UK radical preacher Anjem Choudary convicted of supporting Daesh

UK radical preacher Anjem Choudary convicted of supporting Daesh
Combo image shows preacher Anjem Choudary arriving at the Old Bailey in London on January 11, 2016 to stand trial (left frame) and shouting into a microphone as Islamist demonstrators stage a protest outside the US Embassy in London on September 11, 2011. (AFP photos)
Updated 16 August 2016

UK radical preacher Anjem Choudary convicted of supporting Daesh

UK radical preacher Anjem Choudary convicted of supporting Daesh

LONDON: One of Britain’s best-known radical Muslim preachers, Anjem Choudary, has been convicted of encouraging support for the Daesh group.
Choudary and co-defendant Mohammed Mizanur Rahman were convicted last month, but the verdict could not be reported until Tuesday because of court-imposed restrictions.
The 49-year-old firebrand has been one of the best-known faces of radical Islam in Britain for years, leading groups under names including Al-Muhajiroun and Islam4UK — both banned by the British government.
He gained attention for headline-grabbing statements and media appearances that stayed on the right side of the law, but was arrested in 2014 after signing an oath recognizing the “proclaimed Islamic Caliphate State.”
Choudary is due to be sentenced next month and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.


Blow to global vaccine drive as Pfizer delays deliveries

Blow to global vaccine drive as Pfizer delays deliveries
Updated 15 January 2021

Blow to global vaccine drive as Pfizer delays deliveries

Blow to global vaccine drive as Pfizer delays deliveries
  • Pfizer said the modifications at the Puurs factory were necessary in order to ramp up its production capacity from mid-February of the vaccine
  • There will be “a significant increase” in deliveries in late February and March, the US group promised

BERLIN: A global coronavirus vaccine rollout suffered a major blow Friday as Pfizer said it would delay shipments of the jabs in the next three to four weeks due to works at its key plant in Belgium.
Pfizer said the modifications at the Puurs factory were necessary in order to ramp up its production capacity from mid-February of the vaccine developed with Germany’s BioNTech.
There will be “a significant increase” in deliveries in late February and March, the US group promised. The European Commission also confirmed that promised doses for the first quarter will arrive within the period.
But European Union nations, which are desperately waiting for more doses to immunize their populations against the virus that has already claimed almost two million lives worldwide, expressed frustration.
Germany, the EU’s biggest economy, voiced regret over the “last minute and unexpected” delay.
It urged the European Commission — which undertook joint procurement for the bloc — to “seek clarity and certainty” for upcoming shipments.
Six northern EU nations also warned in a letter to the Commission that the “unacceptable” situation “decreases the credibility of the vaccination process.”
The letter signed by ministers from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden further asked the Commission to “demand a public explanation of the situation” from the pharmaceutical companies.
Across the Atlantic, Canada also said it was impacted by the delays, calling it “unfortunate.”
“However, such delays and issues are to be expected when global supply chains are stretched well beyond their limits,” said Canada’s Procurement Minister Anita Anand.
Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine, which was developed at record-breaking speed, became the first to be approved for general use by a Western country on December 2 when Britain gave it the go ahead.
After Britain rolled out its immunization drive, the EU followed from December 27.
The latest shipment delay will likely add fuel to anger over the bloc’s vaccination campaign, which has already been criticized for being too slow compared to the United States or former EU member Britain.
The European Commission has also been accused of not securing enough doses early enough.
Just last week, the EU struck a deal to double its supply of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine to 600 million doses.
The urgency of immunizing the population has grown over fears of virus variants first seen in South Africa and Britain, which officials warn are more infectious.
But vaccine makers had repeatedly warned that production capacity was limited.
While Pfizer is augmenting capacity at Puurs, its partner BioNTech on Friday secured authorization to begin production at Germany’s Marburg.
The challenges of getting millions of vaccines around the world are also huge as the BioNTech/Pfizer jabs must be stored at ultra-low temperatures of about minus 70 degrees Celsius (-94 Fahrenheit) before being shipped to distribution centers in specially-designed cool boxes filled with dry ice.
Once out of ultra-cold storage, the vaccine must be kept at two Celsius to eight Celsius to remain effective for up to five days.