World

Medical workers prepare to perform COVID-19 rapid tests on residents, following an increasing number of locally transmitted cases in Taipei, Taiwan, May 15, 2021. REUTERS/Ann Wang

Taiwan tightens curbs after surge in domestic COVID-19 cases

Taiwan raised its coronavirus alert level on Saturday in the capital, Taipei, and the surrounding city, bringing curbs for a period of two weeks that will shut many venues and…

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A protester waves the Palestinian flag during clashes with the Israeli forces at the Hawara checkpoint, south of the West Bank city of Nablus, Friday, May 14, 2021. Health officials say several Palestinians were killed by Israeli army fire, at protests that took place in several locations across the West Bank of Friday. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

West Bank erupts in protest amid more Israel-Hamas fighting

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Turmoil from the battle between Israel and Hamas spilled over into the West Bank on Friday, sparking the most widespread Palestinian protests in years…

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In this Feb. 26, 2021, photo, Japanese journalist Yuki Kitazumi raises his hands as he is escorted by police upon arrival at the Myaynigone police station in Sanchaung township in Yangon, Myanmar. Japan’s government said Monday, April 19, 2021 it is asking Myanmar to release the Japanese journalist who was arrested by security forces in its largest city of Yangon the previous day. (AP Photo)

Myanmar’s climate of fear – media restricted and civilians intimidated

Press cards, cameras and all equipment set aside, news reporters in Myanmar go underground and carry on doing their jobs, amid the climate of fear, brought on by the military…

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Smoke rises following Israeli missile strikes on Gaza City, Friday, May 14, 2021. Early Friday, the Israeli military said air and ground troops struck Gaza in what appeared to be the heaviest attacks yet. Masses of red flames illuminated the skies as the deafening blasts from the outskirts of Gaza City jolted people awake. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

Israel threatens Gaza ground invasion despite truce efforts

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel on Thursday said it was massing troops along the Gaza frontier and calling up 9,000 reservists ahead of a possible ground invasion of the Hamas-ruled territory,…

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President Joe Biden claps with Vice President Kamala Harris after speaking on updated guidance on face mask mandates and COVID-19 response, in the Rose Garden of the White House, Thursday, May 13, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

‘Great day for America’: Vaccinated can largely ditch masks

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a major step toward returning to pre-pandemic life, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people on Thursday, allowing them…

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Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa in September, 2018 in Hawthorne, California. (Photo by DAVID MCNEW / AFP)

Japanese billionaire Maezawa to travel to International Space Station in December

Japanese billionaire entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa and his assistant Yozo Hirano will be the next tourists to travel to the International Space Station (ISS), Russia’s space agency Roscosmos said Thursday. Maezawa…

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Anti-coup protesters burn tires and chant slogans with banner read ”The Kamayut strike will be fight for to the end when we get victory” during the demonstration against the military coup in Kamayut township Yangon, Monday, May 3, 2021. (AP Photo)

Myanmar warns of regional crisis as international help is delayed

The Myanmar National Unity Government (NUG) is warning of a regional crisis, escalating from the current situation in Myanmar, as no meaningful action has been taken by ASEAN, or the…

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(Photo by JORGE GUERRERO / AFP)

COVID-19 vaccines update

Full coverage on COVID-19 vaccines reports. May 12, 2021: ‘Vaccine hesitancy’ bites in Thailand – but one province has the antidote ‘Vaccine hesitancy’ bites in Thailand – but one province…

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In this file photo taken on May 3, 2021 motorists make their way past a sign announcing “Pfizer Today” available at the Cal State Los Angeles Covid-19 vaccine site in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP)

US drug regulator authorized Pfizer vaccine for 12-15 year olds

The United States drug regulator authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children aged 12-15 as the country aims to speed up its Covid-19 recovery, while President Joe Biden said this is a promising development…

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(Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP)

Beer, cash and credit: How other countries are using incentives to combat vaccine hesitancy

Though people across the globe are praying for the COVID-19 pandemic to end, many are still reluctant to get a jab to fight it. Doubts over the vaccines’ efficacy and…

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A Protester holds Palestinian flags during a protest against Israel in front of the Israeli Consulate in Istanbul on May 9, 2021. (Photo by Ozan KOSE / AFP)

‘Silence is not an option’ in east Jerusalem for Palestinians

Adnan, a Palestinian from east Jerusalem, vowed rubber bullets fired by Israeli police would not deter him: “Silence is not an option” in defence of Arabs in the Holy City,…

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(Photo by THOMAS KIENZLE / AFP)

Covid jab maker BioNTech to build SE Asia manufacturing site in Singapore

Covid jab maker BioNTech said Monday it would build a Southeast Asia headquarters and manufacturing site in Singapore to produce hundreds of millions of mRNA-based vaccines per year. Construction of…

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Samantha Amke traveled to Miami Beach from Mexico City hoping to find the Covid-19 vaccine. (Photo credit: AFP)

‘Vaccine tourists’ fly from abroad for injections on US beach

A long line of people snaked across the sand of Miami Beach, Florida, as dozens of travelers from Latin America waited their turn at a pop-up coronavirus vaccination booth. Sweating under the…

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People, some wearing protective face masks, stand on a train platform at Central Station after new public health regulations were announced for greater Sydney, including compulsory mask-wearing on public transport, following the emergence of new cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Sydney, Australia, May 6, 2021. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Australia’s New South Wales reports zero COVID-19 cases, fears remain over missing link

Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) state reported zero COVID-19 cases for a fourth straight day on Monday, but concerns about new infections remained as the missing link in a case…

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Judges wearing face masks wait for the start of the men’s 3m springboard final at the FINA Diving World Cup and test event for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on May 6, 2021. (Photo by Behrouz MEHRI / AFP)

Pfizer/BioNTech to supply vaccines for Olympic athletes

US drug giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech on Thursday announced a deal with the International Olympics Committee to provide vaccines to competitors and staff at the Tokyo games. In a…

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Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic holds a vial containing the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine during his visit to Belgrade’s Torlak Institute, where the vaccine has been manufactured, on April 15, 2021. (Photo by Andrej ISAKOVIC / AFP)

Serbia to offer cash to those who get Covid vaccine

Serbia’s president said on Wednesday his country would pay each citizen who gets a Covid jab before the end of May, in what could be the world’s first cash-for-jabs scheme….

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File / AFP

UK grants Oscar winners fast-track immigration route

Winners of major prizes for film, theatre, science and technology — including Oscars — can now apply to live and work in Britain in a simpler process, the UK government…

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People visit the Forbidden City in Beijing during the Labour Day holidays, which take place from May 1 to May 5, on May 3, 2021. (Photo by Noel Celis / AFP)

Chinese tourists out in force as virus fears recede

Sipping bubble tea and dressed in their holiday finest, millions of Chinese travellers flocked to domestic tourist attractions over the May 1 long holiday with Covid-19 fears already a distant…

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FILE – In this Feb. 1, 2019, file photo, Bill and Melinda Gates smile at each other during an interview in Kirkland, Wash. The couple announced Monday, May 3, 2021, that they are divorcing. The Microsoft co-founder and his wife, with whom he launched the world’s largest charitable foundation, said they would continue to work together at The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Bill and Melinda Gates announce they are getting divorced

SEATTLE (AP) — Bill and Melinda Gates said Monday that they are divorcing but would keep working together at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the largest charitable…

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A volunteer uses an oximeter to check the oxygen level of a man before providing oxygen support for free, amidst the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), outside a Gurudwara (Sikh temple) in Ghaziabad, India, April 30, 2021. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

India posts new record daily rise in COVID-19 cases

India posted a record daily rise of 401,993 new coronavirus cases on Saturday as the country opened up its mega vaccination drive to all adults, although several states warned of…

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A teenager receives a dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine at Clalit Health Services, in Israel’s Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP)

Pfizer/BioNTech seek Covid jab approval for 12-15-year-olds in EU

Pfizer/BioNTech said Friday they have asked European regulators to authorize their Covid-19 vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds, a move seen as a crucial step toward achieving herd immunity. The companies…

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A pre-school boy uses a newly developed, lollipop-shaped Covid-19 test prior to the testing of pre-schoolers at the ‘City of Vienna Kindergarten’ in Vienna, Austria on April 28, 2021. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

Austria tests toddlers for virus with ‘lollipops’

A newly developed, lollipop-shaped coronavirus test is being rolled out in some of Austria’s kindergartens as an alternative for toddlers who don’t take well to throat or nose swabs. Students,…

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(Photo by Miguel SCHINCARIOL / AFP)

Brazil begin to produce homemade COVID-19 vaccine

Butantan Biomedical Institute in Brazil announced that they began to produce their very own COVID-19 vaccines, ButanVac. While local media reported that the institution lacks regulatory approval to hold clinical…

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US actress Regina King (R) presenting English director Emerald Fennell the Oscar for Original Screenplay for “Promising young woman” during the live ABC Telecast of the 93rd Oscars at Union Station in Los Angeles, on April 25, 2021. (Photo by Todd Wawrychuk / AMPAS / AFP)

A less than glittering Oscars ceremony

The coronavirus has had an immense impact on the Oscars and indeed, the entertainment industry in general COVID-19 overshadowed Oscars this year, but the lukewarm attention to what many consider…

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AFP

‘Nomadland’ wins big at pandemic Oscars as Zhao makes history

US road movie “Nomadland” emerged as the big winner at the Oscars on Sunday with three major prizes, including a history-making award for director Chloe Zhao, as Hollywood celebrated its…

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The Philippine Coast Guard conducts maritime exercise near Thitu island in the disputed South China Sea. (Photo by Handout / Philippine coast Guard (PCG) / AFP)

Philippine coast guard holds drills in disputed South China Sea

The Philippine coast guard is conducting drills in the South China Sea which an official said Sunday were part of efforts to secure “our maritime jurisdiction” over the disputed waters….

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Indigenous nurse of the Misak ethnic group Anselmo Tunubala, 49, inoculates an elderly indigenous woman with a Sinovac vaccine against COVID-19 in the Guambia indigenous reservation, rural area of Silvia, department of Cauca, Colombia, on April 15, 2021. (Photo by Luis ROBAYO / AFP)

Vaccine doses pass one billion mark as global cases top new record

The number of Covid-19 jabs administered globally surpassed the one billion mark on Saturday, offering hope even as the number of virus cases worldwide hit a new daily record mainly…

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In this picture taken on April 23, 2021, relatives wait next to a Covid-19 coronavirus patient laying on a stretcher in a hospital complex for admission in New Delhi. (Photo by Maude BRULARD / AFP)

Death and despair at the doors of stricken Delhi hospital

Barely breathing, Shyam Narayan arrived at the New Delhi hospital in a red rickshaw, his feet hanging over the side, but it soon became clear to his desperate family that…

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The Olympic rings are lit at the waterfront of Odaiba in Tokyo. (Photo by Philip FONG / AFP)

Japan declares virus emergency three months before Olympics

Japan announced a new virus state of emergency in Tokyo and three other regions on Friday, as the country battles surging infections just three months before the Olympic opening ceremony. The…

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(Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

AstraZeneca vaccine benefits increase with age: EMA

The EU’s drug watchdog said Friday that a review of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine found its benefits increase with age and still outweigh the risks for adults despite links to blood…

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A nurse prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 at the vaccination center set up at the University City Exhibition Center and Congress in Coyoacan, Mexico City on March 24, 2021. (Photo by CLAUDIO CRUZ / AFP)

Fake Pfizer vaccine shots on sale in Mexico and Poland

US drugmaker Pfizer confirmed that suspect doses of its coronavirus vaccine that were seized in Mexico and Poland were indeed fake, with doses going for as much as $1,000 a…

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Journalists watch a screen showing China’s President Xi Jinping delivering a speech during the opening of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2021 in Boao, south China’s Hainan province on April 20, 2021. (Photo by STR / AFP)

China’s Xi to attend online Biden climate summit

China’s President Xi Jinping will attend US President Joe Biden’s virtual climate summit this week, Beijing said Wednesday, as the world’s top polluting nations seek rare common ground despite wider…

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Marijuana activists hand out free joints to vaccinated New Yorkers on April 20, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP)

‘Joints for jabs’: free marijuana for vaccinated New Yorkers

New Yorkers who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 were able to get an unlikely freebie Tuesday: a marijuana joint. Activists celebrating the recent legalization of recreational pot in New York state handed…

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A Johnson & Johnson vaccine in a refrigerator at the Lynchburg Fire department in Lynchburg, Virginia. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP)

Blood clots should be listed as rare Johnson & Johnson side effect: EMA

Blood clots should be listed as a “very rare” side effect of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine but its benefits still outweigh the risks, the EU’s drug watchdog said…

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The COVID-19 testing center in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by Dave Chan / AFP)

Canada to spend big to ‘punch way out of Covid recession’

Canada’s finance minister announced Can$101.4 billion (US$80.9 billion) in spending to help its battered economy recover from the pandemic and set a greener course with a new climate target. The…

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In this Feb. 26, 2021, photo, Japanese journalist Yuki Kitazumi raises his hands as he is escorted by police upon arrival at the Myaynigone police station in Sanchaung township in Yangon, Myanmar. Japan’s government said Monday, April 19, 2021 it is asking Myanmar to release the Japanese journalist who was arrested by security forces in its largest city of Yangon the previous day. (AP Photo)

Japan seeks release of Japanese journalist held in Myanmar

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s government said Monday it is asking Myanmar to release a Japanese journalist who was arrested by security forces in its largest city of Yangon the previous…

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Passengers arrive from New Zealand after the Trans-Tasman travel bubble opened overnight, following an extended border closure due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at Sydney Airport in Sydney, Australia, October 16, 2020. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Families reunite as Australia-New Zealand ‘travel bubble’ begins

Hundreds of passengers from Australia began arriving in New Zealand airports on Monday after authorities reopened borders, a pandemic milestone that allows quarantine-free travel between the countries for the first…

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A woman, wearing a face mask following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, sorts luggage at Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong, China October 20, 2020. REUTERS/Lam Yik/File Photo

Hong Kong bans flights from India, Pakistan and the Philippines for 2 weeks

Hong Kong will suspend flights from India, Pakistan and the Philippines from April 20 for two weeks after the N501Y mutant COVID-19 strain was detected in the Asian financial hub…

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A health worker collects a sample from a young passenger for a Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test at a state transport bus station in Bangalore on April 5, 2021. (Photo by Manjunath Kiran / AFP)

Young and infected: Covid-19’s new patients as India battles huge surge

At the start of the year, India thought it had beaten the pandemic and had kicked off a mass vaccination drive. The nation of 1.3 billion people has been hit by…

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The coffin arrives at St George’s Chapel for the funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip inside Windsor Castle in Windsor, England, Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/Pool via AP)

Prince Philip’s funeral procession gets ready in Windsor

WINDSOR, England (AP) — Military bands played and Queen Elizabeth II joined a procession Saturday at Windsor Castle ahead of a funeral where her husband Prince Philip was being remembered…

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A health worker prepares a dose of the Chinese CoronaVac vaccine against COVID-19 at a vaccination centre in Santiago, on March 24, 2021. (Photo by Martin BERNETTI / AFP)

China’s Coronavac 80% effective at preventing Covid deaths: Chile results

China’s Coronavac vaccine was 67 percent effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19 and 80 percent at preventing death, according to real-life results unveiled Friday from Chile’s inoculation campaign. “These figures should…

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This picture taken on April 15, 2021 released from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on April 16 shows fireworks launched in Pyongyang to celebrate the country’s founder and Eternal President Kim Il Sung’s birthday. (Photo by STR / KCNA VIA KNS / AFP)

North Korea marks anniversary of founder’s birth

North Korea marked the anniversary of the birth of its founder Kim Il Sung Thursday, with mask-wearing citizens placing flowers before his statue in Pyongyang. The grandfather of the current leader Kim…

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(Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP)

Pfizer CEO: Vaccine third dose ‘likely’ needed within 12 months

The head of Pfizer said in an interview aired Thursday that people will “likely” need a third dose of his company’s Covid-19 shot within six to 12 months of vaccination,…

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Pro-democracy activists Martin Lee, center, and Albert Ho, left, arrive at a court in Hong Kong Friday, April 16, 2021./ AP

7 Hong Kong democracy leaders to be sentenced amid crackdown

Seven of Hong Kong’s leading pro-democracy advocates, including 82-year-old veteran activist Martin Lee and pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai, are expected to be sentenced Friday for organizing a march during…

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‘Mass casualty’ shooting in US city of Indianapolis, gunman dead: police

Multiple people were shot in an incident Thursday in the US city of Indianapolis, according to police, although the severity of the victims’ injuries was not immediately clear. Police spokeswoman…

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Patty Tavatanakit with the ANA Inspiration trophy. (Photo by LPGA)

The driving passion of Patty Tavatanakit – golf’s next global superstar     

As a young girl, Paphangkorn Tavatanakit watched golf legend Tiger Woods on TV and told her dad “That’s who I want to be.” Her dream of golf superstardom came true…

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A protester holds onto the shirt of a fallen comrade, during a crackdown by security forces on demonstrations against the military coup, in Hlaing Tharyar township in Yangon on March 14, 2021. (Photo by STR / AFP)

Exclusive: ASEAN summit on Myanmar crisis set for April 24

ASEAN leaders have agreed to meet and discuss the situation in Myanmar on April 24 at the grouping’s secretariat headquarters in Jakarta, according to a high-level source. Myanmar military junta…

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US soldiers from Second Platoon, Bravo Troop, 33rd Cavalry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team take position during a patrol in Ibrahim Khel village of Khost province on April 11, 2010.(Photo by MASSOUD HOSSAINI / AFP)

Biden to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by September 11

President Joe Biden will withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan before this year’s 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, finally ending America’s longest war despite mounting fears of a…

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Johnson & Johnson Janssen Covid-19 vaccine (Photo by KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI / AFP)

US agencies recommend ‘pause’ in use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine over blood clot fears

US health authorities recommended a “pause” Tuesday in the use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine “out of an abundance of caution” over potential links to a rare type…

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Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is seen from Namie town, Fukushima prefecture, north of Tokyo, Tuesday, April 13, 2021, Japan’s government said Tuesday it has decided to start releasing massive amounts of radioactive water stored in tanks at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant in two years after treatment. (Yusuke Ogata/Kyodo News via AP)

Japan to start releasing Fukushima water to sea in 2 years

TOKYO (AP) — Radioactive water accumulating in tanks at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant will be released into the sea in two years after it is treated, Japan’s government said…

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April 12, 2021 in Hyderabad. (Photo by NOAH SEELAM / AFP)

WHO warns pandemic at ‘critical point’ as South Asia cases surge

The Covid-19 pandemic has entered a critical phase as infections exponentially increase despite widespread measures aimed at stopping them, the WHO warned, with record case numbers in South Asia triggering…

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Children play with toy guns next to a banner put up by activists in protest against the military coup in Yangon on April 11, 2021. (Photo by STR / AFP)

Russia and China thwarting international response to Myanmar crisis: EU

Russia and China are frustrating the international response to the Myanmar crisis, a top European Union diplomat said Sunday, as the death toll from a military crackdown climbed past 700….

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China considering mixing COVID-19 vaccines to boost protection rate

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s top disease control official has said the country is formally considering mixing COVID-19 vaccines, as a way of further boosting vaccine efficacy. Available data shows Chinese…

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Milk tea alliance
Screengrab from GIF emoji launched by Twitter

Twitter spotlights Asia democracy movements with #MilkTeaAlliance emoji

Twitter has launched an emoji to spotlight the “#MilkTeaAlliance” online protest movement that has forged links between pro-democracy activists across Asia, the social media giant said Thursday. The alliance —…

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Malaysia’s former prime minister Najib Razak / AFP

Malaysia ex-PM Najib served with bankruptcy notice over tax bill

Malaysia’s former prime minister Najib Razak has been served with a bankruptcy notice for failing to pay more than $400 million in unpaid taxes, a move that the ex-premier described…

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Putin signs law allowing him 2 more terms as Russia’s leader

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed a law allowing him to potentially hold onto power until 2036, a move that formalizes constitutional changes endorsed in a vote last year….

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Taiwan prosecutors seek arrest warrant for suspect in deadly train crash

HUALIEN, Taiwan (Reuters) – Taiwanese prosecutors have sought an arrest warrant for a construction site manager whose truck is believed to have caused a train accident in which at least…

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(Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP)

Russia fines Twitter for not removing calls to protests

A Russian court on Friday fined Twitter nearly $117,000 for failing to remove calls to opposition protests, as Moscow ramps up pressure against the US tech giant. Authorities in January…

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Taiwan tourists line up for Covid-19 coronavirus tests at Taoyuan International Airport near Taipei on April 1, 2021, before heading to Palau as part of a travel bubble plan. (Photo by Sam Yeh / AFP)

Diplomatic allies Taiwan and Palau begin coronavirus travel bubble

Taiwan and Palau launched a rare holiday travel bubble on Thursday as the two diplomatic allies try to kickstart their battered tourist industries after successfully keeping infections at bay. Around…

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File photo of US President Joe Biden in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania/ AFP

Biden sets out ‘once-in-a-generation’ $2 tn infrastructure plan

President Joe Biden on Wednesday unveiled a $2 trillion infrastructure plan aimed at modernizing America’s crumbling transport network, creating millions of jobs and delivering a “once-in-a-generation” investment that will enable…

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(Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP)

BioNTech-Pfizer say Covid vaccine 100% effective on 12-15 year olds

BioNTech-Pfizer said Wednesday their vaccine showed 100 percent efficacy against the coronavirus in 12 to 15 year olds, as they eye approval for adolescents to get the jabs before the…

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(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 21, 2021, a protester holds a sign outside the US Embassy in Yangon, during a demonstration against the military coup. (Photo by Sai Aung Main / AFP)

US orders departure of non-essential diplomats from Myanmar

The US State Department has ordered the departure of non-essential diplomats from Myanmar, it said in a statement Tuesday, amid a crackdown on protesters that has killed hundreds since the…

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File photo / Kim Yo Jong, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s powerful sister, listens to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, right, during a performance of North Korea’s Samjiyon Orchestra at National Theater in Seoul, South Korea. / AP

N. Korea calls South’s leader ‘a parrot raised by America’

SEOUL — North Korea called South Korea’s president “a parrot raised by America” Tuesday, resuming its trademark derisive rhetoric against its rivals amid renewed animosities on the Korean Peninsula. Kim…

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Stranded ship Ever Given, one of the world’s largest container ships, is seen after it ran aground, in Suez Canal, Egypt March 28, 2021. Suez Canal Authority/Handout via REUTERS

Stranded Suez Canal ship re-floated, marine services firm says

CAIRO (Reuters) – The stranded container ship blocking the Suez Canal for almost a week was re-floated on Monday and is currently being secured, Inchcape Shipping Services said, raising hopes…

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Guests look at photos from the World Press Photo exhibition in Hong Hong on March 28, 2021. (Photo by Peter PARKS / AFP)

World Press Photo opens in Hong Kong after being nixed over security fears

An exhibition of World Press Photo winners opened at a different venue in Hong Kong Sunday after a local university called off the event that features images of the city’s 2019 pro-democracy protests…

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Myanmar military junta leader Gen Min Aung Hlaing

Global condemnation after bloodiest day since Myanmar coup

Defence chiefs from a dozen countries on Sunday jointly condemned the bloodbath in Myanmar a day earlier, when at least 107 people — including seven children — were killed as…

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Germany warns third coronavirus wave could be the worst so far

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s third wave of the coronavirus could be the worst so far and 100,000 new daily infections is not out of the question, the head of the…

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(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 23, 2021 a health worker holds a vial of Russian-made Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine in Podgorica. (Photo by SAVO PRELEVIC / AFP)

Russia denies using COVID-19 vaccines as ‘tools of influence’

The Kremlin rejected Friday that Russia and China were using their vaccines as tools to win geopolitical clout, after accusations the two countries were using their jabs to gain influence…

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This picture taken on March 25, 2021 and released from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on March 26, 2021 shows a test fire of newly developed new-type tactical guided projectile in an undisclosed location in North Korea. (Photo by STR / KCNA VIA KNS / AFP)

North Korea claims the latest missile launched new ‘tactical guided projectile’

North Korea has tested a new “tactical guided projectile” with a solid-fuel engine, state media said Friday after the nuclear-armed country carried out its first substantive provocation since US President Joe Biden’s…

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Protesters carry a wounded man shot with live rounds by security forces during a crackdown on demonstrations against the military coup in Yangon on March 17, 2021. (Photo by STR / AFP)

UK and US sanction military-owned Myanmar conglomerate

Britain and the United States on Thursday announced sanctions against military-owned conglomerate Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd (MEHL) as part of “further measures” targeting the regime after a coup. “Today’s sanctions target…

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Health workers from the Glasgow Royal Infirmary take part in a minutes silence on the first anniversary of the first national Covid-19 lockdown in Glasgow on March 23, 2021. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP)

EU to tighten export rules to stop one-way flow of vaccines

The European Commission will tighten its export guidelines on Wednesday to prevent what it sees as an unfair one-way flow of vaccines, according to a draft seen by AFP. Brussels…

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Jytte Margrete Frederiksen (83) is being vaccinated as one of the first Danes in Ishoj, Denmark on, December 27, 2020, as Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen follows the innoculation via videolink from her residence Marienborg. (Photo by Mads Claus Rasmussen / AFP)

Denmark announces reopening once all over 50s vaccinated

Denmark, which has been under a partial lockdown for the last three months, says it will reopen most of society once everyone over 50 years old are vaccinated. In an…

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(Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP)

Roche reports promising results from anti-Covid cocktail

Swiss pharma giant Roche announced Tuesday promising results from clinical trials of an anti-Covid cocktail developed with US biotech firm Regeneron. The results of the Phase 3 trial showed that…

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Several dead, thousands of homes burn as fire sweeps Rohingya camp: witnesses

DHAKA (Reuters) – A huge fire swept through a Rohingya refugee camp in southern Bangladesh on Monday, destroying thousands of homes and killing several people, officials and witnesses said, in…

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EU targets 11 Myanmar officials over coup, crackdown

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union and the United States imposed sanctions Monday on a number of Myanmar officials accused of involvement in the country’s military coup and the ensuing…

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Myanmar activists honk car horns in new protests; neighbours plan diplomacy drive

(Reuters) – Motorists honked car horns in Myanmar biggest city on Monday and planted posters in an empty field in fresh protests against last month’s military coup that ended a…

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AstraZeneca said Monday March 22, 2021 that advanced trial data from a U.S. study on its COVID vaccine shows it is 79% effective. The U.S. study comprised 30,000 volunteers, 20,000 of whom were given the vaccine while the rest got dummy shots. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali, File)

US data shows AstraZeneca vaccine is 79% effective

AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine provided strong protection against sickness and eliminated hospitalizations and deaths from the disease across all age groups in a late-stage study in the United States, the company…

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Children use toy water guns to spray water at one another as they celebrate Songkran, also known as the Thai New Year, in Narathiwat. (Photo by Madaree TOHLALA / AFP)

Thailand ranked 48th in World Happiness Report

Thailand has been ranked 48th in the World Happiness Report 2021, the same as last year. Finland remains in top position, followed by Iceland and Denmark. Of the 95 countries…

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FILE PHOTO: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern participates in a televised debate with National leader Judith Collins at TVNZ in Auckland, New Zealand, September 22, 2020. Fiona Goodall/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

New Zealand’s Ardern puts travel with Australia on hold for two more weeks

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will announce within two weeks a date for quarantine-free travel with Australia, she said on Monday, despite mounting pressure from business…

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People walk on a street inundated with floodwaters in the suburb of Windsor as the state of New South Wales experiences widespread flooding and severe weather, in Sydney, Australia, March 22, 2021. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Australia to evacuate thousands as Sydney faces worst floods in 60 years

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian authorities are planning to evacuate thousands more people on Monday from flood-affected suburbs in Sydney’s west, which is set for its worst flooding in 60 years…

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Pupils of the Ecole Vivalys elementary school, wearing spacesuits costumes, take part in their project Mission to Mars in Lausanne, on March 17, 2021. (Photo by STEFAN WERMUTH / AFP)

Swiss kids suit up for ‘Mission to Mars’

Leo pulls on a shiny, silver suit and places the helmet gingerly over his head before marching with the other budding astronauts towards their spaceship. “Going to Mars is really…

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People without face masks attend a protest against government restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus, in London, Saturday, March 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

Thousands protest Europe virus curbs as surges prompt fresh restrictions

Thousands of protesters angry at Covid-19 restrictions rallied in cities across Europe on Saturday as several nations reimposed partial lockdowns to fight new surges in infections. The coronavirus, which has…

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A general view shows flooding following heavy rainfall in Tinonee, New South Wales, Australia March 20, 2021, in this still image taken from drone video obtained from social media. Mandatory credit SIMMI VALGEIRSSON/ via REUTERS

Heavy rain, flash flooding batter Australia’s east coast

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia’s east coast was smashed by heavy rains on Saturday, sparking dangerous flash flooding that forced the evacuation of multiple regions as the fast-moving waters unmoored houses,…

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People sit under observation after receiving a dose of COVISHIELD, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India, at an auditorium, which has been converted into a temporary vaccination centre in Ahmedabad, India, March 16, 2021. REUTERS/Amit Dave/File Photo

India coronavirus cases surge to four-month high, some lockdowns return

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India reported 40,953 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, the biggest daily jump in nearly four months, with its richest state and economic backbone Maharashtra accounting for…

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‘Tough’ U.S.-China talks signal rocky start to relations under Biden

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – U.S. and Chinese officials concluded on Friday what Washington called “tough and direct” talks in Alaska, which laid bare the depth of tensions between the world’s…

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Prime Minister Jean Castex, 55-years-old, reacts as he is vaccinated with the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at the Hopital d Instruction des Armees Begin, in Saint-Mande, on the outskirts of Paris, on March 19, 2021.(Photo by THOMAS COEX / POOL / AFP)

Europe resumes AstraZeneca jabs, US to hit 100 million vaccines

Several European countries resumed AstraZeneca vaccinations Friday after an all-clear from EU regulators, as US President Joe Biden was set to meet his goal of having 100 million Americans inoculated…

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Twitter asks users to weigh in on rules for world leaders

Twitter on Friday began a survey of global users about platform rules for world leaders while consulting human rights and academic specialists on its next policy steps. The announcement comes…

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken, second from right, listens as national security adviser Jake Sullivan, right, speaks at the opening session of US-China talks at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska, Thursday, March 18, 2021. (Frederic J. Brown/Pool via AP)

US, China spar in first face-to-face meeting under Biden

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Top U.S. and Chinese officials offered sharply different views of each other and the world on Thursday as the two sides met face-to-face for the first…

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A woman is inoculated with the CoronaVac vaccine, developed by China’s Sinovac firm, at a makeshift clinic in Bang Khae Market, after hundreds of residents in the district tested positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus in Bangkok on March 17, 2021. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

Covid may become ‘seasonal’ disease, UN says

Covid-19 appears likely to develop into a seasonal disease, the United Nations said Thursday, cautioning though against relaxing pandemic-related measures simply based on meteorological factors. More than a year after the novel…

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FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about the implementation of the American Rescue Plan in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 15, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

Bolstered by allies, Biden officials take blunt message to first China talks

WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Reuters) – The United States will take an uncompromising stance in talks with China on Thursday in Alaska, officials have said, in the first face-to-face meetings between senior officials…

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WHO reviewing data, recommends AstraZeneca Covid jabs continue

The World Health Organization said Wednesday its experts were still reviewing safety data on the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine following concerns around blood clots but recommended that injection programmes continue. While…

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Smoke billows from burning tyres set alight to create smoke cover during a crackdown at Bayint Naung Junction in Yangon, Myanmar March 16, 2021./ REUTERS

Myanmar Buddhist group signals break with authorities after bloody crackdown

(Reuters) – Myanmar’s most powerful Buddhist monks’ association called on the junta to end violence against protesters and accused an “armed minority” of torture and killing innocent civilians since last…

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Authorities investigate a fatal shooting at a massage parlor, late Tuesday, March 16, 2021, in Woodstock, Ga. / AP

Georgia massage parlor shootings leave 8 dead; man captured

ATLANTA (AP) — Shootings at two massage parlors in Atlanta and one in the suburbs left eight people dead, many of them women of Asian descent, authorities said Tuesday. A…

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Border Patrol agents apprehend a group of migrants near downtown El Paso, Texas on Monday / AFP

Biden tells migrants ‘don’t come’ as criticism grows

US President Joe Biden urged migrants not to come to the United States on Tuesday, as criticism mounted over a surge in people arriving at the southern border with Mexico…

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(AP photo)

Countries halting AstraZeneca vaccine

A growing list of countries have suspended AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 shots amid fears over blood clots and other possible side effects, despite the company and the World Health Organization insisting there…

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Irish, Dutch halt AstraZeneca jabs as Italy gets set for curbs

Ireland and the Netherlands on Sunday became the latest countries to suspend their rollouts of AstraZeneca jabs over concerns about post-jab blood clots despite the firm insisting there was no…

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Netflix may be moving to stop users sharing passwords

Streaming television colossus Netflix on Friday was dabbling with more strictly enforcing its rule against sharing passwords with people living elsewhere, according to US media reports. Some Netflix users who…

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A health worker holds a bottle of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine with name Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha written on it, at Bamrasnaradura Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, March 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

No reason to stop using AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine: WHO

The World Health Organization said Friday there was no reason to stop using AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine after several European countries suspended the roll-out over blood clot fears. The WHO said…

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This picture taken on February 25, 2021 shows a raccoon interacting with cafe owner Cheng Chen during an interview with AFP at her establishment, Raccoon Cafe, in Shanghai. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP)

Raccoons to snakes: Shanghai animal cafes expand to exotics

A baby raccoon to stroke while you sip your skinny latte? Or a snake to coil around you after your cappuccino? Forget dog or cat cafes, Shanghai’s animal cafe scene has expanded…

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Police fire tear gas on protesters during an anti-coup demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar, Saturday, March 6, 2021. (AP Photo)

UN fears ‘crimes against humanity’ in Myanmar

Myanmar’s military is likely committing “crimes against humanity” in its attempt to stay in power, a UN expert said Thursday, as the junta claimed that ousted civilian leader Aung San…

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