Thursday, January 28, 2021
*) Biden pauses Trump policies as Blinken takes diplomatic helm
The Biden administration has paused or “put under review” a wide range of Trump-era foreign policies.
The administration placed temporary holds on several big-ticket arms sales to the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he’s looking urgently at a terrorism designation against Yemen’s Houthis and a review on US-Russia relations.
*) New protests as Polish court seals divisive abortion ruling
New anti-government protests have broken out in Polish cities after the country's top court confirmed it will further tighten the nation’s anti-abortion law.
Termination of pregnancy will now be allowed only if the woman's health is threatened or if the pregnancy is the result of a criminal act.
Thousands gathered outside the court building in Warsaw responding to calls for fresh protests by women’s groups.
*) Amnesty raps France over weapons used against Lebanon protesters
Amnesty International has urged Paris to halt weapons sales to Lebanon, saying the French arms were used to quell peaceful demonstrations.
French-manufactured rubber bullets, tear gas grenades and launchers have been used repeatedly since the start of an anti-government protest in Lebanon.
Amnesty said its findings were based on analysis of more than 100 videos of protests in Beirut, as well testimonies and medical records collected by researchers on the ground.
*) Brazil's Covid-19 response worst, New Zealand's best – study
Brazil's handling of the coronavirus pandemic has been ranked the world's worst, while New Zealand topped the class.
Sydney's Lowy Institute assessed almost 100 countries on six criteria, including confirmed cases, deaths and testing metrics.
Aside from New Zealand – Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, Cyprus, Rwanda, Iceland, Australia, Latvia and Sri Lanka made the top 10 for their responses.
*) Oscar-winning, 'irreplaceable' Cloris Leachman dies at 94
Cloris Leachman, an Oscar-winner for her portrayal of a lonely housewife in ‘The Last Picture Show,’ has died at 94.
Leachman died in her sleep of natural causes at her home in California with her daughter Dinah Englund at her side.
Messages of condolences from fans and colleagues poured out on social media.