All posts by WorldNG

27Nov/21

51 Presumed Dead in Russia Coal Mine Accident; ‘Miracle’ Survivor Found 

Russian authorities on Friday released the names of 51 people presumed dead after a devastating methane explosion in a coal mine in Siberia, believed to be the deadliest since 2010. The list with the names of 46 miners and five rescuers was published online by the government of the Kemerovo region in southwestern Siberia, where the mine is located. Authorities had initially reported 52 possible fatalities, but search teams on Friday found a survivor in what officials described as a miracle.  A total of 285 miners were in the Listvyazhnaya mine at the time of an explosion on Thursday morning…

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27Nov/21

EU to Suspend Travel From Southern Africa Over New COVID Variant 

European Union states have agreed to suspend travel from southern Africa after the detection of a new COVID-19 variant, the presidency of the EU said Friday. A committee of health experts from all 27 EU states “agreed on the need to activate the emergency break & impose temporary restriction on all travel into EU from southern Africa,” the Slovenian presidency of the EU said on Twitter.    Restrictions will apply to Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, European Commission spokesperson Eric Mamer said on Twitter. An EU official said that EU governments have also been asked to…

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26Nov/21

WHO Designates COVID Variant Found in South Africa as ‘of Concern’

The World Health Organization (WHO) Friday designated a new COVID-19 variant detected in South Africa with a large number of mutations as being “of concern,” the fifth variant to be given the designation. The WHO said in a statement that it had assigned the B.1.1.529 variant the Greek letter Omicron. It is appropriate to be concerned about the new variant, WHO’s Special Envoy on COVID-19 David Nabarro said on Friday. “My own view is that really it is appropriate to be concerned about this,” he told the BBC. “I’ll tell you why: The virus looks like it will have greater…

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26Nov/21

Global Stocks Tumble, FTSE 100 Suffers Year’s Worst Session on Virus Scare

Britain’s blue-chip share index slumped Friday, suffering its biggest drop in more than a year as fears over a newly detected and possibly vaccine-resistant coronavirus variant gripped stock markets around the world.   The Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 Index closed down 3.7% at its lowest in more than seven weeks, with commodity, travel, and banking stocks leading the sell-off.   Britain said the virus variant spreading in South Africa was considered by scientists to be the most significant one found yet and it needed to ascertain whether it rendered vaccines ineffective.   Tourism group TUI fell almost 10%, while…

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26Nov/21

Survivor Found in Coal Mine Accident in Russia’s Siberia

Rescuers have found a survivor in a Siberian coal mine where dozens of miners are presumed dead after a devastating methane explosion, a top local official announced Friday. Sergei Tsivilyov, governor of the Kemerovo region where the mine is located, said on the messaging app Telegram that the survivor was found in the Listvyazhnaya mine in southwestern Siberia, and “he is being taken to the hospital.”  Acting Emergency Minister Alexander Chupriyan said the man found in the mine was rescuer Alexander Zakovryashin who had been presumed dead. “I can consider it a miracle,” Chupriyan said. Zakovryashin was conscious when rescuers…

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26Nov/21

Furious France Scraps UK Migrants Meeting After Johnson Letter

France on Friday scrapped planned talks with the UK about migrant crossings in anger at a letter by Britain’s prime minister over the crisis, pushing relations to new lows following the deaths of 27 people in the Channel this week. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin told UK counterpart Priti Patel she was no longer invited to talks at the weekend about the migrant crisis in the Channel with other European ministers. The meeting was set to go ahead without any UK presence, prompting London to demand France reconsider the snub. The row puts London and Paris at odds when they are…

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26Nov/21

Russian Brinkmanship Poses Early Test for Germany’s New Leader

Germany will have a new government next month after three parties agreed this week to form a coalition, ousting the ruling Christian Democrats, the party of outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel. The new government faces an early test of foreign policy, as Russia has deployed tens of thousands of troops on Europe’s eastern borders. Members of the Social Democratic Pary, or SDP, which narrowly won the highest vote share in September’s election, agreed to lead a coalition alongside the Green party and the Free Democrats. SDP leader Olaf Scholz, who will be Germany’s next chancellor, pledged to strengthen Germany’s existing alliances…

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26Nov/21

Russian Brinkmanship Poses Early Test for Germany’s New Leader

Germany will have a new government next month after three parties agreed to form a coalition, ousting the ruling Christian Democrats of outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel. The new government under Olaf Scholz faces an early test of foreign policy, as Russia has deployed tens of thousands of troops on Europe’s eastern borders. Henry Ridgwell considers Berlin’s future relationship with Moscow. Camera: Henry Ridgwell …

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26Nov/21

Defenders Urge Russian Court Not to Shutter Rights Group 

Defenders of Memorial, Russia’s most prominent rights group, urged the Supreme Court on Thursday to dismiss a case to shut it down, saying the move would mark a dark day for the country. In court for alleged violations of its designation as a “foreign agent,” Memorial is facing its biggest threat since being founded by Soviet dissidents including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Andrei Sakharov in 1989. A pillar of Russian civil society, Memorial has built up a huge archive of Soviet-era crimes and campaigned tirelessly for human rights in Russia. Prosecutors have asked the Supreme Court to dissolve Memorial International, the…

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26Nov/21

Czech President Returns to Hospital

Czech President Milos Zeman was readmitted to a hospital late Thursday after he tested positive for COVID-19. He’d left the Prague military hospital only hours before, following more than a month’s treatment for an unspecified illness. The presidential office said Zeman was tested after he arrived at his official residence in Lany, west of Prague, in the afternoon. His official program was postponed, and it was unclear whether Zeman would be able to swear in the country’s new prime minister as scheduled Friday — a process already long delayed because of the president’s previous hospitalization. Zeman, 77, was rushed to…

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25Nov/21

Pope Promises to Help Moribund Lebanon Rise Again 

Pope Francis, meeting the prime minister of Lebanon Thursday, compared the country to a dying person and promised to do everything in his power to help it “rise again.”    Francis and Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who took office in September after a year-long government vacuum, met privately for about 20 minutes and discussed the country’s devastating economic and social crisis, the Vatican said in a statement.    The fallout from Lebanon’s financial collapse in 2019 has left swathes of the nation in poverty and foreign donors are demanding an audit of the central bank and financial reforms before they…

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25Nov/21

Italy Takes in National Geographic’s Green-Eyed ‘Afghan Girl’

Italy has given safe haven to Sharbat Gula, the green-eyed “Afghan Girl” whose 1985 photo in National Geographic became a symbol of her country’s wars, Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s office said Thursday. The government intervened after Gula asked for help to leave Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover of the country in August, a statement said, adding that her arrival was part of a broader program to evacuate and integrate Afghan citizens.   U.S. photographer Steve McCurry took the picture of Gula when she was a youngster, living in a refugee camp on the Pakistan-Afghan border.   Her startling green eyes,…

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25Nov/21

At Least 11 Dead, Dozens Trapped in Russian Mining Accident 

At least 11 miners died in an accident Thursday at a coal mine in Russia’s Siberia, and an operation to rescue dozens more people underground was suspended due to the risk of an explosion, local authorities and emergency services said.  Coal dust caught fire in a ventilation shaft in the Listvyazhnaya mine in the snowbound Kemerovo region early Thursday, filling the mine with smoke, the TASS news agency cited local emergency services as saying.  “The search and rescue work has been temporarily suspended due to the threat of an explosion,” an unnamed emergency services spokesperson was quoted by the RIA news agency as saying.  Eleven people died and 35 others were still underground, Regional Governor…

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25Nov/21

Europe’s Christmas Markets Warily Open as COVID Cases Rise

The holiday tree is towering over the main square in this central German city, the chestnuts and sugared almonds are roasted, and kids are clambering aboard the merry-go-round just like they did before the pandemic. But a surge in coronavirus infections has left an uneasy feeling hanging over Frankfurt’s Christmas market. To savor a mug of mulled wine — a pleasurable rite of winter in pre-pandemic times — masked customers must pass through a one-way entrance to a fenced-off wine hut, stopping at the hand sanitizer station. Elsewhere, security officers check vaccination certificates before letting customers head for the steaming…

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25Nov/21

Russian Court to Consider Closure of Top Rights Group Memorial

Russia’s Supreme Court on Thursday will consider a request to shut down Memorial, the country’s most prominent rights group and a pillar of its civil society. Founded by Soviet dissidents including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Andrei Sakharov in 1989, Memorial has built up a huge archive of Soviet-era crimes and campaigned tirelessly for human rights in Russia. Prosecutors have asked the court to dissolve Memorial International, the group’s central structure, for allegedly violating Russia’s controversial law on “foreign agents.” The move has sparked widespread outrage, with supporters saying the shuttering of Memorial would mark the end of an era in…

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25Nov/21

¡Basta! Sports Journalists in Spain Demand End to Abuse

On a bad day, Maria Tikas receives four or five abusive online messages suggesting that she only got her job as a journalist because she offered sexual favors to her bosses. Some messages include graphic sexual images. Others suggest a woman cannot know anything about covering soccer for Sport, a Spanish daily sports newspaper. “You have not got any idea (about soccer), get back to the kitchen,” read one of the messages Tikas showed VOA. Tikas and other female journalists in Spain have gone public about the daily vitriol. “¡Basta!  Female journalists say enough!” That was the headline over a double-page…

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