News Headlines - 21 March 2021

Chip-starved automakers shudder at Renesas plant's 1-month halt - Nikkei Asia

Japanese chipmaker Renesas Electronics said Sunday that production may take up to a month to resume at a fire-damaged main factory in Hitachinaka, northeast of Tokyo.
But considering the many processes in semiconductor fabrication, it may take over three months for supply chains return to normal.
Renesas' fire could not come at a worse time for the auto industry. Already battered by a global shortage of semiconductors, the industry had been scrambling to respond to the Texas winter storm that knocked out production at NXP Semiconductors and Infineon Technologies, the world's No. 1 and No. 3 players in automotive chips.

AP sources: Iran threatens US Army post and top general

Iran has made threats against Fort McNair, an Army post in the U.S. capital, and against the Army’s vice chief of staff, two senior U.S. intelligence officials said.
They said communications intercepted by the National Security Agency in January showed that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard discussed mounting “USS Cole-style attacks” against the Army post, referring to the October 2000 suicide attack in which a small boat pulled up alongside the Navy destroyer in the Yemeni port of Aden and exploded, killing 17 sailors.
The intelligence also revealed threats to kill Gen. Joseph M. Martin and plans to infiltrate and surveil the installation, according to the officials, who were not authorized to publicly discuss national security matters and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Norway’s prime minister investigated for breaking lockdown rules | Financial Times

Norwegian police have launched an investigation into the country’s prime minister after she admitted breaking coronavirus rules by hosting a birthday dinner for 14 people in a ski resort last month.
Erna Solberg, the centre-right prime minister since 2013, confirmed late on Thursday that her family had breached lockdown regulations and she had contravened government recommendations while celebrating her 60th birthday during the February half-term holiday.

Netherlands trials new COVID-19 app at pilot music festivals | Euronews

The Dutch government is conducting a range of tests to find out whether large-scale events can be held safely in the age of COVID-19 with the help of a new phone app.
The village of Biddinghuizen hosted the latest experiment where around 3000 people were given the green light to sing, dance and generally enjoy themselves.
The catch? Participants had to be tested for the virus prior to the event and provide proof of a negative result upon entry. The result was then loaded onto the CoronaCheck app via a QR-code.
Dozens change name to ‘salmon’ - Taipei Times
Household registration offices nationwide have since Tuesday been flooded with people applying to change their name to “salmon” (guiyu, 鮭魚), after Japanese sushi restaurant chain Akindo Sushiro promised free meals for anyone with the name. Yesterday and today, those with proof of the unusual moniker can receive free meals for their entire table, while people with homophonic names can enjoy half price and those with at least one homophonic character can receive 10 percent off... As of late afternoon, New Taipei City and Kaohsiung had 26 people who changed their name to “salmon,” while Taichung had 22, and Tainan and Taoyuan each had 14.