World

Sacred sites blast exposes Australia’s laws skewed to mining

MELBOURNE/SYDNEY (Reuters) – When mining giant Rio Tinto blew up two ancient caves in Western Australia’s iron-ore rich Pilbara with state approval, the destruction was met with anger from indigenous landowners for whom the sites...

Police ignored George Floyd’s ‘I can’t breathe’ plea – transcript

(Reuters) – The former U.S. police officer charged in the death of George Floyd told him to stop shouting and save his breath as he knelt on his neck and Floyd gasped for air, according to a newly released transcript of police body camera footage. The death of Floyd, a Black man, in police custody...

India raises concerns with U.S. over new rules for foreign students

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India has conveyed its concerns to the United States about a new immigration order that could force a large number of Indian students to return home, the foreign ministry said on Thursday. U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration issued a new rule this week that would bar foreign students from remaining in...

Meghan seeks to stop tabloid naming friends in UK legal battle

LONDON (Reuters) – Meghan, Britain’s Duchess of Sussex, on Thursday sought a court order to stop the publisher of the Mail on Sunday tabloid from revealing the names of five friends who could be witnesses in an ongoing legal dispute, according to a court filing. Meghan, wife of Queen Elizabeth’s grandson Prince Harry, is suing...

Money talks: U.S. town prints own currency to boost coronavirus relief

TENINO, United States (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Tucked away under lock and key in a former railroad depot turned small-town museum in the U.S. state of Washington, a wooden printing press cranked back to life to mint currency after nearly 90 dormant years. The end product: $25 wooden bills bearing the town’s name – Tenino...

Japan, Australian leaders share concern over East, South China Seas

TOKYO/SYDNEY (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison, shared serious concerns over various moves in the East and South China Seas in their video meeting on Thursday, a Japanese government spokesman said. Asked at a media briefing if the two leaders’ concerns expressed in the meeting were directed to...

EU lawmakers urge Japan to end parental child ‘abductions’

BRUSSELS/TOKYO (Reuters) – The European Parliament urged Japan to comply with international rules on child protection and to allow for joint parental custody after a number of EU citizens were denied access to their children by Japanese mothers. Unlike most countries, Japan does not recognise joint custody after divorce and children often lose contact with...

Australia to release most from COVID-19 high-rise lockdown despite surge

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s second-most populous state will relax restrictions on many of the 3,000 people locked down in nine public-housing towers despite surging numbers of COVID-19 cases, state premier Daniel Andrews said on Thursday. Victoria state on Saturday confined residents of the towers in their homes amid a spike in COVID-19 cases, prompting widespread...

EU has failed to halt decline of bees and butterflies, auditors say

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European measures taken to protect bees and butterflies and prevent their decline across the bloc have been largely ineffective, auditors said on Thursday. The European Court of Auditors looked at the effectiveness of the European Commission’s framework of measures aimed at protecting species also including wasps and beetles – such as its...

Afghanistan to release prisoners from Taliban list in push for talks

KABUL (Reuters) – Afghanistan is to release more Taliban prisoners in the hope of getting peace talks going, a government spokesman said on Thursday, after the insurgent group provided the government with a revised list of several hundred of their detainees. Disagreement over about 600 prisoners from a total of 5,000 the Taliban want released...

South Korea finds just one case of coronavirus antibodies out of 3,000 tested

SEOUL (Reuters) – Just one person in a South Korean survey of more than 3,000 people showed neutralizing antibodies to the novel coronavirus, health authorities said on Thursday, indicating the virus has not spread widely in the community. While the sample size is small it is believed to be a reliable indicator of a low...

Italy seizes German-flagged charity vessel for breaking safety rules

ROME (Reuters) – Italian authorities have seized a boat operated by a German NGO that last month rescued more than 200 people stranded at sea, because it did not comply with safety rules, the Coast Guard said on Thursday. In April, Italy banned migrant rescue ships from docking in its ports until July 31 because...

Yemen cemetery struggles to dig enough graves as coronavirus spreads

TAIZ/ADEN (Reuters) – In Yemen’s Taiz, cemetery supervisor Dabwan al-Makhlaafi had to hire mechanical diggers to keep up with demand for new graves at a cemetery originally built for fallen government fighters, as coronavirus spreads through the war-torn country. “Workers were not able to keep up with the digging, burial and finishing of the graves,”...

Greenpeace hangs climate change banner over Notre-Dame cathedral

PARIS (Reuters) – Greenpeace activists on Thursday hung a banner reading “Climate: Time to Act!” from a crane towering over the fire-damaged Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. “France isn’t doing enough to control climate change,” said Jean-Francois Juilliard, head of Greenpeace France. “It’s time for action now, we’ve had enough of promises and speeches.” Local elections...

Graduate teaches children in Delhi slum without access to online learning

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – In a squalid slum below a partially built flyover in eastern Delhi, Satyendra Pal stands by a whiteboard propped against a straw hut, with half a dozen children wearing masks and sitting on the floor looking up at him. This is Pal’s open air classroom, where he teaches children in their...

New Zealand deputy PM takes medical leave after food poisoning

(Reuters) – New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said on Thursday he would take medical leave this week to undergo surgery after suffering from a bout of food poisoning. “This is an unexpected medical event and of course unexpected timing. However the doctor’s advice on having surgery needs to be followed,” Peters, who is...

Global coronavirus cases rise to more than 12 million

(Reuters) – Global coronavirus cases exceeded 12 million on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally, as evidence mounts of the airborne spread of the disease that has killed more than half a million people in seven months. The number of cases is triple that of severe influenza illnesses recorded annually, according to the World Health...

Harvard, MIT seek temporary halt to Trump administration rule on international students

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology sued the Trump administration on Wednesday, seeking to block a new rule that would bar foreign students from remaining in the United States if their universities move all courses online due to the coronavirus pandemic. The two universities filed a lawsuit in federal court...

United Airlines sending ‘gut punch’ furlough warnings to 36,000 workers

CHICAGO (Reuters) – United Airlines <UAL.O> said on Wednesday it was preparing to send notices of potential furloughs to 36,000 U.S.-based frontline employees, or about 45% of staff, as travel demand hit by the coronavirus pandemic struggles to recover. United shares lost 3.3% in midday trading. Not everyone who receives a notification will be furloughed,...

Scientists warn of potential wave of COVID-linked brain damage

LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists warned on Wednesday of a potential wave of coronavirus-related brain damage as new evidence suggested COVID-19 can lead to severe neurological complications, including inflammation, psychosis and delirium. A study by researchers at University College London (UCL)described 43 cases of patients with COVID-19 who suffered either temporary brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage...

U.S. first lady Melania Trump statue set on fire in Slovenia

ROZNO, Slovenia (Reuters) – A wooden sculpture of U.S. first lady Melania Trump was torched near her hometown of Sevnica, Slovenia, on the night of July Fourth, as Americans celebrated U.S. Independence Day, said the artist who commissioned the sculpture. Brad Downey, a Berlin-based American artist, told Reuters he had the life-sized blackened, disfigured sculpture...

New York City unveils hybrid school reopening plan

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday unveiled a plan for reopening the country’s largest school system in September with a “blended learning” schedule that would have students alternating between classrooms and their homes. Under the plan, which requires state approval, 1.1 million public school students would spend two...

Russian firm gets approval for drug said to block coronavirus replication

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia has approved a new antiviral drug, Coronavir, to treat COVID-19 patients, its developer R-Pharm said on Wednesday, as Russia’s tally of infections hit 700,000. It said a clinical trial involving mild or medium-level cases had shown the drug to be highly effective in inhibiting replication of the new coronavirus. “Coronavir is...

Kosovo president to be interviewed on war crimes charges

PRISTINA (Reuters) – Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci said he will travel to the Netherlands on July 13 to be interviewed by international prosecutors following his indictment for war crimes and crimes against humanity over his role in its independence conflict. On June 24 a special prosecutor’s office in The Hague dealing with Kosovo’s 1998-99 uprising...

9th July

Actor Depp attacked wife on plane in drunken rage, UK court hears

LONDON (Reuters) – Hollywood star Johnny Depp kicked and slapped his ex-wife Amber Heard on a private flight in a drunken rage brought on because he believed she was having an affair with her co-star James Franco, London’s High Court heard on Wednesday. Depp, giving evidence in his libel trial against Britain’s Sun newspaper over...

Millions of Australians back in lockdown amid Melbourne virus outbreak

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s second largest city, Melbourne, went back into lockdown at midnight on Wednesday, forcing five million Australians to stay home for all but essential business for the next six weeks to contain a flare-up of coronavirus cases. State police were patrolling the city and setting up checkpoints on major roads to stop...

U.S. Supreme Court protects religious schools from employment bias suits

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court, siding with Catholic schools in a legal dispute with teachers who said they were unlawfully dismissed, ruled on Wednesday that religious institutions like churches and schools are shielded from employment discrimination lawsuits. The 7-2 decision embraced a broad interpretation of the “ministerial exception,” a legal doctrine recognized by...

EU lawmakers ban nuclear from green transition fund, leave loophole for gas

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders are split over which fuels deserve support from the bloc’s flagship green energy fund, after lawmakers on Monday called for rules that could allow the money to be spent on some fossil gas projects. The European Commission wants to launch a 40 billion euro (36 billion pounds) Just Transition...

UK’s Sunak pledges 30 billion pounds to stem unemployment crisis

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s finance minister promised an additional 30 billion pounds ($38 billion) to head off an unemployment crisis on Wednesday, funnelling money to employers, homebuyers and beleaguered hospitality firms to drive a recovery. Rishi Sunak, who was already on course to take state borrowing to World War Two levels with 133 billion pounds...

‘Weaponized’ Facebook fails to protect civil rights, audit says

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc’s decisions to allow controversial posts by President Donald Trump established a “terrible precedent” that could allow the platform to be “weaponized to suppress voting,” an external civil rights audit found on Wednesday. The report, which Facebook commissioned two years ago, said the social network has not done enough to protect users...

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