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Turkmenistan leader unveils giant gold dog statue. Turkmenistan’s president has bestowed his favourite dog breed with the highest honour – a giant golden statue. It features an LED screen with video footage of the breed in various situations. Despite the grandeur of the statue, much of Turkmenistan’s population is impoverished.

A chance to turn the tide on HIV infections in Sub-Saharan Africa. Researchers from the HIV Prevention Trials Network believe a breakthrough in the development of a long-acting injection for HIV prevention. This could significantly reduce the risk of HIV acquisition.

One in five COVID-19 patients develop mental illness within 90 days. Anxiety, depression and insomnia were most common among recovered COVID-19 patients in the study who developed mental health problems. The researchers from Britain’s Oxford University also found significantly higher risks of dementia, a brain impairment condition.

Parler ‘free speech’ app tops charts in wake of US election. Twitter alternative Parler has become the most-downloaded app in the United States as users flock to the self-styled “free speech” app after the US election. It follows a clampdown on the spread of election misinformation by Twitter and Facebook in recent days.

Economics

Data shows economic activity crashes as virus resurges. Economic activity in a number of major advanced economies dropped steeply in the first weeks of November amid a stark rise in COVID-19 infections and expanding lockdown measures.

The US has approved the $23BN arms sale to the UAE. The deal was promised to the UAE as part of their normalisation of ties with Israel. The deal includes F-35 fighter jets, which will make the UAE and Israel the only countries in the Middle East to acquire them.

Asia-Pacific forms world’s biggest trade bloc, US not a member. The members of ASEAN, including South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand signed a trade deal. The signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is the world’s largest free trade bloc covering 30 percent of the global population.

Development

Multiple COVID-19 vaccines more than 90% effective. Russia’s Sputnik V, Moderna and Pfizer have immunisation rates above 90%, however, the WHO expects vaccine doses to be very limited until the second half of 2021.

Measles deaths worldwide swell to their highest level in 23 years, says WHO and CDC. The global death toll increased by 50% to 207,500 in 2019 compared to three years earlier. This is a stunning rise for a vaccine-preventable disease and one that public health experts fear could grow as the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt immunization and detection efforts.

First test of Virgin’s Hyperloop with passengers aboard – takes us closer to 30-minute floating commute from DC to NYC. After more than 400 tests, Richard Branson’s Virgin Hyperloop, a levitating train of small passenger pods, just made transportation history as it completed its first run with people aboard.

Micromobility: French teenagers as young as 14 can zip around Paris in a small, car-like box named Ami. The teeny tiny electric vehicle is technically classed as a “light quadricycle,” meaning it doesn’t require a driver’s license to operate.

The largest marine reserve in the Atlantic has been created. Governments and ecological organizations have created the fourth-largest marine protected area on Earth, and the largest in the Atlantic Ocean around the small archipelago of Tristan da Cunha.

Conflict

Thousands are fleeing into Sudan to escape deadly conflict in Ethiopia. More than 7,000 refugees from the Ethiopian region of Tigray have entered Sudan. There are also many displaced people in Tigray as well as 96,000 Eritrean refugees. The federal army has since stepped up its military offensive, carrying out air strikes.

Azerbaijan’s drones owned the battlefield in Nagorno-Karabakh and showed the future of warfare. Drone strikes provided a huge advantage for Azerbaijan in the 44-day war and offered the clearest evidence yet of how battlefields are being transformed by unmanned attack drones rolling off assembly lines around the world.

Mozambique police confirm dozens of villagers beheaded. The beheadings have been blamed on a group of insurgents known locally as al-Shabaab, which claims to have links with the Islamic State Terror group.

Politics

Political Islam to become a political offence in Austria. The proposed laws are not aimed at terrorists, but those who are sympathetic to the ideology. “In the fight against political Islam – the ideological basis behind it – we are going to create a criminal offense called ‘political Islam’ in order to be able to move against those who aren’t terrorists but are preparing the ground for it,” Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Wednesday.

Peru’s President Merino resigns after deadly crackdown on protesters. Peru’s interim president has resigned, a day after two people died during protests against his government. Manuel Merino, former speaker of Congress, had been in the post less than a week.

Israel promotes settlement plan for sensitive East Jerusalem area. Israel moved ahead with a settler housing plan in a sensitive area near East Jerusalem, a step aimed at shoring up the project before U.S. President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

Hungary, Poland block 2021-2027 EU budget, recovery package. The nationalist governments in Budapest and Warsaw are against linking EU money and respect for the rule of law because they are under a formal EU process investigating them for undermining the independence of courts, media and non-governmental organisations.

African governance worsens for first time in a decade. Africa’s governance performance worsened in 2019 for the first time in nearly a decade due to a broad deterioration in the areas of human rights, security and rule of law, according to the Ibrahim Index of African Governance.