Digest for international stories for week May 29 - Jun 4, 2021

·4-min read

Saturday Beijing: China on Saturday successfully launched an automated cargo spacecraft carrying supplies, equipment and propellant for the country's new space station Tianhe.

Kamloops (British Colombia): The remains of 215 children, some as young as 3 years old, have been found buried on the site of what was once Canada's largest Indigenous residential school — one of the institutions that held children taken from families across the nation.

Hanoi: Vietnam has discovered a new coronavirus variant that's a hybrid of strains first found in India and the UK, the Vietnamese health minister said.

Sunday Cairo: Egypt and Israel held high-level talks in both countries Sunday to shore up a fragile truce between Israel and the Hamas militant group and rebuild the Gaza Strip after a punishing 11-day war that left parts of the seaside enclave in ruins.

London: Prime Minister Boris Johnson has married his fiancee Carrie Symonds in a secretly-planned wedding at Westminster Cathedral, becoming the first British premier to get married while in office in nearly 200 years.

Jerusalem: A former ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said he would seek to form a coalition government with the Israeli leader's opponents, taking a major step toward ending the rule of the longtime premier.

Monday Geneva: The B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2 variants of the COVID-19, first identified in India, has been named as 'Kappa' and 'Delta' respectively, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced on Monday as it named various variants of the coronavirus using Greek alphabets.

Beijing: China's ruling Communist Party on Monday again tweaked its strict two-child policy to allow all couples to have up to three children, in a major policy change to head off a worsening labour shortage that could seriously impact the world's second largest economy's further rise.

Jerusalem: Israel could be headed for a break from the 'Bibi-regime' as several former allies of longest-serving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seem to have joined hands with political opponents to form a national-unity government that would not only have political formations from the Left, the Centre and the Right, but may also be supported by an Arab party.

Tuesday London: Scientists in the UK have urged the government to exercise caution when making a decision about a scheduled June 21 timeline for an end to all lockdown restrictions amid growing fears on Tuesday of a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

London: London's busy Heathrow Airport opened a dedicated new terminal on Tuesday for arrivals from countries designated as 'red list', such as India, for a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Beijing: China has reported the first case of human infection with the H10N3 strain of bird flu from the country's eastern Jiangsu province, China's National Health Commission said on Tuesday.

Wednesday Washington/New Delhi: The US on Wednesday announced tariffs on six countries, including India, that have imposed or are considering equalisation levy/digital services tax on e-commerce companies but immediately suspended the taxes for up to six months to provide additional time to complete the ongoing multilateral negotiations on international taxation at the OECD and G20.

Jerusalem: Veteran Israeli politician Isaac Herzog will be the Jewish nation's new president after his overwhelming victory in a secret ballot held in Parliament, it was announced on Wednesday.

United Nations: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said only B.1.617.2, one of the three strains of the B.1.617 COVID-19 variant first detected in India, is a “variant of concern” now and noted that lower rates of transmission have been observed for the other two lineages.

Thursday Washington: President Joe Biden on Thursday announced that the US will allocate 75 per cent - nearly 1.9 crore of the first tranche of 2.5 crore doses - of unused COVID-19 vaccines from its stockpile through the UN-backed COVAX global vaccine sharing programme to countries in South and Southeast Asia as well as Africa as part of his administration’s framework for sharing 80 million (8 crore) vaccines globally by the end of June.

London: IDBI Bank has secured a USD 239 million judgment in the commercial division of the High Court of London against a Cypriot subsidiary of India-based Essar Shipping Group, among one of the largest debt judgments obtained by an Indian bank in the English courts.

Washington: A bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the US House of Representatives to eliminate the per country cap on employment-based Green Card, a move which is likely to benefit Indian IT professionals languishing over decades of waiting for the Permanent Resident Card.

Friday London: European Union and British regulators opened dual antitrust investigations Friday into whether Facebook distorts competition in the classified advertising market by using data to compete unfairly against rival services.

London: A “people's tribunal” set up to assess whether China's alleged rights abuses against the Uyghur people constitute genocide opened in London on Friday, with witnesses alleging that inmates at detention camps for Uyghurs were routinely humiliated, tortured and abused.

Port Louis (Mauritius): Sir Anerood Jugnauth, the former President and Prime Minister of Mauritius, has passed away. He was 91. PTI MAH MAH

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