COVID-19 vaccines reach South Africa - South Africa received one million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. The doses will be given to healthcare workers. No date has been announced for when the vaccine will be administered. President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the country about the pandemic on Monday and tweeted a video of the vaccines arriving to South Africa.
Humanitarian aid criticizes Ethiopia - Jan Egeland, head of the Norwegian Refugee Council, criticized Ethiopia for restricting access to victims of a conflict in the Tigray region. There has been evidence of both sides in the conflict committing human rights abuses against civilians. Egeland said aid agencies havenĺt been able to reach parts of the region, including two refugee camps.
Striking farmersĺ internet cut - Mobile internet services have been suspended around Delhi, India where farmers are conducting a hunger strike protest. The demonstrations are in response to new agriculture laws that loosen rules around the sale, pricing and storage of farm produce. Some farmers in the country are concerned that the laws will impact things like bargaining power and assured prices.
Military seizes control of Myanmar - Myanmarĺs military announced in a statement on a military-owned television station that it has seized control of the country. Recently, Aung San Suu Kyi, the countryĺs civilian leader whose party won in an election in the fall, was detained along with other members of her political party. The country was ruled by the military until 2011 when Suu Kyi and democratic reformers ended the rule.
Ninety-plus skiers quarantined - Austrian police have put 96 foreign skiers into mandatory quarantine after they were caught breaking COVID-19 restrictions. Britons, Germans, Australians, Romanians and others were among those who were forced to quarantine. They face fines up to $2,633 as Austrian ski slopes are open for locals, but not foreigners.
Vaccine available to care home residents in England - Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced all older residents at care homes in England are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. He called the announcement a crucial milestone as around nine million people in the country have received the vaccine. The country is targeting Feb. 15 as a date when the care home residents, employees, people over the age of 70 and frontline care workers can receive the vaccine.
Activists killed in El Salvador - At least two people were killed after gunmen shot at activists from El Salvadorĺs Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front opposition party. In four weeks, legislative and municipal elections will be held. El Salvadorĺs Attorney General Raul Melara said the election season cannot become a bloodbath. At least five others were injured in the attack that occurred in San Salvador.
Argentina imposes new tax - In response to the pandemicĺs impact on medical supplies and businesses, Argentina will charge a one-time tax to some of its richest citizens. People who have assets of more than 200 million pesos will be required to pay around 3 percent on assets in the country. The tax is expected to impact nearly 12,000 people as Argentina is aiming to raise nearly $3 billion.
Canada suspends travel to the Caribbean and Mexico - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the countryĺs main airlines will end service flights to the Caribbean and Mexico because of the virus. Meanwhile, people who arrive to Canada will be required to be tested for the virus and quarantine for three days. Many Canadians traveled internationally throughout the winter.
Dustin Diamond passes - Dustin Diamond, known for playing Samuel ôScreech Powers in Saved by the Bell, has died from cancer. He was 44 years old and had recently completed a first round of chemotherapy. He learned last month that he had lung cancer and his condition worsened over the past week. He was also a contestant on Celebrity Big Brother in 2013.