World

29th September

Indonesia parliament committee approves govt’s $190.4 billion 2022 budget

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s parliamentary budget committee on Tuesday approved President Joko Widodo’s 2022 budget with a total spending of 2,714.2 trillion rupiah ($190.40 billion) and 4.85% of GDP deficit, committee chair Said Abdullah said....

Pfizer begins study of oral drug for prevention of COVID-19

(Reuters) -Pfizer Inc said on Monday it has started a large study testing its investigational oral antiviral drug for the prevention of COVID-19 infection among those who have been exposed to the virus. The drugmaker and its rivals, including U.S.-based Merck & Co Inc and Swiss pharmaceutical Roche Holding AG, have been racing to develop...

U.S. court revives two convictions stemming from 2012 meningitis outbreak

BOSTON (Reuters) – A federal appeals court on Monday restored the convictions of a co-owner and former employee of a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy accused of deceiving regulators before its drugs sparked a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak in 2012. The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston ruled that a judge wrongly found it was...

White House rebuts idea that Huawei’s Meng was freed in prisoner swap

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House on Monday said a near-simultaneous release of a top Huawei executive and two Canadians detained shortly after her arrest was not a prisoner swap, but that their cases came up in a call between the Chinese and American presidents weeks before. On Friday, Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou...

28th September

Australia retail sales slide in August, but relief in sight

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian retail sales dived for a third straight month in August as half the population were trapped in coronavirus lockdowns, though reopening is in sight as vaccinations race toward world-beating levels. Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday showed retail sales fell 1.7% in August to A$29.3 billion ($21.27 billion)....

Sydney’s unvaccinated warned of social isolation when COVID-19 lockdown ends

SYDNEY (Reuters) -Sydney residents who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 risk being barred from various social activities even when they are freed from stay-at-home orders in December, New South Wales state Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned on Tuesday. Under a roadmap to exit lockdown in Australia’s biggest city, unvaccinated people are already subject to delays in...

World Bank says Delta variant slowing economic growth in East Asia and Pacific

(Reuters) -The East Asia and Pacific region’s recovery has been undermined by the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant, which is likely slowing economic growth and increasing inequality in the region, the World Bank said on Monday. Economic activity began to slow in the second quarter of 2021, and growth forecasts have been downgraded for...

Pentagon leaders to face Afghanistan reckoning in Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden’s top military leaders are expected to face some of the most contentious hearings in memory this week over the chaotic end to the war in Afghanistan, which cost the lives of U.S. troops and civilians and left the Taliban back in power. The Senate and House committees overseeing the...

Australia takes on Google’s online ad dominance, calls for data shakeout

SYDNEY (Reuters) -Australia’s antitrust watchdog said it wants the power to curb Google’s use of internet data to sell targeted ads, saying the Big Tech firm dominated the market to the point of harming publishers, advertisers and consumers. The comments, in a report published Tuesday, set up another possible showdown between Australia and Google months...

UK puts military on standby as panic buying hits fuel supplies

LONDON (Reuters) – The British government says it is putting the military on standby as part of further measures to address a supply chain crisis which has led fuel pumps to run dry amid panic-buying by motorists. The move to mobilise the army comes after a widespread shortage of truck drivers, which has led to...

U.S. appeals court rules New York City can order teachers, staff to get COVID vaccine

(Reuters) – A federal appeals court on Monday ruled that New York City can order all teachers and staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine, reversing a previous decision that had put the mandate on hold.

New York hospitals fire, suspend staff who refuse COVID vaccine

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York hospitals on Monday began firing or suspending healthcare workers for defying a state order to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and resulting staff shortages prompted some hospitals to postpone elective surgeries or curtail services. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference the city’s hospitals were not...

No one from Afghanistan will address world leaders at U.N

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) -No representative from Afghanistan will address the annual high-level U.N. General Assembly in New York after the ambassador for the government ousted by the Taliban – who was due to speak on Monday – withdrew his name. The move comes as the ambassador, Ghulam Isaczai, and the Taliban, which seized power in...

Two transgender women win seats in German parliament

BERLIN (Reuters) -Two German politicians from the Greens have made history by becoming the first transgender women to win parliamentary seats in Sunday’s national election. Tessa Ganserer and Nyke Slawik stood for the Greens party, which came third in the election, increasing its share of the vote to 14.8% from 8.9% in 2017 and is...

Car-exhaust drug craze alarms Congo’s capital

KINSHASA (Reuters) – A new craze for a drug derived from crushed vehicle exhaust filters is rattling authorities in Kinshasa, triggering a campaign to stamp out the concoction and a related rash of car part thefts. In August police rounded up and paraded nearly 100 alleged dealers and users of the drug “bombe”, which means...

African sex workers face digital abuse as pandemic pushes them online

NAIROBI/MUTARE (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Kenyan sex worker Elizabeth Otieno shudders each time her cellphone buzzes with a new notification. The device may have become a lifeline in helping her move her work online during the COVID-19 pandemic, but after a client secretly recorded their virtual sex session and leaked it onto the internet, every...

Japan to lift state of emergency in all regions at end of month – NHK

TOKYO (Reuters) -Japan plans to lift its COVID-19 state of emergency, which covers 19 prefectures, in all of the regions at the end of September, broadcaster NHK reported on Monday. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said he discussed easing measures with relevant ministers on Monday, and would seek the views of a government panel of advisers...

Tunisians protest against president’s power grab as opposition deepens

TUNIS (Reuters) -Several thousand demonstrators rallied in the Tunisian capital on Sunday to protest against President Kais Saied’s seizure of power, calling on him to step down in the biggest show of public anger since his intervention. Saied this week brushed aside much of the 2014 constitution, giving himself power to rule by decree two...

Gaza to begin rebuilding homes destroyed in May conflict

GAZA (Reuters) – The reconstruction of homes in Gaza that were destroyed or damaged in the May conflict between Israel and Hamas will begin in the first week of October using aid from Qatar, a senior Palestinian housing official said on Sunday. Gaza’s Hamas-run government says Israeli air strikes destroyed about 2,200 homes in the...

Outcome uncertain as Japan’s ruling party heads to vote on next PM

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s ruling party votes on Wednesday for the country’s next prime minister in an election that has turned into the most unpredictable race since Shinzo Abe made a surprise comeback almost a decade ago, defeating a popular rival in a runoff. The winner of the Sept. 29 contest to lead the conservative...

China says will reduce the number of abortions for “non-medical purposes”

BEIJING (Reuters) – China will reduce the number of abortions performed for “non-medical purposes”, the country’s cabinet said in new guidelines issued on Monday. In measures aimed at improving women’s reproductive health, the State Council said it would improve women’s overall access to pre-pregnancy health care services and “reduce abortions for non-medical purposes”. China has...

Erdogan says Turkey plans to buy more Russian defense systems

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey still intended to buy a second batch of S-400 missile defense systems from Russia, a move that could deepen a rift with NATO ally Washington and trigger new U.S. sanctions. Washington says the S-400s pose a threat to its F-35 fighter jets and to NATO’s broader defense systems....

Kosovo says offices attacked in volatile north as Serbs block roads

PRISTINA (Reuters) -Two interior ministry offices in northern Kosovo were attacked near border crossings blocked by local Serbs angered by a ban on cars with Serbian licence plates entering the country, police said on Saturday. The car registration office in the town of Zubin Potok was set ablaze and two hand grenades were thrown at...

In Iceland’s election, political stability again at stake

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Icelanders ended voting late on Saturday in an election that could have a messy outcome with a record nine parties likely to enter parliament, making it difficult to find common ground on topics like climate change and healthcare. The North Atlantic island of 371,000 has had a period of stability since 2017...

Canadian Catholic bishops apologize for role in indigenous residential schools

VANCOUVER (Reuters) – The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on Friday officially apologized for their role in the country’s notorious residential school system for the first time, after refusing to do so for years despite public pressure. In a statement issued on Friday, the organization expressed “profound remorse” and apologized unequivocally along with all Catholic...

‘Massively grateful’ Daniel Craig bids farewell to James Bond

LONDON (Reuters) – Daniel Craig thought he had wrapped up his tenure as James Bond with “Spectre”, but the actor says his final fifth outing as the British secret agent in “No Time To Die” allowed him to fully complete his 007 journey. Nearly 60 years after the first Bond film “Dr No” premiered, cinema’s...

27th September

Australian PM refuses to commit to phasing out fossil fuels

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison refused to commit to phasing out fossil fuels as a major climate conference approaches, while his deputy doubled down on opposing targets for net zero emissions of greenhouse gases. Australia, the world’s top coal and a major gas exporter, is under growing pressure to come up with...

Japan’s Kono says same-sex marriage should be discussed in parliament

TOKYO (Reuters) – The frontrunner to become Japan’s next prime minister on Sunday said he supported same-sex marriage and that the issue should be discussed in parliament, in contrast to longstanding unease over the issue in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. Taro Kono, the minister in charge of Japan’s vaccine roll-out and one of four...

China tells energy firms to raise output to keep homes warm in winter

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) has told coal and natural gas companies to increase their output to ensure the country has sufficient energy supplies to keep homes warm during winter, the regulator said on Sunday. The NEA said the meetings had taken place during Sept. 23-25 and that it had also held...

German conservative candidate makes voting blunder on election day

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s conservative chancellor candidate Armin Laschet https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/conservative-laschet-struggles-momentum-german-leadership-race-2021-09-21 was ridiculed on social media for a misstep on election day on Sunday, capping a campaign marred by embarrassing gaffes that hurt his popularity. Under German voting rules, voters must keep their choice confidential until they have left the polling station. But when casting his...

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