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16:00 World
Giant clam shells worth $25m seized in raid

Around 200 tonnes of illegally harvested giant clam shells worth nearly $25 million (£18 million) have been seized in the Philippines. The seizure is one of the largest ever hauls of the endangered species. Four suspects have been arrested on an island in the ecologically protected province of Palawan. Giant clams can grow larger than one metre across, and weigh up to 250kg. They are seen as vital to the local marine ecosystem.

Source: bbc.com

15:37 World
UK church leaders warn against ‘dangerous’ vaccine passport plans

Hundreds of UK church leaders have told the prime minister that plans to use vaccine passports for entry into venues is “one of the most dangerous policy proposals ever to be made in the history of British politics” with the “potential to bring about the end of liberal democracy as we know it”. An open letter to Boris Johnson signed by more than 1,250 clergy from different Christian denominations across the UK says the “introduction of vaccine passports would constitute an unethical form of coercion and violation of the principle of informed consent”.

Source: theguardian.com

14:57 World
‘Godzilla’ shark discovered in New Mexico gets formal name

The 300-million-year-old shark’s teeth were the first sign that it might be a distinct species. The ancient chompers looked less like the spear-like rows of teeth of related species. They were squatter and shorter, less than an inch long, around 2 centimeters.

Source: apnews.com

13:49 World
Estonian capital closes road so breeding frogs and toads can cross

A busy road in the Estonian capital Tallinn has been closed for April nights to keep thousands of frogs and toads travelling to their breeding grounds safe from cars. Volunteers usually help carry frogs and toads over roads in the spring and say they have saved 97,000 of them in previous years, including 2,000 last year on the Tallinn road. But with the coronavirus pandemic making such help impossible this year, road closures are the only lifeline for the amphibians.

Source: reuters.com

12:55 World
NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and two Russian cosmonauts have landed back on Earth

Just days after the International Space Station's crew reached 10 people, three have returned to Earth. Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins ended their 185-day mission on the space station Friday.

Source: cnn.com

11:59 World
Nadal beaten by Rublev in Monte Carlo quarter-finals

Rafa Nadal suffered a shock quarter-final defeat by Russian Andrey Rublev at the Monte Carlo Masters on Friday as he was overpowered 6-2 4-6 6-2, only his sixth ever loss at the tournament he has won 11 times.

Source: reuters.com

11:30 World
Biden says Iranian enrichment to 60% unhelpful, but glad about talks

U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday called Iran's enrichment of uranium to 60% purity unhelpful but said he is pleased Tehran is still in indirect talks with Washington about both countries resuming compliance with the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal.

Source: reuters.com

10:50 World
Global Covid death toll nears 3m as India sees another daily record rise in cases

The global coronavirus death toll was expected to reach 3 million on Saturday as the race for immunisation continues and countries such as India grapple with rising infections and new lockdowns.  India racked up 234,692 Covid-19 infections in the 24 hours to Saturday morning, health ministry data showed, which was the eighth record daily increase in the last nine days.

Source: theguardian.com

10:20 World
Helen McCrory, 'Harry Potter' and 'Peaky Blinders' star, dead at 52

Helen McCrory, the British actress best known for her roles in the 'Harry Potter' films and 'Peaky Blinders,' has died, her husband, actor Damian Lewis, announced on Friday. McCrory, who was 52, died "peacefully at home" after "an heroic battle with cancer," the "Homeland" star said in a tweet.

Source: cnn.com

10:00 World
Kyrgyz health minister promotes herbal COVID-19 cure; expert says it's poisonous

Kyrgyzstan will use a herbal tonic to treat COVID-19, its health minister said on Friday after his president praised the remedy - despite warnings from a medical expert that it contained a potentially lethal poison. Minister Alymkadyr Beishenaliyev drank a solution made from the roots of aconitum soongaricum at an online briefing to show that it was safe.

Source: reuters.com

17:58 World
How to watch Prince Philip's funeral

Prince Philip's funeral service will be broadcast by major television networks and streamed online. The service honoring the Duke of Edinburgh will begin at 3 p.m. local time in St George's Chapel, Windsor with a national minute of silence, according to a statement from Buckingham Palace. The Queen and members of the royal family will take part in the event, with attendance limited to 30 because of coronavirus restrictions. A ceremonial procession inside the grounds of Windsor Castle — led by the band of the Grenadier Guards, one of the oldest regiments of the British Army — will begin at 2:45 p.m..

Source: cnn.com


17:07 World
COVID-19: UK cases of South African variant rise - as Indian double mutation also heads to Britain

The strain first identified in India has two mutations, prompting fears it may be more infectious or less susceptible to vaccines. A total of 600 people in the UK have now contracted the South African coronavirus variant, new figures show.

Source: news.sky.com

16:20 World
The end for Cuba's 60-year Castro dynasty

Fidel Castro's brother Raul, 89, prepares to hand power to President Miguel Diaz-Canel ending family's grip on Communist country's leadership. Cuba's leadership is passing to a younger generation, with the last Castro leaving office and ending a 60-year family monopoly, but there is little other change as power remains firmly with the Communist Party.

Source: dailymail.co.uk

15:42 World
Singapore blogger crowdfunds over $100,000 to pay PM defamation damages

A Singaporean activist said on Friday he had raised S$144,389 ($108,200) through social media to cover defamation damages he had to pay Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the second such crowdfunding case involving a blogger this month. The prime minister sued Roy Ngerng for a blog post in 2014 in which Ngerng allegedly implicated Lee in impropriety in connection with how funds in Singapore’s mandatory retirement savings scheme, the Central Provident Fund(CPF), are managed.

Source: reuters.com

14:54 World
An end to cigarettes? New Zealand aims to create smoke-free generation

New Zealand has announced a suite of proposals aimed at outlawing smoking for the next generation and moving the country closer to its goal of being smoke-free by 2025. The plans include the gradual increase of the legal smoking age, which could extend to a ban on the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products to anyone born after 2004, making smoking effectively illegal for that generation. Also under consideration was a significant reduction in the level of nicotine allowed in tobacco products, prohibiting filters, setting a minimum price for tobacco, and restricting the locations where tobacco and cigarettes can be sold.

Source: theguardian.com

14:02 World
China's economy grows 18.3% in post-Covid comeback

China's economy grew a record 18.3% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same quarter last year. It's the biggest jump in gross domestic product (GDP) since China started keeping quarterly records in 1992.

Source: bbc.com

13:34 World
Pakistan blocks social media access amid anti-France rallies

Pakistan blocked access to all social media on Friday, after days of anti-French protests across the country by radical Islamists opposed to cartoons they consider blasphemous. Sites temporarily blocked on orders from the country’s interior ministry included Twitter and Facebook, said Khurram Mehran, a spokesman for Pakistan’s media regulatory agency. He gave no further details.

Source: apnews.com

12:31 World
The grieving Queen will pause to gaze on Prince Philip’s coffin as it is lowered to its final resting place

Her Majesty, 94, will also sit alone throughout the ceremony at Windsor Castle, where she has been isolating for months — most of them with the Duke of Edinburgh.

Source: thesun.co.uk

11:54 World
Beijing hit by third sandstorm in five weeks

The third major sandstorm in five weeks turned Beijing’s skies sepia on Thursday, and sent air quality plummeting in the Chinese capital. The storms, caused by winds from drought-hit Mongolia and north-western China, sent levels of the pollutant PM10, which can penetrate the lung, to 999 micrograms per cubic metre – a level almost double the “hazardous” stage indicated by the Beijing air pollution real time quality index.

Source: theguardian.com

11:26 Region
Turkey bans use of cryptocurrencies for payments, sends Bitcoin down

Turkey’s central bank banned the use of cryptocurrencies and crypto assets to purchase goods and services, citing “irrepairable” possible damages and significant risks in such transactions.

Source: reuters.com

10:52 World
Human cells grown in monkey embryos reignite ethics debate

Monkey embryos containing human cells have been produced in a laboratory, a study has confirmed, spurring fresh debate into the ethics of such experiments. The embryos are known as chimeras, organisms whose cells come from two or more “individuals”, and in this case, different species: a long-tailed macaque and a human.

Source: theguardian.com

10:05 World
Audrey Hepburn TV Series to Be Penned By ‘Good Wife’ Writer Jacqueline Hoyt

U.S. writer-producer Jacqueline Hoyt (“The Good Wife”) is set to pen drama series “Audrey” about Hollywood icon Audrey Hepburn, which is being produced by Italy’s Wildside, the Fremantle company behind “The Young Pope” and “My Brilliant Friend.”

Source: variety.com

18:00 World
Notre Dame repair a metaphor for pulling together, says Macron

The French president has used the reconstruction of the fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral as a metaphor for the country pulling together after Covid-19 as France reached the symbolic mark of 100,000 deaths from the virus. Macron told journalists from Le Parisien that the damaged cathedral, which is expected to partially reopen in 2024, was “like a metaphor for what a lot of people are feeling and what we’re living”. He said: “Our medical staff have been extraordinarily heroic, like the firefighters were during the fire.”

Source: theguardian.com

17:20 World
Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez split

Couple finally confirm they're ending four-year romance saying they're 'better as friends' after weeks of brushing off 'inaccurate' rumours and infidelity claims. Despite their lengthy protestations, the couple finally released a statement announcing the news.

Source: dailymail.co.uk

16:50 World
France urges citizens to leave Pakistan amid anti-French protests

France has urged all its citizens in Pakistan to leave the country temporarily amid violent anti-French protests across the country. In an email obtained by French news agency AFP, the country's embassy in Pakistan warned of "serious threats to French interests in Pakistan". Two police officers died this week in renewed clashes with protesters. Protests were sparked months ago after a French magazine republished cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

Source: bbc.com

15:56 World
WHO says Denmark looking to share AstraZeneca vaccines after halting shots

Denmark is examining options for sharing AstraZeneca’s vaccines with poorer nations after it halted use of the shots over concerns over rare blood clots, the World Health Organization Europe head said on Thursday.

Source: reuters.com

15:14 World
High status Roman villa discovered near Scarborough hailed as first of its kind found anywhere in world

The remains of a high-status Roman villa and bath house, which may be the first of its kind ever discovered in the world, have been unearthed on a building site near Scarborough in North Yorkshire. The astonishing find was made during archaeological excavations ahead of the construction of a housing development in the small town of Eastfield. Archaeologists say the villa’s sheer size and complexity – it features a circular central room with other rooms leading off it – almost certainly indicate a stately home or some kind of religious sanctuary.

Source: independent.co.uk

14:25 World
Mystery tree beast turns out to be croissant

When animal welfare officers received a report of an unusual animal lurking in a tree in the Polish city of Krakow, they were not sure what to expect. "People aren't opening their windows because they're afraid it will go into their house," the woman reportedly said. But a visit to the area showed the creature in question was not a bird, or even an reptile - but a croissant. The Krakow Animal Welfare Society said the incident was genuine.

Source: bbc.com

13:01 World
Man City defeat Borussia Dortmund to break Champions League quarter-final curse

The greatest hurdle of the Pep Guardiola era has finally been cleared. Manchester City progress past the Champions League quarter-finals, successful at the fifth attempt under the manager who was headhunted specifically to take further still. Dortmund 1-2 Man City (2-4): A Mahrez penalty and Foden strike saw Guardiola’s side come from behind to advance after Bellingham’s opener.

Source: independent.co.uk

12:33 World
U.S. set to slap new sanctions on Russia as soon as Thursday

The United States will announce sanctions on Russia as soon as Thursday for alleged election interference and malicious cyber activity, targeting several individuals and entities. The sanctions, in which 30 entities are expected to be blacklisted, will be tied with orders expelling about 10 Russian officials from the United States, one of the people said. The United States is also expected to announce aggressive new measures targeting the country’s sovereign debt through restrictions on U.S. financial institutions’ ability to trade such debt.

Source: reuters.com

11:55 World
Changes in India's monsoon rainfall could bring serious consequences to more than a billion people

Global warming is increasing the variability of India's monsoon rains faster than previously projected, according to a recent study from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). For every degree Celsius of global warming, monsoon rainfalls will likely increase by 5%, according to one of the key points of the analysis.

Source: cnn.com

11:21 World
China ‘must shut 600 coal-fired plants’ to hit climate target

China must shut down nearly 600 of its coal-fired power plants in the next 10 years, replacing them with renewable electricity generation, to meet its goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2060, a report has said. But replacing the 364GW of coal generation with renewable power would achieve a net saving of $1.6tn (£1.2tn) over the period, since wind and solar power are now much cheaper than coal, according to the analysis company TransitionZero.

Source: theguardian.com

10:51 World
Clock stopped by earthquake restarts 10 years on

An 100-year-old Japanese clock that stopped working after the 2011 earthquake has started ticking again - after another quake struck this year. The clock, stored in a Buddhist temple, was submerged by the tsunami on Japan's north-eastern coast that followed the devastating earthquake, which killed more than 18,000 people in March 2011. Its owner, Bunshun Sakano, then tried to fix the clock, without success. But when a smaller quake hit 10 years later, he says it began working again.

Source: bbc.com

10:17 World
UEFA bans Slavia Prague's defender for 10 games for racist behavior

Ondřej Kúdela has been banned for 10 matches after the governing body's investigation into allegations of the player's "racist behavior" towards Rangers' midfielder Glen Kamara during the sides' UEFA Europa League meeting at Ibrox stadium last month. The incident occurred late in the match when Kúdela was seen saying something into Kamara's ear with his hand covering his mouth. After the game, Rangers manager Steven Gerrard spoke to the media where he confirmed that Kamara told him that he was racially abused by Kúdela.

Source: cnn.com

10:00 World
Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff dies in prison at 82

Bernard Madoff, the infamous architect of an epic securities swindle that burned thousands of investors, outfoxed regulators and earned him a 150-year prison term, died behind bars early Wednesday. Madoff’s death at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina, was confirmed by his lawyer and the Bureau of Prisons.

Source: apnews.com

18:00 World
Stolen Roman statue found in Brussels antique shop

A Roman statue dating back to the First Century BC has been recovered, almost a decade after it was stolen from archaeological site in Italy. Two Italian officers came across the sculpture of a headless figure wearing a toga at an antique shop in Belgium. Suspicious of its origins, they searched a database of stolen artefacts and discovered the "Togatus" statue had been missing since 2011. The sculpture is believed to be worth around €100,000 ($120,000, £87,000).

Source: bbc.com

17:32 World
Japanese regulator bans restart at nuclear plant over safety breaches

The operator of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant has been prevented from restarting its only operable atomic facility after a series of safety breaches, dealing a significant blow to Japanese attempts to resume nuclear power generation.

Source: theguardian.com

16:45 World
Motorcyclist is killed after ‘being hit by bird’ causing horror crash in Sheffield

A Motorcyclist was killed after a bird hit his helmet and caused the 73-year-old to crash, say police. William Jackson, known as Billy, collided with the animal as he overtook two cars in Sheffield. The impact caused William's Yamaha to swerve into a field beside the road, where William was found in a ditch.

Source: thesun.co.uk

15:58 World
Ville de Bitche: Facebook mistakenly removes French town's page

The social network's algorithm confused the name of the town in Moselle, north-east France, with the English insult. Bitche's mayor said the Facebook page of the town (population 5,000) was removed on 19 March for violating site rules. Facebook said it had reinstated the page on Tuesday after spotting the error. The mayor said the president of French Facebook had contacted him on Tuesday to tell him the page had been reinstated and to apologize for the inconvenience. Mr Kieffer invited him, as well as Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, to visit Bitche "to discover our pretty fortified town".

Source: bbc.com

14:57 World
New Zealand to launch world-first climate change rules

New Zealand is to become the world's first country to bring in a law forcing its financial firms to report on the effects of climate change. The country wants to be carbon neutral by 2050 and says the financial sector needs to play its part. Banks, insurers and fund managers can do this by knowing the environmental effect of their investments, says its Climate Change Minister James Shaw.

Source: bbc.com

13:54 World
Queen returns to royal duties four days after Prince Philip’s death

The monarch held her first in-person event since Philip’s passing on Friday, hosting a ceremony to mark the retirement of her household’s most senior official, the Earl Peel, who formally stood down as Lord Chamberlain.

Source: independent.co.uk

13:34 World
Triplets who married the same day welcome baby boys within the same period

The Nigerian triplet brothers, Chinedu, Chukwuebuka and Kenechukwu Onyia, tied the knots with their lovers at Ngwo in Enugu State on June 6, 2020. Photos of the couples went viral after the wedding ceremony and some reports suggested that the wives were triplets too, but it later became clear that they are from three different states - Enugu, Delta and Imo.

Source: pulse.com

12:55 World
Austrian health minister resigns due to exhaustion

Austria's health minister has said he is stepping down because of exhaustion. He said his 15 months in office had "felt like 15 years". Rudolf Anschober, 60, was appointed in January 2020 and led the country's health response to the pandemic.

Source: bbc.com

12:11 World
Ever Given impounded as Suez Canal Authority pursues salvage costs

This time however, the 220,000-ton ship is not caught in the sand, but snared in a legal row between Egyptian authorities and the ship’s owners over the financial impact of the accident. The massive ship has been impounded by a court in Ismailia, as the Suez Canal Authority pursues its Japanese owners for the cost of the salvage operation and lost transit fees for the week that the canal was blocked. Megaship that ran aground now caught in legal row between owners and Egyptian authorities reportedly seeking $900m.

Source: theguardian.com

11:38 World
South Korea aims to fight Japan's Fukushima decision in world tribunal

South Korean President Moon Jae-in ordered officials on Wednesday to explore petitioning an international court over Japan’s decision to release water from its Fukushima nuclear plant, his spokesman said, amid protests by fisheries and environmental groups.

Source: reuters.com

11:19 World
Iran president calls 60% enrichment an answer to ‘evilness’

Iran’s president on Wednesday called Tehran’s decision to enrich uranium up to 60% after saboteurs attacked a nuclear site “an answer to your evilness,” linking the incident to ongoing talks in Vienna over its tattered nuclear deal with world powers.

Source: apnews.com

10:39 World
EU Commission to end AstraZeneca and J&J vaccine contracts at expiry

The EU Commission has decided not to renew COVID-19 vaccine contracts next year with companies such as Astrazeneca and Johnson & Johnson (J&J). It added that Brussels would rather focus on COVID-19 vaccines using messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, such as Pfizer’s and Moderna’s.

Source: reuters.com

10:03 World
Biden set to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11

President Joe Biden plans to withdraw the remaining 2,500 U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021, 20 years to the day after the al Qaeda attacks that triggered America’s longest war, U.S. officials said on Tuesday. The disclosure of the plan came on the same day that the U.S. intelligence community released a gloomy outlook for Afghanistan, forecasting “low” chances of a peace deal this year and warning that its government would struggle to hold the Taliban insurgency at bay if the U.S.-led coalition withdraws support.

Source: reuters.com

18:00 World
Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine to be paused in US over blood clots

US health agencies have recommended states pause administration of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine, after reports of rare and severe blood clots emerged in six women. More than 6.8m doses have been administered nationally.

Source: theguardian.com

17:37 World
42 migrants dead after boat from Yemen capsizes off Djibouti coast

At least 42 migrants have died after a boat they were travelling in from Yemen capsized off the coast of Djibouti, East Africa, during the early hours of Monday morning, the United Nations' International Office for Migration (IOM) said on Tuesday.

Source: cnn.com

16:43 World
Don't play with fire on Taiwan, China warns U.S.

China told the United States on Tuesday to stop playing with fire over Taiwan and lodged a complaint after Washington issued guidelines that will enable U.S. officials to meet more freely with officials from the island that China claims as its own. The U.S. State Department’s Friday decision to deepen relations with self-ruled Taiwan came amid stepped-up Chinese military activity around the island, including almost daily air force incursions into Taiwan’s air defence zone. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters they had lodged “stern representations” with the United States.

Source: reuters.com

16:15 World
David Beckham joins Disney+ for grassroots football show

David Beckham will mentor young grassroots footballers in a new factual series for Disney+. The sports star, who captained England and played for clubs including Manchester United and Real Madrid, will return to the east London pitches where he played as a child. His mission is to help a struggling side survive in their amateur league.

Source: bbc.com

15:44 World
New species of frog unearthed in Peruvian Amazon jungle

A new species of marsupial frog has been discovered in Peru's Amazon jungle, the state service for natural protected areas said on Monday. The new species belongs to the Gastrotheca genus of tailless frogs found in South and Central America.

Source: france24.com

15:20 World
Inhaled asthma drug shortens Covid recovery and could be ‘significant for world,’ study finds

An inhaled drug commonly used for asthma has been shown to shorten the recovery time of Covid-19 sufferers who do not need hospital treatment – a development that has been described as a “significant milestone” in the fight against coronavirus. British scientists from Oxford University have found that budesonide, an anti-inflammatory medicine, can help accelerate recovery in the over-50s by an average of three days.

Source: independent.co.uk

14:38 World
U.S. will base 500 additional troops in Germany, minister tells Berlin

The United States will deploy an additional 500 troops to Germany, Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin said during a visit to Berlin, marking a reversal of former President Donald Trump’s plans to withdraw about 12,000 troops from the NATO country.

Source: reuters.com

13:54 World
William and Harry pay tribute to grandfather

The Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex have paid tribute to their grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh. In separate statements, Prince William described him as an "extraordinary man", while Prince Harry said he was "a man of service, honour and great humour" and the "legend of banter". Prince Philip died at Windsor Castle on Friday aged 99.

Source: bbc.com

12:53 World
University of Kentucky mistakenly sends 500,000 acceptances

The University of Kentucky mistakenly sent acceptance emails to 500,000 high school seniors for a program that usually accepts about three dozen students a year. The school followed up with another email less than 24 hours later and apologized for its mistake.

Source: apnews.com

11:53 World
Japan approves releasing wastewater into ocean

Japan has approved a plan to release more than one million tonnes of contaminated water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea. The water will be treated and diluted so radiation levels are below those set for drinking water. But the local fishing industry has strongly opposed the move, as have China and South Korea. Tokyo says work to release water used to cool nuclear fuel will begin in about two years. The final approval comes after years of debate and is expected to take decades to complete.

Source: bbc.com

11:17 World
Giant lizard climbs store shelves in Thailand 7-Eleven

A store employee called the police who then brought reptile handlers to catch the Godzilla-esque creature. Shoppers got more than they bargained for at a Thailand 7-Eleven store when a giant monitor lizard walked in and climbed store shelves. People can be heard screaming and laughing in the background as the lizard reaches the top of a shelf and sprawls out near an ice machine.


10:49 World
UK and EU edge closer to deal on Brexit checks in Northern Ireland

The UK is edging towards a new deal with the EU on Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland with the potential for easing border checks on certain goods. Officials in London and Brussels have been involved in intense “technical talks” in the past two weeks over the future checks on food, plants and parcels going from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

Source: theguardian.com

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