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Covid: UK to close all travel corridors from Monday
Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the action is needed to protect against the risk of new Covid strains.

Coronavirus: EU anger over reduced Pfizer vaccine deliveries
Many EU countries are receiving significantly fewer doses due to a change in manufacturing processes.

Police probes compromised after computer records deleted
A letter from police chiefs also says 213,000 records were lost - more than first thought.

US Election 2020: What do countries around the world want from Joe Biden?
We speak to reporters in six global regions about hopes and expectations for the new US administration.

Tennis stars' arrival angers stranded Australians
Players are flown in ahead of the Australian Open while thousands of citizens are waiting to return.

Boris Johnson says girls' education key to ending poverty
The UK prime minister wants girls' education in developing countries to be a key international focus.

Capitol riots: Police describe a 'medieval battle'
US police held back a mob for hours in a "barbaric" battle at the Capitol. Here are their stories.

Covid-19: A-level and GCSE results planned for early July
Replacement exam grades are likely to arrive earlier and be decided by teachers and a test.

Joanna Lumley 'shocked' at claims disabled workers unpaid
Sir Iain Duncan Smith and Joanna Lumley speak out about employees allegedly owed a total of £200,000.

Covid: 'Convalescent plasma no benefit to hospital patients'
Donations of plasma from people who have recovered from the virus have been suspended.

WhatsApp changes: Signal messaging platform stops working as downloads surge
Signal has been downloaded millions of times since WhatsApp unveiled new privacy terms last week.

Nóra Quoirin: 'Compelling evidence' of abduction
A Belfast mother says there is "compelling evidence" that her daughter was abducted in Malaysia.

The Papers: 'Fortress Britain' and 'modern miracle workers'
Most of Saturday's front pages focus on a decision to shut down all travel corridors to the UK.

Can supermarket security guards help with mask rules?
Supermarkets around the UK are stepping up enforcement of mask-wearing rules.

Project 17: One girl's quest for clean water in Rwanda
Joyce, 17, explores progress towards the goal of clean water for all in her country, Rwanda.

Martin Luther King Jr: New documentary on FBI surveillance
New documentary highlights extent of the FBI surveillance of the US civil rights leader.

Dinosaurs In Love: Tom Rosenthal and daughter's song made into book
Dinosaurs In Love went viral, musician Tom Rosenthal and his daughter Fenn were the ones behind it.

Why hasn't the UK banned all international flights?
Unlike many countries, the UK has not banned travel despite new variants emerging here and overseas.

UK snow: Polar bears enjoy Yorkshire's wintry weather
Bears Nobby, Hamish, Luka and Sisu are enjoying the snow which has fallen across the county.

In pictures: Winter scenes from around the UK
As temperatures drop, wintry weather has brought snow, frost and flooding to parts of the UK.

North Korea: Kim Jong-un oversees huge military showcase
Planes, missiles and marching troops are on show as North Korean state media broadcasts a massive parade.

NYC bendy bus left drooping from overpass in Bronx
Several people are hurt as a bus plunges from an overpass in the Bronx on to an access road below.

Johan 'N0tail' Sundstein: Inside the world's richest e-sports player's mansion
Johan "N0tail" Sundstein has earned more than $7.4m (£5.4m) in prize money to date.

'It kind of makes debt cool – and it's not'
Some MPs worry "buy now, pay later" services could be tempting online shoppers into overspending.

TikTok level crossing stunt 'staggeringly stupid'
Police and rail bosses condemn a social media post featuring a car parked on a level crossing.

Young, black and more likely to die in Brazil
A BBC investigation uncovers who is most at risk of lethal police violence in Brazil.

Colourising historical photos of the civil rights movement
Jordan J Lloyd has added digital colour to black-and-white photos of Dr King and the civil rights movement.

Mass snowball fight breaks out in Leeds park
Hundreds are seen as snow covers Hyde Park in Leeds despite coronavirus rules on mass gatherings.

Colour blind man: 'There's no way you see all this'
For his birthday, McKinley Erves received glasses that allow him see colours more vibrantly.

The Papers: Infection rate 'hope' - but care home cases rise
A mix of stories, many on the coronavirus pandemic, lead Friday's newspapers.

The Blue Lotus: Rare Tintin painting sells for record €3.2m
The record-breaking illustration was originally intended as the cover of the fifth Tintin book.

Deputy Speaker stops MP talking 'like a Dalek'
As Scott Mann started his virtual speech to the Commons, it became clear that his audio was wrong.

Did we see a Christmas coronavirus spike?
Christmas gatherings were cut back but was there still an impact on Covid cases?

Autism: 'They said bleach would cure my daughter'
Black, Asian or minority ethnic people with autism have a "double whammy", campaigners say.

Brexit: End to Gibraltar land border prompts joy and trepidation
For residents on both sides of the border there are hopes of an end to queues, but not everyone is convinced.

Capitol riots: What are far-right Trump supporters saying?
Members of the extreme right are searching for new online homes, amid paranoia that they are being ‘set up’ by the authorities.

To poll or not to poll? That is still the question
Ministers seem set on England's May elections taking place, but some in local government are pushing back.

Covid map: Coronavirus cases, deaths, vaccinations by country
Key maps and charts explaining how the virus has spread around the world.

Covid-19: 'One medic saw eight people die in a single shift'
A therapist who arranges free mental health help for NHS workers says many are at "breaking point".

Talia Dean: 'My back pain was misdiagnosed for 15 years - now I can't dance'
Singer Talia Dean was 18 when she first had symptoms of axial spondyloarthritis. It took 15 years to get a diagnosis.

O'Sullivan beaten by Higgins at Masters in quarter-final featuring five consecutive centuries
World champion Ronnie O'Sullivan is beaten 6-3 by John Higgins in a remarkable Masters quarter-final.

'You don't want your rivals at the same level' – Fernandes eager to keep Man Utd’s title edge
Bruno Fernandes thinks it would be "fun" for the fans if Manchester United could extend their lead in the title race when they face Liverpool on Sunday.

Scottish FA asks Championship clubs whether they want to continue playing or suspend season
Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell has written to all 10 Championship clubs asking if they want to continue playing or suspend their league.

'We were texting back and forth, chuckling at this whole scenario' - Brees v Brady in NFL play-offs
Two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks meet in the NFL play-offs this weekend as the New Orleans Saints host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the pick of the divisional round.

Whyte-Povetkin II: Heavyweight rematch confirmed for 6 March
Briton Dillian Whyte will have the chance to get his revenge against Alexander Povetkin as Matchroom Boxing confirmed their rematch for 6 March.

Covid-19: Can you catch the virus outside?
The risks of catching Covid indoors are well-known, but what are the chances of being infected outdoors?

How worrying are the new variants?
Scientists have discovered a new mutated version of the virus from Brazil, in addition to the ones from the UK and South Africa.

Covid-19 in the UK: How many coronavirus cases are there in your area?
Explore the data on coronavirus in the UK and find out how many cases there are in your area.

Which shops are open and what are the rules about click-and-collect?
There are strict rules across the UK about which shops can open during lockdown and how they must run.

Coronavirus: What are the social distancing rules?
Keeping a certain distance away from other people cuts the risk of passing on - or catching - coronavirus.

Covid: What are the new UK travel rules?
Travellers must self-isolate on arrival and an advance coronavirus test will soon be required.

Covid symptoms: Is it a cold, flu or coronavirus?
With similar symptoms, deciding whether or not you need to get tested for coronavirus can be tricky.

Covid immunity: Can you catch it twice?
Immunity is the crucial question and understanding it will tell us how the pandemic will end.

Covid: What are the lockdown rules across the UK?
People across England are being urged to "double down" and stick to the lockdown rules.

Coronavirus: Should I start taking vitamin D?
Some people might want to consider it during the pandemic. Here's why.

Coronavirus cure: What progress are we making on treatments?
Teams around the world are looking into medicines for Covid-19 and scientists are starting to discover what works.

Can I hug my vaccinated dad? And other questions
We answer some of your questions about vaccination, travel rules and school closures

Coronavirus: What are the rules for face masks or face coverings?
People around the UK must now wear face coverings in many public places, but what are the rules?

Covid: What free school meals are children supposed to get?
Free school meals are still available in lockdown and there are rules about what they should contain.

Covid vaccine: When will you be eligible?
Three vaccines have been approved and two are being rolled out across the UK, so when might you get one?

Inside Newcastle's Covid mass vaccination centre
Seven mass vaccination centres have opened across England to help deliver the Coronavirus vaccine.

Polly and Molly the jumping piglets
The playful pair have learnt a new trick in lockdown, which is melting hearts.

The Scottish postman behind 'Sea Shanty TikTok'
Nathan Evans's renditions of the ancient songs have racked up millions of views on the video-sharing app.

Video letter from Montgomery council 'viral' in Hungary
Hungary has literary links to Wales, with children learning a ballad about the country in school.

Sutton Hoo: 'I taught Ralph Fiennes Suffolk accent' for Netflix film
Charlie Haylock says he initially thought the request "was a scam".

In pictures: Aurora Borealis lights up sky above Scotland
The Northern Lights were visible overnight from Shetland, Moray and the Highlands.

CNN

Pence calls Harris while Trump continues to stew in denial

This is where Trump failed in historic proportions
CNN's John Avlon reviews President Trump's response to Covid-19 as the pandemic continues to spread across the US.

US takes back assertion that Capitol rioters wanted to 'capture and assassinate' officials

No plans to test most National Guard for Covid-19 before they deploy across DC
The overwhelming majority of the more than 20,000 National Guard members expected in Washington for President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration will not be tested for coronavirus before they are deployed from states around the country or upon their arrival in the nation's capital, a National Guard spokesperson tells CNN.

Investigators see evidence that law enforcement officers participated in Capitol insurrection

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner face cold post-insurrection reality
When Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner shared their decision to pick up and move their family to Washington from New York four years ago, multiple sources who know the couple said the idea was the White House years would allow easy entree to their ambitious next steps: Kushner would become a powerful player in global politics and Trump would become a shoo-in to a higher office of her own.

It's 53% alcohol and tastes like fire. Here's how this liquor brand took over China
When Costco opened its first store in China in 2019, it wasn't just the hot rotisserie chickens and discounted Birkin bags that lured frenzied crowds. A fiery, throat-tingling liquor called Kweichow Moutai also flew off shelves.

South Korea is cracking down on digital sex crimes. Has it done enough?
Between the ages of 11 and 14, South Korean teenager Ji-o was threatened, stalked and pressured into taking sexually explicit photos of herself by men on the internet.

Passionate Pelosi calls out Capitol riot 'punk'
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shares her thoughts on a man that wore a "Camp Auschwitz" shirt during the riot at the US Capitol.

700,000 Hindus gather for India religious festival despite Covid 'breeding ground' fears
Every year, tens of millions of Hindu pilgrims wade into the Ganges River, seeking salvation from the eternal cycle of life and death. Holy men lead prayers and offer blessings, and devotees wash their sins away in the sacred waters.

Powerful earthquake kills at least 67 people, injures hundreds
At least seven people have died and hundreds more injured after a 6.2-magnitute earthquake hit Indonesia's Sulawesi island early Friday, the country's disaster mitigation agency said.

Must-watch videos of the week

As NASA and NOAA warn of climate emergency, they weather last-minute denial by Trump appointees
The numbers are in. The hottest seven years in recorded history are: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014.

Dutch government resigns over child welfare fraud scandal
The Dutch government has resigned amid a scandal that saw thousands of families wrongly accused of child welfare fraud.

Tillerson slams Trump as Pompeo sings his praises
Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson painted a scathing picture of his old boss President Donald Trump as someone who made uninformed decisions that were not based in reality -- a stark contrast to Trump's top diplomat Mike Pompeo, who is heaping praise on the outgoing President in his final days in office.

Despite Trump administration promise, 'reserve' second vaccine doses are gone

Criminal investigation into Trump Organization finances expanded
The Manhattan district attorney's office has expanded its criminal investigation into the Trump Organization's finances to include the family's compound in Westchester County, according to lawyers and people familiar with the investigation.

Lincoln bust among items removed from White House
A pheasant took flight from the White House Thursday afternoon.

'Home Alone 2' star tweets support for removing Trump's cameo
As President Donald Trump prepares to make his exit from the White House, fans of "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York" want him to make a permanent, on-screen exit from the movie -- and its star Macaulay Culkin seems to be on board with the idea.

Man who accidentally threw out a bitcoin fortune offers $70 million for permission to dig it up
A British man who accidentally threw a hard drive loaded with bitcoin into the trash has offered the local authority where he lives more than $70 million if it allows him to excavate a landfill site.

Tech companies ban Trump, but not other problematic world leaders
Twitter's ban on President Trump has set off a fierce international debate around free speech, and who, if anyone, ought to be policing it online. CNN's Scott McLean reports.

National Rifle Association files for bankruptcy
The National Rifle Association of America, the nation's foremost gun lobby, has filed for voluntary bankruptcy in Texas, the organization said Friday.

Alibaba is facing an 'existential crisis'
This year could be the most consequential for Alibaba since it was founded two decades ago.

Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte says the presidency is no job for a woman
Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday declared the presidency was no job for a woman because of their emotional differences to men, and dismissed speculation his daughter would succeed him next year.

Woman who is trapped underneath earthquake's rubble captured on video
Dozens of people were killed and hundreds more injured after a powerful 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck Indonesia's Sulawesi island.

Dozens killed, some decapitated, in suspected rebel attack in the DRC
Forty-six people from the ethnic Pygmy group were killed -- some of them decapitated -- on Wednesday in a suspected militant attack in northeast Democratic Republic of Congo, according to an NGO official based in the central African country.

Ugandan presidential candidate Bobi Wine says his home is 'under siege'
Ugandan opposition presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, says his home is "under siege" from military.

This doctor wants you to know what dying of Covid-19 could look like
An ICU doctor posted an unfiltered simulation of the last things a person might see before dying of Covid-19.

North Korea unveils submarine-launched ballistic missile at military parade
North Korea has celebrated the end of a rare political meeting by unveiling what appears to be a missile designed to be fired from a submarine.

Can Mexico force the US to vaccinate migrant workers against Covid-19?
Mexico wants the US to vaccinate all Mexican migrant workers currently working in the United States — and it says Trump's own signature trade deal requires it.

Ex-intel chief reacts to disturbing Capitol attack details
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper discusses the attack on the Capitol and what to do about the extremists who have fallen for President Donald Trump's election lies.

Fire destroys homes of thousands in Bangladesh Rohingya refugee camps, UN says
A huge fire swept through Rohingya refugee camps in southern Bangladesh early Thursday, the United Nations said, destroying homes belonging to thousands of people.

Even $1,400 checks aren't exciting Wall Street
News that President-elect Joe Biden is asking Congress to pass a $1.9 trillion stimulus package would normally give markets a big boost. Not this time.

How schools in Europe are handling schools in the pandemic
With face-to-face learning a priority in the United Kingdom, schools remained open through the fall of 2020. After the emergence of a highly contagious variant of coronavirus and a surge in cases, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that schools would close. CNN's Max Foster reports.

Spike Lee remembers Chadwick Boseman while accepting the American Cinematheque honor
Spike Lee paid tribute to Chadwick Boseman while accepting the American Cinematheque Award on Thursday night.

Jacob Blake tells GMA: 'I didn't want to be the next George Floyd'
Jacob Blake, the Kenosha man left paralyzed after an officer-involved shooting in August of 2020, sat down with GMA's Michael Strahan for his first interview since the incident.

Two-time golf major winner arrested in Brazil
Federal Police in Brazil have arrested golfer Angel Cabrera on an Interpol red notice for alleged crimes committed in Argentina.

Dustin Diamond, 'Saved by the Bell' star, hospitalized with cancer
Dustin Diamond, who played the role of Screech on the popular 1990s high school comedy "Saved by the Bell," is hospitalized with cancer, his manager told CNN Friday.

Marvel goes retro in 'WandaVision' series
Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany take their Marvel characters to the suburbs in the Disney+ streaming series. Rick Damigella reports.

A rejected cover for Tintin adventure 'The Blue Lotus' sells for record $3.9 million
A rare painting of Tintin by Belgian cartoonist Hergé sold for a record €3.2 million ($3.9 million) at Parisian auction house Artcurial on Thursday.

Could Kamala Harris invoke her Indian heritage by wearing a sari on inauguration day?

Dakar Rally rider dies after sustaining injuries in crash
Dakar Rally rider Pierre Cherpin has passed away from injuries sustained in a crash on January 10, race organizers announced on Friday.

The number of new skyscrapers drops 20% amid pandemic slowdown
The number of new skyscrapers built globally dropped more than 20% in 2020, according to data released this week by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).

Internet gets creative in removing Trump from iconic movie
Actor Macaulay Culkin applauds editing out Trump's "Home Alone 2" cameo. CNN's Jeanne Moos reports.

Olivia Rodrigo's 'Drivers License' sets Spotify record for most streams in a day
Olivia Rodrigo's "Drivers License" has set Spotify's record for most streams in a day for a non-holiday song, the streaming service has announced.

10 places that shaped Martin Luther King Jr.'s march in history
Martin Luther King Jr. was born and raised in the American South, but his dream of racial equality and social justice reverberated out of his region, into the whole country and around the world. And it just wasn't his vision that spanned the globe -- the man himself embarked on travels far and wide.

President and VP back on speaking terms, but following entirely divergent paths in administration's final days
One is dropping in on the White House phone operators, addressing troops at bases across the country, paying a visit to national guardsmen in place for the inauguration and speaking by phone with his successor.

Analysis: A tragic truth about Biden's inauguration
There'll be no arguments about crowd size at Joe Biden's inauguration — because there won't be a crowd.

Analysis: Will Trump go down as the worst president in history?
With just days left in his time as president, Donald Trump undoubtedly has begun to consider how history will remember him. The early returns aren't promising.

Pence evacuated one minute before officer lured rioters away
Footage captured by a HuffPost reporter shows Eugene Goodman leading pro-Trump supporters in the opposite direction of the Senate chamber. The Washington Post reports Pence and his family were in hiding "less than 100" feet away.

Al Jazeera

End of Merkel era begins as German CDU picks new party leader
Close race expected as more than 1,000 delegates are set to pick a new Christian Conservative leader on Saturday.

US now says no direct evidence of ‘kill capture teams’ at Capitol
Federal prosecutors previously said there was evidence that rioters intended 'to capture and assassinate' officials.

After Capitol attack, Trump’s approval rating slides in US polls
Polls find majority supports banning Trump from public office amid a sharp partisan divide over his role in the riot.

US tightens security before Joe Biden’s inauguration
Presiential swearing in will be the most secured since President Lincoln inaugurations, before and during the Civil War.

Optimistic US big bank chiefs release $5bn from reserves
Banking chiefs are pointing to prospects for a rebound this year after unprecedented action from the Federal Reserve.

Smoking gun: US National Rifle Association files for bankruptcy
The National Rifle Association says it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and plans to incorporate in Texas.

US sanctions Cuban ministry for alleged human rights abuses
During his presidency, Donald Trump took a tough stance on Cuba, tightening restrictions on US travel and remittances.

Far right ready to ‘fight and kill in Trump’s name’: Experts
Unprecedented cooperation between far-right groups a cause for concern as US prepares for further political violence.

New wave: China’s COVID infections cloud economic recovery
Economists say consumption, which typically accounts for more than half of the Chinese economy, has lagged.

US CDC warns new COVID variant could be dominant strain by March
The US CDC says a more transmissible COVID-19 variant first discovered in the UK has been found in 10 states.

Brazil airlifts emergency oxygen to Manaus amid COVID surge
Doctors use own vehicles to transport patients as residents seek oxygen tanks on the black market, local media reports.

Robots rising: Firms debut fuzzy pets, household helpers at CES
Firms unveiled AI-enabled gadgets aimed at making staying home during the COVID crisis easier during this year's CES.

COVID death toll has now crossed the two-million mark
Grim milestone reached as countries battle rising infections despite gradual roll-out of vaccination campaigns.

What is reigniting a border dispute between Ethiopia and Sudan?
Skirmishes have increased in the past two months over the fertile al-Fashaga region.

Palestinians announce first elections in 15 years
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announces first presidential elections in 15 years to take place on July 31.

A Gensler-led SEC could see greater oversight of cryptocurrencies
Biden's reported choice to lead the SEC has said greater oversight could help mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies.

US retail sales fell in Dec but economists see better days ahead
Surging COVID-19 infections saw consumers hunker down at home and hold tight to their wallets.

‘Dear Tayyip’: Erdogan, Macron exchange letters
The Turkish and French presidents exchange letters in which they agree to resume talks aimed at mending ties.

Calls grow for Biden to reject Houthi ‘terrorist’ designation
Civil society, faith groups urge US president-elect to overturn decision to label Yemen’s Houthis as 'terrorists'.

Trump to leave Washington just before Biden is sworn in
The outgoing US president will leave town the morning of Inauguration Day after considering leaving the day before.

No let-up: Trump administration targets Iran with more sanctions
With less than a week before President-elect Biden is sworn in, the Trump administration slaps more sanctions on Iran.

Round two: UK may fall back into recession as new lockdowns bite
With fresh lockdowns and a COVID variant, it is increasingly likely the United Kingdom could fall back into recession.

Who is who in the Trump Caucus: Are they the Republican future?
Even after the Capitol riot and a second impeachment, Trump still has passionate political backers in Congress.

Xi to former Starbucks CEO: Help repair US-China relations
United States-China relations have plunged to their lowest level in decades due to the tech and trade war.

Pakistan top court moves to hear #MeToo case against singer Zafar
Supreme Court to hear charges by leading singer and actress Meesha Shafi against another singer and actor, Ali Zafar.

EU Newsroom

European Citizens' Initiative: European Commission replies to ‘Minority Safepack' initiative
The European Commission responded to the European Citizens' Initiative ‘Minority Safepack – one million signatures for diversity in Europe', the fifth successful Initiative supported by over 1 million citizens across the EU. The Initiative aims to improve the protection of persons belonging to national and linguistic minorities.

Coronavirus: Commission concludes exploratory talks with Valneva to secure a new potential vaccine
The European Commission has concluded exploratory talks with the pharmaceutical company Valneva with a view to purchasing its potential vaccine against COVID-19. The envisaged contract with Valneva would provide for the possibility for all EU Member States to purchase together 30 million doses, and they could further purchase up to 30 million more doses.

Commission proposes to purchase up to 300 million additional doses of BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine
The European Commission proposes to the EU Member States to purchase an additional 200 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine produced by BioNTech and Pfizer, with the option to acquire another 100 million doses.

European Commission authorises second safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19
The European Commission has granted a conditional marketing authorisation (CMA) for the COVID‑19 vaccine developed by Moderna, the second COVID-19 vaccine authorised in the EU.

European Innovation Council Fund: first equity investments of €178 million in breakthrough innovations
The Commission has announced the first round of direct equity investment through the new European Innovation Council (EIC) Fund. 42 highly innovative start-ups and small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) will together receive equity financing of around €178 million to develop and scale up breakthrough innovations in health, circular economy, advanced manufacturing and other areas.

EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement: protecting European interests, ensuring fair competition, and continued cooperation in areas of mutual interest
After intensive negotiations, the European Commission has reached an agreement with the United Kingdom on the terms of its future cooperation with the European Union.

European Commission authorises first safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19
The European Commission has granted a conditional marketing authorisation (CMA) for the COVID‑19 vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer, making it the first COVID-19 vaccine authorised in the EU.

Commission publishes recommendations for Common Agricultural Policy national strategic plans
The Commission has published recommendations for each Member State to assist in the drafting of their Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) strategic plans, accompanied by a Communication.

Coronavirus: Commission puts forward rules on rapid antigen tests and secures 20 million tests for Member States
The Commission has adopted a proposal for a Council recommendation on a common framework for the use, validation and mutual recognition of rapid antigen tests.

Plenary highlights: EU budget, Sakharov Prize, water
MEPs approved the EU's budget for 2021-2027 and presented the Sakharov Prize to opposition leaders in Belarus during the 14-18 December plenary.

Main results of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council
Ministers reached an agreement on the three regulations fixing fishing opportunities for 2021 in certain areas of the Atlantic, North Sea, Mediterranean and Black Sea as well as for certain deep-sea stocks (the latter also for 2022). They also approved Council conclusions on an EU-wide animal welfare label.

Multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027 adopted
Following the European Parliament's consent, the Council has adopted the regulation laying down the EU's multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027.

Main results of the Environment Council

EU regions get additional 47.5 billion EUR to tackle local effects of COVID-19

New EU Cybersecurity Strategy and new rules to make physical and digital critical entities more resilient
As a key component of Shaping Europe's Digital Future, the Recovery Plan for Europe and the EU Security Union Strategy, the Strategy will bolster Europe's collective resilience against cyber threats and help to ensure that all citizens and businesses can fully benefit from trustworthy and reliable services and digital tools.

Coronavirus response: Tackling non-performing loans (NPLs) to enable banks to support EU households and businesses
The European Commission has presented a strategy to prevent a future build-up of non-performing loans (NPLs) across the European Union, as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The strategy aims to ensure that EU households and businesses continue to have access to the funding they need throughout the crisis.

Parliament adopts deal to improve quality of tap water and reduce plastic litter
The new rules are designed to offer high quality tap water across the EU. This is in response to the demands of over 1.8 million Europeans who signed the first-ever successful European Citizens’ Initiative, “Right2Water”, in support of improving access to safe drinking water for all Europeans.

Team Europe contributes €500 million to COVAX initiative to provide one billion COVID-19 vaccine doses for low and middle income countries

Europe fit for the Digital Age: Commission proposes new rules for digital platforms
The Commission has proposed an ambitious reform of the digital space, a comprehensive set of new rules for all digital services, including social media, online market places, and other online platforms that operate in the European Union: the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act.

Commission proposes revised rules for cross-border energy infrastructure in line with the European Green Deal
The European Commission adopted a proposal to revise the EU rules on Trans-European Networks for Energy (the TEN-E Regulation) to better support the modernisation of Europe's cross-border energy infrastructure and achieve the objectives of the European Green Deal.

Main results of the video conference of energy ministers
EU energy ministers held an informal video conference to discuss energy system integration in the EU. They also received an update by the Commission on external energy relations and on a number of other matters.

Main results of the video conference of home affairs ministers

Main results of the European Council
EU leaders reached a deal to address the concerns expressed on the recovery package and agreed on the 55% emissions reduction goal. They also adopted conclusions on COVID-19, security and external relations, and met for a Euro Summit in inclusive format.

Green Deal: Sustainable batteries for a circular and climate neutral economy
The European Commission proposes to modernise EU legislation on batteries, delivering its first initiative among the actions announced in the new Circular Economy Action Plan.

Relations with the UK: Commission proposes targeted contingency measures to prepare for possible “no-deal” scenario
The European Commission has put forward a set of targeted contingency measures ensuring basic reciprocal air and road connectivity between the EU and the UK, as well as allowing for the possibility of reciprocal fishing access by EU and UK vessels to each other's waters.

Security Union: A Counter-Terrorism Agenda and stronger Europol to boost the EU's resilience
The Commission presented a new Counter-Terrorism Agenda for the EU to step up the fight against terrorism and violent extremism and boost the EU's resilience to terrorist threats.

A fundamental transport transformation: Commission presents its plan for green, smart and affordable mobility
The European Commission presented its ‘Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy' together with an Action Plan of 82 initiatives that will guide our work for the next four years. This strategy lays the foundation for how the EU transport system can achieve its green and digital transformation and become more resilient to future crises.

Main results of the video conference of transport ministers

Main results of the video conference of telecommunications ministers

Main results of the Foreign Affairs Council
Foreign affairs ministers exchanged views on transatlantic relations, strategic autonomy and current affairs. The Council also adopted the EU global human rights sanctions regime, as well as conclusions on EU-US relations and Lebanon.

European Democracy Action Plan: making EU democracies stronger
Standing up to challenges to our democratic systems from rising extremism and perceived distance between people and politicians, the Action Plan sets out measures to promote free and fair elections, strengthen media freedom and counter disinformation.

December infringements package: key decisions

Digital Decade: Commission launches Action Plan to support recovery and transformation of the media and audiovisual sectors
The Commission adopted an Action Plan to support the recovery and transformation of the media and audiovisual sector. These sectors, particularly hit by the coronavirus crisis, are essential for democracy, Europe's cultural diversity and digital autonomy.

Main results of the video conference of ministers of employment and social policy

Modernising EU justice systems: New package to speed up digitalisation of justice systems and boost training of justice professionals
The European Commission adopted a package of initiatives to modernise the EU justice systems. The two main pillars of the new package are the Communication on the digitalisation of justice in the EU, and the new Strategy on European judicial training.

Main results of the video conference of justice ministers

Commission renews its commitment to strengthen fundamental rights in the EU

Coronavirus: Commission presents “Staying safe from COVID-19 during winter” strategy

EU-US: A new transatlantic agenda for global change
The European Commission and the High Representative put forward a proposal for a new, forward-looking transatlantic agenda.

Commission disburses €8.5 billion under SURE to five Member States
The European Commission has disbursed €8.5 billion in the third instalment of financial support to five Member States under the SURE instrument. As part of today's operations, Belgium has received €2 billion, Hungary €200 million, Portugal €3 billion, Romania €3 billion and Slovakia €300 million.

Main results of the video conference of economics and finance ministers
Ministers discussed amendments to the Council directive on administrative cooperation in the field of taxation ('DAC 7'), confirming their support for the agreement reached at technical level. They also exchanged views on the banking union, the capital markets union, the European Semester, international taxation and international debt relief.

EU greenhouse gas emissions fell in 2019 to the lowest level in three decades
The Commission adopted its annual EU Climate Action Progress Report, covering the EU's progress in cutting greenhouse gas emissions in 2019. Greenhouse gas emissions in the EU-27 decreased by 3.7 % year-on-year, while GDP grew by 1.5%. Emissions have now been reduced by 24% compared to 1990 levels.

Main results of the Eurogroup video conference
The Eurogroup reached a political agreement on the reform of the ESM Treaty and the early introduction of the common backstop to the Single Resolution Fund (SRF) by the beginning of 2022. Ministers also discussed the eighth enhanced surveillance report on Greece and greenlighted the release of the fourth tranche of policy-contingent debt measures.

Plenary highlights: consumer rights, homelessness, media freedom
MEPs approved new rights for consumers, called for an end to homelessness and set out their position on the EU’s industrial strategy during the 23-26 November plenary session.

Main results of the EU-Australia leaders' meeting
At a leaders' virtual meeting President Michel, President von der Leyen and Australian Prime Minster Morrison highlighted their resolve to fight the pandemic together and build more sustainable, inclusive and resilient economies. They also noted the good progress made towards a trade agreement.

Gender Action Plan – putting women and girls' rights at the heart of the global recovery for a gender-equal world
The European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy put forward ambitious plans to promote gender equality and women's empowerment through all external action of the European Union.

Commission proposes measures to boost data sharing and support European data spaces
The Regulation will facilitate data sharing across the EU and between sectors to create wealth for society, increase control and trust of both citizens and companies regarding their data, and offer an alternative European model to data handling practice of major tech platforms.

MEPs call on EU leaders to end MFF deadlock without giving in on rule of law

Affordable, accessible and safe medicines for all: the Commission presents a Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe
The Commission has today a Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe to ensure patients have access to innovative and affordable medicines and to support the competitiveness, innovative capacity and sustainability of the EU's pharmaceutical industry.

EU consumers will soon be able to defend their rights collectively
Parliament endorsed a new law that will allow groups of consumers to join forces and launch collective action in the EU. The new rules introduce a harmonised model for representative action in all member states that guarantees consumers are well protected against mass harm, while ensuring appropriate safeguards to avoid abusive lawsuits.

Statement by President von der Leyen on Moderna

Inclusion for all: Commission presents action plan on Integration and Inclusion 2021-2027
The action plan promotes inclusion for all, recognising the important contribution of migrants to the EU and addressing the barriers that can hinder participation and inclusion of people with a migrant background, from newcomers to citizens, in European society.

Marked improvement in Europe's air quality over past decade, fewer deaths linked to pollution
Better air quality has led to a significant reduction of premature deaths over the past decade in Europe. However, the European Environment Agency's (EEA) latest official data show that almost all Europeans still suffer from air pollution, leading to about 400,000 premature deaths across the continent.

Main results of the video conference of development ministers

Main results of the G20 summit
At a virtual summit hosted by Saudi Arabia, the G20 leaders expressed their strong commitment to coordinated global action, solidarity, and multilateral cooperation. They committed to working together to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, restore growth and jobs, and build a more inclusive, sustainable and resilient future.

Main results of the video conference of the members of the European Council
Meeting via video conference, EU leaders agreed to further strengthen coordination against the COVID-19 pandemic. They focused in particular on mutual recognition of tests, vaccine deployment and a common approach to lifting restrictive measures.

Boosting Offshore Renewable Energy for a Climate Neutral Europe
To help meet the EU's goal of climate neutrality by 2050, the European Commission presented the EU Strategy on Offshore Renewable Energy. The Strategy proposes to increase Europe's offshore wind capacity from its current level of 12 GW to at least 60 GW by 2030 and to 300 GW by 2050.

Main results of the video conference of internal market and industry ministers

Main results of the video conference of foreign affairs ministers
During a video conference, EU foreign affairs ministers were briefed about the outcome of the US elections, and the situation in Afghanistan, Belarus, Nagorno Karabakh, the Eastern Mediterranean and Ethiopia. They discussed multilateralism, and exchanged views with the Palestinian Foreign Minister, Riyad al-Maliki.

European Semester Autumn Package: Supporting a sustainable and inclusive recovery amid high uncertainty
The European Commission presented its autumn economic policy package, including the Opinions on euro area Draft Budgetary Plans (DBPs) for 2021 and policy recommendations for the euro area.

Commission disburses €14 billion under SURE to nine Member States
The European Commission has disbursed €14 billion to nine EU countries in the second instalment of financial support to Member States under the SURE instrument.

Coronavirus: Commission approves contract with CureVac to ensure access to a potential vaccine
The European Commission has approved a fifth contract with the European pharmaceutical company CureVac, which provides for the initial purchase of 225 million doses on behalf of all EU Member States, plus an option to request up to a further 180 million doses, to be supplied once a vaccine has proven to be safe and effective against COVID-19.

Main results of the video conference of European affairs ministers

Commission launches new complaints system to fight trade barriers and violations of sustainable trade commitments

LIFE programme: over €280 million in EU funding for environment, nature and climate action projects
The European Commission has approved an investment package of more than €280 million from the EU budget for over 120 new LIFE programme projects. This EU funding will trigger total investments of nearly €590 million to help meet these projects' ambitious goals for environment, nature, and climate action.

Main results of the video conference of agriculture and fisheries ministers

EU4Health: MEPs pave the way for an effective EU health programme
To close gaps exposed by COVID-19 and ensure that health systems can face future threats to public health, an ambitious EU health programme is needed, say MEPs.

Main results of the video conference of home affairs ministers
Ministers discussed the fight against terrorism, following the recent terrorist attacks in France and Austria, and issued a joint statement. They also discussed various aspects of the pact on migration and asylum, proposed by the European Commission on 23 September.

New Consumer Agenda: European Commission to empower consumers to become the driver of transition
The European Commission has launched the New Consumer Agenda to empower European consumers to play an active role in the green and digital transitions.

Green Deal: How MEPs wish to channel EU investment to sustainable activities

EU increases its contribution to COVAX to €500 million to secure COVID-19 vaccines for low and middle-income countries

Union of Equality: The Commission presents its first-ever strategy on LGBTIQ equality in the EU
The European Commission presented the first-ever EU Strategy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, non-binary, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) equality, as announced by President von der Leyen in her 2020 State of the Union Address.

Building a European Health Union: Stronger crisis preparedness and response for Europe
The Commission is putting forward a set of proposals to strengthen the EU's health security framework, and to reinforce the crisis preparedness and response role of key EU agencies.

Coronavirus: Commission approves contract with BioNTech-Pfizer alliance to ensure access to a potential vaccine
The European Commission approved a fourth contract with pharmaceutical companies BioNTech and Pfizer, which provides for the initial purchase of 200 million doses on behalf of all EU Member States, plus an option to request up to a further 100 million doses, to be supplied once a vaccine has proven to be safe and effective against COVID-19.

Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to Amazon
The European Commission has informed Amazon of its preliminary view that it has breached EU antitrust rules by distorting competition in online retail markets.

Boeing WTO case: The EU puts in place countermeasures against U.S. exports

Main results of the video conference of trade ministers
Ministers took stock of the US elections and underlined the importance of the trans-Atlantic relations to deal with the challenges of our time, especially in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Autumn 2020 Economic Forecast: Rebound interrupted as resurgence of pandemic deepens uncertainty
The coronavirus pandemic represents a very large shock for the global and EU economies, with very severe economic and social consequences. Economic activity in Europe suffered a severe shock in the first half of the year and rebounded strongly in the third quarter as containment measures were gradually lifted.

Main results of the video conference of economics and finance ministers
Ministers discussed Council conclusions on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism, giving them broad support. They also exchanged views on non-performing loans, the European Semester and EU statistics, and heard a presentation on the 2020 annual report of the European Fiscal Board.

Main results of the Eurogroup video conference
Ministers discussed the economic situation in the context of resurgence of the pandemic and issued a statement. They also exchanged views on the euro as a digital currency, heard reports on the operational aspects of the banking union and reviewed the state of play of the COVID-19 EU safety nets agreed in April 2020.

October infringements package: key decisions

Main results of the video conference of health ministers

EU-Canada leaders' meeting via video conference
The leaders re-affirmed their determination to continue joint efforts to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic in keeping with shared principles and values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law, and based on the EU-Canada Strategic Partnership Agreement.

Video conference of the members of the European Council
EU leaders met via video conference on 29 October 2020 and discussed the need to strengthen the collective effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. They focused on testing and tracing policies, and on vaccines. Leaders also addressed the terrorist attacks in France and the relations with Turkey.

Coronavirus resurgence: Commission steps up action to reinforce preparedness and response measures across the EU
The European Commission is launching an additional set of actions to help limit the spread of the coronavirus, save lives and strengthen the internal market's resilience.

Customs Union: Commission proposes new ‘Single Window' to modernise and streamline customs controls, facilitate trade and improve cooperation

Advancing the EU social market economy: adequate minimum wages for workers across Member States
The Commission proposed an EU Directive to ensure that the workers in the Union are protected by adequate minimum wages allowing for a decent living wherever they work.

Commission proposes fishing opportunities in the Atlantic and North Sea for 2021

Commission disburses €17 billion under SURE to Italy, Spain and Poland
The European Commission has disbursed a total of €17 billion to Italy, Spain and Poland in the first instalment of financial support to Member States under the SURE instrument.

Latest Eurobarometer survey: Economic situation is EU citizens' top concern in light of the coronavirus pandemic
In a troubled period marked by the coronavirus pandemic, trust in the EU remains stable and Europeans trust the EU to make the right decisions in response to the pandemic in the future.

Plenary highlights: Sakharov laureate, EU farm policy, digital services, Brexit
MEPs set out their priorities on digital service rules, artificial intelligence and EU farm policy during the October plenary session.

Main results of the Environment Council
EU environment ministers reached agreement on a partial general approach on the proposed European climate law and endorsed the objectives of the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030, including its nature protection and restoration targets.

Travel restrictions: Council reviews the list of third countries for which restrictions should be lifted

Eradicating human trafficking: Persistent risks call for strategic approach

European Commission issues first emission of EU SURE social bonds
The European Commission issued a €17 billion inaugural social bond under the EU SURE instrument to help protect jobs and keep people in work. The issuing consisted of two bonds, with €10 billion due for repayment in October 2030 and €7 billion due for repayment in 2040.

Main results of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council
The Council reached three important political agreements for Europe's agriculture and fisheries sectors during the two-day Council in Luxembourg. Ministers agreed a general approach on the common agriculture policy (CAP) reform package, adopted conclusions on the farm to fork strategy and decided the fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea for 2021.

New State of Nature report points to persisting pressures on Europe's nature

Coronavirus: EU interoperability gateway goes live, first contact tracing and warning apps linked to the system
To exploit the full potential of contact tracing and warning apps to break the chain of coronavirus infections across borders and save lives, the Commission, at the invitation by EU Member States, has set up an EU-wide system to ensure interoperability – a so-called ‘gateway'.

2021 Commission work programme – from strategy to delivery
The Commission adopted its 2021 work programme, designed to make Europe healthier, fairer and more prosperous, while accelerating its long-term transformation into a greener economy, fit for the digital age.

Main results of the European Council
On 15 and 16 October, the European Council adopted conclusions on COVID-19, EU-UK relations, climate change and external relations.

Global Times

FM Wang's trip to the Philippines focuses on deepening trust ahead of Biden's inauguration

China-US trade ties at turning point as world awaits new teams' contact

Mink may be host of coronavirus' origin: China's 'Bat Woman'

WHO team arrives

Chinese vaccine in Turkey

Building a center

China rebukes US Xinjiang ban, calling 'forced labor' accusations 'lie of century'

Goods trade growing in China only

At least 17 countries have purchased China-produced COVID-19 vaccines

Loudspeakers, banners, excavators: Chinese villages fight smart as epidemic flares up

China compiles COVID-19 response practice into handbook, borrowing experience from Wuhan hospital

US criticizes China's AI tech, but uses facial recognition on Capitol rioters

COVID-19 death in Hebei exposes anti-virus loopholes in villages

One year since trade agreement, positive signs emerge for China-US ties ahead of US power transfer

London favorite among EU tech investors

Parler solicits US court to order Amazon to restore service to social media app

Affirm Holdings, provider of credit for online shoppers, raises $1.2b in US IPO

Geely, Foxconn partnership will build cars for other automakers

China's Generation Z redefines trendy, shows growing confidence in local culture

Stalled 'Chunyun' worries Chinese airlines on profits

Construction of China's space station construction nears implementation stage: CMS

Learning Chinese

Harbin to continue snow festival despite COVID-19

First batch

Co-edited complete collection of France's ancient Dunhuang manuscripts published in China

Crossword

UN aid chief to urge US to reverse Houthis blacklist plan

Horoscope

'Ocean 100': Profits from world's seas dominated by 100 companies

World's oldest known cave painting found in Indonesia

Rare 'Tintin' painting could break auction record

Low-key Kennedy Center arts awards to honor Joan Baez, Dick van Dyke

Africa's Great Green Wall aims for fresh growth spurt

Blast at North China's Tianjin port leaves one dead, seven injured

China's rare earth exports plunge to record low in 2020: GAC

China's medical devices exports up more than 40% in 2020 amid fight against COVID-19

House to impeach Trump again, divides US

US State Dept scraps overseas trips as world realizes Trump administration's 'destructive nature'

Declassified doc shows Trump pressuring Biden to continue Indo-Pacific policy

Sinovac's vaccine proven safe and effective in several countries

Panda's nap time

Pets prepare for Lunar New Year

S.Korean firm's smart collar tells dogs' emotions

'Dead' French woman fights to prove she's alive

Hospital apologizes to man with stomachache after declaring him pregnant

Residents startled to find 4,000 pig heads hanging in neighbor's backyard

Passerby risks own life to rescue trapped goose on ice

China's WJ-700 drone completes maiden flight, 'creates new drone combat pattern'

Indonesia confident on finding second 'black box' of crashed plane

Half of women put off by macho language in job adverts

UN

Cameroon: Authorities urged to seek justice for recent deadly attacks
UN Secretary-General António Guterres has urged authorities in Cameroon to take steps to prosecute perpetrators behind two recent deadly attacks in the Anglophone provinces of the country, his Spokesperson said on Friday. 

Air travel down 60 per cent, as airline industry losses top $370 billion: ICAO
A new report from the UN’s air transportation agency confirms there was a “dramatic” fall in international air travel due to COVID-19, of around 60 per cent over the course of last year, to levels last seen in 2003.

COVID-19 committee stresses need for equitable vaccine access, more data sharing
As COVID-19 cases spike in parts of Europe, Africa and the Americas, and new variants of the virus emerge in some countries, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday called for greater global collaboration in ending the pandemic.  

Child labour ‘robs children of their future’, scourge must end urges UN
Although child labour has decreased significantly over the last decade, one-in-ten children are still caught up in harmful work, the UN’s labour agency said on Friday, kicking off a year-long bid to eradicate the practice.  

As COVID deaths pass two million worldwide, Guterres warns against self-defeating ‘vaccinationalism'
With more than two million lives now lost worldwide to COVID-19, the UN Secretary-General appealed on Friday for countries to work together and help each other to end the pandemic and save lives. In a video statement, Secretary-General António Guterres noted that the absence of a global coordinated effort has worsened the pandemic’s deadly impact.

Pandemic curbs trend towards ever-increasing migration
Travel restrictions and other curbs to movement put in place in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, have put a significant dent in migration figures, but the overall trend shows 100 million more people living outside their countries of origin in 2020, compared to the year 2000, a new UN report revealed on Friday.

Deadly earthquake hits Indonesia: Dozens killed, hundreds injured 
At least 35 people have been killed and hundreds of others injured after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck the West Sulawesi Province of Indonesia on Friday morning, according to the UN humanitarian coordination office (OCHA). 

Central African Republic: Displacement reaches 120,000, as another deadly attack leaves one UN peacekeeper dead
“Worsening” election violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) has forced 120,000 people from their homes, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Friday, as the UN Secretary-General also condemned another attack by combatants on a UN convoy, which left a peacekeeper from Burundi dead, and two others wounded.

UN steps up support for thousands left homeless after fire at Rohingya refugee camp
UN agencies have stepped up efforts to help thousands of Rohingya refugees left without shelter after a devastating fire tore through a crowded refugee camp in south-eastern Bangladesh on Thursday. 

Ethiopia: Safe access and swift action needed for refugees in Tigray
The head of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) on Wednesday expressed his deep concern over the humanitarian situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, including its impact on Eritrean refugees hosted there. 

Health experts arrive in Wuhan to investigate COVID-19 origins
Members of an international team studying the origins of the virus that causes COVID-19 arrived in Wuhan, China, on Thursday, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) announced during an expert meeting on the disease. 

Israel: Ensure equal COVID-19 vaccine access to Palestinians – UN Independent experts 
Israel’s “impressive” vaccination programme against the COVID-19 pandemic must include Palestinians under occupation, UN independent human rights experts stressed on Wednesday. 

UN officials fear US terrorist designation will hasten famine in Yemen
Senior UN officials have expressed concern over the potential impact of the decision by the United States to designate Yemen’s Ansar Allah, more commonly known as the Houthi movement, a terrorist group, the Security Council heard on Thursday. 

2020, one of three warmest years on record: World Meteorological Organization 
The COVID-19 pandemic was not the only long-term crisis the world will remember from 2020. In terms of climate change, the year was also one of the three warmest on record, and rivalled 2016 for the top spot, the UN weather agency said on Wednesday. 

Step up action and adapt to 'new climate reality', UN environment report urges
Though countries have made progress in planning for climate change adaptation, there are significant financing shortfalls in getting them to the stage where they provide real protection against droughts, floods and rising sea levels, a new UN environment report has found. 

Four UN peacekeepers killed, five wounded in attack in Mali
Four United Nations peacekeepers in Mali were killed and five others wounded in an attack by unidentified armed elements on Wednesday, the UN mission in the country has said. 

Insecurity and bureaucracy hampering aid to Ethiopia’s Tigray region
Nearly three months after the start of conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, hundreds of thousands of people have yet to receive assistance, the United Nations reported on Wednesday, citing information from its humanitarian coordination agency, OCHA.

Peacekeeper killed in ‘heinous attacks’ in Central African Republic
The UN Secretary-General has called for action to ensure accountability for “heinous attacks” in the Central African Republic (CAR) on Wednesday that left a Rwandan peacekeeper dead and another wounded. 

Uganda: UN chief calls for ‘inclusive, transparent and peaceful’ elections
The UN chief on Wednesday issued a call for an “inclusive, transparent and peaceful” election process across Uganda, a day ahead of the polls opening. 

Mali transition presents opportunity to break ‘vicious circle of political crises’ 
 The current political transition period in Mali offers an opportunity to “break out of the vicious circle of political crises followed by coups d'état”, the UN envoy in the country told the Security Council on Wednesday.  

UN reports major progress towards eradicating sheep and goat plague
The world is moving closer to stamping out a highly contagious disease that affects sheep and goats, but also the livelihoods of millions of families who depend on these animals for food and income, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Wednesday. 

Fewer protections, lower wages, and higher health risks: Homeworking in the COVID era
The UN’s labour agency (ILO) called on Wednesday for greater recognition and protection for the hundreds of millions of people who work from home, accounting for almost eight per cent of the global workforce even before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Step up surveillance of emerging coronavirus variants, WHO urges
Efforts should be stepped up to quickly identify and study emerging variants of the COVID-19-causing SARS-CoV-2 virus, UN World Health Organization (WHO) scientists said on Tuesday. 

Peru: UN rights office decries excessive use of force in November protests
Police in Peru used unnecessary and excessive force during protests in the capital last November challenging the legitimacy of the interim President, a report published on Tuesday by the UN Human Rights Office, OHCHR has found. 

UN refugee agency calls for ‘new chapter for refugee protection’ across Europe
As Portugal assumes the presidency of the European Union (EU), to be followed by Slovenia later this year, the UN refugee Agency (UNHCR) on Tuesday called on them to lead the effort to forge a better protection system for those seeking refuge across the continent and beyond.

UN counter-terrorism chief urges continued vigilance against ‘real’ ongoing threat
Despite important strikes against terrorism over the past two decades, including in bringing perpetrators to justice and disrupting additional attacks, countries cannot afford to let down their guard, the UN’s counter-terrorism chief told a virtual meeting of the Security Council on Tuesday. 

UNICEF chief: Closing schools should be ‘measure of last resort’ 
The head of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) underscored on Tuesday that “no effort should be spared” to keep children in school, as the coronavirus pandemic continues into a second year. 

Humanitarian crisis looms in Madagascar amid drought and pandemic
In southern Madagascar, “famine-like conditions” have doubled the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance compared with last year, to more than 1.3 million. Successive droughts and a lack of jobs linked to COVID-19 restrictions are to blame, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday.

Humanitarians seek $1.3 billion to help millions in war-weary Afghanistan
The UN and humanitarian partners in Afghanistan are seeking $1.3 billion to assist almost 16 million people in need of life-saving assistance as a result of decades of conflict, recurrent natural disasters, and the added impact of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. 

UN agencies and partners establish global Ebola vaccine stockpile
In a major milestone in the fight against deadly diseases, United Nations agencies and humanitarian partners announced on Tuesday, the establishment of a global Ebola vaccine stockpile, to help control future epidemics by ensuring timely access to vaccines for populations at risk, during outbreaks.