Your Friday Briefing

New mask rules in Europe As European countries brace for a potential surge of coronavirus cases linked to the new variants, countries have reimposed strict lockdown measures, and some have made “medical” grade masks mandatory in some areas. Starting this week in Germany, N95 or surgical-grade masks are compulsory for people on public transportation, in […]

US sanctions under Trump: A legacy that could box in Biden?

Former United States President Donald Trump’s administration unleashed a torrent of economic sanctions on individuals and entities during his single term in the Oval Office. The punitive measures were aimed at squeezing the US’s foes – most notably Iran, Venezuela and China – to advance Trump’s foreign policy agenda. But sanctions often failed to achieve […]

Ten more bodies discovered in Libya mass grave

Mass graves have been found Tarhuna, a town 80km southeast of Tripoli formerly controlled by a militia. Forensics teams in war-shattered Libya have discovered 10 more bodies in mass graves in a town formerly controlled by a militia outside the capital Tripoli, the Government of National Accord has said. “Three bodies were blindfolded and their […]

CAR announces state of emergency after armed attacks

Presidential spokesman says state of emergency will allow authorities ‘to make arrests without going through national prosecutors’. The Central African Republic (CAR) has announced a 15-day state of emergency after armed groups tried to block the capital, Bangui, in a bid to topple newly re-elected President Faustin Archange Touadera. Rebels controlling about two-thirds of the […]

Fourth time’s the charm? Saudi Arabia delays jobless data release

The kingdom said the four-time delay was needed to validate data collected from 33,000 households during the coronavirus pandemic. Saudi Arabia has delayed the release of closely watched data on citizen unemployment four times amid political sensitivity over a jobless rate that rose to the highest level on record last year. The kingdom’s labor market […]

European Central Bank’s $2.2 trillion stimulus still on track

More than a trillion euros in stimulus is on its way to jolt life into a eurozone battered by the coronavirus crisis. With more than a trillion euros in stimulus still in the pipeline to the economy, the European Central Bank (ECB) left its key bond-purchase programme unchanged Thursday as the 19-country eurozone endures a […]

In Court, Peter Nygard’s Lawyers Fail to Satisfy Judge’s Terms for Bail

TORONTO — For years, Peter Nygard presented himself as a rags-to-riches story: a multimillionaire who built a fashion empire from nothing, hobnobbed with Canadian prime ministers and traveled between his luxurious homes on a private jet, surrounded by women a fraction of his age. And he was a modern Juan Ponce de León, claiming to […]

Who’s who in the Biden administration

Joe Biden’s team will include Obama veterans, longtime aides and allies, as well as women and people of colour. The administration of newly sworn-in President Joe Biden is taking shape – a team that will be tasked with putting into motion his agenda and vision for the nation. So far, Biden has named several people […]

Pelosi: Impeachment trial of Trump will not harm ‘unity’

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that proceeding with a Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump would not hurt President Joe Biden’s calls for “unity”. “The fact is, the president of the United States committed an act of incitement of insurrection,” Pelosi told reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday, a […]

Pakistan tells Biden to ‘push forward’ Afghan peace talks

Karachi, Pakistan – Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said his country has hopes for greater engagement with the new US government and called on Joe Biden to follow up on the ongoing Afghan peace process and US troops withdrawal from the country. Direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, against whom […]

FIFA: Breakaway European Super League ‘would not be recognised’

World football’s governing body says players risk being banned from the World Cup and other tournaments if involved. FIFA has gone on the offensive amid ongoing speculation about a European Super League, insisting any breakaway by leading football clubs “would not be recognised by either FIFA or the respective confederation”. It said in a statement […]

Lebanon extends hard lockdown as COVID deaths soar

Beirut, Lebanon – Lebanon has extended a hard lockdown by two weeks amid record-breaking numbers of COVID-related deaths and an unabated surge in the number of new cases that have stretched the country’s healthcare system to its limits. Meanwhile, a top health official has announced plans for a roll-out of vaccinations in the crisis-hit country […]

Filings reveal how the pandemic devastated Trump’s businesses

As US president, Trump, who owns hotels, golf courses and casinos, resisted policies to slow the surge in COVID-19 cases through mask-wearing. Donald Trump’s empire has been hit hard by coronavirus closures, with revenue from his Washington and Las Vegas hotels down by more than half. In his last financial disclosure form as president, Trump detailed the […]

Glastonbury Canceled Again, Casting Doubt Over Europe’s Music Festivals

LONDON — Britain’s Glastonbury festival, one of the world’s most prominent pop music events, was canceled on Thursday for a second year in a row because of the coronavirus — sparking fear that large music festivals in Europe will not go ahead this summer. “In spite of our efforts to move Heaven & Earth, it […]

Joe Biden’s difficult, if not impossible, push for ‘unity’

In his inaugural address on Wednesday, Joe Biden laid out for Americans the hard truths the country faces as he sees it – among them, a nation ravaged by a pandemic, calls for racial justice, and the rise of political “extremism”. One key solution for dealing with those enormous problems comes down to one word: […]

Debt and COVID: One in five UK citizens borrow more amid crisis

Some nine million adults in the United Kingdom are diving deeper into debt, a trend that is also exacerbating income inequality. Almost 9 million people in Britain had to borrow more money by the end of last year to help them through the coronavirus crisis, according to new figures that show widening gaps between the […]

Russia Pushes U.S.-Funded News Outlet Toward Exit

MOSCOW — Russia’s government is threatening Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty with multimillion-dollar fines and possible criminal charges against its employees, raising the possibility of the American-funded news organization being pushed out of Russia just as President Biden seeks to reorient the U.S. relationship with the Kremlin. RFE/RL, one of the biggest online news outlets in […]

EU, Turkey to work on improving relations after tumultuous 2020

The European Union and Turkey have pressed each other to take concrete steps in order to improve relations long strained by disagreements over a number of issues including energy and migration. Turkey, which remains an official candidate for EU membership despite the tensions, is facing the threat of economic sanctions by the bloc over a […]

US jobless claims fall slightly but still remain high at 900,000

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell slightly last week to 900,000, still a historically high level that points to ongoing job cuts in a raging coronavirus pandemic. The United States Department of Labor’s report on Thursday underscored that President Joe Biden has inherited an economy that faltered this winter as virus cases spiked, […]

UK COVID death toll reaches 94,580, hits daily vaccination record

LONDON: A mosque is among dozens of new vaccination hubs that have opened in the UK to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to the nation’s most vulnerable people. By partnering with the National Health Service (NHS) and local pharmacies, the Al-Abbas Islamic Centre in Birmingham has become the first mosque in the UK to provide its premises […]

Strong earthquake rattles southern Philippines

No immediate reports of damage and a tsunami warning was not issued after magnitude seven earthquake. A magnitude seven earthquake has struck the southern Philippines but there were no immediate reports of damage and a tsunami warning was not issued. The earthquake hit about 310 kilometres (193 miles) southeast of Davao city on the main […]

UK mosque becomes vaccination center

article author:  Christopher Hamill-Stewart Author:  Thu, 2021-01-21 19:09 LONDON: A mosque is among dozens of new vaccination hubs that have opened in the UK to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to the nation’s most vulnerable people. By partnering with the National Health Service (NHS) and local pharmacies, the Al-Abbas Islamic Centre in Birmingham has become the first […]