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17:47 World
Pope Francis begins historic Iraq visit despite virus and security risks

Pope Francis arrived in Baghdad for his first inernational trip since the Covid-19 pandemic began. He will try to reassure the dwindling Christian community and foster inter-religious dialogue - meeting Iraq's most revered Shia Muslim cleric. The Pope will also celebrate Mass at a stadium in Irbil in the north.

Source: bbc.com

17:29 World
Mine that produced Queen's diamond investigates claims of abuses by guards

A Tanzanian mine that produced a flawless pink diamond for one of the Queen’s favourite brooches is investigating claims that security personnel have shot and assaulted illegal miners. New allegations come months after a lawsuit alleging “serious” human rights abuses was filed against Petra Diamonds, the mine’s British owner, in the high court in London.

Source: theguardian.com

16:24 World
Liverpool 0-1 Chelsea: Crisis deepens for Jurgen Klopp as Reds lose fifth straight home game

The result means a highly impressive Chelsea, who are unbeaten in 10 matches under Tuchel, move up to fourth with Liverpool four points further back in seventh.

Source: eurosport.com

15:43 World
China approves sale of traditional medicine products to treat Covid-19

China has approved three traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) products for sale to help treat Covid-19, the government's National Medical Products Administration announced. The three products are "lung-clearing and detoxing granules," "dampness-resolving and detoxing granules," and "lung-diffusing and detoxing granules," said the statement.

Source: cnn.com

14:44 World
Wisdom the albatross, the world's oldest known wild bird, has another chick at age 70

Regarded as “oldest known wild bird in history”, Wisdom has outlived previous mating partners as well as the biologist Chandler Robbins, who first banded her in 1956.

Source: theguardian.com

14:16 World
It’s scary’: Shoppers give verdict on Amazon’s futuristic till-free supermarket

Suburban west Londoners were given a glimpse of the future on Thursday morning. And where some found it “magical,” others resorted to swear words as they struggled to adjust to a revolution in grocery shopping. Amazon opened its very first “contactless” food store outside the US, with customers able to head inside, pick products off the shelf and walk out without queuing at a till.  The store uses cameras and depth-censor tools so customers can pick up items and go.

Source: independent

13:32 World
Meghan Markle plunges royal family into worst crisis in decades after accusing The Firm of being ‘liars’

A clearly angry Meghan says: “I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us. “And if that comes with risk of losing things, there is a lot that has been lost already.”

Source: thesun

13:08 World
More German companies see worsening international business in 2021

More German companies expect global business conditions to worsen this year than expect improvement, Germany’s DIHK Chambers of Industry and Commerce said on Friday. DIHK’s survey of 2,400 internationally active companies found that only 17% expected better business conditions over the next twelve months than in 2020, while 27% expected business conditions to deteriorate.

Source: reuters.com

12:25 World
Beijing China set to overhaul Hong Kong electoral system

China announced at its biggest political meeting that it will overhaul Hong Kong's electoral system to ensure "patriots" are in charge, a sign that the government will no longer tolerate dissent in the city. A draft decision will be discussed during the National People's Congress (NPC), which will run for a week.

Source: bbc.com

11:43 World
Covid-19: San Diego zoo apes given experimental vaccine

Several great apes at San Diego Zoo have been given an experimental Covid-19 vaccine designed for animals after an outbreak among gorillas there. Four orangutans and five bonobos each had two doses of a jab made by Zoetis, a veterinary pharmaceutical firm. Eight gorillas at the zoo became the first great apes in the world to test positive for Covid-19 in January. They are now recovering.

Source: bbc.com

11:06 World
Vladimir Nabokov's Superman poem published for the first time

A lost poem by Vladimir Nabokov, written from the perspective of Superman as he laments the impossibility of having children with Lois Lane, has been published for the first time. The Man of To-morrow’s Lament appears in this week’s Times Literary Supplement. In it, Nabokov, whose son loved the Superman comics, writes in the voice of the Man of Steel.

Source: theguardian.com

10:25 World
New Zealand downgrades tsunami warning after 8.1-magnitude earthquake

New Zealand has downgraded its tsunami warning after a powerful earthquake struck the Kermadec Islands region early Friday, sparking fears of a tsunami. The 8.1-magnitude quake was the third to strike the area on Friday morning local time, according to the New Zealand National Emergency Management Agency. The emergency agency issued a temporary evacuation order for people near the coast, warning them, "Do not stay at home" as a "damaging tsunami is possible."

Source: cnn.com

10:10 World
Iran and IAEA clear potential roadblock to talks with US on nuclear deal

Rafael Grossi, the director general of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency, said Iran and IAEA inspectors had been talking past each other, with Iran failing to provide credible answers to the inspectorate’s questions. He said Iran had now agreed to take part in direct, focused technical meetings at the beginning of April, with the aim for inspectors to report back to an IAEA board meeting in June.

Source: theguardian.com

17:57 World
SpaceX: Starship lands safely... then explodes

Elon Musk's SpaceX has successfully landed one of its Starship prototypes at the end of a high-altitude test flight. It is the first time the space exploration company has pulled this off, after the ship's predecessors crashed into the ground. But then a fire developed around SN10's base and eight minutes later it exploded on the landing pad in Boca Chica, Texas.

Source: bbc.com

17:11 World
Greek ‘pushbacks’ brought to European court after child refugees ‘towed out to sea and abandoned in raft’

Two child asylum seekers were removed from a refugee camp in Greece by officials, taken out to sea on a coastguard vessel and left alone to drift on a motor-less rubber dinghy until they found land, a legal complaint against Athens lodged in the European Court of Human Rights has alleged.

Source: independent

16:55 World
The Simpsons renewed for 2 more seasons

The Simpsons has been renewed for seasons 33 and 34, taking the longest-running primetime scripted series up to the year 2023 with a total of 757 episodes. Matt Groening, the show’s creator and executive producer, said: “Everyone at The Simpsons is thrilled to be renewed once more, and we are planning lots of big surprises.

Source: independent

 

15:50 World
Japanese billionaire seeks 8 people for space voyage

Eccentric fashion tycoon Yusaku Maezawa is looking for applicants from around the world to take a seat on a trip on Elon Musk's SpaceX flight in 2023. Maezawa, 45, has promised to cover the costs for those selected in his mission, titled dearMoon. The billionaire and CEO of Japanese fashion retailer Zozo was the first private passenger to book a spot on the Elon Musk's space expedition in 2018 for an undisclosed amount.

Source: nbcnews.com

15:12 World
Bird appears in Indonesian forest for first time in 170 years

What might be Asia’s longest-missing bird just came out of hiding. For the first time in 170 years, a black-browed babbler has been found in Indonesia, researchers reported last week. The discovery of the muted black, gray and chestnut-brown bird solves what an authoritative birding guide describes as “one of the great enigmas of Indonesian ornithology”.

Source: independent

 

14:24 World
Disney Closing at Least 60 North American Retail Stores in Move Toward E-Commerce

By getting rid of the brick-and-mortar stores, the goal over the next year is to focus on "a more seamless, personalized and franchise-focused e-commerce experience through its shopDisney platform."

Source: people.com

13:45 World
Sweden attack: Man injures seven in stabbing attack

A man has injured seven people, three seriously, in a stabbing attack in a south Swedish town. The assailant, who is in his 20s, struck in the centre of Vetlanda on Wednesday. Police are treating the case as attempted murder but also investigating the possibility of terror motives. The man was shot by officers and is under observation in hospital. His condition is said to be non life-threatening.

Source: bbc.com

11:55 World
Houthis say they've seized majority control of key city in Yemen

Yemen's Houthi rebels have taken control of 10 out of 14 districts of the strategic northern city of Marib, the Houthi deputy foreign minister, Hussein al-Ezzi told CNN Wednesday. Despite this, Marib's key city center district still remains under the control of the Saudi-backed government.

 

11:30 World
Russia's Sputnik V vaccine expands its reach in Latin America

Russia's Sputnik V has seen rising popularity across Latin America as more countries announce shipments and deals to purchase the Covid-19 vaccine. Nine Latin American countries so far have approved usage of the Sputnik V vaccine. The vaccine has been approved in 39 countries around the world, according to the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

Source: cnn.com

10:50 World
Haruki Murakami has designed a T-shirt collection for Uniqlo – and it drops next week

T-shirts based on ‘Kafka on the Shore,’ ‘Norwegian Wood’, '1Q84' and more will be available from March 8. There are eight graphic tees in total inspired by the novelist’s literary works and love of music. The ‘Norwegian Wood’ T-shirt is the simplest with only the author’s name and the title of the book on the front in a stylised font, while other tops are more elaborate in their designs.

Source: timeout.com

10:17 World
Tokyo Olympics will be closed to fans from abroad, hints Games organizer

The new president of the Tokyo Olympic organising committee has hinted that foreign fans will not be allowed at this summer’s Games amid reports in the Japanese press that a decision had already been made to exclude them.

Source: theguardian.com

09:56 World
Scientists in Iceland say 'strong signs' volcanic eruption is imminent

Scientists in Iceland have said there are now “strong signs” that a volcanic eruption may be under way following several days of near-constant seismic activity near Mount Keilir about 30km south of the capital, Reykjavik.

Source: theguardian.com

17:56 World
Spanish princesses vaccinated for Covid while visiting ex-king in exile

Spain’s royal family is facing further criticism after reports that the former king Juan Carlos’s daughters were vaccinated against Covid-19 while visiting their father in his self-imposed exile in Abu Dhabi. The claims that the princesses, Cristina, 55, and Elena, 57, had received the vaccine during a visit to the Gulf state last month drew swift rebukes from both main governing parties in a country in which the highly at-risk over-80s are still being vaccinated.

Source: theguardian.com

 

17:32 World
Fulham midfielder Kevin McDonald to undergo kidney transplant next month

The Fulham midfielder Kevin McDonald has revealed he will undergo a kidney transplant next month, having spent his playing career managing chronic kidney disease. McDonald, who is 32, was first diagnosed at the age of 18 and has managed his condition during a playing career that has included 500 appearances.

Source: theguardian.com

17:04 World
Hungary's Fidesz party to leave European parliament centre-right group

Hungary’s ruling rightwing Fidesz party has said it will leave the main centre-right political grouping in the European parliament after the European People’s party (EPP) voted to change its internal laws on excluding members.

Source: theguardian.com

16:14 World
A mausoleum built two millennia ago for the first Roman emperor, Augustus, has finally reopened to the public after

14 years and a $12.25 million restoration project. The funerary monument took five years to restore and make safe before it could be reopened to the public, including removing rubbish and clearing surrounding trees. Towering above Rome's historic centre, the ancient tomb was once used as a military look-out point and hosted the lavish parties of the Roman dynasty.

Source: dailymail

15:15 World
US Catholic group tells followers to avoid Johnson & Johnson vaccine

An American Catholic church body on Tuesday urged its followers to avoid the coronavirus vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson, alleging that it was “developed, tested and produced using abortion-derived cell lines.” The US Conference of Catholic Bishops urged Catholics to choose between the alternatives offered by Pfizer and Moderna because the J&J vaccine raised questions about “moral permissibility.”

Source: independent

14:40 World
Cristiano Ronaldo breaks another record during his 600th league game

When he netted Juventus' third goal in a 3-0 victory against Spezia on Tuesday, Ronaldo became the first player to score at least 20 goals over 12 consecutive seasons in Europe's top five leagues.

Source: cnn.com

13:36 World
US forces: Rockets hit airbase in Iraq hosting US troops

At least 10 rockets targeted a military base in western Iraq that hosts U.S.-led coalition troops on Wednesday, the coalition and the Iraqi military said. The rockets struck Ain al-Asad airbase in Anbar province at 7:20 a.m., spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto said. Later, the Iraqi military released a statement saying the attack did not cause significant losses and that security forces had found the launch pad used for the missiles.

Source: apnews.com

13:04 World
Passenger plane 'is forced to perform emergency landing after cat attacks pilot' shortly after take-off in Sudan

The plane bound for Doha, Qatar was forced to return to the Sudanese capital city of Khartoum. The 'aggressive' animal had somehow got into the cockpit prior to take-off, according to local media reports.

Source: dailymail

12:32 World
At least a dozen people were killed in horrific crash in rural California

The details surrounding the deadly accident in rural California on Tuesday are still unclear, but what is known is that an SUV was struck by a semitruck towing two trailers -- and at least 13 people were killed in the fierce collision.

Source: cnn.com

11:53 World
South Korea probing two deaths after AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine

South Korean authorities said on Wednesday they are investigating the deaths of two people after a media report said the pair - both with pre-existing conditions - died within days of receiving AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine. A 63-year-old nursing home patient with cerebrovascular disease developed symptoms, including high fever, after being given the AstraZeneca vaccine. The person died after showing symptoms of blood poisoning and pneumonia. Another person in their 50s with a cardiac disorder and diabetes died on Wednesday after suffering multiple heart attacks, having received the same vaccine a day earlier.

Source: reuters.com

 

11:16 World
Tokyo 2020: Organisers boost number of women on board

The Tokyo Olympic Games organising committee is set to add 12 new female directors to its executive board. The move comes weeks after long-time president Yoshiro Mori was forced to quit for making sexist remarks. His female replacement, Seiko Hashimoto, aims to have women make up 40% of the board members.

Source: bbc.com

10:21 World
Sharks that glow in the dark? Scientists discover luminous deep-sea predators off New Zealand

The kitefin shark, the blackbelly lanternshark, and the southern lanternshark were found during a survey off the Chatham rise, an oceanic area off New Zealand's east coast, in January 2020. Among the three glowing sharks, the kitefin shark is now the largest-known luminous underwater creature. The shark is usually found swimming 300 meters below sea level and preys on smaller sharks, ground fish and crustaceans.

Source: nbcnews.com

10:06 World
Bunny Wailer, last surviving founder member of the Wailers, dies aged 73

Reggae artist and three-time Grammy winner found worldwide fame alongside Bob Marley in the early 1970s. Born Neville Livingston in 1947 in Kingston, he and Marley became friends as toddlers, and formed the Wailers in 1963, which settled into a core trio of the pair alongside Peter Tosh.

Source: theguardian.com

18:02 World
Criminal complaint filed against Mohammed bin Salman in German court

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and other high-ranking Saudi officials have been accused of committing crimes against humanity in a criminal complaint filed in Germany by Reporters without Borders (RSF), the press freedom group.

Source: theguardian.com

17:06 World
Diego Maradona's Porsche is up for sale

A Porsche that belonged to footballing legend Diego Maradona has been put up for auction and valued between $180,000 and $240,000. The silver Porsche 911 was delivered new to Maradona in November 1992 while he was playing for Spanish side Sevilla during what was his final season in Europe.

Source: cnn.com

16:34 World
Goodbye gas: Volvo to make only electric vehicles by 2030

Volvo says it will make only electric vehicles by 2030. But if you want one, you’ll have to buy it online. The Swedish automaker said Tuesday that it is phasing out the production of all cars with internal combustion engines — including hybrids.

Source: apnews.com

16:00 World
Girl, 9, beaten to death with cane during exorcism

Police in Sri Lanka said Monday they have arrested two people in connection with the death of a 9-year-old girl who was repeatedly beaten during a ritual they believed would drive away an evil spirit. The two suspects - the woman performing the exorcism and the girl's mother - appeared in court on Monday to hear charges over the girl's death. The mother believed her daughter had been possessed by a demon and took her to the home of the exorcist so a ritual could be performed to drive the spirit away.

Source: foxnews.com

14:57 World
Nigeria school abduction: Hundreds of girls released by gunmen

A group of nearly 300 girls who were kidnapped from a school in north-western Nigeria last week have been released. The girls were abducted by unidentified gunmen from their boarding school on Friday and taken to a forest. The state's governor said on Tuesday that the group had been freed and the girls were now safe. Such kidnappings are carried out for ransom and are common in the north.

Source: bbc.com

13:53 World
Jack Ma loses title as China's richest man after coming under Beijing's scrutiny

Alibaba and Ant Group founder Jack Ma has lost the title of China’s richest man as his peers prospered while his empire was put under heavy scrutiny by Chinese regulators.

Source: reuters.com

13:21 World
World's first space HOTEL to begin construction in low Earth orbit in 2025 complete with restaurants, spa, cinemas and rooms for up to 400 guests

Work is due to start on the world's first 'space hotel' in low Earth orbit in 2025. Developed by the Orbital Assembly Corporation (OAC), the Voyager Station could be operational as early as 2027, with the infrastructure built in orbit around the Earth.

Source: dailymail

12:48 World
Los Angeles police probe fire, vandalism at Japanese Buddhist temple

Authorities are investigating vandalism and a fire at a Buddhist temple in the Little Tokyo section of downtown Los Angeles. The incident comes amid a rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans.

Source: nbcnews.com

12:13 World
Osama bin Laden’s Son Is a Painter.

The fourth-eldest son and heir apparent of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is the spitting image of his father. “My mum loves painting, and so does one of my sisters. My uncle was also a very good artist. So the need to draw and paint runs in my blood”,-Omar bin Laden explained. Over the past 12 months he has painted more than a dozen original works, all of them completed in the style of art naif, with vibrant colours and flat, expressionistic brushstrokes.

Source: vice.com

11:07 World
Novak Djokovic equals Roger Federer's record for weeks as world No 1

Novak Djokovic equalled Roger Federer’s all-time record for most weeks as ATP world No 1 on Monday. He has now held the top spot for the 310 weeks.

Source: theguardian.com

10:16 World
Biden urged to back AI weapons to counter China and Russia threats

An official report commissioned for the American President and Congress says that artificial intelligence will "compress decision time frames" and require military responses humans cannot make quickly enough alone. And it warns Russia and China would be unlikely to keep to any such treaty. But critics claim the proposals risk driving an "irresponsible" arms race.

Source: bbc.com

10:03 World
Radar images capture new Antarctic mega-iceberg

Radar satellites got their first good look at Antarctica's new mega-iceberg over the weekend. The EU's Sentinel-1 and Germany's TerraSAR-X spacecraft both had passes over the 1,290-sq-km (500-sq-mile) block, informally named "A74". Their sensors showed the berg to have moved rapidly away from the Brunt Ice Shelf - the floating platform from which it calved on Friday.

Source: bbc.com

18:15 World
Hundreds of K-pop songs disappear from Spotify

Hundreds of popular K-pop songs have been removed from Spotify, amid a dispute with South Korean music distributor Kakao M. Releases by popular acts including Sistar, IU, Monsta X and Epik High have vanished, leaving fans frustrated.

Source: bbc.com

17:42 World
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy sentenced to three years for corruption

A court has found Nicolas Sarkozy guilty of corruption and influence peddling and sentenced the former French president to three years in prison with two of them suspended. It is unlikely the former president will spend a day in jail. The one-year prison sentence can be served with certain conditions, including the wearing of an electronic bracelet, or limited home confinement. Sarkozy is expected to appeal against the conviction.

Source: theguardian.com

17:01 World
Thierry Henry steps down as coach of CF Montreal due to family reasons

Former Arsenal star Thierry Henry is stepping down as head coach of Major League Soccer (MLS) side CF Montreal due to family reasons. The 43-year-old -- who has two children -- spent 15 months with Montreal, which has been forced to relocate to the United States this season due to Canada's Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Source: cnn.com

16:26 World
Texas electricity firm files for bankruptcy citing $1.8 billion in claims from grid operator

Texas’s largest and oldest electric power cooperative on Monday filed for bankruptcy protection in federal court in Houston, citing a disputed $1.8 billion bill from the state’s grid operator. Brazos Electric Power Cooperative Inc is one of dozens of electricity providers facing enormous charges stemming from a severe cold snap last month.

Source: reuters.com

15:26 World
CPAC: Trump rules out new political party in speech to conservatives

Donald Trump says he has no plans to launch a new political party, telling a conservative conference in Florida that it would split the Republican vote. In his first speech since Democrat Joe Biden became president, he also hinted that he might run for office again in 2024.

Source: bbc.com

 

14:13 World
Golden Globes: 'Tears' as Chloe Zhao becomes first Asian woman to win best director

Asians around the world are reacting with "happy tears" as Chloe Zhao made history at the Golden Globe Awards, becoming the first Asian woman to ever win the prize for best director. The Nomadland director, who was born in China, is only the second woman to win the award. The first was Barbra Streisand in 1984.

Source: bbc.com

13:20 World
Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine: FDA approves single-shot jab

The vaccine is set to be a cost-effective alternative to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and can be stored in a refrigerator instead of a freezer. Trials found it prevented serious illness but was 66% effective overall when moderate cases were included.

Source: bbc.com

13:00 World
Denmark’s climate policies 'insufficient' to meet 2030 emissions target

The Danish government’s efforts towards meeting the country’s ambitious target of reducing emissions by 70% by 2030 have been judged “insufficient” by the body tasked with monitoring its progress, with measures so far announced only likely to take it a third of the way.

Source: theguardian.com

12:28 World
Denver family wows neighbourhood with snow art

For most people, creating a snowman is hard work, but one family in Colorado took things to another level with this snake snow sculpture. Morn Mosley and his five siblings spent ten hours working on this year's model of a snake which has delighted locals.
 

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