Morning news brief: Wuhan lab leak, painkiller epidemic in US and more

WION Web Team
NEW DELHIUpdated: Dec 16, 2021, 09:32 AM IST
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Morning News Brief Photograph:(Reuters)

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Good morning! Start your day with WION's daily news brief

To get your day started, here are some of the most important stories: COVID-19 was genetically created in China, according to Harvard scientist Dr. Alina Chan, who testified before the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee.In an effort to curb the addiction epidemic that killed a record 100,000 Americans last year, the United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on Chinese painkiller makers.US military commanders in the Pacific have developed a software tool that can predict how the Chinese government will react to US-backed activities in the region such as military sales.

Dr Alina Chan, a specialist in gene therapy and cell engineering at MIT and Harvard, made the claims when giving evidence to the UK Parliament's Science and Technology Select Committee.

Due to the increasing trend of people who are struggling with addiction, turning to cheaper drugs purchased online from overseas, President Joe Biden signed an executive order that makes it easier for the United States to target foreign drug traffickers.

An official with the Defense Department said the tool calculates "strategic friction." It examines significant activities that have affected US-China relations since early 2020, based on data dating back to early 2020.

His comments in parliament came after the US launched a diplomatic boycott of the games in response to mounting criticism of China's human rights record, a decision that has been echoed by other nations such as Australia and the United Kingdom.

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