China extended its first congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden on Friday, issuing a terse statement that contrasted with a fulsome and swift message from the country’s leader after President Donald Trump won four years ago. China was one of the last major countries to officially acknowledge that Biden became president-elect on Saturday. While Biden now counts with 290 electoral votes compared to Trump’s 217, the president has yet to concede the election.
The scientist behind the first Covid-19 vaccine to clear interim clinical trials says he is confident his product can “bash the virus over the head” and put an end to the pandemic that has held the world hostage in 2020. The German company BioNTech and the US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced via a press release on Monday that their jointly developed vaccine candidate had outperformed expectations in the crucial phase 3 trials.
Asian leaders are due to sign a mammoth trade deal this weekend that has been nearly a decade in the making. It includes the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), plus China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. The new free trade zone will be bigger than both the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement and the European Union.
Ethiopia’s military has defeated local forces in the west of Tigray state, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Thursday, accusing his foes of atrocities during a week of fighting that threatens to destabilize the Horn of Africa. Rights group Amnesty International said scores and possibly hundreds of civilians were stabbed and hacked to death in the region on Nov. 9, citing witnesses.
A helicopter belonging to an international peacekeeping force crashed in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula on Thursday, killing at least eight people, including five Americans, the force confirmed. The helicopter belonged to the Multinational Force and Observers, an independent international peacekeeping body known as MFO, which monitors the 40-year-old peace agreement between Israel and Egypt. The MFO said one U.S. member survived.