At least 19 dead after clash, fire at club in Indonesia’s West Papua

  SORONG, Indonesia (AFP) — At least 19 people were killed in a clash at a nightclub in the town of Sorong in Indonesia’s West Papua province, police said Tuesday, with most dying after the venue caught fire. One victim was stabbed and 18 more died in the blaze at the Double O nightclub, officials said. “The clash broke out last night (Monday) at 11 pm. It was a prolonged conflict from a clash on […]

‘Nightmare’: Workers, students decry Japan virus entry ban

by Etienne Balmer and Katie Forster TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Yanita Antoko has been waiting for over a year in Indonesia to join her husband in Japan. She has her papers and has closed her business selling homemade spice mixes, but remains shut out. The 30-year-old is one of more than 370,000 people left in limbo by Japan’s coronavirus border rules, which bar almost all new arrivals and are the strictest in the G7. Even […]

At least 18 dead after clash, fire at club in Indonesia’s West Papua

SORONG, Indonesia (AFP) — At least 18 people were killed during clashes between two groups at a night club in the town of Sorong in Indonesia’s West Papua province, police said Tuesday, with most dying after the venue caught fire. “The clash broke out last night (Monday) at 11 pm. It was a prolonged conflict from a clash on Saturday,” Sorong police chief Ary Nyoto Setiawan said in a statement. One victim was stabbed and […]

North Korea appears to have fired cruise missiles, Seoul says

SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — North Korea appeared to have fired two cruise missiles Tuesday morning, South Korea’s military said, in what would be the nuclear-armed country’s fifth weapons test this month. Pyongyang has rebuffed US offers of talks and embarked on a flurry of sanctions-busting tests in 2022, flexing its military muscles and ramping up the rhetoric against Washington. “North Korea fired two suspected cruise missiles,” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said […]

World can end Covid emergency this year: WHO chief

GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) –The head of the World Health Organization said on Monday that the planet can end the Covid-19 emergency this year, although the virus last week killed someone every 12 seconds. “We can end Covid-19 as a global health emergency and we can do it this year,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the UN health agency’s executive board. To do so, countries need to work harder to ensure equitable access to vaccines and treatment, […]

UAE intercepts two ballistic missiles fired by Yemen rebels: defense ministry

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AFP) — Two ballistic missiles fired by Yemen’s Huthi rebels have been intercepted and destroyed over the United Arab Emirates, the defence ministry said on Monday. “The attack did not result in any casualties, while the remnants of the intercepted and destroyed ballistic missiles fell in separate areas around the Emirate of Abu Dhabi,” a statement said. The ministry added that it was “ready to deal with any threats” and […]

China lifts Xi’an lockdown as Beijing virus fight ramps up

BEIJING, China (AFP) — One of China’s longest coronavirus lockdowns since the start of the pandemic came to an end on Monday as authorities announced the lifting of most restrictions in the northern megacity of Xi’an. The historic city’s 13 million residents had been confined to their homes since December 22 after the discovery of a Covid-19 cluster that grew to over 2,100 cases — China’s largest local outbreak in months. With the Winter Olympics […]

Thai PM to visit Saudi Arabia for first time since gem theft soured ties

BANGKOK, Thailand (AFP) — Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-cha will this week make the first visit by a Thai leader to Saudi Arabia in more than 30 years following decades of diplomatic tension sparked by a jewel theft from a Saudi palace. Thai-born janitor Kriangkrai Techamong stole $20 million worth of precious gems in 1989 from the home of a Saudi prince, triggering a feud between the countries dubbed the “Blue Diamond Affair” that has yet […]

Beijing tests 2 million for coronavirus as Winter Olympics loom

Beijing city officials on Sunday said all two million residents of a neighbourhood where a small cluster of coronavirus cases was detected will be tested, less than two weeks before the start of the Winter Olympics. China’s cases constitute a tiny fraction of the massive surge in countries around the globe, with the highly contagious Omicron variant driving a fresh spike in infections. Still, multiple small outbreaks around China — including in Beijing — have […]

Myanmar sentences lawmaker from Suu Kyi’s party to death

A Myanmar military tribunal sentenced a member of Aung San Suu Kyi’s ousted party to death for terror offences on Friday, the junta said, ramping up a crackdown on the toppled leader’s party. The Southeast Asian country has been in chaos since the February coup, with more than 1,400 killed in a subsequent crackdown on dissent, according to a local monitoring group. Junta opponents — including allies of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy — […]

UN secretary-general condemns airstrikes on Yemen prison

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) — UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned Friday the airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition on Yemen that left at least 70 dead at a prison and disrupted telecommunications. Guterres assailed the attack on the prison in Huthi territory in Saada and the strike on a telecommunications facility that killed at least three children in the port city of Hodeida, according to an aid group. That attack, Guterres said, knocked out “vital” internet services […]

Air strike on Yemen prison leaves at least 70 dead

  SAADA, Yemen (AFP) — At least 70 people were killed in an air strike on a prison as Yemen’s long-running conflict suffered a dramatic escalation Friday that drew condemnation from UN chief Antonio Guterres. The Huthi rebels released gruesome video footage showing bodies in the rubble and mangled corpses from the attack, which levelled buildings at the prison in their northern heartland of Saada. Further south in the port city of Hodeida, at least […]