• Indian, Chinese nationals missing in Nepal flash flood
    Kathmandu, June 18 (IANS): Indian and Chinese nationals are among the 15 people reported missing after a flash flood in the Nepal's Melamchi River wreaked havoc at the Melamchi Bazaar and other low lying areas along the Indrawati river basin in Sindhupalchowk district, a media report said. The district has witnessed torrential rain since Tuesday, which led to the inundation of the low land areas along the Indrawati river basin, The Himalayan Times report said on Thursday. The
  • Israel to send 1M coronavirus vaccine doses to Palestinians
    Jerusalem, June 18 (AP): Israel says it will transfer around 1 million doses of soon-to-expire coronavirus vaccine doses to the Palestinian Authority. Under the agreement announced Friday, the PA will transfer doses to Israel once it receives them from a U.N.-backed programme to supply vaccines to needy countries. Israel, which has vaccinated some 85 per cent of its adult population, has faced criticism for not sharing its vaccines with Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and
  • Pfizer, Moderna COVID-19 vaccines don't lower sperm count, study says
    Washington, June 18 (PTI):COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna do not harm male fertility, suggests a study which found the levels of sperm in participants remained at healthy levels after they got two doses of the mRNA preventive. The study, published on Thursday in the journal JAMA, recruited 45 healthy male volunteers aged 18 to 50 years scheduled for mRNA COVID-19 vaccination by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. The participants were pre-screened to ensure they had no underlyin
  • Tokyo may ease alcohol ban in bars for 'solitary drinkers'
    Tokyo, June 18 (IANS): Tokyo authorities may be planning to ease bans on serving alcohol in bars "solitary drinkers" after the state of emergency in the Japanese capital is lifted, a media report said on Friday. According to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported, authorities in the capital are planning to permit the ordering of alcohol between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. by "solitary drinkers", but the 8 p.m. limit for bars and restaurants to close their doors will remain,
  • AP Interview: Official says Nepal desperately needs vaccines
    Kathmandu, June 17 (AP): Nepal has significantly reduced coronavirus infections after its worst outbreak, which overwhelmed the country's medical system, but is in desperate need of vaccines, its health minister said Thursday. We have gone down from the red stage to the yellow stage, but are not yet able to reach the green zone, Health Minister Sher Bahadur Tamang said in an interview with The Associated Press. "We are working very hard to get us there." Nepal has b
  • Fire-ravaged ship sinks, prompting Sri Lankan pollution fear
    Colombo, June 17 (AP): A container ship carrying chemicals sank off Sri Lanka's capital on Thursday nearly a month after catching fire, raising concerns about a possible environmental disaster, officials said. The ship's operator said the wreck of the Singapore-flagged X-Press Pearl "is now wholly sitting on the seabed at a depth of 21 meters (70 feet). A salvage crew was at the site to deal with any debris and report any spill, X-Press Feeders said. The head of S
  • China successfully launches first crewed mission for space station construction
    Beijing/Jiuquan, June 17 (PTI): China successfully launched its longest crewed space mission to date on Thursday, sending three astronauts to its new orbiting station, in a major milestone for the Communist giant's ambitious space exploration plans and establishing it as a leading space power. In a textbook launch, telecast live by the official television channels, spacecraft Shenzhou-12 sent three astronauts into the same orbit of the core module of the space station Tianhe lau
  • Apple Daily editors arrested under Hong Kong security law
    Hong Kong, June 17 (AP): Hong Kong police used a sweeping national security law against a pro-democracy newspaper for the first time Thursday, arresting five editors and executives on charges of collusion with foreign powers. Police said they had strong evidence that more than 30 articles published by Apple Daily played a crucial part in a conspiracy with foreign countries to impose sanctions against China and Hong Kong, in response to a crackdown on civil liberties in the semi-auto
  • ‘Practical work’ summit for Biden, Putin: No punches or hugs
    GENEVA, June 17 (AP) — U.S. President Joe Biden and Russia’s Vladimir Putin exchanged cordial words and plotted modest steps on arms control and diplomacy but emerged from their much-anticipated Swiss summit Wednesday largely where they started -- with deep differences on human rights, cyberattacks, election interference and more. The two leaders reached an important, but hardly relationship-changing agreement to return their chief diplomats to Moscow and Washington afte
  • Joe Biden & Vladimir Putin conclude  summit between ‘two great powers’
    GENEVA, June 16 (AP): U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin concluded their summit meeting Wednesday between what the American leader called “two great powers,” wrapping up more quickly than expected. The pair’s second sit-down, with aides present on both sides, lasted about 65 minutes. That session was to be divided into two parts with a break in between, but concluded without a second part. The two sides had said they expected to meet f
  • WHAT THEY WANT: Divergent  goals for Biden, Putin at summit
    Geneva, June 16 (AP): An American president won't side with Moscow over his own intelligence agencies. There will be no talk of a reset in Russian relations. And it is highly doubtful that anyone will gaze into Vladimir Putin's eyes and discuss his soul. But beyond that, it's not clear what will happen Wednesday in Geneva when President Joe Biden meets Putin for the first time since taking office. Both sides acknowledge that the relationship between the two nations is
  • Egyptian FM calls on new Israeli govt to resume regional peace process
    CAIRO, JUNE 16 (IANS): Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Wednesday called on the newly elected Israeli government to take brave decisions for reaching a peace deal in the region, the country's foreign ministry said in a statement. "The new government represents the choice of the Israeli people," he said, adding Egypt looks forward to working with the new Israeli government to push the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and to establish an independent Palestinia
  • Jack Ma lying low' after rap from Chinese Govt: His business partner
    Beijing, June 16 (PTI): Jack Ma, the Chinese billionaire and founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba, who last year ran into trouble with the Chinese government is keeping a low profile and has taken up painting as a hobby, according to his close business partner Joseph Tsai. Last year, Ma was summoned by China's financial regulators and his company was fined USD 2.8 billion for allegedly indulging in a monopolistic act of abusing its dominant market position. In a wide-ranging i
  • Global Covid-19 caseload tops 176.5mn
    Washington, June 16 (IANS): The overall global Covid-19 caseload has topped 176.5 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 3.81 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University. In its latest update on Wednesday morning, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 176,559,700 and 3,819,109, respectively. The US continues to be the worst-hit country with the world's hi
  • Rain, floods wreak havoc in Nepal; scores die and missing
    Kathmandu, June 16 (IANS): Floods and landslides have wreaked havoc in Nepal following the incessant rains on Tuesday and Wednesday, leaving scores dead and missing. More than 50 people are missing in a massive flood in Sindhupalchowk district which is located some 70 kilometers north from Capital, Kathmandu that has caused a huge loss of life and property. Chief District Officer of Sindhupalchowk district, Arun Pokharel said that seven people have died in the floods induced by i
  • Kim warns of 'tense' food situation, longer COVID lockdown
    Seoul, June 16 (AP): North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warned about possible food shortages and called for his people to brace for extended COVID-19 restrictions as he opened a major political conference to discuss national efforts to salvage a broken economy. The North's official Korean Central News Agency also said Wednesday that Kim called for discussions on how the North should deal with the current international situation, though it did not mention any specific comments from
  • China all set to launch manned mission with three astronauts for its space station
    Beijing, June 16 (PTI): China is all set to send the first three crew members to its new space station for three months on Thursday morning, the country's space agency announced on Wednesday. The spaceship, Shenzhou-12, with three male astronauts will be launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre, Ji Qiming, assistant to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) director, said at a press conference held at the launch centre. The spaceship will take Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming
  • Israeli airstrikes target Gaza sites, first since cease-fire
    Jerusalem, June 16 (AP): Israeli aircraft carried out a series of airstrikes at militant sites in the Gaza Strip early Wednesday, the first such raids since a shaky cease-fire ended the war with Hamas last month. The airstrikes targeted facilities used by Hamas militants for meetings to plan attacks, the Israeli military said, blaming the group for any act of violence emanating from Gaza. There were no immediate reports of casualties. On Tuesday, hundreds of Israeli ultranational
  • Face to face: Biden, Putin ready for long-anticipated summit
    Geneva, June 16 (AP): President Joe Biden and Russia's Vladimir Putin sit down Wednesday for their highly anticipated summit in the Swiss capital, a moment of high-stakes diplomacy at a time when both leaders agree that US-Russian relations are at an all-time low. For four months, the two leaders have traded sharp rhetoric. Biden repeatedly called out Putin for malicious cyberattacks by Russian-based hackers on US interests, a disregard for democracy with the jailing of Russia&#
  • N Korea's Kim looks much thinner, causing health speculation
    Seoul, June 16 (AP): The health of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has long been a source of morbid fascination in rival South Korea, which sits in the shadow of Kim's 1.2-million-strong army and his growing arsenal of nuclear-armed missiles. Has he gained even more weight? Is he struggling for breath after relatively short walks? What about that cane? Why did he miss that important state anniversary? Now, the 37-year-old faces fresh speculation in the South about his health