Mukbang videos originated in South Korea and are increasingly popular in China.(Photo by=KOREAN CULTURE) [Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] China's corruption watchdog has called on online video-sharing platforms to take action against "mukbang" shows, in which people live stream themselves eating or drinking excessively, saying such content encourages food waste, Reuters said. Mukbang videos which originated in South Korea become increasingly popular in China, but they have faced sharp criticism from state media and regulatory crackdowns - especially since President Xi Jinping launched a campaign to curb food wastage last year. The country's graft watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), said video-hosting platforms should strengthen their supervision, stop and remove inappropriate broadcasts and block the accounts of offenders. Punishments for people uploading such content should also be toughened, the commission said in an article posted on its website on Saturday, noting that binge drinking videos have become more popular following a clampdown on heavy eating streams. The watchdog said some people uploading mukbang videos were earning as much as 3,000 yuan (US$458) in pledges by fans. China cracked down on "inappropriate" content on the video-sharing website Kuaishou in 2018, suspending the account of one user known as Hebei Pangzai, who regularly shared videos of himself drinking copious amounts of beer to his 400,000 followers. He now shares videos on Twitter.
Workers transport boxes of vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) developed by Beijing Institute of Biological Products under Sinopharm’s China National Biotec Group (CNBG), from a truck to a cold storage facility of Guangdong Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China April 8, 2021. (Photo by=cns via REUTERS) [Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] National Health Commission officials said on Saturday (Apr 10) announced that China will likely have produced 3 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of the year, Reuters reported. Zheng Zhongwei, who also heads a team coordinating the country's COVID-19 vaccine development projects, made the remark during an industry event in the city of Chengdu in southwestern China's Sichuan province. "In the second half of this year, we are fully capable of meeting our own demand," Zheng said. Though manufacturers are rapidly expanding production capacity, it is unclear if the output has risen as fast. Production tripled from Feb 1 through late March to 5 million doses a day, the government said its most recent update. Leading vaccine manufacturer Sinovac Biotech said this month it had doubled its annual production capacity to 2 billion doses after completing its third production facility. The China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) also has a combined annual production capacity of at least 1.1 billion for two separate vaccines. The company has said it aims to raise capacity to 3 billion but has not specified a timeframe. Sinopharm said on Friday that it will be able to supply 100 million COVID-19 vaccines a month starting from April.
Alibaba had come under fire in the past from rivals and sellers for allegedly forbidding its merchants from listing on other e-commerce platforms.(File photo by=REUTERS/Thomas Peter) [Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] Chinese regulators have fined Alibaba Group Holding 18 billion yuan (US$2.75 billion) for violating anti-monopoly rules and abusing its dominant market position, marking the highest ever antitrust fine to be imposed in the country, AFP reported. The penalty, equivalent to around 4 percent of Alibaba's revenues in 2019, comes amid an unprecedented regulatory crackdown on the home-grown technology conglomerates in the last few months that have weighed on company shares. Alibaba's billionaire founder Jack Ma's business empire has been particularly put under intense scrutiny after his stinging criticism of China's regulatory system in late October. In late December, China's State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) announced it launched an antitrust probe into the company. That came after authorities halted a planned US$37 billion IPO from Ant Group, Alibaba's Internet finance arm. SAMR said on Saturday that after an investigation launched in December, it had determined that Alibaba had been "abusing market dominance" since 2015 by preventing its merchants from using other online e-commerce platforms. Alibaba said in a statement posted on its official Weibo account that it "accepted" the decision and would resolutely implement SAMR's rulings. It said it would also work to improve corporate compliance. The Chinese e-commerce giant said it will hold a conference call on Monday to discuss the penalty decision.
Maricel Loreto’s burned body was found in a New Westminster, BC park. (Photo from SCREENSHOT) [Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] VANCOUVER — The two suspects charged with the first-degree murder of Maricel Loreto, a Filipino immigrant, appeared briefly by video in New Westminster court last March 26 and they will be back in court in mid-April. Carlo Tobias, 21, dressed in a jail-issued jumpsuit and medical mask, faces charges of first-degree murder and indignity to human remains, PH Inquirer reported. A 15-year-old suspect, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, also faces charges of first-degree murder and indignity to human remains. The suspects have not entered pleas and no dates have been set for bail hearings. Police believe Loreto was killed in her New Westminster home on the evening of March 17, before being transported to Greentree Village Park in Burnaby where her body was set on fire in the early hours of March 18. Firefighters and police discovered the remains after extinguishing the blaze. Loreto was reported missing to New Westminster police a few days later. The 49-year-old Loreto sang in a band and was a fixture in the local Filipino community.
President Duterte delivering his message as the country commemorated the 79th anniversary of Araw ng Kagitingan sa Bataan (Day of Valor) yesterday. (Photo from Screen grab from PTV4) [Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] MANILA— President Duterte underscored in yesterday’s commemoration of Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) the selfless display of dedication by the country’s frontline workers, including health care personnel who have been at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19, PhilStar said. “As we continue to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, we take a moment to honor the fortitude displayed by our selfless and dedicated frontliners whose unrelenting commitment in this fight reflects the heroism of the warriors of Bataan that continues to inspire in us a greater sense of patriotism and solidarity during these trying times,” Duterte said in a video message. The health care personnel and economic frontline workers are also regarded as modern-day heroes while the nation continues to battle the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In his message, Duterte did not forget the “unyielding determination” of Filipinos in fighting all forms of challenges during the world wars and in the ongoing fight against the pandemic. “I join the entire nation in commemorating Araw ng Kagitingan. This day is a firm reminder of the unyielding determination of the Filipino to prevail over all forms of adversity,” he said. Even as the Philippines faces yet another challenge of defending its territorial waters in the South China Sea.
“Overall, both of these reviews reaffirmed the vaccine offers a high level of protection against mild, moderate and severe forms of COVID-19 and that these benefits continue to far outweigh the risks,” the company added. (Photo from Johan NILSSON/TT NEWS AGENCY/AFP) [Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] MANILA — Citing reviews from the United Kingdom (UK)’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA), AstraZeneca said yesterday that its COVID-19 vaccines offer a “high level of protection” against the virus, PhilStar said. “Overall, both of these reviews reaffirmed the vaccine offers a high level of protection against mild, moderate, and severe forms of COVID-19 and that these benefits continue to far outweigh the risks,” the company added. AstraZeneca said both MHRA and EMA have completed their assessment of “extremely rare blood clotting events with low platelets from over 34 million people vaccinated” in the UK and EU. The company noted that both agencies did not identify any risk factor as a definite cause for these “extremely rare events.” AstraZeneca said it is collaborating with regulators to understand individual cases, epidemiology and possible mechanisms that could explain these extremely rare events.
It’s a hard lesson learned here by a mother whose savings of P90,000 got whittled down to only P4,000—after her twin daughters went on a 10-day online shopping spree. (Photo from inquirer) [Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] PAGADIAN CITY—Making credit or debit card details are known to young children, especially nowadays, can be dangerous to a parent’s financial health. It was a hard lesson learned here by a mother whose savings of P90,000 (1800 USD) got whittled down to only P4,000 (80 USD)—after her twin daughters went on a 10-day online shopping spree, PH Inquirer reported. “I’ll just consider myself ‘robbed’ and will receive all those [items they] ordered upon arrival,’’ said Maricel Colonia, a local radio broadcaster, who agreed to recount the shock of her life to the Inquirer on Friday. Without her knowledge, Colonia said, her 10-year-old daughters started purchasing items online on March 29 and had logged a total of 30 transactions by April 7. The charges on Colonia’s debit card were mostly for kiddie products priced in Philippine pesos, US dollars, and British pounds. Colonia said she had no idea about the girls’ online shopping activities until she received an email from PayPal, the US-based online payment system, informing her about several dollar transactions. “I double-checked since I thought my account may have been hacked,” she said. Upon arriving home on Thursday, she said, she felt an urge to check on her daughters’ tablet, which they earlier got as a gift from an aunt.
Makati residents received the first dose of the Sinovac vaccine at the Makati Coliseum yesterday. (Photo from Krizjohn Rosales) [Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] MANILA — The country might only need to vaccinate 35 million Filipinos and not 70 million as generally held by experts to achieve herd immunity from COVID-19, the OCTA Research Group said yesterday as PhilStar reported. “When you do an examination of the details, for example, there are certain regions that are not high-risk… They actually don’t need 70 percent to get herd immunity,” OCTA fellow Guido David said in an interview with “The Chiefs” on One News/TV 5 on Thursday night. “They just need 15 to 20 percent of their population vaccinated,” he added, referring to low-risk areas. Herd immunity refers to the protection developed by the population against an infectious disease following the vaccination or infection of a sizable amount of the general public. Previous estimates said countries have to vaccinate 70 percent of their population to develop herd immunity. But David said they came up with the smaller target of 33 percent based on different factors such as having regions that have not experienced major COVID-19 outbreaks since the pandemic started. The focus, he said, should be on Metro Manila where most of the cases have been recorded.
In this September 7, 2020, screengrab, presidential spokesman Harry Roque holds a virtual briefing while in isolation. (Photo from PTV screengrab) [Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] MANILA — Presidential spokesman Harry Roque was admitted to a hospital due to COVID-19 after announcing that he recovered from the virus last month. PhilStar said that he confirmed this to The STAR while noting that "COVID-19 is more transmissible now so we have to do extra precaution.” "I am asking for your sincerest prayers to all afflicted with Covid 19 in the country and around the world. God bless and protect us all,” Duterte’s spokesman added. A copy of a document confirming Roque's hospitalization on April 9, 2021, was also obtained by News5. Roque first announced on March 15 that he tested positive for COVID-19 but declined to show his test results, sparking speculation as to the true status of his health. He said the test was administered on March 14 after he traveled to Ilocos Norte on March 12 and to Negros Oriental and Davao City on March 11. The presidential spokesman at the time maintained that he was asymptomatic. On March 25, he announced on Facebook that he had recovered and was leaving the Summit Hotel Oplan Kalinga Isolation Center. He resumed his regular press briefings at the Malacañang New Executive Building on March 27.
A number of physicians swear by the effectiveness of Ivermectin, an antiparasitic drug commercially available only for veterinary use, as a treatment or preventivemedicine against COVID-19. (Photo by=AFP) [Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] MANILA— IP Biotech Inc. (IPB), in partnership with Ambica International Inc., announced on Saturday they are interested in applying for clinical trials for ivermectin with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). “IPB and Ambica seek to work closely with regulators and an independently run clinical trial to validate ivermectin as a treatment for COVID19.” IPB Chairman Enrique Gonzales said in a statement on Saturday, April 10, PH Inquirer said. IPB said a number of physicians in the country are recommending the use of ivermectin in the treatment against COVID-19, saying the antiparasitic drug has been used to treat COVID-19 patients in Honduras and other regions of the world. “While vaccines are the core strategy to resolve this pandemic, we must also supplement this approach with affordable treatments,” Enrique added. Deepu Bhatia, Vice President of Ambica, said he sees a potential for ivermectin use against COVID-19. “We see tremendous potential in the use of ivermectin in the treatment of COVID-19, subject to clinical trial validation and regulatory approval,” she said. Meanwhile, House Deputy Speaker Bernadette Herrera urged regulators to “keep an open mind” on ivermectin.
In this March 29, 2014, file photo, China Coast Guard vessel attempts to block a Philippine government vessel as the latter tries to enter the China Second Thomas Disputed Shoals, locally known as Ayungin Shoal. (File photo by= AP /Bullit Marquez) [Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] MANILA —On Saturday (April 10), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it will raise the reported pursuit of armed Chinese ships on a Filipino vessel carrying a TV crew in the West Philippine Sea “if proven to be true.” “Philippine authorities are looking into reports of Chinese vessels chasing after a Philippine vessel where a television crew was aboard in the West Philippine Sea,” the DFA said in a statement. “If proven to be true, the Department of Foreign Affairs will raise the matter with the Chinese government,” it added. The Philippine military has already launched an investigation into the incident. The DFA also reminded the public to coordinate with authorities if they plan to visit the Kalayaan Island Group in the West Philippine Sea. “In the meantime, the Department is thankful that the crew and the Filipino vessel are safe,” it said. Malacañang has deferred the matter to the DFA and the Department of National Defense.
Thailand is aiming to start mass immunisation from June. It has vaccinated more than 530,000 health workers and people deemed vulnerable. (Photo from AP/ABC News) [Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] A health official said on Saturday (Apr 10) announced that Thailand plans to install 10,000 field-hospital beds in Bangkok, while the country struggles amid the third wave of COVID-19 infections, Reuters reported. At least a dozen hospitals in the capital said they had stopped testing for the coronavirus as of Friday due to a lack of kits or capacity. Hospitals are reluctant to test because they must admit people if they test positive, authorities say. "We aim to increase (field) hospital beds to 10,000 in no time, which should give the public confidence that we can still contain this round of outbreak," Suksan Kittisupakorn, director-general of Thailand's Medical Service Department, told reporters. The current surge appeared to be the country's worst yet, he said. Thailand reported 789 new cases and one death on Saturday, taking the total number of infections to 31,658, with 97 deaths. As of this month, Thailand has reported 2,697 new domestic infections, including 1,058 cases in Bangkok, the epicenter of an outbreak that has seen cases climb from a few dozen to several hundred a day. The outbreak, which includes the highly transmissible B117 variant first identified in Britain, has rapidly spread to 62 of Thailand's 77 provinces, Opas Karnkawinpong of the Department of Disease Control told a briefing.
Location of the Apr 10 earthquake off Java, Indonesia. (Graphic by=USGS United States Geological Survey) [Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] The United States Geological Survey (USGS) revealed on Saturday (Apr 10) that a 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia's Java island however no tsunami warning was issued. News agencies reported that the quake hit at a depth of 82km, about 45km southwest of Malang city in East Java. One person died in Lumajang after being hit by a falling boulder, news website Detik.com said, citing a town disaster official. Indonesian geophysics agency BMKG said there had been aftershocks but there’s no risk of a tsunami. The temblor shook Malang, a city of several million people. "It was pretty strong and went for a long time," resident Ida Magfiroh told AFP. Some social media users in Indonesia said the quake was felt in several cities such as Pacitan, Blitar, and Malang, and the resort island of Bali. Reports of damage included parliamentary buildings, a school, a hospital, and houses in several cities, while a large gorilla statue in an amusement park in the town of Batu lost its head. The national disaster agency said authorities were still taking stock of the damage. Indonesia experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity due to its position on the Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic plates collide.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki also said the U.S. continues to work with international organizations to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of the impoverished North. (File photo by=AP) [Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Friday, insisting that North Korea's difficult conditions are caused by the actions of its own leadership, no U.S. actions or sanctions are targeted at the North Korean people. She added that the U.S. continues to work with international organizations to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of the impoverished North, Yonhap reported. "I would say that no actions that we are taking as it relates to sanctions are meant to be targeted at the North Korean people," Psaki said in a daily press briefing. "They are in the conditions and the circumstances they're in, because of the actions of their leadership." Her remarks came after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un urged his country to prepare for a "tougher" arduous march, referring to a period of economic difficulties in the 1990s when the North suffered from extreme poverty and starvation. Psaki remarked the U.S. continues to work to provide humanitarian assistance to the North, despite a longstanding stalemate in denuclearization talks with the recalcitrant country. North Korea has stayed away from denuclearization negotiations since leader Kim's Hanoi summit with former U.S. President Donald Trump in February 2019 ended without a deal. The new Joe Biden administration has said it has reached out to North Korea for dialogue since mid-February. Pyongyang remains unresponsive to U.S. overtures.
Power-generating windmill turbines near the island of Amrum, Germany. (File photo by=REUTERS) [Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] The gas and power utility company, Tokyo Gas Co. revealed that it will install 19 offshore wind turbines near the eastern Japan coast from 2024 as the government moves toward its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. Kyodo said that the wind turbines will be located in waters near the coast of Ibaraki Prefecture, near Tokyo, and generate a maximum of 159.6 megawatts, enough renewable energy to supply 70,000 households annually, the company said. The project's start date has yet to be decided. The 680-hectare wind farm, to be built close to the coast up to 1.6 kilometers from Kashima Port, is also funded by Wind Power Group Co., based in Ibaraki Prefecture, and Vena Energy Holdings Ltd., a renewable energy company in Singapore. "We aim to lead the growth of renewable energy, which will contribute to the realization of a sustainable society," Tokyo Gas President Takashi Uchida said in a press release. Uchida said his company is committed to a stable power supply by balancing output fluctuation in power generated by renewable energy with gas-fired power generation, its core business. The government has set a goal of raising its offshore wind power generation to up to 45 gigawatts in 2040 from a mere 20,000 kilowatts at present.
Afumetto Retepu (right), vice chairman of the Japan Uyghur Association, attends a news conference in Tokyo on Thursday. (Photo by=KYODO) [Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] A Japanese association of Uyghurs urged major Japanese companies to investigate whether their operations in China are connected to factories allegedly benefiting from the forced labor of the Muslim minority in the Xinjiang region and if so to suspend such transactions, Kyodo reported. The Japan Uyghur Association and rights advocacy group Human Rights Now, in their joint statement issued on Thursday, slammed 14 firms for being slow in taking action over possible human rights abuses in their supply chains compared to their global rivals. The call comes amid growing international criticism of Beijing's Uyghur crackdown, with the United States, the European Union, Britain, and Canada all imposing sanctions against China. Pressure has been mounting for Japan to take more action. The 14, ranging from clothing retailers to electronic device manufacturers, were named last year in a report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute think tank identifying over 80 global brands "directly or indirectly benefiting from the use of Uyghur workers outside Xinjiang through abusive labor transfer programs." Tadashi Yanai, chairman, and CEO of Fast Retailing Co. which was identified among the 14, said Thursday his company is keeping tabs on its cotton supply chain to ensure none of its products are made with forced labor in Xinjiang.
Bar and restaurant workers take down doorway dividers from their storefronts in the Umeda district of Osaka on Friday. (Photo by=Bloomberg) [Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] On Friday Tokyo owners of restaurants and bars, including the prefectures of Kyoto and Okinawa, expressed worries after they were added by the government to the list of areas subject to stricter anti-virus measures, Kyodo reported. Amid a sharp rebound in infections, the governors of Tokyo and the two prefectures were granted the authority to order establishments serving food and alcohol in targeted areas to close by 8 p.m. and impose a fine of up to 200,000 yen ($1,800) for noncompliance. Closing hours of such establishments in Tokyo were just extended by one hour with the lifting of the second state of emergency at midnight on March 21. A 32-year-old manager of another izakaya pub criticized the central and local government's handling of the pandemic, saying it seems they are just reacting to situations without a clear vision. "I want (the governments) to take drastic measures," he said. Similar opinions were heard at restaurants and bars in Kyoto. "We were pinning our hope on the Golden Week holidays (from late April)," said Yoshiko Murata, a 77-year-old female manager of an izakaya in Kyoto. In Okinawa, April to May is a traditional season for people to pay respect to their ancestors.
Traore netted his first Premier League goal of the season with his 28th shot at goal. (Photo from playingfor90) [Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] Adama Traore struck a stoppage-time winner for Wolves as Fulham's hopes of remaining in the Premier League suffered another significant blow. BBC Sports said that Traore settled the game with a fierce angled drive with little time left. Earlier, Wolves had been denied a goal when the video assistant referee ruled that Daniel Podence's arm was fractionally offside before he crossed for Willian Jose to head in. Fulham stays 18th, a place, and three points behind Newcastle. But, Scott Parker's side has also now played two games more than their nearest relegation rival and with just six games left to play have little room for further error. The players wore black armbands and there was a minute's silence before the game for Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who died at the age of 99 on Friday. With so few opportunities in a poor contest, the biggest talking point of the match threatened to be the decision to disallow Jose's first-half header. In collecting the ball prior to his delivery from the right, Podence's upper arm was a fraction ahead of the toe of the final defender, prompting VAR to rule it out. It takes Wolves to 38 points, 12 clear of Fulham, and surely now safe from getting dragged into the relegation fight.
The union vote in Bessemer attracted widespread attention in the US. (Photo by= Reuters) [Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] Amazon won against the activists that are hoping to establish the company's first unionised warehouse in the US. BBC reported that workers at the Bessemer, Alabama warehouse voted 1,798 to 738 against the effort, labour officials said. That represented a majority of votes cast in the contest, which was seen as a key test for Amazon after global criticism of its treatment of workers during the pandemic. The union said it would challenge the results. It accused Amazon of interfering with the right of employees to vote in a "free and fair election", including by lying to staff about the implications of the vote in mandatory meetings and pushing the postal service to install a mailbox on company grounds in an effort to monitor the vote. Meanwhile, Amazon said on Friday that it was "not true" that it had intimidated staff. It said the firm worked hard to listen to concerns and improve, casting the outcome as a choice by staff, rather than a company victory. Amazon contended that the union did not represent the views of most of its staff. It said it offered competitive salaries and benefits and told workers that the union would collect hundreds of dollars in dues without being able to deliver changes.
Vaccine is being administered at a hockey arena in Toronto. (Photo by= Getty Images) [Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] The rate of Covid infections in Canada is edging close and might overtake - US levels for the first time. BBC said that it came while Canada struggles to contain new Covid-19 variants and to ramp up its distribution of vaccines. As of Tuesday, the US had fully vaccinated 19.6% of its population, compared with 8.5% in the UK and 2% in Canada. Many provinces are bringing in new virus mitigation restrictions as hospital admissions increase. Over 16,000 cases of Covid variants have been recorded across Canada, health officials said on Thursday. Canada has recorded more than one million positive cases and 23,000 deaths from Covid-19, according to Johns Hopkins University. Its neighbor to the south, the US, has recorded nearly 31 million cases and over 559,000 deaths from Covid. Johns Hopkins University data shows that Canada's Covid rate relative to the population has risen to 180 cases per one million people as of Tuesday. This means there are around 180 new virus cases, per million residents, each day. "Around the world, countries are facing a very serious third wave of this pandemic," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned during a news conference on Tuesday. "And right now, so is Canada." Now, the US sees about 196 Covid cases per one million people, significantly lower than the more than 700 cases per million it was recording in January.
Barack and Michelle Obama said they would "miss him dearly". (File photo by= Getty Images) [Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] Every living former US president has paid their respects to the UK's Prince Philip, who died on Friday at the age of 99. BBC reported that some 18 presidents were elected in the duke's lifetime. Queen Elizabeth II has met 12 US presidents during her reign, often with her husband by her side. The current President Joe Biden issued a statement in which he praised the Duke of Edinburgh's "lifetime of service to the United Kingdom". On Friday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said it wasn’t yet determined if the president would attend the duke's funeral. Donald Trump, who last visited the Royal Family in 2019, described Prince Philip as "a man who embodied the noble soul and proud spirit of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth". Barack Obama and his wife Michelle said Prince Philip and the Queen had "already been on the world stage for more than half a century" at the time of the group's first meeting. George W Bush praised the duke's devotion to public service. Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said they joined people "from all around the world in giving thanks for his remarkable life of service". A tweet issued from 96-year-old Jimmy Carter's presidential library account read: "We are sorry to hear that Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, has passed away."
DMX performing in Atlanta, Georgia in September 2019.(File photo by= Getty Images) [Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] US rapper and actor DMX died at the age of 50, five days after suffering a heart attack. BBC said that the performer, whose real name was Earl Simmons, had been placed on life support and died with his family by his side. In a statement, his family said he’s "a warrior who fought till the very end". "Earl's music inspired countless fans across the world and his iconic legacy will live on forever," they said. DMX, aka Dark Man X, was a leading hip-hop performer who collaborated with such artists as JAY-Z, Ja Rule, and LL Cool J. He took his moniker from the name of a drum machine used in rap tracks. The chart-topping artist's songs included Party Up (Up in Here) and X Gon' Give It To Ya. Born in Mount Vernon, New York in 1970, DMX publicly battled substance abuse for years and spent several periods in rehab. He also acted on screen, appearing in such films as Cradle 2 the Grave, Romeo Must Die, and Exit Wounds. Tributes were paid throughout Friday, with a host of stars expressing their admiration for the musician and offering sympathies to his family. Rappers Ice Cube, Soulja Boy, and Chance the Rapper also tweeted their condolences.
File photo of Huntington Beach, California, on Apr 22, 2020. (Photo by= Reuters/Lucy Nicholson) [Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] A man who poisoned eight homeless people in a southern California beach town so he could videotape their reactions was sentenced on Friday (Apr 9) to four years in state prison, AP reported. William Cable, 38, of San Andreas in northern California, was sentenced after pleading guilty to poisoning, injuring an elderly person, and other felony and misdemeanor charges, according to the Orange County district attorney's office. Prosecutors said that last May, Cable gave homeless people in Huntington Beach food laced with oleoresin capsicum, which officials described as being twice as strong as pepper spray used by police. Some victims were told they were participating in a “spicy food challenge” and others were not, authorities said. Some were given other food and beer to get them to eat the poisoned food. The victims had seizure-like symptoms, difficulty breathing, and suffered vomiting and intense mouth and stomach pain. Some had to be hospitalized, prosecutors said. “They were exploited and poisoned as part of a twisted form of entertainment, and their pain was recorded so that it could be relieved by their attacker over and over again,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in June after Cable was criminally charged. Cable could have faced more than 19 years in prison if he had been convicted at trial.
File photo of Huntington Beach, California, on Apr 22, 2020. (Photo by= Reuters/Lucy Nicholson) [Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] US President Joe Biden will announce on Tuesday (Apr 13) that all adults across America can get COVID-19 vaccine shots within two weeks, sooner than expected, while the IMF boosted its forecast for world economic growth this year amid signs of a rebound from the pandemic. AFP said that the White House said Biden is shifting the deadline for full eligibility up from May 1 to Apr 19 after rapid progress in all 50 states in the vaccine rollouts. A senior administration official, who didn’t want to be named, said the announcement would be made by the president later on Tuesday. If the target is met, this would mean an end to restrictions by age, health issues or other categories for people wanting to get coronavirus vaccines. It would not necessarily mean that anyone could get a shot immediately, as distribution remains a work in progress. Biden was scheduled to visit a vaccination site in Virginia, just outside of Washington, on Tuesday, before delivering remarks on the topic at the White House. While the White House prepared for the announcement, the International Monetary Fund said accelerated vaccines and a flood of government stimulus spending, especially in the US, means it now sees global economic growth this year of 6.0 percent, up from a forecast of 5.5 percent in January.
Members of the public are "regretfully" requested not to attend due to the pandemic, and it is understood the Queen is considering modified funeral and ceremonial arrangements. (Photo from BBC) [Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] Gun salutes to mark the death of the Duke of Edinburgh are due to take place later across the UK, in Gibraltar and from warships at sea. Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II's husband of 73 years, died on Friday. Aged 99, he’s the longest-serving royal consort in British history. Saluting batteries will fire 41 rounds at one round every minute from 12:00 BST in cities including London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, the Ministry of Defence said. The salutes will be broadcast online and on TV, and the public is encouraged to observe them from home. Similar salutes were fired to mark the death of Queen Victoria in 1901 and Winston Churchill in 1965. Announcing the duke's death on Friday, Buckingham Palace said: "It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty the Queen announces the death of her beloved husband. Final details of the duke's funeral are also expected to be released this weekend. The funeral will take place at St George's Chapel, Windsor, but the arrangements have been amended in light of the coronavirus pandemic, the College of Arms said in a statement. The duke will not have a state funeral and there will be no lying-in-state, in line with his wishes, it added.
UN special envoy Christine Schraner Burgener wants face-to-face meetings with the generals but she has not received permission to visit Myanmar. (Photo by= AFP/STR) [Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] On Friday (Apr 9), Myanmar's junta refused to let a UN envoy visit the country, despite mounting international efforts for a diplomatic solution to the post-coup crisis. AFP reported that the UN's special envoy for Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, is on a tour of Asian countries aimed at charting a path out of the turmoil engulfing the country. It comes amid growing international concern at events in Myanmar, rocked by daily protests since the military ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and seized power on Feb 1. Burgener starts her trip in Thailand and will also visit China, though exact details and timings for her trip haven’t been confirmed. UN officials say Burgener wants to travel to Myanmar for face-to-face meetings with the generals, but a junta spokesman ruled it out. "We have not permitted this. We also have no plan to allow it at this moment," spokesman Zaw Min Tun told AFP. More than 614 civilians were killed in the military's crackdown on protests and nearly 3,000 arrested, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a local monitoring group. Meanwhile, UN rights officials say the military is making increasing use of heavy weaponry including rocket-propelled and fragmentation grenades, heavy machine guns and snipers.
To date, Brazil has recorded more than 13 million cases of coronavirus, according to the health ministry. Some 66,570 people died with Covid-19 in March, more than double the previous monthly record. (Photo by= EPA) [Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] Brazil recorded at least 4,000 Covid-related deaths in 24 hours for the first time, as a more contagious variant fuel a surge in cases, BBC reported. Hospitals are overcrowded, with people dying while waiting for treatment in some cities, and the health system is on the brink of collapse in many areas. As of now, the country's total death toll is now almost 337,000, second only to the US. However, President Jair Bolsonaro continues to oppose any lockdown measures to curb the outbreak. He argues that the damage to the economy would be worse than the effects of the virus itself, and has tried to reverse some of the restrictions imposed by local authorities in the courts. Speaking to supporters outside the presidential residence on Tuesday, he criticized quarantine measures and suggested without evidence that they were linked to obesity and depression. He didn’t comment on the 4,195 deaths recorded in the previous 24 hours. Critics say his government was slow in negotiating supplies. Only around 8% of the population has been given at least one dose, according to the Our World in Data tracker. Meanwhile, several states have reported short supplies of oxygen and sedatives. But despite the critical situation, some cities and states are already easing measures limiting the movement of people.