El Salvador deploys 10k troops to gang-run capital suburb

       

000_32YF4JE.jpg SAN SALVADOR – El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele announced Saturday the deployment of 10,000 security forces to a suburb of San Salvador known to be a stronghold for gangs. The move is the latest escalation in a crusade against gang violence that began in March, which human rights groups say has been marred by unjustified detentions. President Bukele said 8,500 soldiers and 1,500 agents …

S. Africa’s Ramaphosa will not resign, spokesperson says

       

South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa gives a statement on the COVID-19 vaccination on the second day of a European Union African Union summit at The European Council Building in Brussels on Feb 18, 2022. (JOHANNA GERON / POOL / AFP) JOHANNESBURG – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will not resign and will seek a second term as leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) …

WHO: Drop in COVID alertness could create deadly new variant

       

World Health Organisation Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a working session on energy and food security during the G20 Summit in Nusa Dua on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on Nov 15, 2022. (BAY ISMOYO / POOL VIA REUTERS) Lapses in strategies to tackle COVID-19 this year continue to create the perfect conditions for a deadly new variant to emerge, the head of the …

NASA’s Orion spacecraft begins journey back to Earth

       

In this photo provided by NASA, the Earth and its moon are seen from NASA's Orion spacecraft on Nov 28, 2022. Orion and its three test dummies entered lunar orbit on Nov 25, more than a week after launching on the first flight of the Artemis program. (NASA VIA AP) LOS ANGELES – NASA's Orion spacecraft has left its distant lunar orbit and is on …

US rail labor union angered by politicians’ ‘one-two punch’

       

In this Sept 14, 2022 file photo, freight train cars sit in a Union Pacific rail yard in Commerce, California. (ASHLEY LANDIS / AP) WASHINGTON – Railroad Workers United (RWU) expressed anger at both major parties of the United States on Friday. US President Joe Biden signed a measure earlier Friday implementing a labor agreement between freight rail carriers and unionized workers that his administration …

G7 coalition agrees $60 per barrel price cap for Russian oil

       

This Aug 12, 2022 aerial view shows the Vladimir Arsenyev tanker at the crude oil terminal Kozmino on the shore of Nakhodka Bay near the port city of Nakhodka, Russia. (TATIANA MEEL / REUTERS) WASHINGTON/BRUSSELS – The Group of Seven (G7) nations and Australia on Friday said they had agreed a $60 per barrel price cap on Russian seaborne crude oil after European Union members …

IAEA chief seeks solution for Zaporizhzhia plant by year-end

       

This file photo dated May 1, 2022, shows a Russian soldier guarding an area of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. (PHOTO / AP) MILAN – The International Atomic Energy Agency hopes to reach an agreement with Russia and Ukraine to create a protection zone at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant by the end of the year, the head of the UN atomic watchdog was quoted …

US panel chief backs making presidents’ tax returns public

       

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal speaks during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 8, 2022. (JOSE LUIS MAGANA / FILE / AP) WASHINGTON – The chairman of the US Congress committee that has been given access to Donald Trump's tax returns on Thursday said he supported legislation requiring future presidents to make such information public. "I think it would be …

French hand over their unlicensed weapons to police

       

People wait to surrender their weapons to the gendarmerie, in Ustaritz, southwestern France, Dec 1, 2022. (BOB EDME / AP) NICE, France – French gun owners were handing over their weapons at police collection points across the country this week as part of a campaign to round up unlicensed firearms, often heirlooms lying in attics or forgotten at the back of cupboards. Gun ownership in …

MH17: Dutch prosecutors won’t appeal, making verdicts final

       

A piece of the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is pictured in a field near the village of Grabove, in the region of Donetsk on July 20, 2014. (BULENT KILIC / AFP) AMSTERDAM – Dutch prosecutors said on Thursday they would not file an appeal regarding the outcome in the trial over the 2014 downing of Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine, making the …

Sunak: Racism must be confronted after controversy

       

Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak waves as he poses outside to door to 10 Downing Street in central London, on Oct 25, 2022. (DANIEL LEAL / AFP) LONDON – British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Thursday that the country had made progress in tackling racism but that it was "never done" and must still be confronted, following a controversy involving Prince William's godmother. On …

Sunak says racism must be confronted after royal aide controversy

       

Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak waves as he poses outside to door to 10 Downing Street in central London, on Oct 25, 2022. (DANIEL LEAL / AFP) LONDON – British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Thursday that the country had made progress in tackling racism but that it was "never done" and must still be confronted, following a controversy involving Prince William's godmother. On …

Venezuelan congress approves 2nd partial deal with opposition

       

Jorge Rodriguez, head of Venezuela's National Assembly, attends a session to create a work team to the request of the Senate of Colombia to restore trade relations between both countries in Caracas, Venezuela, Oct 21, 2021. (LEONARDO FERNANDEZ VILORIA / REUTERS) CARACAS – Venezuela's National Assembly, or Congress, on Thursday approved a second partial agreement for releasing blocked resources after a standoff that lasted over …

Von der Leyen: There can be no hard border on island of Ireland

       

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a news conference after a meeting of the College of Commissioners at EU headquarters in Brussels, June 17, 2022. (GEERT VANDEN WIJNGAERT / AP) DUBLIN – European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in Dublin on Thursday that there can be no hard border on the island of Ireland, and any solution must ensure that …

US appeals court rules against Trump in documents fight

       

Former US president Donald Trump speaks at Mar-a-Lago Friday, Nov 18, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida. (REBECCA BLACKWELL / AP) WASHINGTON- A US appeals court on Thursday dealt a blow to Donald Trump, reversing a judge's appointment of an independent arbiter to vet documents seized by the FBI from his Florida home and allowing all of the records to be used in a criminal investigation …

‘Early flu season, COVID-19, RSV causes for concern in Europe’

       

Photo taken on March 30, 2021 shows an exterior view of the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. (CHEN JUNXIA / XINHUA) COPENHAGEN / MOSCOW – European health leaders on Thursday voiced their concern over a potential surge in respiratory virus infections across the region this winter, and called for better protection of the population, especially the most vulnerable.As concerns over the spread of respiratory …

S. Africa’s Pandor: Report on Ramaphosa ‘troubling moment’

       

In this Nov 9, 2022 file photo, South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks to the media at State House in Nairobi, Kenya. (KHALIL SENOSI / AP) JOHANNESBURG – A panel report that found preliminary evidence that President Cyril Ramaphosa may have violated his oath of office is a "troubling moment" for the government and governing party, South Africa's foreign minister Naledi Pandor said in an …

UN seeks $51.5b for ‘shockingly high’ humanitarian aid needs

       

A girl watches as Afghan burqa-clad health workers administer polio vaccine drops to a child during a vaccination campaign in Bihsud district of Nangarhar province on October 17, 2022. (PHOTO / AFP) GENEVA / NEW YORK – The United Nations and partners on Thursday appealed for a record $51.5 billion in aid money for 2023, with tens of millions of additional people expected to need assistance, …

Democrats elect Hakeem Jeffries as first Black party leader

       

US Rep Hakeem Jeffries speaks to the media following the House Leadership news conference, after being elected as the new Democratic leader in the House of Representatives for the next session of Congress, on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, November 30, 2022. (MICHAEL A. MCCOY / REUTERS) WASHINGTON — Hakeem Jeffries was unanimously elected on Wednesday to become the Democratic Party's top leader in the …