Coronavirus variant fear sparks Africa travel curbs

Travellers arriving in England from several southern African countries will have to quarantine amid warnings over a new coronavirus variant. UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said from 12:00 GMT on Friday six countries would be added to the red list, with flights being temporarily banned. One expert described the variant, known as B.1.1.529, as “the worst one we’ve seen so far”, and there is concern it has the potential to evade immunity. No cases have been confirmed in the UK. Only 59 confirmed cases have been identified in South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana so far. All flights from South … Continue reading Coronavirus variant fear sparks Africa travel curbs

Clashes as protesters demand end to violence against women

Riot police in Turkey and Mexico have fired tear gas and smoke bombs at protesters calling for an end to violence against women. Thousands of protesters marched to mark the international day for the elimination of gender-based attacks. But clashes broke out with security forces in the Turkish city of Istanbul. And in Mexico City, police fired smoke bombs at a small group of hammer-wielding protesters who tried to grab their shields. Chanting “Not one (woman) less”, crowds had gathered in the Mexican capital to demand an end to femicide – the intentional murder of women because of their gender. … Continue reading Clashes as protesters demand end to violence against women

UAE general accused of torture elected Interpol president

A general from the United Arab Emirates who has been accused of complicity in torture has been elected as president of the global police agency Interpol. Ahmed Nasser al-Raisi, inspector general of the UAE’s interior ministry, will serve a four-year term in the part-time and unpaid role. Human rights groups had lobbied against his candidacy, accusing him of failing to investigate credible complaints of torture against UAE security forces. Gen Raisi rejects the allegations. The UAE’s foreign ministry said he “strongly believes that the abuse or mistreatment by police is abhorrent and intolerable”. Gen Raisi was elected Interpol’s president after three … Continue reading UAE general accused of torture elected Interpol president

35 killed in clashes in Sudan’s restive Darfur

At least 35 people have been killed in days of fighting between herders in Sudan’s western Darfur region with more than a thousand homes set on fire, officials said Thursday. The violence broke out on November 17 between armed Arab herders in the rugged Jebel Moon mountains close to the border with Chad, said Omar Abdelkarim, Sudan’s Humanitarian Aid Commissioner in West Darfur state. “The clashes left more than 35 people dead on both sides,” he told AFP. “Around 16 villages have been completely burned down”.A water well in the South Darfur village of Hamada West Darfur governor Khamis Abdallah said … Continue reading 35 killed in clashes in Sudan’s restive Darfur

Hong Kong and China move closer to partial border reopening

A resident wearing mask and raincoat volunteers to take temperature of passenger following the outbreak of a new coronavirus at a bus stop at Tin Shui Wai, a border town in Hong Kong Hong Kong and Chinese authorities said a meeting on Thursday moved them closer to partially reopening the border between them, as the two governments dig their heels in as among the last in the world pursuing a zero-Covid-19 strategy. The global financial hub has followed Beijing’s lead to implement some of the strictest travel restrictions in the world, hoping that would convince China, its main source of … Continue reading Hong Kong and China move closer to partial border reopening

Tragic: More than 50 miners and rescuers dead after coal mine explosion in Siberia

A devastating explosion in a Siberian coal mine has left 52 miners and rescuers dead about 250 metres underground, Russian officials said. Hours after a methane gas explosion and fire filled the mine with toxic fumes, rescuers found 14 bodies but then were forced to halt the search for 38 others because of a build-up of methane and a high concentration of carbon monoxide fumes from the fire. Ambulances and fire trucks are parked near the Listvyazhnaya coal mine- AP Another 239 people were rescued. The state Tass and RIA-Novosti news agencies cited emergency officials as saying that there was … Continue reading Tragic: More than 50 miners and rescuers dead after coal mine explosion in Siberia

Barbaric: Slovakia issues apology for forced sterilizations of Roma women

The government of Slovakia has made a formal apology to the thousands of Roma women who were forcibly sterilized over several decades, the Slovakian news agency TASR reported on Wednesday. The governing coalition condemned the years of mistreatment of the ethnic minority. It was only in 2004 that laws were passed to ensure the validity of consent as many women had been unlawfully pressured or convinced to agree to sterilization without fully understanding the consequences. The human rights commissioner for the Council of Europe, Dunja Mijatovic, welcomed the “apology to victims of forced sterilisation as a first important step,” in … Continue reading Barbaric: Slovakia issues apology for forced sterilizations of Roma women

South Korea raises rates to tackle price rises

South Korea’s central bank has put up interest rates for the second time this year amid concerns over higher prices and rising household debt. The Bank of Korea’s quarter of a percentage point hike to 1% was widely expected by economists. It is the latest central bank to make such a move as policy makers try to balance the post-pandemic recovery and rising inflation. New Zealand raised rates for the second time in as many months on Wednesday. “The Korean economy has continued its sound recovery,” the Bank of Korea said in a statement. “The Board will continue to conduct … Continue reading South Korea raises rates to tackle price rises

Australia to send peacekeeping troops to Solomon Islands amid riots

Australia has said it will send peace keeping troops to Solomon Islands as riots rocked the capital city of Honiara for a second day. The violence began on Wednesday when protestors stormed parliament in a bid to topple PM Manasseh Sogavare. The rioting crowds set fire to government buildings, a police station and businesses in Chinatown. Australian prime minister Scott Morrison said the troops would provide stability and security. He added that he had received a request for assistance from Mr Sogavare. Continue reading Australia to send peacekeeping troops to Solomon Islands amid riots

31 people die after boat carrying migrants capsizes in English Channel

At least 31 people have died after a boat carrying migrants capsized in the English Channel while trying to cross from France to Britain on Wednesday. Speaking from Calais, French Interior Minister, Gerald Darmanin, said: “Today is an appalling situation for France, Europe and humanity to see these people perish at sea because of traffickers”. He said that of these, five were women and one was a “little girl”. The International Organization for Migration said it was the biggest single loss of life in the Channel since it began collecting data in 2014. Of the 33 people found between Calais and … Continue reading 31 people die after boat carrying migrants capsizes in English Channel

Peru’s chief of staff stashed $20,000 in palace bathroom

Prosecutors in Peru have found $20,000 (£15,000) stashed in a bathroom inside the presidential palace. The prosecutors raided the palace on Friday as part of an investigation into allegations of influence peddling. Bruno Pacheco, who resigned from his post as President Pedro Castillo’s chief of staff on Friday, told investigators that the money was his but denied any wrongdoing. He said that the stash was a combination of his savings and salary. Mr Pacheco’s monthly salary amounts to 25,000 soles ($6,250; £4,600), an official document reveals. According to the document, he did not tell investigators why he kept such a … Continue reading Peru’s chief of staff stashed $20,000 in palace bathroom

Better Late Than Never: Antique rifle thief gets a day in jail decades on from his museum heists

After a crime spree spanning decades, antique thief Thomas Gavin had just one explanation for his museum heists: he likes “collecting” old things. Mr Gavin, 78, has now been sentenced to one day in jail after being caught trying to sell a rare rifle dating back to the US Revolutionary War. When questioned, he admitted to dozens of other robberies in the 1960s and 1970s and apologised for the trouble. Prosecutors on Tuesday said “justice finally caught up”, four decades later. In July, Mr Gavin – a resident of Pottsville, Pennsylvania – pleaded guilty to disposal of an object of … Continue reading Better Late Than Never: Antique rifle thief gets a day in jail decades on from his museum heists