News Headlines - 30 December 2020

Nikkei up 16% in 2020 for highest year-end close since 1989 - Japan Today

Tokyo stocks closed lower Wednesday, the final trading session of the year, but the Nikkei index advanced 16 percent in 2020, gaining for the second consecutive year to reach its highest year-end finish since 1989 despite the coronavirus pandemic... The Nikkei finished trading in 1989 at a record high of 38,915.87 in the midst of Japan's asset-inflated bubble economy.

China sentences 10 seeking to flee Hong Kong to prison terms | The Japan Times

A Chinese court on Wednesday sentenced 10 pro-democracy activists and protesters who sought to flee Hong Kong by speedboat to between seven months and three years in prison, in a case with major political overtones for the territory.
The Yantian District Court in the southern city of Shenzhen gave the harshest sentence to one of the two accused organizers of the ill-fated Aug. 23 attempt to reach self-ruled Taiwan. Relatives said all defendants pleaded guilty, a move apparently aimed at receiving lighter sentences.

Covid-19: Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine approved for use in UK - BBC News

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved for use in the UK, with the first doses due to be given on Monday.
There will be 530,000 doses available from next week, and vaccination centres will now start inviting patients to come and get the jab... The UK has ordered 100 million doses of the new vaccine - enough to vaccinate 50 million people.

Argentina abortion vote: Senate approves historic bill allowing legal terminations - CNN

Argentina's Senate approved a bill to legalize abortion Wednesday in an historic vote seen as a major victory for abortion rights advocates in the Catholic-majority country.
The Senate voted 38-29 to give millions of women access to legal terminations under a new law supported by President Alberto Fernández. The margin was expected to be much smaller.

Killer of Tokyo family still on run after 20 years despite clues | The Japan Times

Much about the killer of a four-member family in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward still remains a mystery despite many clues, including fingerprints and bloodstains, having been left at the site of the high-profile homicide case in December 2000.
Although Tokyo police were confident at the time of the incident that they would be able to capture the killer quickly, the brutal murder case has yet to be solved, with Wednesday marking 20 years of the tragedy with the murderer still on the run. The Metropolitan Police Department, which has detected a DNA sample of a man, is pinning high hopes on advancements in forensic science.