World

Taliban get aid promise but not recognition on eve of Moscow talks

MOSCOW, Oct 19 (Reuters) – Russia, China and Pakistan are willing to provide aid to Afghanistan, the Russian foreign ministry said on Tuesday, but Moscow said it was not yet ready to recognise the Taliban...

Brazil’s Bolsonaro should face homicide charge for COVID-19 errors, says Senate report

BRASILIA, Oct 19 (Reuters) – The senator leading a congressional probe into Brazil’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has recommended that President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with homicide for alleged government errors that led to the deaths of thousands. Bolsonaro has dismissed the probe as politically motivated. It is highly unlikely that he will face...

Haiti gang seeks $1 million per person for kidnapped missionaries

Oct 19 (Reuters) – A Haitian gang that kidnapped a group of American and Canadian missionaries is asking for $17 million – or $1 million each – to release them, according to a top Haitian official. Justice Minister Liszt Quitel told Reuters that talks were under way with kidnappers to seek the release of the...

N.Korea confirms submarine launch of new ballistic missile

SEOUL, Oct 20 (Reuters) – North Korea test-fired a new, smaller ballistic missile from a submarine, state media confirmed on Wednesday, a move that analysts said could be aimed at more quickly fielding an operational missile submarine. The statement from state media came a day after South Korea’s military reported that it believed North Korea had fired...

Pacific women’s NGO granted a special consultative status by UN body

The PACIFICA organisation in Aotearoa has been granted a special consultative status by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). PACIFICA National President, the Reverend Alofa Lale, said this is a historic and monunmental achievement for the organisation and for Pasifika women and families in New Zealand. The PACIFICA application had been submitted 1...

Ten questions: Micronesia’s President David Panuelo fronts up

Geopolitical competition in the Pacific is not necessarily the heated knife fight that international media often make it out to be. That’s according to the president of the Federated States of Micronesia, a Pacific Islands country of significant geostrategic interest, who is taking an optimistic approach to the subject of regional security during a time...

Marshall Islands calls for global collaboration on twin crises

A low lying island country which has been a poster child for climate change impacts, the Marshalls remains one of the most vocal advocates for global moves to curb greenhouse gas emissions. And while the country has been largely free of Covid-19 cases, it has not escaped the pandemic’s economic impacts, the Marshalls’ Foreign Minister...

Australia’s COVID-19 cases remain subdued as vaccinations rise

SYDNEY (Reuters) -Australia’s COVID-19 cases remained subdued on Tuesday as its largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, gradually move towards normality amid a surge in vaccinations, after being rocked by a third wave of infections from the Delta variant. Sydney and the national capital Canberra exited a months-long lockdown last week after racing through its inoculation...

U.S. Energy Dept announces $105 million for small businesses to pursue clean energy deployment

(Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Energy has announced $105 million in funding for small businesses to pursue the deployment of clean energy technologies. The projects range from energy technology and sustainable agriculture to atmospheric monitoring and carbon removal, the Energy Department said in a statement.

Poland seeks EU climate policy rethink amid high energy prices

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Poland on Monday called for the European Union to cancel or delay parts of its plan to tackle climate change ahead of a summit at which EU leaders will wrangle over their response to surging gas and electricity prices. EU country leaders, who meet on Thursday and Friday, are divided over whether...

Hundreds protest in Bangladesh over religious violence

DHAKA (Reuters) – Hundreds of people protested in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka on Monday calling for an end to religious violence that has gripped the country for four days, leading to at least two deaths and several injured. The violence began on Oct. 15, when hundreds of Muslims protested in the southeastern Noakhali district over an...

Sharp-eyed diver recovers crusader sword from Med seabed

CAESAREA, Israel (Reuters) – A sword believed to have belonged to a crusader who sailed to the Holy Land almost a millennium ago has been recovered from the Mediterranean seabed thanks to an eagle-eyed amateur diver, the Israel Antiquities Authority said on Monday. Though encrusted with marine organisms, the metre-long blade, hilt and handle were...

Britain sets out new standards for environmental reporting

LONDON (Reuters) -Asset managers, pension schemes and some large companies will need to start disclosing their environmental impact under planned new rules, Britain’s Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said on Monday. The move forms part of a broad government effort to position itself as a climate leader ahead of global talks in Scotland starting Oct. 31,...

Earlier breast cancer screening would narrow mortality gap for Black women, U.S. study finds

(Reuters) – Racial disparities in breast cancer survival in the United States could be cut by more than half if Black women got mammograms every other year starting at age 40, according to findings from a model of simulated health outcomes published on Monday. Compared with white women in the United States, Black women are...

U.S. FDA to allow mixing and matching of COVID-19 boosters- NYT

(Reuters) -The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is planning to allow Americans to get a different booster shot of a COVID-19 vaccine than the one initially taken, the New York Times reported on Monday. The FDA in September authorized a booster dose of Pfizer Inc and partner BioNTech’s two-shot COVID-19 vaccine for those aged 65...

BlackRock backs expansion of corporate climate data project

LONDON (Reuters) – BlackRock Inc, the world’s biggest asset manager, has thrown its weight behind a plan to provide free in-depth data on how thousands of companies are adapting to the transition to a low-carbon economy. Ahead of the COP26 global climate talks in Glasgow, BlackRock said it backed a plan to scale up the...

19th October

Court rulings free Hong Kong police to probe older offences under security law

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Recent court judgements have freed Hong Kong authorities to use national security powers to deploy tough colonial-era laws in a crackdown against opposition groups, alarming activists and lawyers in the city. Police have launched investigations into acts that took place before the national security law was imposed a year ago, despite...

Kidnapping in Haiti shines spotlight on gangs, risk experts say

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries pulled its American staff out of the country for nine months because of political unrest before returning them last year, according to the group’s 2020 annual report. The kidnapping of 17 missionaries over the weekend has underlined a different, growing concern. Control Risks, a London-based risk consultancy...

New Zealand reports record daily cases as Delta spreads

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand recorded on Tuesday the highest number of daily cases since the pandemic began last year, as the Delta variant of the coronavirus spreads in its biggest city Auckland. The South Pacific nation reported 94 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, of which 87 were in Auckland, taking the total number of...

Myanmar frees hundreds of political prisoners after ASEAN pressure

(Reuters) – Myanmar’s military government has freed hundreds of political prisoners from the notorious Insein prison, including Aung San Suu Kyi’s party spokesman and a famous comedian Zarganar, local media reported. Minutes after military ruler Min Aung Hlaing’s speech on Monday, state television announced more than 5,600 people arrested or wanted over their roles in...

Britain’s fossil fuel dilemma in the spotlight as climate talks near

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain faces a fossil fuel dilemma: it can burnish its green credentials by halting new oil and gas development in the North Sea, yet doing so will leave it more reliant on imported fuel. How Britain charts a course to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 will be under scrutiny when it...

Children fuel English COVID case rise after slow vaccine start

LONDON (Reuters) – The spread of COVID-19 among children in England is fuelling a recent rise in cases nationally and causing concern among some scientists that vaccines are being rolled out in schools too slowly, risking the welfare of children and adults alike. COVID-19 cases in Britain as a whole are much higher than in...

Newcastle investigating alleged racist gesture towards Tottenham fans

(Reuters) – Newcastle United are investigating an alleged racist gesture made by an individual towards Tottenham Hotspur supporters during their Premier League game at the weekend, the club said on Monday. The incident allegedly took place during Tottenham’s 3-2 win at St James’ Park on Sunday in Newcastle’s first game since being taken over by...

Ecuadorean indigenous communities sue to halt oil development

QUITO (Reuters) – Indigenous communities from Ecuador’s Amazon on Monday sued the government to halt plans by President Guillermo Lasso to increase oil development in the country, calling the expansion efforts a “policy of death.” Lasso, a conservative ex-banker who took office in May, issued two decrees in the first days of his administration meant...

Haitians protest kidnappings as FBI says it will assist in effort to find missionaries

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) -Haitians on Monday mounted a nationwide strike to protest a growing wave of kidnappings, days after the abduction of a group of missionaries prompted FBI involvement and fueled international concerns over gang violence in the crisis-stricken Caribbean nation. Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries on Sunday said a group of its missionaries, 16 Americans and...

Deaths in Norway attack came from stab wounds, not bow and arrow, police say

OSLO (Reuters) – Five people killed in a small Norwegian town last week were all stabbed to death and not shot with a bow and arrows as initially suspected, police said on Monday. Four women and one man, aged between 52 and 78-years-old, were killed in the Oct. 13 attacks in Kongsberg, a town about...

More than 20 dead after floods hit southern India

KOCHI, India (Reuters) – Leaders in the southern Indian state of Kerala opened near-overflowing dams on Monday after at least 22 people died when heavy rains lashed the region over the weekend. Rainfall across Kerala triggered flash floods and landslides in several areas, with the Indian army and navy called out to rescue residents. Opening...

Record haul of cocaine seized from sailboat off Portugal’s coast

ALMADA, Portugal (Reuters) – Portuguese and Spanish authorities have seized 5.2 tonnes of cocaine from a sailboat on the high seas and arrested three suspects, in Portugal’s largest drug bust in 15 years and a world-record haul from a sailboat, police said on Monday. With the cocaine bales piled up behind him at a naval...

Russia shuts mission to NATO in spy row retaliation

MOSCOW (Reuters) -Russia said on Monday it would halt the activities of its diplomatic mission to NATO after the Western military alliance expelled eight Russians saying they were spies. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also said staff at NATO’s military mission in Moscow would be stripped of their accreditation from Nov. 1, and the alliance’s information...

New Zealand PM Ardern extends COVID-19 lockdown in Auckland

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern said on Monday that the country’s biggest city Auckland will remain in lockdown for another two weeks as it looks to control the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus. There will be no changes in the social restrictions that have already been in place...

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