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Daily Telegraph co-owner David Barclay dead at 86

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David Barclay, the joint-owner of British newspaper The Daily Telegraph, has died after a short illness aged 86.

Along with his identical twin Frederick, Barclay built a vast business empire which began with hotels and expanded to include shipping, retailing, and, since 2004, ownership of the Telegraph Media Group.

The paper said the Barclay brothers had “operated as one” throughout their business career, while steadfastly avoiding personal publicity and media scrutiny.

They had turned to media ownership in 1992 by buying the weekly newspaper The European, which closed in 1998, while they had also owned The Scotsman from 1995-2005.

David Barclay (left) and Frederick Barclay purchased The Daily Telegraph in 2004. Photo: Michael Stephens/PA

After first expressing interest in The Daily Telegraph to its Canadian owner Conrad Black in May 2003, and while a private deal was overruled by a US court in November of that year, the Barclays eventually acquired the paper at auction seven months later for £665 million (€745 million).

The paper quoted a colleague of the brothers as saying David was distinct from Frederick in that he was “more attuned to taking a risk, and Frederick was generally willing to have a look but would never bet the farm”.

David and Frederick were born into a large family in Hammersmith on October 27th, 1934, with David the older by 10 minutes.

Their father, also Frederick, was a travelling salesman from Kilmarnock who died when the boys were 13.

David and two of his brothers were evacuated several times during the second World War, the Telegraph said, and ultimately the twins left school aged 14.

Barclay was always a voracious reader, obsessed with newspapers, business, economics and politics, and who had always said he had been educated at the “University of Life”, the paper said.

It was reported Barclay died on Sunday.

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Iran

Tehran, Yerevan to boost coop. in joint tech. projects

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Tehran, Yerevan to boost coop. in joint tech. projects

Heading a high-ranking delegation, Armenian Minister of Economy Vahan Karubian met and held talks with Iranian Vice President for Science and Technology Sorena Sattari so as to discuss the conditions for the development of the relations between the two countries in the field of technological infrastructure and scientific achievements.

Referring to Iran’s program and initiatives to return Iranian elites to the country, he said, “First, some mechanisms are provided for their return to the country. For example, by creating science parks, innovation centers, and innovation factories, we pave the way for elite activities in the country and then encourage them to return home.”

He went on to say that through this plan, in 3 years, 2,000 Iranian students, graduated from the top 100 universities in the world, have returned to the country.

Given that this model is closer to the culture of Armenia, it is certainly more applicable to the officials and managers of this country for the return of their elites. Iran is also ready to provide Armenia with its native model, Sattari said.

Sating that Iran owns the largest start-ups in the region specialized in the field of information and communication technology, biotechnology, nanotechnology, stem cells, as well as about 50 science parks, he said, “Today, 98% of the medicine needed in the country are produced domestically by Iranian experts.”

He also expressed Iran’s readiness to assist Armenia in the development of new technologies.

Armenian Minister, for his part, welcomed the implementation of a joint project in the field of technology parks, saying that Iran enjoys high scientific and technological capacities, his country interested in using them.

Armenia seeks a program to repatriate its elites and educated people from all over the world. Therefore, elite return program implemented in Iran can be used in Armenia indigenously, he added.

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Iran

Indonesia sends seized Iran tanker to Batam for investigation

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Indonesia sends seized Iran tanker to Batam for investigation

The two supertankers, with crew members from Iran and China, were seized last Sunday (Jan 24) in Indonesian waters near Kalimantan island. 

The MT Horse, owned by the National Iranian Tanker Company and MT Freya, managed by Shanghai Future Ship Management Co, had a total of 61 crew members on board.

“The ships will arrive in Batam at around 3pm to 4pm later today,” Wisnu Pramandita, spokesman of the Indonesian coast guard, told Reuters.

Wisnu said some of the crew remained in the supertankers, but others were being detained on coast guard ships for questioning while the investigation was underway.

Wisnu told Reuters on Monday that the ships were “caught red-handed” transferring oil from MT Horse to MT Freya and that there was an oil spill around the receiving tanker.

Iran said on Monday that MT Horse was seized over a “technical issue” and had asked Indonesia to explain the seizure.

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AstraZeneca offers to bring forward some Covid vaccine deliveries to EU

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AstraZeneca has offered to bring forward some deliveries of its Covid-19 vaccine to the European Union while the bloc has asked the British drugmaker if it can divert doses from the UK to make up for a shortfall in supplies, European officials told Reuters.

The Anglo-Swedish company unexpectedly announced on Friday it would cut supplies to the EU of its vaccine candidate in the first quarter of this year, a move that a senior EU official said meant a 60 per cent reduction to 31 million doses for the bloc.

That complicated the EU’s vaccination plans, after Pfizer had also announced a temporary slowdown in deliveries of its vaccine, and triggered an outcry in Brussels and EU capitals.

Two European officials said on Tuesday that AstraZeneca at two extraordinary meetings on Monday had offered the EU to bring forward to February 7th the start of deliveries from an initial plan to begin on February 15th.

One of the sources, briefed on talks, said that AstraZeneca had also revised upward its supply goals for February compared to the cuts announced last week, but the company offered no clarity on supplies for March.

This appears to be an overture by AstraZeneca to try and keep the peace with the EU as the row over its sudden cut to deliveries escalates, damaging trust between Brussels and the drugmaker before the shot has been approved in the region.

The second EU official, directly involved in the talks, said however there was no offer to increase supplies.

AstraZeneca has quarterly supply targets. Therefore an increase in February, if not followed by a rise in March, may not constitute an overall increase in the quarter.

The head of Lithuania’s drugs watchdog Gytis Andrulionis told Reuters AstraZeneca on Monday increased its planned supplies for February for Lithuania and other EU countries compared to Fridays cuts, but noted that was still not enough to comply with the EU contract.

AstraZeneca was not immediately available for comment.

Inadequate answers

After Monday’s meetings, EU health commissioner Stella Kyriakides said AstraZeneca had not offered adequate answers to questions posed by the EU.

The EU official involved in the talks also said that the EU had explicitly asked AstraZeneca whether it could divert to the 27-nation bloc doses produced in Britain, at least through March.

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But the company did not answer these questions, the official said.

AstraZeneca has said the revised timetable was caused by production issues in Europe. One EU senior official told Reuters last week that the problem was at a vaccine factory in Belgium run by AstraZeneca’s partner Novasep.

A spokesman for the EU Commission declined to comment on details of the talks with AstraZeneca, but added that the EU wanted “a precise delivery schedule”.

On December 30th Britain granted emergency approval to the shot developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University. A decision on authorisation in the EU is expected on Friday.

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