Hard Numbers: EU approves Pfizer vaccine, Al Jazeera journalist hack, Turkey targets critics, Boko Haram attack foiled
3,000: After the European Medicines Agency approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine for use across the 27-member bloc on Monday, EU member states are waiting for the first batch of vaccines to arrive so they can begin inoculating their populations. Amid a surging second wave of infection across the continent — more than 3,000 people are dying in Europe from the disease everyday — EU representatives say they hope to begin rolling out the drug next week.
36: A cybersecurity watchdog says that the UAE and Saudi governments are likely behind the hacking of phones belonging to 36 Al Jazeera journalists earlier this year. One journalist said he became aware of irregularities after contacting an Emirati official for a story: "They threatened to make me the new Jamal Khashoggi," he said.
22: A Turkish court has sentenced a former pro-Kurdish lawmaker to 22 years in jail after ruling that she is a member of a terrorist organization. Leyla Guven of the Peoples' Democratic Party was stripped of her parliamentary status earlier this year. Western governments, meanwhile, have condemned President Tayyip Erdogan for quashing all dissent by strong-arming the judiciary.
84: Just weeks after Boko Haram claimed responsibility for a horrific attack on a high school in Katsina state in northern Nigeria, prompting authorities to rescue 344 abducted students, Nigerian officials say they recently foiled another attempt by the militant group to kidnap 84 students. Because of porous state borders within sub-Saharan Africa, insurgent violence in Nigeria has spilled over into neighboring countries, including Chad, Cameroon, and Niger.