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While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Jan 18

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Russian police detain Kremlin critic Navalny on arrival in Moscow

Police detained prominent Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny on arrival at a Moscow airport on Sunday after he flew home to Russia from Germany for the first time since he was poisoned last summer.

The move, which could see Navalny jailed for 3.5 years for allegedly flouting the terms of a suspended prison sentence, is likely to spark a wave of Western criticism of President Vladimir Putin.

In a case that drew wide international attention, Navalny was poisoned last summer by what German military tests showed was a Novichok nerve agent, a version of events the Kremlin rejects.

Navalny’s plane from Berlin was diverted to another Moscow airport at the last minute in an apparent effort by authorities to thwart journalists and supporters greeting him.

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Fauci says 100 million vaccinations in 100 days ‘absolutely a doable thing’

President-elect Joe Biden’s goal of delivering 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine within the first 100 days of his presidency “is absolutely a doable thing,” Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Sunday.

Dr Fauci, speaking on NBC’s Meet The Press, said two new vaccines under development by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson could “very soon” be presented to US regulators for approval, which would increase the pace of vaccinations.

“We’re weeks away, not months away, for sure,” he said.

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Brazil authorises emergency use of Sinovac, AstraZeneca vaccines

Brazilian health regulator Anvisa’s board on Sunday voted to approve emergency use of Covid-19 vaccines from China’s Sinovac Biotech and Britain’s AstraZeneca and to begin immunisations as the pandemic enters a deadly second wave.

Minutes after Anvisa’s board voted unanimously to approve both vaccines, Monica Calazans, a 54-year-old nurse in Sao Paulo, became the first person to be inoculated in the country, receiving the Chinese vaccine known as CoronaVac.

President Jair Bolsonaro, a coronavirus sceptic who has refused to take a vaccine himself, is under growing pressure to start inoculations in Brazil, which has lost more than 200,000 to Covid-19 – the worst death toll outside the US.

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Thousands protest in Amsterdam against Dutch coronavirus lockdown

Dutch riot police used water cannon to disperse around two thousand people at an unauthorised protest in Amsterdam on Sunday against a national lockdown to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The protesters gathered on a square in front of the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum art galleries, carrying signs reading “Freedom: stop this siege” and chanting “What do we want? Freedom!”.

None wore masks, which are not mandatory outdoors, and few respected social distancing rules, prompting the authorities to disperse the crowd due to health concerns, the Amsterdam authorities said in a statement.

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Manchester United stay top as Alisson salvages stalemate for Liverpool

Manchester United maintained their three-point advantage over Liverpool at the top of the Premier League but were denied a famous win at Anfield by Alisson Becker’s heroics in a 0-0 draw on Sunday.

Liverpool remain third after failing to score for a third straight league game, but were grateful to their Brazilian goalkeeper to extend a 68-game unbeaten home run in the Premier League as he denied Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba late on.

United are now unbeaten in 12 league games as they bolstered their claim to be title contenders for the first time since former manager Alex Ferguson retired eight years ago.

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