Authorities issued an evacuation order for the Caribbean island of St. Vincent on Thursday after a volcano began showing signs of an impending eruption.
The National Emergency Management Organization said the volcano, La Soufriére, has shown increased signs of steaming and smoking on St. Vincent, the largest island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
"The new dome has now reached the height of the crater on the Leeward side. Residents will now be able to see the glowing/fiery appearance of the dome as it gets dark and night approaches," the agency tweeted.
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves issued an evacuation order for the island after the alert level was increased to red.
NEMO said vessels were dispatched to the island to help residents evacuate, including a Royal Caribbean cruise liner.
Prince Philip, the longest-serving consort of a reigning British monarch, died on Friday, Buckingham Palace announced. He was 99.
The duke of Edinburgh died after spending weeks in London hospitals and undergoing an unspecified heart procedure March 4 for a pre-existing condition. He first entered King Edward VII's Hospital on Feb. 16.
"It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty the Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh," Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
"His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. The royal family join with people around the world in mourning his loss."
He was born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark on June 10, 1921, in Greece, to Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg. At birth, he was in line for the thrones of both countries.
As a baby, Philip and his family were evacuated to France after his uncle, Greek King Constantine I, was forced to abdicate as a result of losing the Greco-Turkish War. He was educated in various schools in France, England, Germany and Scotland, and ultimately entered the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth.
Philip served with the British forces during World War II in various stints aboard the HMS Ramillies, HMS Kent, HMS Shropshire, HMS Valiant, HMS Wallace and HMS Whelp. He obtained the rank of commander before leaving the military in 1952.
European Union medical regulators said Wednesday that there is a possible link between the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine and isolated cases of blood clotting in some adults who'd received the shot.
The EU's European Medicines Agency concluded after studies that blood clotting could be listed as a possible side effect from AstraZeneca's Vaxzevria COVID-19 vaccine. The EMA's safety committee said, however, that it might occur only in "very rare" cases.
"A plausible explanation for these rare side events is an immune response to the vaccine similar to one seen in patients treated with heparin," EMA Executive Director Emer Cooke told reporters, according to CNBC.
The EMA reviewed 62 cases of blood clotting in the brain, of which 18 were fatal. The cases were found in areas where about 25 million people received the AstraZeneca vaccine.
AstraZeneca has previously said studies have found no higher risk of blood clots as a result of its vaccine.
The EMA said it's commissioned more research to investigate the link. The regulator said health professionals and recipients of the vaccine should watch for possible symptoms in the first two weeks, which include shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling, abdominal pain, headaches and blurred vision.
Several European countries briefly suspended their use of the vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca and Britain's University of Oxford, last month due to the reported clotting cases. Most have since resumed its use.
German officials last week recommended that people under 60 who have received the first shot get their booster dose with a different vaccine.
The World Health Organization, Britain's medicines regulator and the International Society on Thrombosis and Hemostasis have all said that the benefits of the AstraZeneca shot far outweigh the risks.
A Chinese city in southern Yunnan Province is under lockdown and its top official has been fired after more than 100 cases of COVID-19 were reported in recent days, according to state media.
Xinhua news agency reported Thursday Gong Yunzun, the Communist Party chief in the city of Ruili, was removed for "serious dereliction of duty" and failure to control multiple outbreaks of the novel coronavirus.
Gong is being penalized for three waves of COVID-19 infections in half a year. The most recent outbreak began on March 29 and "seriously impacted the overall situation of the epidemic prevention and control in the whole country and the province."
The dismissal is a warning to other party officials. According to Sina News, Yunnan Province's Commission for Discipline Inspection said officials are to learn "profound lessons" from the incident and engage in self-criticism.
Ruili is a major hub in an area of China that also borders Myanmar, Vietnam and Laos. There have been 123 cases reported in the city as of Wednesday, according to Xinhua.
China has confirmed fewer than 91,000 cases of COVID-19 and fewer than 4,700 COVID-related deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Last year, China claimed "victory" over the coronavirus, citing the country's low caseload and disease fighting approaches that included draconian shutdowns of cities and provinces.
On Thursday Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a regular press briefing that the "people of Hubei Province and the city of Wuhan made great sacrifices" in the battle against COVID-19, and that they "made great contributions toward the worldwide prevention of the disease."
Zhao also said Wuhan's economy has "returned to vitality" a year after becoming the epicenter of the first outbreak.
The comments come as Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is to co-host a "special global promotion event" for Hubei province on Monday to celebrate regional recovery. Wang has invited diplomats in Beijing to attend the festivities, according to state media.
More than 100 of the world's poorest countries have begun receiving COVID-19 vaccines through the World Health Organization's COVAX program, a global effort to send millions of doses to developing nations, officials said Thursday.
The WHO said the COVAX facility has so far delivered almost 40 million vaccine doses across six continents, supplied by AstraZeneca, the Pfizer-BioNTech partnership and the Serum Institute of India.
Of the more than 100 countries COVAX has supplied with shots, 61 are among the 92 lower-income economies receiving vaccines funded through the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment, officials said. Gavi is a vaccine alliance that aims to expand access to poorer nations.
The delivery milestone Thursday came 42 days after the first COVAX-supplied doses were delivered to Ghana on Feb. 24. Despite reduced supply in March and April, officials said COVAX expects to deliver doses to all participating countries that have requested vaccines.
"COVAX has given the world the best way to ensure the fastest, most equitable rollout of safe and effective vaccines to all at-risk people in every country on the planet," WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.
The program expects to deliver at least 2 billion doses of vaccines in 2021, according to its latest supply forecast. "The United States welcomes the news that COVAX has delivered safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines to 100 countries," added U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. "The United States signaled our strong support for COVAX through an initial $2 billion contribution to Gavi.
"Through unprecedented partnerships among donors, manufacturers, and participating countries, COVAX has achieved extraordinary milestones in equitably distributing doses to the global community in record time."