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2020 weather disasters boosted by climate change: report

The ten costliest weather disasters worldwide in 2020 saw insured damages worth $150 billion, topping the figure for 2019 and reflecting the long-term impact of global warming, according to a report Monday.
Source: AFP | 2020/12/28 18:43:39

Faulty food systems laid bare by COVID-19, climate crises

From wildfires in California and locust attacks in Ethiopia to job losses caused by pandemic lockdowns in Italy and Myanmar, climate change and COVID-19 disrupted food production and tipped millions more people into hunger in 2020.
Source: Reuters | 2020/12/28 17:33:39

British Cold War double agent George Blake dies in Moscow

George Blake, a famous "mole" in British intelligence who spied for the Soviet KGB during the 1950s before fleeing across the Iron Curtain, has died aged 98, Russian news agencies reported on Saturday.
Source: AFP | 2020/12/27 18:36:44

COVID-19 pandemic will not be the last, warns WHO director-general

The coronavirus crisis will not be the last pandemic, and attempts to improve human health are "doomed" without tackling climate change and animal welfare, the World Health Organization's chief said.
Source: AFP | 2020/12/27 18:13:39

Global COVID-19 cases surpass 80 mln: Johns Hopkins University

Global COVID-19 cases surpassed 80 million on Saturday, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.
Source: Xinhua | 2020/12/27 9:21:03

Japanese zoo asks public to name its new panda cub

In November, giant panda Liang Bang gave birth to her baby cub in Japan. Now, a month later, the zoo is turning to the world for a name for the female cub. Adventure World, the zoo where the cub was born, has recently launched a webpage open to worldwide baby name suggestions.
Source: Global Times | 2020/12/23 19:33:39

Drugmakers expect tests to confirm vaccines effective against variant

At least four drugmakers expect their COVID-19 vaccines will be effective against the new fast-spreading variant of the virus that is raging in Britain and are performing tests that should provide confirmation in a few weeks.
Source: Reuters | 2020/12/23 18:43:39

New director picked for 'restrained' Tokyo Olympic ceremonies

Organizers of the coronavirus-postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games said Wednesday they have picked a new creative director to redesign "simpler and more restrained" opening and closing ceremonies for the 2021 Games.
Source: AFP | 2020/12/23 18:38:40

Jupiter and Saturn cheek-to-cheek in rare celestial dance

The solar system's two biggest planets, Jupiter and Saturn, came within planetary kissing range in Monday's evening sky, an intimacy that will not occur again until 2080.
Source: AFP | 2020/12/22 19:03:39

US reinstates Sudan's sovereign immunity

The US on Monday reinstated Sudan's sovereign immunity, as the US Congress passed legislation formalizing the move, following the ending of Sudan's designation as a state sponsor of terror.
Source: AFP | 2020/12/22 17:28:40

Debate over pulling fuses widens regulatory cracks on 737 MAX

Boeing's 737 MAX is set to return to the skies in Canada with a local twist in the cockpit, after Ottawa became the last major Western regulator to lift a 20-month safety ban.
Source: Reuters | 2020/12/21 18:53:23

Somalia's opposition urges Turkey not to send arms to police unit

Somalia's opposition says it has written to Turkey urging it not to send a planned shipment of weapons to a special police unit that they fear incumbent President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed could use to "hijack" forthcoming elections.
Source: Reuters | 2020/12/17 19:18:39

Europe pushes for vaccine rollout

European nations vowed Wednesday to get their coronavirus vaccination campaigns rolling before the end of the year, while the US recorded a shocking new peak of more than 3,700 deaths in one day.
Source: AFP | 2020/12/17 17:28:40

Hundreds of global faith leaders call for ban on LGBT+ conversion therapy

Almost 400 global religious leaders, including anti-apartheid campaigner Desmond Tutu and Britain's Bishop of Liverpool, called on Wednesday for countries to overturn bans on same-sex relations and end LGBT+ conversion therapy.
Source: Reuters | 2020/12/16 20:13:40

Cuba rejects US report on diplomat health incidents

Cuba on Tuesday rejected a US government report concluding that directed radio frequency was the most plausible explanation for mysterious ailments suffered by US diplomats in Havana and elsewhere, calling it more "very unlikely" hypothesis than "demonstrated fact."
Source: Reuters | 2020/12/16 20:08:40

Airlines warned over safety as jets return from pandemic storage

Regulators, insurers and experts are warning airlines to take extra care when reactivating planes left in extended storage during the COVID-19 pandemic, citing potential pilot rustiness, maintenance errors and even insect nests blocking key sensors.
Source: Reuters | 2020/12/15 18:28:40

Third of world's people get no state aid during pandemic: Oxfam

More than a third of the world's population - some 2.7 billion people - has not received government aid during the coronavirus pandemic, Oxfam said on Tuesday, with gaping differences between rich and poor countries.
Source: Reuters | 2020/12/15 18:23:40

Gay rights progress, but same-sex relations still a crime in 69 states: report

Despite significant progress on gay rights around the world, dozens of countries still criminalize consensual same-sex activity, including six where being gay is punishable by death, campaigners said Tuesday.
Source: AFP | 2020/12/15 18:18:41