A series of shootings at three massage parlors in the Atlanta area have left eight people dead, the majority of them women of Asian descent, leading to fears the killer had a racial motive. The killings occurred amid a rising number of attacks on Asian Americans across the US since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Six of those killed were Asian while two were white.
The European Union may get more restrictive in exporting COVID-19 vaccines to safeguard essential jabs for its own citizens facing a third wave of the pandemic, the head of the bloc’s executive said on Wednesday. Ursula von der Leyen’s announcement risks escalating tensions with the United Kingdom and the United Stated over their restrictive approach deliveries of vaccines to the 27-nation bloc.
Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized influence operations to help Donald Trump in last November’s presidential election, according to a declassified intelligence assessment that found broad efforts by the Kremlin and Iran to shape the outcome of the race but ultimately no evidence that any foreign actor changed votes or otherwise disrupted the voting process. The report is the latest official affirmation of the integrity of the election.
A Japanese court ruled on Wednesday that not allowing same-sex couples to get married is “unconstitutional,” setting a precedent in the only G7 nation not to fully recognize same-sex partnership. The ruling by a district court, the first in Japan on the legality of same-sex marriages, is a major symbolic victory in a country where the constitution still defines marriage as being based on “the mutual consent of both sexes”.
The disruption in healthcare services caused by Covid-19 may have led to an estimated 239,000 maternal and child deaths in South Asia, according to a new UN report. It’s focused on Afghanistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, home to some 1.8 billion people. The report found that women, children and adolescents were the worst-hit. South Asia has reported nearly 13 million Covid cases and more than 186,000 deaths so far.