Here’s an overview of the most important developments around the world today.
1. First aid flight leaves for Tonga after major volcanic eruption
The first freshwater flight and other aid to Tonga was finally able to take off on Thursday after the main Pacific runway was cleared of ash left behind by a massive volcanic eruption. Deliveries will be contactless as Tonga is making every effort to ensure that foreigners do not introduce the coronavirus. It has had no outbreaks of Covid-19 and has only reported one case since the start of the pandemic.
UN humanitarian officials report that about 84,000 people – more than 80 percent of Tonga’s population – have been affected by the eruption of the volcanoUN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said, pointing to three deaths, injuries, loss of homes and contaminated water.
2. Joe Biden Says Putin Will Pay ‘Expensive Price’ If He Invades Ukraine
US President Joe Biden said he believes… Vladimir Putin does not want a full-scale war in Ukraine and would pay an “expensive price” if he proceeds with a military incursion. Speaking at a press conference to mark his one-year anniversary in office, Biden also said he believes Russia is preparing to take action against Ukraine, although he does not think the Russian president has made a final decision.
He suggested that he would restrict Russia’s entry to the international banking system if it continued to invade Ukraine. Biden’s comments came hours after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on a visit to Kiev, accused Russia of plans to bolster the more than 100,000 troops it has deployed along the Ukrainian border, and suggested that this number “will be relatively short-term.” could double.
3. Pakistani woman sentenced to death for sending ‘blasphemous’ WhatsApp messages
A Pakistani court on Wednesday a woman sentenced to death for sending “blasphemous messages” to her estranged boyfriend.
Anika Attique has been convicted by a court in Rawalpindi on charges brought by Farooq Hassanat, who filed a case against her in 2020. She was charged with blasphemy against the prophet, insulting Islam and violating cybercrime laws.
4. Djokovic owns 80% of Danish biotech developing Covid treatment
tennis champion Novak Djokovic has an 80% stake in Danish biotech company QuantBioRes, which aims to develop a medical treatment to fight Covid-19, the company’s CEO told Reuters on Wednesday. CEO Ivan Loncarevic, who described himself as an entrepreneur, said the investment was made in June 2020, but declined to say how much it was.
QuantBioRes has about 11 researchers working in Denmark, Australia and Slovenia, according to Loncarevic, who emphasized they were working on a treatment, not a vaccine. The company is developing a peptide that prevents the coronavirus from infecting human cells and expects to start clinical trials in Britain this summer, he added.
5. Pentagon Releases First Video of Failed Airstrike in Kabul
The Pentagon has released and publicly released video footage of a US drone strike in Kabul that killed 10 civilians in the final hours of a chaotic US withdrawal that ended a 20-year war in Afghanistan.
The New York Times obtained the images through a lawsuit against the US Central Command, which then posted the images on its website. It marks the first public release of video footage of the strike of August 29, which the Pentagon initially defended, but later called a tragic mistake.