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Alex Salmond says there is 'no doubt' Nicola Sturgeon broke ministerial code
The former first minister makes the claim during his long-awaited appearance at a Holyrood inquiry.

Covid: Vaccinating by age not job 'will save the most lives' - Hancock
Putting over-40s ahead of teachers or police officers is "the moral thing to do", Matt Hancock says.

Coronavirus levels 'burning quite hot' in some of UK
Infection rates are declining overall, but some regions are seeing a rise in cases.

Mother drops children from window to escape Istanbul apartment fire
The four children were all caught by volunteers holding a blanket on the street in Istanbul.

Shamima Begum cannot return to UK, Supreme Court rules
The ruling means she will not be able to come back to fight the decision to remove her British citizenship.

Jamal Khashoggi: US says Saudi prince approved Khashoggi killing
An official report says Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the journalist's murder.

Lockdown bomb hoaxer targeted NHS, MPs and BLM protests
A German court imprisons a Berlin-based Italian for extortion threats made against UK targets.

London-sized iceberg breaks near UK base
The berg covers 1,270 sq km - nearly 490 square miles - but its break-off was expected.

Rohingya refugees adrift at sea
A boat full of dozens of Rohingya refugees attempting to reach South East Asia is adrift in the Indian Ocean.

Couple cannot have a Cornish language wedding
Steph Norman and Aaron Willoughby are told their ceremony must be in English and Cornish.

Jack Barnes: 'I can't breathe' death ruled unlawful killing
Jack Barnes suffered a cardiac arrest after being restrained by public transport workers.

Brexit: DUP agriculture minister orders Brexit check construction halt
Gordon Lyons says he is responding to "practical difficulties" caused by the NI Protocol.

Ryan Giggs bailed again after denying assault
Several newspapers had reported the Wales manager was arrested on suspicion of assaulting his girlfriend.

Covid-19: Tennis gives children 'a bit of normal life back'
Outdoor sport for people with disabilities is allowed in lockdown and is a lifeline for families.

Texas sea turtles released back into sea after cold front eases
Thousands of "cold-stunned" turtles were rescued as temperatures dropped to record lows this month.

Why 'lookalikes' Jessie Ware and Gemma Arterton teamed up
The pop star and the award-winning actress discuss their haunting video for Ware's new single.

Your pictures on the theme of 'the beauty of trees'
A selection of striking images from our readers on this week's theme.

NHS nurse who inspired four of her children to be nurses
A nurse who died with Covid-19 inspired nearly her entire family to join the NHS.

Covid-19: What have lockdowns and restrictions meant for musicians?
Music in a pandemic: Guerrilla gigs, song-writing compulsions and learning an Elizabethan guitar.

Click News: Robo-cat companion breaks wind
BBC Click’s Paul Carter looks at some of the best technology news stories of the week.

MyHeritage offers 'creepy' deepfake tool to reanimate dead
Genealogy firm admits some might find the controversial technology "uncanny or creepy".

Cairngorms recreated in video game Minecraft
The initiative is designed to help young people find out how the Cairngorms national park is managed.

Mr Potato Head to lose "Mr" title in gender-neutral rebrand
The toy's maker, Hasbro, says it will drop the "Mr" to "promote gender equality and inclusion".

Salmond and Sturgeon: How the best of political double acts fell apart
The enviable political duo who ran Scotland together is now long gone. So, what went wrong?

LGBT in the forces: 'It was a very scary time'
More than 20 years on, how has military culture changed after allowing the LGBT community to serve?

Dog theft: 'I can't give up looking for her'
After Lady Gaga's bulldogs were stolen, victims in the UK share their stories with BBC Radio 5 Live.

Amazon rainforest plots sold via Facebook Marketplace ads
Protected land reserved for Brazil's indigenous communities is being traded on the social network.

Who is Shamima Begum and how do you lose your UK citizenship?
Ms Begum travelled to Syria to join the so-called Islamic State group in 2015.

'We couldn’t afford fertility treatment so we risked finding a sperm donor on Facebook'
The high cost of fertility treatment leads some to find donors on social media, even though it's risky and could be illegal.

MLM schemes in the UK: The 'cult-like' beauty businesses in your DMs
Newsbeat hears from young women about their experiences working for multi-level marketing companies.

Budget 2021: 'My benefits top-up is a lifeline - don't take it away'
A benefits top-up to help the poor survive lockdown is due to end - unless it is extended at the Budget.

Maximo Park on Grenfell, the Bataclan and fatherhood
The North East indie-pop band say music can both "celebrate life" and ask "difficult questions".

Vintage technology: 'It sounds so much cleaner'
Why do people like to use ancient personal organisers and music players?

Analysis: Can Asia help Myanmar find a way out of coup crisis?
While Western sanctions may not help, China and South East Asia's influence may hold some sway.

'Life was a party before Aids arrived in London'
Gay life in London was vibrant as the 1980s began, but a mysterious illness was soon to change that.

Man Utd face AC Milan, Rangers take on Slavia Prague in Europa League last 16
Manchester United face AC Milan in the Europa League while Rangers draw Slavia Prague, Arsenal play Olympiakos and Tottenham get Dinamo Zagreb.

England wary of Wales captain Jones 'targeting' players
England coach Eddie Jones tells his players to be wary of being "targeted" by Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones in the Six Nations on Saturday.

Premiership 'does not care enough' about racism, says Monye
Former England wing Ugo Monye says Premiership Rugby "does not care enough" about racism in the sport.

England in New Zealand: Tourists secure series with another assured victory
England secure a series victory over New Zealand with an assured seven-wicket win in the second one-day international in Dunedin.

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.

Coronavirus: What is the R number and how is it calculated?
The R number is a simple but crucial figure at the heart of lockdown decisions across the UK.

Covid: When will I get the vaccine?
Two approved Covid vaccines are being rolled out across the UK. So when might you get one?

Covid: How to get a test for coronavirus
What are the tests for coronavirus, who are they for, and how do they work?

Nightclubs eye June reopening but can they survive?
Clubs have been closed for almost a year but what will the clubbing experience be like when they reopen?

Unemployment rate: How many people are out of work?
The unemployment rate is rising as Covid hits different parts of the economy.

'Vaccine passports': Will I need one for going out, work and travel?
The government is reviewing whether venues can ask for proof of vaccination or a negative test.

What's the roadmap for lifting lockdown?
The prime minister has announced a plan for how the lockdown will be lifted in England.

Covid: When will schools reopen?
All students in England can return to classrooms from 8 March as part of the plans to ease lockdown.

Coronavirus: How are weddings working around the UK?
Wedding ceremonies are still restricted across the UK, but there are plans to ease the rules.

Covid: When can pubs and restaurants reopen?
Hospitality venues are set to gradually open up in the Spring under lockdown easing plans.

Covid: How are European countries tackling the pandemic?
Are European countries relaxing restrictions put in place to control a new wave of infections?

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

Covid: When can I go on holiday in the UK or travel abroad?
The government has unveiled its plans for unlocking UK restrictions, including holiday travel.

My daughter's shielding - should she return to school? And other questions
We answer some of your questions about England's roadmap out of lockdown, and other Covid-related issues.

Lockdown rules: What are the restrictions in your area?
Use our search tool to find out about coronavirus rules and restrictions where you live.

Coronavirus: What are the rules for face masks or face coverings?
As the UK cautiously unlocks, experts will review the evidence on when and where masks are needed.

Coronavirus: When will pubs, hairdressers and gyms open?
Lockdown is being eased in England. When will services like hairdressers, pubs and gyms open?

Schools reopening: How at risk are children?
BBC's Health reporter Laura Foster explains what we know currently about how children are affected by the virus.

How could children make up for lost school time?
A massive task lies ahead for schools as they try to make up for teaching time lost during the pandemic.

Support bubbles: How do they work and who is in yours?
Some people across the UK have been able to form "support bubbles" or "extended households".

Have lockdowns affected my child's physical and mental health?
Should parents of under-fives worry about Covid restrictions harming their child's development?

Coronavirus: Who should be shielding and why?
More people have been added to the clinically extremely vulnerable list in England. Why?

Coronavirus: Has the NHS got enough of the right PPE?
Who needs it - and does the UK health service have the right kit?

Covid vaccine: How many people in the UK have been vaccinated so far?
The logistics of vaccinating millions of people across the country, as more than 19 million people receive at least one dose.

Is the Covid vaccine safe?
Busting myths and explaining the facts around vaccines.

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

Coronavirus: Where does the government borrow billions from?
How does it work when a government wants to borrow money, and when does it have to pay it back?

Covax: How will Covid vaccines be shared around the world?
A scheme to distribute Covid-19 vaccines globally is under way. Here's what you need to know.

Covid: Which areas are being mass tested for new variants?
The government hopes "surge" testing will reduce transmission of a new variant of Covid-19.

What is a challenge trial and why do we need them?
Some volunteers in the UK will be deliberately infected with coronavirus in a "challenge trial".

Covid: Claims vaccinations harm fertility unfounded
Social-media posts - some described as "scare stories" - are based on misunderstandings, experts say.

Fake Covid videos 'will cost lives'
Sima Kotecha follows the origins of a "dangerous" viral video about a false Covid-19 treatment.

Covid: How will we know if the vaccine is working?
Deaths are falling faster for the over-80s - but does that mean the vaccine is working?

North Korea enslaved South Korean prisoners of war in coal mines
A report describes how prisoners of war are used as slave labour to generate money for the regime.


Long-awaited US intel report implicates Saudi Crown Prince in Khashoggi killing

US enacts 'Khashoggi Ban' on 76 Saudi individuals

A timeline of the brutal killing of Jamal Khashoggi
In anticipation of the release of a US intelligence report on the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, CNN's Nic Robertson looks back at the brutal assassination and its fallout.

Rogue diplomat defies coup leaders with passionate speech to UN General Assembly
Myanmar's United Nations ambassador has pleaded for immediate international action to help overturn the country's military coup.

Democrats question Biden's legal justification for Syria strike

Prince Harry reveals why he left royal life in rare interview
Prince Harry has said he stepped back from the royal family last year because the British press was "destroying" his mental health.

'ISIS bride' who fled UK as a teen not allowed to return home and fight for citizenship
The UK Supreme Court ruled Friday that "ISIS bride" Shamima Begum cannot return to the United Kingdom to appeal the revocation of her UK citizenship.

Putin critic Alexey Navalny has been transferred to a penal colony
Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny has been transferred from a Moscow detention center to a penal colony, state media reported on Friday.

These vaccine trial participants in an Indian city said they didn't know they were being tested on
More than a dozen slum residents in Bhopal, India, say they thought they were being vaccinated for Covid-19. They say they later discovered from local activists that some of them hadn't been given an approved vaccine and had unwittingly taken part in a Phase 3 clinical trial for India's homegrown vaccine, Covaxin. CNN's Vedika Sud reports.

Hundreds of schoolgirls abducted in Nigeria, government official says
Hundreds of schoolgirls were abducted in the early hours of Friday when armed men raided a state-run school in Zamfara State, north-west Nigeria, a government official told CNN.

Golden Trump statue turns heads at CPAC
With the first full day of the Conservative Political Action Conference underway, there's already an indisputable star: an outrageously golden statue of Donald Trump wearing shorts and flip-flops.

Several Republicans who told House they can't attend votes due to 'public health emergency' are slated to be at CPAC
Several of former President Donald Trump's closest Republican allies in the House have skipped Friday's votes and enlisted their colleagues to vote on their behalf, signing letters saying they can't attend "due to the ongoing public health emergency."

'Another pathetic stunt': SE Cupp calls out Marjorie Taylor Greene
CNN's SE Cupp criticizes Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's "stunts" since joining Congress, saying the Georgia Republican came to Washington, DC, to become famous rather than represent her constituents.

Malaysian man wins landmark challenge against Muslim gay sex ban
A Malaysian man on Thursday won a landmark court challenge against an Islamic ban on sex "against the order of nature," raising hopes for greater acceptance of gay rights in the mostly Muslim country.

Lady Gaga's dad speaks out following 'appalling' attack against dog walker

The suicide of the ex-USA Gymnastics coach who faced abuse charges was an 'escape from justice,' former gymnast says
The death of John Geddert, the US Olympic team coach who was charged with 24 felonies in connection with the abuse of young gymnasts, was an "escape from justice," said Sarah Klein, one of the many athletes who reacted to his suicide on Thursday.

Hear Fauci's advice on how to avoid catching Covid-19 variant
Dr. Anthony Fauci tells CNN's Chris Cuomo about the importance of receiving the coronavirus vaccine, and how it can be helpful amid news of more variants spreading across the US.

Russian diplomats and their families leave North Korea by hand-pushed rail trolley due to Covid-19 restrictions

Proud Boys leader has no sympathy for lawmakers targeted by Capitol riot
• Ex-Proud Boys member on what it's like in the far-right group

US court awards $2.3 billion to USS Pueblo crew held hostage by North Korea more than 50 years ago
A US federal court has awarded $2.3 billion in damages to several crew members of the USS Pueblo and their surviving families, more than 50 years after North Korea seized the American naval vessel and took its crew hostage.

Republican criticized for 'transphobic rant' during confirmation hearing
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) questioned Dr. Rachel Levine, Biden's first transgender Cabinet nominee pick over puberty suppression for minors during a confirmation hearing.

Covid-19 vaccine tracker: View vaccinations by country

Jill Biden shared candid relationship advice in first solo interview since becoming first lady
Jill Biden shared some candid relationship advice when she appeared on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" for her first solo interview since becoming first lady.

Why women should monitor blood pressure differently, according to a new study
When you visit the doctor, often the first order of business is wrapping a blood pressure cuff around your arm and looking to the display screen for the magic number. What's that number, you ask? Less than 120 over 80, or 120/80, measured in millimeters per mercury, is what has long been understood as within the healthy range — until now.

Dozens of inmates killed in prison riots
Two rival criminal gangs clashed in simultaneous riots in prisons in three regions of Ecuador. Dozens of inmates died in what Ecuador's president called "an extermination between criminal gangs".

One of world's hottest economies exits recession -- but there's a way to go
India's economy is out of recession but still a long way from returning to rates of growth seen before the pandemic.

Stocks are falling. But it's not all bad news
A burst of anxiety is ricocheting across financial markets as Wall Street sets expectations for the next phase of the pandemic, which could take hold this spring and summer as vaccinations rise and coronavirus cases fall.

I lost everything: Texas mom's devastating story from winter storm
Jackie Pham Nguyen lost her mother, Loan Le, and her three children, Olivia, Edison and Colette, in a fire while trying to stay warm at her home in Texas, during the power outages that crippled the state. She has set up a GoFundMe page for donations to honor her children's lives.

A middle schooler was insecure about his haircut. So his principal fixed it himself instead of disciplining the boy for wearing a hat
We've all had at least one bad haircut in our lifetimes, and chances are, we remember how that bad haircut made us feel.

Elephant kills zoo keeper with one strike from trunk
A zoo worker in Spain died when an elephant hit him with her trunk, throwing him against the bars of her enclosure, local officials confirmed.

Republicans push new restrictive election bills in 43 states
Republican lawmakers are introducing bills to reduce voting accessibility across the nation, building off of former President Trump's election fraud claims during the 2020 election. CNN's Dianne Gallagher tells us more.

50 prominent men join push for 'Marshall Plan for Moms' proposal
Fifty prominent men, including business leaders, athletes and actors, are backing a proposal that would pay moms $2,400 a month for their "unpaid labor at home," as record numbers of women have left the workforce due to the coronavirus pandemic and the economic crisis.

McDonald's and other chains are giving their drive-thrus the Jetsons treatment
At a McDonald's drive-thru in a Chicago suburb, customers may notice something different about the voice that takes their orders for Big Macs and fries.

Netflix says it needs more Latinx programming after an internal diversity audit
Netflix has made progress adding diverse content created by and starring women, Black and Asian people on its platform in recent years, but the streaming service and film studio hasn't had the same success yet with increasing Latinx representation, according to a new study it commissioned.

See Fijian rugby team serenade quarantine staff in Australia
A Fijian rugby team serenaded workers of the Sydney hotel where they are quarantining.

Caster Semenya isn't giving up on her fight over 'demeaning' testosterone limit
Caster Semenya, the South African Olympic champion runner, has appealed to the European Court of Human Rights to end "discriminatory" testosterone limits imposed on female athletes.

Birkenstock sold to group backed by Europe's richest man
German footwear brand Birkenstock is selling a majority stake to L Catterton, a private equity firm backed by Bernard Arnault's LVMH.

Tiger Woods made us realize it's OK to love an imperfect athlete

The Italian town where they eat 500-year-old meals
The signs of the Renaissance are everywhere in Italy.

'They get a free shot': England rugby coach Eddie Jones on the pitfalls of social media
Throughout his coaching career, Eddie Jones has heeded advice he was given by former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson.

Obama and Springsteen's podcast reveals a key problem
If you had any doubts that podcasting had gone from fashionable to fully mainstream, you need look no further than the latest Spotify original, "Renegades: Born in the USA," for proof that they have. Hosted by former President Barack Obama and current rocker Bruce Springsteen, the show centers on a series of conversations between the two men and their experiences growing up as outsiders. It is necessarily nostalgic — neither Obama nor Springsteen has been an outsider in a very long time — and the title reflects that, calling back to the hosts' glory days: "Renegade" was Obama's Secret Service name, and "Born in the U.S.A." was Springsteen's best-selling album, released in 1984.

Racist social media abuse continues to plague UK football
Vile racist abuse on social media aimed at football players in the United Kingdom continues to plague the sport after Manchester United's Anthony Martial and Arsenal's Willian brought attention to the subject shortly after Facebook and Instagram announced redoubled efforts to prevent this from happening on their platforms in February.

NASA's DC headquarters is being renamed for 'Hidden Figures' scientist Mary Jackson
The name of Mary Jackson, NASA's first African American female engineer and one of the barrier-breaking inspirations for the book "Hidden Figures," will officially adorn the space agency's Washington, DC, headquarters Friday.

Remember when Jane Fonda revolutionized exercise in a leotard and leg warmers?
Remember when Jane Fonda became the queen of 1980s at-home exercise?

The Biden administration releases intel that implicates bin Salman in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi
The Biden administration has released a long-awaited declassified US intelligence report on the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Read: Declassified report on Saudi role in Khashoggi killing
The Biden administration on Friday released a long-awaited declassified intelligence report on the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

Analysis: Saudi Arabia feels downside of betting on Trump family
In diplomacy, as in physics, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Saudi Arabia is experiencing the downside of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's decision to bet the farm on the Trump family.

Democrats question Biden's legal justification for Syria strike
• Analysis: Biden sends a message to Iran

New surveillance video shows the horrific attack on Lady Gaga's dog walker
The Los Angeles Police Department is examining horrifying surveillance video showing two individuals attacking Lady Gaga's dog walker, opening fire on him and then fleeing the scene with the singer's two French bulldogs.

Al Jazeera

At least three protesters killed in southern Iraq: Rights monitor
A human rights monitor says Iraqi security forces fired live ammunition into a crowd of protesters in Nasiriya.

Khashoggi ban: US to impose visa ban on 76 Saudi citizens
The US announced a visa restriction policy named after prominent Saudi journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi.

US House poised to pass $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill
Democrats’ massive spending bill advances in Congress without Republican support despite Biden’s pledges of unity.

Vaccine hoarding threatens global supply via COVAX: WHO
WHO chief urges countries to waive intellectual property rules, to allow others to make vaccines more quickly.

Navajo Nation forecasts ‘community immunity’: 120,000 jabs given
Navajo Nation surpasses vaccination goals as tribal areas outpace states in jab distribution across the US.

Biden team considering halting some arms sales for Saudis: Report
US may only sell defensive weapons to Saudi Arabia, criticised for alleged human rights abuses in Yemen.

Khashoggi report spurs ‘reckoning moment’ for US-Saudi relations
Newly released US intelligence report will heap added pressure on Joe Biden to reassess US-Saudi ties, experts say.

India’s economic recovery on track as COVID crisis slowly ebbs
The finance ministry said GDP data reflects a V-shaped recovery but also warned that India is not yet past the pandemic.

Timeline of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi
A US intelligence report sheds new light of the murder of Khashoggi by Saudi agents in October of 2018.

Can PM Pashinyan survive the political crisis in Armenia?
Pashinyan has accused the army of attempted coup and is resisting calls to resign.

IAG reports $8.3bn loss, supports COVID vaccination certificates
IAG backed calls for digital health certificates to be issued to people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

MBS approved operation to capture or kill Khashoggi: US report
Long-awaited US intelligence report bases the assessment on the Crown Prince's control of decisionmaking.

Myanmar envoy urges UN to use ‘any means necessary’ to stop coup
Ambassador appeals to UN to provide safety, security for Myanmar people as police crack down on anti-coup protesters.

Thousands of Algerian protesters march for second time this week
Security forces used truncheons and fired tear gas at demonstrators in the capital, Algiers.

The value of ‘digital gold’: What is bitcoin actually worth?
Will investing in cryptocurrencies make you rich or just drain your digital wallet? Here's what to know.

Canada approves AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 shot in boost to campaign
Canada has ordered 20 million doses of the vaccine from AstraZeneca and is due to receive 1.9 million doses from COVAX.

Ivory Coast becomes second country to receive vaccines via COVAX
Vaccination drive to begin on Monday after 504,000 doses arrive through the vaccine-sharing programme.

Biden: ‘We will stand with Ukraine’ against Russia on Crimea
Seven years after Russia annexed Crimea, Biden says the US will 'never recognise' the move.

Ireland to end much criticised system for asylum seekers by 2024
Asylum seekers have been cramped in former hotels and guesthouses for long periods in a system criticised by the UN.

US senators mull tax hike for firms without $15 minimum wage
Democratic US lawmakers are looking for ways to keep the minimum wage hike momentum going.

China’s movie market sees blockbuster month with $1.7bn in sales
With COVID under control, Chinese moviegoers are returning to cinemas and smashing movie ticket sale records.

‘They may be in the system’: Questions remain on SolarWinds hack
Microsoft president tells Congressional hearing best practices, more personnel needed to secure US systems.

Niger’s President-elect Bazoum rules out power-sharing
Bazoum also blamed opposition of bringing children to post-election protests where at least two people have been killed.

Explosion hits Israeli-owned cargo ship in Gulf of Oman
Crew reported safe and vessel heads to nearest port as circumstances of the explosion remain unclear.

India: BJP’s rise in former communist bastion has Muslims worried
India's West Bengal - home to 100 million people - has seen rising Hindu nationalism, prompting concerns among Muslims.

EU Newsroom

Main results of the European Council video conference
On 25 February, the members of the European Council met via video conference to discuss the current situation with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic and preparedness for health emergencies. On 26 February they met again, focusing on security and defence, and relations with the Southern Neighbourhood.

Building a Climate-Resilient Future - A new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change
The European Commission adopted a new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change, setting out the pathway to prepare for the unavoidable impacts of climate change. While the EU does everything within its power to mitigate climate change, domestically and internationally, we must also get ready to face its unavoidable consequences.

Commission proposes new Regulation to ensure EU travellers continue to benefit from free roaming
To ensure that citizens can continue to enjoy roaming without additional charges when travelling in the EU, the Commission proposed a new Roaming Regulation. At a time when non-essential travel is discouraged, this is an important action in preparing a brighter future.

Protecting people working through platforms: Commission launches a first-stage consultation of the social partners
The Commission launched the first-stage consultation of European social partners on how to improve the working conditions for people working through digital labour platforms. Platform work is developing rapidly in the EU across a growing number of business sectors.

EU to set up new European Partnerships and invest nearly €10 billion for the green and digital transition
The Commission has proposed to set up 10 new European Partnerships between the European Union, Member States and/or the industry. The goal is to speed up the transition towards a green, climate neutral and digital Europe, and to make European industry more resilient and competitive.

First calls under Horizon Europe to be launched by the European Research Council

EU industry: Commission takes action to improve synergies between civil, defence and space industries
The Commission presented an Action Plan on Synergies between civil, defence and space industries to further enhance Europe's technological edge and support its industrial base.

Main results of the Foreign Affairs Council
EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs were briefed about current affairs and exchanged views on Russia, and Hong Kong. The Council also adopted conclusions on: Myanmar/Burma, a human-rights-based post-COVID-19 recovery, and EU priorities in UN human rights fora in 2021.

EU doubles contribution to COVAX to €1 billion to ensure safe and effective vaccines for low and middle-income countries
The European Union has announced an additional €500 million for the COVAX Facility, doubling its contribution to date for the global initiative that is leading efforts to secure fair and equitable access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines in low and middle-income countries.

February infringements package: key decisions

Commission sets course for an open, sustainable and assertive EU trade policy
The European Commission has set out its trade strategy for the coming years. Reflecting the concept of open strategic autonomy, it builds on the EU's openness to contribute to the economic recovery through support for the green and digital transformations, as well as a renewed focus on strengthening multilateralism and reforming global trade rules to ensure that they are fair and sustainable.

A renewed multilateralism fit for the 21st century: the EU's agenda

LIFE Programme: EU invests €121 million in environment, nature and climate action projects

Coronavirus: preparing Europe for the increased threat of variants
The new European bio-defence preparedness plan against COVID-19 variants called “HERA Incubator” will work with researchers, biotech companies, manufacturers and public authorities in the EU and globally to detect new variants, provide incentives to develop new and adapted vaccines, speed up the approval process for these vaccines, and ensure scaling up of manufacturing capacities.

Coronavirus: Commission approves second contract with Moderna to ensure up to additional 300 million doses
The European Commission has approved a second contract with the pharmaceutical company Moderna, which provides for an additional purchase of 300 million doses (150 million in 2021 and an option to purchase an additional 150 million in 2022) on behalf of all EU Member States.

Main results of the Eurogroup video conference
The Eurogroup exchanged views on macroeconomic developments and policy prospects in the euro area, based on the European Commission's Winter Forecast.

Plenary highlights: Covid-19 recovery, vaccines, circular economy
MEPs approved the EU’s key instrument to help countries recover from Covid-19, debated the vaccines situation and called for tighter recycling rules.

Winter 2021 Economic Forecast: A challenging winter, but light at the end of the tunnel
Europe remains in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic. The resurgence in the number of cases, together with the appearance of new, more contagious strains of the coronavirus, have forced many Member States to reintroduce or tighten containment measures. At the same time, the start of vaccination programmes throughout the EU provides grounds for cautious optimism.

EU recovery package: Council adopts Recovery and Resilience Facility

Circular economy: MEPs call for tighter EU consumption and recycling rules

Parliament gives go-ahead to €672.5 billion Recovery and Resilience Facility
Parliament approved the Recovery and Resilience Facility, designed to help EU countries tackle the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 vaccination: MEPs call for EU and global solidarity
The EU must continue its concerted efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and take urgent measures to ramp up vaccines production to meet citizens’ expectations, MEPs say.

Southern Neighbourhood: EU proposes new Agenda for the Mediterranean
To relaunch and strengthen the strategic partnership between the European Union and its Southern Neighbourhood partners, the European Commission and the High Representative adopted a joint communication proposing an ambitious and innovative new Agenda for the Mediterranean.

SAMIRA Action Plan: Radiological and nuclear technology in support of Europe's Beating Cancer Plan
The Commission presented its SAMIRA Action Plan – the Strategic Agenda for Medical Ionising Radiation Applications. The Plan will improve EU coordination, ensure that radiological and nuclear technologies continue to benefit the health of EU citizens, and contribute to the fight against cancer and other diseases.

Commission opens infringement procedures against 24 Member States for not transposing new EU telecom rules
The European Electronic Communications Code modernises the European regulatory framework for electronic communications, to enhance consumers' choices and rights, for example by ensuring clearer contracts, quality of services, and competitive markets.

Europe's Beating Cancer Plan: A new EU approach to prevention, treatment and care
On the eve of the World Cancer Day, the European Commission presented Europe's Beating Cancer Plan – a main priority in the area of health of the von der Leyen Commission and a key pillar of a strong European Health Union.

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

COVID-19: Council updates recommendation on measures affecting free movement
Under the updated recommendation, a new colour (dark red) is added to the existing categories of green, orange, red and grey in the weekly map published by the ECDC.

Vaccines: contract between European Commission and AstraZeneca now published
Following the renewed request from the European Commission on 27 January 2021, pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has agreed to publish the redacted contract signed between the two parties on 27 August 2020. The Commission welcomes the company's commitment towards more transparency in its participation in the rollout of the EU Vaccines Strategy.

Commission puts in place transparency and authorisation mechanism for exports of COVID-19 vaccines
In an effort to ensure timely access to COVID-19 vaccines for all EU citizens and to tackle the current lack of transparency of vaccine exports outside the EU, the Commission has put in place a measure requiring that such exports are subject to an authorisation by Member States.

Screening of websites for ‘greenwashing': half of green claims lack evidence
The European Commission and national consumer authorities have released the results of a screening of websites (“sweep”), an exercise carried out each year to identify breaches of EU consumer law in online markets.

Travel restrictions: Council reviews the list of third countries

Commission launches debate on responding to the impact of an ageing population
The European Commission presented a green paper to launch a broad policy debate on the challenges and opportunities of Europe's ageing society. It sets out the impact of this pronounced demographic trend across our economy and society and invites the public to express their views on how to respond to this in a public consultation, which will run for 12 weeks.

Rule of Law: Commission adopts next step in the infringement procedure to protect judicial independence of Polish judges

Commission study finds positive impact of trade agreements on agri-food sectors
The EU trade agenda is set to have an overall positive impact on the EU economy and the agri-food sector, according to a new study. Trade agreements are due to result in substantial increases in EU agri-food exports, with more limited increases in imports, creating a positive trade balance overall.

Coronavirus: Commission proposes additional safeguards on travel from outside the EU and updated criteria for applying travel restrictions
New coronavirus variants and the volatile health situation worldwide call for further action to ensure that any travel to the EU takes place safely.

European Commission launches Green Consumption Pledge, first companies commit to concrete actions towards greater sustainability
The Green Consumption Pledge is part of the European Climate Pact which is an EU-wide initiative inviting people, communities and organisations to participate in climate action and build a greener Europe.

Main results of the Foreign Affairs Council
The Council also adopted conclusions on Venezuela, coordinated maritime presences and climate and energy diplomacy.

Plenary highlights: vaccines, new US president, right to disconnect
MEPs demanded more clarity about Covid-19 vaccine contracts and welcomed the inauguration of Joe Biden as US president during Parliament's first plenary session of the year.

Main results of the video conference of the members of the European Council
EU heads of state or government discussed via video conference coordination on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They shared best practices and exchanged views on testing, vaccinations and detecting new variants of the virus.

Additional and more flexible funding to help those most in need
Parliament voted to continue making additional resources available in 2021 and 2022 in order to provide food and basic assistance to the most deprived.

Parliament demands significantly tighter EU sanctions against Russia

Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025: Parliament’s reaction and input
Parliament welcomes the positive measures included in the EU’s new Gender Equality Strategy but calls for additional actions and specific and binding targets.

New US President: MEPs hope for a new dawn in transatlantic ties
MEPs welcome the inauguration of Joe Biden as an opportunity for Europe to strengthen EU-US ties and tackle common challenges and threats to the democratic system.

Main results of the Eurogroup video conference

Commission sets out key actions for a united front to beat COVID-19
Two days ahead of the meeting of European leaders on a coordinated response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Commission set out a number of actions needed to step up the fight against the pandemic.

Commission takes further steps to foster the openness, strength and resilience of Europe's economic and financial system
The European Commission presents a new strategy to stimulate the openness, strength and resilience of the EU's economic and financial system for the years to come.

Statement from the President of the European Commission following the detention of Alexei Navalny yesterday in Moscow

New European Bauhaus: Commission launches design phase
The Commission has launched the design phase of the New European Bauhaus initiative, announced by President von der Leyen in her 2020 State of the Union address.

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 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.

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.

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

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.

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 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

Global Times

China's defense budget to continue to rise in 2021, buttressed by economic upturn, strong fiscal foundation: experts

Xi hails miraculous achievement of poverty reduction, inspiring nation for higher goals with spirit of poverty alleviation

PLA Navy expedition group crosses equator

China's leading stand-up comedian Li Dan caught in sexism controversy over insulting slogans for women's underwear

Vaccines 'encouraged' but not compulsory for athletes at Tokyo: Coates

Alaska thunderstorms could triple if climate trends continue, scientists warn

Countries eager to find safe way to reopen travel before summer vacations

Are all the needles going to be that big?!

Foreign films face stiff competition in Chinese mainland market

Investors push companies to reveal plans on climate

Xiaomi teams up with new supplier to ramp up local production of mobile phones, TVs in India

Why is the US obsessed with smearing Xinjiang through gimmicks?

Crossword for teabreak


Learning Chinese

'Biggie' doc offers intimate look at rap legend from his inner circle

Virtual summit

Chinese vaccine arrival

Socialist system's advantages, CPC leadership key to China's miraculous poverty alleviation success

Biden's CIA head pick set to use espionage to serve diplomacy

Australian media hype about visa firm 'typical rumor-mongering'

President Xi to honor contributors for country's poverty alleviation work

'I had nothing left': Loan sharks target Indian sex workers hit by pandemic

More than 1,800 sacrifice their lives in China's fight against poverty

Dogs came to N.America with earliest humans: study

Low wages, poor parental leave hinder gender equality: World Bank

Shift to online work accelerating due to global pandemic

To the rescue

Western politicians sink to level of separatist WUC in Beijing 2022 boycott push

Crossword for teabreak


Learning Chinese

PLA bombers practice maritime strike amid foreign provocations in S. China Sea

Belgrade's last craft perfumery

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, bedrock of the Beat Generation, dead at 101

Sinopharm's Wuhan institute vaccine shows 72.5% efficacy; CanSino applies for emergency use approval

More foreign politicians see real Xinjiang as they find resonance facing similar stigmatization by West

Beijing procuratorate prosecutes 75 people for spreading rumors related to coronavirus in 2020

Ambassador mourned

Honoring war heroes

Chinese weapons shine at Mideast expo

West warned to refrain from 'big lie' diplomacy on China's Xinjiang affairs, Beijing Winter Olympic Games

US anxious over Chinese LatAm vaccine deals

After Facebook, Twitter ban, Trump supporters, extremists turn elsewhere

Fun in the snow

Resting in a park

Singapore readies quarantine business bubble for in-person meetings

Parrot 'lovers' in Spring

Poor diet in pregnancy can lead to child obesity: study

Sightseers on light rail in SW China left shaken after drone collision


Myanmar Ambassador to UN denounces military coup, as envoy warns democratic processes have been ‘pushed aside'
As the democratically elected leader of Myanmar, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is still in detention following the military takeover that triggered country-wide protests, violence and arrests, the UN envoy for the country observed on Friday, declaring that “democratic processes have been pushed aside”. 

USA: Rights experts call for reforms to end police brutality, systemic racism
Independent UN human rights experts appealed on Friday for the new United States Government to adopt wide ranging reforms to end police violence and address systemic racism and racial discrimination. 

Côte d'Ivoire takes delivery of latest COVAX vaccine shipment, in further boost for Africa
Côte d'Ivoire received 504,000 doses of lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine on Friday making it the second African nation in a week to benefit from the first shipments of shots from the UN-backed global COVAX initiative, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has reported.

Condemnation over new attack on Nigeria school, ‘more than 300’ girls missing 
An attack on a secondary school in northwest Nigeria on Friday in which several hundred girls are still missing has been condemned by the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF. 

UN climate report a ‘red alert’ for the planet: Guterres
Nations are “nowhere close” to the level of action needed to fight global warming, a UN climate action report said on Friday, urging countries to adopt stronger and more ambitious plans to reach the Paris Agreement goals, and limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, by the end of the century. 

In Yemen’s man-made catastrophe, women and girls pay the price
Midwife Lena Al-Shurmani, remembers meeting Abia at Al Mawa Camp in Yemen’s Ibb Governorate. Abia was 15 years old and eight months pregnant. “I was very worried,” Ms. Al-Shurmani recalled. “She had a prolapsed uterus, and she was severely malnourished.” 

Relief programmes hit by ongoing crisis in Myanmar, UN humanitarian office says
The political unrest in Myanmar has impacted the ability of humanitarians to respond to the needs of vulnerable communities, including internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the country’s conflict-affected areas, the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Thursday. 

WHO-backed policy brief calls for action to address ‘long COVID’
With one in 10 people still feeling ill 12 weeks after having COVID-19, authorities must do more to support them, a UN-backed policy brief issued on Thursday argues. 

South Sudan: UN agencies support nationwide polio vaccination campaign
The second round of a vaccination campaign to protect more than 2.8 million children from polio is underway in South Sudan, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Thursday.

Financial transparency, 'sound governance and accountability’ essential to reach Global Goals
Financial integrity is “paramount to the success of the 2030 Agenda”, the President of the UN General Assembly said on Thursday, launching a new report that offers a blueprint to address a range of obstacles, particularly surrounding illicit finance flows. 

West Africa steps up efforts to tackle latest Ebola threat
As a new Ebola outbreak threatens Guinea, six neighboring countries are urgently scaling up preparation and response efforts to prevent the further spread of the deadly virus, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.

Syria: Economic decline, rising hunger and surging humanitarian needs
Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council on Thursday. 

Belarus human rights situation deteriorating further, warns UN rights chief
A “systematic crackdown” against dissent in Belarus is continuing, months since the country’s disputed presidential election last year, UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet has told the Human Rights Council.

‘Industry 4.0’ tech for post-COVID world, is driving inequality: UNCTAD
Developing countries must embrace ground-breaking technologies that have been a critical tool in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, or else face even greater inequalities than before, UN economic development  experts at UNCTAD said on Thursday.

UN agencies begin registering asylum seekers at US-Mexico border
UN agencies have begun preparing individuals and families at the Matamoros informal camp, near the United States-Mexico border, for entry into the US, following the termination of a policy that forced asylum seekers to wait for immigration hearings in Mexico. 

FROM THE FIELD: Millions of Yemenis facing ‘death sentence’
Yemen remains the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, and the situation for the millions of affected people is deteriorating, says the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Mother of terrorism victim works to ‘turn the page’ on violent extremism
A Moroccan-French woman whose son was killed in a terrorist attack nearly a decade ago, has been commended for her powerful activism countering youth radicalization, and her efforts to replace the desolation of loss with ‘a prayer of love’. 

UN independent experts ‘appalled’ by deportation of migrants to Myanmar, in defiance of court order
Independent UN human rights experts castigated Malaysia on Wednesday over its decision to deport more than1,000 detained migrants back to crisis-ridden Myanmar – despite a court order to suspend their return, pending a judicial review. 

British actor Gugu Mbatha-Raw named latest UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador
British actor Gugu Mbatha-Raw was on Wednesday appointed a global Goodwill Ambassador with the UN refugee agency, UNHCR. 

Pandemic recovery presents historic opportunity to ensure human rights for all: Guterres
Human rights have been battered in the COVID-19 pandemic but recovery represents a chance to improve on the status quo and finally ensure dignity for all, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the General Assembly on Wednesday. 

Central African Republic ‘very volatile’, despite important progress – UN peacekeeping chief 
Despite a successful presidential election and other noteworthy progress, the Central African Republic (CAR) continues to be plagued by violence and volatility, the UN peacekeeping chief told the Security Council on Tuesday. 

Supermodel Natalia Vodianova joins UNFPA to tackle stigma and advance women’s health
The UN’s sexual and reproductive health agency, UNFPA, on Wednesday appointed supermodel, philanthropist, and impact investor Natalia Vodianova as its newest Goodwill Ambassador, in an effort to empower women and girls, including fighting stigma surrounding menstruation.

Ghana receives first historic shipment of COVID-19 vaccinations from international COVAX facility
Six hundred thousand doses of lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine from the UN-partnered COVAX initiative have arrived in Ghana: a historic first for the international partnership to provide equitable innoculations for all.

COVID-19 imperils ‘historic advances’ in children’s access to school meals: UN report
Hard-won gains in efforts to provide millions of the world’s most vulnerable children with nutritious food, through free daily meals at school, are at risk due to the coronavirus pandemic and its fallout, a UN World Food Programme (WFP) report said on Wednesday. 

Myanmar: Stop harassment of workers, UN agency urges military
The United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO) has called on the military in Myanmar to end the harassment and intimidation of workers by security forces, and ensure that they can exercise their rights to freedom of expression, in a climate free of violence and fear.

Experts accuse Iran of rights violations in shooting down Ukraine airlines flight
Iran committed multiple human rights violations in shooting downing Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) Flight PS752 last year and in the aftermath of the deadly attack, two  independent experts appointed by the UN Human Rights Council said on Tuesday. 

UN to review deadly convoy attack in DR Congo which led to Italian Ambassador’s death
The World Food Programme (WFP) has provided further information on the deadly convoy attack in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Monday in which Italy’s Ambassador to the country, his bodyguard, and a WFP driver were killed. 

Climate crisis and economic shocks leave millions food insecure across Central America
Reporting that hunger has increased almost fourfold in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua in the past two years, the World Food Programme (WFP) on Tuesday warned that 1.7 million people are in the ‘emergency’ category of food insecurity, calling for $47.3 million now, to provide urgent food assistance.

UN rights experts call for US to address ongoing violations at ‘Kafkaesque’ Guantánamo military prison
In response to the Biden Administration’s announced review into closing the infamous Guantánamo Bay detention centre in Cuba, independent UN human rights experts on Tuesday said it was vital to also address ongoing violations being committed against the 40 or so inmates still incarcerated there.

World risks ‘collapse of everything’ without strong climate action, Attenborough warns Security Council
More collective action is needed to address the risks climate change poses to global peace and security, the UN Secretary-General told a high-level Security Council debate on Tuesday, as renowned natural historian David Attenborough warned countries that the planet faces total ‘collapse’.