Global coronavirus cases surpass 60 million infections
The global tally of confirmed coronavirus cases hit 60 million on Wednesday (Nov 25), with the pace of new infections accelerating and the United States reporting record numbers of hospitalisations, according to a Reuters tally.
Officials in the US, the worst-affected country in the world, urged Americans to stay home for the imminent Thanksgiving holiday as soaring numbers of Covid-19 patients pushed medical professionals to the brink.
The United States has reported 1 million new Covid-19 cases in less than a week, taking its total reported infections to over 12.5 million and its death toll to 260,000, according to the Reuters data based on official statements.
Globally, infections stood at 60.005 million and deaths at 1.4 million. An analysis of the Reuters data showed the rate of new infections picking up globally.
Biden says Americans 'won't stand' for attempt to derail election result
President-elect Joe Biden said Wednesday that Americans "won't stand" for attempts to derail the US election outcome, but Donald Trump doubled down on his unprecedented refusal to concede defeat and called for the results to be overturned.
In a speech on the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday, Biden said in his hometown Delaware that Americans "have full and fair and free elections, and then we honour the results."
"The people of this nation and the laws of the land won't stand for anything else," he said.
Trump pardons former adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in Russia probe
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn who had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI during the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
"It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon. Congratulations to #GenFlynn and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving!" Trump wrote on Twitter.
A retired Army general, Flynn pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about interactions he had with Russia's ambassador to the United States in the weeks leading up to Trump's inauguration in January 2017.
Germany extends Covid-19 restrictions until Dec 20 as deaths reach record
Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed with leaders of Germany's 16 federal states to extend and tighten measures against the coronavirus until at least Dec 20 and they are likely to extend them into January, she said on Wednesday.
"This is absolutely not the time to sound the all-clear," she told journalists, after the number of deaths from the virus reached a daily record.
However, rules will be eased over the Christmas holidays to let families and friends celebrate together.
Argentinian football legend Diego Maradona dies at 60
Diego Maradona, widely regarded as one of the greatest soccer players of all time before drug and alcohol addiction marred his career, died at his home in Argentina after suffering a heart attack, his lawyer said. He was 60.
Beloved in his homeland after leading Argentina to win the 1986 World Cup and adored in Italy after taking Napoli to two Serie A titles, Maradona was a uniquely gifted player and charismatic figure.
He died four years to the day after one of his political heroes, former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, and 15 years to the day after another troubled but talented football folk hero, George Best.