Defense lawyers have said at the opening of extradition hearings in Canada that their client, Huawei technologies chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, should not be sent to the U.S. because her alleged crimes do not meet Canada’s legal tests for extradition.
Forty-seven-year-old Meng has consistently said she is innocent and that she is fighting extradition, in part, because her alleged conduct was not illegal in Canada, an argument known as “double criminality.”
Her lawyers also maintain that, unlike the US, Canada did not have sanctions against Iran at the time. Canadian officials authorized starting the extradition process.
The US has charged Meng with bank fraud and misleading HSBC holdings PLC about Huawei technologies business in Iran.
Meng, daughter of Huawei’s billionaire founder Ren Zhengfei, arrived in court for the first phase of the trial that will last at least four days. China has repeated its call for Canada to release her.
She remains free on bail in Canada and has been living in her mansion in Vancouver’s exclusive Shaughnessy neighbourhood.
UK Approves Pfizer/BioNTech COVID Vaccine For Rollout Next Week
The United Kingdom has on Wednesday approved Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine opening the way for mass immunization which will begin next week for those most at risk across the UK.
Before decisions by the US and Europe, the British government has become the first western country to license a vaccine against Covid after it was authorized for emergency use by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA)
The MHRA was given power to approve the vaccine by the government under special regulations before 1 January, when it will become fully responsible for medicines authorization in the UK after Brexit.
Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine which the UK has bought 40m doses has shown to be 95% effective in its final trials with no serious side effects against a virus that’s killed nearly 1.5 million persons globally.
According to a Department of Health and Social Care spokesman “the government has today accepted the recommendation from the MHRA to approve Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for use.
It added in the statement that “this follows months of rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data by experts at the MHRA who have concluded that the vaccine has met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness
Canada: COVID-19 Death Toll Exceeds 12000
Canada’s COVID-19 deaths have passed another grim milestone of 12, 000 fatalities.
The country also recorded fifty-four hundred sixty-eight new cases of coronavirus infections which pushed the total number of confirmed cases to 370,014. More than 290,000 persons have recovered from the virus.
A new report from an epidemiological analysis showed about 90 per cent of those who died were seniors, from 70 years and older.
The data also shows a significant increase in patients hospitalized from the virus.
New York City Will Reopen Elementary Schools And Reduce Hybrid Learning
New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio has confirmed public elementary schools will begin reopening next Monday.
The largest public school system in the country closed in November when the city reached a seven-day covid-19 testing positivity average of 3%.
Meanwhile, middle and high schools will remain closed. There are more than one million students in New York City’s public school system, and around 330,000 students could be eligible to return to school under this plan.