DUBAI – More than four months after the COVID-19 outbreak halted the world’s richest Twenty20 tournament, the Indian Premier League resumes in Dubai on Sunday with a mouth-watering clash between the IPL’s two most successful franchises — Mumbai and Chennai. With India grappling with a surge of COVID-19 cases, the eight-team league was suspended near its halfway stage in May after two franchises reported several positive cases. The rest of the league was subsequently shifted…"Cricket-IPL resumes in UAE after COVID-19 disruption"
ALGIERS -Former Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has died at 84, the presidency said on Friday, more than two years after he stepped down under pressure from mass protests and the army. Bouteflika, a veteran of Algeria’s war for independence, had ruled the North African country for two decades before his resignation in April 2019 after street demonstrations rejecting his plan to seek a fifth term. He had rarely been seen in public before his departure…"Algeria’s former President Bouteflika dies at 84"
LONDON – England set out measures to boost international travel on Friday, abandoning expensive COVID-19 testing requirements for fully vaccinated travellers, scrapping its traffic light system and adding eight countries to its safe list. Travellers returning to England from Turkey, Pakistan, and the Maldives will not have to quarantine on their return as they are removed from the so-called COVID red list for travel, British transport minister Grant Shapps said. Shapps also said under the…"England eases COVID-19 rules for international travellers"
MOGADISHU -Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed on Friday accused neighbouring Djibouti of illegally detaining his national security adviser, a criticism which appeared linked to a destabilising row between the president and his prime minister. Djiboutian authorities held the adviser, Fahad Yasin, preventing him from travelling to Mogadishu by air, the director of communications in the presidency Abdirashid Hashi said, without providing more details. “Such acts will not help to strengthen our ties between our governments,”…"Somalia’s president berates Djibouti for detaining his security adviser"
KYIV – Viktor Pylypenko has become a role model for dozens of LGBT+ Ukrainian war veterans and their supporters since he organised their participation two years ago in Kyiv’s largest ever gay pride march. Pylypenko, 34, spent almost two years from 2014 to 2016 on the frontline fighting with Kyiv’s forces against Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine in a conflict that has claimed at least 14,000 lives. He came out as gay in 2018. “(LGBT…"Gay war veteran speaks out for equal rights in Ukraine’s military"
MEXICO CITY – Mining companies in Mexico should expect tough environmental reviews given their projects’ major impacts, a senior official told , insisting that a backlog of evaluations is easing despite industry claims that the opposite is true. A top-10 global producer of over a dozen minerals, Mexico’s multi-billion-dollar mining sector makes up around 8% of Latin America’s second-biggest economy, but miners are concerned they are facing increased hostility from Mexico’s leftist government. Tonatiuh Herrera,…"Mining firms in Mexico must face ‘strict’ scrutiny, says senior official"
BEIJING/HONG KONG – One of China Evergrande Group’s main lenders has made provisions for losses on a portion of its loans to the embattled property developer, while some creditors are planning to give it more time to repay, four bank executives told . The Chinese banks’ measures, reported for the first time, show how financial institutions in the world’s second-largest economy are bracing for a possible collapse of Evergrande. The developer epitomised China’s freewheeling era…"Exclusive: China Evergrande’s lenders weigh up loan losses, rolling over credit – sources"
JOHANNESBURG – A consortium led by South African investment company Brait Plc has revived plans to exit glass bottle maker Consol Glass, two sources said, possibly via an initial public offering (IPO) three years after a previous failed attempt. The private equity investors took Consol, which describes itself as sub-Saharan Africa’s largest glass manufacturer, private in 2007 for 6.1 billion rand, worth around $1 bln at the time. They pulled the planned 2018 listing in…"Exclusive-Investors launch fresh attempt to exit S.African bottle maker Consol – sources"
– Iran joined a rapidly expanding central Asian security body led by Russia and China on Friday, calling on the countries in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation to help it form a mechanism to avert sanctions imposed by the West. The body, formed in the 2001 as a talking shop for Russia, China and ex-Soviet states in Central Asia, expanded four years ago to include India and Pakistan, with a view to playing a bigger role…"Iran joins expanding Asian security body led by Moscow, Beijing"
MEXICO CITY – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he would be speaking with his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden on Friday morning about climate change on a conference call. Lopez Obrador made the announcement at a regular government news conference."Mexican president says to speak with Biden about climate change"