World

Samoan man tests positive for Covid in quarantine

A 70-year-old Samoan man has tested positive for Covid-19 while in quarantine after arriving from Melbourne. Samoa’s Director General of Health, Leausa Dr Take Naseri, announced the case this morning, saying the man is now...

Freed British-Australian academic was detained in Iran due to Israeli partner

SYDNEY (Reuters) – A British-Australian academic who was freed from Iranian jail on Thursday was detained in 2018 on espionage charges after authorities there found her partner was an Israeli citizen, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on Friday. Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a specialist in Middle East politics at the University of Melbourne, was released from prison...

Cook Islands group rebuilding eroded coastline with sandbags

The Cook Islands environmental group, Te Ipukarea Society, is triallling a different approach to sea-wall construction. With funding support from the Global Environment Facility to combat climate change, the organisation is experimenting with sandbags as a sea barrier at Avana Harbour on Rarotonga. Te Ipukarea’s Kelvin Passfield said a rehabilitation of the zone around the...

‘Adios Diego’: Maradona buried as world mourns flawed soccer great

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina’s Diego Maradona, one of the world’s greatest ever soccer players, was buried on Thursday amid a global outpouring of grief from the streets of Buenos Aires to Naples in Italy. The death of Maradona at the age of 60 on Wednesday, following a heart attack, has sparked both mourning and...

Govt to allow 2000 horticulture workers in from Pacific under strict conditions

The government has offered help to the under-pressure horticultural sector by allowing 2000 Registered Seasonal Employer, or RSE, workers in to help pick fruit and vegetables this summer. Growers had complained that without these workers, some produce would rot unpicked. The government has however imposed strict conditions. The workers would have to be paid the...

A third of England face toughest COVID curbs, London spared for now

LONDON (Reuters) – More than 20 million people across large swathes of England will be forced to live under the toughest category of COVID-19 restrictions when a national lockdown ends on Dec. 2, while London was placed in the “high alert” second-toughest tier. Health minister Matt Hancock on Thursday announced final details of a regional...

Tonga youth NGO hopes to end violent school rivalries

Tonga’s only youth run NGO is hoping to end violent interschool rivalries through its mentorship and outreach programmes. Fighting between high school students, particularly boys, is a serious problem in the kingdom with some deep historical and religious roots. In the worst altercations children have been admitted to hospital with serious injuries and there has...

Russia’s Sputnik V developers call on AstraZeneca to try combining vaccines

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Developers of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine said on Thursday that AstraZeneca should try combining its experimental shot with the Russian one to boost efficacy. Russia said its Sputnik V vaccine is 92% effective at protecting people from COVID-19, according to interim trial results, while AstraZeneca said its COVID-19 vaccine was 70%...

Man arrested in CNMI for terror threat

Police on Saipan have arrested a man for allegedly threatening a shoot-out at a Northern Marianas Department of Labor office. The office hosts a federal assistance programme for US workers who lost their jobs or have reduced hours due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Police charged Zaji Obatala Zajradhara with terroristic threatening, after a Labor employee...

Hong Kong activist tells German paper he’s doing well in prison isolation

BERLIN (Reuters) – Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong told a German newspaper he was doing well despite being held in solitary confinement and having trouble sleeping because of bright lights after he was remanded in custody this week. Wong, who on Monday pleaded guilty to charges of organising and inciting an unauthorised assembly near...

Vanuatu Court told Parl Secs first appointed 13 years ago

Vanuatu’s deputy prime minister, Ishmael Kalsakau, has told the trial of former prime minister, Charlot Salwai, that parliamentary secretaries were first set up 13 years ago. Mr Salwai is being tried on corruption, bribery and perjury charges. This comes after Mr Kalsakau had made a criminal complaint, contesting Mr Salwai’s assertion that his appointment of...

We’ve been forgotten in COVID-19 easing, say French restaurants

MARSEILLE, France (Reuters) – Restaurant owner Jean Avarello is struggling to understand why in the next few weeks the shops and theatres near him in the French city of Marseille will be allowed to reopen after a COVID-19 lockdown, but he has to stay shut. “That’s not okay,” Avarello said on Thursday as he took...

Young Papuans killed in attacks in Puncak Jaya

Reports from Indonesian’s Papua region say a West Papuan teenager was shot dead in a mystery attack in the central highlands. Another male student who was with the victim was also shot in last Friday’s attack but survived and later found help to reach a medical clinic. According to the Indonesian state Antara news agency the pair...

U.N. decries police use of racial profiling derived from Big Data

GENEVA (Reuters) – Police and border guards must combat racial profiling and ensure that their use of “big data” collected via artificial intelligence does not reinforce biases against minorities, United Nations experts said on Thursday. Companies that sell algorithmic profiling systems to public entities and private companies, often used in screening job applicants, must be...

Biden urges safe Thanksgiving amid pandemic; Trump pardons ex-aide Flynn

WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) – President-elect Joe Biden pleaded with Americans on Wednesday to take steps to remain safe over the Thanksgiving holiday as COVID-19 cases soar, while President Donald Trump pardoned a former aide who twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. Biden gave a presidential-style speech acknowledging people’s fatigue with restrictions amid the...

Mexico City seeks to ‘break the chain’ of coronavirus with rapid tests, QR codes

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico City has launched a test-and-trace approach to containing the coronavirus, after a rise in hospitalizations that has raised fears of a new economic lockdown in one of the world’s largest urban centers. Mexico has one of the lowest testing rates globally, and for months has favored building capacity at hospitals...

Sudan’s former PM Sadiq al-Mahdi dies from coronavirus in UAE

KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Leading Sudanese politician and former prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi died from a coronavirus infection three weeks after being hospitalised in the United Arab Emirates, according to family sources and a party statement early on Thursday. Mahdi, 84, was Sudan’s last democratically elected prime minister and was overthrown in 1989 in the military...

Britain to detail post-lockdown restrictions in England

LONDON (Reuters) – The British government on Thursday will set out which COVID-19 restrictions each local authority in England will face when a national lockdown ends next week allowing businesses to reopen in areas where infection rates are lower. Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered England into a month-long lockdown in early November after coronavirus cases...

26th November

Mexico arrests alleged mastermind of massacre of Mormon women and children

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico captured a gang leader accused of being the mastermind behind the massacre of nine women and children of U.S.-Mexican origin, authorities confirmed on Wednesday, a move that Washington hailed as a victory for bilateral cooperation. Suspected drug cartel hitmen shot dead the three women and six children from families of...

Biden urged to extend U.S.-Russia arms treaty for full 5 years without conditions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Arms control advocates are urging Joe Biden to extend the last U.S.-Russian treaty limiting deployed strategic nuclear arms for five years, but some experts argue the U.S. president-elect should go for a shorter period to maintain leverage over Moscow. Upon taking office on Jan. 20, Biden faces an immediate decision on whether...

Solomons extends State of Public Emergency

Solomon Islands has extended its State of Public Emergency regarding Covid-19 for another four months. This followed a declaration by Governor-General, Sir David Vunagi last night to further extend the so-called SOPE. The extension was declared after the expiry of the country’s second SOPE on Tuesday. A statement from the Government confirmed the extension stemmed...

Global coronavirus cases surpass 60 million infections

(Reuters) – The global tally of confirmed coronavirus cases hit 60 million on Wednesday, with the pace of new infections accelerating and the United States reporting record numbers of hospitalizations, according to a Reuters tally. Officials in the United States, the worst-affected country in the world, urged Americans to stay home for the imminent Thanksgiving...

PNG parliament thrust into uncertainty as MPs test positive

Papua New Guinea’s political crisis has been thrust into new uncertainty after three MPs tested positive for Covid-19. The three MPs were in Prime Minister James Marape’s camp at Loloata Island during the ongoing political stand-off. A member who first tested positive was isolated away from the rest of the government camp on Loloata Island,...

U.N. mulls U.S. proposal to streamline, lengthen North Korea aid exemptions

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A United Nations Security Council sanctions committee is considering a U.S. proposal to streamline and lengthen exemptions from U.N. sanctions on North Korea for humanitarian aid groups working in the isolated Asian state. The updates to an implementation assistance note – first issued in August 2018 – will be approved by...

Vanuatu’s Deputy PM questioned as witness numbers drop in high profile trial

The prosecution in the corruption, bribery and perjury trial of a former Vanuatu’s former prime minister has indicated it may reduce its number of witnesses. Public prosecutor, Josiah Naigulevu, told the court yesterday that he proposed to have another meeting with the defending lawyers to reduce his witnesses under a new Memorandum of Agreement. There...

Brazilian state sues Carrefour unit for $38 million in damages for beating death of Black man

BRASILIA (Reuters) – A state attorney in southern Brazil is suing a unit of France’s Carrefour SA seeking 200 million reais ($37.6 million) in damages after security guards beat a Black man to death at one of its stores. On Friday, a widely circulated video showed security guards at a Carrefour Brasil store in the...

Wallis and Futuna records third Covid-19 case

Wallis and Futuna has recorded its third case of Covid-19. The infected individual, who is asymptomatic, arrived in the territory from France on 16 November. The person tested positive while in quarantine and has now been transferred to the hospital’s isolation ward. People arriving in Wallis and Futuna undergo two Covid-19 tests before leaving quarantine....

African envoys head for Ethiopia as ultimatum expires for assault

ADDIS ABABA/NAIROBI (Reuters) – African envoys went to Ethiopia to plead for peace on Wednesday, hours before an ultimatum was to expire for Tigrayan forces to surrender or face an assault on the northern region’s capital that rights groups fear could bring huge civilian casualties. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government set a 72-hour ultimatum on...

Samoa postpones first US repatriation flight

Samoa’s government has postponed the country’s first repatriation flight from the United States. The flight, scheduled to arrive this weekend has been postponed to a later, yet to be confirmed date. The Prime Minister, Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, announced the decision reached by cabinet on Wednesday and apologised to the families of the 300 passengers booked...

Women call for end to domestic violence after lockdowns bring more attacks

ISTANBUL/ROME (Reuters) – Women around the world on Wednesday marked International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, highlighting how lockdowns due to the pandemic had left many trapped with their abusers and exposed to greater danger. The United Nations said that since the outbreak of COVID-19, all types of violence against women and...

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