World News Briefs — February 23, 2021 (Night Edition)

First and second couples: Joe and Jill Biden and Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff stood in memory of the dead during the moment's silence
Daily Mail: 'The people we lost were extraordinary.' Joe Biden remembers the 500,000 COVID dead with candlelit ceremony at the White House and lowers flags to half staff to start five days of mourning for grim milestone
* The US hit the historic and tragic milestone of over 500,000 COVID-19 deaths on Monday * At the White House Joe Biden ordered flags to half staff for five days of mourning and held a candlelit moment of silence, praying for the dead * 500 candles were lit on the South Portico of the White House where Biden led a moment's silence with First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff * He spoke just before it to mourn the lost, and say that the nation must also support those left behind * 'You're going to be okay,' he said, speaking directly to those who have lost someone to COVID, referencing his own experience of loss * 'Today we mark a truly grim heart breaking milestone,' he said. 'We often hear people described as ordinary Americans. There's no such thing. The people we lost were extraordinary.' * Despite the grim news there were glimmers of hope with hospitalizations and infections both down, and vaccinations increasing * But Dr Anthony Fauci warned that Americans could be wearing masks into 2022 despite infections falling 60% in a month
President Joe Biden acknowledged the pain of the nation on Monday as the United States marked more than 500,000 deaths from the coronavirus at a candlelit ceremony at the White House, but he also offered words of hope and healing.
'Today we mark a truly grim heart breaking milestone,' he said in a speech to the nation before praying in silent on the South Portico of the White House where 500 candles were lit to symbolize the 500,000 dead.
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MIDDLE EAST
Rockets target US embassy in Iraqi capital: military.
US 'outraged' at Iraq rocket attacks, but won't 'lash out,' State Department says.
IAEA and Iran strike three-month deal over nuclear inspections.
Iran talks 'avert' impact of nuclear inspection deadline.
US wants to 'strengthen' Iran nuclear deal.
Exclusive: U.S. plays down Iran rhetoric, waits to see if Tehran resumes talks.
Yemen's Houthis raise stakes in Marib 'blood bath', sources say.
UAE and Qatar hold first meeting since Gulf detente.
Turkey's Erdogan defends plunge in reserves under ex-minister Albayrak.
Netanyahu corruption trial to resume after election.
U.S.'s Blinken stresses two-state solution to Palestinian conflict in call with Israeli minister.
ASIA
Afghanistan's Ghani sees 'window of opportunity' for peace process.
U.S. may take more action on Myanmar after crackdown on protests, says State Department spokesman.
Chinese diplomat blames Donald Trump's former administration for poor relations between China and US.
China calls for a reset, but U.S. says Beijing trying to 'avert blame'.
Japan's vaccine supplies limited, delaying shots for nation's elderly.
North, South Korea condemn Japan's claims over Dokdo.
Report: North Korea's trade with China declined 80% in 2020.
Australia says no further Facebook, Google amendments as final vote nears.
New Zealand marks Christchurch earthquake 10th anniversary.
AFRICA
Tunisian power struggle risks street escalation.
Italian ambassador to Congo among three people killed in attack on UN convoy.
Niger ruling party candidate widens lead in presidential run-off.
UN calls for Somalia elections 'as soon as possible'.
Guineans sceptical as gov’t steps up fight against Ebola.
Uganda's Wine withdraws election result challenge, alleges bias.
South Africa's COVID-19 cases, deaths decline as variant spreads globally.
South African corruption inquiry wants Zuma jailed for 2 years after no-show.
EUROPE
Angry youths rattle Spain in support of jailed rap artist.
Germany's COVID infections rise again.
London will bounce back: Don't write off big cities yet, UK's Johnson says.
Coronavirus: High Covid rates delay France and Germany easing.
Italy 'misled WHO on pandemic readiness' weeks before Covid outbreak.
EU agrees to plan sanctions against Russia.
Ukrainian, Polish Foreign Ministers call on U.S. to help stop Nord Stream 2.
Russia’s Putin hosts Belarusian president for talks in Sochi.
Putin, Lukashenka conclude talks as West ramps up pressure.
Prince William says Prince Philip is 'OK' as the Duke of Edinburgh spends a sixth night in hospital.
AMERICAS
Biden leads Americans in moment of silence to mourn 500,000 U.S. COVID-19 deaths.
resident Biden prepares to announce sanctions on Russia over poisoning and jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
About a third of Texans still facing disrupted water supplies.
Supreme Court allows release of Trump's tax returns to NY prosecutors.
Canada's parliament passes motion saying China's treatment of Uighurs is genocide.
Ecuador looks to runoff vote for president in April.
Haiti's president downplays his country's crisis at UN, US sounds alarm.
Bolsonaro popularity tumbles in Brazil, shows CNT poll.
U.S. arrests wife of Mexico cartel chief El Chapo on drug charges.
TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR
NATO to deploy 3,500 extra troops amid reports ISIS has rebuilt its forces.
Turkish forces arrest 14 Daesh/ISIS terror suspects.
Bergdahl files lawsuit claiming undue command influence by Trump, McCain.
Al-Qaeda's Yemen leader appears in video despite UN report of arrest.
ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS
Nasdaq, S&P 500 end lower as U.S. yields rise; Disney lifts Dow.
US dollar pinned near six-week low as focus turns to Powell.
Head of IMF fears COVID-19 crisis will further widen wealth gap.
Yellen sounds warning about ‘extremely inefficient’ bitcoin.
Boeing 777 planes grounded by airlines in US and Japan after engine failure.
Holiday bookings surge following lockdown exit plans.
Microsoft teams up with EU publishers amid Facebook's Australian spat.Original Article

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