By Ali Murat Alhas
ANKARA (AA) - Anadolu Agency is here with a rundown of the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic and other news in Turkey and around the world.
- Coronavirus and other developments in Turkey
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday that his government is determined to bring about a new boom era for the country’s economy and democracy.
The US Secretary of State’s visit to an Israeli settlement was condemned by Turkey. “[Mike] Pompeo's visit to illegally established settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories is a blatant violation of international law and decisions," ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party spokesman Omer Celik said on Twitter, describing the visit as "irresponsible and unlawful."
Erdogan ent and the king of Saudi Arabia discussed bilateral ties via telephone and agreed to keep dialogue channels open to resolve ongoing issues.
The Turkish presidential spokesman slammed the killing of at least 39 Afghan civilians by Australian forces, as revealed in a recent report. "This is modern barbarism,” he said.
Erdogan received the Afghan top peace negotiator for a closed door meeting during Abdullah Abdullah’s two-day visit to Turkey.
With the addition of more than 5,100 new coronavirus patients in the past 24 hours, Turkey's registered patients topped 435,000. The death toll rose to 12,084 as 141 more people died from the disease.
Meanwhile, a vaccine by Pfizer and BioNTcech was tested on volunteers; at least 40 individuals volunteered for a vaccine trial in northwestern Sakarya province.
- Global outbreak
With cases surpassing 2 million in Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) Africa office urged African nations to be on high alert for a possible surge in COVID-19 infections as the holidays near.
Several Arab countries including Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine reported more COVID-19 cases and deaths.
Italy reported another 699 deaths related to the novel coronavirus, as well as 37,242 additional cases, indicating the contagion curve is stabilizing although the virus is still widely circulating.
Germany set a daily record with 23,648 coronavirus cases, as it reported 260 more deaths, bringing fatalities to 13,630.
Iran's deputy health minister resigned amid a spike in the number of infections, according to Iranian media. Deputy Health Minister Reza Malekzadeh accused the health minister of mismanaging the pandemic and causing many casualties.
- Other developments
Russia and Turkey are finalizing the implementation of an agreement on the establishment of a monitoring center in the region of Upper Karabakh, Moscow's top defense official said.
Azerbaijani forces entered Aghdam district bordering Nagorno-Karabakh following 27 years of occupation in line with the deal brokered by Russia between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Following a report revealing the killings of at least 39 Afghan civilians by Australian forces, there have been growing calls to probe war crimes by other foreign troops stationed in war-ridden Afghanistan.
Saudi Arabian women's rights activists have been tortured and sexually harassed by interrogators as they languish in jail, lacking fair trials, a recent report claimed.
Female detainees were tortured, forced to perform sexual acts on interrogators along with other forms of sexual harassment, according to the report.
Conflict in Ethiopia may drive 200,000 residents to Sudan in the next six months, the UNHCR said.
The Iraqi army killed 16 Daesh/ISIS terrorists in a counter-terrorism operation in northern Iraq; the operation was carried out in the countryside of northern Kirkuk province, Saad Harbiye, Kirkuk.
A Turkish diaspora group, known as "the Grey Wolves" in Germany, dismissed allegations it promoted anti-constitutional ideologies. The group's leader said: "We remain committed to Germany’s democratic constitutional order."