Report: UK, EU reach post-Brexit deal for N. Ireland

       

In this file photo taken on Dec 31, 2020, traffic passes a billboard for Irish unification outside Newry, Northern Ireland near the border with Ireland. (PHOTO / AFP) LONDON – Britain and the European Union have struck a customs deal that could help end post-Brexit wrangling over Northern Ireland, The Times newspaper said on Tuesday, and Brussels has also made a key concession on the …

UK set for biggest strike in years by teachers, civil servants

       

This Jan 23, 2023 photo shows ambulance workers hold cardboard signs and flags of the UK's trade union UNISON as they take part in a rally at a picket line outside the Docklands Emergency Operating Centre, Newham Dockside, in London. Up to half a million British teachers, civil servants, train drivers and university lecturers will strike on Feb 1, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP) LONDON – …

EU to lay out green industry plan to remain competitive

       

In this photo taken on Jan 18, 2023, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a debate on the conclusions of the latest European Council meeting, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France. (PHOTO / AFP) BRUSSELS – The European Commission will present plans on Wednesday to try to ensure Europe can compete with the United States as a manufacturing hub for …

US rights body calls for stronger reproductive protections

       

This July 25, 2022, photo shows abortion-rights protestors march between the Indiana Statehouse and the Indiana State Library where US Vice President Kamala Harris was meeting with Indiana legislators to discuss reproductive rights in Indianapolis. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on Wednesday called for countries in the Americas to reinforce protections for women and girls seeking abortions. (PHOTO / AP) MEXICO CITY – …

Ecuadorian, Colombian presidents seek closer ties, cooperation

       

In this photo taken on Jan 31, 2023, Colombian President Gustavo Petro (left) and Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso (right) shake hands during the XI Binational Cabinet in Tulcan, Ecuador. (PHOTO / AFP) QUITO — Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso met Tuesday with his Colombian counterpart Gustavo Petro in the northern Ecuadorian city of Tulcan, with the two sides vowing to strengthen bilateral ties and cooperation. Border …

Trump’s fundraising for presidential bid sees modest start

       

In this image from video provided by the New York State Attorney General, former President Donald Trump listens during an Aug 10, 2022, deposition, in New York. Trump's fundraising for his presidential bid gets off to a modest start. (PHOTO / AP) WASHINGTON – Donald Trump's bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 got off to a modest fundraising start, with his campaign ending …

Exit from bloc takes toll on overseas students

       

The number of students from the European Union studying in the United Kingdom has fallen by half since Brexit, newly published figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency, or HESA, have revealed. The data coincides with the third anniversary of the UK finally leaving the 27-member bloc at the start of 2020, four years after the referendum which began the withdrawal process. It shows that …

Ukraine exports 19m tons of foodstuffs under grain deal

       

Cargo ship Super Bayern (center), carrying Ukrainian grain, sails at the entrance of Bosphorus, in the Black Sea off the coast off Kumkoy, north of Istanbul, on Nov 2, 2022. (PHOTO / AFP) KIEV / MOSCOW – Ukraine's Black Sea ports have shipped 19 million tons of foodstuffs since August under a key deal on grain and fertilizer exports, the government-run Ukrinform news agency reported …

Britain’s Sunak defends Brexit as outlook dims

       

A bartender works at a pub in Cambridge on Jan 24. British consumers are battling an escalating cost-of-living crisis. (PHOTO / REUTERS) LONDON — British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday defended Brexit, insisting that leaving the European Union had brought significant achievements and offered a "huge opportunity", as the International Monetary Fund slashed the country's growth outlook. "In the three years since leaving the …

Caution sounded on EU’s Green Deal

       

Before release of draft plan, experts warn against zero-sum mentality The European Commission is to unveil the industrial plan underpinning its Green Deal on Wednesday, but experts warn against a zero-sum mentality in a race that might harm global efforts to counter climate change. A draft document of "A Green Deal Industrial Plan for the Net-Zero Age" leaked to the press on Monday described the …

Costlier drugs hit hard in US

       

Prices have risen on almost 1,000 drugs in the United States in the first three weeks of January, the most increases in January since at least 2011, according to a nonprofit organization that tracks drug prices. The price increases on 985 drugs ranged from 1 to 26 percent, with median increases of 5 percent, data from nonprofit 46brooklyn Research showed. The affordability of drugs has …

Mars researchers cuddle up to ‘Teddy bear’ find

       

This image from NASA released on Jan 25 shows a formation on Mars that resembles a bear. (PHOTO / AFP) LOS ANGELES — Move over, Yogi and Paddington. There is a new bear in town. Or on Mars, anyway. The beaming face of a cute Teddy bear appears to have been carved into the surface of our nearest planetary neighbor, waiting for a passing satellite …

UNHCR, allies seek $556m to help refugees in Sudan

       

In this file photo dated Nov 27, 2020, a Sudanese girl from an Arab tribe nearby pours water into gallons, at Umm Rakouba refugee camp in Qadarif, eastern Sudan.The United Nations High Commission for Refugees and 41 global and national parterners call for raising $556 million to help refugees living in Sudan. (PHOTO / AP) KHARTOUM — The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), …

Tunisia extends state of emergency till year end

       

People walk at a plaza in the Medina of Tunis, Tunisia, on Jan 5, 2023. (PHOTO / XINHUA) TUNIS – Tunisian President Kais Saied decided on Tuesday to extend the state of emergency imposed across the country until the end of 2023. "The state of emergency in the entire territory will be extended from Tuesday to Dec 31, 2023," said the Journal of the Republic …

Protest in France, pressure on Macron’s pension reform

       

In this photo taken on Jan 31, 2023, protesters clash with police on the Place Vauban in Paris during a rally on a second day of nationwide strikes and protests over the government's proposed pension reform. (PHOTO / AFP) PARIS — Huge crowds marched across France on Tuesday to say "non" to President Emmanuel Macron's plan to make people work longer before retirement, with pressure …

Tribunal: UK govt ‘unlawfully’ issued warrants for nearly 5 years

       

The Union Flag flaps in the wind outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Oct 24, 2022. (PHOTO / AP) British spies unlawfully retained people's intercepted data over almost five years, a tribunal said on Monday in a ruling that blamed “widespread corporate failure” at the domestic intelligence agency MI5 and the interior ministry. The Investigatory Powers Tribunal, which did not mention specific cases or …

France hit by second nationwide strike against pension reform

       

In this file photo taken on Jan 19, 2023 passengers stand next to a board displaying the closure of the Montparnasse metro station in Paris, as workers go on strike over French President's plan to raise the legal retirement age from 62 to 64. (PHOTO / AFP) PARIS – A second nationwide strike disrupted French electricity production, public transport and schools on Tuesday, as workers …

Tunisia’s Saied: Hatred of parliament to blame for low turnout

       

A handout picture provided by the press service of Tunisian presidency shows President Kais Saied casting his ballot at a polling station in the Ennasr district near Tunis on Dec 17, 2022, during the parliamentary election. (TUNISIAN PRESIDENCY PRESS SERVICE  / HO / AFP) TUNIS – Tunisia's president on Monday blamed ultra-low turnout for parliamentary elections on hatred among voters of the parliament, not to …

US identifies $5.4b in potentially fraudulent COVID loans

       

In this file photo taken on May 12, 2020 Healthcare workers wait for patients to be tested at a walk-in COVID-19 testing site in Arlington, Virginia. The White House said on Jan 30, 2023, that the national and public health emergencies declared just as the COVID-19 pandemic took grip three years ago will officially end May 11. (PHOTO / AFP) WASHINGTON – The US government …

Interview on Pfizer vaccines causes uproar

       

In viral video clip that also shows scuffle, executive talks of COVID mutation tests Photo taken on Aug 23, 2021 shows Pfizer signage at Pfizer's World Headquarters in New York, United States. (PHOTO / XINHUA) An undercover interview that went viral has raised questions on the process that Pfizer uses to update its COVID-19 vaccines. The video of the interview, conducted by Project Veritas, a …