Digest for international stories for week Nov 14 - Nov 20, 2020

·4-min read

Saturday Washington:President-elect Joe Biden has wrested Georgia and President Donald Trump has retained North Carolina, major US media outlets have projected, bringing the closely-fought and bitter 2020 presidential race to a close.

Washington: US President Donald Trump said his administration had taken unprecedented measures to tackle the coronavirus outbreak in the last nine months, including a public-private partnership to develop, manufacture therapies and vaccines on a nation-wide scale.

Bangkok: Pro-democracy protesters in Thailand rallied again on Saturday, promoting a diversity of causes and taking an opportunity to display their rejection of the country's power structure directly to the monarch.

Sunday Islamabad: Voters donning face masks cast their ballots on Sunday in Gilgit-Baltistan in northern Pakistan amidst tight security in the third legislative assembly election, believed to be the most hotly contested polls the region has ever seen.

Singapore: Fifteen Asia-Pacific nations, including China, on Sunday signed the world's biggest trade agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), sans India with hopes that it will help recover from the shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic.

London: The new COVID vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech would begin to be delivered at the 'end of this year, beginning of next year' if everything continued to go well, one of its creators said on Sunday.

Monday New York: US-based biotechnology giant Moderna announced on Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine has shown to be 94.5 per cent effective in preventing the deadly disease, bringing a glimmer of hope to a world ravaged by the pandemic.

Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Monday won eight of 23 constituencies and was leading in one seat in the legislative assembly polls in Gilgit-Baltistan, prompting Opposition parties to dub the election as 'stolen.' Lahore: Pakistan’s top investigative body has registered an FIR against top Opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s friend and three others in a multi-billion sugar scam.

Tuesday Moscow: President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday called for a joint effort by the BRICS countries on the development of the coronavirus vaccines as he suggested that Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 could be produced in China and India, which are members of the five-nation bloc.

Washington: Indian students contributed USD 7.6 billion to the US economy in the academic year 2019-20, even though there was a 4.4 per cent drop in the total number of Indian students, according to a report.

Washington: Acting Defence Secretary Christopher Miller on Tuesday announced plans to reduce US troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying the decision fulfils President Donald Trump's pledge to bring forces home when conditions were met that kept the US and its allies safe.

Wednesday New York: Global drugmakers Pfizer and BioNTech said on Wednesday that their COVID-19 vaccine was found 95 per cent effective in the final analysis of the Phase 3 trial, including in people aged over 65 years, paving the way for the companies to apply for emergency authorisation from US regulators within days.

Copenhagen: The winner of the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize — the World Food Program — and the Norwegian Nobel Committee said Wednesday they have jointly agreed to postpone the in-person award ceremony in Oslo next month because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Brussels: A top European Union official said Wednesday that trade talks with the United Kingdom still face “substantial work' that might spill over into next week, with a perilous deadline drawing ever closer.

Thursday Lahore: Mumbai terror attack mastermind and Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed was on Thursday sentenced to 10 years in jail by an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan in two more terror financing cases.

London: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson laid out the biggest programme of investment in British defence since the end of the Cold War in Parliament on Thursday, pumping in an extra 4 billion pound a year over the next four years.

Washington: The US has recorded over 250,000 deaths from COVID-19, a bleak milestone as cases soar once again across the country, worst-hit by the deadly infectious disease that has claimed over 1,349,000 lives across the world.

Friday Washington: The surging coronavirus is taking an increasingly dire toll across the US just as a vaccine appears at hand, with the country now averaging over 1,300 COVID-19 deaths per day — the highest since the calamitous spring in and around New York City.

London: Indian-origin economist, author and peer Lord Meghnad Desai has resigned as a member of the UK's Opposition Labour Party over its failure to effectively tackle antisemitic racism within its ranks.

London: New York-based Scottish writer Douglas Stuart has won the prestigious 50,000-pound Booker Prize for his autobiographical debut novel 'Shuggie Bain', a coming of age tale of love and alcoholism set in 1980s Glasgow and 'destined to be a classic', beating Indian-origin author Avni Doshi's 'Burnt Sugar'. PTI MAH MAH