Gaza counts cost of conflict as truce holds between Israel, Islamic Jihad

Shell-shocked Gazans on Monday sifted through the rubble of three days of deadly conflict between Israel and Islamic Jihad militants as a truce held and life slowly returned to normal with power restored. Starting on Friday, Israel had launched a heavy aerial and artillery bombardment of Islamic Jihad positions in Gaza, leading the militants to fire hundreds of rockets in retaliation.
Picture for Gaza counts cost of conflict as truce holds between Israel, Islamic Jihad

China holds fresh military drills around Taiwan

China carried out fresh military drills around Taiwan Monday, Beijing said, defying calls for it to end its largest-ever exercises encircling the democratic island in the wake of a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. China then said Monday they were ongoing, reporting "the eastern theatre of the Chinese People's Liberation Army continued to carry out practical joint exercises and training in the sea and airspace around Taiwan island".
Picture for China holds fresh military drills around Taiwan

Hong Kong reduces Covid quarantine for arrivals

Hong Kong will cut its hotel quarantine for international arrivals from one week to three days from Friday, leader John Lee announced, in an easing of Covid restrictions that have severely curbed travel. Lee, Hong Kong's ex-security chief turned city leader, announced Monday that the quarantine period for arrivals would be shortened to three days in a hotel plus four days of health monitoring at home or in a hotel of their choice.

Gustavo Petro sworn in as Colombia's first leftist president

Gustavo Petro on Sunday took the oath of office as Colombia's first-ever leftist president, before a crowd of hundreds of thousands at his inauguration in Bogota. "I am happy to see the inauguration of our president Gustavo Petro, what a happiness, I can't contain it, the happiness is great, the change has happened, the change has arrived," said Ruth Perez, wrapped in the colours of the national flag. 

China spokeswoman's Taiwan restaurant tweet sparks ridicule online

A senior Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman has prompted a storm of ridicule online, after a late-night tweet where she used restaurant listings to assert Beijing's claim over Taiwan.  "Baidu Maps show that there are 38 Shandong dumpling restaurants and 67 Shanxi noodle restaurants in Taipei," spokeswoman Hua Chunying posted on the social media site late on Sunday.

Gas crunch pushes German glassmaker to the brink

In 400 years, Heinz-Glas, one of the world's biggest producers of glass perfume bottles, has seen off many crises -- including the two World Wars and the oil shock of the 1970s in the last century alone. Since 1622, "there have been enough crises... in the 20th century alone, World War I, World War II, the oil crisis in the 70s, many, many critical situations.

Drought forces water use rethink in Spain

Faced with a historic drought and threatened by desertification, Spain is rethinking how it spends its water resources, which are used mainly to irrigate crops. Martinez shares this view, saying Spain is currently the European nation "exerting the most pressure on its water resources."

More Ukraine grain sets sail as new strike hits nuclear site

Four more ships loaded with grain set off from Ukrainian ports on Sunday, as Moscow and Kyiv blamed each other for a new strike at a Russian-occupied nuclear plant.  Ukrainian state nuclear energy company Enerhoatom, however, said the "Russian occupiers once again fired rockets at the nuclear power plant (and) its host town, Enerhodar".

How a Czech football hooligan became a UFC champion, via Japan

Jiri Prochazka was a football hooligan in his native Czech Republic until martial arts and an ancient Japanese text inspired him to turn from street fighting to cage fighting -- and become a UFC world champion. As a teenager he fell in with the local Ultras -- football hooligan gangs -- supporting FC Zbrojovka Brno and fought in more than 100 street battles with rival fans.

Mexico president urges increased effort to save trapped miners

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador called Sunday for intensified efforts to save 10 workers trapped in a flooded coal mine, during a visit to see firsthand the rescue operation. - Round-the-clock efforts - Lopez Obrador had previously declared Saturday "a decisive day" for the operation.

South Africa's Buhai seals 'life-changing' Women's British Open in play-off

South Africa's Ashleigh Buhai survived a disastrous 15th hole to claim a "life-changing" victory in a marathon play-off against Chun In-gee in the Women's British Open at Muirfield on Sunday. Chun bunkered her drive and took five, while Buhai got up and down from a greenside bunker, holing out from two feet for victory.

Chad peace talks accord to be signed without key rebel group

Chad's military leader will sign a deal on Monday with more than 40 opposition groups to launch national peace talks, but the central African country's main rebel outfit has refused to take part. "Getting this many groups to sign the accord is a good launchpad for the national dialogue, but it will struggle without outfits such as FACT," said the head of one political group that has agreed to sign on Monday.

London police strip-searched hundreds of kids: new data

London's under-fire police force strip-searched more than 600 children over a two-year period, most of them black boys, according to new data released Monday. The 15-year-old black schoolgirl was strip-searched by female officers in 2020 after being wrongly suspected of carrying cannabis, despite them being aware she was menstruating.

US Senate adopts sweeping climate and health plan, in major victory for Biden

After 18 months of arduous negotiations and a marathon night of debate, the US Senate on Sunday passed Joe Biden's ambitious climate, tax and health care plan -- a significant victory for the president ahead of crucial midterm elections. But fellow Democrats, eager to pass the legislation ahead of November midterms when control of Congress is at stake, have rejected any change in the text.

Australia win historic cricket gold at Commonwealths as athletics wraps up

Australia won the first women's cricket gold medal in Commonwealth Games history on Sunday as Scotland's Laura Muir captured the 1500m title on the final night of athletics.  "We are blessed enough to be part of some winning World Cup teams but to win the first gold medal for women's cricket in the Commonwealth Games, you're only ever going to do that once."

Mexico president says to visit mine disaster zone

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Sunday that he would visit the coal mining area where rescuers are battling to save 10 workers who have been trapped for four days. Lopez Obrador had earlier declared Saturday "a decisive day" for the operation in Agujita in the municipality of Sabinas.

China's largest-ever Taiwan military drills draw to a close

China's largest-ever military exercises surrounding Taiwan were drawing to a close on Sunday following a controversial visit last week to the island by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Beijing conducted "exercises in the sea and airspace surrounding Taiwan Island as planned", the Chinese military's Eastern Command said.