Anadolu Agency is here with a rundown of the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic and other news in Turkiye and around the world.   

Coronavirus and other developments in Turkiye

The Turkish Health Ministry reported more than 95,00 new coronavirus cases.

The ministry confirmed 95,065 infections, 253 related deaths and 85,758 recoveries during the past day. As many as 458,142 virus tests were conducted across the country.

To counter the spread of the virus, Turkiye has administered more than 143.84 million coronavirus vaccine doses since it launched an immunization drive in January 2021.

Continuing its war on terror, Turkiye neutralized 33 YPG/PKK terrorists affiliated with the YPG, the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terror group, in northern Syria. The country also arrested 22 Daesh/ISIS terror suspects in an Istanbul-based anti-terror operation.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke via telephone with his Somali counterpart Abdisaid Muse Ali and conveyed condolences for those killed earlier this week in terror attacks in the East African country. The two ministers discussed irregular migration and Greece’s illegal pushbacks of migrants to Turkey, among other things.

A second “charity train” carrying 921 tons of emergency goods to Afghanistan under the coordination of Turkiye’s government, departed from the Turkish capital, Ankara.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said vaccination played a role in his swift recovery from COVID-19.  

Other developments worldwide

As tensions between Russia and the West continue to escalate, some western countries, including the US, the UK, Israel and South Korea urged their citizens to leave Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the US announced that it will boost its military presence in the region by sending 3,000 additional soldiers to Poland, and four more warships to the Black Sea.

Moreover, in a call with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dymtro Kuleba, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken Blinken reaffirmed the US’ “robust support for Ukraine in the face of an increasingly acute threat of possible further Russian aggression.

The US warned that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could begin during the Beijing Olympics which will end Feb. 20.

Moscow, however, called reports about an “imminent invasion” a “mass disinformation campaign” against Russia.

In a related development, Ukraine asked Russia to explain its activities on the borders of Ukraine within 48 hours.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Joe Biden spoke with the former promising to take “quick action” to end the blockade at the major border crossing between the two countries at the Ambassador Bridge. Against this background, the Canadian province of Ontario has declared a state of emergency and will give police more “temporary” powers to remove protesters from the bridge and the city of Ottawa.

Biden signed an executive order to take control of $7 billion in Afghan funds currently held in New York. Accordingly, the assets belonging to Afghanistan’s central bank, Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB), will be used to benefit the Afghan people and will be subject to ongoing litigation by US victims of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Two US Democratic senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico demanded answers from the CIA regarding data collected on Americans through the intelligence organization’s foreign surveillance programs.

The US urged China to comply with steps requested by an International Labor Organization (ILO) committee that Beijing should review, repeal and revise laws and practices of employment discrimination against racial and religious minorities in Xinjiang.

The high court in the southern Indian state of Karnataka blocked students from wearing religious garments until a case on the matter is decided.

Holding separate calls with Bosniak leader Bakir Izetbegovic, Bosnian Croat leader Dragan Covic and Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell urged the leaders to resume talks and overcome the political crisis in the country.

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