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ASIAN (E)

Coronavirus leaves Australian economy facing first recession in 30 years

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Anthony Price’s calendar had been chock-a-block with work for weeks to come. Then the Perth-based entertainer and costume designer watched his gigs evaporate overnight as the Australian government ordered the closure of entertainment venues nationwide. The drastic move was the latest emergency measure by Canberra to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus and the potentially deadly respiratory disease it causes, Covid-19.“I have zero work at the moment, nothing at all,” said Price, who…



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ASIAN (E)

North Korea launches unidentified ballistic missile into ocean near Japan

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North Korea fired at least one unidentified projectile into the ocean off its east coast, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Sunday, with Japan’s Ministry of Defense reporting that it appeared to be a ballistic missile.The ministry said that the missile did not land in Japanese territory or its exclusive economic zone.“We will continue to do our utmost to collect, analyse, and monitor information,” the ministry said in a statement on Twitter.If confirmed as a ballistic missile, it…



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ASIAN (E)

Taliban rejects Afghan negotiation team in long-awaited talks

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The Taliban on Saturday rejected an Afghan government negotiation team set up to hold talks with the insurgent group in a bid to end the country’s 18-year-old conflict.After months of delays, the government on Friday announced a 21-member team – including five women – to take part in the upcoming talks, a crucial step in bringing the warring parties to the table and getting a floundering, US-led peace process back on track.But the Taliban in a statement said the government had failed to put…



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ASIAN (E)

Coronavirus: after deaths on cruise ship MS Zaandam, guests clamour to leave

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Four passengers have died on a cruise ship off the Pacific coast of Panama and more than 130 others aboard are suffering from influenza-like symptoms, at least two of whom have the coronavirus, the vessel’s operator said on Friday.Holland America Line said in a statement that the MS Zaandam, previously on a South American cruise, was trying to transit the Panama Canal and make its way to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. But Panama’s government has denied it access to the canal for sanitary reasons,…



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ASIAN (E)

Ex-Venezuelan spy chief Carvajal may surrender to US authorities, sources claim

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The former head of Venezuela’s military intelligence unit, Hugo Carvajal, is discussing his surrender with US authorities, three people familiar with the matter said on Saturday, after prosecutors charged him this week with drug trafficking alongside Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.Carvajal, a former general and ally of late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, has been in hiding since a Spanish court in November approved his extradition to the United States. It was unclear when he could formally…



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ASIAN (E)

Coronavirus latest: Trump may quarantine New York; China sends aid to Pakistan; Spain tells workers to stay home

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President Donald Trump said his administration could announce a large-scale two-week quarantine of New York and the surrounding area later Saturday.“We’d like to see New York quarantined because it’s a hotspot – New York, New Jersey, maybe one or two other places, certain parts of Connecticut,” Trump told reporters outside the White House.“We might not have to do it but there’s a possibility that sometime today we’ll do a quarantine – short-term two weeks for New York, probably New Jersey and…



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ASIAN (E)

Coronavirus forces cancellation of Singapore’s Shangri-La Dialogue defence forum

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The Shangri-La Dialogue, a high-profile regional security forum held annually in Singapore, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.The forum, usually attended by ministerial-level delegates and top defence officials globally, was scheduled to be held from June 5 to June 7. This is the first time the event is being cancelled since its inception in 2002, with its organiser, the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS), calling it the “most sensible course at this point.”…



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ASIAN (E)

Coronavirus: Malaysia receives much-needed medical supplies from China in biggest consignment yet

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Malaysia, the country in Southeast Asia hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, on Saturday received its largest consignment of medical supplies from China to date, with much-needed ventilators and masks among the donation.

As Malaysia’s infection rates surged in recent weeks, it has been one of the top beneficiaries of China’s so-called “mask diplomacy” drive to share equipment and expertise with other nations as it begins to bounce back from the pandemic much earlier than the rest of the world…



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ASIAN (E)

Coronavirus: Chinese scientist advises people in Europe, US to wear face masks in public

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People in the United States and Europe are wrong not to wear face masks in public during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the head of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.“The big mistake in the US and Europe, in my opinion, is that people aren’t wearing masks,” Gao Fu, the agency’s director general, said in an interview with Science Magazine, one of the world’s leading academic journals.“This virus is transmitted by droplets and close contact,” he said. “Droplets play a…



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ASIAN (E)

Tear gas, rubber bullets: coronavirus lockdown in Africa

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Police fired tear gas at a crowd of Kenyan ferry commuters as the country’s first day of a coronavirus curfew slid into chaos. Elsewhere, officers were captured in mobile phone footage whacking people with batons.Virus prevention measures have taken a violent turn in parts of Africa as countries impose lockdowns and curfews or seal off major cities. Health experts say the virus’ spread, though still at an early stage on the continent, resembles that of Europe, adding to widespread anxiety…



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