World News

UK health minister apologises for urging Britain not to ‘cower’ from Covid-19

Britain’s Health Secretary Sajid Javid on Sunday apologised after he tweeted that the country need not “cower” in the face of coronavirus, having himself recovered from a bout of Covid-19.Javid, who replaced Matt Hancock as health minister last month after his predecessor stepped down for breaking pandemic rules by kissing an aide in his office, had been criticised for using the word “cower” when tens of thousands in Britain have died from the virus and many are trying to keep safe.His initial…

Will Japan and South Korea friction pose a problem for US peace push in Asia?

When US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman met her Japanese and South Korean counterparts last week in Tokyo, the message they delivered was one of solidarity and agreement when it came to keeping the peace in the Indo-Pacific. Sherman told reporters that the trio were “shoulder to shoulder” when it came to North Korea, with the meeting also discussing the importance of stability in the Taiwan Strait – a comment that prompted resistance from Beijing as an attempt to interfere in China’s…

Macron in French Polynesia to discuss Indo-Pacific strategy, legacy of nuclear tests

French President Emmanuel Macron was greeted with flower garlands and Tahitian dancers on the tarmac as he touched down on Saturday night for his first official trip to French Polynesia.While in the South Pacific territory, he plans to discuss its strategic role in the Indo-Pacific, the legacy of nuclear tests and the existential risk of rising seas posed by global warming.Residents in the sprawling archipelago of more than 100 islands located midway between Mexico and Australia are hoping…

China ‘hurt’ by NBC’s ‘incomplete map’ shown at Olympics opening ceremony

China is not happy with the “incomplete map” NBC Universal showed during the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony on Friday, the Chinese consulate in New York said on Saturday.The demonstration, which featured neither self-ruled Taiwan nor the South China Sea, “hurt the dignity and emotions of the Chinese people,” the consulate said on the country’s social media platform Weibo, Reuters reports.NBC, which holds US-broadcasting rights to the Games, showed the map when the Chinese athletes arrived,…

Coronavirus: deaths dip in Africa but WHO warns ‘the third wave is not over’

For eight consecutive weeks, Africa has witnessed a surge in coronavirus cases, worsened by the rapidly spreading Delta variant that has been found in 26 African countries and lagging vaccinations on the continent.There has been cause for hope in the past week after the rate of new cases slowed – falling 1.7 per cent to nearly 282,000 in the week ending July 18 – driven by a sharp drop in South Africa, which accounts for a third of the continent’s reported new cases, according to the World…

Snow leopard at San Diego Zoo tests positive for coronavirus

A snow leopard at the San Diego Zoo in California has tested positive for the coronavirus. Ramil, a nine-year-old male snow leopard, was tested for the virus after caretakers noticed that he had a cough and runny nose on Thursday.The animal’s stool sample was tested by the zoo staff and at a state-level lab, both of which confirmed the presence of the coronavirus, the zoo said in a statement on Friday.Ramil is not showing additional symptoms. But because he shares an enclosure with a female…

Fires continue to spread through western United States, destroying homes

Flames racing through rugged terrain in Northern California destroyed multiple homes on Saturday as the state’s largest wildfire intensified and numerous other blazes battered the US West.The Dixie fire, which started July 14, had already levelled over a dozen houses and other structures when it tore through the tiny community of Indian Falls after dark.An updated damage estimate was not immediately available, though fire officials said the blaze has charred more than 73,200 hectares (81,000…