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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Coronavirus kills 106, infects 4,515 in China

The National Health Commission said that 976 patients remained in critical conditions and a total od 6,973 people were suspected of being infected with the virus as of Monday night, reports Xinhua news agency.

UK to unveil fast-track visa for scientists in Feb

The Global Talent visa will be open from February 20 to those who work in a qualifying field and have been endorsed by a recognised UK body, the BBC said in a report.

EU urges Myanmar to comply with ICJ Rohingya ruling

"The EU welcomes these important first steps towards acknowledging the severity and scale of the violence that occurred, the gross violations of human rights and the disproportionate use of force by Myanmar's military and security forces," Efe news quoted the bloc's delegation to the country as saying.

Indian-Americans protest against CAA, NRC, NPR on R-Day

The protest rally took place on Sunday in the city of Artesia, about 19 miles from Los Angeles, reports Indica News.

WHO chief to visit China over coronavirus outbreak

Taking to Twitter on Sunday, Ghebreyesus said during his visit, he will meet government officials and health experts which will help his team understand the latest developments in an effort to provide further protection against the outbreak, reports Xinhua news agency.

Trump’s lawyers begin his defence at Senate trial

White House lawyer Pat Cipollone said the impeachment was a Democratic Party attempt to overturn the 2016 elections and bar him from the November election. Instead, he said, "Let the people decide that".

Torrential rain claims 30 lives in Brazil

Another 17 people were listed missing and 2,600 evacuated in Minas Gerais state, marooned by 48 hours of torrential rain, Sky News reported.

China coronavirus: HK declares highest level of emergency

Addressing the media here, Lam said that she will personally chair an inter-departmental steering committee which will hope to issue strategic and other measures as soon as practicable, reports the South China Morning Post newspaper.

Johnson signs Brexit withdrawal agreement

After three years of bitter dispute, Johnson's deal officially became law after clearing all parliamentary hurdles and receiving royal assent on Friday, reports metro.co.uk.

Fresh anti-US protests grip Baghdad

Protesters gathered in the Al Jadriyah neighbourhood of the capital after Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr called on Iraqis to demonstrate, reports Efe news.

Earthquake Strikes Turkey, Killing 18

The powerful quake jolted the Elazig province, some 750 km east of the capital Ankara. It took place around 8:55 p.m. local time (1755 GMT) at the epicenter, the town of Sivrice, according to the Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute at Bogazici University, the Xinhua news agency reported.

France, Australia confirms coronavirus cases

The French Ministry for Solidarity and Health said on Friday that the first case of the coronavirus was a 48-year-old man who had recently returned from China where he spent several days and had also visited Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei province and the epicenter of the 2019-nCoV outbreak, Xinhua news agency reported.

Iraqi Shia leader calls for scheduled pullout of US troops

Al-Sadr made the call in a letter sent to a massive rally of Iraqis in al-Jaderiyah district, central Baghdad, reports Xinhua news agency.

Johnson’s Brexit deal becomes law

Some MPs cheered as Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans confirmed the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act had been given the Queen's approval in a short announcement to the House of Commons on Thursday, reports metro.co.uk.

Myanmar denies genocide in Rakhine state

The statement from Myanmar's Foreign Affairs Ministry issued late Thursday comes after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) earlier in the day had unanimously ruled that the country should "take all measures within its power" to prevent genocidal acts against the Rohingya on its territory, including the killing of its people.

Nepal Airlines permanent pilots warn of resigning en masse

In a notice served to the Executive Chairman of the flag carrier, the pilots said that there was a huge difference in remunerations for them and expat pilots, as their foreign counterparts have been hired on a contract basis and their taxes are being paid by the airline, the Kathmandu Post said in a report.

Kerala trade and culture fest to return to Sharjah

Set to be held from January 30 to February 1, the 'Come On Kerala Festival' is the second largest festival to be organised at the Sharjah Expo Centre, reports the Khaleej Times.

‘A ship of fools and a circus’: Voters react to Trump...

Barely days into Trump's impeachment trial, US voters who spoke with IANS are already dug in on how the trial currently on in Washington DC might affect outcomes in the US presidential elections this November.

Panicked China locks down Wuhan to control epidemic

Sources in Beijing said that the government has shut down the city's airport, railway stations, short-distance ferries and long-distance coaches in Central China's Wuhan city, following 18 deaths due to the 2019-nCoV, a new strain of coronavirus, previously not identified in humans.

ICJ orders Myanmar to protect Rohingyas from genocide

The judges unanimously pronounced in favour of the Gambia, which had accused Myanmar of committing genocidal acts against the Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state and had requested the top United Nations court to enforce provisional measures to ensure that Myanmar complies with the 1948 Genocide Convention signed by the country in 1956, Efe news reported.

International Court to rule on Myanmar genocide case

The case was brought to the ICJ by the Gambia accusing the Southeast Asian nation of committing genocide against the Rohingya Muslims.

Bushfires rage in Australia, Canberra airport shut

Flights were cancelled out of Canberra Airport as fires raged nearby. Officials issued emergency warnings urging people to stay away from the airport as two blazes threatened to breach the airfield's perimeters.

Syrian rebels fire mortar shells on Aleppo city

The dozens of shells slammed several residential areas, caused injuries particularly among children, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Wednesday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Tulsi Gabbard file $50M defamation suit against Hillary Clinton

"Whether out of personal animus, political enmity, or fear of real change within a political party Clinton and her allies have long dominated" Clinton lied about Gabbard, her lawyers said in the case filed in the Manhattan Federal Court on Wednesday.

Republicans beat back Democrat bid to call witnesses at Trump trial

At the trial that began on Tuesday afternoon under the presidency of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, the acrimonious partisanship was on full display as the Senate tried to set the stage for the trial Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

No mention of Kashmir in US readout of Trump-Khan meet

The readout of the meeting in Davos on Tuesday makes only mention of "regional issues" among the many topics discussed, chief among them Afghanistan, where the US is negotiating a settlement with the Taliban.

China reports 440 confirmed cases of new coronavirus pneumonia

The cases had resulted in nine deaths, said Li Bin, deputy director of the National Health Commission, at a press conference, reported Xinhua news agency.

US Senate rejects Democratic bids for Trump documents

The motion, an amendment to the Republican-proposed resolution guiding the trial process, was brought up by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday. It called for subpoenaing any "documents, communications and other records" kept by the White House, Xinhua reported.

China sentences ex-Interpol chief to 13 years in jail

The 56-year-old was also ordered by the Tianjin No 1 Intermediate People's Court to pay a fine of two million yuan ($289,540), reports the BBC.

Johnson govt loses 1st parliamentary votes since election

The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill, which paves the way for the UK to leave the EU with a deal on January 31, was approved by MPs earlier this month without any changes, said a BBC report.

Myanmar President promises probe into Rakhine war crimes

The commission was established by the President's office in July 2018 to investigate human rights violations allegations in Rakhine state around the conflict between Myanmar's military and the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) in 2017, Efe news reported.

South Korea to send troops to Hormuz Strait

The forces, however, will not join a US-led coalition, but conduct independent operations, the Ministry said, a move seen as reflecting Seoul's consideration of relations with Tehran and Washington's request for contribution to its campaign to secure the waters off Iran, Yonhap News Agency said in a report.

Ukrainian plane hit by two short-range missiles, says Iran

"Two TOR-M1 missiles were launched from the northern side at this plane," the state media said in a report citing the latest report by the Organization.

IMF blames India for ‘lion’s share’ of cut to global growth...

The International Monetary Fund's World Economic Outlook (WEO) Update cut the global economic growth projections made in October by 0.1 percent for last year to 2.9 percent and to 3.3 percent for the current year.

Independent commission reports Rakhine issue findings to President

The four-member team led by Rosario Manalo, former deputy foreign minister of the Philippines, submitted the report to Myint at the presidential palace here, reports Xinhua news agency.

Bangladesh sentences 10 to death over 2001 rally blast

Judge Md Robiul Alam of the Third Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court of Dhaka announced the verdict, reports The Daily Star newspaper.

Bangladesh to introduce e-passports this week

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to launch the e-passport distribution at an event scheduled to be held at the capital's Bangabandhu International Conference Centre, bdnews24 quoted Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan as saying on Sunday.

Libya peace summit agrees to ceasefire, respect for arms embargo

The accord was reached on Sunday at an international conference on Libya in Berlin organised by the German government and the UN and attended by the President of the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Serraj, who is supported by Turkey, and the head of the Libyan National Army (LNA), military strongman Khalifa Haftar, backed by Russia and who controls his forces from Tobruk, reports Efe news.

Clashes between Lebanese protesters, police, injures 70

Among the injured in the clashes on Sunday, 30 people were transported by the Lebanese Red Cross to nearby hospitals, Xinhua news agency reported.

Anti-govt protests escalate in Iraq

On Sunday, hundreds of demonstrators rallied in Tayran and Wathba near Baghdad's al-Tahrir Square, the epicentre of Iraq's anti-government protests, and set fire to dozens of tires to block the main roads leading to the rally sites, an Interior Ministry official told Xinhua news agency.

Iran rules out negotiation over new nuclear deal

"We will never negotiate a new deal," said Zarif on Friday during his visit to Mumbai to attend a meeting organised by All India Association of Industries, Xinhua reported on Saturday, citing Tehran Times.

Bill Clinton prosecutors to defend Trump in impeachment

Ken Starr was the independent counsel whose investigation spurred Clinton's impeachment for lying about an affair with a White House intern. He was also a prosecutor in the Senate trial that ended with the acquittal of the then-President, reports Efe news.

New migrant caravan from Honduras nears Mexico

The Interior Ministry said on Friday that thr National Institute of Immigration (INM) will deal with applications for temporary employment or asylum, and the migrants will be restricted to the southern area while their immigration requests are processed, reports Xinhua news agency.

Pompeo meets Qureshi amid Iran crisis

The two sides talked about a range of issues, including Iran, US-Pakistan cooperation on the Afghan peace process and building bilateral economic ties, Xinhua reported, citing the US State Department's statement on Friday.

Erdogan slams Syria for not complying with ceasefire

"It is a clear proof that the Syrian regime does not comply with the steps we have taken regarding the cease-fire," Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul on Friday, referring to the latest air strikes carried out by the Syrian forces in Idlib, the country's last rebel-stronghold province.

SL lifts 25-year ban on private helicopter flights from Colombo

According to the Civil Aviation Authority, private tourist helicopters can now land at the Defence Ministry grounds on Galle Face in Colombo, reports Xinhua news agency.

Killing of Soleimani disgrace for US, says Khamenei

"They stealthily and cowardly assassinated Gen. Soleimani in a terrorist fashion. This resulted in a disgrace for America," Khamenei said as he led the prayers in Tehran's Imam Khomeini Grand Mosque, where huge crowds of worshipers had already gathered from early Friday morning.

Arrest warrant for B’desh daily editor over student’s death

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kaisarul Islam passed the order against the newspaper Prothom Alo's editor Matiur Rahman, associate editor Anisul Hoque and eight others on Thursday, bdnews24 said in a report.

Facebook misleading people, its behaviour shameful, says Pelosi

Pelosi, during her weekly press briefing here on Thursday, said that Facebook has been very abusive of the great opportunity that technology has given them.

Lebanese journos protest against police using excessive force

The state-run National News Agency reported that Lebanon's Interior minister Raya al-Hassan approached the journalists on Thursday, assuring them that any aggression against the media was rejected and condemned, reports Efe news.

Fresh protests in France against Macron’s pension reform

In the sixth round of nation-wide protests, 187,000 demonstrators on Thursday flooded the streets once again, including 23,000 in Paris, Xinhua news agency quoted the Interior Ministry as saying.

Trump impeachment trial: US Chief Justice, senators sworn in

The trial is set to begin next week on Tuesday with Roberts presiding.

US Senate approves new trade deal with Canada, Mexico

The measure passed the Senate on Thursday in an 89-10 vote, following approval from the US House of Representatives last month, with a 385-41 vote.

Embarrassed by Twitter spats, Pak Army removes spokesperson Ghafoor

The transfer comes just a couple of days after Ghafoor was trolled for posting a doctored video of war hero and retired Indian Air Force Air Marshal Denzil Keelor. Ghafoor later admitted that the Keelor clip was doctored.

US sanctions made Iran stronger, says Rouhani

Despite "US plots and pressures", it was the Iranian nation "who dared to shower missiles on one of the US' important military bases in the region", Xinhua news agency quoted the President as saying.

Many countries view Kashmir as bilateral issue, says Qureshi

"One hears that many countries are of the view that this is a matter of concern, but should be discussed and resolved bilaterally," he said at a news conference here on Wednesday.

China backed Pakistan bid to raise Kashmir issue in UNSC fails...

Especially the US and France took a strong a stand and Britain, which waffled at the last Kashmir consultation in August 2019, joined them on Wednesday in taking a strong position against Council interference, the sources said.

US House sends Trump impeachment articles to Senate

"As we make that history, we will be making progress for the American people," Pelosi said on Wednesday before signing the two impeachment articles at an engrossment ceremony, Xinhua reported.

China informs UNSC members it will raise Indo-Pakistan issue

It is likely to come up after the scheduled session on Mali when it will adjourn from its chamber to the consultation room for closed consultations.

Giammattei sworn in as new President of Guatemala

During the ceremony on Tuesday, attended by six heads of state, Giammattei said he would try to straighten the direction the country was moving in, Efe news reported.

Iran arrests person who filmed plane downing video

It is believed the person being detained will face charges related to national security, the BBC reported on Tuesday.

Historic impeachment trial of Trump to start next Tuesday

Earlier on Tuesday (January 14), Speaker Nancy Pelosi ended the standoff between the Senate and the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives saying that it would vote on next Tuesday to send the impeachment documents to the upper house so it can hold the trial on charges that Trump obstructed Congress and abused presidential powers.

Scientists discover 7 billion year old stardust in meteorite

This stardust provides evidence for a 'baby boom' of new stars that formed seven billion years ago, contrary to thinking that star formation happens at a steady, constant rate.

Outsiders behind unrest in tribal areas: Imran Khan

These tribal districts were formerly part of the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) and were later merged into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

LTTE remains in EU’s terror list

It a statement on Monday, the European Council said it renewed the EU terrorist list, which also freezes funds and financial assets of individuals, persons, groups and entities subject in the EU, reports the Daily Mirror newspaper.

Ghosn files lawsuit against Renault

In two interviews with the French media in Beirut, where he fled to from Japan, Ghosn on Monday justified the move on grounds that he did not formally resign as Renault's boss, reports Efe news.

Cory Booker ends Democratic presidential nomination bid

Booker, who was never able to secure a top-five position in voter-preference surveys, dropped out of the race on Monday ahead of the February 3 Iowa caucuses, the Democrats' first nominating contest, reports Efe news.

Queen agrees ‘transition’ to new role for Prince Harry, Meghan

She said she was "entirely supportive" of their desire for a new role but "would have preferred" them to remain full-time working royals, the BBC reported on Monday.

Rouhani signs law blacklisting Pentagon, subsidiaries

Iran's Parliament passed the initial version of the law in April 2019, which designated the US Central Command (CENTCOM) as a terrorist organization after Washington blacklisted the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), reports Press TV.

Abe visits Saudi Arabia, meets King

"They reviewed bilateral relations between the two friendly countries and ways of enhancing and developing them," Efe news agency quoted the Saudi state-run SPA news as saying on Sunday.

Philippines evacuates thousands as volcano spews lava

The people were taken to 38 evacuation centres authorized by the authorities in the most affected municipalities of San Nicolas, Balete, Talisay, Lipa (Batangas province) and Tagaytay (Cavite), according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

UK ‘must be prepared to fight wars without US’

The assumptions of 2010 that we were always going to be part of a US coalition is really just not where we are going to be.

French unions call for new protests despite govt concession

"Following today's announcements, not only is the pivotal age not removed, but the prime minister confirms his determination to prolong the retirement age by refusing any increase in social security contributions," said an inter-union body consisting of the CGT and other hard-left unions in a statement on Saturday.

Iran’s IRGC accepts responsibility for Ukrainian jet crash

"We accept full responsibility for this act (shooting down the plane), and we will obey and carry out what decisions the authorities will make," Hajizadeh was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency, reports Xinhua.

Cuba slams extension of US ban on flights

"I strongly reject new US government ban on charter flights to Cuba, except for Havana, and restrictions on their number," Xinhua news agency quoted Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez as saying in a tweet on Friday.

Ukrainian plane brought down due to human error, says Iran

The news was confirmed by General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran, reports Press TV.

Iraqis demand new govt amid spike in regional tensions

Amid strong security measures and despite the deployment of troops across several cities, demonstrators on Friday chanted slogans against Washington and Tehran for turning Iraq into an arena for settling their scores, reports Efe news.

Sultan Qaboos of Oman passes away

"The Diwan of Royal Court announces mourning and disrupts the official work of the public and private sectors for three days and flags at half-mast in the next 40 days," Xinhua news agency quoted the state TV public channel as saying on Twitter.

Japan urges Interpol to help arrest Ghosn’s wife

The Tokyo prosecutor's office, investigating alleged financial irregularities committed by Ghosn in Japan, earlier this week obtained an arrest warrant against Carole, 53, for perjury and has asked the intergovernmental organization to collaborate in the case, Efe news reported citing Japanese broadcaster NHK as saying.

French unions protest against Macron’s pension reform

The participants in the demonstrations on Thursday were teachers and students, lawyers, refinery and railroad workers, all of whom joined together in the strike to express their anger and to demand the total withdrawal of the bill, reports Efe news.