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Trump extends immigration bans despite opposition from business group

US President Donald Trump on Thursday extended a pair of immigration bans that block many “green card” applicants and temporary foreign workers from entering the country, measures he says are needed to protect US workers amid the pandemic-battered economy. The bans, which were issued in April and June, were set to expire on Dec 31, but will be extended until ...

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World ringing in 2021 with muted celebrations amid Covid-19 restrictions

Billions of people will be looking forward to saying farewell to 2020, but unlike usual year-end celebrations, it will be a subdued affair in most countries. The chaotic year saw the world roiled by a deadly pandemic, so it’s only fitting that New Year’s celebrations worldwide will be muted or canceled altogether as authorities try to stop crowds from gathering ...

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IS bus ambush kills 37 soldiers in Syria: monitor

Islamic State group jihadists killed 37 soldiers when they ambushed a bus Wednesday in one of the deadliest attacks since the fall of their “caliphate” last year, a monitor said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attack in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor targeted the regime soldiers as they travelled home for holidays. The official news agency ...

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Yemen airport blasts kill 26 as government plane arrives

At least 26 people were killed when explosions rocked Yemen’s Aden airport moments after a new unity government flew in, in what some officials charged was a “cowardly” attack by Iran-backed Huthi rebels. Although all government ministers were reported to be unharmed in Wednesday’s attack, more than 50 people were wounded, medical and government sources told AFP in the southern ...

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Pakistan anti-corruption body arrests former foreign minister

Pakistan’s anti-corruption body has arrested a senior opposition leader and former foreign minister, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, in an ongoing probe into allegations of possessing assets higher than his known sources of income, reports Deutsche Welle. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) arrested Asif — a leading face of the The Pakistani Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML-N) — in Islamabad shortly after he ...

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Kamala Harris receives first dose of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine on camera

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris received the first dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine live on television on Tuesday in Washington DC of USA and urged Americans to get vaccinated for the virus. “That was easy,” Harris said after receiving the shot in her left arm. “Thank you. I barely felt it.” “I want to encourage everyone to get the vaccine. ...

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First US Congressmember dies of Covid-19

A representative-elect from Louisiana died of Covid-19 Tuesday, the first member of the US Congress to succumb to the disease. Republican Luke Letlow, 41, had been elected to Louisiana’s 5th district and was due to be sworn in on Sunday. Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards announced the news on Twitter with a “heavy heart.” “I am heartbroken that he will ...

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Trump signs pandemic aid bill under pressure

US President Donald Trump on Sunday signed into law a $2.3 trillion pandemic aid and spending package, restoring unemployment benefits to millions of Americans and averting a federal government shutdown in a crisis of his own making. Trump, who leaves office on January 20 after losing November’s election to President-elect Joe Biden, backed down from his earlier threat to block ...

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Chinese journo jailed for 4yrs over Wuhan virus reports

A Chinese citizen journalist was jailed Monday for four years for her livestream reporting from Wuhan as the Covid-19 outbreak unfurled, her lawyer said, almost a year after the virus first surfaced in the central China city. Zhang Zhan, 37, was sentenced after a brief hearing in Shanghai, Ren Quanniu, one of her defence lawyers, told reporters, reports AFP.

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Covid: Biden urges Trump to sign coronavirus bill into law

US President-elect Joe Biden has warned of “devastating consequences” if President Donald Trump continues to delay signing a Covid-19 economic relief bill into law. Unemployment benefits and a ban on evictions will be affected unless the bill is signed by the end of Saturday. The package worth $900bn (£665bn) was approved by Congress after months of difficult negotiations and compromises. ...

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