Forest fires kill at least six in Ukraine’s Luhansk region

Forest fires have killed at least six people and ravaged several villages in eastern Ukraine. Authorities deployed water-bombing planes, the national armed forces and hundreds of fire-fighters. High winds and soaring temperatures have helped spread the fires in the Luhansk region, near areas held by Russian-backed separatist forces. President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the area and […]

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Zheng Yanxiong: China appoints hard-line Hong Kong security chief

China has appointed a hard-line figure as head of its new security agency in Hong Kong. Zheng Yanxiong is known for his role in dealing with a protest over a land dispute in the Southern Chinese village of Wukan. The new agency, which answers directly to Beijing, is being set up to enforce a draconian […]

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Putin strongly backed in controversial Russian reform vote

Russia – Nearly 78% of Russian voters backed constitutional reform that could keep President Vladimir Putin in power until 2036, said election officials. With all the ballots counted, 77.9% voted for the reform package and 21.3% voted against it, said the electoral commission. The reform will reset Putin’s term limits to zero in 2024, and […]

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Harvey Weinstein: Some accusers denounce $19m ‘sellout’ settlement

US – Two lawsuits against Harvey Weinstein are to be settled for a proposed $18.9million, announced the New York Attorney General. This fund is set to be distributed between dozens of women who have accused the Hollywood producer of sexual misconduct. However, lawyers representing six of the women who have accused Weinstein have criticised the […]

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Coronavirus: EU to allow in visitors from 14 ‘safe’ countries

The EU has named 14 countries whose citizens are deemed “safe” to be let in from 1 July, despite the pandemic – but the US, Brazil, and China are excluded. Those named include Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, and South Korea. The EU said it is ready to add China if the Chinese government would offer […]

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Coronavirus: New York imposes quarantine on eight US states

USA – New York, Connecticut and New Jersey have asked people traveling from states where Covid-19 cases are rising to go into self-isolation for 14 days. New Jersey’s Phil Murphy said people in these three states had been “through hell and back” and did not want “another round” of virus infections. Some Western and Southern […]

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Coronavirus has brought US ‘to its knees’, says CDC director

USA – A US public health chief told Congress on Tuesday that coronavirus has “brought this nation to its knees” as America struggles with more than 2.3 million confirmed cases and over 121,000 deaths so far. The Director of the federal Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said in a hearing in Washington that […]

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