‘Tornado’ in western Germany injures dozens

Berlin (AFP) May 20, 2022 Almost 40 people were injured, several seriously, on Friday in a “tornado” which hit the western German city of Paderborn, the police and fire brigade said. A police spokesman said the tornado also caused significant damage in the city in the North Rhine-Westphalia state, following abnormally high temperatures for the time of year. The city’s fire department said on Twitter … Continue reading ‘Tornado’ in western Germany injures dozens

Israeli firm hopes AI can curb drownings

Ashdod, Israel (AFP) May 20, 2022 An Israeli city is testing whether an artificial intelligence programme that detects drowning threats can help save lives off its beaches. The programme, developed by a company called SightBit, uses information collected from surveillance cameras to determine who is in the water – an adult or child, for example – if they are moving or limp, and the current’s … Continue reading Israeli firm hopes AI can curb drownings

For Iraqis back from Syria, life on hold in ‘rehabilitation’ camp

Jadaa Camp, Iraq (AFP) May 22, 2022 Awatef Massud is longing to reunite with her Iraqi family after years spent in Syria, but first she must do time in a vetting camp to ensure she has no links to jihadists. The 35-year-old mother of five fled to neighbouring Syria in 2014 to escape violence at home after the Islamic State group swept across swathes of … Continue reading For Iraqis back from Syria, life on hold in ‘rehabilitation’ camp

Spain sizzles under unusual early heatwave

Madrid (AFP) May 20, 2022 An unusually early heatwave brought extreme temperatures Friday to a large swath of Spain, putting the whole month of May on track to be the hottest this century. Spain’s meteorological agency AEMET said the heatwave, caused by a mass of hot air coming from North Africa, had produced high temperatures up to 15 degrees Celsius above the seasonal average. The … Continue reading Spain sizzles under unusual early heatwave

Five soldiers, 30 ‘terrorists’ killed in Burkina Faso clash

Ouagadougou (AFP) May 21, 2022 Five soldiers and 30 “terrorists” were killed in fighting in northern Burkina Faso after the suspected jihadists attacked a military base in large numbers on Saturday, the army said. Troops in Bourzanga, a town in the northern region which has been bearing the brunt of a jihadist revolt, “vigorously retaliated against an attack on its base on Saturday”, the army … Continue reading Five soldiers, 30 ‘terrorists’ killed in Burkina Faso clash

WHO authorises China’s CanSinoBIO Covid-19 vaccine

Geneva (AFP) May 19, 2022 The World Health Organization on Thursday gave the green light to Chinese manufacturer CanSinoBIO’s Covid-19 vaccine – the ninth jab to get the WHO seal of approval. The WHO granted emergency use listing (EUL) authorisation to the single-shot Convidecia vaccine as China battles a resurgence of the virus triggered by the Omicron variant. It is the third Chinese-made vaccine to … Continue reading WHO authorises China’s CanSinoBIO Covid-19 vaccine

Record-breaking cold in Brazil threatens homeless, crops

Rio De Janeiro (AFP) May 19, 2022 Coats and scarves have come out prematurely in Brazil, as the south of the tropical country experiences a record-breaking cold spell, a menace for both homeless people and crops. With 1.4 degrees Celsius, the capital Brasilia recorded the coldest temperature in its history on Thursday, with more than a month to go until the official start of winter. … Continue reading Record-breaking cold in Brazil threatens homeless, crops

11 soldiers, 15 gunmen dead in Burkina Faso attacks: army

Ouagadougou (AFP) May 20, 2022 Eleven soldiers and 15 gunmen have been killed in a suspected jihadist attack in eastern Burkina Faso, the army said. On Thursday, security and local sources gave a provisional toll of seven soldiers killed in an assault on a military unit, while a separate attack on a bus left one civilian dead. But in a statement released overnight, the military … Continue reading 11 soldiers, 15 gunmen dead in Burkina Faso attacks: army

North Korea sent planes to China for Covid supplies: reports

Seoul (AFP) May 19, 2022 North Korea sent three of its largest cargo planes to China to pick up medical supplies to help with a spiralling Covid outbreak, local media reports say. Pyongyang announced its first-ever Covid cases last week and has since reported nearly two million cases of “fever” and 63 deaths as the virus tears through its unvaccinated population. State media reports do … Continue reading North Korea sent planes to China for Covid supplies: reports

UN calls on Iraqi politicians to end seven-month stalemate

United Nations, United States (AFP) May 17, 2022 The UN envoy to Iraq on Tuesday urged Iraqi politicians to end a deadlock which has kept parliament from forming a new government for more than seven months, warning that the crisis could spark civil unrest. “The streets are about to boil over in Iraq,” Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert told reporters. “We cannot afford to go back to a … Continue reading UN calls on Iraqi politicians to end seven-month stalemate