Digest for international stories for week Oct 24 - Oct 30, 2020

·4-min read

Saturday Washington: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has pledged that if elected as president in the November 3 election, he will ensure free COVID-19 vaccination for all Americans, laying out his pandemic response plan just days before the US presidential polls.

Kabul: The death toll from the suicide attack on Saturday in Afghanistan's capital has risen to at least 18 killed and 57 people wounded, including students, the interior ministry said.

Boise (US): The US coronavirus caseload has reached record heights with more than 83,000 infections reported in a single day, the latest ominous sign of the disease's grip on the nation, as states from Connecticut to the Rocky Mountain West reel under the surge.

Sunday Vatican City: Pope Francis on Sunday named 13 new cardinals, including Washington DC Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who would become the first Black US prelate to earn the coveted red hat.

Nairobi: The Seychelles presidential election has seen an upset, with the electoral commission on Sunday declaring longtime opposition contender Wavel Ramkalawan the winner over incumbent Danny Faure. The ruling party has been knocked from power for the first time since 1977.

Jerusalem: The state-run Israel Institute for Biological Research announced on Sunday that researchers will begin human testing on its coronavirus vaccine next week.

Monday Beijing: China said on Monday it will impose sanctions on top US defence firms, including Boeing and Lockheed Martin, for supplying weapons to Taiwan, amid deepening tensions between Beijing and Washington over increasing American arms sales to Taipei.

London: A UK court on Monday rejected the latest bail plea of fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi, who has been lodged in a London prison since his arrest on an extradition warrant in March last year.

Cape Canaveral (US): The moon's shadowed, frigid nooks and crannies may hold frozen water in more places and in larger quantities than previously suspected, good news for astronauts at future lunar bases who could tap into these resources for drinking and making rocket fuel, scientists reported on Monday.

Tuesday London: One of the frontrunners in the race for a vaccine against COVID-19 has been found to produce a strong immune response in all adult groups, Oxford University said on Tuesday, in reference to the ongoing clinical trials of its vaccine candidate with British pharma giant AstraZeneca.

Washington: Conservative jurist Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in as a justice of the US Supreme Court, an hour after the Republican-controlled Senate confirmed her controversial nomination, handing President Donald Trump a major victory just a week before the election.

Peshawar: A powerful blast ripped through a religious seminary in northwest Pakistan's Peshawar city on Tuesday, killing at least eight people, mostly students, and wounding over 120 others, senior police officials said.

Wednesday London: Drugmakers Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline have agreed to provide 200 million doses of their potential COVID-19 vaccine to the COVAX Facility, a collaboration designed to give countries around the world equal access to coronavirus vaccines.

Male: The US will open an embassy in Maldives, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Wednesday as he held extensive talks with leadership of the strategically located island nation in the Indian Ocean, weeks after the two countries clinched a key defence cooperation pact.

Beijing: China on Wednesday said its border standoff with India in eastern Ladakh is a bilateral issue, and asked the US to 'stop' its Indo-Pacific strategy, terming it as an attempt to impose American hegemony in the region.

Thursday London: British Indian journalist and author Anita Anand’s book that tells the story of a young man caught up in the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar has been shortlisted for a prestigious history-literary prize in the UK.

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was acquitted by an anti-terrorism court on Thursday in the 2014 Parliament attack case but other senior ministers, including Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, were summoned on November 12 for the indictment.

Washington: The Trump administration has proposed to scrap the computerised lottery system to grant H-1B work visas to foreign technology professionals and replace it with a wage-level-based selection process, a move that is expected to counter the downward pressure on the wages of US workers.

Friday London: The global travel and tourism industry is on course to lose 174 million jobs this year if current restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus remain in place, a leading industry group warned Friday.

Tokyo: Japan's coronavirus cases have topped 100,000, nine months after the first case was found in mid-January, the health ministry said on Friday.

Washington: A US court has asked Antrix Corporation, the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation, to pay compensation of USD 1.2 billion to a Bengaluru-based startup, Devas Multimedia, for cancelling a satellite deal in 2005. MAH MAH