The world has now passed 50 million confirmed Coronavirus infections. More than 1 million people have now died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins university. The real numbers are said to be higher due to the lack of testing in some countries. A quarter of all cases come from the second wave of the virus.
In Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced yesterday that he tested positive for coronavirus. The president tweeted that his health is in good condition and that he will be fine. Minutes later the head of the Ukrainian presidential office, said that he had also tested positive. The news came shortly after the president said that Ukraine may introduce a lockdown during the weekends to help stop the spread of the virus. Zelenskyy said that this would not harm the economy.
In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday that the coronavirus vaccine that is currently being worked on could prevent 90% of people getting Covid-19.
"If the Pfizer vaccine passes all the rigorous safety checks, and is approved to be effective, then we will begin a UK wide, NHS lead, program of vaccine distribution. We will decide the order in which people are offered the vaccination, taking account of recommendations from a group of scientific experts, the joint committee on vaccination and immunisation.”
Also in the UK, A mass coronavirus testing programme has begun in Liverpool. Mass testing means asking everyone to be tested, whether or not they have symptoms. Mobile testing sites have been set up across the city, in places like care homes, schools, universities and workplaces.
In Ivory Coast, President Alassane Ouattara’s has officially been re-elected to a third term, after opposition leaders told their supporters to not believe the results. The Council President yesterday confirmed the results that gave Ouattara more than 94 percent of the votes. Opposition leaders had previously said Ouattara’s attempt to run for a third term was not allowed. While Ivory Coast has a limit of two presidential terms, Ouattara said a new constitution in 2016 allows him to run again.
In Mozambique, more than 50 people have been beheaded during three days of violence by Islamist rebels. The rebels also attacked villages, kidnapped women and burned homes. In one of the villages, the jihadists are reported to have turned a football field into an execution field. The Islamist rebellion began more than 3 years ago, and hundreds have been killed since.
In the United States, President-elect Joe Biden told Americans yesterday to wear their masks, saying it is “not a political statement” and will save thousands of lives. Yesterday Biden also started a coronavirus task force, to create a plan for fighting the pandemic.
“So that’s why today, I’ve names a COVID-19 transition advisory board. Comprised of distinguished public health experts, to help our transition team translate the Biden-Harris COVID-19 plan into action. A blueprint that we can put in place as soon as Kamala and I are sworn in office on January 20th 2021. This group will advise on detail plans built on a bedrock of science, and to keep compassion, empathy and care for every American at its core.”
In Bolivia, former leader Evo Morales returned to the South American country yesterday, after a year in exile. He returns a day after a member of his left wing party was sworn in as president. Morales led Bolivia for almost 14 years as the first Indigenous president. He was exiled after there were signs of him cheating in an election that gave him a fourth term in office.
Yesterday, a Russian military helicopter was shot down over Armenia, near the border with Azerbaijan, killing two crew members. A third member was injured and taken to hospital. Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry said its forces shot down the helicopter by accident, and has apologised to Russia. Azerbaijan is also willing to pay for the accident.
In India, the high court in Mumbai has denied to grant bail to a top Indian news anchor. Arnab Goswami is under arrest for abetment to suicide. This is when a person is said to have helped someone or given reason for someone to commit suicide. Goswami, who is the founder of Republic TV, is being investigated for his alleged role in the death of an architect who designed his studio.
And finally, a message written over a 100 years ago by a German soldier was recently found. A couple in France were on a walk when they found a tiny metal container in a field. Inside the container was the letter written by the soldier. A museum has said finding things like this is usually very unlikely.