Hungary’s Viktor Orban fires up Texas conservatives

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has told a conference of US conservatives that the West is locked in “a clash of civilizations”. The right-wing leader drew enthusiastic applause at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Texas. Mr Orban’s speech comes after his long-time cabinet adviser¬†resigned over comments he made that she described as “pure Nazi”. He had said Hungarians “do not want to become peoples of mixed race”. Speaking in Dallas on Thursday, Mr Orban did not directly address that furore, but said: “A Christian politician cannot be racist.” The Hungarian premier also said those who consider him a … Continue reading Hungary’s Viktor Orban fires up Texas conservatives

US declares Monkeypox a public health emergency

The US government has declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency following a spike in cases. The decision will speed up the distribution of vaccines, treatments and federal resources to curb the spread of the virus. It comes less than a fortnight after the World Health Organization (WHO) issued its highest emergency alert following a worldwide surge in cases. Cases have topped 6,600 in the US, according to health officials. A quarter of these cases have appeared in the state of New York, which declared its own state of emergency over the disease last week. The two states with … Continue reading US declares Monkeypox a public health emergency

US police charged over the death of Breonna Taylor

Four US police officers have been arrested and charged over the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor. Ms Taylor was killed in her home in Louisville, Kentucky, on 13 March 2020 by plainclothes police who were executing a “no-knock” search warrant. The hospital worker, 26, was shot as officers stormed the apartment just after midnight while she was with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. Her death sparked racial injustice protests around the country. Federal investigators say that three of the four officers conspired to falsify the arrest warrant that led to Ms Taylor’s death. Only one officer involved in the raid, former … Continue reading US police charged over the death of Breonna Taylor

France to rescue beluga whale stranded in River Seine

A beluga whale has been spotted in France’s River Seine, and officials are now deciding how to save a mammal more suited to cold Arctic waters. They say the animal is currently near a lock at Vernon, about 70km (43 miles) north-west of Paris. Members of the public are being urged to keep away from the whale that appears to be underweight. Experts are puzzled as to why the whale has strayed so far south from its natural habitat. “The challenge now will be to help feed it, and try to accompany it towards the ocean,” Lamya Essemlali, the head … Continue reading France to rescue beluga whale stranded in River Seine

Evergrande gets $818m as football stadium land deal cancelled

Heavily-indebted Chinese property giant Evergrande says it will receive $818m after cancelling a contract to buy land rights for a new football stadium. Construction of the stadium started more than two years ago but has been hit by issues for months. The stadium was for Guangzhou FC, a top tier team that Evergrande bought a controlling stake of in 2010. The money from the deal will be used to settle debts related to the project, the company added. The announcement comes as Evergrande tries to raise cash to make debt payments. Once China’s top-selling property developer, the firm has been … Continue reading Evergrande gets $818m as football stadium land deal cancelled

Tragic: Thailand nightclub fire kills at least 13

At least 13 people were killed and 41 others injured after a fire swept through at a nightclub in Chonburi province in south-eastern Thailand. The fire broke out at 1:00 local time on Friday (18:00 GMT Thursday) at the Mountain B nightspot in Sattahip district, said police. Footage circulating online showed people fleeing the club screaming, some with their clothes alight. Rescuers say flammable material on the walls may have exacerbated the blaze. The venue in Chonburi, a province located 150km (90mi) south of Bangkok, was a single-storey complex measuring 4,800 square metres. Firefighters battled for more than two hours … Continue reading Tragic: Thailand nightclub fire kills at least 13

Fanfare as Croatia’s Chinese-built bridge finally opens

Hailed as one of the biggest moments in Croatian history, a long-awaited bridge has opened that links southern coastal areas to the rest of the country. Until now, Croatians had to cross land belonging to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The 2.4km (1.5-mile) Peljesac bridge was built by China but largely funded by the European Union. Celebrations took place throughout the day, with 250 runners crossing the bridge and small boats with Croatian flags sailing beneath the six pylons. Residents also took the opportunity to walk along the initial stretch of the bridge before the day culminated in a glittering firework display. … Continue reading Fanfare as Croatia’s Chinese-built bridge finally opens

Indonesians strike over increase in entry price to see Komodo dragon

Indonesian tourism workers have gone on strike over a dramatic hike in the price of tickets to see Komodo dragons. Visitors will now be charged 3,750,000 rupiah (¬£206.40) to visit the main islands in Komodo National Park – up from 200,000 rupiah (¬£11) before. The government hopes to limit visitor numbers and protect the endangered lizards from overexposure to humans. But local workers say it will scare off tourists completely, causing their income to dry up. Indonesia is home to around 3,300 rare Komodo dragons, according to Reuters news agency. The world’s largest lizard have razor-sharp teeth, a venomous bite, … Continue reading Indonesians strike over increase in entry price to see Komodo dragon

Mark Buddle, the Australian motorcycle gang boss extradited from Turkey

The boss of one of Australia’s biggest motorcycle gangs has been extradited from Turkey to face criminal charges in his home country. Mark Buddle – head of the Comancheros and sometimes described as Australia’s most wanted man – was taken into custody at Darwin Airport on Wednesday. He will face charges of importing drugs – allegations he is yet to respond to. Mr Buddle fled to the Middle East in 2016 after he was named as a person of interest in a murder investigation. The 37-year-old spent time in Dubai before settling in northern Cyprus, which does not have an … Continue reading Mark Buddle, the Australian motorcycle gang boss extradited from Turkey

The CEO of dating app Tinder to leave company

Tinder chief executive Renate Nyborg is leaving the firm less than a year after becoming the boss of the dating app. Her exit was one of a number of management changes at Tinder announced by parent company Match Group. Tinder’s plans to adopt new technology, including virtual currencies and metaverse-based dating, are also being reviewed in the strategic shake-up. The announcements came as Match reported second-quarter results that missed Wall Street expectations. “Today we’re announcing the departure of Tinder CEO Renate Nyborg, and I have made some changes to the management team and structure that I am confident will help … Continue reading The CEO of dating app Tinder to leave company

Roe v Wade: Pro-choice campaigners score major win in Kansas

Kansas voters have chosen to uphold abortion rights in the first electoral test of the deeply polarizing issue since the US Supreme Court allowed states to ban the procedure outright. Voters overwhelmingly said they did not wish to amend the state constitution to assert there is no right to abortion. If the ballot had gone the other way, lawmakers could have moved to further restrict or ban abortion in the state. Michigan, Arizona, Missouri and Washington also held elections. These states saw Senate races that could determine which party controls the upper chamber of Congress next year, and two of … Continue reading Roe v Wade: Pro-choice campaigners score major win in Kansas

Stephen King testifies against merger of publishing giants

American horror novelist Stephen King has taken the witness stand to testify against corporate consolidation. The author was the star witness in an anti-trust trial to block the two biggest US publishers’ $2.2bn merger. The US Department of Justice called on King to testify about how the proposed tie-up of Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster could affect authors. King, 75, told the court in Washington DC that he felt “the move would be bad for competition in the industry”. Both publishing houses have argued the merger would not hinder competition because the companies would continue to bid against … Continue reading Stephen King testifies against merger of publishing giants