World

9th August

Pop music and ‘Grease’ star Olivia Newton-John dead at age 73

By Bill Trott Singer Olivia Newton-John, who soared to the top of the world’s pop music charts in the 1970s and 1980s with such tunes as “I Honestly Love You” and “Physical” and starred in...

Solomons leader did not attend U.S. war memorial service in “snub” – media report

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare did not attend a weekend dawn service for a key World War Two battle organised by the United States, with local media reporting it as a “snub”. The Solomon Star News said Sogavare was due to give a speech at a memorial service that was attended...

Baidu bags China’s first fully driverless robotaxi licenses

  BEIJING (Reuters) – China search engine giant Baidu Inc said on Monday it has obtained permits to operate fully driverless robotaxi services on open roads from two Chinese cities, the first of their kind in the country. The permits, awarded by the southwestern municipality of Chongqing and the central city of Wuhan, allow commercial...

U.N. chief Guterres: Risk of nuclear confrontation is back after decades

TOKYO (Reuters) – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday that the risk of nuclear confrontation had returned after decades, calling on nuclear states to commit to no first use of the weapons. Any attack on a nuclear plant is a “suicidal thing”, Guterres said, responding to reports of renewed Russian shelling of the...

Macau returns to mass COVID testing after case in neighbouring Chinese city Zhuhai

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Authorities in Macau instructed residents to conduct at least two days of COVID-19 tests after a person who travelled from the Chinese special administrative region to neighbouring city Zhuhai was found to have been infected with the virus. The move comes days after Macau started to unwind stringent anti-COVID rules, including...

8th August

Four cargo ships sail from Ukraine Black Sea ports

By Natalia Zinets and Daren Butler KYIV/ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Four more ships carrying almost 170,000 tonnes of corn and other foodstuffs sailed from Ukrainian Black Sea ports on Sunday under a deal to unblock the country’s exports after Russia’s invasion, Ukrainian and Turkish officials said. The United Nations and Turkey brokered the agreement last month...

North Korea to convene parliament, anti-epidemic meeting amid zero COVID claim

By Soo-hyang Choi SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea will convene two key meetings, including one to review the country’s anti-epidemic policy, in coming weeks, state media said on Monday, as it claims no new COVID-19 cases since late July. The North Korean Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA), the isolated state’s rubber-stamp parliament, will meet on Sept....

London’s Horniman Museum to return Benin Bronzes to Nigeria

LONDON (Reuters) – London’s Horniman Museum said on Sunday it would return 72 artefacts, including 12 brass plaques known as Benin Bronzes, looted from Benin City by British soldiers in 1897 to the Nigerian government. Created from brass and bronze in the once mighty Kingdom of Benin in what is now southwestern Nigeria from at...

Chile sinkhole grows large enough to swallow France’s Arc de Triomphe

(Reuters) – A sinkhole in Chile has doubled in size, growing large enough to engulf France’s Arc de Triomphe and prompting officials to order work to stop at a nearby copper mine. The sinkhole, which emerged on July 30, now stretches 50 meters (160 feet) across and goes down 200 meters (656 feet). Seattle’s Space...

Chad and rebels to sign deal after months of talks

(Reuters) – Chad’s transitional authorities and rebel groups are expected to sign an agreement in Doha on Monday paving the way to a broader national reconciliation dialogue later this month, the Qatari foreign ministry said. The announcement follows five months of peace-building talks in Qatar between rebel factions and Chad’s interim military government headed by...

WW2 bomb revealed in drought-hit waters of Italy’s River Po

By Oriana Boselli BORGO VIRGILIO, Italy (Reuters) – Heatwaves sweeping Europe this summer have brought not just record high temperatures and scorched fields: the drought-stricken waters of Italy’s River Po are running so low they revealed a previously submerged World War Two bomb. Military experts defused and carried out a controlled explosion on Sunday of...

Gangs kill former Haitian senator amid spike in violence

By Harold Isaac PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Gangs killed a former Haitian senator who led a government housing program on Saturday in an affluent area of Port-au-Prince, the prime minister said on Sunday, amid a spike in violence by criminal groups in the Caribbean nation’s capital. Yvon Buissereth was shot while police battled with gangs in...

Box office: ‘Bullet Train’ arrives with so-so $30.1 million debut, ‘Easter Sunday’ stumbles

By Brent Lang LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – “Bullet Train,” a John Wick-ian romp with Brad Pitt in the aisle seat, arrived in theaters with a $30.1 million opening weekend. That’s enough to top the domestic box office chart, but it’s only a so-so result given “Bullet Train’s” $90 million price tag and Pitt’s star power....

Palestinians sift through rubble at Gaza camp hit in Israeli strike

By Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA (Reuters) – When Israeli rockets slammed into her neighbourhood in a crowded refugee camp in the Gaza strip on Saturday night, 9-year-old Leen Matar said she was so scared that she began to recite Islam’s final prayers. “We were at my grandfather’s house when suddenly the rubble started to fall on...

Brazil police arrest 5 more in murders of journalist, Amazon expert

BRASILIA (Reuters) -Brazil’s federal police on Saturday arrested five more men in an investigation into the murder of British journalist Dom Phillips and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira in the Amazon rainforest in June. Police said in a statement that seven arrest warrants were issued for illegal fishing in the Vale do Javari region, the remote...

Cuba fire rages at fuel storage port; Mexico, Venezuela sending help

HAVANA (Reuters) -A massive oil-fed fire burned for a second day on Saturday near Cuba’s supertanker port in Matanzas, as Mexico and Venezuela sent teams to help fight the inferno and Cuba accepted a U.S. offer of unspecified “technical advice”. On Friday evening, lightning struck one of eight storage tanks at the facility 60 miles...

‘Time against us’ in bid to rescue 10 Mexican miners after 3 days underground

SABINAS, Mexico (Reuters) -Large pumps sucked water from a flooded coal mine in Mexico on Saturday as authorities weighed whether to send divers to try to save 10 miners who have been trapped underground for more than three days. The miners became trapped at a mine in the northern border state of Coahuila on Wednesday...

Pacific Islands solidarity is a Biden priority, U.S. diplomat tells Solomons

SYDNEY (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden sees strong ties with Pacific Island countries as a priority, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said in the Solomon Islands on Sunday, underscoring the stakes of a visit as geopolitical tensions have been mounting in the region. At a World War Two memorial event in the Solomons...

Musk challenges Twitter CEO to public debate on bots

(Reuters) – Elon Musk on Saturday challenged Twitter Inc Chief Executive Officer Parag Agrawal to a public debate about the percentage of bots on the social media platform. “Let him prove to the public that Twitter has <5% fake or spam daily users!,” Musk said in a tweet. He also started a poll asking users...

Gazans said they got 15 minute warning before Israeli strikes destroyed homes

GAZA (Reuters) – As Israel’s campaign against the militant Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza moved into its second day on Saturday, residents of houses targeted for destruction said they were given 15 minutes warning to evacuate. “What can we do with 15 minutes?” said 68-year-old Nadia Shamalakh, who cares for four disabled sons and daughters...

U.S.-China diplomatic breakdown clouds outlook for global climate progress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -China’s decision to halt bilateral talks on climate change with the United States has cast a cloud of doubt over whether the world can rally enough ambition to address global warming in time to avert its worst impacts. Tackling climate change has been a key area of cooperation between the two superpowers and...

Taiwan says Chinese warplanes and ships conduct attack simulation exercise

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan officials said Chinese aircraft and warships rehearsed an attack on the island on Saturday, part of Beijing’s retaliation for a visit there by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi that has also included a halt in talks with the United States on issues including defence and climate change. Pelosi’s brief...

U.S. readies new $1 billion Ukraine weapons package

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Biden administration’s next security assistance package for Ukraine is expected to be $1 billion, one of the largest so far, and include munitions for long-range weapons and armored medical transport vehicles, three sources briefed on the matter told Reuters on Friday. The package is expected to be announced as early as...

7th August

Ukraine police patrol dark night time streets, seeking curfew violators

KRAMATORSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – When night falls in the Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk, just 20 km (12 miles) from the front line with Russia, police officers cruise through the dark and empty streets, looking for curfew violators, thieves and spies. The 65,000 people remaining in the eastern industrial city, which before the war had a...

Pompeii discoveries shed light on middle class life

MILAN (Reuters) – Archaeologists have discovered four new rooms in a house in Pompeii filled with plates, amphoras and other everyday objects, giving a snapshot of middle class life at the moment Mount Vesuvius’s eruption buried the Roman city in AD 79. The remains of bowls, a hastily emptied trunk, a bed and a crib-shaped...

Bus crash in Croatia leaves 12 Polish pilgrims dead, 32 injured

VARAZDIN, Croatia (Reuters) -Twelve people were killed in Croatia on Saturday when a Polish bus filled with religious pilgrims slipped off a road and crashed near Varazdin, authorities said. Thirty-two people were injured in the crash which happened at 5:40 a.m. (0340 GMT) on the highway between Varazdin, in northwest Croatia, and capital Zagreb. Croatian...

Beluga whale refusing food after straying into France’s Seine river

PARIS (Reuters) – Concerns are rising for a beluga whale which has been spotted in France’s river Seine far, from the cold Arctic waters it is more suited, after it refused food and appears emaciated, a local official said on Saturday. The beluga is swimming slowly in a basin between two locks about 80 km...

Kosovo police patrol attacked in volatile north

PRISTINA (Reuters) – Kosovo police said one of their patrols close to the Serbian border came under fire on Saturday, in an area of the country marred by ethnic disputes and smuggling activities. Tensions between western Balkan neighbours Kosovo and Serbia have flared recently and came to a head last week after Kosovo said it...

Taiwan tensions reveal challenges for U.S. navy as Chinese threat grows

HONG KONG (Reuters) – The long route of Nancy Pelosi’s Tuesday flight over Borneo to Taipei and a U.S. aircraft carrier’s complex passage through the South China Sea highlight the difficulties U.S. forces now face against a Chinese military keen to flex its muscles over Taiwan. U.S. military officials repeatedly talk of “routine” patrols to...

China embassy: Australia should be ‘prudent’ on Taiwan-related issues

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China hopes that Australia will be prudent on Taiwan-related issues and avoid being led by others that could cause fresh trouble for ties between the two countries, a spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Australia said on Saturday. The remarks, posted on the embassy’s website, were commenting on a statement released by...

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