Hong Kong scraps most COVID rules, though masks still mandated

Hong Kong scraps most COVID rules, though masks still mandated

HONG KONG, Dec 28 (Reuters) – Hong Kong will cancel its stringent COVID-19 rules from Thursday, city leader John Lee said, meaning that arrivals will no longer need to do mandatory PCR tests while the city’s vaccine pass would also be scrapped. All measures would be cancelled on Thursday, apart from the wearing of masks … Read more

Elon Musk says around 100 Starlinks now active in Iran

Elon Musk says around 100 Starlinks now active in Iran

Dec 26 (Reuters) – SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Monday that the company is now close to having 100 active Starlinks, the firm’s satellite internet service, in Iran, three months after he tweeted he would activate the service there amid protests around the Islamic country. Musk said, “approaching 100 starlinks active in Iran”, … Read more

Taliban bans female NGO staff, jeopardizing aid efforts

Taliban bans female NGO staff, jeopardizing aid efforts

Taliban orders NGOs to stop female staff from working Comes after suspension of female students from universities U.N. says order would seriously impact humanitarian operations U.N. plans to meet with Taliban to seek clarity KABUL, Dec 24 (Reuters) – Afghanistan’s Taliban-run administration on Saturday ordered all local and foreign NGOs to stop female employees from … Read more

Storm cuts U.S. oil, gas, power output, sending prices higher

Storm cuts U.S. oil, gas, power output, sending prices higher

Dec 23 (Reuters) – Frigid cold and blowing winds on Friday knocked out power and cut energy production across the United States, driving up heating and electricity prices as people prepared for holiday celebrations. Winter Storm Elliott brought sub-freezing temperatures and extreme weather alerts to about two-thirds of the United States, with cold and snow … Read more

Bankman-Fried, FTX execs received billions in hidden loans, ex-Alameda CEO says

Bankman-Fried, FTX execs received billions in hidden loans, ex-Alameda CEO says

NEW YORK, Dec 23 (Reuters) – Sam Bankman-Fried and other FTX executives received billions of dollars in secret loans from the crypto mogul’s Alameda Research, the hedge fund’s former chief told a judge when she pleaded guilty to her role in the exchange’s collapse. Caroline Ellison, former chief executive of Alameda Research, said she agreed … Read more

Exclusive: US says Russia’s Wagner Group bought North Korean weapons for Ukraine war

Exclusive: US says Russia’s Wagner Group bought North Korean weapons for Ukraine war

WASHINGTON, Dec 22 (Reuters) – The private Russian military company, the Wagner Group, took delivery of an arms shipment from North Korea to help bolster Russian forces in Ukraine, a sign of the group’s expanding role in that conflict, the White House said on Thursday. “Wagner is searching around the world for arms suppliers to … Read more

First foreign COVID vaccines head to China from Germany

First foreign COVID vaccines head to China from Germany

Batch of BioNTech shots on the way to China German citizens will get shot; Berlin pushes for wider use Shipment comes after Scholz visit to China last month Comes as infections spike in world’s No. 2 economy BERLIN, Dec 21 (Reuters) – Berlin has sent its first batch of BioNTech (22UAy.DE) COVID-19 vaccines to China … Read more

COVID border restrictions on migrants to stay after U.S. Supreme Court order

COVID border restrictions on migrants to stay after U.S. Supreme Court order

WASHINGTON/CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico, Dec 19 (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday said COVID-era restrictions at the U.S.-Mexico border that have prevented hundreds of thousands of migrants from seeking asylum should be kept in place for now, siding with Republicans who brought a legal challenge. The restrictions, known as Title 42, were implemented under … Read more

Insurers shun FTX-linked crypto firms as contagion risk mounts

Insurers shun FTX-linked crypto firms as contagion risk mounts

Dec 19 (Reuters) – Insurers are denying or limiting coverage to clients with exposure to bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, leaving digital currency traders and exchanges uninsured for any losses from hacks, theft or lawsuits, several market participants said. Insurers were already reluctant to underwrite asset and directors and officers (D&O) protection policies for crypto companies … Read more

Special Report: Binance’s books are a black box, filings show, as it tries to rally confidence

Special Report: Binance’s books are a black box, filings show, as it tries to rally confidence

LONDON, Dec 19 (Reuters) – The world’s biggest crypto exchange, Binance, is battling to shore up confidence after a surge in customer withdrawals and a steep drop in the value of its digital token. The exchange said it dealt with net outflows of around $6 billion over 72 hours last week “without breaking stride” because … Read more