The Biden administration said that asylum-seekers could cross America’s southern border to have their applications heard. Donald Trump had insisted they wait in Mexico.
Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, signed four decrees to make it easier to pack heat. Ordinary Brazilians will be allowed to buy as many as six guns (up from four) and carry two at once.
America vowed to punish the perpetrators of a rocket attack in Iraq’s Kurdistan region that killed a contractor with the American-led military coalition and wounded several others, including an American soldier. A pro-Iranian group claimed responsibility for the attack.
The UN called for an additional 3,700 peacekeepers to be sent to the Central African Republic to bolster a force that is already 15,000-strong. Rebels are advancing on the country’s main cities.
Gunmen in Nigeria abducted 42 students and staff from a school, the latest such incident in a country plagued by kidnapping for ransom and political hostage-taking. In December 344 students were taken from another school, but later freed by security forces.
Guinea said that three people died after contracting Ebola, a virus that is usually fatal if not treated quickly. They are the first cases in west Africa since more than 11,000 people died in an outbreak in the region that raged from 2013 to 2016.
Seif Sharif Hamad, the vice-president of Zanzibar, died after catching COVID-19. Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania. John Magufuli, Tanzania’s president, insists his country is free of the virus and that vaccinations against it are dangerous and do not work.
New recorded infections in India have tumbled from nearly 100,000 a day in September to under 10,000. In England a study found that infections have fallen by two-thirds since early January. California reported fewer than 5,000 new daily cases for the first time since November.
The world’s first “human challenge” study of COVID-19 got the go-ahead in Britain. Volunteers aged 18-30 will be exposed to the coronavirus to establish how much of it is needed to cause infection.
The hours needed to shut and disinfect New York’s subway system at night have been reduced from four to two, a sign, said an official, that the city “is starting to return to normalcy”.
North Korea reportedly tried to hack Pfizer’s computers to find details of its vaccine. Strange for a country that officially claims not to have had any cases of COVID-19.