A global team of researchers arrived Thursday in the Chinese city where the coronavirus was first detected to conduct a politically sensitive investigation into its origins amid uncertainty about whether Beijing might try to prevent embarrassing discoveries. The 10-member team sent to Wuhan by the World Health Organization (WHO) was approved by President Xi Jinping’s government after months of diplomatic wrangling.
Donald Trump has called for “no violence” ahead of what the FBI has warned are “armed protests” being planned at all 50 state capitals ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration – as removal vans were spotted outside the White House. One group has vowed an uprising will take place and government offices will be stormed if attempts are made to remove Mr Trump from office.
The Dutch government will decide on Friday whether to step down over an escalating scandal in which tax officials wrongly accused thousands of parents of fraud, plunging many families into debt by ordering them to repay childcare allowances. The prime minister, Mark Rutte, has said he opposes dissolving the current coalition, arguing the Netherlands needs stability amid the coronavirus pandemic, but has not ruled it out.
South Korea’s top court upheld on Thursday a 20-year prison sentence for former President Park Geun-hye on graft charges that led to her downfall, bringing an end to the legal process and for the first time raising the possibility of a pardon. Park became South Korea’s first democratically elected leader to be thrown out of office when, in 2017, the Constitutional Court upheld a parliament vote to impeach her.
Archaeologists have discovered the world’s oldest known animal cave painting in Indonesia – a wild pig – believed to be drawn 45,500 years ago. Painted using dark red ochre pigment, the life-sized picture of the Sulawesi warty pig appears to be part of a narrative scene. The painting may be the world’s oldest art depicting a figure, but it is not the oldest human-produced art.