World

Malian woman gives birth to nine babies

BAMAKO (Reuters) – A Malian woman gave birth to nine babies on Tuesday – two more than doctors had detected inside her crowded womb – joining a small pantheon of mothers of nonuplets. The pregnancy...

COVID scare at G7 meeting after Indian delegates test positive

LONDON (Reuters) -The Group of Seven meeting in London was hit by a COVID-19 scare on Wednesday when India’s foreign minister and his entire team said they were self-isolating after two delegation members tested positive. Britain is hosting the three-day foreign ministers’ meeting – the first such G7 event in two years – which has...

Britain ends row with EU over diplomatic status of London ambassador

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain has granted full diplomatic status to the European Union’s ambassador in London, ending a dispute that has strained relations between the two sides after Brexit. Britain initially refused to grant the same diplomatic status and privileges to EU Ambassador Joao Vale de Almeida as it gives to envoys of other countries,...

US birth rate lowest since 1979 as pandemic-led stress rises

(Reuters) -Americans had the lowest number of babies in more than four decades last year, mirroring a slump in European birth rates, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced more people to take care of sick family members or deal with job losses. Birth rate in the United States fell 4% in 2020 to about 3.6 million...

Call for more midwives as millions die in childbirth

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Midwives are routinely “overlooked and ignored” despite saving millions of lives a year, the United Nations said on Wednesday, urging the world to hire more women and safeguard new life. In a joint report compiled with medics, the U.N. said urgent investment was needed to plug a global shortfall of...

UK royal Meghan wins copyright case over letter to father

LONDON (Reuters) – Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, on Wednesday won her outstanding copyright claim against a British tabloid after London’s High Court heard neither Queen Elizabeth nor a former senior royal aide claimed ownership of a letter she had written to her estranged father. Meghan, 39, wife of the monarch’s grandson Prince Harry, won...

In COVID-hit India, a 26-year-old doctor decides who lives and who dies

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Rohan Aggarwal is 26 years old. He doesn’t even complete his medical training until next year. And yet, at one of the best hospitals in India, he is the doctor who must decide who will live and who will die when patients come to him gasping for breath, their family members...

Clashes in Jerusalem ahead of court case on Palestinians’ eviction

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The troubles erupt after the evening meal that breaks the Ramadan fast, when Jewish settlers, guarded by Israeli police, and Palestinians trade abuse on the streets of East Jerusalem. A long-running legal case, in which several Palestinian families face eviction from homes on land claimed by settlers, is at the heart of...

U.S. FDA expected to authorize Pfizer vaccine for 12-15-year-olds soon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds very soon, U.S. health officials said on Wednesday. The approval is highly anticipated after the drugmaker said in March the vaccine was found to be safe, effective and produced a robust antibody responses...

Blinken heads to Ukraine in show of support after Russia troop standoff

U.S. President Joe Biden’s top diplomat visits Kyiv on Thursday in a show of support after Russia massed troops near Ukraine’s eastern border in a weeks-long standoff that sent alarm bells ringing in Western capitals. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to meet President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, mixing solidarity with calls for Ukraine to stick...

Germany, WHO announce creation of new data hub to fight pandemics

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s cabinet on Wednesday approved an additional economic relief package worth 255 billion baht ($8.2 billion) to help people affected by a third wave of coronavirus infections, the prime minister said. The latest outbreak has accounted for more than half of Thailand’s total infections and deaths and slowed domestic activity. The fiscal...

More twists in Samoa election saga, with more court action likely

The decision by Samoa’s head of state to call a second election will be challenged in the courts, as the country’s month-long political stalemate descends into legal quagmire. Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II on Tuesday announced he would revoke the results of the general election held on 9 April, and Samoans would return to the polls...

Some 200 rights groups push for U.N. arms embargo on Myanmar

More than 200 civil society groups, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, called on the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday to impose an arms embargo on Myanmar to help protect civilians peacefully protesting a military coup. Since the military seized power on Feb. 1 and ousted an elected government led by Nobel laureate Aung...

Call for state of emergency over food shortage

Bougainville’s offshore islands are so short of food a civil society advocate says a state of emergency should be declared. Ursula Rakova heads Tulele Peisa, which is helping people from the Carteret Islands, where there have been problems for years with sea level rise, to settle on the mainland of the autonomous Papua New Guinea...

G7 scolds China and Russia over threats, bullying, rights abuses

The Group of Seven scolded both China and Russia on Wednesday, casting the Kremlin as malicious and Beijing as a bully, but beyond words there were few concrete steps aside from expressing support for Taiwan and Ukraine. Founded in 1975 as a forum for the West’s richest nations to discuss crises such as the OPEC...

Samoa’s Head of State decision called unconstitutional

The declaration by the Head of State to declare the results of the general election of 9 April 2021 void and call for a new general election on 21 May 2021 is unconstitutional and unlawful writes Fuimaono Dylan Asafo. Fuimaono is a law lecturer at the Faculty of Law at the University of Auckland and...

Australia’s most populous state reports first COVID-19 case in more than a month

CANBERRA (Reuters) -Australia’s most populous state on Wednesday reported its first locally acquired COVID-19 case in more than a month and health authorities are working to trace the source of the infection. Australia has largely eradicated COVID-19, but a man in his 50s with no known links to hotels used to quarantine people who have...

Facebook’s Workplace tool reaches 7 million paid subscribers

(Reuters) – Social media platform Facebook Inc said on Tuesday that its Workplace tool had reached 7 million paid subscribers, up more than 40% from a year earlier. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed work for millions globally who have switched from being in the office to working from home, fuelling demand for enterprise connectivity platforms,...

Oil climbs nearly 2% as travel seen rising

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Oil prices rose nearly 2% on Tuesday after more U.S. states eased lockdowns and the European Union sought to attract travellers, though soaring COVID-19 cases in India capped gains. Futures strengthened in post-settlement trade after American Petroleum Institute estimates of U.S. crude inventories fell more than expected, according to traders. Brent crude...

India COVID cases top 20 million, halting cricket, prompting lockdown call

SATARA/AHMEDABAD, India (Reuters) -India halted its hugely popular cricket league on Tuesday as COVID-19 infections surged past 20 million in the world’s second-most populous country and the opposition leader said a nationwide lockdown was now the only way out. Cricket officials suspended the money-spinning Indian Premier League (IPL) as the pandemic spirals out of control,...

Myanmar’s U.N. envoy tells U.S. lawmakers more sanctions needed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Myanmar’s ambassador to the United Nations told the U.S. Congress on Tuesday that Washington should target the state-run Myanmar oil and gas company and a state-owned bank with sanctions. Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, a representative of elected lawmakers who oppose Myanmar’s military junta, also warned that the crisis triggered by a Feb....

Spain’s regions to need court backing for COVID-19 restrictions

MADRID (Reuters) -Spain’s regions must seek judicial authorisation for the most restrictive COVID-19 measures once a national state of emergency ends next week, the government said on Tuesday, setting the stage for a potentially chaotic transition. The six-month emergency decree, which provides a legal framework for a nationwide 11 p.m. curfew and other measures that...

Tourists offered glimpse of rural life near Egypt’s pyramids

CAIRO (Reuters) – Tourists visiting Egypt’s famed pyramids may rarely stray from the beaten track, but a project focused on rural villages adjoining the ancient sites now encourages them to do so. The scheme takes visitors to a verdant strip of farmland thick with palm trees that runs south of the Giza pyramids, between the...

Fear of severe side effects upsets Sicily’s COVID vaccination plans

ROME (Reuters) – Sicily will start offering COVID-19 vaccines to people over 50 to speed up its inoculation programme which is being hampered by a reluctant older population who fear potentially severe side effects, the regional governor said on Tuesday. Like many European countries, Italy briefly halted inoculations using the vaccine made by AstraZeneca in...

Kevin Spacey accuser cannot sue anonymously, judge rules

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A man who said he was sexually assaulted at age 14 by the actor Kevin Spacey in the 1980s must identify himself if he is to continue his $40 million civil lawsuit against the Oscar winner, a federal judge ruled. U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan said on Monday that Spacey’s fame...

5th May

Lebanon rules out preconditions as sea border talks with Israel resume

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanese President Michel Aoun said on Tuesday there should be no preconditions for talks with Israel over their Mediterranean border dispute, key to Lebanon’s hopes to find gas reserves amid its worst economic crisis since its 1975-1990 civil war. Negotiations between the old foes were launched in October to try to resolve...

UK royal Meghan to publish children’s book based on husband Harry and son Archie

LONDON (Reuters) – Meghan, Britain’s Duchess of Sussex, is to publish a children’s book next month titled “The Bench” about the relationship between a father and son based on her husband Prince Harry and the couple’s child Archie, the publisher said on Tuesday. The book is the latest venture by Meghan and Harry, Queen Elizabeth’s...

Mexico promises justice after metro train collapse kills 24

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -Mexico will punish those responsible for an overpass collapse that killed at least 24 people and injured dozens when a train on Mexico City’s newest metro line plunged onto a busy road below, the government said on Tuesday. Accompanied by officials involved in the construction and maintenance of the elevated metro line...

Netanyahu’s deadline to form government expires, rivals eyed

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Benjamin Netanyahu’s deadline for forming a new Israeli government expired early on Wednesday, with the country’s longest-serving prime minister having failed to break more than two years of political deadlock. There was also no guarantee that, after the conservative incumbent was unable to assemble a new coalition, parties outside his caretaker government...

Colombian president urges dialogue ahead of planned Wednesday marches

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombian President Ivan Duque said on Tuesday the government is ready for national dialogue after days of protests led to over 20 deaths and international concern about excessive use of force by police. The protests, set to continue on Wednesday, were originally called in opposition to the government’s now-canceled tax reform plan...

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