While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Dec 15

Supporters of president-elect Joe Biden celebrate his victory in the 2020 presidential election outside the Chase Centre in Wilmington, Delaware on Nov 7, 2020. PHOTO: AFP

On day of reckoning for Donald Trump, Biden is set for electoral college seal

Electors meet in different states on Monday to cast their votes for the US president and vice-president - an event that in normal times, would be a day of reckoning for the United States' presidential election, with Congress' counting and announcement of the result on Jan 6 a mere formality.

But these are not normal times.

President-elect Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump by 306 to 232 electoral votes. But the incumbent insists the election was stolen - and most of his base believes him.

Eighty-two per cent of Trump supporters polled by CBS News do not see Mr Biden as the legitimate victor. A Fox News poll found that 77 per cent believe the election was stolen from Mr Trump.


First Americans vaccinated as US Covid-19 death toll passes 300,000

An intensive care unit nurse became the first person in the United States to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine on Monday, calling it a sign that "healing is coming," as the US coronavirus death toll crossed a staggering 300,000 lives lost.

Sandra Lindsay, who has treated some of the sickest Covid-19 patients for months, was given the vaccine at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in the New York City borough of Queens, an early epicenter of the country's Covid-19 outbreak, receiving applause on a livestream with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

"It didn't feel any different from taking any other vaccine," Lindsay said. "I feel hopeful today, relieved. I feel like healing is coming. I hope this marks the beginning of the end of a very painful time in our history. I want to instill public confidence that the vaccine is safe," she added.


London set for tighter Covid-19 curbs as new virus variant emerges in England

The British capital faces tougher Covid-19 measures within days, the UK government said on Monday, with a new coronavirus variant emerging as a possible cause for rapidly rising infection rates.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said London, and parts of three surrounding counties, would move into the highest of three levels of restrictions in force across England from Wednesday.

Pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality venues will have to close, except for takeaway food, as will theatres and other venues in the entertainment sector.


US sanctions Turkey over purchase of Russian defence system

The United States imposed long-anticipated sanctions on Turkey on Monday over Ankara's acquisition of the Russian S-400 air defence systems, further complicating already strained ties between the two Nato allies.

Turkey condemned the sanctions as a "grave mistake" and urged Washington to revise its "unjust decision."

Senior US officials said in a call with reporters that Ankara's purchase of the S-400s and its refusal to reverse its decision left the United States with no other choice.


Canada kicks off Covid-19 vaccination campaign with healthcare workers first in line

Canada kicked off its inoculation campaign against Covid-19 on Monday by injecting frontline healthcare workers, becoming just the third nation in the world to administer the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The first dose went to Anita Quidangen, a personal support worker at the Rekai Centre, a non-profit nursing home for the elderly in Toronto, Canada's largest city.

Healthcare workers in masks and white coats applauded after she was injected.


Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.