Ignoring Sunday’s self-imposed deadline, the U.K. and European Union said they would continue negotiations about a post-Brexit trade deal after months of tense talks. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen ordered negotiators to keep the dialogue going despite having set a “deal or no deal” target of Sunday.
The first Covid vaccinations approved for public use in the United States are expected to take place in the coming hours, with high-risk healthcare workers set to be first in line. Millions of frozen vials of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine are being distributed and nearly 150 hospitals are expected to receive doses on Monday. The US is gearing up for its largest ever vaccination campaign, with the aim of reaching 100m people by April.
New Zealand’s cabinet has agreed to establish a quarantine-free travel bubble with Australia in the first quarter of 2021, the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has said. The Australian health minister Greg Hunt enthusiastically greeted the in-principle announcement, saying it was the “first step” in normalizing international travel and anticipated the Australian government was “absolutely” likely to grant the necessary approvals.
Hackers believed to be working for Russia have been monitoring internal email traffic at the U.S. Treasury and Commerce departments, according to people familiar with the matter, adding they feared the hacks uncovered so far may be the tip of the iceberg. The hack is so serious it led to a National Security Council meeting at the White House on Saturday, said one of the people familiar with the matter.
Access to YouTube and Gmail is returning to normal after Google services were hit by a global outage. Monitoring website DownDetector noted a spike in reports of difficulties accessing the sites at around 11.30 GMT. It announced shortly afterwards that an issue, reportedly linked to authentication, had been resolved in most territories and that normal services were resuming where possible.