• Panel: China, WHO should have acted quicker to stop pandemic
    Geneva, January 19 (AP): A panel of experts commissioned by the World Health Organisation has criticised China and other countries for not moving to stem the initial outbreak of the coronavirus earlier and questioned whether the UN health agency should have labelled it a pandemic sooner. In a report issued on Monday, the panel led by former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark said there were lost opportunities to apply basic pub
  • Inaugural event to celebrate resiliency of Black Americans
    Detroit (US), January 19 (AP): The resiliency, culture and heroism of Black Americans and the African diaspora will be the central theme of a virtual event that will celebrate the nation's diversity on the eve of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is slated to speak at Tuesday's event, We Are One, which will also honour the historic nature of her being the first Black and South Asian woman to become US vice president. Black vo
  • In saga of immigration, Indians travel from exclusion to Vice Presidency
    NEW YORK, JANUARY 19 (IANS): The first Indian recorded to have reached the shores of the US is a man from Madras (now Chennai), the area from where the family of Shyamala Gopalan, mother of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, hails. From the time of his long journey on a sailing ship in 1790 to now when Gopalan's daughter is going to be Vice President, it is also a long political journey for Indians in the US. In that period, Indians have been excluded as immigrants, given an
  • Afghan President, NATO chief discuss peace talks
    KABUL, JANUARY 19 (IANS): Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg held a phone conversation during which they discussed the peace talks between the Kabul government and the Taliban, an official statement said here on Tuesday. The two sides on Monday discussed "the Afghan peace process and NATO's continued support for Afghanistan Defense and Security forces", Xinhua news agency quoted the statement issued by Ghani's office
  • Melania Trump asks to choose 'love over hatred' in farewell speech
    WASHINGTON, JANUARY 19 (IANS): With just one day left for Joe Biden to be inaugurated as the 46th President of the US, outgoing First Lady Melania Trump bode farewell to the nation, asking every American to "always choose love over hatred, peace over violence, and others before yourself". She made the remarks in a six and a half-minute video message posted on the White House website on Monday night. Trump begins her message by saying that it had been "the greatest
  • Remains of Roman fort unearthed in Egypt's Aswan
    CAIRO, JANUARY 19 (IANS): The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has announced the discovery of remains of a Roman fort in the country's Aswan Governorate. At the fort site, an Egyptian archaeological mission also uncovered the remains of a church from the early Coptic era and a temple from the Ptolemaic period, Xinhua news agency quoted Mustafa Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt, as saying in a statement on Monday. A vessel mad
  • WHO raises 'concerns' about Mideast vaccine inequity
    Jerusalem, January 19 (AP): The World Health Organization has raised "concerns" about the unequal distribution of coronavirus vaccines in Israel, which has given shots to more than 20 per cent of its population, and the occupied territories, where Palestinians have yet to receive any, an official said Monday. Rights groups say Israel has the responsibility as an occupying power to provide vaccines to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Israel says it has no such o
  • Biden has set sky-high expectations. Can he meet them?
    Washington, January 19 (AP): Back when the election was tightening and just a week away, Joe Biden went big. He flew to Warm Springs, the Georgia town whose thermal waters once brought Franklin Delano Roosevelt comfort from polio, and pledged a restitching of America's economic and policy fabric unseen since FDR's New Deal. Evoking some of the nation's loftiest reforms helped Biden unseat President Donald Trump but left him with towering promises to keep. And he'l
  • Thai court gives record 43-year sentence for insulting king
    Bangkok, January 19 (AP): A court in Thailand on Tuesday sentenced a former civil servant to a record prison term of 43 years and six months for breaching the country's strict law on insulting or defaming the monarchy, lawyers said. The Bangkok Criminal Court found the woman guilty on 29 counts of violating the country's lese majeste law for posting audio clips to Facebook and YouTube with comments deemed critical of the monarchy, the group Thai Lawyers for Human Rights said
  • It's not going to be easy, says Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on challenges facing America
    Washington, January 19 (PTI): Vice President-elect Kamala Harris has acknowledged the challenges that lie ahead for Joe Biden when he will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on Wednesday, saying "it is not going to be easy." Biden enters the White House on January 20 with the top challenge to lift the country from the devastation of a raging pandemic that has killed more than 398,000 Americans and thrown millions into economic distress. We're goi
  • Global Covid-19 cases top 95.5 mn: Johns Hopkins
    Washington, January 19 (IANS): The total number of global coronavirus cases has topped 95.5 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 2.03 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University. In its latest update on Tuesday morning, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 95,530,563 and 2,039,283, respectively. The US is the worst-hit country with the world's highest numbe
  • Washington DC converted into garrison city ahead of Biden's inauguration as threat looms large
    Washington, January 18 (PTI): Ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Wednesday, the American capital has been virtually turned into a garrison city, amidst multiple reports of threats and more armed violence by pro-Trump supporters. In the aftermath of last week's Capitol riots, Washington D.C. is preparing for the scaled down inauguration of the 46th US President with extreme security measures - closing roads, erecting b
  • Afghan-Taliban negotiators meet after delay
    KABUL, JANUARY 18 (IANS): Negotiators representing the Afghan government and the Taliban militant group met in Doha and discussed the agenda of the second round of peace talks, a top official said. The meeting on Sunday came cafter days of delay, TOLO News reported citing Afghan government negotiator Nader Nadery as saying. Over the nine days since the start of the second round of talks, the two sides have held four meetings, including Sunday evening's meeting, at the working
  • SKorean court gives Samsung scion prison term over bribery
    Seoul, January 18 (AP): Billionaire Samsung scion Lee Jae-yong was sent back to prison on Monday after a South Korean court handed him a two and a half-year sentence for his involvement in a 2016 corruption scandal that spurred massive protests and ousted South Korea's then-president. In a much-anticipated retrial, the Seoul High Court found Lee guilty of bribing then-President Park Geun-hye and her close confidante to win government support for a 2015 merger between two Samsung
  • Kremlin critic Navalny detained after landing in Moscow
    Moscow, January 18 (AP): Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was arrested Sunday at a Moscow airport as he tried to enter the country from Germany, where he had spent five months recovering from nerve agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin. Navalny's detention at passport control in Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport was widely expected because Russia's prisons service said he had violated parole terms from a suspended sentence on a 2014 embezzlement conviction.
  • 'Rooting hard for you': Will departure notes end with Trump?
    Washington, January 18 (AP): Presidential traditions are usually known for their solemnity and carry the weight of future historical significance. This one began with cartoon turkeys and a reference to lunch. As he was preparing to leave the White House in January 1989, President Ronald Reagan wanted to leave a note for his successor, George H.W. Bush, and reached for a pad emblazoned with a cartoon by humorist Sandra Boynton under the phrase, Don't Let the Turkeys Get You Down.
  • Lahore police launches probe into '279 unnatural deaths'
    Lahore, January 18 (IANS): Police in Lahore have launched an investigation into "279 unnatural deaths" in 2020, a first-of-its-kind initiative, a media report said on Monday. The Dawn news report said "the police have shifted the pending inquiries into 279 unnatural deaths from operations wing to the investigation". "A directive was issued by the capital city police officer (CCPO) to inquire into suicides, accidental, unnatural and suspicious deaths on re
  • New Covid variant detected in Nepal
    Kathmandu, January 18 (IANS): Nepal's Health Ministry has confirmed the detection of cases of the new coronavirus variant, which was first discovered in the UK late last year. Three people whose samples were sent to Hong Kong for testing via gene sequencing have been confirmed to have contracted the mutated varian. A 28-year-old woman and two men aged 32 and 67, were found to have been infected. The woman and the 32-year-old man have already tested negative, while the 67-y
  • Trapped Chinese miners send note to rescuers
    Beijing, January 18 (IANS): Miners trapped for over a week following a blast at a mine China's Shandong province, have sent a note to rescuers shedding light on the situation below. The note, sent on Sunday, said 12 workers are still alive, including four injured, while the state of the other 10 was currently unknown, reports Xinhua news agency. "We are heavily exhausted and in urgent need of stomach medicine, painkillers, medical tape, external anti-inflammatory drugs,
  • Global Covid-19 cases top 95 mn mark: Johns Hopkins
    Washington, January 18 (IANS): In yet another grim milestone, the total number of global coronavirus cases has topped the 95 million mark, while the deaths have surged to more than 2.02 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University. In its latest update on Monday morning, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 95,003,533 and 2,029,938, respectively. The US is the worst-hit count