Juan Ordoñez, 40, of North Arlington, N.J., is among the more than 500,000 Americans who have lost their lives to COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic.This is his story »
Myanmar's military rulers say they have fired the country's ambassador to the United Nations, a day after he called for help to remove the army from power. In an emotional speech, Kyaw Moe Tun said no-one should co-operate with the military until it handed back power to the democratically elected government. UN sources told Reuters that as they do not recognise the junta, Kyaw Moe Tun remains Myanmar's UN ambassador.
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 — were to appear in court Monday to hear charges over the girl's death, which occurred over the weekend in Delgoda, a small town about 40 kilometers (25 miles) northeast of the capital Colombo. According to police spokesperson Ajith Rohana, 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.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was inoculated with the first dose of a home-grown coronavirus vaccine on Monday, kicking off an expansion of the country's immunisation campaign as infections rise in some big states. India, which has reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases after the United States, has so far vaccinated 12 million health and front-line workers since starting its immunisation programme in mid-January. "I appeal to all those who are eligible to take the vaccine," 70-year-old Modi said on Twitter, posting a picture of him getting the shot at a government hospital in New Delhi.
The hopes of building a robust democracy in Myanmar were shattered when the powerful military toppled the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy party in a coup Feb. 1. In the month since, the mass protests occurring each day are a sharp reminder of the long and bloody struggle for democracy in a country where the military ruled directly for more than five decades. When the army blocked Parliament from convening and detained Suu Kyi and others in her government the day of its takeover, it alleged the most recent election was tainted by fraud.
A man was killed by a rooster with a blade tied to its leg during an illegal cockfight in southern India, police said, bringing focus on a practice that continues in some Indian states despite a decades-old ban. The rooster, with a 3-inch knife tied to its leg, fluttered in panic and slashed its owner, 45-year-old Thangulla Satish, in his groin last week, police inspector B. Jeevan said Sunday. Jeevan said police filed a case and were looking for over a dozen people involved in organizing the cockfight.
Israeli defence minister Benny Gantz said on Saturday his "initial assessment" was that Iran was responsible for an explosion on an Israeli-owned ship in the Gulf of Oman. The ship, a vehicle-carrier named MV Helios Ray, suffered an explosion between Thursday and Friday morning. A U.S. defence official in Washington said the blast left holes above the waterline in both sides of the hull.
Boris Johnson has been warned by some of his foreign ambassadors that a planned coal mine in Cumbria is damaging his reputation. The PM wants to lead the world on climate change, but the ambassadors say his tacit support for the mine is bringing accusations of hypocrisy. The issue has flared as the UK co-hosts a coalition of nations pledging to phase out coal in power generation.
Archaeologists have unearthed a unique ancient-Roman ceremonial carriage from a villa just outside Pompeii, the city buried in a volcanic eruption in 79 AD. The almost perfectly preserved four-wheeled carriage made of iron, bronze and tin was found near the stables of an ancient villa at Civita Giuliana, around 700 metres (yards) north of the walls of ancient Pompeii. Massimo Osanna, the outgoing director of the Pompeii archaeological site, said the carriage was the first of its kind discovered in the area, which had so far yielded functional vehicles used for transport and work, but not for ceremonies.
Pakistan's landmark, new deal with Qatar for liquefied natural gas at lower rates will save Islamabad a total of about $3 billion over the next 10 years, an adviser to the country's prime minister said Monday. The agreement, signed last Friday, will save the state $317 million annually due to the reduced price of the gas compared to the 2015 agreement between the two countries, according to Nadeem Babar, Prime Minister Imran Khan's adviser on petroleum. This “will result in the lowering of the overall cost of liquefied natural gas” imported from Qatar, Babar said.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday laid out a variety of election proposals, such as limiting absentee voting and days when Americans can vote, in his first public speech after his stinging Nov. 3 election loss. Democrats' nationwide push to register new voters, including Black voters and young people, and Trump's refusal to urge his Republican supporters to vote by absentee ballot are believed to have been factors in his 7 million vote loss to Joe Biden. At a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida, Trump said Election Day should be only one day, not a number of days leading up to the actual voting day.
Traditional gondolas and boats could be seen almost beached in the canals as water levels reached a peak of -48 cm, creating an unusual landscape in the lagoon city. Venice, beloved around the world for its canals, historic architecture and art, has always lived in a fragile balance between low and high tides, that usually create variations of around 50 cm in sea levels. Flooding is a constant enemy of the art city built on a collection of small islands within a saltwater lagoon off the north-eastern coast of Italy, with every new incursion damaging its medieval and Renaissance palaces.
Republican congressman Paul Gosar appeared at a white nationalist political conference before attending the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), according to reports. The Arizona Republican appeared on-stage at the "America First Political Action Conference" (AFPAC) on Friday, following the far-right conference's founder, Nicholas Fuentes. Mr Fuentes, an alleged white nationalist, said on Friday that the Capitol riot – in which five people died – was “awesome”, and that "white people are done being bullied".
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted 12-0 to recommend the vaccine from J&J as appropriate for Americans 18 and older. State and local public health authorities will use Food and Drug Administration and CDC guidance as they administer the first 4 million doses. CDC epidemiologist Dr. Sara Oliver said during a Sunday presentation that there are not yet any studies comparing J&J's vaccine directly to the other approved vaccines from Pfzier-BioNTech and Moderna Inc but that all vaccines were highly effective at reducing hospitalizations and deaths.
Saudi Arabia said Saturday it intercepted a missile attack over its capital and bomb-laden drones targeting a southern province, the latest in a series of airborne assaults it has blamed on Yemen's rebel Houthis. The Saudi-led military coalition fighting in Yemen's yearslong war announced the Iran-allied Houthis had launched a ballistic missile toward Riyadh and three booby-trapped drones toward the province of Jizan, with a fourth toward another southwestern city and other drones being monitored. No casualties or damage were initially reported.
Iran on Sunday ruled out holding an informal meeting with the United States and other major powers to discuss ways to salvage the unravelling 2015 nuclear deal, insisting Washington must first lift all its unilateral sanctions. "Considering the recent actions and statements by the United States and three European powers, Iran does not consider this the time to hold an informal meeting with these countries, which was proposed by the EU foreign policy chief," Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said, according to Iranian media.
High in the Indian Himalayas, a remote lake nestled in a snowy valley is strewn with hundreds of human skeletons. Roopkund Lake is located 5,029 metres (16,500ft) above sea level at the bottom of a steep slope on Trisul, one of India's highest mountains, in the state of Uttarakhand. The remains are strewn around and beneath the ice at the "lake of skeletons", discovered by a patrolling British forest ranger in 1942.
It's nearly dawn and Zainab Amjad has been up all night working on an oil rig in southern Iraq. Elsewhere in the oil-rich province of Basra, Ayat Rawthan is supervising the assembly of large drill pipes. The women, both 24, are among just a handful who have eschewed the dreary office jobs typically handed to female petroleum engineers in Iraq.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may have been spared direct punishment after a U.S. intelligence report implicated him in the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but he has not emerged unscathed. The declassified report, based on CIA intelligence, concludes that the prince approved an operation to "capture or kill" Khashoggi, who was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. President Joe Biden's decision to publish a report that his predecessor Donald Trump had set aside brings with it a broad refocusing of Washington's stance on dealing with the kingdom, on its human rights record, and on its lucrative arms purchases.
Security forces battling a decades-long insurgency in Indian-controlled Kashmir are alarmed by the recent arrival in the disputed region of small, magnetic bombs that have wreaked havoc in Afghanistan. "Sticky bombs", which can be attached to vehicles and detonated remotely, have been seized during raids in recent months in the federally administered region of Jammu and Kashmir, three senior security officials told Reuters. "These are small IEDs and quite powerful," said Kashmir Valley police chief Vijay Kumar, referring to improvised explosive devices.
A Texas lawmaker broke down as she confronted officials from the state's energy supplier, Ercot, over dozens of deaths during a power blackout and a winter storm last week. It came as Ercot officials appeared before Texas's legislature on Thursday to answer questions as part of a hearing into the firm's role in the crisis. That was when, as reported by MSNBC, a lawmaker broke down in tears as she confronted the officials from Ercot over the deaths, which are thought to be in the dozens – and include an 11-year-old boy, Cristian Pineda, who died of hypothermia.
But the government reported that exports rose 9.5% in February from a year earlier and imports jumped nearly 14%, in signs the economy is picking up momentum. A manufacturing survey for Japan showed an expansion in February for the first time since April 2019. The au Jibun purchasing managers index reading of 51.4 — on a scale of 1-100, where 50 and above show expansion — was a sharp improvement from the 49.8 level registered in January.
Minneapolis city council approved funding to hire social media influencers for Derek Chauvin's trial, WCCO-TV reported. The influencers will be paid to provide the local community with information about the trial. Chauvin was charged in Floyd's death, and his trial is set to begin on March 8.
Gunmen in Nigeria on Saturday released 27 teenage boys who were kidnapped from their school last week in the northern state of Niger, while security forces continued to search for more than 300 schoolgirls abducted in a nearby state. Schools have become targets for mass kidnappings for ransom in northern Nigeria by armed groups, many of whom carry guns and ride motorcycles. On Feb. 17, 27 students, three staff and 12 members of their families were abducted by an armed gang who stormed the Government Science secondary school in the Kagara district of Niger state, overwhelming the school's security detail.
In their own comments or by inviting skeptics to testify at legislative hearings, some GOP state lawmakers are using their platform to promote false information about the virus, the steps needed to limit its spread and the vaccines that will pull the nation out of the pandemic. In some cases, the misstatements have faced swift backlash, even getting censored online. That's raised tough questions about how aggressively to combat potentially dangerous misinformation from elected officials or during legislative hearings while protecting free speech and people's access to government.
Biden's chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci hit back at South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem's harsh criticism of him on Sunday, saying her comments about him at this weekend's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) were “not very helpful” and “unfortunate.” Noem, who has received praise from conservatives for largely ignoring coronavirus restrictions and guidelines, got a standing ovation from the CPAC crowd when she boasted about ignoring the medical advice of experts and called out Fauci for supposedly being “wrong.” Appearing on CBS News' Face the Nation, Fauci was asked if that sentiment was an impediment to the nation's recovery.
“How about we skip ‘he won’t win’ cycle and not do 2016 all over again. Trump can absolutely win another presidential election.”
“With independents deserting him, there is simply no path for Trump to get back into the White House — except as a tourist.”
“They might as well cancel the 2024 primaries...because there is no way he can lose.”
“The next Republican presidential primary will be heavily shaped by Trump — whether or not he decides to run again.”
“Donald Trump will not be running for president again. He will, however, continue to tease the possibility of a 2024 run.”