World

Afghanistan to release 600 Taliban prisoners in bid to push for peace talks

KABUL: Afghan authorities on Thursday said it will release 600 prisoners it had deemed "too dangerous" in the hope of getting peace talks going, a day after they had refused to release the captives. Disagreement over about 600 prisoners from a total of 5,000 the Taliban want released has prevented the launch of US-brokered peace talks aimed at ending nearly...

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US Congress approves $483 billion stimulus plan as death toll nears 50,000

Washington: The United States on Friday approved nearly half a billion dollars in new stimulus but European leaders were divided on their own measures as the world sought to salvage economies ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic. Governments from South Africa to Vietnam, as well as states in the US, took steps to resume normal life amid debate whether a lockdown...

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Coronavirus outbreak: China to give WHO $30 million more after US freezes funds

China on Thursday announced it will donate another $30 million to the World Health Organisation to help in the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic, days after Washington said it would freeze funding. "China has decided to donate another $30 million in cash to the WHO, in addition to the previous donation of $20 million, to support the global fight...

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Saudi King Salman approves limited taraweeh congregations at holy mosques for Ramazan

RIYADH: Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Wednesday approved performing taraweeh prayers in the two holy mosques but limited the size of the congregation by keeping in place a suspension of the entry of pilgrims, the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques' Affairs said in a statement. Saudi Arabia plans to ease curfew hours it imposed on several...

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Oil gets crushed with one futures contract down to record low under $0.20

US crude prices plunged to their lowest level in history on Monday as traders continue to fret over a slump in demand due to the coronavirus pandemic. At 1.44 EDT (9.44pm Dubai time, April 20, 2020), the West Texas Intermediate crude stood at $2.12. Then WTI crude for May delivery tanked 94%, to $0.97, its lowest level on record. It...

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Ramzan likely to commence from April 24 in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is expected to see the moon for the first of Ramzan on Friday April 24, said the Kingdom’s Institute of Astronomy. "The moon of Ramzan is likely to be seen on Thursday evening April 23 in Saudi Arabia, therefore the first fast is expected to be on Friday,” informed the head of the institute Sharaf Safani. The conference,...

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At least 16 killed in Canada’s worst-ever shooting rampage

A gunman who drove a mock-up police car killed at least 16 people in an Atlantic Canada shooting rampage, federal police said on Sunday, the worst case of its kind in Canadian history. The shooter, identified as Gabriel Wortman, 51, was shot dead by officers after a 12-hour manhunt in Nova Scotia province ended on Sunday morning. Among the victims...

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Pakistani taxi driver passes away after contracting coronavirus from passenger in London

LONDON: A third British Pakistani taxi driver lost his life in the battle against the coronavirus in the UK after contracting the deadly virus from an Italian customer he picked up from Heathrow airport to Central London – merely few hours before the UK lockdown started. Zahid Pervaiz lived in High Wycombe, a town in the northwest of London, but...

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Social distancing rules should be same for Ramazan as for Easter: Trump

US President Donald Trump said on Saturday that he hopes US Muslims will be held to the same social distancing standards during Ramazan as Christians at Easter, when a number of faithful chafed against coronavirus-related restrictions on large gatherings. The US president made the comments after being asked to defend a retweet of a conservative commentator who seemed to question...

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China could face ‘consequences’ for coronavirus pandemic, warns Trump

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Saturday warned China that it should face consequences if it was “knowingly responsible” for the coronavirus outbreak, as he heightened up criticism of Beijing over its handling of the outbreak. “It could have been stopped in China before it started and it wasn’t, and the whole world is suffering because of it,” Trump told...

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Coronavirus: Top Saudi religious council recommends home prayers in Ramazan

Saudi Arabia's highest religious body, the Council of Senior Scholars has urged the Muslims worldwide to pray at home during Ramazan if their countries require social distancing to combat coronavirus, state news agency SPA reported on Sunday. "Muslims shall avoid gatherings, because they are the main cause of the spread of infection...and shall remember that preserving the lives of people...

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Taraweeh, Eid prayers to be offered at home if coronavirus situation continues: Saudi grand mufti

Muslims will offer Taraweeh prayers during the month of Ramazan and Eid prayers at home if the coronavirus situation continues, said Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al El-Sheikh said on Friday. “Ramazan’s Taraweeh (evening) prayer can be performed at home if it cannot be performed at mosques due to the preventive measures taken to fight...

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Global confirmed coronavirus cases top two million

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases topped two million on Thursday as United States posted nearly 2,600 additional deaths from COVID-19 in 24 hours, a new record and the heaviest daily toll of any country, Johns Hopkins University said. A running tally from Johns Hopkins showed 2,569 victims bringing the total number of US deaths to 28,326 — higher than any...

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US records highest death toll in a single day, confirmed cases rise to 600,000

The United States recorded the most coronavirus deaths in a single day with more than 2,200 fatalities reported on Tuesday. It brings the total number of deaths in the country to nearly 25,757, according to a John Hopkins tally. New York City, the hardest hit US city in the coronavirus pandemic, revised its official COVID-19 death toll sharply higher to...

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Trump cuts WHO funding over coronavirus pandemic

United States President Donald Trump has said he would halt funding to the World Health Organisation (WHO) over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Trump, at a White House news conference on Tuesday , said the WHO had “failed in its basic duty and it must be held accountable.” He said the group had promoted China’s “disinformation” about the virus...

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New York coronavirus death toll tops 10,000

NEW YORK: Death toll from the coronavirus pandemic surged past 10,000 in New York on Monday as the officials believe that the “worst is over” for the worst affected state of the US. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said lower average hospitalization rates and intubations suggested a "plateauing" of infections in America’s coronavirus epicentre but warned the outbreak could worsen...

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India extends lockdown to May 3 as coronavirus cases cross 10,000

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday extended a nationwide lockdown until May 3 as the number of coronavirus cases crossed 10,000. Modi, in an address on national television on the world’s biggest shutdown, said the challenge was to stop the virus from spreading to new parts of the country. “Till May 3, every Indian will have to stay...

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