Philippines’ Duterte says will be Russia vaccine ‘guinea pig’ as talks begin Aug 13, 2020 0 458 12345 AFPManilaPhilippine President Rodrigo Duterte will be a guinea pig for a controversial Russian coronavirus vaccine, his spokesman said on Wednesday, as the Southeast Asian nation emerged as a frontrunner for overseas clinical trials.Moscow says it has developed the world’s first vaccine offering “sustainable immunity” against the virus and is in the final stage of tests involving 2,000 people.However, Western scientists have previously raised concerns about the speed of development of Russian vaccines, suggesting researchers might be cutting corners.But despite the scepticism, Manila has accepted Russia’s offer to participate in clinical trials, vaccine supply and production of the drug, and Philippine health authorities said they are meeting the Russian drug developer Gamaleya on Wednesday.Russian President Vladimir Putin said the drug was safe and that one of his own daughters had received the inoculation, dubbed “Sputnik V” after the pioneering 1950s Soviet satellite. Duterte has also expressed “huge trust” in Russia’s efforts to stop the contagion.“I believe the vaccine that you have produced is really good for humanity,” Duterte said, praising Putin. “I will be the first one to be experimented on,” he said on Monday.Duterte’s spokesman Harry Roque said that the president -- known for making controversial remarks -- was not joking. “He’s old. He can sacrifice his life for the Filipino people,” Roque said.There have been more than 143,000 cases -- the highest in Southeast Asia after Indonesia -- and the death toll is now over 2,400.The Philippines in 2016 was the first nation to use dengue vaccine Dengvaxia in a mass programme, but a botched rollout led to claims several dozen children had died after being vaccinated. The World Health Organization said 20 countries have licensed the dengue vaccine for widespread use. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Two dead in Bangalore violence over anti-Islam Facebook post Aug 13, 2020 0 427 Prosecution says to grill ministers over Beirut blast Aug 13, 2020 0 387 Mali forces fire tear gas to clear Bamako protesters Aug 13, 2020 0 398 Militants capture key port in gas-rich N Mozambique: Sources AFP Maputo Islamist militants occupied a key port in gas-rich northern Mozambique on Wednesday following days of renewed attacks, a military source and local media said. “The port of Mocimboa da Praia was captured by the .. Iranian president warns against arms embargo extention DPA Tehran Iranian President Hassan Rowhani has threatened consequences if the UN Security Council prolongs an arms embargo against Iran at the behest of the United States. UN resolution 2231, which is part of the 2015 .. Iraq cancels Turkish defence minister’s visit after deadly strike DPA Baghdad Iraq cancelled a visit set for Thursday by the Turkish defence minister to Baghdad after a deadly airstrike in Kurdistan allegedly carried out by Turkey. Turkey frequently launches attacks in northern Iraq, .. Syria’s Al-Assad interrupts speech due to drop in blood pressure Damascus Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday was forced to interrupt his address to the recently elected parliament due to a slight drop in blood pressure, according to a presidential statement. Al-Assad’s .. Israel shrinks Palestinian fishing zone in response to arson balloons DPA Gaza Strip/Tel Aviv Israel on Wednesday restricted the permitted fishing zone off the Palestinian territory in response to incendiary balloons being launched into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip in recent .. Belgian tycoon cedes control of DR Congo bank Kinshasa Belgian tycoon George Forrest has sold his majority stake in the Commercial Bank of the Congo (BCDC) to Kenya’s Equity Group Holdings, the Kenyan firm announced Wednesday. The Forrest group has operated in the ..