International

PUTIN TO MULL OPTIONS IF WEST REFUSES GUARANTEES

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday he would ponder a slew of options if the West fails to meet his push for security guarantees precluding Nato’s expansion to Ukraine.... Read more

AT LEAST FIVE KILLED IN SUICIDE BOMBING

Authorities in Congo urged churches, restaurants and hotels to step up security on Sunday, fearing more violence after a suicide bomber killed five people in eastern Congo in the first attack of its kind. ... Read more

ISRAEL APPROVES PLAN TO DOUBLE SETTLERS IN OCCUPIED GOLAN HEIGHTS

Israel’s government on Sunday approved a $317 million plan to double the Jewish settler population in the Golan Heights, 40 years after it annexed the territory captured from Syria.... Read more

PAKISTAN TROOPS, TALIBAN EXCHANGE FIRE ALONG DURAND LINE AS FENCING CONTINUES

The Pakistani security forces and Afghan Taliban are still exchanging fire across the Durand Line. The latest incident took place in hamlets like Ganjgaal, Sarkano and Kunar - in the Bajaur area - on Friday. Various reports in the local media and videos tweeted by journalists show both the sides firing at each other.... Read more

ELON MUSK REFLECTS ON ‘CRAZY TOUGH YEAR’ THAT 2008 WAS FOR TESLA IN A REPLY TO INDIAN ENGINEER

Tesla CEO Elon Musk responded to an Indian engineer on Saturday who remembered how the company neared bankruptcy on Christmas eve during the 2008 financial crisis.... Read more

NEW RESEARCH CLAIMS OMICRON HAS COLD-LIKE SYMPTOMS, RESEMBLES PARAINFLUENZA

Amid the global spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, the scientists in the United Kingdom have said that its symptoms now match those of common cold. They have also urged the UK government to include more number of symptoms in its public health policy on the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).... Read more

OMICRON-FREE NEW ZEALAND CELEBRATES CHRISTMAS WITHOUT CURBS

New Zealanders celebrated Christmas on Saturday in the warmth of mid-summer with few restrictions, in one of the few countries in the world largely untouched by the Omicron variant of Covid-19.... Read more

US VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS LISTS HER ‘BIGGEST FAILURE’ SINCE TAKING OFFICE

It’s going to be a year since Kamala Harris took over the Vice President of the United States. During this time, she has made numerous trips to other countries to boost America’s ties. But now, she has talked about her “biggest failure” since becoming the Vice President.... Read more

CHINA REPORTS BIGGEST DAILY SURGE IN COVID CASES IN 4 MONTHS AMID OMICRON THREAT

China Saturday reported its highest number of new coronavirus cases in four months as officials rushed to contain outbreaks in several regions, including Xi'an city where millions are still under lockdown.... Read more

PHILIPPINES: UN SEEKS $107.2 MILLION IN AID FOR VICTIMS OF TYPHOON RAI

The United Nations kicked off a campaign Friday to raise $107.2 million in aid for victims of Typhoon Rai, which ravaged the Philippines last week.... Read more

CHINESE PROVINCE OFFERS $31,000 BABY LOANS TO COUNTER DECREASING POPULATION

A Chinese province with one of the fastest shrinking populations is rolling out special loans to encourage couples to marry and have babies, as the rapidly-ageing country tries to reverse a slump in births.... Read more

RUSSIA FINES GOOGLE $98 MILLION OVER BANNED CONTENT

A Moscow court slapped Google with an unprecedented hefty fine on Friday for repeatedly failing to remove illegal content as Russian authorities pile pressure on foreign tech giants.... Read more

US ANNOUNCES BOYCOTT OF BEIJING OLYMPICS

The Biden administration announced on Monday that US officials will not attend the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing after China pledged unspecified “countermeasures” against any such diplomatic boycott.... Read more

COVID- 19 VACCINE MANDATORY ON ALL PRIVATE SECTOR EMPLOYERS IN NEW YORK CITY

All private employers in New York City will have to require their workers to get vaccinated against Covid-19, the mayor announced Monday, imposing one of the most aggressive vaccine rules in the nation. The move by Mayor Bill de Blasio comes as cases are climbing again in the US and the worrisome omicron variant is gaining a toehold in New York and elsewhere around the country.... Read more

MYANMAR: JUNTA HALVES AUNG SAN SUU KYI’S JAIL TERM

Myanmar's junta chief reduced the prison sentence of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi to two years on Monday, after she was jailed for four years for incitement against the military and breaching Covid rules.... Read more

BIDEN ADMINISTRATION CONSIDERING SANCTIONS ON PRESIDENT PUTIN’S INNER CIRCLE

The Biden administration is considering sanctions on President Vladimir Putin's inner circle, Russian energy producers, as well as disconnecting Russia from the SWIFT payment system, to deter Moscow from "invading" Ukraine, CNN reported on Monday.... Read more

IND vs NZ: MAYANK AGARWAL JOINS LEGEND SUNIL GAVASKAR IN EXLUSIVE LIST WITH FIFTH TEST HALF-CENTURY

Indian opener Mayank Agarwal on Sunday joined the legendary Sunil Gavaskar in an exclusive list of openers after he scored an impressive 62 in the second innings against New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. He had earlier scored a gutsy 150 in the first innings of the second Test.... Read more

INDONESIA: SEMERU VOLCANO ERUPTS, KILLS 13

Semeru, the tallest mountain on Java island, threw up towers of ash and hot clouds on Saturday that blanketed nearby villages in East Java province and sent people fleeing in panic.... Read more

CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER JUSTIN TRUDEAU APPOINTS THREE MORE INDO-CANADIANS IN HIS NEW GOVERNMENT

Trudeau in an announcement on Friday appointed parliamentary secretaries and other functionaries. Among them, Maninder Sidhu was made parliamentary secretary to the minister of foreign affairs Melanie JolySidhu, who was elected to the House of Commons for the first time in October 2019 from the riding (as constituencies are called in Canada) of Brampton East, was earlier parliamentary secretary to the minister of international development.... Read more

CHINA RAMPS UP CRITICISM AGAINST THE UPCOMING US-ORGANISED SUMMIT FOR DEMOCRACY

Whether a country is democratic or not should be judged by the international community and not by a few “self-appointed judges”, China on Saturday said in an official document as it ramps up criticism against the upcoming US-organised Summit for Democracy.... Read more