Global news roundup: 5 overnight developments from around the world


Here is a round-up of the main developments in the world today.

1. Study suggests Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine may only partially protect against Omicron

The Omicron variant of the coronavirus may partially escape the protection of two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc and its partner BioNTech, the research chief of a laboratory at the Africa Health Research Institute in South Africa said on Tuesday. .

A child receives a dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) during a vaccination program for minors. (Reuters)

Still, the study found that the blood of people who received two doses of the vaccine and had a previous infection was mainly able to neutralize the variant, suggesting that booster doses of the vaccine might help fend off the infection.

2. Saudi suspect in Khashoggi’s murder arrested in France

A suspect in the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was arrested in France on Tuesday, according to a French judicial official. The official said the suspect was being held on the basis of a Turkish arrest warrant. He asked not to be appointed in accordance with the customary uses of French justice.

The Saudi embassy in Paris said the man arrested “had nothing to do with the case in question,” and said the embassy expects his immediate release.

3. Chile passes law to legalize same-sex marriage

Chilean Congress on Tuesday passed a bill recognizing the legal right of same-sex couples to marry. Both the Senate and the lower house voted overwhelmingly in favor of the measure.

The law’s passage on Tuesday was hailed by advocacy groups, equal marriage rights advocates and same-sex couples. Passage of the bill marks a milestone for the conservative Latin American nation.

4. Lankan Minister apologizes to Pak Defense Minister for his insensitive remarks on the lynching incident

Sri Lankan Minister of Public Security Rear Admiral (Retd) Sarath Weerasekara on Tuesday demanded an apology from Pakistani Defense Minister Pervez Khattak for his insensitive remarks about the lynching of a Sri Lankan national by a mob in delirium in the province of Punjab.

Police officers stand guard at the site where a Sri Lankan citizen was lynched by a Muslim mob outside a factory in Sialkot, Pakistan (AP)

Khattak said on Monday that the horrific lynching of Sri Lankan national Priyantha Kumara Diyawadana at the hands of a mob in Sialkot should not be linked to the Pakistani government’s recent decision to lift the ban on the hardline Islamist party, the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), claiming that even “killings take place” when young people get emotional. The Pakistani minister’s remarks came amid outrage across the country after a crowd of hundreds of protesters tortured the Sri Lankan factory manager to death on allegations of blasphemy, then burned his body Friday.

5. Amazon cloud crash hits major websites and streaming apps

A major outage disrupted Amazon’s cloud services on Tuesday, wiping out streaming platforms Netflix and Disney +, Robinhood, a wide range of apps, and Amazon.com Inc’s e-commerce site as consumers shopped before Xmas. Amazon said it was working to resolve the issue and making progress, but did not give an estimate when services would be fully restored.

Amazon’s Ring security cameras, the Chime mobile banking app, and robot vacuum maker iRobot, which use Amazon Web Services (AWS), have reported issues according to their social media pages. The Robinhood trading app and streaming service from Walt Disney Disney + and Netflix were also down, according to Downdetector.com.


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