Trump finally agrees to Biden transition – but still not conceding

President Donald Trump came his closest yet to admitting election defeat Monday after the government agency meant to ease Joe Biden’s transition into the White House said it was finally lifting its unprecedented block on assistance.

Trump acknowledged it was time for the General Services Administration to “do what needs to be done.”

In the same tweet he insisted that he was still refusing to concede, saying: “Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good fight, and I believe we will prevail!”

But for the Republican to sign off on the GSA’s decision to work with the Biden transition team signaled that even he sees the writing on the wall after three weeks of evidence-free claims that the November 3 election was stolen from him.

Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong pleads guilty to illegal assembly

Pro-democracy activists Ivan Lam, Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow arrive at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts to face charges related to illegal assembly stemming from 2019, in Hong Kong, China November 23, 2020. / REUTERS

Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong on Monday pleaded guilty to charges of organising and taking part in an unauthorised assembly near the police headquarters during last year’s anti-government protests.

Wong, who was just 17 years old when he became the face of the 2014 student-led Umbrella Movement democracy protests, faces a maximum five-year jail term if convicted.

Before entering the courtroom, Wong said he would

US approves Covid therapy, G20 pushes for global vaccine access

Photo by Bryan R. Smith / AFP

US drug regulators gave emergency approval to a Covid-19 antibody therapy on Saturday and G20 nations pushed for global access to vaccines as the pandemic led to further closures in parts of the world.

With cases surpassing 12 million in the United States, the highest in the world, many Americans were nonetheless heading to airports to travel for next week’s Thanksgiving holiday despite health officials’ warnings to stay home.

Some US states were imposing new restrictions, including California, where a 10 pm to 5 am curfew was taking effect.

On the opposite side of the Atlantic, British Prime Minister Boris

South Korea to tighten social distancing, warns of new COVID-19 crisis

South Korea will impose stricter social distancing rules for the greater Seoul area a month after easing them, officials said on Tuesday, warning of an even bigger crisis if anti-COVID-19 efforts fail to dampen a spike in new cases.

Starting Tuesday midnight, tighter curbs will ban public gatherings of 100 people or more, limit religious services and audiences at sporting events to 30% capacity, and require high-risk facilities including clubs and karaoke bars to broaden distance among guests.

South Korea has been one of the world’s coronavirus mitigation success stories after tackling the first major COVID-19 epidemic outside China with aggressive tracing and testing, but continues to battle persistent rises in infections.

The tougher restrict

Suu Kyi’s party says it won landslide victory in Myanmar polls

Supporters of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party hold up portraits of Aung San Suu Kyi in front of the party’s headquarters in Yangon on November 8, 2020. / AFP

Aung San Suu Kyi’s ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) said Monday it was confident of winning a landslide victory in Myanmar as official results trickled in following the weekend’s coronavirus-disrupted election.

Millions lined up for hours to cast their ballots on Sunday — only the second national election since the country emerged from outright military rule in 2011.

Nobel laureate Suu Kyi remains a heroine for many in the Bamar majority heartlands, in spite of

Malaysian PM Muhyiddin seeks king’s assent to declare emergency: sources

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin / REUTERS

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin is seeking the king’s assent on Friday for the monarch to declare a state of emergency, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The proposed emergency will include a suspension of parliament, which was scheduled to reconvene in November, one of the sources said.

The sources did not want to be identified as they were not authorised to speak to the media. They did n

AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine trial Brazil volunteer dies, trial to continue

Brazilian health authority Anvisa said on Wednesday that a volunteer in a clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University had died but added that the trial would continue.

Oxford confirmed the plan to keep testing, saying in a statement that after careful assessment “there have been no concerns about safety of the clinical trial.”

AstraZeneca declined to comment immediately.

A source familiar with the matter told Reuters the trial would have been suspended if the volunteer who died had received the COVID-19 vaccine, suggesting the person was part of the control group that was given a meningitis jab.

The Federal University of Sao Paulo, which is helping coordinate phase 3 clinical trials in Bra

Fiancee of Khashoggi, human rights group sue Saudi crown prince in U.S.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman / REUTERS

The fiancee of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and a human rights group that he founded filed a lawsuit in a U.S. court on Tuesday with allegations that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince ordered him killed.

The civil lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages against Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also named more than 20 other Saudis as defendants. It coincides with complications in the U.S.-Saudi relationship over the 2018 slaying of Khashoggi, Riyadh’s human rights record, its role in Yemen’s civil war and other issues.

The Saudi embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment

China urges U.S. to drop ‘Cold War’ mentality

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the office of Japan prime minister in Tokyo, Japan October 6, 2020. REUTERS

China said on Wednesday that the United States should stop its unprovoked attacks and accusations against China, accusing U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of maliciously creating political confrontation and smearing Beijing.

Pompeo on Tuesday visited Japan and called for deeper cooperation with Australia, India and Japan to counter China’s growing regional influence.

“Pompeo has repeatedly fabricated lies about China and maliciously created political confrontation,” the Chinese embassy in Japan said in a statement.

“We once again urge the

UN meeting that began with unity concludes with divisions

In this photo provided by the United Nations, Heiko Maas, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany, speaks in a pre-recorded message which was played during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at UN headquarters in New York. (Rick Bajornas/UN Photo via AP)

This year’s U.N. General Assembly meeting began with calls for multilateralism and cooperation — a declaration that the urgency for countries to unite “has rarely been greater.” It concluded with a parade of divisive grievances that echoed when the final gavel fell.

Leader after leader in days of speeches delivered virtually stressed the importanc

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