A bicyclist wearing a dark jacket and helmet is shown riding past the outside of drugmaker Moderna.

A bicyclists pedals past an entrance to a Moderna building in Cambridge, Mass.

Credit:

Bill Sikes/AP/File photo

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Moderna announced Monday it plans to submit its data to regulators in the US, Europe and UK for authorization for emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine. The move comes after the US drugmaker showed its vaccine was more than 94% effective in the late-stage study.

The positive news around Moderna’s vaccine trials come less than two weeks after Pfizer and its partner BioNTech announced success with their own coronavirus vaccine. The US Food and Drug Administration is expected to meet on Dec. 10 to consider authorizing the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, with Moderna's following one week later, US Health Secretary Alex Azar said Monday.

News of Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines is a glimmer of hope as the US and Europe experience a surge in coronavirus infections and hospitals are stretched to the limit. The US alone has seen more than 160,000 new cases per day.

“I allowed myself to cry for the first time,” said Dr. Tal Zaks, Moderna’s chief medical officer. “We have already, just in the trial, have already saved lives. Just imagine the impact then multiplied to the people who can get this vaccine.”

What The World is following

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Paris and across France over the weekend to protest a proposed security law that would restrict the filming of police. Critics warn the law could hinder press freedoms and allow police brutality to go unchecked. The protests come as footage emerged last week of three white police officers in Paris beating Black music producer Michel Zecler at his studio.

And, more people died of suicide in Japan in October than of the coronavirus in all of 2020. The concerning increase was particularly acute among young women and raises possible links to stress, economic woes and the prolonged coronavirus pandemic.

From The World

Following loss in war, Armenians bid adieu to Kelbajar area given to Azerbaijan

Armenians have evacuated houses in a remote region handed over to Azerbaijan under the terms of a Moscow-brokered ceasefire agreement to end the six-week war that has killed dozens of civilians and thousands of soldiers. As they left, Armenians who lived there destroyed their own homes and many have nowhere to go. Neighboring Armenia’s economy was struggling even before the ravages of war and pandemic — so once they flee, they're largely on their own.

Garry Kasparov on how 'The Queen's Gambit' brilliantly moves chess skills to center stage

The Russian grandmaster provided consulting help for the popular Netflix series, and explained to The World's Marco Werman how to make the game look more real.

"I know that you cannot get 100% perfection because I'm talking about actors," Kasparov said.

"They had to pretend that they are playing chess, but it's not about me or any top professionals. It's about the general public. The public believes it was real, and it was as close as one can get in a Hollywood production."

Bright spot

An elephant named Kaavan captured global attention after years of living in poor conditions in a Pakistan zoo. Now, with the help of singer and actor Cher, along with animal rescue organization Four Paws, the 35-year-old elephant dubbed "the world's loneliest elephant," was granted passage to an animal santuary in Cambodia.

In case you missed it

Listen: Iranian nuclear scientist killed outside of Tehran

In this picture released by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, right, sits in a meeting with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran, Iran, Jan. 23, 2019.

In this picture released by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, right, sits in a meeting with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran, Iran, Jan. 23, 2019. 

Credit:

Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP

Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed near Tehran on Friday. Fakhrizadeh was said to be Iran's most senior nuclear scientist and has been described by diplomats as the "father of the Iranian bomb." And, there was jubilation at the start of the week when the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca announced results from phase three trials for a vaccine for the coronavirus. But scientists have been asking questions and are worried that the drug may not be as effective as hoped. Plus, we explore the spiritual side of brewing coffee. 

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