North America

Record number of children miss measles vaccine: global report

Washington, United States (AFP) A record high of nearly 40 million children around the world missed a measles vaccine dose in 2021, according to a new report Wednesday that found immunization levels had failed to rebound from disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The research, which was jointly published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the decline was a major setback in eliminating […]

Musk floats ‘general amnesty’ of suspended Twitter accounts

San Francisco, United States (AFP) by Julie JAMMOT New Twitter owner Elon Musk on Wednesday polled users on whether the site should offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts, using the same method he used to handle the case of Donald Trump. The move comes as Musk has faced pushback that his criteria for content moderation is subject to his personal whim, with reinstatements decided for certain accounts and not others. “Should Twitter offer a […]

Walmart manager kills six in latest US mass shooting

Chesapeake, United States (AFP) by Bastien INZAURRALDE A 31-year-old overnight manager at Walmart shot and killed six people at a store bustling with Thanksgiving holiday shoppers before turning the pistol on himself, authorities said Wednesday, in America’s second high-profile mass shooting in four days. Four other people remained hospitalized in unknown condition following the Tuesday night rampage in Chesapeake, Virginia, police chief Mark Solesky said. The gunman is believed to have died of a “self-inflicted […]

US, China defense chiefs meet in Cambodia

by W.G. Dunlop Agence France-Presse SIEM REAP, Cambodia (AFP) — US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe in Cambodia on Tuesday as the two sides move to keep tensions in check. The meeting on the sidelines of a conference of defense ministers in Siem Reap — which lasted for an hour and a half — was the first between Austin and Wei since June, before a visit by US House Speaker […]

Disney seeks old magic in return of ex-CEO

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) – In a dramatic twist worthy of a “Star Wars” spin-off, Disney ditched CEO Bob Chapek and brought back Bob Iger, Hollywood’s most respected executive, who faces a huge challenge to revive the Magic Kingdom. Iger’s return comes as Disney is trying to negotiate an uncertain era, where investors have lost faith in some of the most storied names in US media as companies bleed cash in the hunt for customers […]

Tesla recalls 321,000 vehicles in the US for tail light problem

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) – Tesla has recalled more than 321,000 vehicles in the United States because of a tail light issue, in the latest trouble to hit the electric vehicle giant led by controversial billionaire Elon Musk. It is the latest of multiple Tesla recalls in the United States in recent months, including one for just over 40,000 vehicles for a possible problem in the electric power steering system. “In rare instances,” the rear […]

All eyes on Trump’s Twitter account after Musk reinstates him

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) – Donald Trump has seemingly rejected returning to Twitter, but as he embarks on a new presidential campaign, will he be able to resist? All eyes were on his account Sunday for any activity, after it was reinstated by the platform’s new owner Elon Musk. Twitter had issued a “permanent” ban on Trump in the wake of the January 6, 2021 attack by his supporters on the US Capitol, as he sought to […]

Biden turns 80, but White House in no mood for a party

Washington, United States (AFP) – For the first time in history, a sitting president turned 80 years old in the White House on Sunday but did not celebrate in any public way. It wasn’t until mid-afternoon that First Lady Jill Biden posted an affectionate message, with two photos of the couple dancing in tuxedos and gala attire. “There’s no one else I’d rather dance with than you. Happy Birthday Joe! I love you,” Jill Biden tweeted. […]

Amid Twitter chaos, Musk reveals new vision for hate content

  San Francisco, United States | AFP | After turning Twitter upside down, Elon Musk on Tuesday tried to clarify his plans for content moderation, a key issue for the future of the influential platform after the departure of advertisers and top executives. Musk on Friday said he had reinstated certain banned accounts on his site, but added that no decision had been made on welcoming back former US president Donald Trump. Twitter watchers have […]

Saudi crown prince immune from Khashoggi suit: US govt

Washington, United States | AFP | The US government recommended on Thursday that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was immune from legal action over the 2018 murder of a dissident journalist, according to court documents. Prince Mohammed was named prime minister by royal decree in late September, sparking suggestions he was looking to skirt exposure in cases filed in foreign courts — including a civil action brought in the United States by Hatice Cengiz, […]

Twitter exodus begins after Musk ‘hardcore’ ultimatum

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) – Employee departures were multiplying at Twitter on Thursday after an ultimatum from new owner Elon Musk, who demanded staff choose between being “extremely hardcore” and working intense, long hours, or losing their jobs. “I may be #exceptional, but gosh darn it, I’m just not #hardcore,” tweeted one former employee, Andrea Horst, whose LinkedIn profile still reads “Supply Chain & Capacity Management (Survivor) @Twitter.” She added the hashtag “#lovewhereyouworked,” as did […]

Amazon confirms it has begun laying off employees

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) – Amazon confirmed on Thursday that it is laying off staff, after days of rumors that the e-commerce behemoth would become the latest tech giant to unleash a large-scale redundancy plan amid a souring economic environment. “The economy remains in a challenging spot and we’ve hired rapidly the last several years,” wrote chief executive Andy Jassy in an internal memo published on the Amazon website. US media have previously reported that […]