Brutal "April 7 surprise" of Armenia’s police to women activists and journalists

Author Lilian Galstyan

14:47 07/04/2021

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


10:00 World
Villa's Trezeguet set for knee surgery

Aston Villa winger Trezeguet requires knee surgery after suffering an injury at the weekend, the Premier League club said Monday The Egypt attacker was forced off late in Saturday's defeat at Liverpool and a Villa statement said: "Trezeguet will now have an operation before starting his rehabilitation.


17:43 World
Model left brain-damaged after allergic reaction to pretzel awarded $29.5M

The family of a model who was left brain-damaged after having a serious allergic reaction to a peanut butter-infused pretzel was awarded the $29.5 million sum Friday when a jury found that the responding ambulance service negligently treated her in 2013. Now 35, Chantel Giacalone is quadriplegic, has to be fed through a tube and can only communicate with her eyes, according to a local report.


17:12 World
‘Nomadland’ wins 4 BAFTAs including best picture, director

Gig-economy Western “Nomadland” won four prizes including best picture on Sunday at the British Academy Film Awards, which were handed out during a pandemic-curbed ceremony that recognized a diverse array of screen talent. “Nomadland” filmmaker Chloe Zhao became only the second woman, and the first woman of color, to win the BAFTA for best director, and star Frances McDormand was named best actress. “Nomadland” also took the cinematography prize.


16:36 Armenia
ADB Supports Digital Platform to Help Improve Land Resources Management in Armenia

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $1.3 million technical assistance (TA) initiative to support Armenia in developing a digital platform to host standardized data on land ownership and other geographic information to help improve land resources management in the country. The integrated platform will include information on national water resources and forests, special protected natural areas, and historical and cultural monuments to guide development projects, investments, agricultural activities, and tourism development, among others. It will enable areas that are vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters such as earthquakes—of which Armenia is particularly prone—to be mapped.

Source: Asian Development Bank

15:43 World
France bans short domestic flights where passengers can take the train

The measure is part of broader plans to lower carbon emissions.


15:04 World
Drug regulator's SEC approves Russia's Sputnik V for emergency use in India

Sputnik V is being marketed in India by Dr Reddy's Laboratories, which has helped run a small trial for the drug in the country to test its safety and ability to generate an immune response. Sputnik V would be the third Covid-19 vaccine approved in India after AsztraZeneca's Covishield, and local firm Bharat Biotech's Covaxin.


14:09 World
Czech foreign minister Petricek expects to be dismissed from government

Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek said he expects to be dismissed from the government on Monday after he lost a bid to lead his centre-left Social Democratic party (CSSD) party last week.


13:24 World
Son Heung-min racially abused after Tottenham’s defeat by Manchester United

Tottenham Hotspur have condemned “abhorrent” racist online abuse suffered by Son Heung-min in the wake of Sunday’s 3-1 defeat by Manchester United in the Premier League. South Korea midfielder Son was subjected to racist insults both in replies to a tweet from Spurs’ official account and in the comments section on his most recent Instagram post.


12:47 Region
South Korean PM arrives in Iran to help try to revive nuclear deal

South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun arrived in Iran on Sunday to help try to restore a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, Seoul officials said. Chung is the first South Korean prime minister to visit Iran in 44 years amid icy relations between the two countries due to Iran’s military cooperation with North Korea.


12:14 World
India overtakes Brazil as 2nd-worst hit country

India reported another record daily surge in coronavirus infections Monday to overtake Brazil as the second-worst hit country. The 168,912 cases added in the last 24 hours pushed India’s total to 13.5 million, while Brazil has 13.4 million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. India also reported 904 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking its total to 170,179, which is the fourth highest toll, behind the United States, Brazil and Mexico.


11:26 World
Janet Jackson to sell personal treasures in celebrity auction

Intent on making sure her birthday weekend will be one to remember for fans across the world, Janet Jackson has finally agreed to auction more than 1,000 pieces from a career spanning four decades. The star, who has sold over 185 million records and remains the only female artist in history to score seven top-five singles from one album, has partnered with celebrity auctioneer Julien’s to host the three-day sale in Beverly Hills from 14 May.


10:52 World
Conservative ex-banker elected Ecuador president

A conservative former banker, Guillermo Lasso, has won Ecuador's presidential election following a run-off vote. His opponent, the left-wing economist Andrés Arauz, conceded defeat hours after polls closed on Sunday. With almost all the ballots counted, Mr Lasso had won 52.5% of the vote compared to Mr Arauz's 47.5%. Mr Lasso, a 65-year-old three-time presidential candidate, told supporters he accepted the "challenge of changing our country's destiny".


10:16 World
Prince Philip's birth certificate unearthed close to Greek villa where he was born

Written in Katharevousa Greek by a priest named Spiriodon Tryfonas, the 1921 document said the future Duke was formally named 'Philippos' during his baptism into the Greek Orthodox Church.


10:00 World
Chinese vaccines’ effectiveness low

In a rare admission of the weakness of Chinese coronavirus vaccines, the country’s top disease control official says their effectiveness is low and the government is considering mixing them to get a boost. Chinese vaccines “don’t have very high protection rates,” said the director of the China Centers for Disease Control, Gao Fu, at a conference Saturday in the southwestern city of Chengdu.


16:00 World
Ukrainian, Turkish presidents hold talks amid Donbass tensions with Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy will hold talks with his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul on Saturday, amid tensions between Kyiv and Moscow over a long-running conflict in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region.


15:18 World
Harry Kane 'ready to tell Tottenham' he wants to leave with two reasons behind decision

He wants to quit the club this summer permitting they do not qualify for the Champions League. The England captain, who has already etched his name into the Tottenham history books, is willing to consider walking away from White Hart Lane to give himself the best chance of winning trophies. Kane was already believed to be considering his future following the departure of Mauricio Pochettino but Jose Mourinho convinced Spurs' main man to give him a full season under the Portuguese's management following his appointment in November 2019. The 27-year-old was true to his word but Mourinho has failed to drive the club forward despite spending heavily last summer.


14:54 World
COVID-battered Malta to pay tourists who visit this summer

Aiming to revive its tourism industry and get ahead of rival destinations, Malta plans to offer foreign visitors a handout of up to 200 euros ($238.10) each if they stay at least three days on the Mediterranean island this summer.


14:26 World
China fines Alibaba record $2.75 billion for anti-monopoly violations

China slapped a record 18 billion yuan ($2.75 billion) fine on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd on Saturday, after an anti-monopoly probe found the e-commerce giant had abused its dominant market position for several years. The Alibaba business empire has come under intense scrutiny in China since billionaire founder Jack Ma’s stinging public criticism of the country’s regulatory system in October.


13:22 World
Rapper is selling a smart mask for $299

Rapper wants to make face masks a high-end, high-tech statement. The Black Eyed Peas member announced this week he is teaming up with Honeywell to launch XUPERMASK, a $299 mask with a ton of bells and whistles. The XUPERMASK was designed by, Honeywell and Jose Fernandez, the designer behind Elon Musk's SpaceX suits.


12:14 World
Indonesia earthquake: 6.0 magnitude quake hits just off coast - tsunami alert

The warning was issued bt Tsunami Service Provider INDONESIA in support of the UNESCO/IOC Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (IOTWMS). The German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), the earthquake hit the region at around 2pm local time at an intermediate depth of 87km.


11:31 World
Myanmar junta sentences 19 people to death as protest crackdowns continue

Nineteen people have been sentenced to death in Myanmar for killing an associate of an army captain, the military owned Myawaddy TV station said on Friday, the first such sentences announced in public since a Feb. 1 coup and crackdown on protesters. The report said the killing took place on March 27 in the North Okkalapa district of Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city. Martial law has been declared in the district, allowing courts martial to pronounce sentences.


10:50 World
New Type of Battery Can Charge 10x Faster Than Lithium-Ion Models

Researchers in Russia have developed a new type of battery technology that they say can charge approximately 10 times faster than existing lithium-ion batteries – a speed-up that could offer huge time-saving advantages if it got rolled out in everyday devices. The key to the new batteries is a kind of nitroxyl-based redox polymer, a material that can undergo reversible oxidation (loss of electrons) and reduction (gain of electrons) when it discharges and charges.


10:35 World
Pique and Sergi Roberto cleared fit to return to Barcelona's Clasico squad

Barcelona duo Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto have both been passed fit and included in the squad for the Clasico this weekend. Barça travel to Real Madrid on Saturday in the league just one point behind leaders Atletico Madrid. Madrid are two back from the Catalans.


10:15 World
DMX dead at 50 a week after star suffered heart attack

The rapper and actor, born Earl Simmons, died at White Plains Hospital in New York on Friday, his family confirms.


10:00 World
Volcano erupts in southern Caribbean, sparking evacuation 'frenzy'

La Soufriere volcano on the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent erupted on Friday after decades of inactivity, sending dark plumes of ash and smoke billowing into the sky and forcing thousands from surrounding villages to evacuate. Dormant since 1979, the volcano started showing signs of activity in December, spewing steam and smoke and rumbling away. That picked up this week, prompting Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves to order an evacuation of the surrounding area late on Thursday.



17:40 World
Scientists race to track shrinking carbon-store sea meadows

Hundreds of miles from the nearest shore, ribbon-like fronds flutter in the ocean currents sweeping across an underwater mountain plateau the size of Switzerland. A remote-powered camera glides through the sunlit, turquoise waters of this corner of the western Indian Ocean, capturing rare footage of what scientists believe is the world’s largest seagrass meadow. Human activity is helping destroy the equivalent of a soccer field of these seagrasses every 30 minutes around the world, according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). And scientists are now racing to take stock of what remains.


17:02 World
Japanese doctors perform world's first living donor lung transplant to a Covid-19 patient

A Japanese woman has received what doctors say is the world's first lung transplant from living donors to a recovered coronavirus patient. Kyoto University Hospital said the woman underwent an 11-hour operation by a 30-strong medical team on Wednesday to transplant lung tissue from her husband and son. Covid-19 is known to cause severe lung damage in some patients, and people around the world have received lung transplants as part of their recovery from the disease. But the Kyoto hospital said this case was the first in which lung tissue had been transplanted from living donors to a Covid-19 patient.


16:26 World
Caravaggio: Spain stops auction over possible long-lost masterpiece

Spain has blocked the auction of a painting in Madrid, following suggestions it could be a long-lost masterpiece by the Italian Renaissance artist Caravaggio. The starting price for Crowning of Thorns was initially 1,500 euros. But if it is indeed by Michelangelo Caravaggio, it could be worth up to €150m. The painting is being examined by experts and declared "not for export". The 17th Century oil painting depicts Jesus just before his crucifixion and, according to the auction catalogue, is attributed to Spanish artist José de Ribera.


15:31 World
NI riots: Police say 19 officers injured in latest night of violence

Nineteen officers were injured on Thursday night, bringing the number hurt in a week of violence across Northern Ireland to 74. Police deployed water cannon for the first time in six years after coming under attack again in Belfast. Crowds rioted on both sides of gates that separate a loyalist area and a nationalist area in west Belfast. Petrol bombs, fireworks and stones were again used to attack police, who have faced rising disorder since 29 March.


14:12 World
3,000-year-old ‘lost golden city’ of ancient Egypt discovered

Egyptian archaeologists have hailed the discovery of what is believed to be the largest ancient city found in Egypt, buried under sand for millennia, which experts said was one of the most important finds since the unearthing of Tutankhamun’s tomb. The team began excavations in September 2020, between the temples of Ramses III and Amenhotep III near Luxor, 500km south of the capital, Cairo. It called the find the largest ancient city, known as Aten, ever uncovered in Egypt.


13:20 World
Zlatan Ibrahimovic to make acting debut in new Asterix and Obelix film

He has already sampled the life of a singer at Italy's Sanremo music festival, and AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic will now turn his hand to acting after being cast in a new Asterix and Obelix film. Reports that the Swede would take a role in 'Asterix and Obelix: The Silk Road' appeared to be confirmed when Ibrahimovic posted a picture saying 'Antivirus' on his Instagram page, the name of the character he will play. 

12:31 World
Kylian Mbappe tells PSG that he wants to leave

After leading PSG to a 3-2 win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League, Mbappe told his club that he does not want to renew his deal there. The star player in Paris is tied down until 2022 but wants to force a move this summer. Mbappe would like to play for Real Madrid. At 22, he is ready for a jump up to a top league. Florentino Perez has never hidden his desire to hire Mbappe and PSG may be forced to sell him so he does not walk away for free.


11:57 World
Iran frees South Korean ship it held amid dispute over funds

A South Korean oil tanker held for months by Iran amid a dispute over billions of dollars seized by Seoul was freed and sailed away early Friday, just hours ahead of further talks between Tehran and world powers over its tattered nuclear deal. South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said Iran released the tanker and its captain after seizing the vessel in January. The ministry says the Hankuk Chemi left an Iranian port at around 6 a.m. local time after completing an administrative process.


11:24 World
South Korea rolls out the KF-21, joining elite group of global supersonic fighter jet makers

South Korea unveiled its homegrown supersonic jet fighter on Friday, joining an exclusive club of military aviation giants and setting the stage for a $5.2 billion program it hopes will be a top export driver and jobs creator. Once operational, the KF-21 jet is expected to be armed with a range of air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles -- and possibly even air-launched cruise missiles.


10:45 World
Biden tightens some gun controls, says much more needed

President Joe Biden, in his first gun control measures since taking office, announced he is tightening regulations for buyers of “ghost guns” — homemade firearms that usually are assembled from parts and often lack serial numbers used to trace them. Also, a proposed rule, expected within 60 days, will tighten regulations on pistol-stabilizing braces like the one used in Boulder, Colorado, in a shooting last month that left 10 dead.


10:24 World
One of UK’s richest men Sir Richard Sutton stabbed to death & wife critical as man arrested for ‘murder’ 100 miles away

One of Britain's richest men, worth £301million, was last night found stabbed to death in his country mansion. A woman in her 60s, believed to be his partner, is fighting for her life after suffering knife injuries in the bloodbath at Moorhill, a large detached property in the tiny hamlet. A 34-year-old man - believed to be known to the victims - was arrested on suspicion of murder 100 miles away in London three hours later.


10:00 World
Emmanuel Macron has announced the closure of the École Nationale d’Administration,

the elite French finishing school for the country’s leaders, where he himself studied. The grande école, or ENA, has been the pathway to power for top civil servants and four presidents. Founded by Gen Charles de Gaulle in October 1945 with the idea of breaking the upper-class hold over France’s higher echelons, ending nepotism and making the civil service more democratic, it has instead become a byword for an establishment elite and been accused by critics of encouraging groupthink.


17:46 World
Woman finds out on son's wedding day that bride is actually her long-lost daughter

At a wedding in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province on March 31, the mother-in-law found noticed a birthmark on her new daughter-in-law's hand, which similar to her lost daughter. The woman approached the bride's parents to ask if they adopted their daughter over 20 years ago. The family were shocked by the question as it had been a secret for so many years but revealed they had found a baby girl by the roadside a long time. However, it was revealed that there would be no objection to the marriage as the groom was also adopted.



17:21 World
Gucci owner Kering on track with global logistic hub in Italy

Kering has completed the first phase of its new global logistics hub in North-West Italy, helping increase the French luxury group's storage and speed up global deliveries. The group will keep some warehouses in Switzerland but has already relocated several teams to Italy, Kering Managing Director Jean-Francois Palus told reporters on Thursday.


16:59 World
Philippines man dies after being forced to do 300 squats for breaking Covid-19 curfew

A man in the Philippines has died after being forced to do 300 squats for breaching Covid curfews, making him the latest victim of the country's often brutal approach to enforcing restrictions. On April 1, Darren Manaog Peñaredondo, 28, left his home in General Trias, a city in Cavite province, which is under lockdown due to rising Covid-19 cases, to buy water, his family said, according to CNN Philippines.


16:25 World
'I know that I will win': Chad's Deby eyes sixth presidential term

Chad’s President Idriss Deby, an ally of Western nations in the fight against Islamist militants, is poised to extend his three-decade rule in Sunday’s election despite mounting signs of popular discontent with his leadership. Deby, 68, is one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders, having seized power in 1990 in an armed rebellion. He pushed through a new constitution in 2018 that could allow him to stay in power until 2033 - even as it re-instated term limits.


15:29 World
More than 5,000 people attended an illegal party at the Tonto National Forest in Arizona

Forest protection officers were patrolling near the Lower Sycamore Creek Recreation Area when they discovered thousands of people who were illegally gathered, the U.S. Forest Service wrote in a Facebook post. The event resulted in multiple violations, including DUIs, speeding and reckless vehicle operation, blocking roadways, and illegal use of fireworks, the service said.


14:53 World
Beijing now has more billionaires than any city

Beijing is now home to more billionaires than any other city in the world, according to the latest Forbes' annual rich list. The Chinese capital added 33 billionaires last year and now hosts 100, said the business magazine. This narrowly beats New York City, which hosts 99 and has held the top ranking for the last seven years.


14:16 World
One in three survivors of severe Covid diagnosed with mental health condition

One in three people who were severely ill with coronavirus were subsequently diagnosed with a neurological or psychiatric condition within six months of infection, a study has found. The observational research, which is the largest of its kind, used electronic health records of 236,379 patients mostly from the US and found 34% experienced mental health and neurological conditions afterwards. The most common being anxiety, with 17% of people developing this.


13:40 World
Australians under 50 shouldn't get the AstraZeneca vaccine

Australia has advised its citizens under 50 against getting the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine after a link was confirmed between the jab and rare blood clots. Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the announcement on Thursday night after the nation's drug regulators held urgent meetings to consider the findings of a review of the vaccine by European authorities. 


12:58 World
Boris Johnson desperately needs a more coherent China strategy

China has become a hot issue in British politics over the past 12 months, as lawmakers and activists have become aware of how much the UK relies on a country that stands against many of the things that it claims to uphold. And many in London are worried that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has neither the time nor imagination to adequately handle one of Britain's greatest foreign challenges.


12:10 World
Bayern Munich 2-3 PSG: Kylian Mbappe double gives Mauricio Pochettino first-leg advantage

Report as Kylian Mbappe and Neymar combine for two of Paris Saint-Germain's goals in a stunning victory at the Allianz Arena; Bayern Munich respond through Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Thomas Muller, but lose in Champions League for first time in 20 games. Kylian Mbappe's double in a performance of real endeavour saw Paris Saint-Germain earn a surprise 3-2 Champions League quarter-final first-leg win at holders Bayern Munich.



11:25 World
Video shows dramatic crew rescue after ship lost power during storm

The crew of a Dutch cargo ship was rescued from their vessel when it lost power in the middle of a storm in the North Sea, putting it in danger of capsizing. Rescue operators plan to tow the empty ship to safety to avoid the hundreds of tons of oil and diesel from spilling into the water.

10:44 World
South Korea ruling party suffers crushing defeat in mayoral vote

South Korea's governing Democratic Party has suffered a crushing defeat in mayoral elections in the country's two biggest cities, Seoul and Busan. Candidates from the opposition People Power Party (PPP) won both cities by big margins. Both former mayors from President Moon's Democratic Party were accused of sexual misconduct while in office. In Busan, the incumbent resigned. Seoul's mayor was found dead in a suspected suicide.


10:16 World
Northern Ireland executive to meet after sixth night of unrest

The Northern Ireland executive will meet on Thursday morning to be briefed on the ongoing unrest, after a bus was hijacked and set on fire in Belfast during a sixth consecutive night of violence. The vehicle was set alight at an intersectional area between nationalist and unionist communities, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said. Stones were thrown at police while a press photographer was assaulted during the course of their work on Wednesday evening on the junction of Lanark Way and Shankill Road in West Belfast.


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