World News

International Day of Yoga: Yoga for Humanity

International Desk On the International Day of Yoga (IDY), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and its Member States in the South-East Asia Region lead global efforts to celebrate the physical and mental health benefits of yoga and its contributions to life-long health and well-being. Regular yoga practice can help people of all ages and incomes achieve adequate physical activity, making ...

French polling stations open for legislative vote

International Desk Polling stations opened in mainland France Sunday for the second round of parliamentary elections, with recently re-elected President Emmanuel Macron’s second-term agenda on the line. The centrist head of state risks losing his absolute majority in the lower house, owing largely to a strong performance by a newly forged left-wing alliance led by former Socialist Jean-Luc Melenchon.

Sri Lanka troops open fire to contain fuel riots

International Desk Sri Lanka’s military opened fire to contain rioting at a fuel station, officials said Sunday as unprecedented queues for petrol and diesel were seen across the bankrupt country. Troops fired in Visuvamadu, 365 kilometres (228 miles) north of Colombo, on Saturday night as their guard point was pelted with stones, army spokesman Nilantha Premaratne said. “A group of ...

North Korea deploys national medical teams after hundreds ill with unidentified intestinal disease

International Desk North Korea said Friday that hundreds of families have fallen ill with an unidentified intestinal disease, heaping pressure on a crumbling healthcare system already strained by Covid-19. Pyongyang announced its first coronavirus cases last month and activated a “maximum emergency epidemic prevention system”, with leader Kim Jong Un putting himself front and centre of the government’s response. Even ...

UK reveals plan to electronically tag some migrants

International Desk Some asylum claimants who arrived in the UK in small boats or in the back of lorries could be electronically tagged under a new Home Office trial. A 12-month trial could apply to adults due to be removed from the UK after arriving via what the government calls “dangerous or unnecessary” routes. Boris Johnson said it was important ...

Macron’s second term on line in parliamentary election

International Desk French voters head to the polls Sunday for the final round of parliamentary elections, with centrist President Emmanuel Macron’s coalition looking to hold off a challenge from a newly formed leftwing alliance. The vote will be decisive for Macron’s second-term agenda following his re-election in April, with the 44-year-old needing a majority in order to push through promised ...

WHO drops endemic country distinction for monkeypox

International Desk The World Health Organization says it has removed the distinction between endemic and non-endemic countries in its data on monkeypox to better unify the response to the virus. Until the past few months, monkeypox had generally been confined to Western and Central Africa but is now present in several continents. “We are removing the distinction between endemic and ...

Europe swelters in record-breaking June heatwave

International Desk Spain, France and other western European nations sweltered over the weekend under a blistering June heatwave that has sparked forest fires and concerns such early summer blasts of hot weather will now become the norm. The weekend’s soaring temperatures were the peak of a June heatwave in line with scientists’ predictions that such phenomena will now strike earlier ...

Putin lambasts the West and declares the end of ‘the era of the unipolar world’

International Desk Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared the end of “the era of the unipolar world” in a combative speech that lambasted Western countries at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Friday. “When they won the Cold War, the US declared themselves God’s own representatives on earth, people who have no responsibilities — only interests. They have declared ...

US approves Covid vaccines for youngest kids

Online Desk US health authorities on Saturday cleared the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines for children aged five and younger, in a move President Joe Biden greeted as a “monumental step” in the fight against the virus. The United States thus became the first country to approve use of the so-called mRNA vaccines for children as young as six months. ...