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Chinese President Xi Jinping. File image

World

Since Kim came to power in 2011, standards of living improved for many North Koreans as markets proliferated and consumer goods became more widely available.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has congratulated North Korea leader Kim Jong Un on being elected as general secretary of the ruling Workers’ Party, Chinese state media said on Monday.

Indonesia Navy diver recovers what are believed to be remains from Sriwijaya Air flight SJ 182 which crashed into the sea, at Jarkarta International Container Terminal port in Jarkarta, Indonesia, January 10, 2021. Reuters photo

World

Pieces of wreckage were brought to Jakarta port by rescuers. Authorities said they came from a depth of 23 metres (75 feet) near a group of islands off the Jakarta coast.

Indonesian authorities on Sunday located the black boxes of the Sriwijaya Air jet that crashed into the sea soon after taking off from the capital Jakarta, as human body parts and suspected pieces of the plane were retrieved.

FILE - This Nov. 4, 2020, file satellite photo by Maxar Technologies shows Iran's Fordo nuclear site. Iran has told international nuclear inspectors it plans to enrich uranium up to 20% at its underground Fordo nuclear facility, a technical step away from weapons-grade levels, as it increases pressure on the West over its tattered atomic deal. (Maxar Technologies via AP, File)

World

“Iran has informed the agency that in order to comply with a legal act recently passed by the country’s parliament, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran intends to produce low-enriched uranium ... up to ....

Iran said Saturday it plans to enrich uranium up to 20% at its underground Fordo nuclear facility “as soon as possible,” pushing its program a technical step away from weapons-grade levels as it increases pressure on the West over the tattered atomic deal.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson

World

For five years, the frenzied gyrations of the Brexit crisis dominated European affairs, buffeted the sterling markets and tarnished the United Kingdom’s reputation as a reliable pillar of Western stability.

The United Kingdom began the New Year outside the European Union’s orbit on Friday after ending a tempestuous 48-year liaison with the European project, its most significant geopolitical shift since the loss of empire.

In this June 2, 2020 photo, journalist Ruhollah Zam speaks during his trial at the Revolutionary Court, in Tehran, Iran. Iran. The judiciary spokesman, Gholamhossein Esmaili, announced Tuesday, June 30, 2020 that Zam, a journalist whose online work helped inspire the 2017 economic protests and who returned from exile to Tehran was sentenced to death. The Persian writing on the podium reads, "defendant's place." (Ali Shirband/Mizan News Agency via AP)

World

Those demonstrations, which began at the end of 2017, represented the biggest challenge to Iran since the 2009 Green Movement protests and set the stage for similar mass unrest in November of last year.

Iran on Saturday executed a once-exiled journalist over his online work that helped inspire nationwide economic protests in 2017, authorities said, just months after he returned to Tehran under mysterious circumstances.

Pope Francis leaves at the end of a consistory ceremony where 13 bishops were elevated to a cardinal's rank in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020. (Fabio Frustaci/POOL via AP)

World

His comments reflected Francis’ constant complaint about the arrogance of the clerical class, as well as his current battles to fight corruption in the Vatican hierarchy.

Pope Francis raised 13 new cardinals to the highest rank in the Catholic hierarchy Saturday and immediately warned them not to use their titles for corrupt, personal gain, presiding over a ceremony marked from beginning to end by the coronavirus pandemic.

Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh

World

The U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it suspected Fakhrizadeh oversaw secret work to fit a warhead on a ballistic missile, test high explosives suitable for a nuclear weapon and process uranium.

Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was killed on Friday, led a life of such secrecy that even his age was under wraps but much about the clandestine nuclear weapons programme he is believed to have run has long been known.

A medical worker wearing protective gear enters the treatment hall of a temporary hospital for coronavirus patients in the Krylatskoye Ice Palace in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020. Russia’s health care system has been under severe strain in recent weeks, as a resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic has swept the country. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

World

Russia’s health care system, vast yet underfunded, has been under significant strains in recent weeks, as the pandemic surges again and daily infections and virus death regularly break records.

When Yekaterina Kobzeva, a nurse at a preschool in Russia’s Ural Mountains, began having trouble breathing, she called an ambulance. It was four days before she managed to find a free hospital bed.

Riot police form a cordon as flames shoot out from the Congress building after protesters set a part of the building on fire, in Guatemala City, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. Hundreds of protesters were protesting in various parts of the country Saturday against Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei and members of Congress for the approval of the 2021 budget that reduced funds for education, health and the fight for human rights. (AP Photo/Oliver De Ros)

World

“We are outraged by poverty, injustice, the way they have stolen the public’s money,” said psychology professor Rosa de Chavarría.

Hundreds of protesters broke into Guatemala’s Congress and burned part of the building Saturday amid growing demonstrations against President Alejandro Giammattei and the legislature for approving a controversial budget that cut educational and health spending.

Israel's Netanyahu congratulates Biden on U.S. election win, thanks Trump

World

Netanyahu’s message came hours after many world leaders had already congratulated Democrat Biden, even as Trump refused to concede and pressed ahead with legal fights against the outcome.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on Sunday, hailing a strong alliance that could be burdened by differences over policy on Iran and the Palestinians.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends the Gulf Cooperation Council's (GCC) 40th Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia December 10, 2019. Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS

World

At 1932 GMT on Sunday, Saudi Arabia’s king Salman and his son, the crown prince, congratulated Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on winning the presidential election, state news agency SPA reported.

Saudi Arabia finally congratulated Joe Biden on Sunday over his election victory, more than 24 hours after he defeated Donald Trump, who had close personal ties with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Kenyan cartoonist and commentator Patrick Gathara works on drawing cartoons at his house in Nairobi, Kenya, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020. As the United States twists itself into knots over its most contentious vote in decades, Gathara has spun out a widely read alternate commentary on Twitter, drawing freely from cliches that long have been aimed at elections in Africa. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

World

The irony of seeing U.S. Donald Trump cut off by major media networks Thursday as he launched unsubstantiated claims lambasting the U.S. electoral system was not lost on many. The U.S. has long been a vocal critic of strongman tactics around the world. Now, some of those same targets are turning around the finger.

Demands to stop the vote count. Baseless accusations of fraud. Claims that the opposition is trying to “steal” the election.

Third Iranian fuel tanker arrives in gasoline-starved Venezuela's waters - FarsNews Agency image

World

The flotilla was the second group of fuel tankers Iran has sent this year to Venezuela, a once-prosperous OPEC nation now experiencing gasoline shortages due to years of underinvestment and lack of maintenance at its refineries, and U.S. sanctions on state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela [PDVSA.UL].

The final vessel in a flotilla of three Iranian fuel tankers entered gasoline-starved Venezuela’s waters on Saturday, in the latest sign of cooperation between the two countries amid protests over shortages in the South American nation.

A Border Force vessel brings a group of people thought to be migrants into the port city of Dover, England, from small boats, Saturday Aug. 8, 2020. AP photo

World

Some have turned to small boats organized by smugglers because lockdowns have reduced opportunities to stow away on ferries and trucks. Fine summer weather is also ...

Britain’s military said Saturday it has been asked by the government to help prevent people from reaching the U.K. from France in small boats, after a surge in the number of vessels making the dangerous journey.

This photo provided by the French Defense Ministry shows oil leaking from the MV Wakashio, a bulk carrier ship that recently ran aground off the southeast coast of Mauritius,, Sunday Aug.9, 2020. The Indian Ocean island of Mauritius has declared a "state of environmental emergency" after the Japanese-owned ship that ran aground offshore days ago began spilling tons of fuel. (Gwendoline Defente/EMAE via AP)

World

An estimated 1 ton of oil from the Japanese ship’s cargo of 4 tons has already escaped into the sea, officials said. Workers were seeking to stop more oil from leaking, but with high winds and rough seas on Sunday there were reports of new cracks to the ship’s hull.

Thousands of students, environmental activists and residents of Mauritius were working around the clock Sunday, trying to reduce the damage to the Indian Ocean island from an oil spill after a ship ran aground on a coral reef.

Build 'free and strong' coexistence after blast, Pope Francis tells Lebanese

World

Lebanon’s fractured politics is vulnerable to foreign interference that has long fuelled domestic crises. The powerful Iran-backed Hezbollah group, ...

Pope Francis urged the people of Lebanon on Sunday to work together in the wake of the devastating port blast to give birth to a new “free and strong” coexistence.

Lebanese call for an uprising after protests rock Beirut. Image credit - CNBC

World

“The resignation of an MP or a minister is not enough ... the whole government should resign as it is unable to help the country recover,” he said in his Sunday sermon.

Some Lebanese called on Sunday for a sustained uprising to topple their leaders amid public fury over this week’s devastating explosion in Beirut, and the country’s top Christian Maronite cleric said the cabinet should resign.

China orders US to close Chengdu consulate in retaliation to Houston closure

World

Beijing defended its response as, "a legitimate and necessary response to the unreasonable actions of the United States."

China has officially ordered the U.S. to close its consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu in an expected retaliation against the ordered closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston earlier this week.

In this image made from video, fire engine is seen outside Chinese consulate in Houston, Tuesday, July 21, 2020. Media reports in Houston said that authorities had responded to reports of a fire at the consulate. Witnesses said that people were burning paper in what appeared to be trash cans, the Houston Chronicle reported, citing police.(KTRK via AP)

World

The U.S. said in a brief statement that the consulate was ordered closed “to protect American intellectual property and American’s private information.” It did not provide any details.

The U.S. has ordered China to close its consulate in Houston in what a Chinese official called an outrageous and unjustified move that will sabotage relations between the two countries.

Iran issues arrest warrant for Trump that Interpol rejects

World

Iran has issued an arrest warrant and asked Interpol for help in detaining President Donald Trump and dozens of others it believes carried out the U.S. drone strike that killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad early this year

Iran has issued an arrest warrant and asked Interpol for help in detaining President Donald Trump and dozens of others it believes carried out the U.S. drone strike that killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad, a local prosecutor reportedly said Monday.

Lines of cars wait at a coronavirus testing site outside of Hard Rock Stadium, Friday, June 26, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Florida banned alcohol consumption at its bars Friday as its daily confirmed coronavirus cases neared 9,000, a new record that is almost double the previous mark set just two days ago. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

World

Germany cautions virus risk still high as economies restart

German Chancellor Angela Merkel cautioned Saturday that the coronavirus pandemic is far from over, as regional outbreaks gave rise to fears of a second wave. Two of the largest U.S. states reversed course and reinstated some coronavirus restrictions amid a surge in new infections.

Tensions rise at virus hot spot apartments in southern Italy

World

The governor of a southern Italian region is insisting that residents who live in an apartment complex where many Bulgarian seasonal farm workers tested positive for COVID-19 stay inside for 15 days, not even emerging to buy food

The governor of a southern Italian region insisted on Friday that residents of an apartment complex quarantine inside for 15 days, not even venturing out to buy food, after dozens of COVID-19 cases among Bulgarian seasonal farm workers and Italians who live there were confirmed.

A policeman removes rubble from a building damaged by an earthquake in Oaxaca, Mexico, Tuesday, June 23, 2020. The earthquake was centered near the resort of Huatulco, in the southern state of Oaxaca. (AP Photo/Luis Alberto Cruz Hernandez)

World

The earthquake hit a quake-prone region where four underground tectonic plates come together. In the past 35 years, there have been at least seven magnitude 7 or greater earthquakes, killing around 10,000 people — most of them in a 1985 8.0 quake.

A powerful earthquake centered near the southern Mexico resort of Huatulco on Tuesday killed at least five people, swayed buildings in Mexico City and sent thousands fleeing into the streets.

Dogs are seen in a cage at a dog meat market in Yulin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China June 2020 in this handout provided on June 22, 2020. Humane Society International/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.

World

The annual 10-day festival in the southwestern city of Yulin usually attracts thousands of visitors, many of whom buy dogs for the pot that are on display in cramped cages, ...

China’s notorious dog-meat festival has opened in defiance of a government campaign to improve animal welfare and reduce risks to health highlighted by the novel coronavirus outbreak, but activists are hopeful its days are numbered.

A Venezuelan oil worker holding a small Iranian flag attends a ceremony for the arrival of Iranian oil tanker Fortune at the El Palito refinery near Puerto Cabello, Venezuela, Monday, May 25, 2020. File image

World

Iranian officials say one of their cargo ships is expected to dock in Venezuela loaded with food to launch the first Iranian supermarket in the South American nation

Iranian officials said one of their cargo ships was expected to dock in Venezuela on Sunday with food to launch the first Iranian supermarket in the South American nation.

Wirecard CEO quits as search for missing billions hits dead end in Asia

World

Wirecard was a welcome technology success story in Germany, which made its name in heavy industry. But its fortunes unravelled after a whistleblower alleged that it owed its success in part to a web of sham transactions.

Markus Braun, who built the German company into one of the hottest investments in Europe, leaves Wirecard facing a looming cash crunch amid allegations of fraud over the missing money.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

World

Facing what could his greatest foreign policy challenge since coming to power in 2014, Modi refrained from commenting publicly on the incident as a clamour for action rose over the past day.

India impatiently awaited Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s response on Wednesday to the death of at least 20 soldiers in a border clash with Chinese troops as the country’s media vented its fury and political rivals goaded Modi over his silence.

North Korea blows up liaison office on its side of border with South

World

South Korea spent at least 9.78 billion won (US$8.6 million) in 2018 to renovate the building, which stood as a gleaming blue glass structure in the otherwise drab industrial city.

 North Korea blew up an office set up to foster better ties with South Korea in its border town of Kaesong on Tuesday after it threatened to take action if North Korean defectors went ahead with a campaign to send propaganda leaflets into the North.

Plastic bags filled with U.S. Dollar banknotes seized by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine are seen on a table during a news briefing at the anti-corruption prosecutor's office in Kiev, Ukraine June 13, 2020. Press Service of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS

World

Trump wants an investigation into the Democrats’ 2020 candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son.

Ukrainian officials on Saturday said they were offered $5 million in bribes to end a probe into energy company Burisma’s founder, but said there was no connection to former board member Hunter Biden whose father is running for the U.S. presidency.

Statement of the International Criminal Court on recent measures announced by the US

World

The ICC stands firmly by its staff and officials and remains unwavering in its commitment to discharging, independently and impartially, the mandate bestowed upon it by the Rome Statute and the States that are party to it.

The International Criminal Court ("ICC" or "the Court") expresses profound regret at the announcement of further threats and coercive actions, including financial measures, against the Court and its officials, made earlier today by the Government of the United States.

Pompeo slams international court after Trump approves economic sanctions on officials investigating US military for war crimes in Afghanistan

World

Barr claimed his agency has evidence of ICC corruption, but didn't give details.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo censured the International Criminal Court at a press conference Thursday after the White House announced President Donald Trump had signed an executive order authorizing economic sanctions and visa restrictions on ICC officials involved in investigating U.S. service members.

A demonstrator clenches his fist during a Black Lives Matter rally in Parliament Square in London, Saturday, June 6, 2020, as people protest against the killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, USA. Floyd, a black man, died after he was restrained by Minneapolis police while in custody on May 25 in Minnesota. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

World

Many dropped to one knee and raised their fists in the air outside the gleaming embassy building south of the River Thames. There were chants of “Silence is violence” and “Color is not a crime.”

Tens of thousands of people gathered Saturday in cities far from the United States to express their anger over the death of George Floyd, a sign that the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality is resonating with wider calls over addressing racism in Asia, Australia and Europe.

Michael White, an American Navy veteran released from prison in Iran on medical furlough, is pictured in a March 25, 2020, photo released by his family.Michael White, an American Navy veteran released from prison in Iran on medical furlough, is pictured in a March 25, 2020, photo released by his family. Courtesy White Family

World

White's release comes just days after an Iranian professor was released from U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement custody and returned to Iran.

The Iranian government has freed a U.S. Navy veteran after detaining him for nearly two years, according to his family.

A passenger aircraft of China Eastern Airlines takes off at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy-en-France during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in France May 19, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

World

President Donald Trump’s administration said on Wednesday it will bar Chinese passenger carriers from flying to the United States starting on June 16 as it pressures Beijing to allow U.S. air carriers to resume flights.

Acquitted Iranian scientist, deported from US, returns home

World

An Iranian scientist imprisoned in the U.S. and acquitted in a federal trade secrets case has returned to his homeland after being deported from America

An Iranian scientist imprisoned in the U.S. and acquitted in a federal trade secrets case returned to his homeland on Wednesday morning, a semiofficial Iranian news agency reported.

People yell while kneeling in San Francisco, Sunday, May 31, 2020, at protests over the Memorial Day death of George Floyd. Floyd was a black man who was killed in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

World

“They keep killing our people. I’m so sick and tired of it,” said Mahira Louis, 15, who was at a Boston protest with her mother Sunday, leading chants of “George Floyd, say his name.”

With cities wounded by days of violent unrest, America headed into a new week with neighborhoods in shambles, urban streets on lockdown and shaken confidence about when leaders would find the answers to control the mayhem amid unrelenting raw emotion over police killings of black people.

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