Saturday's world stories

May 8, 2021 - World

India records its deadliest day of the pandemic

A health worker moving an oxygen cylinder in a coronavirus ward of a hospital in New Delhi on May 8. Photo: Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

India saw its deadliest day of the pandemic yet with more than 4,180 confirmed COVID-19 deaths reported Saturday.

Why it matters: The country has recorded more than 21.8 million coronavirus cases and 238,270 deaths since the pandemic began. The true numbers, however, are likely much higher, experts say, as the country battles a continued surge in cases that has left hospitals and health workers overwhelmed.

May 8, 2021 - World

Debris from Chinese rocket likely to fall to Earth this weekend

A Long March 5B rocket, carrying China's Tianhe space station core module, on April 29. Photo: STR/AFP via Getty Images

A massive booster rocket from a Chinese Long March 5B launch vehicle is expected to fall back to Earth in an "uncontrolled reentry" this weekend, though experts don't really know where debris from the rocket will land.

The state of play: China's space agency has said it expects most of the rocket to burn up in Earth's atmosphere. The chance of debris from the rocket actually landing in a populated area is low — but there is still a chance.

May 8, 2021 - Health

European Union says vaccine patents waiver is no "magic bullet"

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaking in Berlin on May 8. Photo: Steffi Loos/Getty Images

European leaders ramped up their criticism of the United States' support for a proposal to waive certain patent protections for coronavirus vaccines, with European Council President Charles Michel saying Saturday that a waiver is not "the magic bullet,” AP reports.

Why it matters: The leaders instead pressed President Biden to lift U.S. export restrictions on vaccines, arguing it would have a greater impact on vaccine production and distribution.

May 8, 2021 - World

U.S. tries to de-escalate crisis in Jerusalem

Israeli police clash with Palestinians in Jerusalem. Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty Images

State Department officials spoke to their Israeli and Palestinian counterparts on Friday night and asked them to de-escalate the situation in Jerusalem and the West Bank, U.S. and Israeli officials said.

Why it matters: This is the first crisis between Israel and the Palestinians the Biden administration faces as it reengages with the Palestinians after a long freeze in the relations during the Trump presidency.

May 8, 2021 - World

Asia faces massive new COVID surge

Photo: Anuwar Hazarika/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Several Asian countries are facing new coronavirus waves, with some struggling to keep up with some of the worst outbreaks since the beginning of the pandemic.

The big picture: While India accounted for half of the global infections this past week, per the World Health Organization, cases are surging in countries such as Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Cambodia, CNN reports.

May 8, 2021 - World

Over 170 Palestinians injured in clashes with Israeli police in Jerusalem

An injured man is carried away as Israeli security forces clash with Palestinian protesters at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem. Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty Images

At least 178 Palestinians have been injured in clashes with Israeli police in Jerusalem, Reuters reported late Friday.

The big picture: The clashes come amid growing anger over the threatened eviction of Palestinians from their homes on land claimed by Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem. Tensions have also escalated in the occupied West Bank in recent weeks.

May 7, 2021 - Health

WHO authorizes China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

A medical worker administering a coronavirus vaccine in Nanjing, China, on May 7, 2021. Photo: Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The World Health Organization authorized China’s Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use on Friday, making it the sixth vaccine to receive clearance from the global health agency.

Why it matters: The authorization will allow COVAX, the WHO's initiative to equitably develop and distribute coronavirus vaccines, to purchase Sinopharm's vaccine and bolster its supply, according to the New York Times.

May 7, 2021 - World

Amnesty International restores Navalny's "prisoner of conscience" status

A worker paints over a Navalny mural in St. Petersburg on April 28. Photo: Olga Maltseva/AFP via Getty Images

Amnesty International announced Friday that it would restore jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny's status as a "prisoner of conscience," apologizing to Navalny and Russian activists for revoking the designation in February.

Why it matters: Amnesty made the decision to strip the Russian opposition leader of the status after being flooded with complaints — which the group acknowledged appeared to be "part of a coordinated campaign abroad to discredit" Navalny — about his past xenophobic comments.

Updated May 7, 2021 - Health

The race to avoid a possible "monster" COVID variant

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Slow global COVID-19 vaccination rates are raising concerns that worse variants of the coronavirus could be percolating, ready to rip into the world before herd immunity can diminish their impact.

Why it matters: The U.S. aims to at least partially vaccinate 70% of adults by July 4, a move expected to accelerate the current drop of new infections here. But variants are the wild card, and in a global pandemic where only about 8% of all people have received one dose, the virus will continue mutating unabated.

May 7, 2021 - World

At least 25 killed during police raid in Brazil

Police officers take part in an operation at the Jacarezinho favela on May 6, 2021. Photo: Mauro Pimentel/AFP via Getty Images)

A police operation against a group of alleged drug traffickers in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday ended in a shootout that left at least 25 people dead, Reuters reported.

Why it matters: It is the country's deadliest police raid since 2005, per Reuters.