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Former minister, writer among Myanmar prisoners freed in amnesty

Reuters Myanmar’s junta has freed a former minister in the ousted government of Aung Sang Suu Kyi and a well-known writer among political detainees given amnesty to mark the country’s independence day, according to relatives and media.  State broadcaster MRTV said on Wednesday that 7,012 prisoners were due to be released under the amnesty, although […]

China defends its COVID response after WHO, Biden concerns

China Shanghai hospital emergency department

Beijing/Shanghai, China Reuters China defended on Thursday its handling of its raging COVID-19 outbreak after US President Joe Biden voiced concern and the World Health Organisation said Beijing was under-reporting virus deaths. The WHO’s emergencies director, Mike Ryan, said on Wednesday that Chinese officials were under-representing data on several fronts, some of the UN agency’s […]

Rescue charities say new Italian rules will cause migrant deaths

Italy Catania Geo Barents

Rome, ItalyReuters Sea rescue charities on Thursday condemned tough anti-immigration measures recently introduced by the Italian Government, saying the new rules will cause ever more deaths in the Mediterranean. The decree, which was introduced last week, says charity ships must request a port and sail to it “without delay” after a rescue, rather than remain […]

Mexico arrests Ovidio Guzman, son of ‘El Chapo’, city engulfed by violence

Mexico Culiacan burning vehicles

Mexico City, Mexico Reuters Mexican drug cartel leader Ovidio Guzman, a son of jailed kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, was arrested, unleashing a violent backlash by gang gunmen on Thursday that shut the airport in the city of Culiacan as authorities told residents to stay indoors. Defence Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval told a news conference […]

Putin’s call for Orthodox Christmas truce in Ukraine greeted with scepticism

Ukraine Zaporizhzhia howitzer

Updated: 10am (AEST)Kyiv/Bakhmut, Ukraine Reuters Russian President Vladimir Putin called on Thursday for a 36-hour ceasefire in Ukraine to mark Orthodox Christmas, a move rejected by Kyiv which said there could be no truce until Russia withdraws its troops from occupied land. The United States and Germany made a joint announcement to supply Ukraine with […]

In pictures – Mosaic of mourners bids farewell to Benedict XVI

Vatican Pope Benedict funeral Pope Francis

AP One Pope laid to rest another Thursday in an extraordinary ceremony at the Vatican as the Catholic faithful bade farewell to Benedict XVI, who resigned the papacy a decade ago. Mourners crowded into St Peter’s Square starting in the early morning, when fog obscured the basilica’s dome. Clergy and lay people alike created a mosaic with […]

Updated: Pope Francis leads Benedict’s funeral as supporters seek sainthood

Vatican Pope Benedict XVI funeral 7

Updated: 6:30am, 6th January, 2023 (AEST)Vatican CityReuters Pope Francis led the funeral of former Pope Benedict on Thursday, tenderly touching the coffin of his predecessor as he stood supported on a cane before tens of thousands of mourners, some of who called for the late pontiff to be made a saint. Benedict’s death on Saturday […]

Russian Patriarch calls for Orthodox Christmas truce in Ukraine

Russia Patriarch Kirill

Moscow, Russia Reuters Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, called on Thursday for both sides of the war in Ukraine to observe a Christmas truce.  Orthodox Christians, including those living in Russia and Ukraine, celebrate Christmas on 6th to 7th January. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia conducts a […]

Many thousands expected for funeral of former Pope Benedict

Vatican St Peters Square preparations for Pope Francis funeral

Vatican CityReuters Former Pope Benedict, a hero to Roman Catholic conservatives who shocked the world by resigning nearly a decade ago, will be given a final farewell on Thursday at a funeral presided over by his successor. Chairs are laid outside St Peter’s Basilica in preperation for former Pope Benedict’s funeral, while the formerPope’s body lies in state at […]