Microsoft's Bing says it suspended auto suggest function in China at government's behest

CDC Recommends Pfizer, Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines Over J&J Due To Rare Blood Clots

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC recommends that people take the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna instead of Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot COVID-19 vaccine due to a rare blood clotting disorder.

The CDC is endorsing updated recommendations made by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for the prevention of COVID-19, expressing a clinical preference for individuals to receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine over Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.

The CDC noted that the ACIP’s recommendation followed a discussion of the latest evidence on vaccine effectiveness, vaccine safety and rare adverse events, and consideration of the U.S. vaccine supply.

The updated CDC recommendation follows similar recommendations from other countries, including Canada and the United Kingdom. The ACIP reaffirmed that receiving any vaccine is better than being unvaccinated. Individuals who are unable or unwilling to receive an mRNA vaccine will continue to have access to Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC said in a statement.

The U.S. FDA in mid-April temporarily halted the usage of Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot COVID-19 vaccine after some recipients developed a rare blood clotting disorder following the administration of doses. Women aged between 18 and 48 are most affected by the blood clotting issue.

Gurpratap Boparai resigns as MD of Skoda VW India

Gurpratap Boparai, will step down from his position as the managing director of Skoda Auto Volkswagen India (SAVWIPL) from January 1. The chairman of SAVWIPL, Christian Cahn von Seelen, will take interim charge with Boparai’s successor to be announced shortly.

“It has been my honour and privilege to lead this fantastic team at SAVWIPL. This was a difficult decision. I thank Thomas Schaefer, Christian Cahn von Seelen and the team at HQ for their support and commitment to the India operations. The India 2.0 project was executed on time, thanks to their endeavours in prioritising the Indian operations, especially in the face of the recent supply chain disruptions,” said Boparai, who had taken charge as MD of Skoda Auto India in April 2018.

He managed the merger of three VW Group entities — Volkswagen India, Skoda Auto India and Volkswagen Group Sales India — to form SAVWIPL. VW Group’s 1 billion Euro ‘India 2.0’ project was executed under his leadership, giving rise to products like the Skoda Kushaq and VW Taigun, with the Skoda Slavia and a VW sedan in the coming months.

Thomas Schaefer, chairman, Skoda Auto, said, “It is with deep regret that we accept the resignation of Gurpratap. We thank him for his contribution and wish him all the best in his future endeavours. I am confident that the leadership team which successfully executed the India 2.0 project under him is well equipped to take the company to the next level, in line with our India strategy.”

At least 27 people feared dead in blaze at clinic in Japan

At least 27 people were feared dead after a fire broke out at a psychiatry clinic in the Japanese city of Osaka on Friday, according to an official, and media reported that police were investigating suspected arson.

Some 27 people were in cardiopulmonary arrest, an official at Osaka's city fire department told Reuters, the term used in Japan before a death is officially confirmed. Another person was injured, the official said.

Three people were confirmed dead at a hospital, according to broadcaster MBS.

Police were investigating suspected arson, including reports that a man started the fire in the building, Kyodo News said, citing people involved in the investigation.

An elderly man brought a bag into the building that leaked flammable liquid and was ignited, the Yomiuri newspaper said.

The fire broke out shortly after the clinic, on the fourth floor of a multi-story office building, opened for business at 10 a.m. (0100 GMT) and was largely extinguished within 30 minutes, public broadcaster NHK reported.

Video from NHK showed smoke pouring out of the fourth-floor windows, and the roof.

Located in a shopping and entertainment district not far from Osaka's main train station, the building also houses a beauty salon, a clothes shop and an English-language school, NHK said. One man told the broadcaster he saw a woman calling for help from one of the windows.

An arson attack at an animation studio in the city of Kyoto in 2019 killed more than 30 people and injured dozens.

Microsoft's Bing says it suspended auto suggest function in China at government's behest

  • Microsoft's Bing, the only major foreign search engine available in China, said it has been required by a "relevant government agency" to suspend its auto suggest function in China for 30 days.
  • Bing did not specify reasons for the suspension.

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Microsoft's Bing, the only major foreign search engine available in China, said it has been required by a "relevant government agency" to suspend its auto suggest function in China for 30 days.

"Bing is a global search platform and remains committed to respect the rule of law and users' right to access information," Bing said on its Chinese search site on Friday. It did not specify reasons for the suspension.

Internet companies in China have been hit over the past year by a regulatory crackdown that has imposed fresh curbs on areas from content to customer privacy. The Chinese government has also said it wants platforms to more actively promote core socialist values.

In October, Microsoft said it would shut down its professional social networking platform LinkedIn in China, citing "a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements" in the country.