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'Alarming rates of transmission' return to Europe; Diack sentenced to prison for corruption; US restoring Iran sanctions

The European director for the World Health Organization has warned countries not to reduce the 14-day quarantine period for people possibly exposed to the coronavirus, the former head of the world athletics’ governing body was sentenced Wednesday to two years in prison, and the US plans to declare on Saturday that all international sanctions on Iran have been restored.

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House report faults Boeing, FAA; Yoshihide Suga elected new PM of Japan; Report alleges Venezuela committed human rights abuses

A House committee has issued a report condemning Boeing as the FAA over two fatal 737 Max crashes. Japan’s parliament has voted for Yoshihide Suga to become the country’s first new prime minister in almost eight years. UN investigators have said that security forces in Venezuela committed systematic human rights abuses.

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Israel, UAE, Bahrain to sign historic agreement; US presidential candidates spar over climate; federal court rules against TPS

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are set to sign agreements toward normalizing relations with Israel. On Monday, during a visit to fire-ravaged northern California, Trump again spurned scientific consensus about the role played by climate change in the unprecedented infernos scorching the West. And a federal appeals court has ruled that the Trump administration can end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for around 300,000 immigrants.

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Lukashenko meets with Putin; Indian parliament convenes for first time in 6 months; Afghan peace talks kick off

The authoritarian president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, arrived at the Russian resort city of Sochi on the Black Sea coast to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. India’s parliament convened for the first time in six months, as new cases of the coronavirus increased by over 90,000 in just a day. Also, the Afghan government and the Taliban began peace talks in Doha, Qatar.

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India and China pull back from the brink; intra-Afghan talks to begin; Germany and Russia investigate Navalny case

In a meeting in the Russian capital Thursday, the foreign ministers of India and China have agreed their troops should disengage from a precarious standoff. Pompeo says long-awaited negotiations between opposing parties from the war in Afghanistan will undoubtedly be “contentious.” And Germany’s Justice Ministry has approved Russia’s request for German state prosecutors to assist in Russia’s own investigation into the Navalny poisoning.

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DHS faces whistleblower claims; new fire at Beirut's port; second blaze rips through Moria camp

An official from the US Department of Homeland Security, Brian Murphy, said in a whistleblower complaint that senior officials pressured him to suppress facts in intelligence reports. Barely a month after a massive blast tore through Beirut’s port, a large fire has engulfed the area once again. And little remains of Greece's overcrowded Moria refugee camp on the island of Lesbos after a second fire overnight destroyed almost everything that had survived the initial blaze.

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Devastating fire destroys Moria refugee camp; AstraZeneca vaccine trial paused; Thwaites Glacier seafloor survey identifies possible vulnerability

A massive fire burned overnight destroying much of Greece’s largest refugee camp amid the coronavirus. And a joint coronavirus vaccine effort by pharmaceutical maker AstraZeneca and Oxford University hit a bump in the road as late-stage studies were put on hold. Also, scientists appear to have identified a major vulnerability in Thwaites Glacier.

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Beirut tries to bounce back after tragedy; Malaysia withdraws charges against Goldman Sachs; The Lancet praises Russian vaccine

In Beirut, rescuers were still digging through the rubble of collapsed buildings Friday after finding “signs of life, Malaysia’s Bernama state news agency has reported that prosecutors in Kuala Lumpur withdrew criminal charges against three Goldman Sachs units, and The Lancet medical journal has published early-stage trial results showing that Russia’s “Sputnik-V” vaccine for the coronavirus produced a legitimate antibody response.

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