Friday, January 21TRUSTED FEARLESS INTERNATIONAL & NATIONAL NEWS PORTAL

Tag: world news

Politics

Red Cross: Yemen prison airstrike killed, injured over 100

A Saudi-led airstrike targeting a prison run by Yemen’s Houthi rebels killed and wounded over 100 detainees on Friday, rescuers said, part of a pounding aerial offensive that hours earlier saw another airstrike take the Arab world’s poorest country off the internet. A strike in the port city of Hodeida, later confirmed by satellite photos analysed by The Associated Press, hit a telecommunication centre there that’s key to Yemen’s connection to the internet. Airstrikes also hit near Sanaa, Yemen’s capital held by the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels since late 2014. The intense campaign comes after the Houthis claimed a drone and missile attack that struck inside the capital of the United Arab Emirates earlier in the week. Basheer Omar, an International Committee of the Red Cross spokesperso...
Politics

Family of four, believed to be Indians, frozen to death along US-Canada border

In a heartbreaking tragedy, a family of four, including a baby, all believed to be Indians, has died from exposure to cold weather on the Canadian side of the border with the US in an apparent human smuggling operation, according to media reports. Manitoba Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on Thursday said that the bodies of four people two adults, a teen and an infant were found on the Canadian side of the US/Canada border near Emerson on Wednesday. US officials say the dead are believed to be a family from India. They are thought to have been attempting to cross into the US, according to media reports. RCMP Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy shared the discovery with reporters in a news conference on Thursday. “What I am about to share is going to be difficult for many peopl...
Politics

World worse now due to Covid, climate, conflict, says UN chief

As he starts his second term as UN secretary-general, Antonio Guterres said Thursday the world is worse in many ways than it was five years ago because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the climate crisis and geopolitical tensions that have sparked conflicts everywhere — but unlike US President Joe Biden he thinks Russia will not invade Ukraine. Guterres said in an interview with The Associated Press that the appeal for peace he issued on his first day in the UN’s top job on Jan 1, 2017 and his priorities in his first term of trying to prevent conflicts and tackle global inequalities, the Covid-19 crisis and a warming planet haven’t changed. “The secretary-general of the UN has no power,” Guterres said. “We can have influence. I can persuade. I can mediate, but I have no power.” Before he b...
Politics

US charges Belarus officials with aircraft piracy over diverted Ryanair flight

Four Belarusian government officials have been charged in the United States with aircraft piracy for diverting a Ryanair flight last May to arrest a dissident Belarusian journalist who was on board, US prosecutors said on Thursday. The charges announced by the US Department of Justice escalate the global uproar over the May 23, 2021, forced landing in Minsk of the Ryanair flight and detention of the journalist Roman Protasevich and his Russian girlfriend. Belarus already has faced a wave of sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes, from the United States, the European Union, Britain and Canada over the diverted flight, which US authorities said was targeted by a false bomb threat. Four US citizens were among the approximately 132 passengers and crew members aboard the flight, ...
Politics

US lawmakers seek litigation at WTO against India on wheat subsidy

Top American lawmakers have urged the Joe Biden administration to initiate a litigation process at the World Trade Organisation against India subsidising its farmers over half of the value of production for wheat. US Wheat Associates, which has been aggressively pushing for such a move by the administration, has welcomed the letters by members of the Congress and Senate. A group of 28 members of the US Congress, in a letter, said, “American commodity producers are operating at a clear disadvantage to their competitors, primarily from India, where the government is subsidising more than half of the value of production for rice and wheat, instead of the 10 per cent allowable under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.” “We ask that you swiftly take action to reverse the trend of non-c...
Politics

‘They’re innocent people’: Phone call shows brother pleading with Texas hostage-taker

A British man who held four people hostage in a Texas synagogue ranted against Jews and American wars in countries like Afghanistan as his brother pleaded with him to give up and free the captives, a recording of the conversation shows. In the expletive-filled recording posted on the website of The Jewish Chronicle, 44-year-old Malik Faisal Akram said he was “bombed up” and equipped with “every ammunition” as he talked to his brother Saturday from inside Congregation Beth Israel in the Dallas suburb of Colleyville. Gulbar Akram urged his brother to lay down his weapons and return to his children alive. “You don’t need to do this. Why are you doing this?” he said. “Just pack it in. You’ll do a bit of time, and then you’ll get out.” “These guys you’ve got there, they’re innocent peopl...
Business

Russia and China block new UN sanctions on 5 North Koreans

United Nations, Jan 21 (AP): Russia and China have blocked the UN Security Council from imposing sanctions on five North Korean officials in response to Pyongyang's recent ballistic missile tests, a decision criticized by the United States which sought to impose penalties over their roles in the country's missile program.At an emergency council meeting on Thursday on the North's four ballistic missile launches in the last two weeks, the US called on the 15 council members to approve a brief press statement recalling that such launches violate council resolutions and strongly urging Pyongyang to comply with its council obligations "and to engage in dialogue towards denuclearization".Diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because the council meeting was closed, sai...
Business

Biden to hold virtual meeting with Japanese PM amid increasing tension with Russia

Washington, Jan 21 (PTI): US President Joe Biden will hold a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida virtually on Friday, a senior official said amid increasing tension with Russia over Ukraine.The meeting will highlight the strength of the US-Japan alliance, which is the cornerstone of peace and security in the Indo-Pacific and around the world, the official said."Biden and Kishida will discuss ways to advance our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific and a strong rules-based order," according to the official."The two leaders are also expected to discuss a strong, united response that would result from further Russian aggression against Ukraine." They will discuss ways to deepen the bilateral alliance to address common threats and to expand close c...
Business

Search on for humpback whale entangled in debris off Hawaii

Hawaii, Jan 21 (AP): A marine mammal rescue team is looking for an adult humpback whale entangled in debris off the coast of Hawaii.First responders removed about 600 metres of heavy-gauge line from the animal over the weekend when it was off the island of Kauai, The Garden Island newspaper reported.Authorities detached most of the gear but weren't able to get all of it off before the whale moved on.Officials plan to try to find the whale and clear more line from it as conditions permit. They will study the removed gear to try to determine what it is and where it came from.Large whales can become entangled in active or abandoned fishing gear or other ropes and lines in the ocean. The drag from debris can cause whales to use more energy to swim. It can also make it harde...
Business

Peru: 21 beaches polluted by spill linked to Tonga eruption

Lima (Peru), Jan 21 (AP): Peru has declared an environmental emergency after announcing that 21 beaches on the Pacific coast were contaminated by an oil spill at a refinery run by Spain-based Repsol, following surging waves caused by the eruption of an underwater volcano near Tonga.President Pedro Castillo on Thursday said a committee will be formed to propose ways of dealing with the crisis, in keeping with national policies aimed at protecting the environment.Prime Minister Mirtha Vásquez said Repsol has promised to deliver a cleaning schedule, to incorporate local fishermen in the cleanup on beaches and to deliver food baskets to affected families.Vásquez said the United Nations will provide a team of experts to help Peru deal with the oil spill. People are barred f...
Business

4 Belarus officials face aircraft piracy charges

New York, Jan 21 (AP): US prosecutors have charged four Belarusian government officials with aircraft piracy for diverting a Ryanair flight last year to arrest an opposition journalist, using a ruse that there was a bomb threat.The charges in Manhattan federal court were announced by federal prosecutors on Thursday.US Attorney Damian Williams said in a release that the defendants corrupted standards followed by countries around the world to keep passenger airplanes safe.He said the indictment provides a prompt and public explanation of what actually happened to Flight 4978.In August, President Joe Biden levied sanctions against Belarus. At the time, the White House noted the forced landing of a European airliner travelling through Belarus' airspace in order to arrest a ...
Business

Israel’s attorney general orders probe of NSO spyware claims

Jerusalem, Jan 21 (AP): Israel's attorney general has said that he was launching an investigation into Israeli police's use of phone surveillance technology following reports that investigators improperly tracked targets without authorization.In a four-page letter, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit said on Thursday he had not yet found evidence substantiating the claims in the Israeli business daily Calcalist, which said police monitored the leaders of a protest movement against then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, mayors and other citizens without court approval.But Mandelblit said many questions remained unanswered, and that he was forming an investigative committee headed by a top deputy.The specific cases mentioned by the newspaper "raise a very troubling pictu...
Business

French energy giant joins push for new Myanmar sanctions

Paris, Jan 21 (AP): French energy conglomerate TotalEnergies has asked the American and French governments to support targeted sanctions against Myanmar's oil and gas funds, the largest single source of income for the country's military leaders.In a letter to Human Rights Watch released Thursday, the CEO of Total, Patrick Pouyanné, said the company was using all the tools at its disposal to stop funding the junta that took over Myanmar's government and its bank accounts in February 2021, including those that receive hundreds of millions of dollars each year from the Yadana gas field.Since the takeover, the military has moved against dissent with increasing brutality, abducting young men and boys, killing health care workers and torturing prisoners.The sanctions would ta...
Business

Jihadi video shows child fighters executing Nigeria soldiers

Abuja (Nigeria), Jan 21 (AP): An Islamic State-linked extremist group accused of killing hundreds in northeast Nigeria has released a video purporting to show child soldiers executing two men identified as members of the Nigerian military.The video released by the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) was published on Tuesday by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadi activity.It showed a man in Nigerian army uniform who said he was with the army special forces being shot twice in the head by a boy of about 12. Shortly after, another soldier who said he was captured in April 2021 was shot in the head by one of the three masked fighters behind him.A Nigerian military spokesperson did not immediately respond on Thursday to a request for comment on the vide...
Business

Jury selection begins in federal trial over Floyd’s killing

St Paul (US), Jan 20 (AP): Jury selection began Thursday in the federal trial of three Minneapolis police officers charged in George Floyd's killing, with the judge stressing repeatedly that fellow Officer Derek Chauvin's conviction on state murder charges should not influence the proceedings.J. Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao are broadly charged with depriving Floyd of his civil rights while acting under government authority. Separately, they're charged in state court with aiding and abetting both murder and manslaughter as Chauvin used his knee to pin the Black man to the street.Legal experts say the federal trial will be more complicated than the state trial, scheduled for June 13, because prosecutors in this case have the difficult task of proving the officers willf...
Business

McDonald’s expanding test of McPlant burger in US stores

Washington, Jan 20 (AP): McDonald's is expanding sales of its meatless McPlant burger to hundreds of locations.The company said the McPlant __ which it co-developed with plant-based protein company Beyond Meat __ will be sold at 600 stores in the San Francisco and Dallas areas starting Feb. 14.It's a major expansion for the McPlant, which was introduced last November at eight stores in Texas, Iowa, Louisiana and California. That test run helped the company determine how a plant-based option would alter its kitchen operations. McDonald's said the larger product offering will help it understand customer demand.The Chicago company offered no details about what it learned from its first round of sales, or whether it has since tweaked the recipe. The McPlant is made from pea...
Politics

In Tonga, a volcano-triggered tsunami underscores islands’ acute climate risk

For the South Pacific island nation of Tonga, the tsunami unleashed by Saturday’s volcanic eruption laid bare some of the ways that climate change is threatening the islands’ very existence. By increasing temperatures and driving up sea levels, climate change will likely worsen disasters wrought by tsunamis, storm surges, and heat waves, experts say. Acutely aware of this risk, Tonga has been a key voice representing climate-vulnerable nations, saying at the UN climate talks in November that global warming “beyond the 1.5 C threshold would spell absolute catastrophe for Tonga” and other Pacific Islands as they will be subsumed by the sea. Their plea for global climate action is especially desperate, given that Pacific island nations account for only 0.03% of global carbon emissions, acc...
Politics

North Korea hints at resuming nuclear, ICBM tests

Accusing the United States of hostility and threats, North Korea on Thursday said it will consider restarting “all temporally-suspended activities” it had paused during its diplomacy with the Trump administration, in an apparent threat to resume testing of nuclear explosives and long-range missiles. North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency said leader Kim Jong Un presided over a Politburo meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party where officials set policy goals for “immediately bolstering” the North’s military capabilities to counter the Americans’ “hostile moves.” Officials gave instructions to “reconsider in an overall scale the trust-building measures that we took on our own initiative. and to promptly examine the issue of restarting all temporally-suspended activities,” the KC...
Business

‘Real Life Aquaman’: Disabled Tongan Man Swam 27 Hours After Tsunami Hit Islands

New Delhi: Tsunami-hit Tonga has just got its 'real life Aquaman'. A 57-year-old Tongan man said he was swept out to sea during the devastating tsunami on Sunday, and swam around 27 hours to reach an island.  "He's a legend," said a post on Facebook. At least three persons died after the eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano triggered a tsunami across the archipelago. Villages on the islands, resorts and many buildings were damaged, while communication networks were shut, cutting off the 105,000 residents of Tonga from the rest of the world. Lisala Folau, who lived on the isolated island of Atata, said in a radio interview to Tongan media agency Broadcom Broadcasting that he was swept out to sea when the waves hit land, Reuters report said.  Folau told the r...
Politics

Gates Foundation and Wellcome pledge US $300 mn for initiative to prevent pandemics

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wellcome, a global charitable foundation, have pledged $150 million each to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a partnership launched five years ago by the two charitable foundations, the governments of Norway and India, and the World Economic Forum. The pledges come ahead of a global conference to support CEPI’s five-year plan to better prepare for, prevent, and equitably respond to future epidemics and pandemics. “As the world responds to the challenge of a rapidly evolving virus, the need to deliver new, lifesaving tools has never been more urgent,” said Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates, on Thursday. “Our work over the past 20 years has taught us that early investment in research and develop...