Biden says US not seeking ‘Cold War’ as he vows to lead

by Sebastian Smith and Shaun Tandon UNITED NATIONS, United States (AFP) — President Joe Biden told the world Tuesday the United States is not seeking a new Cold War with China, as he vowed to pivot from post-9/11 conflicts and take a global leadership role on crises from climate to Covid-19. In addresses hours apart at the UN General Assembly, Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping both made major new pledges on climate change, raising […]

US to announce ‘additional commitments’ on Covid Wednesday: Biden

UNITED NATIONS, United States (AFP) — The United States will announce “additional commitments” on fighting Covid-19 when the White House hosts a summit on the pandemic on Wednesday, President Joe Biden said Tuesday. Biden said the commitments would be announced “as we seek to advance the fight against Covid-19 and hold ourselves accountable around specific targets on three key challenges — saving lives now, vaccinating the world, and building back better.” © Agence France-Presse

UN chief urges US-China dialogue, warns of divisions

UNITED NATIONS, United States (AFP) — UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday urged the United States and China to engage in dialogue, warning of an increasingly divided world. “I fear our world is creeping towards two different sets of economic, trade, financial and technology rules, two divergent approaches in the development of artificial intelligence — and ultimately two different military and geopolitical strategies,” Guterres said as he opened the annual UN General Assembly. “This is […]

Afghan girls to return to school ‘soon as possible’: Taliban

KABUL, Afghanistan (AFP) — Girls in Afghanistan will be allowed to return to school as soon as possible, the Taliban said Tuesday, after announcing the remaining positions in its all-male cabinet. “We are finalising things… it will happen as soon as possible,” spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on girls’ education. It comes after the education ministry ordered male teachers and students back to secondary school at the weekend, but made no mention of the country’s women […]

Melbourne police fire to disperse violent anti-vaccine protest

MELBOURNE, Australia (AFP) — Melbourne riot police used pepper spray, foam baton rounds and rubber ball grenades to disperse a violent protest against mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for construction workers Tuesday. More than 1,000 demonstrators wearing work boots and hi-vis jackets rampaged through the centre of Australia’s second-largest city, lighting flares, throwing bottles, attacking police cars and chanting their opposition to vaccines and lockdown restrictions. Melbourne has been in strict lockdown for seven weeks, as the […]

New fissure opens in Canary Islands volcano

LOS LLANOS DE ARIDANE, Spain (AFP) — A new fissure emerged in the erupting volcano on Spain’s Canary Islands, belching out more lava and forcing another 500 people to flee, officials said Tuesday. The Cumbre Vieja volcano has forced a total of 6,000 people from their homes and destroyed around 100 properties since it erupted on Sunday afternoon. Emergency services said in a tweet late Monday “a new eruptive fissure has opened” and that the […]

Macron and Modi vow to ‘act jointly’ after subs dispute

PARIS, France (AFP) — President Emmanuel Macron and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday vowed to “act jointly” in the Indo-Pacific region, the French presidency said, as a row with Australia and the US intensifies. In telephone talks, both leaders said they would “act jointly in an open and inclusive Indo-Pacific area”, days after Australia pulled out of a submarine contract with France in favour of US submarines as part of an alliance with […]

Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in mask row

by Michelle FITZPATRICK Agence France Presse FRANKFURT, Germany (AFP) — Germany reacted with shock and outrage on Tuesday after a 20-year-old petrol station worker was shot dead by a customer angry about being asked to put on a mask while buying beer. The killing on Saturday evening in the western town of Idar-Oberstein is believed to be the first in Germany linked to the government’s coronavirus rules. The row started when the cashier, a student, […]

Biden bids to renew US leadership in UN speech

by Sebastian Smith Agence France-Presse UNITED NATIONS, United States (AFP) – President Joe Biden will tell the world Tuesday that the United States wants to avoid a Cold War with China, while pivoting from continuous post-9/11 conflicts to an era of US-led diplomacy. Biden’s first speech as US president to the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York faces a tough reception. He has spent his presidency branding countries like China and Russia as […]

Trudeau’s Liberals win Canada election: TV projections

OTTAWA, Canada (AFP) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals were returned to power Monday in a hotly contested election against the rookie Conservative leader Erin O’Toole, according to TV projections. But with polling stations likely to still be reporting results into the morning, it was not yet clear if the Liberals had gained enough seats to form a majority in parliament that would allow Trudeau to pass his agenda without opposition support. © Agence […]

Lava engulfs 100 homes as Canary Islands volcano erupts

by Desiree Martin LLANOS DE ARIDANE, Spain (AFP) — A surge of lava destroyed around 100 homes on Spain’s Canary Islands a day after a volcano erupted, forcing 5,500 people to leave the area, local authorities said on Monday. The Cumbre Vieja erupted on Sunday afternoon, sending vast plumes of thick black smoke into the sky and belching molten lava that oozed down the mountainside on the island of La Palma. “We haven’t had any […]

Cholera kills over 2,300 in Nigeria’s worst outbreak in years

by Joel Olatunde AGOI LAGOS, Nigeria (AFP) — Cholera has killed more than 2,300 people and infected thousands more, mostly children, in Nigeria since the start of the year, a senior health official said on Monday, in the nation’s worst outbreak in years. Africa’s most populous nation suffers from a high rate of water-borne diseases as a result of dilapidated infrastructure and under-investment.` “As at September 5, 2021, a total of 69,925 suspected cases, including […]