The Beijing 2022 emblem is seen on a countdown clock for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China December 7, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Australia joins diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Games

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia will join the United States in a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday, a decision that risks souring already bitter bilateral relations. The United States on…

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President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, arrive to meet at the ‘Villa la Grange’, in Geneva, Switzerland, June 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Biden-Putin square off as tension grows on Ukraine border

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and Russia’s Vladimir Putin squared off Tuesday over the massive buildup of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border. The U.S. president was eager to…

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A visitor to the Shougang Park walks past the a sculpture for the Beijing Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. China on Monday, Dec. 6, 2021 (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

US plans diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. will stage a diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing to protest Chinese human rights abuses, the White House confirmed Monday, a move that China…

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AFP PHOTO /OAKLAND COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Million-dollar bond as US school shooter parents plead not guilty

The parents of a 15-year-old who shot dead four students at a US high school with a gun bought by his father pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter Saturday, as…

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FILE / Passengers wait in line inside the terminal at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, U.S., November 24, 2021 / REUTERS

U.S., Germany plan new restrictions as Omicron rattles investors

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States, Germany and Russia joined countries planning stricter COVID-19 restrictions on Thursday as the Omicron coronavirus variant rattled markets, with investors concerned about the impact on the global economic recovery….

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Photo by Handout / US Food and Drug Administration / AFP

Omicron rapidly dominating in South Africa; U.S. reports first case

JOHANNESBURG/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Heavily mutated Omicron is rapidly becoming the dominant variant of the coronavirus in South Africa less than four weeks after it was first detected there, and the United States on Wednesday became the latest country to…

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A vial and a syringe are seen in front of a displayed stock graph and words “Omicron SARS-CoV-2” in this illustration taken, November 27, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/file photo

How fast and furious Omicron has been

December 7, 2021: The United States, which reported first detection of the new powerful coronavirus variant only days ago, has said it should know within two weeks whether Delta will…

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President Joe Biden listens as he meets virtually with Chinese President Xi Jinping from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Nov. 15, 2021. The Biden administration has invited Taiwan to its upcoming Summit for Democracy, prompting sharp criticism from China, which considers the self-ruled island as its territory. The invitation list features 110 countries, including Taiwan, but does not include China or Russia. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Analysis – Democratic strategy of divide and rule

Finally, the list of 110 countries invited to attend the two-day “Summit for Democracy” on December 9th and 10th has been released. 21 countries in the East Asia Pacific region are among…

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The Tom Turkey float waits along Central Park West before the start of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Thanksgiving traditions return to U.S.: Football, family and parades

(Reuters) – Americans flocked to parades, packed football stadiums and gathered more freely for family feasts on Thursday, grateful to celebrate Thanksgiving Day traditions again after the pandemic kept many at home last year. The holiday dates to the early 17th…

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People wait in line to shop on Black Friday in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, U.S., November 27, 2020. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

‘Black Friday’ drags through November amid tight U.S. inventories

CHICAGO, Nov 23 (Reuters) – Facing scarce year-end inventories and a shortage of workers, retailers are turning “Black Friday” into a month-long event. Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, said on…

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Police canvass the streets in downtown Waukesha, Wis., after a vehicle plowed into a Christmas parade hitting more than 20 people Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

Police: ‘Some’ killed when SUV hits Christmas parade

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — An SUV sped through barricades and into a parade of Christmas marchers in suburban Milwaukee on Sunday, killing multiple people as it hit more than 20…

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A Rivercat ferry passes by the Royal Australian Navy’s Collins-class submarine HMAS Waller as it leaves Sydney Harbour on May 4, 2020. The Australian government has considered extending the life of the Collins class as it examines the fate of its next-generation sub program.

US, Australia, UK sign key deal in nuclear sub alliance

Sydney (AFP) – Australia formally embarked Monday on a hotly-contested programme to equip its navy with nuclear-powered submarines in a new defence alliance with Britain and the United States. Defence Minister…

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People gather to leave Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport after reported shooting, in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., November 20, 2021, in this still image obtained from a social media video. Twitter/mohiterajas

US police hunt felon after ‘accidental’ gun discharge at Atlanta airport

Police were hunting a convicted felon who fled Atlanta’s international airport after his gun accidentally discharged during a security search and sparked panic. The incident on Saturday sent dozens of…

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People in a boat travel across flooded farmland in Abbotsford, British Columbia on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

US Northwest, Canada devastated by flood, 1 death reported

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — As many parts of western Washington began drying out Tuesday after a storm that dumped rain for days, waters in some areas continued rising, more people…

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This handout photo taken and released on April 24, 2021 by the Indonesian Presidential Palace shows Myanmar junta leader Min Aung Hlaing (L) being greeted during his arrival at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta international airport in Tangerang, to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit on the Myanmar crisis. HANDOUT / INDONESIAN PRESIDENTIAL PALACE / AFP

Op-Ed: Will Myanmar’s military junta soften up?

Just a few days after being sentenced to 11 years in prison, American journalist Danny Fenster was freed to go home. It was the first clear indication that Naypyidaw is…

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US journalist Danny Fenster, who was imprisoned in Myanmar, arrives at Hamad International Airport in Qatar’s capital Doha on November 15, 2021. – A US journalist imprisoned in Myanmar since May was pardoned and deported, a day before he was due to face terror and sedition charges that could have jailed him for life. (Photo by KARIM JAAFAR / AFP)

Freed US journalist says he thought Myanmar jail ordeal would never end

Doha, Qatar (AFP) – An American journalist jailed for six months by Myanmar’s military rulers said after his shock release that he battled to stay sane and feared his ordeal would not end,…

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In this image from video provided by NASA, the International Space Station is seen as astronauts in the SpaceX Dragon capsule undock on Monday, Nov. 8, 2021, (NASA via AP)

US slams Russia for ‘irresponsible’ space missile test

Washington (AFP) – The United States denounced Russia on Monday for conducting a “dangerous and irresponsible” missile strike that blew up one of its own satellites, creating a debris cloud that…

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President Joe Biden meets virtually with Chinese President Xi Jinping from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Biden and Xi meet virtually as US-China chasm widens

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden opened his virtual meeting with China’s XI Jinping on Monday by saying their goal is to ensure competition “does not veer into conflict.” The…

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Japanese man arrested for selling substandard medical equipment to US, Switzerland

A Japanese businessman, who is accused of selling about 200-million-baht worth of substandard medical gloves and equipment to customers in Switzerland and the United States, has been arrested by officers…

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U.S. journalist Danny Fenster works out of his van that he made into a home/office in Detroit in 2018. (Fenster Family photo via AP, File)

Ex-US diplomat says Myanmar frees jailed American journalist

(AP) — Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Bill Richardson says American journalist Danny Fenster has been released from prison in Myanmar. Richardson said in a statement Monday that Fenster…

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(FILE) Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping and Vice President Joe Biden hold T-shirts students gave them at the International Studies Learning Center in South Gate, Calif., Feb. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

A complicated relationship: Biden and Xi prepare for meeting

WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping have slurped noodles together in Beijing. They’ve shared deep thoughts about the meaning of America during an exchange on the Tibetan…

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Members of the Erebara family embrace after being separated before arriving on a flight from the UK, following the easing of pandemic travel restrictions at JFK international airport in New York on November 8, 2021. (Photo by Ed JONES / AFP)

Tears, relief, long lines as US reopens borders after 20 months

New York (AFP) – Eager travelers and their relatives rejoiced, wept and breathed sighs of relief Monday as the United States reopened to vaccinated visitors, ending 20 months of Covid-19 restrictions…

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Quote of the Week

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Thai arrested for allegedly cheating an American company in medical glove deal

Thailand’s Consumer Protection Police Division (CPPD) has arrested a Thai businessman who allegedly cheated a Florida-based company out of about 184 million baht in a failed medical glove deal. Commissioner…

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This handout photo released by the host broadcast, ASEAN Summit 2021, on October 26, 2021 shows US President Joe Biden (C) taking part in the ASEAN-US Summit on the sidelines of the 2021 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summits held online on a live video conference in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei. (Photo by Handout / ASEAN Summit 2021 / AFP)

Analysis: Biden rejuvenates US-ASEAN ties

After four years of inertia, US-ASEAN ties have been rebooted and ASEAN centrality has been strengthened by the presence of President Joe Biden who decided, in the wee hours, to…

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This handout photo released by the host broadcast, ASEAN Summit 2021, on October 26, 2021 shows US President Joe Biden (C) taking part in the ASEAN-US Summit on the sidelines of the 2021 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summits held online on a live video conference in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei. (Photo by Handout / ASEAN Summit 2021 / AFP)

Biden vows to stand with Asia on freedom, hits at China on Taiwan

WASHINGTON/BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Reuters) – President Joe Biden told Southeast Asian nations on Wednesday the United States would stand with them in defending freedom of the seas and democracy and called China‘s actions towards Taiwan “coercive” and a threat to…

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U.S. President Joe Biden participates virtually with the ASEAN summit from an auditorium at the White House in Washington, U.S. October 26, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Biden joins U.S.-ASEAN summit Trump skipped after 2017

WASHINGTON/BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden joined Southeast Asian leaders for a virtual summit on Tuesday, the first time in four years that Washington has engaged at the top level with a…

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REUTERS/Mike Segar

African Union to buy up to 110 million Moderna COVID-19 vaccines

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The African Union (AU) intends to buy up to 110 million doses of COVID–19 vaccine from Moderna Inc in an arrangement brokered in part by the White House, which will defer delivery of some doses intended for the United States…

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Thai PM urges ASEAN to develop coordinated voices, innovative approaches to US and China

In his speech, on the first day of the 39th ASEAN Summit via a video conference this morning (Tuesday), Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha urged other leaders of the Association…

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A Delta Airlines passenger jet approaches to land at LAX in Los Angeles, California, U.S., April 7, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

Biden imposes new international travel vaccine rules, lifts existing restrictions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday signed an order imposing new vaccine requirements for most foreign national air travelers and lifting severe travel restrictions on China, India and much of Europe effective Nov. 8, the…

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An entrance to the Christian Aid Ministries compound is seen after the abduction of a U.S.-based group of missionaries fueled international concerns over gang violence, in Titanyen, on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, Haiti October 18, 2021. REUTERS/Ralph Tedy Erol

Haiti gang seeks $1 million per person for kidnapped missionaries

(Reuters) – A Haitian gang that kidnapped a group of American and Canadian missionaries is asking for $17 million – or $1 million each – to release them, according to a top Haitian official. Justice Minister Liszt Quitel told Reuters that talks…

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Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Iowa States Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., October 9, 2021. REUTERS/Rachel Mummey

Trump sues U.S. House committee investigating Jan. 6 attack

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit on Monday against the U.S. congressional committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, alleging it made an illegal request for his White House records. Trump asserted in the lawsuit…

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Photo by Ozan KOSE / AFP

Bitcoin tops $60,000, nears record high, on growing U.S. ETF hopes

LONDON/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Bitcoin hit $60,000 for the first time in six months on Friday, nearing its record high, as traders grew confident that U.S. regulators would approve the launch of an exchange-traded fund…

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Japan’s Prime Minister and the leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Fumio Kishida and his cabinet ministers raise their hands and shout “banzai” (cheers) after the dissolution of the lower house was announced at the Parliament in Tokyo, Japan October 14, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Op-Ed: Japan, a gatekeeper of China-US ties

With new Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in power, Japan has become a heavy-weight player in shaping China-US relations. In his first major speech he reiterated not just that the…

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Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP

U.S. FDA advisers back Moderna COVID booster shots for older and high-risk people

(Reuters) – A panel of expert advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration unanimously voted on Thursday to recommend booster shots of Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine for Americans aged 65 and older and those at high risk of severe illness or occupational exposure to the virus. If…

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CCSA approves plan to buy 50,000 courses of anti-viral Molnupiravir drug

Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) today (Thursday) approved the Public Health Ministry’s proposal to procure 50,000 courses of the anti-viral Molnupiravir drug, made by US pharmaceutical company Merck. …

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In this photo released by the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the United Kingdom’s carrier strike group led by HMS Queen Elizabeth (R 08), and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces led by (JMSDF) Hyuga-class helicopter destroyer JS Ise (DDH 182) joined with U.S. Navy carrier strike groups led by flagships USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) sails to conduct multiple carrier strike group operations in the Philippine Sea, on Oct. 3, 2021. (Jason Tarleton/U.S. Navy via AP)

Taiwan tensions raise fears of US-China conflict in Asia

(AP) – After sending a record number of military aircraft to harass Taiwan over China’s National Day holiday, Beijing has toned down the saber rattling but tensions remain high, with…

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The words “Expect Us” are spray painted on the base of the Andrew Jackson statue in Lafayette Park as Indigenous and environmental activists protest in front of the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Indigenous Peoples Day marked with celebrations, protests

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Indigenous people across the United States marked Monday with celebrations of their heritage, education campaigns and a push for the Biden administration to make good on…

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R), with US Senator Ted Cruz (L), attends a briefing for US President Donald Trump (off camera) in Orange, Texas, on August 29, 2020. Trump surveyed damage in the area caused by Hurricane Laura. At least 15 people were killed after Laura slammed into the southern US states of Louisiana and Texas, authorities and local media said on August 28.

Texas governor bars all COVID-19 vaccine mandates in state, rips Biden for ‘bullying’

(Reuters) – Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott, responding to what he called “bullying” by the Biden Administration, on Monday barred all COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the state by any entity,…

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This picture taken on October 11, 2021 and released from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on October 12 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un giving a speech during the opening ceremony of The Defence Development Exhibition “Self-Defence-2021” in Pyongyang. (Photo by STR / KCNA VIA KNS / AFP)

North Korea’s Kim says US is ‘root cause’ of tensions

Seoul (AFP) – North Korean leader Kim Jong has blamed the United States for tensions on the peninsula and accused the South of hypocrisy, state media reported Tuesday, as he…

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No quarantine required for 10 countries starting November 1 as Thailand delays reopening

Thailand will no longer require quarantines for visitors from 10 low-risk countries starting November 1st, as the country is gradually reopening to overseas visitors, a delay from the initial complete…

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This image released by National Geographic shows Dr. Anthony Fauci at the NIH in Bethesda, Md., during the filming of the documentary “Fauci.” (Visko HatfNational Geographic via AP)

Fauci says fine to trick-or-treat this year

WASHINGTON (AP) – The government’s top infectious diseases expert says families can feel safe trick-or-treating outdoors this year for Halloween as COVID-19 cases in the U.S. decline, especially for those…

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President Joe Biden apparently does not get satisfactory approval ratings from young Americans. (File Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP)

Op-Ed: A US-China war is avoidable

US President Joe Biden has already reduced the possibility of waging war against China, by recognizing the “One-China” policy. Last week, Biden spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping about Taiwan…

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In this file combination of pictures created on June 8, 2021 shows Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) during a welcome ceremony for Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev in Beijing on July 3, 2019; and US President Joe Biden speaking at the White House in Washington, DC, on May 17, 2021. – Chinese President Xi Jinping had a “candid, in-depth” discussion with US counterpart Joe Biden during their first call in seven months, state media reported Friday. The leaders of the world’s two biggest economies “conducted candid, in-depth and extensive strategic communication and exchanges on China-US relations and issues of mutual concern”, state broadcaster CCTV said. (Photos by NICOLAS ASFOURI and Nicholas Kamm / AFP)

Biden, China’s Xi expected to meet virtually by year’s end

ZURICH (AP) — With tensions rising between the global powers, President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are expected to hold a virtual meeting before year’s end, according to…

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Pictures of the winners of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Benjamin List and David MacMillan are seen displayed on a screen during The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ announcement at the Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, Sweden October 6, 2021. Claudio Bresciani/TT News Agency/via REUTERS

Duo wins Nobel Chemistry Prize for work on catalysts

Stockholm (AFP) – Germany’s Benjamin List and David MacMillan of the United States on Wednesday won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their development of a precise new tool for molecular construction,…

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Thailand to import 200,000 courses of Molnupiravir anti-viral drug from USA

The Ministry of Public Health is to seek approval from the Thai cabinet for the procurement of 200,000 courses of the Molnupiravir oral anti-viral medicine, using money from the Central…

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In this March 29, 2018, file photo, the logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York’s Times Square. Facebook prematurely turned off safeguards designed to thwart misinformation and rabble rousing after Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in the 2020 elections in a moneymaking move that a company whistleblower alleges contributed to the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, invasion of the U.S. Capitol. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Ex-Facebook manager alleges social network fed Capitol riot

Facebook prematurely turned off safeguards designed to thwart misinformation and rabble rousing after Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in last year’s elections in a moneymaking move that a company whistleblower…

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(AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

Trump asks US judge to force Twitter to restore his account

Former President Donald Trump has asked a federal judge in Florida to force Twitter to restore his account, which the company suspended in January following the deadly storming of the…

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Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou talks to media at British Columbia Supreme Court after her extradition hearing ended in her favour, in Vancouver British Columbia, Canada on September 24, 2021. (Photo by Don MacKinnon / AFP)

Huawei executive freed in Canada after deal with US prosecutors

A bitter diplomatic spat between Canada, China and the United States drew to a close on Friday, as Ottawa released Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, and Beijing freed two Canadians who…

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Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with US Vice President Joe Biden (L) inside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on December 4, 2013. Biden arrived in Beijing to raise concerns over a Chinese air zone ramping up regional tensions, looking to bolster ties while also underscoring alliances with Tokyo and Seoul. His trip follows weeks of furore after Beijing declared an “air defence identification zone” (ADIZ) covering East China Sea islands disputed with Japan. AFP PHOTO /

OP-ED – World leaders and their promises at the UN General Assembly

Every September, leaders from around the globe have the opportunity to tell the rest of us how well their countries have been doing. If time permits, they also talk about…

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Complexities of Evergrande phenomenon

In a more ideologically straightforward world, Chinese “merchants” and capitalism don’t go anywhere near each other. That, however, is not the case in this world, where the financial troubles of…

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US President Joe Biden participates is a virtual press conference on national security with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (R) and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on September 15, 2021. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP)

Op-Ed: Thai view on the new AUKUS alliance

The new military alliance among three Anglo-Saxon countries – the US, the UK and Australia, known as AUKUS – for the sharing of nuclear submarine technology is a bad move….

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Passengers depart Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., November 23, 2020. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry

U.S. to relax travel restrictions for vaccinated foreign air travelers in November

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States will reopen in November to air travelers from 33 countries including China, India, Brazil and most of Europe who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the White House said on Monday,…

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U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on a National Security Initiative virtually with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, not pictured, inside the East Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., September 15, 2021. REUTERS/Tom Brenner

Australia to get U.S. nuclear submarine technology as China looms large

WASHINGTON/CANBERRA (Reuters) – The United States, Britain and Australia said on Wednesday they would establish a security partnership for the Indo-Pacific that will involve helping Canberra acquire nuclear-powered submarines, as Chinese influence over the…

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In this Aug. 18, 2021, file photo, medical staff tend to a patient with coronavirus, on a COVID-19 ward inside the Willis-Knighton Medical Center in Shreveport, La. COVID-19 deaths and cases in the U.S. have climbed back to where they were over the winter, wiping out months of progress and potentially bolstering President Joe Biden’s case for sweeping new vaccination requirements. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

COVID-19 cases in US climb, wipe out months of progress

COVID-19 deaths and cases in the U.S. have climbed back to levels not seen since last winter, erasing months of progress and potentially bolstering President Joe Biden’s argument for his…

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The 9/11 Memorial is seen on the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks in Manhattan, New York on September 11, 2021. (Photo by MIKE SEGAR / AFP)

Calls for unity as divided US marks 20th anniversary of 9/11

America marked the 20th anniversary of 9/11 Saturday with pleas for unity at solemn ceremonies given added resonance by the messy withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and return to…

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This photo taken on September 11, 2001, a man stands in the rubble, and calls out asking if anyone needs help, after the collapse of the first of the twin towers of the World Trade Center Tower in lower Manhattan, New York. (Photo by Doug Kanter / AFP)

Op-Ed: Twenty years on, reflections on Sept 11

The quick fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban has made the 20th anniversary of Sept 11 even more sad. The loss of tens of thousands of lives, both American and Afghan,…

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Photos by MANDEL NGAN and Anthony WALLACE / AFP

Biden, Xi talk to avoid US-China ‘conflict:’ White House

Washington (AFP) – US President Joe Biden talked with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for the first time in seven months Thursday, urging they ensure that “competition” between the two powers…

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Polk County, Fla., Sheriff’s officials work the scene of a multiple fatality shooting Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021, in Lakeland, Fla. Four people are dead including a mother who was still cradling her now deceased baby in what Florida sheriff’s deputies are calling a massive gun battle with a suspect. (Michael Wilson/The Ledger via AP)

Former army sniper kills 4, including infant, in Florida shooting spree

Washington (AFP) – A former sniper in the US military went on a shooting spree in central Florida, killing four people, including an infant boy in his mother’s arms, officials said…

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US President Joe Biden speaks on ending the war in Afghanistan in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, DC, on August 31, 2021. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP)

Biden wants Afghan exit to end US global cop role

“America is back,” goes President Joe Biden’s catchphrase, but his unapologetic exit from Afghanistan shows America won’t be back to business as usual. Beyond the trauma of the Kabul evacuation,…

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Flooded cars are pictured after the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida brought drenching rain, flash floods and tornadoes to parts of the northeast in Mamaroneck, New York, U.S., September 2, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Ida’s record rain floods New York-area homes, subways; at least 44 dead

MAPLEWOOD, N.J. (Reuters) – Flash flooding killed at least 44 people in four Northeastern states as remnants of Hurricane Ida unleashed torrential rains that swept away cars, submerged New York City subway…

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File photo of Joe Biden, who vowed to “hunt you down” after the Kabul airport terror. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Defiant Biden rejects criticism of Afghan exit, points to Afghan military and Trump

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden on Tuesday defiantly rejected criticism of his decision to stick to a deadline to pull out of Afghanistan this week, a move that left up to 200 Americans in the…

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SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on a resupply mission for NASA to the International Space Station, launched from Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center, seen from Merritt Island, Fla., Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021. (Malcolm Denemark/Florida Today via AP)

SpaceX launches ants, avocados, robot to space station

A SpaceX shipment of ants, avocados and a human-sized robotic arm rocketed toward the International Space Station on Sunday. The delivery — due to arrive Monday — is the company’s…

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This satellite image provided by NOAA shows a view of Hurricane Ida, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. Forecasters warned residents along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast to rush preparations Saturday ahead of an intensifying Hurricane Ida, which is expected to bring winds as high as 130 mph (209 kph), life-threatening storm surge and flooding rain when it slams ashore in Louisiana on Sunday. (NOAA via AP)

Hurricane Ida rapidly intensifies into dangerous Category 4

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Hurricane Ida was rapidly intensifying early Sunday, becoming a dangerous Category 4 hurricane on track for a potentially devastating landfall on the Louisiana coast while emergency…

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This August 27, 2021, satellite image shows people (top C) boarding a military aircraft at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. (Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies)

US believes new Kabul airport attack ‘highly likely’ soon: Biden

US military commanders believe that another terror attack like the deadly suicide bombing at Kabul airport is “highly likely in the next 24-36 hours,” President Joe Biden warned Saturday. After…

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Crowds of people show their documents to U.S. troops outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan August 26, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer

U.S. braces for more ISIS attacks after carnage at Kabul airport

(Reuters) – U.S. troops helping to evacuate Afghans desperate to flee Taliban rule braced for more attacks on Friday after Islamic State struck the crowded gates of Kabul airport, killing scores of civilians and at least 13 U.S. troops….

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Medical staff move a stretcher to bring injured people for treatment after two powerful explosions outside the airport in Kabul on August 26, 2021. (Photo by Wakil KOHSAR / AFP)

Deadly blast near Kabul airport kill at least 13

Two suicide bombers and gunmen targeted crowds massing near the Kabul airport on Thursday, in the waning days of a massive airlift that has drawn thousands of people seeking to…

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U.S., China accuse each other of “bullying” nations

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the US should stop disrupt in “regional peace and stability” after U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday (August 25) again charged China…

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Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP

Fox News earns top ratings spot in US with Afghanistan coverage

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fox News Channel, bolstered by viewers’ rapt attention to the U.S.-led evacuation from Afghanistan, was last week’s most-watched TV outlet on broadcast or cable, according to…

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FILE – In this Aug. 19, 2021 file photo, Taliban fighters patrol in Kabul, Afghanistan. In the U.S. departure from Afghanistan, China has seen the realization of long-held hopes for a reduction of the influence of a geopolitical rival in what it considers its backyard. Yet, it is also deeply concerned that the very withdrawal could bring instability to that backyard – Central Asia – and possibly even spill over the border into China itself in its heavily Muslim northwestern region of Xinjiang. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File)

Taliban takeover prompts fears of a resurgent al-Qaida

WASHINGTON (AP) — The lightning-fast changes in Afghanistan are forcing the Biden administration to confront the prospect of a resurgent al-Qaida, the group that attacked America on Sept. 11, 2001,…

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A vial labelled with the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine is seen in this illustration picture taken March 19, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine gains full U.S. regulatory approval

(Reuters) – The U.S. drug regulator on Monday granted full approval to the Pfizer Inc/BioNTech SE COVID–19 vaccine – the first to secure such Food and Drug Administration validation – prompting President Joe Biden to make a fresh pitch to vaccine skeptics…

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Dickson Public Works personnel check the flooding on Old Pond Lane following heavy rainfall, Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, in Dickson, Tenn. Heavy flooding in several Middle Tennessee counties on Saturday prompted water rescues, road closures, and communications disruptions, with several people reported missing. Flash flood warnings were in effect for Dickson, Houston and Montgomery and Stewart counties on Saturday evening. (Josie Norris/The Tennessean via AP)

22 dead, many missing after 17 inches of rain in Tennessee

WAVERLY, Tenn. (AP) — At least 22 people were killed and rescue crews searched desperately Sunday amid shattered homes and tangled debris for dozens of people still missing after record-breaking…

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Afghans gather on a roadside near the military part of the airport in Kabul on August 20, 2021, hoping to flee from the country after the Taliban’s military takeover of Afghanistan. (Photo by Wakil KOHSAR / AFP)

US orders American airlines to aid Afghan evacuation

The United States on Sunday enlisted several major airlines in its frantic evacuation of tens of thousands of Afghans, Americans, and other foreigners from Kabul following its fall to Taliban…

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Hundreds of people run alongside a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane as it moves down a runway of the international airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug.16. 2021. (AP Photo)

US considers having airlines help with refugees

The Biden administration is considering calling on U.S. commercial airlines to provide planes and crews to assist in transporting Afghan refugees once they are evacuated from their country by military…

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US Vice President Kamala Harris waves as she departs for travel to Southeast Asia, her first trip to this region as vice president to meet with government, private sector, and civil society leaders, at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, August 20, 2021. (Photo by EVELYN HOCKSTEIN / POOL / AFP)

Op-Ed: Implications of American VP’s visit 

Vice President Kamala Harris has picked the two outstanding US allies in ASEAN for her first visit to the Southeast Asian region beginning on Sunday. From the US perspective, these…

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A US Air Force security forces raven, assigned to the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, maintains a security cordon around a US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft in support of Operation Allies Refuge at Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA), Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 20, 2021. (Photo by Taylor Crul / US AIR FORCE / AFP)

West struggles with Afghanistan chaos, Biden again defends withdrawal

Chaos around the Kabul airport was so bad this week that the U.S. military was forced to use three helicopters to transport 169 Americans into the complex from a building just 200…

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‘Talufah’ protesters visit Swiss, US and Chinese embassies on Friday

Anti-government “Talufah” protesters are demonstrating in Bangkok again today (Friday), with stops at the Swiss, US and Chinese embassies. The “car mob” protest group, comprised mostly of motorcyclists and motorists,…

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U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris discusses the U.S. Senate’s passage of the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, during a meeting in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., August 10, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

Harris trip to Asia will show U.S. in region ‘to stay,’ official says

WASHINGTON, Aug 19 (Reuters) – U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris’s trip to Singapore and Vietnam starting on Sunday will show that the United States is in the region “to stay,”…

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Photo by UNITED NATIONS / AFP

US urges over 150 world leaders not to come to UN over COVID

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United States is urging the more than 150 countries planning to send their leader or a government minister to New York to speak in person…

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President Joe Biden walks from the podium after speaking about Afghanistan from the East Room of the White House, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Biden: Afghan chaos ‘gut wrenching’ but stands by withdrawal

WASHINGTON (AP) — A defiant President Joe Biden rejected blame Monday for chaotic scenes of Afghans clinging to U.S. military planes in Kabul in a desperate bid to flee their…

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A US military helicopter is pictured flying above the US embassy in Kabul on August 15, 2021. (Photo by Wakil KOHSAR / AFP)

Kabul falls while US fails

Most armed conflicts in the world have “proxy” written all over them, so one of the most-ridiculed Joe Biden statements regarding America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan is actually spot-on. “They have…

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A Taliban fighter stands guard on a street in Herat on August 14, 2021. (Photo by – / AFP)

Biden sends more troops to evacuate Americans and allies as Taliban approach Kabul 

Taliban fighters on Saturday captured the key northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif and closed in on Kabul, as US President Joe Biden sent more troops to evacuate American personnel and…

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Rows of homes, are shown in suburban Salt Lake City, on April 13, 2019. The U.S. Census Bureau’s release Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021, of detailed population and demographic changes in each state will kick off the once-a-decade redistricting process that plays a large role in determining which party controls state legislatures and the U.S. House. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

US population identifying as ‘white’ drops for first time

New York (AFP) – The number of US residents who identify as “white” has fallen for the first time, according to the latest 2020 census data released Thursday. The United States…

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Afghan security force personnel stand guard along the roadside in Herat on August 12, 2021, as Taliban took over the police headquarters in Herat, Afghanistan’s third-largest city and also seized another key district capital just 150 kilometres (95 miles) from capital Kabul. (Photo by – / AFP)

Taliban advance on major Afghan cities as US, UK troops to aid evacuations

KABUL (Reuters) – The United States and Britain said on Thursday they would send thousands of troops to Afghanistan to help evacuate civilians, as the Taliban stood poised for their two biggest military victories since they…

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2.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses and US$5m have no strings attached, says US envoy to U.N.

“In the interconnected world, none of us is safe until all of us are safe,” said the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, in April last year. That sentence has been…

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A man grieves alone by the tomb of a loved one who died of Covid-19 coronavirus at a cemetary in Bekasi on August 8, 2021, as Indonesia passed the grim milestone of over 100,000 Covid-19 deaths. (Photo by Rezas / AFP)

Asean collects US$1.2 billion in aid from dialogue partners

ASEAN has accumulated more than US$1.2 billion worth of combined assistance from 11 dialogue partners including the new dialogue partner, the UK. Almost all the countries have contributed special funds…

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(Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP)

Biden offers Hong Kongers in US safe haven

President Joe Biden announced Thursday that Hong Kong citizens currently in the United States who fear for their safety amid the political crackdown back home will receive temporary safe haven….

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(Photo by Saeed KHAN / AFP)

What if everyone’s worst nightmare comes true?

The brightest minds in the United States and England are fearing that the world is facing a really and progressively gloomy future, but they think slightly differently, though. The US…

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President Joe Biding tours Plumbers & Gasfitters Local 5 Training Facility in Lanham, Md., Wednesday, Aug 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

US plans to require COVID-19 shots for foreign travelers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is taking the first steps toward requiring nearly all foreign visitors to the U.S. to be vaccinated for the coronavirus, a White House official…

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International Monetary Fund headquarters(IMF) building in Washington, DC. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP)

IMF officially approves increased lending capacity

The board of governors of the International Monetary Fund on Monday greenlit increasing the institution’s lending capacity by $650 billion, the last step in approving an initiative to boost aid…

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A passenger arrives from a flight at Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport in London, Monday, Aug. 2, 2021. Travelers fully vaccinated against coronavirus from the United States and much of Europe were able to enter Britain without quarantining starting today, a move welcomed by Britain’s ailing travel industry. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

UK eases travel restrictions as industry lobbies for more

LONDON (AP) — Britain opened its borders to fully vaccinated travelers from the U.S. and the European Union on Monday as travel industry leaders urged the government to further ease…

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A general view of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia September 30, 2014. REUTERS/Tami Chappell/File Photo

U.S. CDC internal report says Delta variant as contagious as chickenpox

(Reuters) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has described the Delta variant of the coronavirus as being as transmissible as chickenpox and cautioned it could cause severe disease, the Washington Post said,…

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This handout video grab taken on April 27, 2021 and received from the Philippine Coastguard on May 5, 2021 shows the Philippine coastguard ship BRP Cabra (front) monitoring Chinese vessels at Sabina Shoal, a South China Sea outcrop claimed by Manila located about 135 kilometres (73 nautical miles) west of the Philippine island of Palawan. (Photo by Handout / Philippine Coastguard / AFP) / —–EDITORS NOTE — RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – MANDATORY CREDIT “AFP PHOTO /PHILIPPINE COASTGUARD” – NO MARKETING – NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS – DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

US says China’s sea claims have ‘no basis’ in international law

Singapore (AFP) – Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin said Tuesday that Beijing’s expansive claims in the South China Sea have “no basis in international law”, taking aim at China’s growing assertiveness…

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AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File

US virus cases nearly triple in 2 weeks amid misinformation

MISSION, Kan. (AP) — COVID-19 cases nearly tripled in the U.S. over two weeks amid an onslaught of vaccine misinformation that is straining hospitals, exhausting doctors and pushing clergy into…

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(File photo by TED ALJIBE / AFP)

Lessons from Washington’s 20-year mission in Afghanistan 

President Joe Biden has ordered American troops to pull out from Afghanistan by the end of August. His order effectively ended Washington’s longest war but left behind a country in…

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The myth about America and COVID-19

Simple math and the almost-worldwide belief that good coronavirus vaccines are in the United States make its current situation mind-boggling. Its population is roughly 4.7 times that of Thailand, but…

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Thailand’s continued efforts to bring in vaccines

Since last October Ministry for Foreign Affairs has held consultations with allies and friends to ensure that they will be able to provide vaccines if need be, according to the…

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Thailand’s frontline medics to get one Pfizer booster shot from donated vaccine

Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) decided today (Friday) to allocate the upcoming 1.5 million doses of donated Pfizer vaccine from the US government to frontline medical workers as…

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Huawei scores 4G patent deal for VW cars

Huawei has struck a licensing deal that will allow use of its 4G technologies in connected vehicles manufactured by Volkswagen Group, the Chinese tech giant said on Wednesday. The deal…

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(Photo by Mandel Ngan / AFP)

United States to donate COVID-19 vaccine to Thailand

Thailand will receive COVID-19 vaccines from the United States, as a part of 23 million doses to be donated by the US to Asian countries. In June, US President Joe…

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