- UK military to get biggest spending boost in 30 years
- COVID-19: UK records another 529 coronavirus deaths and 19,609 further cases
- Australian war crimes report alleges elite troops executed 39 Afghan civilians including to achieve ‘first kill’
- US Covid-19 death toll surpasses quarter of a million
- BioNTech, Pfizer to seek FDA approval for vaccine on Friday
- Japan on ‘maximum alert’ on COVID-19, Tokyo at highest level
- Ethiopia: aid workers report chaos as thousands flee fighting
- Glee star Naya Rivera’s ex-husband files wrongful death lawsuit against local authorities
- Wonder Woman 1984 will launch in the US online and in cinemas on Christmas Day
- Wales 3-1 Finland: Harry Wilson, Dan James and Kieffer Moore on target as hosts earn promotion
- In Review: Princess Diana, BBC and Martin Bashir
UK military to get biggest spending boost in 30 years
BBC News says the largest military investment in 30 years is set to be announced by the PM – an extra £4bn a year over the next four years.
The money will fund space and cyber defence projects such as an artificial intelligence agency, and could create 40,000 new jobs, the government said.
Boris Johnson said it would help the UK to “bolster our global influence”.
COVID-19: UK records another 529 coronavirus deaths and 19,609 further cases
Sky News says the UK has recorded another 529 coronavirus deaths and 19,609 more cases in the latest 24-hour period.
Both figures are a slight dip compared to Tuesday – with the number of new reported fatalities down by 69 and infections by 442.
But they bring the total number of deaths to 53,274 and cases to 1,430,341 since the pandemic began, according to government data.
Australian war crimes report alleges elite troops executed 39 Afghan civilians including to achieve ‘first kill’
RT News says Australian special forces allegedly executed dozens of non-combatants while stationed in Afghanistan, an explosive war crimes probe found, prompting a rare mea culpa from the military for “grave” and “deeply disturbing” conduct.
“To the people of Afghanistan on behalf of the Australian Defence Forces, I sincerely and unreservedly apologize for any wrongdoing by Australian soldiers,” Campbell said at a press briefing, calling its findings “damaging to our moral authority as a military force.”
US Covid-19 death toll surpasses quarter of a million
France24 says more than a quarter of a million people have died from Covid-19 in the United States, the Johns Hopkins University tally recorded Wednesday, marking a bleak new milestone for the pandemic.
The US, which has now registered 250,029 fatalities, has by far the highest national death toll, ahead of Brazil with 166,699 deaths, India with 130,993 deaths and Mexico with 99,026.
BioNTech, Pfizer to seek FDA approval for vaccine on Friday
TRT World says Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, will seek emergency approval from US regulators on Friday to begin using its vaccine.
In an exclusive interview with CNN on Wednesday, BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin said his company will approach the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and fill in the necessary paperwork on Friday.
Japan on ‘maximum alert’ on COVID-19, Tokyo at highest level
Aljazeera says Japan is on “maximum alert” after confirming a record number of daily coronavirus cases, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Thursday, but said the government was not yet planning to impose more restrictions to curb the outbreak.
Some 2,201 new cases were recorded across the country on Wednesday, with nearly 500 in the capital, Tokyo, a sprawling metropolis of nearly 14 million people.
Ethiopia: aid workers report chaos as thousands flee fighting
The Guardian says International aid workers who have left Ethiopia’s Tigray region in recent days have described a chaotic and dynamic situation with large numbers on the move to avoid fighting, choking roads already full of military vehicles.
Federal troops are involved in a massive offensive aimed at removing the Tigray People’s Liberation Front from power in the northern region, and intensifying rhetoric from both sides has reinforced fears of a long and bloody conflict.
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The investigation into how the BBC and journalist Martin Bashir got the famous Princess Diana interview has received support from Prince William.
The famous interview included revelations such as Diana calling Camilla Parker Bowles the “third person” in her marriage, her admission of infidelity and her doubts over Prince Charles’ suitability to be king.
The 1995 interview was watched by 23 million people and sent shockwaves through the monarchy. But it’s the steps that the interviewer, Bashir, took to obtain access to the Princess of Wales that will be looked at as part of the probe.
Prince William Gives Public Support to the BBC’s Princess Diana Investigation – calling investigation a “step in the right direction” – Vanity Fair
Why Is the BBC Investigating Its Famous Princess Diana Interview? – Vulture
Princess Diana interview: ‘Dark cloud over BBC journalism’ says Lord Grade – BBC News
BBC finds Princess Diana’s lost note that it says clears Martin Bashir – The Guardian
Princess Diana’s bodyguard claims she was ‘battered into submission’ by the public breakdown of her marriage and was ‘used’ by Martin Bashir for tell-all Panorama interview – Daily Mail
The BBC’s Panorama problems go far deeper than Martin Bashir’s Diana interview – The Telegraph
Diana: The Truth Behind the Interview, Channel 4, review: Another rifle through Princess Diana’s memory – iNews
No 10 gets behind BBC inquiry into how Martin Bashir won the famous interview with the Princess – Tatler
Current and former Trump officials quietly reach out to Biden team
A handful of current Trump administration officials, as well as some political appointees who left in recent months, have quietly started to reach out to members of President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team, according to people briefed on the matter.
Read on CNN
Spain divides opinion with strategy to combat online disinformation
Spain’s government has divided opinion over a new strategy to tackle the spread of online disinformation.
The procedure was approved last month and it details how a commission comprising Spain’s intelligence service (CNI), the foreign ministry and defence ministry should combat the issue.
Read on Euronews
Burkinabé ready for Sunday’s presidential election
The walls of Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou are smothered in posters as more than a dozen rivals try to win over voters ahead of Sunday’s general election.
But one colour — orange — dominates.
Read on Africanews
Israel strikes ‘Iranian military sites’ in Syria after bombs found in Golan
Israel’s military says it launched air strikes against Iranian and Syrian military targets in Syria overnight, after explosive devices were found in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
Read on BBC News
As yearly floods loom, Jakarta residents fear shelters are potential COVID-19 ‘breeding grounds’
Mr Yusuf, who lives in the Jakarta suburb of Bogor, is dreading the La Nina floods which are expected to hit around year-end.
The 42-year-old who goes by one name still remembers seeking refuge at his next-door neighbour’s house on Jan 1 this year when his own was flooded.
Read on CNA