Brazil airlifts emergency oxygen to Manaus amid COVID surge

Brazil’s Air Force has delivered emergency supplies of oxygen to the jungle state of Amazonas, and premature babies were to be airlifted to other states from local hospitals overwhelmed by a devastating new surge in COVID-19 cases. Doctors were using their own vehicles to transport patients, as Manaus residents sought to buy oxygen tanks on […]

Robots rising: Firms debut fuzzy pets, household helpers at CES

Exhausted from the isolation, extra chores and sleepless nights of the coronavirus pandemic? Get a robot to help. Firms debuted artificial intelligence-enabled gadgets aimed at making staying home during the COVID-19 crisis easier, safer and less frustrating at this year’s first fully virtual Consumer Electronics Show. Plenty of people adopted pets during the pandemic to […]

‘Not a game’: Two million people have now died of COVID-19

The global death toll from COVID-19 has now crossed two million. The landmark was reached on Friday amid a vaccine roll-out so immense but so uneven that in some countries there is real hope of vanquishing the outbreak, while in other parts of the world, it seems a far-off dream. The numbing figure was crossed […]

Fiji Will Lead U.N. Rights Body, Over Russian and Chinese Opposition

GENEVA — The Pacific island nation of Fiji won election on Friday as president of the United Nations’ top human rights body, ending a shadowy proxy battle waged by China, Russia and Saudi Arabia seeking to strengthen their influence by installing a more compliant candidate. Fiji won decisively, with support from 29 countries in a […]

Palestinians announce first elections in 15 years

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announces first presidential elections in 15 years to take place on July 31. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced parliamentary and presidential elections, the first in 15 years, will take place later this year in an effort to heal longstanding internal divisions. According to a decree issued by Abbas’s office on Friday, […]

A Gensler-led SEC could see greater oversight of cryptocurrencies

Gary Gensler, US President-elect Joe Biden’s reported choice to lead the SEC, has said that greater oversight of cryptocurrencies could lead to greater mainstream adoption. Gary Gensler’s expected nomination to lead the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is seen ushering in an era of greater federal oversight of the $1 trillion cryptocurrency market. Gensler, who most recently […]

US retail sales fell in Dec but economists see better days ahead

US retail sales fell in December for a third straight month, as surging COVID-19 infections saw consumers hunker down at home and hold tight to their wallets. If there are any doubts remaining about what a bad month December was for the United States economy, look no further than the latest piece of dismal data. […]

Does a Woman ‘Walking’ Her Boyfriend on a Leash Signal Covid Ennui?

Last Saturday at 9 p.m., as residents across Quebec sat indoors to obey a new pandemic curfew, the police patrolling the sleepy city of Sherbrooke observed a perhaps unlikely crime: a woman “walking” her boyfriend, attached to a leash, as he padded along the sidewalk on all fours. Asked by the police why she was […]

Britain tightens borders to keep out new COVID-19 variants

BERLIN: A global coronavirus vaccine rollout suffered a major blow Friday as Pfizer said it would delay shipments of the jabs in the next three to four weeks due to works at its key plant in Belgium.Pfizer said the modifications at the Puurs factory were necessary in order to ramp up its production capacity from […]

‘Dear Tayyip’: Erdogan, Macron exchange letters

The Turkish and French presidents exchange letters in which they agree to resume talks aimed at mending ties. The Turkish and French presidents have exchanged letters in which they have agreed to resume talks aimed at mending ties. Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan wrote a New Year message to his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, expressing condolences […]

Calls grow for Biden to reject Houthi ‘terrorist’ designation

Civil society, faith groups urge US president-elect to overturn decision to label Yemen’s Houthis as ‘terrorists’. Dozens of civil society and faith-based groups in the United States are urging President-elect Joe Biden to overturn the Trump administration’s decision to label Yemen’s Houthis a “terrorist” organisation. In a letter (PDF) to Biden on Friday, 50 organisations […]

Trump to leave Washington just before Biden is sworn in

The outgoing US president will leave town the morning of Inauguration Day after considering leaving the day before. United States President Donald Trump now plans to leave Washington the morning of Inauguration Day next Wednesday after considering a departure on Tuesday, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday, the Reuters news agency reports. […]

No let-up: Trump administration targets Iran with more sanctions

With less than a week before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in, the Trump administration has slapped sanctions on firms in Iran, China and the United Arab Emirates as part of its maximum pressure campaign against Iran. The United States on Friday sanctioned companies in Iran, China and the United Arab Emirates for doing business […]

There have now been over two million virus-related deaths worldwide.

But the initial rollouts in many countries have been met with problems: logistical confusion, shortages of doses, unequal distribution and bureaucratic hurdles that have slowed the process of getting shots into people’s arms. Israel’s inoculation process has been the fastest, with roughly 25 percent of its population of nine million getting vaccinations in just one […]

Round two: UK may fall back into recession as new lockdowns bite

With fresh lockdowns and a COVID-19 variant, it is increasingly likely the United Kingdom could fall back into recession. The British economy looks set to fall back into recession after official figures on Friday showed that it shrank by 2.6 percent month on month in November, when much of the country was in a second […]

Ugandan Forces Surround Home of Leading Opposition Figure

NAIROBI, Kenya — Ugandan security forces on Friday surrounded and then breached the compound of Bobi Wine, the country’s leading opposition candidate, a day after a contentious general election that he said was marred by widespread “fraud and violence.” The breach, reported by Mr. Wine and confirmed by several people involved in his campaign, took […]

Who is who in the Trump Caucus: Are they the Republican future?

Even after last week’s US Capitol riot by Trump supporters, most Republican members of Congress are still standing with President Donald Trump. There were 139 Republicans who objected in the House of Representatives to ratifying Joe Biden’s Electoral College win and 197 who opposed the article of impeachment for an insurrection that Democrats brought against […]

Xi to former Starbucks CEO: Help repair US-China relations

United States-China relations have plunged to their lowest level in decades due to the tech and trade war. China’s President Xi Jinping is asking former CEO Howard Schultz of Starbucks to help repair United States-Chinese relations that have plunged to their lowest level in decades amid a tariff war and tension over technology and security. […]

Pakistan top court moves to hear #MeToo case against singer Zafar

Activists and lawyers have hailed a recent move by Pakistan’s top court to hear on merit a high-profile sexual harassment case that launched the country’s #MeToo movement, caused a stir on social media, and polarised public opinion. Earlier this week, the Supreme Court agreed to deliberate on whether prominent singer and actress Meesha Shafi’s allegations […]

Nigeria warns against fake COVID vaccines

Nigerian authorities recently announced they hope to vaccinate 40 percent of the population in 2021. Nigerian authorities have warned against fake coronavirus vaccines in the country where 10 million real doses of the shots are expected to arrive in March. “There are reports of fake vaccines in Nigeria,” Director General of Nigeria’s National Agency for […]

Senator apologises to Black Tulsans for election challenge

Oklahoma Senator Lankford, conservative ally for Black Tulsans, faces criticism on move to ‘disenfranchise’ Black vote. Republican US Senator James Lankford has apologised in a letter to Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Black community for failing to recognise that challenging United States electoral results leading to President-elect Joe Biden’s victory during a joint session of Congress could be […]

Afghan security personnel killed in alleged Taliban attacks

Attacks took place on police checkpoints in Kunduz province, while a civilian died in Ghazni during an attempted suicide attack. At least nine Afghan security personnel have been killed in attacks on two police checkpoints overnight in the restive northern Kunduz province, with government officials blaming the Taliban for the attacks. Officials on Friday reported […]

Pakistan national carrier plane ‘impounded’ in Malaysia

Boeing 777 aircraft was seized after a British court order involving a $14m lease dispute. A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) passenger plane has been held back by Malaysian authorities due to a British court case over the jet’s lease. PIA announced the news on Twitter on Friday, adding it would pursue the matter through diplomatic […]