• Indigenous Australian group blocks Uluru access route over pandemic fears
    SYDNEY, August 4 (Reuters): Australia has closed the national park home to its revered indigenous site of Uluru after some in the community blocked an access route for fear that visitors could carry in coronavirus infections. The country is battling a new wave of the deadly virus, with southeastern Victoria state reeling from hundreds of infections, while Indigenous Australians are seen at greater risk as they suffer a higher incidence of other health woes. "It's up
  • China vows retaliation if any U.S. action against journalists
    BEIJING/SHANGHAI, August 4 (Reuters): China vowed on Tuesday to retaliate if the United States persisted with "hostile action" against Chinese journalists who may be forced to leave in coming days if their U.S. visas are not extended. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters at a daily briefing that no Chinese journalist in the United States had been granted a visa extension since the United States, on May 11, limited their stay to 90 days, w
  • COVID-19 pandemic "once in a century", but still "in our hands": WHO
    Geneva, August 4 (IANS) The chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) said that the COVID-19 pandemic is "a once-in-a-century health crisis," but it is still "in our hands." WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a virtual press conference on Monday that the world has never seen anything like this pandemic for decades, and its effects might last for decades more, Xinhua news agency reported. "Since we started probably recording, this i
  • Women essential in fight against COVID-19 pandemic: UN
    United Nations, August 4 (IANS) The full participation of women is essential for an effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic and also in the advancement of peace processes, said a UN policy brief released. UN Women and the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs on Monday launched a joint policy brief entitled "COVID-19 and Conflict: Advancing women's meaningful participation in ceasefires and peace processes," Xinhua news agency reported. In support of
  • Global COVID-19 cases top 18.1 mn: Johns Hopkins
    Washington, August 4 (IANS) The overall number of global coronavirus cases has topped 18.1 million mark, while the deaths have increased to over 691,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University. As of Tuesday morning, the total number of cases stood at 18,193,291 and the fatalities rose to 691,642, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update. The US accounted for the world's highest number of infections and fatalities
  • Firefighters, troops battle forest fire outside Madrid
    MADRID, August 3 (Reuters): Spanish firefighters and military emergency personnel battled amid blistering heat on Monday to control a wildfire in the Madrid region that had burned through the night and forced the evacuation of several houses. The director of Madrid's emergency services said early on Monday that firefighters had established a perimeter around the blaze and would now deploy aircraft to drop water on the flames. "There is no risk to any population righ
  • Papers leaked before UK election in suspected Russian operation were hacked from ex-trade minister - sources
    LONDON, August 3 (Reuters): Classified U.S.-UK trade documents leaked ahead of Britain's 2019 election were stolen from the email account of former trade minister Liam Fox by suspected Russian hackers, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because a law enforcement investigation is underway, said the hackers accessed the account multiple times between July 12 and Oct. 21 last year. They decline
  • Flash floods kill two in Thailand, storm heads for Myanmar
    BANGKOK, August 3 (Reuters): Flash floods killed at least two people and swept through hundreds of houses in northern Thailand, authorities said after tropical storm Sinlaku dumped heavy rains on 18 provinces over the weekend. Muddy, waist-high waters poured into homes in rural areas on Sunday. Soldiers used small boats to rescue villagers and handed out aid packs in Loei, the worst-hit province. By Monday morning, residents in rubber boots were out clearing debris from
  • Philippine economy fears as coronavirus curbs reintroduced
    MANILA, August 3 (Reuters): The Philippines stock market tumbled on Monday after the government reimposed coronavirus lockdown measures in and around Manila in response to fresh outbreaks, dashing hopes of a swifter economic recovery. The restrictions, due to take effect from Tuesday, are being reinstated after a group of doctors and nurses warned that the healthcare system could collapse as a result of surging COVID-19 cases. "It's a bitter but necessary pill given
  • In milestone year, A-bomb survivor keeps up fight for nuclear disarmament
    TOKYO, August 3 (Reuters): Terumi Tanaka was 13 when a U.S. warplane dropped a plutonium bomb on the southern Japanese city of Nagasaki, on Aug. 9, 1945. Sitting at home with a book that morning, Tanaka knew instantly when his surroundings turned a blinding bright white that the massive boom was not one of the air raids he had gotten accustomed to in the waning days of World War Two. "I felt this was something terrible, so I ran downstairs and ducked, covered my ears and clo
  • There may never be a 'silver bullet' for COVID-19, WHO warns
    GENEVA, August 3 (Reuters): The World Health Organization warned on Monday that there might never be a "silver bullet" for COVID-19 in the form of a perfect vaccine and that the road to normality would be long, with some countries requiring a reset of strategy. More than 18.14 million people around the world are reported to have been infected with the disease and 688,080​ have died, according to a Reuters tally, with some nations that thought they were over the
  • WHO urges mothers to breastfeed even if infected with COVID-19
    GENEVA, August 3 (Reuters): Mothers should breastfeed their babies even if they have contracted COVID-19, the World Health Organization's head said on Monday, as the benefits outweigh the risks of infection. "WHO recommends that mothers with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should be encouraged the same as all other mothers to initiate or continue breastfeeding," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference. As the world marks breastfeeding awareness week,
  • John Hume, Northern Irish Catholic leader and Nobel Peace laureate, dies at 83
    BELFAST, August 3 (Reuters): John Hume, a key Roman Catholic architect of Northern Ireland's 1998 Good Friday peace agreement who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in ending 30 years of sectarian violence, died on Monday at the age of 83, his SDLP party said. Hume, a veteran civil rights campaigner credited with kick-starting peace negotiations in a British region convulsed by bloodshed in the early 1990s, shared the Peace Prize with Northern Ireland's then-first m
  • Mass jailbreak in Afghanistan, at least 24 die in Islamic State attack
    JALALABAD, August 3, (Reuters): A gunbattle between Islamic State fighters and Afghan security forces raged at a prison in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Monday, with at least 24 people killed after the militants' overnight assault led to a mass jailbreak. The attack began on Sunday evening with car bomb detonated at the entrance to the prison, and there were numerous other blasts heard as the IS gunmen opened fire on security guards. Some 30 militants involved in the
  • Ex-Pope Benedict 'seriously ill with shingles'
    Vatican City, August 3 (IANS): Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI is reportedly seriously ill with shingles after returning to the Vatican from a trip to Germany where he was visiting his dying brother, media reports said on Monday. Benedict, aged 93, is said to have become very frail and his voice is barely audible, the UK's Sun newspaper said in a report. He came to his native Bavaria in June to pay his ailing brother Georg Ratzinger a final visit. Ratzinger, aged 96, died short
  • 1,300 firefighters battling massive California wildfire
    San Francisco, August 3 (IANS): More than 1,300 firefighters, backed by helicopters and water-dumping planes, were battling a massive wildfire in Southern California that has forced thousands of people from their homes east of Los Angeles. Dubbed "Apple Fire", the state's first major wildfire of the year began on July 31 as two adjacent blazes in Cherry Valley, an area near the city of Beaumont in Riverside County, reports the BBC. It has since stretched out to 20,5
  • NASA astronauts cap historic ‘odyssey’ aboard SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule
    Reuters U.S. astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, who flew to the International Space Station in SpaceX's new Crew Dragon, splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday after a two-month voyage that was NASA's first crewed mission from home soil in nine years. Behnken and Hurley, tallying 64 days in space, undocked from the station on Saturday and returned home to land their capsule in calm waters off Florida's Pensacola coast on schedule at 2:48 p.m. ET followin
  • Global COVID-19 cases surpass 18 mn: Johns Hopkins
    Washington, August 3 (IANS) The overall number of global coronavirus cases has surpassed the 18 million mark, while the deaths were nearing 688,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University. As of Monday morning, the total number of cases stood at 18,002,567 and the fatalities rose to 687,930, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update. The US accounted for the world's highest number of infections and fatalities at 4,
  • Storm Isaias brushes off Florida, heads up East Coast
    MIAMI, August 2 (Reuters): Isaias, downgraded from a hurricane but still a powerful tropical storm, moved along Florida's eastern coast on Sunday, bringing strong winds but no longer posing a storm surge threat. The storm is forecast to move upward along the East Coast and reach Washington, Philadelphia and New York City on Tuesday before moving into New England. By 11 a.m. (1500 GMT), Tropical Storm Isaias was about 55 miles (90 km) southeast of Fort Pierce, Florid
  • Australia's Victoria declares disaster, sets curfew to curb COVID-19
    MELBOURNE, August 2 (Reuters): Australia's second-most populous state of Victoria declared a state of disaster on Sunday and imposed a nightly curfew for the capital Melbourne as part of its harshest movement restrictions to date to contain a resurgent COVID-19. Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city already under a reimposed six-week stay-home order, has struggled to rein in the disease, with record numbers of infections of the new coronavirus reported last week.