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Capt Sir Tom's 'spirit lives on', says daughter
He is remembered by family at his funeral as "a beacon of light and hope to the world".

Budget 2021: Mortgage guarantee to help buyers with 5% deposit
The chancellor says public finances are facing a "challenge" from the impact of the pandemic.

Exeter WW2 bomb: 2,600 homes evacuated
Bomb disposal specialists hope to deal with the 2.5m (8ft) device by Saturday evening.

Covid: 'I lost both parents in two weeks'
Grief is compounded by lockdown and isolation, says Claire Apsey, after losing her parents to Covid.

Anas Sarwar wins Scottish Labour leadership race
The Glasgow MSP defeated rival candidate Monica Lennon in the contest to replace Richard Leonard.

Covid jabs reach one million milestone in Wales
A total of 916,316 people have received at least one dose, and 89,053 of those have had a second dose.

Coronavirus: Biden's $1.9tn Covid relief bill passes House vote
The coronavirus aid bill passes despite total Republican opposition, but must now go to the Senate.

Myanmar coup: UN ambassador fired after anti-army speech
The ambassador made an emotional appeal urging countries to help remove the military from power.

Nigeria kidnappings: Hunt for 300 girls as second abducted school group freed
Some 317 girls remain missing in Zamfara state, but 42 people abducted in Niger state are freed.

Police boss wants cannabis trial for prisoners
The north Wales commissioner says it could cut addiction and violence, but critics reject the call.

Indian man killed by his own rooster during cockfight
The man had tried to stop the bird escaping when he was struck in the groin by a knife on the animal's leg.

Week in pictures: 20-26 February 2021
A selection of striking images taken around the world this week.

ICYMI: Why did the ostrich cross the road?
The answer to that, plus other stories you may have missed this week.

Budget 2021: BBC editors on what to expect
BBC editors Faisal Islam and Simon Jack tell us what Chancellor Rishi Sunak might have in store.

Venice: Low tides leave canals dry
In stark contrast to floods in December, some of the city's boats and gondolas are beached.

How TikTok is powering Duncan Laurence's Eurovision winner
Duncan Laurence won Eurovision with his song Arcade, which is now being powered by TikTok.

Michael Collins' wolf slippers spark Twitter storm
The emergence of the Irish revolutionary's bright blue plush puppies stunned Irish Twitter users.

Billy Monger completes 'epic' Comic Relief challenge
The racing driver, who had both legs amputated in 2017, has walked, cycled and kayaked 140 miles.

The Papers: Over-40s April jab and 'happy as Harry'
Saturday's papers give their view of the Duke of Sussex's candid interview with James Corden.

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.

Golden Globes: Celebrity make-up artists on their job in the pandemic
Hollywood make-up artists on their experiences of working in the time of Covid-19.

Ros Atkins on... Is Facebook too powerful?
Ros Atkins looks at the consequences of Facebook's power on events in Myanmar, Washington DC and Australia.

How Bitcoin's vast energy use could burst its bubble
Could the cryptocurrency's huge electricity consumption also sink it?

Hotel quarantine: Isolation and brown paper bags
What's it like and what can you eat inside the UK's quarantine hotels?

Covid-19: How would an NHS vaccine passport app work?
There is growing speculation that a certificate scheme could be built into the main NHS app.

Brexit: Why Irish freight trade is avoiding Britain
Irish freight is being shipped directly to Europe to avoid Brexit bureaucracy.

Monsters, mania and the unstoppable march of Pokémon
Several waves of Pokémania have swept the globe, keeping this lucrative franchise relevant for 25 years.

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?

Jamal Khashoggi: How intelligence report could dent US-Saudi ties for years
The release of the US intelligence probe into the Khashoggi murder deepens diplomatic difficulties.

Covid-19: Are 'hate crimes' against Asian Americans on the rise?
Covid-related attacks directed at Asian Americans have escalated in the US - here's what's happening.

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 City beat West Ham to secure 20th straight victory
Premier League leaders Manchester City overcome a resilient West Ham United to extend their winning run to 20 matches.

Six Nations analysis: Squidge Rugby asks whether Wales were good or lucky against Scotland
YouTuber Squidge Rugby analyses Wales' Six Nations win against Scotland and asks whether they were good or lucky.

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

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.

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

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 vaccine phase two groups: When will I get vaccinated?
After phase one is complete by mid-April, here's the order in which all other adults will get the jab.

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.

Ipswich lockdown litter artist aims to inspire UK clean-up
Giant garden murals made from rubbish and discarded PPE gain thousands of social media views.

Lockdown exit plan: 'Why we can't wait to get back on the pitch'
With outdoor sport hopefully set to resume in March, Newsbeat hears about the importance of playing football.

IVF: How one single man hopes to become a father
Stephen Dyer says he will "do anything" to become a parent - including a bill of up to £40,000.

Long Covid: 'I can't walk 10m without a rest'
Three people tell the BBC how the condition has affected their physical and mental health.

Covid-19: Five ways to avoid lockdown eye strain
In lockdown, days on end can be spent staring at a screen, which is taking its toll on people's eyes.


Massacre in the mountains: Church robes drenched in blood after holy day massacre

Church robes drenched in blood after holy day massacre
CNN has been investigating reports of a massacre at Maryam Dengelat Church in Ethiopia's Tigray region where dozens of people were killed over three days of violence

Breaking down false claims from the first day of CPAC
• See what happened when CPAC organizers asked crowd to wear masks • Trump endorses primary opponent to Ohio Republican who voted for impeachment

Hear Jake Tapper's 'uncomfortable question' for Biden
CNN's Jake Tapper discusses the US intelligence report about the killing of Jamal Khashoggi that says Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman approved the operation.

Trump supporters say they deserve the credit for storming the Capitol -- not Antifa
Nearly a dozen Trump supporters charged in connection with the US Capitol insurrection have said that Antifa and other left-wing groups weren't involved in the attack, debunking a false-flag conspiracy theory that is gaining popularity in the pro-Trump orbit.

FBI identifies suspect in death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, sources say
The FBI has identified a suspect it's focusing on in the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, according to law enforcement officials.

The winners and losers in Italy's €1 homes bonanza
Dozens of towns in Italy have been selling abandoned dwellings for a song, sparking a new kind of gold rush as enthusiastic buyers from all over the world try to secure a bargain in beautiful, remote villages.

How Japan's vaccine resistance is affecting its Covid-19 vaccine rollout

House passes Biden's $1.9 trillion Covid relief package
The House of Representatives voted early Saturday morning to approve President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion pandemic aid package, a major step toward enacting the first legislative priority of the new administration as the devastating fallout from the spread of Covid-19 has left Americans in dire need of further relief.

See what happened when CPAC organizers asked crowd to wear masks
Organizers at the Conservative Political Action Conference received a strong negative reaction from the crowd when they asked them to wear masks to comply with local Covid-19 ordinances.

Planet on 'red alert' and 2021 is a 'make or break year,' UN warns
The planet is on "red alert" because governments are failing to meet their climate change goals, the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said Friday.

Must-watch videos of the week

42 people including students abducted last week in Nigeria released
At least 42 people, including students, who were kidnapped last week in an armed raid at a state-run school in Kagara in Niger state, northwest Nigeria, have been released, the vice-principal of the school, Mallam Saidu, told CNN Saturday.

What Biden's choice not to punish Saudi Crown Prince over Khashoggi killing tells us

Good news for Lady Gaga, her dogs, and her dog walker
The two French bulldogs violently stolen from Lady Gaga's dog walker have been returned safely, the Los Angeles Police Department said Friday.

Lady Gaga's 2 dogs returned home safely, LAPD says
The two French bulldogs violently stolen from Lady Gaga's dog walker have been returned safely after a woman, who wasn't named, met the entertainer's staff and detectives at the Olympic Community Police Station with the animals, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Wreckage from TWA Flight 800 to be destroyed years after explosion
The reconstructed wreckage of Trans World Airlines Flight 800, which exploded minutes after taking off from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport on July 17, 1996, will be decommissioned and destroyed, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

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.

Questions grow about discrimination's role in the hurdles Biden's nominees are facing

Should presidents have sole authority to launch a nuclear strike?
House Democrats are trying to change the fact that a President can single-handedly launch nuclear attack. Is that a good - and workable - idea?

100-year-old UK fundraising hero Captain Tom Moore honored at funeral
Captain Tom Moore, who raised millions for a British charity supporting the National Health Service by walking laps of his garden ahead of his 100th birthday, was honored at a funeral on Saturday.

These Trump supporters are convinced he will be president again on March 4
Donald Trump lost the presidential election. But some of his supporters have bought into a conspiracy theory that says Trump will be president again on March 4. CNN's Donie O'Sullivan reports.

Attacks against people of Asian descent are on the rise in NYC. The city is pushing to combat it.
The stabbing of a 36-year-old man on Thursday is the latest in a number of attacks in New York City against people of Asian descent, a surge that has sparked a call for action from advocacy groups.

CDC announces travel restrictions for countries hit by Ebola
Travel precautions will be imposed for individuals coming to the US from Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo -- two countries fighting recent outbreaks of the Ebola virus, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday.

CNN's Acosta corrects CPAC organizer: Trump did lose the election
CNN's Jim Acosta reports from this year's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) where it's clear much of the Republican party sees former President Donald Trump as a "golden goose."

LeBron James hits back at Zlatan Ibrahimovic criticism of political activism
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James on Friday fired back at Zlatan Ibrahimovic and vowed to never stay silent about social causes after he was criticized by the AC Milan forward for sticking his nose into politics.

New Orleans officer killed while intervening in an altercation at a high school basketball game
A New Orleans law enforcement officer was fatally shot intervening in an altercation at a high school basketball game Friday, authorities said.

'Dare mighty things': The man behind the secret message in the Mars rover's parachute
For the thousands of people who work on a spacecraft that journeys to Mars, the result of their efforts often remains unseen once it leaves Earth. That all changed this week when NASA's Perseverance rover returned the first-ever video of a descent through the Martian atmosphere and safe landing on the red planet.

Hear from doctor who voted to approve Johnson and Johhnson vaccine
Vaccine advisers to the US Food and Drug Administration voted to recommend the agency grant emergency use authorization to Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine.

For Black runners, every stride comes with a fear they can't outrun
Every time Roy Oduor laces up his bright red sneakers for a run in his Kansas neighborhood, he goes through a checklist of precautions.

Watch people struggle to identify US second gentleman Doug Emhoff
A "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" camera crew had a tough time finding people in Los Angeles who could identify America's second gentleman, Doug Emhoff.

The new vaccine is a valuable weapon in the battle against Covid-19 and its roll out will be quick, officials say
Officials plan to act quickly after a third vaccine -- from Johnson & Johnson -- is poised to join the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, with 3.9 million doses expected to be available right away, a health official said Friday.

78th Golden Globes will be unlike any other in its history
In the 30 years Melissa Trueblood has worked in production, she's seen it all -- even if she claims she doesn't have the coolest stories. But 2021 has dealt her one of her tallest orders yet: to help the Golden Globes put on, essentially, three shows in one night.

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.

This Texas restaurant is offering free meals to those in need. Again
A restaurant owner in Texas is offering free meals to people in need, no questions asked.

Pokémon at 25: How 151 fictional species took over the world
When the Gameboy titles "Pocket Monsters: Red" and "Pocket Monsters: Green" were first released in Japan in 1996, few could have predicted what came next.

A family is trying to get 'orbisculate' into the dictionary to honor their dad who died of Covid-19
You know when you dig into a grapefruit and, suddenly, its juice squirts you in the eye?

Table tennis prodigy Anna Hursey, 14, is ready to help US President Joe Biden tackle the climate crisis
She's just 14, but table tennis sensation Anna Hursey is making friends in high places.

Covid-19 vaccine tracker: View vaccinations by country

CNN reporter and wife speak about mourning the loss of their infant daughter
Anderson talks with Andrew Kaczynski of CNN's "KFile" and his wife to talk about the loss of their beloved daughter Francesca and their fight for funding for cancer research so that no other family will have to suffer the same fate.

Former NBA star Pau Gasol is determined to help others after retiring from the game
Pau Gasol is back in professional basketball after announcing his intent to rejoin the team that launched his career, FC Barcelona.

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

Church robes drenched in blood, bodies strewn across fields. How a holy day turned into a killing spree

Analysis: Questions grow about discrimination's role in the hurdles Biden's nominees are facing
President Joe Biden succeeded in nominating the most racially diverse slate of Cabinet nominees in history. But now the slow and contentious process of getting some of his top picks confirmed is leading progressive groups to question whether his nominees of color are facing a higher level of scrutiny than White male nominees of past administrations.

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.

It took more than 34 hours and a ride on a hand-pushed rail trolley for these Russian diplomats to safely leave North Korea
Eight employees of Russia's Embassy in Pyongyang and their families spent more than 34 hours trying to leave North Korea this week, a grueling trip that ended with at least one diplomat pushing his luggage and young children on a railway trolley into Russian territory.

NBA veteran Jeremy Lin says he's been called 'coronavirus' on the court
As the number of violent attacks against Asian Americans escalates, former NBA star Jeremy Lin said he has experienced racism while playing basketball.

Kate Moss smoking, a barely-there bikini and more moments from fashion week
Star-studded front rows, outlandish set designs and the world's culture capital waiting just beyond the runway -- Paris Fashion Week has always been a theatrical celebration of fashion's very best. The city's reputation for craft and haute couture means that at every show artistry is expected and flamboyance is a custom.

What the controversy over 'Minari' says about being American
Monica Yi stares at a rickety trailer in the middle of an empty field in rural Arkansas. "What is this place?" the stunned wife asks her husband.

Al Jazeera

Inuit voices grow louder in fight over Nunavut mine expansion
Inuit communities in northern Canada say they fear iron ore mine expansion will harm wildlife and cultural practices.

Thousands mark anniversary of Kremlin critic Nemtsov’s murder
Opposition supporters laid flowers on a bridge in Moscow where Boris Nemtsov was killed six years ago.

Tanzania COVID U-turn ‘a good move’ – but is it good enough?
After months of downplaying deadly disease, government officials have urged people to take precautions and wear masks.

LeBron James hits back at Zlatan in athlete activism spat
NBA champion James says he will not stop talking about 'things that are wrong' after criticism from Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Tunisia main party rallies supporters, escalating government dispute
A rally of tens of thousands in Tunisia's capital raises the spectre of competing protest movements.

Myanmar ramps up violent crackdown on anti-coup protesters
Security forces use rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades, signalling growing intolerance of anti-coup protests.

Why Black History Month makes me feel like a failure
I feel I'm letting my ancestors down by how little I know about them, but I'm learning from those making history now.

Kidnappers release 42 abducted from school in Nigeria
Twenty-seven students, three school staff and 12 members of their families were abducted last week by an armed gang.

‘Hold MBS accountable’: World reacts to US Khashoggi report
Calls for 'accountability' grow as US report finds Khashoggi killed by Saudi hit squad operating under command of MBS.

Australia: The battle to get Big Tech to pay for news
A new Australian law looks to reset Big Tech’s relationship with news media.

Western Europe’s biggest oil exporter targets deep-sea mining
Norway could license companies for seabed mining by 2023 to meet demand for batteries, wind turbines and solar energy.

Claude Joseph: Is Haiti’s democracy at risk?
The Haitian foreign minister discusses his country’s ongoing political crisis.

Bangladesh under ‘no obligation’ to take stranded Rohingya: FM
Foreign minister says Bangladesh not obliged to accept 81 Rohingya refugees adrift for almost two weeks in Andaman Sea.

US House approves Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan
Included in the legislation are $1,400 direct payments to individuals and $400 a week unemployment benefit until August.

Lady Gaga’s dogs recovered safely after abduction, shooting
American singer's two French bulldogs recovered unharmed after being stolen by thieves who shot, wounded dog walker.

Turkey’s AK Party criticised for holding rallies amid COVID surge
The governing party denies accusations that packed rallies are spreading COVID in some of Turkey's worst hit regions.

Myanmar protesters in running battle with security forces
Protesters set up barricades to slow down security forces as one report say another member of Parliament arrested.

UN, European states call on Israel to halt demolitions
UN says at least 70 people or so living in the Bedouin community face displacement in Humsa Al-Baqaia district.

UN rights chief decries abuses in Xinjiang, arrests in Hong Kong
Michelle Bachelet wants an independent assessment of situation in Muslim Uighur homeland as her China visit is delayed.

Colombia launches ‘elite force’ to target rebels, drug gangs
The new unit consisting of 7,000 personnel will be deployed to border with Venezuela and to drug trafficking hotspots.

Saudi Arabia rejects US intel report on Khashoggi death
Foreign affairs ministry says US intel claiming MBS approved the hit on Khashoggi is 'negative, false and unacceptable'.

US Secretary of State Blinken tours Canada and Mexico ‘virtually’
On his first trip 'abroad' Blinken met Canadian and Mexican about immigration, trade and economic issues.

Police: Haitian gang leader, 24 others dead after prison breakout
Arnel Joseph is among several dead after an exchange of gunfire near Port-au-Prince.

US Justice Department has charged more than 300 in Capitol riot
Dozens of those charged in connection with the violence include members of the far-right Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.

G20 nations warn uneven vaccine roll-out could stall recovery
We will not get back to our normal lives until the virus is eradicated in all countries, Italy's economy minister said.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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 renews its commitment to strengthen fundamental rights in the EU

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

More hostility toward China over human rights seen within EU; bloc's leadership urged to act to maintain sound bilateral ties

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

COVID-19 virtual conference

Competition overshadows cooperation? New US envoy should help avoid 'lose-lose confrontation'

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

London Fashion Week trades catwalks for online innovation

A year into pandemic, Milan fashion week stays virtual

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


FROM THE FIELD: Humanitarian crises of concern in 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has dominated much of the world’s attention over the last 12 months, but many other crises will continue to require the urgent attention of the UN and the international community in 2021.

UN chief returns to the Bronx for second coronavirus shot
UN Secretary-General António Guterres  received his second COVID-19 vaccine shot at the Morris Academy for Collaborative Studies in the Bronx,  New York, on Friday. 

UN Security Council demands COVID-19 vaccine ceasefires; WHO pushes for more action to speed up inoculations
The UN Security Council on Friday unanimously passed a resolution calling on all Member States to support a “sustained humanitarian pause” to local conflicts, in order to allow for COVID-19 vaccinations. Briefing journalists afterwards, World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus argued that more could be done. 

Palestinian elections raise hopes for two-State solution, Middle East Coordinator tells Security Council
The holding of free and fair elections in the Occupied Palestinian Territory will help “clear the path” for restoring a legitimate political horizon to realize a long sought two-State solution, the leading UN diplomat for the region told the Security Council on Friday.

Pandemic pushing people ‘even further behind’, UN rights chief warns
As the COVID-19 pandemic gathers pace, people worldwide are “being left behind – or pushed even further behind”, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights warned on Friday. 

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 strongly condemned by the UN Secretary-General, and 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.