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Japan will become carbon neutral by 2050, PM pledges

Yoshihide Suga says dealing with climate change is no longer a constraint on growth as he sets out a bolder approach to the emergency Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga prepares for his speech on climate change in parliament on Monday. Photograph: Kimimasa Mayama/EPA Japan’s prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, has said the country will become carbon neutral by 2050, heralding a bolder approach to tackling the climate emergency by the world’s third-biggest economy. “Responding to climate change is no longer a constraint on economic growth,” Suga said on Monday in his first policy address to parliament since taking office. “We need to change our thinking to the view that taking assertive measures against climate change will lead to changes in industrial structure and the economy that will bring about growth.” [...]

October 28th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Satellite images of Iran nuclear site raise concern

Dubai, United Arab Emirates — Iran has begun construction at its Natanz nuclear facility, newly-released satellite images show. The images were made public as the U.N. nuclear agency acknowledged Tehran is building an underground advanced centrifuge assembly plant after its last one exploded in a reported sabotage attack last summer. The construction is also happening as the U.S. nears Election Day in a campaign pitting President Trump, whose maximum pressure campaign against Iran has led Tehran to abandon all limits on its nuclear program, and Joe Biden, who has expressed a willingness to return to the nuclear accord with Iran that the Trump administration abandoned. The election's outcome likely will determine which approach America takes. Heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S. nearly ignited a war at the start [...]

October 28th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Trump administration approves $2.37B arms sale to Taiwan

© Getty Images     The Trump administration has approved nearly $2.4 billion in arms sales to Taiwan just a week after a similarly large weapons package was greenlighted in a move that's sparked backlash from China. The new package — which the State Department notified Congress of on Monday — includes up to 100 Boeing-made Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems and 400 Harpoon Block II Surface Launched Missiles, according to a notice from the Pentagon. The sale will help Taiwan “improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, economic and progress in the region” through employing “a highly reliable and effective system to counter or deter maritime aggressions, coastal blockades, and amphibious assaults,” the Defense Department said. The formal notification of approval comes on the heels of three additional [...]

October 28th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Oxford Covid vaccine works in all ages, trials suggest

Vaccine being trialled by Oxford University and AstraZeneca offers hope for all age groups Lab technicians handle vials during tests for the production of Oxford University’s Covid-19 vaccine. Photograph: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty   One of the world’s leading Covid-19 experimental vaccines produces an immune response in older adults as well as the young, its developers say, raising hopes of protection for those most vulnerable to the coronavirus that has caused social and economic chaos around the world. Neither Oxford University nor its commercial partner AstraZeneca would release the data from the early trials showing the positive effects, which are being submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. But AstraZeneca confirmed the basic findings about the vaccine it calls AZD1222, which were shared at a closed academic meeting. The phase 2 trials have [...]

October 27th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

U.S. warns of threat posed by China, signs military pact with India

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The United States and India signed a pact to share sensitive satellite and map data on Tuesday as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned of the threat posed by an increasingly assertive China. Pompeo, who arrived in New Delhi on Monday along with Defense Secretary Mark Esper, said after talks with their Indian counterparts that the two countries had to work together to confront the threat China posed to security and freedom. The annual U.S.-India strategic dialogue comes at a time of heightened tension in the region, with Indian troops confronting Chinese forces on their disputed Himalayan border. “Big things are happening as our democracies align to better protect the citizens of our two countries and indeed, of the free world,” Pompeo told reporters [...]

October 27th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

China: new coronavirus outbreak detected in Xinjiang city of Kashgar

Authorities test 2.84 million people after 137 asymptomatic cases found - the first local infections in China since 14 October The new cases mark mainland China’s first local infections since 14 October Photograph: Xinhua/REX/Shutterstock China has detected 137 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases in Kashgar in the north-western region of Xinjiang after one person was found to have the virus the previous day – the first new local cases for 10 days in mainland China. All the cases detected on Sunday were linked to a garment factory where the parents of a 17-year-old girl who was found on Saturday to have the virus – but showed no symptoms – worked, a Xinjiang health commission official told a press briefing. The new cases marked mainland China’s first local infections since 14 [...]

October 26th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Melbourne lockdown to end on October 28

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said from 11.59pm tomorrow Melbourne will move from "stay home" to "stay safe", with no more restrictions on the reasons to leave home. Photo / Getty Images     Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced "now is the time to open up", with lockdown finally coming to an end in Melbourne at midnight tomorrow. In a statement, Andrews confirmed the long-awaited news, with Melbourne set to move onto its Third Step. "Under the Third Step, and from 11.59pm tomorrow, Melbourne will move from 'stay home' to 'stay safe', with no more restrictions on the reasons to leave home," the Premier said. The 25km limit will, however, remain in place – as will the border between regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne. Fundamentally, this belongs to every [...]

October 26th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Child tests positive for Covid-19 in Japan – despite testing negative in NZ

Anyone aboard flight NZ5018 from Napier to Auckland on October 22 should remain vigilant to any symptoms of Covid-19. Photo / File     Health authorities are investigating after a child tested positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Japan - despite testing negative for the virus in New Zealand. A Napier child car centre has been alerted to the situation, but it was regarded as low risk, Hawke's Bay's Medical Officer of Health Dr Nick Jones says. The child was also aboard an Air New Zealand flight from Napier to Auckland on October 22, Jones said. Anyone aboard flight NZ5018 should remain vigilant to any symptoms of Covid-19, including a new or worsening cough, fever and a loss of taste or smell, and self-isolate or seek a test if [...]

October 26th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Sudan formally recognizes Israel in U.S.-brokered deal

Sudan becomes the third predominantly Muslim country to recognize Israel in less than two months, joining the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. President Donald Trump speaks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about Israel's normalization agreement with Sudan, in the Oval Office on Friday. Win McNamee / Getty Images     The east African country of Sudan on Friday became the third predominantly Muslim country to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel, in a deal brokered by President Donald Trump less than two weeks before the election. Hailing the agreement as a "huge win" on Twitter, Trump claimed that more countries would follow. He also posted a joint statement issued on behalf of all three countries. "The Sudanese government has demonstrated its courage and commitment to combatting terrorism, building its democratic [...]

October 25th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Thai PM repeats calls for calm ahead of protesters’ deadline

Thailand’s government and the country’s pro-democracy movement appear no closer to resolving their differences, as the protesters’ Saturday night deadline for Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to step down approaches     The Associated Press Pro-democracy activists display a placard with Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha's head attached to a cockroach during a protest outside remand prison, in which some of the activists are kept, in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. Thailand's government on Thursday canceled a state of emergency it had declared last week for Bangkok in a gesture offered by the embattled prime minister to cool student-led protests seeking democracy reforms. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit) BANGKOK -- Thailand’s government and the country’s pro-democracy movement appeared no closer to resolving their differences Saturday, as the protesters' evening deadline for [...]

October 25th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Bulgaria signs 5G deal with US excluding Chinese firms

Bulgaria has joined other Balkan countries in signing an agreement with the United States on high-speed wireless network security aimed at excluding Chinese hardware providers SOFIA, Bulgaria -- Bulgaria has joined other Balkan countries in signing an agreement with the United States on high-speed wireless network security aimed at excluding Chinese hardware providers. Bulgaria joined North Macedonia and Kosovo, neighboring nations that also signed the “Clean Network” security agreement on Friday. It is part of a Trump administration effort to exclude tech giant Huawei and other Chinese companies in 5G networks. U.S. government officials have led a campaign across Europe and elsewhere against the inclusion of Huawei, which has been blacklisted for posing a threat to national security and using its technology to spy on behalf of the Chinese [...]

October 25th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

US to base Coast Guard cutters in western Pacific in response to China

National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien said the new-generation vessels would conduct maritime security missions and enhance maritime-domain awareness.PHOTO: AFP     WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The US national security adviser said on Friday (Oct 23) the US Coast Guard (USCG) was basing Enhanced Response Cutters in the western Pacific for maritime security missions, citing illegal fishing and harassment of vessels by China. In a statement, Mr Robert O'Brien also said the Coast Guard planned to evaluate next fiscal year the feasibility of basing Fast Response Cutters in American Samoa in the South Pacific. The statement described the United States as a Pacific power and added that China's "illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, and harassment of vessels operating in the exclusive economic zones of other countries in the Indo-Pacific threatens our [...]

October 25th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, has tested positive for coronavirus

WASHINGTON – Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, tested positive for COVID-19 Saturday, Pence's spokesman said in a statement Saturday night after reports that another senior adviser had also tested positive. Short began quarantining Saturday and assisting in the contact tracing process, according to Pence spokesman Devin O'Malley. Both Pence and his wife, Karen, tested negative Saturday and Pence is not curtailing his movements despite having been in close contact with Short. “While Vice President Pence is considered a close contact with Mr. Short, in consultation with the White House Medical Unit, the Vice President will maintain his schedule in accordance with the CDC guidelines for essential personnel," O'Malley said in the statement. Pence is head of the White House's coronavirus task force. Pence was in the middle [...]

October 25th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Afghan security forces kill senior al Qaeda leader al-Masri

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan security forces have killed Abu Muhsin al-Masri, a senior al Qaeda leader who was on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Most Wanted Terrorists list, Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) said in a tweet late on Saturday. The head of the U.S. National Counter-Terrorism Center, Chris Miller, confirmed al-Masri’s death in a statement, saying his “removal .. from the battlefield is a major setback to a terrorist organization that is consistently experiencing strategic losses facilitated by the United States and its partners.” Al Qaeda’s loss of al-Masri, Miller continued, “highlights the diminishing effectiveness of the terrorist organization.” Al-Masri has been charged in the United States with having provided material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organisation, and conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals. Al-Masri, believed [...]

October 25th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

China will improve yuan flexibility, central bank governor says

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China will seek to improve the flexibility of its yuan currency and will reduce restrictions on cross-border use of the yuan, the country’s central bank governor Yi Gang said on Saturday. Yi said such moves were needed to promote the opening of the country’s financial services industry. He was speaking at the Bund Summit conference held in Shanghai. China will “improve flexibility of the yuan, and let exchange rates play a better role as an automatic stabilizer in the macro economy and international balance of payments,” he said. To promote yuan internationalization, China will further improve the infrastructure for cross-border use of the yuan, he said. China plans to expand several outbound investment schemes to meet onshore investors’ need to allocate assets globally, state news agency [...]

October 24th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Israel signals it won’t oppose F-35 sale to UAE

© Getty Images Israel signaled Friday it would not oppose the United States selling F-35 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In a joint statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz did not specifically mention the F-35, but they said Israel would not oppose the United States selling the UAE “certain weapons systems” after Washington agreed to unspecified upgrades for Israel’s military. “The prime minister and the defense minister both agree that since the U.S. is upgrading Israel’s military capability and is maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge, Israel will not oppose the sale of these systems to the UAE,” they said. Abu Dhabi has long sought to buy the F-35 from the United States but has in the past been blocked over concerns [...]

October 24th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

2 crew killed when U.S. Navy training plane crashes in Alabama

NAS WHITING FIELD, Fla. – A U.S. Navy training plane from Naval Air Station Whiting Field crashed at approximately 5 p.m. Friday in Magnolia Springs, Alabama, killing both crew members on board, according to Commander Zach Harrell, a spokesman for the office of the commander of Naval Air Forces. The Navy "is not aware of any civilian casualties at this time," according to a brief statement on the Naval Air Forces' Facebook page, and the "Navy is cooperating fully with local authorities." The aircraft that crashed was a T-6B Texan II training plane. According to the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office in Alabama, no civilians on the ground were injured, although a home in the area did catch fire as a result of the crash. The names of the two air crew members were not immediately [...]

October 24th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Indonesian unions vow mass protests if president signs jobs law

JAKARTA (REUTERS) - Indonesia's workers will stage further mass protests across the country if President Joko Widodo signs new jobs measures into law next week, the head of the main labour group said on Saturday (Oct 24). "It is the exploitation of labour that we're against," said the head of the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions, Said Iqbal. "We are ready for dialogue, even ready for a debate if necessary in an open, public hearing." The government says the legislation will boost employment by cutting red tape, easing restrictions of foreign investment and improving labour market competitiveness. Unions and rights groups say the measures favour business over workers and the environment. Hundreds of thousands of Indonesians have hit the streets across the archipelago in recent weeks, culminating in sporadic [...]

October 24th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Polish President Duda infected with coronavirus, feels good: Minister

Polish President Andrzej Duda's infection comes as the country imposed new restrictions.PHOTO: REUTERS   WARSAW (REUTERS) - Polish President Andrzej Duda has tested positive for coronavirus and is subject to quarantine but is feeling good, presidential minister Blazej Spychalski announced on Saturday (Oct 24). "The president yesterday was tested for the presence of coronavirus. The result turned out to be positive. The president is fine. We are in constant contact with the relevant medical services," Mr Spychalski said on Twitter. Mr Duda's infection comes as the country imposed new restrictions on Saturday to curb the spread of the illness. Poland faces a surge in the Covid-19 epidemic, with new infections hitting a daily record of 13,632 on Friday. Mr Duda, 48, holds a mainly ceremonial role, but has the [...]

October 24th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Samuel Paty’s killer ‘was in contact with jihadist in Syria’

Man who decapitated French teacher was reportedly in contact with Russian-speaking fighter Samuel Paty was posthumously awarded the Légion d’Honneur on Wednesday. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock The killer of Samuel Paty, the teacher decapitated outside his school last week after showing his class two cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, was in contact with an Islamist fighter in Syria, French media has reported. France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor confirmed on Thursday that seven people, including two schoolchildren, had been charged with terrorism offences after Abdullakh Anzorov, 18, killed the teacher with a 30cm knife on Friday. Paty, 47, was posthumously awarded the Légion d’Honneur, France’s highest honour, at a ceremony at the Sorbonne University on Wednesday. Emmanuel Macron said France owed it to a “quiet hero … to continue his fight for liberty and [...]

October 22nd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Russia accused of using secret weapon to attack CIA agents in Australia

Russia is accused of using a secret “microwave weapon” to attack two agents in Australia, leaving them with lifelong injuries and impairment. Russia is accused of using a secret “microwave weapon” to attack two CIA agents in Australia under a worldwide campaign that has allegedly caused brain injuries to diplomats and spies. The so-called Havana Syndrome has been reported for years after American diplomats stationed in Cuba suddenly started hearing strange chirping and grating noises that always occurred while they were at home or in hotels. What happened next was terrifying, with victims suffering headaches, memory and hearing loss, and difficulty sleeping for years. Some have become wheelchair-bound while others have been forced to wear weighted vests to correct their balance. But it’s the first time that the mysterious [...]

October 22nd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Nigeria president calls for calm amid reports of protesters shot dead in Lagos

Demonstrators against police brutality reportedly killed after security forces opened fire Police officers patrol near the Lekki tollgate in Lagos, Nigeria, on Wednesday. Photograph: Sunday Alamba/AP Sporadic shooting has been reported in Lagos as the president of Nigeriaappealed for calm hours after security forces opened fire on protesters against police brutality in the centre of the city. Muhammadu Buhari did not directly address the shootings, but called on Nigerians to be patient as police reforms “gather pace”. On Tuesday night, Nigerian security forces fired at hundreds of people gathered at a key protest site, killing at least seven, according to witnesses, with more injured. Graphic scenes posted on social media showed protesters at a tollgate in the centre of Lagos fleeing as security forces, including soldiers, shot live rounds [...]

October 21st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

NZ has 25 new Covid-19 cases today – 23 at the border, two related to port worker

There are 25 new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today, 23 are cases at the border and two are related to the port worker reported on Sunday. Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says the two connected to the port worker are workplace contacts. The first case was previously considered a casual contact of the port worker and had a very short exposure to the worker - about three minutes in the same room as them, says Dr Bloomfield. "The new case became symptomatic yesterday, was tested yesterday and returned a positive result. They have one household contact who is now in self-isolation." The second case is a previously reported close contact of the port worker. Dr Bloomfield says they were already at the Jet Park quarantine facility [...]

October 21st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Tax records show Trump maintains a Chinese bank account: NYT

President Trump's tax records show that China is one of three foreign countries where he maintains a bank account, The New York Times reported Tuesday. The account is controlled by Trump International Hotels Management LLC, which paid $188,561 in taxes in China from 2013 to 2015, according to the Times. In addition to the Chinese account, Trump also has bank accounts in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The president's foreign bank accounts are held under corporate names and as a result don't appear on the president's public financial disclosure forms, the Times reported. The tax documents that the Times has obtained don't indicate how much money may have flowed through Trump's foreign accounts, and the Times said it's unclear which financial institutions hold the accounts. The IRS requires taxpayers to [...]

October 21st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Top military officers cleared to return to Pentagon after quarantine

© Greg Nash Top military leaders have been cleared to return to work at the Pentagon after self-isolating following the coronavirus diagnosis of Coast Guard vice commandant Adm. Charles Ray earlier this month. According to The Associated Press, officials said Monday that members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were told last week that they could return to the Pentagon in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and after the members had multiple negative COVID-19 tests. Some members of the Joint Chiefs are out of the office this week on personal business unrelated to the virus, the AP reported. The chiefs began their self-quarantine period after being notified that Ray tested positive for the virus on Oct. 5. Ray had met with members of the Joint [...]

October 21st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

PayPal to allow cryptocurrency buying, selling and shopping on its network

LONDON (Reuters) - PayPal Holdings Inc joined the cryptocurrency market on Wednesday, allowing customers to buy, sell and hold bitcoin and other virtual coins using the U.S. digital payments company’s online wallets. PayPal customers will also be able to use cryptocurrencies to shop at the 26 million merchants on its network starting in early 2021, the company said in a statement.   PayPal hopes the service will encourage global use of virtual coins and prepare its network for new digital currencies that may be developed by central banks and corporations, President and Chief Executive Dan Schulman said in an interview. “We are working with central banks and thinking of all forms of digital currencies and how PayPal can play a role,” he said. U.S. account holders will be able [...]

October 21st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Russia ready to freeze nuclear warheads in exchange for New START extension

© Getty Images   Russia said Tuesday it would be open to a mutual nuclear warhead freeze with the United States in exchange for extending the last nuclear treaty between Moscow and Washington for a year. The offer, made in a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry, injects new life into talks that days ago appeared dead after both sides rejected the other’s latest offer. “Russia has proposed extending the New START for one year and is ready to assume a political obligation together with the United States to freeze the sides’ existing arsenals of nuclear warheads during this period,” the Foreign Ministry said in its statement, adding the offer would only be possible if the United States does not make additional demands. The yearlong extension of New START, [...]

October 20th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Trump demands Barr investigate Hunter Biden

President Trump early Tuesday pressured Attorney General William Barr to investigate the son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and demanded that information be released before Election Day. “We have got to get the attorney general to act. He’s got to act and he’s got to act fast," Trump said on “Fox & Friends,” citing a New York Post report about Hunter Biden’s business dealings. Trump called on Barr to “appoint somebody” to handle the matter. "This is major corruption and this has to be known about before the election,” Trump said. Trump’s remarks represented an extraordinary effort by the president to push a member of his Cabinet to investigate the family of his political opponent, as he explicitly invoked the election as reason to do so. They came after a [...]

October 20th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Who’s getting vaccinated? High-risk groups, students going abroad join China’s growing trials

A booth displaying a coronavirus vaccine candidate from China National Biotec Group (CNBG), at the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing, China Sept 4, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS     BEIJING (CAIXIN GLOBAL) - China is expanding the number of people receiving its experimental Covid-19 vaccines. Two eastern cities are offering one to the general public, and a biotech company is providing another one free to students heading abroad, even though there are still uncertainties about their safety and effectiveness. The city of Jiaxing in Zhejiang province, south of Shanghai, is offering a vaccine under development by Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech, local health authorities said Thursday (Oct 15). The city, with a population of more than 4 million, said high-risk groups have already started to receive the [...]

October 20th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

US charges Russian intelligence officers in major cyber attacks

US intelligence agencies have assessed that Russia is trying to influence the vote in November.PHOTO: AFP     WASHINGTON (NYTIMES) - The Justice Department on Monday (Oct 19) unsealed charges accusing six Russian military intelligence officers of an aggressive worldwide hacking campaign that caused mass disruption and cost billions of dollars by attacking targets like a French presidential election, the electricity grid in Ukraine and the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics. Prosecutors said the suspects were from the same unit that helped distribute stolen Democratic emails in the 2016 election. Though Justice Department officials played down the timing of the announcement two weeks before the presidential election, it nevertheless served as US officials' latest censure of Russia's hostile intrusions into other countries' affairs, even as President Donald [...]

October 20th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Second Trump-Biden debate to feature a ‘mute’ button, organisers say

Mr Trump repeatedly interrupted Mr Biden during a chaotic and ill-tempered first debate on Sept 29.PHOTO: AFP     WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The final debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden on Thursday (Oct 22) will feature a mute button to allow each candidate to speak uninterrupted, organisers said on Monday, in a bid to avoid the disruptions that marred the first match-up. The Trump campaign voiced objections to the change – made after the President repeatedly talked over both Mr Biden and the moderator at last month’s debate in violation of its agreed-upon rules – but said the Republican would still take part in the Thursday night event, one of his last chances to reach a large prime-time audience before voting ends on Nov 3. The [...]

October 20th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Sweden bans Huawei, ZTE from upcoming 5G networks

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Swedish regulators on Tuesday banned the use of telecom equipment from China's Huawei [HWT.UL] and ZTE 000063.SZ in its 5G network ahead of the spectrum auction scheduled for next month. FILE PHOTO: A smartphone with the Huawei and 5G network logo is seen on a PC motherboard in this illustration picture taken January 29, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo   The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) said herethe setting of the licence conditions followed assessments by the Swedish Armed Forces and security service. European governments have been reviewing the role of Chinese companies in building their networks following pressure from the United States, which says they pose a security threat because, among other concerns, Chinese companies and citizens must by law aid the state in intelligence [...]

October 20th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Japan, Vietnam reach broad agreement on transfer of defence gear

HANOI (Reuters) - Japan and Vietnam agreed on Monday to strengthen security and economic ties, including an agreement in principle for Japan to export military gear and technology to the Southeast Asian nation, amid concerns about China’s regional assertiveness. “It is a big step in the field of security for both countries that we reached an agreement in principle on the transfers of defence equipment and technology,” Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters after meeting his Vietnamese counterpart, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, in Hanoi. “Vietnam, which is serving as ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian nations) chair this year, is key to realise a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Suga added. The leaders also agreed on the importance of maintaining peace, security, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the South [...]

October 19th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

China’s military beefs up coastal forces as it prepares for possible invasion of Taiwan

Coastal rocket bases have been equipped with DF-17 ballistic missiles. Photo / AP   Missile bases have been upgraded and equipped with the most advanced hypersonic missile the DF-17, according to one military source, reports Minnie Chan of the South China Morning Post Beijing is stepping up the militarisation of its southeast coast as it prepares for a possible invasion of Taiwan, military observers and sources have said. The People's Liberation Army has been upgrading its missile bases, and one Beijing-based military source said it has deployed its most advanced hypersonic missile the DF-17 to the area. "The DF-17 hypersonic missile will gradually replace the old DF-11s and DF-15s that were deployed in the southeast region for decades," said the source, who requested anonymity, because of the sensitivity of [...]

October 18th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

France’s Le Maire says to propose more controls on some Islamist groups

FILE PHOTO: French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire wears a face mask during a press conference to present the details of new restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), announced the day before by the president, in Paris, France, October 15, 2020. Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS     PARIS (Reuters) - French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said on Sunday he would propose reinforcing controls on the financial flows of some Islamist associations, after the beheading of a teacher by a suspected Islamist attacker. “There is a problem of financing a number of Islamist associations on which I think we can and must do better,” he told France 3 Television. He cited cryptocurrencies as an example were controls could be improved, saying they [...]

October 18th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

China warns U.S. it may detain Americans over prosecutions: WSJ

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Chinese government has warned Washington it may detain Americans in China in response to the Justice Department’s prosecution of Chinese military-affiliated scholars, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday. The newspaper, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter, said Chinese officials had issued repeated warnings through multiple channels to U.S. government officials. The paper said China’s message was the United States should end prosecutions of Chinese scholars in U.S. courts, or Americans in China could find themselves in violation of Chinese law. A State Department advisory on Sept. 14 warning against travel to China said the Chinese government uses arbitrary detention and exit bans for U.S. citizens and others “to gain bargaining leverage over foreign governments.” The White House referred questions to the State Department, [...]

October 18th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Election 2020: Red tide rising as Labour claims victory

Labour has claimed a landslide victory in the 2020 election and has the numbers to govern alone, while National has slumped to its worst result in years. The Greens and ACT will have 10 MPs in Parliament each, but Labour will not need them, winning 64 seats, while National will only have 35. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas Shortly after 10pm, National leader Judith Collins told party faithful she had phoned Labour leader Jacinda Ardern to congratulate her on the election result. The preliminary results, released from 7pm, started to show a large lead for Labour and it stayed that way all night. See all the results here. With almost all of the votes counted, Labour claimed 49.0 percent of the votes, National got 26.9 percent, the Greens are [...]

October 17th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Philippines lifts travel ban for citizens, non-essential overseas trips can resume from Oct 21

A photo from Aug 4, 2020, shows airline ground staff wearing protective gear at the airport in Manila.PHOTO: AFP     MANILA (REUTERS, PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Philippines' coronavirus task force has lifted a ban on overseas travel for Filipino tourists, the presidential office said on Friday (Oct 16). Non-essential overseas travel can resume, starting Oct 21, ending a restriction in effect since July and potentially increasing customers for Philippine carriers that have suffered amid the pandemic. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Filipinos intending to leave the country must have negative antigen test results, confirmed plane tickets, and health and travel insurance. “They may be allowed to leave the country subject to the submission of confirmed roundtrip tickets and adequate travel and health insurance for those travelling [...]

October 17th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

French police arrest nine after teacher beheaded in street

Investigators were trying to establish whether the attacker, who was shot dead by police, had accomplices.PHOTO: AFP     PARIS (REUTERS) - French police were questioning nine people in custody on Saturday (Oct 17) after a suspected Islamist sympathiser beheaded a school teacher on the street of a Paris suburb in broad daylight on Friday (Oct 16), police sources said. Police shot the attacker dead minutes after he murdered 47-year-old history teacher Samuel Paty on Friday. Investigators were trying to establish whether the attacker, who was shot dead by police, had acted alone or had accomplices. French media reported that he was an 18-year-old of Chechen origin. Witnesses heard the assailant shout "Allahu Akbar" or "God is Greatest", a police source said. His victim, a history teacher, had earlier this month [...]

October 17th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Trudeau says Canada will continue to stand up against Chinese human rights abuses

Mr Justin Trudeau's comments come after Canada was rebuked by Beijing for similar comments earlier this week.PHOTO: REUTERS   OTTAWA (REUTERS) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday (Oct 16) said he will continue to stand up against China's "coercive diplomacy" and human rights abuses in Hong Kong and Xinjiang after being rebuked by Beijing for similar comments earlier this week. “We will stand up loudly and clearly for human rights all around the world, whether it is talking about the situation faced by the Uighurs, whether it is talking about the very concerning situation in Hong Kong, whether it’s calling out China for its coercive diplomacy,” Trudeau said in a news conference. However, Trudeau added that he was not looking to escalate tensions with China. A long-running diplomatic [...]

October 17th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Jacinda Ardern hails ‘very strong mandate’ after New Zealand election landslide

With more than 90% of vote counted Labour expected to secure 64 of 120 seats   Jacinda Ardern will govern New Zealand for a second term after the Labour party secured a landslide victory in the general election, attracting so many votes that it could become the first party in decades to be able to govern alone. With more than 90% of the vote counted, Labour had secured 49%, with the opposition National party on 27%. Labour was expected to win 64 of the 120 seats in parliament, and National, 35. It is the best result for the Labour party in 50 years. The leader of the opposition, Judith Collins, congratulated Ardern on the “outstanding result” on Saturday night. Speaking to supporters at Auckland town hall minutes later, Ardern [...]

October 17th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Boris Johnson tells UK: prepare for a no-deal Brexit

Prime minister says EU must change its approach to talks if deal to be reached   Boris Johnson has claimed there will be no more trade and security talks unless the EU adopts a “fundamental change of approach”, as he seeks to increase pressure on Brussels to give ground in the negotiations. In a televised statement on Friday, the prime minister said the country would have to prepare for a no-deal scenario on 1 January, with his spokesman further toughening up the rhetoric later in the day. “The trade talks are over – the EU have effectively ended them yesterday when they said they did not want to change their negotiating position,” the spokesman said, while stopping short of announcing the UK’s intention to decisively walk away. Downing Street’s [...]

October 17th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

NZ election 2020: Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins make final push to persuade voters

PM tours shopping malls in Auckland, while Collins takes final chance to attack Ardern’s record Jacinda Ardern meets supporters at an Auckland shopping mall, ahead of Saturday’s New Zealand election. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images    Political leaders in New Zealand put in a frantic final day on the campaign trail before Saturday’s vote, with Jacinda Ardern, the Labour leader and prime minister, making a whistle-stop tour of shopping malls in the largest city, Auckland, where she was greeted by hundreds of fans who clamoured for selfies. It was a more muted day for Judith Collins, the leader of centre-right opposition party National, who opted for a handful of events with party volunteers and reporters as she made a last attempt to poke holes in Ardern’s track record. A final [...]

October 16th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

New Zealanders can fly to Australia, but it comes with a warning

Some New Zealanders taking advantage of the quarantine-free safe travel zone with New South Wales and the Northern Territory plan on heading straight to other states once they've landed. The first quarantine-free flight, NZ103, which took off from Auckland for Sydney on 16 October. Photo: Supplied / Air New Zealand But the message from at least one of those states is clear - they would prefer hordes of Kiwis stay away. For Helen Kerr, it has been a long haul to get to this point. The Nelson woman was supposed to leave New Zealand for Melbourne in March, she even quit her job and rented out her house. But her flight was cancelled when New Zealand entered lockdown. "I have a new grandson who I was going to be there [...]

October 16th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘On the brink of disaster’: New COVID-19 cases in Europe hit 100,000 a day

European nations are closing schools, cancelling operations and enlisting legions of student medics as overwhelmed authorities face the nightmare scenario of a COVID-19 resurgence at the onset of winter. With new cases hitting about 100,000 a day, Europe has by a wide margin overtaken the United States, where more than 51,000 COVID-19 infections are reported on average every day.   On Wednesday, Iran marked its highest single-day record for new deaths and infections, while Russia and Poland registered their highest daily reported cases.CREDIT:AP Most European governments eased lockdowns over the summer to start reviving economies already battered by the pandemic's first wave, but the return of normal activity – from packed restaurants to new university terms – has fuelled a sharp spike in cases all over the continent. Bars [...]

October 15th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Russia shuts down Trump admin’s last-minute push to strike nuclear arms deal before election

© Getty Russia dismissed claims from the Trump administration that Moscow and Washington had reached an agreement on extending a top arms control agreement, saying it was unlikely any deal would be reached prior to the November election. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Rybakov specifically pushed back on claims from administration officials that the U.S. would extend the New START Treaty for an undetermined period of time if Russia froze its nuclear arsenal. "The US position in favor of putting a freeze [on the nuclear arsenal] has long been known to us, it is unacceptable to us. Not because we are against freezing, but because we need to deal with the problems of strategic stability as a complex," Rybakov told state run news agency RIA Novosti, according to CNN. [...]

October 14th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

IMF estimates global Covid cost at $28tn in lost output

World economic outlook says 2020 impact is less than thought but there will be deep scars The WEO’s country-by-country breakdown predicted the UK economy would shrink by 9.8% this year, the joint second worst alongside France among the G7 group of industrialised nations. Only Italy fared worse. Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images  The International Monetary Fund has scaled back its estimate of the hit to the global economy from Covid-19 this year but warned that the final bill for the pandemic would total $28tn (£21.5tn) in lost output.Gita Gopinath, the IMF’s economic counsellor, described coronavirus as the worst crisis since the Great Depression, and said the pandemic would leave deep and enduring scars caused by job losses, weaker investment and children being deprived of education. In its flagship world economic [...]

October 14th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

North Korea’s Kim pledges thousands of new homes in storm recovery effort: state media

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un promised to help typhoon-hit areas recover and to build at least 25,000 houses over the next five years, state media said on Wednesday. Visiting one of the worst-hit areas of North Korea, Kim expressed regret over the more than 50-year-old houses in which people have been living and urged the military to embark on a more ambitious construction plan, KCNA said. The visit came after Kim appeared to shed tears at the weekend as he thanked citizens for their sacrifices, in the most striking demonstration yet of how he is relying on his “man-of- the-people” persona to tackle his country’s deepening crises. The military has reached a construction level of 60% for at least 2,300 houses in the Komdok area [...]

October 14th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Mainland China reports 20 new COVID-19 cases versus 13 a day earlier

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Mainland China reported 20 new COVID-19 cases on Oct. 13, up from 13 cases a day earlier, the country’s health authority said on Wednesday. The National Health Commission said 14 of the new cases were imported infections originating from overseas. Six of the cases were local transmissions in Shandong province. The government of Qingdao, located in Shandong, is conducting a city-wide COVID-19 testing drive following a series of infections in the city linked to a hospital designated to treating imported infections. The commission also said another 18 asymptomatic COVID-19 cases were reported on Oct. 13, compared with 17 a day earlier. China does not count these patients as confirmed cases. Total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China now stands at 85,661, while the death [...]

October 14th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Belarus police will fire on protesters if necessary, says deputy interior minister

Gennady Kazakevich accuses protesters of anarchy and threatens use of ‘lethal weapons’ Masked Belarusian security officials confront confront older protesters during a rally to demand the resignation of Alexander Lukashenko. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images Security forces in Belarus could fire on protesters if they deem it necessary, a minister has warned, as EU foreign ministers agreed to impose sanctions personally targeting President Alexander Lukashenko. Gennady Kazakevich, the first deputy interior minister, said in a video statement: “We will not leave the streets, and law enforcement officers and internal troops if necessary will use riot control equipment and lethal weapons.” The statement was the first time the authorities have explicitly threatened to use firearms against opposition demonstrators and would mark a major escalation in the two-month standoff between Lukashenko and protesters, [...]

October 13th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Johnson & Johnson pauses Covid vaccine trial over participant’s ‘unexplained illness’

Company is unclear about whether patient was receiving vaccine or placebo in 60,000-patient study It is not unusual for large studies like Johnson & Johnson’s to pause. Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters    Johnson & Johnson has paused its Covid-19 vaccine trial due to an “unexplained illness” in a participant, the company confirmed. The pharmaceutical giant was unclear if the patient was administered a placebo or the experimental vaccine, and it’s not remarkable for studies as large as the one Johnson & Johnson are conducting – involving 60,000 patients – to be temporarily paused. Nevertheless, with several drug companies racing to develop a coronavirus vaccine, facilitated by Operation Warp Speed, the US government effort to speed up development the news of any setbacks are being closely watched by politicians and Americans [...]

October 13th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Mainland China reports first local Covid-19 infections in nearly 2 months

Six out of the 13 cases were local, and all were reported in the eastern province of Shandong.PHOTO: AFP   BEIJING (REUTERS) - Mainland China reported its first locally transmitted Covid-19 infections in nearly two months, as Qingdao launched a citywide testing drive after discovering new cases linked to a hospital designated to treat imported infections. The National Health Commission said in a statement that a total of 13 Covid-19 infections were reported in mainland China on Oct 12, down from 21 a day earlier. Seven of the new cases were imported infections that originated from overseas, while all six local cases were reported in the eastern province of Shandong, where Qingdao is located. The last time China reported local Covid-19 transmissions was on Aug 15, when a total [...]

October 13th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Chinese companies given ‘verbal notice’ to stop importing Australian coal

The coal industry is bracing for another hit to exports to China after state-owned energy providers and steel mills reportedly received verbal notice to stop importing Australian coal. The Australian government has not been notified of any formal Chinese direction to restrict coal imports and is preparing to respond to the report from S&P Platts, the global commodities information platform. Coal power plants located 200 kilometres north-east of Beijing. China already burns half the world's coal.CREDIT:SANGHEE LIU Shares in coal miners tumbled on Monday, pulling down Whitehaven by more than 6 per cent while the energy sector fell by 1.3 per cent. The industry is already facing a $17 billion export collapse as utilities shift to gas for base load power and the coronavirus curbs economic growth. S&P Platts [...]

October 13th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Taiwan claims entrapment after China shows ‘spy confession’

Taiwan says it will not provoke China or seek war, but that it will defend itself and stand up for its democratic way of life.PHOTO: AFP   TAIPEI/BEIJING • Taiwan's government yesterday denounced China, citing entrapment and manipulation, after Chinese state television aired a documentary showing a Taiwanese confessing to visiting Hong Kong to support anti-government protesters there. China, which regards self-ruled Taiwan as a renegade province awaiting reunification with the mainland, has repeatedly denounced the island for offering support to Hong Kong's protest movement, saying the forces of Taiwan and Hong Kong independence are colluding. Taiwan says it has a duty to stand up for democracy and human rights. Late on Sunday, Chinese state television showed a documentary detailing what it said was a confession by Morrison Lee, [...]

October 13th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Turkish ship at centre of Greece row to return to Mediterranean

IMAGE COPYRIGHTREUTERS image captionThe Oruc Reis will again spend 10 days in the disputed waters     The Turkish navy has said a research ship at the centre of an energy rights row with Greece will be sent back to disputed waters in the Mediterranean. Tensions flared in August when the vessel was sent to survey an area claimed by Greece, Turkey and Cyprus. Turkey withdrew its ship, the Oruc Reis, in September ahead of diplomatic attempts to resolve the dispute. Now, Ankara has said that the ship will again spend 10 days conducting seismic research in the eastern Mediterranean. The vessel will also be accompanied by two other ships, Ataman and Cengiz Han. Greece and Turkey are both Nato members, but have a history of border disputes and [...]

October 12th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Italy prepares new restrictions to fight spike in coronavirus cases

Italy still aims to avoid a new national lockdown.PHOTO: EPA-EFE   MILAN (REUTERS) - Italy is preparing fresh nationwide restrictions, including on private parties, in response to a recent spike in new coronavirus cases, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on Sunday (Oct 11). Speranza said Italy needed to add restrictions after having eased them for several weeks, as it aims to avoid a new national lockdown. "Now we need a change of pace, and to intervene with measures, not comparable to those adopted in the past, which could allow us to put the contagion under control and avoid tougher measures later on," he said in an interview with RAI state TV. Italy on Friday topped 5,000 new Covid-19 cases in a single day for the first time since March. [...]

October 12th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Trump declares himself immune from Covid-19, prepares for return to campaign trail

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US President Donald Trump said on Sunday (Oct 11) he had fully recovered from Covid-19 and was not an infection risk for others, freeing him to return to holding big campaign rallies during the final weeks of the race for the White House. Trump also said, without producing evidence, that he was now immune, a claim that drew a flag from Twitter for violating the social media platform’s rules about misleading information related to Covid-19. The comments from Trump came a day after his physician said the president had taken a test showing he was no longer infectious. He did not say directly whether Trump had tested negative for Covid-19. “I passed the highest test, the highest standards, and I’m in great shape,” Trump told Fox [...]

October 12th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: NZ signs on to buy 1.5 million doses of vaccine

The deal is subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals. Photo / file  The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million Covid-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people. The deal will allow the purchase of vaccines from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins said. "Our first vaccine purchase agreement has been signed and it brings to fruition some of the critical work going on behind the scenes to keep New Zealanders safe from Covid-19," Woods said. "As part of the agreement, vaccine delivery to New Zealand could be as early as the first quarter of 2021. [...]

October 12th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Taiwanese man held in China ‘confesses’ on TV to filming troops on Hong Kong border

Lee Meng-chu is accused of filming Chinese troops gathering at the border with Hong Kong during protests in 2019 Lee Meng-chu was accused of filming Chinese troop movements in Shenzhen, across the border from Hong Kong during protests in 2019. Photograph: Tyrone Siu/Reuters  A Taiwanese man detained in China and accused of endangering national security appeared on Chinese television on Sunday evening, “confessing” to illegally filming military exercises in a city bordering Hong Kong during protests there last year.Human rights organisations accuse China of regularly forcing detainees to deliver public confessions broadcast on television, in a country where the opaque judicial system remains subject to the ruling Communist party. Relatives of Lee Meng-chu had said he went missing after crossing from Hong Kong into Shenzhen on 19 August, 2019. [...]

October 12th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Mexico asks Pope Francis for apology for church’s role in Spanish conquest

Mexico’s president says the Vatican should apologise for ‘reprehensible atrocities’ in colonisation 500 years ago The capture of Tenochtitlan by Hernando Cortes in 1521, after a painting by Alonzo Chappel. Mexico has asked the Vatican to apologise for its role in the Spanish colonisation. Photograph: The Granger Collection/Alamy Stock Mexico’s president has written to Pope Francis to ask for an apology for the Catholic church’s role in the oppression of indigenous people in the Spanish conquest 500 years ago. The request was made in a two-page letter that also asked the Vatican to temporarily return several ancient indigenous manuscripts held in its library, ahead of next year’s 500-year anniversary of the Spanish conquest of Mexico. The letter, dated 2 October but posted on president Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s Twitter [...]

October 11th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Convicted kidnapper chosen as Kyrgyzstan prime minister

Moscow: A man who had been convicted of kidnapping was chosen to be the prime minister of Kyrgyzstan on Saturday after feuding politicians agreed on a new government in an effort to end nearly a week of violent turmoil in the Central Asian country. An agreement to put the government under the man, Sadyr Japarov, who was sprung from jail this past week by anti-government protesters, should help calm street violence. But it stirred alarm in some quarters that criminal elements had prevailed in a power struggle set off by disputed parliamentary election results last Sunday. Soldiers of the Kyrgyz army at a city street checkpoint in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on October 10, after President Sooronbai Jeenbekov decreed a state of emergency in the capital and ordered the military to [...]

October 11th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Election 2020: ‘Last roll of the misinformation dice’ – Jacinda Ardern slams National on wealth tax

Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern says National is desperately resorting to misinformation as the parties head into the final week of the campaign. Ardern was responding to National's insistence that a Labour-led government would see the Green Party's wealth tax become reality. "I consider that the last roll of the misinformation dice," Ardern told media after a Labour rally today. "We've obviously put forward our tax policy. That is what we're taking to voters this election. Any suggestion of picking up other parties' plans is mischievous and wrong, and I don't know how many times we've had to restate that." National leader Judith Collins has called today the Stop of Wealth Tax Day, claiming that a Labour-Greens government would "tax your retirement". Ardern and Labour's finance spokesman Grant Robertson [...]

October 11th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

China backs Indonesia to become vaccine hub of South-East Asia

Volunteers in Bandung are already taking part in trials for a vaccine being developed by China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd.PHOTO: REUTERS     JAKARTA (BLOOMBERG) - China supports Jakarta's efforts to become the centre for vaccine production in South-east Asia, Indonesia Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investments Luhut Pandjaitan said after meeting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Indonesia has the strongest capacity for vaccine production in South-east Asia, Mr Wang said, according to a statement issued by Mr Pandjaitan after the two held a discussion on Saturday (Oct 10). Mr Wang will support China's companies to step up cooperation, according to the statement. Volunteers in Indonesia's city of Bandung, the capital of West Java province, are already taking part in trials for a vaccine being developed by China's Sinovac [...]

October 11th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

North Korea unveils new weapons at military parade, warning ‘offensive might’ against outside threats

  SEOUL, South Korea — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warned Saturday that his country would “fully mobilize” its nuclear force if threatened as he took center stage at a military parade in which the country unveiled what appeared to be a new intercontinental ballistic missile and other additions to its growing weapons arsenal. Kim, however, avoided direct criticism of Washington during the event, which celebrated the 75th anniversary of the country’s ruling party and took place less than four weeks before the U.S. presidential election. Instead, he focused on a domestic message urging his people to remain firm in the face of “tremendous challenges” posed by the coronavirus pandemic and crippling U.S.-led sanctions over his nuclear program. Kim described the North’s continuing efforts to develop its nuclear deterrent [...]

October 11th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen calls for ‘meaningful dialogue’ with China

Ms Tsai said she was committed to maintaining stability in the Taiwan Strait, but that this was the responsibility of both sides.PHOTO: REUTERS     TAIPEI (REUTERS) - Taiwan wants to have "meaningful dialogue" with China on an equal basis, President Tsai Ing-wen said on Saturday (Oct 10), extending an olive branch at a time of heightened military tension with Beijing, which claims the island as sovereign Chinese territory. Speaking at National Day celebrations, Ms Tsai described the situation in the Taiwan Strait as "quite tense". This, along with disputes in the South China Sea, a China-India border conflict and China's crackdown in Hong Kong, showed democracy and peace in the region were facing big challenges, she said. If Beijing can heed Taiwan's voice and jointly facilitate reconciliation and [...]

October 10th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Second presidential debate cancelled; Trump to resume campaigning

The Commission on Presidential Debates said it has cancelled the debate slated for Oct 15 after US President Trump said he would not participate in a virtual format.PHOTO: AFP       WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US President Donald Trump will resume in-person campaigning on Saturday (Oct 10) after being sidelined by a case of Covid-19, but a debate next week against his presidential election opponent Joe Biden was cancelled because Mr Trump refused to participate. Mr Trump will address a crowd of supporters on Saturday from a White House balcony on a “law and order” theme, an administration official said. A source familiar with the planning for the event said the crowd could be in the hundreds, and all were expected to wear masks. Then the Republican president will [...]

October 10th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Brazil ‘desperate for a respite’ as cases pass 5 million

Brazilian band Atitude Nossa plays samba on the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo / AP   Dozens of people converged on the cobblestone streets of downtown Rio de Janeiro for its traditional Pedra do Sal samba party — the first since the pandemic began — and it seemed Brazil was returning to normal. Among those dancing Monday were Luana Jatobá and two friends, all of whom overcame Covid-19. As a nurse technician caring for coronavirus patients, she knows better than most that occupancy rates at Rio's intensive-care units have surged as the city's seven-day average number of cases reaches its highest level since June. But, she said, everyone is desperate for a respite from the gloom. "We take care of the people who are sick with Covid, [...]

October 9th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Trump won’t do next debate after it goes virtual; Biden schedules solo town hall in its place

  WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said Thursday he would not take part in the next presidential debate with former Vice President Joe Biden after it was moved to a virtual format because of COVID-19 safety concerns.  It would leave the president and Biden just one more debate before Election Day on Nov. 3. Trump's decision set off a furious back and forth between the two campaigns on the debate schedule and formats, culminating with Biden scheduling his own televised town hall for Oct. 15, the night of the previously scheduled second of three debates. Trump won't be present. The Commission on Presidential Debates announced Thursday morning the next debate would be remote to "protect the health and safety of all involved" after Trump's positive COVID-19 diagnosis and the subsequent White House outbreak. "I'm not going to waste my [...]

October 9th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Dickson Yeo, the Singaporean who spied for China in the US, due to be sentenced

Dickson Yeo has been in a Washington DC jail since he was arrested last November.PHOTO: DICKSON YEO/FACEBOOK     WASHINGTON - Dickson Yeo, the Singaporean man who pleaded guilty to spying for China in the United States, is due to be sentenced in a US federal court on Friday (Oct 9). Prosecutors have asked for a sentence of 16 months in light of Yeo's cooperation with the authorities, while Yeo's lawyer is asking for a sentence of time served, which would work out to approximately 13 months. Yeo, 39, has been in a Washington DC jail since he was arrested last November. He will likely spend some extra time in the custody of immigration authorities while awaiting his removal from the US, said his lawyer Michelle Peterson. "He did [...]

October 9th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Clashes erupt on third day of protests against new Indonesian jobs law

Protestors throwing stones at anti-riot police officers during a demonstration against the Omnibus law in Jakarta, on Oct 8, 2020.PHOTO: EPA-EFE     JAKARTA (REUTERS) - Police and demonstrators clashed in the Indonesian capital Jakarta on Thursday (Oct 8) on the third day of protests and labour strikes against a polarising new jobs law passed in South-east Asia's largest economy earlier this week. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered near the presidential palace in central Jakarta, shouting and throwing stones. Police responded by firing tear gas and water cannon in an attempt to disperse the crowd, Reuters witnesses said. The "omnibus" jobs creation Bill, passed into law on Monday, has seen thousands of people across the world's fourth-most populous nation take to the streets in protest against legislation they say undermines [...]

October 8th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

CSL confirms UQ vaccine production, trials set for December

CSL says it is talking with partner organisations to help roll out doses of the University of Queensland's COVID-19 vaccine if it is successful after the ASX-listed giant signed a deal with the federal government to produce Australia's leading candidate vaccine. The confirmation of the deal comes in the same week the federal government unveiled economic forecasts premised on the assumption of a successful vaccine being rolled out by next year, with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg saying in a speech at the National Press Club on Wednesday "a vaccine is assumed to be available around the end of 2021". Doctors and epidemiologists have highlighted this timeline may be ambitious,however, given vaccine candidates have not yet been approved and deployment of a vaccine across Australia is a long-term logistical challenge. CSL [...]

October 8th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘I’m speaking’: Harris, Pence clash evident at vice presidential debate even with body language

WASHINGTON – Several times throughout Wednesday's vice presidential debate, Sen. Kamala Harris paused, looked over at Vice President Mike Pence and told him to stop talking over her. "Mr. Vice President, I'm speaking," Harris said strongly, as the two were discussing the coronavirus pandemic. "I'm speaking." The moments served as some of the biggest clashes between the candidates, moments displayed through their body language, which included eye rolls, head shaking and sly smiles. At one point as the candidates were discussing the Supreme Court, Pence looked over at Harris directly, faced her and repeatedly asked whether the Biden administration would add additional justices to the Supreme Court. Harris smiled, flipped her hair and put her hands beneath her chin as Pence outlined that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has evaded the question. Pence looked over [...]

October 8th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

New Zealand among 39 nations to criticise China over Hong Kong, human rights

Protesters rally on July 1 against the new national security law in Hong Kong. Photo / AP     New Zealand is among 39 mainly Western countries which have criticised China's treatment of minority groups and expressed grave concern at the impact of its new national security law on human rights in Hong Kong. The group of nations, which includes the United States, many European countries, Japan and Australia, called on China to allow "unfettered access" to Xinjiang for independent UN observers and to urgently refrain from detaining Uighurs and members of other minorities. ”New Zealand closely follows human rights issues in our region, and we share international concerns about the situations in Xinjiang and Hong Kong," said a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson. "We remain concerned [...]

October 8th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: President Donald Trump praises his ‘cure’, says China will pay for virus

After a day spent furiously tweeting, Donald Trump has released another video message, telling his supporters that the experimental treatment he received had speeded his recovery. Looking healthier than his last appearance, perhaps due to the heavy layer of makeup he was wearing, he said that his infection with the virus had been a "blessing from God". Introducing himself as "your favourite president", Trump described the medicines used to treat him as a "cure", despite the fact there is no cure for viruses like Covid-19. He praised staff at the Walter Reed Medical Center, where he spent four days, admitting that he "wasn't feeling so hot" when he arrived but said that his treatment with "unbelievable" Regeneron had been central to his recovery. "I feel great. I feel like, [...]

October 8th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Pentagon wants Navy to have more than 500 ships by 2045, Esper says

Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Tuesday revealed that the Pentagon wants more than 500 Navy ships in the fleet by 2045 to counter China. “Battle Force 2045 calls for a more balanced Navy of over 500 manned and unmanned ships,” Esper said during an appearance in Washington, D.C., referring to the name for the Pentagon’s planned future fleet. “Further, we will reach 355 traditional battle force ships prior to 2035.” Esper said the increase was due to China’s intent to complete modernization efforts for its armed forces by 2035 and to fully field its military by 2049. “At that time, Beijing wants to achieve parity with the United States Navy, if not exceed our capabilities in certain areas and to offset our overmatch in several others,” he said. The ship numbers [...]

October 7th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Auckland company wins US grant to develop rapid Covid test machine

An Auckland company has picked up a US government grant to ramp up production of a mobile rapid testing machine for Covid-19. Ubiquitome's Liberty 16 Covid testing machine. Photo: Supplied / Ubiquitome Ubiquitome has been given a multimillion-dollar grant by a section of the US Department of Health and Human Services for its Liberty 16 device. The grant was part of a $US1.5 billion programme to boost America's capacity for Covid-19 testing, with Ubiqitome the only non-US firm to get through the funding round. The device still needs approval of the US Federal Drug Administration before it can be rolled out to hospitals. The chief executive, Paul Pickering, said the device, which weighs about 2kgs and is the size of a small box, could test 16 samples in 40 [...]

October 7th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

China reports shortages of flu vaccine after rush to avoid ‘twindemic’

Fears that response to public health drive could complicate efforts to contain Covid-19 Chinese tourists in Beijing. Photograph: Mark Schiefelbein/AP A surge in demand for flu shots in Chinese cities has caused shortages, long lines and triple markups on vaccines by scalpers selling them online. Residents, afraid of the possibility of catching both the flu and Covid-19 – what some have called a “twindemic”, have rushed to clinics since Chinabegan its flu vaccine campaign in September. Chinese health authorities in September advised residents to get shots for the flu, whose symptoms are similar to early stage Covid-19 and could complicate efforts to contain the virus this winter. Officials have also said that Covid-19 combined with the flu could raise mortality rates. Ahead of the winter, Chinese cities have launched [...]

October 7th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

UK remains second biggest arms exporter with £11bn of orders

British manufacturers recorded second highest figure ever in 2019 despite court order restricting sales to Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia’s airforce is armed with BAE fighter jets. Photograph: Hassan Ammar/AFP via Getty Images British manufacturers exported £11bn worth of arms during 2019 – the second highest figure on record – despite a court order that the UK must halt any sales to Saudi Arabia that could be used in Yemen. UK exports also exceeded those of Russia and France for the second year in a row, according to official figures released by the Department for International Trade (DIT), placing Britain number two in the global rankings behind the US. Orders were down from last year’s £14bn, reflecting what the department said was “the volatile nature of the global export market [...]

October 7th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Facebook pulls Trump post comparing COVID-19 to flu; Twitter adds warning

Facebook removed a post by President Donald Trump comparing COVID-19 to the seasonal flu, while Twitter added a warning the message contained "misleading" information. Trump, who recently returned from a stay at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after testing positive for the coronavirus, wrote Tuesday on Facebook and Twitter that Americans should adapt to the presence of COVID-19 as they have with the seasonal flu. "Flu season is coming up! Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu," wrote Trump. "Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!" In a statement, Facebook confirmed Trump's post was taken down. [...]

October 7th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

President Trump has COVID-19: A timeline of his travels leading up to a positive coronavirus test

In the past week, Trump campaigned across several states, attending events with thousands of people present.   In the six days before being hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19, President Donald Trump debated Joe Biden, introduced his nominee to the Supreme Court, attended two fundraisers, and exhorted an estimated 5,000 people at two campaign rallies. Trump was flown to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, late Friday as a precautionary measure, officials said. A spokesman said Friday that the president had “mild symptoms” but was feeling “energetic.” Trump and his wife, Melania, announced their test results early Friday morning. The first lady is quarantining at the White House. The disclosure set off a flurry of coronavirus tests for people traveling with Trump and those he visited. Who has tested positive? Where did Trump [...]

October 6th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

In Tokyo, Pompeo slams China and seeks support from Asian allies

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (left) talks to Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi in Tokyo on Oct 6, 2020.PHOTO: REUTERS   TOKYO (REUTERS) - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Japan on Tuesday (Oct 6) to rally support from Washington’s closest allies in Asia, calling for deeper collaboration with Japan, India and Australia as a bulwark against China’s growing regional influence. The East Asia visit, Mr Pompeo’s first in more than a year, coincides with worsening tensions with China. Yet the call for a united front against Beijing is a sensitive subject for Washington’s allies, which are reliant on China for trade. In comments before the start of a meeting of the Quad grouping of the four nations’ foreign ministers, Mr Pompeo spoke in typically unsparing terms against [...]

October 6th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Romanian gang members flew in and out of UK to carry out string of high-value burglaries: police

Twelve members of a Romanian gang who committed a string of high-value burglaries in the United Kingdom totaling more than $5.3 million have been sentenced to between three and five years in prison. The thieves stole rare books, computers, cell phones, and other electrical gadgets in raids on warehouses and freight depots, bypassing alarms by scaling roofs and walls and then flying out of the country while other members in their criminal cartel transported the stolen goods out, Met Police said.   Twelve men who formed a sophisticated criminal network in order to commit high value and well-planned burglaries have been jailed (Met Police Department)   The group of Romanians successfully ran their operation for more than two years but were brought down by a joint police operation involving Scotland [...]

October 6th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Police officer in Chile accused of throwing teen off bridge

'He did not fall, they threw him,' protesters allege A police officer in Chile is facing attempted murder charges for allegedly throwing a teenager off a bridge and into a river during a protest in the South Americancountry’s capital of Santiago, officials said. The North Central Prosecutor’s Office of Santiago accused the police officer of “causing” the 16-year-old boy to fall during Friday protests. Attempted murder charges were subsequently filed against the officer, whose identity was not immediately clear, according to reports. The teen was in stable condition with head trauma and a wrist fracture following Friday’s incident, reports said. Dozens of people protested on Saturday outside the clinic where he is being treated, condemning the police and carrying signs that said: ″He did not fall, they threw him.” [...]

October 6th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Japan to tighten checks on visa applications by Chinese students, researchers over espionage concerns: Report

If implemented, Japan will be acting in lockstep with its security ally, the United States.PHOTO: AFP     HOKKAIDO - From April next year, Japan will tighten its inspection process in issuing visas, especially to Chinese students and researchers, over growing concerns of espionage and foreign interference, the pro-government Yomiuri newspaper said on Monday (Oct 5). In a front-page report, it said - without naming any sources - that Tokyo sees the move as necessary amid fears that its sensitive technology and security intelligence are being leaked to China - or other countries - by operatives who have been granted entry into Japan as graduate students or academic researchers. If implemented, Japan will be acting in lockstep with its security ally, the United States, as well as with Australia [...]

October 6th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Malaysian PM Muhyiddin quarantines at home after having contact with minister who has Covid-19

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said he will self-quarantine for 14 days after being in contact with Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad al-Bakri.PHOTOS: BHM, EPA-EFE     KUALA LUMPUR  - Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin will be under self-quarantine for 14 days, after being in contact with a minister who later tested positive for Covid-19. In a statement on Monday (Oct 5), Tan Sri Muhyiddin said despite all his recent tests for the coronavirus being negative, he would still be observing self-quarantine, as advised by the Health Ministry. “This will not affect government affairs. I will continue to work from home and have video calls for meetings that have to be chaired by me,” he said. As a precautionary measure, I have been undergoing swab tests to detect Covid-19 every [...]

October 6th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘Don’t be afraid of it.’ Trump returns to White House after three-day hospitalization for COVID-19

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump returned to the White House on Monday, three days after he was hospitalized for coronavirus, in a made-for-television moment that was full of symbolism but also underscored lingering questions about the extent of the president’s illness. Minutes after walking out of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Trump stepped off Marine One, climbed the steps of the South Portico and – pointedly – removed his mask. Flanked by American flags, Trump gave several thumbs up and saluted as his helicopter took off and then entered the White House. It was not clear if he put his mask back on inside. "Don't let it dominate you. Don't be afraid of it. You're going to beat it," Trump said in a video posted to his Twitter account Monday night, [...]

October 6th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Leak reveals possible harsher three-tier England Covid plan

Exclusive: government documents suggest potential pub closures and stricter social contact rules Newcastle city centre last month. A leaked government document reveals possible harsh restrictions that could be put in place across England. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images   A new three-tier lockdown system is being planned for England, with leaked government documents paving the way for potential harsher restrictions including the closure of pubs and a ban on all social contact outside of household groups. The draft traffic-light-style plan, seen by the Guardian, is designed to simplify the current patchwork of localised restrictions, which apply to about a quarter of the UK. It also reveals tougher measures that could be imposed by the government locally or nationally if Covid cases are not brought under control. On Sunday the number [...]

October 5th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Over 100,000 march in Belarus against authoritarian leader

More than 100,000 people have marched in the Belarusian capital, protesting against the country’s authoritarian leader   KYIV, Ukraine -- More than 100,000 people marched in Belarus' capital on Sunday to protest against the country's authoritarian leader, who won his sixth term in office in an election widely seen as rigged. The demonstrators demanded the resignation of President Alexander Lukashenko, and freedom for political prisoners. Police used water cannons in an attempt to disperse the crowds, but the protesters remained undeterred. One video from the rally showed a group of protesters approaching a water cannon vehicle, opening a hatch on its side and removing pieces from inside the vehicle. Media reports say the water cannon malfunctioned after that and drove away. The Viasna human rights center said that about [...]

October 5th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Trump makes surprise visit to supporters outside hospital, says he ‘learnt a lot about Covid’ by ‘really going to school’

Seen in a dark face mask, waving to crowds, the president's motorcade rolled past before returning to the Walter Reed military hospital near Washington.PHOTOS: REUTERS, JAMIN2G/TWITTER   WASHINGTON (AFP) - United States President Donald Trump drove past supporters on Sunday (Oct 4) outside the hospital where he was being treated for Covid-19, after announcing on Twitter a "surprise visit" to his backers. Seen in a dark face mask, waving to crowds, the President rolled past in his motorcade before returning to the Walter Reed military hospital near Washington. "We're going to pay a little surprise to some of the great patriots that we have out on the street," Mr Trump said in a video posted to Twitter shortly before his appearance. I'm about to make a little surprise visit." [...]

October 5th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Nagorno-Karabakh: Azerbaijan accuses Armenia of rocket attack

At least one person killed in Ganja incident, as former Soviet republics move closer to war Pro-Azerbaijan protesters in Istanbul, Turkey, on 4 October. Photograph: Ozan Köse/AFP/Getty Images Fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh has escalated dramatically after Baku accused Armenian forces of firing rockets at Ganja, which lies outside the contested territory. At least one civilian was killed and four more injured in the attack on Sunday on Ganja, Azerbaijan’s second largest city, 100km (60 miles) north of the Karabakh capital, Stepanakert. Armenia, meanwhile, said that Stepanakert itself, which has been under shelling since Friday, was hit again on Sunday. There were reports of reports of dead and wounded civilians in both the capital and the historic town of Susha, with Armenia’s foreign [...]

October 5th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Malaysia to continue talks on reopening border with S’pore despite Covid-19 spike: Minister

The border between Singapore and Malaysia has been closed to daily commuters since March 18, when Malaysia imposed a movement control order.PHOTO: ST FILE   JOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Malaysian government will continue to discuss with Singapore the reopening of the border, although Malaysia has been seeing a spike in Covid-19 cases in recent days. "The Economic Action Council always discuss this matter during weekly meetings. In the latest meeting, the topic was the tourism sector, which is affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic and border closure," said de facto Economic Affairs Minister Mustapha Mohamad. "The country lost about half of foreign tourists and about 50 per cent of them came from Singapore, so we understand how the sector is affected," he added. Johor's state [...]

October 5th, 2020|Categories: News|Comments Off on Malaysia to continue talks on reopening border with S’pore despite Covid-19 spike: Minister

Philippine President Duterte’s trust rating rises to 91% amid region’s worst Covid-19 outbreak

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's approval rating rose to 91 per cent from 87 per cent in December.PHOTO: REUTERS     MANILA (BLOOMBERG) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has maintained majority approval and trust ratings amid South-east Asia's worst coronavirus outbreak, according to pollster Pulse Asia. Mr Duterte's approval rating rose to 91 per cent from 87 per cent in December, based on a nationwide survey of 1,200 adults conducted from Sept 14 to 20. His trust rating also increased to 91 per cent from 83 per cent in December. There were no surveys in the first half of the year amid virus lockdowns. The Philippines has the most coronavirus infections in South-east Asia, with over 322,000 cases as of Sunday. Its economy is facing its deepest contraction in decades [...]

October 5th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Taiwan Hopes Trump Gets Better So He Can Keep Resisting China

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan hopes that U.S. President Donald Trump can get better from the coronavirus soon so that he can continue to lead the free world in resisting China’s “outrages”, the speaker of the island’s parliament said on Monday. Democratic Taiwan has come under increasingly severe military pressure from China, which claims the island as its sovereign territory, with China’s air force sending frequent sorties to buzz Taiwan in recent weeks. Speaking ahead of Taiwan’s National Day celebrations on Saturday, parliament Speaker You Si-kun said he had been shocked to hear of Trump’s illness, and that he wished him well on behalf of the legislature. “I want to take this opportunity to wish him a speedy recovery, so he can continue to lead the free world in resisting [...]

October 5th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

New Zealand’s Ardern lifts coronavirus restrictions in Auckland

FILE PHOTO: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern participates in a televised debate with National leader Judith Collins at TVNZ in Auckland, New Zealand, September 22, 2020. Fiona Goodall/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Coronavirus restrictions in New Zealand’s largest city will be lifted this week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday as she expressed confidence a second wave of COVID-19 infections in Auckland has been almost eliminated. The city will move to alert level 1 from 11.59 p.m. on Wednesday, joining the rest of the country, after reporting no new cases in the Auckland cluster for 10 consecutive days. “There is now a 95% probability of the cluster being eliminated,” Ardern said at a news conference. “COVID-19 will be with us for many months to come. [...]

October 5th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Questions remain unanswered as White House casts upbeat outlook on Trump’s COVID-19 fight

© ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images The White House and President Trump's doctors sought Sunday to project a positive message about the president's battle against COVID-19 even as contradictory statements and limited information left a number of unanswered questions about his condition. The team of doctors caring for President Trump on Sunday said he could return to the White House as soon as Monday while at the same time disclosing he had been on supplemental oxygen and that he was receiving a drug normally given to seriously ill patients. And Trump himself sparked concern – and outrage – when he left his hospital room at Walter Reed Military Medical Center to wave to the supporters gathered outside from the back seat of an SUV. White House physician Sean Conley said Sunday that [...]

October 5th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Australia business conditions, confidence pick up but sentiment still gloomy

SYDNEY (Reuters) - A measure of Australian business conditions rose in September to levels not seen since the coronavirus pandemic forced a nationwide lockdown, though overall levels were still the below long-run average, survey results showed on Monday. National Australia Bank's NAB.AX index of business conditions rose 6 points to 0 from -6 in August. The index has come a long way since hitting a trough of -34 in April at the height of the pandemic though it is still nowhere close to the long-run average of +6. The survey’s measure of business confidence picked up too, but stayed in negative territory, climbing to -4 from -8 in August. The improvement in conditions was driven by a rise in all three sub-components with trading and profitability in positive territory, [...]

October 5th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: One new case in managed isolation, a traveller from Hong Kong

There is one new confirmed case of Covid-19 in managed isolation. There are no new community cases. It has been 11 days since the last case of community transmission in Auckland. The new case in managed isolation arrived from Hong Kong on October 1 and returned a positive test as part of routine testing at around day 3. They have been transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility. There is no one in hospital with Covid-19 in New Zealand today. Our total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 is 1499. Two previously reported cases are now considered to have recovered, meaning the country's total number of active cases is 40. Of these active cases, 34 are imported cases in quarantine facilities, and six are community cases. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern [...]

October 5th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

BREAKING: President Leaves Walter Reed in Motorcade for Quick Drive and Wave to Excited Supporters Outside Medical Center (VIDEO)

President Trump on Sunday greeted his supporters outside of Walter Reed. The President waved to supporters from his motorcade.   WATCH: Trump supporters go wild as the President drives by! WATCH: As a precautionary measure, the President’s medical team recommended President Trump be taken to Walter Reed on Friday for state of the art monitoring. Trump supporters have gathered outside of Walter Reed to pray for Trump. President Trump on Saturday thanked everyone for the overwhelming support he has received since announcing he and First Lady Melania tested positive for Covid. Far left reporters have been rage tweeting all weekend claiming President Trump’s doctors are lying to the American people by painting a rosy picture. President Trump shut down the insane leftists by taking a ride in his motorcade [...]

October 5th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘Very concerning’: White House issues contradictory, confusing updates on Trump’s health

Washington: Donald Trump's doctor has triggered widespread confusion by saying that the US President was diagnosed with coronavirus 36 hours before it was revealed to the public, forcing the White House to quickly issue a correction. The confusion only deepened when, moments after White House physician Sean Conley gave an optimistic account of the President's condition, a White House official told reporters that the President was "not on a clear path to a full recovery". President Donald Trump arrives at Walter Reed National Milirary Medical Centre. CREDIT:AP Trump later issued a lengthy video from hospital in which he said he was feeling "much better now", although it is unclear when the video was filmed. Speaking at Walter Reed Medical Centre where he is being treated for coronavirus, Trump told [...]

October 4th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Trump Addresses Americans From Hospital: ‘I will be back soon’

President Trump addressed the public for the first time from Walter Reed Medical Center on Saturday. Trump said he felt “much better” after arriving at the hospital and thanked the medical personnel for their care. “I came here, wasn’t feeling so well. I feel much better now. We’re working hard to get me all the way back. I have to be back because we still have to make America great again. We’ve done an awfully good job of that, but we still have steps to go and we have to have to finish that job,” Trump said. So far the video has received 10.5 million views. “I will be back soon. And I look forward to finishing up the campaign, the way it was started and the way we’ve [...]

October 4th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Johnson and Von der Leyen extend Brexit talks by a month

UK and EU leaders instruct chief negotiators to work harder to close gaps on deal   Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen in January. The pair held a conference call on Saturday to assess progress on trade and security talks. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen have approved a further month of Brexit negotiations after agreeing that enough progress has been made to justify a last push to reach a deal on trade and security. The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, will travel to London this week for talks with his British counterpart, David Frost, and the two sides will then hold follow-up talks in Brussels the week after. The fresh rounds were agreed after a phone call on Saturday afternoon between the British [...]

October 4th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

China’s Xi wishes Trump speedy recovery: Chinese state media

Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) sent a message to US President Donald Trump (left) and his wife Melania wishing them a speedy recovery.PHOTO: REUTERS   BEIJING (REUTERS) - Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message to US President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, on Saturday (Oct 3), wishing them a speedy recovery from the coronavirus, Chinese state television reported. Mr Trump, who announced early on Friday he had contracted Covid-19,was taken to a hospital near Washington later in the day in what the White House called a precautionary measure. He has sparred with Beijing over its handling of the virus, heightening tensions between the two countries.    

October 4th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Britain expects Covid-19 vaccine roll-out in less than 3 months: The Times

Scientists working on the Oxford vaccine hope regulators approve it before the beginning of 2021.PHOTO: AFP   LONDON (REUTERS) - A mass roll-out of a Covid-19 vaccine in Britain could be finished in as little as three months, the Times reported, citing government scientists. Scientists working on the Oxford vaccine hope regulators approve it before the beginning of 2021, the newspaper said. A full Covid-19 immunisation programme, which would exclude children, could be quicker than experts predicted, the Times said, adding that health officials estimate that every adult could receive a dose of the vaccine within six months. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on Thursday (Oct 1) it has started reviewing data on AstraZeneca and Oxford University's potential Covid-19 vaccine in real time, the first of such moves aimed [...]

October 4th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Twitter accused of double standards over ban on tweets wishing death on Trump

Ava DuVernay among those highlighting platform’s lack of action over abusive tweets   Filmmaker Ava DuVernay wrote that it was disingenuous for Twitter to claim its abusive behaviour policy applies to all users. Photograph: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP  Twitter is facing a growing backlash in the wake of Donald Trump’s Covid-19 diagnosis as users accuse it of double standards in the way it polices those who wish death on others. The filmmaker Ava DuVernay and the former children’s laureate Malorie Blackman were among thousands of Twitter users accusing the platform of failing to protect women and minority users from abuse. Many people have tweeted messages to wish the president well, including his election opponent, Joe Biden, while others have expressed the opposite sentiment. On Friday Twitter confirmed that users who wish [...]

October 4th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

From Hospital, President Trump Urges Stimulus: “Work Together and Get it Done”

From his hospital room at Walter Reed, President Trump urged lawmakers to come together to push for a coronavirus stimulus bill saying, “Our great USA wants and needs stimulus. Work together and get it done. Thank you!” The bill has stalled amid political brinkmanship. In September, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to engage in any negotiations, arguing that stimulus needed to wait until after the November 3rd election. However, amid an outcry from American voters, she and the Democrats returned to the negotiating table, working with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to pass a bill that the White House would welcome. The problem now? The Republicans themselves. Many conservative Senators worry that too much money is being spent. They also question whether offering a sizable extension in unemployment benefits will [...]

October 4th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Russian journalist sets herself on fire after police search property

A Russian news editor has died after setting herself on fire in front of an interior ministry office in the city of Nizhniy Novgorod. Nizhniy Novgorod, where Irina Slavina set herself alight. Photo: Viator Irina Slavina earlier wrote on Facebook: "I ask you to blame the Russian Federation for my death." Authorities confirmed her body had been found with severe burns. Slavina said on Thursday police had searched her flat looking for materials related to the pro-democracy group Open Russia. Computers and data were seized. Footage has emerged apparently showing the moment she set herself on fire on a bench in Gorky Street, where the interior ministry in Nizhny Novgorod is situated. In the video, a man is seen running to a woman to help extinguish the flames. She [...]

October 4th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

National claims $10b hole in Labour’s economic plan

The war of the economic plans continues with National now claiming a major flaw in Labour's plan. National's Paul Goldsmith and Labour's Grant Robertson Photo: RNZ   The National Party says there is a $10 billion hole, the latest of the claims and counter claims of errors and fiscal holes between the two major parties. Yesterday Labour released its plan and immediately had to correct a typo, but says that mistake did not affect the overall budget and its numbers stack up. But National says there is no provision to pay for the Auckland Light Rail project, blocked by New Zealand First in the last term, but which Labour has recommitted to if re-elected. National's finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says there was a "deliberate omission ... to the tune [...]

October 3rd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: At least seven cases linked to White House Rose Garden

At least seven people who have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 24 hours were at the same event held at the White House a week ago. On September 26, more than 150 guests gathered in the Rose Garden to watch President Donald Trump announce his nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death. It was a celebration. His pick for the role, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, represented something America's conservatives had long craved – a chance to decisively shift the balance of the nation's highest court in their favour. "I want to thank the members of the Senate, we have so many of them here today. I see you in the audience, and you're so proud," a jubilant Trump said. "Thank [...]

October 3rd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

New Migrant ‘Caravan’ Sets Off From Honduras, Could Arrive At US-Mexico Border Around Election Day

A new migrant “caravan” departed the city of San Pedro Sula in Honduras on Wednesday, hoping to reach the United States in the coming weeks. CBS News has reported that some in Central America have promoted the idea of a new caravan on social media recently. The group had been slated to leave on October 1, but travelers carrying knapsacks and minimal supplies left the staging grounds for the caravan on Wednesday night. Initial reports indicate that 900 prospective migrants have joined the caravan. The formations have historically grown as the large groups travel through Guatemala and Mexico, although they usually taper off in size before the travelers reach the US-Mexico border. The ‘caravan’ phenomenon reached its peak in 2018, when formations of hopeful migrants of up to 10,000 [...]

October 3rd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Queensland to reopen border in November, as venue restrictions ease

Queensland will reopen its border to all of NSW on November 1, provided NSW goes 28 days without any mystery COVID-19 cases, a roadmap released by the government reveals. NSW is on track to meet the 28-day target on October 22. The roadmap of eased restrictions also allows for Queenslanders to eat and drink while standing at inside and outdoor venues from 4pm on Friday, October 2. From November 1, up to 40 people will be able to gather in homes and public spaces in Queensland. Dancing will also be allowed for weddings of up to 40 people, provided the event has a COVID-safe plan. Numbers at gatherings will increase to a maximum of 50 people in homes and public spaces from 1am on December 1.   Queensland Premier [...]

October 3rd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Trump does NOT require ‘any supplemental oxygen’, but started on Remdesivir antiviral therapy – White House physician

Marine One carries US President Donald Trump away from the White House on the way to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, October 2, 2020Win McNamee / Getty Images / AFP  US President Donald Trump has begun taking an antiviral therapy after testing positive for the coronavirus, his doctor said, noting that he is responding well so far and does not require supplemental oxygen to aid his breathing. “This afternoon, in consultation with specialists from Walter Reed and Johns Hopkins University, I recommended movement of the president up to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for further monitoring,” wrote Sean Conley, the president’s physician. I am very happy to report that the president is doing very well. He is not requiring any supplemental oxygen, but in consultation with specialists we [...]

October 3rd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Trump transferred to Walter Reed ‘out of an abundance of caution,’ after testing positive for coronavirus

The president, according to the White House physician, is taking "zinc, Vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and a daily aspirin," in addition to completing an infusion of Regeneron's polyclonal antibody cocktail.   President Trump was transferred to Walter Reed Military Medical Center "out of an abundance of caution," the White House said Friday evening, after testing positive for COVID-19 and experiencing "mild symptoms." The president, wearing a suit and tie, and a face mask, was seen walking out of the White House and across the South Lawn toward Marine One for Walter Reed. The president gave his signature thumbs-up as he walked out of the White House. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, wearing a blue face mask, walked behind the president. The president saluted the military officers by Marine One before boarding. The president, upon arrival [...]

October 3rd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Trump experiencing ‘mild symptoms’ after testing positive for Covid-19

The president announced that he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive and are isolating. The diagnosis thrusts the White House, election into turmoil. President Donald Trump is experiencing “mild symptoms” after he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for Covid-19, a White House official told NBC News Friday. Trump's doctor, Sean Conley said previously, in a letter issued early Tuesday that the Trumps were “both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence." Trump, who is 74, announced on Twitter early Tuesday morning that he and the first lady had tested positive for the disease caused by the coronavirus and would “begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately." The announcement immediately threw into question the nature of [...]

October 2nd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

European Union takes legal action against Britain over planned Brexit bill

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Photo / AP   The European Union took legal action against Britain today over its plans to pass legislation that would breach parts of the legally binding divorce agreement the two sides reached late last year. The EU action underscored the worsening relations with Britain, which was a member of the bloc until Jan 31. Both sides are trying to forge a rudimentary free trade agreement before the end of the year, but the fight over the controversial UK Internal Market bill has soured relations over the past month. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the British plan "by its very nature is a breach of the obligation of good faith laid down in the Withdrawal Agreement". "If adopted as [...]

October 1st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Man arrested, charged with attempted murder in ambush of LA County deputies

If convicted, the suspect faces up to life in prison Image source: Twitter @LASDHQ screenshot A man has been arrested and charged with two counts of attempted murder for allegedly shooting two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies while they were sitting in their patrol vehicle in Compton earlier this month. What are the details? Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva held a news conference Monday morning announcing the arrest of Deonte Lee Murray, 36, who is accused of carrying out the high-profile ambush attack on Sept. 12 that put both officers in the hospital with serious multiple gunshot wounds. One wounded officer was identified as Claudia Apolinar, 31 — a former librarian and the mother of a 6-year-old boy — who has been hailed a hero for applying a [...]

October 1st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘Going well’: Indonesia lays ambitious COVID-19 vaccine start date

Indonesian trials of a China-backed coronavirus vaccine have produced "no significant side effects" so far, boosting the country's hope of producing 250 million doses next year from as early as January. Professor Kusnandi Rusmil, chief of the research and clinical trials for Sinovac Biotech in Indonesia, said more than a month after the phase-three trial started, it remained on track and "everything goes well". A volunteer receives a coronavirus vaccine during a trial at a community health centre in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia.CREDIT:AP  "As at September 29, 1089 volunteers have received their first shots and 650 volunteers have received their second shots. Our tests will be completed in early January 2021. So at the end of January 2021 we can see the effectiveness, the side effects and the immunity [...]

October 1st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Facebook bans ads calling US voting fraud widespread or election invalid

San Francisco: Facebook has banned ads on its flagship website and Instagram photo and video sharing service that claim widespread voting fraud, suggest US election results would be invalid, or which attack any method of voting. The company announced the new rules in a blog post, adding to earlier restrictions on premature claims of election victory. Facebook has expanded the range of election ads it has banned.CREDIT:ANDREW HARRER The move came a day after US President Donald Trump used the first televised debate with Democratic challenger Joe Biden to amplify his baseless claims that the November 3 presidential election will be "rigged". Trump has been especially critical of mail-in ballots, and he cited a number of small unrelated incidents to argue that fraud was already happening at scale. Facebook [...]

October 1st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

US imposes Syria-related sanctions on six individuals, 13 entities

Reuters, Washington The United States on Wednesday blacklisted 13 entities and six individuals, including the governor of the Central Bank of Syria, in a fresh round of sanctions aimed at cutting off revenue for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government. The US Treasury Department said in a statement that the sanctions targeted “key enablers” of Assad’s government, as Washington tries to push the Syrian government back to United Nations-led negotiations and broker an end to the country’s nearly decade-long civil war. The move targeted the head of the Syrian General Intelligence Directorate and the governor of the Central Bank of Syria, as well as a Syrian businessman the Treasury said was connected to the Assad government. “Those who continue to stand with the brutal regime of Bashar al-Assad further enable [...]

October 1st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Study finds Moderna coronavirus vaccine may work equally well in older and younger adults

© istock Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine could potentially induce a strong immune response in older people as it does in younger adults, a small study published Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine found. The study found the vaccine triggered a response almost as strong in people over 56 as in adults between the ages of 18 and 55. Older people are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Moderna study was conducted by researchers at Emory University and tested the vaccine in groups of 20 people, including one made up of people aged 56-70 and one of people 71 and over. According to the study their response was similar to previous findings among age groups between 18-55. “These [...]

September 30th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

World Bank announces $12bn plan for poor countries to buy Covid vaccines

Initiative aims to ensure low-income countries are not frozen out by rich nations The World Bank said it did not want to wait for a Covid-19 vaccine to become available before acting. Photograph: AFK Sistema Press Office/Tass The World Bank has announced plans for a $12bn (£9.3bn) initiative that will allow poor countries to purchase Covid-19 vaccines to treat up to 2 billion people as soon as effective drugs become available. In an attempt to ensure that low-income countries are not frozen out by wealthy nations, the organisation is asking its key rich-nation shareholders to back a scheme that will disburse cash over the next 12 to 18 months. David Malpass, the World Bank president, said the initiative was needed because Covid-19 was having a much bigger impact on [...]

September 30th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Protests and Covid leave Hong Kong stuck in recession

Political unrest hit tourism and retail, and coronavirus response has delayed recovery People wearing protective face masks visit the lookout of Victoria Peak in Hong Kong. Photograph: Isaac Lawrence/AFP via Getty Images Hong Kong’s economy was already in recession when the pandemic hit in January. Six months of running battles between pro-democracy campaigners and local government had deterred many of the visitors who fuel the lucrative tourism industry, while the threat of violence on the streets and closures of shops had sent retail sales down nearly a quarter on the previous year. With much of Asia shut down by coronavirus restrictions during the winter months, there was little expectation of a recovery until the spring, when the level of infections fell to almost zero across mainland China and most [...]

September 30th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Tokyo, Hong Kong stocks stronger, shares in Sydney and Shanghai flat

SYDNEY, NSW, Australia - Stocks in Japan and Hong Kong rose strongly on Monday, while in China and Australia stock markets were flat. "Clouds have started to gather over the developed world as political uncertainty increases in the U.S. and Europe grapples with a resurgence in COVID-19 cases," Kerry Craig, Global Market Strategist, J.P. Morgan Asset Management told Reuters news agency Monday. "While governments are loathe to re-introduce nationwide lockdowns, localised and sector based restrictions may last for some time, restraining economic activity," Craig added. In Tokyo the Nikkei 225 rose 307.00 points or 1.32% to 23,511.62. The Hong Kong Hang Seng advanced 240.63 points or 1.04% to 23,476.05. The Australian All Ordinaries added 6.00 points or 0.10% to 6,146.50. China's Shanghai Composite dipped 1.88 points or 0.06% to [...]

September 29th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Cardinal George Pell leaving Australia for Rome after child sexual abuse acquittal

Catholic Cardinal George Pell is returning to Rome six months after he was acquitted of child sexual abuse, according to agency reports. Source: 1 NEWS The former Vatican treasurer, 79, is expected to depart Sydney today, after living in the city since his release from a Victorian jail, the Catholic News Agency reported. "He always intended to return to Rome," Katrina Lee, an adviser to the Archdiocese of Sydney, told Reuters. Cardinal Pell came back to Australia from Rome in mid-2017 to fight charges related to the sexual assault of two choirboys when he was Archbishop of Melbourne in the late 1990s. He was convicted in December 2018 and served just over a year of a six-year sentence in jail before the High Court of Australia overturned the conviction [...]

September 29th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale hospitalized following reported suicide attempt

  (CNN)President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Brad Parscale was hospitalized Sunday following reports of a suicide attempt at his Florida home, CNN has learned. According to Fort Lauderdale Police Department Sgt. DeAnna Greenlaw, Fort Lauderdale police officers responded to Parscale's residence "in reference to an armed male attempting suicide." Officers later identified him to CNN as Bradley Parscale and said his wife had called the police. "When officers arrived on scene, they made contact with the armed subject's wife, who advised her husband was armed and had access to multiple firearms inside the residence and was threatening to harm himself," Greenlaw told CNN in a statement. The officers determined the only person inside the home was the adult male. The South Florida Sun Sentinel was the first to [...]

September 28th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

The Great Coronavirus Mutation Has Begun

With so many mutations, coronavirus might become like the common flu, requiring yearly vaccines. The novel coronavirus has mutated from its original strain and is now considered more infectious, according to researchers from Houston Methodist Hospital. The study, which has not been peer-reviewed but published on the preprint server MedRxiv, did not discover that these mutations have made the virus deadlier. All viruses accumulate genetic mutations, and most are insignificant, scientists say. According to study author James Musser, of Houston Methodist Hospital, SARS-CoV-2 is relatively stable, but with transmission so widespread in the United States, the virus has had abundant opportunities to mutate—potentially with deadlier consequences. “We have given this virus a lot of chances,” he told the Washington Post. “There is a huge population size out there right [...]

September 28th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Fighting continues between Armenia and Azerbaijan

Yerevan, Baku: Fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijan forces over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh continued on Monday with the deployment of heavy artillery on both sides, their representatives said. The Armenian Defence Ministry reported fighting throughout the night, while Azerbaijan's Defence Ministry said Armenian forces were shelling the town of Terter. Azerbaijani military personnel drive through Baku, Azerbaijan, on Sunday.CREDIT:GETTY IMAGES Nagorno-Karabakh representatives said on Monday that 15 more of its servicemen had been killed in fighting with Azerbaijan's forces. At least 16 military and several civilians were killed on Sunday in the heaviest clashes between the two countries since 2016, reigniting concern about stability in the South Caucasus, a corridor for pipelines carrying oil and gas to world markets. The clashes between the two former Soviet republics, which [...]

September 28th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

India hits 6 million coronavirus infections, approaches 100,000 deaths

© Getty Images India has reported over 6 million confirmed coronavirus cases so far as the country, one of the most populous in the world, sees a fast-growing rise in infections, The Associated Press reports. The news agency reported on Monday that the country saw an increase of 82,170 cases of the novel coronavirus in a one-day span, in addition to over 1,030 deaths from the illness. The country has reported more than 6,074,000 coronavirus cases in total and more than 95,500 deaths. According to AP, India is seeing its infection rate rise at a quicker pace than any other country. The country is reportedly on track to surpass the United States in infections in a matter of weeks. So far, Johns Hopkins University data shows the U.S. has counted over [...]

September 28th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

China holds simultaneous military drills in four seas, again

China holds military drills periodically, but rarely do multiple exercises happen at the same time.PHOTO: AFP   BEIJING (REUTERS) - China began five military exercises simultaneously along different parts of its coast on Monday (Sept 28), the second time in two months it will have such concurrent drills against a backdrop of rising regional tension. Two of the exercises are being held near the Paracel Islands in the disputed South China Sea, one in the East China Sea, and one in further north in the Bohai Sea, the Maritime Safety Administration said in notices on its website. In the southern part of the Yellow Sea, drills including live-fire exercises will be held from Monday to Wednesday, it said in another notice. All ships are prohibited from entering the area, [...]

September 28th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Oxford moves to protect students from China’s Hong Kong security law

Students will submit work related to China anonymously and told not to record classes Students at the University of Hong Kong walk past a poster supporting 12 Hongkongers detained in China. Photograph: Jérôme Favre/EPA Students at Oxford University specialising in the study of China are being asked to submit some papers anonymously to protect them from the possibility of retribution under the sweeping new security law introduced three months ago in Hong Kong.The anonymity ruling is to be applied in classes, and group tutorials are to be replaced by one-to-ones. Students are also to be warned it will be viewed as a disciplinary offence if they tape classes or share them with outside groups. The Hong Kong security law was imposed on 30 June by Beijing after more than [...]

September 28th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Trump paid US$750 in income taxes in 2016 and 2017: NYT

Donald Trump also paid just US$750 in his first year in the White House.PHOTO: AFP   WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG, REUTERS) - US President Donald Trump paid just US$750 (S$1,032) in US income taxes in both 2016 and 2017, reported losing millions of dollars from his golf courses and has hundreds of millions in debt that will come due in the next few years, according to a report in the New York Times. Trump paid no income taxes in 10 of the past 15 years because he generated large losses that offset any money that he made, according to the Times analysis of at least two decades worth of Mr Trump’s personal and business tax returns. The documents show that many of Mr Trump’s businesses are struggling, with him putting more money into [...]

September 28th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Barrett accepts nomination, says judges must be ‘resolute’ in setting aside personal beliefs

Amy Coney Barrett accepted the nomination to the Supreme Court on Saturday, saying in prepared remarks that judges should be “resolute” in setting aside their personal policy views. The appeals court judge's speech came immediately after President Trump announced his plans to nominate her to the vacancy left by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Barrett described her judicial philosophy as the same as the late Justice Antonin Scalia, for whom she clerked years ago. “A judge must apply the law as written. Judges are not policymakers and they must be resolute in setting aside any policy views they might hold,” Barrett said. Barrett also paid tribute to Ginsburg, who died last Friday due to complications with pancreatic cancer. Barrett described Ginsburg as a trailblazer for women, noting that the late justice began her [...]

September 27th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Global Covid-19 death toll could hit 2 million before vaccine in wide use, says WHO

A nurse looks after a Covid-19 patient at a hospital on the French Caribbean archipelago of Guadeloupe on Sept 24, 2020.PHOTO: AFP   GENEVA/ZURICH (REUTERS) - The global death toll from Covid-19 could double to two million before a successful vaccine is widely used and could be even higher without concerted action to curb the pandemic, an official at the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday (Sept 25). "Unless we do it all, (two million deaths)... is not only imaginable, but sadly very likely," Mike Ryan, head of the UN agency's emergencies programme, told a briefing. The number of deaths about nine months since the novel coronavirus was discovered in China is nearing one million. We are not out of the woods anywhere, we are not out of [...]

September 27th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine produces strong immune response in early trial

Researchers said more details on safety and effectiveness of the vaccine will follow when the study is completed.PHOTO: REUTERS   NEW YORK (REUTERS) - A single dose of Johnson & Johnson's experimental Covid-19 vaccine produced a strong immune response against the novel coronavirus in an early-to-mid stage clinical trial, according to interim results published on Friday (Sept 25). The vaccine, called Ad26.COV2.S, was equally well-tolerated at two different doses, the results showed. A single shot, versus a rival two-dose approach being tested by Moderna Inc and Pfizer Inc, could simplify distribution of the vaccine. However, it is unclear whether elderly people, one of the populations most at risk from the virus, will be protected to the same degree as younger people with the J&J vaccine. The trial in close [...]

September 27th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Beijing urges Washington to stop tarnishing Chinese diplomatic missions in US

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin speaks during a daily media briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing on Sept 18, 2020.PHOTO: EPA-EFE   BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - China urged the United States on Friday (Sept 25) to immediately stop slandering Chinese diplomatic missions and their personnel in the US, saying it will take necessary countermeasures in accordance with any further actions by the US. Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin made the remark after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the New York Post in a recent interview that China's New York consulate general is being used as a major hub for the nation's US espionage efforts, and it is likely more diplomats and agents will be arrested. Mr Pompeo's remarks followed an earlier [...]

September 27th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

China vaccinates tens of thousands of people with COVID-19 trials still underway

© Getty Images China has vaccinated tens of thousands of people for protection against the coronavirus while clinical trials are still being conducted, stoking safety concerns from some experts about the decision. The World Health Organization (WHO) was supportive of China's campaign to vaccinate certain people against the coronavirus in July amid Phase 3 clinical trials, Reuters reported. The country launched its emergency program in July after communicating with the WHO in late June, Zheng Zhongwei, a National Health Commission official said Friday. "After the approval, on June 29, we made a communication with the relevant representatives of the WHO Office in China, and obtained support and understanding from WHO," said Zheng. Health workers and border officials are considered high-risk groups and have been among the first to receive [...]

September 27th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Saudi Arabia plans to resume tourist visas by early 2021 after coronavirus suspension

A Saudi tourist surfs down a sand dune in the "Saed" desert area, 110km eastern of Riyadh City, in August 2020.PHOTO: AFP   RIYADH (REUTERS) - Saudi Arabia plans to resume tourist visas by early 2021 after months of suspension amid strict government measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the kingdom's tourism minister told Reuters. Tourism is a key pillar of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's ambitious reform strategy to reduce the economy's dependence on oil. The kingdom, which opened its doors to foreign tourists in September 2019 by launching a new visa regime for 49 countries, wants the sector to contribute 10 per cent of gross domestic product by 2030. “ For tourist visas, until now we are talking about early next year. If things get [...]

September 27th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: China prepares to declare victory in global vaccine race

The Chinese government is on a publicity blitz to build global trust in the vaccine. Photo / 123rf In a sterile corridor lined with laboratories, scientists in white hazmat suits drop liquid into small vials with pipettes. Then trays of test-tubes are sealed and packaged into boxes, ready for distribution. This sprawling new facility in south Beijing is already producing thousands of doses per day of a coronavirus vaccine developed by SinoVac, which the Chinese pharmaceutical firm says will be rolled out across the world early next year. The Telegraph, along with other media, has been invited to the newly built production facility and quality control labs as part of a publicity blitz led by the Chinese government to build global trust in the vaccine, which has not yet [...]

September 26th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: World Health Organisation’s frightening deaths warning

Coronavirus infections are soaring across Europe and the US - and WHO has a warning. Photo / Getty Images news.com.au The number of coronavirus cases in Europe is soaring and the World Health Organisation warns worldwide deaths could more than double. The UK and France both reported their highest rise in daily coronavirus numbers today as Europe is gripped by a second wave. Global deaths have reached 985,302, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. The World Health Organisation warned that coronavirus deaths could double to two million if infection-fighting measures are not kept up. It comes as restrictions are tightened in Europe and the US crosses another bleak milestone. The hard-hit US crossed seven million cases — more than a fifth of the global total. This is despite [...]

September 26th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Foreigners arriving in Malaysia must now pay full fee of $1,550 for Covid-19 quarantine

The government will continue to subsidise the operational costs for Malaysians.PHOTO: AFP PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Foreigners arriving in Malaysia through various entry points must now pay the full RM4,700 (S$1,550) fee for the mandatory Covid-19 quarantine, Senior Minister (Security cluster) Ismail Sabri Yaakob said on Thursday (Sept 24). Previously, both Malaysians and non-Malaysians must pay RM2,100 for accommodations and food for the two-week quarantine period at a hotel or in government provided rooms. But foreign nationals will now need to pay an additional RM2,600 for operational costs, Datuk Seri Ismail said. The government will continue to subsidise the operational costs for Malaysians, he said. "Starting from Thursday, all non-Malaysian individuals entering the country from its international entry points will have to pay the full charges," Mr Ismail [...]

September 26th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Donald Trump to nominate Amy Coney Barrett to supreme court, reports say

President expected to announce pick to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Saturday, setting stage for rightward shift Amy Coney Barrett at the University of Notre Dame’s law school commencement ceremony in 2018. Photograph: Robert Franklin/AP   Donald Trump will on Saturday name Amy Coney Barrett as his pick to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the supreme court, according to multiple reports. Ginsburg died last Friday of pancreatic cancer at the age of 87. The president has trailed a Saturday afternoon announcement of his third pick for the court, a choice that with Republican support in the Senate would tilt the nine-member panel firmly to the right, 6-3. The New York Times, the Associated Press and CBS were among outlets on Friday citing anonymous sources in the administration and the [...]

September 26th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Mary Trump sues president and two of his siblings over fraud allegations

President’s niece alleges he, his brother Robert and sister Maryanne Trump Barry cheated her out of millions Donald Trump at the White House in Washington DC, on 23 September. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Donald Trump’s niece followed up her best-selling, tell-all book with a lawsuit Thursday alleging that the president and two of his siblings cheated her out of millions of dollars over several decades while squeezing her out of the family business. “Fraud was not just the family business – it was a way of life,” the lawsuit said. Mary Trump sought unspecified damages in the lawsuit, filed in a state court in New York City. The lawsuit alleged the president, his brother Robert and a sister, the former federal judge Maryanne Trump Barry, portrayed themselves as Mary Trump’s [...]

September 25th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘ It’s been a long, tough week’: Breonna Taylor protests again take over streets in Louisville; 24 arrested

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Protesters took to the streets again on Thursday night, defying a citywide curfew for the second night and coming face-to-face with armed counter-protesters claiming to “defend the Constitution.” A day after a grand jury’s decision in the deadly police shooting of Breonna Taylor sparked a new wave of national protests for racial equality and police reform, Tamika Palmer made a brief appearance at her daughter’s memorial in Jefferson Square Park as hundreds marched through downtown Louisville chanting Taylor’s name. At least 24 people were arrested as of 1 a.m. Friday, police said. Authorities alleged the protesters broke windows at a restaurant, damaged city buses, tried to set a fire and threw a flare into the street. The Black Lives Matter protesters at one point confronted about a dozen armed counter-protesters, with [...]

September 25th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘Enough is enough’: China attacks US at UN Security Council meeting

US President Donald Trump speaks during the United Nations General Assembly on Sept 22. 2020.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG   UNITED NATIONS, UNITED STATES (AFP) - China on Thursday (Sept 24) lashed out at the United States at a high-level UN meeting over its criticism on the coronavirus, with its envoy declaring, "Enough is enough!" Two days after President Donald Trump used his annual address to the General Assembly to attack China's record, its ambassador to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, strongly criticised the US role in global affairs. "I must say, enough is enough! You have created enough troubles for the world already," he told a Security Council meeting on global governance attended through videoconference by several heads of state. "The US has nearly seven million confirmed cases and over 200,000 [...]

September 25th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Johnson & Johnson begins giant trial testing of single dose Covid-19 vaccine

Johnson & Johnson is the fourth vaccine maker to move its candidate into late-stage human studies in the US.PHOTO: AFP   WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - Johnson & Johnson has begun dosing up to 60,000 volunteers in a study of its Covid-19 vaccine, marking the first big US trial of an inoculation that may work after just one shot. J&J is the fourth vaccine maker to move its candidate into late-stage human studies in the US. If enrollment goes as expected, the trial could yield results as soon as year-end, allowing the company to seek emergency authorisation early next year, should it prove effective, Johnson & Johnson Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels said Tuesday (Sept 22). "We are convinced that the single dose could be very efficacious," he said on a [...]

September 25th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Malaysia power struggle set to drag on as King recuperates in hospital; PM Muhyiddin says he’s yet to hear from King

Malaysia's King Sultan Abdullah will not be granting an audience to anyone for a week, as he is under observation at a hospital.PHOTO: CHINA PRESS   KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS, THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's King Sultan Abdullah will not be granting an audience to anyone for a week, as he is under observation at a hospital, a palace official said on Friday (Sept 25), amid as opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim seeks a meeting with him to form a new government. Mr Anwar said this week he has secured a “strong, formidable” majority from lawmakers in parliament to oust Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. But he has to convince the King that he has the numbers to form a government. Mr Anwar was scheduled to meet the King on Tuesday [...]

September 25th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Trump faces tricky choice on Supreme Court pick

President Trump will soon name his Supreme Court nominee, an announcement that will reveal whether he plans to go all-in on Florida or fire up the social conservatives in his base just weeks before the election. The choice is likely to come down to two contenders: Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a favorite among conservatives, and Judge Barbara Lagoa, a Cuban American from Florida. Multiple sources familiar with the selection process say Barrett is the front-runner and that Lagoa is the only other candidate being seriously considered. Senate Republicans are expected to line up to confirm either of the federal appeals court judges to occupy the seat left vacant by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. But with Trump trailing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in national polls and in [...]

September 25th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

UK Covid-19 vaccine trial set to infect healthy volunteers with virus

Researchers hope to begin world’s first human challenge trials at east London quarantine facility in January Scientists will choose doses to infect volunteers without overloading their immune system, according to the FT. Photograph: David Cheskin/PA  Healthy volunteers in the UK could soon be deliberately infected with coronavirus in the world’s first human challenge trial to find out which Covid vaccines work.Government-funded studies, which it is believed will be announced next week, could begin in January in London, the Financial Times has reported. Volunteers exposed to Covid-19 would be closely monitored in strict quarantine for as long as a month. Human challenge studies have a long and successful history, dating back to the end of the 18th century, when Edward Jenner inoculated an eight-year-old boy with cowpox virus and then [...]

September 25th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Thousands of Xinjiang mosques destroyed or damaged, report finds

Fewer mosques in China’s western region than at any time since the Cultural Revolution, says thinktank A Chinese flag flies over a mosque closed by authorities in the old town of Kashgar. Photograph: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images Thousands of mosques in Xinjiang have been damaged or destroyed in just three years, leaving fewer in the region than at any time since the Cultural Revolution, according to a report on Chinese oppression of Muslim minorities. The revelations are contained in an expansive data project by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), which used satellite imagery and on-the-ground reporting to map the extensive and continuing construction of detention camps and destruction of cultural and religious sites in the north-western region. Nanyuan Street mosque - 2017 and 2018   The thinktank said Chinese [...]

September 25th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Trump refuses to promise transfer of power if he loses US vote

President Donald Trump frequently claims that mail-in ballots are vulnerable to mass fraud.PHOTO: REUTERS     WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Donald Trump on Wednesday (Sept 23) refused to clearly guarantee a peaceful transfer of power should he lose the upcoming US election in November to Joe Biden. "Well, we're going to have to see what happens," Mr Trump responded when asked at a White House press conference whether he is committed to the most basic tenet of democratic rule in the United States. Mr Trump, who is currently behind in the polls against Democratic challenger Biden, then resumed his near daily complaint about the way the election is being organised. Apparently referring to the increased use of mail-in ballots - due to the coronavirus pandemic - he said: "You know [...]

September 24th, 2020|Categories: News|Comments Off on Trump refuses to promise transfer of power if he loses US vote

Covid 19 coronavirus: First New Zealand case comes to light

After weeks of Covid-19 restrictions Aucklanders are waking to new freedoms this morning under alert level 2. And the Ministry of Health has revealed more details of what's believed to be the true first Covid-19 case in New Zealand. The case came to light when a man sought Covid-19 testing after developing a sore throat. His weak positive result and serology test results indicated an old infection of the virus which dates back to February 21. "This infection occurred in late February following exposure to an infected person from Italy," the Ministry of Health said. "At the time the family member was visiting New Zealand, they became ill with symptoms consistent with Covid-19, and the wider household then also became ill." The family did not get tested at the [...]

September 24th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Russian Army to be Equipped With New Weapons by End of Year

The Russian military has also been adopting the Ratnik, “soldier of the future” combat outfit. It utilizes lightweight body armor designed to protect up to 90 percent of a soldier’s body. Despite the fact that there isn’t really all the much of 2020 left on the calendar, there are now claims in Moscow that the 70 percent of the Russian Armed Forces will be equipped with brand-new and even “cutting edge” weapons and military hardware by the end of the year. “I think that upon the results of this year we will achieve a coveted amount, as we will approach to 70 percent in our army’s rearmament with advanced and promising types of weapons and military hardware,” Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov said in a televised interview with Rossiya’23 [...]

September 23rd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Mexico’s drug war leaves 39,000 unidentified bodies in its morgues

Investigation by Quinto Elemento Labs finds alarming number of people buried in common graves Soldiers stand guard in Coatzacoalcos. Mexico’s militarised war on drugs has claimed nearly 300,000 lives over the past 14 years. Photograph: Rebecca Blackwell/AP  Mexico’s militarised crackdown on organised crime has left nearly 39,000 unidentified bodies in the country’s morgues, which are often unable to handle the volume of corpses brought in for autopsies. A new investigation by the investigative NGO Quinto Elemento Labs found that an alarming number of people were simply buried in common graves without proper postmortems. Some were left in funeral homes and more than 2,500 bodies were given to medical schools. “It’s possible that [medical] students are learning with bodies of persons being searched for by their families,” said an article [...]

September 23rd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Trump attacks China over Covid ‘plague’ as Xi urges collaboration in virus fight

US president uses speech to denounce China, UN and WHO Beijing has ‘no intention to fight a cold war’ – Chinese leader   Donald Trump and Xi Jinping offered starkly contrasting responses to the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday, with the US president blaming Beijing for unleashing a “plague” on the world – and his Chinese counterpart casting the fight against the virus as an opportunity for international cooperation. UN warns of lost decade without Covid economic recovery plan Read more In his recorded video address to the annual UN general assembly, Trump unleashed a rhetorical assault on Chinawhich seemed pitched at a domestic audience. Speaking as the US death toll from Covid-19 passed 200,000, Trump promised a “bright future” but said the world “must hold accountable the nation which [...]

September 23rd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Hong Kong police tighten control on media with new accreditation rules

Experts say new policy enables government to decide who is a journalist and curbs power of student and online journalism Media groups have called for the new policy to be withdrawn Photograph: Tyrone Siu/Reuters Hong Kong authorities have moved to further constrain the city’s free press with an announcement by police that they would no longer recognise certain types of media accreditation. Critics accused the police force of infringing the constitutionally enshrined free press, by attempting to create a government licensing system and reduce independent monitoring of their activities. Under the announcement the police force will recognise journalists from “internationally recognised and renowned” foreign outlets only or from media organisations that are registered with the government information system. It explicitly stated it would no longer recognise the accreditations given [...]

September 23rd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

US reaches 200K coronavirus deaths after Trump praises administration for doing ‘phenomenal job’ on pandemic

The USA reached yet another dark milestone Tuesday: 200,000 coronavirus deaths. As states grapple with opening restaurants, small businesses and schools, cases are peaking in Montana, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data. Social distancing fatigue and contention over mask wearing threaten to compound COVID-19 cases and deaths as the year goes on. In March, President Donald Trump said keeping the death toll at 100,000 to 200,000 people would indicate that his administration had “done a very good job.”  As the number continued to climb, Trump sought to reshape the significance of the death tally. “If we didn’t do our job, it would be three and a half, two and a half, maybe 3 million people,” Trump said Friday, leaning on extreme projections of what could have happened [...]

September 23rd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Main hospitals in Jakarta report full capacity amid Covid-19 surge; government to use 3-star hotels for quarantine

The athletes' village Wisma Atlet in Jakarta has 10 towers, with four being used to treat Covid-19 patients.PHOTO: AFP     JAKARTA - Main hospitals in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta have reported full occupancy, with some having a waiting list of up to 20 confirmed Covid-19 patients seeking treatment, as cases continue to surge in the country. To ease the pressure on the hospitals in the city of more than 10 million, the government is making more rooms available at Jakarta's Wisma Atlet, an athlete's residence converted into a hospital for coronavirus patients with mild symptoms. The government is also set to tap three-star hotels in the capital as centralised quarantine centres for asymptomatic patients. The capital has 190 hospitals, according to Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan. Earlier this [...]

September 23rd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

US-China tensions take centre stage at UN as Trump accuses Beijing of unleashing ‘plague’

NEW YORK (REUTERS) – US President Donald Trump told the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday (Sept 22) that China must be held accountable for having “unleashed” Covid-19 on the world, prompting Beijing to accuse him of “lies” and abusing the UN platform to provoke confrontation. China’s President Xi Jinping struck a conciliatory tone in his pre-recorded virtual address to the General Assembly, calling for enhanced cooperation over the pandemic and stressing that China had no intention of fighting “either a Cold War or a hot war with any country.” But China’s UN ambassador Zhang Jun rejected Trump’s accusations against China as “baseless” and said “lies repeated a thousand times are still lies.” Trump and Xi, leaders of the world’s two largest economies, laid out competing visions at a [...]

September 23rd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Challenges rise on how to ship and distribute coronavirus vaccine at minus 80 deg C

Besides developing a safe and effective vaccine, drug companies also have to think about how to transport the drugs, which sometimes requires subzero temperatures.PHOTO: AFP     NEW YORK (NYTIMES) - Many things will have to work out to end the coronavirus pandemic. Drug companies will have to develop a safe and effective vaccine. Billions of people will have to consent to vaccination. But there are more prosaic challenges, too. Among them: Companies may have to transport tiny glass vials thousands of miles while keeping them as cold as the South Pole in the depths of winter. A number of the leading Covid-19 vaccines under development will need to be kept at temperatures as low as minus 80 deg C from the moment they are bottled to the time [...]

September 20th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Trump expects to nominate woman to replace Ginsburg next week

© Getty Images President Trump said Saturday that he expects to announce his nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court within the next week and that his choice would be a woman.  “I will be putting forth a nominee next week. It will be a woman,” Trump told supporters at a campaign rally in Fayetteville, N.C., Saturday evening. Earlier in the day, Trump told reporters at the White House that his choice would “most likely” be a woman. If somebody were to ask me now, I would say that a woman would be in first place. The choice of a woman, I would say, would certainly be appropriate,” Trump said. “I think the choice will be next week,” Trump later told reporters when asked about the [...]

September 20th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Trump administration approves Oracle-TikTok deal in principle

© Getty Images The Trump administration has in principle approved a proposal from TikTok, Oracle and Walmart that will stop the short form video platform from being shutdown. "I have given the deal my blessing," President Trump told reporters Saturday. "If they get it done, that’s great, if they don’t, that’s okay, too. It’s a great deal for America." Shortly after the president's comments, Oracle confirmed that it had been chosen as TikTok’s secure cloud provider. The deal would create a new TikTok Global entity that would be headquartered in the United States. Trump told reporters that it will likely be located in Texas. TikTok spokesperson Josh Gartner told The Hill that Oracle will be responsible for hosting all American user data and "associated computer systems" to address U.S. national security concerns. "We [...]

September 20th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Thai protesters demand removal of PM and call for general strike after march blocked

Radical manifesto of grassroots movement also calls for changes to curb power of the country’s revered monarchy Student leader Panusaya Sithijirawattankul hands over a letter to royal guard police in Bangkok on Sunday with demands for reforming the monarchy. Photograph: Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters Thousands of protesters in Thailand have handed their demands for reform to royal guard police after a planned march was blocked at security barriers in the capital, Bangkok. One of the protest leaders, Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, told reporters on Sunday that the police had said the letter would be sent to police headquarters. The demonstrators’ demands include the removal of former junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha as prime minister and a new constitution and elections, as well as reforms that would curb the powers of the monarchy. They also [...]

September 20th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Deadly poison ricin sent to Donald Trump through the mail

US President Donald Trump. Photo / AP news.com.au Officials in the United States have intercepted an envelope addressed to President Donald Trump which contained the deadly poison ricin. The FBI, Secret Service and Postal Inspection Service are now trying to determine where the suspicious letter came from, and who sent it. According to The New York Times, they believe it originated in Canada and have identified a woman as a suspect. "The FBI and our US Secret Service and Postal Inspection Service partners are investigating a suspicious letter received at a US government mail facility. At this time, there is no known threat to public safety," the FBI said in a statement. The envelope was intercepted earlier this week at a processing facility where mail is screened before it's [...]

September 20th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Mainland China reports 32 new Covid-19 cases, highest since Aug 10

Mainland China has not reported any local Covid-19 infections since mid-August.PHOTO: REUTERS   SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - Mainland China reported 32 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday (Sept 17), marking the highest daily increase in more than a month and up sharply from nine cases reported a day earlier, the Chinese health authority said on Friday. Although the latest increase still remains well below the peaks seen at the height of the outbreak in China early this year, it is the biggest since Aug 10 and suggests continued Covid-19 risks stemming from overseas travellers coming into the country as the pandemic rages on in other parts of the world. The National Health Commission (NHC) said in a statement that all new cases were imported infections, 13 of which were in the [...]

September 19th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Taiwan pledges deeper US ties as Chinese jets harry island

(From left) US Undersecretary for Economic Affairs Keith Krach, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company founder Morris Chang at the president residency in Taipei on Sept 18, 2020.PHOTO: AFP PHOTO / TAIWAN PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE   TAIPEI (REUTERS) - Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen pledged deeper ties with the United States at a dinner for a visiting senior State Department official, on the same day China sent 18 fighter jets to harry the island to express its anger at the trip. China had earlier on Friday (Sept 18) announced combat drills and denounced what it called collusion between the island, which it claims as part of its territory, and the United States. Taiwan scrambled its air force in response. US Undersecretary for Economic Affairs Keith Krach arrived in [...]

September 19th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Iranian Opposition Fights For Freedom–Connects 10,000 Locations in Global Policy Summit

Freedom fighters unite Friday in a massive undertaking. 10,000 locations throughout the world will join together in a plea to create a fair, free democracy in Iran. It is a bi-partisan gathering of international relations scholars, government officials, and military experts. The Summit Event is designed to help rally the Iranian people–and governments around the world–to demand change for the increasingly isolated and challenged state of Iran, a country where dissonance is not allowed. Over the weekend, the Iranian regime secretly executed and buried a prominent protester and popular wrestling champion, Navid Afkari–despite the public outcry and international campaign to save him. It was the latest horror out of Tehran; the Iranian government has recently provoked domestic and international outrage amid news that multiple young pro-democracy protesters have been [...]

September 19th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Trump blocks US downloads of TikTok, WeChat from Sept 20

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The Trump administration will ban WeChat and video-sharing app TikTok from US app stores starting Sunday night (Sept 20), a move that will block Americans from downloading the Chinese-owned platforms over concerns they pose a national security threat. The bans, announced on Friday, affect only new downloads and updates and are less sweeping than expected, particularly for TikTok, giving its parent group ByteDance some breathing space to clinch an agreement over the fate of its US operations. WeChat, an all-in-one messaging, social media and electronic payment app, faces more severe restrictions from Sunday. Existing TikTok users, on the other hand, will see little change until Nov 12 when a ban on some technical transactions will kick in, which TikTok said would amount to an effective ban. [...]

September 19th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Minneapolis Residents “Terrorized” by Crime Wave; Police “Nowhere to be Seen” After Defunding Push

Protesters gather around after setting fire to the entrance of a police station as demonstrations continue after a white police officer was caught on a bystander's video pressing his knee into the neck of African-American man George Floyd, who later died at a hospital, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., May 28, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria     Minneapolis city councilors are describing their constituents as “terrorized” by a recent violent crime wave that has swept through the city, with the Minneapolis Police “nowhere to be seen.” The council recently advanced a proposal to abolish and replace the Minneapolis Police Department. Jamal Osman of Ward 6 described the public safety situation in such terms in a council meeting with Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo. The actual plan to abolish the Minneapolis Police [...]

September 19th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Novichok ‘found on water bottle in Alexei Navalny’s hotel room’

Development suggests Russian opposition leader poisoned in Tomsk, not at airport A photo of Navalny at Charité hospital in Berlin, posted on his Instagram feed on 15 September. Navalny fell ill on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow on 20 August. Photograph: AP  Associates of Alexei Navalny have said traces of novichok were found on a bottle of water in his hotel room in Tomsk, suggesting he was poisoned while in the Siberian city, and not, as previously suspected, from a cup of tea he drank at the airport.The Russian opposition leader fell ill on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow on 20 August. The plane made an emergency landing in Omsk, where he spent two days in a coma before being flown by a medical jet to Berlin. [...]

September 18th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Dad Outraged After $1 Million Bail Set By Judge For His Daughter Who Was Arrested During BLM Protest: ‘This Is Unconstitutional’

  A Franklin and Marshall College Kappa Delta sorority sister is one of the few people arrested and charged with crimes related to the riots in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, that occurred last week. The father of the girl criticized the judge’s decision to set her bail at $1 million, saying it was “obscene” and unconstitutional. 20-year-old Kathryn Patterson is facing felony and misdemeanor charges including arson, vandalism, riot, and undisciplined conduct after her arrest. She was supposedly part of the protests over the fatal police shooting of Ricardo Munoz, who chased a police officer with an intention to kill him. The 20-year-old is an obvious BLM supporter, constantly uploading BLM photos on Facebook with a description “BLM, all day every day” and leaving comments, “my left fist to symbolize black [...]

September 18th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

US accuses China of offering a safe haven to cyber criminals

Addressing a news conference in Washington, US Deputy Attorney-General Jeffrey Rosen said Beijing showed a pattern of tolerating criminal activity by hackers who were willing to work for its intelligence services. Prosecutors said five Chinese nationals hacked 100 firms in the US and other countries, including Singapore. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG         United States Justice Department officials have criticised Beijing for tolerating Chinese hackers and providing them with a safe haven instead of bringing them to justice, as they unsealed indictments against five Chinese citizens and two Malaysians in a wide-ranging hacking campaign. "The Chinese government has the power to help stop crimes like these," Deputy Attorney-General Jeffrey Rosen said at a media conference on Wednesday. "The Chinese government has made a deliberate choice to allow its citizens [...]

September 18th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Global Covid-19 infections top 30 million

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across the globe has surpassed 30 million, according to figures by America's Johns Hopkins University. A worker disinfects the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira, an underground church built into a salt mine, in Colombia on August 30, 2020. Photo: AFP / Juan Barreto More than 940,000 have died with Covid-19 since the outbreak began in China late last year. The worst hit nations are the US, India and Brazil, but there is a renewed spike in infections across Europe. Many northern hemisphere countries are now bracing for a second wave of the pandemic as winter approaches. In the UK, the government is considering taking further England-wide measures including a short period of restrictions to try to slow a second surge of infections. Outside Europe, [...]

September 18th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

4 ex-directors of French Shia Muslim centre arrested

Four ex-directors of a Shia Muslim centre in France have been arrested over concerns they continued to run the organisation despite it being disbanded by authorities in March last year, Agence France Presse (AFP) reports. The four directors were taken into custody on Tuesday. Three have been remanded in custody, while one was freed over health concerns. French prosecutors are reportedly investigating the four men for “participation in or maintenance of a dissolved association”, AFP quoted local sources as saying. The centre was disbanded last year over allegations members were inciting armed jihadism and condoning the actions of regional players, such as Hezbollah, designated as terrorist organisations by the French government. According to the report, members of the centre also propagated hate speech and anti-Semitism, as well as inciting violence. The French court, [...]

September 18th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Ursula von der Leyen says Poland’s ‘LGBT-free zones’ have no place in EU

In her first ‘state of union’ speech, European commission president delivers criticism of Polish ruling party The head of the European commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has said Poland’s “LGBT free zones” are “humanity-free zones” that have no place in the European Union in her strongest criticism yet of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party. In a wide-ranging 77-minute speech spanning from coronavirus to the climate emergency, Von der Leyen pledged to build “a union of equality” and criticised European member states that watered down EU foreign policy messages on human rights. She made plain her disapproval of Poland’s rightwing nationalist government, which has often hit out at “LGBT ideology”, while a number of Polish towns declared themselves “LGBT-ideology free zones”. “Being yourself is not your ideology,” Von der [...]

September 17th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

US charges 5 Chinese, 2 Malaysians in wide-ranging hacking effort affecting over 100 companies in US, elsewhere

Jeffrey Rosen, deputy attorney-general, speaks during a news conference at the Department of Justice, Sept 16, 2020. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG     WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The US Justice Department said on Wednesday (Sept 16) it has charged five Chinese residents and two Malaysian businessmen in a wide-ranging hacking effort that encompassed targets from videogames to pro-democracy activists. Federal prosecutors said the Chinese nationals had been charged with hacking more than 100 companies in the United States and abroad, including software development companies, computer manufacturers, telecommunications providers, social media companies, gaming firms, nonprofits, universities, and think-tanks, as well as foreign governments and politicians and civil society figures in Hong Kong. US officials stopped short of alleging the hackers were working on behalf of Beijing, but in a statement Deputy Attorney-General Jeffrey [...]

September 16th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘We said no’: Advance NZ wanted to join NZ First, Winston Peters says

        Winston Peters says NZ First turned the party's proposal down. Photo / George Novak       Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says NZ First turned down a proposal from Advance New Zealand to join forces. "Advance New Zealand wanted to join New Zealand First but we said no," Peters said. He was speaking in Tauranga's Red Square and responding to a woman holding a poster with images of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and communist symbols. Asked why the party refused, Peters said the reasons would be "obvious to any sensible, sane, rational person". Advance New Zealand came and tried to join," Peters said. "We said no." He said it happened "before they got underway, they had this group before". But he would not reveal [...]

September 16th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Company run by Chinese military made bid to run NZ Police facial recognition system

                                     Server hardware. Photo: 123rf   A company the US says is owned or controlled by China's military made a bid to run the New Zealand Police's new facial recognition and image handling system. Inspur Group is on a list of 20 Chinese companies the Pentagon named as military-controlled in late June. The list opens up the 20 companies to extra sanctions by the US. The Defence Department has been mandated to produce such a list since 1999, but this is the first time it has done so, amid US-China tensions. Official documents show Inspur Software was one of four bidders seeking to set up and provide support for the next decade [...]

September 16th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Mike Pompeo says US-North Korea talks are ongoing behind scenes

Pompeo attends the third annual US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue in Washington, Sept 14, 2020.PHOTO: AFP     WASHINGTON (AFP) - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo admitted on Tuesday (Sept 15) that the hoped-for progress in negotiations with nuclear-armed North Korea has not materialised, but talks are ongoing. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held three high-profile meetings starting in June 2018, after an uptick in tensions at the start of Trump's term. But nothing concrete emerged in terms of Pyongyang's denuclearisation, and talks have been officially at a standstill for months. “We did have hopes that we could make further progress, that Chairman Kim would go in a different direction, but I'm still optimistic," Pompeo said at a think-tank roundtable in Washington. "It's gone quiet [...]

September 16th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

US violated trade rules with tariffs on China: WTO

Washington had not justified why the tariffs imposed after a Section 301 investigation against China were a justifiable exception to its obligations.PHOTO: REUTERS     GENEVA (REUTERS, BLOOMBERG, AFP) - The World Trade Organisation ruled on Tuesday (Sept 15) that additional tariffs imposed by the United States against China in 2018 were inconsistent with global trading rules. Washington has imposed levies on US$400 billion (S$545 billion) in Chinese exports. A panel of three WTO trade experts said in its report “that the United States had not met its burden of demonstrating that the measures are provisionally justified". China’s Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on Tuesday that it “appreciates the objective and fair ruling made by the expert group”. “China also hopes that the United States will fully respect the rulings [...]

September 16th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Children among 40 people injured after train and school bus collide near Palmerston North

The driver of a school bus involved in a crash with a train near Palmerston North this morning has died. Forty others were injured, including six Feilding High School students who were taken to Palmerston North Hospital with moderate to minor injuries. Forty one people were on board the bus when it collided with a train. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas Emergency services were alerted to the serious crash just after 8am at the intersection of Railway Road and Clevely Line in Bunnythorpe. St John said it assessed 40 patients at the scene, whose conditions varied from moderate to minor. A resident near the crash site said it appeared the front of the school bus was hit by the train and that there were children with minor injuries. Police [...]

September 16th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘Hi, this is Navalny’: poisoned Russian opposition leader posts hospital photo

Alexei Navalny says he can breathe independently in Instagram post sent from hospital in Berlin A photo of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny at Berlin’s Charité hospital that was posted on his Instagram feed on Tuesday. Photograph: Instagram account @navalny/AFP/Getty Images  The Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has said he is now able to breathe without any external support, in his first public statement since he was poisoned last month.Navalny, who German authorities said was poisoned with the nerve agent novichok, posted a photograph on Instagram of himself sitting up in a hospital bed surrounded by his wife and their two children. In the caption to the post, he wrote: “Hi, this is Navalny. I’m missing you. I still can hardly do anything, but yesterday I could breathe the [...]

September 16th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

UAE, Bahrain and Israel sign historic accords at White House event

Trio establish formal relations at ceremony viewed as image boost for Trump and Netanyahu Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have signed agreements to establish formal relations, ending a decades-old taboo in Arab diplomacy as power and priorities shift in the Middle East. “Today’s signing sets history on a new course,” Donald Trump told a crowd outside the White House where the deal was signed. “This an incredible day for the world,” he said. Long shunned because of its occupation of the Palestinian territories, Israel has always been considered a regional pariah. Yet as mostly autocratic Arab governments grow apathetic towards the Palestinian cause, and with Israel and the Gulf states sharing a common enemy in Iran, some relations have flourished discreetly in recent years. After welcoming the [...]

September 16th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Justice Dept. to announce charges for Chinese government-linked ‘computer intrusion campaign’

The Justice Department plans to announce Wednesday charges involving a “computer intrusion campaign” tied to the Chinese government. Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich and other officials will take part in a news conference at 11 a.m. ET to make the announcement, a DOJ statement obtained by Reuters said.  Last month, White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien said that Chinese government-linked hackers have been targeting U.S. election infrastructure before the November election. China has denied claims that it hacked U.S. government agencies. In July, U.S. security officials tracking Chinese hacking revealed that hackers backed by the Chinese government attempted to steal coronavirus vaccination data from U.S.-based biotech company, Moderna Inc. China pushed back on this accusation and said, “Such allegations are pure slander.” The week before, [...]

September 16th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus Australia: ANU blood test finds 60,000 undetected Covid-19 cases

Australian National University have now developed a new test which picks up previous Covid-19 infection in a patient's blood. Photo / 123RF news.com.au   In Australia, federal government-funded research has revealed far more people have potentially been exposed to the coronavirus than anticipated. Researchers from the Australian National University have now developed a new test which picks up previous Covid-19 infection in a patient's blood. The study indicates eight in 3000 healthy and previously undiagnosed Australians had likely been infected with the virus. "This suggests that instead of 11,000 cases we know about from nasal swab testing, about 70,000 people had been exposed overall," Associate Professor Ian Cockburn said. The researchers claim the test will help authorities get a better grasp of the spread of the illness – and [...]

September 15th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Lancaster protesters held on whopping $1 million bail each after alleged riots

A Pennsylvania judge threw the book at several protesters – setting their bail at $1 million each – for allegedly rioting in the wake of the police shooting of a knife-wielding Lancaster man. Lancaster police nabbed a dozen people and one juvenile for staging the riots around 3 a.m. Monday in clashes that culminated in police deploying tear gas at the crowd. The overnight violence came on the heels of the death of Ricardo Munoz, the mentally ill 27-year-old who was seen on body cam footage charging at a cop with a knife in hand. The officer shot and killed Munoz Sunday afternoon outside his mother’s house in downtown Lancaster. The mob marched from the scene of the shooting on Laurel Street to the police station, chucking glass bottles, rocks, brick, gallon [...]

September 15th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Astronomers claim to have found hints of life on Venus

A report says astronomers have found a potential signal of life high in the atmosphere of our nearest neighboring planet. AP Photo / J. Greaves, Cardiff University Astronomers have found a potential sign of life high in the atmosphere of neighboring Venus: hints there may be bizarre microbes living in the sulfuric acid-laden clouds of the hothouse planet. Two telescopes in Hawaii and Chile spotted in the thick Venusian clouds the chemical signature of phosphine, a noxious gas that on Earth is only associated with life, according to a study in Monday's journal Nature Astronomy. Several outside experts — and the study authors themselves — agreed this is tantalizing but said it is far from the first proof of life on another planet. They said it doesn't satisfy the [...]

September 15th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Air NZ sells 70,000 seats in six hours after rules relaxed

The government's decision to relax physical distancing rules on public transport has seen airlines promise to increase flights and release hundreds of thousands of cheap airfares to encourage domestic travel.                 An Air New Zealand turboprop plane prepares for takeoff from   Nelson Airport. Photo: RNZ / Tracy Neal As soon as the announcement was made that distancing would no longer be required on planes, Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran says the airline immediately made more tickets available. "That put on the market about 160,000 more seats." In six hours, the airline sold 70,000 seats yesterday, he says. Foran told Morning Report this is what happens when the airline has the opportunity to operate the domestic airline at full potential. During level [...]

September 14th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

US pulls back from broad import bans for cotton, tomatoes from China’s Xinjiang

US said the orders are aimed at combating China's use of forced labour by detained Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.PHOTO: AFP         WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The Trump administration on Monday (Sept 14) shelved plans for a broad import ban on cotton and tomato products from China’s Xinjiang region while announcing narrower bans on products from five specific entities. Department of Homeland Security acting Deputy Secretary Kenneth Cuccinelli said the new “Withhold Release Orders” (WROs) on cotton, textiles, apparel, hair products and computer parts are aimed at combating China’s use of forced labour by detained Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang. He told reporters on a conference call that the administration was conducting more legal analysis of the region-wide import bans. Customs and Border Protection officials told Reuters last week [...]

September 14th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Michael Bloomberg to spend $136 million in Florida for Biden

Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg said he would be infusing US$100 million in Florida to help Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.PHOTOS: REUTERS, AFP/GETTY IMAGES   NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who spent hundreds of millions on his 2020 Democratic presidential bid before dropping out, plans to infuse at least US$100 million (S$136.80 million) in Florida to help Democrat Joe Biden's effort against Republican President Donald Trump in an important swing state, The Washington Post reported on Sunday (Sept 13). Bloomberg advisers said the former New York City mayor made his decision last week after news reports that Mr Trump was considering spending up to US$100 million of his own cash in his adopted state, the newspaper said. The Republican President, who trails Mr Biden in [...]

September 14th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Yoshihide Suga to be Japan’s prime minister after winning party vote

Liberal Democratic party MPs vote to appoint Shinzo Abe loyalist as party leader                     Yoshihide Suga has been elected as the new leader of Japan’s ruling party, and is to officially become prime minister on Wednesday. Photograph: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters  Yoshihide Suga is poised to become Japan’s prime minister after he was comfortably elected to lead the ruling party following the resignation of Shinzo Abe.Liberal Democratic party (LDP) MPs from both houses of parliament and representatives from prefectural party chapters voted overwhelmingly for Suga, with the Abe loyalist emerging from the poll on Monday with 377 of the 534 votes, well ahead of Fumio Kishida, a former foreign minister, with 89 votes, and Shigeru Ishiba, a former defence minister, with 68.Suga, [...]

September 14th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Manhunt underway for shooter after 2 deputies ambushed in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES — Authorities were searching Sunday for the gunman who shot two sheriff's deputies in an apparent ambush, hours after hundreds of demonstrators gathered to protest the shooting death of Dijon Kizzee by members of the Sheriff's Department. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva expressed frustration over anti-police sentiment and urged people to pray for the officers. “It pisses me off,” he said of the shooting. “This was a cowardly act.” The Sheriff’s Department released video that shows someone walking up to a patrol car parked near a Metro station in Compton about 7 p.m. Saturday. The person opens fire and runs from the scene. Villanueva said the deputies, a 31-year-old female and a 24-year-old male, were shot multiple times but able to radio for help. Both were hospitalized in critical condition at St. Francis Medical Center. [...]

September 14th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Australia minister warns foreign journalists amid China spat

A Chinese journalist wipes his forehead while looking at his smartphone during a daily briefing by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying. Photo / AP A senior Australian government minister on Sunday warned foreign journalists working in the country they might come under the scrutiny of federal agencies if they provide a "slanted view" of Australian affairs. Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton made the comments during a television interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corp, referring to journalists reporting to "a particular community". While he didn't mention China, Dutton's comments come after the evacuation from China last week of Australian journalists Bill Birtles and Mike Smith, who sheltered in Australian diplomatic compounds after being questioned by police. Australian Cheng Lei, who works as a business anchor for CGTN, China's English-language [...]

September 14th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Election 2020: National wants to spend $2b on education if elected

National has launched its education policy for the election. Photo / Stock The National Party is focusing its education policy on children with learning needs and is promising to invest almost $2 billion into education if it is elected. It says that would equate to the largest investment in repairing, rebuilding and redeveloping schools in a generation. National leader Judith Collins and education spokeswoman Nicola Willis unveiled the policy at a private school in Christchurch this afternoon. "National will make the largest investment in repairing, rebuilding and redeveloping our schools in a generation, to make sure every child has the chance to learn in a fit-for-purpose education environment," they said. But it would again scrap the higher subsidies for preschools with 100 per cent qualified teachers which has been [...]

September 14th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

US Marine who killed transgender woman in Philippines deported after presidential pardon

Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton was convicted of killing Jennifer Laude in a motel room in 2014 MANILA, Philippines — A U.S. Marine convicted of killing a Filipino transgender woman was deported Sunday after a presidential pardon cut short his detention in a case that renewed outrage over a pact governing American military presence in the Philippines. Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton said in a farewell message that he was “extremely grateful” to President Rodrigo Duterte for pardoning him and expressedhis “most sincere sympathy” to the family of Jennifer Laude, who he was convicted of killing in 2014 in a motel northwest of Manila after finding out that she was transgender. In his nearly six years of confinement, Pemberton said he spent “much time contemplating the many errors” he committed [...]

September 13th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

We can have Wakanda. We just have to build it’: Nineteen families buy 97 acres of land in Georgia to create black-only ‘safe space’ town called Freedom – but whites who are ‘pro-African American’ can apply to live there

    Group of 19 black families bought 97 acres in rural Wilkinson County, Georgia  Goal is to establish a city founded by black families that would be a 'safe haven' Idea is brainchild of real estate agent Ashley Scott and investor Renee Walters  They initially expressed interest in buying up town of Toomsboro, Georgia But when the town wasn't for sale, they looked for land nearby in the county They hope to clear the land for farming and create a man-made lake for fishing Scott and Walters said whites who are 'pro-black people' are welcome to join A group of 19 African American families have bought a 97-acre tract of land in rural Georgia which they plan to use to create a city that will serve as a [...]

September 13th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

LA Rioters Block Hospital, Shout “We Hope They Die” As Medics Tried To Save Ambushed Cops

A massive search is underway for a gunman who ambushed two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies last night at the Metro station in Compton, California. Both deputies were reportedly shot in the head, according to officials. They were shot as they sat in their patrol car Saturday by a suspect who “opened fire without warning or provocation,” authorities said. The female deputy is a 31-year-old mother with a 6-year-old, and the male is 24 years old. The two officers had both just been sworn to duty, 14 months ago, Illicit Info reports. Moments ago, 2 of our Sheriff Deputies were shot in Compton and were transported to a local hospital,” the department tweeted. “They are both still fighting for their lives, so please keep them in your thoughts [...]

September 13th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Malaysia looking at fully reopening border with Singapore in January

Johor wants the border to be fully open for daily commuters.PHOTO: ST FILE     ISKANDAR PUTERI (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's Health Ministry is looking at the possibility of fully reopening the Malaysia-Singapore border for daily commuters in January. Health Minister Adham Baba said on Friday (Sept 11) that the recovery movement control order (RMCO) period over the next four months would be an important time for the country as it would determine if it is possible to reopen the border with Singapore fully. He said during this time, a more systematic approach would be taken in areas such as as border control, physical distancing and the use of personal protective equipment. Datuk Seri Dr Adham also said the ministry is looking at doubling its capacity in [...]

September 12th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Israeli protesters keep up pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over alleged corruption

Israeli protesters gather in front of Netanyahu's residence in Jerusalem on Sept 12 2020,PHOTO: AFP   JERUSALEM (REUTERS) - Thousands of Israelis protested against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Saturday (Sept 12) over his alleged corruption and the government's handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. The crowd rallied outside Netanyahu's residence, blowing whistles, waving signs and flags and calling for his resignation. Smaller protests were held along bridges at major intersections in cities across Israel. Israeli media estimated that about 10,000 people attended what has become a weekly demonstration in Jerusalem. The protests built up over the summer as Covid-19 cases spiked. With a population of nine million, Israel has reported almost 150,000 infections cases and more than 1,000 deaths. The country is in a recession as a [...]

September 12th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Greece announces major arms purchase as tensions with Turkey rise

Greek riot police face demonstrators as Greek Prime Minister delivers his annual speech on defence and economic policyPHOTO: AFP     ATHENS (AFP) - Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Saturday (Sept 12) announced a "robust" arms purchase programme and an overhaul of the country's military amid rising tensions with Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean. What appears to be Greece's most ambitious military overhaul in nearly two decades was unveiled as it is engaged in a growing stand-off with Turkey over hydrocarbon resources and naval influence in the waters off their coasts. The bitter row between the Nato allies has roped in other European powers and even sparked fears of more severe conflict. "The time has come to reinforce the armed forces... these initiatives constitute a robust programme that [...]

September 12th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Afghanistan war: ‘Historic’ peace talks with Taliban begin

The first peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban are beginning in the Gulf state of Qatar, after months of delay.   US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad (left) and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar shake hands after signing the peace agreement between US, Taliban, in Doha, Qatar on 29 February, 2020. Photo: Anadolu Agency / Fatih Aktas via AFP US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the meeting "historic" as he flew to Doha for the opening ceremony. The talks were due to start after a US-Taliban security deal in February. But disagreements over a controversial prisoner swap stalled the next stage, as did violence in Afghanistan, where four decades of war are at a stalemate. A delegation of leading Afghans left Kabul [...]

September 12th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Election 2020: Greens want to give farmers $297m to help them be climate-friendly

The Greens want to create a $297m fund to help farmers transition to climate-friendly practices. Photo / NZH The Green Party is promising to give farmers $297 million to help them transition to climate-friendly practices. It also wants a levy on the use of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilisers, an overhaul of the labelling of sustainably grown and organic products and a resource rental fee on commercial use of water. The Greens' "Farming for the Future" agriculture policy was launched by co-leaders Marama Davidson and James Shaw at a small organic farm in Canterbury. Shaw said "the reality is that the way we currently farm" is accelerating climate change but New Zealand could transform the causes "into the solutions". "Farming is at the frontline of the climate crisis, and any [...]

September 12th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Election 2020: Labour unveils $1b plan for the welfare system

Labour's social development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni has unveiled their welfare policy. Photo / Mark Tantrum Labour has unveiled its $1 billion social development policy, which would allow people on a benefit working part-time to earn more and bolster the flexi-wage scheme. If re-elected, it would also restore an allowance for sole-parent beneficiaries going to university more than 10 years after it was axed. The policy was launched by Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni, who said "investing in our people is a key part of Labour's five point economic plan". "Covid-19 is going to impact incomes and employment significantly, which is why Labour is focused on improving New Zealanders' access to training, creating a more highly skilled workforce and ensuring those on benefits can keep more of what they earn." [...]

September 12th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘Quantum supremacy’: China claims super computer million times faster than record

A quantum computer uses qubits, or subatomic particles in various quantum states to perform many calculations at the same time. Photo / 123RF   A Chinese physicist claimed to have built a quantum computer that would leave Western competitors in the dust, but he and his team said they needed to "further verify" the claim. Pan Jianwei, a physicist from the University of Science and Technology of China, announced at a lecture at Westlake University, Hangzhou, on September 5 that a new machine had recently achieved "quantum supremacy" one million times greater than the record currently held by Sycamore, a quantum computer built by Google. Sycamore completed in about 200 seconds a calculation that would keep the fastest computer on Earth busy for 10,000 years, according to a paper [...]

September 12th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘War zone’: Deadly wildfires rage in Western states: At least 23 dead, hundreds of thousands evacuated

OROVILLE, Calif. – Wildfires raced through more than a dozen Western states Thursday, incinerating homes, forcing hundreds of thousands of evacuations, and burning a swath of land almost the size of New Jersey. At least 23 people have died and hundreds of homes have been destroyed by more than 100 major fires that have consumed nearly 7,000 square miles. Authorities in Oregon say more than 500,000 people statewide have been forced to evacuate because of wildfires - over 10% of the state’s 4.2 million population. "Unprecedented weather conditions have created emergency situations near wildfires throughout California, Oregon, Washington and other states," the National Fire Information Center warned. "Almost half of the large fires reported today have evacuation orders in place." Nineteen deaths have been reported in California, three in Oregon and one in Washington state. In Northern California's Butte [...]

September 11th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Russian Intelligence Hackers Are Back, Microsoft Warns, Aiming at Officials of Both Parties

China is also growing more adept at targeting campaign workers. But contrary to Trump administration warnings, Beijing is mostly aiming at Biden campaign officials.       Microsoft’s cybercrimes unit in Redmond, Wash. Firms like Microsoft and Google, because they sit atop global networks, have a front-seat view of suspicious activity. Credit...Kyle Johnson for The New York Times The Russian military intelligence unit that attacked the Democratic National Committee four years ago is back with a series of new, more stealthy hacks aimed at campaign staff members, consultants and think tanks associated with both Democrats and Republicans. That warning was issued on Thursday by the Microsoft Corporation, in an assessment that is far more detailed than any yet made public by American intelligence agencies. The findings come one day [...]

September 11th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

China-India border dispute: Armed parachute drills point to military build-up

Chinese paratroopers have been taking part in high-altitude drills on the Tibetan Plateau. File Photo / Getty China appears to be preparing thousands of its elite special forces to face off against their Indian counterparts in the troubled Himalayan border region as the military build-up on both sides of the frontier continues. According to a report on Chinese state broadcaster CCTV on Wednesday, a special operations brigade from the Tibet Military Area Command and an army aviation brigade jointly organised the first parachute training "in an unfamiliar area which is over 4000 metres above sea level recently". Without disclosing the date or location of the training, CCTV said that so far more than 300 officers and soldiers of the special operations brigade had successfully carried out their first jump [...]

September 11th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

BIG NEWS: Arab League Rejects Palestinian Demand to Condemn Israel-UAE Peace Agreement

  The Arab League of 22 Muslim nations failed to pass a resolution condemning the peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. After three hours of discussion the League members decided to drop the topic and move on. In a historic first Israel and the UAE announced a peace agreement in August. The Trump White House was instrumental in brokering the deal. This was a major step toward peace in the Middle East. Democrats attacked the peace agreement and bumbling Joe Biden took credit for the deal.   Israel National News reported: The Arab League on Wednesday failed to pass a resolution proposed by the Palestinian Authority (PA) which would have condemned the normalization deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Times of Israel reports. “After a three-hour [...]

September 11th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

White supremacy is ‘most lethal threat’ to the US, DHS draft assessment says

Washington (CNN)White supremacists will remain the most "persistent and lethal threat" in the United States through 2021, according to Department of Homeland Security draft documents. The most recent draft report predicts an "elevated threat environment at least through" early next year, concluding that some US-based violent extremists have capitalized on increased social and political tensions in 2020. Although foreign terrorist organizations will continue to call for attacks on the US, the report says, they "probably will remain constrained in their ability to direct such plots over the next year." The threat assessment -- which also warns of continued disinformation efforts by Russia -- is especially notable as President Donald Trump has often employed race-baiting tactics in his quest for reelection and frequently downplayed the threat from white supremacists during [...]

September 11th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Judith Collins reveals plan to create new bank for infrastructure projects

National Party leader Judith Collins is unveiling National's plan to create a new bank to provide finance and advice to central and local government on infrastructure projects, if elected. The Crown Financial Institution, named the National Infrastructure Bank, would consolidate existing agencies including Crown Infrastructure Partners, Green Investment, Provincial Growth Fund loans and residual holdings at Crown Irrigation Investments Limited. Collins says the bank would offer institutional investors such as the Accident Compensation Corporation and NZ Super Fund an avenue to take on investment risk in New Zealand infrastructure assets. "A key part of National's plan to deal with the current economic and jobs crisis is to deliver world-class infrastructure that grows our economy and gets Kiwis back to work. "To do that we have to invest, and every [...]

September 10th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Election 2020: Labour leader Jacinda Ardern unveils energy policy

Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern while campaigning in Rotorua. Photo / Andrew Warner Labour is promising to bring forward the Government's 100 per cent renewable electricity generation target by five years if they are re-elected. But to get to this ambitious target, the next government will need to spend $4 billion on an energy generation plan at the bottom of the South Island. The Labour-led Government's policy during this term in Government was to have all New Zealand's electricity renewable by 2035. But, speaking to reporters in Taupō this afternoon, Labour leader Jacinda Ardern said her party would bring that forward to 2030. There will be a review at 2025 to "assess New Zealand's progress" and for the Government to "check in on" the renewable energy plan. "We need [...]

September 10th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Australia revokes Chinese scholar visas and targets media officials

Senior Chinese media officials in Australia have been targeted and the visas of two leading Chinese scholars have been revoked in an unprecedented foreign interference investigation into a NSW political staffer, provoking a furious response from the Chinese Government. Photo: 123RF The Chinese Government has used state media to accuse Australian authorities of secretly raiding the homes of four Chinese journalists in Australia in late June, after receiving questions from the ABC yesterday about the investigation. The Chinese embassy did not reply to the ABC's questions yesterday, but several state media organisations published articles overnight reporting details of the alleged raids and accusing Australia of "severely infring[ing] on the legitimate rights of Chinese journalists" and "hypocrisy in upholding so-called 'freedom of the press'". The ABC has uncovered the identities [...]

September 10th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Gulf Livestock 1: Search for crew of capsized cattle ship called off

The search for the missing crew, including two New Zealanders, in the East China Sea has been called off. The Japanese Coast Guard patrol ship Kudaka had been involved in the search for the Gulf Livestock 1 which has now been called off. Photo: AFP The ship, the Gulf Livestock 1, sent a distress call from the west of Amami Oshima island in south-western Japan last Wednesday as Typhoon Maysak lashed the area with strong winds and heavy seas. It was carrying 43 crew members and thousands of cows. Three people were found, two were alive but one man was unconscious and later died. The search and rescue was suspended over the weekend, when a second typhoon battered the area and resumed on Monday but daily searches using planes [...]

September 10th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine trial has been stopped after an illness

The hold AstraZeneca placed Tuesday on its COVID-19 vaccine trials is the first major setback in pursuit of a vaccine against a disease that has now killed 190,000 in the U.S. and nearly 900,000 worldwide. One volunteer in a trial in the United Kingdom apparently developed a serious neurological problem after receiving the vaccine, though not much has been made publicly available about what happened. AstraZeneca, which is running several large trials around the world, including one in the U.S., put a temporary hold on all of them pending an investigation. It may seem surprising to stop a multimillion-dollar, 30,000-person trial because one person fell ill, but "it's not at all unprecedented," said Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, speaking Wednesday morning to a Senate committee. [...]

September 10th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Donald Trump nominated for Nobel Peace Prize after Israel-UAE peace accord

US President Donald Trump has been nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize over the deal his administration brokered between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. The nomination was submitted by Norwegian politician Christian Tybring-Gjedde, who leads the country's right-leaning Progress Party. "For his merit, I think he has done more trying to create peace between nations than most other Peace Prize nominees," Mr Tybring-Gjedde told Fox News, explaining his decision to put Mr Trump's name forward. He also mentioned the President's attempts to reach a denuclearisation deal with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, and praised his decision to withdraw a large number of US troops from the Middle East. “I'm not a big Trump supporter," Mr Tybring-Gjedde stressed. "The committee should look at the facts and judge him [...]

September 9th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Stocks Sink As Investors Sell Tech Shares – Markets See 4-Wk Low

The markets continued their downward spiral Monday, as traders headed back to work for the first trading session after Labor Day break. Tech stocks felt the brunt of the hit amid signs of significant volatility. The Nasdaq Composite ended the session down more than 4%, after sliding 6% in the two days ahead of the holiday weekend. The Dow closed down 2.25%, losing 632 points to close at 27,500 and the S&P was off nearly 2.8%, or 95 points, ending the session at 3331.84 Some of the names hardest hit include shares of electric car maker, Tesla, which ended the session off a whopping 21%, as investors come to grips with the news that the stock will not be part of the S&P 500 index. Apple traded down almost [...]

September 9th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

9 Drug Companies Pledge to ‘Stand With Science’ on Coronavirus Vaccines

The joint statement by competitors was seen as an effort to restore public trust as President Trump has pushed for a vaccine before the presidential election.         A Covid-19 vaccine trial carried out by Pfizer in May at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. Pfizer is one of nine companies that pledged on Tuesday that it would not put forward a vaccine until it had vetted it for safety and efficacy.Credit...University of Maryland School of Medicine, via Associated Press Nine pharmaceutical companies issued a joint pledge on Tuesday that they would “stand with science” and not put forward a vaccine until it had been thoroughly vetted for safety and efficacy. The companies did not rule out seeking an emergency authorization of their vaccines, [...]

September 9th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Labour pledges to raise tax on earnings over $180k

The Labour Party is promising to increase tax on the country's highest two percent of earners and close loopholes so multinationals pay their fair share of tax. Finance Minister Grant Robertson campaigning in Tauranga. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas The party has released its tax policy and the new top rate of 39 percent on earnings over $180,000 is the sole change. Tax rates for companies and trusts would not change. The policy is forecast to generate $550 million of revenue a year. Labour finance spokesperson Grant Robertson said the policy is about maintaining investment in crucial services, while keeping tax rates exactly the same as they are now for 98 percent of people. "Our plan strikes a balance as we recover from Covid-19. It will avoid the cuts [...]

September 9th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

London court resumes Assange hearing amid worldwide protests against his extradition to US

British fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood addresses supporters of Julian Assange protesting outside the Old Bailey 07 September, 2020 in London, England. © Getty Images / Barcroft Media   As the Julian Assange hearing resumed, the WikiLeaks founder formally declined to be extradited to face a superseding indictment issued by the US in June. Protesters and lawyers say the prosecution will stifle press freedom. Assange’s lawyers described the prosecution as a politically motivated abuse of power that will stifle press freedom and put journalists around the world at risk. The journalist is now expected to appear each day of the hearing, which is likely to last four weeks. On the first day, he officially stated that he does not consent to be extradited. Several dozen supporters, including his father and partner, as [...]

September 8th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Ex- GOP Sen. and Defense Secretary Hagel: Trump reportedly calling troops ‘losers’ is ‘despicable,’ fits pattern

Former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said Sunday that if President Donald Trump disparaged fallen U.S. soldiers by calling them "losers," as was reported by The Atlantic and several other news outlets, it was "despicable" and unsuitable for the person in charge of America's armed forces. Trump has strongly denied The Atlantic report, based on four anonymous sources, that he called dead and wounded U.S. service members "losers and suckers." The president told reporters Thursday, "I would be willing to swear on anything that I never said that about our fallen heroes. There is nobody that respects them more." Several media outlets, including the Associated Press and Fox News, have since confirmed many of the quotes used in The Atlantic piece. Hagel, a Vietnam War veteran and two-term Republican [...]

September 8th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Huawei Develops Cloud Phone to Save the Chip Ban Loss

The US chip ban against Huawei will commence on 15th this month as part of the anti-Huawei campaign starting from last year. To overcome the chip shortage in the coming months, Huawei has recently launched a cloud phone sales in which a new flagship of Kunpengyun mobile phone will be the substitute of a regular phone with advanced chips. According to the statement of Huawei, the new type phone is useful for playing cloud mobile games, and is the best alternative for a daily basis. Huawei Cloud Phone is based on the Huawei Yunpeng Peng bare metal server. Huawei's website gives the description that the Yunpeng cloud service solution comprehensively introduces the value and significance of the products and services provided by Huawei Yunpeng cloud service. In the challenge [...]

September 8th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19: Six new cases in NZ today, four in community

There are six new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today, four in the community and two in managed isolation. A scientist studying coronavirus. Photo: AFP In a statement, the Ministry of Health says one of the imported cases was a man in his 20s who arrived from the Philippines on 3 September and was at a managed isolation facility when he tested positive on day 3 of his stay. The other is a female in her late teens who arrived on the same flight from the Philippines and also tested positive on day three, it says. The four new cases in the community were all linked to the Mt Roskill Evangelical Fellowship Church group within the Auckland August cluster. The ministry said the Auckland Regional Public Health was [...]

September 8th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Journalists working for Australian media in China fly home over fears for their safety

The ABC's Bill Birtles arrives back in Australia. Photos / Twitter, Nine News Michael Smith of the Australian Financial Review. The last two journalists working for Australian media in China have left the country after police demanded interviews with them, the Australian Government and Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported. The ABC's Bill Birtles and the Australian Financial Review's Michael Smith landed in Sydney after flying from Shanghai. Both had sheltered in Australian diplomatic compounds in recent days. Chinese police arrived at Birtles' doorstep last week, demanded he submit to questioning and told him he was banned from leaving the country, the ABC reported. Australian and Chinese officials negotiated for the travel ban to be lifted if Birtles spoke to police. The journalists left after Australia revealed last week that Australian [...]

September 8th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

China says Indian forces crossed border, fired warning shots

Border Roads Organisation workers rest near Pangong Lake in Ladakh region, India. Photo / AP file China said Indian forces crossed into territory it holds along their disputed border and fired warning shots at a Chinese patrol in a move it called a "serious military provocation" and a violation of their agreements. The nuclear-armed rivals have been engaged in a tense standoff in the cold-desert Ladakh region since May, and their defence ministers met on Friday in Moscow in the first high-level direct contact between the sides since the standoff began. China's western military command said the incursion occurred yesterday along the southern coast of Pangong Lake in the area known in Chinese as Shenpaoshan. After shots were fired, Chinese forces took "necessary measures to stabilise and control the [...]

September 8th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Gunmaker Smith & Wesson ramps up production after sales skyrocket a record-breaking 140 percent

Smith & Wesson, one of the country’s biggest gunmakers, has announced it will increase production to meet demand as firearms sales have grown significantly by 140 percent year-over-year. The company’s announcement comes after a record-breaking first quarter, and sales have only increased since, likely at least in part due to a surge in violence and rioting in major cities around the country. The firearms maker, one of just two publicly traded gun makers in the country, reported the dramatic rise in sales between the beginning of May through the end of July. In that timeframe, the company sold or moved 584,000 guns, which is an unprecedented demand that led to declines in inventories around the country. As such, the company’s executives have committed to doubling down on production output [...]

September 7th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

National announces plan to tackle methamphetamine

The National Party has announced its plan to tackle methamphetamine demand and supply. On a visit to Hawke's Bay today, leader Judith Collins announced the party's plan which will tackle supplies coming into prisons, target organised crime networks, increase drug dogs at airports and establish a $50 million contestable fund for reduction programmes. "National's plan tackles the harm of methamphetamine use, restoring hope to people trapped in cycles of drug dependence and challenging those who peddle misery in our communities," Collins said. "The use of this drug tears families apart, fuels violence, enriches criminals and destroys lives. We cannot tolerate the continued misery this drug causes, which leads to rising levels of violence and poverty, and widespread social harm." National plan to tackle demand will: • Deploy the Matrix [...]

September 7th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Almost 300 arrests as Hong Kong protesters oppose election delay

Police detain protesters on the street in Hong Kong. Several journalists were also reportedly targeted. Photograph: Jérôme Favre/EPA On what was supposed to have been Hong Kong’s election day, hundreds of pro-democracy protesters took to the streets on Sunday, where they encountered a heavy presence from police, who fired pepper pellets and arrested almost 300 people. It was one of the largest gatherings of protesters since China’s implementation of a sweeping set of anti-sedition laws that a coalition of United Nations expert groups has said risks breaching multiple international laws and human rights. In July the Hong Kong government announced it was postponing the legislative council election for one year because of the dangers posed by a new outbreak of the coronavirus in the city. However, the decision was [...]

September 6th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Brexit: Johnson to override EU withdrawal agreement

Move threatens to collapse talks that PM has said must be completed within weeks Boris Johnson will say the UK would ‘prosper mightily as a result’ of taking full control of its laws and fishing waters. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Boris Johnson is drawing up legislation that will override the Brexit withdrawal agreement on Northern Ireland, a move that threatens the collapse of crunch talks which the prime minister has said must be completed within five weeks. Johnson will put an ultimatum to negotiators this week, saying the UK and Europe must agree a post-Brexit trade deal by 15 October or Britain will walk away for good. But progress on the already fragile talks will be threatened by plans revealed on Sunday for the UK government to publish a controversial [...]

September 6th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Victorian premier reveals roadmap out of Melbourne’s Covid-19 lockdown

Victoria's premier has announced a five-step roadmap for moving the state out of lockdown. Victoria's state premier Daniel Andrews speaks during a press conference. Photo: AFP Experts say Victoria will not be in a position to reopen as planned on 14 September, as modelling predicts a potential third wave if the stage four restrictions are lifted too soon. In an announcement within the last hour, the state premier Daniel Andrews said Melbourne city's have been extended for two weeks, but he gave details of some changes to current restrictions. Modifications to the restrictions would include starting the curfew one hour later, to run from 9pm to 5am. Public gatherings of two people, or a household, will be allowed for up to two hours a day, which Andrews said could [...]

September 6th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Typhoon Haishen: 200,000 ordered to evacuate as Japan braces for storm

More than 200,000 people have been ordered to evacuate areas of Japan threatened by an approaching storm. Photo: AFP Typhoon Haishen is expected to intensify on Sunday, bringing heavy rain, storm surges and winds of more than 160kmh. It will move past Kyushu on Sunday, and is expected make landfall in South Korea on Monday. It comes days after Typhoon Maysak, one of the strongest storms to hit the region in years. The latest typhoon has led to the closure of factories, schools and businesses across western Japan. Hundreds of flights and train services have also been cancelled. Photo: AFP Japan's government will be holding an emergency cabinet meeting on Sunday to address the storm. The country's weather agency said it was not likely to issue its most serious [...]

September 6th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

They Teach Chinese Kids English Online. Now They’re Caught In Trump’s War On TikTok

The view outside the Chinese technology company ByteDance in Beijing in August 2020. Trump's executive order outlaws transactions between U.S. citizens and ByteDance. American instructors who work for ByteDance subsidiary GOGOKID said they feel like their jobs are under threat. Emmanuel Wong/Getty Images Kristie Hunter is a former public school teacher who for the past two years has made most of her money teaching children in China how to speak English online. "I've been a stay-at-home mom with our three children, and as they were getting older, I missed the professional side of my life," said Hunter, 42, who lives in the Columbia, South Carolina area. "So this has helped me reconnect with my career and have flexibility." Hunter works for GOGOKID, a one-on-one English language tutoring service owned by [...]

September 6th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Trump calls on Fox News to fire reporter over claims he disparaged military

Trump listens to a question at a White House news conference on Sept 4, 2020.PHOTO: REUTERS   WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Donald Trump has demanded that Fox News fire its national security correspondent after she confirmed claims that the Republican leader had disparaged the military - a bombshell that has dogged him for two days. Trump came under fire after The Atlantic magazine reported that he had called Marines killed in action in World War I "losers" and "suckers" in connection with a November 2018 visit to France when he skipped a visit to a US military cemetery. The official explanation for that missed visit was bad weather. Fox News correspondent Jennifer Griffin said two former administration officials had confirmed to her that the president "did not want [...]

September 5th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Ex-FBI agent in Russia inquiry says Trump is a national security threat

A 2018 photo shows then-FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok at a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington..PHOTO: NYTIMES WASHINGTON (NYTIMES) - A former senior FBI agent at the centre of the investigations into Mrs Hillary Clinton's email server and the Trump campaign's ties to Russia defends the handling of the inquiries and declares President Donald Trump a national security threat in a new memoir, while admitting that the bureau made mistakes that upended the 2016 presidential election. The former agent, Peter Strzok, who was removed from the special counsel's team and later fired over disparaging texts he sent about Mr Trump, has mostly kept silent as the president and his supporters have vilified him. But Mr Strzok's new book, "Compromised", a copy of which was obtained by The New [...]

September 5th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘Arms race’: How the Portland shooting shows protesters on the right and the left are bringing guns

Michael Forest Reinoehl lived life recklessly and died violently. Though he was a middle-aged father, the Oregon man received a gunshot wound when he interceded in a confrontation, was caught driving 111 miles per hour in a Cadillac while apparently racing his 17-year-old son in another car and packed a gun as he joined in the Portland protests. It was there that he allegedly shot and killed a pro-Trump counter-protester only to die himself Thursday in a shootout with federal agents who had come to arrest him outside Olympia, Washington. His actions shatter any conception of left-wing protesters shunning the use of deadly weapons while their counterparts on the far right show up in groups that wear military fatigues and openly carry pistols and assault rifles. Those who study extremism say that [...]

September 5th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Boris Johnson said Donald Trump was ‘making American great again’, leaked meeting notes reveal

Donald Trump has developed a warm bond with Boris Johnson, who he has called a friend and "Britain Trump". Photo / Getty Images   Boris Johnson privately told US diplomats that Donald Trump was "making America great again", according to a cache of official notes taken during high-level UK-US meetings whose details have leaked to the Telegraph. The British Prime Minister is quoted telling the US ambassador to Britain in August 2017, when he was foreign secretary, that Trump was doing "fantastic stuff" on foreign policy issues like China, Syria and North Korea. Other records show Johnson claimed the US president was becoming "increasingly popular" in Britain in 2017 and spoke warmly about how under his leadership America was "back and engaged in the world". Johnson's praise for Trump [...]

September 5th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus in New Zealand: Two deaths, three new cases

Two Covid-19 deaths in Auckland in 12 hours have proven a sharp reminder of the dire outcomes for some infected with a virus that has killed more than 876,000 worldwide this year. Two people with the virus - a man in his 50s and 85-year-old former Cook Islands' Prime Minister Dr Joe Williams - died in Auckland hospitals on Friday. Three new cases of the virus, two in the community and one in managed isolation, were reported yesterday. Health authorities are also probing a possible case in managed isolation in Christchurch. Meanwhile, more than 300 yachts are stuck in limbo across the South Pacific as cyclone season nears, barred from berthing in New Zealand due to Covid-19 restrictions. The Ocean Cruising Club (OCC) says it has written to Prime [...]

September 5th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

BREAKING: Trump Signs Memo to Defund New York City and Three Other Cities with Out of Control Rioting and Anarchy

President Trump on Wednesday signed a memo ordering federal agencies to defund “anarchist jurisdictions” including New York City, Seattle and Portland. President Trump tweeted this out tonight. The New York Post reported: President Trump is ordering the federal government to begin the process of defunding New York City and three other cities where officials allowed “lawless” protests and cut police budgets amid rising violent crime, The Post can exclusively reveal. Trump on Wednesday signed a five-page memo ordering all federal agencies to send reports to the White House Office of Management and Budget that detail funds that can be redirected. New York City, Washington, DC, Seattle and Portland are initial targets as Trump makes “law and order” a centerpiece of his reelection campaign after months of unrest and violence [...]

September 5th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Donald Trump says US ‘hasn’t had any proof’ of Navalny poisoning

President says US must look seriously at case but suggests media should be looking into China President Donald Trump said the United States must look “very seriously” into the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, but that his administration had not yet seen any proof. “I think we have to look at it very seriously, if it’s the case,” he said, before talking at length about his diplomatic efforts in North Korea and nuclear non-proliferation in Russia. “I don’t know exactly what happened. It’s tragic. It’s terrible, it shouldn’t happen. We haven’t had any proof yet, but I will take a look. “It is interesting that everybody’s always mentioning Russia … but I think probably China at this point is a nation that you should be talking about [...]

September 5th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Hundreds turn out for anti-lockdown protests

A group of Rotorua protesters do not want the Government telling them what to do. Photo / David Beck Police were out in force across New Zealand today as hundreds turned out for anti-lockdown demonstrations. A large crowd filled Auckland's Aotea Square this afternoon despite the city being at alert level 2.5 which restricts gatherings to a maximum of 10 people. Banners declaring, "Fight for your rights and freedom" and "No more lockdowns" were waved, while one child protester clutched a sign which depicted Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as Adolf Hitler. Other protests were held in Whangarei, Wellington, New Plymouth, Tauranga, Rotorua, Nelson and Christchurch. Police monitored protest events and took "an educative approach with attendees and organisers when necessary", Assistant Commissioner Richard Chambers said. "Police monitoring the protest [...]

September 5th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Double tragedy – Dr Joe Williams dies 24 hours after his brother Tuaine Williams

Former Cook Islands PM and Auckland GP Dr Joe Williams has died, aged 82. Photo / RNZ The sudden death of Dr Joe Williams last night after Covid-19 complications came just hours after the death of his older brother, the Herald has learned. The family of Williams, former Prime Minister of the Cook Islands and a much-respected GP, are reeling after news of the double tragedy. Williams, 85, died in Auckland City Hospital last night. Just a day earlier, his brother Tuaine Williams died peacefully at The Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane. Joe Williams' nephew Dr Kiki Maoate told the Herald the double tragedy has hit the family hard. "It is a blow for the family. They are reeling from it," he said. Joe Williams was admitted to hospital [...]

September 5th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Chinese Army Will Test New Weapons in the Possible Sino-Indian Border War

Although neither China nor India hope that the limited conflicts in the Ladakh region will evolve into large-scale armed conflicts, on the eve of the defense minister level talks in Moscow, the Chinese army has obviously been prepared to deal with the Indian army’s cross-border offensive and occupation and plans to take the border conflict as a battlefield to test new weapons and military equipment. There is an intention that the Chinese troops welcome the opportunity to train the capability and combat effectiveness in a real war after having not been involved in real military operations for many years. A team of the fifth-generation J-20 stealth fighters of the Chinese Air Force has been deployed at a base of reasonable distance from the border area where the conflict might [...]

September 5th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: New Zealand ranked second-safest country, after Germany

Germany is the safest country in the world when it comes to Covid-19 followed closely by New Zealand, according to a newly released survey. The ranking places South Korea third while Switzerland - which was first - has dropped back to fourth and Japan is fifth, according to Forbes online. Australia and China are sixth and seventh respectively. The ranking of the safest countries in the world for Covid-19 was first released by Deep Knowledge Group in June. Now the thinktank has updated its data and methodology and re-issued a report on the safest countries and regions, Forbes reported. The most dangerous nations for Covid according to the ranking were Somaliland, South Sudan, Afghanistan and Mali. According to Forbes, Deep Knowledge Group said it looked at more than 140 [...]

September 5th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Trump security adviser says China has biggest election-interference programme

National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien speaks during a press briefing at the White House.PHOTO: REUTERS   WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - China has taken the most active role among countries seeking to interfere in the US election and has the biggest programme to influence domestic politics, US national security adviser Robert O'Brien said on Friday (Sept 4), without providing any details. "We know the Chinese have taken the most active role,"O'Brien told reporters at a briefing. He said China had "had the most massive programme to influence the United States politically," followed by Iran and then Russia. US intelligence found that Russia orchestrated a cyber campaign to sway the 2016 presidential election in Republican Donald Trump's favour and there have been reports hackers may try to influence the election on Nov [...]

September 4th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Results of Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine produced antibody response: The Lancet

A staff member displaying a vial containing the "Sputnik-V" Covid-19 vaccine, at the Binnopharm pharmaceutical company in Zelenograd on Aug 7, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS   MOSCOW (REUTERS) - Russia's "Sputnik-V" Covid-19 vaccine produced an antibody response in all participants in early-stage trials, according to results published on Friday (Sept 4) by The Lancet medical journal that were hailed by Moscow as an answer to its critics. The results of the two trials, conducted in June-July this year and involving 76 participants, showed 100 per cent of participants developing antibodies to the new coronavirus and no serious side effects, The Lancet said. Russia licensed the two-shot jab for domestic use in August, the first country to do so and before any data had been published or a large-scale trial begun. [...]

September 4th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Japan coastguard says second person found from capsized cattle ship has died

Rescuers search for more than 40 crew from ship carrying 6,000 cattle that went down en route from New Zealand to China A second survivor from a cargo ship carrying 6,000 cattle that capsized off southwest Japan has died after being pulled from the water unconscious on Friday. The Japanese coast guard said the man had been unresponsive when he was found about 120 km (75 miles) north-northwest of Amami Oshima island and transferred to a hospital. The dead crew member, who has not been named, was found drifting face down in the water at 6:30am Japan time on Friday and rescued at 7:16am, 120km from Amani Island, the coastguard said. A life jacket and cattle carcass were also collected from the same area, the coast guard said, adding [...]

September 4th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Man in his 50s dies in Auckland, first virus death in three months

A father of four in his 50s has died at Middlemore Hospital today after being admitted for Covid-19. He is the youngest person whose death has been linked to the virus in New Zealand and the first Covid-related death here since May 28. It is also the first death from the Auckland cluster, of which 152 people have been linked to. The total number of Covid-19 related deaths in New Zealand is now 23. Newshub have reported the man was a father of four and worked at Mt Wellington coolstore Americold, with the man who was the cluster's index case. At least 10 people associated with Americold have tested positive to Covid-19. That includes seven employees and three contractors. The first case of community transmission in New Zealand for [...]

September 4th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Don’t want to get ahead of ourselves’: Jacinda Ardern on NZ’s alert levels

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the Government "will always be very cautious" and doesn't want to get ahead of itself when asked about the timing of a potential move to alert level 1. Ardern spoke to media at the launch of Auckland's Manukau Institute of Technology Construction Centre of Vocational Excellence. Acknowledging a question about the changing of alert levels, Ardern said they would be considering things over the next few days - including the number of active cases appearing each day. "We will always be very cautious...we don't want to get ahead of ourselves," she said. Cabinet is meeting on Friday to review New Zealand's alert levels. Auckland is at what Ardern has described as alert level 2.5 while the rest of the country is at alert level [...]

September 3rd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

US tightens restrictions on Chinese diplomats

A file photo shows the Chinese flag outside China's consulate in Houston which has been ordered to shut by the US government.PHOTO: AFP   WASHINGTON - Chinese diplomats in the United States have been slapped with new restrictions on their movements and activities, in the latest move in line with the US demand for reciprocity from China. Senior Chinese diplomats will need approval from the State Department to visit American university campuses and to meet with local government officials. Approval will also be required for cultural events for more than 50 attendees happening outside the Chinese embassy or consular posts. The State Department last year required Chinese diplomats to notify it of any meetings with local government officials or events on university campuses – but prior approval was not [...]

September 3rd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

One rescued from sea, Kiwis still missing after live export ship that left Napier for China disappears in storm

One person is pulled from the sea near where a live export ship has gone missing off the south coast of Japan. Photo / Japan Coast Guard - via Reuters A livestock ship sailing from Napier to China with two New Zealand crew members on-board is missing off the coast of Japan. Japan's coast guard was on Thursday afternoon (NZ time) searching for Livestock carrier Gulf Livestock 1 carrying 42 crew members and 5800 cows that made a distress call off a southern Japanese island in seas roughened by a typhoon. Rescuers safely plucked one crew member from the sea. The person rescued from the water was not believed to be one of the Kiwis. More information on the ship's distress wasn't immediately available. The Gulf Livestock 1 departed [...]

September 3rd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Putin opponent Alexei Navalny poisoned with Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok, Germany finds

Toxicology tests performed on samples taken from Russian opposition leader and anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny showed "unequivocal proof" of the presence of the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok, the German government said Wednesday. Navalny is in an induced coma at Berlin’s Charite hospital. He was transferred there last week after he fell ill on a flight back to Moscow from Siberia on Aug. 20 and was taken to a hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk after the plane made an emergency landing. Navalny, 44, is one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critics. His allies have insisted he was deliberately poisoned, likely by drinking tea, by Russian authorities. The Kremlin has rejected the allegations as "empty noise." Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement that testing by a special German [...]

September 3rd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Canada researchers investigating acai berry to fight Covid-19

Doctors believe the berry could help prohibit the severe inflammatory response caused by the coronavirus.PHOTO: AFP   OTTAWA (AFP) - Canadian researchers said on Monday (Aug 31) they are investigating a popular superfood - the acai berry - as a treatment to prevent Covid-19's most severe symptoms. Past studies have shown that the berry's extract may act as an inflammation inhibitor, which doctors believe could help prohibit the severe inflammatory response caused by the coronavirus. University of Toronto scientists Michael Farkouh and Ana Andreazza, who have studied the berry's effect on inflammation responses for nearly five years, are researching how it can be used to fight Covid-19. It's a long shot," Dr Farkouh told AFP. "But acai berries are cheap and easily accessible for everyone, as well as safe, [...]

September 3rd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Election 2020: It’s a ‘disservice’ to say New Zealand hasn’t done well with Covid-19, says Prime Minister

The Prime Minister has hit back at Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters for saying New Zealand was "gilding the lily" about its response to Covid-19. Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand had done "exceptionally well". "I think we do a disservice to every single New Zealander whose been part of that team effort if we don't acknowledge that. "I think we need to take into account, relative to other countries, how well New Zealanders have done and the results that have been generated." The exchange came as Parliament wrapped up its last day before the campaign proper and politicians got back on the campaign trail. Electioneering was put on hold to deal with the latest Covid-19 outbreak but has now been taken off pause in the lead-up to the October [...]

September 2nd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Scientists see downsides to high-profile Covid-19 vaccines from Russia, China

CHICAGO (REUTERS) - High-profile Covid-19 vaccines developed in Russia and China share a potential shortcoming: They are based on a common cold virus that many people have been exposed to, potentially limiting their effectiveness, some experts say. CanSino Biologics' vaccine, approved for military use in China, is a modified form of adenovirus type 5, or Ad5. The company is in talks to get emergency approval in several countries before completing large-scale trials, the Wall Street Journal reported last week. A vaccine developed by Moscow's Gamaleya Institute, approved in Russia earlier this month despite limited testing, is based on Ad5 and a second less common adenovirus. "The Ad5 concerns me just because a lot of people have immunity," said Dr Anna Durbin, a vaccine researcher at Johns Hopkins University. "I'm [...]

September 2nd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Pentagon concerned by China’s nuclear ambitions, expects warheads to double

A 2015 photo shows a military event in China marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.PHOTO: REUTERS   WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - China is expected to at least double the number of its nuclear warheads over the next decade from the low 200s now and is nearing the ability to launch nuclear strikes by land, air and sea, a capacity known as a triad, the Pentagon said on Tuesday (Sept 1). The revelations came as tensions rise between China and the United States and as Washington seeks to have Beijing join a flagship nuclear arms treaty between the US and Russia. In its annual report to Congress on China's military, the Pentagon said that China has nuclear warheads in the low 200s - the first time [...]

September 2nd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

US refuses to join international effort to develop Covid-19 vaccin

Decision is ‘real blow’ to Covax project, expert says White House blames stance on role of WHO and China A scientist filters out samples during the research and development of a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) at a laboratory in St Petersburg, Russia. Photograph: Anton Vaganov/Reuters The US government has said that it will not participate in a global initiative to develop, manufacture and equitably distribute a vaccine for Covid-19 because the effort is co-led by the World Health Organization. The Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility (Covax) is a plan developed by the WHO, along with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and is meant to accelerate the development and testing of a vaccine and work toward distributing it equally. The WHO announced [...]

September 2nd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Indian special forces soldier killed in skirmish with Chinese troops

Member of India’s Special Frontier Force killed in clash on Saturday night Indian soldiers on top of a military vehicle crossing the Srinagar-Leh National highway. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images A soldier with India’s special forces has been killed in the latest border showdown with Chinese troops on their contested Himalayan border India has said 20 troops were killed. China acknowledged casualties but did not give figures. The two sides blamed each other for the latest incidents. India’s defence ministry said Chinese troops “carried out provocative military movements to change the status quo” at the border on Saturday. China’s People’s Liberation Army said that India was “seriously violating China’s territorial sovereignty” with its operation staged Monday and demanded that Indian troops withdraw. India’s foreign ministry said Tuesday that China had [...]

September 2nd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

PLA’s electronic warfare capability serious threat to Taiwan: MND

CNA file photo of Taiwan's F-16 fighter jets  Taipei, Aug. 31 (CNA) The buildup and deployment of advanced electronic warfare units by the People's Liberation Army along China's southeastern coast could potentially pose a serious threat to Taiwan's defenses, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said on Monday. In its 2020 report on China's military power, the ministry noted how Beijing has been continuing to deploy new-generation fighter jets, reconnaissance aircraft and drones to its air bases in Zhejiang, Fujian and Guangdong provinces. The ultimate purpose, according to the report, will be to provide the Chinese military with the advantage of being able to paralyze Taiwan's air defenses and allow it to seize control of the island's surrounding waters in the event of an armed conflict. Even more so, [...]

September 1st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

What to Expect From China’s Upcoming Type 076 ‘Drone Mothership’ Carrier

China’s Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is reportedly planning to field a new and entirely unique type of medium weight aircraft carrier in the near future, which is expected to be based on the Type 075 Class assault carrier design. The first two Type 075 Class ships were launched during the past year, with a third currently under construction, and each displaces approximately 40,000 tons and can accommodate between 20 and 30 aircraft. The Type 075 notably was not designed exclusively to deploy fixed wing aircraft - although they are still likely to do so in the near future once China develops a fighter class capable of carrying out vertical landings as the American Harrier II and F-35B currently do. The new carrier however, dubbed the Type 076 Class, [...]

September 1st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: 14 new cases in NZ today, 146 linked to cluster

There are 14 new cases of Covid-19 to report in New Zealand today - nine in managed isolation and quarantine hotels (MIQ) and five in the community. The case numbers came via a press statement from the Ministry of Health. There was no 1pm press conference about the numbers but Minister for Managed Isolation and Quarantine Megan Woods and Air Commodore Darryn Webb are speaking to media. They said 97 per cent of staff working in MIQ were tested last week and no-one tested positive for Covid-19. Our total number of active cases is 132. Of those, 33 are imported cases in MIQ facilities, and 99 are community cases. The Auckland cluster now has 146 cases linked to it. The five new community cases are all clearly epidemiologically linked [...]

September 1st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Breaking News: A University in the United States Suddenly Expelled all Chinese Government-sponsored Students Ordering Them to Leave the Country within One Month

Recently, a university in the United States suddenly announced that it would expel all state sponsored visiting scholars and students funded by Chinese government and order them to leave the country within one month. Although the sudden move has not yet been reported by any mainstream media in the United States, a screenshot of an email from the University of North Texas was released last week on Twitter. According to the email, on August 26, the University suddenly decided to suspend the qualification of Chinese government-sponsored visiting students and scholars for study in the University, and deprived these people of the right to continue to use the school's server, e-mail and other learning materials, but only allow the affected students to return to school to collect their personal belongings. [...]

September 1st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

State police return to Portland after protest shooting; Trump defends Kyle Rittenhouse ahead of Kenosha visit

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced a plan to curb violence in Portland as the state's largest city was reeling Monday after a fatal weekend shooting following clashes between protesters and supporters of President Donald Trump. Brown said Sunday that Oregon State Police would return to Portland to help authorities and called for other law enforcement agencies in the state to provide help amid nightly protests since the killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. A man was fatally shot Saturday shortly after a caravan of vehicles carrying Trump supporters rolled through Portland, drawing heated counterprotests. Joey Gibson, founder of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer, identified the victim as Aaron “Jay” Danielson and called him a “good friend.” Portland police confirmed the identification Monday, saying Danielson was 39 and died of a gunshot [...]

September 1st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Sexual harassment, bullying allegations against United Fire Brigade Association CEO Bill Butzbach

United Fire Brigade Association CEO Bill Butzbach. The chief executive of the volunteer firefighters' association is the subject of an independent investigation relating to two complaints of sexual harassment and bullying. The United Fire Brigade Association (UFBA) board has appointed Kristy McDonald QC to conduct the investigation into its CEO Bill Butzbach. The UFBA is funded $4.3 million a year by Fire and Emergency New Zealand to represent 550 volunteer brigades and 11,500 firefighters. The two complaints against Butzbach relate to incidents several years ago when he was Fire Chief in Martinborough and on the board of UFBA. One complaint relates to sexual harassment in what the complainant describes as a "hazing incident" in a restaurant in Martinborough. The other complainant wants the terms of reference for the inquiry [...]

September 1st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Coronavirus: US tops 6m cases as some states post record daily totals

Midwest states emerge as the nation’s growing hotspot while about 185,000 Americans have died so far from the virus The Iowa governor, Kim Reynolds, during a news conference on the state’s guidance for returning to school in response to the coronavirus outbreak in Des Moines, Iowa. Photograph: Charlie Neibergall/AP The US reached a grim milestone late on Sunday, topping 6m coronavirus infections nationwide as some states posted record daily totals in newly confirmed cases. States such as Iowa, both North and South Dakota, as well as Minnesota and others in the midwest have emerged as the nation’s growing hotspot. The record 6m cases comes amid reports that officials within the White House coronavirus taskforce and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released guidance, not intended for the public, that [...]

September 1st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

WHO: We can’t ‘just pretend the pandemic is over’

© Getty Images The World Health Organization (WHO) warned Monday that people can’t “pretend the pandemic is over” as countries lift restrictions put in place to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that countries should not reopen economies if they don’t have control over the virus. "The more control countries have over the virus, the more they can open up. Opening up without having control is a recipe for disaster," he said during a virtual briefing. "No country can just pretend the pandemic is over." He also reportedly said countries should prevent deaths by protecting vulnerable people, including older people, people with underlying conditions and essential workers, which he said helps alleviate burden on health systems and saves lives. “If countries are serious [...]

August 31st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Hong Kong health care workers call for coronavirus testing program boycott

© Getty A Hong Kong health care workers union on Sunday called for members to boycott the city government’s coronavirus testing plan, calling it a misuse of resources. A 60-person Chinese team is set to conduct tests in the city, the first aid sent directly from Beijing during the pandemic. However, the aid comes in the wake of a new national security law that critics say has eroded the city’s autonomy from China after it was guaranteed in the 1997 British handover. The Hospital Authority Employees Alliance, a coalition of health care workers and activists that formed during the 2019 uprising in the city, said the universal testing plan would be an inefficient use of resources, according to Reuters. The 20,000-member group is instead calling for targeted testing. The [...]

August 31st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Election 2020: National promises $4.8b extra for school buildings and looser approach to school zoning

National education spokeswoman Nicola Willis has promised an extra $4.8 billion extra for school building over 10 years. Photo / Mark Mitchell The National Party has promised to spend $4.8 billion extra on school buildings over the next 10 years. The party has signalled a looser approach to school zoning and would let schools grow to accommodate demand. It also proposes an "alliance" with national infrastructure and construction firms to build new schools and upgrades more cheaply than under the current system of putting each project out to tender. Party leader Judith Collins and education spokeswoman Nicola Willis chose New Plymouth Boys' School to make the announcement, following a storm of outrage from Taranaki schools against an $11.7 million grant for a private Green School near New Plymouth approved [...]

August 31st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Nine new cases today – five in community and four in MIQ

There are nine new Covid cases in New Zealand today - four in MIQ and five in the community. Three of the community cases are linked to the Mt Roskill church and the others are household contacts of previously confirmed cases. There are 28 close contacts identified of the Tokoroa health professional who is in hospital. And 128 people related to the community cluster have transferred to MIQ, including 85 who have tested positive. Eleven people are in hospital - two of whom are in intensive care. There are 131 active cases - of which 24 are imported cases in MIQ - and 7219 tests were processed yesterday. Health Minister Chris Hipkins and acting director of public health Robyn Shearer are giving the daily 1pm press briefing. Shearer said [...]

August 31st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Aucklanders flock to airport for first chance to travel, Rotorua mayor welcomes tourists back

Less than 12 hours since Auckland moved to alert level 2.5 and already crowds of people are swarming to the city's airport taking the opportunity to travel. At Auckland Airport's domestic terminal, all seemed to be wearing masks but keeping a 2-metre distance appeared impossible as people navigated their way to the bag drop off and check in. Crowds swarm to Auckland Airport domestic terminal. Photo / Sam Murphy Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick said she welcomed visitors to Rotorua, one of New Zealand's tourism hotspots, but advised those who were sick to stay away. "Everybody is a bit jittery so don't come if you're sick, follow the Covid tracing - there has been big pick up locally, and stick to the precautions that we are all following including wearing [...]

August 31st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

France: senior military officer suspected of spying for Russia

Defence minister confirms security breach that may have supplied sensitive documents to Kremlin The French defence minister, Florence Parly, said the officer was facing legal proceedings. Photograph: Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images The French government is investigating a senior military officer over a “security breach”, the defence minister has said, following a report the person was suspected of spying for Russia. “What I can confirm is that a senior officer is facing legal proceedings for a security breach,” Florence Parly said. She gave no further details. According to reports, the officer was a lieutenant-colonel stationed with Nato in Italy and had been placed under investigation on suspicion of spying for Russia. He speaks Russian and was seen in Italy with a man identified as an agent of the GRU, the Russian [...]

August 31st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Fatal shooting as Trump supporters, counter-protesters clash in Portland

One person was shot and killed in Portland, Oregon, as a large procession of President Donald Trump supporters and Black Lives Matter protesters clashed in the streets, police said. It wasn't clear if the shooting was linked to fights that broke out as a procession of about 600 vehicles was confronted by protesters in the city's downtown. An Associated Press freelance photographer heard three gunshots and then observed police medics working on the body of the victim, who appeared to be a white man. The freelancer said the man was wearing a hat bearing the insignia of Patriot Prayer, a right-wing group whose members have frequently clashed with protesters in Portland in the past. Police did not release any additional details and were at the scene investigating late on [...]

August 30th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

UAE formally ends boycott of Israel under deal advocated by Trump

© Getty Images The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has officially ended its boycott against Israel following an announcement from President Trumpearlier in the month that outlined the thawing of relations between the two countries. “The decree of the new law comes within the UAE’s efforts to expand diplomatic and commercial cooperation with Israel,” state-run UAE news agency WAM said Saturday, according to The Associated Press. The decree lays out “a roadmap toward launching joint cooperation, leading to bilateral relations by stimulating economic growth and promoting technological innovation.” The axing of the boycott will now allow trade and commerce between the countries. Air travel will also resume. Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner — the president's son-in-law — is expected to be on the first commercial flightfrom Israel to the UAE capital [...]

August 30th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said there were still cases coming through in the Auckland cluster. “We do expect that to continue,” she said, adding the tail of this cluster “will be long”.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she is "incredibly angry" that a wrong message was posted by the Government's Covid-response unit, saying all south and west Aucklanders should be tested, regardless of whether they have symptoms. She said the message was "wrong" on the topline of a Facebook post on Saturday - and people did not have to be tested if they were asymptomatic. The message has led to confusion for many residents. There are about 700,000 people in south and west Auckland and there have been some long queues at testing stations today. The post was still present on Intsagram at 1.26pm today - and reportedly on the Ministry of Health website - despite the Prime Minister saying she had met officials this morning to outline her frustration and [...]

August 30th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Two new cases as Auckland prepares to leave lockdown

There are two new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today, according to director of public health Caroline McElnay. The numbers come as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern thanked Aucklanders, who come out of lockdown tonight - but also urged them to "keep going" and do their part to keep the virus contained. And she had a warning, too: New Zealand will move back up alert levels if necessary. Ardern also expressed anger about botched testing communications. Despite official advice issued on the Government's Covid-19 Facebook page last night, she said everyone in south and west Auckland did not need to get a test. Both of the new cases are in the community and are linked to the Auckland cluster. One is a household contact of one of the already [...]

August 30th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Another earthquake rattles the North Island

Tonight's earthquake - which struck 130 km northeast of Whangamata - was felt as far away as Great Barrier Island.Tonight's earthquake - which struck 130 km northeast of Whangamata - was felt as far away as Great Barrier Island.   Another earthquake has rattled the North Island, being felt on the East Coast, the Coromandel, Bay of Plenty and the Auckland region. GeoNet said the magnitude 4.8 earthquake struck at 8.29pm, 130km northeast of Whangamata. It was at a depth of 18km and has registered as "weak shaking". The shake was felt as far away as Great Barrier Island. Earlier today, a 5.2 magnitude earthquake gave some in the North Island an early morning shock. The quake struck at 3.47am, 120km northeast of Whangamatā at a depth of 5km. [...]

August 29th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: The new Level 2 rules you need to know before midnight tomorrow

Aucklanders prepare to shed the shackles of Covid-19 alert level 3 lockdown at midnight tomorrow, there are a few modifications to what level 2 will mean this time around that people need to be aware of. The size of allowable gatherings will not increase to 100 but only 10 for Aucklanders at this modified level 2. Masks and face coverings will also be compulsory on public transport and planes and encouraged for anyone in public. "We know masks protect you and the people around you," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. "They limit the chance of Covid-19 spreading in places where is often harder to distance yourself and to trace people." Otherwise, level 2 is as you will remember it from mid-April. But what does that entail again? Leaving the [...]

August 29th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

China Fires Missiles Into South China Sea, Sending U.S. a Message

The move was Beijing’s latest effort to assert sovereignty over disputed waters. Competing territorial claims in the South China Sea involve several Asian nations as well as the United States.Credit...Ted Aljibe/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images China has fired a barrage of medium-range missiles across considerable distances into the South China Sea, Beijing’s latest move to demonstrate its strategic dominance and sovereignty over the disputed waters. The missile launches on Wednesday punctuated a series of military exercises that China has conducted this month at a time of rising tensions with the United States over its territorial claims in the South China Sea and its attempts to pressure Taiwan, the self-governing island democracy that Beijing claims as its own. Senior Col. Wu Qian, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of National Defense, [...]

August 29th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

France records ‘exponential’ increase in Covid-19 cases

Figure of 7,379 infections is highest number of new cases in 24 hours since height of epidemic at end of March It is now obligatory to wear masks in outside public spaces in Paris and three city suburbs as well as Marseilles and Strasbourg. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images France has suffered an “exponential” increase in Covid-19 cases with 7,379 new infections in 24 hours, according to the country’s public health authority. The number of new cases has been growing steadily throughout August, but jumped from 6,111 positive tests on Thursday and 5,429 on Wednesday. Friday’s figure, the latest published by Santé Publique France, is the highest number of new cases in a 24-hour period since 31 March at the height of the epidemic Historical data from the government’s Covid-19 [...]

August 29th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

RNC: Trump paints Biden as a ‘radical’ candidate and a danger to America

President accepts Republican presidential nomination in event staged at White House, raising ethical concerns Against a backdrop of a global pandemic, heightened racial tensions, and widespread unemployment, Donald Trump framed his Democratic rival Joe Biden as the real danger to the country’s safety and economic welfare in his address to the Republican convention on Thursday. Accepting the party’s presidential nomination ahead of November’s elections, Trump argued for more than an hour that his administration had accomplished everything it had set out to do and warned that a Biden presidency could be ruinous. “This is the most important election in the history of our country,” Trump told an audience of around 1,500 supporters and officials on the South Lawn of the White House, raising concerns over the ethics of holding [...]

August 28th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Expert calls for masks at schools and workplaces as an ‘alert level 2.5‘

Epidemiologist Dr Michael Baker wants high school students to wear masks to school when Auckland goes down to Covid-19 alert level 2 on Monday. He says workers should also wear masks in meetings and in any other situations where people are less than 1 metre apart indoors - creating a kind of "alert level 2.5" particularly in Auckland where the virus is still in the community. However, other experts disagree. Auckland University epidemiologist Dr Simon Thornley believes masks should not even be compulsory on buses and trains, and says the only place where there is strong evidence that they work is on planes. The argument comes as one 67-year-old Mt Albert Grammar School parent, Mike Leonard, says he may have to move out of his house when his daughter [...]

August 28th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Pompeo calls out China for ‘illegal fishing’ after vessels spotted off Galapagos Islands

China reports 15 percent of global fishing haul, but due to illegal fishing the figure could be significantly higher. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on China to stop all “illegal fishing” Thursday. He said the recent reports of hundreds of Chinese vessels off of the Galapagos Islands is "deeply troubling,” “Reports of 300+ Chinese vessels near the Galapagos disabling tracking systems, changing ship names, and leaving marine debris are deeply troubling. We again call on the PRC [People’s Republic of China] to be transparent and enforce its own zero tolerance policy on illegal fishing,” Pompeo said in a tweet, referencing similar calls he made earlier this month. The comments came after Ecuador raised the alarm to the presence of hundreds of Chinese vessels fishing near protected waters [...]

August 28th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Japanese PM Abe says he’s resigning over resurfacing of chronic illness

The prime minister has sparked speculation around his health in the last two weeks.   Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his plans to resign in a news conference Friday due to a chronic illness that has resurfaced. He called the decision “gut-wrenching.” Concerns about Abe's health have swirled since early summer and grew in the last two weeks when he made two visits to a Tokyo hospital. Abe, 65, has said he suffers from ulcerative colitis had it under control with treatment. He said Friday he's on a new treatment that requires IV injections and while there is some improvement, there's no guarantee it will cure his condition. He made the decision to step down after treatment Monday. Abe's term ends in September 2021 and he is expected to stay on until [...]

August 28th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Moderna announces vaccine breakthrough as more reinfections discovered

Moderna's experimental coronavirus vaccine appears to be safe and effective, company officials have revealed, but the news has come amid concerns about two more cases of reinfection. The US company, whose vaccine uses messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) to make a protein that helps the immune system make antibodies against coronavirus, announced on Wednesday that its vaccine generates an immune response in all age groups. The vaccine, called mRNA-1273, is in Phase III of clinical trials, which is the last stage before regulatory approval. The first phase of a trial to test the safety of the vaccine found only mild adverse effects and that it generated an immune response in volunteers aged 18 to 71, a Moderna officer told a meeting of the US Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices, CNN [...]

August 27th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Twelve arrested at sea while trying to flee to Taiwan from Hong Kong

Chinese coastguard stopped a speedboat on Sunday suspected of an illegal border crossing Protests against Hong Kong’s national security law on August 23. Photograph: Viola Kam/SOPA Images/Rex/Shutterstock More than 10 Hong Kong residents, including an activist charged under the city’s punitive national security law, have been detained by China’s coastguard while trying to flee to Taiwan, according to reports. China’s coastguard released a statement on Weibo saying that on Sunday at 9am, authorities in Guangdong tracked down a speedboat suspected of an illegal border crossing. The notice, posted on Wednesday evening, said more than 10 people had been arrested including two suspects surnamed Li and Deng. Radio Free Asia and HK01 have reported that 12 young people were on the boat, headed for Taiwan, a distance of about 600km, [...]

August 27th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

RNC: What to expect on Day 4 of the convention: Donald Trump, live from the White House

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump wraps up the week-long Republican convention Thursday with a nomination acceptance speech that is already contentious because of its location: the White House. Despite objections that the executive mansion should not be used for such an overt campaign event, Trump will make his prime-time argument for a second term from a makeshift outdoor theater on the South Lawn. His likely goals: Defend his record and attack that of Democratic challenger Joe Biden. "We have to win," Trump told Republican delegates Monday after they voted to re-nominate him during a meeting in Charlotte. "This is the most important election in the history of our country." 'The rules go out the window:' Democrats deride RNC over Hatch Act, coronavirus and transgender issuesy Trump is accepting re-nomination amid the COVID-19 pandemic that [...]

August 27th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Scotland and Wales to buy 12-minute Covid testing machines

Scottish government buying 300 rapid testing machines and Wales signs up for up to 400. The Scottish and Welsh governments are buying hundreds of new high-speed Covid-19 testing machines that produce results in 12 minutes and are designed for use in remote areas and by mobile clinics. The Scottish government has announced it is buying 300 of the machines, which were given emergency, fast-track authorisation by the US government’s federal drugs administration last week. Ivan McKee, the Scottish minister for trade, investment and innovation, said the highly portable machines were designed for small clinics and mobile testing units dispatched to rural areas and the islands. He expected them to be introduced nationwide by the end of this year. Test results were uploaded to a cloud-based internet database, he said, [...]

August 27th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Christchurch shooting: mosque gunman sentenced to life without parole

Australian terrorist did not oppose the unprecedented sentence, which comes after three days of emotional victim impact statements. The terrorist who killed 51 Muslim worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, will spend the rest of his life in jail, a judge has ruled. It is the first time under current New Zealand law that a sentence of life without the possibility of parole has been imposed. Dozens more were wounded in the attacks in March last year in the country’s worst peacetime massacre. It prompted an outpouring of grief and unity in New Zealand and around the world, and generated debate about how to deal with white supremacist terrorism. Earlier, the gunman, Australian Brenton Tarrant, 29, did not oppose the sentence in court on Thursday – despite [...]

August 27th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Taiwanese President warns of military conflict, calls for greater ties

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has called on Australia to back its inclusion in the Trans-Pacific Partnership and negotiate a free trade agreement, as China's neighbour faces increasing military pressure from Beijing. Tsai warned the risk of conflict in the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea required careful management and there were rising concerns over the potential for accidents given the increased military activity in the region. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (centre) after her inauguration in MayCREDIT:AP "We are paying close attention to the potential hot spots of conflict in the East China Sea and South China Sea," she said. China launched two missiles into the South China Sea on Wednesday after a US spy plane entered a no fly zone in the contested area. China's decision to impose strict [...]

August 27th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Face masks ‘a big change’ but right thing to do, Health Minister says

Not wearing a face mask on public transport will become an offence punishable by fines from Monday when Auckland is due to join the rest of the country at alert level 2. The Government is releasing three million masks for national distribution over the coming days as a "one-off boost" to immediate supply. It comes as it was announced today there are a further six cases in the community linked to the Auckland cluster - five are household contacts and the other is a workplace contact. Health Minister Chris Hipkins said wearing a face covering on public transport was the right thing to do and would help keep New Zealanders safe from Covid-19.   From Monday it will be compulsory for everyone aged 12 and over to wear a [...]

August 27th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Hurricane Laura strengthens into ‘extremely dangerous’ Category 4, due to strike Texas

Hurricane Laura has strengthened into a menacing Category 4 hurricane, raising fears of a 6 metre storm surge that forecasters said would be "unsurvivable" and capable of sinking entire communities. Authorities implored coastal residents of Texas and Louisiana to evacuate and worried that not enough had fled. The storm grew nearly 70 per cent in power in just 24 hours to a size the National Hurricane Centre called "extremely dangerous". Drawing energy from the warm Gulf of Mexico waters, the system was on track to arrive late Wednesday or early Thursday as the most powerful hurricane to strike the US so far this year. "It looks like it's in full beast mode," said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy. "Which is not what you want to see if [...]

August 27th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

RNC takeaways night 2: Melania Trump speaks of ‘harsh reality’ of racial unrest, Pompeo stirs controversy

Donald Trump has cultivated an image as a man of tough words and quick action, someone who’s not afraid to bruise feelings. But Republicans Tuesday tried to portray a softer Trump, one who cares about the little guy: the lobsterman in Maine, the dairy farmer from Wisconsin, the police office from New Mexico. "More than any president in my lifetime, he's acknowledged the importance of farmers and agriculture," said Cris Peterson, a dairy farmer struggling until Trump's policies helped turn her business around. It was a shift in tone from Monday when speeches were laced with dark imageryabout what might happen if Joe Biden is elected president. Still,Tuesday had its negative moments – former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi going after Biden’s integrity and Eric Trump Jr. attacking the “radical Democrats” [...]

August 26th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: 5 new virus cases and new ‘mini-cluster’ – wedding guests on alert

New Zealand has five new cases of Covid-19 today and a new potential "mini-cluster" has been identified. There are three new community cases, one of which is under investigation. Two cases are imported cases - a female in her 50s and a man in his 30s. They have been transferred to the Jet Park Hotel. It takes the country's number of active cases to 134 - 21 of those are imports from overseas, and 108 are linked to the Auckland cluster, which is New Zealand's largest cluster to date. Wearing masks Hipkins said secondary school students will need to wear masks on school buses from Monday, but younger students won't have to. The age cut-off for wearing masks is still being worked through. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on [...]

August 26th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers arrested over 2019 Yuen Long protests

Ted Hui and Lam Cheuk-ting held over incident in July 2019 when white-clad thugs attacked activists at train station Lam Cheuk-ting, left, and Ted Hui. They have been arrested on suspicion of several offences relating to a 2019 protest. Photograph: Kin Cheung/AP ong Kong police have arrested pro-democracy lawmakers over involvement in protests in 2019, including one who was injured when a large group of thugs attacked protesters and civilians at the Yuen Long transport station. The arrests come amid a crackdown on dissent and freedom of expression. The Democratic party said two members – the legislators Ted Hui and Lam Cheuk-ting – were arrested at their homes on Wednesday morning. It said both men were suspected of offences related to a protest on 6 July 2019 outside the [...]

August 26th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19: ‘possible’ Oxford vaccine data will be put before regulators this year

Director of group says Chris Whitty right to be cautious but hopes vaccine will be ready before winter 2021 An AstraZeneca chemist at work. The trial will include up to 48 healthy volunteers in the UK. Photograph: Dan Himbrechts/EPA Trials of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine may have gathered enough data to show whether it works and is safe by the end of the year – but it will then need to go through the regulatory process, scientists say. Prof Andrew Pollard, the director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, said it is “just possible” that there may be enough clinical trial data on Oxford University’s Covid-19 vaccine to put before the regulators this year. Prof Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, has said a vaccine may not be ready until [...]

August 26th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

UN security council rejects US attempt to extend Iran sanctions

Indonesia said no further action could be taken on US request because there was no consensus on 15-nation body Mike Pompeo speaks as Kelly Craft listens at UN headquarters in New York on 20 August. Photograph: Mike Segar/Reuters The US has suffered another humiliating diplomatic setback after the president of the UN security council rejected the Trump administration’s attempt to extend economic sanctions on Iran. America was rebuffed last week when 13 countries on the security council argued that the US had no legal right to “snap back” sanctions because it had already walked out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. On Tuesday, Indonesia – which this month holds the security council’s rotating presidency – said that no further action could be taken on the US request, because [...]

August 26th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Duterte reveals his Barrett’s esophagus is worsening

President Duterte bared on Tuesday that his doctor told him that his Barrett’s esophagus was “nearing stage one cancer”. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte holds a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Matina Enclaves in Davao City on August 24, 2020. SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO In his televised address, the President said he has been advised to stop drinking alcohol to avoid worsening his ailment. The President previously admitted suffering from Barret’s esophagus due to his alcohol intake. Barrett’s esophagus is a complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in which stomach regurgitates its contents into the esophagus and consequently erodes the esophagus, according to the US-based Johns Hopkins Medicine website. The condition can sometimes develop into esophageal cancer, the institute [...]

August 26th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 coronavirus: Reinfections mean questions over immunity are ‘still open’, health chiefs say

The World Health Organisation has said that a number of confirmed coronavirus reinfections are proof that questions about how long immunity may or may not last "are still open". Dr Margaret Harris from the organisation told BBC Breakfast that this is the first time "we have seen very clearly two different versions of the same coronavirus". It comes after researchers at the University of Hong Kong sequenced the virus in a healthy man, who tested positive twice at airport screenings four and half months apart, and found he had been infected with two different strains. A patient in Netherlands and a patient in Belgium were also confirmed to have been reinfected with the virus, Dutch media reported today. The cases have fuelled fears about the effectiveness of potential vaccines [...]

August 25th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Melania Trump, Mike Pompeo in convention spotlight Tuesday night

The president is also expected to have 'significant' role on convention's second night First lady Melania Trump will take center stage Tuesday on the second night of the Republican National Convention, with what is being touted as a forward-looking, positive and uplifting address. The other major speech of the evening will come from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. But the address by America’s top diplomat, which will be delivered from the Middle East, has been shrouded in controversy. Libertarian minded Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky – a 2016 Republican presidential candidate who, along with Pompeo, may have White House ambitions in 2024 – will also give an address. But President Trump won’t be far from the spotlight as the convention is also a four-day celebration of his presidency. The Trump reelection campaign told reporters that the president will have a "significant [...]

August 25th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Bloomfield gives update – Seven new virus cases, all linked to Auckland cluster

New Zealand has seven new virus cases - all related to the Auckland community cluster. Health Minister Chris Hipkins and director general of health Ashley Bloomfield have given their daily 1pm daily update. The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also addressed media on her way into the House this afternoon. Bloomfield said two of the new cases are linked to churches and two are household contacts. Eight people are in hospital and all are connected to the cluster. Three are in a critical condition and in intensive care - including one at North Shore Hospital whose case is still under investigation. Genome sequencing has linked that person's case to the Auckland cluster but officials still can't map out the epidemiological link. All of the person's household cases tested negative. Health [...]

August 25th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

US election 2020 LIVE updates: Donald Trump jnr praises father, lashes Joe Biden

What we know so far Donald Trump jnr makes an impassioned plea for his father, the US President, praising him for taking swift action to shut down travel from China once the pandemic began. The death toll in the US 177,000. Former US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, a prominent Indian-American, defends the US from Democratic accusations of that the country is "racist. That is a lie. America is not a racist country." In a sign of further racial tension, protests erupted in Wisconsin where police shot and wounded a black man, while responding to a call about a domestic dispute. In an earlier speech in North Carolina, US President Donald Trump has claimed falsely that Joe Biden was trying to steal the election and that Biden was [...]

August 25th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

UK delays Zaghari-Ratcliffe release for fear of offending Trump, lawyers claim

Lawyers call for meeting with defence secretary and accuse government of waiting for US permission to pay money owed to Iran. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been detained in Iran since 2016. Photograph: PA The British government has deliberately delayed taking steps necessary to secure the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe – including payment of a £400m debt owed to Iran – for fear of offending the Trump administration, lawyers acting for the British-Iranian woman have alleged. The lawyers requested a meeting with the defence secretary, Ben Wallace, and his advisers at the “earliest convenience” to discuss the approach the government was taking on the issue of debt owed to Iran. In a seven-page letter to Wallace, the lawyers accuse the government of procrastination and claim the UK’s approach to securing the [...]

August 25th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘We want a true democracy’: students lead Thailand’s protest movement

Observers are astonished by how young people are challenging traditional hierarchies Student protesters address a rally in Bangkok. Photograph: Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images Every morning when the national anthem plays out in Thai schools, students are expected to stand still in deference as the country’s flag is raised. But last week some sent a defiant message, raising their hands in a three-fingered salute – a gesture borrowed from The Hunger Games that is used widely by Thailand’s growing pro-democracy movement. Others gathered on school grounds to hold up sheets of blank paper. For more than a month there have been almost daily student-led rallies spreading across the country, including a demonstration in Bangkok last weekend attended by more than 10,000 people. Observers are astonished by how rapidly the protests have [...]

August 25th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

German doctors say comatose Putin critic Alexei Navalny was poisoned

German doctors treating Russian politician and anti-corruption campaigner Alexey Navalny concluded Monday that he was poisoned, Berlin’s Charité Hospital said. The hospital said in a statement that Navalny remains in an artificially induced coma but "there is no acute danger to his life." It did not specify what substance he was poisoned with. The 44-year-old staunch critic of President Vladimir Putin fell ill Thursday on a flight back to Moscow from the Siberian city of Tomsk, his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said on Twitter. Yarmysh said Navalny drank tea that appeared to have been laced with a toxin. Russian doctors say there is no evidence of poisoning, and the Kremlin denied the authorities tried to prevent the transfer to Berlin from happening. But Navalny was only allowed to leave Russia after more than 24 hours of wrangling [...]

August 25th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Victoria records 148 new cases, eight more deaths

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews. Photo / File news.com.au The Australian state of Victoria recorded 148 new cases of coronavirus overnight. The Department of Health confirmed eight more people had died, taking the state's death toll to 423. Premier Daniel Andrews will front the media later on Tuesday with more information on outbreaks. It comes after the net daily increase of coronavirus cases in Victoria dropped below triple digits for the first time since early July on Monday. The new daily infections announced by the state's health department was 116, but with 17 cases from previous days reclassified due to duplication, the net daily increase was only 99 cases. Andrews also revealed plans on Monday to extend Victoria's state of emergency for a further 12 months until September 2021, which [...]

August 25th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Is the cluster slowing down? Chris Hipkins and Ashley Bloomfield give update

New Zealand has seven new virus cases - all related to the Auckland communuty cluster. Health Minister Chris Hipkins and director general of health Ashley Bloomfield are giving the 1pm daily update. Bloomfield said two of the new cases are linked to churches and two are household contacts. The country now has 129 active cases, 19 of which are in managed isolation or quarantine facilities. As usual they will reveal the latest case numbers, testing data and answer questions on the health response. Auckland will move into level 2 like the rest of the country at midnight on Sunday except with stricter rules. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a four-day extension to Auckland's lockdown yesterday. Auckland workplaces and schools can open under normal level 2 conditions, but bars and [...]

August 25th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Iran: Thousands of workers continue strike action in 21 cities!

                                                                                                                                                                                    International Responses to Calls from Association to Defend Iranian Workers to Support Striking Workers in Iran Thousands of Iranian workers, including workers in the lucrative oil and gas sector, have taken strike action to demand higher or unpaid wages. [...]

August 25th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

An Anti-CCP Chinese Democracy Fighter in the U.S. Is Being Sued Against His Integrity for His Illegitimate Daughter

After failure of a series of court mediation last year, Jinesheng Wei, a well-known political activist in the anti-CCP movement has been taken to law by his ex-girlfriend Huaizhao Liu and his illegitimate daughter Charlotte, for his refusal to pay for the child's maintenance and the promised college tuition. Liu met Wei only once in her lifetime in her official capacity as a journalist. There is another rumor that he has been accused of raping Huaizhao Liu in early 2000 and a child was conceived. Plaintiffs and defendant are requested by the court in Washington DC to meet on 22nd next month to arrange the trial schedule, and it is believed that the civil actions case will start soon between Huaizhao Liu and Charlotte Zhang as the plaintiffs and Jingsheng [...]

August 24th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 coronavirus: 9 new Covid cases; 8 linked to cluster, as Cabinet decides on alert levels

There are nine new Covid-19 cases in NZ today - eight of them linked to the Auckland cluster. The other case is in MIQ in Auckland. Eight of the cases are confirmed and one is probable, director general of health Ashley Bloomfield says. There are 10 people in hospital, including two in intensive care at Middlemore. One of today's eight cases in the community had contact with a confirmed case on a bus - the others are from the workplace, households or church contacts. The Auckland cluster is now the largest in NZ's Covid-19 history. One of the cases under investigation will be genome sequenced today as an epidemiological link couldn't be found. Testing latest Bloomfield was asked about a family waiting nine days for a test result and [...]

August 24th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

US Republicans get ready for party convention this week

The overarching theme of the convention will be Honouring the Great American Story.PHOTO: AFP  WASHINGTON - Republicans are gearing up to formally nominate President Donald Trump as the party's choice to run for the White House at this week's Republican National Convention (RNC), which will run from Monday (Aug 24) to Thursday.Much like the Democratic National Convention last week, the RNC will be a departure from the big arena-based conventions of the past, with fewer in-person events taking place due to the pandemic. But a smaller number of delegates will still gather in Charlotte, North Carolina, for the party's business meetings. Attendees will have to undergo Covid-19 tests before they arrive. They will also have to wear masks, be subject to daily temperature checks and put on badges equipped [...]

August 24th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Trump hails FDA’s authorisation of plasma treatment for coronavirus, after slamming agency

The FDA said early evidence suggests blood plasma can decrease mortality and improve the health of patients.PHOTO: AFP  WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US President Donald Trump on Sunday (Aug 23) hailed the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) authorisation of a coronavirus treatment that uses blood plasma from recovered patients, a day after accusing the agency of impeding the rollout of vaccines and therapeutics for political reasons.The FDA announcement of its "emergency use authorisation" of the treatment came on the eve of the Republican National Convention, where Trump will be nominated to lead his party for four more years. "This is what I’ve been looking to do for a long time," Trump told an unusually brief White House news conference. "Today I’m pleased to make a truly historic announcement in our battle against [...]

August 24th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Trump’s sister describes him as liar with ‘no principles’ in recordings

Washington: Maryanne Trump Barry, President Donald Trump's older sister and a former federal judge, described him as a liar who has "no principles" in a series of audio recordings made by her niece, Mary Trump, in 2018 and 2019. The recordings were provided to The Washington Post, which published them online Saturday night, local time. In the recording, Barry can be heard disparaging her brother's performance as President. Donald and Melania Trump with the President's sister Maryanne in 2005.CREDIT:AP "His goddamned tweet and the lying, oh, my God," she says in one of the recordings posted by the newspaper. "I'm talking too freely, but you know. The change of stories. The lack of preparation. The lying." Mary Trump is the author of the recently published book, Too Much and [...]

August 24th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Kim Jong-Un ‘is in a coma and his sister is set to take control’, claims S Korean diplomat

A South Korean diplomat has claimed Kim Jong-un is in a coma and his sister is set to take charge of North Korea. Chang Song-min, an ex-aide to late-South Korean president Kim Dae-jung, claimed North Korea is hiding the truth about its leader's deteriorating health and that he understands the dictator is in a comatose state. Speaking with local media, Chang Song-min said: "I assess him to be in a coma, but his life has not ended." He said Kim's sister, Kim Yo-jong, is now ready to take over as the hermit state's new supreme leader. A complete succession structure has not been formed, so Kim Yo-jong is being brought to the fore as the vacuum cannot be maintained for a prolonged period." A South Korean diplomat has sensationally [...]

August 23rd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

South China Sea: Photos reveal secret underground base off Hainan Island

A satellite photo shows a submarine entering the mysterious cave on Hainan Island. Photo / Planet Labs The moment a Chinese nuclear submarine slipped out of a secret underground base has been caught by satellite – laying bare the extent of China's military ambitions. Just a few pixels on a commercial-grade Earth-observation satellite photograph, it portrays a piece of Hainan Island – a strategically significant 35,400sq km land mass off the south coast of China. It's the location of a major naval base – much of it concealed in a bunker built deep under a mountain peninsula. What was captured appears to be two tugboats manoeuvring a nuclear-powered attack submarine out of a camouflaged tunnel. The August 18 photo, from commercial satellite service Photo Labs, was spotted by Radio [...]

August 23rd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘We’ll vigorously defend’: Australia ready to fight China over wine dispute

The federal government is prepared to fight Beijing at the World Trade Organisation after the Chinese Ministry of Commerce launched an anti-dumping investigation into Australian wine. Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said on ABC Insiders on Sunday morning the government was willing to challenge any allegations local winemakers dumped bottles under two litres into China at reduced prices. Agriculture Minister David Littleproud.CREDIT:ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN "We'll vigorously defend that and if required, we'll go through the process and go to the WTO. We have form for that," he said. Australia has previously taken disputes with India and China to the WTO, he said, adding of the 37 OECD countries only New Zealand subsidies farmers less than Australia. We don't subsidise our farmers, they're on their own two feet," he said. The [...]

August 23rd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: US President Donald Trump accuses FDA of deliberately delaying vaccine

US President Donald Trump. Photo / Getty Images Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to accuse America's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of deliberately delaying Covid-19 vaccine trials until after November's Presidential election. The US President wrote the "deep state, or whoever" at the FDA is "making it very difficult for drug companies to get people in order to test the vaccines and therapeutics". "Obviously, they are hoping to delay the answer until after November 3rd. Must focus on speed, and saving lives!" House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Trump's statement "very dangerous". "Even for him it went beyond the pale in terms of how he would jeopardise the health and wellbeing of the American people and accuse FDA [of] politics when he is the one who has [...]

August 23rd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Election 2020: Labour’s ‘Ashley Bloomfield’ campaign ad has been taken down

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. Photo / File A Labour Party ad featuring Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, with a brief appearance by director general of health Ashley Bloomfield, then not, has been taken down. The Facebook ad featured a visit by Ardern to the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) and the national contact tracing centre. The original ad also featured a three-second appearance by Bloomfield. However, the ad was later taken down for a re-edit, which did not feature Bloomfield. The Labour campaign ad on Facebook, featuring a brief appearance by director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. Act leader David Seymour described the ad as scandalous and said no public servants should be used to help political parties campaign. [...]

August 23rd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Ministry of Health update on new cases as New Zealand’s lockdown D-Day looms

The Auckland community outbreak has grown by one case today, the Ministry of Health said in a statement. The case is a household contact of a previous case in the South Auckland cluster, which brings the number of cases in the cluster to 93. Three cases are still under investigaion, including the Rydges maintenance worker, so the total number of cases in the community is 96. There are also 18 cases in managed isolation and quarantine, including two new cases to report today. The number of active cases in New Zealand is now 114. The ministry release did not provide any further information about the two new cases reported yesterday as still under investigation, nor provide an update on the tracing of close contacts related to South Auckland church [...]

August 23rd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Coronavirus updates: World deaths surpass 800K; New York blocks 175-person wedding; pandemic complicates California fire evacuations

The worldwide number of COVID-19 cases soared past the 23 million mark Saturday while the number of deaths hit 800,566, according to John Hopkins University data. In South Korea, fears of a new surge prompted the government to again ban large gatherings, close beaches, and shut nightspots and churches. In the U.S., the number of cases topped 5.6 million and deaths climbed to 175,588. In California, the ongoing pandemic and social distancing restrictions are, yet again, complicating disaster relief efforts as more than 100,000 Californians flee raging wildfires. California Gov. Gavin Newsom said evacuation centers across the state had protocols in place, such as marked spaces for physical distancing in shelters, indoor tents, temperature checks and individual, instead of communal, meals. Meanwhile, efforts to reopen schools nationwide are being complicated by a virus data problem. Some significant developments: The House [...]

August 23rd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Medical evacuation flight carrying comatose Putin critic Alexei Navalny arrives in Germany

A medical evacuation plane carrying prominent Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny landed in Germany from Siberia on Saturday, after the politician and anti-corruption activist fell gravely ill in a suspected poisoning. Navalny has been in a coma in intensive care since Thursday. The 44-year-old staunch critic of President Vladimir Putin fell ill on a flight back to Moscow from the Siberian city of Tomsk, his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said on Twitter. Yarmysh said Navalny drank tea that appeared to have been laced with a toxin. Russian doctors say there is no evidence of poisoning, and the Kremlin denied the authorities tried to prevent the transfer from happening. But Navalny was only allowed to leave Russia after more than 24 hours of wrangling over his condition and treatment. “Alexey is taken to the medical aircraft. Yulia is with him," Yarmysh wrote [...]

August 23rd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Facebook Braces Itself for Trump to Cast Doubt on Election Results

The world’s biggest social network is working out what steps to take should President Trump use its platform to dispute the vote. SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook spent years preparing to ward off any tampering on its site ahead of November’s presidential election. Now the social network is getting ready in case President Trump interferes once the vote is over. Employees at the Silicon Valley company are laying out contingency plans and walking through postelection scenarios that include attempts by Mr. Trump or his campaign to use the platform to delegitimize the results, people with knowledge of Facebook’s plans said. Mike Isaac is a technology correspondent and the author of Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber, a NYT best-selling book on the dramatic rise and fall of the ride-hailing company. [...]

August 21st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

After Covid, China’s Leaders Face New Challenges From Flooding

Unusually heavy rains have wreaked havoc in central and southwestern China, leaving hundreds dead and disrupting the economy’s post-pandemic recovery. The southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing on Wednesday. Premier Li Keqiang visited the flood-stricken city this week.Credit...Agence France-Presse — Getty Images   Having brought the coronavirus pandemic largely under control, China’s leaders are now struggling with a surge of crippling floods that have killed hundreds of people and displaced millions across the central and southwestern parts of the country. Flooding on the Yangtze River peaked again this week, in Sichuan Province and the sprawling metropolis of Chongqing, while the Three Gorges Dam, 280 miles downstream, reached its highest level since it began holding water in 2003. Steven Lee Myers is the Beijing bureau chief for The New York Times. [...]

August 21st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Syringe shortage could hamper delivery of Covid-19 vaccine, experts warn

US companies make roughly 663m syringes a year but the Trump administration has calculated that an extra 850m may be needed. The scale of a potential vaccination campaign in 2021 mean that manufacturing capacity in the US alone may have to double. Photograph: LM Otero/AP As the race for a vaccine against the coronavirus heats up, the US faces another potential crisis: a shortage of syringes. The US federal government has already spent hundreds of millions of dollars in hopes of warding off a syringe shortage, if and when a Covid-19 vaccine is approved. It comes as shortages of personal protective equipment continue to hamper the response to the pandemic. A potential vaccine could receive emergency approval as early as winter 2020. But industry leaders and experts are warning [...]

August 21st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Indonesia books 40M coronavirus vaccine doses from Sinovac

FILE: A healthcare worker checks the tension of a volunteer during a simulation for coronavirus vaccine clinical trials next week at the Faculty of Medicine at Padjadjaran University amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Bandung, Indonesia, August 6, 2020. REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana/File Photo JAKARTA — China’s Sinovac Biotech has committed to provide up to 40 million coronavirus vaccine doses to Indonesia’s government between November and March, a minister said, as the Southeast Asian nation seeks to secure its supply as cases rise unabated. During a visit to China, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said a preliminary agreement had been signed with Sinovac for bulk purchase and supply of the vaccine, CoronaVac, from November to March, after which Indonesia’s state-owned Bio Farma would get priority access until end-2021. Indonesia has recorded [...]

August 21st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

New Zealand gives P64-M aid to PH in fight vs. Covid-19

MANILA – The New Zealand government has extended about PHP64.25 million in assistance to support the Philippines' response against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Friday. The assistance, to be channeled through the International Organization for Migration (IOM), will prioritize the vulnerable communities affected by the pandemic in Mindanao, according to the DFA. Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. conveyed Manila's appreciation during a meeting with Ambassador Peter Francis Tavita Kell at the DFA Office. COOPERATION. Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. receives New Zealand Ambassador Peter Francis Tavita Kell to discuss the bilateral cooperation priorities and other topics of mutual importance between their two countries. The New Zealand government has extended about PHP64.25 million in aid to support the Philippines' response against the [...]

August 21st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: NZ Post staff stood down after two positive cases

NZ Post has stood down all staff members who worked the same shift at its Auckland parcel processing centre which has recorded two positive Covid-19 cases. The move affects 70 staff who worked the day shift at the NZ Post Auckland Operations Centre in Highbrook. Those staff would now be in self-isolation until Saturday, August 29. NZ Post chief operating officer Mark Stewart said this was based on Ministry of Health advice received "late last night". "This is for the remainder of the two-week incubation period from when the last infectious staff member was on site, which was Friday 14 August." Since the two positive tests were returned, 300 people who worked at the centre had been tested. While no additional positive tests had been returned yet, a further [...]

August 21st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

US leads world in COVID-19 infections

Taking a look at coronavirus figures around the world. Global cases stand at 22,792,000, with more than 795,000 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally. The US has the highest number of infections, with more than 5.3 million, followed by Brazil (3.5 million), India (2.9 million) and Russia (944,000). South Africa's confirmed COVID-19 cases have surpassed 600,000, the health ministry said on Friday, even though the number of new cases has been declining since a peak in July. The country now has 603,338 confirmed cases of the virus and 12,843 people have died, the ministry said in a statement. France on Friday reported 4586 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours after the country reached a post-lockdown record the previous day. The ministry also said the total [...]

August 21st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

At least 5 dead in massive California wildfires; more than 60,000 flee, thousands of homes threatened

Thousands of people remained under evacuation orders in regions around the San Francisco Bay Area on Thursday as wildfires blazed across the state amid a blistering heat wave now in its second week. In all, according to Cal Fire, more than 60,000 California residents have evacuated because of fires that are burning about 780 square miles across the state. That's an area equal to about half the size of Rhode Island. Statewide, as of Thursday evening, officials said the fires have destroyed 175 structures, including homes, and are threatening 50,000 more.  In all, 33 civilians and firefighters have been injured, and at least five people have died. Daniel Berlant, an assistant deputy director with the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said three people had died in Napa County and one in Solano County [...]

August 21st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon charged over border wall scheme

US President Donald Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon was arrested on Thursday on charges that he and three others ripped off donors to an online fundraising effort to build a southern border wall, making him the latest in a long list of Trump associates to be indicted or charged. The "We Build The Wall" fundraiser was headed by men who pushed their close ties to Trump and raised more than US$25 million ($38m). They touted their effort to help the President realise his vision of a "big beautiful" wall along the US-Mexico border, especially after Trump's effort to redirect millions in government funds, was held up through lawsuits. But according to the criminal charges unsealed Thursday, little of the wall was actually constructed. Instead, the money lined the [...]

August 21st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Chinese company claims to be testing vaccine in Papua New Guinea

A Chinese mining company in Papua New Guinea claims to have immunised its employees against Covid-19 in an apparent trial as Australia and China prepare for a new "vaccine diplomacy" battle for influence across the region. This week Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison vowed to help the nation's "Pacific family" and key Southeast Asian partners gain access to a successful coronavirus vaccine, when one was found, through a foreign aid programme. The Australian newspaper has learned China may have begun trialling a coronavirus vaccine in the region on employees of its state-owned enterprises. The PNG government said the Health Department was investigating the claim by Chinese-owned Ramu Nickel that its employees had been vaccinated. A statement from the company declared 48 employees had been vaccinated with "SARS-COV-2 vaccine" on [...]

August 21st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: WHO outlines the 20 per cent preferred for vaccine

The director of the World Health Organisation has warned against "vaccine nationalism" and outlined the 20 per cent of the global population it believes should be vaccinated first against Covid-19. WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said yesterday that "no one is safe until everyone is safe" from the coronavirus that has irrevocably changed the world in 2020. While there is a wish among leaders to protect their own people first, the response to this pandemic has to be collective," he said. "This is not charity, we have learned the hard way that the fastest way to end this pandemic and to reopen economies is to start by protecting the highest risk populations everywhere, rather than the entire populations of just some countries. "No one is safe until everyone is [...]

August 20th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Putin opponent Alexei Navalny poisoned by ‘toxin’ in his tea – reports

Alexey Navalny is reported to be unconscious in hospital, suspected of having beeen poisoned by a toxin in his tea. Photo / Getty Images Prominent Russian anti-corruption activist and Vladimir Putin opponent Alexei Navalny has reportedly been admitted to hospital in an unconscious state after being reportedly poisoned by a "toxin" in his tea. The 44-year-old foe of Russian President Vladimir Putin felt unwell on a flight back to Moscow from Tomsk, a city in Siberia, Kira Yarmysh said on Twitter. "This morning Navalny was returning to Moscow from Tomsk. On the flight he started feeling ill. The plane made an emergency landing in Omsk. Alexei has been poisoned with a toxin. Right now we're in an ambulance on the way to the hospital," his press secretary tweeted. She [...]

August 20th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Sweden records highest death tally in 150 years in first half of 2020

                    Central Stockholm busy with shoppers in July.   Photograph: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images Sweden, which has stood out among European countries for its low-key approach to fighting the coronavirus pandemic, has recorded its highest tally of deaths in the first half of 2020 for 150 years, the Statistics Office said. Covid-19 claimed about 4,500 lives in the period to the end of June – a number that has now risen to 5,800 – a much higher percentage of the population than in other Nordic nations, though lower than in some others, including Britain and Spain. In total, 51,405 Swedes died in the six-month period, a higher number than in any year since 1869, when 55,431 people died, partly as a [...]

August 20th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Italy at a crossroads as fears grow of Covid-19 second wave

New infections are rising, raising questions over lockdown easing and planned reopening of schools.                         Bathers on the beach in Naples, southern Italy, on 2 August. Photograph: Ciro Fusco/EPA It took a weekend to take Italy back three months in its struggle against the pandemic. Last week’s rapid increase in coronavirus infections risks erasing the progress made by the first European country to be engulfed by Covid-19 and extending the closure of schools in September. The alarm was sounded last Saturday, when Italy registered 629 new cases in 24 hours, up from 500 on the previous two days. Such numbers recorded in a row had not been seen since May, when Italy cautiously emerged from one of the [...]

August 20th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus live update: Five new cases today – all related to Auckland cluster; Chris Hipkins and Ashley Bloomfield give details

There are five new confirmed Covid-19 cases today - all related to the community cluster in Auckland. Four are in Auckland and the other one is related to the Tokoroa case. There are six people in hospital, including one person in intensive care in a stable condition. There is another case under investigation which was originally classed as being connected to the Auckland cluster. They visited St Lukes Mall on Wednesday August 12, which has been shut since alert level 3. Americold outbreak probably person-to-person contact "Very low" levels of the virus were found on swabs from one of the Americold facilities but they were too low for transmission, so surface infection has now been ruled out. As such, officials have ruled out the first infection of the Auckland [...]

August 20th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Democrats officially nominate Biden for president

Democrats officially nominated former Vice President Joe Biden to be their presidential nominee on Tuesday night, setting up an election battle against President Trump in November. "Thank you, thank you, thank you," Biden said in brief remarks following the vote. His wife, Jill Biden, and several grandchildren joined him for the moment. Biden’s nomination was expected, and there was no drama as the roll call of votes unfolded at the Democratic National Convention, which is taking place as a virtual event because of the coronavirus pandemic. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) both gave speeches on behalf of Biden, as did Jacquelyn Brittany, a New York Times security guard who had a viral moment with Biden in an elevator. “Joe Biden has never forgotten where he’s from,” said [...]

August 19th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

China confirms its 1st COVID-19 vaccine patent

ANKARA — China, ground zero of the novel coronavirus outbreak, confirmed its first COVID-19 vaccine patent Sunday, according to state-affiliated media. (PIXABAY / MANILA BULLETIN) “#China has approved its first #COVID19 #vaccine patent, which has been developed by PLA infectious disease expert Chen Wei’s team. Earlier, the phase 2 trial of the vaccine candidate found that the vaccine is safe and induces an immune response,” China Global Television Network (CGTN) said on Twitter. Citing data from clinical trials published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency reported that the COVID-19 vaccine candidate is “safe and generates an immune response.” The research involved 320 “healthy volunteers” aged between 18 and 59, of which 96 participated in phase-1 clinical trials and 224 in phase-2 trials, [...]

August 19th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Democratic National Convention: Donald Trump takes aim at Michelle Obama’s speech

Donald Trump has hit out at former First Lady Michelle Obama on Twitter, after she delivered harsh criticism of the US President. Trump took aim at Obama, blasting her endorsement of his opponent Joe Biden as "unenthusiastic" and claiming the reason he is currently sitting in the White House is because of her husband, former President Barack Obama. Trump then went on to criticise the response by former President Obama and Biden to the 2009 Swine Flu pandemic as "weak and pathetic". The President's Twitter posts come after Obama delivered a slapdown of Trump, saying he is the "wrong President" for the United States, and is "clearly in over his head". In a clear reference to Trump's viral Axios interview at the start of this month, where he downplayed [...]

August 19th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Australia’s Scott Morrison plans to make vaccine ‘as mandatory as possible’ once it proves safe

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he intends to make a Covid-19 vaccine as "mandatory as you can possibly make it" for all Australians once it becomes available. It emerged today that the Morrison Government has confirmed a landmark agreement with drug giant AstraZeneca to manufacture one of the world's most promising coronavirus vaccines currently being developed by Oxford University researchers, news.com.au reports. If it's proved safe to use, Prime Minister Scott Morrison believes the agreement will ensure Australians will be among the first countries in the world to secure the jab, revealing this morning it could be available to Aussies as soon as early next year. The UK Government has already ordered 100 million doses. Asked whether the vaccine would be mandatory, Morrison told 3AW's Neil Mitchell that [...]

August 19th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Hamilton accountant jailed after $740k IRD fraud; majority spent on gambling, lifestyle

The Judge said there was no hope of now disgraced chartered accountant Megan Findlay paying back any of the money defrauded from the IRD which totalled $741,206.60. Photo / File A Hamilton woman has not only lost her ability to practise as a chartered accountant but will spend the next 3 year behind bars after stealing $740,000 from the Inland Revenue Department over 7 years. Megan Nyree Findlay benefited personally by almost $467,000 which she frittered away her ill-gotten gains on gambling, shopping, holidays and other "lifestyle" activities. Unbeknownst to the company directors, who were members of her own family, the remaining $274,229.55 was used to lessen the GST and income tax bill of the family's company. Not that they knew about it as Findlay was in charge of [...]

August 19th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

New photos show Bill Clinton getting massage from Jeffrey Epstein accuser

One of Jeffrey Epstein's alleged victims has spoken out after newly unearthed photos showed her giving President Bill Clinton a massage during following a flight on the financier's infamous "Lolita Express". In a photo obtained by the Daily Mail, Chauntae Davies, a 22-year-old massage therapist who acted as Epstein's personal masseuse at the time, is seen smiling while she rubs her hands into Clinton's shoulders. Another shows the former President smiling in relief as Davies digs into his shoulder and neck. The photos come as an ill-timed reminder of Clinton's links to Epstein as the former President, 72, prepares to endorse Joe Biden tonight (local time) at the Democratic Convention. Davies, now in her early 40s, told the Daily Mail of the massage pictures: "Although the image looks bizarre, [...]

August 19th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Six new cases; more army staff to guard isolation hotels – Ashley Bloomfield and Jacinda Ardern

Five hundred more Defence Force staff are being deployed to managed isolation facilities and the Government is also directly hiring security guards to help control the centres. It comes as officials report six new cases of Covid-19 today, one of which is in managed isolation. The other five cases are in the community, all linked to the South Auckland cluster. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today's results were "encouraging" and there appeared to be no surge in community cases. There were also no more cases related to the Rydges infection announced yesterday. The cases were not doubling each day over the past week, and the resurgence plan was working as intended so far, Ardern said. She said Cabinet's testing strategy from late June had not been executed as expected, [...]

August 19th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Trump calls out New Zealand’s ‘terrible’ Covid surge, on day it records nine new cases

US president’s discordant comments fail to reflect that 22 people have died from coronavirus in New Zealand, versus 170,000 in US. Donald Trump has called out New Zealand for its recent Covid-19 outbreak, saying the places the world hailed as a success story is now facing a “big surge” in cases. “The places they were using to hold up now they’re having a big surge … they were holding up names of countries and now they’re saying ‘whoops!. “Do you see what’s happening in New Zealand? They beat it, they beat it, it was like front-page news because they wanted to show me something,” the US president said at a campaign rally in Mankato, Minnesota. “Big surge in New Zealand, you know it’s terrible, we don’t want that, but [...]

August 18th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: PM Jacinda Ardern says Donald Trump’s claim NZ is experiencing a surge is ‘patently wrong‘

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says Donald Trump's claim New Zealand is experiencing a "surge" in Covid-19 cases is "patently wrong". "Obviously I don't think there's any comparison between New Zealand's current cluster and the tens of thousands of cases that are being seen daily in the United States," Ardern said today. "Obviously, every country is experiencing its own fight with Covid-19; it is a tricky virus, but not one where I would compare New Zealand's current status to the United States.” Ardern said anyone who was following outbreaks around the world would "quite easily see" New Zealand's nine new cases yesterday didn't compare to the tens of thousands in the United States. On Monday New Zealand reported nine new cases while the United States had 42,000. "Obviously it's patently [...]

August 18th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Mutated coronavirus strain detected in PH

MANILA, Philippines — A mutated strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus believed to be more infectious than the original variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has been detected in the Philippines. According to the Philippine Genome Center, the G614 strain, along with the original D614 genotype, was detected in a small sample of positive cases from Quezon City. In the month of June, both the D614 as well as the G614 have been detected in a small sample of positive cases,” said the Philippine Genome Center, which conducted a whole-genome as well as targeted sequencing of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the Philippines as part of the validation study of the locally developed RT-PCR kit. “Although this information confirms the presence of G614 in the Philippines, we note that all [...]

August 17th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘We will perish’: embattled Lukashenko sends SOS to Putin

Belarusian leader seeks Kremlin support against external threats as analysts predict an end to his rule.                    Alexander Lukashenko gives a speech to supporters in      Minsk. Photograph: Reuters Isolated from the west and besieged by mass protests, the Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko has made repeated calls for Vladimir Putin to intervene and save his 26-year-old regime. In telephone calls to the Kremlin on Saturday and Sunday, he sought confirmation that Russia would provide military assistance against external threats, while warning supporters that the country was under foreign pressure. “Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and our native Ukraine, their leadership are ordering us to hold new elections,” Lukashenko said in a speech. “If we follow their lead, we will go into a tailspin [...]

August 17th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Victoria has deadliest day since pandemic began

  Victoria has recorded its worst daily death toll since the pandemic began after another 25 people died due to the virus. Victoria has now lost 334 people to coronavirus. There were always fears Victoria could lose more people to coronavirus after health authorities confirmed yesterday there were 664 people in hospital with 40 in the ICU and 29 on a ventilator. Victoria extended its state of emergency for another four weeks yesterday. Announcing the extension on Sunday, Premier Dan Andrews said it was unlikely Victoria would be virus-free for a long time. "Even when this second wave is over, we will see cases, we will see outbreaks, that's just a function of this thing," Andrews told reporters. Police check permits and ID of drivers at a checkpoint in [...]

August 17th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern delays election until October 17 – survey shows 60 per cent of Kiwis wanted it delayed

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has decided to delay the election until October 17. Announcing the decision this morning, Ardern said the re-emergence of Covid-19 in the community was a cause for concern during the election period. Key dates:• Today: Business committee meets this afternoon to agree a parliament timetable. • September 6: Parliament dissolves. • September 7-21: The Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Update (PREFU) 2020 • September 13: Writ Day, nominations close September 18. • October 3: Advance voting begins, last day for return of the writ is November 12. • October 17: Election day. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has decided to delay the election until October 17. Announcing the decision this morning, Ardern said the re-emergence of Covid-19 in the community was a cause for concern during the [...]

August 17th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Advanced negotiations’: Australia aiming to lock in COVID-19 vaccine deal

Australia is poised to sign a multi-million dollar deal with a British pharmaceutical giant to purchase and produce up to 30 million doses of its potential COVID-19 vaccine, in an agreement which would also support New Zealand and South Pacific nations. The Morrison government is expected to sign off on a deal with the British drugmaker AstraZeneca to secure the University of Oxford's adenovirus-based vaccine as soon as the first half of next year. The University of Oxford samples from coronavirus vaccine trials are handled inside the Oxford Vaccine Group laboratory. CREDIT:AP The supply pact would allow Melbourne-based domestic vaccine manufacturer CSL to produce the vaccine under a strict licensing agreement if human trials of the drug in Britain prove successful. Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Sunday [...]

August 16th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Russia produces first batch of COVID-19 vaccine—report

FILE PHOTO: A handout photo provided by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) shows samples of a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, in Moscow, Russia August 6, 2020. (RDIF)/Handout via REUTERS MOSCOW—Russia has produced the first batch of its new vaccine for COVID-19, the Interfax news agency quoted the health ministry as saying on Saturday, hours after the ministry reported the start of manufacturing. Some scientists said they fear that with this fast regulatory approval Moscow may be putting national prestige before safety amid the global race to develop a vaccine against the disease. Russia has said the vaccine, the first for the coronavirus to go into production, will be rolled out by the end of this month. [...]

August 16th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Kiwi scientists identify ‘virus family’ of new outbreak

A breakthrough in understanding New Zealand's new Covid-19 outbreak has only deepened the mystery over its origins. New Zealand scientists have identified the "family" of its latest Covid-19 outbreak and have revealed that its name is "B.1.1.1." and can be tracked all the way back to Wuhan. The lineage of the genome sequence of the original cluster – which began as four new cases on August 11 and has grown to 30 – is also linked to cases in Australia. Director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the samples had "strong links" to the genomes of coronavirus in United Kingdom and Australia. And B.1.1.1 is also present in countries including Peru, Uruguay, South Africa, Switzerland and Bangladesh. But B.1.1.1. has no links whatsoever with the genomes of Covid-19 cases [...]

August 16th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: AUT student tests positive

AUT campuses have been closed since Auckland moved to alert level 3 on Wednesday. Photo / Supplied An AUT student has tested positive for Covid-19. The case is linked to the Auckland cluster and the student is being moved to quarantine. Vice Chancellor Derek McCormack sent an email to all staff advising of the student's test result earlier today. The university understood the student's movements and physical interactions were limited to the MBA programme and specific areas of the City Campus, he said. The student was not unwell when they were on campus and only began experiencing symptoms yesterday. Auckland Regional Public Health Services has determined the student's infectious period began on Thursday August 13, therefore it is unlikely the student was infectious while on campus. All teaching will [...]

August 16th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Donald Trump’s younger brother, Robert Trump, dead at 71

Robert Trump, left, joins then real estate developer Donald Trump at a 1999 event in New York. Photo / AP  President Donald Trump's younger brother, Robert Trump, a businessman known for an even keel that seemed almost incompatible with the family name, died on Saturday night after being hospitalised in New York, the president said in a statement. He was 71. The president visited his brother at a New York City hospital on Friday after White House officials said he had become seriously ill. Officials did not immediately release a cause of death. "It is with heavy heart I share that my wonderful brother, Robert, peacefully passed away tonight," Donald Trump said in a statement. "He was not just my brother, he was my best friend. He will be [...]

August 16th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘The press has to go on’: Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai defies Beijing

Apple Daily founder and pro democracy activist says his case will likely be a ‘litmus test’ of Hong Kong’s legal system.     Wary but defiant, Jimmy Lai is determined to keep fighting for a democratic Hong Kong, even as he acknowledges that China’s goal is to take full control of the region. Speaking to the Guardian five days after his arrest on foreign collusion allegations – he is currently out on bail - media tycoon Lai argues the press must keep going. But he also believes that Monday’s round up was a warning from Beijing. Six weeks ago the Chinese Communist Party government (CCP) imposed national security laws on Hong Kong which made even the mildest forms of activism a crime against the state. Dozens have since been [...]

August 15th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

U.N. Security Council Rejects U.S. Proposal to Extend Arms Embargo on Iran

“We can’t allow the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism to buy and sell weapons,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday.Credit...Lisi Niesner/Reuters   The United States suffered an embarrassing diplomatic defeat on Friday when the United Nations Security Council rejected a proposal to indefinitely extend an arms embargo on Iran, with even America’s strongest allies refusing to buckle under pressure from the Trump administration to take a harder line. The defeat underscored America’s deepening global isolation on the issue of Iran. But for the Trump administration, the vote could open a separate path to try to inflict maximum damage on Iran ahead of November’s U.S. presidential election. For months, Trump administration officials have warned that if the vote to extend the embargo failed, the United States would [...]

August 15th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Ashley Bloomfield, Chris Hipkins – Seven new cases of Covid-19 today

There are seven new cases of Covid-19 today, director general of health Ashley Bloomfield has revealed. All are in the community - there are no cases in managed isolation. Six cases are linked to the Auckland cluster and one case is being investigated. That is in addition to the case being investigated yesterday. Bloomfield was confident both cases were linked to the cluster. There are 56 active cases in New Zealand, of which 37 are in the community. Some 1090 close contacts linked to the cluster have been identified - 934 have been contacted so far - and 86 per cent of close contacts have been contacted. The two Tokoroa cases have been transferred to Auckland and their families are in isolation. All residents of the Morrinsville rest home [...]

August 15th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Trump orders TikTok to sell U.S. assets within 90 days, citing national security concerns

President Donald Trump ordered the Chinese parent company of TikTok to sell or spin off its U.S. assets within 90 days, citing national security concerns. In an order released late Friday, Trump warned of “credible evidence” that ByteDance “might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.” The executive order follows an investigation of ByteDance’s acquisition of Musical.ly which it bought in 2017 and merged with TikTok. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said in a statement that an "exhaustive review" concluded that the deal should be unwound. TikTok could not be immediately reached for comment. Last week, Trump issued an executive order that would ban U.S. transactions with ByteDance and with Tencent’s WeChat in 45 days.

August 15th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

UN Security Council rejects US resolution to extend Iran arms embargo

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the decision of the Council was 'inexcusable.' The U.N. Security Council on Friday rejected a U.S. resolution to extend a thirteen-years-old arms embargo on Iran due to expire in October -- a move that will likely result in the Trump administration attempting to extend the embargo unilaterally. The short resolution, which would have extended the embargo “until the Security Council decides otherwise,” mustered only two votes in the chamber -- the U.S. and the Dominican Republic. It needed nine to pass, and even if it had gained that many, would likely have been shot down by a veto from China and Russia. Russia and China voted no, but did not need to deploy a veto, while the remaining members of the Council abstained. The [...]

August 15th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘Russian COVID-19 vaccine may be available in PH by November’

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File) MANILA, Philippines — The Russian vaccine being developed against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be available in the Philippines as early as November 2020, according to the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund which finances the vaccine project. “We believe we can start this trial as early as August or maybe even early September, and we believe if we work very closely with your regulator, with your health minister, we can actually make the vaccine available to Philippines as early as November or early December,” Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive officer of the RIDF, said in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel aired on Friday. “We are now working to manufacture vaccines not only in Russia but in five other countries and we [...]

August 15th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern – NZ to maintain current lockdown settings for 12 more days

New Zealand will maintain its current lockdown settings for 12 more days. That would mean the current settings will be in place for 14 days - or one full incubation period. The current settings will remain until 11.59pm on August 26, but Cabinet will review the settings on August 21, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has just announced. "There is nothing to suggest we need to move to a level 4 lockdown at this stage." Auckland shouldn't be at level 3 for any longer than necessary. "Short and sharp is best. "But it is wise to take a bit of extra time." Ardern said it had been 53 hours since Auckland was in level 3, while the rest of NZ was in level 2. She said the aim was to [...]

August 14th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Ashley Bloomfield gives update – How far has the virus spread?

LATEST ADVICE: • There are 12 new confirmed cases, including two in Tokoroa. They are all connected. • There is no need to stockpile medicines. The supply chain has not been affected. • There have been reports of verbal and physical abuse of healthcare workers. • The "majority" of border workers will be tested by the end of the day. There are 12 new confirmed cases of Covid in the community and one probable case, director general of health Ashley Bloomfield says. One of the 13 cases is in hospital. All of the new cases are linked to the existing cluster, though one - the person in Auckland Hospital - is still under investigation but it is not yet cause for concern. There are 30 active cases connected to [...]

August 14th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Philippines will be first country to test Russia’s ‘Sputnik V’ vaccine

A new vaccine is on display at the Nikolai Gamaleya National Centre of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow, Russia. Photo / AP KEY POINTS: The Philippines will be the first country in the world to begin large-scale human testing of Russia's coronavirus vaccine in October. President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to be inoculated as early as May next year. Duterte had offered himself as a guinea pig for the first jab, saying he had "huge trust" in the vaccine. But his spokesman Harry Roque confirmed he will not receive the inoculation until regulators guarantee its safety. There is growing scepticism about the effectiveness of the fast-tracked vaccine. Phase 3 clinical trials in the Philippines are due to run from October to March 2021. Roque said the president was scheduled [...]

August 14th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: 13 new cases in Auckland – all will go into quarantine

There are 13 new Covid cases in Auckland and they all will now go into quarantine. All of the 13 cases are linked to the original four confirmed cases from the new outbreak in South Auckland. The new cases include children. One is a girl aged one to four while the other is a boy between the ages of five and nine. Another girl who tested positive is aged between 10 and 14, while a teenage male (age from 15-19) is among the new cases. Family members of confirmed cases may also be required to go into quarantine, director general of health Ashley Bloomfield says. Bloomfield said they'd given moving confirmed cases into quarantine facilities "a lot of thought". It would help prevent spread between family members and limit [...]

August 13th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘Philippine jobless rate highest in Southeast Asia’

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is seen booking the highest unemployment rate in Southeast Asia, with about eight million Filipinos expected to lose their jobs as the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic continues to overwhelm the economy, according to Maybank ATR Kim Eng. In its ASEAN economics report titled “Labour market: Retrenchments and Recovery,” Maybank said the country’s unemployment rate is expected to hit a record 18.5 percent this year, the highest in Southeast Asia. This is higher than Thailand’s 15.9 percent, Malaysia’s 6.5 percent, Indonesia’s 5.9 percent, Singapore’s four percent, and Vietnam’s 3.6 percent. In all, the six ASEAN countries would have an unemployment rate of 8.8 percent due to the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic. “The COVID-19 pandemic and business shutdowns have led to massive [...]

August 13th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Kamala Has Called for Twitter to Ban Trump – And Their Top Censor Used to Work for Her

For as often a fuss is made over President Donald Trump’s tweets, even his critics must view them as a net positive for him, as evidenced by how badly they want him banned from the platform. Among them is Kamala Harris, who was just tapped by Joe Biden to be his running mate. She wrote Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in October 2019 that Trump violated the company’s user agreement in tweets regarding the Ukraine “whistleblower” and House Intel Committee Chair Adam Schiff. Kamala pretended that Trump violated Twitter’s rule that “may not threaten violence against an individual or a group of people.” She’s also called for him to be banned in a number of tweets. Fortunately nobody at Twitter listened to that specific complaint, though Twitter has since censored [...]

August 13th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

US election: Military officials in extraordinary Trump letter

President Trump's top military man has just been delivered an extraordinary request by two senior military staffers in a worst case scenario following the upcoming US election. An open letter, published by online US military news site Defense One, is addressed to General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and paints a stark picture of what the authors believe could emerge following the upcoming US election. "As chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, you are well aware of your duties in ordinary times: to serve as principal military advisor to the president of the United States, and to transmit the lawful orders of the president and Secretary of Defense to combatant commanders," the letter reads. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley [...]

August 13th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Experts Michael Baker and Shaun Hendy share concerns Auckland outbreak could be ‘generations’ deep

Covid-19 could been have spreading in Auckland for weeks, with dozens of people already infected, two experts claim. The two infectious disease experts say it's likely the four cases confirmed in a family on Tuesday are a few generations into an outbreak. The family has no known connection to the country's border - the only place experts believe Covid-19 could have arrived. Epidemiologist Michael Baker said an outbreak usually went through a few generations of transmission before someone became sick enough to present with symptoms. That could take about three weeks, he said. Physicist and disease modeller Shaun Hendy agreed, saying there could be several layers to the outbreak. "If [the virus] has been passed from someone who arrived, and passed through several people to this family, then they [...]

August 13th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Unnerving: ‘Occupy’ radicals now plan ‘White House siege’

50-day protest 'a cultural heave towards a new world order' The activist group behind the Occupy Wall Street protest nine years ago, Adbusters, is planning a 50-day "White House Siege" next month. "Drawing wind from #MeToo, #BLM, #ExtinctionRebellion and protests against Trump’s lethal bungling of coronavirus, we’ll inspire a global movement of systemic change — a Global Spring — a cultural heave towards a new world order, the activists say in a "Tactical Briefing" posted by Adbusters magazine. The Adbusters Media Foundation is a Canadian-based anti-capitalist, enviromentalist group founded in 1989. Adbusters prompted the "occupation" of Wall Street in 2011 saying that had "one simple demand — a presidential commission to separate money from politics" that would "start setting the agenda for a new America." The activists say the [...]

August 13th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Restrictions may stay in place longer, scientists say

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced Auckland will go into level 3 lockdown, and the rest of the country will go into level 2. People should prepare themselves for the possibility restrictions will stay in longer than three days, scientists say. Auckland moves to level 3 at noon today for three days, until midnight on Friday, after news of a community outbreak of Covid-19 - the first in more than 100 days. Four members of a South Auckland family have tested positive and health authorities are racing to find the source. Everyone working at the border or in managed isolation will be swabbed and there will be mass testing across the city. Two pop-up centres are opening this morning in Ōtara and New Lynn. The rest of New Zealand [...]

August 12th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Biden taps Kamala Harris as running mate, setting aside tensions from primary

She makes history as the first Black woman to serve as a major political party’s VP pick. Kamala Harris, the politically shrewd California senator with a law enforcement background that has caused some tensions with the progressive left, was announced Tuesday as Joe Biden’s running mate. "I’ve decided that Kamala Harris is the best person to help me take this fight to Donald Trump and Mike Pence and then to lead this nation starting in January 2021," Biden said in an email to supporters. She makes history as the first Black woman to serve as a major political party’s VP pick. "I'm honored to join him as our party's nominee for Vice President, and do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief," Harris tweeted. The Biden campaign said Biden [...]

August 11th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Four New COVID-19 Cases Hurl New Zealand Into Renewed Country-Wide Lockdown

(Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images) Auckland, a major city in New Zealand, is reportedly entering a level 3 lockdown mid-day Wednesday for at least three days after four new COVID-19 cases were reported. The rest of the nation will be put back into a level 2 lockdown as the government confirms the first case of community transmission after more than 100 days with no reported cases. Auckland residents will be expected to work from home after two workplaces in the city were pinpointed as being involved with the spread, according to Stuff, a publication based in New Zealand. Schools, bars and restaurants will be closed through the end of the week, according to MarketWatch, while gatherings of 10 or more are restricted. Non-essential travel will reportedly be banned, with [...]

August 11th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

President Trump abruptly escorted from White House briefing, then returns

                      Secret Service agent interrupts President Trump's briefing on Aug. 10, 2020.  WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump was abruptly escorted by a U.S. Secret Service agent out of the White House briefing room as he was beginning a coronavirus briefing Monday afternoon. He returned minutes later, saying there was a “shooting” outside the White House that was “under control.” There was an actual shooting and somebody’s been taken to the hospital,” Trump said. The president said the shots were fired by law enforcement, saying he believed the individual who was shot was armed. “It was the suspect who was shot,” Trump said. Trump said he was escorted to the Oval Office by the agent. The White House was placed [...]

August 11th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

2 shot, more than 100 people arrested, 13 officers injured amid widespread downtown looting

CPD Supt. David Brown called the looting “pure criminality” in a news conference Monday morning, not connected to any protest. “There is no justification,” Mayor Lightfoot said. A CVS at LaSalle and Kinzie was one of the stores hit as part of widespread looting in downtown Chicago. Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times Two people were shot, more than 100 people were arrested and 13 police officers were injured as crowds broke windows and looted stores along Michigan Avenue and on the Near North Side overnight and into Monday morning. “We are waking up in shock this morning,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot, calling it “brazen criminal looting and destruction.” Chicago Police Supt. David Brown, who joined the mayor for a news conference at CPD headquarters Monday, called it “pure criminality” not connected [...]

August 10th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Managed isolation charges to come into force tomorrow

Managed isolation charges for returnees will come into force from tomorrow, after they passed their last Cabinet milestone today, Housing Minister Megan Woods says. "The new charging system balances the rights of New Zealanders to return home and helps reduce pressure on the managed isolation and quarantine system, while recovering some of the costs from those who choose to leave and enter the country on holidays or business trips," Megan Woods said. "Anyone who needs to come home but cannot afford the charges will still be able to come home. Exemptions are available for certain groups of people and waivers from charges are possible on a case-by-case basis for undue financial hardship and in special circumstances (such as compassionate grounds)." Travellers required to contribute towards their managed isolation hotel [...]

August 10th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Next Digital boss Jimmy Lai arrested over alleged foreign collusion

Jimmy Lai, founder of the Next Media group and a pro-democracy activist, was arrested on Monday morning for alleged collusion with foreign forces under Hong Kong’s new national security law. His eldest son Timothy and second son Ian, and several members of the senior management of the group, which publishes the Apple Daily newspaper, were also arrested on suspicion of breaching the national security law. A team of about 10 police officers arrived at Lai’s residence on Kadoorie Avenue in Kowloon Tong at around 7 a.m. to search for evidence as a large group of reporters gathered outside. Lai was brought to the police station in Kowloon City. Another police team went to the home of Ian Lai in Sai Kung. His eldest son Timothy and second son Ian, [...]

August 10th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Now more Covid-19 cases in US than people in NZ – and deaths higher than population of Hamilton

The number of cases of Covid-19 in the United States has now passed the 5 million mark - the total population of New Zealand. US Covid cases and deaths on August 10 2020, source: Johns Hopkins University. NZ population at March 2020 from Stats NZ, Hamilton population at 2018 Census. Source: 1 NEWS And its number of deaths is equivalent to the entire population of Hamilton. There have now been 5,032,299 cases of the virus in the US and 162,751 people have died, according to tracking data from Johns Hopkins University. While the population of the US is far bigger – at 330,000,000 - the scale of the coronavirus crisis there is clear and Donald Trump’s administration has been widely criticised for its handling of the pandemic. President Trump has [...]

August 10th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

This Is Big! Trump Holds a 36% Approval Rating with Black Voters in the Latest Rasmussen Monthly Approval Summary

This should put Democrats in a panic. While Joe Biden continues to drop racist insults against prominent blacks President Trump continues to make inroads with black voters. President Trump holds a monthly approval rating of 36% with black voters. This was Trump’s monthly average with the black community.  

August 9th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

President Trump announces $400-per-week unemployment payments amid Covid-19 crisis

  President Trump announced a $400-per-week supplemental unemployment payment to out-of-work Americans. He also signed a payroll tax holiday through the end of the year for Americans earning less than $100,000. For the new $400-per-week benefit, states would be on the hook for funding 25% to the millions of jobless Americans, while the federal government would pick up 75 percent of the benefit, Trump said. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, tweeted out his support support for President Trump’s executive orders. “I applaud @realDonaldTrump executive actions to help the American [people],” Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, tweeted. “Democrats all or nothing strategy jeopardizes the certainty Americans need to pay their bills. [President] Trump puts the American [people] first, compared to nonstop political games by Democrats.” Meanwhile Sen. Lindsey Graham, praised the President for [...]

August 9th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Beirut blast: Tear gas, clashes amid fury over massive explosion

Security forces fired tear gas and clashed with stone-throwing demonstrators Saturday in Beirut, and a group of protesters stormed the foreign ministry amid mounting fury over this week's explosion that devastated much of the city and killed nearly 160 people. Dozens were still missing and nearly 6,000 people injured. Activists who called for the protest set up symbolic nooses at Beirut's Martyrs' Square to hang politicians whose corruption and negligence they blame for Tuesday's blast. Lebanese soldiers stand among tear gas during clashes with protesters as part of a protest against the political elites and the government after this week's deadly explosion at Beirut port. Photo / AP The explosion was fueled by thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate that had been improperly stored at the city's port for [...]

August 9th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Weather warning: Northland, Auckland set to be hit by rain deluge

The Upper North Island is in for a drenching. Photo / MetService   Weeks after it was hit by a severe storm, Northland is in for another big deluge. But forecasters say the system predicted to soak the region on Tuesday - potentially bringing up to 100mm of rainfall - will prove more of a short, sharp hit than a slow-moving event. MetService has flagged the bout in its Severe Weather Outlook, with high confidence rainfall accumulations could reach warning criteria in Northland. There was also moderate chances of warning-level amounts of rainfall for Auckland, Greater Barrier Island and Coromandel - but low chances for the Bay of Plenty and Waikato. MetService meteorologist Stephen Glassey said a low pressure system, currently located in the northern Tasman Sea off the [...]

August 9th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Daughter of a nearly-executed Cambodian refugee becomes GP in South Auckland

Her father was sentenced to be executed during the Cambodian genocide but in an unexpected twist of fate, his life was spared. For the first time, South Auckland doctor Rebecca Ly shares her family's deeply moving story of courage and kindness. Through a suburban Flat Bush door, an infectious smile warms the room. A young five-foot tall doctor offers a cup of Chinese Jasmine tea and directs us toward an immaculately-kept family living room. A captivating black and gold print of Cambodia's Angkor Wat temple hangs directly above the leather couch where Rebecca Ly sits. Displayed on one side of the print are her and her younger sister's University of Otago graduation certificates - both a bachelor of medicine and surgery. On the other side are two photos of [...]

August 9th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Lebanese protesters storm government buildings as prime minister vows early elections

Protesters also trashed and set  fire to the offices of the Association of Lebanese Banks Protesters in Lebanon stormed government ministries as violence gripped Beirut Saturday night.Protesters also trashed and set fire to the offices of the Association of Lebanese Banks as shots rang out in increasingly violent demonstrations following this week’s explosions that killed at least 160 and injured nearly 6,000 others. TV footage showed protesters storming the energy and economy ministries. Protesters blame the Banking Association for the country’s worsening banking crisis. They called on politicians to resign and for them to be punished for negligence they say led to Tuesday’s blasts. Some hung symbolic nooses in Martyr's Square. Demonstrators run away from tear gas fired by riot police during a protest following Tuesday's blast, in Beirut, Lebanon, Aug. [...]

August 9th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Vietnam misses out on 100 days of no community transmission

Vietnam – until recently, a rare coronavirus success story – is in the middle of a fresh outbreak that has scientists "stumped", the BBC reports. After 99 straight days of no local transmission, cases have suddenly surged in the south east Asian nation – a worrying sign for any country or state that thinks it has the virus under control. And that includes New Zealand, which yesterday marked its own 99-day run without community transmission. Remarkably, up until a week ago, Vietnam had yet to record a single death from coronavirus. One week on, the death toll stands at 10. The country was one of the first in the world to lock down and had reaped the benefit of that strategy. That was even more remarkable because it shares [...]

August 9th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Portland Police: Protesters Disguised Themselves As ‘Press,’ Harassed Officers

Alisha Jucevic/AFP via Getty Images   Protesters disguised themselves as members of the press and harassed officers during Wednesday night’s demonstrations in Portland, the city’s police bureau said. Several people who had labeled themselves as “press” threw eggs, rocks, and shined lasers into the eyes of police officers, the Portland police bureau said in a Thursday press release. The protesters continued to interfere with officers as they tried to disperse the crowd. “Since several people with ‘press’ affixed to them continued to interfere with officers performing their lawful duties, a public address announcement was made which closed Southeast 106th Avenue from Southeast Washington Street to Southeast Cherry Blossom Street to all people including members of the press,” the news release said. Protesters threw glass bottles, heavy rocks, and other [...]

August 9th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler Now Begs Criminal Antifa Terrorists to Stay Home So Trump Won’t Use His Failed City in His Ads (VIDEO)

It’s a toss-up but Democrat Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler may have squeaked out a victory against Democrat Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Democrat New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio as America’s worst mayor. Just two weeks ago Mayor Wheeler blamed President Trump and federal agents for the 50-plus days of BLM-Antifa rioting in Portland. But that didn’t work because it was complete nonsense so now Wheeler is begging BLM-Antifa rioters to stay away from Portland because Trump is going to use their violent acts in his campaign ads. Wheeler hopes that if he shames these terrorists they will stay home and won’t assault old ladies.  

August 8th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Donald Trump plays ‘Live and Let Die’ at campaign speech as virus death toll climbs

In a week of gaffes, Donald Trump has now had his taste in music criticised after a jarring song choice at a campaign speech. As the US Covid-19 death toll hits 160,000, and experts say 300,000 could die by year's end, the Donald rocked out to Guns and Roses' cover of Wings' "Live and Let Die" before his speech at the Whirlpool washing machine factory in Ohio. Journalist Robert Mackey from The Intercept shared the video, pointing out the incongruous choice, given that not only had the virus killed 1400 Americans the day prior but even Ohio's state Governor Mike DeWine had tested positive and couldn't attend the event. It isn't the first time the song has played at a Trump event. It provided the soundtrack for the President's [...]

August 8th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

California surpasses 10,000 coronavirus deaths

Model projects 300,000 U.S. virus deaths by D... California on Friday surpassed 10,000 coronavirus deaths, a grim milestone that puts the state third for the most deaths in the country, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. There are more than 540,000 confirmed cases in the state.The only states with more fatalities are New York, with over 32,700 deaths, and New Jersey, with over 15,800.Worldwide, over 716,400 people have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins. The U.S. accounts for about a quarter of the world's deaths, with 160,700 people succumbing to the virus. California became the first U.S. state to hit half a million caseson August 1, and over 8,000 new cases were reported on Thursday, according to the state's department of health. The health department warns [...]

August 8th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Rape Suspect Murders His Accuser After Being Freed From Jail Over Coronavirus Concerns

Ibrahim Bouaichi Alexandria, Virginia – A rape suspect who was released from jail to ‘help slow the spread of Coronavirus’ went on to murder his accuser. Ibrahim E. Bouaichi murdered the woman who accused him of rape shortly after being released from jail, reported WJLA. The victim, Karla Elizabeth Dominguez Gonzalez, who testified against Bouaichi in December, was found shot to death on July 29 on S. Greenmount Drive. Bouaichi was indicted on rape charges, however his lawyers argued that their client should be released from jail due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Alexandria law enforcement officials told ABC 7 that Bouaichi was released from jail on April 9. Alexandria police spotted Bouaichi driving in Prince George’s County, Maryland earlier this week and a pursuit ensued. Police chased Bouaichi and [...]

August 8th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Melbourne lockdown – CBD foot traffic down 90 per cent

Melbourne is going through an unprecedented time and the city has released evidence showing how the city has changed completely. Victoria's new normal inside a lockdown bubble is obviously affecting its normally vibrant atmosphere, but new data has shown just how much the city has changed. Empty streets of the city are seen on July 27, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. City Council Lord Mayor Sally Capp this afternoon revealed that pedestrian sensors show foot traffic in the CBD is down "about 90 per cent" compared to this time last year amid coronavirus restrictions. "The city hasn't been this empty for this long in living memory," Capp said. “As the lockdown changes were announced we saw the impact happening in real-time across the city."   A sign reading "Go straight [...]

August 8th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

France: Shopkeeper Beaten by ‘Immigrant’ Men After Asking Them to Wear Face Masks

A man running a laundromat in Val-d'Oise, France, was brutally beaten by a group of 'immigrant' men after he asked them to wear face masks inside the facility, according to reports.Augustin M., 44, says he was ambushed by his assailants after multiple confrontations regarding their lack of masks, which are obligatory in many French businesses due to coronavirus-related mandates.   Tranche de vie dans une zone de Non-France. Un commerçant agressé pour avoir demandé à un « jeune » chenapan le porte de masque. Voilà ce qui se passe lorsqu’on contraint les commerçants à faire la Police. Mais bon, @Darmanin va nous régler ça en créant... un Numéro Vert ! pic.twitter.com/TH0PVDHX5a — Jean MESSIHA (@JeanMessiha) August 4, 2020 “I asked someone to put on a mask but he refused,” [...]

August 7th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

China Sentences 3rd Canadian To Death Amid Intensified Tensions Between Countries

Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images China sentenced a third Canadian citizen to death on drug charges Thursday as tensions between the two countries grow, the Associated Press reported Thursday. Xu Weihong was given his sentence Thursday by the Guangzhou Municipal Intermediate Court. He had allegedly been making Ketamine, a powerful and commonly abused painkiller, since 2016, local newspapers reported. Over 266 pounds of the drug were found in the homes of Weihong and one other person, according to local reports. The court said that they sentenced Weihong’s alleged accomplice, Wen Guanxiong, to life in prison, according to the Associated Press. Tensions between China and Canada have been escalating since 2018 when the daughter of the founder of Chinese tech company Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested at an airport in [...]

August 7th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

FBI Rocked By Public Suicide of TOP FBI Agent Who Investigated Clinton Foundation

FBI agents are mourning the death of one of the Bureau’s top financial crimes supervisors who reportedly shot and killed himself on a crowded nite-club dance floor, according to top FBI insiders. Salvatore “Sal” Cincinelli, a former Wall Street broker who joined the FBI in 2010, died last week during a night out after an FBI training session, sources said. Cincinelli was one a supervisory special agent who spearheaded many of the FBI’s high-profile and complex Wall Street investigations, including probing the finances of the Clinton Foundation. After leaving his Wall Street career, Cincinelli was first assigned to the New York field office (SDNY) and later promoted to HQ in Washington, DC. He was a native New Yorker as well. “Very very bright guy,” one FBI insider said. “Such [...]

August 7th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: US Government issues New Zealand travel warning due to its ’23 active cases’

The US Government has warned its citizens to be very cautious about travelling to New Zealand because of the country's "23 active cases" of Covid-19. Photo / Getty Images The US Government has warned its citizens to be very cautious about travelling to New Zealand because of our "23 active cases" of Covid-19. Despite the US recording more than 2 million cases and 160,000 deaths, the government is advising against travelling to New Zealand. According to the US government's travel advice website, it called for increased caution when travelling here. It places New Zealand at Level 2 on its travel advisory system, which asks its citizens to "exercise increased caution in New Zealand due to Covid-19". "As of August 7, 2020, New Zealand has had 1569 confirmed and probable [...]

August 7th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Six COVID-19 vaccine candidates, including 3 from China, now in phase-3 trials — WHO

GENEVA, Switzerland — Six COVID-19 vaccine candidates, including three from China, have entered phase-3 trials, a senior World Health Organization (WHO) official said on Thursday. A staff member displays samples of the COVID-19 inactivated vaccine at Sinovac Biotech Ltd., in Beijing, capital of China, March 16, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yuwei / MANILA BULLETIN) The three Chinese candidates are from Sinovac, Wuhan Institute of Biological Products/Sinopharm and Beijing Institute of Biological Products/Sinopharm, said Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, at a virtual briefing. The other three are made by the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca, Moderna/NIAID and BioNTech/Fosun Pharma/Pfizer, he added. The vaccines will be put into the general population for the first time in phase 3, after previous trials have focused on safety, immunogenicity, and immune response in [...]

August 7th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

100 days without Covid-19: How New Zealand got rid of a virus that keeps spreading across the world

On Sunday, New Zealand will mark 100 days without community transmission of Covid-19. From the first known case imported into New Zealand on February 26 to the last case of community transmission detected on May 1, elimination took 65 days. New Zealand relied on three types of measures to get rid of the virus: 1. Ongoing border controls to stop Covid-19 from entering the country 2. A lockdown and physical distancing to stop community transmission 3. Case-based controls using testing, contact tracing and quarantine. Collectively, these measures have achieved low case numbers and deaths compared with high-income countries in Europe and North America that pursued a suppression strategy     New Zealand is one of a small number of jurisdictions – including mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, [...]

August 7th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Pompeo: US to present UN resolution to extend arms embargo on Iran

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (AP/Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool) Russians already stated intention of resuming trade of arms to Islamic regime The United States will present a resolution at the UN Security Council next week to extend the UN arms embargo on Iran, announced U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday. “Of course, the conflict in Yemen has raged in large part because of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s illegal arms transfers to the Houthis,” Pompeo told reporters. “And so next week, the United States will put forward a resolution in the Security Council to extend the arms embargo on Iran.” “The Security Council’s mission is to maintain ‘international peace and security,’ ” he continued. “The council would make an absolute mockery of that mission if it allowed the [...]

August 7th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

More than 100 migrants intercepted by UK authorities in English Channel

A freelance photographer in Dover said he counted more than 120 men, women and children being taken off rescue vessels. Image:Migrants are seen being taken off a boat after being rescued by coastguards.   Border Force patrol vessels and local lifeboats have been involved in the rescue of more than 100 migrants in small boats in the English Channel this morning. At least seven rubber dinghies and a kayak were towed into Dover harbour. An inquiry has been launched by the Commons home affairs select committee, which wants to scrutinise the role of "criminal gangs" and the UK and French government's response to the issue.   Image:More than 120 men, women and children are among those who were rescued On Thursday, a freelance photographer in Dover said he counted [...]

August 6th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

With 119,460 infections, Philippines overtakes Indonesia for most COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia

Airline ground staff wearing protective gear work at the counter at the airport in Manila on August 4, 2020. AFP/Ted Aljibe   MANILA, Philippines (Updated 5:09 p.m.) — The Philippines saw another spike in new coronavirus infections Thursday to take its total to 119,460, overtaking Indonesia as the worst-hit country in Southeast Asia. The Department of Health reported 3,561 additional infections to take the national caseload ahead of Indonesia’s 118,753 cases as of Thursday, according to its health ministry. Manila has been reporting more daily cases than Jakarta for a time now. Outbreak epicenter Metro Manila, which returned to a tougher lockdown, was responsible for 57% or 2,041 of the newly-reported cases. Meanwhile, Laguna had 222 additional cases, Cebu had 221, Cavite had 100 and Rizal had 81. Currently, [...]

August 6th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Foreign Minister Winston Peters announces $500,000 in aid after Beirut blast

New Zealand's Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has today announced $500,000 in aid for the Red Cross after yesterday's deadly Beirut blast. Mr Peters tweeted the pledge this afternoon. "New Zealand stands in solidarity with Lebanon. We are providing $500,000 to the Red Cross Movement for the provision of lifesaving medical support and urgent humanitarian services." It comes after 2750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored at Beirut's port somehow caught alight yesterday, leading to an incredibly large explosion which killed at least 135 people and injured more than 5000 across the city. The blast is thought to have left some 300,000 displaced in Beirut due to massive property damage. The Ministry of Foreign Affair and Trade says, New Zealanders who want to support the response are encouraged to make financial [...]

August 6th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

US announces ‘highest level’ visit in decades to Taiwan

TAIPEI - The United States on Wednesday announced its "highest level" visit in decades to Taiwan, a move sure to infuriate China at a time when relations between Washington and Beijing are at historic lows. Washington's trade office in Taipei confirmed that health chief Alex Azar would lead an upcoming delegation to the self-ruled island, which China's communist leaders claim and have vowed to one day seize. "This marks... the first Cabinet member to visit in six years, and the highest level visit by a US Cabinet official since 1979," the American Institute in Taiwan said. Taiwan's foreign ministry confirmed the trip and said Azar would meet the island's foreign and health ministers. "Secretary Azar is a long-time staunch friend of Taiwan," the ministry said, describing his upcoming trip [...]

August 6th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Suspected homemade bombs found at Hamilton mall, roads blocked off

A Hamilton mall will be shut for at least the next four hours after suspected homemade bombs were discovered, police say. Hamilton locals have described hearing a loud "bang" early this morning before the bomb disposal unit arrived at Chartwell shopping centre, Herald reporter Belinda Feek said. Police have also extended their cordons around the site, moving everybody out a street further and closing down access to Lyndon Court, she said. The bomb disposal unit has arrived at the scene. Photo / Belinda Feek A stretch of Comries Rd between Hukanui and Lyndon Crt is now closed, she added. Stride Property, which owns the mall, said the centre had been evacuated and that management are cooperating with police. "Chartwell Shopping Centre treats the safety of its retailers, customers and [...]

August 6th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

One in five house sales in NZ in 2020 went for $1m-plus

An architecturally-designed house on Newton Road, Waiheke, was one of the top sales in the first half of 2020. Photo / supplied Since the beginning of the year, nearly one in five residential sales in New Zealand sold for more than $1 million, according figures released by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.That figure of 17 percent is well up on the 13 per cent share of sales in the same period in 2019. From January to June, there were 5,426 million-dollar-plus sales, up 12 percent on last year. REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell says: “We are seeing demand for properties, pushing up the number of million-dollar-plus sales. The shortage of housing stock appears to be a continued influence.” The majority of the million-dollar-plus sales - nearly 4000 [...]

August 6th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Exclusive: Trump campaign seeks early September presidential debate

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Image The Trump campaign is asking the Commission on Presidential Debates to move up the last presidential debate to the first week in September to get ahead of an expected surge in early voting. Driving the news: President Trump's personal attorney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, made the request in a letter dated Wednesday and obtained by Axios. Giuliani has been leading the campaign's discussions with the debate commission, which also includes asking the commission to add a fourth debate. If the commission declines to add a fourth debate, the letter asks that the debate currently scheduled for Oct. 22 be moved up to the first week in September, before the first ballots are sent on Sept. 4 in North Carolina. What [...]

August 6th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: John Key says NZ should let in ‘rich’ Americans who want to build a house

Former Prime Minister Sir John Key wants to encourage rich Americans to buy New Zealand property to help reduce the impact of a looming "financial crisis". He told Newstalk ZB host Heather du Plessis-Allan that border restrictions should be loosened so that universities and companies could bring in foreign students and skilled workers and pay for their own quarantine. And he said foreigners buying New Zealand property would provide work for Kiwis whose jobs are disappearing. "Let's focus on what we can do. We've got this crazy foreign buyer ban," he said. Why don't we let in rich Americans who want to build a house in New Zealand? Who cares? They're in Mangawhai or somewhere, they are going to create thousands of jobs. "Why do we care if someone [...]

August 5th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

FBI has opened 300 ‘domestic terror’ investigations as a result of riots, attorney tells Capitol hearing on Antifa

The US attorney revealed stats at Antifa hearing chaired by Sen. Ted Cruz The FBI has opened more than 300 domestic terrorism investigations since George Floyd's death in Minneapolis kicked off nationwide unrest and riots, a federal attorney revealed Tuesday in a hearing on Capitol Hill on Antifa and violent protests. Erin Nealy Cox, a U.S. attorney tapped by Attorney General William Barr to lead a task force on violent anti-government extremists, said the feds have opened hundreds of federal criminal investigations surrounding the violence and rioting since May 28. "They have since May 28 [opened] over 300 domestic terrorist investigations," Cox told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on preventing violent protests. "That does not include any potential civil rights investigations or violent crime associated with the riots." In addition, Acting Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli [...]

August 5th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Two new Covid cases, both from Philippines

New Zealand has two new cases of Covid-19 today in managed isolation, both travellers from the Philippines. The first case is a man in his 20s who arrived in New Zealand on July 23 from the Philippines via Hong Kong. He has been in managed isolation at the Rydges in Rotorua and tested negative for Covid-19 around day three of his stay. The man has now been transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility after testing positive around day 12 of his stay. The second case is a woman in her 40s who arrived in New Zealand on August 1, also from the Philippines via Hong Kong. She has been in managed isolation at the Grand Millennium in Auckland, and tested positive around day three of her stay. The two [...]

August 5th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

The Lebanon Explosions in Photos

Images from Beirut show the extent of the devastation from blasts that shook the Lebanese capital Tuesday evening. Smoke from the scene of an explosion in Beirut, Lebanon on Tuesday.Credit...Ben Hubbard/The New York Times The two explosions that ripped through Beirut Tuesday evening killed at least 78 people and wounded thousands more. The second, far larger blast devastated a wide area, with the shock wave knocking people down, overturning cars and enveloping much of the center city in a cloud of dust and smoke. Windows of apartment towers miles away were blown out, leaving the city’s streets looking as if they had been “cobbled in glass,” according to a resident. The injured, at least 4,000, were soon streaming into local hospitals, often arriving on foot or carried by friends [...]

August 5th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Dr Ashley Bloomfield’s dire warning – NZ should brace for second wave

The country's top health official today reiterated a dire warning that New Zealand should brace for a second wave of Covid-19 to sweep through the community, similar to the outbreak wreaking havoc in Victoria. Director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the health ministry had been sounding the warning about the prospect of community transmission in recent weeks and was now gearing up for the likely prospect. It's been more than three months since the last case of Covid-19 was contracted in the community. In the past 95 days all Covid infections have been detected and contained at the border as ill people return to New Zealand. There are currently 22 active cases in quarantine. While life has returned to near normal for the majority of Kiwis, across [...]

August 5th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

2,750 Tonnes Of Ammonium Nitrate Exploded: Lebanon PM On Beirut Blasts

“It is unacceptable that a shipment of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate has been present for six years in a warehouse, without taking preventive measures," he said at a defence council meeting, a spokesman told a press conference.   "It is unacceptable and we cannot remain silent on this issue," Lebanon PM said. (File) Beirut: About 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate were stored in the Beirut port warehouse that exploded Tuesday, devastating large parts of the Lebanese capital, Prime Minister Hassan Diab said. "It is unacceptable that a shipment of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate has been present for six years in a warehouse, without taking preventive measures," he said at a defence council meeting, a spokesman told a press conference.    

August 5th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Trump calls Beirut explosion an ‘attack’

GETTY IMAGES President Trump described explosions that occurred in Beirut on Tuesday and killed at least 78 people as an "attack," saying his military and national security advisers had indicated to him that it was likely a bomb. "I met with some of our great generals, and they just seemed to feel that it was - this was not some kind of manufacturing explosion type of event," Trump said at a White House news conference. "According to them - they would know better than I would - but they seem to think it was an attack, it was a bomb of some kind." Beirut was rocked by a massive explosion early Tuesday evening local time that has left 78 dead and at least 4,000 injured, according to The New York [...]

August 5th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Nolte: School and Church Closings, Anti-Police Movement Blow up U.S. Homicide Rate

AP Photo/Steve Ruark Homicide rates have exploded by double digits and experts blame school and church closings alongside the anti-police movement, reports the Wall Street Journal. The Wall Street Journal looked at America’s 50 biggest cities and found homicides are up an average of a whopping 24 percent across the board. It is also worth noting, although the Journal tries to spin this as a bipartisan problem, that Democrats (including the “progressive” mayor of San Antonio who identifies as Independent) run seven of the top ten cities with the biggest jump in homicide rates. Democrats also run all six of the top six cities with the largest number of homicides, including Democrat-run Chicago, which the Journal notes is responsible for “more than one of every eight homicides.” The top [...]

August 4th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘It is what it is,’ Trump says of rising coronavirus deaths as he insists outbreak is ‘under control’

President Donald Trump said his administration has done an "incredible" job handling the coronavirus pandemic and that despite rising deaths the outbreak is "under control," in a wide-ranging and contentious interview that aired on HBO Monday night. Axios National Political Correspondent Jonathan Swan began the interview by asking Trump if his sometimes "wishful thinking" and "salesmanship" was suitable in a crisis that has killed more than 155,000 people in the U.S. "I think you have to have a positive outlook, otherwise you would have nothing," Trump said. As he frequently has done in defending his record on the pandemic, the president pointed to the travel restrictions he imposed on China and Europe, arguing hundreds of thousands – a number he later put in the "millions" – more would have died without those actions. He [...]

August 4th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

New Zealand passports most powerful in world post-COVID

A new analysis has found New Zealand’s passport to be the most valuable in the world, despite COVID-19 putting an end to our travel plans. The New Zealand passport is now the most valuable travel document in the world, according to a new global ranking. The new ranking by the Passport Index, which comes amid general travel chaos caused by COVID-19, puts the Kiwi passport in joint first place alongside Japan, with both passports granting visa free travel or visa on arrival to 118 countries, The New Zealand Herald reports. Australia was second on the list, tied with 11 other nations including the United Kingdom, Germany and South Korea. The Passport Index’s power ranking of 200 of the world’s passports is similar but different from the Henley Passport Index, [...]

August 4th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Billions at stake: Travel industry warns of collapse

The United Arab Emirates now requires travellers to have a negative Covid-19 test. Photo / Jason Oxenham A Dunedin travel agent is warning if his industry were to collapse it could leave billions of dollars of New Zealanders' refunds stuck overseas. Brooker Travel Group and helloworld managing director Andrew Carmody said the wider New Zealand travel agent industry was trying to recoup about $2.6 billion worth of refunds from cancelled trips. With the borders largely closed, there are few opportunities for travel agencies to generate revenue and many are getting by on the wage subsidy, which ends next month. ANZ chief economist Sharon Zollner has warned the country is splitting into two economies — "the tourism-dependent regions and the rest". "That the border will remain closed for the rest [...]

August 4th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Australian states going backwards on plans to open up amid panic over Victoria’s outbreak

Most states are going backwards in their plans to open up their economies as Victoria's severe coronavirus outbreak spooks authorities. On Monday, both South Australia and Tasmania announced changes as Victoria's case numbers continue to remain high. It comes after NSW, Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria wound back the relaxing of their restrictions. The moves have left Prime Minister Scott Morrison's three-step plan to end coronavirus restrictions in tatters. Sadly that timeline has come and gone and most states are now reversing or delaying their plans to open up. Stage one and two of the plan involved allowing larger gatherings in people's homes of up to 20 people, and the re-opening of businesses such as gyms, beauty salons, cinemas, galleries and amusement parks. Some interstate travel could be permissible [...]

August 4th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Citing Duterte order, Lorenzana says PH won’t join other navies in South China Sea drills

MANILA, Philippines—Citing an order by President Rodrigo Duterte, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Monday (Aug. 3) said that the Philippines would not join the navies of other countries, like the United States, in maritime drills in the South China Sea for fear of raising tension in the area. “President Rodrigo Duterte has a standing order to us, to me, that we should not involve ourselves in naval exercises in the South China Sea except our national waters, the 12 mile distance from our shores,” the defense chief said at an online press briefing. We cannot exercise with them in the South China Sea,” said Lorenzana. “If one country’s action is considered as belligerent, another tension will normally rise, so I hope that all the parties in this exercise will [...]

August 4th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Wealthy Americans invest in foreign passports, US visa loses lustre

A second passport is now a 'must-have' for wealthy US travellers. Photo / Annie Spratt, Unsplash NZ HeraldThere is a must-have travel accessory that wealthy Americans are buying this year: foreign citizenship. A financial advisory firm specialising in "global citizenship" has been inundated by requests from US clients looking to "invest" in a foreign passport, reported The Washington Post. The Toronto-based firm Arton Capital says that there has been a 30-40 per cent increase on last year in clients looking to obtain "a second citizenship and passport by investing in the economy of the host country." With severe outbreaks of coronavirus closing international borders to travellers from the US, it would appear a second passport has become the final refuge of wealthy Americans. This limitation of mobility has made [...]

August 3rd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Iran: Oil and Petrochemical workers stage strike!

Saturday, August 1, 2020, workers, and employees of Abadan and Mahshahr refineries, Qeshm Heavy Oil Refinery, as well as workers and employees of Parsian Refinery, Petrochemical Company in Lamerd(Fars Province), and phases 22 and 24 of South Pars in Kangan (Bushehr Province) staged a strike in protest against harsh working conditions, the lack of the minimum safety provisions, and the non-payment of their wages and bonuses.  https://twitter.com/IranNW/status/1289650836134481921 On Wednesday, July 29, workers, and employees of the North Azadeganoil field stopped work in protest against low wages. The strike occurred after the executive director of the oil field threatened to fire some of the employees and workers. https://twitter.com/IranNW/status/1289468750626844672 Now, it should be noted here that these mass firings and failure to pay wages, pensions, or benefits are not new in [...]

August 2nd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Mystery surrounds recent cases, but officials say risks are low

Three passengers have recently been detected with Covid-19 after flying out of New Zealand, yet health officials remain confident the virus isn't circulating in the community. The cases included a Korean traveller in New Zealand, who tested positive to Covid-19 after returning to South Korea, and a woman, who transited through Auckland on July 6 while en-route from Los Angeles to Sydney. The most recent case then involved a woman who flew from Auckland to Sydney onboard Air NZ flight NZ103 on July 20. Covid-19 testing has been taking place in Northcote, Eden Terrace, Henderson and Wiri. Photo / Dean Purcell. She went straight into quarantine in Sydney where authorities tested her on her second day. Her results came back positive for Covid-19 on July 26. The Auckland Regional [...]

August 2nd, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Barr’s Investigation Of ANTIFA Leads Directly To Barack Obama

THE TRUTH IS RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF YOU. DOJ head William Barr, at the request of President Donald Trump, started an investigation into the ANTIFA and it falls directly at Barack Hussein Obama’s feet. ANTIFA is the creation of Barack Obama and George Soros, and it is even partially funded with taxpayer money, something that will be coming to a swift end. While Barack Obama was a community organizer, George Soros saw something in him. He approached Obama with an idea. Soros had the money, and Obama was an expert community organizer. If Obama helped Soros get this off the ground, Soros would find Obama’s senate run, and then his presidential run as well. Soros groomed Obama into what he wanted! Joseph Barron, a lead investigator on Barr’s team, [...]

August 1st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Thousands turn out for anti-lockdown protest in Germany

In 'day of freedom,' huge throngs go maskless, declare 'end of the pandemic.' Thousands of protesters turned out in Berlin, Germany on Saturday to protest the country's coronavirus lockdown policies, demanding an end to government restrictions and declaring it a "day of freedom" after several months of heavy-handed mitigation efforts throughout the country. Videos of chanting, cheering protesters—thousands of whom were packed close together without masks—circulated on social media on Saturday. Local and central governments throughout Germany over the past several months imposed numerous restrictions and mandates upon German citizens, including social distancing rules and masking requirements. Many of those restrictions have been gradually lifted as coronavirus numbers remained relatively low there, but a recent spike in recorded infections in the country has led authorities to consider additional lockdown [...]

August 1st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Death penalty for corrupt gov’t officials pushed

As President Duterte renewed his call to reinstate the death penalty for drug-related heinous crimes, the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) is likewise pushing for corrupt officials to be put on death row as well. PACC Commissioner Greco Belgica (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) PACC Commissioner Greco Belgica made the statement days after President Duterte urged Congress to re-impose the capital punishment for drug-related crimes during his fifth State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) last Monday. In a virtual briefing aired over PTV-4, Belgica said corrupt officials should be hanged because corruption is “as bad as murder, as bad as drugs” since it puts millions of Filipinos in poverty. Corruption should be categorized as a heinous crime and should be penalized by death,” he said. “Ang (gusto namin) noon, by hanging pero okay naman [...]

August 1st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Trump says he will ban TikTok from operating in the US

President Trump on Friday said he plans to ban the social media platform TikTok from operating in the United States. “As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One. The president said he could use emergency economic powers or an executive order as early as Saturday to officially bar the Chinese-owned company from the U.S. He signaled he was not supportive of allowing an American company to acquire TikTok. TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Trump's announcement came hours after reportsthat Microsoft was in talks to purchase popular TikTok from Beijing-based company ByteDance. That report emerged around the same time news outlets reported that Trump was considering signing an executive order requiring ByteDance to divest the U.S. portion [...]

August 1st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner earned at least $36 million in outside income last year, new disclosures show

Jared Kushner listens as Ivanka Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House on July 18. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post) Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner earned at least $36.2 million as they served in the White House last year, reporting a boost in income from some companies they own that hold residential and commercial properties, new disclosures released Friday show. President Trump’s daughter and her husband, who serve as top advisers to him, reported a minimum combined income that was at least $7 million higher than in 2018, when they reported making at least $29 million, according to their personal financial disclosures, which they are required to file annually. Their minimum income was lower last year than it was in 2017, the year they entered government service, [...]

August 1st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

BREAKING: The Real Bad Guys in the Epstein Case Uncovered – DIRECTOR ROBERT MUELLER’S FBI!

The Jeffrey Epstein case is full of bad characters and criminal actions, but perhaps no actions were more abhorrent than those taken, or not, by Robert Mueller’s FBI. Last night court documents related to the Epstein case from 2008 were released to the public.  These documents show criminal actions by the rich and famous in abusing underage girls, provided to them by Epstein.  Epstein was eventually slapped on the wrist with a sentence that many claim was totally inadequate. Techno Fog on Twitter was one of the first to review the released documents last night. His first tweets noted that the documents show that the child trafficking scheme was international.  Individuals like a French hotel magnate, Ghislaine Maxwell – Epstein’s accomplice, attorney Alan Dershowitz and Prince Andrew from the [...]

August 1st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Delusional’ Barry Kloogh sentenced to almost nine years

Barry Kloogh in Dunedin District Court. Photo / ODT A disgraced Dunedin financial adviser whose "unconscionable'' offending included literally visiting victims of his multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme on their death beds has been sentenced to almost nine years prison. Barry Kloogh was sentenced in the Dunedin High Court today to eight years and 10 months prison, with a minimum period of imprisonment of five years and four months. Kloogh earlier this year pleaded guilty to multiple charges stemming from his theft of at least $15.7 million from his clients. Judge Michael Crosbie acknowledged the victims who had packed the courtroom, and said he had carefully considered 32 statements from them. “To say all the victim impact statements were harrowing would be an understatement." Judge Crosbie said Kloogh had told [...]

July 31st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Palace thanks China for its commitment on COVID-19 vaccine access

Malacañang on Thursday thanked China after the Asian powerhouse vowed to prioritize the Philippines' request for COVID-19 vaccine. In a televised briefing, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said the Philippines will surely benefit once the vaccine becomes available. “Nagpapasalamat po kami sa gobyerno ng Tsina dahil sa isinapubliko po nila ‘yung kanilang posisyon [at] bilang malapit na kaibigan ng Tsina ang Pilipinas po ay makikinabang doon sa vaccine na made-develop nila,” he said. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters in Beijing on Tuesday that China and the Philippines have a mutual cooperation on COVID-19 response. He also said China would give priority to the Philippines once it succeeds in developing a vaccine. Wang’s statement came a day after President Rodrigo Duterte said in his State of the [...]

July 31st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

More than 400 NZers desperate to get home from India

Two planes from India could arrive here empty next month - despite there being more than 400 New Zealand citizens and residents there desperate to get home. The Indian government has announced two repatriation flights for Indian nationals still in New Zealand - which are scheduled to leave India on August 5 and 10. But the New Zealand government has yet to confirm whether those flights can bring people home. Business owner Rohit Sharma has been stuck in India since early March, when he travelled over to get married. Two weeks later, on March 19, India went into lockdown, before New Zealand followed suit a week later. He is a permanent resident and needs to get back to his computer and phone business in Lower Hutt. "That is currently [...]

July 31st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Donald Trump suggests delaying US presidential election

US President Donald Trump, lagging in the polls and grappling with deepening economic and public health crises, on Thursday floated the startling idea of delaying the November 3 presidential election. The notion drew immediate pushback from Democrats and Republicans alike in a nation that has held itself up as a beacon to the world for its history of peaceful transfer of power. Trump suggested the delay as he pushed unsubstantiated allegations that increased mail-in voting due to the coronavirus pandemic would result in fraud. But shifting Election Day is virtually impossible and the very idea represented another bracing attempt by Trump to undermine confidence in the American political system. The date of the presidential election — the Tuesday after the first Monday in November in every fourth year — [...]

July 31st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Operation Burnham: What happened with the SAS during a deadly incursion in Afghanistan

A civilian child was killed during Operation Burnham in 2010, but an inquiry has found their death was justified under international law. Four others died, but the Burnham Inquiry couldn't determine if they were civilians or insurgents. Operation Burnham Afghanistan 25 July 2010 Released image and documentation FOIA by Nicky Hager. Possible Kalta location. Picture / Supplied. The long-awaited inquiry into the actions of New Zealand SAS troops during Operation Burnham in Afghanistan has been released today. The Burnham Inquiry has also found New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) officials did not plot to cover-up the casualties, as claimed in the book Hit and Run by investigative journalists Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson. It did, however, find the Defence Force never corrected claims made to the public and ministers by [...]

July 31st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

U.S. economy contracted record 32.9% in Q2 amid state shutdowns, COVID-19 contagion fears

Where does the U.S. stimulus money come from? Here's how the Federal Reserve is saving the economy from the COVID-19 crisis. JUST THE FAQS, USA TODAY The U.S. economy turned in its worst performance ever in the second quarter as the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered businesses across the country and consumers hunkered down at home. The nation’s gross domestic product, the value of all goods and services produced in the U.S., contracted at a staggering seasonally adjusted annual rate of 32.9% in the April-June period, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast a 34.8% drop in GDP. To put the plunge in perspective, it was about three times larger than the previous largest drop in quarterly output. "The GDP numbers are mind-boggling," says Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist [...]

July 30th, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Japan warns new ‘comfort women’ statue may hurt ties with South Korea

A statue of a girl symbolizing so-called comfort women is seen on the grounds of the Korea Botanic Garden in Pyeongchang along with a statue of a man bowing. | YONHAP / VIA KYODO A recently erected statue of a man resembling Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who is depicted on his knees and bowing to a girl symbolizing South Korean “comfort women” could further hurt bilateral relations, Japan’s top government spokesman said Tuesday. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga warned if media reports about the statues, titled “Everlasting Atonement,” erected at a botanical garden in Pyeongchang, South Korea, are true, it would “decisively impact” ties between the countries. While we have yet to confirm this, it would be unacceptable under international courtesy,” he told a news conference. The statues are [...]