Top Pakistani activist says prevented from leaving country

Lahore (Pakistan) (AFP) Pakistani authorities refused to let a top human rights lawyer leave the country, citing her "anti-state activities", she told AFP on Monday, in what appeared to be the latest example of an ongoing rights crackdown. Jalila Haider, who last year featured on a BBC list of 100 inspiring and influential women for … Continue reading Top Pakistani activist says prevented from leaving country

Iraq protesters, police grapple for Baghdad streets as deadline expires

Baghdad (AFP) Hundreds of Iraqi anti-government protesters grappled with security forces in a bid to shut Baghdad streets on Monday, a deadline they had given authorities to implement long-awaited reforms. Rallies have rocked Iraq since October but, fearing they would lose momentum amid spiralling regional tensions, protesters last Monday told the government it had one … Continue reading Iraq protesters, police grapple for Baghdad streets as deadline expires

China moves on takout containers in bid to reduce plastic waste

Beijing (AFP) China will ban non-degradable plastic bags in major cities and single-use straws from restaurants by the end of this year in a bid to cut down on waste. The country is one of the world's biggest users of plastic, and the plan targets a 30 percent reduction in non-degradable, disposable tableware for takeout … Continue reading China moves on takout containers in bid to reduce plastic waste

North Korean defector numbers to South lowest since 2001

Seoul (AFP) The number of North Koreans defecting to the South dropped to its lowest in nearly two decades last year, Seoul said Monday, continuing a downward trend as Pyongyang tightens controls on movement. Some 1,047 North Koreans arrived in the democratic South last year, down from 1,137 in 2018, according to data released by … Continue reading North Korean defector numbers to South lowest since 2001

‘Be nice to each other,’ retiring Wozniacki tells young players

Melbourne (AFP) Retiring former world number one Caroline Wozniacki Monday urged the younger generation of players to "be nice to each other", saying locker-room friendships can last through life. The Danish star, who is walking away from tennis after the Australian Open aged 29, lived to fight another day at Melbourne Park after crushing American … Continue reading ‘Be nice to each other,’ retiring Wozniacki tells young players

Australia fires ‘devastating habitats’ of endangered species

Sydney (AFP) Australia's bushfires and other climate change effects are devastating the habitats of critically endangered species and driving the native platypus towards extinction, according to surveys highlighting the country's vulnerability to rising temperatures. The unprecedented blazes that have swept through an area the size of Portugal have claimed 29 lives but also tested Australia's … Continue reading Australia fires ‘devastating habitats’ of endangered species

Lebanon president to chair crisis talks over weekend violence

Beirut (AFP) Lebanon's under-fire president is set to meet Monday with top security officials to discuss rare violence over the weekend that left hundreds wounded in the protest-hit country. Michel Aoun will be joined by the care-taker ministers of the interior and defence as well as the chiefs of the military and security agencies in … Continue reading Lebanon president to chair crisis talks over weekend violence

Iran has not ruled out talks to end nuclear dispute, says official

DUBAI (REUTERS) - Iran said on Monday (Jan 20) that it had not closed the "door to negotiations" in efforts to resolve a dispute over its nuclear agreement with world powers that has escalated steadily since the United States withdrew from the deal in 2018. Iran has gradually stepped back from its obligations to the 2015 nuclear … Continue reading Iran has not ruled out talks to end nuclear dispute, says official

Capitalism seen doing ‘more harm than good’ in global survey

LONDON (REUTERS) - A majority of people around the world believe capitalism in its current form is doing more harm than good, a survey found ahead of this week's Davos meeting of business and political leaders. Lack of trust in capitalism was highest in Thailand and India on 75 per cent and 74 per cent … Continue reading Capitalism seen doing ‘more harm than good’ in global survey

Billionaires richer than 60 per cent of the world’s population: Oxfam

DAVOS (AFP) - The world's billionaires have doubled in the past decade and are richer than 60 per cent of the global population, the charity Oxfam said on Monday (Jan 20). The numbers show that 2,153 billionaires now have more wealth than the 4.6 billion poorest people on the planet.PHOTO: REUTERS It said poor women and … Continue reading Billionaires richer than 60 per cent of the world’s population: Oxfam

Tech revolution could worsen global inequality, says WEF

ZURICH (BLOOMBERG) - Global inequality is going to worsen unless governments do more to ensure those most affected by rapid technological change aren't just cast aside and forgotten, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). In its Social Mobility Report, the WEF said Europe scores well, particularly Nordic countries. Japan came in at 15th place and … Continue reading Tech revolution could worsen global inequality, says WEF

Britain’s Prince Harry says he did not want to end royal role, expresses ‘great sadness’

LONDON (REUTERS) - Britain's Prince Harry said on Sunday (Jan 19) it brought him great sadness that he had to leave his royal duties after agreeing with Queen Elizabeth that he and his wife Meghan would step down from official roles to seek an independent future. Prince Harry and wife Meghan leaving Canada House in London, Britain, … Continue reading Britain’s Prince Harry says he did not want to end royal role, expresses ‘great sadness’