Pope Francis on Wednesday named the first woman to hold a high-ranking post in the Secretariat of State. Francesca Di Giovanni, 66, will assume a newly-created post in a division known as the Section for Relations with States. A Vatican statement said Giovanni will look after multilateral relations in the Secretariat where she has worked since 1993.
After winning the recent national elections conclusively, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen urged China on Wednesday to review its policy towards the island. ’We hope China can understand the opinion and will expressed by Taiwanese people in this election and review their current policies’, Tsai said. China considers Taiwan its own territory.
A report published by Bloomberg reveals that the Trump administration has decided to reverse its decision of designating China as a currency manipulator. The Trump administration had decided to designate China as a currency manipulator in August 2019. Bloomberg also reported that the reversal could take place before the two countries sign an interim trade deal.
The US Navy says it has classified documents and video related to a 2004 UFO encounter and releasing those materials would threaten national security. In response to a Freedom of Information Act request, the Navy said it discovered ’certain briefing slides that are classified top secret’ relating to the incident in which pilots intercepted a strange object off the coast of San Diego in 2004.
Scientists have warned that the bushfires in Australia provide a foretaste of the conditions that could become normal unless the world moves rapidly to curb emissions of the greenhouse gases. The scientists argued that climate change had led to an increase in the frequency and severity of ’fire weather’ periods (a combination of hotter temperatures, low humidity, low rainfall and strong winds).
Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif has said that protests erupted in the country because people were lied to about the cause of the Ukrainian passenger plane crash. The remarks were made at summit in New Delhi, India. Zarif went on to praise Iran’s military for being ’brave enough to claim responsibility early on.’
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is heading to India for the company’s annual ’Smbhav’ event in New Delhi. His arrival has led to The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), which comprises of 70 million traders and 40,000 trade associations, to organize a nationwide protest across 300 cities. The group claims that Amazon is hurting small businesses by using heavy discounts.
Iran’s judiciary has branded the UK Ambassador Rob Macaire as an ’undesirable element’. The comments come after the country’s officials accused him of attending an illegal protest. Macaire has denied the allegations.
Italian police arrested 94 people as part of an ongoing investigation into an alleged Mafia scam that defrauded the European Union agriculture funds of millions of euros. Prosecutors believe that the fraud was organized by two Mafia clans that obtained at least 5.5 million euros ($6.1 million) in EU farm subsidies for land they did not own between 2010 and 2017.
A German lawmaker’s house was riddled with bullet holes. Karamba Diaby, 58, shared a photo of the bullet holes on his Twitter page, stating that the police are investigating. Diaby, country’s first black lawmaker, has been the subject of racist slurs and his office window has been smashed in the past. Diaby moved to Germany from Senegal in the 1980s to study.
The United Nations’ top court, the International Court of Justice, said Wednesday that it will issue a decision next week on a request to order Myanmar to halt what has been called a genocidal campaign against the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority. Last month, lawyers presented evidence of what they called a deliberate campaign of ethnic cleansing. More than 700,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh.
The US State department has issued a warning to Americans in China about an outbreak of pneumonia believed to be caused by a new strain of coronavirus. Authorities in the central city of Wuhan have confirmed that 41 people have been diagnosed with pneumonia believed to be caused by the new virus and one person has died.
An airliner with engine trouble dumped jet fuel that fell on dozens of school children while the plane made an emergency return to Los Angeles International Airport. The fuel caused minor skin and lung irritation to 56 children and adults. The Delta Air Lines flight to Shanghai reported an engine problem only minutes after takeoff.
Six tourists have been arrested over accusations that they damaged Peru’s cultural heritage by defecating in a sacred temple at the iconic Machu Picchu sanctuary. The group consists of one French, two Brazilians, two Argentines and a Chilean, according to police. They face at least four years in prison if found guilty of damaging Peru’s heritage.
Actor and activist, Hugh Grant, defended Prince Harry’s decision to ’step back’ from formal royal duties, saying it was to protect his family. Grant said that the ’tabloid press effectively murdered his mother’ and are now ’tearing his wife to pieces.’ The actor was reminding audiences of the death of Princess Diana who was killed in a car crash in Paris while being pursued by paparazzi.
The House of Representatives plans to vote on Wednesday on a resolution to send articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has reportedly told Democrats that she would also name the lawmakers who would serve as House managers for a Senate trial on Wednesday.
Hospitals have been warned worldwide by the WHO due to a new coronavirus in China. The World Health Organization has warned about the virus as there could be a wider outbreak even though there has been a limited human-to-human transmission of the virus.
Boris Johnson has written to Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to formally reject her request for the transfer of powers necessary to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence. Johnson reminded Sturgeon that the 2014 referendum -- in which more than 55 percent of Scots favored being part of the U.K. -- was a ’once in a generation’ vote.
French President Emmanuel Macron has said that his government understands ’the reactions’ of the people over the pension reform plans and tried to calm nationwide tensions. The President promised better explanation of what the changes will mean for different French workers. Protests and strikes in France have been going on for 41 days now.
After piling up nearly $1.5 million in maintenance costs, a Boeing Dreamliner, belonging to the President of Mexico, will be returning to the country from the United States. The plane had been put up for sale in the US, where it had been kept for a year, but failed to attract buyers.
Two rights groups have issued reports criticizing China’s treatment of its minorities. New York-based Human Rights Watch also warned of China’s growing efforts to influence and censor others abroad. In response, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the reports are biased and distorting facts.