Digest for international stories for week Jan 23 - Jan 29, 2021

·5-min read

Saturday Moscow: Protests erupted in dozens of cities across Russia on Saturday to demand the release of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the Kremlin's most prominent foe. Police arrested more than 2,100 people, some of whom took to the streets in temperatures as frigid as minus-50 Celsius (minus-58 Fahrenheit).

Los Angeles: Larry King, the suspenders-sporting everyman whose broadcast interviews with world leaders, movie stars and ordinary Joes helped define American conversation for a half-century, died Saturday. He was 87.

London: Early evidence suggests the variant of coronavirus that emerged in the UK towards the end of last year may be more deadly, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.

Sunday Kathmandu: Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli was expelled from the general membership of the Nepal Communist Party by the splinter faction led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' on Sunday for alleged anti-party activities, further intensifying the infighting within the ruling party.

Washington: Joe Biden conveyed his intention to strengthen the 'special relationship' with the UK in his first call as the US President with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, during which the two leaders re-committed to the NATO alliance and agreed to cooperate on combating climate change and containing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Urk (Netherlands): Rioters set fires in the center of the southern Dutch city of Eindhoven and pelted police with rocks on Sunday at a banned demonstration against coronavirus lockdown measures, while officers responded with tear gas and water cannons, arresting at least 30 people.

Monday Washington: The Supreme Court on Monday brought an end to lawsuits over whether Donald Trump illegally profited off his presidency, saying the cases are moot now that Trump is no longer in office.

Rome: Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte intends to offer his resignation on Tuesday, his office said Monday, a move likely to be a gamble that the embattled leader will get a fresh mandate from the president to forge a more viable coalition.

Washington: President Joe Biden will sign executive action reinstating COVID-19 travel restrictions on non-U.S. travellers from Brazil, Ireland, the United Kingdom and 26 other European countries that allow travel across open borders, the White House announced Monday.

Tuesday London: The UK on Tuesday hit another grim COVID-19 milestone as the country's death toll from the deadly virus crossed 100,000 since the peak of the pandemic last year, with another 1,631 daily deaths.

Washington: The global economy, ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, is projected to grow at 5.5 per cent in 2021 and 4.2 per cent in 2022, the IMF said on Tuesday, reflecting the expectations of a vaccine-powered strengthening of business activities later in the year and additional policy support in a few large economies.

Washington: President Joe Biden has signed an executive order that strengthens the existing Buy American rules by closing loopholes and reducing waivers granted on federal purchases of US-made goods to ensure that American manufacturing is part of the engine of the country's prosperity.

Wednesday New York: The Cannes Film Festival, cancelled altogether last year by the pandemic, is postponing this year's edition from May to July in hopes of having an in-person festival.

Washington: Setting ambitious goals that will ensure that the US can meet the urgent demands of the climate crisis, President Joe Biden will take steps which will put the country on an 'irreversible path' to a net zero economy by 2050, the White House said on Wednesday.

Washington: As many as 90,000 Americans are projected to die from the coronavirus in the next four weeks, the Biden administration warned in its first science briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic, as experts outlined efforts to improve the delivery and injection of COVID-19 vaccines.

Thursday Islamabad: Pakistan's Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed appeals against the acquittal of British-born al-Qaeda terrorist Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh in the sensational kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl in 2002 and ordered his release, a judgement denounced by the American journalist's family as 'a complete travesty of justice.' Islamabad: Pakistan has received the Geographical Indicator (GI) tag for its Basmati, paving the way for creating a local registry for the particular strain of rice and making a case in the international market, as the country fights a case in the EU against India's move to get Basmati rice registered as its product.

Beijing: China will donate three lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses to Sri Lanka, stepping up its vaccine diplomacy in South Asia as India rushed its domestically manufactured coronavirus vaccines to several countries in the subcontinent as well as across the globe.

Friday Beijing: China on Friday said the border issue with India should not be linked with bilateral ties, even as it welcomed External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar's remarks on the significance their ties and the importance New Delhi attached to relations with Beijing.

New York: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and appealed to people to get vaccinated as soon as they can while stressing that nations must ensure the vaccine is available to everyone, everywhere.

London: Novavax, a vaccine undergoing trials for effectiveness against the novel coronavirus, has become the first immune dose to definitively confirm protection against the new variant of the deadly virus which was detected in the UK late last year. PTI MAH MAH