• New coronavirus cases in mainland China fall to lowest since January
    A volunteer holding face mask boxes walks past an image depicting the Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan, the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Hubei province, China on February 27. (REUTERS Photo)   BEIJING, February 28 (Reuters): Mainland China had 327 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections on Thursday, the country's National Health Commission said on Friday, down from 433 cases a day earlier and the lowest since Jan. 23.   That brings the to
  • U.N. chief declares women's inequality 'stupid' and a global shame
    United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel (not pictured) at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany on November 26, 2019. (REUTERS File Photo)   February 28 (Reuters): United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called women's inequality "stupid" and a cause for global shame on Thursday, as he pledged to press governments to end discriminatory laws in the face of a "strong and relentless
  • Door not shut for saving U.S.-Philippines defence pact - envoy
    Filipino soldiers disembark from the landing ship before they dock at Motiong Beach, as part of the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response scenario during the Philippines and United States annual Balikatan (Shoulder-to-Shoulder) exercises in Casiguran, Philippines on May 15, 2017. (REUTERS File Photo)   MANILA, February 28 (Reuters): A U.S.-Philippines troop agreement recently scrapped by President Rodrigo Duterte could still be salvaged, a senior diplomat said o
  • Malaysia uncertainty grows as palace rejects Mahathir plan
    Malaysia's Interim Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad speaks during a news conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia on February 27, 2020. (REUTERS Photo)   KUALA LUMPUR, February 28 (Reuters): Uncertainty grew over the political future of Malaysia and the man who has dominated it for decades on Friday as the royal palace rejected Mahathir Mohamad's plan for a vote to choose a new prime minister.   Meanwhile, Mahathir's party chose a different candidate for prime m
  • Japan PM triggers uproar with call to close all schools as Hokkaido declares coronavirus emergency
    Elementary school students walk toward their school in Tokyo, Japan on February 28. (REUTERS Photo)   TOKYO, February 28 (Reuters): Angry Japanese parents joined bewildered teachers and businesses on Friday in a rush to find new ways to live and work for a month after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's shock call for all schools to close in a bid to stop coronavirus spreading.   In another drastic move, the northern island of Hokkaido, which has seen the largest num
  • New Zealand PM Ardern says Australia's deportation policy is 'corrosive'
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison hold a joint press conference at Admiralty House in Sydney, Australia on February 28. (REUTERS Photo)   SYDNEY, February 28 (Reuters): Australia's deportation policy is so "corrosive" that it has soured its bilateral relationship with New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Friday, a rare bust-up between the two historic allies.   Australia's conservative go
  • Turkey opens frontier for Syrian refugees to enter Europe after strike kills troops
    People walk at the Bab el-Salam border crossing between the Syrian town of Azaz and the Turkish town of Kilis, in Syria on February 20, 2020. (REUTERS Photo)   ANKARA/ISTANBUL, February 28 (Reuters): Turkey will no longer stop Syrian refugees from reaching Europe, a senior Turkish official said, as Ankara responded on Friday to the killing of 33 Turkish soldiers in a strike by Syrian government forces in Syria's northwestern Idlib region.   Opening the fronti
  • Thousands brave the rain for Greta Thunberg at British climate rally
    A boy holds a placard during a youth climate protest in Bristol, Britain, Britain on February 28. (REUTERS Photo)   BRISTOL, England, February 28 (Reuters): Several thousand people braved the rain on Friday to join Greta Thunberg, the teenage activist who has reprimanded governments across the world for failing her generation with climate change, in a youth protest in Britain.   Known simply as Greta, 17-year-old Thunberg has captured the imagination of many
  • 'Are you real?' Putin quashes rumours he uses a body double
    Russian President Vladimir Putin rides from Belorusskaya to Fili station on the Russian-made Ivolga train during the launch of the first routes of the Moscow Central Diameters, the new surface metro lines.   MOSCOW, February 27 (Reuters): Russian President Vladimir Putin has acknowledged he was offered the chance to use a body double to make appearances in public for security reasons, but said he declined the offer and never used one.   Putin, 67, who ha
  • Governments face pressure to protect nature in biodiversity 'super year'
    Reef fish swim above recovering coral colonies on the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Cairns, Australia on October 25, 2019. (REUTERS File Photo)   ROME, February 27 (Thomson Reuters Foundation): Governments are under pressure this year to agree on protecting at least 30% of the planet's land and seas by 2030, not only to conserve endangered species and ensure food and water supplies, but also to help regulate an increasingly erratic climate.   This week in Ro
  • PM Abe asks all of Japan schools to close over coronavirus
    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe listens to IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo, Japan on February 25, 2020. (REUTERS Photo)   TOKYO, February 27 (Reuters): Japan's entire school system, from elementary to high schools, will be asked to close from Monday until spring break late in March to help contain the coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday.   The dramatic escalation of J
  • Iraq parliament delays vote on a new government over lack of quorum - state media
    Iraqi Prime Minister, Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi delivers a televised speech in Baghdad, Iraq on February 19, 2020. (REUTERS File Photo)   BAGHDAD, February 27 (Reuters): Iraq's parliament on Thursday adjourned a session to approve a new cabinet proposed by Prime Minister-designated Mohammed Allawi, state television reported.   It said the parliament had failed to convene a quorum as many lawmakers unhappy with Allawi's ministerial nominees boycotted the session.
  • U.S. urges Russia to find masterminds of Kremlin critic's murder
    People gather at the site of the assassination of politician Boris Nemtsov while marking the fourth anniversary of Nemtsov's death in central Moscow, Russia on February 27, 2019. (REUTERS File Photo)   MOSCOW, February 27 (Reuters): The United States embassy in Moscow urged Russia on Thursday to find the people who organised the murder of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov who was gunned down near the Kremlin five years ago.   Nemtsov, one of President Vladi
  • Niger police rescue 232 victims of sex trafficking, forced labour
    Vehicles cross the Kennedy bridge at dusk in Niamey on September 16, 2013. (REUTERS File Photo)   DAKAR, February 27 (Thomson Reuters Foundation): Police in Niger have rescued 232 victims of sex trafficking and forced labour, including girls as young as 10, in a major operation in the capital Niamey, Interpol said on Wednesday.   "Operation Sarraounia" involved more than 100 police officers who conducted a series of raids over 10 days in late January, sa
  • World scrambles to curb fast-spreading coronavirus
    Passengers wearing masks are seen arrival at the Shanghai railway station in Shanghai, China, as the country is hit by an outbreak of a new coronavirus on February 27. (REUTERS Photo)   SYDNEY/DUBAI, February 27 (Reuters): The coronavirus' rapid spread in Iran, Italy, South Korea and elsewhere left alarmed governments and people across the globe rushing on Thursday to implement emergency measures.   For the first time, new infections around the world in
  • U.N. decries nearly 50% increase in killings of women activists in Colombia
    A demonstrator holds a placard reading "No Violence" during a protest march as a national strike continued in Bogota, Colombia on November 25, 2019. (REUTERS File Photo)   BOGOTA, February 27 (Reuters): Killings of women engaged in community organising and defending human rights in Colombia increased nearly 50% in 2019 compared to the year before, the United Nations said on Wednesday as it urged the government to redouble protection efforts.   Viole
  • Rising sea levels put Myanmar's villages on frontline of climate change
    The ruins of a monastery are seen after a riverbank collapsed into the water in Ta Dar U village, Bago, Myanmar on February 6, 2020. (REUTERS File Photo)   BAGO, Myanmar, February 27 (Reuters): Three years ago, the villagers watched as the Sittaung River on Myanmar's southeast coast crept closer to them, swollen by powerful tidal surges from the Gulf of Mottama that eroded its banks.   Eventually, the 1,500 residents of Ta Dar U had to accept the inevita
  • Tunisia's parliament approves a coalition government
    Tunisia's prime minister designate Elyes Fakhfakh speaks at the Assembly of People's Representatives in Tunis, Tunisia on February 26. (REUTERS Photo)   TUNIS, February 27 (Reuters): Tunisia's parliament approved a new coalition government in a confidence vote on Thursday, after months of political wrangling that has slowed the north African country's efforts to tackle looming economic problems.   There were 129 votes in favour, 77 against.   Elyes
  • China reports rise in new coronavirus cases, warns of risk of rebound
    Workers with sanitizing equipment disinfect at the Shanghai railway station in Shanghai, China, as the country is hit by an outbreak of a new coronavirus on February 27. (REUTERS Photo)   SHANGHAI/BEIJING, February 27 (Reuters): China reported 433 new cases of coronavirus infections on Feb. 26, the National Health Commission said on Thursday, up from 406 a day earlier, with a cluster of new cases in Beijing raising concerns about the management of employees returni
  • Malaysia's Mahathir says parliament to choose new PM
    Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad speaks during an interview with Reuters in Putrajaya, Malaysia on December 10, 2019. (REUTERS File Photo)   KUALA LUMPUR, February 27 (Reuters): Malaysia's parliament will vote on a new candidate for prime minister on Monday and if nobody can win majority support there will be a snap election, interim prime minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Thursday.   The Southeast Asian country was plunged into political turmo