World

Bosnians outraged by alleged abuse of children with special needs

SARAJEVO (Reuters) – Sarajevo’s prosecutor has launched an investigation into the alleged abuse of children with special needs at a state-run care home in Bosnia, after a lawmaker made public photographs and a video showing...

Russian parliament backs law to label individuals foreign agents

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s lower house of parliament passed legislation on Thursday that will allow individual journalists to be labelled foreign agents, a move that critics say will tighten curbs on the media. Russia adopted an initial foreign agent law in 2012 which gave the authorities the power to label non-governmental organisations and human rights...

Two toddlers among 73 migrants plucked from drifting dinghy off Libya

ONBOARD OPEN ARMS, off Libya (Reuters) – Some 73 migrants, many suffering from hypothermia and burns, were rescued by a Spanish charity ship late on Wednesday from a packed rubber dinghy that had been drifting off the Libyan coast for nearly 24 hours. It is the latest rescue by the Open Arms vessel in the...

In Thailand, Pope condemns exploitation of women, children for sex

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Pope Francis condemned on Thursday the exploitation of women and children for prostitution in Thailand, which is notorious for its sex tourism, saying the violence, abuse and enslavement they suffer are evils that must be uprooted. Francis, on the first full day of his visit to mainly Buddhist Thailand, led a Mass...

Greenpeace activists abseil down Hellenic Petroleum storage tank to protest ‘climate emergency’

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greenpeace activists abseiled down the side of huge storage tank at a Hellenic Petroleum refinery near Athens on Thursday and unfurled a huge banner protesting at the company’s oil and gas exploration projects across Greece. Greece’s biggest oil refiner Hellenic Petroleum (HELPE) operates three refineries and has been licensed to search for...

Australians shelter from bushfires as political heat climbs

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Firefighters battled hundreds of bushfires across Australia on Thursday as scores of blazes sprang up in new locations, triggering warnings that it was too late for some residents to evacuate. As Thick smoke blanketed the most populous city of Sydney for a third day, residents were urged to keep children indoors, stepping...

Russia opens investigation into space centre fraud after Putin rebuke

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian investigators said on Thursday they had opened two criminal cases into the management of a company involved in building the Vostochny Cosmodrome, a space centre in the country’s Far East. The announcement came less than two weeks after President Vladimir Putin complained to government officials about corruption at the facility and...

U.S. lawmakers question Google about collection of health records

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren along with fellow Senators Richard Blumenthal and Bill Cassidy wrote a letter to Alphabet’s <GOOGL.O> Google on Wednesday to raise questions about its access to the health records of tens of millions of Americans. Warren and Blumenthal, who are Democrats, along with Cassidy, a Republican, were focussed...

Brazil seeks more funding to combat environmental destruction

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s plans for environmental protection remain unchanged even as deforestation skyrockets, but Environment Minister Ricardo Salles said on Wednesday the country was looking for more money to implement those plans. Salles largely repeated previously announced plans to bring more development, economic zoning and improved enforcement of environmental laws to the Amazon rainforest...

Google changes election ads policy to limit targeting

(Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s <GOOGL.O> Google will stop giving advertisers the ability to target election ads using data such as public voter records and general political affiliations, the company said in a blog post on Wednesday. The move comes at a time when social media platforms are under pressure over their handling of political advertising...

Code Red: Australia’s bushfire crisis spreads to another state

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Firefighters battled nearly 200 bushfires across Australia on Thursday as authorities issued a Code Red alert for parts of Victoria state and Sydney was blanketed in hazardous smoke for the third consecutive day. Officials imposed a total fire ban across Victoria where temperatures were expected to peak above 40 degrees Celsius (104...

Prince Andrew halts public duties over sex scandal

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Prince Andrew stepped down from public duties on Wednesday, saying the controversy surrounding his “ill-judged” association with late U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein had caused major disruption to the royal family’s work. Andrew, Queen Elizabeth’s second son, denies an allegation that he had sex with a 17-year-old girl procured for him by...

Wealth alone won’t save countries from climate change

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Wealth alone will not shield economies from the impact of climate change, researchers said on Wednesday, urging governments to build flood defences and early warning systems to stem financial losses. Climate research has shown that poor people in tropical countries are most vulnerable to economic loss caused by global warming....

Police investigating murder of Malta journalist arrest local businessman

VALLETTA (Reuters) – Police arrested one of Malta’s leading businessmen on Wednesday as part of an investigation into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Yorgen Fenech was detained by armed forces as he tried to leave the Mediterranean island before dawn aboard his luxury yacht. The arrest came a day after Prime Minister Joseph...

21st November

House Hitler was born in will become a police station, Austria says

VIENNA (Reuters) – The house where Adolf Hitler was born will be turned into a police station, Austria’s interior minister said, after years of debate over how best to prevent it becoming a pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis. Having recently carried out a compulsory purchase of the house in Braunau am Inn, a town on the...

Philippine students turn littered dog poo into bricks

MANILA (Reuters) – A group of secondary school students in the Philippines has found a way to convert poo from stray dogs into a mixture for bricks, aiming to rid city streets of excrement and potentially even lower construction costs. As part of a research project, eighth graders in the Payatas district north of the...

Suu Kyi to contest Rohingya genocide case at world court

YANGON (Reuters) – Aung San Suu Kyi will appear before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to contest a case filed by Gambia accusing Myanmar of genocide against its Rohingya Muslim minority, her government said on Wednesday. More than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh since a 2017 crackdown by Myanmar’s military, which...

I’m dreaming of a green Christmas: UK firm urges clampdown on waste

LONDON (Reuters) – British families should wrap their Christmas presents in recyclable brown paper and make their own Christmas crackers using old toilet rolls this year to help ensure a more sustainable festive season, a leading waste company said. Business Waste said its survey of customer habits showed “horrifying” levels of non-recyclable plastic waste being...

Tear gas above ground, snakes below: Hong Kong protesters take to sewers to flee

HONG KONG (Reuters) – With all other escape routes blocked, some of the remaining protesters holed up in a Hong Kong university tried the unthinkable: they crawled through the sewers to get out. How many took to the underground network of tunnels to flee and whether any actually got away is unclear. But for those...

Court postpones hearing for eighth time for Tanzanian journalist

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – A Tanzanian court on Wednesday postponed the hearing for the eighth time of a prominent Tanzanian journalist arrested in July in a case his lawyers and rights group say is politically motivated. Police arrested Dar es Salaam-based journalist Erick Kabendera in July and he was charged in August with leading...

Two members of Spain’s ‘Wolf Pack’ sentenced for filming gang-rape

MADRID (Reuters) – Two men serving 15-year jail sentences for gang-raping a teenager at a bull-running festival in Spain in 2016 have been handed further prison sentences for filming the assault. The court in Navarra said that the two men were sentenced to three years and three months in prison for recording seven videos and...

American Medical Association announces support for U.S. ban on conversion therapy

MEXICO CITY (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The U.S. physicians’ group the American Medical Association announced on Tuesday it would begin supporting a ban on so-called conversion therapy, as well as working toward more inclusive healthcare record-keeping for transgender patients. Conversion therapy, now widely discredited, is rooted in the belief that LGBT+ people have a mental...

Global spotlight on illegal mica mines drives Indian villagers to hide deaths

KODERMA, India (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – After watching her sister-in-law and a friend die in a mica mine in eastern India in March this year, 15-year-old Ritika Murmu vowed she would never again pick the mineral and set out to warn others. “I was picking mica when the debris fell. I went screaming to the...

‘The time feels right’: Prince Charles welcomed to New Zealand’s founding site of Waitangi

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – For Ngati Kawa Taituha, the welcoming of Prince Charles onto the Waitangi Treaty Grounds in New Zealand’s far north on Wednesday marks the latest step towards finally fulfilling the promise of New Zealand’s founding document. Taituha’s ancestors were among the 40 Māori leaders who signed the Treaty of Waitangi with representatives of...

China to cut renewable power subsidy to $807 million in 2020

BEIJING (Reuters) – China will cut its renewable power subsidy to 5.67 billion yuan ($806.50 million) in 2020 from 8.1 billion yuan in 2019, the Ministry of Finance said on Wednesday, as the country will soon stop funding large solar power stations. Because of a decline in manufacturing costs, China has been scaling back the...

New front opens in Australian bushfires, power cut to thousands

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Electricity firms cut off power to thousands of people, more than 100 schools were closed and residents in high-risk regions sought shelter on Wednesday as Australia’s devastating bushfires opened up a new front. Australia has been battling wildfires across several states for days, endangering thousands of people in many communities. Blazes so...

Pope Francis arrives in Thailand at start of Asia trip

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Pope Francis arrived in Thailand on Wednesday to meet with the country’s small but devoted Catholic minority on a seven-day Asian trip that will include a family reunion in Bangkok and take his anti-nuclear message to Japan. The pope’s plane touched down outside Bangkok around midday for a visit that coincides with...

Schools close across Australia’s south as bushfire threat looms

SYDNEY (Reuters) – More than 100 schools in Australia’s southeast were closed on Wednesday and officials warned people in high-risk zones to be ready to evacuate as forecast high temperatures risked opening up a new front in raging bushfires. Australia has been battling wildfires across a number of fronts for several days, endangering thousands of...

Two jail guards for Jeffrey Epstein charged with cover-up in his suicide

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Two jail officers falsified records to cover up their failure to check in on accused sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in the hours before the financier killed himself, U.S. prosecutors said on Tuesday. According to an indictment, Tova Noel and Michael Thomas fell asleep and surfed the internet instead of monitoring Epstein,...

Chile foresees ‘difficult’ wildfire season ahead, fears more arson

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Chile faces a “very difficult” season of wildfires because of high temperatures, a persistent drought and an increase in arson, Agriculture Minister Antonio Walker said on Tuesday, adding to the woes of a country damaged by violent socio-economic protests in the past month. Firefighters have found fuel cans near some fires that...

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