World

PNG epidemic underlines need for vaccine equity: WHO

The World Health Organisation’s director-general says Papua New Guinea’s struggle with Covid-19 underlines the need for vaccine equity. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus today told a briefing focused on Papua New Guinea and the western Pacific region...

Let’s shake narrative of bickering Middle East, say former foes

Israel, the UAE, Greece and Cyprus said they would seek to deepen their cooperation in fields ranging from energy to fighting COVID, saying budding ties could change the face of a region more synonymous with conflict. “The evolving web of regional cooperation is creating a new narrative, one that is cracking the glass ceiling of...

PNG does deal with ‘devil’ it knows over gold mine

Papua New Guinea’s government has done a deal with “the devil” to reopen a large gold mine in the country’s Highlands region. With an economy in contraction due to the pandemic, the PNG government has reached an agreement with Canada-based company Barrick Gold on plans to reopen the Porgera mine. The Enga province mine had...

In London’s East End, adoration and expletives for the royal family

In London’s East End, there was both adoration for the monarchy and sharp criticism of some members of Britain’s royal family on the eve of the funeral of Prince Philip, who died a week ago after seven decades of service to his wife Queen Elizabeth. The queen, heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles and other senior royals will...

Tonga’s Princess takes the lead on Covid-19 vaccination

Tonga’s Princess Pilolevu Tuita was the first person to receive her first dose of the Covid-19 AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, followed by frontline workers on Tongatapu. The Princess volunteered to take part along with her husband Lord Tuita and Prime Minister Dr Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa. Acting CEO for Health Dr Reynold ‘Ofanoa also received his first shot. “This...

Antibiotics in development not enough to tackle ‘superbugs’: WHO

(Reuters) – None of the 43 antibiotics currently in development as well as recently approved medicines are enough to combat the increasing emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance, the World Health Organization cautioned on Thursday. Almost all new antibiotics brought to market in recent years are variations of drug classes discovered decades ago, according to...

Explosives-laden drone targets U.S. forces at Iraq’s Erbil airport

ERBIL, Iraq (Reuters) -A drone dropped explosives near U.S. forces stationed at Erbil airport in northern Iraq late on Wednesday, Kurdish officials said, with no immediate reports of casualties. A separate rocket attack killed a Turkish soldier at a military base nearby, the Turkish defence ministry said. It was the first known attack carried out...

Fit for, and designed by, a prince: Philip’s Land Rover funeral hearse

WINDSOR, England (Reuters) -When Prince Philip’s coffin is conveyed to church for his funeral service, it will be taken in a specially-commissioned Land Rover that the British royal himself helped design. Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth, died last week aged 99 and his funeral will be held entirely at Windsor Castle on Saturday, with...

Brazil’s Supreme Court confirms decision to annul Lula convictions

BRASILIA (Reuters) – A majority of Brazil’s Supreme Court confirmed on Thursday a decision to annul criminal convictions against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, teeing up a presidential run against current President Jair Bolsonaro in 2022. The decision, which was widely expected, came after Supreme Court Justice Edson Fachin determined in early March...

Brazil’s hospitals running out of sedatives as COVID-19 rages

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) -Brazil’s hospitals were running out of drugs needed to sedate COVID-19 patients on Thursday, with the government urgently seeking to import supplies amid reports of the seriously ill being tied down and intubated without effective sedatives. Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga said Brazil was in talks with Spain and other countries to...

Canada’s main opposition party switches climate change policy, backs carbon pricing

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) – Canada’s opposition Conservative Party on Thursday dropped its resistance to carbon pricing and adopted the fee on emissions and fuels as part of its own climate plan, a move that could put it at odds with some of its staunchest supporters. Climate change has proved a thorny issue for the Conservative...

Scottish nationalists pledge independence referendum by end of 2023

LONDON (Reuters) – The ruling Scottish National Party pledged on Thursday to hold an independence referendum by the end of 2023, a step that could fracture the United Kingdom by ripping apart the 314-year union between England and Scotland. If there was another referendum and the Scots voted out, it would mark the biggest shock...

Australia finds Google misled customers over data collection: regulator

(Reuters) – Australia’s federal court found Alphabet Inc’s Google misled consumers about personal location data collected through Android mobile devices, the country’s competition regulator said on Friday. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said the court found Google wrongly claimed it only collected information from the location history setting on users’ devices between January 2017...

Mexico charges 30 marines over forced disappearances in border city

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican authorities have charged 30 marines for allegedly participating in a string of forced disappearances in the violent northern border city of Nuevo Laredo in 2018, the Attorney General’s Office said on Thursday. The charges mark the first high-profile move against military personnel by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who took...

16th April

Australia considers staggered reopening of borders

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia will consider a staggered reopening of its international borders to allow residents who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel abroad first, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday. Australian citizens and permanent residents cannot leave the country due to coronavirus restrictions unless they have an exemption, while returning international travelers...

Arsenal thrash Slavia Prague to reach Europa League semis

PRAGUE (Reuters) – Arsenal cruised past Slavia Prague 4-0 to book a Europa League semi-final spot on Thursday after they struck three quick-fire goals in seven first-half minutes to advance 5-1 on aggregate. Alexandre Lacazette scored twice, including a penalty, while Nicolas Pepe and Bukayo Saka also found the net in the quarter-final second leg...

France outlaws sex with children aged under 15

PARIS (Reuters) – The French parliament on Thursday adopted legislation that characterises sex with a child under the age of 15 as rape and punishable by up to 20 years in jail, bringing its penal code closer in line with many other Western nations. While the age of consent was previously 15, prosecutors in France...

No admiral outfits: UK royals to eschew military uniforms for Philip’s funeral

WINDSOR, England (Reuters) – Britain’s senior royals will eschew tradition and wear morning suits rather than military uniforms for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth’s husband Prince Philip, in an attempt to prevent embarrassment for Princes Andrew and Harry. Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, died aged 99 last week and his funeral – a ceremonial...

Lebanon energy minister blames fuel shortage on Syria smuggling

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanon’s caretaker energy minister on Thursday blamed the country’s fuel crisis on profiteers who smuggle gasoline into neighbouring Syria. At a Cabinet meeting to discuss the issue, Raymond Ghajar said the gap in gasoline prices between the two countries meant smugglers could make huge profits. “The price of 20 liters of gasoline...

Norway postpones decision on AstraZeneca vaccine

OSLO (Reuters) -Norway will take more time to assess whether to resume the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19 or stop it altogether, health minister Bent Hoeie said on Thursday. Norway’s Institute of Public Health (FHI) recommended ending the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, in line with a Danish decision announced on Wednesday, but...

Car bomb blast kills four in Baghdad’s Sadr City – police

BAGHDAD (Reuters) -Four people were killed and 20 wounded in a car bomb attack on Thursday in the Sadr City neighbourhood of Baghdad, Iraqi police and medical workers said. The car was parked at a busy second-hand equipment market in the mainly Shi’ite Muslim district, police said. An Iraqi military statement said the blast had...

Japan fishing communities alarmed over plan to release Fukushima water

IWAKI, Japan (Reuters) -Fishing communities in Japan are alarmed over the decision to release contaminated water stored at the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, a move that has also set off a diplomatic ruckus with neighbours China and South Korea. Japan’s government said on Tuesday it will release more than 1 million tonnes of treated...

Estonian capital closes road so breeding frogs and toads can cross

TALLINN (Reuters) – A busy road in the Estonian capital Tallinn has been closed for April nights to keep thousands of frogs and toads travelling to their breeding grounds safe from cars. Volunteers usually help carry frogs and toads over roads in the spring and say they have saved 97,000 of them in previous years,...

Carbon tax could help Asian countries hit climate targets -IMF

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A carbon price that starts low and rises steadily could help Asian countries reach their targets under the Paris climate accord over the next decade, the head of the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday, citing new IMF research. IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told an event hosted by the People’s Bank...

Dutch lose court fight against EU electric pulse fishing ban

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The Netherlands on Thursday lost its fight against an EU-wide ban on electric pulse fishing after Europe’s top court said EU lawmakers have wide discretion in making legislation. Pulse fishing is widely used in the Netherlands, which says the technique reduces unwanted bycatch and avoids ploughing nets along the seabed. Opponents including...

Philippines lifts nine-year ban on new mines to boost revenues

MANILA (Reuters) -Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has lifted a moratorium on new mineral agreements imposed in 2012, reopening the door to investments in a move that will boost state coffers but has dismayed environmental activists. The Philippines, the top supplier of nickel ore to China and a major producer of copper and gold, imposed the...

PNG virus deaths climbed by 11 through Wednesday

Papua New Guinea’s National Control Centre for Covid-19 reports the tally of people dying from the virus increased by 11 over the last 24 hours. While these 11 deaths are newly reported, the centre says they occurred from 19th March to 14th April. They take the PNG death tally from the virus to 82, with...

Pfizer/Biontech vaccine to be used in Niue

The Niue government has announced the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will be used to innoculate the population against Covid-19. In a statement, the government says Pfizer is the only vaccine currently approved by Medsafe in New Zealand. The government plans to vaccinate everyone over the age of 16. New Zealand government gave Niue $NZD9 million last month...

Argentina closes schools, imposes curfew in Buenos Aires as COVID-19 cases spike

Argentina’s government will tighten pandemic restrictions in and around the capital Buenos Aires to rein in a sharp spike in COVID-19 cases, including shutting schools and imposing a curfew from 8pm to limit social activity. President Alberto Fernández, 62, given his all-clear earlier in the day after he was infected with the virus, said the...

Double votes detected in Samoa election count

The Office of the Electoral Commission in Samoa has confirmed that dozens of voters voted twice in last week’s elections. The Electoral Commissioner Faimalōmatumua Mathew Lemisio said they would face legal action. Double voting surfaced during the official count for Sagaga 2 constituency that started Tuesday and was put on hold as officials examined the...

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