Kremlin says US Abrams tanks will ‘burn’ in Ukraine

MOSCOW, Sept 26, 2023 (AFP) – The Kremlin said Tuesday that US Abrams tanks supplied to Ukraine would not change the outcome of its offensive and would “burn”, after Kyiv received shipments of the vehicles. Kyiv announced Monday it had received deliveries of the US Abrams battle tank, boosting its forces as they seek to break through heavily-fortified Russian defensive lines. “All this can in no way affect the essence of the special military operation, […]

US army chief and allies discuss Asia-Pacific in India

NEW DELHI, Sept 26, 2023 (AFP) – Army chiefs and senior officers from 30 countries including the United States met in India Tuesday to discuss threats facing the Asia-Pacific region, in the face of concern at an increasingly assertive China. US Army chief Randy George said the region was “critically important”, speaking to reporters alongside his Indian counterpart Manoj Pande, and vowed to boost cooperation to “maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific”. Generals from Japan […]

Russian commander reported killed by Ukraine appears in video

MOSCOW, Sept 26, 2023 (AFP) – The commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, whom Ukraine claimed to have killed in a recent missile strike, appeared in images distributed on Tuesday by Russia’s defence ministry. Kyiv said earlier this week it had killed Admiral Viktor Sokolov and 34 officers in an unprecedented strike on the fleet’s naval headquarters in the annexed Crimean peninsula last week. Sokolov was pictured in military uniform attending via video link a […]

China warns Philippines not to ‘stir up trouble’ over disputed reef

BEIJING, Sept 26, 2023 (AFP) – Beijing warned Manila on Tuesday not to “stir up trouble” after the Philippine Coast Guard said it removed a floating barrier at a disputed reef that was allegedly deployed by China to block Filipino fishermen from the area. Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea has long been a source of tension between the countries. China seized the ring of reefs from the Philippines in 2012 and has since […]

Singapore blows up 100kg WWII-era bomb after thousands evacuated

Singapore army specialists on Tuesday detonated a 100-kilogram (220-pound) World War II-era bomb found at a construction site, causing a thunderous boom in the city-state after authorities had evacuated thousands of residents. More than 4,000 people were evacuated from nearby residences for the controlled detonation, which local media reported was the largest-ever exercise involving a WWII relic in Singapore. The unexploded aerial bomb was discovered last week where a condominium was being built in the […]

UK cost-of-living crisis set to increase early deaths: study

  LONDON, Sept 25, 2023 (AFP) – The UK’s inflation-fuelled cost-of-living crisis is set to “cut lives short” and “significantly widen the wealth-health gap”, according to a study published by open access journal BMJ Public Health on Monday. Modelling conducted for the study predicted that the proportion of people “dying before their time” (under the age of 75) will rise by nearly 6.5 percent due to the sustained period of high prices. The most deprived […]

Time ticking on US deadline to avert shutdown

By Julie Chabanas and Frankie Taggart WASHINGTON, Sept 25, 2023 (AFP) – Millions of Americans braced Monday for pay and welfare checks to stop within days as Congress careened toward a damaging government shutdown, with Republican right wingers blocking attempts to pass a budget. Four months after barely avoiding the more serious prospect of a credit default, the world’s largest economy is once again on the verge of a convulsion, with the lights due to […]

Pres. Biden recognizes two Pacific nations in move to counter China

WASHINGTON, Sept 25, 2023 (AFP) – President Joe Biden said the United States officially recognized the Pacific nations of Cook Islands and Niue Monday, as he hosted regional leaders in a bid to wrest influence from China. The announcement came at the start of a summit with the 18-member Pacific Islands Forum, where US officials said the president was announcing a more assertive American stance in the region. Biden said in statements that Washington recognized […]

N. Korea reopens borders to foreigners after 3 years: Chinese state media

BEIJING, Sept 25, 2023 (AFP) – North Korea will allow foreign nationals to enter the country from Monday, Chinese state media reported, after over three years of Covid-induced isolation. North Korea has been largely closed off from the outside world since early 2020, when it shut its borders in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, with even its own nationals prevented from entering. But it is this month showing signs of re-opening, with leader Kim Jong […]

Philippine Coast Guard says ‘successfully removes’ barrier at disputed reef

MANILA, Sept 25, 2023 (AFP) – The Philippine Coast Guard said Monday it had removed a floating barrier at a disputed reef that was allegedly deployed to stop Filipinos accessing the traditional fishing ground. The statement was issued hours after Philippine National Security Adviser Eduardo Ano vowed to take “all appropriate actions” for the removal of barriers installed by the Chinese coast guard at Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. A 300-metre (328-yard) long […]

UK child-killer nurse to face retrial over attempted murder charge

LONDON, Sept 25, 2023 (AFP) – A British nurse jailed for life for murdering seven babies and attempting to kill six others will face a retrial on an outstanding charge of attempted murder, prosecutors said on Monday. Lucy Letby, 33, was convicted last month of killing five baby boys and two baby girls, making her Britain’s most prolific child serial killer in modern times. But the jury in the months-long trial at Manchester Crown Court […]

Indonesia to regulate social media sales soon: leader

JAKARTA, Sept 25, 2023 (AFP) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo said new regulation on social media commerce could be passed as soon as Tuesday, as Jakarta aims to rein in sales on tech platforms it says are harming local businesses. Indonesian users spent more money on TikTok than anywhere else in Southeast Asia over the past year, as the app’s e-commerce arm rapidly grew to gain a substantial regional market share and millions of sellers […]