Japan is racing to build up its armed forces

Japan is racing to build up its armed forces in the face of increased political and military assertiveness by China, even as it struggles to reconcile the nationalist ambitions of its prime minister with the demands of its pacifist constitution. In a defence white paper Shinzo Abe’s government spelt out its growing anxiety about China and the urgency of upgrading the Self-Defence Forces, as its army, navy and air force are called. It condemns Beijing’s almost daily dispatch of ships into areas around disputed islands that are controlled by Japan but claimed by the Chinese. Monica Gomez, the councillor responsible … Continue reading Japan is racing to build up its armed forces

Friends and family including the over-70s will be able to hold socially-distanced gatherings in their gardens from next week

Friends and family including the over-70s will be able to hold socially-distanced gatherings in their gardens from next week, Boris Johnson has said. The prime minister told the daily Downing Street briefing that from Monday up to six people would be able to meet outdoors, including in their gardens, as long as they stayed two metres apart. Chinese president Xi Jinping cast one of the 2,878 votes for the bill – with only one against – in a move which has triggered a fresh wave of protests in the city despite Beijing’s promise to ‘smash’ any resistance.  Lawmakers in the … Continue reading Friends and family including the over-70s will be able to hold socially-distanced gatherings in their gardens from next week

A bank executive and at least one other passenger have been pulled alive from the wreckage of an Airbus A320

A bank executive and at least one other passenger have been pulled alive from the wreckage of an Airbus A320 which crashed after an engine failure in Pakistan today with 98 people on board.  Bank of Punjab president Zafar Masood was dragged from the smoking debris of the Pakistan International Airlines flight after it smashed into a residential area in Karachi on Friday. “I think he followed the instincts of every father and every parent, and I do not mark him down for that,” Johnson told the daily Downing Street press briefing. But within hours of Johnson’s defence of Cummings, … Continue reading A bank executive and at least one other passenger have been pulled alive from the wreckage of an Airbus A320

China has reported no new coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours

China has reported no new coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours, the first time since January, as the death toll from the disease reached 75,000 people worldwide. Meanwhile, more than 160 current and former global leaders are urging the world’s 20 major industrialised nations to approve $8bn (£6.5bn) in emergency global health funding to hasten the search for a vaccine, cure and treatment for Covid-19 and prevent a second wave of the pandemic. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said studies have shown many people carrying coronavirus lack symptoms and can unknowingly transmit the virus to others. … Continue reading China has reported no new coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours

Last year’s summer was so warm that it helped trigger the loss of 600bn tons of ice from Greenland

Last year’s summer was so warm that it helped trigger the loss of 600bn tons of ice from Greenland – enough to raise global sea levels by 2.2mm in just two months, new research has found. The analysis of satellite data has revealed the astounding loss of ice in just a few months of abnormally high temperatures around the northern pole. Last year was the hottest on record for the Arctic, with the annual minimum extent of sea ice in the region its second-lowest on record. Elsewhere, Donald Trump has crowned himself a “wartime president” fighting an invisible enemy, and … Continue reading Last year’s summer was so warm that it helped trigger the loss of 600bn tons of ice from Greenland