• Official: Chinese vaccines'' effectiveness low
    Beijing, April 11 (AP): In a rare admission of the weakness of Chinese coronavirus vaccines, the country's top disease control official says their effectiveness is low and the government is considering mixing them to get a boost. Chinese vaccines don't have very high protection rates, said the director of the China Centers for Disease Control, Gao Fu, at a conference Saturday in the southwestern city of Chengdu. Beijing has distributed hundreds of millions of doses abroad
  • Pentagon chief declares ''ironclad'' US commitment to Israel
    Tel Aviv, April 11 (AP): US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Sunday declared an enduring and ironclad American commitment to Israel, reinforcing support at a tense time in Israeli politics and amid questions about the Biden administration's efforts to revive nuclear negotiations with Israel's archenemy, Iran. Austin's first talks in Israel since he became Pentagon chief in January come as the United States seeks to leverage Middle East diplomatic progress made by the Tr
  • Biden sees "win'' for US in electric vehicle battery deal
    Washington, April 11 (AP): Two big South Korean electric vehicle battery makers said Sunday they have settled a long-running trade dispute that will allow one company to move ahead with plans to manufacture batteries in Georgia. President Joe Biden called it a win for American workers and the American auto industry. The agreement between LG Energy Solution and SK Innovation ended the need for Biden to intervene in a case closely watched for its implications on Biden's clean-ener
  • Iran calls Natanz atomic site blackout 'nuclear terrorism'
    Dubai, April 11 (AP): Iran on Sunday described a blackout at its underground Natanz atomic facility an act of nuclear terrorism, raising regional tensions. Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, stopped short of directly blaming anyone for the incident. Details remained few about what happened early Sunday morning at the facility, which initially was described as a blackout caused by the electrical grid feeding the site. Many Israeli media outlets o
  • Russian fighter intercepts US reconnaissance plane
    Moscow, April 11 (IANS): A Russian MiG-31 fighter has intercepted a US reconnaissance plane above the Pacific Ocean, the Russian Defence Ministry said. Russian airspace control systems detected an air target approaching the Russian state border and a MiG-31 of the Eastern Military District took off in response, the ministry said on Saturday, Xinhua news agency reported. The crew of the Russian jet identified the air target as an RC-135 strategic reconnaissance aircraft of the US
  • Trump : The key to Republican success is more Trumpism
    Palm Beach (US), April 11 (AP): Staking his claim to the Republican Party, former President Donald Trump is casting his populist policies and attack-dog politics as the key to future GOP success. In a closed-door speech Saturday night to donors at his Mar-a-Lago resort, Trump also reinforced his commitment to the party, according to prepared remarks obtained by The Associated Press. His appearance came as Republican officials are trying to play down an internal feud over Trump
  • Religious leaders recall Prince Philip's spiritual curiosity
    London, April 11 (AP): Churches in Britain held services Sunday to remember Prince Philip as people of many religions reflected on a man whose gruff exterior hid a strong personal faith and deep curiosity about others' beliefs. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby led a service of remembrance at Canterbury Cathedral in southeast England for the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, who died Friday at the age of 99. Welby, who is set to preside at Philip's funeral on Saturday at
  • Iranian parliament files charges against president
    TEHRAN, APRIL 11 (IANS): The Iranian parliament has filed charges against President Hassan Rouhani, in an intensifying power struggle between hardliners and moderates in the country. The deputies accuse him of having disregarded laws passed by parliament. Citing the Fars news agency, DPA reported on Sunday that 190 of the 235 lawmakers present voted in favour, without providing any further background or detail. Observers see a connection between the vote and the renewed nuclear n
  • Jordanian prince makes first public appearance since arrest
    Jerusalem, April 11 (AP): Jordan's Prince Hamzah on Sunday made his first public appearance since he was placed under house arrest last week, attending a ceremony with King Abdullah II in what appeared to be an attempted show of unity on a major Jordanian holiday. But it remained unclear whether the king and his popular half brother had put aside the differences that escalated last week into the most serious public rift in the ruling family in decades. Hamzah joined members o
  • NASA delays first flight of Mars helicopter to April 14
    Washington, April 11 (IANS): NASA has decided to postpone the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter's first experimental flight to April 14 after a test completed earlier than planned. The flight was earlier scheduled for April 11. "During a high-speed spin test of the rotors on Friday, the command sequence controlling the test ended early due to a 'watchdog' timer expiration," NASA said in a statement on Saturday. "This occurred as it was trying to transition t
  • Reports: Myanmar forces kill 82 in single day in city 
    Yangon, April 10 (AP): At least 82 people were killed in one day in a crackdown by Myanmar security forces on pro-democracy protesters, according to reports Saturday from independent local media and an organisation that keeps track of casualties since the military's February seizure of power. Friday's death toll in Bago was the biggest one-day total for a single city since March 14, when just over 100 people were killed in Yangon, the country's biggest city. Bago is abou
  • 'Suspicious' blackout strikes Iran's Natanz nuclear site
    Dubai, April 11 (AP): Iran's underground Natanz nuclear facility lost power Sunday just hours after starting up new advanced centrifuges capable of enriching uranium faster, the latest incident to strike the site amid negotiations over the tattered atomic accord with world powers. As Iranian officials investigated the outage, many Israeli media outlets offered the similar assessment that a cyberattack darkened Natanz and damaged a facility that is home to sensitive centrifuges.
  • IMF: Vaccine inequity threatens Mideast's economic recovery
    Dubai, April 11 (AP): Middle East economies are recovering from the coronavirus pandemic faster than anticipated, largely due to the acceleration of mass inoculation campaigns and an increase in oil prices. But the International Monetary Fund warned Sunday that an uneven vaccine distribution would derail the region's rebound, as the prospects of rich and poor countries diverge. In its latest report, the IMF again revised upward its 2020 economic outlook for the Mideast and North
  • Alarm sounded over 3rd Covid wave in Germany
    Berlin, April 10 (IANS): Germany's largest university hospital, Berlin's Charite, has sounded the alarm over the country's worsening third wave of coronavirus infections. "If the numbers of seriously ill Covid-19 patients exceed those experienced during the second wave, we will be in a critical situation," said Martin Kreis, a board member at Charite, DPA news agency reported. At the beginning of the year, the number of severe Covid-19 cases in Charite's
  • Police: Texas infant fatally shot by 3-year-old brother
    The infant was shot in his abdomen Friday morning, said Houston Police Department Assistant Chief Wendy Baimbridge HOUSTON, April 10 (PTI): Police believe an infant was fatally shot Friday by his 3-year-old brother after the older boy got a hold of a gun inside a Houston apartment. The infant was shot in his abdomen Friday morning, said Houston Police Department Assistant Chief Wendy Baimbridge. Several adults who were inside the apartment drove the 8-month-old boy to a hospit
  • Putin mourns late UK Prince Philip
    Moscow, April 10 (IANS): Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a message to Queen Elizabeth II to express his "deep condolences" on the death of her husband, Prince Philip. "Many important events in the modern history of your country are associated with the name of His Royal Highness. He rightfully enjoyed respect among the British and international authority," Putin said in the message sent on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported. The Russian leader wished Que
  • Russia warns against Ukraine's NATO membership
    Moscow, April 10 (IANS): The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Kiev's possible accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will escalate the situation in eastern Ukraine's Donbas region and cause "irreversible consequences". At a weekly briefing on Friday, the ministry's spokesperson Maria Zakharova criticised Kiev's stance on a possible military solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, reports Xinhua news agency. The Ukrainian author
  • Cyclone-related deaths in Indonesia reaches 167
    Jakarta, April 10 (IANS): The death toll from the floods and landslides triggered by tropical cyclone Seroja in Indonesia's East Nusa Tenggara province has increased to 167 with 45 still missing, the National Disaster Management Agency said. The agency's head Doni Monardo said 165 dead victims were reported in East Nusa Tenggara province and two others were in West Nusa Tenggara, reports Xinhua news agency. "Besides, 45 people are still under search, eight were sever
  • Saudi-led coalition intercepts bomb-laden drone, missile
    Riyadh, April 10 (IANS): The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen said that it intercepted a bomb-laden drone and a missile launched by the Houthi military towards the border cities of Khamis Mushait and Jazan, respectively. Both the drone and the missile were intercepted on Friday, reports Xinhua news agency. The coalition accused the militia of "committing war crimes by targeting civilians and civilian sites". Both cities are among districts in southwestern Saudi Arabia th
  • 12 injured in B'desh mosque attack
    Dhaka, April 10 (IANS): At least 12 people were injured in an attack staged by members of the Hefazat-e-Islam militant outfit at a mosque in Bangladesh's Gaibandha district. Police claimed the incident in Sundarganj area took place on Friday afternoon due to a conflict over the Silamoni mosque's management committee. Motlob Uddin, the mosque's Imam, said the attackers had long been identified themselves as Hefazat activists. The militants snatched the microphone fr