While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Nov 24

Mr Blinken is known for his belief in the US' alliances.

Long-time Joe Biden adviser Antony Blinken set to be US secretary of state

Veteran diplomat Antony Blinken, 58, is has been named the United States' next Secretary of State.

The official announcement by President-elect Joe Biden, expected on Tuesday, came earlier on Monday. Mr Jake Sullivan, 43, was named National Security Adviser; and Ms Linda Thomas-Greenfield, 68, was named Ambassador to the United Nations.

Former Secretary of State John Kerry is back and will fight climate change full-time as Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. He will also sit on the National Security Council.


England gets new set of restrictions for end of Covid-19 lockdown

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out new measures on Monday (Nov 23) to replace a Covid-19 lockdown in England from Dec 2, reinforcing a previous regional approach to try to reopen businesses where infection rates are lower.

Just over two weeks after Johnson introduced a national lockdown for England to try to tame a spiralling increase in new coronavirus cases, he said the measures had reduced Covid-19 infection rates and would be eased on Dec 2 as promised.

Johnson has also been under pressure to scrap the lockdown from lawmakers in his Conservative Party, where many have threatened to vote against any new restrictions they consider overly damaging to the economy without more evidence of their effect in stemming infections.


Dosing error turns into lucky punch for AstraZeneca and Oxford

A stroke of good fortune from a dosing error will pave the way for AstraZeneca and Oxford University to submit their Covid-19 vaccine for regulatory clearance.

The British drugmaker said on Monday (Nov 23) that the vaccine could be around 90 per cent effective, when administered as a half dose followed by a full dose a month later, citing data from late-stage trials in Britain and Brazil.

"The reason we had the half-dose is serendipity," Mene Pangalos, the head of AstraZeneca's non-oncology research and development, told Reuters.


Qatar says it identified mum of dumped baby in airport scandal

Qatar said Monday (Nov 23) that it had identified the mother of a baby girl dumped at its airport, an incident that prompted officials to order departing female passengers to undergo invasive examinations, sparking global outrage.

The public prosecutor said the mother and father were from "Asian countries" which in Qatar typically refers to the nations of South Asia which provide a large number of migrant workers.

The prosecutor said in a statement that efforts were under way "to arrest the fugitive" who is overseas and faces 15 years imprisonment, calling her a "convict" - suggesting she may have been convicted in absentia.


Football: Burnley get first win with Wood strike against Palace

Burnley secured their first win of the Premier League season as Chris Wood's eighth minute goal was enough to earn a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Turf Moor on Monday (Nov 23).

The result moves Burnley out of the bottom three up to 17th place, on five points from eight matches, while Palace drop to 10th on 13 after nine games.

Sean Dyche's side, who had not scored a home goal in this campaign, ended the barren run when Palace defender Cheikhou Kouyate made a mess of a high cross by Johann Berg Gudmundsson, the ball falling to Jay Rodriguez who fed Wood to drive home.


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