Japan announces limited “test tourism” from May as step to full re-opening

TOKYO – Japan said on Tuesday it would start conducting “test tourism” in the form of limited package tours in May as a way of gathering information prior to a full re-opening of the country to tourism. Though tourism was a major pillar of Japan’s economy, tourists have not been permitted to enter since it adopted strict border controls in 2020 at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Regulations have been loosened slightly to allow…

"Japan announces limited “test tourism” from May as step to full re-opening"

Shanghai achieves ‘zero COVID’ status but normal life is weeks away

SHANGHAI/BEIJING – Shanghai achieved on Tuesday the long-awaited milestone of three consecutive days with no new COVID-19 cases outside quarantine zones but most residents will have put up with confinement for a while longer before a return to more normal life. For other cities in China that have been under lockdown, a third day with no new cases in the community usually means “zero COVID” status and the beginning of the lifting of restrictions. The…

"Shanghai achieves ‘zero COVID’ status but normal life is weeks away"

Libya’s Bashagha arrives in Tripoli -Al Arabiya

CAIRO – Libya’s parliament-appointed prime minister, Fathi Bashagha, has arrived in the capital Tripoli, Al Arabiya TV said on Tuesday, citing the interior minister in his government. The eastern-based parliament appointed Bashagha in March but Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah, the incumbent appointed last year, refused to cede power, leading to a prolonged standoff between the two rival governments. “The Libyan government will carry on its duties from the capital Tripoli,” said the minister, Issam Abu Zariba, adding…

"Libya’s Bashagha arrives in Tripoli -Al Arabiya"

Nigeria’s accountant general faces corruption charges after arrest

ABUJA – Nigeria’s economic crimes agency said on Monday night it had arrested the country’s accountant general over charges of diverting public funds and money laundering to the tune of 80 billion naira ($193 million). Africa’s biggest economy and energy producer, Nigeria has struggled for decades with endemic corruption among senior public servants and the political elite, who many Nigerians blame for widespread poverty in the country. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said…

"Nigeria’s accountant general faces corruption charges after arrest"

After fires and floods, climate-conscious independents could determine Australian election

SYDNEY – After some of the worst fires and floods ever to hit Australia, a new cohort of climate-conscious independents are threatening to shake up the federal election on Saturday, putting the government under pressure in key districts and potentially reshaping the country’s political landscape. Enraged by the lack of government action on climate change, the candidates are campaigning hard on environmental issues in the hope of wooing moderate voters away from the major parties.…

"After fires and floods, climate-conscious independents could determine Australian election"

New York congressional map deals blow to Democrats’ midterm hopes

– A court-appointed expert released a draft New York congressional district map on Monday that is far less favorable to Democrats than the original plan adopted by lawmakers, likely dealing a blow to the party’s prospects in November elections. Democratic majorities in the state legislature in February passed a map that would likely have won the party 22 of the state’s 26 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. This would have partially countered new…

"New York congressional map deals blow to Democrats’ midterm hopes"

Democratic frontrunner in Pennsylvania Senate primary to skip rally after stroke

PHILADELPHIA – Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, the leading Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in the state, will skip his election night party on Tuesday as he recovers in a hospital from a stroke suffered during the final days of the campaign. Fetterman’s Pittsburgh rally will proceed without him “as he will remain in the hospital resting and recovering,” his campaign said in a statement on Monday. His wife, Gisele Fetterman, and other guests,…

"Democratic frontrunner in Pennsylvania Senate primary to skip rally after stroke"

U.S. congresswoman Liz Cheney blasts fellow Republicans after ‘great replacement’ mass shooting

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Liz Cheney called on fellow Republicans to reject white supremacism, days after a teenage gunman motivated by the right-wing “great replacement” theory allegedly killed 10 people in a racist shooting in western New York state. “The House GOP leadership has enabled white nationalism, white supremacy, and anti-semitism,” Cheney, an outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump and his allies in the House of Representatives, wrote on Twitter. “History has taught us…

"U.S. congresswoman Liz Cheney blasts fellow Republicans after ‘great replacement’ mass shooting"

Biden approves redeployment of some ground troops to Somalia- officials

WASHINGTON – U.S. President Joe Biden has authorized the redeployment of several hundred American troops back into Somalia, two U.S. officials said on Monday, more than a year after Donald Trump ordered their withdrawal. Prior to Trump’s withdrawal, the United States had about 700 troops in Somalia focused on helping local forces defeat the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab insurgency.

"Biden approves redeployment of some ground troops to Somalia- officials"

Return of the Moskvich: Russia to revive ‘legendary’ Soviet-era car after Renault exit

(Corrected to say $1 billion not $1 million in the ninth paragraph.) -A Soviet-era car brand the “Moskvich” could make a surprise comeback in Russia, as Moscow takes over assets belonging to Renault following the French carmaker’s exit from the country. Moscow’s mayor Sergei Sobyanin said he would nationalise Renault’s car factory in the city, after the Western carmaker said it was selling its local business following the start of the conflict in Ukraine. The…

"Return of the Moskvich: Russia to revive ‘legendary’ Soviet-era car after Renault exit"