Omicron spreads global gloom over New Year's celebrations

Omicron spreads global gloom over New Year's celebrations

Tuesday, 28 December 2021 | AP | Brussels

After struggling with the coronavirus  for far too long, the world understands all too well Belgium's word of the year, "knaldrang!" - the urge to party, the need to let loose. Yet as New Year celebrations approach, the omicron variant is casting more gloom. Monday was a case in point, with...

Sudanese rally in new anti-coup protests amid tight security

Sunday, 26 December 2021 | AP | Cairo

Sudanese protesters marched Saturday in the capital of Khartoum and elsewhere across the country to denounce the October military coup and subsequent deal that reinstated the prime minister but sidelined the pro-democracy movement. Hundreds took to the streets, even as authorities tightened security across the capital, deploying troops and closing all...

Russia blocks website of group that tracks political arrests

Sunday, 26 December 2021 | AP | Moscow

A Russian organisation that tracks political arrests and provides legal aid to detainees said Saturday that government regulators blocked its website, the latest move in a months-long crackdown on independent media and human rights organisations.      OVD-Info reported that Russia's internet and communications watchdog, Roskomnadzor, blocked the group's website. The organisation...

China's Communist Party removes top Xinjiang official sanctioned by US

Sunday, 26 December 2021 | PTI | Beijing

The ruling Chinese Communist Party (CPC), headed by President Xi Jinping, has abruptly replaced its chief in volatile Xinjiang province, Chen Quanguo, who was sanctioned by the US over alleged human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims in the region.  Chen no longer serves as Secretary of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Regional...

Bangladesh ferry fire: Search operations on for missing passengers

Sunday, 26 December 2021 | PTI | Dhaka

Massive search operations continued for the second day on Saturday for the missing passengers of an overcrowded three-storey ferry carrying around 800 people that caught fire on the Sugandha River in southern Bangladesh, killing at least 41 people and injuring over 150 others. The fire broke out around 3:00 am (local...

Pakistan, Afghanistan border fencing dispute resolved, says official

Sunday, 26 December 2021 | PTI | Islamabad

Pakistan and Taliban authorities in Afghanistan have resolved the recent row over border fencing by agreeing that further work on the project that led to a tense situation would be done through consensus, a media report said on Saturday.    A senior official, who spoke to a group of journalists on Friday,...

On Christmas, Pope prays for pandemic's end, peace dialogues

Sunday, 26 December 2021 | AP | Rome

Pope Francis prayed Saturday for an end to the coronavirus pandemic, using his Christmas Day address to urge health care for all, vaccines for the poor and for dialogue to prevail in resolving the world's conflicts. Amid a record-setting rise in COVID-19 cases in Italy this week, only a few thousand...

Covid-19 makes Biden's 1st White House Christmas less merry

Sunday, 26 December 2021 | AP | Washington

So long eggnog, shrimp cocktail and pet-shaped sugar cookies. It's been a less merry holiday scene  at White House this year under COVID-19's shadow. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden have replaced packed parties and overflowing buffet tables of the past with food-free open houses, face masks and...

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