Here and There: The World Right Now (World in Brief)


The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) began a Phase 1 clinical trial assessing three experimental messenger RNA (mRNA) HIV vaccines, according to the National Institute of Health. The NIAID sponsors the study, called the HVTN 302. The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, funded by the NIAID, is also administrating the trial. 

Global Covid-19 cases have started to increase after declining over the past month, Reuters reports. Cases in South Korea and China rose by 25 percent with a 27 percent rise in deaths. Cases in Africa also rose by 12 percent with a 14 percent rise in deaths. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), factors such as the Omicron variant and its BA.2 sublinage, and the lifting of public health and social measures are causing the increasing cases. 


According to NPR, gas prices in the United States have been rising since the war in Ukraine began. The national average of regular unleaded gas on March 20 was over $4.25, as stated by the American Automobile Association (AAA). However, prices differ by region; for instance, in some parts of California, the price is over $6.00 per gallon, while a Chicago gas station charges $4.69 per gallon. The increased gas prices disproportionately affect low-income workers, since many of them use driving as their mode of transportation to get to work. 


On February 24, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin initiated an invasion of Ukraine. Mariupol, a city on the coast of the Azov Sea in Ukraine, has been surrounded by Russian soldiers and cut off from food, energy, and water stock. Russian troops have also cut off access to the Azov Sea, according to the Associated Press.


The prime minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, held a rare meeting on March 12th, as reported by the Associated Press. The two countries have had tense relations over energy, maritime issues, and migration. According to a statement from the Turkish presidency’s communications doctorate, the two leaders spoke about bilateral and international relations and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 


On March 14, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed new regulations that would obligate companies to report their greenhouse gas emissions and how climate change affects their business. Though it has been mandatory for public companies in the United States to give regulators and investors detailed data about their financial performance and possible risks that they may encounter, public companies may have to disclose information about how they are addressing climate change.