The Latest: Australia receives over 142,000 vaccine doses
(AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)CANBERRA, Australia — Australia will begin vaccinating its population against COVID-19 next week after its first shipment of Pfizer vaccine was delivered on Monday. Australia is contracted to receive 20 million Pfizer doses and to receive or manufacture at home 53.8 million AstraZeneca doses. The average of new U.S. virus cases has dipped below 100,000 a day for the first time in months. Japan has formally approved its first COVID-19 vaccine. AdAs of Friday, Hawaii has had 26,743 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 425 deaths since the pandemic began in March.
Serbia donates Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to North Macedonia
North Macedonia's Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, right, talks for the media on a news conference with Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic, left, during a handover of COVID-19 vaccines, at the border crossing Tabanovce, between North Macedonia and Serbia, on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021. Serbia which has launched a successful vaccination campaign has donated some 8,000 doses of Pfizer COVID-19 shots to North Macedonia which is yet to deliver its first shots. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)BELGRADE – Serbia on Sunday donated a first batch of 8,000 doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to North Macedonia, which is yet to deliver its first jabs. Vucic’s opponents in Serbia have called his vaccine donation to North Macedonia another of his populist political moves meant to portray him as the main regional leader. They say many in Serbia are still waiting in line to get inoculated with their first choice Pfizer shots.
Vaccine delay in North Macedonia stirs political tension
In this picture taken on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, people and health workers are pictured in front of the entrance of the University Clinic complex in Skopje, North Macedonia. That news has deeply frustrated North Macedonia which has yet to secure a single dose of COVID vaccine for its 2.1 million population. North Macedonia is hoping to receive 840,000 vaccine doses this month under a scheme led by the World Health Organization to help poorer countries immunize their populations. But manufacturing delays in recent weeks have held up plans here and for some other EU neighbors including Ukraine and Moldova. Earlier this week, North Macedonian authorities signed an agreement to procure 200,000 doses of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine, with which they hope to launch their vaccination program later this month.
North Macedonia: Women protest over online sexual harassment
Young people wearing face masks carry banners during a protest march through downtown Skopje, North Macedonia, on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. Several hundred mostly young people have gathered in front of the North Macedonia's Interior ministry on Wednesday to protest sexual harassment of women on social media and policy of impunity for that kind of violence. ", "Cops asleep - Rapists awake", "State not acting is state raping", "Public Room is a criminal act". Several women at Wednesday's protest said their photographs were stolen from hacked social media accounts. A woman who spoke at the protest and identified herself only as Ana urged authorities to introduce legislation that would reduce online sexual harassment and strengthen police powers.
North Macedonia: Former PM sentenced to 1½ years in prison
SKOPJE – A criminal court in North Macedonia has sentenced former conservative prime minister Nikola Gruevski to 1 1/2 years in prison, and handed suspended sentences to six other party members and supporters for orchestrating violence in 2013. Gruevski, who was granted political asylum in Hungary after fleeing there in 2018 to avoid a separate two-year prison sentence for corruption, was sentenced Tuesday in absentia. North Macedonia authorities are still seeking his extradition. The six others who received suspended sentences include Gruevski's former transport minister. Four other cases are pending against Gruevski, who served as prime minister from 2006-2016, on charges of corruption, election irregularities and abuse of office.
North Macedonia: Social Democrats score narrow election win
The leader of the ruling SDSM party Zoran Zaev wearing a face mask celebrates his victory at the North Macedonia general election, in Skopje, early Tuesday, July 16, 2020. A suspected hacking attack caused the site of North Macedonia's electoral commission to crash for hours after polls closed in the country's national elections Wednesday, delaying preliminary results that showed the Social Democrats narrowly leading the center-right opposition. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)SKOPJE North Macedonia's pro-Western Social Democrats said they were ready Thursday to start complicated power-sharing negotiations after winning a narrow election victory in a poll held up for months by the COVID-19 pandemic. Former Prime Minister Zoran Zaev's Social Democrats declared victory after receiving 36% of the vote with 94% of ballots counted, according to official results. Coalition talks will involve parties representing the countrys ethnic Albanian minority, which makes up nearly a quarter of the countrys 2.1 million population.
Pro-Western party claims victory in North Macedonia election
The leader of the ruling SDSM party Zoran Zaev speaks after his victory at the North Macedonia general election, in Skopje, early Tuesday, July 16, 2020. Shortly afterwards, Social Democrats leader Zoran Zaev declared victory. Zaevs governing Social Democrats called the early parliamentary election when he resigned as prime minister in January after the European Union failed to give North Macedonia a start date for EU membership talks. The party has softened its earlier opposition to a landmark 2018 deal with Greece that saw the country change its name from Macedonia to North Macedonia, clearing objections for it to join NATO earlier this year. North Macedonia has had a caretaker government since his resignation as prime minister in January.
North Macedonia: Ballot boxes carried to quarantined homes
Members of a special election team with a ballot box and voting material make their way visiting voters who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are in self-isolation, in Skopje, North Macedonia, Monday, July 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)SKOPJE Election officials in North Macedonia carried ballot boxes to the homes of voters suffering from COVID-19 or in quarantine Monday, at the start of three days of voting in a general election that was delayed for months by the pandemic. North Macedonia is holding its first parliamentary election under its new country name, with voters heading to the polls during an alarming spike of coronavirus cases in this small Balkan nation. North Macedonia is one of the poorest countries in Europe with a per-capita GDP of about $6,100. Hungary granted him political asylum and North Macedonia is seeking his extradition.