World

Israel jail crackdown sets up showdown with Palestinian prisoners

RAMALLAH, West Bank/GAZA (Reuters) – Soon after sirens sounded in Israel as rockets were fired from Gaza on Wednesday, hardline Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said he would press on with a crackdown on Palestinian prisoners...

Suspected Chinese ‘spy balloon’ flying over the United States

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -A suspected Chinese spy balloon has been flying over the United States for a few days, and senior U.S. officials have advised President Joe Biden against shooting it down for fear the debris could pose a safety threat. “Clearly the intent of this balloon is for surveillance,” a senior U.S. defense official told reporters...

Pakistan says mosque bomber wore police uniform, breached security on motorbike

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) – The suicide bomber who killed more than 100 people at a mosque in a police compound in the Pakistan city of Peshawar this week wore a police uniform and entered the high security area on a motorbike, a provincial police chief said on Thursday. The bomber behind Monday’s attack had been...

Close to 1,000 migrant children separated by Trump yet to be reunited with parents

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Nearly 1,000 migrant children separated at the U.S.-Mexico border by the administration of former President Donald Trump have yet to be reunited with their parents despite a two-year effort by President Joe Biden. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said on Thursday of the 998 children still separated, 148 were in the...

Nigerian communities file damages claim against Shell in London court

LAGOS (Reuters) – More than 11,000 Nigerians from the oil-producing Niger Delta have filed a compensation claim against Shell at the London High Court, the latest step in a case that will test whether multinationals can be held to account for the actions of overseas subsidiaries. In 2021, the UK Supreme Court allowed a group...

Australia’s radioactive capsule to be moved to storage as investigation starts

SYDNEY (Reuters) – A lost radioactive capsule found after a search along a 1,400 km stretch of the arid Western Australian outback is due to arrive in Perth on Thursday as investigators work on piecing together just how it fell from a truck. The capsule – 6mm in diameter and 8 mm long or about...

Australia to replace monarch on banknote with design honouring Indigenous culture

SYDNEY (Reuters) -Australia will replace the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on its A$5 banknote with a new design to reflect and honour the history of its Indigenous culture, the country’s central bank said on Thursday. The decision follows consultation with the federal government, which supports the change, the Reserve Bank of Australia said in...

New Zealand announces NZ$700,000 in additional flood support as cleanup begins

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand’s government on Thursday announced NZ$700,000 ($450,000) in additional funding to help rebuild flood-ravaged Auckland and other areas in the upper north island as residents of the country’s second-largest city start cleaning up. Auckland and much of New Zealand’s upper North Island have been hit by record rainfall in the last...

Russian missile destroys Ukrainian apartment building; 3 dead, say police

(Reuters) -A Russian missile destroyed an apartment building and damaged seven more in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk on Wednesday night, killing at least three people and injuring 20, regional police said. Local authorities initially said Russia had fired a rocket but the police force later said an Iskander-K tactical missile had struck at...

Australian Cardinal Pell’s funeral marked by arrival of protesters, mourners

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Protesters gathered and mourners began to arrive in Sydney on Thursday ahead of the funeral service of Australian Cardinal George Pell, a former top Vatican official who was acquitted in 2020 of sexual abuse accusations. Australian police said it had dropped a court bid to block the gathering after protesters agreed to...

U.S. first lady Jill Biden to present at Grammy Awards

(Reuters) – U.S. first lady Jill Biden will attend this year’s Grammy Awards as a presenter, the White House said on Wednesday. The Grammys separately announced the lineup of those presenting at the award show, a list that includes rapper Cardi B, pop sensation Olivia Rodrigo, actor Dwayne Johnson, actress Viola Davis, “When Harry Met...

Mailing abortion pills could break law, Republican AGs tell pharmacies

(Reuters) – A group of 20 Republican state attorneys general on Wednesday told Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc and CVS Health Corp that they risk running afoul of federal and state law if they dispense the abortion drug mifepristone by mail. The move, announced by Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, comes weeks after the U.S. Food...

U.S. FDA approves GSK’s anemia drug

(Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday approved GSK Plc’s drug to treat anemia in some patients with chronic kidney disease. The FDA approved Jesduvroq tablets as the first oral treatment for anemia caused by chronic kidney disease for adults who have been on dialysis for at least four months. The...

Four West African nations get $311 million from World Bank for renewables

FREETOWN (Reuters) – The World Bank has signed an agreement with four West and Central African nations worth $311 million to fund renewable energy projects. The funds will finance around 106 megawatts (MW) of solar power generation capacity with battery energy and storage systems, and 41 MW expansion of hydroelectric capacity. The countries are Sierra...

Jamaica willing to take part in military intervention in Haiti, PM says

KINGSTON (Reuters) -Jamaica would be willing to take part in an international military deployment to Haiti, Prime Minister Andrew Holness told lawmakers on Tuesday, saying the Caribbean island country could also support its neighbor on electoral reforms. The United Nations in October suggested a “rapid action force” be sent to Haiti, where gangs have expanded...

Pope hears harrowing tales of Congo violence and says: ‘Enough!’

KINSHASA (Reuters) -Pope Francis heard harrowing accounts from victims of conflict in Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday, including rape, amputation, forced cannibalism and sexual slavery, and he condemned the atrocities as war crimes. In a poignant encounter at the Vatican’s embassy in the capital Kinshasa, victim after victim told their story to the pontiff...

2nd February

U.S. FDA removes COVID test requirements for Pfizer, Merck pills

(Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday removed the need for a positive test for COVID-19 treatments from Pfizer Inc and Merck & Co Inc. Pfizer’s Paxlovid and Merck’s Lagevrio pills were given emergency use authorizations in Dec. 2021 for patients with mild-to-moderate COVID who tested positive for the virus, and who...

El Salvador opens 40,000-person prison as arrests soar in gang crackdown

SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) – Authorities in El Salvador have opened one of Latin America’s largest prisons, more than doubling the country’s incarceration capacity, as a government crackdown on criminal gangs is causing the prison population to soar. The 40,000-capacity Terrorism Confinement Center was inaugurated on Tuesday to help relieve some of the overpopulation in the...

Peru’s Congress rejects proposal for 2023 elections, debate continues

LIMA (Reuters) – Peru’s Congress on Wednesday rejected a proposal to move elections forward to December 2023, despite nearly two months of protests that have left dozens dead following the ousting of former President Pedro Castillo. Lawmakers will continue debating a different proposal to hold early elections, a key demand of the protesters. The first...

U.S. opens embassy in Solomon Islands, Blinken says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States has opened an embassy in the Solomon Islands after a 30-year absence as it seeks to boost diplomatic relations in the Pacific as a counter to China. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced plans to open a diplomatic mission in the Pacific island nation during a visit to the region...

Four killed in South African township shooting

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Three people were shot dead and another one died in a hospital after gunshots were fired in KwaMashu township, north of South Africa’s Durban, police said on Wednesday. Five more people with gunshot wounds were rushed to a clinic, said Robert Netshiunda, a police spokesperson in the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal. “It...

Ancient Egypt’s mummification ingredients came from far-flung locales

By Will Dunham (Reuters) – The ancient Egyptians employed a host of exotic ingredients – some apparently imported from as far away as Southeast Asia – to mummify their dead, as revealed by a new analysis of containers unearthed at an embalming workshop more than 2,500 years old. Researchers on Wednesday unwrapped the results of...

Two Dallas Zoo monkeys found in abandoned home in nearby city

(Reuters) – Two emperor tamarin monkeys that suspiciously disappeared earlier this week from the Dallas Zoo after their habitat was intentionally compromised have been found and returned to the zoo, police said. The monkeys were discovered in an abandoned home in the city of Lancaster, a suburb just south of Dallas, the Dallas Police Department...

U.S. states struggle to share dwindling waters of Colorado River

SEATTLE, Wash. (Reuters) – The Colorado River, which provides drinking water to 40 million people in seven U.S. states, is drying up, straining a water distribution pact amid the worst drought in 12 centuries, exacerbated by climate change. California split from the six states of Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming on Tuesday...

Somalia’s neighbours to launch new operations against al Shabaab militants

MOGADISHU (Reuters) – Top leaders of Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya on Wednesday agreed to begin “search and destroy” operations to push al Shabaab militants out of neighbouring Somalia. The move follows an intensified offensive by Somalia’s federal government against the al Qaeda-affiliated group over the past few months. It has taken back control of several...

Chad to open embassy in Israel five years after renewing ties

By Dan Williams JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Chadian President Mahamat Deby said he would inaugurate an embassy in Israel on Thursday that would build on bilateral relations that were established five years ago. Deby announced the plan on Wednesday as he began a visit to Israel. An Israeli official said the Muslim-majority African country’s embassy would...

Jailed Kremlin critic Navalny says he’s in harsher solitary cell for six months

(Reuters) – Jailed Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny said on Wednesday he had been moved to a harsher “cell-type” regime of solitary confinement for the next six months where he would be denied visits. Navalny, 46, is the highest-profile of the few remaining opposition voices in Russia, having gained followers with repeated investigations purporting to...

Irish PM says no deal yet on Brexit protocol

DUBLIN (Reuters) – British and European Union negotiators have been holding constructive talks but no deal has been reached on post-Brexit trade rules relating to Northern Ireland, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Wednesday. Varadkar was responding to a question in parliament about a report in The Times newspaper that Britain and the European...

George Michael, Willie Nelson among Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees

(Reuters) – Late pop singer George Michael, 89-year-old country music icon Willie Nelson and rapper Missy Elliott are among the first-time nominees announced on Wednesday for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s class of 2023. Of the 14 nominees on this year’s list, eight are first-timers, including singers Sheryl Crow, Cyndi Lauper and the...

As Pope Francis visits Congo, LGBT+ activists cheer for perceived ally

By Benoit Nyemba and Sonia Rolley KINSHASA (Reuters) – LGBT+ activists in Democratic Republic of Congo are celebrating the arrival of Pope Francis, whose recent push for the decriminalisation of same-sex relations has given them hope of greater acceptance of their community across Africa. Same-sex relations are illegal or taboo in many socially conservative African countries, including in...

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