NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg warned Russia not to push its troop build-up near its border with Ukraine and vowed the military alliance’s ’unwavering’ support for Kyiv. Talking to reporters, Stoltenberg said, ’NATO stands with Ukraine,’ and called Russia’s amassing of troops at the border ’unjustified, unexplained and deeply concerning.’ Stoltenberg also convened a special NATO meeting on Ukraine.
Muslims across the world began marking Ramadan Tuesday. The month of fasting comes as much of the world has been hit by an intense new coronavirus wave, that would imply social distancing when people typically congregate for prayers, and gather around festive meals to break their daylong fast. US President Biden extended greetings to the community across the world.
The BBC has received over 100,000 complaints from members of the public over its coverage of the Duke of Edinburgh’s death. This makes the coverage of Prince Philip’s death the most complained-about piece of programming in BBC history. Other programs that attracted complaints in the past included: the broadcast of Jerry Springer: The Opera, and Russell Brand’s prank call to actor Andrew Sachs.
An expert panel of India’s drugs regulator has recommended emergency use approval for Russia’s Sputnik V COVID vaccine. This comes as India overtook Brazil to become the nation with the second highest number of infections worldwide after the US, as it battles a massive second wave. India is now using two vaccines, one developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford Univ., and the other by a domestic firm.
Peru’s attempt to elect its 5th president in 5 years has gone into a runoff between two candidates who are at the extreme opposites of political ideology. Hard-left Pedro Castillo, a veteran teachers’ union leader, surprised pollsters by winning 18.47%, with 84% of the official vote counted. In second place, far-right candidate Keiko Fujimori polled 13.12%, followed by 2 more far-right hopefuls.
The tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, wedged between India and China, has vaccinated nearly 93% of its adult population since March 27. Overall, the country has vaccinated 62% of its 800,000 people. Bhutan received its first 150,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from neighboring India in January. The rapid rollout of the vaccine puts the nation just behind Seychelles.
Cambodia called on US media group Vice to withdraw an article that featured newly-colourized photos of victims of the Khmer Rouge. Some of the images had been allegedly altered to add smiles. The article has since been taken down from the Vice.com website. The artist Matt Loughrey said his project to colourize images from Tuol Sleng aimed to humanize the 14,000 Cambodians executed by the group.
Prince Philip’s death is certain to be met with grief and ’ritual wailing’ by villagers on a tiny island in the Pacific. Nearly 700 villagers on the island of Tanna ascribe to the so-called Prince Philip Movement, and hold the belief that he was the son of a mountain deity who would one day return to ’heal the land.’ The movement is expected to continue with Philip’s first-born, Prince Charles.
MPs in France voted to suspend domestic airline flights on routes that can be travelled by direct train in less than 2.5 hours. The new move is a part of the country’s efforts to cut emissions. This brings to an end short internal flights from Orly airport, south of Paris, to Nantes and Bordeaux among others, though connecting flights through Charles de Gaulle/Roissy airport will continue.
Israel appeared to confirm claims that it was behind a cyber-attack on Iran’s main nuclear facility on Sunday. Israeli defense chief, Aviv Kochavi, said the country’s ’operations in the Middle East are not hidden from the eyes of the enemy.’ Earlier, Iran’s top nuclear official, called the incident, which caused a power failure at the Natanz complex south of Tehran, a ’terrorist act.’
Nick Timothy, the former chief of staff of Theresa May said, Europe is being pushed to the brink of an all-out war due to Russian actions in Ukraine. The warning by Timothy came following comments from Ukraine claiming that 80,000 troops had been moved to the border by Russia. According to Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has not provided any justification for his troops being moved to the border as well.
A judge in the Italian capital, Rome, has ordered the arrest of Gianluigi Torzi, businessman from the country living in London. Torzi is the prime suspect Vatican’s €350 million ($416 million) investment scam in a London real estate venture. The Holy See has been probing this case for two years. The judge said, based on the evidence he saw, Torzi could commit crimes if he isn’t taken into custody.
An enormous amount of ash and hot gas was fired into the air by the La Soufriere volcano early Monday. This has been the biggest explosion yet on the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent since the beginning of volcanic activity last week. This has increased the worries of officials for those who had refused to evacuate. No reports have yet emerged of injuries or deaths following the explosion.
Military activity in the South China Sea spiked over the weekend as a Chinese aircraft carrier entered the region and a US Navy expeditionary strike group conducted exercises. Besides, the US and Philippines were preparing for joint drills after China massed vessels in disputed waters. On Monday, more than 1,700 US and Philippines troops were beginning two weeks of military exercises.
The ruling military junta of Myanmar squared off against its opponents in the courts, as it showed no signs of relenting in its crackdown against those who have opposed the coup. Aung San Suu Kyi was accused of a fresh criminal charge when she appeared by video link before a judge in the capital Naypyitaw. She was accused of breaching a law intended to control the spread of the coronavirus.
One person was killed and another injured after a gunman opened fire in front of a private hospital in Paris on Monday. The attacker fired several shots before fleeing the scene outside the Henri Dunant Hospital, in the 16th arrondissement of the French capital, using a motorcycle.
Iran has vowed that the country will take revenge on Israel for what it has claimed as being a ploy by Israel which led to electricity being cut briefly to the preeminent uranium enrichment facility of the Islamic republic over the weekend. No responsibility has been claimed by Israel for the power outage yet but American and Iranian intelligence sources suggest the country played a role in it.
India reported a record daily tally of 168,912 COVID-19 infections on Monday. The country has now surpassed Brazil in cases reported. India has reported a total of 13.52M cases against Brazil’s 13.48M. However, the number of deaths is nearly half in India at 170,209, against 353,293 dead in Brazil. India now accounts for one in every six daily infections worldwide.
British PM Boris Johnson has warned people to continue to take steps to ’suppress Covid’ as the latest stage of lockdown easing comes into effect. As part of the third stage out of the lockdown, pub gardens, indoor gyms and hairdressers can now reopen. ’I urge everyone to continue to behave responsibly and remember ’hands, face, space and fresh air’ to suppress COVID,’ Boris said.
Australia’s goal to vaccinate nearly all of its 26m population by the end of 2021 has been abandoned by the country. This was done following advice to inoculate those aged under 50 with the COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer-BioNTech rather than that by AstraZeneca. A possibility of links between rare cases of blood clots and AstraZeneca’s vaccine resulted in Australia changing shots for under-50s.
Prince Harry has reportedly arrived in the UK ahead of his grandfather, Prince Philip’s funeral, scheduled for 17 April. The Duke of Sussex was seen getting off a British Airways flight from Los Angeles at Heathrow, marking his first return to the country since stepping down as a senior royal last April. Harry is believed to be spending his quarantine in his former home, Nottingham Cottage.
The leader of Germany’s ruling party, CDU, has expressed confidence in securing his party’s support to fight the next general election as a candidate for the nation’s chancellor. CDU chief, Armin Laschet, is, however, not the only one in the ruling coalition to express their desire to succeed Angela Merkel. Markus Soeder, the leader of CDU’s sister party, CSU, has also thrown his hat in the ring.