There will be no hands to shake or backs to slap, no way to look a foreign leader in the eye. The small human moments that define statecraft will be reduced to images on a screen. President Joe Biden, a most hands-on politician, this week will host a major climate summit with dozens of world leaders — all of them stuck on Zoom.
British authorities are exploring the possibility of creating a new digital currency that Treasury chief Rishi Sunak touted as "Britcoin." The Bank of England and the Treasury said Monday that they will work together to assess the benefits of a central bank digital currency, at a time when cash payments are generally on the decline, partly as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Two endangered Mexican beaded lizards have hatched at the Wroclaw Zoo in Poland, boosting the population of the venomous lizards. The zoo said the lizards, which are difficult to breed in captivity, hatched in late February at the zoo's terrarium, where the eggs had been kept in an incubator since an adult female laid them in August.
Sales are steadily improving at Coca-Cola Co. as vaccinations allow for the opening of restaurants and offices in many regions globally. Coke historically had booked half its sales from restaurants, stadiums and other public places. The pandemic broadsided the company. As of March, case volumes had returned to 2019 levels, the beverage giant said. First-quarter volume growth was particularly strong in China, which was locked down last year.
A federal judge on Monday ordered two leaders of the far-right Proud Boys extremist group to be arrested and jailed while awaiting trial on charges they planned and coordinated an attack on the U.S. Capitol to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s electoral victory. Joseph Biggs and Ethan Nordean had been free since their March 10 indictment, but U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly concluded that the two men are dangerous and no conditions for their release could be adequate. The judge said Biggs and Nordean “facilitated political violence” even if they weren't armed and didn't assault anybody at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
A body of experts that advises the United Nations on human rights concerns has slammed a widely criticized British government-backed report that concluded there was no systemic racism in the country. The U.N. Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent said Monday that it found it "stunning" that the report "repackages racist tropes and stereotypes into fact" and urged the British government to reject its findings.
High-level talks in Vienna aimed at bringing the United States back into the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran are moving ahead with experts working on drafting proposals this week, but a solution remains “far away,” Russia's delegate said Monday.
A Chinese painting from 1924 is expected to fetch at least $45 million in an auction in Hong Kong, as collectors' appetite for art continues to rise even amid economic uncertainty brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. The painting by influential Chinese modern artist Xu Beihong depicts a slave hiding in a cave and a lion. It is based thematically from ancient Roman mythology and Aesop's Fables, according to Christie's auction house, which unveiled the painting Monday.
Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has urged governments, vaccine developers and the world to "step up their game" to fight vaccine inequity after the richest countries snatched up most COVID-19 vaccine doses and those in poorer nations have gone lacking. Her comments on Monday came as the World Health Organization announced 5.2 million new confirmed virus cases over the latest week, the largest weekly count yet, according to the U.N. health agency.