Why it matters: The U.S. has responded to standoffs with North Korea, Russia, Iran and Venezuela in unorthodox and unpredictable ways. Alliances are rupturing, authoritarians are rising, and China is steadily becoming the most powerful rival America has ever faced.
Rescuers have freed the 11 of the 22 miners trapped some 2,000 feet underground at a gold mine in Shandong province, northern China, state media said Sunday.
Why it matters: They became trapped when an explosion shut a tunnel entrance at the Hushan mine Jan. 10. One miner reportedly died. The cause of the blast has not been reported. China's safety record has improved but is still poor, per the New York Times, which notes coal mining accidents in the southwest killed at least 16 people in September and 23 last December.
Police in Russia on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.
Details: Demonstrations began in the eastern regions of Russia and spread west to more than 60 cities.
President Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson discussed on Saturday issues including trade, NATO and the coronavirus pandemic in their first phone call since the U.S. leader's inauguration.
Why it matters: A new trade agreement with the U.S. is a priority for Johnson, whose country completed its economic split with the European Union at the end of last year, AP noted.
Brazil on Saturday began distributing the 2 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine that arrived from India Friday, Reuters reports.
Why it matters: Brazil has the third highest COVID-19 case-count in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The 2 million doses "only scratch the surface of the shortfall," Brazilian public health experts told the AP.
U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke on the phone Saturday with his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben Shabbat, Israeli officials tell Axios.
Why it matters: This is the first contact between the Biden White House and Israeli prime minister's office. During the transition, the Biden team refrained from speaking to foreign governments.
A UN treaty outlawing the existence of nuclear weapons went into effect on Friday.
Why it matters: The ban is chiefly symbolic, as neither the U.S. nor any other nuclear powers supported it. But moral statements should have meaning for weapons that, by their sheer indiscriminate power, are arguably immoral.
President Biden told his Mexican counterpart, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on a phone call Friday that he plans to reverse former President Trump’s “draconian immigration policies.”
The big picture: The Biden administration has already started repealing several of Trump’s immigration policies, including ordering a 100-day freeze on deporting many unauthorized immigrants, halting work on the southern border wall, and reversing plans to exclude undocumented people from being included in the 2020 census.
Muslim Americans across the U.S. are celebrating President Biden's day-1 reversal of former President Trump's travel ban that targeted several Muslim-majority countries.
The big picture: The repeal of what many critics called the "Muslim ban" renews hope for thousands of families separated by Trump's order.
Hong Kong has placed tens of thousands of residents on lockdown to contain a new coronavirus outbreak.
Why it matters: It’s the first time Hong Kong has imposed a lockdown since the pandemic began. The restrictions are expected to last 48 hours.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday expressed his "disappointment" with President Biden's executive order to rescind permits for the Keystone XL pipeline, in a readout of the president's first official call with a foreign leader.
Why it matters: The prime minister has long backed the pipeline meant to carry crude oil from Alberta to Nebraska. Biden, however, campaigned on the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Pfizer and BioNTech will supply 40 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine to COVAX, the global effort aimed at ensuring that every country has access to COVID-19 vaccines, the drug makers and World Health Organization announced Friday.
Why it matters: WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned earlier this week that the world is "on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure" due to unequal distribution of coronavirus vaccines.