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The world's first major travel bubble set up in the Covid pandemic allows quarantine-free visits.
With record daily spikes all last week, the Indian capital is now the worst-hit city in the country.
Plans for the reality show featuring "hot Instagrammers" have sparked anger in the coastal community.
Europe's biggest teams have suffered during the Covid pandemic and say they want financial stability.
The US and China announced actions to tackle climate change following meetings in Shanghai last week.
Projected Winner in Vote for Tibet’s Exile Leader Vows Hard Work, Asks for Unity
Penpa Tsering says he will work hard for Tibetans both in Tibet and in exile, calling on them to remain united in the cause for greater freedoms in their China-ruled homeland.
Residents of Xinjiang Refrain From Fasting During Ramadan Despite ‘Easing of Restrictions’
After three years of bans, it seems Muslims in the region remain fearful of being branded ‘extremist.’
Three Lao Rights Activists Serving Long Prison Terms Must be Released: UN Special Rapporteur
Lod Thammavong, Somphone Pimmasone, and Soukane Chaitad had criticized the Lao government's human rights record in online postings made while working in Thailand, angering Lao authorities.
ASEAN Denounced for Inviting Junta Chief to Summit on Myanmar
ASEAN should instead invite representatives of Myanmar's opposition National Unity Government, comprised of lawmakers who won seats in the November 2020 election, one Indonesian lawmaker says.
Jailed Vietnamese RFA Blogger ‘Haggard,’ Showing Signs of Mental Decline at An Phuoc
Nguyen Tuong Thuy appears frail and forgetful during a recent meeting with his wife, who says she hopes his health will improve in his new prison.
Australia-New Zealand travel bubble brings relief, elation
Elation marked the opening Monday of a long-anticipated travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand. The start of quarantine-free travel was a relief for families who have been separated by the coronavirus pandemic as well as for struggling tourist operators. It marked the first, tentative steps toward what both countries hope will become a gradual reopening to the rest of the world.
New Delhi announces week-long lockdown amid ‘critical’ Covid-19 situation
India’s capital New Delhi will impose a week-long lockdown from Monday night, officials said, as the megacity struggles to contain a huge surge in Covid-19 cases with hospitals running out of beds and oxygen supplies low.
Calls for more oxygen, hospital beds as India’s Covid-19 crisis deepens
More government hospital beds will be freed for Covid-19 patients, India's health ministry said Sunday, as the vast nation grappled with a worsening virus crisis and states appealed for additional supplies of oxygen and treatment drugs.
Australia opens quarantine-free travel bubble with New Zealand
Emotions ran high Monday as excited passengers set off on the first flights to take advantage of a quarantine-free travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand, allowing families split by the pandemic to finally reunite.
Radical Pakistan party frees police hostages after anti-France protests
Eleven Pakistani police officers seized by supporters of a radical Islamist group as part of their campaign to get the French ambassador expelled have been released, the interior minister said Monday.
Philippine authorities seize fossilized giant clam shells worth $25 million
The Philippines is shell-ebrating after it seized more than 150 tons of fossilized giant clams Friday worth nearly $25 million.
Pig's blood smeared on former home of use-of-force expert who testified in Chauvin trial
The former California home of use-of-force expert Barry Brodd was smeared with pig's blood Saturday, four days after he testified for the defense in Derek Chauvin's trial in Minneapolis, Minnesota, police said.
Trump praises Afghanistan withdrawal, criticizes Biden's timeline
Former President Donald Trump on Sunday praised withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan, while knocking his successor's timeline for doing so.
See who won at the ACM Awards
The Academy of Country Music Awards, celebrating the best in country music, are being presented Sunday.
Mother of actors Donnie and Mark Wahlberg, dies
Alma Wahlberg, the mother of actors Donnie and Mark Wahlberg, has died, the brothers announced Sunday. She was 78.
- Michael Safi
Indian expansion of Covid vaccine drive may further strain supplies

All adults to be eligible from 1 May, making jab available to at least 400 million more people

Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage

India has announced it will soon open its vaccination programme to every adult in response to soaring Covid-19 infections – a measure that could further strain supplies in parts of the world reliant on Indian-made vaccines for their own campaigns.

From 1 May, Indian states will be free to administer doses to anyone aged older than 18, the central government announced on Monday as part of a package of policies to tackle a second wave that has overwhelmed hospitals and led to oxygen shortages across the country.

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- Andrew Roth in Moscow
Alexei Navalny moved to hospital as fears grow for life of Putin critic

Doctors say opposition leader, who is on hunger strike, is in danger of a heart attack or kidney failure

Alexei Navalny has been transferred to a prison hospital as concerns have grown among supporters that the Russian opposition leader is dangerously ill and could die “at any minute”.

Navalny’s transfer came after his doctors warned at the weekend that the Kremlin critic, who has been on hunger strike for nearly three weeks, was in danger of a heart attack or kidney failure.

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- Sean Ingle
Super League players face World Cup and Euros ban, warns furious Uefa chief
Plan ‘a spit in the face of all football lovers and society’Ceferin expects domestic leagues to impose sanctions

Uefa’s president, Aleksander Ceferin, has insisted that players who join the new European Super League will be banned from World Cups and European Championships if the breakaway materialises.

Ceferin admitted it was unlikely a ban would come into effect in time for Euro 2020, which starts in June, but left no one in any doubt at his anger at the Super League, which he called a “disgraceful and self-serving proposal from clubs motivated by greed”.

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- Agencies
Nasa’s Mars helicopter in first powered, controlled flight on another planet

Ingenuity successfully takes flight, hovering at height of about 3 metres before touching back down

Nasa’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter has completed the first powered, controlled flight on another planet, the space agency has announced.

The small helicopter successfully took flight on the red planet on Monday morning, hovering in the air at an altitude of about 3 metres (10 feet), before descending and touching back down on the Martian surface.

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- Victoria Bekiempis
Derek Chauvin trial: defense and prosecution make closing arguments – live
Former police officer charged with murder over death of George FloydJury to begin deliberations once closing arguments have concludedProtests flare as America awaits verdict in Derek Chauvin trial

5.39pm BST

Court has just resumed from a brief break in Derek Chauvin’s murder trial. The former Minneapolis police officer’s attorney, Eric Nelson, has just started his closing argument.

Chauvin is facing charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter, in the death of George Floyd during a 25 May 2020 arrest.

5.20pm BST

Prosecutor Steve Schleicher has ended his closing argument in the murder case against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

“It was unreasonable. It was excessive,” he says of Chauvin’s use-of-force against George Floyd during the 25 May 2020 arrest.

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CEO of CanSino Biologics, Xuefeng Yu, said a vaccine that's inhaled could be more effective than those injected.
Singapore's largest bank DBS on Friday that it aims to not loan money to thermal coal projects by 2039.
India's markets tumbled in Monday trade as both the Nifty 50 and BSE Sensex dropped around 2% each, as of about 1:52 p.m. local time.
The number of new cases per week has nearly doubled over the past two months, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
Speculation has been rife that the Anwar and Najib, who are two political opponents, would join forces to go against Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
Albanian man with knife wounds 5 at mosque in Tirana
Police say an Albanian man with a knife has wounded five people at a mosque in the capital
Cuba's Communist Party chooses Miguel Díaz-Canel as leader
In many ways, Cuba’s new maximum leader is nothing like those who have governed the island for the past six decades
Israel's Netanyahu backs bill for direct election for PM
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pushing for a new law that would allow direct elections of the nation's leader
Group urges UN to probe China for crimes against humanity
A human rights group is appealing to the United Nations to investigate allegations China’s government is committing crimes against humanity in the Xinjiang region
Japan seeks release of Japanese journalist held in Myanmar
Japan’s government is asking Myanmar to release a Japanese journalist who was arrested by security forces in Yangon
- Ian Bremmer
What Happens Next with Iran Nuclear Negotiations After the Natanz Attack
Negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran in 2015 was hard; renegotiating more or less the same nuclear deal with Iran after the U.S. withdrawal is harder than you’d think. And that’s before you factor in an Israeli prime minister who has little left to lose. Here’s what happens next with Iranian nuclear negotiations, 2021 edition.…
- Associated Press
India’s Capital to Go Into Lockdown as Coronavirus Cases Top 15 Million
India tallied 273,810 new cases Monday, its highest daily rise since the start of the pandemic
An Australia-New Zealand Travel Bubble Brings Relief and Elation
Quarantine-free travel is a relief for families separated by the pandemic as well as for struggling tourist operators
Alexei Navalny’s Team Calls Protests Amid Reports of His Failing Health
Navalny started a hunger strike weeks ago to protest prison authorities’ refusal to allow him to see a private doctor
Prince Philip Is Laid to Rest as Queen Sits Alone to Set Example
Following strict social distancing rules during the pandemic, the queen set an example even in grief
Growing number of African-American China experts work to gain recognition, puncture stereotypes
US congressional staffer Mark Akpaninyie, an African-American, had clumps of his hair hoarded as souvenirs. Think tank analyst Bryce Barros was told his skin was too dark to be an American. Technology expert Shirley Hargis was asked if she was Beyoncé. Blacks living in China faced their share of jarring interactions, whether motivated by prejudice, racism or ignorance. Hargis, deputy manager of the China Technology Transfer & Emerging Technologies at civic group CRDF Global, said that while…
Isis supporters want Indonesian who claimed to be ‘26th prophet’ beheaded
Islamic State sympathisers have called for the beheading of an Indonesian man who claimed to be the “26th prophet”.A man identifying himself as Jozeph Paul Zhang made the claim alongside other remarks offensive to Muslims in a YouTube video that went viral over the weekend. Some experts have warned that Zhang’s ethnicity – he is thought to be ethnic Chinese – would fan “hatred” and could lead to attacks against Indonesian Chinese and non-Muslims in the country. Prophet Mohammed, the founder of…
EU to increase presence in Indo-Pacific under new strategy
The EU is poised to boost its presence in the Indo-Pacific after the European Council adopted a strategy on Monday to reinforce its focus and actions in the region.The new European Union strategy comes amid rising geopolitical tensions and is widely seen as Brussels heeding Washington’s call for allies to increase engagement in the region to counter China under its “free and open Indo-Pacific” policy.A broad range of areas are covered in the 10-page strategy document, including trade and…
Russia moves Navalny to prison hospital but he vows to continue hunger strike: lawyer
A lawyer for Russia’s main opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who has been on a hunger strike in prison since the end of March, said on Monday that his health had deteriorated and the situation was “only getting worse”.Lawyer Alexei Liptser visited Navalny and said that his client had again been denied a doctor of his choice and was determined to continue his hunger strike.Liptser said Navalny looks “bad” and was much thinner. He also had numbness in his arms, legs and back. On Monday the prison…
Choosing the Right Secondary School
[Sponsored Article] With so many curriculum frameworks and schools in Hong Kong, it is often challenging for parents to distinguish one curriculum from another. Parents also need to consider how the curriculum they choose might translate when moving to another school or country. Stamford American School Hong Kong, recently accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and authorized by the International Baccalaureate for the Diploma Program (IBDP), is unique in Hong Kong as it…
US reimposes sanctions on Belarus firms after protest clampdown
The United States said on Monday (Apr 19) it was reimposing sanctions on nine state-owned companies in Belarus after strongman Alexander Lukashenko ignored warnings to release political prisoners rounded up from democracy protests.
EU sanctions 10 Myanmar junta officials, 2 firms
BRUSSELS: The European Union on Monday (Apr 19) announced sanctions on 10 Myanmar junta officials and two conglomerates linked to the military over the coup and bloody crackdown on protesters in their country. The individuals "are all responsible for undermining democracy and the rule of law in ...
Doctors say clot treatment advice key to US resuming Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines
WASHINGTON: Resuming the use of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine in the United States will require clear guidelines for the medical community on how to best treat patients that develop a rare type of blood clot, as well as alerting vaccine recipients to be aware of the telltale symptoms ...
'Britcoin' not bitcoin? UK considers new digital currency
LONDON: British finance minister Rishi Sunak told the Bank of England on Monday (Apr 19) to look at the case for a new "Britcoin", or central bank-backed digital currency, aimed at tackling some of the challenges posed by cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. A BoE-backed digital version of sterling ...
Iran, Indonesia foreign ministers discuss trade, economy
JAKARTA: Visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif discussed trade and economic issues in a meeting in Jakarta on Monday (Apr 19) with his Indonesian counterpart, the two countries said. Zarif emphasized the importance of finalizing a preferential trade agreement in his talks with ...
But the army’s incompetence and indifference is likely to wreck the economy
No one knows how many cases there are because there is so little testing
It kept schools in the disputed region closed for two years
Women across the political spectrum are speaking out
China is meddling, whereas India is taking an uncharacteristic step back
- Jennifer Peltz
Former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon exhorted the U.N. Security Council to act immediately.
- Shannon Tiezzi
The joint statement included some welcome commitments, and held out hope for more progress in the future.
- Catherine Putz
Japarov's press secretary claims the president took the posts down himself, but Facebook says they were removed for being harmful "misinformation."
- Arun Budhathoki
Much remains uncertain about Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli’s future. But he could spring yet another surprise.
- Robert Farley
Different countries have approached the military aspects of space in different ways. Here’s India’s approach. 
- Asia Sentinel
Taliban’s Islamic Emirate Awaits Afghanistan
Mullahs aren’t even observing a shred of fiction about power-sharing
- John Berthelsen
BOOK REVIEW: Exercise of Power: American Successes, and a New Path Forward in the Post-Cold War World
By Robert M. Gates. Alfred Knopf, New York. Hard cover, 452 pp with index and bibliography.US$29.95
- John Berthelsen
Beijing Shows its Contempt for its Hong Kong Commitments
Local government falls in line
- John Berthelsen
Malaysia Fades in Covid Fight
Competing companies, tardy procurement, low signup rates plague country
- John Berthelsen
Indonesia’s KPK Apologizes for Calling Singapore Spade a Singapore Spade
Corruption inspector says it’s hard to get the crooks out of the island republic