A mosque in the Israeli-occupied West Bank town of Al-Bireh was damaged by fire and Hebrew-language graffiti, in a pre-dawn attack that Palestinians blamed on Jewish settlers.
The International Monetary Fund on Monday said it had approved $4.3 billion in aid to South Africa to help it fight the coronavirus pandemic. "The IMF approved $4.3 billion in emergency financial assistance under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) to support the authorities' efforts in addressing the challenging health situation and severe economic impact of the COVID-19 shock," the Washington-based crisis lender said in a statement.
Despite its name, Fluffy has no fur. With an accurate camera scan, "we can build those pieces within the workstation, and we can see if there's any interferences or if everything new is going to fit," said Mark Goderis, Ford's advanced manufacturing center digital engineering manager. Fluffy, controlled by an engineer with a handheld device, can travel up to 3 miles per hour (4.8 kph) for about two hours on its battery.
Officials around the world reintroduced a raft of restrictions Monday -- from beach closures to quarantine measures -- to try to damp down coronavirus hotspots as the official death toll passed 650,000. European countries trying to repair the economic damage caused by the earlier lockdowns, struggled to balance keeping the lifeline of tourism open while guarding against fresh flare-ups of infection. Spain's tourism industry faced fresh misery after British travellers -- and one major tour operator -- cancelled flights there following London's decision to reintroduce quarantine for travellers returning from the country.
Italy's government is studying a plan to create a single ultra-fast broadband network that could initially be majority-owned by phone incumbent Telecom Italia (TIM) but would grant equal access to all market players, a person close to the matter told Reuters. Rome is trying to broker a deal between former phone monopoly TIM and Open Fiber, which is controlled by utility Enel and state lender CDP, to merge their fibre assets and create a national champion. TIM, which has both a retail and a wholesale arm, has repeatedly said it wants to keep control of any merged entity with Open Fiber, while European regulations favour the adoption of a non-vertically integrated model outside TIM's control.
As one of the world's top tourist destinations, Spain was hoping to salvage the summer by billing itself as a safe haven from the pandemic but with infections surging, all bets are off. Britain's decision late Saturday to impose quarantine on all travellers coming from Spain represents a huge setback -- British tourists are the largest national group of visitors, with 18 million of them taking a Spanish holiday in 2019. "It's a very tough blow" given that the tourist sector "had hoped to be able to turn things around in August," Ximo Puig, the Valencian regional president told Cadena Ser radio.
West African leaders on Monday called for the swift creation of a unity government in Mali and a fresh vote after disputed elections, but warned of sanctions against those opposing efforts to end the country's crisis. In a statement issued after a video conference, heads of the 15-nation regional bloc ECOWAS stood by President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita but called for a unity government to be "established rapidly" and urged the opposition to join it. Ministers in charge of defence, justice, foreign affairs, national security and finance would be appointed before the unity government is created.
For half a century, Richard Nixon's opening to communist China has been viewed by many Americans as a diplomatic masterstroke, with successive presidents of both parties following his course. US hawks have now revived an alternative view -- that normalization was a mistake that, in the view of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, set the stage for an aggressive China and soaring tensions between Washington and Beijing. It all began in 1971 with secret trips to Beijing by Henry Kissinger, Nixon's national security advisor.
Coordinators of a global coronavirus vaccines funding scheme are looking at a wide range of potential prices for COVID-19 shots, with a reported $40 per dose price tag the "highest number" in that range, one of the co-leads of the project said on Monday. Seth Berkley, chief executive of the GAVI vaccine alliance, which is co-leading the COVAX facility designed to ensure fair global access to COVID-19 shots, said the facility had no specific target price and would also seek to negotiate tiered pricing for richer and poorer countries. Berkley rejected comments from European Union sources last week who said the COVAX facility was targeting a $40 price for COVID vaccines for wealthy countries.
Comcast unit SKY <CMCSA.O>, utility A2A <A2.MI> and state agency Invitalia are considering investing in an Italian single ultra-fast broadband network, two sources told Reuters, as Rome steps up efforts to close the digital gap with the rest of Europe. Former phone monopoly Telecom Italia (TIM) <TLIT.MI>, partly owned by state lender CDP, has been in talks for months over a merger of its fibre assets with those of smaller rival Open Fiber, controlled by Italian utility Enel <ENEI.MI> and CDP.
As the coronavirus ravages Florida, healthcare workers in Miami hospitals are struggling to cope with the emotional and physical impact of treating a crushing wave of COVID-19 patients. “I know, and my colleagues know, that we’re putting a Band-Aid on a problem, we’re supporting people as best we can to get them through, but the real fight happens outside,” said Dr. Eric Knott, a pulmonary and critical care fellow working in three of Miami’s largest hospitals. For Miami doctors, concerns about the virus far surpass those stirred up by even the largest hurricanes.
Germany will make coronavirus tests mandatory for travellers returning from at-risk areas, Health Minister Jens Spahn said Monday, as fears grow over rising case numbers blamed on summer holidays and local outbreaks. The debate around coronavirus testing intensified over the weekend after Germany's 16 states agreed on Friday for free tests for all returning travellers, but had stopped short of making the tests mandatory.
After the disappointment of seeing the Mexican Formula One Grand Prix canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Mexico City government has turned its F1 track into a drive-in cinema. On a rainy Sunday, dozens of people drove up to Turn Four of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, which has been temporarily converted into the Autocinema Mixhuca. The cinema allows movie goers to maintain social distancing while enjoying exclusively Mexican films.
Donald Trump's national security advisor tested positive for COVID-19 Monday, as the president prepared to visit a North Carolina facility where one of the leading vaccine candidates is being manufactured. National security advisor Robert O'Brien is the latest and most senior White House aide to contract the virus. Others who have been previously infected include Vice President Mike Pence's spokeswoman Katie Miller, and Kimberly Guilfoyle, a top fundraiser for the Trump campaign and girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr. The United States is by far the worst-hit country in the world, with more than 4.2 million confirmed cases and nearly 150,000 deaths.
Vietnam will suspend all flights and public transport into and out of a city of 1.1 million people where the country's first coronavirus cases in months were recently detected, authorities said Monday. Until the weekend it appeared that the Southeast Asian country had managed to stub out the virus -- and with lockdowns lifted since late April, domestic tourists had flocked back to the coastal city of Danang. The transport ministry made the order on Monday evening, just hours before it goes into effect at midnight (1700 GMT Monday).
Dollar weakness was a big factor behind gold's takeoff, analysts said, after vast monetary easing by the US Federal Reserve undermined confidence in the greenback without reassuring investors about the outlook for any fast US recovery. After months of strong gains across equity markets -- fuelled by trillions of dollars in government and central bank support -- traders had already begun to step back, weighing the long-term economic impact of the coronavirus.
The deal, estimated to be worth $9.4 billion, has been overshadowed by corruption allegations levelled by the opposition Congress party although Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has rejected the claims. The jets built by Dassault Aviation -- and piloted by officers from the Indian Air Force (IAF) -- took off from Merignac in southwest France, the company said in a statement.
Britain's surprise move to quarantine passengers arriving from Spain dealt a heavy blow to European airlines already reeling from the coronavirus crisis - and sowed new doubts about the prospects for a steady travel recovery. EasyJet <EZJ.L> shares were down 7.7% at 1500 GMT, with British Airways parent IAG <ICAG.L> lost 6.1%, Lufthansa <LHAG.DE> 5.3%, Air France-KLM <AIRF.PA> 5% and Ryanair 4%. Ryanair <RYA.I> Group Chief Executive Michael O'Leary called the UK measures "a badly managed over-reaction" as he unveiled a 185 million euro ($217 million) quarterly loss along with a more downbeat recovery outlook.
A construction worker has denied inciting protesters to besiege a controversial Hong Kong detention centre by allegedly spreading rumours on social media that police officers had sexually assaulted women held there during last year’s social unrest.Poon Yung-wai, 37, pleaded not guilty to two counts of incitement at West Kowloon Court on Monday, after he became the first defendant to face criminal prosecution for provoking violence on social media since anti-government protests erupted in June last year over the now-withdrawn extradition bill.He was alleged to have published four Facebook posts between September 19 and 21, accusing police of committing heinous crimes at the San Uk Ling Holding Centre in the remote Man Kam To area near the city’s border with mainland China.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.The 80,000 sq ft facility was set up in 1979 to hold illegal immigrants before they were deported, but had been temporarily used to house arrested anti-government protesters last summer.Prosecutors alleged Poon posted comments on an open Facebook group with more than 50,000 members under the alias “Kim Jong-un” – North Korea’s leader – saying female protesters detained in San Uk Ling had been molested and raped after they were given sedatives by police officers, with some committing suicide afterwards. Hong Kong court gives man 18 weeks’ jail for selling pirated discsThe court was told that Poon claimed that to conceal their deaths, officers dropped the women’s bodies from height and made it look like they died after jumping off a building, thus explaining a surge in suicide attempts during the unrest.He further claimed that some male protesters had been beaten to death after they were forced to watch their female counterparts being assaulted by officers.In other passages, the court heard, Poon claimed that the atrocities were jointly committed by local police, public security officers from the mainland, and “village thugs and triads”, while calling for people sharing similar political views to besiege San Uk Ling and rescue the detainees. Man cleared of charges after weapons found in car thought to be from passengersProsecutors said Poon’s claims were meant to provoke some 52,609 members of the Facebook group as well as other users to take part in either an unlawful assembly or an unauthorised meeting outside the detention centre.Police arrested Poon on October 16 outside his home on Kwai Chung Estate and seized a computer and four mobile phones. Subsequent searches confirmed that the accused had logged onto Facebook under the pseudonym Kim Jong-un with the devices.Sergeant Wong Ming-ho, who was tasked with detecting illegal acts on the internet, told the court he carried out the investigation under the presumption that “Kim” had managed the Facebook group with a view to mobilising people for illegal gatherings. He agreed, however, that Poon had never specified the details of the proposed illegal meeting outside San Uk Ling.The trial is expected to last for 10 days.Rebel City: Hong Kong’s Year of Water and Fire is a new book of essays that chronicles the political confrontation that has gripped the city since June 2019. Edited by the South China Morning Post's Zuraidah Ibrahim and Jeffie Lam, the book draws on work from the Post's newsrooms across Hong Kong, Beijing, Washington and Singapore, with unmatched insights into all sides of the conflict. Buy directly from SCMP today for HKD$198. Rebel City: Hong Kong's Year of Water and Fire is also available at major bookshops worldwide and online through Amazon, Kobo, Google Books, and eBooks.com.This article Hong Kong protests: man who allegedly spread rumours on Facebook of police officers assaulting women at detention centre pleads not guilty to incitement charges first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.
At his cafe under the shadow of the Paris district of Montmartre, Guillaume Dubois shows off the brightly painted wooden pallets enclosing a quickly built patio that he says has transformed business in the summer of the coronavirus. Following a loosening of regulations by city hall, customers at the Sunset cafe are now spread out on tables and chairs across three parallel parking spaces, in a scene repeated throughout Paris. "It completely changes the face of Paris," said Dubois, adding that it helped propel a surge in sales last month, when the city's bar and restaurants were allowed to reopen after 92 days of COVID-19 lockdown.
A U.N. grain store that symbolised aid agencies' struggle to navigate the front lines of Yemen's war has finally been emptied and distributed to a starving population almost two years after fighting cut access, the U.N. food agency said on Monday. The Red Sea Mills, a milling facility rented by the World Food Programme (WFP) as part of an aid operation feeding 13 million people a month, had become a focal point of a frozen conflict in the strategic port of Hodeidah.