Twitter suspended an account linked to Iran’s Supreme Leader, after it tweeted an image that appeared to threaten former US president Trump. The image showed the likeness of Trump on the golf course being targeted by a drone flying overhead. ’Revenge is definite,’ a caption read. Twitter said the tweet had violated the company’s ’abusive behavior policy’ and its ’manipulation and spam policy.’
A prison sentence of 27 and 20 years has been handed to the two ringleaders of the people smuggling gang responsible for the Essex lorry deaths. 39 Vietnamese people died due to suffocation as they were being transported across the Channel from France in a sealed refrigeration container. Ronan Hughes has been sentenced to 20 years while Gheorghe Nica has been sentenced to 27.
Japanese officials denied claims the Tokyo Olympic Games are being canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 Games, delayed because of the virus, have the opening ceremony currently re-scheduled for 23 July this year. Reports emerged suggesting local officials having conceded the event cannot happen because of COVID-19. The IOC and the board in Tokyo insist the Games will go ahead.
After activists called for protests on Saturday against the detention of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, Russian authorities have rounded up his top associates and issued a warning against holding rallies for his release. Police said ’provocations’ will be ’immediately suppressed.’ Navalny was poisoned on a flight, after which he went to Germany for treatment. He was arrested soon after his return.
Community leaders have condemned an organizer of a wedding in London which has breached the lockdown. The wedding was organized at an ultra-orthodox Jewish girls’ school and was attended by more than 100 people. About 150 guests were discovered by the police at the wedding. The organizers could face a fine up to £10,000 while five people were handed fixed penalty notices worth £500.
Canada’s Governor General Julie Payette, 57, has resigned after a report said she had overseen a toxic work environment in which staff were bullied to tears. She apologized for this and said, ’Canada deserves a new governor general.’ The governor general is the representative of Queen Elizabeth II and is Canada’s titular head of state. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau picked her for the post in 2017.
President Joe Biden has sought a five-year extension of the New START with Russia. The treaty limits the number of US and Russian strategic nuclear weapons. Russia had indicated that it would welcome an extension. Biden, however, ruled out ’resetting’ ties between Washington and Moscow. Reports said the new president has asked the intelligence agencies to probe deeper into Russia’s cyberattacks.
Cho Jae-beom, a former South Korean national Olympic speedskating coach, has been sentenced to 10.5 years in prison for raping double Olympic gold medallist Shim Suk-hee. In her complaint in 2019, Shim, 23, accusing Cho, 39, of sexually abusing her for years when she was a teenager. Shim has four Olympic medals, including two relay golds won at 2014 Sochi Games 2014 and 2018 Pyeongchang Games.
A huge fire engulfed the Serum Institute of India – the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer – in Pune, Maharashtra killing at least 5 people. The firm was at the forefront in manufacturing the AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine. Several countries are depending on the Serum Institute to supply them with the vaccine. The Serum Institute also plans to supply 200 million doses to WHO’s Covax scheme.
Angelo Caloia, a former Vatican bank head, has been convicted of embezzlement and money laundering by a Vatican court. Caloia, 81, was the president of Institute for Works of Religion, commonly known as the Vatican bank, from 1999 to 2009. He was given an 8-year-11-month jail sentence. Two others – Gabriele Liuzzo, 97, and his son Lamberto Liuzzo, 55 – were also convicted and handed same sentence.
Brazil’s health ministry said 2 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine has been shipped from India. However, a report citing experts said the country, which is the third-most affected in the world by the pandemic, will run into short supplies of the vaccine. A flight carrying the doses from India was delayed last week, which threw the Brazilian government’s initial plan off gear.
Breaking ranks with the EU over ’slow distribution’ of the Covid-19 vaccines in the bloc and ignoring calls to stick to a common vaccine policy, Hungary has approved Russia’s Sputnik V jab. So far, about 140,000 Hungarians have been vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna jabs. Recently, Pfizer said it would delay distribution this week as it was ’upgrading process’ to boost production.
World leaders welcomed Joe Biden as the 46th president of the US. The EU’s top politician, Ursula von der Leyen, said that ’after four long years, Europe has a friend in the White House.’ British PM Johnson said, ’America’s leadership is vital on the issues that matter to us all, from climate change to Covid.’ French President Macron called it was ’significant day for the American people.’
At least 32 people were killed and more than 100 were wounded at a Baghdad market when two suicide bombers lured shoppers towards them before setting off the devices they carried. This has been the first such strike in the Iraqi capital in the last three years. The suicide bombing has resulted in the fears regarding a resurgence of the violence endured by the country in the past.
The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Russia committed a series of human rights violations in the 2008 Georgia war. It said Moscow committed serious crimes, including murdering Georgian civilians, looting and burning their homes. It also said Russia was guilty of inhumanly treating ethnic Georgians, torturing Georgian prisoners of war and ethnic cleansing of Georgians in South Ossetia.