(Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Gilead Sciences Inc's <GILD.O> antiviral drug remdesivir for treating patients hospitalized with COVID-19, making it the first and only drug approved for the disease.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
** For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread of COVID-19, open https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps in an external browser.
** Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals https://apac1.apps.cp.thomsonreuters.com/cms/?navid=1592404098 for a case tracker and summary of news.
** France extended curfews to around two-thirds of its population and Belgium's foreign minister was taken into intensive care with COVID-19, as the second wave of the pandemic surged across Europe.
** A surge in demand for vaccines to ward off the winter flu has led to shortages in some European cities, raising the risk of a potentially lethal "twindemic" as COVID-19 cases soar.
** Spain's health minister described a second wave sweeping the county as "out of control."
** British PM Boris Johnson said England's test and trace scheme needed improvement after a record low proportion of contacts of positive cases were reached in the latest weekly figures.
** Germany has issued travel warnings for popular ski regions in Austria, Italy and Switzerland.
** Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia reported their biggest one-day rises in cases.
** Greece will impose a night curfew in areas most affected by COVID-19.
** Several U.S. states, many of them in the Midwest, reported record single-day increases in cases, further evidence that the pandemic is accelerating anew as cooler weather takes hold in many parts of the country.
** U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said negotiators were making progress in talks with the Trump administration for another round of COVID-19 stimulus.
** Canada and the Alberta province are launching a pilot program to test eligible returning travelers for COVID-19, allowing them to leave quarantine once they receive a negative result.
** Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party promised free doses of any future COVID-19 vaccine for the residents of eastern Bihar state if it wins local elections there, drawing accusations of playing politics with the pandemic.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
** Ethiopia can jail people for up to two years if they deliberately violate COVID-19 restrictions, the attorney general's office said, amid concern that citizens are becoming lax after a state of emergency was lifted.
** Moderna Inc <MRNA.O> has completed enrolling 30,000 participants in a late-stage study testing its experimental coronavirus vaccine.
** AstraZeneca's <AZN.L> Oxford COVID-19 vaccine accurately follows the genetic instructions programmed into it by its developers to successfully provoke a strong immune response, according to a detailed analysis carried out by independent UK scientists.
** The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, but remained very high as the labor market recovery shows signs of strain.
** Europe's biggest economy could grow next year if Germany avoids a second lockdown, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said.
** American Airlines <AAL.O> and Southwest Airlines <LUV.N> signaled that they would continue to hemorrhage cash into next year.
(Compiled by Devika Syamnath and Milla Nissi; Editing by Alex Richardson and Anil D'Silva)