World

15th November

Greta Thunberg sets sail for Spain ahead of climate summit

(Reuters) – Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg set off for Spain from Virginia aboard a catamaran on Wednesday, after an 11-week tour of North America to demand action on climate change that included an impassioned...

Twelve killed in Slovakia bus crash

BRATISLAVA (Reuters) – A lorry carrying gravel collided with a passenger bus, killing 12 people in western Slovakia on Wednesday, the country’s deadliest road accident in a decade, police said. The accident occurred in rainy weather on a winding two-lane road near the city of Nitra, 90 km (56 miles) east of the capital Bratislava....

Protesters vow hunger strike to push U.S. on climate change

NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Climate change opponents plan to stage a hunger strike to demand a meeting with U.S. Congressional leader Nancy Pelosi, they said on Tuesday, in the political battle over global warming. The protesters said they want a one-hour on-camera meeting with Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to...

Supreme Court rebukes India government as poisonous smog chokes Delhi

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s top court censured the central government for its inaction in fighting pollution on Wednesday, as poisonous smog choked the streets of the capital New Delhi forcing schools to shut and half of vehicles to be banned from the streets. Cool temperatures and stagnant air trapped smog over the capital, pushing...

Focus on people as well as profit, business leaders told

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Consumers have the power to make companies behave better and look beyond the bottom line, business leaders and activists said on Wednesday, urging a “race for the top” on social responsibility. Companies need to join a growing global push for so-called wellbeing economies that take into account more than profit...

14th November

Ukrainian lawmakers vote to lift ban on sale of farmland by 2020

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukrainian lawmakers voted on Wednesday to remove a ban on the sale of farmland for the first time in nearly two decades, a move supported by the country’s foreign backers that risks a political backlash. The proposal must be voted on a second time to come into force. The ban would be...

Malawi receives 17 black rhinos from South Africa

BLANTYRE (Reuters) – Seventeen black rhinos have been released into Malawi’s Liwonde national park after arriving from South Africa as part of conservation efforts aimed at keeping the local population of the endangered species healthy and safe. By moving the beasts, in one of the biggest international relocations of its kind, conservationists hope to ensure...

UK’s Labour pledges 26 billion pound boost to healthcare spending

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s opposition Labour Party pledged on Wednesday to spend an extra 26 billion pounds ($33 billion) on healthcare if it wins the Dec. 12 election, including recruiting thousands more staff, rebuilding facilities and providing new equipment. Seeking to refocus the campaign away from Brexit and onto its traditional strong ground of healthcare,...

Southeast Asian countries need tougher plastic policies to curb pollution: U.N

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Southeast Asian countries, among the world’s worst ocean polluters, need tougher regulations for plastic packaging to curb leakage, a United Nations report said on Wednesday. Southeast Asia is a major contributor to land-based plastic waste leaking into the world’s oceans, with more than half of it coming from four nations – Indonesia,...

West Indies’ Pooran gets four-match ban for ball-tampering

MUMBAI (Reuters) – West Indies batsman Nicholas Pooran has been handed a four-game ban for ball tampering during Monday’s third one-day international against Afghanistan, the International Cricket Council said on Wednesday. The 24-year-old Pooran, who has played 16 ODIs and 14 Twenty20 internationals for West Indies, has admitted the offence and accepted the sanction proposed...

Netherlands cuts speed limit to reduce nitrogen pollution

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The Netherlands will cut its nationwide speed limit to a maximum 100 km per hour (62 mph) as part of a package of emergency measures intended to reduce nitrogen pollution, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Wednesday. Rutte’s government has been in crisis since a court in May ordered thousands of construction...

New Zealanders to vote in referendum on legalizing euthanasia

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand lawmakers passed a bill on Wednesday that would legalize euthanasia, paving the way for the public to vote on the issue in a referendum next year. The bill, which enables terminally ill people to request a medically assisted death, was passed 69-51 in parliament, after several amendments and years of...

Hungary begins trial of Syrian man accused of leading IS murder brigade

BUDAPEST (Reuters) – A Hungarian court on Wednesday began the trial of a Syrian man accused of terrorism and crimes against humanity as a military leader of Islamic State near the city of Homs in 2015, saying he participated in the murders of dozens of people. The 27 year-old, identified as F. Hassan, was charged...

Australian High Court agrees to hear ex-Vatican treasurer’s sex offences appeal

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia’s High Court on Wednesday agreed to hear a final appeal from Vatican treasurer George Pell over his conviction for sexually assaulting two teenaged choir boys. Pell, who is in jail serving a six-year sentence handed down by a lower court in March, turned to the High Court after a first appeal...

U.S. presses Egypt on alleged torture, mass arrests at U.N. review

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United States and other Western countries urged Egypt on Wednesday to investigate alleged killings and torture by its security forces and to release journalists and others arrested for exercising their right to freedom of expression. Egypt has been trying to deflect criticism of its rights record and prison conditions ahead of...

African Development Bank decides not to fund Kenya coal project

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – The African Development Bank (AfDB) will not fund a coal-fired power plant project in Kenya and has no plans to finance new coal plants in future, senior AfDB officials told Reuters. The Abidjan-based lender published an environmental and social impact assessment in May for the Lamu project, which was planned near a...

The cost to stop women dying in childbirth by 2030? 46 military aircrafts

NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Countries need about $264 billion – the equivalent cost of 110 military aircrafts – to end maternal deaths, gender based violence, child marriage, and provide family planning to all women by 2030, said a United Nations study. An investment of $115.5 billion – which is equivalent to the cost of...

Student bomber dies in attack outside police office in Indonesia

MEDAN, Indonesia (Reuters) – A 24-year-old university student blew himself up outside police headquarters in the Indonesian city of Medan on Wednesday, wounding six people, just a month after an Islamist militant attacked a former security minister. National police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo said the student was a “lone wolf” suicide bomber, although authorities were still...

Australians ordered to flee flames as fires rage in east and west

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian officials on Wednesday ordered residents and tourists to get out of the way of fast-approaching flames as firefighters struggled to contain more than 150 bushfires raging on both the east and west coasts. While cooler weather overnight brought some relief for firefighters in New South Wales (NSW) state, of which Sydney...

Turkey removes four more Kurdish mayors over alleged terror links

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey removed four more mayors on Wednesday as part of a widening government crackdown on the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), bringing to 20 the number of mayors who have been dismissed after being elected earlier this year. President Tayyip Erdogan and his government accuse the HDP of having links to the...

Hong Kong to shut all schools on Thursday for safety reasons

HONG KONG (Reuters) – All schools in Hong Kong will suspend classes on Thursday due to transportation and safety reasons, the Hong Kong Education Bureau said on Wednesday. The bureau made the announcement in an statement, and urged protestors to stop all violent acts. Hong Kong prepared for more clashes on Wednesday as anti-government protesters...

Russell Crowe’s property scorched by Australian bushfires

(Reuters) – Bushfires raging across Australia’s east coast destroyed two buildings on a rural property owned by Russell Crowe, the Oscar-winning actor said on Twitter on Wednesday. The 55-year-old posted a video and pictures on his Twitter feed of a helicopter water-bombing smoke-filled trees near a fence and driveway, commenting “Top shot son!” Crowe had...

U.S. Supreme Court will not shield gun maker from Sandy Hook lawsuit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday dealt a blow to the firearms industry, rejecting Remington Arms Co’s bid to escape a lawsuit by families of victims aiming to hold the gun maker liable for its marketing of the assault-style rifle used in the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre that killed 20 children...

McDonald’s workers sue over sexual harassment, ‘toxic’ work culture

(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp <MCD.N> was sued on Tuesday by workers in Michigan who accused the fast-food chain of allowing pervasive sexual harassment to flourish at its restaurants nationwide. The proposed class action lawsuit filed in a Michigan state court accused McDonald’s of lacking policies to address sexual harassment, failing to train managers to prevent...

U.S. Army should assess security risks of using TikTok for recruitment: Sen. Schumer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate, Chuck Schumer, on Tuesday released a letter he wrote to Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy raising concerns about the U.S. military’s use of the China-owned TikTok social media platform for recruiting American teenagers. “While I recognize that the Army must adapt its recruiting techniques in order...

Afghanistan to swap Taliban militants for American, Australian captives

KABUL (Reuters) – Afghanistan will release two senior Taliban commanders and a leader of the Haqqani militant group in exchange for an American and an Australian professor who were kidnapped in 2016, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Tuesday. The government’s decision to free Anas Haqqani and two other Taliban commanders in a prisoner swap...

UK should stop Cayman Islands same-sex marriage criminalisation, legal challenger says

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A recent court decision upholding a ban on same-sex marriage in the Cayman Islands was condemned on Monday as “unacceptable” by the woman who with her partner spearheaded the campaign to legalise LGBT+ weddings in the British Overseas Territory. Caymanian lawyer Chantelle Day and her partner Vickie Bodden Bush won...

Vatican conference urges governments to tackle food loss and waste

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – An international panel of experts backed by Pope Francis appealed to governments on Tuesday to commit to halving food waste and loss by 2030, saying it was morally, economically and environmentally unacceptable. The appeal came at the end of a two-day conference at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences attended by more...

Germany will not force hard coal plant closures before 2026: draft law

BERLIN (Reuters) – The German government will not force hard coal power plants to close over the next seven years, a draft law expected to be approved by the cabinet next week showed on Tuesday. A previous blueprint seen by Reuters stipulated that utilities would be forced to deactivate hard coal power plants by 2026...

13th November

Indonesian nickel miners consider selling ore locally ahead of 2020 ban

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s nickel miners are prepared to sell their ore to local smelters if they are offered competitive pricing compared with overseas buyers, the secretary general of the nickel miners association Meidy Katrin Lengkey said on Tuesday. Indonesia, the world’s biggest nickel ore exporter, allowed nine nickel companies to resume ore exports this...

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