Brazil’s President Bolsonaro fined for maskless motorcyle rally

  SAO PAULO, Brazil (AFP) — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was fined $100 Saturday for violating Covid-19 containment measures in Sao Paulo state by failing to wear a face mask and provoking huge crowds at a motorcycle rally for supporters. Thousands of roaring motorcycles took part in the “Accelerate for Christ” rally in Sao Paulo, led by the far-right president, who wore an open-faced helmet and no mask, in violation of state health regulations. Bolsonaro, […]

Downtown shooting in Austin, Texas injures 14

HOUSTON, United States (AFP) — Gunfire erupted in a busy entertainment district in the Texas city of Austin early Saturday, injuring 14 people, according to authorities who were still searching for a suspect. Police said they responded to multiple shots fired just before 1:30 am in bustling downtown Austin, where a large crowd began to disperse. “Our officers responded very quickly,” Austin’s interim police chief Joseph Chacon told a news conference. “They were able to […]

Biden hopes to advance more open Indo-Pacific region as he sends greetings on PHL Independence

Stresses importance of both nations working together to defeat pandemic and ensure freedom of navigation in disputed seas   (Eagle News) – US President Joe Biden sent his greetings to all Filipinos on the occasion of the 123rd independence day of the Philippines, and hoped for a stronger and more vigorous relations between the two nations. Biden, in his video message, also said that it is important for both nations to look into working on […]

Putin hopes Biden less impulsive than Trump

  WASHINGTON (AFP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin voiced hope Friday that US President Joe Biden will be less impulsive than his predecessor Donald Trump, ahead of his first summit with the new US leader. In an interview with NBC News, Putin described Biden as a “career man” who has spent his life in politics. Though he described relations with the United States as having “deteriorated to its lowest point in recent years,” Putin said […]

Pres. Biden: US to donate 500M Pfizer doses to “100 low and lower-middle income countries”

Donation aside from 80M US vaccines to be “supplied to the world” by end of June in efforts to end COVID pandemic worldwide   (Eagle News) — US President Joe Biden said that the United States will be purchasing 500 million or half a billion doses of Pfizer vaccines which the US government will be donating to 100 low and lower-middle-income countries to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic. This will be aside from the 80 million […]

Biden drops plan to ban Chinese-owned apps TikTok, WeChat

  by Rob Lever Agence France Presse WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) President Joe Biden has revoked executive orders from his predecessor Donald Trump seeking to ban Chinese-owned apps TikTok and WeChat from US markets on national security concerns, a move receiving a cautious welcome from Beijing. Trump had claimed the apps posed national security risks and sought to force a sale to US investors of TikTok, which is owned by China-based ByteDance and remains one […]

Abu Dhabi to impose tougher Covid rules for unvaccinated

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AFP) — Abu Dhabi is to bring in new Covid rules from next Tuesday that will require less frequent testing to access public places for those who have been fully vaccinated. All residents of the largest of the seven emirates that make up the UAE have been provided with a colour-coded app detailing their testing and vaccination history. From next week, only those with “green” status will be allowed entry […]

Africa likely to miss September vaccination deadline: WHO

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AFP) — Nearly 90 percent of African countries will miss a target of vaccinating a tenth of their population by September unless they urgently receive more than 200 million jabs, the WHO warned Thursday. “Only seven African countries (out of 54) are likely to reach the target,” the World Health Organization’s director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, said in an online briefing. At least 225 million jabs are urgently required if the majority […]

Puerto Rico electricity firm says hit by cyberattack and fire

MIAMI, United States (AFP) — A fire at an electrical substation in Puerto Rico left thousands of customers in the dark Thursday, shortly after the power company reported a cyberattack that it did not immediately link to the blaze. “There was a fire in a transformer at the Monacillo substation” in San Juan, Luma Energy said, two hours after it said it was the target of a DDOS, or denial of service, attack with two […]

Two Covid cases on one of first N.American cruises since virus hit: company

MIAMI, United States (AFP) — Two guests on one of the first cruise ships to sail from North America since the Covid-19 pandemic hit tested positive Thursday, the cruise company said, adding all passengers and crew had been vaccinated. The Celebrity Millennium, carrying about 600 passengers and 650 crew, set sail from the Caribbean island of St. Maarten on Saturday for a seven-day tour including stops in Barbados, Aruba and Curacao. “Two guests sharing a […]

G7 to provide 1 billion Covid vaccine doses ‘to world’: UK

by AFP bureaus FALMOUTH, United Kingdom (AFP) — G7 leaders will agree to expand global Covid vaccine manufacturing to provide at least one billion doses to the world through sharing and financing schemes, Britain said Thursday. The announcement came after the United States said it would donate 500 million jabs to 92 poor and lower-middle-income nations. The UK, which is hosting the big powers’ gathering in southwest England, added it would donate at least 100 […]

Macron calls for vaccine makers to donate 10% of doses

PARIS, France (AFP) — French President Emmanuel Macron called Thursday for pharma groups producing vaccines against Covid-19 to donate 10 percent of their production to poor nations. “Donations of doses by states have to be supplemented by donations of doses by pharmaceutical companies,” Macron told a news conference, adding that states had helped fund vaccine research and it was “legitimate” to ask for a contribution from the companies. Macron also called for leaders of the […]