• Trump expects Covid vaccine to be available for 'every American' by April
    Washington, September 19 (IANS): US President Donald Trump has said that the United States would produce enough coronavirus vaccine doses for "every American" by April 2021. The president told a White House news conference on Friday that the country will have at least 100 million doses of vaccine by the end of the year, or "likely much more than that", Xinhua reported. "Hundreds of millions of doses will be available every month and we expect to have enou
  • Global Covid-19 cases top 30.3mn: Johns Hopkins
    Washington, September 19 (IANS): The overall number of global coronavirus cases has topped 30.3 million, while the deaths have increased to more than 950,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University. As of Saturday morning, the total number of cases stood at 30,395,579 and the fatalities rose to 950,344, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update. The US is the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cas
  • Amal Clooney quits UK envoy role over 'lamentable' international law breach
    LONDON, September 18 (Reuters): Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney has quit her role as Britain's special envoy on media freedom in protest at the country's intention to breach international law over Brexit-related legislation. The British government has drafted a bill which it acknowledges would violate its international legal obligations and undercut parts of the divorce deal it signed before Britain formally left the European Union in January. Prime Minister Boris J
  • Whole of Iran on coronavirus red alert due to rise in deaths - health official
    Reuters A senior Iranian health official has declared a coronavirus red alert covering the entire country as daily deaths and cases increase at an alarming rate, Iranian state TV reported on Friday. Iran, one of the Middle Eastern countries hardest hit by the pandemic, has been divided up into white, orange/yellow and red regions based on the number of infections and deaths. The death toll rose by 144 to 23,952 on Friday, while the total number of identified cases spiked by 3,
  • 'They should have let us die in the water': desperate Lebanese migrants sent back by Cyprus
    TRIPOLI, Lebanon, September 18 (Reuters): For years, small boats have left northern Lebanon's coast, packed with desperate migrants hoping to reach European shores. Until recently, they carried mostly Syrian and Palestinian refugees. But with Lebanon in freefall, its citizens have begun joining their ranks in larger numbers. Mohammad Ghandour never thought he'd be one of them. But he said Lebanon's economic crisis, which has crashed the Lebanese pound and left him u
  • Israel returns to lockdown as COVID-19 cases mount
    TEL AVIV, September 18 (Reuters): Israel entered a second nationwide lockdown on Friday at the onset of the Jewish high-holiday season, forcing residents to stay mostly at home amid a resurgence in new coronavirus cases. A lockdown was imposed in late March and eased in May as new cases tapered off, reaching single-digit lows, but in the past week, new cases have reached daily highs of more than 5,000. Israeli leaders have acknowledge they lifted measures too soon, but the m
  • Russia approves first COVID-19 prescription drug for sale in pharmacies
    MOSCOW, September 18 (Reuters): Russia has approved R-Pharm's Coronavir treatment for outpatients with mild to moderate COVID-19 infections and the antiviral drug could be rolled out to pharmacies in the country as soon as next week, the company said on Friday. Coronavir's approval as a prescription drug follows the green light for another Russian COVID-19 drug, Avifavir, in May. Both are based on favipiravir, which was developed in Japan and is widely used there a
  • China aims to operate regular space flights by 2045, official says
    BEIJING, September 18 (Reuters): China aims to set up a space programme operating thousands of flights a year and carrying tens of thousands of tons of cargo and passengers by 2045, state news agency Xinhua quoted an official as saying on Friday. China is trying to catch up with Russia and the United States to become a major space power by 2030. Bao Weimin, a senior official at China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp., told a conference that the planned space flight syst
  • Trump offered to pardon Assange if he provided source for Democrat emails: lawyer
    LONDON, September 18 (Reuters): U.S. President Donald Trump offered to pardon Julian Assange if the WikiLeaks founder provided the source for the hacking of Democratic National Committee emails before the 2016 U.S. presidential election, a London court was told on Friday. Assange's lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, said she observed a meeting where former Republican U.S. Representative Dana Rohrabacher and Charles Johnson, an associate known to have close ties to the Trump campaig
  • Battle from Below: The South African miners fighting climate change
    ERMELO, South Africa, September 18 (Thomson Reuters Foundation): Four nights a week, Given Zuli packs some food, meets his colleagues at the entrance of an abandoned coal mine in South Africa's eastern Mpumalanga province, and descends into the earth for up to 12 hours, chipping away at the black rock. Zuli is one of thousands of small-scale, illegal miners across South Africa - a number believed to be on the rise as unemployment spikes in a brittle economy - who make a liv
  • Belarus opposition offers talks as U.N. hears fears of 'another iron curtain'
    GENEVA, September 18 (Reuters): Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya demanded on Friday an international mission to document what she called "atrocities" during crackdowns on anti-government protests but said she was ready to talk to end weeks of violence. She addressed a highly charged debate on the Belarus crisis at the U.N. Human Rights Council, where envoys from Minsk and its backer Moscow faced off against EU delegations who are pushing for sanction
  • Bolsonaro plays down Amazon fires, accuses NGOs of blocking land titling
    BRASÍLIA (Reuters) - President Jair Bolsonaro said late on Wednesday Brazil was being "disproportionately" criticized for fires in the Amazon rainforest and Pantanal wetlands, at a time when many places around the world were seeing a surge in blazes. The number of fires in the Amazon, the world's largest rainforest, likely hit a 10-year high in August, according to a government scientist. The Pantanal, the planet's biggest wetland, in 2020 has registered the
  • Seoul city seeks $4 million in damages from church over new COVID-19 outbreak
    SEOUL, September (Reuters): The metropolitan government in South Korea's capital Seoul said on Friday it would seek 4.6 billion won ($4 million) in damages against a church for causing the spread of the coronavirus by disrupting tracing and testing efforts. A fresh wave of infections erupted at a church whose members attended a large protest in downtown Seoul in mid-August, becoming the country's largest cluster in the greater capital area. The outbreak has driven triple-dig
  • Taiwan scrambles jets as 18 Chinese planes buzz island
    TAIPEI/BEIJING, September 18 (Reuters): Taiwan scrambled fighter jets on Friday as 18 Chinese aircraft buzzed the island, including crossing the sensitive mid-line of the Taiwan Strait, in an escalation of tensions as a senior U.S. official held talks in Taipei. China had earlier announced the start of combat drills near the Taiwan Strait, denouncing what it called collusion between the island, which it claims as part of its territory, and the United States. U.S. Undersecretary f
  • NASA mulls possible mission to Venus after recent discovery of possible life
    WASHINGTON, September 18 (Reuters) - NASA is considering approving by next April up to two planetary science missions from four proposals under review, including one to Venus that scientists involved in the project said could help determine whether or not that planet harbors life. An international research team on Monday described evidence of potential microbes residing in the harshly acidic Venusian clouds: traces of phosphine, a gas that on Earth is produced by bacteria inhabiting
  • U.N. food chief urges Bezos, other billionaires to step up to help world's starving
    UNITED NATIONS, September 18 (Reuters) - U.N. food chief David Beasley called on the world's billionaires on Thursday to step up to help save some 30 million people he said are at risk of dying if they don't receive help from the World Food Programme. Globally some 270 million people were headed toward the brink of starvation and WFP hopes to reach 138 million people this year, Beasley told the U.N. Security Council "We need $4.9 billion to feed, for one year, all 30
  • Election poll shows Biden leads Trump 45-40% in Arizona
    Washington, September 18 (IANS): An influential election projection agency shifted the US presidential race in the state of Arizona toward Democratic nominee Joe Biden, as its latest poll found the former vice president led President Donald Trump by 5 percentage points in the state. A poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and Cook Political Report released on Thursday showed Biden led Trump 45-40 per cent, larger than the Democrat's lead over the Republican incumbent in o
  • Global Covid-19 cases cross 30mn mark: Johns Hopkins
    Washington, September 18 (IANS): The overall number of global coronavirus cases has crossed the 30 million mark, while the deaths have increased to more than 944,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University. As of Friday morning, the total number of cases stood at 30,065,728 and the fatalities rose to 944,604, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update. The US is the worst-hit country with the world's highest number
  • Navalny team says nerve agent was found on hotel room water bottle
    MOSCOW, September 17 (Reuters): The nerve agent used to poison Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was detected on an empty water bottle from his hotel room in the Siberian city of Tomsk, suggesting he was poisoned there and not at the airport as first thought, his team said on Thursday. Navalny fell violently ill on a flight in Russia last month and was airlifted to Berlin for treatment. Laboratories in Germany, France and Sweden have established he was poisoned by a Novi
  • How a 'Hillbilly Brigade' saved an Oregon town from raging wildfires
    MOLALLA, (Oregon), September 17 (Reuters): Nicole West steered her bulldozer through the smoldering forest, pushing logs into the underbrush and away from the wildfires ripping through Oregon's Cascade Mountains. Her border collie, Oink, rode shotgun as West and a volunteer crew raced to clear a fireline. Behind West, on the front lines of the 136,000-acre Riverside fire, two young men pulled a water tank behind their pickup truck, struggling to douse the flames. Th