Paul stars as Suns rout Clippers to reach NBA finals

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Chris Paul erupted for 41 points to lead the Phoenix Suns into the NBA Finals on Wednesday with a series-clinching 130-103 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. The Suns — who squandered the opportunity to wrap up the Western Conference Finals at home on Monday — rebounded at the Staples Center with an emphatic win, taking the best-of-seven series 4-2. Phoenix will face either the Milwaukee Bucks or Atlanta Hawks […]

Greek villages evacuated as forest fire rages

by Will VASSILOPOULOS ALEPOCHORI, Greece (AFP) — More than a dozen Greek villages were evacuated Thursday as firefighters battled the country’s first major blaze of the year on a mountain range overlooking the Gulf of Corinth. No injuries were reported, but “it will be a hard night… we’re fighting in difficult conditions,” junior civil protection minister Nikos Hardalias said. People were evacuated before dawn from the first of 17 villages and hamlets affected after the […]

Dozens of Israeli air strikes pummel Gaza Strip: AFP, witnesses

GAZA CITY, Palestinian (AFP) — Israeli warplanes bombarded the Gaza Strip overnight Sunday to Monday, said witnesses in the Palestinian enclave, from where armed groups have launched rockets into the Jewish state. “IDF fighter jets are striking terror targets in the Gaza Strip,” the Israeli army said in a statement in the first hours of Sunday. Dozens of missiles crashed into different parts of the densely populated coastal territory, AFP journalists said. © Agence France-Presse

UNICEF says, rich countries can afford to donate Covax jabs

by Christophe VOGT GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — Countries belonging to the G7 and the European Union can afford to donate more than 150 million vaccines to countries in need without compromising their own goals, UNICEF said Monday. The world’s seven richest states and the EU could help close the world’s vaccine gap by sharing just 20 percent of their June, July and August stocks with the Covax jab scheme for poorer nations, a study by […]

Curry captures second NBA scoring title, Warriors win sixth straight

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Stephen Curry scored 46 points and claimed his second NBA scoring title as the Golden State Warriors won their sixth straight by beating the Memphis Grizzlies 113-101 on Sunday in San Francisco. Curry finished the regular season with a 32.0-point scoring average, claiming the league title over Washington’s Bradley Beal who scored 25 points earlier Sunday to finish at 31.3 points per game. “I had a lot of good […]

UK vaccinates over 20 million with two Covid jabs

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Britain on Sunday passed the milestone of vaccinating 20 million adults with two doses of the coronavirus jab, just a day before a raft of restrictions are lifted across most of the country. According to government statistics, 20,103,658 million have now received their full two vaccine doses — 38.2 precent of the adult population. Still more have received a first dose — 36,573,354, or 69.4 percent of the adult population […]

Four dead as powerful cyclone heads for India

AHMEDABAD, India (AFP) — At least four people have died in torrential rain and winds as virus-hit India braces for a powerful cyclone, officials said Sunday, with tens of thousands set to be evacuated from their homes. Cyclone Tauktae — India’s first major tropical storm this season — is moving northwards in parallel with the country’s western coast, bringing heavy rains, thunderstorms and strong winds to several states, the meteorological department said. It is expected […]

At least seven dead in Indonesia boat selfie accident

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — Seven Indonesians drowned after an overloaded boat capsized because of tourists attempting a selfie in a reservoir on Java island, police said Sunday. The accident happened when all 20 passengers suddenly moved to the one side of the vessel to take a group photo on Saturday in the Boyolali regency, said Central Java police chief Ahmad Lutfi. “The cause of the accident was overcapacity,” Lutfi told reporters. “The 20 people took […]

Child killed in house collapse in northern England

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — One child died and four adults were injured early on Sunday after two houses collapsed in a suspected gas explosion in northwest England, police said. Police in the county of Lancashire said they were called to the row of terraced houses at 2:40am (0140 GMT) where they evacuated other residents and set up a safety cordon. “We remain at scene of a suspected gas explosion on Mallowdale Ave Heysham which […]

Anti-coup militia says at least five dead in Myanmar clashes

YANGON, Myanmar (AFP) — At least five opposition rebels have been killed after days of clashes in Myanmar, an anti-junta militia said Sunday, as Britain and the United States condemned the military’s violence against civilians. The country has been in an uproar since the military ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi in a February 1 coup, triggering a massive uprising that authorities have sought to quell with lethal force. Some in the anti-junta movement […]

Indian variant may delay UK lockdown easing: PM

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — A rise in cases of the Indian coronavirus variant could “pose serious disruption” to Britain’s reopening plans, Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Friday. England will take the next step of reopening on Monday as planned, but the final stage, currently scheduled for June 21, could be in doubt. “I do not believe we need to delay our roadmap,” said Johnson. But, “this new variant could pose a serious disruption to […]

LeBron returns as Lakers stay in playoff hunt

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — LeBron James made a successful return from injury as the Los Angeles Lakers kept alive their hopes of an automatic NBA playoff spot with a 122-115 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday. James finished with 24 points while Anthony Davis led the scoring with 28 as the Lakers served notice that they have no intention of surrendering their NBA crown without a fight as the postseason approaches. Saturday’s […]