Yahoo Finance's Akiko Fujita breaks down the top stories around the world.
AKIKO FUJITA: In our world view today, the US is expanding its military presence in Germany, reversing planned drawdowns announced under the Trump administration. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made that announcement during his first trip to Germany. 500 additional troops will now be stationed near Frankfurt, bringing the total number of soldiers in the country to 10,000. Austin said their presence will provide additional capabilities in space and cyber, among other issues.
India is looking to fast track approval of western COVID-19 vaccines, as the country scrambles to control its coronavirus infections. That's expected to pave the way for imports of Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson doses. The health ministry says it will monitor the first 100 patients who receive the jabs for a week before rolling out the vaccines on a larger scale. The [INAUDIBLE] administered 106 million shots so far, but it is running short on supplies, as case counts rise rapidly. India's reported the world's highest daily infections this month, topping 100,000 last week.
And over in Japan, the government says it plans to begin releasing contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean. The release isn't scheduled for another two years, with officials saying the water will be filtered to remove harmful isotopes. But the decision has already sparked protests from China and South Korea, who've raised health and safety concerns. Workers in Fukushima have been using water to cool the reactors that were damaged back in 2011 and say they are quickly running out of places to store the water. They've accumulated so far just over 1 million tons, enough water to fill 500 Olympic-sized swimming pools.