This week sales of electric cars overtake petrol and diesel in Norway, Pakistan outlaws the use of virginity testing in rape examinations, and Trump supporters storm the US Capitol in a bid to overthrow November's presidential election result.
Europe tightens restrictions as new variant spreads. The World Health Organisation has warned that the rapid spread of the so-called UK Covid variant is ‘alarming’. EU Commission chief Ursula von Der Leyen says the EU has agreed to buy an extra 300 minion doses of the Pfizer/ BioNTech vaccine, doubling the amount of that vaccine available to EU citizens. The EU has also approved the Moderna vaccine.
Norway has become the first country in the world to see the sale of electric cars overtake sales of those powered by petrol.
Storm Filomena has blanketed parts of Spain in heavy snow causing rivers in the south to burst their banks. Four deaths have been reported as a result of the storm.
Boko Haram militants have killed 14 people in an overnight attack in the town of Mozogo, in Cameroon’s Far North region. The jihadist group has in recent days staged several attacks in the same region despite the government’s claims of success against them.
Central African Republic:
The President of the Central African Republic, Faustin-Archange Touadera, has been re-elected after securing nearly 54% of the votes. Opposition candidates have said the election was riddled with massive irregularities. The vote took place despite an often five by a coalition of armed rebel groups which left thousands unable to cast their ballots.
Democratic Republic of Congo:
More than 20 people have been killed by a rebel group in the east of the country. The civilians, 10 of them women, were ‘savagely’ attacked by militiamen from the Allied Democratic Forces in the mountainous Ruwenzori region.
Ethiopian troops have killed top officials of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in an operation, according to an announcement late Thursday. In a statement, the head of defence force deployment department, Gen Tesfaye Aylew, said nine other TPLF leaders were arrested.
Almost 500 doctors and nurses say they’ve been sacked after going on strike over poor conditions and lack of protective equipment.
Morgues ‘run out of space for Covid-19 victims’. The head of the National Funeral Practitioners Association has said this was ‘something they had never seen before’ and they were working under high pressure to cope with the high number of burials due to the pandemic.
Saudia Arabia and allies restore ties with Qatar: the nations agreed to ‘set our differences aside’ at a Gulf summit, the Saudi foreign minister says. UAE are to restore Qatar trade links ‘within a week’.
Asia and Oceania
A court in China has jailed 17 people for smuggling more than £20m worth of pangolin scales. The gang had been trafficking skin from pangolins from Nigeria to China, disguising the animals’ scales as slices of dried ginger. Some studies suggest that the coronavirus might have jumped from pangolins to humans.
More than 50 Hong Kong pro-democracy activists have been arrested in the biggest crackdown since China imposed a new law.
Boeing 737 plane crashes in Indonesia. The passenger plane carrying 62 people is suspected to have plunged into the sea minutes after take-off. The black boxes have been located, and signals have been detected which officials think show the location of the Boeing 737’s flight recorders.
Pakistan court outlaws ‘virginity tests’, ruling that that ‘two-finger’ tests in rape cases are ‘humiliating’ and unscientific.
Flash floods have killed at least four people in the Bolivian city of Sucre. Following a heavy hailstorm which lasted about half an hour, some of the city’s steep streets became fast-flowing rivers, dragging along cars, buses and market stalls.
The New York Stock Exchange reverses its decision to delist Chinese telecoms following ‘further consultation’ with regulators.
As lawmakers met to confirm Joe Biden’s victory, violent Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol, breaking through barricades and entering the building. The protesters were seen walking through the building, waving flags and clashing with security. At a rally before the riot began Trump falsely told supporters that the election had been rigged, referring to the counting of ballots as ‘explosions of bullshit’. The events have sparked dismay and criticism of America’s politics and leader, as leaders from around the world call for a peaceful transfer of power in Washington. Joe Biden says the difference in how Capitol rioters and Black Lives Matters protestors were treated is ‘unacceptable’.
The US democrats plan to introduce an article of impeachment against President Trump for his role in the invasion of the US Capitol. They accuse Trump of encouraging a riot in Congress in which five people died.
Twitter permanently suspends Trump’s account “due to the risk of further incitement of violence”.
Congress confirms Joe Biden’s victory, hours after violent protesters stormed the Capitol building.