U.S. President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping held their first telephone call as leaders, with Biden saying a free and open Indo-Pacific was a priority and Xi warning confrontation would be a ‘disaster’ for both nations. The Chinese leader maintained a hardline tone regarding Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Taiwan, which Xi told Biden were matters of “sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine can be given to adults of all ages, according to scientists advising the World Health Organisation. The assurance comes after a number of countries decided not to give the jab to those aged over 65 due to doubts about its effectiveness in that age group. South African officials suspended the rollout in their country after a small trial suggested it may offer less protection against the variant that originated there.
Senators at Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial have been shown new dramatic and graphic video of the day his supporters stormed the US Congress. The footage showed police engaging in hand-to-hand clashes with rioters and desperately pleading for support. Officers ushered politicians to safety, sometimes within meters of the mob breaking into the chambers. A two-thirds majority is required to convict Mr Trump in the evenly split 100-seat Senate.
Leading Saudi Arabian women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul has been released from prison after some 1,000 days in detention and amid persistent international pressure for her to be set free, her family tweeted Wednesday. Al-Hathloul was arrested in May 2018 along with several other female activists, after making a name for herself as one of the few women to openly call for women’s right to drive in the deeply conservative kingdom.
The president of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics organizing committee, Yoshiro Mori, is expected to resign after derogatory comments he made about women caused an international uproar less than six months before the Games are due to open. Mori, who has led the organizing committee since 2014, will step down after insisting for days that he would not resign, the Fuji News Network reported on Thursday.