• EU, Britain making 'very limited' progress in talks - Merkel
    BERLIN, July 1 (Reuters): The European Union and Britain have made "very limited" progress in negotiations about their future relationship, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday, adding there was still a possibility that no deal would be agreed.   "Progress in talks is, to put it cautiously, very limited," Merkel told parliament during a Q&A session.   "We have agreed with Britain to speed up the talks in order to seal
  • Russia's Putin urges Turkey, Iran to help promote dialogue in Syria
    MOSCOW, July 1 (Reuters): Russian President Vladimir Putin told his counterparts from Turkey and Iran on Wednesday that there was a need for peaceful dialogue between the opposing forces in Syria's civil war.   Putin also told Turkey's Tayyip Erdogan and Iran's Hassan Rouhani in a televised video conference that hot spots of terrorism still remain in Syria's Idlib and other regions.   "An inclusive inter-Syrian dialogue should be actively
  • Child labour on Ivory Coast cocoa farms rises during pandemic, study finds
    ABIDJAN, July 1 (Reuters): Child labour has increased in top grower Ivory Coast's cocoa sector during its coronavirus lockdown, according to a report released on Wednesday by an industry-backed foundation.   The percentage of children engaged in labour between mid-March and mid-May rose to 19.4% from 16% in the same period in recent years, according to a survey of over 1,400 households conducted by the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI).   The report sa
  • Boxer trafficked as a child wins right to stay in the UK after 16 years
    LONDON, July 1 (Thomson Reuters Foundation): A former England boxer who was trafficked from Nigeria as a child and forced into domestic servitude has won the right to remain in Britain after a 16-year legal battle.   Kelvin Bilal Fawaz, 32, was granted the right to live and work in Britain for 30 months, after being held in detention centres for months when the government attempted to deport him to Nigeria, which did not recognise him as a citizen.   "Th
  • China orders some American media outlets to give details on staff, after U.S. move
    BEIJING, July 1 (Reuters): China has asked four U.S. media organisations to submit details about their operations in the country, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday in what it described as retaliation for U.S. measures against Chinese media outlets.   The Associated Press, UPI, CBS, and National Public Radio are required to provide information about their staff, financial operations and real estate in China within seven days, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian t
  • South Korea's Moon calls for U.S.-North Korea leaders' summit before U.S. election
    SEOUL, July 1 (Reuters): South Korean President Moon Jae-in said U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un should meet again before the U.S. presidential election in November, a Seoul official told reporters on Wednesday.   Trump and Kim met for the first time in 2018 in Singapore, raising hopes of an agreement to get Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons programme. But their second summit, in 2019 in Vietnam, fell apart when Trump rejected Kim&
  • Vote that could extend Putin's rule culminates as Russians get cash payments
    MOSCOW, July 1 (Reuters): Russians with children received cash payments on Wednesday on the final day of a vote on constitutional changes that could allow Vladimir Putin to stay in power until 2036.   State exit polls have suggested the changes will be backed by over two thirds of voters, who have been encouraged to vote with prize draws offering flats and an ad campaign highlighting other amendments designed to appeal to the populace.   One amendment guarant
  • Hong Kong police arrest more than 300 in first protest under new security law
    HONG KONG, July 1 (Reuters): Hong Kong police fired water cannon and tear gas and arrested more than 300 people on Wednesday as protesters took to the streets in defiance of sweeping security legislation introduced by China that critics say is aimed at snuffing out dissent.   Beijing unveiled the details of the much-anticipated law late on Tuesday after weeks of uncertainty, pushing China's freest city and one of the world's most glittering financial hubs on to
  • Former Pope Benedict's brother Georg dies at 96 - BR
    BERLIN, July 1 (Reuters): Georg Ratzinger, the brother of former Pope Benedict who nurtured a very close relationship over decades to his sibling, has died at the age of 96 in the German town of Regensburg, public broadcaster BR reported on Wednesday.   In June, Benedict, aged 93, had spent five days in his native Germany to visit his ailing brother, who was also a priest.   It was the first time that Benedict left Italy since 2013, when he became the first P
  • Indonesian province declares state of emergency over forest fires
    JAKARTA, July 1 (Reuters): Indonesia's third-largest province declared a state of emergency from Wednesday after identifying more than 700 fires, as the Southeast Asian nation braces for its annual fire season.   The declaration comes as Indonesia scales back protection for some of the world's most important tropical forests. The team that identifies fires and helps put them out has seen its budget halved due to the economic impact of the coronavirus, an environ
  • At least 52 killed in Ethiopia protests over singer's death
    ADDIS ABABA, July 1 (Reuters): At least 50 people were killed in Ethiopia's Oromiya region in protests following the fatal shooting of a popular singer, a regional spokesman said on Wednesday, laying bare splits in the prime minister's political heartland ahead of next year's polls.   Musician Haacaaluu Hundeessaa was shot dead on Monday night in what police said was a targeted killing.   Protests reflecting anger at the killing of a popular figur
  • UK PM Johnson tells Israel: do not annex parts of the occupied West Bank
    LONDON, July 1 (Reuters): British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Israel it should not go ahead with a plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, cautioning that London would not recognise any changes to the 1967 lines.   "Annexation would represent a violation of international law," Johnson said in an opinion piece for Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel’s top-selling daily. "It would also be a gift to those who want to perpetuate the old stories a
  • Hong Kong police fire water cannon, tear gas at protest over new security law
    BEIJING/HONG KONG, July 1 (Reuters): Hong Kong police fired water cannon and tear gas on Wednesday to break up the first protest since China introduced sweeping security legislation and they made their first arrests under it, warning of punishment for calling for secession or subversion.   Beijing unveiled the details of the much-anticipated law late on Tuesday after weeks of uncertainty, pushing China's freest city and one of the world's most glittering fi
  • Fauci warns of 100,000 COVID cases per day in US
    Washington, July 1 (IANS) Top disease researcher Dr Anthony Fauci told the US Senate that he "would not be surprised" if new virus cases in the country reach 100,000 per day.   "Clearly we are not in control right now," he testified, warning that not enough Americans are wearing masks or social distancing, the BBC reported.   During the hearing, he said about half of all new cases come from four states.   Earlier, the New York govern
  • Global COVID-19 cases top 10.4mn: Johns Hopkins University
    Washington, July 1 (IANS) The overall number of global COVID-19 cases has increased to over 10.4 million, while the deaths have soared to more than 509,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University.   As of Wednesday morning, the total number of cases increased to 10,434,835, while the fatalities stood at to 509,779, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update.   The US accounted for the world's highest
  • 19 killed in Tehran medical centre explosion
    Tehran, July 1 (IANS) An explosion at a medical centre in the Iranian capital of Tehran has left at least 19 people dead and 14 others injured, it was reported.   The incident, reportedly caused after the explosion of three gas canisters, took place in one of the ground floors of the Sina At'har Medical Centre in northern Tehran late Tuesday, Press TV said in a report.   Several emergency response units, including ambulances and firefighters, were seen deploye
  • EU agrees 'safe' travel list, excluding United States
    BRUSSELS, June 30 (Reuters): The European Union has excluded the United States from its initial "safe list" of countries from which the bloc will allow non-essential travel from Wednesday.   The 27-member bloc gave approval on Tuesday to leisure or business travel from 14 countries beyond its borders, the Council of the EU, which represents EU governments, said in a statement.   The countries are Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegr
  • Pompeo pushes U.N. Security Council to extend arms embargo on Iran
    NEW YORK, June 30 (Reuters): U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pushed the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday to indefinitely extend an arms embargo on Iran before it expires in October, arguing that the country is not a "responsible democracy" and must be held accountable.   Earlier this month, the United States circulated a draft resolution on the measure to the 15-member council, but council veto-powers Russia and China have already signaled their opposition
  • U.S., EU, Britain, Taiwan dismayed by China's new security law for Hong Kong
    BRUSSELS/TOKYO, June 30 (Reuters): China's passage of a national security law for Hong Kong drew international condemnation on Tuesday, with the United States, European Union, Britain and Japan criticising measures that set the stage for radical changes to the former British colony.   The law approved earlier by China's mostly rubber-stamp parliament follows months of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, which was guaranteed freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland
  • Pakistani pilots question government list of "dubious" pilots
    KARACHI, June 30 (Reuters): Pakistani airline pilots and their union have raised questions about a government list of 262 pilots with "dubious" credentials, saying it is full of discrepancies.   Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan announced last week the grounding of 262 airline pilots suspected of dodging their exams, a move that caused global concern.   The minister said the pilots included 141 from Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), nine from Air