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Hundreds of masked shoppers defied pandemic fears to visit Ikea's second Indian store, which opened Friday, as the Swedish giant tries to lure the country's burgeoning middle class with minimalist design and a dash of local masala.

How EU and US are trying to rein in tech giants

Tech giants have changed our daily lives but governments around the world are worried they are out of control.

Year of athlete activist as sport embraces protests

A wave of activism swept across the sporting world in 2020 as a new generation of increasingly confident athletes found their voices to champion social justice initiatives on an unprecedented scale.

Chinese citizen journalist to face trial after Wuhan virus reporting

A citizen journalist detained in China after reporting from the Covid-19 ground zero of Wuhan will face trial later this month, her lawyer said Friday, as fears grow for her health.

Brexit trade talks enter desperate 'final hours'

British and EU negotiators plunged into the "final hours" of their scramble for a post-Brexit trade deal Friday, deeply divided on the highly-charged issue of fishing rights.

Ethiopia offers reward for help finding dissident Tigray leaders

Ethiopia on Friday offered a reward in exchange for information that could help locate leaders of the Tigray region's ruling party, who have been the target of a major military offensive.

Singapore 'hawker' culture gains UN recognition

Once seen as lowly members of Singaporean society, cooks in the city-state's bustling "hawker" centres are rejoicing this week after the United Nations recognised their food as a cultural treasure.

Biden backs son Hunter after US tax probe revealed

US President-elect Joe Biden has expressed full confidence in his son Hunter, a frequent target of Republican attacks, after it was revealed last week that he was under a federal tax investigation.

Former mayor arrested for 'complicity' in Mexican journalist's murder

A former mayor from northern Mexico's Chihuahua state was arrested Thursday for "complicity" in the 2017 murder of journalist Miroslava Breach, authorities said.

Myanmar gang rape victim wins legal battle with military

After being gang-raped by soldiers, steely-eyed Thein Nu went up against Myanmar's powerful military in a months-long fight for justice -- a fight that paid off with a rare legal victory.

Attack in Afghanistan kills 13 police at checkpoint

An attack in Baghlan Province in Afghanistan killed 13 police. The attack was at a checkpoint. Details are still emerging. Although no one has claimed credit for the attack Afghan officials have blamed the Taliban.

China to start opening vaccination programme to general public

China plans to start opening its vaccination programme to members of the public in southwestern Sichuan province early next year, health officials said, despite the inoculations not yet receiving official approval.

Struggling Syria farmers turn to tropical fern for fodder

To dodge skyrocketing prices for animal fodder in Syria's last major rebel bastion, farmer Ayman Ibrahim has turned to an aquatic fern used as a fertiliser in Asian rice paddies.

As the Balkans ready for vaccination, sceptics make a stand

As Balkan governments scramble to secure coronavirus vaccines, another foe lurks: a growing anti-vaccination movement that is trying to grab the spotlight.

Cyberpunk 2077 pulled from PlayStation Store after bug backlash

Sony is pulling the much-hyped Cyberpunk 2077 from PlayStation stores around the world, the firm said Friday, after a flood of complaints and ridicule over bugs, compatibility issues and even health risks.

Australian counter-terrorism police probe Brisbane murders

Australian police said Friday they were treating the murder of an elderly couple in their Brisbane home as a terrorism incident.

France detains Epstein ex-associate Brunel over sex crime claims

Prominent French modelling agent Jean-Luc Brunel, a former close associate of disgraced American billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, has been detained in France on accusations of sex crimes, prosecutors said on Thursday.

Turkey's jailed rights leader Kavala faces new trial

Turkish civil society leader Osman Kavala appeared Friday by video link before an Istanbul court on charges that rights groups view as part of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's effort to stifle dissent.

Google hit with third antitrust lawsuit, by new state coalition

Dozens of US states on Thursday hit Google with its third antitrust suit in as many months, accusing the internet giant of abusing its internet search dominance to eliminate competition.

Hundreds of Nigerian schoolboys released after six-day kidnap ordeal

More than 300 Nigerian schoolboys seized in a mass abduction claimed by Boko Haram experienced their first full day of freedom on Friday after a nearly week-long ordeal.

Op-Ed: US COVID cases up to 250,000 per day — Congratulations, morons

The ignorance has done its job. The current United States figures from Johns Hopkins indicate a huge ongoing surge. The incompetence has come home to roost in the graveyards and hospital beds.

Mexico unveils tribute to Mormon massacre victims

Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Thursday inaugurated a monument in honor of nine Mormon women and children killed in a massacre last year in the country's north.

US hospital converts nearby parking lot into Covid care facility

To cope with an influx of coronavirus patients, a hospital in Reno in the western US state of Nevada has transformed two floors of a nearby parking garage into a care unit dealing with patients experiencing less severe symptoms.

LatAm unemployment passes 10% due to pandemic: ILO

Unemployment in Latin America and the Caribbean will end the year over 10 percent after 30 million jobs were lost during the coronavirus pandemic, the International Labor Organization (ILO) said on Thursday.

Amazon girds for challenge in warehouse union drive

Amazon workers at an Alabama warehouse have been given a green light by a federal agency on a unionization vote which could deliver a first for organized labor with the e-commerce and technology giant in the United States.

US Muslims press Organization of Islamic Cooperation on China

US Muslim groups pleaded Thursday for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to speak out on China's mass incarceration of Uighurs, accusing the global body of abetting what some described as genocide.

UN announces $35.6 mn aid for civilians from Ethiopia's Tigray

The United Nations announced Thursday a $35.6 million emergency aid package for civilians caught up in fighting in Ethiopia's Tigray region.

Snow brings joy, and misery, to pandemic-weary New York

Children skipped online classes to sled and adults glided on cross-country skis Thursday as New York's heaviest snowfall in years brought some relief from the coronavirus pandemic but piled more misery on restaurants and businesses.

Venezuelan migrant shipwreck death toll rises to 28

At least 28 Venezuelan migrants died when a boat heading for Trinidad and Tobago sank, Attorney General Tarek William Saab said on Thursday.The boat left Guiria in the northeastern state of Sucre on December 6 but never reached its destination.

Italy PM flies in as Libya frees Sicilian fishermen

Eighteen fishermen including eight Sicilians who were held in Libya for more than three months have been freed, Italy's prime minister and foreign minister said Thursday after visiting Benghazi to secure their release.

Amnesty gathers 250,000 signatures for legal abortion in Argentina

Amnesty International on Thursday presented 250,000 signatures it has collected from around the world in support of legalizing abortion in Argentina ahead of a crucial Senate vote.

Boko Haram releases video claiming to show kidnapped boys

The Boko Haram jihadist group released a video on Thursday claiming to show schoolboys seized in a mass kidnapping in northwest Nigeria last week.

Boko Haram releases video claiming to show kidnapped students

The Boko Haram jihadist group released a video on Thursday claiming to show schoolboys seized in a mass kidnapping in northwest Nigeria last week.

Moderna vaccine set for imminent US approval, as Europe battles surge

Moderna's coronavirus vaccine was set for imminent approval in the US on Thursday, as Covid death tolls climbed around the world, with Europe becoming the first region to pass 500,000 fatalities and Brazil notching more than 1,000 deaths in 24 hours.

UK, EU leaders struggle to close post-Brexit deal

EU chief Ursula von der Leyen and Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson failed to find a breakthrough in post-Brexit trade talks Thursday despite a crisis call.

US to unseal charges against Lockerbie bombing suspect: media

The United States plans to unseal charges soon against a Libyan man suspected of assembling the bomb that blew up a US airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, US newspapers have reported.

Hopes lie crushed as Tunisians mark a decade since revolution

Ten years since the intoxicating early days of Tunisia's revolution, dreams for a better future lie crushed, and in the rural town where it began, the mood on Thursday was one of anger rather than hope.

Verdict due over foiled Paris train attack

A French court was set Thursday to give its verdict against a Moroccan man charged with planning a terror attack on a Paris-bound international train, only to be thwarted passengers including off-duty US soldiers.

Self-isolation rush after France's Macron catches Covid-19

A host of European leaders and top French officials rushed into isolation on Thursday after President Emmanuel Macron tested positive for Covid-19, upending political agendas across the continent.

Snowstorm blankets US east coast, threatening vaccine rollout

A major snowstorm hit the US east coast during Thursday's early hours, creating extra challenges in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic and a mass vaccination rollout taking place across the region.

Vietnam starts human trial of coronavirus vaccine

A Vietnamese pharmaceutical company began testing a coronavirus vaccine on volunteers in Hanoi on Thursday, as developing countries jostle with richer nations to access affordable inoculations.
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