World

Serbia benefits from COVID-19 ‘quarantine tourism’ as Indians visit

BELGRADE (Reuters) – Serbia is benefiting from COVID-19 ‘quarantine tourism’ as thousands of Indians make a two-week stopover on the way to other countries. India has registered more coronavirus cases than any other country except...

Greeks urged to use less power as worst heatwave in decades tests grid

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek authorities urged citizens to conserve electricity as the worst heatwave in more than 30 years pushed the power system to its limits on Monday and wildfires continued to burn in many areas. With the weather service forecasting temperatures as high as 44 Celsius (111 Fahrenheit) this week, energy authorities have warned...

England changes COVID-19 app so fewer people need to isolate

LONDON (Reuters) -England’s COVID-19 mobile phone app will be tweaked so that fewer contacts of asymptomatic people who test positive for the disease will need to self-isolate, Britain’s health ministry said on Monday. Business leaders have raised concerns about the numbers of staff who are having to self-isolate after being “pinged” by the app when...

Ruling on East Jerusalem flashpoint evictions postponed

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Palestinians facing eviction from Jerusalem’s flashpoint Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood will have to wait for a ruling that will determine their fate after a discussion in Israel’s Supreme Court on Monday ended without a final decision. Four Palestinian families petitioned the high court to hear their appeal and eventually allow them to remain...

Dominican Republic to kill thousands of pigs over swine fever outbreak

SANTO DOMINGO (Reuters) – The Dominican Republic will slaughter tens of thousands of pigs after detecting outbreaks of African swine fever in 11 of the country’s 32 provinces, authorities said on Monday. Fernando Duran, administrator of the state-run Banco Agricola, told a news conference the government will pay pig farmers the market price of each...

Memorial sculpture at Beirut port blast site draws mixed reviews

BEIRUT (Reuters) – A sculpture of a giant angular figure made from the wreckage of last summer’s Beirut port blast was unveiled at the site on Monday, drawing support from some but also stoking anger among other Lebanese who believe justice should come before memorials. The artwork dubbed “The Gesture” is the creation of Lebanese...

Wildfires blaze on in drought-hit Turkey as criticism grows

MARMARIS, Turkey, Aug 2 (Reuters) – Firefighters using planes and helicopters, and locals with buckets of water, battled wildfires raging for a sixth day near southern resorts in drought-hit Turkey and the government faced fresh criticism of its handling of the disaster. Seven fires were still burning on Monday, fanned by temperatures above 40 degrees...

New Zealand PM Ardern takes COVID-19 test after reporting sick

WELLINGTON, Aug 3 (Reuters) – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has taken a COVID-19 test after picking up a “seasonal sniffle” from her three-year-old daughter, the government spokesman said on Tuesday. Ardern will step back from her duties for the day due to the sickness and the deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson will take...

Russia says U.S. asked 24 of its diplomats to leave by Sept. 3

MOSCOW, Aug 2 (Reuters) – Russia’s ambassador to the United States said Washington had asked 24 Russian diplomats to leave the country by Sept. 3 after their visas expire, heightening tensions between the two countries. In an interview with the National Interest magazine published on Sunday, Ambassador Anatoly Antonov did not say whether the U.S....

Latin America’s resurgent left and Caribbean spurn U.S. policy on Cuba

HAVANA, Aug 2 (Reuters) – The United States doubled down on its tough stance and sanctions on Cuba after historic protests in the Communist-run island last month and said it would seek to support protesters. But many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, a region which is still scarred by Washington’s backing of coups...

U.S. offers refuge to more Afghans who aided Americans in new program

WASHINGTON, Aug 2 (Reuters) – Thousands more Afghans who may be targets of Taliban violence due to their U.S. affiliations will have the opportunity to resettle as refugees in the United States under a new program announced by the State Department on Monday. Reuters first reported earlier on Monday the plans to set up the...

Delta spreads ‘like wildfire’ as doctors study whether it makes patients sicker

LOS ANGELES, Aug 2 (Reuters) – With a new wave of COVID-19 infections fueled by the Delta variant striking countries worldwide, disease experts are scrambling to learn whether the latest version of coronavirus is making people – mainly the unvaccinated – sicker than before. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that Delta, first identified in India...

Colombia ex-army chief will be charged over extrajudicial killings

Colombia’s attorney general’s office will charge former army commander General Mario Montoya for responsibility of 104 extrajudicial executions, as part of the “false positives” scandal, it said on Sunday. The false positives took place between 2002 and 2008, during the term of ex-President Alvaro Uribe, when soldiers murdered civilians and registered them as guerrilla fighters...

U.S. senators make final tweaks to infrastructure bill, expect passage this week

The U.S. Senate on Sunday worked to finalize legislation to forge ahead with a sweeping $1 trillion spending plan for roads, rail lines, high-speed internet and other infrastructure, with some senators predicting final passage later this week. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the text was “being finalized imminently,” and the Senate could soon start...

Republican report says coronavirus leaked from China lab; scientists still probing origins

A preponderance of evidence proves the virus that caused the COVID-19 pandemic leaked from a Chinese research facility, said a report by U.S. Republicans released on Monday, a conclusion that U.S. intelligence agencies have not reached. The report also cited “ample evidence” that Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) scientists – aided by U.S. experts and...

Twitter’s Dorsey leads $29 bln buyout of lending pioneer Afterpay

Square Inc (SQ.N), the payments firm of Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) co-founder Jack Dorsey, will purchase buy now, pay later (BNPL) pioneer Afterpay Ltd (APT.AX) for $29 billion, creating a global transactions giant in the biggest buyout of an Australian firm. The takeover underscores the popularity of a business model that has upended consumer credit by...

Bolsonaro backers push for change to Brazil’s voting system

Government supporters rallied in several Brazilian cities on Sunday to call for changes in the country’s electronic voting system, which far-right President Jair Bolsonaro says is not trustworthy. Bolsonaro has increasingly insisted on the adoption of printed ballots that can be audited, a mixed system in which electronic urns would also print out receipts that...

Basketball-U.S. women sweep, France and Japan advance to quarter-finals

The United States on Monday clinched a top seed in the quarter-finals of Olympic women’s basketball, beating a game French team who squeaked through to the next round. Packed with WNBA talent, Team USA completed a sweep of Group B in the preliminary stage 3-0 with the 93-82 victory at the Saitama Super Arena, north...

Mexico holds referendum on whether to probe ex-presidents

Mexicans voted on Sunday on whether to investigate five former leaders in a referendum championed by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, amid criticism that the poll is a political stunt and with early indications that turnout was low. Lopez Obrador has cast past administrations as deeply corrupt and made combating graft his top priority. But...

Colombia ex-army chief will be charged over extrajudicial killings

Colombia’s attorney general’s office will charge former army commander General Mario Montoya for responsibility of 104 extrajudicial executions, as part of the “false positives” scandal, it said on Sunday. The false positives took place between 2002 and 2008, during the term of ex-President Alvaro Uribe, when soldiers murdered civilians and registered them as guerrilla fighters...

U.S. CDC chief says there will be no federal mandate on COVID-19 vaccine

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said on Friday there will be no nationwide mandate for Americans to get a COVID-19 vaccine, clarifying comments she made earlier during a televised interview. “To clarify: There will be no nationwide mandate. I was referring to mandates by private institutions and portions of...

2nd August

Trump raises big money in early 2021, but doesn’t spend much

A fundraising group run by former President Donald Trump raised $62 million in the first half of the year but only spent $3 million, with the biggest chunk of money going to a pro-Trump research center and more than $65,000 to Trump’s own hotels, according to federal records published on Saturday. Trump, a Republican, established...

At least 10 Republicans likely to support infrastructure bill-Senator Collins

Republican U.S. Senator Susan Collins said on Sunday that she believes more than 10 of her Republican colleagues will ultimately support the roughly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan being finalized by Congress. Collins made the comment in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union”. Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat, told the same program that...

U.S. House Democrats seek eviction moratorium extension through Oct. 18

Democratic leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives on Sunday called on the Biden administration to immediately extend a moratorium on housing evictions through Oct. 18. The moratorium, related to the coronavirus pandemic, expired at midnight on Saturday. The request was made through a statement by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top leaders. “House...

Republican report says coronavirus leaked from China lab; scientists still probing origins

A preponderance of evidence proves the virus that caused the COVID-19 pandemic leaked from a Chinese research facility, said a report by U.S. Republicans released on Monday, a conclusion that U.S. intelligence agencies have not reached. The report also cited “ample evidence” that Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) scientists – aided by U.S. experts and...

U.S., Britain believe Iran attacked Israeli-managed tanker off Oman

The United States and Britain said on Sunday they believed Iran carried out an attack on an Israeli-managed petroleum product tanker off the coast of Oman on Thursday that killed a Briton and a Romanian, both pledging to work with partners to respond. Iran earlier on Sunday denied it was involved in the incident, after...

Venezuela to receive COVAX vaccines in coming days, Maduro says

Venezuela will receive 6.2 million doses of coronavirus vaccines through the COVAX initiative “in the coming days,” President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday, potentially speeding up an inoculation campaign well behind regional peers. The announcement comes after the GAVI alliance, which co-runs the facility along with the World Health Organization (WHO), said in early July...

After months of work, U.S. senators unveil $1 trillion infrastructure bill

U.S. senators introduced a sweeping $1-trillion bipartisan plan to invest in roads, bridges, ports, high-speed internet and other infrastructure, with some predicting the chamber could pass this week the largest public works legislation in decades. The massive infrastructure package, a goal that has eluded Congress for years, is a top legislative priority for Democratic President...

Australia home prices keep rising even as Sydney locks down

Australian home prices motored ahead in July even as a coronavirus lockdown in Sydney curbed auctions, though stretched valuations could make affordability more of a drag in the longer term. Data from property consultant CoreLogic out on Monday showed national home prices climbed 1.6% in July from June, when they rose 1.9%. Prices were up...

New Zealand human rights commission launches inquiry into housing crisis

New Zealand’s Human Rights Commission on Monday launched an inquiry into the country’s housing crisis as cooling measures by the government this year have failed to ease a red-hot property market, leaving many people homeless. Property prices in New Zealand have soared by the most among OECD nations in the past 12 months, rising about...

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