PARIS (AFP) - More than one billion doses of coronavirus vaccines have been administered worldwide, less than five months after the first mass inoculation programmes began to be rolled out, according to an AFP tally at 17.45 GMT on Saturday (April 24). At least 1,002,938,540 doses have been administered in 207 countries and territories, according to the tally compiled from official sources. More than half, or 58 per cent, have been given in three countries: the United States with 225.6 million doses, China with 216.1 million doses and India with 138.4 million. However, in terms of the proportion of the population who have been vaccinated, Israel is in the lead, with nearly six out of every 10 Israelis fully inoculated. That is followed by the United Arab Emirates with more than 51 per cent of the population having received at least one jab, Britain with 49 per cent, the US with 42 per cent, Chile with 41 per cent, Bahrain with 38 per cent and Uruguay with 32 per cent. In the EU, 128 million doses have been administered to 21 per cent of the population. Malta is leading the way in the 27-nation bloc, with 47
WASHINGTON: Asserting that China and India are to be a factor in the regional prosperity, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani has said it is "a moment of choice" for neighbouring Pakistan as all its calculations have been "wrong" so far. Ghani, in an interview to CNN's Fareed Zakaria which aired on Sunday, said that verbally, the leaders of Pakistan all fortunately acknowledge that they do not want the Taliban government in Afghanistan, that they would like to see a peaceful, stable, democratic government in the war-torn country. “We are key to their prosperity. The rate of growth in Afghanistan could enhance by two per cent in a stable and connected Afghanistan, we have to work together. “So, there are two options… Connect to Central Asia through us, share in the joint prosperity through the partnership for peace, gain international credibility and support that they're all in need of, or opt for chaos,” he said. The country that would be most damaged by insecurity or a renewed civil war in Afghanistan is Pakistan, and in that case, it would be a lose proposition, Ghani said. “It's a moment of choice for Pakistan. All its calculations have been wrong,” the Afghanistan President said.
WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden this past week found himself in search of a foreign policy sweet spot: somewhere between pulling a screeching U-turn on four years of Trumpism and cautiously approaching the world as it is. In recent days, Biden has piled new sanctions on Russia, announced he would withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan in less than five months and backed away from a campaign promise to sharply raise refugee admission caps. "You know, we'll be much more formidable to our adversaries and competitors over the long term if we fight the battles for the next 20 years, not the last 20," Biden said in an explanation of his decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan that also summed up his topline foreign policy hopes. Yet, as this past week has shown, Biden is finding that when it comes to the painstaking process of statecraft, the drag of pragmatism can slow the sprint toward big-picture aspirations. First there was Biden's announcement that he would end the "forever war" in Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the US that triggered America's longest conflict. Biden, long a skeptic of the US strategy in Afghanistan, is setting out