The Latest: Iran’s New Leader, Live Olympic Fans, Vaccine Gum
Welcome to Monday, where Iran's new leader has tough words for Joe Biden, Olympics athletes will get a live audience after all and Russia is developing a chewing gum form of its Sputnik vaccine. Italian news magazine Internazionale also reports on the harrowing living conditions for migrants in the country's pre-deportation facilities.
• Iran's new hardliner president says he won't negotiate with Biden: In his first comments since being elected Saturday as Iran's new president, conservative former judiciary head Ebrahim Raisi said today he is not willing to meet with U.S. President Joe Biden nor negotiate over Iran's nuclear program.
• Ethiopian elections go ahead despite international concern: Amid ethnic conflict and famine in its Tigray region, Ethiopia will still hold elections today for its next Prime Minister. Current Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, slated to remain in power, has assured that the election will be democratic even as international observers voice concern about its legitimacy, noting that constituencies in conflict zones will have their votes delayed due to security concerns.
• Swedish Prime Minister ousted: Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven lost a vote of no-confidence this morning triggered by nationalist party, the Sweden Democrats. The Prime Minister now has one week to decide whether to resign or to call a snap election.
• Japan to allow domestic spectators at Olympics: Athletes will be able to benefit from a live audience, despite previous recommendations that holding the event without fans would help diminish the spread of COVID-19. Up to 10,000 viewers, or 50% capacity of most stadiums, will be allowed per venue.
• After missing for months, Dubai Princess appears in photo: Images of Sheikha Latifa appearing alive and presumably on holiday in Spain were posted to Instagram, Reuters reports. Latifa, the focus of concern for rights organizations, had been assumed to be detained against her will after attempting to escape the country in 2018. A video in February was released of the princess pleading for help.
• Apple Daily may shut down in days: The Hong Kong pro-democracy newspaper, Apple Daily, may soon be shut down after seeing its office raided and assets frozen, and its founder Jimmy Lai arrested. The newspaper's Board will decide Friday whether to continue operations.
• Russia hopes to develop COVID vaccine in chewing gum form: The Russian military is currently working to be able to administer "Sputnik V" as chewable tablets and pastilles, in addition to its current usage as an intravenous injection.
Brazil is "between sadness and hope," reports daily O Dia as the country has surpassed 500,000 coronavirus deaths, the second highest in the world behind the United States. An NGO placed roses on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro to pay tribute to the victims