Taliban warn peace deal with US near breaking point
The Taliban in a statement Sunday said their peace deal with the United States was nearing a breaking point, accusing Washington of violations that included drone attacks on civilians, while also chastising the Afghan government for delaying the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners promised in the agreement.
US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, left, and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban group’s top political leader sign a peace agreement between Taliban and U.S. officials in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020.
The Taliban said they had restricted attacks against Afghan security forces to rural outposts, had not attacked international forces and had not attacked Afghan forces in cities or military installations. The Taliban said these limits on their attacks had not been specifically laid out in the agreement with the U.S. signed in February.
Coronavirus claims more Spanish lives, but death rate slows
Spain reported more deaths from the coronavirus tearing around the world on Friday, but the number who succumbed overnight was lower than the previous day.
With 117,710, Spain is now second only in numbers of infected to the United States, which has a population some seven times larger.
Adding to the world’s worst death toll from the disease after European neighbour Italy, 932 people died in 24 hours, bringing the total to 10,935, the Health Ministry said. It was the first time in over a week that the figure fell from the previous day. On Thursday, 950 new deaths were reported. More new cases were also registered, but the rate of infection slowed.
Russian plane lands in US with medical supplies to combat coronavirus
A Russian cargo plane carrying 60 tonnes of medical supplies, including ventilators, masks and other protection gear, needed to treat the patients with COVID-19 landed in the US.
The move to buy medical equipment from Russia comes after a telephonic conversation between US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on March 30.
The Permanent Mission of Russia to NATO on Thursday tweeted a video of the Russian Ministry of Defence cargo aircraft Ruslan AN-124-100 arriving at the John F Kennedy airport in New York.
Six European nations condemn North Korean missile launches
The UN Security Council didn’t issue a statement after discussing North Korea’s latest missile tests but six European nations on the council are condemning Pyongyang’ repeated launches, saying they illustrate its ongoing efforts to develop its ballistic missile programs and expand its arsenal.
North Korea has conducted 17 sets of missile launches since May 2019 including four this month, the latest on March 29.
Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Poland, and the United Kingdom said in a statement after a closed council discussion Tuesday that they are deeply concerned by North Korea’s continued testing of missiles, using ballistic missile technology.
IS militants riot in eastern Syria prison, some escape
Islamic State militants rioted inside in a prison in northeastern Syria, wrestling control from guards on an entire floor in the facility while a number of prisoners managed to escape, a Syrian Kurdish official said Sunday.
In a photo taken on Oct 26, 2019, men accused of being affiliated with the Islamic State group sit on the floor in a prison in Hasakeh, Syria.
Mustafa Bali, a spokesman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, said anti-terrorism forces were working to regain control of the prison in the eastern Hassakeh province, adding that more forces were on their way.
US now has most coronavirus cases in world
The number of U.S. coronavirus infections climbed above 82,000 on Thursday, surpassing the national tallies of China and Italy, as New York, New Orleans and other hot spots faced a surge in hospitalizations and looming shortages of supplies, staff and sick beds.
People line up outside Elmhurst Hospital Center to be tested for the coronavirus in the Queens borough of New York. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo promised 1,000 temporary hospital beds will be swiftly placed inside a vast Manhattan convention center as officials raced to prepare for an overwhelming number of coronavirus patients.
With medical facilities running low on ventilators and protective masks and hampered by limited diagnostic testing capacity, the U.S. death toll from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, rose beyond 1,200.
Spain coronavirus death toll tops 4,000, second after Italy
The death toll due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Spain shot up to 4,089 Thursday after 655 people died within 24 hours, the health ministry said on Thursday. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases in Spain also surged to 56,188, the ministry said.
Ambulance workers wearing protective gear arrive with a patient at La Princesa hospital during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain March 25, 2020.
Spain had imposed a national lockdown on March 14 which will be in place till April 11. Despite this, both deaths and infections have continued to mount, with officials warning this week would be particularly bad. So far, 7,015 people have recovered while 31,912 people are still hospitalised.
For children fleeing the Syrian war, a tent becomes a school
The school, in a camp for displaced people in northwestern Syria, serves about 60 students, boys and girls, ages 4 through 14.
Women and children in an emergency center for displaced families in Saramada, near the border with Turkey, in Idlib, Syria.
Most are among the nearly 1 million people who have fled from the Syrian government forces and their Russian allies, who are storming through the Idlib province.
Brawling monkeys. Wandering deer. Blame coronavirus
Large populations of wild animals are sustained almost entirely on treats handed out by tourists in a variety of Asian countries.
Coronavirus latest updates: Deer from Nara Park in Japan have begun wandering into the city in search of food.
Now, for better or worse, thousands of animals are being forced to fend for themselves.
Thailand: 20 injured in bomb attack on government office
Bombers attacked a major government office in Thailand’s insurgency-plagued far south as hundreds of local officials and Muslim clerics met Tuesday to discuss fighting COVID-19.
Thai crime scene investigators inspect the site of a bomb explosion in Yala, southern Thailand, Tuesday, March 17, 2020.
At least 20 people were hurt, none seriously.
The Southern Border Provinces Administration Center in the capital of Yala province coordinates government policy in the region where a Muslim separatist insurgency since 2004 has led to the deaths of about 7,000 civilians, soldiers, government workers and rebels.
Saudi Arabia suspends international flights for two weeks over coronavirus fears
Saudi Arabia has suspended all international flights for two weeks, starting Sunday, to prevent the spread of coronavirus, state news agency SPA said on Saturday, citing an official source at interior ministry.
The period will be considered as an exceptional official holiday for citizens and residents. (File Photo)
The period will be considered as an exceptional official holiday for citizens and residents who are unable to return due to the suspension of flights or if they face quarantine after their return to the Kingdom, SPA cited the official as saying.
Saudi Arabia has reported 86 coronavirus cases.
Monkeys Fight for a Banana as Tourism Drops in Thailand amid COVID-19, Animals Left Hungry
Amid the coronavirus scare that has spread voices of concern across the globe, a surprising incident in Thailand has left people amazed.
In a viral video clip, hundreds of monkeys were seen fighting each other over a banana, as the number of tourists plummeted in the city of Lopburi, in Thailand.
Monkeys Fight for a Banana as Tourism Drops in Thailand amid COVID-19, Animals Left Hungry
According to reports, monkeys depend on the tourists for food and enough tourists storm this area to feed their hunger on a daily basis.
However, with the global outbreak and spread of the COVID-19 virus, the city's tourism has seen a major fall and that quite resulted in a chaotic situation of monkeys from 'two rival' gangs fighting over food.
South Africa reports first case of local transmission of coronavirus
South Africa reported the first case of local transmission of the coronavirus on Thursday, fuelling concerns that sub-Saharan African health systems could be overwhelmed if local transmission accelerates.
A worker prepares to sterilize a consulting room using a robotic pulsating UV machine at the Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg, Wednesday, March 11, 2020, as a precaution against the new coronavirus. (AP)
Sub-Saharan Africa has reported far fewer cases of coronavirus than in Europe or China, but some analysts worry it could spread rapidly in poor or overcrowded areas.
China, people recovered from coronavirus leave the rehabilitation center
In this Tuesday, March 10, 2020, photo released by Xinhua News Agency, people recovered from coronavirus prepare to leave the rehabilitation center after a 14-day quarantine for medical observation in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province.
The province at the center of China’s virus outbreak is allowing factories and some other businesses to reopen in a new sign Beijing believes the disease that devastated its economy is being brought under control. (Xiong Qi/Xinhua via AP)
Iran says virus kills 63 more, death toll climbs to 354
The death toll in Iran from the new coronavirus climbed for another consecutive day, killing 62 more people in the past 24 hours as the government on Wednesday raised the nationwide death toll to 354.
Mourners wearing face masks and gloves pray over the body of former politburo official in the Revolutionary Guard Farzad Tazari, who died Monday after being infected with the new coronavirus, at the Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery just outside Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, March 10, 2020. (AP)
Relatives wearing face masks mourn over the grave of former politburo official in the Revolutionary Guard Farzad Tazari, shown in the poster, who died Monday after being infected with the new coronavirus, at the Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery just outside Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, March 10, 2020. Iran is the hardest-hit country in the Mideast by the new coronavirus, which sickens but largely doesn’t kill those afflicted. (AP)
Iran’s Health Ministry said the deaths are among some 9,000 confirmed cases in Iran, where the virus has spread to all of the country’s provinces.
UK police shoot knife-wielding man dead in London
British police say they have shot dead a man who was brandishing two knives near Trafalgar Square in central London.
Police activity in Great Scotland Yard, in Whitehall, central London, near the area of an incident, in Whitehall, London, Monday, March 9, 2020.
The Metropolitan Police force said Monday that the shooting wasn’t terror-related.
The force said officers patrolling the area close to Parliament and tourist hotspots saw a man acting suspiciously late Sunday. When challenged, he produced two knives and was shot, the force said.
Coronavirus outbreak: Italy weighs locking down much of the country's north
Italy’s government weighed Saturday the extraordinary step of locking down much of the country’s north, restricting movement for about a quarter of the population in regions that serve as the country’s economic engine.
FILE --- A pedestrian in an almost empty street in Milan’s city center.
If implemented, it would be the most sweeping effort outside China to stop the spread of the coronavirus and would be tantamount to sacrificing the Italian economy in the short term to save it from the ravages of the virus in the long term.
Coronavirus global toll rises to 3,280 across 80 countries; Iran's death toll rises to 107
The coronavirus outbreak has been reported in over 80 countries, with the death toll pegged at 3,280 and 95,400 people infected. Of these, China has reported 3,012 deaths and 80,409 positive cases.
Coronavirus outbreak: An employee puts stripes on protective face masks at Destra Brasil factory in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
A worker wearing protective gear sprays disinfectant as a precaution against the coronavirus outbreak, in the departure terminal at the Rafik Hariri International Airport, in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, March 5, 2020.
The World Health Organization (WHO) Wednesday said the mortality rate of the virus was 3.4 per cent. In comparison, the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) killed about 10 per cent of patients infected, while the seasonal flu’s death rate is 0.1 per cent.
Coronavirus spreads to more countries as new cases slow in China
The coronavirus spread to ever more countries and world capitals Monday and the U.S. death toll climbed to six even as new cases in China dropped to their lowest level in over a month.
Office workers wearing protective face masks take their lunch break in Beijing.
A shift in the crisis appeared to be taking shape: Hundreds of patients were released from hospitals at the epicenter of the outbreak in China, while the World Health Organization reported that nine times as many new infections were recorded outside the country as inside it over the past 24 hours.
Greece pushes back migrants after Turkish border 'onslaught'
Greek police fired teargas to push back hundreds of stone-throwing migrants trying to cross the border from Turkey on Saturday, as a crisis over Syria shifted onto the European Union’s doorstep.
Greek police officers are pictured from Turkey’s Pazarkule border crossing with Greece’s Kastanies, in Edirne, Turkey, February 29, 2020.
Greece, which has tense relations with Turkey, accused Ankara of sending the migrants to the border post in an organised “onslaught” and said it would keep them out.
New York: The plastic bag ban is starting
New York is banning the distribution of single-use plastic bags statewide on Sunday, a move with the ambitious goal of reducing the billions of discarded bags that stream annually into landfills, rivers and oceans.
A discarded plastic bag in New York, Feb. 25, 2020. New York is banning the distribution of single-use plastic bags statewide on Sunday, March 1, 2020.
The law forbids most businesses from handing out the thin bags that are ubiquitous in supermarkets, bodegas and boutiques, making New York the third state to bar the bags after California, where a ban has already changed the way millions of people shop, and Oregon, where one took effect last month.
Gunman kills 5 at Milwaukee brewery before taking own life
An employee opened fire Wednesday at one of the nation’s largest breweries in Milwaukee, killing five fellow workers before taking his own life, police said.
The assailant who attacked the Molson Coors complex was identified as a 51-year-old Milwaukee man who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.
Milwaukee Police and Milwaukee Fire Dept. personnel respond to reports of an active shooting at the Molson Coors Brewing Co. campus in Milwaukee, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020.
Authorities offered no immediate motive for the attack and did not release details about the shooter or how the shooting unfolded.
None of the victims was identified. Police said they were still contacting relatives as of early evening. No one was wounded beyond those who were killed, authorities said.
INDIA: Delhi violence: 20 dead in clashes, stone pelting in northeast Delhi
In embattled neighbourhood after neighbourhood in northeast Delhi, which has been in the grip of violence for three days, one story played through Tuesday from morning to midnight — groups of young men armed with sticks and rods looking for a fight, setting shops and homes owned by Muslims on fire.
A group shout slogans during the clash between two groups at Khajoori-Bhajanpura road in New Delhi on Tuesday.
All right under the nose of the police who either stood as silent spectators, looked the other way or were plain missing when they were most needed. The death toll from the violence touched 17 by Wednesday morning.
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Coronavirus scare: Austria stops train services via the Brenner Pass on virus fears
Austria has halted all train services with Italy that go via the Brenner Pass to prevent further spread of the coronavirus, a spokesman for train operator OBB said on Sunday.
Shortly before the suspension was announced, Austria’s government said it had denied entry to a train bound for Munich, Germany, from Venice, Italy, on suspicion that two travellers might be infected with the coronavirus. (Representational Image)
“Passenger train traffic with Italy via the Brenner Pass has been suspended in both directions,” the spokesman said.
The pass across the Alps is an important and frequently congested passenger train route between Italy, Austria and Germany.
Eight dead in Turkey as 5.7 earthquake strikes western Iran
Eight people were killed in Turkey in a magnitude 5.7 earthquake that struck western Iran early Sunday morning, Turkish Interior Minister Suleiman Soylu said.
Houses are reduced to rubble after an earthquake hit villages in Baskale in Van province, Turkey, at the border with Iran, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said numerous people have been killed and several others wounded in Sunday’s quake with more people trapped under debris.
The quake centered on the Iranian city of Khoy and affected villages in the Turkish province of Van.
A video of a father describing a football match to his blind son is going viral
For a sports buff there’s nothing like watching a match live in a stadium, which might explain why a Colombian father took his blind son to a football match. A video of the father relaying every development in the match to his attentive son has since gone viral.
The video was recorded during a match played at Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez in Barranquilla. The video of the father and son who were both wearing Junior FC jerseys went viral after it was shared on a the team’s fan page ‘Junior Es Mi Pasion’.
Brazil oil workers clash with Petrobras in 18-day strike
Brazilian oil workers and oil giant Petrobras are locked in a power struggle over plans to shift focus away from non-core assets, with a federation of unions saying on Tuesday that thousands of employees are on strike indefinitely.
Oil workers march against layoffs at the state oil company Petrobras, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020.
Roughly one thousand people gathered outside the headquarters of state-controlled Petrobras in Rio de Janeiro, waving flags and protesting against recent layoffs at a fertilizer factory in the state of Parana. “This will have an impact economically, in taxes, all sectors,” Oseias da Costa a 35-year-old worker from the facility, known as Fafen, said in an interview. “This is a strike demanding the rights of Fafen workers and all the nation’s oil workers, because of all the problems in Petrobras’ administrative area.”
Europe's busiest airport hit by a second day of disruptions
Europe’s busiest airport suffered the knock-on effects Monday of technical issues that disrupted travel over the weekend.
About 60 arrivals at Heathrow Airport were disrupted, reflecting almost 10 per cent of the total number. Those troubles come a day after some 130 flights airlines were cancelled.
Monday’s disrupted flights were operated by British Airways, the largest airline at the west London hub. Sunday’s disruptions included other airlines as well.
The airline said in a statement that the “technical issue with Heathrow Airport’s systems has now been resolved but after 10 hours of disruption across all terminals, we do expect to see a knock-on effect to today’s short-haul schedule.”
The airline said extra personnel had been brought in to help passengers.
Flights cancelled as Britain braces for Storm Dennis
Flights have been cancelled and the army drafted in as Britain prepares for Storm Dennis with the authorities warning of heavy rain and flooding in parts of England.
EasyJet has warned of “significant disruption” to its operations whilst Luton Airport is advising passengers to check with their airlines before setting off from home.
People watch waves and rough seas pound against the harbour wall at Porthcawl in Wales, as Storm Dennis sweeps across the country, Saturday Feb. 15, 2020. (AP)
A total of 15 flood warnings are in place in England with Storm Dennis expected to bring very heavy rain, flooding and disruption to parts of the country, according to the Environment Agency.
It comes barely a week after Storm Ciara caused disruption to transport and left thousands of homes without power.
Shooting outside Berlin music venue: One dead, 4 injured
One person has been killed and four others were injured in a shooting late Friday outside a Berlin event venue, German authorities said Saturday. A spokeswoman for Berlin prosecutors said one or more people opened fire outside the Tempodrom, located near Potsdamer Platz in the center of the city, before fleeing the scene.
Police and emergency cars stand in a crowed near the Tempodrom venue after a shooting in Berlin, Germany, early Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020. (Paul Zinken/dpa via AP)
A 42-year-old man was killed, spokeswoman Mona Lorenz told The Associated Press. Four others were injured, some seriously. Lorenz couldn’t confirm whether the injuries resulted from gunfire.
Investigators don’t have any indication yet about what motivated the shooting but it doesn’t appear to be terrorism-related, Lorenz said.
World Health Organisation (WHO) sees coronavirus as no.1 threat
The coronavirus outbreak in China may be over by April, the country’s senior medical adviser said on Tuesday, but deaths surpassed 1,000 and the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned of a global threat potentially worse than terrorism.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, wearing a protective face mask receives a temperature check as he inspects the novel coronavirus pneumonia prevention and control work at a neighbourhoods in Beijing, Monday, February 10, 2020.
The world must “wake up and consider this enemy virus as public enemy number one,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters.
The WHO said on Tuesday 1,017 people had died in China, where there were 42,708 cases.
Chinese citizen journalist covering Coronavirus outbreak missing
Over the past couple of weeks, Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi and Fang Bin have served as the world’s eyes and ears inside the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, the city of Wuhan. Broadcasting via their mobile phones, they’ve offered a glimpse of how dire things have been. Many of those videos have been posted to Twitter and reposted on YouTube. Now one of them is missing.
Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi has been out of reach for more than 20 hours. (Screengrab/YouTube)
Chen has been out of contact for a prolonged period of time. His friends posted a message on his Twitter account saying he has been unreachable since 7 p.m. local time on Thursday. In a texted interview, Bloomberg News’s last question to Chen was whether he was concerned about his safety as he’s among the few people reporting the situation on the front lines.
His response has yet to come back.
Frankfurt airport cancels about 100 flights due to storm Sabine
Around 100 flights to and from Frankfurt airport, Germany’s largest hub, have been cancelled so far on Sunday due to storm Sabine, a spokeswoman for airport operator Fraport said.
The number represents around 8% of the roughly 1,200 departures and arrivals planned in Frankfurt for the day. (Representational image/File photo)
The number represents around 8% of the roughly 1,200 departures and arrivals planned in Frankfurt for the day, the spokeswoman said, adding cancellations would increase in the late afternoon when gale-force winds are expected to arrive in the city.
Coronavirus outbreak updates: Five British nationals contract disease in France
An American woman and a Japanese man became the first non-Chinese people to have died after being affected by the new coronavirus in China. Five British nationals too have been diagnosed with the virus in France, after a coming in contact with a person in Singapore.
Officers in protective gear enter the cruise ship Diamond Princess, at Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Japan.
With the death toll jumping to 723 in the country and the number confirmed cases soaring to 34,598 on Saturday, the epidemic is almost certain to become more deadly than Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which had claimed 774 lives globally during 2002-2003. The Chinese city of Wuhan, which is at the centre of the outbreak, opened another makeshift hospital with 1,500 beds on Saturday, state media reported.
In other news, three more people on a luxury cruise ship off Japan tested positive for the novel coronavirus Saturday, bringing the number of positive cases to 64. On Friday, the Japanese government had said that 61 people on board the ship, with more than 3,700 passengers, had tested positive, and an additional 41 were found to have contracted the virus.
Italy: Two dead as train derails near Milan
A high-speed train derailed Thursday morning between the Italian cities of Milan and Bologna. Local media reported that two people, including the driver, were killed. 27 other people were injured.
Italian news agency ANSA said that the other fatality was also a train employee. One train cleaner had suffered multiple bone fractures, but it was not considered life-threatening.
The cause of the accident remains unclear, but it occured in an area where maintenance work has been underway.
Initial reports suggested that the engine had broken free of the rest of the train and crashed into a nearby building. At least one carriage, likely the crew compartment, had jumped its tracks and run parallel to the train line for several meters.
Italy’s rail network is experiencing severe disruption. All high speed train travel between Milan and Bologna has been temporarily suspended.
Hundreds evacuate homes in New Zealand to escape flooding
Hundreds of people evacuated their homes and farms Wednesday to escape flooding in southern New Zealand.
Sandbags are piled as a road is flooded in Gore, New Zealand due to flash flooding.
Authorities told many residents in the towns of Gore, Mataura and Wyndham they should leave immediately as rivers continued to rise following heavy rainfall.
Death toll in China's coronavirus jumps to 361, confirmed cases soars to over 17,200
The death toll in China’s coronavirus epidemic soared to 361 with 57 deaths on Sunday alone while the number of confirmed cases climbed to 17,205, Chinese health officials announced on Monday.
An arriving passenger has his temperature checked at Changi Airport, Singapore, Jan. 29, 2020.
China’s National Health Commission in its daily report on Monday said that 2,829 new cases of coronavirus were reported nationwide on February 2, taking the total number of infection to 17,205. The death toll rose to 361 with 57 deaths reported on Sunday, state-run Xinhua quoted the commission’s report as saying.
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Three Brit boys were busted at a drug-fuelled party despite the coronavirus lockdown according to Thai cops.
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The Taliban warned of more violence if the US and the Afghan government continue alleged violations of the deal.