Digest for international stories for week Jun 19 - Jun 25, 2021

·5-min read

Saturday London: The UK is undergoing a third wave of coronavirus infections as a result of the highly transmissible Delta variant, a top expert who advises the government on its vaccination programme said on Saturday.

Dubai: Iran's hard-line judiciary chief won a landslide victory Saturday in the country's presidential election, a vote that both propelled the supreme leader's protege into Tehran's highest civilian position and saw the lowest turnout in the Islamic Republic's history.

New York: The Delta variant, first detected in India, constituted over 6 per cent of COVID-19 cases tested for virus variants in New York City, according to official data from the city's health department.

Sunday Vienna: Top diplomats said Sunday further progress had been made at talks between Iran and global powers to try to negotiate and restore a landmark 2015 agreement to contain Iranian nuclear development that was later abandoned by the Trump administration.

Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday opened his first Cabinet meeting since swearing in his new coalition government last week with a condemnation of the new Iranian president. He said Iran's presidential election was a sign for world powers to “wake up” before returning to a nuclear agreement with Tehran.

Rio De Janiero: Anti-government protesters took to the streets in more than a score of cities across Brazil on Saturday as the nation's confirmed death toll from COVID-19 soared past half a million -- a tragedy many critics blame on President Jair Bolsonaro's attempt to minimise the disease.

Monday Dubai: Iran's president-elect staked out a hard-line position Monday in his first remarks since his landslide election victory, rejecting the possibility of meeting with President Joe Biden or negotiating Tehran's ballistic missile programme and support of regional militias.

United Nations: India received USD 64 billion in Foreign Direct Investment in 2020, the fifth largest recipient of inflows in the world, according to a UN report which said the COVID-19 second wave in the country weighs heavily on the country's overall economic activities but its strong fundamentals provide “optimism” for the medium term.

United Nations: About 10,000 refugees have fled from Myanmar to India and Thailand as nationwide clashes in the country led to 'acute' new displacements of hundreds of thousands of civilians, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General on Myanmar has said, warning that the regional threat of the crisis is real.

Tuesday Paris: The trial of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy concluded Tuesday in Paris, after a month during which the court sought to determine whether he broke laws on campaign financing in his unsuccessful 2012 re-election bid.

Washington: US Pharma giant Pfizer is in the final stages of an agreement with India to supply anti-COVID-19 vaccines, CEO Dr Albert Bourla said on Tuesday, observing that the domestically manufactured vaccines would be the backbone of vaccinating the Indian people.

Kathmandu: In a major blow to beleaguered Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli, the Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that the appointment of 20 ministers by him was unconstitutional, invalidating his two recent Cabinet expansions after the dissolution of the House of Representatives.

Wednesday Lahore: A powerful car bomb exploded outside the house of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind and chief of the banned Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) Hafiz Saeed here in the provincial capital of Punjab on Wednesday, killing at least three people and injuring 21 others.

New York: Warren Buffett resigned Wednesday as trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which says it will announce plans in July to answer questions raised about its leadership structure as it deals with the divorce of its two founders.

Hong Kong: Hong Kong's sole remaining pro-democracy newspaper published its last edition Thursday after five editors and executives were arrested and millions of dollars in its assets were frozen as part of China's increasing crackdown on dissent in the semi-autonomous city.

Thursday Vancouver (Canada): Leaders of Indigenous groups in Canada said Thursday investigators have found hundreds of unmarked graves at the site of a former residential school for Indigenous children — a discovery that follows last month's report of 215 bodies found at another school.

Colombo: Sri Lanka on Thursday released 93 prisoners, including 16 LTTE terror suspects held without charges, after they were pardoned by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Madrid: John McAfee, the creator of McAfee antivirus software, was found dead in his jail cell near Barcelona in an apparent suicide Wednesday, hours after a Spanish court approved his extradition to the United States to face tax charges punishable by decades in prison, authorities said.

Friday Minneapolis: George Floyd 's family spoke in court Friday of the pain they felt over his murder and asked for the maximum punishment for former Officer Derek Chauvin as Chauvin faced sentencing for the crime that set off a fierce reckoning over racial injustice in America.

Beijing: China on Friday operationalised its first fully electrified bullet train in the remote Himalayan region of Tibet, connecting the provincial capital Lhasa and Nyingchi, a strategically located Tibetan border town close to Arunachal Pradesh.

Tokyo: Japan on Friday announced that it will provide USD 9.3 million worth cold chain equipment and related assistance to India to help in the country's fight against COVID-19 pandemic. PTI MAH MAH

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