While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Jan 25

US President Joe Biden speaking in the State Dining Room at the White House on Jan 22, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

Sense of relief in Europe as Biden takes over

"America is back," declared US President Joe Biden in his inaugural address on Jan 20. "We will repair our alliances and get involved in the world again," he vowed.

But there is no agreement among European governments about what this means for the future of their broader trans-Atlantic link which remains, by any measure of trade volumes or military capabilities, the world's most significant alliance.

The sense of relief in European capitals about the change of power in the United States is palpable. Gone is the Trump administration's unpredictability, with presidential tweets in the middle of the night heralding new and often unwelcome policy changes.

And nowhere does the relief at the change of power in Washington seem greater than in Germany.


Israel opens embassy in Abu Dhabi: Foreign ministry

Israel opened an embassy in the United Arab Emirates Sunday, its foreign ministry said, in a historic move four months after the Jewish state and the Gulf country normalised ties.

"Today the Israeli embassy in Abu Dhabi has officially been opened, with the arrival of the mission head Eitan Naeh," the ministry said in a statement.

"The Israeli embassy in the United Arab Emirates will advance relations between the countries on all levels."


France imposes border controls in scramble to avoid Covid-19 lockdown

New border controls came into force in France on Sunday as part of a massive effort to contain the spread of Covid-19 and avoid another nationwide lockdown.

After a slow start to vaccinations, French health authorities reported that a million people had received coronavirus inoculations by Saturday.

But stubbornly high new rates for infections, hospitalisations and Covid deaths fuelled fears France may need another full lockdown, which would be the third, inflicting yet more devastation on businesses and daily lives.


Trump administration had no Covid-19 vaccine distribution plan: White House

There was no distribution plan for the coronavirus vaccine set up by the Trump administration as the virus raged in its last months in office, new President Joe Biden's chief of staff, Mr Ron Klain, said on Sunday.

"The process to distribute the vaccine, particularly outside of nursing homes and hospitals out into the community as a whole, did not really exist when we came into the White House," Mr Klain said on NBC's Meet the Press.

Mr Biden, a Democrat who took over from Republican President Donald Trump on Wednesday, has promised a fierce fight against the pandemic that killed 400,000 people in the United States under Mr Trump's watch.


Solskjaer hails Fernandes as Manchester United star downs Liverpool

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saluted Bruno Fernandes' perfectionist personality after the Manchester United midfielder's brilliant free-kick clinched a 3-2 win over Liverpool in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday.

Solskjaer's side added to Liverpool's woes as Fernandes capped a thrilling tie with his late strike at Old Trafford.

Premier League leaders United recovered from Mohamed Salah's early opener to score through Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford.


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