confirmed it had “established working contacts with representatives of the new authorities”.


Tennis: Osaka leaves press conference in tears

A tearful Naomi Osaka briefly left a press conference in Cincinnati on Monday after her relationship with the journalists was put under the spotlight by a reporter who accused her of using the media when it suits her.

Osaka has lately had a strained relationship with sections of the media, saying her mental health is adversely impacted by certain lines of questioning.

Hence on Monday when a local Cincinnati reporter at the Western and Southern Open suggested that Osaka benefits from her huge media profile but does not like speaking to reporters, the world number two teared up as she tried to formulate an answer.