World

Johnson & Johnson charged by New York with civil insurance fraud over opioid claims

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York state filed civil charges on Thursday accusing Johnson & Johnson of insurance fraud for downplaying the risks of opioid painkillers, including to doctors and elderly patients. J&J and its...

Facebook says it will no longer show health groups in recommendations

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc <FB.O> will no longer show health groups in its recommendations, the social media giant announced on Thursday, saying it was crucial that people get health information from “authoritative sources.” Over the last year, the company took down more than 1 million groups that violated Facebook’s policies on misinformation and harmful content,...

Burned out and abused: French COVID-19 testers strike over work conditions

PARIS (Reuters) – Hundreds of workers at COVID-19 laboratories in France went on strike on Thursday, a trade union said, angry over poor working conditions as the coronavirus testing system buckles under huge demand. The hard-left CGT union said the strike was disrupting testing in some towns and could drag on if laboratory owners failed...

Burned jaguars, fire tornadoes: Blazes in Brazil wetland deliver climate warning

POCONÉ, Brazil (Reuters) – A fire has been burning since mid-July in the remote wetlands of west-central Brazil, leaving in its wake a vast charred desolation bigger than New York City. A team of veterinarians, biologists and local guides arrived in late August to prowl the bumpy dirt road known as the Trans-Pantanal Highway in...

Uganda reverses forest destruction by inviting in … loggers

KALAGALA, Uganda (Reuters) – For decades, farmers hungry for land and families needing firewood whittled away at Uganda’s forests, home to endangered gorillas, elephants and chimpanzees. Now the decline has reversed, thanks to a government policy that relies on loggers to help protect trees. Private companies are developing timber plantations as buffers next to protected...

Delta taps $9 billion in financing against loyalty program

(Reuters) – Delta Air Lines <DAL.N> said on Thursday it is raising $9 billion, $2.5 billion more than its previous estimates, through new bonds and loans backed by its SkyMiles loyalty program, as it attempts to strengthen its coronavirus-roiled finances. U.S. airlines have cut costs and raised debt to survive what they call an unprecedented...

Israel closes schools again as COVID-19 cases surge

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel closed its schools on Thursday, a day before entering a second national coronavirus lockdown, as daily infections topped 4,500. The initial lockdown was imposed in late March and eased in May, when the number of new cases dropped to about 20 a day. Israeli leaders have acknowledged they lifted restrictions too...

White House suggests Congress pass standalone bill to help U.S. airlines

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Giving U.S. airlines $25 billion in aid over the next six months could save more than 30,000 jobs, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told reporters on Thursday after meeting with the companies’ top executives, suggesting lawmakers approve a separate assistance package for the struggling corporations. Congress has been deadlocked over...

EU details energy savings and renewables push to reach tougher climate target

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union needs to hike its renewable energy and energy saving targets, according to its analysis published on Thursday of how the bloc could make deeper emissions cuts this decade. The European Commission wants the EU to slash its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, against 1990 levels,...

New law to protect Thai fishermen seen boosting child labour

BANGKOK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Teenagers could work as unpaid interns on Thai fishing vessels in a proposed change to the law that activists fear will encourage child labour. An amendment to a ministerial regulation – aimed at protecting workers – underwent a public hearing on Thursday in answer to years of global criticism over...

WHO says more than 170 countries have joined COVAX vaccine facility

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – More than 170 countries have joined the World Health Organisation’s COVAX global vaccine plan to help buy and distribute immunisation shots for COVID-19 fairly around the world, the body’s director general said. “More than 170 countries have joined the COVAX facility, gaining guaranteed access to the world’s largest portfolio of vaccine candidates,”...

Desperate migrants jump overboard from charity boat off Italy

ROME (Reuters) – Some 70 migrants jumped overboard from the Spanish rescue ship Open Arms on Thursday, in an attempt to swim to the nearby southern Italian city of Palermo. Those who jumped into the sea, part of a group of more than 270 people, were picked up by Italian coastguard and police ships. The...

Shooting at Georgia Rugby Union HQ

The vice-president of the Georgia Rugby Union has reportedly been arrested after a shooting at the union’s headquarters in Tbilisi. Merab Beselia is alleged to have shot Ramaz Kharazishvili, the 32-year-old former captain of the Georgian national 7s team in the left leg. Kharazishvili was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery. “Kharazishvili received injuries to...

Sally weakens to tropical depression, leaves massive floods on U.S. Gulf Coast

PERDIDO KEY, Florida (Reuters) – The remnants of Hurricane Sally dumped more than a foot of rain on parts of Alabama, Florida and Georgia on Thursday, killed at least one person, washed out bridges and roads and left hundreds of thousands without power and others with ruined homes. Sally brought torrential rains and flash flooding...

EU chief, set to unveil asylum policy, says migration is a fact of life

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union’s chief executive, set to unveil contentious new asylum policies for the bloc next week, described immigration on Wednesday as a normal fact of life and said the continent should learn to manage it. In a major policy speech to the European Parliament that drew applause and the occasional heckle,...

UK hands over to India statues stolen from Hindu temple in 1978

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain has returned three antique bronze sculptures to Indian authorities more than 40 years after they were stolen from a Hindu temple in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. A total of four bronzes from the Vijayanagara period, which lasted from the 14th to the 17th century, were stolen in 1978...

Fashion label Badgley Mischka’s new collection inspired by COVID-19 travel restrictions

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka used their desire for travel as inspiration for their new Spring 2021 collection, debuted via video this week at New York Fashion Week. Mischka said he wanted to capture places like Greece and Cuban capital Havana, “the kind of places that we didn’t get to...

Scientists create gene-edited animals as ‘surrogate sires’ to boost food production

LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists have created gene-edited pigs, goats and cattle to produce sperm with traits such as disease resistance and higher meat quality in what they say is a step towards genetically enhancing livestock to improve food production. The animals, created for the first time by researchers in the United States and Britain using...

Mitra the robot helps COVID patients in India speak to loved ones

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – A hospital in India has deployed a customer-service robot to patrol its wards, connecting coronavirus patients to friends and relatives. Mitra, meaning “friend” in Hindi, is best known for interacting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an event in 2017. Its piercing eyes are equipped with facial recognition technology to help...

17th September

BOJ to hold fire, signal resolve to work closely with Suga’s new cabinet

TOKYO (Reuters) – The Bank of Japan is set to keep monetary policy steady on Thursday and stress its readiness to work closely with the new government led by Yoshihide Suga, who has vowed to do whatever it takes to ease the economic blow from the coronavirus. The BOJ board may also debate how the...

Pandemic sharpens ‘battle for the soul’ of United Nations between U.S. and China

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Long-simmering tensions between the United States and China have hit boiling point at the United Nations over the coronavirus pandemic, spotlighting Beijing’s bid for greater multilateral influence in a challenge to Washington’s traditional leadership. Chinese President Xi Jinping has accelerated his U.N. power play as President Donald Trump’s disregard for international...

Democrat Biden outlines coronavirus vaccine plan: ‘I don’t trust Donald Trump’

WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) – Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Wednesday rejected President Donald Trump’s charge that he is spreading fear about the safety of a potential coronavirus vaccine, urging Trump to defer to scientists and not rush its rollout. “Let me be clear: I trust vaccines, I trust scientists, but I don’t trust Donald...

New Caledonia nears referendum without polls

With less than three weeks to go until New Caledonia’s next referendum on independence from France, no opinion poll has been released. According to the public broadcaster La Premiere, at least three polls had been commissioned but its findings were not being published. In the lead-up to the first independence referendum in 2018, opinion polls suggested...

French COVID testers to strike over ‘wartime’ conditions

PARIS (Reuters) – One of France’s biggest trade unions said a large number of staff at private COVID testing facilities across the country will walk out on Thursday over work conditions that one employee said were like being in a war zone. The planned one-day industrial action risks disrupting a COVID-19 testing system which in...

Covid-19 threatens routine Pacific immunisation: UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Fund is warning the Covid-19 pandemic is threatening child immunisation routines in the Pacific. The region was hit with a measles outbreak last year, particularly Samoa where 83 people, mostly children, died. The UN agency revealed there had been a decline in child vaccination coverage in the region, as the pandemic...

Deutsche Boerse and Six launch charm offensive to win Borsa bid battle – sources

LONDON/MILAN/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s Deutsche Boerse DB1Gn.DE and Swiss stock exchange operator Six have launched a charm offensive to win the backing of Italian officials before submitting final bids for the Milan bourse, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. Executives at both exchanges are trying to thwart Rome’s alliance with France’s Euronext ENX.PA and have held meetings in...

Solomons govt criticised for delayed repatriation

The Solomon Islands government is being criticised for being slow to repatriate over 300 students in the Phillipines with some now testing positive for Covid-19. The students have been asking to be repatriated since the start of the pandemic in March but the first flights have only been scheduled this month. The Leader of the Opposition,...

Sri Lanka seeks at least $1.9 million damage from owner of fire-hit tanker

COLOMBO/NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Sri Lanka is seeking at least 340 million rupees ($1.9 million) from the owner of the stricken oil supertanker New Diamond for assistance given to the vessel since it caught fire on Sept. 3, the coordinating officer to the country’s attorney general said. Nishara Jayaratne said the cost was for services...

French Polynesia reports another 72 Covid-19 cases

French Polynesia has recorded another 72 Covid-19 cases since yesterday, raising its total number confirmed cases to date to 1171. 1109 of them were detected since the beginning of August after the government and the French High Commission opened the border and abolished mandatory quarantine requirements to boost tourism. The President Edouard Fritch said the...

Turkish, Russian officials nearing deal on Libya ceasefire, political process – minister

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey and Russia have moved closer to an agreement on a ceasefire and political process in Libya during their latest meetings in Ankara, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told an interview with broadcaster CNN Turk late on Wednesday. Ankara and Moscow are the main power brokers in Libya’s war, backing opposing sides....

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