World

Pentagon chief to nudge ties with Vietnam as human rights concerns linger

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will on Thursday look to nudge forward security ties with Vietnam that have been slowly deepening as both countries watch China’s activities in the South China Sea with growing alarm....

‘Better Call Saul’ star Bob Odenkirk hospitalized after ‘heart-related incident’

U.S. screen actor Bob Odenkirk remained hospitalized in New Mexico on Wednesday with an unspecified heart ailment after falling ill on the set of his television show “Better Call Saul,” according to publicists and his former “Breaking Bad” co-star, Bryan Cranston. Odenkirk, 58, collapsed during production of his darkly humorous AMC crime drama, which was...

Ford raises 2021 profit outlook, eyes shift to build-to-order

Ford Motor Co (F.N) on Wednesday boosted its 2021 profit forecast after reporting better-than-expected quarterly results, lifting the No. 2 U.S. automaker’s shares nearly 3%. While an ongoing global chip shortage cost Ford market share in North America, Europe and China, higher prices on more profitable models such as large pickups and SUVs helped increase...

Australia PM says vaccinations alone will not end Sydney’s COVID-19 lockdown

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said vaccinations alone would not bring an end to a COVID-19 lockdown in Sydney as residents of the country’s largest city face another month under tough curbs to stamp out an outbreak of the Delta variant. “I mean, it can certainly help … the low rates (of vaccination) we have...

New Mexican vigilante group’s sympathizers set fire to government offices, businesses

Mexican villagers sympathizing with a new indigenous self-defense group torched government offices, businesses and houses in a remote mountainous region in southern Chiapas state this week, protesting rampant insecurity in the area. The violence in the indigenous Tzotzil community of Pantelhó late on Monday and early on Tuesday came less than two weeks after a...

U.S., Russia hold nuclear talks in Geneva after summit push

Senior U.S. and Russian officials on Wednesday restarted talks on easing tensions between the world’s largest nuclear weapons powers and agreed to reconvene in September after informal consultations, the State Department said. U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov headed their delegations at the meeting at the U.S....

Residents flee as winds fan massive wildfire in southern Turkey

A massive forest fire in southern Turkey spread to the town of Manavgat as the flames were fanned by strong winds on Wednesday, according to the local mayor, and TV footage showed residents running for their cars as streets were engulfed in smoke. Footage showed plumes of black smoke rising from the forest around Manavgat,...

Big Tech starts requiring vaccines; Twitter closes re-opened U.S. offices

Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) is shutting its reopened offices in United States, while other big tech companies are making vaccination mandatory for on-campus employees, as the highly infectious Delta COVID-19 variant drives a resurgence in cases. Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google and Facebook Inc (FB.O) said on Wednesday all U.S. employees must get vaccinated to step into...

U.S. Senate advances roughly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill

A roughly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure investment bill advanced in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, passing a key milestone that moves the emerging legislation toward formal debate and possible passage. The Senate voted 67-32 to take the first procedural step toward debating the measure that has the support of Democratic President Joe Biden. The bipartisan...

Fed says economic recovery remains on track despite COVID-19 surge

The U.S. economic recovery is still on track despite a rise in coronavirus infections, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday in a new policy statement that remained upbeat and flagged ongoing talks around the eventual withdrawal of monetary policy support. In a news conference following the release of the statement, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said...

White House tells agencies to mandate masks in federal buildings in hot spots

Numerous U.S. federal agencies on Wednesday mandated masks at federal buildings in COVID-19 hot spots in line with instructions issued by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), according to an OMB email seen by Reuters. The move followed guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday that...

China urges insurers to increase offerings for natural disaster coverage

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s banking and insurance regulator said on Thursday that it will guide insurers to increase investment in natural disaster insurance and enrich product offerings. It also plans to raise public awareness of risks, to let natural disaster insurance play a greater role in national emergency response, the China’s Banking and Insurance Regulatory...

Risking China’s anger, Blinken meets representative of Dalai Lama in India

NEW DELHI (Reuters) -U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with a representative of Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, in New Delhi on Wednesday, a State Department spokesperson said, a move that is likely to provoke anger in China. Blinken met briefly with Ngodup Dongchung, who serves as a representative of Central Tibetan Administration...

Tokyo COVID-19 cases top 3,000, record high for second straight day – media

TOKYO (Reuters) -Daily COVID-19 cases in Olympic host city Tokyo hit a record high for a second straight day on Wednesday, topping 3,000 for the first time since the pandemic began, local media reported, as the spike in infections puts pressure on hospitals. The sharp rise in cases may dampen domestic enthusiasm for the Games...

Legal wrangles hold up U.S. vaccine donations to India

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Two months after India dropped local-trial rules for COVID-19 vaccines approved by developed countries, not a single dose has arrived as New Delhi dithers over legal protection sought by companies like Pfizer and Moderna. The United States has in recent weeks donated millions of vaccine doses to countries such as Bangladesh,...

Climate activists challenge Britain’s support of North Sea oil and gas producers

LONDON (Reuters) – The British High Court has agreed to hear a case by environmental campaigners claiming that the government’s support of North Sea oil and gas companies conflicted with its plans to slash the country’s carbon emissions by 2050. The legal challenge revolves around tax breaks oil and gas producers receive in order to...

Oil prices gain on U.S. fuel drawdown despite rising COVID-19 cases

SINGAPORE (Reuters) -Oil prices climbed on Wednesday after industry data showed U.S. crude and product stockpiles dropped more than expected last week, bolstering expectations that demand will outpace supply growth even amid a surge in COVID-19 infections. Brent crude futures rose 38 cents, or 0.5%, to $74.86 a barrel at 0641 GMT, after shedding 2...

UK’s Johnson keen for U.S. travellers as hopes rise for easing restrictions

LONDON (Reuters) -Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he wants U.S. citizens to come to England “freely” and he was talking to the United States about a travel corridor, LBC radio reported on Wednesday. Britain has stuck to strict COVID-19 travel rules which airline bosses have blamed for the country falling behind the European Union in...

AstraZeneca second dose doesn’t raise risk of rare blood clots – study

(Reuters) – AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 shot did not increase the instances of rare blood clots with low platelets in people after the second dose, a study showed on Wednesday, potentially easing some worries over the vaccine’s side-effects. Data published in the Lancet medical journal found that the estimated rate of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) after...

Biden considers requiring COVID-19 vaccines for federal workers

MCLEAN, Va. (Reuters) -President Joe Biden said on Tuesday his administration is considering whether to require U.S. federal employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. “That’s under consideration right now,” Biden told a reporter who asked whether the administration was weighing such a requirement. Biden made the remark during a visit to the Office of the...

Outrage in Greece at killing of Kostis, a rare Monk seal rescued by fishermen

ATHENS (Reuters) – An orphaned Monk seal known as Kostis which had become a local celebrity in Greece after being rescued by fishermen three years ago has been found harpooned from close range, prompting outrage by conservationists and demands to find his killer. MOm, the Hellenic Society for the Study and Protection of the Monk...

28th July

Ukrainian president fires head of the armed forces, citing disputes

KYIV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has dismissed the head of the armed forces, Ruslan Khomchak, his spokesman said at a briefing on Tuesday, citing tensions between the armed forces and the defence ministry. Khomchak will be moved to a post on the national security and defence council. He will be replaced by Valery...

Ethiopia’s Somali region says town attacked, amid new local flare ups

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) -The local government in Ethiopia’s Somali region said on Tuesday militia from the neighbouring region of Afar had attacked and looted a town, the latest flare-up in a local boundary dispute that adds to broader tensions in the Horn of Africa nation. Ali Bedel, spokesperson for the Somali region government, said Afar...

Kuwait bans unvaccinated citizens from travelling abroad

CAIRO (Reuters) – Kuwait on Tuesday said only citizens who have been vaccinated for the coronavirus will be allowed to travel abroad starting on Aug. 1. A government statement said the rule excepted children under age of 16, those with a health ministry certificate saying they cannot be vaccinated, and pregnant women who have a...

Chile regulator files charges against Canada’s Lundin over blasting

SANTIAGO (Reuters) -Chile’s environmental regulator said on Tuesday that it had filed charges against Canadian miner Lundin’s Candelaria copper mine for breaches in its operational permits, including violations related to its blasting operations. The Andean country’s environmental regulator, SMA, said it had received a number of complaints from local residents and that it expected the...

California expands state healthcare to undocumented residents 50 and up

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – California’s governor on Tuesday signed into law a major expansion of the state’s Medicaid coverage to all low-income residents aged 50 and up regardless of their immigration status, extending eligibility to some 235,000 undocumented people. Governor Gavin Newsom, a first-term Democrat facing a Republican-led recall election in September, said the bill...

U.S. urges vaccinated Americans to wear masks indoors in many places

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should go back to wearing masks in indoor public places in regions where the coronavirus is spreading rapidly, U.S. health authorities said on Tuesday. In a toughening of guidance issued earlier this month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommended all students, teachers and...

Sydney adds four weeks to lockdown as Australia COVID-19 cases spike

SYDNEY (Reuters) -The Australian city of Sydney extended a lockdown by four weeks on Wednesday after an already protracted stay-at-home order failed to douse a COVID-19 outbreak, with the authorities warning of tougher policing to stamp out non-compliance. Far from a planned exit from lockdown in three days, the city of 5 million people and...

UNESCO names Romanian ancient gold mine settlement a world heritage site

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – UNESCO added the ancient Roman gold mining area of Rosia Montana in western Romania to its list of world heritage sites on Tuesday, throwing the town a lifeline and further complicating a long-stalled mine project. Canada’s Gabriel Resources, which had planned to build Europe’s largest open cast gold mine in Rosia Montana,...

Kenyan entrepreneur turns water hyacinth weed into cooking fuel

KISUMU, Kenya (Reuters) – A project in Kenya is using biogas technology to tackle two major pollution problems with one device: a machine that converts waste such as invasive water hyacinth into cleaner cooking fuel. Biogas International, a Kenyan energy technology company, is partnering with drugmaker AstraZeneca and the Institute for Sustainability Leadership at the...

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