World

16th May

Death toll rises as violence rocks Gaza, Israel and West Bank

Israeli planes renewed air strikes in Gaza early on Saturday and Hamas militants responded by firing rockets into Israel as their battle entered a fifth night and U.S. and Arab diplomats sought an end to...

15th May

Russia declares VTimes news site ‘foreign agent’, sends bailiffs to Radio Free Europe

Russia on Friday designated online news site VTimes a “foreign agent” and also sent bailiffs to the Moscow office of U.S. broadcaster Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) over unpaid fines in a widening crackdown on media critical of the Kremlin. VTimes is the second outlet in less than a month to be designated a “foreign...

Hong Kong freezes listed shares of media tycoon Lai under security law

Hong Kong authorities on Friday froze assets belonging to jailed media tycoon Jimmy Lai, including all shares in his company, Next Digital (0282.HK) – the first time a listed firm has been targeted by national security laws in the financial hub. Also among assets targeted were the local bank accounts of three companies owned by...

Activists, politicians and TV hosts jostle to rewrite Chile’s constitution

On a crisp spring day in 2019, Cote Cumplido took up a banner and joined more than a million people marching through the streets of the Chilean capital Santiago to demand greater equality and major changes to its political system. Now the 33-year-old is handing out flyers with her own name on them on, hoping...

Putin says Ukraine is becoming an ‘anti-Russia’, pledges response

President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that neighbouring Ukraine was becoming ‘anti-Russia’ and that Moscow would be ready to react to what he said were threats to its own security. Putin was speaking a day after a Ukrainian court placed Viktor Medvedchuk, a prominent pro-Russian politician who says Putin is godfather to his daughter, under...

Israel pounds Gaza to curb Palestinian militants but rockets still fly

As the war between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip lit up the skies and sent civilians running for cover for a fifth night running on Friday, diplomats stepped up efforts to try and end the violence. As Gazans marked a grim Eid al-Fitr feast marking the end of the holy month of...

No normal life for Israelis in range of Gaza rockets

Sirens wail, radio broadcasts are interrupted, cellphones beep with Red Alerts every few seconds, and warning messages flash up on TV. When you hear them, rush for cover. This has become the routine across large areas of central and southern Israel, from small towns bordering Gaza to metropolitan Tel Aviv and southern Beersheva. More than...

Peru election race tightens again as conservatives gain ground

Peru’s polarized presidential election race is tightening further, an opinion poll showed on Friday, with socialist candidate Pedro Castillo’s lead being trimmed by right-wing opponent Keiko Fujimori just weeks before the June 6 ballot. Castillo, whose sudden ascendancy has sparked jitters among investors and copper miners, was shown with 42% of the vote in a...

New Zealand PM says to fight hate, study social media algorithms

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Saturday that world leaders and tech firms looking to stamp out violent extremism online would need to focus efforts on understanding social media algorithms that drive content. Ardern was speaking at a virtual summit to mark the second anniversary of the global initiative to end online hate,...

Russia deems U.S., Czech Republic ‘unfriendly’, limits embassy hires

The Russian government said on Friday it had officially deemed the United States and the Czech Republic “unfriendly” states, and that U.S. diplomatic missions could no longer employ local staff while Czech missions could employ a maximum of 19. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law last month to limit the number of local staff...

Armenia says Azerbaijan fails to fully withdraw after border incident

Armenia said on Friday that Azerbaijan had failed to fulfil a promise in full to withdraw troops that had crossed the border in a disputed incident, and that it had sought Russia’s military help. Six months after the worst fighting in decades between Azeri and ethnic Armenian forces, the border incident this week has demonstrated...

The man behind Brazil’s search for miracle COVID-19 cures

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, addressing the nation last month in a social media video, touted the latest in a string of unconventional drugs he says can ease the country’s COVID-19 crisis. Bolsonaro – a vaccine skeptic and promoter of discredited treatments such as hydroxychloroquine – said this new drug, Proxalutamide, would “soon be available to...

Italy audit court rejects public funding for ReiThera COVID-19 vaccine-sources

Italy’s hopes of producing its own COVID-19 vaccine have been thrown into doubt after the state audit court rejected a plan to pump public funds into local biotech company ReiThera, two sources close to the matter told Reuters on Friday. A source at the audit court said it had ruled this week against a contract...

Lines, tokens and money brokers: Myanmar’s crumbling economy runs low on cash

If you need cash in Myanmar, you have to get up early. Queues start forming outside banks at 4 a.m., where the first 15 or 30 customers are given a plastic token that will allow them to enter the bank when it opens at 9:30 a.m. and withdraw cash, according to more than a dozen...

UAE urges Mideast ceasefire, offers condolences to all victims -WAM

The United Arab Emirates foreign minister on Friday voiced his country’s concern over the escalation of Israeli-Palestinian violence and called for a ceasefire and the start of a diplomatic dialogue, state news agency WAM reported. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan offered condolences to all victims of the fighting, citing the promise of September accords...

Israel pounds Gaza to curb Palestinian militants but rockets still fly

As the war between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip lit up the skies and sent civilians running for cover for a fifth night running on Friday, diplomats stepped up efforts to try and end the violence. As Gazans marked a grim Eid al-Fitr feast marking the end of the holy month of...

Lines, tokens and money brokers: Myanmar’s crumbling economy runs low on cash

(Reuters) – If you need cash in Myanmar, you have to get up early. Queues start forming outside banks at 4 a.m., where the first 15 or 30 customers are given a plastic token that will allow them to enter the bank when it opens at 9:30 a.m. and withdraw cash, according to more than...

Egypt’s road building drive eases jams but leaves some unhappy

CAIRO (Reuters) – At weekends, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is often driven out to a road construction site in Cairo where he is pictured surveying stretches of recently poured asphalt and being briefed by workers. The highways and bridges he inspects are the most visible part of a big infrastructure push meant to galvanise...

Coal industry sees relevance in tech embraced by Paris climate agreement

TOKYO (Reuters) – The coal industry is betting it can survive the decarbonization of electricity and industry and keep fossil fuels in the mix by leaning on carbon-capture technology, the head of the World Coal Association told Reuters. Such methods are a key part of the Paris Agreement on climate change, said the organisation’s chief,...

Singapore coronavirus cases could burst hopes for Hong Kong travel bubble

HONG KONG (Reuters) – A travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore set to open on May 26 has a “high chance” of being postponed, a Hong Kong official said on Friday, which would be the second time the plan to allow visits between the cities has been called off. The bubble between two of...

India’s COVID cases above 24 million as mutant spreads across globe

BENGALURU (Reuters) – The number of recorded COVID-19 infections in India climbed above 24 million on Friday amid reports that the highly transmissible coronavirus mutant first detected in the country was spreading across the globe. The Indian B.1.617 variant of the virus has been found in cases in eight countries of the Americas, including Canada...

Scottish police free men held by UK immigration force

LONDON (Reuters) – Scottish police ordered the release on Thursday of two Indian men who had been detained by British immigration officials, after hundreds of protesters in Glasgow blocked the path of a van carrying the detainees. Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who wants to wrest immigration powers from the United Kingdom government, welcomed the...

Fully vaccinated people can shed their masks in most places -U.S. CDC

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday advised that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks outdoors and can avoid wearing them indoors in most places, updated guidance the agency said will allow life to begin to return to normal. The CDC, which hopes the guidance will...

Brazil to pause production of AstraZeneca vaccine due to lack of ingredients

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazil’s Fiocruz biomedical institute said on Thursday it would interrupt production of the AstraZeneca vaccine for certain days next week due to a lack of ingredients, until new supplies arrive on May 22. Fiocruz, a government-backed center in Rio de Janeiro, said on Twitter that production based on current supplies...

14th May

Oil drops 3% on India’s COVID-19 crisis, U.S. pipeline restart

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices fell about 3% on Thursday as India’s coronavirus crisis deepened and a key U.S. fuel pipeline resumed operations, halting a rally that had lifted crude to an eight-week high after forecasts for a rebound in global demand later in the year. Brent crude ended the session down $2.27, or...

U.N. Security Council to meet on Sunday about Israel, Gaza

NEW YORK (Reuters) -The U.N. Security Council will publicly discuss the worsening violence between Israel and Palestinian militants on Sunday, diplomats said, reaching a compromise over U.S. objections to a meeting on Friday. Diplomats said the United States, a close ally of Israel, had initially suggested a virtual public meeting could be held on Tuesday....

U.S. will not immediately lift mask rules in air, public transit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Biden administration’s requirements that people wear masks on U.S. airplanes, public transport, airports and ride-hailing vehicles are not expected to be lifted anytime soon, despite an easing in the rules for mask-wearing elsewhere. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Thursday that it was easing its guidance for...

UK wants global deal to stop financing coal projects

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain wants to broker a global agreement to stop the cross-border financing of coal projects when it hosts a major climate conference in November, a senior government minister said on Friday. Alok Sharma, the minister in charge of preparations for the United Nations COP26 summit in Glasgow, said significant action was needed...

Russia picks cast for movie to be shot in space

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia has picked four people to serve as nonprofessional crew members and actors in what is planned to be the first movie to be shot in outer space, Russia’s Roscosmos space agency said on Thursday. Some of them are scheduled to be launched on a Soyuz MS-19 craft on Oct. 5 to...

In surprise move, Japan adds 3 more prefectures to virus state of emergenc

TOKYO (Reuters) -Japan will declare a state of emergency in three more prefectures hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said on Friday, in a surprise move reflecting growing concerns about the virus’s spread. The rising state of emergency declarations come as Japan grapples with a surge of a more infectious strain...

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