Russia ready for ‘international cooperation’ on Covid-19 vaccine for everyone – UN envoy

Having registered the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine, Russia is prepared to cooperate with anyone interested in developing and producing vaccines and treatment for the coronavirus, Moscow’s envoy to the UN said.

“We are ready for international cooperation with all interested partners in the development and production of vaccines and treatments to ensure a coordinated global response to the spread of Covid-19 and a common victory over the pandemic,” Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the UN Security Council on Wednesday.

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‘Sputnik V’
The world’s first Covid-19 vaccine: Everything we know about Russia’s ‘Sputnik V’

On Tuesday, Russia registered the world’s first vaccine against Covid-19, named ‘Sputnik V,’ after it passed all the testing requirements there. The vaccine will continue to be tested on thousands of volunteers in Russia and abroad. 

Nebenzia said that clinical trials have already shown it to be both safe and highly effective, and noted that other “promising” vaccines were being developed in Russia as well.

Some Western governments have disparaged the Russian achievement, demanding to see evidence of the vaccine’s safety, even as their own pharmaceutical companies have required absolute immunity from liability lawsuits over potential adverse effects. 

“The point is not to be first with a vaccine, the point is to have a vaccine that is safe and effective for the American people and the people of the world,” US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said on Tuesday.

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A scientist works in a Gamaleya Research Institute laboratory in Moscow, Russia, August 6, 2020 © Reuters / The Russian Direct Investment Fund
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Russian officials have shrugged off such criticism. Health Minister Mikhail Murashko called it “totally groundless” and blamed it on fear of “competition and competitive disadvantages from Russia’s product.”

Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) which funded the vaccine research, went a step further, saying that a “politicized approach to the Russian vaccine on the part of a number of Western countries endangers the lives of their citizens.”

As of Wednesday, the US has registered over 5.3 million cases of Covid-19, and more than 168,000 deaths. Russia has counted 902,700 cases and 15,260 deaths.

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Polls show young voters support Biden… but running mate Kamala Harris thinks they’re ‘STUPID’ (VIDEO)

Though young voters seem lukewarm about Joe Biden, polls show their support for the Democrat is greater than for Donald Trump. But a newly-surfaced clip shows his VP pick Kamala Harris doesn’t think much of the American youth.

At 77 years-old, Biden would be the oldest president in history if he manages to defeat President Trump in November. His advanced age, however, hasn’t repelled young voters. According to the latest Monmouth University poll, voters aged between 18 and 34 favor Biden by 25 points.

To say these voters are enthusiastic about Biden may be a reach. Instead, they are likely driven more by a hatred of Trump than a deep affection for the former vice president and Delaware senator Biden. Although they still plan on voting for him, these voters, if another poll is to be believed, generally dislike Joe.

From Harris at least, the feeling is mutual. As Trump’s team and supporters dredge through Harris’ past for smear material, one recently surfaced 2015 video shows Harris – then California’s attorney general – calling most of these voters “stupid.”

Speaking at a Ford Foundation symposium, Harris put crime among this demographic down to one factor: age. 

What else do we know about this population, 18-24?” She asked the audience, before answering her own question: “They are stupid!”

“That is why we put them in dormitories, and they have a resident assistant,” she added, comparing criminals to college students. “They make really bad decisions.”

However, the tables might’ve turned now, as the young vote in November is crucial for Harris and Biden. One in ten eligible voters this year will be aged between 18 and 23. Among 18-29-year-olds, 47 million votes are up for grabs.

Youth voters rarely turn out in huge numbers, though turnout in the 18-29 demographic spiked to 36 percent during 2018’s midterm elections – the largest increase of any age group. Those that do make it to the polls in November will have to choose: a president they despise or a challenger whose vice president thinks they’re “stupid.”

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Wanna bet? US statisticians give Trump ‘exact same odds’ against Biden as the ones he beat in 2016

The major statistical analysis website FiveThirtyEight has US President Donald Trump’s odds of winning the November election at 29 percent – exactly the same chances he was said to have had in 2016 before he went on to win.

Nate Silver’s website, named for the total number of electors in the US electoral college, unveiled its forecast, based on 40 thousand simulations, on Wednesday. Democrat Joe Biden came out the overwhelming theoretical victor, with a 71 percent chance of getting into the Oval Office.

Biden’s formidable performance in the renowned agency’s modeling, combined with the comfortable polling lead he’s been enjoying for months, might seem to spell doom for Trump’s campaign. Silver himself noted it probably doesn’t, however.

“Coincidentally, these are the exact same odds as in our final forecast in 2016,” he tweeted, adding that while Trump’s eventual win went against most professional predictions, FiveThirtyEight was one of the few outlets that did not completely write off the current president.

“It’s way too soon to count Trump out,” says Silver in an article detailing his forecast. “If the election were held today, [Biden] might even win in a landslide,” he said, adding “but the election is not being held today.”

Historically, it’s been common for polls to shift “fairly radically” from mid-August to Election Day, Silver noted, and no model can predict the unpredictable, from the Covid-19 pandemic and the possible development of the vaccine to the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests.

In 2016, multiple prominent analysts concluded there was a 99 percent chance of Hillary Clinton becoming president. Since her loss, much of the faith in polling and modeling of any kind seems to have been shaken, as Trump himself often speaks about “fake polls” while reminding Americans he’s overcome the odds once already.

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‘Trying to use internet as a private fiefdom’: Ex-Russian President Medvedev SLAMS US authorities for web manipulation

Washington is attempting to leverage the internet exclusively to its advantage, according to former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, now Deputy Chairman of the national Security Council. He says the strategy is “deplorable.”

Speaking on Wednesday, Medvedev, who also served as Russian prime minister, said the pressure the White House placed on the owners of the social network WeChat (Chinese Internet giant Tencent) was a prime example of the US exploiting the internet as its own private tool. 

He added that Washington aims to continue pursuing its policy of viewing the web only through the prism of its own national interests, and disregarding any rules.

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“Not surprisingly, a number of countries, primarily the US, are seeking to use the Internet as their fiefdom and as a tool to ensure their interests are met exclusively,” he said, recalling that the US also controls the major system of domain names and IP addresses. “Simply and directly put, it shouldn’t be like that.”

Medvedev feels that the pressure currently being exerted on China by the US is something that Russian web companies could also face. “This behavior of the US and some of their partners proves that neither internet users nor businesses nor states can be sure that their interests will be duly protected in these conditions,” he said.

Several years ago, “the US discussed an idea of disconnecting Russia from the payment verification system, that is, from the SWIFT system. It is now China that is experiencing such fairly serious, tough pressure,” Medvedev continued. “A portion of these sanctions and methods of exerting pressure pertain to the Internet.”

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WATCH: Thick black smoke billows from HUGE HOTEL FIRE in Spain

A massive fire has erupted at the Trinimar Hotel in the eastern Spanish municipality of Benicàssim, with clouds of thick black smoke filling an area packed with tourists after the lifting of the Covid-19 restrictions.

The blaze set off the fire alarms, leading to the evacuation of 260 people, according to local reports.

Eyewitness footage of the incident shows massive clouds of black smoke billowing from the burning building’s lower floors.

The dense smoke filled the area surrounding the hotel.

The local fire department said on Twitter that the blaze has affected the cafeteria inside the building and the outdoor parking lot. No injuries or deaths have been reported.

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‘The game hasn’t even started yet!’ Neymar breaks Twitter with more than 1.7 MILLION mentions ahead of Champions League return

Neymar’s status as one of sport’s biggest global stars remains untouched as MILLIONS of fans took to social media to give their thoughts on the Brazilian superstar ahead of PSG’s crunch Champions League tie with Atalanta.

Neymar will be hoping to fire his side to their first Champions League semi-final of their new mega-rich era when his team take on the Italian side in their winner-takes-all clash in Portugal on Wednesday evening, and it seems that he has the football community enthralled – on social media, at least.

The former Barca man has wracked up nearly TWO MILLION Twitter mentions on Wednesday ahead of his Paris Saint-Germain’s crucial clash – and it all seems to have had its genesis from a tweet authored by his Brazilian international teammate Richarlison.

The Everton forward penned a note to wish his compatriot well ahead of the game, and cheekily asked his fans to photoshop Neymar into his own team’s colors, apparently leading to a spate of online creativity.

Good morning guys!!! Passing here just to let you know that today there is a Neymar goal hahaha,” Richarlison tweeted via translation. “Does anyone make a montage of Neymar with Everton’s shirt there? Hahaha put on profile.”

And several eager football fans were quick to take up the challenge to imagine what it would look like if the world’s most expensive player donned Everton blue – perhaps the closest the Merseysiders will ever get to a player of that calibre. 

Neymar appeared to get in on the act too, tweeting in his native tongue that he has his “mohawk made” in advance of the fixture.

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‘Come on with that sh*t’: UFC boss Dana White says Stipe-Cormier III determines heavyweight GOAT, dismisses Russian icon Fedor

Saturday night’s rematch between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier will determine the best MMA heavyweight of all time says Dana White, who rubbished suggestions that this particular mantle should be held by Fedor Emelianenko.

Russian great Emelianenko dominated the halcyon days of heavyweight MMA, running roughshod through the PRIDE roster in a four-year period between 2002 and 2006 and was, until recently at least, in a class of one when it came to considerations as to best heavyweight fighter the sport has seen.

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Fabricio Werdum and Russian MMA icon Fedor Emelianenko. © Getty Images / Zuffa LLC
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Time, though, ticks ever onward. As Emelianenko’s influence waned in the latter part of his career, the position of the world’s best heavyweight fighter has been whittled down to the two men who compete in this weekend’s UFC 252 main event: champion Stipe Miocic, and his erstwhile and future opponent, Daniel Cormier.

The two UFC heavyweights have met twice before, and with the score currently tied at one apiece White says – in his best promotional tones – that Saturday’s bout isn’t just for UFC gold, legacy or bragging rights, it is for GOAT status.

I saw some debate on if the winner of this fight would go down as the greatest heavyweight – there’s no f*cking debate. There’s no debate,” White told the media Tuesday in Las Vegas.

The winner of this fight is the greatest heavyweight ever, not of this era, ever in the UFC history and in mixed martial arts. I know there’s talk about other guys and sh*t, you gotta look at who they fought.”

When asked if this included the likes of Emelianenko, the Master of Sport in his homeland and multiple time world champion across several different organizations, White was unmoved.

Yes, yes,” White announced. “Come on. Come on with that sh*t.”

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White’s stance is likely influenced by more than one failed attempt to sign Emelianenko to a UFC deal. While Fedor’s legacy would certainly appear more robust if he was able to showcase his talents to a wider audience, anyone who witnessed the wrecking ball-like performances which amassed an essentially 33-fight undefeated streak (a sole loss in late 2000 was the result of a freak cut in a tournament) will attest to his efficacy in the cage, or ring. 

Anyone but Dana White, that is. 

Russian Athletics Federation pays $6.3mn fine to avoid potential international expulsion

The Russian Athletics Federation (RUSAF) has paid a $6.3 million fine stipulated by World Athletics, which threatened to annul Russia’s membership if the money was not received by August 15.

The athletics governing body fined RUSAF for evidence falsification in a doping scandal involving world silver medalist high-jumper Daniil Lysenko.

READ MORE: ‘We recognize these are difficult times’: World Athletics delays decision regarding potential Russia expulsion

Today RUSAF has transferred $6.3 million to the World Athletics, $5 million of which is for a fine and $1.3 million is compensation for additional costs. Thus the federation has fully fulfilled its obligation imposed by the World Athletics council in March,” said RUSAF chief Evgeni Yurchenko, who thanked Russia’s Sports Ministry for helping to find the necessary financial resources.

Russia had to pay the fine before July 1, but failed to meet the deadline, prompting World Athletics to extend the date to mid-August.

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Maria Lasitskene © Global Look Press /  Jin Yu
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The body, which suspended the process of granting neutral status to Russian competitors, said it would expel RUSAF from its membership if the money was not transferred in time.

It remains unknown whether the process of RUSAF reinstatement will resume, but so far Russian athletes are prohibited from taking part in international events even under a neutral flag.

FBI investigates SHOOTING at US Air Force helicopter that caused emergency landing in Virginia

Federal agents are looking into who opened fire on a US Air Force helicopter, injuring one crew member and forcing it to make an emergency landing at an airport in Virginia during a training mission.

The crew member was hurt when the UH-1N Huey helicopter was struck by a bullet on Monday, Joint Base Andrews said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon. The helicopter interrupted the routine training flight to land at the Manassas Airport, not far from Washington, DC. 

USAF says the injured airman was taken to the hospital and treated for a “non-threatening” injury. He or she has since been released. 

FBI special agents and an Evidence Response Team were sent to the airport, after reports that the helicopter was struck by gunfire from the ground.

Later on Monday, an individual was shot by Secret Service agents outside the White House security perimeter, after reportedly threatening to attack them. The shooting briefly interrupted President Donald Trump’s press conference. 

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©REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
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No further details were released about the incident or the training flight. The stricken helicopter is assigned to the 1st Helicopter Squadron at Joint Base Andrews, home to the Air Force One presidential aircraft. Helicopters are often used to get presidents from the White House to the base, or to the Camp David retreat in eastern Maryland. 

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WATCH: 15-year-old Russian sensation linked to Man United makes history with stunning strike

Russian teenage sensation Sergey Pinyaev – who is being tracked by Manchester United and has already trained with the English giants – has made history by becoming the youngest ever scorer in his country’s second tier.

Pinyaev, 15, appeared as a second-half substitute for FC Chertanovo Moscow in their Russian FNL clash at Irtysh Omsk, and it wasn’t long before the highly-rated youngster made an impact.

Collecting the ball on the left flank in the 64th minute, Pinyaev danced past one defender before firing the ball into the far corner from just inside the box.

At 15 years, nine months and 10 days old, the forward became the youngest goal scorer in the history of the league. 

The finish was Pinyaev’s third goal involvement in three games this season, having already laid on assists in each of his team’s previous two games.

The budding boy wonder had already secured a place in the history books by making his debut at the start of the season at the age of 15 years, eight months and 30 days old – the youngest ever player to feature in league. 

Pinyaev’s performances at youth level have already attracted interest from some of the titans of the European game.

Back in 2018, Pinyaev was invited to train with Manchester United at their Carrington training base, reportedly scoring five times in a youth team friendly against Bury. 

He returned to train with the club in January of last year, being photographed with United midfield star Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard. 

According to officials at Chertanovo Moscow, the Old Trafford giants have continued to keep tabs on the fleet-footed youngster – who can operate through the center or on the wing – as he plays his first senior season.    

Pinyaev’s current club are widely regarded as having one of the best youth team set-ups in Russia, bringing through talents who often move on to bigger teams in the country.

Pinyaev’s goal on Wednesday helped them to a 2-1 win as they stand fifth in the table after three games played. 

Pinyaev has already been capped by Russia’s youth teams at under-15 to under-17 level, and boasts an Instagram following of 60,000 as well as a sponsorship deal with Nike.