COVID-hit Chinese city tells residents to stay home as holiday starts

BEIJING – A city in southeast China hit by COVID-19 told residents on Saturday to stay home and closed various venues, as infections spread in the country’s latest hotspot during a key holiday travel season. The government of Xiamen, in a series of notices, told residents not to leave home unnecessarily, closed parks, scenic spots and sports venues, and halted mass activities including tours, fairs and performances. The measures – short of a full lockdown…

"COVID-hit Chinese city tells residents to stay home as holiday starts"

Japan PM candidates differ on same-sex, women rights issues

TOKYO – Candidates to become Japan’s next prime minister all said they would have better policies to fight the pandemic and reduce the income gap during television debates on Friday, but they were split on diversity issues from same-sex marriage to married couples having separate surnames. Whoever wins the Liberal Democratic Party presidency on Sept. 29 will become prime minister because of the LDP’s majority in the lower house of parliament, and campaigning began in…

"Japan PM candidates differ on same-sex, women rights issues"

Vietnam approves Abdala vaccine as president visits Cuba

HANOI -Vietnam has approved Cuba’s Abdala vaccine for use against the new coronavirus, the government said on Saturday, as the Southeast Asian country is battling its worst outbreak. Abdala becomes the eighth COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Vietnam, which has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the region, with only 6.3% of its 98 million people having received at least two shots. The announcement came hours after President Nguyen Xuan Phuc left Hanoi…

"Vietnam approves Abdala vaccine as president visits Cuba"

Algeria’s former President Bouteflika dies at 84

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"

Ex-lawyer for Clinton campaign law firm pleads not guilty to charge in Trump-Russia probe

WASHINGTON – A former lawyer for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign law firm pleaded not guilty on Friday to lying to the FBI, a charge by a U.S. special counsel investigating the origins of a FBI probe of potential ties between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign. Sean Berkowitz, a lawyer for Michael Sussmann, 57, a cybersecurity specialist who worked for the Perkins, Coie law firm, told U.S. Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui that he was…

"Ex-lawyer for Clinton campaign law firm pleads not guilty to charge in Trump-Russia probe"

Lula retains solid lead over Bolsonaro for 2022 Brazil race, poll shows

BRASILIA – Brazil’s leftist former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva remains ahead of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro by a significant margin in voter preferences for the 2022 elections, a survey by pollster Datafolha showed on Friday. Voter support for Lula slipped to 44% from 46% in July, and Bolsonaro gained a percentage point to 26%, according to the poll, which asked voters to chose as if the election were now. In a simulated runoff…

"Lula retains solid lead over Bolsonaro for 2022 Brazil race, poll shows"

Countries’ emissions pledges still fall short of global climate goals, UN says

BRUSSELS – Countries’ latest pledges to cut emissions would fail to avert catastrophic climate change, the United Nations said on Friday, as pressure grows on polluters including China and India to set more ambitious targets before the COP26 summit in November. The U.N. COP26 conference aims to secure more ambitious climate action from the nearly 200 countries who signed the 2015 Paris Agreement and agreed to try to limit human-caused global warming to 1.5 degrees…

"Countries’ emissions pledges still fall short of global climate goals, UN says"

Somalia’s president berates Djibouti for detaining his security adviser

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"

U.S. willing to delay Ethiopia sanctions if violence ends -Blinken

WASHINGTON – The United States would delay sanctions over the Ethiopia conflict if the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation front “cease ongoing hostilities and enter into ceasefire negotiations immediately and without preconditions,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday. “If the parties take immediate steps in this regard, the United States is prepared to delay imposition of sanctions and focus on supporting a negotiated process,” Blinken said in a statement.

"U.S. willing to delay Ethiopia sanctions if violence ends -Blinken"

Slovenia makes vaccinations mandatory for govt staff from Oct 1

SARAJEVO – Slovenia’s public sector employees, except for those working in education, will have to show proof of vaccination or of a recent recovery from COVID-19 infection to enter their working spaces from Oct. 1, Health Minister Janez Poklukar said on Friday. The move is yet another government attempt to persuade people to get inoculated. “The basic purpose of the measure is to prevent the spread of infections in the workplace and, consequently, to ensure…

"Slovenia makes vaccinations mandatory for govt staff from Oct 1"