News Headlines - 15 February 2021

Japan's 2020 GDP shrinks real 4.8%, 2nd worst on record amid pandemic

Japan's economy contracted 4.8 percent in real terms in 2020 from the previous year, the second sharpest contraction on record, reflecting the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic, government data showed Monday.
Real gross domestic product, the total value of goods and services produced in a country adjusted for inflation, marked the first decrease since it shrank 5.7 percent in 2009, the largest contraction since data began to be compiled in 1955, according to the preliminary figures released by the Cabinet Office.

Nikkei Finishes Above 30,000 for 1st Time since 1990 - JIJI PRESS

The benchmark Nikkei stock average topped 30,000 for the first time in over 30 years in Tokyo trading on Monday, after Japanese gross domestic product data beat market expectations.
The Nikkei average of 225 selected issues traded on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange soared 564.08 points, or 1.91 pct, to close at 30,084.15, its highest finish since Aug. 2, 1990.

Japan prepares to dispense Pfizer vaccine from Wednesday after formal approval | The Japan Times

U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc.’s mRNA vaccine against COVID-19 has become the first to be formally approved for use in Japan, paving the way for inoculations to start from Wednesday, but significant challenges still lie ahead for local governments that must set up the necessary logistics for a smooth vaccine rollout.
Pfizer’s novel coronavirus vaccine got the final OK for emergency use from the health ministry on Sunday, two days after a government committee gave the shot its seal of approval.

Meghan and Prince Harry expecting second child - BBC News

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expecting their second child, a spokesperson for the couple has said.
Harry and Meghan are preparing to welcome a brother or sister for their son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, who turned one last May.
A spokesperson for the couple said they were "overjoyed".

UK's chief mouser celebrates 10 years on the prowl

Larry the cat, a four-legged inhabitant of London’s 10 Downing St., is marking a decade as Britain’s mouse-catcher in chief on Monday.
The tabby cat was recruited by then-Prime Minister David Cameron to deal with a pack of rats seen scuttling close to the British leader’s official residence, and entered Downing Street on Feb. 15, 2011.