World

3rd March

Diversity, Netflix dominate Golden Globes as ‘Nomadland’ wins best drama movie

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Drama “Nomadland” and satire “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” won movie honors at the Golden Globes on Sunday in a mostly virtual bicoastal ceremony that was marked by impassioned calls for more diversity...

Mask, gloves, cake: Hungarians bake to keep ambulance staff going

SZENTENDRE, Hungary (Reuters) – Hungarians are baking for ambulance workers across the country coping with a new surge in COVID-19 infections after the founder of an online cookery group asked a friend in the service how she could help. “Before I could finish she said ‘oh we would love some cakes’,” Eszter Harmath said of...

Generation COVID: student designers kick off Paris Fashion Week

PARIS (Reuters) – With a collection called “Toxique, c’est chic”, which showcases the knitting techniques he perfected under COVID-19 lockdown at home, James Giltner is among aspiring designers stepping into the limelight in an unusual edition of Paris’ fashion week. The 10 days of high-end catwalk shows usually held in the French capital will be...

2nd March

UK finds vaccines 80% effective at preventing hospitalisations in over-80s

LONDON (Reuters) – The Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are more than 80% effective at preventing hospitalisations from COVID-19 in those over 80 after one dose of either shot, Public Health England (PHE) said on Monday, citing a pre-print study. PHE said the real world study also found that protection against symptomatic COVID in those over...

U.S. to push for ‘intense’ U.N. Security Council talks on Myanmar

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said on Monday she hopes to use Washington’s presidency of the United Nations Security Council in March to push for more “intense discussions” on Myanmar. Myanmar’s elected civilian government was ousted in a military coup on Feb. 1. Myanmar’s U.N. Ambassador Kyaw Moe...

U.S. says detentions in Hong Kong show national security law is being used to stifle dissent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department said on Monday that recent detentions of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong show how the national security law imposed by Beijing is being used to stifle dissent. State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters that the United States calls on Hong Kong authorities to release those still held...

Yemenis reel from poverty, hunger as U.N. pleads for funds and war’s end

SANAA (Reuters) – Unable to find work, Ahmed Farea has sold everything including his wife’s gold to feed and house two young daughters in one small room. Elsewhere in Yemen’s capital Sanaa, widow Mona Muhammad has work but struggles to buy anything more nutritious than rice for her four children amid high prices. And in...

Covid: One year on for Pasifika leaders at the frontline

New Zealand’s Pasifika community has been living and working on the front line of the Covid-19 pandemic, since the coronavirus arrived a year ago. On the 28th February 2020, New Zealand announced their first confirmed Covid-19 case reported to the Ministry of Health. Camaraderie of Jet Park staff overcomes stigma Drew Leafa, the Operations Manager...

Ex-pope Benedict chides ‘fanatical’ Catholics who reject his resignation

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Former pope Benedict has chided conservative Roman Catholics who have not accepted his decision to resign as “fanatical”, telling them that there is only one pope and it is Francis. Benedict, now 93, in 2013 became the first pope in more than 600 years to resign instead of ruling for life,...

Standoff brings USP operations under scrutiny

The ongoing stand-off between the University of the South Pacific’s host country Fiji and its governing body, the USP Council, has put the regional institution’s future under scrutiny. The latest crisis came to a head three weeks ago when the whistleblowing vice-chancellor and president, Pal Ahluwalia, and his wife were sent packing by Fijian authorities...

Israel Supreme Court: more non-Orthodox Jewish converts can become citizens

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s Supreme Court ruled on Monday on one of the most contentious issues regarding Jewish identity in Israel, deciding to allow more non-Orthodox Jewish converts to immigrate to Israel and become citizens. The country’s “Law of Return” grants Israeli citizenship to any Jew from anywhere in the world, though there have been...

No 2 in PNG Covid-19 response team dies

The deputy head of Papua New Guinea’s National Pandemic Response to Covid-19, Dr Paison Dakulala, died Monday. PNG Police Commissioner and the man leading the response, David Manning, issued a statement on Monday evening. Commissioner Manning said he was “deeply saddened at the death of a humble, dedicated and committed medical professional.” Manning, who has...

U.S. failure to sanction prince for Khashoggi killing ‘dangerous’: U.N. expert

GENEVA (Reuters) – A U.N. human rights investigator said on Monday that it was “extremely dangerous” for the United States to have named Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler as having approved an operation to capture or kill journalist Jamal Khashoggi but not to have taken action against him. Agnes Callamard, special rapporteur on summary executions...

Quarantine change to ease work of Tongan Covid team

Easing the workload of the Tonga’s Covid-19 surveillance team has been revealed as one of the reasons for the change in managed quarantine. Earlier this month, the Ministry of Health announced that passengers would spend 21 days in managed quarantine with no home isolation to follow. Chief Executive, Siale ‘Akau’ola, told RNZ Pacific the initial plan of...

U.S. to give Americans COVID-19 vaccines before discussing sharing with Mexico: White House

WASHINGTON/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – The Biden administration on Monday downplayed the prospect of sharing coronavirus vaccines with Mexico, saying it is focused first on getting its own population protected against a pandemic that has killed more than 500,000 Americans. The remarks by White House press secretary Jen Psaki came hours before Mexican President Andres Manuel...

Gas inhalation lands 12 people in New Caledonia hospital

12 people have been taken to hospital in New Caledonia after inhaling carbon monoxide. According to firefighters, the 12 employees of a catering business in suburban Noumea suffered headaches and drowsiness, and vomitted. They were rescued and given oxygen before being rushed to hospital for further examination. The source of the gas was not immediately...

France’s Sarkozy convicted of corruption but likely to avoid jail

PARIS (Reuters) – Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was found guilty of corruption on Monday and sentenced to three years in prison, a stunning fall from grace for a man who for five years bestrode the national and global stage. A Paris court found that Sarkozy, 66, had tried to bribe a judge after leaving...

Fijians pay tribute to Somare

Sir Michael died last Friday following a short illness aged 84. Frank Bainimarama said he was saddened at the loss of his friend and Pacific iconic leader. Bainimarama said there has been a great mourning across PNG and the Pacific since the passing of the ‘Grand Chief’. He said Sir Michael was an ‘architect of...

Bougainville’s Toroama won’t be deterred from independence

Bougainville’s President, Ishmael Toroama, has told MPs he will not be deterred from his desire to bring independence to the region. This comes as Bougainville prepares for the joint consultations with the Papua New Guinena Government over the results of the 2019 referendum on independence. Toroama told parliament he will not be deterred by any...

Trump targets disloyal Republicans, repeats election lies and hints at 2024 run

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former President Donald Trump hinted on Sunday at a possible presidential run in 2024, attacked President Joe Biden and repeated his fraudulent claims he won the 2020 election in his first major appearance since leaving the White House nearly six weeks ago. Addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida, Trump...

UK earmarks a further $2.3 billion for its COVID vaccine push

LONDON (Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak will announce an extra 1.65 billion pounds ($2.30 billion) to fund the country’s fast vaccination rollout as part of his annual budget statement on Wednesday, the finance ministry said. “Protecting ourselves against the virus means we will be able to lift restrictions, reopen our economy and focus...

Prince Harry tells Oprah he’s worried history would repeat itself

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Prince Harry, who shocked Britain last year when he and his wife Meghan stepped back from royal duties, told U.S. interviewer Oprah Winfrey that he had worried about history repeating itself, according to excerpts released on Sunday. The CBS broadcast network released two brief clips from Winfrey’s interview of the couple,...

COVID curbs dampen carousing on Jewish costume festival Purim

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – COVID-19 curbs have curtailed celebrations of the Jewish costume festival of Purim, with Israeli police preventing parties and some rabbis urging people not to drink too much so social distancing is maintained. Drawn from the biblical Book of Esther’s account of how the Jews were spared genocide in ancient Persia, Purim is...

1st March

Families wait as Nigerian security forces search for 300 abducted girls

GUSAU, Nigeria (Reuters) – Relatives of more than 300 girls abducted by gunmen from their boarding school in northwest Nigeria endured an agonising wait for news amid rumours that they had been released, while security forces continued their search on Sunday. An armed gang kidnapped 317 girls from the Government Girls Science Secondary School in...

U.S. calls on African Union to exert pressure over worsening crisis in Ethiopia’s Tigray

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday called on the African Union and other international partners to help address a deepening crisis in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region as he condemned alleged atrocities in fighting there. Blinken’s statement suggested growing frustration with the response so far from Ethiopia and neighboring Eritrea to...

At least two killed in skirmish at Chad opposition candidate’s house

N’DJAMENA (Reuters) – At least two people were killed after security forces went to arrest Chad’s opposition candidate Yaya Dillo at his home on Sunday morning, Dillo and the government said. Dillo, who plans to run against President Idriss Deby in a presidential election in April, told Reuters he was attacked at home by members...

France reiterates need for new New Caledonia accord

The French Overseas Minister, Sebastien Lecornu, says France stands ready for a new accord in New Caledonia, should voters again reject independence. Under the terms of the 1998 Noumea Accord, a third and final referendum can be called from next month after two votes in 2018 and 2020 saw a majority opt to stay French....

Italy’s former PM Conte accepts task of trying to revive 5-Star Movement

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, a technocrat who had previously refused any direct party affiliation, on Sunday took on the task of reviving the fortunes of the 5-Star Movement as it struggles to find a way out of a political crisis. 5-Star, the largest group in parliament thanks to its triumph...

New Caledonia delays Vanuatu plane departure over debt

Civil aviation authorities in New Caledonia refused to let an Air Vanuatu Boeing 737 depart on Thursday, over an unpaid bill. The plane, which had just delivered more than 100 ni-Vanuatu university students to New Caledonia, was held up for an hour before being allowed to return to Port Vila. The Chief Executive of Air...

Dozens of leading Hong Kong pro-democracy campaigners charged with subversion

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Forty-seven Hong Kong pro-democracy campaigners and activists were charged on Sunday with conspiracy to commit subversion in the largest single crackdown on the opposition under a China-imposed national security law. Among them was Sam Cheung, a 27-year-old activist and a participant in an unofficial primary election last summer, who was charged...

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