Maiduguri, Nigeria
Reuters

Five girls who were among 73 children kidnapped from a school in north-western Nigeria have been rescued, police in Zamfara State said on Thursday, although other sources gave different details in the aftermath of the mass abduction.

Wednesday's attack on a secondary school in the

Tokyo, Japan
Reuters

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Friday he would step down, setting the stage for a new premier after a one-year tenure marred by an unpopular COVID-19 response and rapidly dwindling public support.

Suga, who took over after Shinzo Abe resigned last September, citing

Updated 5pm (AEST)
Wellington, New Zealand
Reuters

New Zealand police on Friday shot and killed a "violent extremist" who was known to authorities, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, after he stabbed and wounded at least six people in a supermarket.

The attacker, a Sri Lankan national who had

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, US
AP

Republican states that have passed increasingly tough abortion restrictions only to see them blocked by the federal courts have a new template in an unusually written Texas law that represents the most far-reaching curb on abortions in nearly half a century.

London, UK
Reuters

The British Government said on Friday it was planning to make pet abduction a criminal offence in England after a rise in the theft of animals, especially dogs, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With pet ownership surging during coronavirus lockdowns as people spent more time at

Western Australian pastor Stephen McAlpine's book, Being the Bad Guys , has won the Australian Christian Book of the Year for 2021.

McAlpine's book, which is subtitled How to Live for Jesus in a World That Says You Shouldn't , beat a shortlist featuring nine other books to

Beirut, Lebanon
Thomson Reuters Foundation

Kabirat Olokunde, a Nigerian migrant worker, planned to spend her birthday with friends in the city of Abu Dhabi. Instead, she turned 28 in a frigid prison cell, one of about 700 Africans imprisoned by Emirati authorities without charge.

In unparalleled mass arrests,

London, UK
AP

An inquiry investigating child sexual abuse in a wide range of religious organisations and settings in England on Thursday found “shocking failures” in how many religions handled abuse allegations, with victim-blaming and abuse of power by religious leaders often contributing to under-reporting.

The Independent Inquiry

Nairobi, Kenya
Reuters

A de facto blockade on aid to the Tigray region in Ethiopia's north is bringing millions of people to the brink of famine, the United Nations humanitarian agency said on Thursday, warning of "looming catastrophe".

The UN agency OCHA called on all parties in

Geneva, Switzerland
Reuters

More than 55 million people worldwide are living with dementia, a neurological disorder that robs them of their memory and costs the world $US1.3 trillion a year, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.

The progressive condition can be caused by stroke, brain injury

Geneva, Switzerland
Reuters

Many Afghans were struggling to feed their families amid severe drought well before Taliban militants seized power last month and millions may now face starvation with the country isolated and the economy unravelling, aid agencies say. 

"In the current context there are no

Gran Canaria/Barcelona Spain 
Reuters

Spain's sea rescue service on Wednesday rescued around 100 migrants trying to reach the Canary Islands in rickety boats from north or west Africa amid a surge in arrivals that have more than doubled so far this year from 2020 levels.

The migrants were

Sydney, Australia
Reuters

Australian doctors on Thursday warned the country's hospitals are not ready to cope with the government's reopening plans, even with higher vaccination rates, as some states prepare to move from a virus suppression strategy to living with COVID-19.

The Australian Medical Association said the

Reuters

Afghanistan's new Taliban rulers struggled to keep the country functioning on Wednesday after the final withdrawal of U.S. forces, with foreign donors alarmed about an impending humanitarian crisis.

Two weeks since the Taliban's sweep into Kabul brought a chaotic end to 20 years of warfare, the Islamist

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