World

‘Crying and moving’: Nigerian schoolgirls recount forced march kidnap ordeal

GUSAU, Nigeria (Reuters) – Gunmen who kidnapped nearly 300 schoolgirls from a boarding school in northwest Nigeria last week beat them and threatened to shoot them during a forced march into captivity, victims said on...

Myanmar’s neighbours press junta for Suu Kyi’s release, restoration of democracy

(Reuters) – Some of Myanmar’s neighbours pressed its ruling junta on Tuesday to release ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi and cease using lethal force against opponents of their Feb. 1 coup to work out a solution to the crisis. The calls from fellow members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) came as...

Sarkozy ready to sue France before European court to prove innocence

PARIS (Reuters) – Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Tuesday he was ready to go all the way to the European Court of Human Rights to prove his innocence, his first public reaction after being found guilty of corruption and sentenced to prison on Monday. The court found that Sarkozy, 66, had tried to...

Worries Bougainvilleans are not complying with Covid-19 measures

There are worries that Covid-19 warnings from the Bougainville Government are not reaching the people. That’s the view of the Executive Director of the Leitana Nehan Women’s Agency, Helen Hakena, who said despite soaring infections, people in the automonous region in Papua New Guinea, were not following the guidelines. Bougainville, after staying almost completely free...

China says door to Xinjiang ‘always open’, but U.N. rights boss should not prejudge

GENEVA (Reuters) – China said on Tuesday that it was discussing a visit to its Xinjiang region by United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet, but that she should not set out with the aim of condemning its policies. Bachelet said on Friday that reports about arbitrary detention, ill-treatment, sexual violence and forced labour in...

Pacific commits to energy transition ahead of COP26

Pacific island governments have reinforced their commitment to energy transition action, 10 months out of the global climate conference in the UK. Despite a year of uncertainty due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Pacific continues to focus on critical action for climate mitigation and adaptation. At a recent meeting of policy and intergovernmental representatives, Pacific...

France, allies to push on with protest at IAEA over Iran’s activities: foreign minister

PARIS (Reuters) – France and its Western allies plan to lodge a protest with the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog to criticise Iran’s decision to curb cooperation with the agency, the French foreign minister said on Tuesday. Iran said last month it was scaling back cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, ending extra inspection and...

Vanuatu Govt pulls plug on 44 students at USP in Fiji

Vanuatu’s government says 44 of its students studying at the University of the South Pacific’s Fiji campus have had their courses terminated and now face repatriation. The government said the students had failed all or most of their courses and would no longer be supported by the state. The students undertook studies under the Members...

U.S. understanding is Myanmar ambassador to UN remains in position: State Department

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price on Tuesday said that the United States understanding is that Myanmar’s ambassador to the United Nations in New York Kyaw Moe Tun remains in position despite an attempt by the junta to install his deputy. Myanmar state television announced on Saturday that Kyaw Moe Tun...

Samoa could extend quarantine if teenager remains positive

Samoan authorities are likely to extend the quarantine period for 160 repatriated passengers who arrived three weeks ago if a 16-year-old male on their flight continues to test positive for Covid-19. Newsline Samoa reports the young carrier, who has been in isolation at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole hospital, remains asymptomatic and continues to test positive....

France’s Macron tells Iran ‘clear gestures’ needed to revive nuclear deal

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron told Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that Tehran must make clear and immediate gestures to allow dialogue to resume on the 2015 nuclear deal, the Elysee palace said on Tuesday. “Having reminded (Rouhani) of the efforts made by France with its partners in the last years to reach a...

New Caledonia ministers again fail to elect president

New Caledonia’s 11 newly elected ministers have again failed to elect a new president. Like two weeks ago, none of the three candidates managed to secure the support of at least six ministers. At this morning’s meeting called by the French High Commissioner Laurent Prévost, the anti-independence Future with Confidence coalition’s Thierry Santa won four votes. The two...

Kuwait reappoints oil, finance ministers in new Cabinet

KUWAIT (Reuters) – Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah issued a decree on Tuesday approving a new Cabinet that reappointed the oil and finance ministers, the state news agency KUNA said. The previous government had resigned in January in a standoff with parliament that had posed the first big political challenge to the emir since...

Limits on who can own land in CNMI could change

Efforts are being made to change the rules over who can own land in the Northern Marianas. Currently the constitution restricts the ownership of land to people of Northern Marianas descent. But a legislative initiative from Senate President, Jude Hofschneider, aims to amend the constitution to allow others to buy land. Hofschneider said such a...

Through the mailbox slot: Japanese theatre offers new viewing experience

TOKYO (Reuters) – The lights dim, as at the start of any theatre performance, and the audience leans forward to look through a letter-box slot or peephole in the door in front of them as the performers break out into dance. Japanese dance company Moonlight Mobile Theater has come up with a novel way of...

Diversity, Netflix dominate Golden Globes as ‘Nomadland’ wins best drama movie

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Drama “Nomadland” and satire “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” won movie honors at the Golden Globes on Sunday in a mostly virtual bicoastal ceremony that was marked by impassioned calls for more diversity and the dominance of Netflix. “Nomadland,” a moving drama about van dwellers in recession-hit America from Searchlight Pictures, also took...

Mask, gloves, cake: Hungarians bake to keep ambulance staff going

SZENTENDRE, Hungary (Reuters) – Hungarians are baking for ambulance workers across the country coping with a new surge in COVID-19 infections after the founder of an online cookery group asked a friend in the service how she could help. “Before I could finish she said ‘oh we would love some cakes’,” Eszter Harmath said of...

Generation COVID: student designers kick off Paris Fashion Week

PARIS (Reuters) – With a collection called “Toxique, c’est chic”, which showcases the knitting techniques he perfected under COVID-19 lockdown at home, James Giltner is among aspiring designers stepping into the limelight in an unusual edition of Paris’ fashion week. The 10 days of high-end catwalk shows usually held in the French capital will be...

2nd March

UK finds vaccines 80% effective at preventing hospitalisations in over-80s

LONDON (Reuters) – The Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are more than 80% effective at preventing hospitalisations from COVID-19 in those over 80 after one dose of either shot, Public Health England (PHE) said on Monday, citing a pre-print study. PHE said the real world study also found that protection against symptomatic COVID in those over...

U.S. to push for ‘intense’ U.N. Security Council talks on Myanmar

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said on Monday she hopes to use Washington’s presidency of the United Nations Security Council in March to push for more “intense discussions” on Myanmar. Myanmar’s elected civilian government was ousted in a military coup on Feb. 1. Myanmar’s U.N. Ambassador Kyaw Moe...

U.S. says detentions in Hong Kong show national security law is being used to stifle dissent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department said on Monday that recent detentions of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong show how the national security law imposed by Beijing is being used to stifle dissent. State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters that the United States calls on Hong Kong authorities to release those still held...

Yemenis reel from poverty, hunger as U.N. pleads for funds and war’s end

SANAA (Reuters) – Unable to find work, Ahmed Farea has sold everything including his wife’s gold to feed and house two young daughters in one small room. Elsewhere in Yemen’s capital Sanaa, widow Mona Muhammad has work but struggles to buy anything more nutritious than rice for her four children amid high prices. And in...

Covid: One year on for Pasifika leaders at the frontline

New Zealand’s Pasifika community has been living and working on the front line of the Covid-19 pandemic, since the coronavirus arrived a year ago. On the 28th February 2020, New Zealand announced their first confirmed Covid-19 case reported to the Ministry of Health. Camaraderie of Jet Park staff overcomes stigma Drew Leafa, the Operations Manager...

Ex-pope Benedict chides ‘fanatical’ Catholics who reject his resignation

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Former pope Benedict has chided conservative Roman Catholics who have not accepted his decision to resign as “fanatical”, telling them that there is only one pope and it is Francis. Benedict, now 93, in 2013 became the first pope in more than 600 years to resign instead of ruling for life,...

Standoff brings USP operations under scrutiny

The ongoing stand-off between the University of the South Pacific’s host country Fiji and its governing body, the USP Council, has put the regional institution’s future under scrutiny. The latest crisis came to a head three weeks ago when the whistleblowing vice-chancellor and president, Pal Ahluwalia, and his wife were sent packing by Fijian authorities...

Israel Supreme Court: more non-Orthodox Jewish converts can become citizens

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s Supreme Court ruled on Monday on one of the most contentious issues regarding Jewish identity in Israel, deciding to allow more non-Orthodox Jewish converts to immigrate to Israel and become citizens. The country’s “Law of Return” grants Israeli citizenship to any Jew from anywhere in the world, though there have been...

No 2 in PNG Covid-19 response team dies

The deputy head of Papua New Guinea’s National Pandemic Response to Covid-19, Dr Paison Dakulala, died Monday. PNG Police Commissioner and the man leading the response, David Manning, issued a statement on Monday evening. Commissioner Manning said he was “deeply saddened at the death of a humble, dedicated and committed medical professional.” Manning, who has...

U.S. failure to sanction prince for Khashoggi killing ‘dangerous’: U.N. expert

GENEVA (Reuters) – A U.N. human rights investigator said on Monday that it was “extremely dangerous” for the United States to have named Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler as having approved an operation to capture or kill journalist Jamal Khashoggi but not to have taken action against him. Agnes Callamard, special rapporteur on summary executions...

Quarantine change to ease work of Tongan Covid team

Easing the workload of the Tonga’s Covid-19 surveillance team has been revealed as one of the reasons for the change in managed quarantine. Earlier this month, the Ministry of Health announced that passengers would spend 21 days in managed quarantine with no home isolation to follow. Chief Executive, Siale ‘Akau’ola, told RNZ Pacific the initial plan of...

U.S. to give Americans COVID-19 vaccines before discussing sharing with Mexico: White House

WASHINGTON/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – The Biden administration on Monday downplayed the prospect of sharing coronavirus vaccines with Mexico, saying it is focused first on getting its own population protected against a pandemic that has killed more than 500,000 Americans. The remarks by White House press secretary Jen Psaki came hours before Mexican President Andres Manuel...

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