News

UK aid cuts 'unprincipled, unjustified and harmful', say experts and MPs

The UK aid cuts announced by chancellor Rishi Sunak could see a million girls lose out on schooling, nearly three million women and children go without life-saving nutrition and 5.6 million children left unvaccinated, leading to “tens of thousands” of deaths, charities, aid experts and MPs have said. They described the slash in funding to overseas aid, from 0.7% to 0.5% of Britain’s gross national income, as “unprincipled, unjustified and...


South Korea, China top diplomats vow to work on Xi visit, North Korea

South Korea, China top diplomats vow to work on Xi visit, North Korea


Thailand approves transfer of 3 Iranians as Australian freed

BANGKOK (AP) — Thai officials said Thursday they approved the transfer back to Tehran of three Iranians who were involved in a botched 2012 bomb plot, as Iran released a 33-year-old Australian academic who was imprisoned for more than two years on spying charges. Thai officials did not go so far as to call it a prisoner swap or say what involvement Australia might have had in the arrangement. Iranian state TV said Tehran released...


Boris Johnson to make final Covid tiers decision after official calculation of spread

The decision on which area is placed in Tiers 1, 2, or 3 when England exits lockdown on December 2 will be revealed on Thursday and the PM has the final say


A Thanksgiving sun treat: Big sunspot rotates into view

A group of sunspots has emerged on the Earth-facing side of the sun, just in time for Thanksgiving.


Your morning briefing: What you should know for Thursday, November 26

London hopes for Tier 2 restrictions when lockdown lifted Sadiq Khan has said it would be the “sensible decision” for the the capital to be placed in Tier 2 restrictions when the national lockdown is lifted. The London mayor, speaking last night ahead of the country’s regional restrictions being announced, warned that Tier 3 would be a "hammer blow" to businesses. Health Secretary Matt Hancock will reveal in Parliament later today which tier...


Indonesian minister apologizes after arrest on bribe charge

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia’s anti-corruption commission formally named the country's fisheries minister as a suspect in taking bribes related to exports of lobster larvae, and alleged he used the money on a luxury shopping spree during a visit to the United States. Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Edhy Prabowo was arrested upon arrival at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport early Wednesday from a working visit to the...


Biden seeks unity as Trump stokes fading embers of campaign

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — On a day of grace and grievance, President-elect Joe Biden summoned Americans to join in common purpose against the coronavirus pandemic and their political divisions while the man he will replace stoked the fading embers of his campaign to “turn the election over.” Biden, in a Thanksgiving-eve address to the nation, put the surging pandemic front and center, pledging to tap the “vast powers” of the federal government and...


Which royals will be in the Queen’s bubble for Christmas?

The Queen's royal Christmas will be a very different affair this year. Traditionally, the royal family descend en masse to the Sandringham estate for a festive stay with the monarch. But, like the rest of the nation, the Queen and her relatives will have to carefully chose who to have in their Christmas bubble, and where to stay. Under a relaxation of the coronavirus rules, three households can mix from December 23 to 27, but the bubble must be...


'Got to make cuts somewhere': Maltby gives Sunak benefit of the doubt

There are many sensible people in South Yorkshire who were certain Rother Valley would never elect a Conservative MP, certainly not while the miners’ strike remained in the collective consciousness. Rother Valley held on to its pits for longer than most, with its final colliery, in Maltby, closing down only in 2013. Yet in December, after 101 years of unbroken Labour representation, and seven years after its final haul of coal was brought to the...


South Korean chat room operator gets 40 years for blackmail

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The operator of an online chat room in South Korea was sentenced Thursday to 40 years in prison for blackmailing women, including minors, into filming sexually explicit video and selling them to others. The Seoul Central District Court convicted Cho Ju-bin, 24, of violating the laws on protecting minors and organizing a criminal ring, court spokesman Kim Yong Chan said. The court ruled Cho “used various methods to lure...


Boy, 13, fighting for life after being attacked ‘with pole’ near school in Streatham

A boy, 13, is fighting for his life in hospital after being attacked near a school in south London. Police were called to Leigham Court Road in Streatham to reports of a man attacking people with a pole just before 3.30pm on Wednesday. The young victim was found with a head wound at the scene, near Dunraven School, before being rushed to hospital. He remained in a life-threatening condition overnight. (1/2) Police were called to Leigham Court...


Massive Amazon Web Services outages hits companies across internet

Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud-computing platform that’s the digital backbone to numerous different businesses, has suffered a major outage . The problems on Wednesday affected numerous firms including the streaming platform Roku, creative software manufacturer Adobe, and high-profile news outlets including the Wall Street Journal. Amazon-affiliated businesses were not spared either. Users of Ring, the Amazon-owned smart home security...


Freed British-Australian academic says she leaves Iran feeling ‘bittersweet’

She was held in Evin prison where British-Iranian dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has also been imprisoned.


U.S. Supreme Court backs religious groups over New York virus curbs

U.S. Supreme Court backs religious groups over New York virus curbs


Australia refuses to confirm prisoner swap to get Kylie Moore-Gilbert out of Iran

Australia has refused to be drawn on whether it was involved in a prisoner swap deal to release academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert in exchange for three Iranians involved in a botched attempt to kill Israeli diplomats eight years ago. A British-Australian dual national, Moore-Gilbert was suddenly released from Tehran’s Evin prison on Wednesday after serving a little over two years of a 10-year sentence for espionage. Her conviction in a secret trial...


Ski resorts in the crosshairs as Europe plans for a Covid-19 Christmas

Germany announced Wednesday that it will push for Europe to ban ski holidays in a bid to curb coronavirus infections, while cases of Covid-19 reached a new peak of more than 60 million globally. The prospect of Christmas behind closed doors rather than on the slopes stretched before Europeans as Americans faced their own gloom, recording the highest daily death toll from the virus in six months on the eve of a subdued Thanksgiving holiday. US...


Jorge Valdano bursts into tears on air remembering Diego Maradona

Valdano broke down on Spanish television on Wednesday when asked to remember Diego Maradona.


6 Pakistan cricketers test positive for COVID-19 in NZ

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Six members of the Pakistan cricket squad in New Zealand have tested positive for COVID-19 and have been moved from managed isolation into quarantine. Two of the cases were described as “historical” and four were new. The Pakistan touring group, including 53 players and officials, was tested after arriving Tuesday. All six positive cases were being moved to the quarantine arm of their isolation facility. Cricket...


Brexit rules ban Britons playing Prince William in new 2021 movie

A casting agent has blamed Brexit rules wover why she cannot pick a British child to play a young Prince William in a biopic about Lady Diana insisting the role must go to an EU youngster.


Man seeking new start after wife's cancer death wins £1m home

A man who lost his wife to cancer has won a £1m house after donating £10 in a charity lottery.


The luxury life of Annabel Yao, heiress of the Huawei empire


London hopes for return to Tier 2 restrictions after national lockdown ends

Londoners are hoping for a return to Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions when the national lockdown comes to an end. Health Secretary Matt Hancock will announce in Parliament on Thursday which tier each local authority in England will fall under. While an official announcement has yet to be made it is thought that the capital - along with most parts of country - will be placed in Tier 2. The change on December 3 is expected to mean that...


Sudanese former PM and opposition leader Sadiq al-Mahdi dies of Covid-19

Sudan’s former prime minister and top opposition figure Sadiq al-Mahdi died from a coronavirus infection on Thursday, his party said. The 84-year-old was the country’s last democratically elected prime minister before he was toppled in 1989 by now-ousted president Omar al-Bashir in an Islamist-backed military coup. The leader of the moderate Islamist National Umma Party was transferred to the United Arab Emirates for treatment three weeks ago...


'We expected to go back in days': Karabakh truce means exile for some, homecoming for others

Weeks of shelling could not force Irina Safaryan’s parents from their bunker in the southern Karabakh town of Hadrut. Only when Azerbaijan’s soldiers reached the settlement’s outskirts did the Armenian family agree to run. “We expected to go back to our houses in three or four days, maximum a week,” Safaryan says. They left behind the family photo albums. Fighting over the breakaway south Caucasus territory ended this month with Hadrut under...


Cambodia opens mass trial of opposition activists

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — A Cambodian court on Thursday began hearing the cases of nearly 130 opponents and government critics charged with treason for taking part in nonviolent political activities over the past three years, in what one of them described as a sham trial. Most of those being tried by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court are former members or supporters of the Cambodia National Rescue Party. As the sole opposition party in...


Illegal drugs hidden in NI consignment of PPE - Justice Minister Naomi Long vows to take fight to organised crime gangs

A recent shipment of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) coming into Northern Ireland was used to conceal illegal drugs, it has been revealed.


‘Don’t be like us’ family warns of gathering after 15 members infected with Covid

The Aragonez family wanted nothing more than to get back to life as normal, and after eight months of caution allowed themselves a single exception: a low key birthday party attended by 12 people. Yet what started as an impromptu celebration turned into a nightmare, as all 12 members of the family who attended the 1 November event in Texas were infected with coronavirus, as well as three others who they came in contact with later. The family has...


Biden and Harris to skip big Thanksgiving celebrations

Like millions of other Americans this year, the president-elect Joe Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris will be scaling down their Thanksgiving celebrations amid a surge in Covid-19 cases nationwide. Mr Biden’s team said he would be spending the holiday in Delaware with his wife, Dr Jill Biden, and their daughter and son-in-law. Ms Harris is staying in Washington DC with her husband Doug Emhoff. The pair visited a community kitchen...


Tougher Covid tiers could be 'hard to justify' by next week as cases fall, expert says

Oxford University epidemiologist Professor Carl Heneghan said if cases continue to fall at the same rate "it will be hard to justify tougher tiered restrictions" and there must be clear criteria for getting into Tier 1


Asia Today: SKorea cases jump over 500 amid reimposed rules

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea has recorded more than 500 new coronavirus cases for the first time in about eight months. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said Thursday the 583 additional cases in the past 24 hours took the national tally to 32,318 including 515 deaths. South Korea has been experiencing a spike in new infections since it relaxed stringent social distancing rules last month. To deal with the latest...


France pays tribute to WWII resistance hero Daniel Cordier

France pays tribute Thursday to former WWII resistance fighter Daniel Cordier, who died Nov. 20 aged 100. The small military ceremony will be led by President Emmanuel Macron and attended by Hubert Germain, the last surviving "Companion of the Liberation", the Élysée said. Daniel Cordier, who as secretary to famed French resistance leader Jean Moulin helped orchestrate his country's fight against its German occupiers in World War II, died on...


Police deal with crowd of 50 young people who gathered in Holylands - PSNI vow to deal with ‘appalling behaviour’

Police have increased patrolling in the Holylands area of Belfast following further reports of house parties and anti-social behaviour.


Three days of national mourning in Argentina for footballer Diego Maradona

Argentina's president has said there will be three days of national mourning following the death of the country's most famous footballer.


Milky Way is being ‘twisted and deformed’ after a collision with another galaxy, scientists say


Disney to lay off about 32,000 workers in first half of 2021

Disney to lay off about 32,000 workers in first half of 2021


I'm An NHS Doctor. Boris Johnson's Christmas Plans Are Deadly

I’m an NHS doctor specialising in the care of older people. A year ago, before the arrival of this pandemic changed every aspect of our clinical care, it would not have been unusual to arrive on the hospital ward to hear that a patient had died over the weekend. Going into work last Monday, we were greeted by the ward clerk waiting with a pile of death certificates from the weekend. A pile. For our local population, the level of harm done by...


New Delhi's poisonous air a perennial crisis of its own making

New Delhi's poisonous air a perennial crisis of its own making


What the papers say – November 26

Images of Diego Maradona adorn the nation’s front pages following his death aged 60.


Toronto police identify ‘person of interest’ in murders of billionaire couple Barry and Honey Sherman

Police have identified a person of interest in the high-profile murders of a Canadian pharmaceutical billionaire couple. Barry Sherman, who founded generic drug manufacturer Apotex Inc, and his wife, Honey, were found dead at their Toronto mansion on December 15, 2017. Police Constable Jenifferjit Sidhu confirmed a report by the Toronto Star that a person of interest had been identified but said they had not been arrested. The couple were among...


Owl rescued from New York Christmas tree returns to the wild

An owl that was rescued from the Rockefeller Centre Christmas tree has been released back into the wild. The tiny Saw-whet owl was named Rockefeller – Rocky for short – after it was found by a worker setting up the tree on November 16 at the Manhattan complex. The owl was apparently trapped in the 75ft Norway spruce when it was cut down 170 miles north, in New York on November 12.


Support offered by unpaid carers in NI valued at £5 billion during pandemic

Hundreds of thousands of carers in Northern Ireland are saving the state £19 million every day of the Covid-19 pandemic, research has found.


UK records 696 coronavirus-related deaths, highest daily total since start of May

A further 696 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, the highest daily figure reported since 5 May. The government said as of 9am on Wednesday there had been a further 18,213 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK. It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 1,557,007. Separate figures published by the UK's statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together...


Meghan Markle, Prince Harry lost second child to miscarriage

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry only told close members of the royal family about her miscarriage in July.


Survey finds graduates are more likely to think life is unfair

The British Social Attitudes survey has found that university graduates are much more likely to think life in Britain is unfair.


Azeris celebrate as troops enter second district returned by Armenia

Azerbaijani soldiers and military trucks rolled into the district of Kalbajar on Wednesday, reclaiming the second of three regions Armenia is handing back under a deal that ended weeks of fighting. Images released by Azerbaijan’s defence ministry showed troops deploying into the district overnight, some scanning for landmines on snow-covered roads. The district is among those being handed back by Armenia after it agreed to a peace deal ending...


Campaigners call for UK and EU bans on plastic 'sample' sachets

Environmental campaigners have joined forces with politicians and business leaders in demanding urgent action to tackle the distribution of billions of plastic “personal care” sachets. In an open letter published online, a coalition called A Plastic Planet is calling for so-called “sample” sachets – which can contain products such as detergent, shower gel or perfume – to be included in wider UK and EU single-use bans. The personal and home care...


Moscow extends self-isolation period for COVID-19 risk groups until Jan. 15

Moscow extends self-isolation period for COVID-19 risk groups until Jan. 15


Country diary: a mast year for the mighty oak

The eastern entrance to Old Sulehay forest is roofed by great oaks, still canopied with autumnal foliage, in contrast to the bare ash, hazel and field maple. The ground underneath crunches with a layer of swollen acorns. There are more than I can ever recall seeing – a magnificent acorn bounty repeated in reports from across England. And the size of them! More like artillery shells than nuts. This is what we call a mast year. Mast is a...


Cyclone Nivar: One dead and torrential rains as huge storm makes landfall in India

Cyclone Nivar has made landfall in India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu, weakening from a “very severe" cyclonic storm as coastal regions were inundated with heavy rainfall overnight. At least one person has been killed and several injured, with the rainfall and a 1m storm surge causing significant disruption. The cyclone made landfall around midnight local time near the coastal town of Marakkanam in Tamil Nadu. Heavy rain and winds of 120 to...