*) Trump pardons ex-strategist Steve Bannon, dozens of others
We begin in the US, where President Donald Trump has pardoned former chief strategist Steve Bannon as part of a late flurry of clemency action benefitting over 140 people, including rap stars and former members of Congress.
The pardons and commutations were announced in the final hours of Trump's White House term.
The last-minute clemency follows separate waves of pardons over the last month for Trump associates convicted in the FBI’s Russia investigation, as well as for the father of his son-in-law.
*) A dozen troops removed from inaugural duty after vetting
With the US's Capitol tightly locked down ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration, the FBI has removed a dozen members of the National Guard from duty.
Two were removed for having expressed anti-government sentiment on their social media. The rest were removed for other reasons, which were not linked to extremism.
More than twenty-five thousand members of the National Guard have been deployed in Washington following the storming of the Capitol building by Trump supporters earlier this month.
*) US determines China committed genocide in Xinjiang region
The Trump administration has accused China of committing “genocide and crimes against humanity” over its repression of Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang region.
Outgoing US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the announcement.
China has been widely condemned for keeping more than a million Uighur Muslims in what have been described as “concentration” camps.
Beijing insists they are vocational training centres designed to stop Uighur Muslims turning to extremism.
*) EU aims to have 70 percent of its population vaccinated by summer
The European Union says member states should vaccinate at least 70 percent of their adult populations by this summer to control the coronavirus pandemic.
But officials have yet to say how they plan to boost capacity. The EU has so far secured more than 2-point-3 billion doses for its population of 450 million.
But only two developers have received regulatory approval. Meanwhile, the EU commission says it's working to develop vaccination certificates that will allow travel within the bloc.
*) Netflix tops 200 million subscribers amid growth in pandemic
Netflix has said its global subscriber rolls crossed 200 million at the end of 2020.
It has also projected it will no longer need to borrow billions to finance its broad slate of TV shows and movies.
The world's largest streaming service had raised $15 billion through debt since 2011.
Wednesday, January 20, 2021Wed, 20 Jan 2021 08:43:06 +0000