Joe Biden urged Georgia voters to surprise the nation once again by sending two Democrats to the US Senate, on the eve of a pair of critical runoff elections that will determine the balance of power in Washington and the scope of the president-elect’s ambitious legislative agenda. Meanwhile, Trump, who spoke hours later at a rival rally for the Republican candidates in Dalton, Georgia, continued to deny that he lost the presidential election.
A British judge on Monday rejected the United States’ request to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to face espionage charges over the publication of secret U.S. documents a decade ago, saying he was likely to kill himself if held under harsh U.S. prison conditions. In a mixed ruling for Assange and his supporters, District Judge Vanessa Baraitser rejected defense arguments that the 49-year-old Australian faces a politically motivated American prosecution that rides roughshod over free-speech protections.
Armed Iranian Revolutionary Guard troops stormed a South Korean tanker and forced the ship to change course and travel to Iran, the vessel’s owner said Tuesday, the latest maritime seizure by Tehran amid heightened tensions with the West over its nuclear program. Iran on Monday also began enriching uranium up to 20%, a small technical step away from weapons-grade levels of 90%, at its underground Fordo facility.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday ordered England into a new national lockdown to contain a surge in COVID-19 cases that threatens to overwhelm parts of the health system before a vaccine program reaches a critical mass. The announcement came just hours after the government hailed Britain’s success in becoming the first country to begin rolling out the vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca against COVID-19.
Gulf leaders have gathered in Saudi Arabia for a summit that is expected to see the end of a three-year embargo against Qatar by its neighbors. Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim Al Thani was greeted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on arrival in al-Ula. On Monday night, Saudi Arabia reopened its borders to Qatar and a US official said an agreement would be signed.