Biden names Indian-American to be religious freedom ambassador
US president Joe Biden on Friday nominated Indian-American Rashad Hussain as the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. Hussain is the first Muslim to be nominated to head US diplomacy for advancing religious liberties.
US approval of Covid-19 shots could boost vaccination numbers, Fauci says
US infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Friday he hopes regulators could as soon as next month start granting full approval for the use of Covid vaccines, a move he said could spur unvaccinated Americans to get the shots. Use of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna two-dose vaccines and Johnson & Johnson's one-dose shot are currently authorized on an emergency use basis by the US FDA
With evictions looming, Congress strains to extend ban
Hours before a nationwide eviction moratorium is set to expire, Congress raced Friday to try to extend the ban in a long-shot effort to prevent millions of Americans from being forced from their homes during a Covid-19 surge.
California wildfire flares but within line crews have built
California's largest wildfire so far this year was flaring up Friday but it was because the flames were chewing through unburned islands of vegetation within a perimeter that firefighters have built, authorities said.
Quake strikes Peru-Ecuador border region, minor damages reported
An earthquake of magnitude 6.1 jolted the Peru-Ecuador border region on Friday, the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences said, but only minor reports of damage were registered immediately following the tremor.
The COVID-19 'war has changed' due to delta variant, CDC says
News/Health: The war against COVID-19 has changed because of the highly contagious delta variant, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control said, proposing a clearer message, mandatory vaccines for health workers and a return to universal masking.
EU says sanctions an option to tackle Belarus people smugglers
The European Union will consider sanctions against migrant smugglers and those involved in human trafficking to address a surge in "irregular" border crossings from Belarus, the bloc's top diplomat on Friday said.
Broadway to require COVID-19 vaccination proof, masks for theatregoers
News/Entertainment: The Broadway League has announced that audience members must wear face coverings and show proof they're fully vaccinated when they enter theatres. Cast and crew members are also required to be fully vaccinated.
Harrowing brush with wildfires in Turkey
News/World: Murat Aktan and his friends were delivering meals to firefighters trying to contain the wildfires in the town of Manavgat, Turkey, on Thursday evening when they encountered a wall of flame that threatened to envelop their car before they retreated to safety.
Hong Kong protester sentenced to 9 years in prison for violating China-imposed national security law
A pro-democracy protester was sentenced Friday to nine years in prison in the closely watched first prosecution under Hong Kong’s national security law as the ruling Communist Party tightens control over the territory.
Karachi to undergo partial lockdown to curb virus spread
Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, is to undergo a week-long partial lockdown starting Saturday to curb the spread of the coronavirus Delta variant, as the city’s hospitals are close to saturation levels, the provincial chief minister said on Friday.
Covid vaccine protection highly likely to wane over time, says UK advisers
The protection that vaccines give against coronavirus infection, and potentially severe disease, is highly likely to wane over time so vaccine campaigns will continue for years to come, scientists told the British government's advisory group.