India’s decision on Tuesday to block another 43 Chinese mobile applications hardly comes as a surprise. Since June, following escalation of tensions with China at the border, India has blocked over 250 Chinese mobile apps, a bunch at a time, on the grounds that they have been engaging in activities “which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”. The latest instance of app blocking has come at a time when the two sides, while still talking, are struggling to come up with an agreement for disengagement along the Line of Actual Control. With the immensely popular TikTok and PUBG already blocked, this time it was the turn of the likes of Alipay Cashier, Snack Video, Chinese Social, Adore App, and Alibaba Workbench to meet the same fate. China, not for the first time either, has charged India with using national security as an excuse to target Chinese apps. Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, has

After a spate of successes in the vaccines being tested in human trials, there is now a blip: a manufacturing defect in some batches of the trial vaccine being tested and marketed by AstraZeneca, which has partnered with the Oxford University vaccine group to test and market the ChAdOx1 nCOV-19 vaccine. Some volunteers, who were supposed to get two doses of vaccine a month apart, got only half the required dose in one of the injections. Intriguingly, the data suggested that the efficacy was 90% in the half/dose-full dose sub-group than the 62% in the regular full dose group. The manufacturing snafu was disclosed by neither Oxford nor AstraZeneca, but came to light after the head of the United States vaccine programme disclosed it on Twitter. The company maintains that this was not a ‘mistake’ as the manufacturing discrepancy was discovered, and disclosed to the United Kingdom regulators. It was with their approval that the batches with the reduced doses were allowed to progress.
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