Sixteen regions of France – including Paris – have entered into a new lockdown, the country’s prime minister Jean Castex has announced. The measures will be in place for at least four weeks and will be less restrictive than those last March and November. Schools will remain open and outdoor activities will be allowed to go ahead within a 10km radius of a person’s home.
A U.S. official accused Chinese leaders of “grandstanding” during contentious bilateral talks in Alaska Thursday, according to a report. China had been looking for a reset in relations with the U.S. after tensions with the Trump administration, but U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made it clear that the Biden administration would take a tough stance with Beijing.
Tanzania’s new president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, has said the country should unite and avoid pointing fingers after the death of John Magufuli, her Covid-19 skeptic predecessor. Wearing a red hijab, she took her oath of office on the Qur’an in a ceremony at State House in the east African country’s commercial capital, Dar es Salaam. She is the first female head of state in the country of 58 million.
Gunmen apparently from a drug gang ambushed a police convoy Thursday in central Mexico, killing eight state police officers and five prosecution investigators in a hail of gunfire, authorities said. The massacre of the 13 law enforcement officers was the country’s single biggest slaying of law enforcement since October 2019, when cartel gunmen ambushed and killed 14 state police officers in the neighboring state of Michoacan.
The US will release four million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to its neighbors, Canada and Mexico, the White House has said. The plan would mark the first time the US has directly supplied vaccines to another country. It comes as China has moved aggressively to export its vaccines in what is seen as an effort in ‘vaccine diplomacy’.