India’s west coast braces for cyclone amid virus woes

Police and rescue personnel evacuate local residents from a flooded house in a coastal area after heavy rains under the influence of cyclone 'Tauktae' in Kochi on May 14, 2021. (ARUNCHANDRA BOSE / AFP) A cyclone is set to hit the western coast of India — the country’s industrialized belt with big refineries and ports […]

Israel air strikes kill 33, rockets fired from Gaza

Palestinian firefighters search urgently for survivors and bodies under the rubble after an intensive civilian bombardment of Gaza City, May 16, 2021. (MOHAMMED ABED / AFP) Israeli air strikes killed 33 Palestinians, including eight children, in Gaza early on Sunday, Gaza health officials said, and rockets were fired into Israel as hostilities stretched into a seventh […]

NZ reiterates public sector carbon neutral commitment

This March 17, 2021, photo shows a general view of Waitemata Harbour is seen as Team New Zealand crew members (center) celebrate their victory in the 36th America's Cup against Luna Rossa Prada in Auckland. (GILLES MARTIN-RAGET / AFP) WELLINGTON – The New Zealand government is committed to delivering a carbon neutral public sector as […]

2 main contenders for Iranian president register candidacy for election

This combo photo shows the two main contenders to become Iranian president, judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi (left) and former parliament speaker Ali Larijani. (PHOTO/AP/AFP) The two main contenders to become Iranian president, hardline judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi and former parliament speaker Ali Larijani, registered on Saturday to run in next month's election. The June 18 […]

Iran: 2 main contenders register candidacy for presidential poll

This combo photo shows the two main contenders to become Iranian president, judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi (left) and former parliament speaker Ali Larijani. (PHOTO/AP/AFP) The two main contenders to become Iranian president, hardline judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi and former parliament speaker Ali Larijani, registered on Saturday to run in next month's election. The June 18 […]

India’s daily virus deaths near 4,000 as WHO flags concern

People wait for their turn to get a coronavirus vaccine at a COVID-19 treatment center in the city of Kochi, Kerala, India, on May 7, 2021. (ARUNCHANDRA BOSE / AFP) BEIRUT / MUMBAI / SINGAPORE / TOKYO / DOHA / KUWAIT CITY / JERUSALEM / BAGHDAD / TEHRAN / ANKARA / SEOUL / CANBERRA / HANOI / KATHMANDU / SUVA / BANGKOK / MANILA […]

NZ PM says to fight hate, study social media algorithms

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks during a press conference about COVID-19 coronavirus restrictions, in Wellington on March 5, 2021. (MARTY MELVILLE / AFP) New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Saturday that world leaders and tech firms looking to stamp out violent extremism online would need to focus efforts on understanding social […]

Taliban and Afghan government negotiators meet in Doha

In this file photo taken on May 05, 2021 Afghan security forces stand near an armoured vehicle during ongoing fighting between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters in the Busharan area on the outskirts of Lashkar Gah, the capital city of Helmand province. (SIFATULLAH ZAHIDI / AFP) KABUL – Taliban and Afghan government negotiators met […]

Death toll rises as violence rocks Gaza, Israel and West Bank

Smoke rises following Israeli airstrikes on a building in Gaza, May 14, 2021. (HATEM HOUSSA/AP) Israeli planes renewed air strikes in Gaza early on Saturday and Hamas militants responded by firing rockets into Israel as their battle entered a fifth night and US and Arab diplomats sought an end to the violence. Palestinian medics said […]

12 killed in explosion at Kabul mosque during Friday prayers

Muslim devotees offer prayers to start the Eid-al-Fitr festival marking the end of the Islamic holy fasting month of Ramadan during a three-day ceasefire agreed by the warring Taliban and Afghan forces, at the Abdul Rahman Mosque in Kabul on May 13, 2021. (WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP) KABUL – At least 12 people were killed […]

Japan expands virus state of emergency ahead of Olympics

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga speaks during a press conference at the Prime Minister's official residence in Tokyo on May 14, 2021, as the government expanded a coronavirus state of emergency to three more regions adding Hokkaido, Okayama and Hiroshima. (YUICHI YAMAZAKI / POOL / AFP) BAGHDAD / SINGAPORE / TOKYO – Japanese Prime Minister […]

Netanyahu poised to gain political lifeline as violence flares

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a meeting with Israeli border police in the central city of Lod, near Tel Aviv, on May 13, 2021, a day after Israeli far-right groups clashed with security forces and Arab Israelis. (PHOTO / AFP) JERUSALEM – Civil unrest between Jews and Arabs in Israel dealt a strong […]

S. Korean president appoints new prime minister, 4 ministers

South Korea's presidential Blue House (C) is seen after the announcement of the Constitutional Court over the impeachment of South Korea's President Park Geun-Hye in Seoul on March 10, 2017. (JUNG YEON-JE / AFP) SEOUL –  South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday appointed a new prime minister and four other ministers after a cabinet […]

S. Korea ‘mulling consultations with Japan’ over Fukushima plan

This undated aerial photo shows the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, in January 2021. (KOTA ENDO / KYODO NEWS VIA AP) SEOUL – South Korea is considering ways to have consultations with Japan over its plan to dump radioactive wastewater from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the […]

Turkey’s Karpowership shuts down power to Lebanon

A picture taken on June 16, 2020 shows a general view of Karpowership company's shipyard with powerships at altinova district, in Yalova. (PHOTO / AFP) BEIRUT / ISTANBUL – Turkey's Karpowership, which provides electricity to Lebanon from two barges, said on Friday it was shutting down supplies over payment arrears and a legal threat to […]

Refugee laws: Australian govt accused of breach of rights

This June 13, 2020 photo captures protesters during a pro-refugee rights march in Sydney, Australia. (PETER PARKS / AFP) CANBERRA – The Australian parliament has passed laws that give the government the power to detain refugees indefinitely. The governing coalition and opposition Labor Party on Thursday joined forces to vote the Migration Amendment Bill into […]

Canada slams ‘unconscionable’ Iran conduct since airliner shootdown

People and rescue teams are pictured amid the wreckage after a Ukrainian plane carrying 176 passengers crashed near Imam Khomeini airport in the Iranian capital Tehran early in the morning on January 8, 2020, killing everyone on board. (ROUHOLLAH VAHDATI / ISNA / AFP) Canada on Thursday condemned Tehran's "unconscionable" conduct since Iranian forces shot […]

Martial law order imposed in township of Myanmar’s western state

This photo taken and received from an anonymous source via Facebook on March 29, 2021 shows protesters using mobile phone lights in a dawn protest in Hakha township, western Myanmar's Chin State. (HANDOUT / FACEBOOK / AFP) YANGON – Myanmar's State Administration Council issued a martial law order in Mindat township of Myanmar's Chin state, […]

Saudi-led coalition intercepts 8 drones, 3 missiles

Newly recruited Houthi fighters chant slogans as they ride a military vehicle during a gathering in the capital Sanaa to mobilize more fighters to battlefronts to fight pro-government forces in several Yemeni cities, on Jan 3, 2017. (MOHAMMED HUWAIS / AFP) RIYADH – Eight drones and three missiles launched by Yemen's Houthi militia toward Saudi […]

Singapore sees most infections in 8 months amid airport cluster

A Singapore Airlines are parked alongside Scoots passenger planes on the terminal tarmac at Changi International Airport in Singapore on March 15, 2021. (ROSLAN RAHMAN / AFP) JERUSALEM  / BAGHDAD – Singapore’s virus cases in the local community rose to the highest since July last year as authorities found more infections from an existing cluster […]

Exhaustion kills two Everest climbers, an American and a Swiss

In this photograph taken on May 1, 2021, expedition tents are seen at Everest Base Camp in the Mount Everest region of Solukhumbu district, some 140 km northeast of Nepal's capital Kathmandu. (PRAKASH MATHEMA / AFP) A Swiss and an American climber have died on Mount Everest, hiking company officials said on Thursday, the first […]

Afghan president Ghani calls for political settlement to crisis

A worker waters a lawn near an Afghan national flag flying at half-mast in Kabul on May 11, 2021 during a national day of mourning announced by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to condemn the recent terrorist attacks. (PHOTO / AFP) KABUL – Afghanistan's President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said Thursday that there is no military solution […]

Giant plague of mice forces Australia to turn to banned poison

A plane drops poisoned pellets for mice near Gunnedah, New South Wales, in Aug 2020. (PHOTO / BLOOMBERG) Australia is looking to deploy normally outlawed high-grade poison to fight millions of mice, as farmers struggle to protect their crops from the worst rodent invasion in decades. Stomach-churning footage on social media showed carpets of mice […]

White House weighs evacuating Afghans as time runs out

Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers stand guard at a checkpoint outside a US military base in Bagram, some 50 km north of Kabul on April 29, 2021. (PHOTO / BLOOMBERG) The Biden administration is debating how to get thousands of Afghans who worked for the US out of the country before American forces withdraw in […]

Limits of Israel-Arab partnerships tested as violence flares

Israeli Arabs gather next to a mosque during clashes between Jews, Israeli police and Arabs, in the mixed town of Lod, central Israel, May 12, 2021. (HEIDI LEVINE / AP) An eight-month-old accord aimed at normalizing relations between Israel and the Arab world is facing its first major test as violence flares from Jerusalem to […]

From friend to foe: EU prepares sanctions on Lebanon

This picture shows a view of the damaged grain silos at the port of the Lebanese capital Beirut, on April 9, 2021, still reeling from the destruction due to a catastrophic blast in a harbour storage unit last August that killed more than 200 people and damaged swathes of the capital, with the Togo-flagged "Fatima […]