• Stacey Abrams warns not to expect a U.S. presidential winner on Election Night
    Reuters Voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams warned Americans on Tuesday not to expect to learn the winner of the White House on Election Night Nov. 3, as problems delivering and counting an expected flood of mail-in ballots prompted by the coronavirus pandemic could delay the result and draw a flurry of legal challenges. "The sheer volume of people who will be voting by mail is going to preclude the ability to count those ballots and adjudicate the outcome of the election b
  • African activists fight against women one law at a time
    JOHANNESBURG, August 4 (Thomson Reuters Foundation): As a young girl growing up in northern Zimbabwe's mining community of Mashonaland, Beatrice Savadye watched as her friends were forced into child marriages and early motherhood while many became sick with HIV. Wanting a different life for herself and other girls, Savadye started the Zimbabwean women's movement Roots Africa seven years ago fighting for, among many things, legislation change to better protect women'
  • UK risks big second coronavirus wave if it reopens schools without more testing, study finds
    LONDON, August 4 (Reuters): Britain risks a second wave of COVID-19 this winter twice as large as the initial outbreak if it reopens schools full-time without improving its test-and-trace system, according to a study published on Tuesday. Schools in Britain closed in March during a national lockdown, except for the children of key workers, and reopened in June for a small number of pupils. All children are now on their summer breaks. The government wants all pupils to return
  • Verdicts in Slovak journalist's murder trial delayed to September
    PRAGUE, August 4 (Reuters): A Slovak court has postponed verdicts in the trial of a businessman and others charged with killing an investigative journalist in 2018, a case that shocked the nation and reshaped its political landscape. A court spokeswoman said a hearing would take place on Sept. 3, shifted from a planned verdict on Wednesday, to give more time to review the rulings. The murders of Jan Kuciak and his fiancee, Martina Kusnirova, sparked mass protests and forced
  • Spaniards ask where Juan Carlos has gone after ex-king leaves country
    MADRID, August 4 (Reuters): Spain's former king Juan Carlos has gone to the Dominican Republic after abruptly leaving his home country under a cloud of scandal, several Spanish newspapers said on Tuesday, though one placed him in Portugal. The royal palace announced on Monday that Juan Carlos, who abdicated in 2014 over a previous scandal, was leaving so that his personal affairs would not overshadow his son King Felipe's reign. The palace did not say where the 82-ye
  • In a flash, a changed world: Remembering Hiroshima
    Reuters The atomic bomb the United States dropped on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945 killed tens of thousands and flattened the Japanese city in an instant. "Little Boy," as it was known, was the endpoint of years of research, wrangling a physics theory into a mechanism that would release the energy that binds together atoms. The concept was simple: driving together enough uranium or plutonium at high enough speeds would create a "critical mass" so quickly that i
  • Israeli leaders locked in budget battle as economic crisis deepens
    JERUSALEM, August 4 (Reuters): A stand-off between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main coalition partner over passage of Israel's budget threatens to trigger its fourth election in a little over a year amid an economic crisis fuelled by the coronavirus outbreak. A ballot is automatically mandated if a budget is not approved by parliament by Aug. 25. Analysts are concerned that a new election and likely protracted coalition talks afterwards would have a crippling
  • Millions return to lockdown in Philippines
    Manila, August 4 (IANS): Millions of people in the Philippines returned to a COVID-19 lockdown on Tuesday, after doctors warned a surge in new coronavirus cases could push the country's healthcare system to collapse. Stay-at-home orders are now in place in Manila and the four surrounding provinces of Laguna, Cavite, Rizal and Bulacan on the island of Luzon until August 18, reports the BBC. The new lockdown came after 80 medical associations on August 1 called on President Rod
  • South Korea floods, landslides kill 14
    SEOUL, August 4 (Reuters): Fourteen people were killed and more than 1,000 people forced from their homes as 42 consecutive days of rain - South Korea's longest monsoon in seven years - triggered floods and landslides, authorities said on Tuesday. Heavy rain, which has also battered China, Thailand, Myanmar and India in recent days, inundated farmland and flooded parts of major highways and bridges in the capital, Seoul. The victims included three New Zealanders from the
  • Egypt invites Musk to see whether aliens built pyramids
    Cairo, August 4 (IANS): One of Egypt's top government officials has invited multi-billionaire tech mogul Elon Musk to visit the country and see for himself that the great pyramids were not built by aliens. Tesla and SpaceX CEO Musk earlier tweeted: "Aliens built the pyramids obv (obviously" which was retweeted more than 88,000 times. Musk also tweeted follow-up messages after his initial post. "The Great Pyramid was the tallest structure made by humans for 3
  • Military helps worn-out nurses, sicker patients in California COVID-19 effort
    SACRAMENTO, Calif., August 4 (Reuters): All day long, as Air Force nurse Major Pinky Brewton cares for patients struggling to breathe in California's COVID-19 ravaged San Joaquin Valley, fears for her family simmer underneath her cool exterior. Once back in her Stockton hotel room, seeing her seven-year-old on Facetime, the relief is overwhelming. "He's breathing!" Brewton said. "That's the first thing I see as a nurse. How well is my son breathing
  • WHO says China team interviewed Wuhan scientists over virus origins
    GENEVA, August 4 (Reuters): A World Health Organization team in China to probe the origins of COVID-19 had "extensive discussions" and exchanges with scientists in Wuhan where the outbreak was first detected, a spokesman said on Tuesday. The talks included updates on animal health research, he said. China shut down a wildlife market in Wuhan at the start of the outbreak, a day after discovering some patients were vendors or dealers. The WHO says the virus most
  • North Korea has 'probably' developed nuclear devices to fit ballistic missiles - U.N. report
    UNITED NATIONS, July 4 (Reuters): North Korea is pressing on with its nuclear weapons program and several countries believe it has "probably developed miniaturized nuclear devices to fit into the warheads of its ballistic missiles," according to a confidential U.N. report. The report by an independent panel of experts monitoring U.N. sanctions said the countries, which it did not identify, believed North Korea's past six nuclear tests had likely helped it develop
  • President of Belarus accuses Russia of lying, warns of revolution plot
    MINSK, August 4 (Reuters): Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Tuesday accused Russia of lying about the presence of Russian security contractors in Belarus and said unnamed forces were trying to carry out a revolution but would fail. Lukashenko, in power since 1994, is up for re-election on Sunday and faces his biggest challenge in years amid public anger over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the economy and human rights. Belarus detained the Russian
  • Factbox: Background on Lebanon's Hezbollah
    BEIRUT, August 4 (Reuters): Four suspects belonging to Lebanon's armed Shi'ite Hezbollah group have been tried in absentia by the U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon for the 2005 murder of former Sunni Muslim prime minister Rafik al Hariri. The verdict is due on Friday. Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran and is a close ally of Syria, has denied any role in the 2005 bombing. Here is some background on the group: TRIBUNAL: * Hezbollah's leader, Sayyed Hassa
  • Crisis-weary Lebanon braces for Hariri tribunal verdict
    BEIRUT, August 4 (Reuters): Fifteen years after a truck bomb killed Lebanon's former Sunni leader Rafik al-Hariri in Beirut, triggering regional upheaval, a U.N.-backed court trying four suspects from Shi'ite Hezbollah delivers a verdict on Friday that could shake the country again. The defendants, members of the powerful Iran-backed group, have been tried in absentia on charges of planning and arranging the 2005 bombing which killed the former prime minister who spearh
  • Afghan grand assembly on fate of hundreds of Taliban prisoners set for Friday
    KABUL August 4 (Reuters): Afghanistan will convene a grand assembly of elders, known as the loya jirga, in Kabul on Friday to decide the fate of hundreds of prisoners the Taliban insist should be released before entering peace talks with the government. A pact reached by U.S. and Taliban negotiators in Doha in February had agreed that 5,000 Taliban prisoners should be released from Afghan jails as a precondition to the militant movement holding talks with the government. Pre
  • Former king Juan Carlos decides to leave Spain amid corruption allegations
    MADRID, July 4 (Reuters): Spain's former king Juan Carlos has decided to leave his country, a dramatic exit designed to protect the monarchy after a barrage of corruption allegations surfaced against him. The once-popular, now scandal-ridden, king left Spain before Monday's announcement, local media said, with no indication of where he may have gone. The bombshell move stunned Spaniards and left them divided over whether the 82-year-old, who keeps the title of King E
  • Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi confirms contesting for second term
    YANGON, August 4 (Reuters): Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday formally declared her intention to seek a second term in an election in November that is seen as a test of the Southeast Asian nation's tentative democratic reforms. After decades of military rule, Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for campaigning for democracy, took the reins in 2016 after an electoral landslide, but has been forced to share power with the generals. Her international reputation
  • French top scientific body sees second wave of COVID-19 in autumn or winter
    PARIS, August 4 (Reuters): France's top scientific body said a second wave of the coronavirus was "highly likely" this autumn or winter as the country grapples with a marked increase of new cases of the disease over the past two weeks. "France has the situation under control but it is precarious with a surge of virus circulation this summer. The short term future of the pandemic mainly lies in the hands of the population," the scientific committee o