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Fire in packed Hong Kong building kills five, dozens in hospital

Hong Kong Reuters A fire broke out in a densely populated residential building in Hong Kong’s bustling Kowloon district on Wednesday, killing five people and injuring 35 others, the city’s hospital authority and fire services said. People inside the 16-storey building waved towels at windows to signal for rescue, broadcaster RTHK said, adding that the […]

Climate-warming gases being smuggled into Europe, investigation says

Singapore Reuters Large amounts of climate-warming refrigerant gases from China and Turkey are being smuggled illegally into Europe, undermining a global pact to phase them out, a report by the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) said on Monday. The gases are hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a range of chemicals used mostly for cooling in industry and retail, […]

Taiwan’s strongest earthquake in 25 years kills nine; 50 missing

Updated: 8:15am, 4th April, 2024 (AEDT) Hualien, Taiwan Reuters Taiwan’s biggest earthquake in at least 25 years killed nine people on Wednesday and injured more than 900, while 50 workers travelling in minibuses to a hotel in a national park were missing.  Some buildings tilted at precarious angles in the mountainous, sparsely populated county of […]

UN Security Council demands immediate Gaza ceasefire after US abstains

United Nations/Cairo, Egypt Reuters The United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution on Monday demanding an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants Hamas after the United States abstained from the vote, sparking a spat with its ally Israel. The remaining 14 council members voted for the resolution, which was proposed by the 10 elected […]

Philippines summons China envoy over standoff, dares Beijing to seek arbitration

Manila, The Philippines Reuters The Philippines summoned China’s envoy on Monday to protest against “aggressive actions” in the South China Sea at the weekend, as Manila’s defence minister dared Beijing to bolster its vast sovereignty claims by taking them to international arbitration. The foreign ministry accused China’s coastguard of using water cannon against a civilian […]

New Hong Kong security law comes into force amid fears for freedoms

Hong Kong, China Reuters A new national security law came into force in Hong Kong on Saturday despite growing international criticism that it could erode freedoms in the China-ruled city and damage its international financial hub credentials. The law, also known as Article 23, took effect at midnight, days after Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing lawmakers passed […]

Hong Kong passes security law which critics say further threatens freedoms

Hong Kong, China Reuters Hong Kong lawmakers on Tuesday unanimously passed a new national security bill within two weeks of it being presented, fast-tracking a major piece of legislation that critics say further threatens the China-ruled city’s freedoms. The package, known as Article 23, punishes offences including treason, sabotage, sedition, the theft of state secrets, […]

Explainer – What Putin’s election win tells us about Russia today

Moscow, Russia Reuters President Vladimir Putin won a record post-Soviet landslide in Russia’s election on Sunday, cementing his grip on power, though thousands of opponents staged a noon protest at polling stations and Western countries said the vote was neither free nor fair. Here are some key takeaways from the election. Russian incumbent President Vladimir […]

West decries Putin’s election win, China, India vow closer ties

London, UK Reuters Western governments lined up on Monday to condemn Vladimir Putin’s landslide election victory as unfair and undemocratic, but China, India and North Korea congratulated the veteran Russian leader on extending his rule by a further six years. The contrasting reactions underscored the geopolitical fault lines that have gaped wider since Russia launched […]