World

Google won’t use other web tracking tools after phasing out cookies

(Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google will not build or use alternate tools to track web browsing traffic once it begins phasing out existing technology from its Chrome browser next year, it said in a blog...

As U.S. interview nears, Meghan and Harry won’t tango with UK tabloids

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Prince Harry and American wife Meghan decided long ago they would not play the traditional royal media “game”, and on Sunday they depart from the norms of engagement again with an in-depth interview with U.S. chat show host Oprah Winfrey. Smarting from sometimes critical tabloid headlines and press intrusion in Britain,...

Australian attorney-general denies historical rape claim

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Australian Attorney-General Christian Porter, the country’s chief law officer, identified himself on Wednesday as the subject of a historical rape allegation, declaring his innocence and strongly denying the claim. Politicians who last week received an anonymous allegation of an assault in 1988 had referred material to federal police. On Tuesday, police in...

South Korea investigates deaths of two who received AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean authorities are investigating the deaths of two people, both with pre-existing conditions, who died within days of receiving AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine. AstraZeneca said it was aware of the investigation by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), but the safety of the vaccine has been extensively studied in clinical...

Australia building world’s first platypus sanctuary

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian conservationists on Wednesday unveiled plans to build the world’s first refuge for the platypus, to promote breeding and rehabilitation as the duck-billed mammal faces extinction due to climate change. The Taronga Conservation Society Australia and the New South Wales State government said they would build the specialist facility, mostly ponds and...

Nearly 40 killed in violent day of protests against Myanmar coup, U.N. envoy says

(Reuters) – Thirty-eight people were killed in Myanmar as the military quelled protests in several towns and cities on Wednesday, the United Nations said, the most violent day since demonstrations against last month’s military coup first broke out. Police and soldiers opened fire with live rounds with little warning, witnesses said. The bloodshed occurred one...

ICC prosecutor to probe war crimes in Palestinian Territories, angering Israel

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – The International Criminal Court prosecutor said on Wednesday her office will formally investigate war crimes in the Palestinian Territories, a move welcomed by the Palestinian Authority and denounced by Israel. The decision follows a ruling by the court on Feb. 5 that it has jurisdiction in the case, prompting swift rejections...

EU vows legal response as UK moves unilaterally on Northern Ireland

BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) – The European Union promised legal action on Wednesday after the British government unilaterally extended a grace period for checks on food imports to Northern Ireland, a move Brussels said violated terms of Britain’s divorce deal. Since it left the EU last year, Britain’s relations with the bloc have soured, with both sides...

Iran looms over Senate hearing for Biden nominee for senior U.S. State post

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. senators peppered President Joe Biden’s nominee to be the No. 2 official at the State Department with questions about Iran on Wednesday, a sign she could face difficulty winning support from Republicans even as she warned against “nostalgia” for the Iran nuclear deal she helped broker. Wendy Sherman, who helped negotiate...

SPC optimistic about rapid regional vaccination timelines

The wait for island nations to vaccinate their people may only take a few months rather than years, the Pacific Community says. The UK-based Economist Intelligence Unit had forecast that some Pacific countries may not get to vaccinate majority of their populations until at least 2025. The group said this involved more than 60 percent...

Violence erupts as kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls return to families

JANGEBE, Nigeria (Reuters) – One moment, Hadiza was weeping and flinging her arms around her father for the first time since her abduction; the next – gunfire and tear gas filled the air and people ran for cover. It was supposed to be a joyous reunion to end the five-day ordeal of 279 girls kidnapped...

Tighter controls called for on PNG sand exploitation

After successfully stopping one sand mining project, Papua New Guinea environmentalists now want the government to tighten the rules around the industry. A Singaporean company, Niugini Sands, last week dropped plans to mine the black sands along the Madang coast, with director, Marcus Ong, saying bad publicity was pivotal in their decision. The environmental group,...

Cook Islands mosquito eradication steps up

The Cook Islands has launched its dengue mosquito eradication programme. The Operation Namu mass spraying campaign got underway yesterday on Rarotonga where an outbreak of dengue was declared in February. Spraying will continue today, weather permitting. The Cook Islands News reported spraying would continue around Rarotonga until 11 March. The programme targets mosquito larvae in breeding...

U.S. won’t ‘shy away’ from responding when necessary, Pentagon says after Iraq rocket attack

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has shown it won’t “shy away” from responding to attacks against its personnel when necessary, the Pentagon said on Wednesday, after a rocket attack against Iraq’s Ain al-Asad air base, which hosts U.S., coalition and Iraqi forces. “Let’s do this the right way. Let’s let our Iraqi partners investigate...

Investigation launched into alleged treasonous acts by Samoan MPs

Samoa’s former deputy prime minister and three other Opposition MPs are to be investigated for alleged treasonous activities and breaches of Standing Orders. A Commission of Inquiry has been ordered to look into the behaviour of Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, who recently left the governing HRPP, as well as La’auli Leuatea Polataivao Schmidt, Faumuina Wayne Fong,...

Myanmar army tells U.N. it is ready to weather sanctions, isolation, envoy says

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Myanmar’s military says it is ready to withstand sanctions and isolation after its Feb. 1 coup, a top United Nations official said on Wednesday as she urged countries to “take very strong measures” to restore democracy in the Southeast Asian nation. U.N. special envoy on Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, said 38...

Tough road ahead for refugees released into Australian community

Australia has freed dozens of refugees after holding them in detention for up to eight years on Nauru and Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island. The offshore detentions were designed to deter refugees and asylum seekers from coming to Australia by boat. Canberra alleged they were entering the country illegally. Now, more than 60 refugees, many...

Biden administration singles out China as ‘biggest geopolitical test’ for U.S

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden singled out a “growing rivalry with China” as a key challenge facing the United States, with his top diplomat describing the Asian country as “the biggest geopolitical test” of this century. The administration rolled out its thinking in a 24-page document outlining Biden’s national security policies along with the...

Cooks govt urges end to rumour mill as passengers test negative

Officials in the Cook Islands have reassured the public about their safety from Covid-19 and urged people to stop spreading misinformation. The Secretary of Health, Bob Williams, said passengers who arrived last week on a flight from Auckland have all tested negative for the coronavirus. He said the passengers from the flight, with the exception...

Ten rebels killed, three captured in Colombia military bombing

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Ten former members of Colombian guerrilla group FARC were killed and three were captured during a bombing in southeastern Guaviare province, the defense minister said on Tuesday. The fighters, who reject the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia’s 2016 peace deal with the government, were targeted in the rural municipality of Calamar. “In...

Port Moresby to get bronze statue of PNG founding father

The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, James Marape, has directed that a bronze statue be erected in honour of Sir Michael Somare on Independence Hill in Port Moresby. Sir Michael, PNG’s founding prime minister, died last Friday. The Post Courier also reported the government has accepted Sir Michael’s wish that he be buried at...

One in five Chinese Australians report attacks or threats amid pandemic, rising tensions

SYDNEY (Reuters) – One in five Chinese Australians say they have been physically threatened or attacked in the past year because of the COVID-19 pandemic and tensions in Australia’s relationship with China, a survey by the Lowy Institute think tank reported. The findings prompted a call from the Chinese Australian Forum, a community group, for...

Nearly 20.5 million Britons have received first COVID-19 vaccine dose

LONDON (Reuters) – A total of 20,478,619 Britons have been given the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to official data released on Tuesday which also showed a further 6,391 cases and 343 deaths within 28 days of a positive test.

U.S. probes role of human smuggling in Mexico border collision that killed 13

HOLTVILLE, Calif. (Reuters) – At least 13 people, 10 of them Mexican nationals, were killed on Tuesday when a tractor-trailer slammed into an SUV crammed with 25 adults and children on a dusty Southern Californian road near the U.S.-Mexico border, officials said. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents opened an investigation into whether human...

More demonstrations in Myanmar as ASEAN diplomatic effort stalls

(Reuters) – Protests against a military coup in Myanmar showed no sign of abating with more planned across the country on Wednesday, as Southeast Asian neighbours struggled for consensus in their efforts to end the month-long crisis. Security forces fired warning shots into the air as protesters gathered at one site in the commercial capital...

3rd March

UK royal Meghan awarded $630,000 in costs after court privacy win

LONDON (Reuters) – Meghan, Britain’s Duchess of Sussex, was awarded 450,000 pounds ($630,000) on Tuesday as a provisional payment towards her legal costs after she won a privacy claim against the Mail on Sunday which had printed extracts of a letter she wrote to her father. Last month, a judge at London’s High Court ruled...

‘Crying and moving’: Nigerian schoolgirls recount forced march kidnap ordeal

GUSAU, Nigeria (Reuters) – Gunmen who kidnapped nearly 300 schoolgirls from a boarding school in northwest Nigeria last week beat them and threatened to shoot them during a forced march into captivity, victims said on Tuesday after they were set free. The pupils from Jangebe, a town in Zamfara state, were seized in a raid...

Myanmar’s neighbours press junta for Suu Kyi’s release, restoration of democracy

(Reuters) – Some of Myanmar’s neighbours pressed its ruling junta on Tuesday to release ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi and cease using lethal force against opponents of their Feb. 1 coup to work out a solution to the crisis. The calls from fellow members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) came as...

Sarkozy ready to sue France before European court to prove innocence

PARIS (Reuters) – Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Tuesday he was ready to go all the way to the European Court of Human Rights to prove his innocence, his first public reaction after being found guilty of corruption and sentenced to prison on Monday. The court found that Sarkozy, 66, had tried to...

Worries Bougainvilleans are not complying with Covid-19 measures

There are worries that Covid-19 warnings from the Bougainville Government are not reaching the people. That’s the view of the Executive Director of the Leitana Nehan Women’s Agency, Helen Hakena, who said despite soaring infections, people in the automonous region in Papua New Guinea, were not following the guidelines. Bougainville, after staying almost completely free...

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