Tuesday, November 24, 2020
*) Trump finally agrees to Biden transition - but still not conceding US President Donald Trump has inched closer to admitting election defeat, noting that it was time for the government agency to ease White House transitions to "do what needs to be done". This comes after the General Services Administration said it was finally lifting its unprecedented block on assistance during the transition. Before the announcement, Biden had pushed ahead with plans for his cabinet, and nominations for key positions came in. The nominations include Antony Blinken for Secretary of State and John Kerry for the climate envoy on the National Security Council. *) UN calls for civilians to be protected after PM's ultimatum The UN Security Council will be holding its first meeting on Ethiopia in an attempt to mediate between the conflict in the dissident Tigray region. The global organisation has urged Ethiopian officials to ensure the safety of civilians as the army prepares for an attack in the capital of Tigray. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has announced a deadline for the rebels to surrender but the Tigray People's Liberation Front has vowed not to give up. *) Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine 'up to 90 percent effective' Oxford University and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca have announced their coronavirus vaccine can be up to 90 percent effective. It is cheaper to produce than its rivals Pfizer and Moderna and can be stored at normal refrigeration temperatures. This makes it ideal for mass production and distribution with up to 3 billion doses of the vaccine expected to be produced by 2021. *) Turkish court resumes trial of 20 Saudi suspects in absentia A Turkish court will resume the trial in absentia of 20 Saudi suspects, accused of murdering Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul’s Saudi consulate. The first hearing was held in Istanbul back in July. Prosecutors are seeking life sentences for all accused of the 2018 murder. And finally… *) China launches mission to bring back material from moon China’s Chang'e 5 lunar probe has been launched from the Wenchang Space Centre. It's on a mission to collect rock samples from the moon, which scientists hope will help them learn more about its origins and formation. If successful, China will be only the third country to have retrieved samples from the Moon, following the US and the Soviet Union in the 60s and 70s.