Donald Trump has a fresh Russia problem: Unread intelligence and a missing strategy
World

Donald Trump has a fresh Russia problem: Unread intelligence and a missing strategy

US lawmakers on Tuesday emerged from closed briefings to challenge why Donald Trump and his advisors failed to recognise the seriousness of the intelligence assessment.

Mississippi governor signs bill removing state flag with Confederate emblem
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Mississippi governor signs bill removing state flag with Confederate emblem

By Brendan O'Brien (Reuters) - Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signed a bill into law on Tuesday that replaces the current state flag bearing a Confederate emblem, a gesture triggered by support across the United States to dismantle symbols of slavery and racism. The removal of the flag, a long-simmering source of controversy in one of the breakaway Southern states that fought in the American Civil War of the 1860s, follows the death of George Floyd, a Black man killed in police custody in Minnesota.

Egypt reopens airports and welcomes tourists to pyramids after COVID closure
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Egypt reopens airports and welcomes tourists to pyramids after COVID closure

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt restarted international flights and reopened major tourist attractions including the Great Pyramids of Giza on Wednesday after over three months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.     The country closed its airports to scheduled international flights and shut famous historical sites in mid-March as the government looked to curb the spread of the virus. That brought the tourist industry, which the government says accounts for 5% of economic output but which analysts say may account for as much as 15% if jobs and investment indirectly related to the industry are included, to a virtual halt

Russians grant Putin right to extend his rule until 2036 in landslide vote - initial results
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Russians grant Putin right to extend his rule until 2036 in landslide vote - initial results

Russians have been encouraged to vote with prize draws offering flats and an ad campaign highlighting pensions protection and a de facto ban on same-sex marriages among constitutional changes that are part of the reform bundle

Canada Day party goes virtual amid COVID-19 restrictions
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Canada Day party goes virtual amid COVID-19 restrictions

By Julie Gordon OTTAWA (Reuters) - No live fireworks, no star-studded concert on Parliament Hill, and no crowds of tourists: Canada's official birthday celebrations on Wednesday for the first time ever are completely online. Ottawa is usually home to the country's largest Canada Day party, with tens of thousands of foreign and domestic tourists descending on the capital to celebrate with music and family fun, capped by a dazzling fireworks show. But in-person festivities were canceled amid COVID-19 restrictions, with organizers instead offering an online show featuring Canadian pop stars including Alanis Morissette and Avril Lavigne, along with other artists.

Exasperated Merkel backs widening boardroom quota for women
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Exasperated Merkel backs widening boardroom quota for women

BERLIN (Reuters) - Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her support on Wednesday for setting a quota for women on the executive boards of Germany's top listed companies, building on a 30% quota for women on supervisory boards introduced in 2015. Merkel, a Christian Democrat who had long resisted quotas, said she is talking to Family Minister Franziska Giffey, who proposed legislation on the issue in February, but saw the topic sidelined during the coronavirus lockdown

Military deployed in Ethiopian capital after more than 50 killed in protests
World

Military deployed in Ethiopian capital after more than 50 killed in protests

By Dawit Endeshaw ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - The military was deployed in the Ethiopian capital on Wednesday, as armed gangs roamed neighbourhoods in a second day of unrest that has claimed more than 50 lives and deepened political divisions in Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's political heartland.

China law violates Hong Kong's autonomy, says UK PM Johnson
World

China law violates Hong Kong's autonomy, says UK PM Johnson

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday China's imposition of a security law on Hong Kong violated Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy and threatened the freedoms and rights protected by the 1984 Joint Declaration.

Sierra Leone doctors treating COVID-19 patients to go on strike
World

Sierra Leone doctors treating COVID-19 patients to go on strike

By Cooper Inveen FREETOWN (Reuters) - Doctors treating coronavirus patients in Sierra Leone will go on strike within 24 hours after the government failed to pay promised allowances, their union said on Wednesday. The Sierra Leone Medical and Dental Association (SLMDA) said in a statement the strike would continue until the allowances are paid in full, without specifying how much the doctors are owed

'We are not guinea pigs,' say South African anti-vaccine protesters
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'We are not guinea pigs,' say South African anti-vaccine protesters

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Anti-vaccine protesters took to the streets in Johannesburg on Wednesday to voice their concern over Africa's first human trials for a potential coronavirus vaccine. Last Wednesday, the University of the Witwatersrand in partnership with Oxford University rolled out South Africa's first clinical trial, which will consist of 2,000 volunteers. The involvement of South Africa in vaccine trials is intended to ensure the continent will have access to an affordable vaccine and not be left at the back of the queue.

U.S. COVID-19 deaths likely higher than reported - U.S. study
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U.S. COVID-19 deaths likely higher than reported - U.S. study

By Deena Beasley (Reuters) - The number of Americans who died from COVID-19 in March through May was likely significantly higher than the official U.S. count due in part to state-level reporting discrepancies, according to a study published on Wednesday. The overall number of U.S.

Americans more anxious about coronavirus, Reuters/Ipsos poll shows, as U.S. cases surge
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Americans more anxious about coronavirus, Reuters/Ipsos poll shows, as U.S. cases surge

By Chris Kahn and Peter Szekely NEW YORK (Reuters) - Americans' anxieties over the spread of the coronavirus are at the highest level in more than a month, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Wednesday, a day after the United States recorded the biggest single-day rise in new cases since the pandemic began. With the U.S. death toll at more than 127,000, by far the highest in the world, the June 29-30 poll found that 81% of American adults said they are "very" or "somewhat" concerned about the pandemic, the most since a similar poll conducted May 11-12.

Americans more anxious about coronavirus as U.S. cases surge, Reuters/Ipsos poll shows
World

Americans more anxious about coronavirus as U.S. cases surge, Reuters/Ipsos poll shows

By Chris Kahn and Peter Szekely NEW YORK (Reuters) - Americans' anxieties over the spread of the coronavirus are at the highest in more than a month, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Wednesday, as California recorded its biggest single-day spike in cases since the pandemic began. With the U.S. death toll at more than 127,000, by far the highest in the world, the June 29-30 poll found that 81% of American adults said they are "very" or "somewhat" concerned about the pandemic, the most since a similar poll conducted May 11-12.

In snub to Trump, Americans back immigration in pre-election poll
World

In snub to Trump, Americans back immigration in pre-election poll

By Ellen Wulfhorst NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - For the first time in decades, more Americans would like to see immigration rise than fall in a pre-election snub to President Donald Trump, a poll showed on Wednesday.

California records highest single-day rise in COVID-19 cases - Reuters tally
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California records highest single-day rise in COVID-19 cases - Reuters tally

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New COVID-19 cases in California rose by 8,441 on Tuesday, according to a Reuters tally, the highest single-day increase since the start of the pandemic. The United States as a whole saw its biggest one-day spike in new infections on Tuesday with more than 47,000 cases.

Kissing off menu as lockdown ends for Dutch sex workers
World

Kissing off menu as lockdown ends for Dutch sex workers

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch sex workers welcomed customers back on Wednesday as the Netherlands further eased coronavirus measures, but they were advised to avoid heavy breathing and kissing to help reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19. Erotic dancers and prostitutes lost their main source of income for three-and-a-half months and generally did not have access to state support during lockdown. They were surprised when the government brought forward the date they could reopen from a tentative Sept

One killed in Sudan as thousands rally for faster reform
World

One killed in Sudan as thousands rally for faster reform

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - One person was killed and several others injured during largely peaceful demonstrations in Sudan on Tuesday, a government spokesman said, as tens of thousands of people took to the streets demanding faster reform and greater civilian rule in the country's transition towards democracy. Waving Sudanese flags, protesters gathered in Khartoum and its twin cities Khartoum North and Omdurman after the government closed roads and bridges leading to the centre of the capital in the largest demonstrations since a transitional government took power late last year following the ouster of Islamist ruler Omar al-Bashir after three decades. Similar protests took place across the country, including Kassala in eastern Sudan and in the restive region of Darfur

Seattle police clear protest zone after flares of violence
World

Seattle police clear protest zone after flares of violence

By Lindsey Wasson SEATTLE (Reuters) - Seattle authorities moved on Wednesday to dismantle a protest zone that the city's police chief derided as "lawless and brutal" and which had prompted U.S. President Donald Trump to call for action against demonstrators.

Australia to lock down 300,000 in Melbourne suburbs after coronavirus spike
World

Australia to lock down 300,000 in Melbourne suburbs after coronavirus spike

By Melanie Burton MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Authorities will lock down more than 300,000 people in suburbs north of Melbourne for a month from late on Wednesday to contain the risk of infection after two weeks of double-digit rises in new coronavirus cases in Australia's second most populous state. Australia has fared better than many countries in the pandemic, with around 7,920 cases, 104 deaths and fewer than 400 active cases, but the recent jump has stoked fears of a second wave of COVID-19, echoing concerns expressed in other countries

WHO warns some nations still face 'long, hard' battle with COVID-19
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WHO warns some nations still face 'long, hard' battle with COVID-19

By Emma Farge and John Revill GENEVA (Reuters) - Nations who fail to use every mechanism available to combat the still-raging novel coronavirus will struggle to beat it, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday. "Some countries ...