World News

Barbados farewells queen, becomes republic, declares Rihanna a national hero

Barbados ditched Britain’s Queen Elizabeth as head of state, forging a new republic on Tuesday with its first-ever president and severing its last remaining colonial bonds nearly 400 years after the first English ships arrived at the Caribbean island.At the strike of midnight, the new republic was born to the cheers of hundreds of people lining Chamberlain Bridge in the capital, Bridgetown. A 21 gun salute fired as the national anthem of Barbados was played over a crowded Heroes Square.Prince…

From tents to tallest building: UAE’s ‘remarkable’ 50-year rise

Ehab Fouad was a teenager when he marched in the parade marking the birth of the United Arab Emirates, that has gone from desert outpost to regional powerhouse in 50 years.The retired civil engineer, now 64, vividly recalls December 2, 1971, when he proudly held aloft the photo of the oil-rich Gulf state’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, and saw its new flag for the first time.Fouad, who strode directly behind the flag-bearer, tears up when he remembers the Abu Dhabi parade…

Who is Parag Agrawal? The Indian-American Twitter CEO replacing Jack Dorsey

Newly named Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal has emerged from behind the scenes to take over one of Silicon Valley’s highest-profile and politically volatile jobs.But his prior lack of name recognition coupled with a solid technical background appears to be what some big company backers were looking for to lead Twitter out of its current morass.A 37-year-old immigrant from India, Agrawal comes from outside the ranks of celebrity CEOs, which include the man he’s replacing, Jack Dorsey, Facebook’s Mark…

Belarus leader Lukashenko accuses Lithuania of dumping dead migrants at border

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko accused Lithuanian authorities of dumping the bodies of migrants on the border between the two countries a claim rejected by Lithuania amid soaring border tensions between Belarus and its European Union neighbours.Lukashenko also warned that his country will stand squarely behind its ally Russia if the Ukrainian authorities launch an offensive against Moscow-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine. He tried to cast the tensions over migrants as part of a…

Pentagon planning stronger US posture toward China and Russia

The US military will reinforce deployments and bases directed at China and Russia, while maintaining forces in the Middle East adequate to deter Iran and jihadist groups, the Pentagon said on Monday, referencing results of a review.The US Defence Department will be upgrading and expanding military facilities in Guam and Australia, underscoring its focus on China as the country’s leading defence rival, officials said.Pentagon creates new office to probe UFO reportsThe details of the “global…

Is US-China struggle behind Solomon Islands riots – or ‘just icing on the cake’?

George Seda, a 31-year-old musician living in Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, described the last few days on the Pacific island nation as like “walking through hell”.“There was nothing but fear, hunger, and terror,” Seda said, referring to the riots which broke out last Wednesday after protesters stormed the parliament and set fire to buildings and shops, leading to the deaths of three and the arrests of dozens, according to local media.Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare declared a…

Iran nuclear talks resume with upbeat comments despite scepticism

EU, Iranian and Russian diplomats sounded upbeat as Iran and world powers held their first talks in five months on Monday to try to save their 2015 nuclear deal, despite Tehran taking a tough stance in public that Western powers said would not work.Diplomats say time is running out to resurrect the pact, which then US President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018 in a move which infuriated Iran and dismayed the other powers involved – Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia.European Union,…