• Myanmar remains mired in violence 2 months after coup
    Yangon, April 1 (AP): Protesters in Myanmar on Thursday marked two months since the military seized power by once more defying the threat of lethal violence and publicly demonstrating against the toppling of the democratically elected government. The February 1 coup has been met with massive public resistance that security forces have been unable to crush through escalating levels of violence, including now routinely shooting protesters. Outside efforts including sanctions impo
  • Pope opens final Holy Week services, skips Last Supper rite
    Vatican City, April 1 (AP): Pope Francis opened the solemn final days of Holy Week with a morning Mass in St. Peter's Basilica but planned to skip the traditional Thursday afternoon service that commemorates Jesus' Last Supper with his apostles. The Vatican didn't explain why the dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, would preside instead over the Vatican's main Holy Thursday afternoon service. Francis, who is 84 and suffers frequent bou
  • Junta's foes woo ethnic allies with new Myanmar constitution
    Yangon, April 1 (AP) Opponents of Myanmar's military government declared the country's 2008 constitution void and put forward an interim replacement charter late Wednesday in a major political challenge to the ruling junta. The moves, while more symbolic than practical, could help woo the country's armed ethnic militias to ally themselves with the mass protest movement against the military's seizure of power in February. The actions were taken by the CRPH, an unde
  • 7 convicted in Hong Kong over 2019 pro-democracy protests
    Hong Kong, April 1 (AP) Seven Hong Kong pro-democracy advocates were convicted Thursday on charges of organizing and participating in an unlawful assembly during massive anti-government protests in 2019 that triggered a crackdown on dissent. The seven include media tycoon and founder of the Apple Daily tabloid Jimmy Lai, as well as 82-year-old Martin Lee, a veteran of the city's democracy movement. Lai had already been held without bail on other charges related to his pro-democr
  • Nepal first in Asia-Pacific region to provide Covid jabs to refugees
    Kathmandu, March 31 (IANS): Nepal has become the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to provide Covid-19 jabs to refugees through its national vaccination rollout. According to the UN refugee agency in Kathmandu, Nepal started to inoculate the Covid vaccine to the Bhutanese refugees living in eastern part of the country from March 7. The refugees at the settlement in the Jhapa district were vaccinated as part of the second phase of that rollout, which started on 7 March and
  • 689 Ukrainians vaccinated with AstraZeneca report side effects
    Kiev, March 31 (IANS): Ukraine's Health Ministry received 689 reports of side effects after vaccinations with the AstraZeneca vaccine during the first month of the vaccination program, authorities have said. From February 24 to March 28, nearly 200,000 vaccinations were made against the coronavirus and 689 people reported adverse reactions, the State Expert Center of the Ministry of Health said on Facebook. The Covid-19 numbers have been growing in Ukraine over the past month
  • China donates money to Fiji for post-cyclone reconstruction
    Suva, March 31 (IANS): China on Tuesday donated 1 million Fijian dollars (about $490,000) to Fiji to support the island nation's reconstruction efforts in the aftermath of the tropical cyclones Yasa and Ana. At a ceremony held at the Fijian Prime Minister's Office, Chinese Ambassador to Fiji Qian Bo, on behalf of the Chinese government, handed over the cheque to Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, the Xinhua news agency reported. The Ambassador said that both China
  • S Korea plans to fine Apple $265,000 for hampering probe
    Seoul, March 31 (IANS): South Korea's corporate watchdog said on Wednesday that it has decided to refer the local unit of Apple and one of its executives to the prosecution for impeding the regulator's probe into unfair business practices. The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) also said it plans to fine Apple Korea 300 million won ($265,000) for hampering the watchdog's related investigation. Apple Korea was probed by the KFTC over allegations that it required the co
  • Attack by Myanmar’s Kachin minority signals deepening crisis
    YANGON, Myanmar, March 31 (AP) — Kachin guerrillas attacked a police outpost in northern Myanmar early Wednesday, local media reported, in an indication of the deepening involvement of ethnic minority armed forces in the country’s popular movement seeking to unseat the junta that seized power in February. The action follows conflict in eastern Myanmar, where Karen guerrillas seized an army outpost Saturday and Myanmar’s military followed with airstrikes that k
  • China launches new Earth observation satellite
    Beijing, March 31 (IANS): China sent a new Earth observation satellite into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China at 6.45 a.m. on Wednesday (Beijing time). The satellite, Gaofen-12 02, was launched aboard a Long March-4C rocket and entered its planned orbit successfully, Xinhua news agency reported. The satellite will be used in land surveys, urban planning, road network design and crop yield estimation, as well as disaster relief. It was the 364th
  • Chinese researchers develop device to inactivate coronavirus
    Guangzhou, March 31 (IANS): Chinese researchers have developed a set of equipment that could inactivate coronavirus with electron beam irradiation. The technology has passed an expert panel review and is set to be applied in cold chain food packaging disinfection, informed in a press conference held in south China's Shenzhen City on Monday. China General Nuclear Power Corporation, Tsinghua University, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen National Clinical Research Center
  • Myanmar junta deepens violence with new air attacks
    Mae Sam Laep (Thailand), March 30 (AP) Violence in eastern Myanmar, including air raids that drove thousands of members of the Karen ethnic minority to seek shelter across the border in Thailand, deepened Tuesday with new air attacks by the military that seized power from an elected government last month. Thailand's prime minister denied that his country's security forces had forced villagers back to Myanmar who had fled from military airstrikes over the weekend, saying they
  • 45 dead in stampede while mourning late Tanzanian Prez
    Dar es Salaam, March 30 (IANS): At least 45 people died in a stampede that occurred at a stadium in Tanzania's commercial capital Dar es Salaam during a mourning for late President John Magufuli, local media reported on Tuesday. The stampede that took place on March 21 also injured 37 people after a huge number of mourners forced their way into the Uhuru Stadium to pay their last respects to Magufuli and view his body, Xinhua new agency quoted the Citizen newspaper as saying in
  • Japan trying to contain dinner party scandal
    Tokyo, March 30 (IANS): Japan's Health Ministry is trying to contain a scandal that irked the country after it came to light that its officials violated coronavirus regulations with an extended dinner in Tokyo's luxury district. The scandal focuses on 23 civil servants who attended the party in a restaurant that lasted until midnight, reports dpa news agency. Although many coronavirus restrictions have been lifted in the Japanese capital, restaurants and bars are still re
  • 3 polio vaccination team members killed in Afghanistan
    Kabul, March 30 (IANS): Three members of a polio vaccination team were killed in two separate incidents in Afghanistans Nangarhar province, officials said on Tuesday. Provincial police chief Jumagul Hemat told dpa news agency that one member of the team was killed in Police District four of the provincial capital of Jalalabad. The other two deaths took place in the city's Police District seven. Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the incidents, police said.
  • World leaders call for new int'l pandemic treaty
    Brussels, March 30 (IANS): Twenty-five world leaders have supported a proposal from European Council President Charles Michel to draw up a new international treaty on pandemic preparedness in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. Leaders including UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha signed an opinion piece along with Michel and World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, dpa ne
  • Mozambique clashes continue for 7th day
    Maputo, March 30 (IANS): Ongoing clashes in Mozambique between members of the Islamic State (IS) terror group and security forces continued for the seventh day on Tuesday after the insurgents took a strategic coastal town under siege, an official said. "The fighting is still going on... It's an ongoing battle, very well planned and executed," Max Dyck, director of private security services firm Dyck Advisory Group (DAG), which is operating in northern Mozambique, told
  • IS remains a threat, says US envoy
    Washington, March 30 (IANS): A US envoy warned that the Islamic State (IS) terror group still remains a significant security threat in Syria, Iraq and beyond, including Europe and North America. In a statement on Monday, John Godfrey, the acting special envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, said that since the defeat of the group's "fraudulent territorial caliphate" in 2019, it has intensified its focus on the activities of its branches and networks, reports d
  • France reopens Embassy in Libya after 7 yrs
    Paris, March 30 (IANS): France has reopened its embassy in Libya after seven years, with the diplomatic representation tweeting "back to work". Monday's reopening comes a week after President Emmanuel Macron announced the plan, reports dpa news agency. In 2014, France had moved its diplomatic mission to Tunisia. The year before, its embassy in Libya's capital Tripoli had been attacked. The country wants to signal its support for the newly elected transitio
  • Stepping up Myanmar coup penalties, US suspends trade deal
    Washington, March 30 (AP) The United States on Monday suspended a trade deal with Myanmar until a democratic government is restored in the Southeast Asian country after a February 1 coup followed by a violent crackdown on protests. The military overthrew the elected government, jailed Aung San Suu Kyi and other civilian leaders and has killed and imprisoned protesters in the country also known as Burma. The United States supports the people of Burma in their efforts to restore a