Digest for international stories for week Dec 12 - Dec 18, 2020

·4-min read

Saturday Paris: Paris police took nearly 150 people into custody at what quickly became a tense and sometimes ill-tempered protest Saturday against proposed security laws, with officers wading into the crowds of several thousand to haul away suspected trouble-makers.

Washington: US President-elect Joe Biden on Saturday vowed to rejoin the Paris climate agreement on the first day of his presidency, as the world marked the 5th anniversary of the historic pact aimed at curbing global warming.

Washington: The US has given a final nod for the emergency use of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, paving the way for its use in the country worst-hit by the pandemic, with the first dose set to be administered in less than 24 hours.

Sunday Lahore: Pakistan's Opposition alliance on Sunday held its final anti-government rally in Lahore despite a ban on the gathering of more than 300 people owing to an increase in COVID-19 cases across the country, with top coalition leaders announcing a long march to Islamabad to force Prime Minister Imran Khan to resign.

Beijing: President Xi Jinping has announced further commitments by China for 2030 to contribute more to tackle the global climate challenge and called for a new approach by the international community to climate governance, underscoring the importance of green recovery.

Washington: A violent group of Khalistani separatists has desecrated Mahatma Gandhi’s statue outside the Indian embassy here in the US during a demonstration by Sikh-American youths in support of farmers protesting against the recently enacted agriculture laws in India.

Monday New York: The biggest vaccination drive in American history got underway on Monday with a critical care nurse here becoming the first person in the US to be vaccinated for COVID-19, providing a glimmer of hope as the country nears the grim milestone of nearly 300,000 coronavirus deaths.

Washington: A US court has denied the bail plea of Pakistani-origin Canadian businessman Tahawwur Rana, a key accused in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack and declared a fugitive by India, asserting that he has not negated the 'risk of flight'.

Toronto: Canada administered its first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, becoming one of the first countries to do so in the effort to beat back the pandemic.

Tuesday New York: The coronavirus vaccine by biotechnology company Moderna is highly protective and prevents severe COVID, new data has shown that could pave the way for the vaccine to get emergency authorisation by federal regulators this week and eventual roll-out across the country.

London: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has accepted his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi's invitation to be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade on January 26, Downing Street said here on Tuesday, marking his first major bilateral visit since taking office last year and the first since Britain's exit from the European Union.

Falkensee (Germany): A German scientist who is part of a small team of experts assembled by the World Health Organisation to investigate the origins of the coronavirus says they plan to sift through samples and medical data from China to help determine where the bug first jumped from animals to humans and which species it came from.

Wednesday Washington: Indian-American US Air Force Colonel Raja Chari has been selected as the Commander of the SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) by NASA and the European Space Agency.

London: The UK government is reviewing the tiered lockdown allocations for different parts of the country as scheduled by law on Wednesday, even as millions of more people in and around London moved into the highest alert level of Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions after a worrying spike in infections.

Washington: The US Congress has officially passed the USD 740 billion defence policy bill, which among other things include calling out Chinese aggression against India along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Thursday Beijing: China's Chang'e-5 probe successfully touched down on Earth in the early hours of Thursday, bringing home the first samples of the moon in over 40 years.

Paris: French President Emmanuel Macron has tested positive for COVID-19, the presidential Elysee Palace announced on Thursday.

Washington: The inauguration of US President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on January 20 will be a low-key affair restricted for the public, the organisers said, urging people to participate in the historic event from home in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

Friday Dubai: Iran has begun construction on a site at its underground nuclear facility at Fordo amid tensions with the US over its atomic programme, satellite photos obtained Friday by The Associated Press show.

Kabul: A bomb rigged to a rickshaw killed at least 15 children and wounded 20 others in a Taliban-controlled area in eastern Afghanistan on Friday, a provincial official said, as violence in the war-weary country continued to surge.

Islamabad: Pakistan's information minister said Friday that Islamabad has started the legal process to reach an extradition treaty with Britain that would pave the way for the UK to hand over former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. PTI MAH MAH