World

24th July

Villagers angry as Portugal wildfire still rages

VILA DE REI/MACAO, Portugal (Reuters) – After more than 50 hours, firefighters were still battling a wildfire in central Portugal late on Monday, as villagers and local authorities blamed a lack of resources and government...

Cameroon conservationists heal endangered African gray parrots

LIMBE, Cameroon (Reuters) – Conservationists in Cameroon are trying to save the endangered African gray parrot, one of the world’s most trafficked animals because of its skill at mimicking human speech. Despite trade of the parrot being outlawed at the U.N.’s Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in 2016, it remains a popular...

Israel demolishes Palestinian homes near West Bank barrier

SUR BAHER, West Bank (Reuters) – Israeli forces demolished a cluster of Palestinian homes near a military barrier on the outskirts of Jerusalem on Monday, in the face of protests and international criticism. Israel said the 10 apartment buildings, most of them still under construction, had been built illegally and posed a security risk to...

Microsoft to invest $1 billion in OpenAI

(Reuters) – Microsoft Corp said on Monday it was investing $1 billion in San Francisco-based OpenAI and that the two had formed a multi-year partnership to develop artificial intelligence supercomputing technologies on Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing service. OpenAI was founded in 2015 as a nonprofit with $1 billion in funding from Silicon Valley investors Sam...

U.S. records 25 new measles cases as outbreak spreads to Ohio, Alaska

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The United States recorded 25 new measles cases last week, raising the total number of cases this year to 1,148 in the country’s worst outbreak in a quarter century, federal health officials said on Monday. The 2.2% increase in the number of cases between July 11 and July 18 included new...

23rd July

France finds wreckage of submarine which disappeared in 1968

PARIS (Reuters) – The French Navy has found the wreckage of its ‘Minerve’ submarine, which disappeared off the coast of Toulon in the Mediterranean Sea in 1968, leading to the loss of 52 lives. “We have just found the Minerve. It was a successful operation, a moment of relief and a demonstration of technical prowess....

India’s moon mission lifts off, hopes to probe lunar south pole

SRIHARIKOTA/BENGALURU, India (Reuters) – India launched a rocket into space on Monday in an attempt to safely land a rover on the moon, its most ambitious mission yet in the effort to establish itself as a low-cost space power. If successful, the $146 million mission will allow Indian scientists to carry out studies on the...

Five dozen rescued from building fire in India’s financial capital

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Five dozen people were rescued from a nine-storey government building that caught fire on Monday in India’s financial capital of Mumbai, authorities said. “The rescue operation is nearly done. We are searching every floor of the building to find out whether anybody is left behind,” a fire department official said. Fire broke...

Trump denies Iran arrested 17 people accused of being U.S. spies

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday categorically denied that Iran had arrested 17 people whom Tehran accused of being CIA spies and had sentenced some to death, calling the reports “totally false.” “The Report of Iran capturing CIA spies is totally false. Zero truth. Just more lies and propaganda (like their shot...

Bad driving leads to $140 million drug bust in Sydney

SYDNEY (Reuters) – A clumsy driver led police to a A$200 million ($140 million) drug bust in Australia after he crashed a van laden with 270 kg (600 lb) of methamphetamines into a patrol car parked outside a police station in suburban Sydney. The man, 28, slammed the drug-filled van into the empty police patrol...

Sri Lanka extends emergency for fourth month after Easter bombings

COLOMBO (Reuters) – Sri Lanka on Monday extended a law granting security forces emergency powers for a fourth month following the Easter Day bomb attacks on hotels and churches that killed more than 250 people. Under the law, security forces can interrogate suspects without court orders. More than 100 people have been arrested in the...

At least 17 killed in bomb attack in Somalia capital

MOGADISHU (Reuters) – At least 17 people were killed and 28 others wounded when a bomb went off outside a hotel near the international airport in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Monday, medical officials said. The Al Qaeda-linked Islamist group al Shabaab, which is trying to topple Somalia’s weak U.N.-backed government, claimed responsibility for the attack....

Indian panel recommends cryptocurrency ban

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – An Indian government panel has recommended banning all private cryptocurrencies and a jail term of up to 10 years and heavy fines for anyone dealing in digital currencies, which could signal the end of them in India. The panel drew up a report and draft legislation, which will be examined by...

Japan officials hunt for reasons behind fire that killed 34

KYOTO, Japan (Reuters) – Japanese officials groped on Monday for answers to why a blaze tore through an animation company, amid reports that smoke spread so fast a majority of victims who tried to flee through a rooftop door could not open it in time to escape. One of Japan’s worst mass killings in decades,...

Paris on heatwave alert as France braces for scorching weather

PARIS (Reuters) – Paris authorities on Monday activated a heatwave alert plan for the capital as France prepared for another week of scorching temperatures just a month after a similar heatwave in June. The “level three” alert includes measures to ensure that elderly and vulnerable people are checked up on regularly, and that rooms are...

Florence fire triggers chaos for Italian travellers

ROME (Reuters) – Italian train travellers suffered long delays and the cancellation of more than two dozen high-speed rail services on Monday after a fire hit the infrastructure around Florence. The fire broke out in early morning in a network control unit and initial indications showed it was likely to be arson, railway network company...

Thai farmers asked to delay rice planting as drought bites

BANGKOK (Reuters) – The Thai government has asked farmers to delay planting rice because of drought and the pumping of water from reservoirs for irrigation threatens household supplies, an agriculture ministry official said on Monday. Farmers in the world’s second-biggest rice exporter usually plant their main crop in May, the beginning of the rainy season,...

UK to send 250 troops to Mali for peacekeeping operations

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is to send 250 troops to the troubled African nation of Mali next year helping take part in the world’s deadliest peacekeeping operation. The United Nations said in February 177 people deployed in Mali have been killed since 2013. “In one of the world’s poorest and most fragile regions it is...

Death toll from India, Nepal, Bangladesh floods jumps to over 300

DHAKA/NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The death toll from severe flooding in parts of India, Nepal and Bangladesh rose to more than 300 on Monday, even as heavy rains are starting to ebb and water levels started to recede in some of the worst-affected areas. Heavy rains and overflowing rivers swamped vast swathes of eastern India...

Mueller report shows evidence Trump committed crimes, House Judiciary chairman says

The top Democrat on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee said Sunday he believes there is “substantial evidence” that President Donald Trump committed high crimes and misdemeanours, and he plans to ask former Special Counsel Robert Mueller to present those facts at a congressional hearing on Wednesday. “The report presents very substantial evidence that the president...

Ukraine president on course for commanding win in parliamentary election

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s party took a commanding lead in Sunday’s snap parliamentary election, consolidating the power of the novice politician whose stunning rise has upended traditional politics in the war-scarred nation. A former comedian who played a fictional schoolteacher-turned-president in a popular TV series, the 41-year-old Zelenskiy has tapped into widespread voter anger over...

Air strikes kill 18 in Syria’s Idlib – Observatory

Air strikes killed at least 18 people, including seven children, in rebel-held Idlib region in northwestern Syria on Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. The northwest is the last major foothold of the rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad, who has vowed to recover the whole country but has made little or no gains...

Villagers, firefighters battle huge blazes in central Portugal

As flames closed in on villages in central Portugal on Sunday afternoon, locals were forced to take matters into their own hands, protecting their homes from huge wildfires with buckets of water and hosepipes as strong winds fanned the blaze. Two of the three wildfires which broke out on Saturday in Castelo Branco, a district...

Former Maldives president pleads not guilty to charges of money laundering

Abdulla Yameen, the former president of the Maldives, pled not guilty to charges of money laundering on Sunday, in the first hearing of a criminal court trial into the matter. Yameen, who drew the Indian Ocean island country closer to China during his tenure, is accused of receiving $1 million of government money through a...

Two severely-disabled candidates win seats in Japan upper house vote

Two wheelchair-bound candidates won seats in Japan’s upper house vote on Sunday, media projections showed, a sign of changing attitudes towards disabled people in a country where they have long been encouraged to stay in the shadow. Yasuhiko Funago, a vice president of a company that provides elderly and patient care, has Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis...

Four Turks kidnapped in Nigeria, police launch rescue operation

Four Turkish nationals have been kidnapped in western Nigeria and police are conducting a rescue operation, a state police spokesman said on Sunday. “Four Turkish expatriates were kidnapped at a drinking spot in Gbale village in the Edu local government area of Kwara State,” said Okasanmi Ajayi, spokesman for Kwara state police. A rescue operation...

Hong Kong police fire tear gas to disperse protesters in fresh wave of clashes

Hong Kong police fired tear gas to disperse protesters late on Sunday in the latest wave of violence to roil the financial centre, hours after a largely peaceful rally against a now-suspended extradition bill that has plunged the city into chaos. Thousands of protesters descended on China’s representative office in Hong Kong, as anger over...

Camel dung fuels cement production in northern UAE

Thousands of tonnes of camel dung are being used to fuel cement production in the northern United Arab Emirates, cutting emissions and keeping animal waste out of landfill. Under a government-run scheme, farmers in the emirate of Ras al-Khaimah drop off camel excrement at collection stations. It is then blended with coal to power the...

Polish police detain 25 after attacks on equality march

Police have detained 25 people in Bialystok, eastern Poland, after attacks on those taking part in the city’s first equality march amid accusations that the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party benefits from fuelling anti-gay sentiment. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights have become an issue in Poland ahead of a general election expected...

Sink-or-swim showdown beckons for Italy’s fractious coalition

Italy’s fractious coalition partners are gearing up for a showdown this week that is likely to determine if the government will collapse, triggering autumn elections, or survive to the end of the year. The far-right League and anti-system 5-Star Movement have been at each other’s throats for months, but tensions have risen even further this...

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