Digest for international stories for week Feb 6 - Feb 12, 2021

·4-min read

Saturday Beijing: China has granted conditional approval for its second COVID-19 vaccine, ahead of the expected emergency approval from the WHO for two of its jabs that would enable the country to step-up global supplies of the shots.

Yangon: Myanmar's new military authorities appeared to have cut most access to the Internet on Saturday as they faced a rising tide of protest over their coup that toppled Aung San Suu Kyi's elected civilian government.

Beijing: In its first contact with the Biden administration, China on Saturday asked the US to rectify the 'mistakes' of former President Donald Trump’s aggressive policies towards Beijing and flagged Taiwan as the most important and sensitive core issue for it.

Sunday Dhaka: Bangladesh on Sunday launched its nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive with lawmakers along with top administration and health officials taking the first shots of the vaccine provided by India.

Tehran: Iran's supreme leader on Sunday urged the United States to lift all sanctions if it wants Iran to live up to commitments under its nuclear deal with world powers, state TV reported, but President Joe Biden says the US won't be making the first move.

London: Developers of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine expect to have a modified jab to cope with the South Africa coronavirus variant by autumn, the vaccine's lead researcher said Sunday.

Monday Yangon: Myanmar's military government imposed a curfew and bans on gatherings of more than five people in the country's two biggest cities on Monday as protests against last week's coup showed no sign of abating.

Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pleaded not guilty on Monday as his trial on corruption charges resumed in a Jerusalem courtroom just weeks before national elections in which he hopes to extend his 12-year rule.

Berlin: Germany and Sweden on Monday each declared a Russian diplomat in their country “persona non grata,” retaliating in kind to last week's decision by Moscow to expel several European diplomats from the country.

Tuesday Yangon: Police cracked down on demonstrators opposing Myanmar's military coup, firing warning shots and shooting water cannons to disperse crowds that took to the streets again Tuesday in defiance of rules making protests illegal.

Wuhan (China): The coronavirus most likely first appeared in humans after jumping from an animal, a team of international and Chinese scientists looking for the origins of COVID-19 said Tuesday, dismissing as unlikely an alternate theory that the virus leaked from a Chinese lab.

Tehran: Iran's intelligence minister warned the West that his country could push for a nuclear weapon if crippling international sanctions on Tehran remain in place, state television reported on Tuesday.

Wednesday Dhaka: A special anti-terrorism tribunal in Bangladesh on Wednesday sentenced to death eight Islamic militants, including a sacked military officer, for killing a publisher of books on secularism and atheism at his office in 2015.

Washington: Six Republican Senators joined their Democratic colleagues in the United States Senate on Tuesday to vote that the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is constitutional.

Washington: President Joe Biden on Wednesday ordered new sanctions against the military regime in Myanmar, taking action after the military this month staged a coup in the Southeast Asian country and arrested de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior politicians.

Thursday Washington/Beijing:US President Joe Biden has expressed his 'fundamental concerns' about China's coercive and unfair economic practices, its crackdown in Hong Kong, human rights abuses in Xinjiang and increasingly assertive actions in the region, as he spoke with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for the first time since taking office.

Kathmandu: Nepal has banned two Indian climbers and their team leader from carrying out any mountaineering expeditions in the country for six years after a probe found that they faked their Mt Everest summit in 2016.

Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday conducted a successful training launch of a surface-to-surface cruise missile which can strike targets up to 450 kilometers, the Army said, the country’s third missile test in three weeks.

Friday London: The British economy suffered its biggest decline in more than 300 years in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic closed shops and restaurants, devastated the travel industry and curtailed manufacturing.

Beijing: In an apparent tit for tat move, China has banned BBC World News from broadcasting in the country for seriously violating its guidelines for reporting, China's television and radio regulator has announced.

Moscow: Russia is prepared for a split with the European Union if the EU imposes new crippling sanctions amid a dispute over the treatment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the nation's top diplomat warned Friday. MAH MAH