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Iran explosions: Officials deny reports of fresh blast

Iranian officials have denied reports of an explosion west of the capital Tehran on Thursday, the latest in a series of mysterious blasts to hit the country in recent weeks. Social media users reported hearing explosions in the nearby cities of Garmdareh and Qods, state media said. It is not …

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Hagia Sophia: Turkey turns iconic Istanbul museum into mosque

The world-famous Hagia Sophia museum in Istanbul – originally founded as a cathedral – has been turned back into a mosque. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the decision after a court annulled the site’s museum status. Built 1,500 years ago as an Orthodox Christian cathedral, Hagia Sophia was converted …

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UK universities comply with China’s internet restrictions

UK universities are testing a new online teaching link for students in China – which will require course materials to comply with Chinese restrictions on the internet. It enables students in China to keep studying UK degrees online, despite China’s limits on internet access. But it means students can only …

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US Supreme Court to rule on revealing Trump tax returns

The US Supreme Court is set to decide whether President Donald Trump’s tax returns and other financial records can be examined by Congress and prosecutors – a ruling with potentially huge political consequences. Mr Trump refuses to share documents concerning his fortune and business. His lawyers argue he enjoys total …

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Pandemic could push 49 million Africans into poverty’

THE AFRICAN  Development Bank (AfDB) has said that 49 millions Africans could be pushed into extreme poverty by the coronavirus pandemic. The AfDB said on Tuesday that West and Central Africa stand to be most hit by the economic slump. The bank projects that the economy will rebound from the …

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WHO: US pulling out ‘is not what the world’s people need’

Dr David Nabarro, the World Health Organization’s special envoy on Covid-19, has described President Trump’s decision to take the US out of the global agency as “really sad”. “The world is facing a massive health crisis, it’s been extremely bad for the last six months and I fear it’s going …

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FBI director: China is ‘greatest threat’ to US

The director of the FBI has said that acts of espionage and theft by China’s government pose the “greatest long-term threat” to the future of the US. Speaking to the Hudson Institute in Washington, Christopher Wray described a multi-pronged disruption campaign. He said China had begun targeting Chinese nationals living …

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Millions take feared Chinese uni entrance exam

ALMOST 11 million Chinese students have begun the country’s notoriously tough two-day university entry exam, after it was delayed by a month by the virus. And the “gaokao” could be extra tough this year – as schools across the country were closed when the virus took hold at the start …

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Coronavirus: Wear masks in crowded public spaces, says science body

EVERYONE SHOULD carry a face covering when they leave home in order to tackle coronavirus, the president of the UK’s national academy of science has said. Prof Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, president of the Royal Society, said the coverings should then be worn “whenever you are in crowded public spaces”. He …

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Police rescue workers ‘locked in rice factory’

  The men were made to sleep inside the warehouse with bags of rice   Police in Nigeria have rescued more than 100 people they say were locked in a rice-processing factory and forced to work throughout a coronavirus lockdown. From the end of March the men were allegedly not allowed …

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