BBC news with Aileen McHugh. President Joe Biden has signed executive orders covering his administration’s approach to Covid-19. He’s made mask-wearing in the federal buildings mandatory and asked people to wear masks in airports, and on trains, airplanes, and inter-city busses until at least April. The orders also addressed virus testing, protecting workers and improving public health standards.
The head of the World Health Organization Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has welcomed the new Biden Administration’s announcement that America intends to join COVAX, the program to share coronavirus vaccines with poorer countries. He said the move and Washington’s commitment to rejoin the WHO again was a good day for the WHO and for global health.
The Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has welcomed details of a bill on migration to be sent by the US President Joe Biden to Congress. He described the legislation as very good. If passed, it could open a path to citizenship for immigrants living in the United States.
Police in Italy has placed nearly 50 people under arrest in an operation targeting the most powerful Mafia group, the Ndrangheta. It centers on a major fraud network alleged to operate in the southern region of Calabria. One of those being investigated is the region's Finance Minister Francesco Talarico.
A court has sentenced the former head of the Vatican Bank Angelo Caloia and two Italian lawyers to prison for money laundering and embezzlement. 81-year-old Mr.Caloia, jailed for nearly nine years, is the highest ranking Vatican official to be found guilty of financial wrongdoing. One of the convicted lawyers is aged 97.
The South African government minister Jackson Mthembu has died from complications related to Covid-19. He was 62. President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed deep sorrow and shock after the death. BBC news.