UK and Russian scientists are teaming up to trial a combination of the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccines to see if protection against Covid-19 can be improved. Mixing two similar vaccines could lead to a better immune response in people. The trials, to be held in Russia, will involve over-18s, although it’s not clear how many people will be involved.
Death row inmate Brandon Bernard has been killed by lethal injection at a federal prison after the US Supreme Court rejected a last-minute request to delay his execution. Bernard, 40, was just 18 when he took part in the 1999 double murder of an Iowa religious couple. His execution is the first of five the Trump administration is rushing through in almost unprecedented fashion before incoming President-elect Joe Biden takes power
Lawmakers in Argentina’s lower house have passed a bill that would legalize abortion in most cases, in a big step forward for the legislation that could set the tone for a wider shift across Latin America. The landmark bill, which needs approval from the country’s senate in a debate expected before the end of the year, allows for voluntary abortions to be carried out up to the 14th week of pregnancy.
Morocco has become the fourth predominantly Muslim country to normalize relations with Israel in a U.S.-brokered deal. Hailing it as “historic,” President Donald Trump tweeted that the deal, which came after talks conducted by his senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, and his chief international negotiator, Avi Berkowitz, was “a massive breakthrough for peace in the Middle East.”
Hong Kong democracy activist and media tycoon Jimmy Lai, 73, has been charged under the city’s national security law on suspicion of colluding with foreign forces, his Apple Daily newspaper reported on Friday, citing a police source. Lai, an ardent critic of Beijing, would be the highest profile person charged under the sweeping new law imposed on the Chinese-ruled city in June.