Philippines to ban U.S. travellers from Sunday

People wearing face shields and masks amid the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic visit a popular shopping market hours before Christmas eve in Manila on December 24, 2020. (Photo by STR / AFP)

MANILA, Jan 1 (Reuters) – The Philippines will prohibit the entry of foreign travellers from the United States from Sunday after the more infectious new variant of the coronavirus was detected in Florida.

The travel ban, lasting until Jan. 15, covers those who have been to the United States within 14 days preceding arrival in the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman said in a statement.

The measure expands the travel restriction that Manila announced on Tuesday

New Year, new rules: UK begins post-Brexit future

A Union flag flutters in the breeze as the sun sets in Hartlepool, north-east England, on January 1, 2021, where 69.6% of voters in the 2016 “Brexit” referendum opted to leave the EU (European Union). (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

Britain on Friday began a new year and life outside the European Union’s single market, with the first trucks crossing the Channel by ferry and rail largely reporting few difficulties despite new customs rules.

Brexit, an all-consuming issue in Britain since it voted in 2016 to quit the bloc, became reality an hour before midnight after nearly five decades of integration with Europe.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was bullishly optim

EU, Britain attempt breakthrough in Brexit talks

(FILES) In this file photo taken on August 31, 2019 An anti-Brexit demonstrator whirls an EU and Union Flag during a demonstration against the British government’s move to suspend parliament in the final weeks before Brexit outside Downing Street in London on August 31, 2019. – Despite the prestige of Oxford and Cambridge and other top universities, Britain will be less attractive after Brexit, EU students warn, with fees set to soar and legal tangles still not ironed out. (Photo by Niklas HALLE’N / AFP)

The EU and Britain’s chief Brexit negotiators will make a last-ditch bid to break months of deadlock on Sunday, as trade talks limp back to Brussels, surviving on borrowed tim

Thailand approves transfer of 3 Iranians as Australian freed

In this frame grab from Iranian state television video aired Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, / Iranian State Television via AP)

Thai officials said Thursday they approved the transfer back to Tehran of three Iranians who were involved in a botched 2012 bomb plot, as Iran released a 33-year-old Australian academic who was imprisoned for more than two years on spying charges.

Thai officials did not go so far as to call it a prisoner swap or say what involvement Australia might have had in the arrangement. Iranian state TV said Tehran released British-Australian Kylie Moore-Gilbert in exchange for three Iranians held abroad.

Chatchom Akapin, Thailand’s dep

Trump finally agrees to Biden transition – but still not conceding

President Donald Trump came his closest yet to admitting election defeat Monday after the government agency meant to ease Joe Biden’s transition into the White House said it was finally lifting its unprecedented block on assistance.

Trump acknowledged it was time for the General Services Administration to “do what needs to be done.”

In the same tweet he insisted that he was still refusing to concede, saying: “Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good fight, and I believe we will prevail!”

But for the Republican to sign off on the GSA’s decision to work with the Biden transition team signaled that even he sees the writing on the wall after three weeks of evidence-free claims that the November 3 election was stolen from him.

Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong pleads guilty to illegal assembly

Pro-democracy activists Ivan Lam, Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow arrive at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts to face charges related to illegal assembly stemming from 2019, in Hong Kong, China November 23, 2020. / REUTERS

Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong on Monday pleaded guilty to charges of organising and taking part in an unauthorised assembly near the police headquarters during last year’s anti-government protests.

Wong, who was just 17 years old when he became the face of the 2014 student-led Umbrella Movement democracy protests, faces a maximum five-year jail term if convicted.

Before entering the courtroom, Wong said he would

US approves Covid therapy, G20 pushes for global vaccine access

Photo by Bryan R. Smith / AFP

US drug regulators gave emergency approval to a Covid-19 antibody therapy on Saturday and G20 nations pushed for global access to vaccines as the pandemic led to further closures in parts of the world.

With cases surpassing 12 million in the United States, the highest in the world, many Americans were nonetheless heading to airports to travel for next week’s Thanksgiving holiday despite health officials’ warnings to stay home.

Some US states were imposing new restrictions, including California, where a 10 pm to 5 am curfew was taking effect.

On the opposite side of the Atlantic, British Prime Minister Boris

South Korea to tighten social distancing, warns of new COVID-19 crisis

South Korea will impose stricter social distancing rules for the greater Seoul area a month after easing them, officials said on Tuesday, warning of an even bigger crisis if anti-COVID-19 efforts fail to dampen a spike in new cases.

Starting Tuesday midnight, tighter curbs will ban public gatherings of 100 people or more, limit religious services and audiences at sporting events to 30% capacity, and require high-risk facilities including clubs and karaoke bars to broaden distance among guests.

South Korea has been one of the world’s coronavirus mitigation success stories after tackling the first major COVID-19 epidemic outside China with aggressive tracing and testing, but continues to battle persistent rises in infections.

The tougher restrict

Suu Kyi’s party says it won landslide victory in Myanmar polls

Supporters of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party hold up portraits of Aung San Suu Kyi in front of the party’s headquarters in Yangon on November 8, 2020. / AFP

Aung San Suu Kyi’s ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) said Monday it was confident of winning a landslide victory in Myanmar as official results trickled in following the weekend’s coronavirus-disrupted election.

Millions lined up for hours to cast their ballots on Sunday — only the second national election since the country emerged from outright military rule in 2011.

Nobel laureate Suu Kyi remains a heroine for many in the Bamar majority heartlands, in spite of

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