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EU Calls on US, Others to Export Their COVID-19 Vaccines 

The European Commission called on the United States and other major COVID-19 vaccine producers Friday to export what they make, as the European Union does, rather than talk about waiving intellectual property (IP) rights to the shots.Commission head Ursula von der Leyen told a news conference on the sidelines of a summit of EU leaders that discussions about the waiver would not produce a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine in the short and medium term.”We should be open to lead this discussion. But when we lead this discussion, there needs …


NASA Mars Helicopter Heard Humming Through Thin Martian Air

First came the amazing pictures, then the video. Now NASA is sharing sounds of its little helicopter humming through the thin Martian air.NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California released this first-ever audio Friday, just before Ingenuity was set to soar on its fifth test flight.The low hum from the helicopter blades spinning at more than 2,500 revolutions per minute is barely audible. It almost sounds like a low-pitched, far-away mosquito or other flying insect.That’s because the 4-pound (1.8-kilogram) helicopter was more than 260 feet (80 meters) from the microphone on …


China Says Rocket Debris Unlikely to Cause Damage

Debris from a large, out-of-control Chinese rocket that is expected to reenter the atmosphere this weekend is unlikely to cause damage, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Friday. The Long March 5B rocket was launched April 29 from Hainan Island. It was carrying a module for a planned Chinese space station. After the unmanned Tianhe module separated from the rocket, the nearly 21,000-kilogram rocket should have followed a planned reentry trajectory into the ocean, but now, no one knows where the debris will land. “U.S. Space Command is aware of and …


African Activists Welcome US Support of COVID Vaccine Waiver

African nations have welcomed news that the U.S. supports a proposal to waive intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines. But, they warn, the road ahead is long and full of obstacles.Health experts and activists say the decision, announced this week by the U.S. trade representative, could save lives in parts of the world where the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage and vaccines are in short supply.  Fatima Hassan is director of the Health Justice Initiative, a South African group that advocates for equitable health care. While Hassan said she welcomes U.S. support …


Trio of Nations May Counter Beijing’s Vaccine Offer to India

As India sets new daily records in COVID-19 deaths and infections, some experts see the humanitarian crisis as an opportunity for other nations to counter China’s vaccine diplomacy elsewhere.Three of the nations that make up the Quad — U.S., Australia and Japan — are expected to assist the fourth, India, after U.S. President Joe Biden promised April 26 to provide New Delhi with the China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying gestures during a press conference in Beijing on Dec. 10, 2020.China has denied it is engaged in vaccine diplomacy, and it …