Thursday, Jun 17, 2021 | Last Update : 08:54 AM IST

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South Asia

Picture used for representational purposes only (Image Source: Pixabay)

China deploys anal swabs to test for Covid-19

The method can increase the detection rate of infected people

 Census workers collect information from a woman in Lianyungang, in China's eastern Jiangsu province on November 1, 2020, as millions of census-takers began knocking on doors for a once-a-decade head count of the world's largest population that for the first time will use mobile apps to help crunch the massive numbers. (AFP)

China begins once-a-decade census of world's largest population

After implementing the decades-old one child policy, China is facing a demographic crisis with a rapidly ageing population

 A child wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus looks as masked people browsing their smartphones near Forbidden City in Beijing. (AP)

China reports surge in symptomless COVID-19 infections

A total of 20 new confirmed and 161 new asymptomatic cases were reported in the mainland on October 25

Representational image

China declines to congratulate US President-elect Joe Biden

China has not yet come out with an official reaction to Biden and Kamala Harris' victory

Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan. (AFP)

FATF keeps Pakistan on 'Enhanced Follow-up' for meagre progress against terror financing

The development came only a few weeks ahead of the meeting of the FATF to decide on Pakistan's grey list status

Asia

Donald Trump with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (AFP file photo)

Trump 'offered Kim Jong Un a ride home on Air Force One'

During the Singapore summit, Trump gave Kim a glimpse inside his presidential state car in a show of their newly friendly rapport

In this May 29, 2020, file photo, a protester holds a Hong Kong colonial flag in a shopping mall during a protest against China's national security legislation for the city, in Hong Kong. Thousands of people from Hong Kong are fleeing their hometown since Beijing imposed a draconian national security law on the territory in the summer 2020. (AP/Kin Cheung, File)

Thousands flee Hong Kong for UK, fearing China crackdown

Some are leaving because they fear punishment for supporting the pro-democracy protests that swept the former British colony in 2019

Buddhist monks lead an anti-coup protest march in Mandalay, Myanmar on Feb. 27, 2021. 'CRPH' in the placards stand for 'Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw.' (AP)

Myanmar's Suu Kyi to face court after deadly crackdown

Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to streets regularly over the past month to oppose the coup

Anti-coup protesters with makeshift shields stand in Yangon, Myanmar on March 3, 2021. (AP)

UN: 38 died on deadliest day yet for Myanmar coup opposition

The increasingly deadly violence could galvanise the international community, which has responded fitfully so far

Middle East

 U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, left, and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban group's top political leader sign a peace agreement between Taliban and U.S. officials in Doha, Qatar. The Taliban say the long-awaited peace talks with the negotiating team selected by the Afghan government are to begin on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, in the Gulf Arab state of Qatar. The announcement on Sept. 10, came in a statement from the Taliban in Qatar, where the insurgents maintain a political office, and also as an announcement from Qatar's foreign ministry. (AP File)

Peace talks to begin between Taliban, Afghan government 19 years after 9/11 triggered war

The US-backed negotiations come six months later than planned owing to bitter disagreements over a controversial prisoner swap

Smoke and flames are seen following an Israeli air strike in the Khan Yunis town of the southern Gaza Strip on September 16, 2020. - Israel bombed sites in the Gaza Strip early Wednesday, Palestinian security sources said, after rocket fire from the Hamas-controlled territory into Israel the previous evening. The retaliatory attack came the morning after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed a landmark accord in Washington establishing diplomatic relations with the Jewish state. (AFP)

Israeli jets bomb Gaza, 'coinciding' with Netanyahu's signing of normalisation deals

At least two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip the previous evening, one of which was intercepted by Israel's anti-missile system

The golden visa will also be granted to holders of specialised degrees in artificial intelligence, big data, or epidemiology and virology in addition to the UAE high school top graduates along with their families, the Gulf News reported.

UAE grants 10-year golden residency visa to more professionals

The decision aims to attract and retain experts and talented professionals from various fields and scientific disciplines, the report said

Little Amal

Little Amal, a puppet, is all set to traverse the world in support of refugees

Little Amal will travel 8,000km, starting from April 2021, crossing many contrasting terrains

US President Donald Trump at the Oval Office on Friday. (AFP)

Donald Trump announces peace between Israel and Bahrain

In Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the agreement.

Africa

 Customers have their nails done near the Baragwanath taxi rank in Soweto, South Africa, Wednesday Sept. 16, 2020. South African president Cyril Ramaphosa is scheduled to address the nation later in the day, as case numbers and death from Covid-19 hit the lowest in months. (AP)

South Africa says 12 million 'probably' had coronavirus

Some South African experts suggest that Africa's most developed economy may be approaching herd immunity

Without practicing social distancing, people queue for social grant payments at a post office in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Friday, Nov. 13, 2020. The African continent has surpassed 2 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 as health officials warn of infections starting to creep up again into a second surge. (AP)

African continent hits 2 million confirmed coronavirus cases

African health officials also worry that the continent will suffer as richer countries buy up supplies

 Britain's Health Secretary Matt Hancock attends a remote press conference to update the nation on the status of the Covid-19 pandemic, inside 10 Downing Street in central London on December 23, 2020. - Britain on Wednesday introduced restrictions on travel from South Africa over the spread of another new variant of coronavirus, UK Health Minister Matt Hancock said. "We're placing immediate restrictions on travel from South Africa," Hancock said, adding that two cases of the "highly concerning" new virus strain had been discovered in Britain. (AFP)

UK quarantines travelers from South Africa as one more Covid variant detected

Hancock said the new variant has ‘mutated further’ than the one that recently prompted the British government to tighten restrictions

Wildlife vets take samples from dead elephants found in Hwange National park, Zimbabwe. (AP)

Zimbabwe investigating deaths of 22 elephants, more expected

Zimbabwe has been facing successive climate-induced droughts in recent years, leaving animals with less water and vegetation for food

Europe

People sunbathe around the fountains in trafalgar Square in central London on September 18, 2020, as the fine weather in the south of England continues. (AFP)

From Denmark to Greece, European cities announce tighter COVID-19 restrictions

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was inevitable that the country would see a second wave of the coronavirus

An elderly woman is inoculated with a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19 at a vaccination center set up at the University Olympic Stadium in Coyoacan neighborhood, in Mexico City on March 30, 2021. (CLAUDIO CRUZ / AFP)

Germany halts AstraZeneca jabs for under-60s over clot risks

The cities of Berlin and Munich, as well as Brandenburg state had announced earlier that they were suspending the vaccine for younger people

 Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny. The German government says specialist labs in France and Sweden have confirmed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned with the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok. (AP File)

Germany says French, Swedish labs confirm Navalny's Novichok poisoning

The poisoning has brought tensions between Russia and Germany to new heights, fuelling calls for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to be scrapped

 Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. (AP)

West trying to engage India in 'anti-China games': Russia

Observers point out that the remarks highlight Russia’s unease with India’s growing proximity and strong strategic ties with the US

 Russian dissident Alexei Navalny. (AP File)

Navalny, Thunberg among nominees for Nobel Peace Prize

Other nominees include former U.S. President Donald Trump, NATO and the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR)

Americas

A file picture for representational purposes only

Biden admin withdraws move to rescind work authorisation for H-1B spouses

Spouses of Indian professionals on H-1B visas, are the biggest beneficiary of the Obama-era rule that gave employment authorisation cards.

Biden on Wednesday planned to halt construction on Trump's U.S.-Mexico border wall, end the ban on travel from some Muslim-majority countries, rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and the World Health Organization and revoke the approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, aides said. (Photo:AP)

It’s a new day in America

Biden to end country cap on H1B visas with his first orders

Authorities believe the shooting was targeted. (Photo: Representational/AP)

Two dead, over 20 injured in banquet hall shooting in South Florida: Police

The banquet hall had been rented out for a concert

  U.S. President Donald Trump makes a campaign stop at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport on November 1, 2020 in Opa Locka, Florida. (AFP)

Trump denies report that he would declare poll victory early

At the same time, he indicated that his team is gearing up for a legal battle on the election night itself

Oceania

 New Zealand has been widely praised for its handling of the pandemic, with just 25 deaths from 1,927 confirmed virus cases in a population of five million. (Representational Image/AFP)

New Zealand detects first community virus case in two months

It is the second time a returnee has developed coronavirus symptoms after being cleared to leave an isolation facility in New Zealand

This file photo taken on October 23, 2019 shows a giant digital sign at Facebook's corporate headquarters campus in Menlo Park, California. - Facebook said on February 23, 2021 it will lift a contentious ban on Australian news pages "in the coming days", after the government agreed to amend a world-first media law fiercely opposed by the tech giant. (Josh Edelson / AFP)

Facebook to restore Australia news pages as deal reached on media law

Prime Minister Scott Morrison had angrily accused Facebook of making a decision to 'unfriend' Australia

 New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern. (Image:Facebook/Jacinda Ardern)

New Zealand sees first case-free day in five weeks

Friday’s report also marked the fourth consecutive day without any cases of community transmission

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern talks to media in Wellington, New Zealand on February 15, 2021. (AP/Nick Perry)

New Zealand ends snap virus lockdown in largest city

New Zealand has been widely praised for its handling of the pandemic, with just 26 deaths in a population of five million

The scientists, who published their findings in peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Marine Science, said areas with more floating rubbish generally had more microplastic fragments on the sea floor. (Representational Image: AFP)

14 million tonnes of microplastics on sea floor: Australian study

The quantity of the tiny pollutants was 25 times greater than previous localised studies had shown