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New lockdowns ordered as India coronavirus cases near one million

One of India’s most impoverished states went into lockdown Thursday, but near-normal traffic on Bihar’s streets showed the difficulty of corralling over 125 million people.The lockdown in the northern state bordering Nepal started as India reported more than 600 deaths in the previous 24

New clashes dash hopes of end to fighting on Azerbaijan-Armenia border

 New clashes erupted Thursday on the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia following a day-long lull, dashing hopes of a rapid end to a flare-up in fighting.At least 16 people on both sides have been killed since clashes erupted on Sunday between the ex-Soviet republics, who have been locked fo

Netanyahu faces pushback on money-for-all coronavirus plan

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has gotten a lukewarm reception from his main coalition partner and the head of the central bank to a plan to grant money to all Israelis to revive the economy during the coronavirus crisis. Netanyahu announced the 6 billion shekel ($1.75bn) package on Wed

UK, US, Canada accuse Russia of hacking virus vaccine trials

Britain, the United States and Canada accused Russia on Thursday of trying to steal information from researchers seeking a COVID-19 vaccine. The three nations alleged that hacking group APT29, also known as Cozy Bear and said to be part of the Russian intelligence service, is attacking academic and

UK calls for dialogue over Israeli annexation plan

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called for dialogue to resolve tensions over the proposed annexation by Israel of parts of the occupied Palestinian territories. Johnson spoke with Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, over concerns about Israel’s plan, a week after discus

Satellite images show Ethiopia dam reservoir swelling

New satellite imagery shows the reservoir behind Ethiopia’s disputed hydroelectric dam beginning to fill, but an analyst says it’s likely due to seasonal rains instead of government action.The images emerge as Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan say the latest talks on the contentious project ende

France says ‘merci’ to virus heroes on poignant Bastille Day

Nurses in white coats replaced uniformed soldiers as stars of France’s Bastille Day ceremonies Tuesday as the usual grandiose military parade was recalibrated to honor medics who died fighting COVID-19, supermarket cashiers, postal workers and other heroes of the pandemic.With tears in their e

Hong Kong reimposes social distancing as coronavirus cases spike

Hong Kong reimposed social distancing measures on Monday to combat a sudden spike in coronavirus infections, banning more than four people from gathering in public, shuttering some businesses and restricting restaurants from catering to evening diners.The finance hub was one of the first places to b

China raises flood alert to second highest level

China on Sunday raised its flood response alert to the second highest grade as downpours continued to batter regions along the Yangtze River, with the eastern provinces of Jiangsu and Jiangxi among the worst hit, state media reported.Regional flooding in the Poyang county of Jiangxi has made water l

India says Indian, Chinese troops disengaging from standoff

 India’s external affairs minister said Saturday that Indian and Chinese troops are disengaging from a monthslong standoff along the countries’ undemarcated border following a clash last month that left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead.Subrahmanyam Jaishankar’s remarks came a

Singaporeans vote in shadow of pandemic and recession

 Singaporean voters fretted over the risks of COVID-19 as they queued in masks to cast their ballots on Friday, amid an uptick in new infections and prospects of the city-state’s economy entering its worst-ever recession.In power since independence in 1965, the ruling People’s Actio

France’s Notre Dame Cathedral to be rebuilt without modern touches

Notre Dame Cathedral will be rebuilt just the way it stood before last year’s devastating fire.No swimming pool or organic garden on the roof of the medieval Paris monument, or contemporary glass spire, or other modern twists. And to stay historically accurate, it will again be built with pote

UK expected to set out next stage of lockdown easing on Thursday

British culture minister Oliver Dowden will hold a news conference, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday, when the government is expected to set out the next stages in its easing of the coronavirus lockdown.Johnson had said the government would outline the next steps in its

Australia offers safe haven to Hong Kongers, sparking China fury

Australia offered pathways to permanent residency for thousands of people from Hong Kong on Thursday in response to China’s crackdown on dissent, drawing a furious reply from Beijing.Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his government was suspending its extradition agreement with the city and, i

Death toll in Ethiopia violence over singer's killing hits 239

The death toll from demonstrations and ethnic violence that erupted in Ethiopia last week following the murder of a popular singer from the Oromo ethnic group has risen to 239, according to police. Pop star Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, a hero to many Oromo who saw him as the voice of their marginalisation

Pompeo says U.S. to take action to deny China access to Americans' data

The Trump administration will take steps to ensure the Chinese government does not gain any access to the private information of American citizens through telecommunications and social media, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday. Speaking two days after he said Washington was &ldqu

Russia, China Veto UN Extension of Cross-Border Aid in Syria

Russia and China on Tuesday vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that would have extended authorization for cross-border humanitarian aid in Syria for a year, though Moscow swiftly proposed a more limited extension. Germany and Belgium, two of the council's non-permanent members, had drafted the

Putin Hails Russian 'Hero Doctors' Who Died From Virus

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday hailed "hero" doctors who died during the coronavirus epidemic, comparing them to battlefield medics from past wars. Putin, who spoke ahead of next month's controversial vote that is expected to extend his hold on power until 2036, also promised awards a

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