Saturday's world stories

Updated Nov 28, 2020 - World

London police arrest 155 during anti-lockdown protests

Police officers stop a protester as anti-lockdown demonstrators march in central London. Photo: Tayfun Salci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

London police arrested at least 155 people during protests against coronavirus lockdown measures Saturday, the Metropolitan Police said.

Driving the news: Protesters, including many who were not wearing masks, marched through parts of London, chanting "freedom" and holding signs that read: "no more lockdowns," per Sky News. The country has been under a national lockdown since Nov. 5.

Nov 28, 2020 - World

Germany surpasses 1 million coronavirus cases

German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: Michele Tantussi/Getty Images

Germany officially topped 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

By the numbers: The country reported 20,819 confirmed cases and 371 deaths on Friday, per JHU.

Nov 28, 2020 - World

Wilton Gregory becomes first Black cardinal in U.S.

Archbishop Wilton Gregory. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, D.C., became the first Black American to earn the rank of cardinal on Saturday.

The big picture: His appointment comes during a time in which the country continues to examine the role of race relations, and as the world endures the many-month stretch of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nov 28, 2020 - World

Iran's supreme leader vows revenge for assassination of nuclear scientist

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. Photo: Iranian Leader Press Office/Getty Images

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei pledged to retaliate one day after the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the nation's top nuclear scientist.

What he's saying: Khamenei wrote on Twitter Saturday to call on "relevant administrators" to prosecute the "brutal mercenaries" behind the attack and continue the "scientific efforts" of Fakhrizadeh, who Khamenei referred to as a "martyr."

Nov 27, 2020 - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Nov 27, 2020 - Health

WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release"

A medical syringe and vial with fake coronavirus vaccine in front of the World Health Organization (WHO) logo. Photo Illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Top scientists at the World Health Organization on Friday called for more detailed information on a coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

Why it matters: Oxford and AstraZeneca have said the vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses. AstraZeneca has since acknowledged that the smaller dose received by some participants was the result of an error by a contractor, per the New York Times.

Dave Lawler, author of World
Nov 27, 2020 - World

Belarus dictator Lukashenko says he'll leave post after new constitution

Photo: Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty

Longtime Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has said he will step down after a new constitution comes into force, according to Belarusian state media.

Why it matters: Lukashenko has faced three months of protests following a rigged election in August. He has promised to reform the constitution to reduce the near-absolute powers of the president, but has insisted that his strong hand is needed to see that process through.

Nov 27, 2020 - World

Olympics plan spring test

IOC President Thomas Bach speaks Nov. 17 at Tokyo's New National Stadium, the main Olympics venue. Photo: Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

It seems hard to believe that 238 days from now — on July 23 — the Summer Olympics will open in Tokyo. But that's still the plan, after the games were postponed a year because of the pandemic.

Driving the news: The Tokyo organizing committee on Friday announced a series of 18 test events (some for operations), to begin in March and run into May, AP reports.

Nov 27, 2020 - World

Iran confirms assassination of top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadhe

The Iranian ministry of defense issued a statement on Friday confirming the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadhe, an Iranian scientist and the architect behind the Islamic Republic’s military nuclear program.

Why it matters: Fakhrizadhe was the head of the Amad project in the Iranian ministry of defense, which focused on developing a nuclear bomb until 2003.

Nov 27, 2020 - World

Thailand, Philippines sign deals with AstraZeneca for COVID-19 vaccine

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha (C) and James Teague (2nd R), president of AstraZeneca in Thailand. Photo: Chalinee Thirasupa/AFP via Getty Images

Thailand and the Philippines announced separately on Friday that they secured deals with AstraZeneca to receive supplies of the company's coronavirus vaccine.

The state of play: These announcements come a day after AstraZeneca said the company will likely conduct a new global trial to measure the vaccine's efficacy.