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Ukraine war is global concern, Bident tells allies

TOKOYO - The world is “navigating a dark hour in our shared history” with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, US President Joe Biden told key Asian allies Tuesday. The war has now become a “global issue” underscoring the importance of defending international order, he said. Japanese PM Fumio Kishida echoed his comments, saying that a similar invasion…

Monkeypox spreads to Austria, Czech Republic, Slovenia

PRAGUE - The Czech Republic, Austria and Slovenia have registered their first cases of monkeypox, health authorities said Tuesday. In the Czech Republic, the disease was detected in a man at Prague’s Military University Hospital, according to Pavel Dlouhy, head of the Czech Society for Infectious Diseases. “It was only a question of time, we have…

Missiles, helicopters: 20 countries offer new arms for Ukraine

WASHINGTON - Some 20 countries offered new security assistance packages for Ukraine to battle invading Russian forces in a meeting of allies on Tuesday, US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin announced. In their second gathering, nearly four dozen countries and organizations forming the Ukraine Defense Contact Group met online to discuss helping…

Afghan Taliban hand over four key airports to UAE

The Afghan Taliban interim government on Tuesday signed a deal to hand over the country's four key airports to a state-run United Arab Emirates company. Under the deal, the control and management of four international airports – Kabul, Kandahar, Herat, and Mazar-e-Sharif – will be handed over to the UAE aviation company, according to the…

World unprepared for new pandemic: WHO chief

The World Health Organization chief on Monday said it is clear that the world was -- and remains -- unprepared for a pandemic, calling for support for universal health care and other reform measures. WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus, the sole candidate for reelection to the post, delivered his vision for the next five years for the WHO at…

Biden says US to respond ‘militarily’ if China attacks Taiwan

TOKYO   -   President Joe Biden said Monday that the United States would intervene militarily if China attempts to take Taiwan by force, a warning that appeared to deviate from the deliberate ambiguity traditionally held by Washington. The White House quickly downplayed the comments, saying they don’t reflect a change in US policy. It’s the third…

Anthony Albanese is sworn in as Australia’s new PM

CANBERRA   -   Australia’s new centre-left Prime Minister Anthony Albanese took office Monday a few hours before flying out to attend an international summit in Tokyo. Albanese, who says Australia is willing to engage with the world on climate change, will join a summit Tuesday with the US, Japanese and Indian leaders, known as the Quad. The…

China warns Biden not to ‘underestimate resolve’ on Taiwan

BEIJING   -   Beijing on Monday said it was ready to defend its national interests over Taiwan, in a rebuke to US President Joe Biden’s vow to protect the island from any invasion by China. China’s Communist Party has never controlled self-ruled Taiwan but it views the island as part of its territory and has vowed to one day seize it, by force if…

Russian diplomat quits over Putin’s ‘witless’ war

WASHINGTON   -   A Russian diplomat to the United  Nations quits over the war in Ukraine, calling it “bloody, witless and absolutely needless”. Boris Bondarev says he has never “been so ashamed of my country” following the invasion. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky says the world cannot be ruled by “brute force”, in an address at the World…

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