More than 80 reported killed this week in Ethiopia’s unrest

A man pushes a hand-cart past closed shops following protests in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia July 1, 2020. (Reuters)
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Updated 02 July 2020

More than 80 reported killed this week in Ethiopia’s unrest

  • The deaths reported followed the killing of popular singer Hachalu Hundessa

ADDIS ABABA: More than 80 people have been killed in unrest in Ethiopia after a popular singer was shot dead this week, the state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation says. He was buried Thursday amid tight security.
The deaths reported Wednesday, citing police in the Oromia region, followed the killing of Hachalu Hundessa on Monday. He had been a prominent voice in anti-government protests that led to a change in leadership in 2018. Angry protests, including three bomb blasts, followed his death in the capital, Addis Ababa.
The unrest poses a major challenge for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who took power in 2018 and introduced sweeping political reforms. The singer’s killing further increased tensions after the government recently delayed the national election, citing the coronavirus pandemic.
Abiy on Thursday said the government will do whatever it takes to restore calm in Ethiopia and accused the perpetrators of the singer’s killing of trying to kill the country as well.
We will come out of this, the prime minister said, hinting there could be links to the killing of the army chief last year and the grenade thrown at one of his own rallies in 2018.
Police late Wednesday said three people had been arrested in the death of the singer, who was buried in his hometown of Ambo. His service was carried on national television.
The mood remained tense and fearful in Addis Ababa as some residents formed protection groups to defend their property from vandals. Hundreds of cars this week have been burned or damaged. Downtown streets were largely empty aside from fire trucks and ambulances.
Internet and mobile data service remain cut in Ethiopia as human rights groups raise concerns about the restrictions. The shutdown has “made it impossible to access information on those killed and injured in the protests,” Human Rights Watch said.
Other arrests this week include that of a well-known Oromo activist, Jawar Mohammed, and more than 30 supporters. The arrest of opposition figures “could make a volatile situation even worse,” Human Rights Watch said,
Abiy has seen his administration’s sweeping reforms challenged as the loosening of political space opened the way for ethnic and other grievances, leading in some cases to deadly intercommunal violence.
Abiy earlier called the singer’s killing a “tragedy” and declared that “our enemies will not succeed.”


US to pay over $1bn for 100m doses of J&J’s potential COVID-19 vaccine

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US to pay over $1bn for 100m doses of J&J’s potential COVID-19 vaccine

  • The latest contract equates to roughly $10 per vaccine dose produced by J&J
  • This is J&J’s first deal to supply its investigational vaccine to a country

WASHINGTON: The United States government will pay Johnson & Johnson over $1 billion for 100 million doses of its potential coronavirus vaccine, its latest such arrangement as the race to tame the pandemic intensifies, the drugmaker said on Wednesday.
It said it would deliver the vaccine to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) on a not-for-profit basis to be used after approval or emergency use authorization by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
J&J has already received $1 billion in funding from the US government — BARDA agreed in March to provide that money for the company to build manufacturing capacity for more than 1 billion doses of the experimental vaccine.
The latest contract equates to roughly $10 per vaccine dose produced by J&J. Including the first $1 billion deal with the USgovernment, the price would be slightly higher than the $19.50 per dose that the United States is paying for the vaccine being developed by Pfizer Inc. and German biotech BioNTech SE.
The US government may also purchase an additional 200 million doses under a subsequent agreement. J&J did not disclose that deal’s value.
J&J plans to study a one- or two-dose regimen of the vaccine in parallel later this year. A single-shot regimen could allow more people to be vaccinated with the same number of doses and would sidestep issues around getting people to come back for their second dose.
This is J&J’s first deal to supply its investigational vaccine to a country. Talks are underway with the European Union, but no deal has yet been reached.
J&J’s investigational vaccine is currently being tested on healthy volunteers in the United States and Belgium in an early-stage study.
There are currently no approved vaccines for COVID-19. More than 20 are in clinical trials.