A summary of today's impactful news stories from around the world hand-picked by our staff at TRT World.
Friday, December 4, 2020
*) Bangladesh moves ahead with Rohingya refugee relocation
Authorities in Bangladesh have started sending Rohingya refugees to an isolated island in the Bay of Bengal.
More than 1,600 refugees boarded seven Bangladeshi naval vessels in the port of Chittagong for the trip to Bhashan Char island.
Human rights groups have called for a halt to the process with the UN voicing concern that refugees should be allowed to make a “free and informed decision” about whether to relocate.
*) Azerbaijan: Nearly 2,800 soldiers killed in Karabakh fighting
Azerbaijan has said nearly 2,800 of its soldiers were killed during its conflict with Armenian forces over Nagorno-Karabakh.
The Defence Ministry in Baku said "2,783 servicemen of the Azerbaijani armed forces were killed" in the war. Some 100 soldiers are still missing.
Yerevan had earlier announced that 2,317 Armenian troops died during the conflict.
*) Egyptian rights activists freed after global pressure
Egyptian authorities have released three members of a leading human rights organisation following widespread international criticism.
Security services detained three staff members of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights after the group gave a briefing to senior diplomats on November 3.
The detentions triggered a broad campaign by international rights activists pressuring Egypt to release the three.
*) Israel warns Iran may attack Israeli targets abroad
Israel has warned that Israeli targets abroad could come under attack by Iran, urging its citizens to avoid travel to the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
Iran’s clerical and military rulers have blamed Israel for the killing of its top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, threatening revenge.
Israel has neither confirmed nor denied responsibility.
*) Warner Bros to stream all of its 2021 flicks
The Warner Bros [WARNER BROTHERS] studio will debut all of its 2021 movies in cinemas and on the HBO Max streaming service on the same day.
The movies, which are expected to include "Godzilla vs. Kong" and "The Suicide Squad", will be available on HBO Max for one month starting on the day of their cinema release.
Warner Bros [WARNER BROTHERS] executives said the strategy was prompted by the coronavirus pandemic which limited trips to the cinema.
Thursday, December 3, 2020
*) UK first nation to roll out Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine
The UK has become the first country to approve a clinically authorised Covid-19 vaccine.
Some 800,000 doses are due to arrive in the coming days. The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine will be rolled out as early as next week.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson says it will take time for everyone to be vaccinated, but care homes, the elderly and the most vulnerable will get priority.
*) President Trump recasts claims of voter fraud
US President Donald Trump has released a video on Twitter, once again claiming voter fraud in last month's presidential election.
Trump refused to concede in his speech. But he has already lost legal battles over the results in several states.
The video comes a day after US Attorney General William Barr said there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
*) Afghan government and Taliban reach breakthrough deal
The Afghan government and Taliban have announced a breakthrough deal to move forward with peace talks.
The agreement allows negotiators to move on to other issues, including a much needed ceasefire amid continuing conflict.
After 19 years of war, it is the first written agreement between the sides and has been welcomed by the UN and US.
*) Israeli lawmakers approve preliminary bill to dissolve parliament
Israel could be heading for its fourth election, in less than two years, after lawmakers passed a preliminary vote to dissolve parliament.
The bill was put forward by the opposition but backed by Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition partner Benny Gantz.
Gantz has accused Netanyahu of deliberately delaying budget agreements to hold onto power.
Wednesday's vote requires further readings before a new election is called.
*) Historic Liberia war crimes trial to open in Switzerland
A former warlord will become the first Liberian to face a war crimes trial over alleged atrocities during the country's 1990s civil war.
Alieu Kosiah, who was arrested in Switzerland in 2014, will be on trial in Switzerland on Thursday.
He stands accused of murder, rape and a string of other crimes during the first of Liberia's back-to-back civil wars, which together killed some 250,000 people between 1989 and 2003.
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
*) Hong Kong activists jailed for 2019 protests
Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong has been sentenced to 13.5 months in prison.
Wong, along with activists Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam, pleaded guilty to several charges over anti-Beijing protests outside police headquarters last year.
Chow received a 10-month sentence, while Lam will spend 7 months in jail.
The protests began in opposition to a proposed extradition bill with China.
*) US attorney general refutes election fraud claims
US Attorney General William Barr says there's no evidence of fraud in the US presidential election.
Barr has been one of the closest allies of US President Donald Trump.
His comments make him the most high profile figure within the administration to argue that the election was fair.
*) Swedish mother arrested for locking up her son for 28 years
Police in Sweden have arrested a 70-year-old mother for keeping her son locked up inside their apartment for 28 years.
The man, now 41-years-old, is alleged to have been kept under lock and key since he was 13.
He was found by a relative who had alerted authorities.
According to the relative, the man could barely walk, had almost no teeth and limited speech ability.
*) More refugees flee conflict in Tigray region
Ethiopians are continuing to flee the Tigray region, despite the government claiming victory there.
Hundreds have entered Sudan via the Tekeze river, which separates the two east African nations.
Many say they feared for their lives and decided to take shelter in Sudan.
*) Chinese spacecraft lands on the moon
A Chinese spacecraft landed on the moon to bring back lunar rocks to Earth for the first time since the 1970s.
Chang’e 5 landed at 1500 GMT after making a powered descent from its orbiter.
It's the latest venture by China's space programme that has a spacecraft en route to Mars and aims to land a human on the moon.
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
*) Iran says satellite-based attack killed scientist remotely
A top Iranian security official says the assassination of a nuclear scientist was carried out solely with electronic devices and without anyone present.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh's funeral was held on Monday in Tehran.
The government has accused Israel of his death, with Iranian General and Chief of Security Ali Shamkhani saying it was a satellite-based attack that caught the country off-guard.
*) Trump suffers another crushing defeat
US President Donald Trump's hopes of overturning the results of the 2020 election appear to be fading.
Two more states, Arizona and Wisconsin, have certified votes for President-elect Joe Biden.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden is set to formally announce former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as his pick for Secretary of the US Treasury.
*) France to rewrite controversial police security bill
France has given in to days of protests over its controversial police security bill, and agreed to completely rewrite the proposal.
The bill would have strengthened government surveillance tools and curbed the public's right to film police officers in action.
On Saturday, tens of thousands of people held rallies across the country, saying the bill will curb freedom of the press and reduce police accountability.
*) UK retailer Topshop faces closure
UK retail giant Topshop is among several brands facing closure, after its parent company, The Arcadia Group, collapsed into administration, putting 13-thousand jobs at risk.
Falling sales due to the pandemic have been blamed for the company's financial troubles.
Arcadia is owned by British billionaire Sir Philip Green.
*) Destruction of Amazon rainforest hits highest level in 12 years
The destruction of Brazil's Amazon rainforest has hit its highest level in 12 years, according to Brazil's national space agency.
Deforestation in the Amazon has increased by almost ten percent since last year.
The area lost between July 2019 and August of this year is 11,000 square kilometres – roughly twice the size of Rio de Janeiro.
Monday, November 30, 2020
*) Tigray hospitals overwhelmed and running short of supplies
Hospitals in Ethiopia's Tigray are overwhelmed and running dangerously low on supplies, a day after PM Abiy Ahmed claimed military victory there.
The Red Cross says health workers in capital Mekelle are struggling with shortages of food and medical supplies, including body bags.
Hundreds have been killed and thousands displaced since the conflict began nearly four weeks ago, with the UN urging for humanitarian access as soon as possible.
*) Iran’s top nuclear scientist buried
Iran’s top nuclear scientist has been buried in Tehran.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated on Friday in an ambush on a highway.
The country has vowed to avenge his murder, which it blames on Israel.
Tel Aviv has denied responsibility.
*) Biden picks all-women press team
US President-elect Joe Biden will have an all-women senior communications team, a first for the White House.
Biden campaign press chief Kate Bedingfield will serve as communications director for the oval office.
Four of the seven top communications roles at the west wing will be filled by women of colour.
*) More bushfires as Australia records hottest November
Australian states of Queensland and New South Wales are battling to contain dozens of bushfires brought on by hot weather.
The country is currently experiencing its hottest November on record, with temperatures passing 45 degrees Celsius.
Australian scientists say climate change will continue to exacerbate bushfires, droughts and cyclones in the country.
*) F1 driver miraculously escapes fireball crash
French Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean has miraculously survived a high-speed crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Haas racer tore into half and was engulfed in flames as it speared through protective barriers at 250 kph.
Grosjean escaped with only light burns to his hands and ankles, thanks to the car's modern safety systems.
The sport's heroic rescue team are also being praised after they braved the fire to get Grosjean to safety.
Friday, November 27, 2020
*)Trump says he'll leave if Electoral College seats Biden
President Donald Trump has said he will leave the White House if the Electoral College formalises Democratic rival Joe Biden's victory.
Trump spent his Thanksgiving renewing baseless claims that “massive fraud” and crooked officials in battleground states caused his election defeat.
Biden won the November 3 presidential election with 306 Electoral College votes to Trump's 232.
*) Vaccine deliveries to begin next week in US
Staying in the US, President Trump has said that delivery of the coronavirus vaccine would begin next week and the week after.
Speaking to US troops overseas to mark Thanksgiving, he said the vaccine would initially be sent to front-line workers, medical personnel and senior citizens.
In the meantime, millions of Americans took to the skies and the highways ahead of Thanksgiving despite warnings to stay home to prevent Covid-19 from spreading.
*) Australia to discharge 13 soldiers after Afghan war crimes probe
Australia’s army has moved to discharge 13 soldiers following a report that points to their involvement in war crimes in Afghanistan.
Army chief Rick Burr said administrative action notices have been served to terminate their service in two weeks' time unless they successfully appeal.
A years-long investigation last week reported that Australia's elite special forces "unlawfully killed" 39 civilians and prisoners in Afghanistan.
*) Burkina Faso President Kabore secures re-election
Burkina Faso President Roch Kabore has won re-election, according to preliminary results.
Kabore won over 57 percent of the vote, as the official tally from the electoral commission showed. He needed over 50 percent to avoid a second round.
Some analysts had expected a closer contest but poor turnout due to the violence may have helped Kabore.
*) Museum to record Londoners' Covid dreams
The Museum of London has announced a project to collect the dreams of Londoners during the coronavirus pandemic.
The "Guardians of Sleep" project aims to document the impact of the Covid-19 crisis through the collection of dreams that would be orally narrated.
It will also explore what insight dreams might offer into mental health and ways of coping with external stresses, especially in times of crisis.