News Headlines - 23 March 2021

Former justice minister Kawai admits vote buying | NHK WORLD

Former Japanese justice minister Kawai Katsuyuki has reversed his plea of not guilty and admitted to distributing cash to help his wife win an Upper House seat in 2019. He also expressed intent to resign as a Lower House member... He had pleaded not guilty of vote buying in hearings at the Tokyo District Court.
But at the start of a court questioning session on Tuesday, Kawai said he does not fully deny the vote-buying charge, and that he cannot say he had no intention to win his wife an Upper House seat.

Reporters without Borders sues Facebook over hate speech | Reuters

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has filed a lawsuit against Facebook in France over hate speech and false information, the global media watchdog said in a statement on Tuesday.
RSF said that in a lawsuit filed with the public prosecutor in Paris on Monday, it accuses Facebook of allowing large-scale proliferation of hate speech - notably against journalists - and false information despite promises to provide a safe online environment.

Boris Johnson marks one year of Covid lockdowns with minute’s silence | The Independent

Imposing some of the most severe restrictions on British life in recent history and instructing the public to “stay at home” exactly a year ago, Boris Johnson said coronavirus was the “biggest threat this country has faced for decades”. Rather than turning the tide on the coronavirus within 12 weeks - as Johnson infamously suggested in the early days of March 2020 - the public are enduring a third national lockdown, with many simple freedoms, such as visiting a family member or enjoying a drink with friends, still restricted. Hope is indeed on the horizon with the vaccination effort, but many people across the country will mark today by reflecting on the past year and remembering the 126,127 people who have died during the crisis.

Children in line for Covid vaccines from August

Children will start getting the Covid vaccine as early as August under provisional government plans to push for maximum immunity from the virus, The Telegraph can reveal.
Two sources involved in preparations said that was the soonest point at which Britons under the age of 18 would be given the jabs - months earlier than expected.
Safety data on the critical child vaccine study being run by Oxford University - on which ministers are waiting before making their final decisions - is expected shortly, with its conclusions due in June or July.

Putin gets his COVID jab as Russians stay away from Sputnik V | DW

Vladimir Putin has become infamous for showing off his bare torso in photos. But when it comes to the coronavirus vaccination, it seems Russians won't even get to see him roll up his sleeves.
This week Putin announced he would get a COVID 19 vaccination by the end of the day on Tuesday. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed the Russian president received his jab on March 23 with one of the three Russian vaccines currently available. "He feels good and will have a normal working day tomorrow," said Peskov.
Earlier, the spokesman had said people will "have to take our word for it" - because Putin "doesn't like" the idea of getting the jab live on camera, like other world leaders before him.