Singapore confirmed 13 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday (26 February), taking the country's total case count to 59,913.10-year-old girl among cases »
Retail brokerage Robinhood said on Friday U.S. regulators were looking into its temporary trading curbs on so-called meme stocks earlier this year as shares of companies like GameStop Corp soared during a social media-fueled short-squeeze. The brokerage, whose trading app surged in popularity over the past year, also said in a regulatory filing https://bit.ly/3kpGAUb detailing the probes that it set aside $26.6 million for a potential settlement around trading outages in March 2020, as well as its options trading policies. Menlo Park, California-based Robinhood was at the heart of a mania that gripped retail investors in late January following calls on Reddit thread WallStreetBets to trade certain stocks that were being heavily shorted by hedge funds.
Students clashed with police in Bangladesh's capital on Friday as anger mounted at the death of a writer and government critic in a high-security jail.
The growing footprint in New York of major tech companies like Amazon.com Inc, Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google has given property owners and brokers hope that once the coronavirus has been conquered demand for office space will quickly return to pre-pandemic levels. But the popularity of working from home and the exodus of people from expensive coastal cities will likely weigh on demand and change workspace requirements, leaving office buildings that do not adjust less valuable.
After pausing half a billion dollars in arms deals with Saudi Arabia out of concern over casualties in Yemen, President Joe Biden's administration may shift U.S. policy not only to cancel past deals that pose human rights concerns, but limit future military sales to "defensive" weapons. Four sources familiar with the administration's thinking said officials are assessing the array of military equipment and training included in sales to the Saudis to determine what can be considered defensive. A State Department spokesperson said, "Our focus is on ending the conflict in Yemen even as we ensure Saudi Arabia has everything it needs to defend its territory and its people," adding Biden has pledged to end U.S. military support for the military campaign against the Houthis.
United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said on Friday that China is restricting basic civil and political freedoms in the name of national security and COVID-19 measures. "Activists, lawyers and human rights defenders – as well as some foreign nationals – face arbitrary criminal charges, detention or unfair trials," Bachelet told the Human Rights Council in Geneva. More than 600 people in Hong Kong are being investigated for taking part in protests, some under the new national security law imposed by mainland China on the former British colony, she said.
The UN Security Council gave unanimous approval Friday to a resolution calling for improved access to Covid-19 vaccines in conflict-hit or impoverished countries, diplomats said.
The United States withdrew its opposition to the idea of global rules on taxing digital giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook at a meeting of finance ministers and central bankers of the world's top 20 economies on Friday, a G20 official said.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's grip on power appeared to be slipping on Friday, a day after the army called on him to quit. Hundreds of demonstrators rallied in the capital Yerevan to demand his downfall, and a leading opposition figure called on the army to rebel against him. Pashinyan told his supporters on Thursday he was firing Onik Gasparyan, the chief of the army's general staff.
Police in Bangladesh on Friday baton charged and fired tear gas at hundreds of students demonstrating in the capital after a prominent writer and government critic died in jail.
From offering assistance to medical workers to distributing meals and donating computers to needy schoolkids, Portuguese citizens are volunteering in droves in the wake of the economic and social crisis brought on by the pandemic.
Internet freedom advocates on Friday warned new Indian social media regulations could pose a threat to freedom of expression, after New Delhi announced plans for tough new rules that could force platforms to remove content it deems objectionable.
U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday told Saudi King Salman he would work for bilateral ties "as strong and transparent as possible," the White House said, ahead of the expected release of a sensitive U.S. intelligence report on the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The report is a declassified version of a top-secret assessment that sources say singles out the 85-year-old king's son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for approving the murder of Khashoggi in the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul. Saudi Arabia denies that the 35-year-old crown prince, the de facto ruler of the kingdom, approved the killing.
The online retailer and blockchain tech investor is cooperating with the investigation, it said in a regulatory filing, and continues to provide documents requested in the subpoena. Overstock did not respond to a request for additional details on the subpoena. "Although we believe that we have fully complied with all relevant laws and regulations, there can be no assurance that the SEC will not commence an enforcement action against us or members of our management, or as to the ultimate resolution of any enforcement action that the SEC may decide to bring," Overstock said.
The risk of human-to-human spread of the H5N8 strain of bird flu appears low after it was identified for the first time worldwide in farm workers in Russia, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. Russia registered the first case of influenza A(H5N8) being passed to humans from birds and has reported the matter to the WHO, Anna Popova, head of consumer health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, said on Saturday. Seven people in Russia were found to be infected with H5N8, but all were asymptomatic following an outbreak on a poultry farm in the southern oblast (region) of Astrakhan, a WHO statement said.
India's National Stock Exchange on Friday defended its reopening the market after an unexpected shutdown this week, amid criticism about how it handled the situation. Brokers had criticised the NSE over the lack of information after the four-hour shutdown on Wednesday. India's largest stock exchange, NSE announced on Wednesday it shut at 11:40 a.m. local time because of a telecoms problem.
Pledges made so far under the 2015 Paris accord would deliver less than a 1% reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 -- a fraction of the 45% cut needed to avert catastrophic climate change, according to a U.N. report published on Friday. The tally underscored the challenge negotiators face as they try to secure more ambitious commitments from big polluters ahead of a climate conference in Glasgow in November that is seen as the most important since the Paris deal was signed. "While we acknowledge the recent political shift in momentum towards stronger climate action throughout the world, decisions to accelerate and broaden climate action everywhere must be taken now," said U.N. climate chief Patricia Espinosa.
Myanmar's ambassador to the United Nations made an emotional plea on Friday to the international community for the "strongest possible action" against the military's rule, as riot police violently clamped down on anti-coup protests in the Southeast Asian country.
Just over half of Israel's population has had at least a first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, the health ministry said Friday in its latest update.
The recommendation can now be used as guidance in individual European nations on the possible use of the combination of casirivimab and imdevimab before a marketing authorisation is issued, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said. Regeneron's antibody cocktail was authorised for emergency use in the United States in November, and was given to former U.S. President Donald Trump during his COVID-19 infection.
Germany's government and health chiefs on Friday urged the public to take AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine, seeking to stem a tide of scepticism about its effectiveness and safety that has left most of the country's supply unused. Health authorities in some European countries - including Germany - are facing resistance to the vaccine after side-effects including fever and muscle pain led some front-line workers to call in sick, putting extra strain on already-stretched health services. Germany also recommended that the AstraZeneca vaccine be given only to people aged 18 to 64, which critics said was counterproductive to efforts to contain the pandemic.
Spanish government veterinarians were on Friday deciding the fate of hundreds of cows crammed aboard a ship that had returned to port after months at sea in what animal rights activists described as "hellish" conditions. The Karim Allah docked at the southeastern Spanish port of Cartagena on Thursday after drifting for months through the Mediterranean and struggling to find a buyer for its 895 cattle. The beasts were rejected by several countries over fears they had bovine bluetongue virus.
A single dose of Pfizer and BioNtech's COVID-19 vaccine cuts the number of asymptomatic infections and could significantly reduce the risk of transmission of the virus, results of a UK study found on Friday. Researchers analysed results from thousands of COVID-19 tests carried out each week as part of hospital screenings of healthcare staff in Cambridge, eastern England. "Our findings show a dramatic reduction in the rate of positive screening tests among asymptomatic healthcare workers after a single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine," said Nick Jones, an infectious diseases specialist at Cambridge University Hospital, who co-led the study.
A panel of expert advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration began a meeting to discuss Johnson & Johnson's one-dose COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, setting the stage for a possible emergency use authorization as early as this week. After it receives the recommendation, the FDA is likely to authorize the vaccine for emergency use within a day or so, making it the third available in the United States, and the only one that requires just one shot. The panel, consisting of doctors, infectious disease experts and medical researchers, began the meeting at 9:00 a.m. ET (1400 GMT), and will vote in favor or against the vaccine's use several hours later at the end of the meeting.
The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives on Friday was aiming to push through President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid package, though they looked unlikely to be able to use the package to raise the minimum wage nationwide. A group of Senate Republicans had offered Biden a slimmed-down alternative, but the White House and some economists insist a big package is needed. Representative Jim McGovern, chairman of the House Rules Committee, said polls have shown that most Americans support the stimulus package.