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FILE PHOTO - U.S. President-elect Joe Biden speaks about the economy and the final U.S. jobs report of 2020 at his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., December 4, 2020. REUTERS-Leah Millis-File Photo

U.S. Appeals Court rejects bid to block Georgia win for Joe Biden

A federal appeals court on Saturday rejected a bid by a conservative lawyer to block President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia and left in place procedures that will make it easier for voters to cast absentee ballots in January when two Senate seats are up for grabs.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said on Wednesday that the production of Russia’s coronavirus vaccine, dubbed Sputnik V, for Kazakhstan would be carried out by one of its international partners.

Moscow starts mass coronavirus vaccination with its Sputnik V shot

Moscow began distributing the Sputnik V COVID-19 shot via 70 clinics on Saturday, marking Russia’s first mass vaccination against the disease, the city’s coronavirus task force said.
FILE PHOTO- Marijuana enthusiasts gather after midnight to celebrate the legalization of recreational use of marijuana in Portland, Oregon July 1, 2015. REUTERS-Steve Dipaola

U.S. House votes to decriminalize marijuana at federal level

The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Friday to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, but the legislation is not expected to advance further as long as the Senate remains in Republican hands.
An Israeli firefighter stands outside the Church of All Nations next to the Garden of Gethsemane after a man tried to set a fire inside the Church in Jerusalem December 4, 2020. REUTERS-Ammar Awad

Jerusalem church suffers damage in arson near Garden of Gethsemane

Israeli police on Friday arrested a man for trying to set fire to an east Jerusalem church by the Garden of Gethsemane, the site revered by Christians as the place where Jesus prayed before he was crucified.
“The agreement ... has some important shortcomings,” EU Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarcic told reporters. “Humanitarian aid should also go to areas not under government control in line with the fundamental principles of humanitarian aid. There may be malnourished children on the other side also.”

Ethiopia aid pact not good enough – EU official

A senior European Union official said on Friday that an agreement between relief organizations and the Ethiopian government for access to the war-hit Tigray region limits aid to federal-controlled areas only and requires too much bureaucracy.
World Food Programme (WFP) chief David Beasley and World Health Organization (WHO) head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus spoke during a special meeting on COVID-19, which emerged in China late last year and has so far infected 65 million globally.

U.N. warns 2021 shaping up to be a humanitarian catastrophe

Next year is shaping up to be a humanitarian catastrophe and rich countries must not trample poor countries in a “stampede for vaccines” to combat the coronavirus pandemic, top U.N. officials told the 193-member U.N. General Assembly on Friday.
The opposition, led by National Assembly speaker Juan Guaido, is boycotting the vote on the grounds that it will be rigged in favor of President Nicolas Maduro’s allies.

Venezuela’s socialists eye congress control as opposition boycotts vote

Venezuela will hold parliamentary elections this Sunday in a vote that the United States, European Union and many citizens view as a fraudulent effort by the ruling socialist party to seize control of the last institution in opposition hands.
A woman stands outside her home damaged due to heavy rains caused by Hurricane Eta, in Pimienta, Honduras November 6, 2020. Picture taken November 6, 2020. REUTERS-Jorge Cabrera

Central Americans flee north after back-to-back hurricanes

It took Luis Salgado years of manual labor to save enough money to open a small fresh produce store, so when torrential floods swept away $1,500 worth of apples, bananas and other fruits, he decided there was no longer a future for him in Honduras.
FILE PHOTO: People wearing face masks wait at the terrace of the Les Quinze Nits restaurant on Real square, after Spain's Catalonia region allowed bars, restaurants, gyms and cinemas to reopen from Monday, gradually easing some of the restrictions put in place to tackle the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Barcelona, Spain, November 23, 2020. REUTERS/Nacho Doce

Third of Spaniards ready to take coronavirus vaccine immediately – survey

About a third of the Spanish population is ready to take the COVID-19 vaccine immediately, while 55.2% of them would rather wait for the effects to be known, a survey carried out by CIS pollster showed on Friday.
People wearing masks walk at a railway station amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Seoul, South Korea, November 30, 2020. REUTERS-Kim Hong-ji

South Korea imposes new curbs as coronavirus cases hit nine-month high

South Korea’s capital, Seoul, on Friday announced unprecedented restrictions shuttering most establishments and shops at 9 p.m. and cutting back public transportation operations by 30% in the evenings, as daily coronavirus cases hit a nine-month high.
A Moscow court ruled that Anatoly Gubanov, who works for the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute, would be held in custody for two months pending trial.

Russia detains physicist on suspicion of passing aviation secrets abroad – agencies

Authorities in Moscow arrested a physicist on suspicion of state treason for allegedly passing classified information about Russia’s aviation industry abroad, news agencies reported late on Thursday.
German Health Minister Jens Spahn has supported the U.S President Donald Trump’s criticism of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

German minister urges extra coronavirus measures in some districts

German Health Minister Jens Spahn on Friday called for additional restrictions to stem the spread of the coronavirus in parts of Germany where infection numbers are very high.
Rohingyas board a ship as they are moving to Bhasan Char island in Chattogram,, Bangladesh, December 4, 2020. REUTERS-Mohammad Ponir Hossain

Bangladesh ships Rohingya refugees to remote island despite protests

More than 1,600 Rohingya refugees sailed on Friday from Bangladesh’s southern port of Chittagong for the remote island of Bhasan Char in the Bay of Bengal, a naval official said.
FILE PHOTO- Women wearing masks talk at a railway station amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Seoul, South Korea, November 30, 2020. REUTERS-Kim Hong-ji

South Korea weighs tougher curbs as coronavirus cases hit nine-month high

South Koreans were urged to cancel Christmas and New Year parties on Friday as daily coronavirus cases hit a nine-month high and the government considered imposing tighter social-distancing rules to halt a third wave of infections.
Cardinal George Pell will learn whether his appeal against child sex abuse convictions has been successful Tuesday when Australia’s High Court hands down its judgement.

Australian media trial over Cardinal Pell reporting to continue in January

An Australian court on Friday dismissed eight out of 87 contempt of court charges against media on their reporting of ex-Vatican treasurer George Pell’s 2018 conviction for child sex assault.
Elliott Abrams, Washington’s special representative on Iran and Venezuela, said in an interview that Tehran was “desperately” in need of sanctions relief from the United States and that would be a key calculation in their decision-making as President-elect Biden takes over from President Donald Trump on Jan. 20.

Iran likely to hold off on retaliation over scientist’s killing – U.S. envoy

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who had little public profile in Iran but had been named by Israel as a prime player in what it says is Iran’s nuclear weapons quest, was killed on Friday when he was ambushed on a highway near Tehran and his car sprayed with bullets.
“The intelligence is clear- Beijing intends to dominate the U.S. and the rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically,” Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said.

China biggest threat to freedom since World War Two – Trump spy chief

The top U.S. intelligence official stepped up President Donald Trump’s harsh attacks on Beijing on Thursday by labeling China the biggest threat to democracy and freedom worldwide since World War Two and saying it was bent on global domination.
FILE PHOTO: Anthony Fauci, MD, Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, testifies during a U.S. Senate Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Hearing to examine COVID-19, focusing on an update on the federal response at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., September 23, 2020. Graeme Jennings/Pool via REUTERS

U.S. coronavirus expert criticises UK over swift approval of Pfizer vaccine

Anthony Fauci, the U.S. infectious diseases expert, criticised UK regulators on Thursday for the swift approval of the Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19, a day after that approval was announced in London.

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Embattled President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Adewumi Adesina, has survived a second round of investigation into his conduct, giving him a boost in his re-election bid next month.

AfDB: Africa’s economy shrinks by 3.4% due to coronavirus pandemic

The President of African Development Bank, AfDB, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has said Africa’s economic growth this year will decline by 3.4%, because of the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has disclosed that the US$50 million University of Transportation, Daura, scheduled to take off September next year will be built free of charge by the Chinese government.

Rotimi Amaechi: What I say’ll happen in Rivers

The Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, has stated that what ever he says in the state would happen, adding that he would soon return.
Nigeria Police

Man dies after sex romp in Port Harcourt brothel

Family members of a 43-year-old man identified as Enuduisu Godday Odili who died after sex romp with a commercial sex worker in a brothel in Port Harcourt, Rivers State say they suspect foul play.
The Nigeria Police Force says its investigation shows that Boko Haram, Ansaru and other terror groups are getting support from some Nigerians.

DPO shot, four policemen abducted by Ogun villagers

Hoodlums in Ogun village have shot a Divisional Police Officer, DPO, abducted four policemen and carted away two AK 47 rifles.
Popular Nollywood actress, Angela Okorie, has opened up on the reason she doesn’t want to get married again.

Angela Okorie: Why I don’t want to remarry

“Nobody would want to leave a peaceful marriage but once it is not peaceful, one wouldn’t want to stay there. I wouldn’t advise anyone to be in an abusive marriage or a marriage that is not helping one’s mental status.”