Philippines grants US greater access to bases amid China concerns

Philippines, US agree to add four locations under EDCA Agreement comes amid tensions in South China Sea, over Taiwan EDCA allows US access to Philippine military bases MANILA, Feb 2 (Reuters) – The Philippines has granted the United States expanded access to its military bases, their defense chiefs said on Thursday, amid mounting concern over … Read more

India hikes spending, shuns ‘outright populism’ in last pre-election budget

Capex to rise 33% to 10 trillion rupees in 2023/24 Govt targets gross borrowing of 15.43 trillion rupees Eyes fiscal deficit of 5.9% in 2023/24, 4.5% by 2025/26 NEW DELHI, Feb 1 (Reuters) – India announced on Wednesday one of its biggest ever increases in capital spending for the next fiscal year to create jobs … Read more

New Zealand counts cost of Auckland floods, more rain forecast

WELLINGTON, Jan 30 (Reuters) – Flood-ravaged Auckland is forecast to receive further heavy rain in the coming days, authorities in New Zealand’s largest city said on Monday, as insurers counted the costs of what looks likely to be the country’s most expensive weather. event ever. Four people lost their lives in flash floods and landslides … Read more

North Korea locks down capital city over ‘respiratory illness’

SEOUL, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Authorities in the North Korean capital Pyongyang have ordered a five-day lockdown due to rising cases of an unspecified respiratory illness, the Russian embassy and Seoul-based NK News reported on Wednesday, citing a government notice. The notice, shared by the embassy on its Facebook page, said that a “special anti-epidemic … Read more

New Zealand’s Ardern bids emotional farewell on last day as prime minister

WELLINGTON, Jan 24 (Reuters) – Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday bid an emotional farewell on her last day as prime minister, speaking of the kindness and empathy New Zealanders have shown her, but said she was ready to be a sister and a mother. Days after stunning the world by announcing she had “no more in … Read more

WHO urges ‘immediate action’ after cough syrup deaths

LONDON, Jan 23 (Reuters) – The World Health Organization has called for “immediate and concerted action” to protect children from contaminated medicines after a spate of child deaths linked to cough syrups last year. In 2022, more than 300 children – mainly aged under 5 – in Gambia, Indonesia and Uzbekistan died of acute kidney … Read more

Brazil and Argentina to discuss common currency

BUENOS AIRES, Jan 22 (Reuters) – Brazil and Argentina aim for greater economic integration, including the development of a common currency, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Argentine leader Alberto Fernandez said in a joint article they penned. “We intend to overcome the barriers to our exchanges, simplify and modernize the rules and … Read more

India blocks BBC documentary on Modi from airing in India

MUMBAI, Jan 22 (Reuters) – India has blocked the airing of a BBC documentary which questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership during the 2002 Gujarat riots, saying that even sharing of any clips via social media is barred. Directions to block the clips from being shared have been issued using emergency powers available to the … Read more

Tens of thousands of Israelis protest against Netanyahu’s justice plans

TEL AVIV, Jan 21 (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of Israelis joined demonstrations on Saturday against judicial reform plans by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government that protesters say will threaten democratic checks and balances on ministers by the courts. The plans, which the government says are needed to curb overreach by activist judges, have … Read more

China plays down COVID outbreak with holiday rush at full tilt

Top official says COVID at ‘relatively low’ level Hospital, critical cases dropping, authorities say More than 2 billion trips expected over Lunar New Year Some fear travel season could see infections surge BEIJING, Jan 20 (Reuters) – People across China crowded into trains and buses for one of its busiest days of travel in years … Read more