US and EU suspend tariffs in Boeing Airbus row

Italian parmesan had been affected by tariffs The US and the EU have agreed to a four-month suspension of tariffs they imposed on each other as punishment for subsidies provided to rival planemakers Airbus and Boeing. The move affects billions of dollars worth of goods from both countries. including tractors, wine and cheese. It comes a day after the US agreed to suspend its tariffs on UK imports stemming from the dispute. The US said the step marked a “fresh start” to US-EU trade relations. European Commission Executive Vice-President and…

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Pope Francis meets powerful Shia cleric in Iraq

Pope Francis has held a symbolic meeting with one of the most powerful figures in Shia Islam on the second day of his landmark trip to Iraq. The Pope’s encounter with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the spiritual leader of millions of Shia Muslims, took place in the holy city of Najaf. It is the Pope’s first international trip since the start of the pandemic – and the first ever papal visit to Iraq. Covid-19 and security fears have made this the pontiff’s riskiest trip yet. The 84-year-old leader of the…

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China zoo ‘tries to pass dog off as wolf’

The zoo’s wolf enclosure contained a more docile inhabitant A zoo in central China has raised eyebrows this week after it was caught seemingly trying to pass off a dog as a wolf. Social media footage appeared on Tuesday showing a visitor to the Xiangwushan Zoo in Xianning, Hubei province, visiting the zoo’s wolf enclosure. He filmed an animal that looked like a Rottweiler lying on its side in a cage, and said to the animal: “Woof! Are you a wolf?” in a short video that has since gone viral.…

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Myanmar coup: YouTube removes channels run by army amid violence

Demonstrators gathered on the street during an anti-coup protest in Mandalay on Friday YouTube has removed five channels run by Myanmar’s military amid ongoing violence following a coup last month. The video-sharing platform said on Friday that it had removed the channels in line with its community guidelines. Myanmar has been gripped by mass protests demanding an end to military rule and the release of detained elected leaders. Another protester was shot dead by security forces on Friday, in Mandalay, taking the death toll to at least 55. The channels…

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Covid: Japan asks China to stop anal tests on its citizens

Some Japanese citizens have complained of being made to take the test when they entered China Japan has asked China to stop taking anal swab tests for Covid-19 on its citizens when they enter the country. Some have complained that the procedure caused them “psychological distress”, officials say. China, which has largely brought the virus under control, started carrying out anal swabs in January. Last week, it denied it had required US diplomats to undergo such tests after US media reported some had complained about the procedure. “Some Japanese reported…

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How rape allegations have rocked Australian politics

Brittany Higgins on the first day of her “dream job” working for a federal minister in Australia’s parliament Just a fortnight ago, Australia was shocked by a former political adviser’s allegations that she had been raped in the nation’s Parliament House. Brittany Higgins said she’d been attacked by a male colleague – also an adviser for the ruling Liberal Party – in a government minister’s office in 2019. Her story has triggered a flood of other women to come forward with their own experiences of alleged sexual assault and harassment…

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Fortnite: From piano player to pro gamer – aged just eight

Eight-year-old Joseph Deen from California is the youngest-ever professional Fortnite player The highlight of most children’s eighth birthday is blowing out the candles on their cake. However, for Joseph Deen, it was blowing the ink dry on his freshly-signed contract to be a professional gamer. Joseph is the youngest-ever paid Fortnite player, after signing with Team 33 in December last year. The Californian esports team invited him to their headquarters to give him a $33,000 (£23,600) signing-on bonus, and high-speed computer system. Fortnite is a first-person-style shooting and building game…

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Syria war: Tens of thousands of detainees still missing, UN says

UN investigators say the detentions are intended to intimidate and punish perceived opponents Tens of thousands of civilians are still missing after being detained arbitrarily during 10 years of civil war in Syria, UN investigators say. Thousands more have been tortured or killed in custody, according to a new report detailing alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity by all parties. Victims and witnesses described “unimaginable suffering”, including the rape of girls and boys as young as 11. The issue is a “national trauma” that must be addressed, the report…

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Iran nuclear deal: Tehran rules out informal talks on reviving accord

has insisted that the US should lift its sanctions before talks can resume Iran has ruled out holding an informal meeting with the US and European powers on ways to revive a nuclear deal, insisting that America must lift all of its unilateral sanctions first. Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman said it was not an appropriate time for the talks proposed by the European Union. The US said it was disappointed but that it remained ready to “re-engage in meaningful diplomacy” on the issue. Tensions have soared since the US left…

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Myanmar coup: Deadliest day of protests as police open fire

Police have fired on protesters in Myanmar killing at least 18, the UN human rights office says, on the deadliest day of anti-coup rallies. Deaths were reported in several cities including Yangon, Dawei and Mandalay as police used live rounds and tear gas. Security forces began the violent crackdown on Saturday, after weeks of largely peaceful protests against the 1 February military takeover. Government leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi, were overthrown and detained. Social media footage from Sunday showed protesters running away as police charged at them, makeshift roadblocks…

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