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

Global developments

In runoff elections in the US state of Georgia, Democrats were closing in on taking control of the US Senate as one of their candidates for the two seats has declared victory and the other is leading the race. Jon Ossoff’s win would seal the victory for the Democrats in the Senate and result in a “blue wave” after the party managed to maintain control of the House of Representatives in 2020 elections and Joe Biden beat President Donald Trump in the race for the White House.

Pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol as lawmakers were set to sign off on President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory in what was supposed to be a routine process before Inauguration Day. Instead, chaotic scenes of thousands of President Donald Trump’s supporters clashing with police outside of the federal legislature gave way to even more pandemonium as protesters overwhelmed law enforcement, breached the Capitol building’s doors and windows and eventually made their way to the Senate floor.

Hundreds of US President Donald Trump’s supporters clashed with police during an apparent attempt to storm the Capitol building. Two buildings at the Capitol complex have been evacuated amid the tension.

US Vice President Mike Pence rejected outgoing President Donald Trump’s demand that he interfere in Congress’s counting of Electoral College votes, just minutes before lawmakers were set to convene in a rare joint session.

YPG/PKK terrorists who infiltrated into the area of Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring detonated a roadside bomb in Syria’s Tal Abyad town, costing a Syrian family their two children.

Uighur Turks living in Istanbul continue to stage a protest outside the Chinese consulate demanding to know the condition of their family members held at concentration and forced labor camps in China.

At least 53 former lawmakers and activists have been detained in Hong Kong for allegedly trying “to overthrow or seriously interfere with the government’s legal execution of duty,” under a security law Beijing imposed in July.

The Grammy Awards, which had been scheduled to take place later this month, have been postponed to March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus and other developments in Turkey

Turkey confirmed 13,830 new coronavirus cases, including 1,458 symptomatic patients. With the new additions, the tally of infections topped 2.28 million. A total of 191 people lost their lives to the virus over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 22,070. As many as 8,702 people recovered over the past day, bringing the total to over 2.16 million.

At least eight irregular migrants of Congolese nationality and three smugglers were held by police in the town of Ayvalik in Turkey’s northwestern province of Balikesir.

Salih Fidan and Samet Gure, the so-called heads of the FETO terror group in two major cities in Iraq, were arrested while trying to illegally traverse the Ukraine-Poland border and have been brought to Turkey from Ukraine.

Seven YPG/PKK terrorists in northern Syria were neutralized by Turkish security forces while trying to infiltrate the Operation Peace Spring zone south of Turkey’s border.

At least nine asylum seekers were held by security forces in northwestern Tekirdag province close to the Turkey-Greece border.

Three passengers arriving from Colombia were nabbed by Turkish customs officers at Istanbul Airport for smuggling 3,880 grams (8.6 pounds) of cocaine, which were detected in the stomachs of the passengers in packets and pill capsules.

In two major drug busts, gendarmes seized 117 kilograms (over 257 pounds) of marijuana and 48 kg (over 105 lbs) of heroin in eastern Bingol and southeastern Hakkari provinces respectively and arrested two suspects over drug trafficking.​​​​​​​

84 irregular migrants were held in the Aegean province of Aydin.

COVID-19 updates worldwide

The EU’s medicines agency approved the coronavirus vaccine developed by US biotechnology firm Moderna.

Japan’s capital, which remains the hardest hit area in the country, hit a new record with 1,591 infections for daily COVID-19 cases as the government seems set to impose a fresh state of emergency. The overall count in the country rose to 66,343.

Germany reported 1,019 coronavirus-related deaths and 21,237 new infections despite lockdown measures. The total number of fatalities rose to 36,537 and confirmed infections to over 1.8 million since the start of the pandemic.

The UK recorded 62,322 new cases of the coronavirus, a new daily record. Britain also registered 1,041 more deaths, the highest daily toll since April during the first wave. The death toll reached 77,346.

Italy reported 20,331 new coronavirus infections as the government struggles to block the second pandemic wave across the country. The country reported 548 new coronavirus-related deaths.

Portugal reported 10,027 new cases — the nation’s highest daily surge since the pandemic began.

Vietnam has suspended flights to the UK and South Africa to prevent the spread of a new variant of the coronavirus in the country.

Senegal declared a state of emergency in parts of the country where coronavirus infections have reached alarming peaks.

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