Tuesday, December 07, 2021

World

Unicef launches largest ever single-nation appeal for Afghanistan

KABUL: The Unicef on Tuesday launched the largest-ever single-nation appeal for $2 billion to respond to the humanitarian needs in Afghanistan.

Karl Nehammer sworn in as new Austrian Chancellor

VIENNAl:The federal government of Austria was reshuffled and Karl Nehammer has been sworn in as the country's new Chancellor.

4,840 trucks lined up at Belarusian border awaiting entry into EU

MINSK: The State Border Committee of Belarus said that the number of trucks at the country's border waiting to enter the European Union (EU) has increased by 20 per cent over the weekend and reached 4,840.

Central Bank of Libya announces unification plan

TRIPOLI: The Central Bank of Libya has announced a plan to end years of division between the eastern and western banks of the country.

Guterres appoints new special adviser on Libya

UNITED NATION: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has announced the appointment of Stephanie Williams of the US as his special adviser on Libya.

NASA picks Anil Menon among 10 new astronauts for Moon mission

WASHINGTON: Indian-origin Anil Menon, a lieutenant colonel with the US Air Force and SpaceX's first flight surgeon, has been selected by NASA among the 10 new astronauts who could fly to the Moon someday.

IMF chief urges global cooperation to control pandemic, support economic recovery

WASHINGTON: Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has urged for global cooperation to control the raging Covid-19 pandemic and support the economic recovery as the new Omicron variant has spread to over 40 countries around the world.

France announces new anti-Covid measures

PARIS: Amid the ongoing fifth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the French government has announced new measures in an attempt to curb the rising number of confirmed cases in the country.

UNGA defers action on representatives of Afghanistan, Myanmar

UNITED NATION: The UN General Assembly has decided to defer action on the representatives of Afghanistan and Myanmar, which means that the incumbent representatives will continue to represent their countries.

Christmas Nights of Lights at Indiana State Fairgrounds

INDIANAPOLIS:The Indiana State Fairgrounds is once again hosting the Christmas Nights of Lights . It was inaugurated on November 12 night and will continue till January 2, 2022 . The show will be on despite rain, shine or snow. It is the largest attractive drive thru light show.

UK govt announces 'largest ever increase' in funding for drug treatment

LONDON:The UK government has unveiled its 10-year drug strategy, with the "largest ever increase" in funding for drug treatment.The strategy is backed by a new investment of almost 780 million pounds (about $1.03 billion) for treatment -- "the largest ever increase, bringing total spending on drug enforcement and treatment to more than 3 billion pounds over the next three years," Xinhua news agency reported, citing a government press release.

Australian homelessness up during pandemic: Report

CANBERRA:Australian homelessness has increased during the pandemic despite a drop during the first wave of infection.Homelessness Australia on Tuesday published an analysis of federal government data on the number of Australians requiring homelessness support, Xinhua news agency reported.

London HC rules in favour of Boris Johnson in Priti Patel case

LONDON:The London High Court has ruled against a petition filed by a trade union of senior civil servants for a judicial review of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to overrule an independent investigation, which found Priti Patel, the Indian origin Home Secretary in his cabinet, guilty of "bullying" (read as wanting things done against the rules), which is a sackable offence under the ministerial code.

Protests in Gwadar enter Day 22

NEW DELHI:Protesters in Gwadar continued their sit-in for the 22nd day on Monday despite the Balochistan government sharing a list detailing progress made on their demands, Dawn reported.

Putin's visit to India full of symbolism: Arrival coincides with Soviet-backed recognition of B'desh

NEW DELHI:In a short while Russian President Vladimir Putin will begin talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The visit is being watched with particular interest on both sides, coming as it does at a particularly critical time - volatile Taliban rule in Afghanistan, worsening NATO/Ukraine – Russia relations, India-China tensions, Indias inclusion in the QUAD, and the new geopolitical move with AUKUS.

Kamala Harris branded a 'bully' who inflicts 'soul destroying criticism' on staff

WASHINGTON DC,US Vice President Kamala Harris has been branded a 'bully' who inflicted 'constant-soul destroying criticism' on her office staff in a damaging expose by a liberal newspaper, Daily Mail reported.

Alibaba undergoes top management reshuffle amid China crackdown

BEIJING: Chinese conglomerate Alibaba on Monday announced a major reshuffle at the top, as the country tightens its stand against domestic Big Tech companies over data and internet regulations.

Populous Canadian provinces see spike in daily Covid cases

OTTAWA: Canada's populous provinces has recently witnessed a spike in the daily Covid-19 cases, as more people have started gathering indoors in the winter.

Portuguese Prez dissolves Parliament, calls for elections

LISBON: Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has signed a decree that formalises the dissolution of Parliament and calling for early legislative elections for January 30, 2022.

Covid risk in Seoul area at highest level for 2 weeks

SEOUL:The risk level of the Covid-19 pandemic in South Korea's capital area over the past week has been at the highest level for two weeks in a row, health authorities said on Monday.

This humanoid robot makes perfect human-like faces

LONDON: As robots evolve to do more work around us, the UK-based humanoid robot manufacturer Engineered Arts has infused more human-like facial expressions into one of its robots, which may leave you with an eerie feeling.

Cambodia reverses travel ban on Omicron variant-hit African nations

PHNOM PENH: Cambodia has removed a ban on travellers from 10 African countries after it was imposed nearly a week ago due to the Omicron variant of Covid-19, Health Minister Mam Bunheng said.

Hasina seeks end to arms races, concerted action for universal peace

DHAKA:Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday stressed the need for building a peaceful world by abandoning arms races and urged the global community to use their resources in ensuring universal sustainable development.

China's power in Asia Index falls for the first time

NEW DELHI: China's comprehensive power has dropped for the first time in four editions of the Asia Power Index, as the country lost ground in half of the Index's measures of power in 2021 — from diplomatic and cultural influence to economic capability and future resources.

Putin visiting India: Is it strategic balancing?

With heated exchanges between the US and Russia due to heavy concentration of troops in Ukraine border scheduled for talks between both, Russias growing dependency on China due to sanctions from West, and Indian tilt towards the US with inclusion in Quad, the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to India on December 6, appears to be viewed differently by different world players. Even in domestic debates, the public anger due to Chinese intrusion in Ladakh and growing partnership of Russia and China, indicates that the visit is sensitive in context of international geopolitical scenario; hence will require a delicate strategic balancing including text of joint statement, if issued at the end of the visit. Notwithstanding the above, the visit is a scheduled 21st India-Russia Annual Summit, which couldnt take place earlier due to coronavirus pandemic, there are many justified reasons to continue with 'Indo-Soviet Friendship Treaty (1971)' matured into 'Strategic Partnership (2000)', which has stood the test of time till date, even during ongoing rough relations between China and India.

Israel calls world powers to take 'hard line' toward Iranian nuke talks

JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has urged the world powers to "take a hard line" toward Iran in the negotiations on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal.

6.1-magnitude earthquake rattles southern Philippines

MANILA:An offshore earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.1 struck Davao Occidental province in the southern Philippines on Sunday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said.

Sri Lankan killed by mob in Sialkot had 'apologised for misunderstanding'

NEW DELHI:Two key suspects have "confessed" to the police of their involvement in the torture and killing of a Sri Lankan factory manager in Sialkot, The News reported.

France rejects joint patrols with UK over French waters

PARIS: France expressed on Thursday its disagreement of having France-UK joint patrols of police officers or militaries over French waters, according to local media report.

France announces new travel restrictions

PARIS: The French government has announced new travel restrictions that will enter into force on Saturday.

Afghan security forces seize weapons from Panjshir province

KABUL: Afghan security forces have discovered and seized a variety of weapons from eastern Panjshir province, the state-run news agency Bakhtar reported Saturday.

US' Planned Parenthood cyberattack exposes data of 400K patients: Report

SAN FRANCISCO: The Los Angeles chapter of Planned Parenthood suffered a ransomware attack in October that compromised the personal information of about 400,000 patients, media reports said.

Covid: Sri Lanka records first 'Omicron' case

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka health officials announced on Friday that the first Covid-19 infected carrying 'Omicron' variant was identified in Sri Lanka.

Thai newspaper reprimanded over headline

BANGKOK: A Central government agency tasked with managing Thailand's Covid-19 response has reprimanded a newspaper for its "poor choice" of headline.

UN HQ lockdown ends 'calmly' as mystery man surrenders peacefully

UNITED NATION: A nearly three-hour lockdown of the UN headquarters ended peacefully when an apparently mentally distraught mystery man holding a gun to his throat in front of the complex surrendered to police.

US House approves short-term funding bill ahead of govt shutdown deadline

WASHINGTON: The US House of Representatives has approved a short-term spending Bill that would keep federal agencies running through February, averting a partial shutdown just a day before government funding was set to expire.

Need to strengthen pandemic prevention: Wildlife Conservation Society

NEW YORK: In a consensus decision aimed at protecting the world from future infectious diseases crises, the decision to call a special session of the World Health Assembly for pandemic preparedness has been hailed.

New Zealand increases funding for ICU capacity expansion

WELLINGTON: The New Zealand government has increased funding to expand intensive care-type services, with plans to spend hundreds of millions of New Zealand dollars, Health Minister Andrew Little said on Friday.

US to push through tougher measures against Covid-19

NEW YORK:After the first US case of the Omicron Covid-19 variant was reported in California, the federal government is set to announce on Thursday a bunch of measures to help counter the virus, including campaigns to increase vaccinations and booster shots, additional testing requirements for travellers entering the country from abroad and plans to make rapid at-home coronavirus testing free for more people, major US news outlets reported.

Kuwait's armed forces remain prepared for any emergency: PM

KUWAIT CITY Kuwait's armed forces remain prepared for any emergency, Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah has said.

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