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 […]

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 […]

Myanmar junta hits Suu Kyi with graft charges

YANGON, Myanmar (AFP) — The Myanmar junta has hit deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi with corruption charges over claims she accepted illegal payments of gold and more than half a million dollars in cash, state media reported Thursday. The country has been in turmoil since the generals ousted Suu Kyi on February 1, with nearly 850 civilians killed in a brutal crackdown by security forces on near-daily protests against the coup. The 75-year-old […]

11 dead in Mumbai building collapse

MUMBAI, India (AFP) — At least 11 people, including eight children, were killed when heavy monsoon rains caused a residential building to collapse in a Mumbai slum, Indian authorities said Thursday. Mumbai city authorities confirmed that seven other residents were injured in the incident late Wednesday even as search and rescue operations continued for several others feared missing. Residents have been evacuated from nearby structures considered to be in a dangerous condition. Of the injured, […]

South Korea building collapse kills nine

SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — At least nine people were killed when a five-storey building being demolished in South Korea suddenly collapsed, crushing a bus, officials said. Dramatic television footage showed the bus being buried in debris and smothered by a huge cloud of dust as the structure gave way. The bus, which had stopped in front of the site, was carrying 17 people when the accident occurred Wednesday in the city of Gwangju, southwest […]

Elephants in India tested for coronavirus after rare lion’s death

Nasal and anal samples taken from 28 elephants at a forest reserve in India   COIMBATORE, India (AFP) — Twenty-eight elephants have been tested for Covid-19 at a forest reserve in southern India, officials said Wednesday, after the reported death of a rare Asiatic lion from the virus. In what is believed to be the first known death of an animal in India from the coronavirus, a nine-year-old lioness at a zoo in Chennai in […]

Lightning strikes kill 27 during India monsoon storm

KOLKATA, India (AFP) — Lightning strikes killed 27 people and four passengers on a flight were hospitalized after severe turbulence during monsoon storms in eastern India, officials said Tuesday. Lightning strikes during the June-September annual monsoon are fairly common in India. Officials said West Bengal was hit by thunderstorms late Monday, with lightning strikes in parts of the state. “Many of the 27 killed on Monday evening… in the state were farmers and working in […]

Vietnam begs public for ‘vaccine fund’ donations after virus surge

HANOI, Vietnam (AFP) — Vietnam, once a model for its successful handling of the pandemic, has started asking for public donations to buy vaccines as it struggles to contain a new coronavirus wave. The Southeast Asian country has vaccinated only about one percent of its population of nearly 100 million, and authorities have become increasingly alarmed by a recent spike in cases. Since last week, mobile phone users have received up to three text messages […]

Sinovac’s CoronaVac reduces mortality by 97 percent: Uruguay study

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AFP) — The CoronaVac vaccine reduces coronavirus mortality by 97 percent, according to early results of the immunization campaign in Uruguay, which relies heavily on the Chinese jab. In people who had received two doses, it reduced infection with the coronavirus by 57 percent and intensive care admissions by 95 percent, said a report by the health ministry of the South American nation. Compared to other vaccines in use, there have been few […]

China to offer Covid-19 vaccine to children as young as three

BEIJING, China (AFP) — China has approved the emergency use of a Covid-19 vaccine for those as young as three, the drugmaker confirmed Tuesday, making it the first country to offer jabs to young children. Since the coronavirus first emerged in central China, Beijing has mostly managed to bring the country’s outbreak under control, and has administered over 777 million vaccine doses after a sluggish start. A spokesperson for Sinovac told AFP its vaccine had […]

US eases travel warning to countries including Olympics host Japan

by Shaun TANDON WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — The United States on Tuesday eased its warnings against travel to a number of major nations including Olympics host Japan, raising hopes that widespread vaccinations will bring a return to normal travel. Close US allies and neighbors including Canada, Mexico, France and Germany also received upgrades, with the State Department asking Americans to reconsider travel but ending its blanket advice not to go at all. South Korea […]

At least 15 dead in India sanitizer factory fire

MUMBAI, India (AFP) — At least 15 people have died after a blaze swept through a sanitizer factory in the western Indian city of Pune on Monday, police said. “We have recovered 15 bodies so far,” an officer in Pune’s rural police control room, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP. “The fire broke out around 4:15 pm at a sanitizer factory, we still don’t know what sparked the fire.” The officer could not […]