World

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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US President Joe Biden speaks in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on March 31, 2021./ 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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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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General practitioner Jean Louis Bensoussan, administers a dose of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to a patient, in Gragnague near Toulouse, southern France, on February 26, 2021. (Photo by Fred SCHEIBER / AFP)

France sees ‘no need’ to suspend AstraZeneca vaccine

France will continue to use AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine, the health minister said Thursday after several European nations halted its use due to concerns over blood clots. Denmark, Iceland and Norway…

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(FILES) In this file photo taken on January 09, 2021 boxes of vials of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine are seen in a refridgerator at Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol, Britain.(Photo by Andrew Matthews / POOL / AFP)

UK says AstraZeneca vaccine is ‘safe and effective’

The UK government on Thursday defended the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine after Denmark suspended the jab’s use, and insisted it would continue with its own rollout. “We’ve been clear that it’s…

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(FILES) In this file photo taken on January 10, 2021 at the vaccination center in Pfaffenhofen, southern Germany. – Pfizer-Biontech’s coronavirus vaccine offers more protection than earlier thought with effectiveness in preventing symptomatic disease reaching 97 percent, according to real world evidence published on March 11, 2021 by the pharmaceutical companies. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

Pfizer jab 97% effective against symptomatic Covid: study

Pfizer/BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine offers more protection than earlier thought with effectiveness in preventing symptomatic disease reaching 97 percent, according to real-world evidence published Thursday by the pharmaceutical companies. Using data…

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(FILES) This file photo taken on January 21, 2021 shows people scaning a QR code to display their health status as they line up to be tested for the Covid-19 coronavirus in Beijing, after a partial lockdown was imposed on the Chinese capital on January 20. (Photo by Greg Baker / AFP)

QR codes, health passports: China’s tech arsenal against a pandemic

Daily life in China follows a rhythm of digital check-ins, with the QR code – at offices, malls and transport hubs – an integral defence against Covid-19 that helps to…

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A nurse prepares a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in Tlaquepaque, Mexico, on March 8, 2021. (Photo by ULISES RUIZ / AFP)

Vaccines, US stimulus boost global GDP forecast: OECD

The OECD sharply raised its 2021 global growth forecast on Tuesday as the deployment of vaccines and a huge US stimulus programme have greatly improved economic prospects. The Paris-based Organisation…

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FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are interviewed by Oprah Winfrey in this undated handout photo. Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

Meghan says British royals worried about her son’s dark skin

LONDON (Reuters) – Meghan, the wife of Prince Harry, said there were concerns about how dark her son Archie’s skin would be before his birth and that such worries explained…

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FILE PHOTO: Athletics – 2021 European Indoor Athletics Championships – Arena Torun, Torun, Poland – March 7, 2021 General view of athletes during the women’s 4×400 relay final REUTERS/Lukasz Szelag

World Athletics makes new equality pledges to mark International Women’s Day

LONDON (Reuters) – World Athletics has marked International Women’s Day with a series of pledges to “further advance the role of girls and women” in the sport under the campaign…

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Pope Francis, surrounded by religious dignitaries at a square near the ruins of the Syriac Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception (al-Tahira-l-Kubra), in the old city of Iraq’s northern Mosul on March 7, 2021. (Photo by – / various sources / AFP)

Pope, top Shiite cleric plead for ‘peace’ in historic Iraq encounter

Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, one of Shiite Islam’s top clerics, told Pope Francis in a historic meeting in Iraq on Saturday that the country’s Christians should live in “peace”. The meeting, on…

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This photo taken on January 28, 2021 shows workers making medical masks at a workshop of a company which produces medical protective equipment in Jishou, in central China’s Hunan province. (Photo by STR / AFP)

China exports spike to highest in decades after Covid-19 hit

China’s export growth jumped to the highest in over two decades, official data showed Sunday, with imports also surging in a sharp bounceback from the coronavirus outbreak that had brought…

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This photo made available by NASA was taken during the first drive of the Perseverance rover on Mars on Thursday, March 4, 2021. Perseverance landed on Feb. 18, 2021. (NASA/JPL-Caltech via AP)

NASA’s new Mars rover hits dusty red road, 1st trip 21 feet

NASA’s newest Mars rover hit the dusty red road this week, putting 21 feet on the odometer in its first test drive. The Perseverance rover ventured from its landing position…

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(FILES) In this file photo taken on July 9, 2020 people take a selfie while visiting Downtown Disney in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)

California relaxes Covid reopening rules for Disneyland, stadiums from April

California on Friday paved the way for Disneyland, other theme parks and outdoor stadiums to welcome guests sooner than expected as it relaxed reopening criteria following a sharp decline in Covid-19…

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Pope Francis delivers a sermon at Baghdad’s Syro-Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Salvation (Sayidat al-Najat) at the start of the first ever papal visit to Iraq on March 5, 2021. (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP)

‘Silence the arms!’ Pope urges end to violence on historic Iraq trip

Pope Francis called for an end to extremism and violence in his opening address Friday on the first-ever papal visit to Iraq, long scarred by war and now gripped by…

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Security personnel keep watch at the end of the opening session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China March 5, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

China’s parliament to delay Hong Kong legislative vote, overhaul electoral system

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Elections for Hong Kong’s legislature will likely be deferred for a second year to September 2022 as Beijing plans a major overhaul of the city’s electoral…

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FILE PHOTO: Japan’s Economy Minister and minister in charge of coronavirus response Yasutoshi Nishimura delivers his policy speech at the opening of the Lower House plenary session in Tokyo, Japan January 18, 2021. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Japan to extend Tokyo area state of emergency to March 21

TOKYO (Reuters) – The Japanese government plans to extend a state of emergency to combat COVID-19 for Tokyo and three neighbouring prefectures until March 21, two weeks longer than originally…

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Protest in Myaynigone on March 2, 2021. (photo by Nway Oo)

U.S. blocks Myanmar ministries, military businesses from certain trade

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Thursday unveiled new measures to punish Myanmar’s army for its Feb. 1 coup, blocking the ministries of defense and home affairs and top…

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A recipient of the Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine looks on in the driver’s seat of his vehicle during a drive-through vaccination service in Nusa Dua, Indonesia’s resort island of Bali, on March 1, 2021. (Photo by SONNY TUMBELAKA / AFP)

Bali kicks off drive-thru virus jabs for hospitality workers

Indonesian resort island Bali has launched a drive-thru vaccination campaign targeting thousands of hospitality workers, as the popular tourist destination eyes reopening to foreign visitors. Billed as the first such…

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This photo taken on January 17, 2021 and handout on January 18, 2021 by the Vatican Media shows Pope Francis gesturing during a weekly live streamed Angelus prayer from the library of the apostolic palace in The Vatican. (Photo by Handout / VATICAN MEDIA / AFP)

In historic first, Pope Francis to visit Iraq

Pope Francis is to arrive Friday for the first-ever papal visit to conflict-torn Iraq, aiming to encourage the dwindling Christian community to remain in their ancient homeland, and broaden his…

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A Roller-coaster Ride to Success

Globally renowned Thai techno DJ Nakadia took a hiatus from the rave scene to tell her story in Positive Energy – Becoming Nakadia We’ve danced to her percussion groves and…

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FILE PHOTO: People jog past a social distancing sign on the first day of New Zealand’s new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) safety measure that mandates wearing of a mask on public transport, in Auckland, New Zealand, August 31, 2020. REUTERS/Fiona Goodall

New Zealand’s largest city Auckland back to lockdown after COVID-19 case

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Saturday that the country’s biggest city, Auckland, will be put into a seven-day lockdown from Sunday after a coronavirus…

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FILE PHOTO: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman chairs first season of the Saudi-Bahraini Coordination Council, virtually, with Bahrain’s Prime Minister and Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, December 24, 2020. Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS

Saudi de facto ruler approved operation that led to Khashoggi’s death – U.S.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler approved an operation to capture or kill murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, according to U.S. intelligence released on Friday as the…

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India steps up clampdown on US social media giants

India imposed tough new rules on social media platforms Thursday as it accused US tech giants of “double standards” in taking down disputed content. New Delhi is the latest in…

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Golf great Tiger Woods suffers serious leg injuries in car wreck

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Golfing champion Tiger Woods was hospitalized in Los Angeles on Tuesday with severe leg injuries suffered when his car swerved off a road and rolled down…

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Police charge forward to disperse protesters in Mandalay, Myanmar on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021. Security forces in Myanmar ratcheted up their pressure against anti-coup protesters Saturday, using water cannons, tear gas, slingshots and rubber bullets against demonstrators and striking dock workers in Mandalay, the nation’s second-largest city. (AP Photos)

2 Myanmar protesters killed by police fire, reports say

MANDALAY, Myanmar (AP) — Two anti-coup protesters were shot dead by riot police who fired live rounds Saturday in Mandalay, Myanmar’s second-largest city, local media reported. One of the victims…

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(File photo of coronavirus vaccine injection) Handout via REUTERS

New Zealand begins COVID-19 vaccinations programme, Australia starts Monday

(Reuters) – New Zealand started its official rollout of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday, while Australia finalised plans to begin inoculations on Monday, a new phase in tackling the virus…

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Why has the EU not approved Russia’s Sputnik jab?

Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is still waiting for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to start the countdown to its launch across the 27-nation bloc. With Moscow and Brussels trading barbs…

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A health worker of the Maccabi Healthcare Services prepares to administer a dose of Pfizer-BioNtech coronavirus vaccine inside a van in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, on February 16, 2021. Israel is among countries with widest vaccination. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP)

Pfizer first dose 85% effective after 2-4 weeks: study

The first dose of the Pfizer vaccination is 85 percent effective against coronavirus infection between two and four weeks after inoculation, according to a study published in the Lancet medical…

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Vials labelled “COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine” and a syringe are seen in front of the Pfizer logo in this illustration taken February 9, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

Pfizer says South African variant could significantly reduce vaccine protection

(Reuters) – A laboratory study suggests that the South African variant of the coronavirus may reduce antibody protection from the Pfizer Inc/BioNTech SE vaccine by two-thirds, and it is not…

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FILE PHOTO: The Facebook logo is displayed on a mobile phone in this picture illustration taken December 2, 2019. REUTERS/Johanna Geron/Illustration

Facebook blocks news from Australia, dozens of public information pages wiped

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australians woke to empty news feeds in their Facebook Inc accounts on Thursday after the social media giant blocked all local media content in a surprise and…

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A woman looks at a view of the Marina Beach in the Gulf emirate of Dubai. In Dubai, known for its luxury haunts and parties, expatriate singles working in the city find the quest for a partner difficult./ AFP

In transient Dubai, expats struggle to find love

In Dubai, known for its luxury haunts and parties, Lindsey knows she has reasons to be happy. But like many young expatriates, she’s sure her quest for a partner will…

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FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris meet with group of governors and mayors at the White House to discuss the coronavirus response at the Oval Office in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Biden pushes for pandemic relief in first official trip as president

MILWAUKEE (Reuters) – President Joe Biden vowed during a prime-time televised town hall on Tuesday to accelerate the country’s vaccination program and said teachers should be moved closer to the…

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This NASA handout illustration obtained February 15, 2021 shows NASA’s Perseverance rover casting off its spacecraft’s cruise stage, minutes before entering the Martian atmosphere, as hundreds of critical events in the rover’s Entry, Descent, and Landing sequence must execute perfectly and exactly on time for the rover to touch down on Mars safely on February 18, 2021. – The cruise stage contains fuel tanks, solar panels, and other hardware needed during the trip to Mars. About 10 minutes before atmospheric entry, it separates from the aeroshell, which encloses the rover and descent stage. The aeroshell makes the trip to the surface on its own. (Photo by Handout / NASA / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – MANDATORY CREDIT “AFP PHOTO /NASA/JPL-Caltech/HANDOUT ” – NO MARKETING – NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS – DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

NASA wants to fly a helicopter on Mars for the first time

More than a century after the first powered flight on Earth, NASA intends to prove it’s possible to replicate the feat on another world. Transported aboard the Mars 2020 spacecraft…

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Protesters hold up signs with an image of detained Myanmar leader Aung Saan Suu Kyi and demanding her release during a demonstration against the military coup in front of US embassy in Yangon on February 16, 2021. (Photo by SAI AUNG MAIN / AFP)

Myanmar under pressure at UN

The UN’s top rights body demanded Friday that Myanmar’s military restore civilian rule and immediately release Aung San Suu Kyi. In a resolution adopted without a vote, the 47-member Human…

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US President Joe Biden / AFP)

Biden to discuss pandemic, economy and China in Friday G7 meeting

President Joe Biden will hold his first event with other leaders from the Group of Seven nations in a virtual meeting on Friday to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, the world…

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19 killed in firecracker factory blast in India

At least 19 people were killed and dozens hurt in a blast at a firecracker factory in India, authorities said Saturday. The blast on Friday afternoon in Virudhunagar district was…

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Kim Jong Un
Photo by kcna.kp

North Korea’s Kim lambasts officials for economic ‘defeatism’

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has accused top officials of “self-protection and defeatism” and largely blamed them for the country’s economic plight, state media reported Friday. At a meeting…

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BBC World News barred in mainland China, dropped by HK public broadcaster

BEIJING (Reuters) – China barred Britain’s BBC World News from airing on Friday and Hong Kong’s public broadcaster said it was dropping the channel, a week after Britain’s media regulator…

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FIFA chief Gianni Infantino gestures during an interview in the Qatari capital Doha on February 11, 2021 ahead of the Club World Cup final. (Photo by Karim JAAFAR / AFP)

Infantino says Covid measures could still be in place for 2022 World Cup

FIFA president Gianni Infantino said for the first time Thursday coronavirus containment measures could still be in place during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar but he insisted stadiums would…

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A health worker takes a swab sample from a man to test for the COVID-19 coronavirus at a hospital in Wuhan, China’s central Hubei province on February 7, 2021. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP)

The WHO’s China mission: Five questions still unanswered

The World Health Organization expert mission to China ended this week without finding the source of the coronavirus that has killed over 2.3 million worldwide. But the team of foreign…

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social media political news

Facebook rolls out news feeds with less politics

Facebook said it began rolling out news feeds with less political subject matter in line with a plan outlined by chief Mark Zuckerberg to reduce inflammatory content. The leading social…

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Biden orders sanctions against Myanmar after military coup

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Wednesday ordered new sanctions against the military regime in Myanmar, taking action after the military this month staged a coup in the Southeast…

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Senators vote to proceed with Trump’s impeachment trial

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A divided U.S. Senate voted largely along party lines on Tuesday to move ahead with Donald Trump’s impeachment trial on a charge of inciting the deadly assault…

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A Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games banner in Tokyo on February 7, 2021. (Photo by Philip FONG / AFP)

Biden: “Remains to be seen” if US will send team to Olympics

US President Joe Biden said late Sunday it remains to be seen if the US will send a team to the pandemic-postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, in a radio interview in…

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FILE – In this Dec. 4, 2013, file photo, Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, shakes hands with then U.S. Vice President Joe Biden as they pose for photos at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. (AP Photo/Lintao Zhang, Pool, File)

Biden: China should expect `extreme competition’ from US

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden says China is in for “extreme competition” from the U.S. under his administration, but that the new relationship he wants to forge need not…

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken introduces President Joe Biden for remarks to State Department staff, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Blinken presses China on Xinjiang, Hong Kong in call with Beijing’s top diplomat

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi in a phone call on Friday the United States will stand up for human rights…

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Myanmar generals shut down internet as thousands protest coup

(Reuters) – Myanmar’s junta shut down the internet in the country on Saturday as thousands of people took to the streets of Yangon to denounce this week’s coup and demand…

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FILE PHOTO: Commuters cross a zebra crossing, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Seoul, South Korea, February 3, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

South Korea eases curfew on businesses outside Seoul

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea on Saturday eased curfews on businesses outside the capital Seoul, letting them stay open an hour later, amid a public backlash over tight curbs to…

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FILE PHOTO: Workers clean a seating area at Melbourne Park in the wake of the day’s tennis matches leading up to the Australian Open being cancelled after a hotel quarantine worker at a player hotel tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Melbourne, Australia, February 4, 2021. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Australian Open concerns ease as Victoria records no new COVID-19 cases

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia’s second-most populous state of Victoria reported no local coronavirus cases on Saturday for the second straight day, boding well for the Australian Open tennis tournament due…

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A woman is given hand sanitizer as she waits to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at Crystal Palace Football Club Vaccination Centre, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in London, Britain February 4, 2021. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Britain explores mixed COVID vaccine shots as variants threaten

LONDON (Reuters) – British researchers are to explore mixing doses of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines in a world first trial aimed at finding new ways to swiftly reduce…

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