Regional

1st October

Oregon inmates find redemption in fighting wildfires

PAISLEY, Ore. (Reuters) – In the flames, they are finding redemption. The 10 Oregon prisoners carry chainsaws, axes, shovels and hoes into the biggest wildfires the state has seen in a century. Banding together, they...

Zimbabwe suspects bacterial disease behind elephant deaths

HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe suspects a bacterial disease called haemorrhagic septicaemia is behind the recent deaths of more than 30 elephants but is doing further tests to make sure, the parks authority said. The elephant deaths, which began in late August, come soon after hundreds of elephants died in neighbouring Botswana in mysterious circumstances. Officials...

Britain and Canada impose sanctions on Belarus leader Lukashenko

SEOUL/OTTAWA (Reuters) – Britain and Canada imposed travel bans and asset freezes on Tuesday on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, his son and other senior officials, accusing their government of rigging an election and committing violence against protesters. The sanctions were the first to be implemented by major Western powers over the crisis in Belarus, a...

U.N. chief urges increase in funding for IMF to help pandemic-hit countries

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called for an increase in funding for the International Monetary Fund and expanded debt relief to help developing and middle-income countries recover from the novel coronavirus pandemic. Guterres told an online event that IMF members should agree to a new allocation of IMF Special Drawing...

30th September

Former Trump campaign manager hospitalized after threatening self-harm – ABC News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Bradley Parscale, the former campaign manager for President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, was hospitalized Sunday after his wife told police he was threatening to harm himself, ABC News reported. The Fort Lauderdale, Florida, police department confirmed in a statement that a man identified as Parscale was detained after they received a report...

Kuwait’s new ruler to seek stability among fractious, powerful neighbours

DUBAI (Reuters) – Kuwait’s new ruler in waiting may find it harder than his predecessor to uphold his country’s mediating role between rival Gulf powers, if only because he lacks his late brother’s decades of experience as a conciliator in a polarised region. Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah, named crown prince of the oil producing country...

Air leaking from International Space Station but no danger to crew – Roscosmos agency

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The International Space Station is leaking air in above-normal volumes, but the leak presents no danger to the Russian-American crew, the Russian space agency Roscosmos said on Tuesday. The leak has been localised to one section of a service module and the crew, made up of U.S. astronaut Chris Cassidy and Russian...

Amnesty halts India operations, saying it is being silenced

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The human rights group Amnesty International halted work in India on Tuesday, accusing the government of having frozen its bank accounts as punishment for speaking out about alleged rights abuses. Amnesty said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government had blocked its accounts on Sept. 10, forcing it to lay off its India...

TikTok launches U.S. elections guide to combat misinformation

(Reuters) – TikTok is launching an elections guide in the video-sharing app to give users information about the 2020 U.S. elections to help protect against misinformation, the company said in a Tuesday blog post. TikTok said the guide will give users access to information about federal, state and local candidates from BallotReady, and about how...

Britain imposes sanctions on Belarus leader and aides

SEOUL (Reuters) – Britain has imposed sanctions on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and seven other officials over election fraud and violence against protesters, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told Reuters on Tuesday. Lukashenko’s national security adviser and chief of staff are also among the sanctioned officials, Raab said in an interview during a visit to the...

Paris knife attacker wanted to set Charlie Hebdo offices on fire, says prosecutor

PARIS (Reuters) – The Pakistani man who wounded two people with a knife in front of the former offices of Charlie Hebdo last week did not know that the satirical magazine had moved and wanted to set its offices on fire, the Paris prosecutor said on Tuesday. Prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard told a news conference the...

Indian rape victim dies weeks after assault, hundreds protest at hospital

LUCKNOW/NEW DELHI, India (Reuters) – A woman from the lowest rung of India’s caste system died on Tuesday weeks after authorities said she was raped by a group of men, triggering protests in New Delhi with hundreds gathering at the hospital where her body lay. Her case was the latest in a string of gruesome...

Moscow extends school holiday as coronavirus cases rise

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin on Tuesday extended an upcoming school holiday by a week to limit the spread of the coronavirus, days after sources told Reuters that the capital’s hospitals had been told to free up hundreds of beds. COVID-19 infections have been rising across Europe in the weeks since the start...

Fiji Airways to operate freighter services to and from Singapore

Fiji’s national airline Fiji Airways has scheduled two freighter services between Fiji and Singapore in October. The airline says the Fiji-Singapore freighter service will operate on October 7 and 21; and the Singapore-Fiji service will operate on October 8 and 22. In a statement issued this afternoon, Fiji Airways stated while it did not have...

France to ban use of wild animals in circuses

PARIS (Reuters) – France will gradually ban the use of wild animals in circuses, phase out orca and dolphin shows and will ban mink farming for fur, the environment minister said on Tuesday. The transition will take several years and existing animal shows will receive government support to switch to a new model, Environment Minister...

German doctor admits to years of blood doping

MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) – A German sports doctor on trial for masterminding an international doping network for athletes admitted on Tuesday to helping athletes with blood doping for years but said he made no profit. The defendant, identified in Germany only as Mark S., is on trial, facing multiple charges in relation to helping at...

Puzzled scientists seek reasons behind Africa’s low fatality rates from pandemic

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Africa’s overburdened public health systems, dearth of testing facilities and overcrowded slums had experts predicting a disaster when COVID-19 hit the continent in February. The new coronavirus was already wreaking havoc in wealthy Asian and European nations, and a United Nations agency said in April that, even with social-distancing measures, the virus...

India’s Serum Institute to boost production of COVID-19 vaccine doses to 200 million

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Serum Institute of India will make up to 200 million COVID-19 vaccine doses for poorer countries, including India, next year, as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and GAVI vaccines alliance have doubled their funding, the company said on Tuesday. The extra funds will help Serum boost manufacturing of the vaccine candidates...

New fuel and LPG prices effective from tomorrow

Consumers are expected to dig just a little deeper into their pockets come October 1, 2020, when new prices of fuel and LPG prices come into effect. The Fiji Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC) has determined the new regulated prices of the fuel and liquefied petroleum products and made the announcement in a statement this...

Taiwan defence chief says no signs China is preparing for war

TAIPEI (Reuters) – There are no signs that China is preparing for all-out war with Taiwan, such as massing troops along its eastern coast, Taiwan’s defence chief said on Tuesday, after repeated Chinese drills near the island that China claims as its own. Democratic Taiwan has denounced China’s manoeuvres, including flying fighter jets over the...

Fiji’s kava export market growing; U.S largest market

Fiji’s kava export market is growing with the United States being one of the largest, earning the country about FJ$32million from kava exports last year. United States Ambassador to Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga and Tuvalu Joseph Cella said the interest of kava beverages was growing in the USA, especially as most of the drinkers were...

EU and Britain far apart as key week of Brexit talks begins

BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) – The European Union and Britain both said a post-Brexit deal was still some way off and differences persisted on Monday over putting in place their earlier divorce deal as they began a decisive week of talks in Brussels. Britain left the EU last January and is locked in negotiations on a new...

California wine country wildfire forces evacuation of hospital, hundreds of homes

ST. HELENA, Calif. (Reuters) – A wind-driven wildfire erupted on Sunday in the heart of northern California’s Napa Valley wine country to spread across nearly 2,000 acres (809 hectares), forcing the evacuation of a hospital and hundreds of homes, authorities said. Fire crews were out in force, scrambling to fend off flames threatening neighborhoods and...

Mexican women demanding legalization of abortion clash with police

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Women charged police lines and threw Molotov cocktails at officers in Mexico City on Monday during protests demanding the legalization of abortion in the majority Roman Catholic country. The protesters, clad in the green bandanas that have become the symbol of the pro-choice movement in Latin America, gathered in Mexico’s capital...

Woman charged with sending ricin letter to Trump to remain in U.S. custody

(Reuters) – A U.S. federal judge on Monday declared a Canadian woman arrested on suspicion of mailing ricin-filled letters to President Donald Trump “a continuing danger” to Trump and ordered her detained and transferred to Washington, D.C., where she was indicted. H. Kenneth Schroeder Jr., a magistrate judge in Buffalo, New York, said that Pascale...

UK government warns museums not to remove statues over protests

LONDON (Reuters) – The British government has warned a number of cultural institutions that their public funding could be called into question should they remove statues or other objects that have become the focus of protests or complaints. The issue of how Britain should deal with the legacies of its past, especially its role in...

Former Louisville detective pleads not guilty in Breonna Taylor case

(Reuters) – The only police officer indicted after the killing of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, during a botched raid pleaded not guilty on Monday on three counts of wanton endangerment of Taylor’s neighbors, local media reported. Former detective Brett Hankison was indicted by a grand jury last Wednesday and charged with endangering Taylor’s neighbors...

U.S. pension funds sue Allianz after $4 billion in coronavirus losses

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Pension funds for truckers, teachers and subway workers have lodged lawsuits in the United States against Germany’s Allianz, one of the world’s top asset managers, for failing to safeguard their investments during the coronavirus market meltdown. Market panic around the virus that resulted in billions in losses earlier this year scarred many...

Northern California wildfires kill 3, force evacuation of thousands

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (Reuters) – Three people died in a northern California wildfire raging in the Shasta County foothills of the Cascade range, officials said on Monday, as a separate blaze devastated the famed wine-producing region of Napa and Sonoma counties. The three fatalities in the so-called Zogg Fire in Shasta County, which erupted on...

29th September

Threat to evacuate U.S. diplomats from Iraq raises fear of war

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Washington has made preparations to withdraw diplomats from Iraq after warning Baghdad it could shut its embassy, two Iraqi officials and two Western diplomats said, a step Iraqis fear could turn their country into a battle zone. Any move by the United States to reduce its diplomatic presence in a country where...

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