Abe unveils massive $1 trillion coronavirus aid package

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday declared a state of emergency to fight coronavirus infections in major population centres and rolled out a nearly one-trillion-dollar stimulus package to soften the economic blow. The state of…

Coronavirus lockdown eases in China

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The novel coronavirus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December. Since then, it has spread across the world, infecting and killing thousands and forcing cities into lockdown. A month after it was declared a global pandemic,…

China mourns Covid-19 victims with three-minute silence

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China has mourned the victims of the coronavirus outbreak by observing a three-minute silence, bringing the nation to a halt. A day of remembrance was declared in China to honour the more than 3,300 people who died of Covid-19. At 10:00…

Developing countries face economic collapse in COVID-19 fight: UN

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The coronavirus outbreak threatens to disproportionately devastate the economies of already impoverished countries as they gear up to tackle a health crisis with extremely limited resources, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has…

Australia and New Zealand ban non-residents from entry

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Australia and New Zealand will ban entry to all non-residents from Friday in an attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his nation's order would come into effect from 21:00 on Friday (10:00…

Australia orders all arrivals to self-isolate

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Australia's prime minister has ordered a 14-day self-isolation for anyone arriving in the country to try to halt the spread of the coronavirus. "This is very important," Scott Morrison said at a briefing, adding that the measure would take…

Tourism in Thailand hit by Covid-19

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Over the past 25 years, Thailand has experienced a spectacular economic crash (1997), a tsunami (2004), coups (2006, 2014), the occupation of its main international airport by protesters (2008) and serious political violence (2010). Yet the…

US troops start leaving Afghanistan

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An American official spoke to the Associated Press and disclosed that hundreds of US troops have started leaving the restive country in accordance with a peace treaty it signed with the Taliban a few weeks ago. The officials said that hundreds…

Ghani signs decree to release 1,500 Taliban fighters

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Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has signed a decree to release 1,500 Taliban prisoners as a move to launch direct talks with the armed group to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan. According to a copy of the two-page decree seen by Reuters news…

US calls for a UN vote on Taliban deal

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The United States has called for a vote at the UN Security Council to endorse Washington's deal with the Taliban that is supposed to pave the way to peace in Afghanistan, diplomats said. The US military has begun withdrawing troops as part…

Indonesian volcano erupts, shooting massive ash cloud

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(Solo) - Indonesia´s most active volcano Mount Merapi erupted, shooting a massive ash cloud some 6,000 metres (20,000 feet) in the air which coated nearby communities with grey dust and forced an airport closure. Ash mixed with sand rained…

Mahathir says parliament will pick new PM

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Malaysia's interim leader Mahathir Mohamad has said parliament will pick a new prime minister next week following the collapse of the ruling alliance and snap elections will be called if the vote ends in an impasse. Mahathir, who met the…

US, Taliban set to sign deal to end war in Afghanistan

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(Doha) - A week after the "reduction in violence" (RIV) agreement announced by the US and the Taliban armed group in Afghanistan, the two are set to sign a peace deal that could signal the end of the US's longest war. The week-long RIV agreement…

Eight killed as twin quakes strike Philippines

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(Manila) - Eight people were killed and dozens injured when twin earthquakes struck islands in the northern Philippines early Saturday while many were still asleep, local officials said. Both tremors hit the province of Batanes, a group…