Update: IS says it was behind deadly suicide attacks in Baghdad

The Islamic State (IS) group has said it was behind a double suicide bombing in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, on Thursday that killed at least 32 people and wounded more than 100. The target had been Shia Muslims, a statement from the Sunni Islamist militant group’s Amaq news agency said, it was the biggest suicide attack in Baghdad for three years. The bombers blew themselves up among a crowd of shoppers at a second-hand clothes market in Tayaran Square. The admission by the jihadist group, made via its accounts on the messaging app Telegram, came several hours after the attack, … Continue reading Update: IS says it was behind deadly suicide attacks in Baghdad

Google threatens to withdraw search engine from Australia

Google has threatened to remove its search engine from Australia over the nation’s attempt to make the tech giant share royalties with news publishers, Australia is introducing a landmark law to make Google, Facebook and potentially other tech companies pay media outlets for their news content, but the US tech giants have fought back, arguing the laws are onerous and would damage local access to services. Australian PM Scott Morrison said lawmakers would not yield to “threats”. The proposed news code would tie Google and Facebook to mediated negotiations with publishers over the value of news content, if no agreement … Continue reading Google threatens to withdraw search engine from Australia

Fire at world’s largest vaccine producer kills five

Five people have been killed in a fire at the site of the world’s largest vaccine producer in western India, the blaze started at a building which was still under construction at the Serum Institute of India’s facilities in Pune on Thursday afternoon. Footage showed thick plumes of smoke billowing from a building on the company’s sprawling site. The company said vaccine production would not be affected. The cause of the fire has not been identified, the fire was later brought under control, but the city’s mayor confirmed that five people had died. “We have just received some distressing updates; … Continue reading Fire at world’s largest vaccine producer kills five

Vaccinated tourists can now visit the Seychelles without quarantining

The Seychelles has become the first country in the world to allow vaccinated tourists to enter the country without the need to quarantine, travellers who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will still need to follow social distancing measures, but they will now be allowed to visit the Indian Ocean archipelago without self-isolating upon arrival. The country began vaccinating its population earlier this month, rolling out the Sinopharm vaccine on 10 January. Tourism is arguably the most important industry to the Seychelles’ economy, with 15 per cent of the working population directly employed by the sector, the relaxed restrictions for … Continue reading Vaccinated tourists can now visit the Seychelles without quarantining

Clinics defend ‘Dr Death’ Basson’s right to practise

A private hospital group in South Africa has defended itself amid an uproar that the man dubbed “Dr Death” practises from two of its clinics. Mediclinic said it could not stop Wouter Basson from practising as he was a registered doctor. The cardiologist headed an apartheid-era secret germ warfare programme, he has faced down numerous legal challenges over his work to produce drugs and agents to target anti-apartheid activists. The 70-year-old’s defence has been that he acted under orders of the South African Defence Force (SADF), the state has been paying all his legal fees over the years as he … Continue reading Clinics defend ‘Dr Death’ Basson’s right to practise

Police head removed over ‘botched’ rape of Christine Dacera probe

The police chief of an affluent area of the Philippine capital, Manila, has been suspended for his handling of an investigation into the suspected rape and murder of a young air stewardess. The case of Christine Dacera, found dead in a hotel room after a New Year’s Eve party, made headlines for weeks, police quickly said she had been raped and murdered, arresting three men. But the men have now been released while questions have been raised over officers’ initial conclusions. The removal of Makati Police Chief Colonel Harold Depositar is the latest development, and comes in the wake of … Continue reading Police head removed over ‘botched’ rape of Christine Dacera probe

St. Louis man chased away robbers with broom

They say it’s happening across the map, north and south, thieves crawling under parked cars and sawing off the catalytic converters, which contain valuable metals, for resale. Longtime Tower Grove South resident Jay Rosloff says the problem is “a plague ” in his neighborhood, and he was awakened the other night by the sound of a power saw outside on the street. “I grabbed my shoes, ran down the stairs, told Beth to call 911, grabbed a broom, and chased off a couple of guys with a just being a cranky old man with a red-handled broom,” Rosloff said. Rosloff … Continue reading St. Louis man chased away robbers with broom

Prada drops Chinese actress over alleged surrogacy row

Luxury fashion house Prada has dropped a popular Chinese actress at the centre of a row over surrogacy, it has been alleged that Zheng Shuang abandoned two children born to surrogates abroad, after splitting up with her partner. Condemnation of the actress poured out online after the news broke, with many calling for her to be barred from the entertainment industry, she has since spoken out in her own defence. Within days of the scandal emerging, the Prada Group – which, according to local media, had only unveiled the actress as its face of China a week ago – released … Continue reading Prada drops Chinese actress over alleged surrogacy row

Madrid explosion leaves three dead

At least three people have died following an explosion that caused a building to partially collapse in centre of the Spanish capital, Madrid, a fourth person was missing and several others were hurt, officials said. City officials said the blast, which destroyed four floors of the building, had been caused by a gas leak. Mayor José Luis Martínez Almeida told reporters after the blast that a fire was raging inside the building, which belongs to the Catholic Church. The blast happened shortly before 15:00 local time (14:00 GMT) as gas workers were repairing a boiler at the back of the … Continue reading Madrid explosion leaves three dead

A New Dawn: Joe Biden sworn in as US president

Joe Biden has been sworn in as president of the United States, pledging to unite a deeply divided nation reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic. Raising his right hand and placing his left on a Bible, Biden took the oath of office on Wednesday during a scaled-down inauguration due to the coronavirus, which has killed more than 400,000 people in the US. “We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal. We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts,” Biden said in his first address as president. “This is … Continue reading A New Dawn: Joe Biden sworn in as US president

Scores killed in Sudan’s Darfur clashes

Tribal clashes in Sudan’s Darfur region have killed at least 83 people in the latest bout of violence, according to a tally by the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors (CCSD). “The death toll from the bloody events taking place in the city of al-Geneina has increased since Saturday morning [to] 84,” CCSD, a local branch of the country’s doctors’ union, said in a statement on Twitter, the statement added that the clashes left 160 wounded, including members of the armed forces. Saturday’s clashes initially pitted the Massalit tribe against Arab nomads in al-Geneina, about two weeks after the United Nations … Continue reading Scores killed in Sudan’s Darfur clashes

Samsung heir gets prison term for bribery scandal

Samsung heir Lee Jae Yong has been sentenced to two years and six months in prison by a high court in South Korea, the bribery case is a retrial of an earlier one involving the country’s former President Park Geun-hye, who was also jailed for bribery and corruption. Lee has been the de facto head of Samsung Electronics since 2014, the ruling is likely to have ramifications for the future of his role at the tech giant. News of the sentence sent Samsung electronics shares more than 4% lower before they began to claw back some ground. Lee’s jail term … Continue reading Samsung heir gets prison term for bribery scandal