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Global coronavirus infections passed 65 million on Friday and countries doubled down on restrictions, even as plans to roll out vaccines gathered pace.

UK becomes first nation to approve Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine

The U.K. became the first nation to grant emergency approval to Pfizer and BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine - a decision that will likely put pressure on the Food and Drug Administration to move swiftly to do the same.

Ghana heads for two-horse presidential vote

Ghanaians go to the polls on Monday in a contest that will revive old rivalries between incumbent President Nana Akufo-Addo and his predecessor, John Mahama.

UN says rights situation in Belarus deteriorating

The human rights situation in crisis-wracked Belarus is deteriorating, the UN rights chief said Friday, highlighting mass arrests, including of journalists, and numerous allegations of torture.

Cyprus hopes to roll out Covid vaccine by year-end

Cyprus expects its first deliveries of Covid-19 vaccines before the end of the year as part of the rollout across Europe once the drugs are approved, officials said Friday.

Denmark to end North Sea oil and gas production by 2050

Denmark, the EU's biggest oil producer post-Brexit, said Friday it will halt all North Sea oil and gas production and exploration by 2050 in line with its bid to become an energy transition role model.

India summons Canada envoy after Trudeau backs protests

India on Friday summoned Canada's ambassador and warned of serious damage to diplomatic ties after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau commented on growing protests by farmers, ities said.

UK insists can achieve 68 percent emissions cut by 2030

Britain insisted Friday it can meet a new commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than two-thirds this decade compared to 1990 levels, the fastest reduction target of any major economy.

Hungary stands by EU budget veto as Poland shifts

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Friday that he would continue to block the EU's budget and coronavirus recovery fund over rule-of-law criteria, although his veto ally Poland signalled a possible compromise.

France threatens veto as Brexit talks stumble to line

European doubts over a post-Brexit trade deal with Britain boiled over on Friday, with France threatening a veto even as intense negotiations entered what could be their final hours.

UN says Tigray fighting hampers aid delivery despite deal

The United Nations said Friday that fighting continued "in many parts" of Ethiopia's Tigray, complicating efforts to deliver humanitarian aid despite a deal granting the UN access to territory under federal control.

China slams US national security allegations as 'hodgepodge of lies'

Beijing on Friday lashed out at a claim by the US intelligence chief that China is the "greatest threat to democracy and freedom worldwide", calling it a "hodgepodge of lies".

UK drugs regulator defends fast pace of vaccine approval

Britain's medicines regulator insisted Friday its world-first approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine met all safety standards, after officials in Europe and the United States queried the rapid process.

Postponed Tokyo Olympics to cost extra $2.4 billion: organisers

The coronavirus-delayed Tokyo Olympics will cost at least an extra $2.4 billion, organisers said Friday, with the unprecedented postponement and a raft of pandemic health measures ballooning an already outsized budget.Tokyo 2020 said an additional $1.

'We all survived': Wuhan artists keep virus memories alive

A melancholy guitar melody intertwines with an ethereal beat as wild-haired singer Lu Yan intones his 扑克王游戏下载hometown's feelings into a microphone: "Virus in Wuhan. We all survived.

Bangladesh ships 1,600 Rohingya to controversial island

Bangladesh transported more than 1,600 Rohingya refugees to a low-lying island Friday, in the first phase of a controversial planned relocation of 100,000 people.

'Rubber duck revolution' takes off in Thailand

Bangkok has been gripped by a rubber duck frenzy since pro-democracy protesters used giant inflatables to shield themselves from water cannon spray last month.

Belgian court to give verdict in Iran diplomat case on Jan 22

A Belgian court will deliver its verdict on January 22 in the trial of an Iranian diplomat accused of plotting to bomb an exiled opposition group's rally, his lawyer told AFP.

Australian media's bid to end Pell contempt case fails

An Australian judge on Friday rejected an application to dismiss charges against dozens of journalists and news organisations for allegedly violating a gag order on Cardinal George Pell's sex crimes case.

'Believe in miracles': Spiritual cures soothe Covid-hit Albania

From Christianity and Islam to animal sacrifices and pagan charms, Albanians have all their spiritual bases covered when crisis hits.

Ghana heads for two-horse presidential vote

Ghanaians will go to the polls on Monday in a heated contest that will revive old rivalries between incumbent President Nana Akufo-Addo and his predecessor John Mahama.

In Canada demand for puppies soars during pandemic, so do scams

Demand for puppies in Canada has soared during the pandemic, and scammers are taking advantage -- swindling hundreds of people looking for a pet to ease their loneliness during lockdown.

Hackers targeting Covid-19 vaccine supply chain, IBM warns

With multiple vaccines close to becoming available in a world gripped by the coronavirus pandemic, manufacturers have become the target of hackers trying to steal trade secrets or disrupt supply chains.

Maduro allies set for poll victory with Guaido on the ropes

President Nicolas Maduro and his allies are set to dominate Sunday's legislative elections in Venezuela, which are being boycotted by the mainstream opposition parties led by his main rival Juan Guaido.

Former US presidents, Biden ready to publicly receive Covid-19 vaccine

Former US presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton as well as President-elect Joe Biden are volunteering to take a coronavirus vaccine on camera if it will help promote public confidence.

US intel chief: China 'greatest threat to democracy worldwide'

The US intelligence chief on Thursday branded China as "the greatest threat to democracy and freedom worldwide since World War II," as Washington clamped down hard on travel visas for members of the Chinese Communist Party.

Pacific Islands Forum to hold virtual climate summit

Pacific island leaders will hold a virtual summit next week to demand urgent worldwide action on climate change ahead of UN-brokered talks on the issue.

Israel warns of threat to citizens abroad as Iran vows 'vengeance'

Israel warned Thursday of an increased threat against its citizens abroad following Iran's call to avenge last week's assassination of its top nuclear scientist.

Global virus toll passes 1.5 million as nations plan for vaccine

The world passed the grim milestone of 1.5 million coronavirus deaths on Thursday, as several nations planned to deliver much hoped-for vaccines early next year to break the cycle of lockdowns and restrictions.

Adelaide family returns 扑克王游戏下载home to find live Koala in Christmas tree

An Adelaide Hills family returned to their 扑克王游戏下载home after a short outing on Wednesday to find a koala perched on the family's plastic Christmas tree, surrounded by baubles, stars, and snowflakes.

EU chief Michel seeks international treaty on pandemics

A European Union chief called Tuesday for an international treaty on pandemics, urging the world to learn from Covid-19 and be better prepared for the future.

France targets mosques in crackdown on radical Islam

French ities will inspect dozens of mosques and prayer halls suspected of radical teachings starting Thursday as part of a crackdown on Islamist extremists following a spate of attacks, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said.

UN chief warns of long road ahead after vaccines

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Thursday that the world could be fighting the aftershocks of the Covid-19 pandemic for decades to come even if vaccines are quickly approved.

Iran postpones execution of Iranian-Swedish academic: wife

The planned execution of Iranian-Swedish academic Ahmadreza Djalali, who was sentenced to death in Iran three years ago for spying, has been postponed, his wife said Thursday.

Former Hong Kong lawmaker says he has fled 'into exile'

A former Hong Kong opposition lawmaker announced on Thursday he had chosen to go into exile, joining a growing number of prominent democracy campaigners who have fled Beijing's crackdown on dissent in the finance hub.

Namibia to sell 170 live elephants

Namibia is putting 170 live elephants up for sale to curb rising tusker populations under pressure from drought and territorial conflict with humans.

Greece's sceptical Church faces hard coronavirus reality

Many Greek clerics have treated lockdown restrictions with scepticism or even hostility. But when several prominent members -- including its leader -- fell ill with the virus, the powerful Orthodox Church had to face reality.

France mourns 'great European' Giscard after Covid death

Tributes poured in Thursday after the death of former French president Valery Giscard d'Estaing from Covid-19 aged 94, with French and European leaders hailing him as an ambitious reformer and great statesman.

Hong Kong pro-democracy media tycoon denied bail on fraud charge

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai was remanded into custody on Thursday after being charged with fraud, the latest in a string of prosecutions brought against high-profile Beijing critics and democracy campaigners.

Bangladesh begins controversial transfer of Rohingya to island

Bangladesh began transferring hundreds of Rohingya refugees on Thursday to a low-lying island in an area prone to cyclones and floods, with rights groups alleging people were being coerced into leaving.

Japan prosecutors seek to question ex-PM Abe on spending scandal: media

Japanese prosecutors are seeking to question former prime minister Shinzo Abe over a scandal involving the cost of events held for his supporters, local media said Thursday.
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