News Headlines - 31 December 2020

Tokyo daily COVID cases top 1,300 | NHK WORLD

Tokyo Metropolitan Government sources say over 1,300 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in the Japanese capital on Thursday.
That marks the first time the daily tally has risen above 1,000. The previous high was 949, hit on Saturday... Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko warned on Wednesday that citizens face an unprecedented third wave of infections. She said cases could surge at any time, and urged people to avoid holding parties at home with friends or getting together with groups of relatives.

Japan awarded more than 100 contracts over 10 years to Dentsu-linked non-profit groups | Reuters

The Japanese government has awarded more than 100 contracts over the last decade to two non-profit groups set up by Dentsu Inc, according to a Reuters analysis of government data, in arrangements that some opposition lawmakers say obscured the role of the advertising giant in winning public funds.
The contracts, which ranged from administering tourism-promotion projects to distributing coronavirus relief funds, were worth at least $1.6 billion, according to  public disclosures by  government ministries and data provided by those ministries to Japan’s parliament, seen by Reuters, which has not previously been reported.
Dentsu Inc received at least $1.2 billion of that amount as a subcontractor to the two non-profit groups, according to government records, and many of the contracts were awarded in non-competitive bids.

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai back in custody as top court accepts gov't bid to challenge bail | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP

Hong Kong’s top court has approved a leave for an appeal against the decision to extend bail to pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai. He remains effectively under house arrest pending trial for offences linked to the Beijing-enacted national security law and alleged fraud.
The Court of Final Appeal ruled on Thursday that the Department of Justice (DoJ) could challenge the High Court’s decision to release the 73-year-old mogul on bail last week after he was remanded in custody for almost one month.

British PM Johnson's father applying for French citizenship | Reuters

The father of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday he was in the process of applying for a French passport to maintain his ties with the European Union after Brexit.
Stanley Johnson, a former member of the European Parliament who voted Remain in Britain’s 2016 referendum, told RTL radio he wanted to become a French citizen because of strong family links to France.

Yemen war: Deadly attack at Aden airport as new government arrives - BBC News

At least 22 people have been killed and more than 50 wounded in an attack at the airport in the southern Yemeni city of Aden, officials say.
There was at least one explosion shortly after a plane carrying the war-torn country's newly formed government arrived from neighbouring Saudi Arabia.