News from around the world


By Caitlin Maughan, Jamie Frank, and Amit Deshpande
US News: 
Multiple COVID vaccines show promising results
An in-progress vaccine developed by pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. shows a 90 percent success rate in 94 test cases. The progress analysis found that fewer than 10 percent of participants who were administered the vaccine caught the coronavirus, while 90 percent of participants who were administered a placebo were infected. The vaccine required two doses, and protection from the virus would be achieved 28 days after it was administered. This exceeds expectations, as the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said that it would accept a vaccine with at least a 50 percent efficacy. Pfizer officially submitted its application for FDA approval on Friday, Nov. 20, and expects a decision during the second week of December. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, in an interview with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta, stated that the COVID-19 vaccine is “the greatest medical advance” in the last 100 years. However, mass distribution is still a question of the future as the Pfizer vaccine is finalized and tested one last time throughout the month of November. Other companies, such as Moderna and AstraZeneca, have shown promising results as well, making a future with multiple vaccines being administered to the public likely. While this progress brings hope for a gradual end to the COVID-19 pandemic, it also raises worries about a potential backlash from skeptical groups in the US, including conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers. Some believe that this news is an indication that the virus was a political device and is now over after Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.

The next POTUS is here!
Joe Biden claims victory over Republican candidate Donald Trump in a 290-232 win. Before electors vote officially for the president, news networks predict what states will support certain candidates by using the results of the popular vote to calculate the candidate with the highest odds of receiving a certain state’s electoral votes. Due to the abundance of mail-in ballots as a result of COVID-19 this year, Americans were uncertain of who their next president would be, even days after election day. On Nov. 3, 2020, Biden was declared the 46th president-elect of the United States but electors will officially vote on Dec. 14, 2020, for who the future president will be. States that had a longer deadline for people to submit their mail-in votes and places where there were delays in counting votes such as Pennsylvania, Nevada, Florida, Arizona, Alaska, North Carolina, etc. made it difficult for news networks to proclaim an early victory for any of the presidential candidates. Although every presidential election changes how the United States will function for the next four years, this year is particularly important due to how the COVID-19 pandemic has become very political in the U.S. Being able to indirectly choose the future president of the U.S. is very important to many Americans and over the past year (especially due to COVID-19 concerns) potential political agendas have become very controversial. Although our president cannot be absolutely confirmed until after the vote on Dec. 14, it is likely that Biden will be the next president alongside vice-president-elect Kamala Harris, who is the first Black, Asian American (South Asian, specifically) and woman to be elected as vice president. 

South America:
On Nov. 25th, Diego Maradona, a legendary soccer player passed away. The preliminary autopsy showed that he died of heart failure and tens of thousands of people gathered outside of the Presidential Palace in Argentina to pay their respects. For many, he was a symbol of hope and brought a smile to many people’s faces throughout his triumphs. His death was devastating for his fans across the globe. Though Maradona underwent brain surgery earlier this month and was plagued with various medical issues, conspiracy theories surrounding the cause of his death arose. On Nov. 29th, the offices of his personal doctor, Leopoldo Luque, were raided for evidence of foul play after investigation and the interviews with Maradona’s family.  
While relations between Australia and China deteriorate, China’s foreign ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian, posted an edited photo on his official Twitter account which depicts an Australian soldier threatening to kill an Afghan child. Australia demands they take down the photo, which was posted on Nov. 23rd. They also claim that it brings shame on China for posting it in the first place. Meanwhile, China continues to stand its ground, promising to hold Australia accountable. This feud began when Canberra called for an international inquiry as to the origin of the coronavirus pandemic.   
On Nov. 21st, three policemen in France beat Michel Zecler, a black man, with fists, feet and a baton and used racial slurs against him while a fourth policeman threw tear gas through the nearby recording studio window. The attack was caught by a security camera and quickly spread through social media. The policemen claim that they attacked Zecler because he was not wearing a mask and was violent towards them, however, the video footage tells a different story. The cops were placed under investigation and charged with assault and destruction of private property.   
The White Giraffe is a species that will be extinct in a matter of years, as his mate and calf, two of the three known remaining White Giraffes, were killed by poachers in Kenya in March. Previously, the rare family of Giraffes brought in a lot of tourists from near and far and helped to bring attention to animals who are nearly extinct. Now trying their hardest to protect him from poachers, the last White Giraffe has been fitted with a GPS tracking device by the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy. Their goal is to work with communities to protect wildlife such as the White Giraffe. 
North America:
After a road sign in Canada caught the attention of the internet, people began to wonder why Canadians are not allowed to let moose lick their cars. Why would a moose lick my car? Is it really that common? What am I supposed to do to prevent it? These are all questions that the internet has asked in regards to the mysterious sign. Recently, moose have been lickingroad salt on idling cars. This is an issue because moose return to the roads for more salt and end up causing dangerous crashes for the people and the animals. The way Canadians can prevent this and protect wildlife and themselves is to stay out of range from the moose and drive away when they see one coming. Jasper National Park, the home of the infamous sign, also warns against low hanging Christmas lights which can get tangled in the antlers of the wildlife.