China seeking to control bodies like WHO, Interpol: UK parliament panel
Autocratic nations like China are seeking to manipulate, undermine, or even break up multilateral organisations, such as the WHO and Interpol, set up in the wake of World War II to establish an international system based on shared values of peace, prosperity and freedom, a new report has found.
Why NATO's tentative pivot to the Asia-Pacific may be a hard sell
News/Politics: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is reaching out to prospective security partners in the Asia-Pacific as it turns its attention to China. But some NATO members want the focus to remain where it has always been — on Russia.
Israeli airstrikes target Gaza sites in response to Palestinian fire balloons for 2nd straight day
News/World: Israeli airstrikes hit militant sites in the Gaza Strip early Wednesday, and Palestinians responded by sending a series of fire-carrying balloons back across the border for a second straight day.
Flash floods kill 10 people in Bhutan, seven missing in Nepal
Flash floods triggered by heavy rains washed away a remote mountain camp in Bhutan on Wednesday killing 10 people and injuring five, while floods in neighbouring Nepal left seven people missing, authorities said. The Bhutan villagers, who had been collecting cordeyceps, a fungus used in medicine, were sleeping when the floodwaters hit just after midnight. Their camp near Laya, about 60 km (37 miles) north of the capital Thimphu, was washed away, local media reported.
Iran field narrows as candidates quit on campaign's last day
Iran's presidential contest headed toward a showdown between the country's hard-line judiciary chief and moderate former Central Bank chief on Wednesday, as two candidates dropped out on the last day of campaigning to clear a path for the challengers.
Putin says Biden meet 'constructive', talks agreed on cybersecurity, arms
World|: Geneva: Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that his first face-to-face meeting with US counterpart Joe Biden was "constructive" and the two sides had agreed to further discuss cybersecurity and arms control. "The conversation was absolutely constructive", Putin told reporters after the talks with Biden in Geneva. He described Biden as a "very constructive, balanced person, very experienced, you can see it immediately". Putin said Biden had talked about his family and his mother, saying "this speaks of his moral values, and this is quite attractive." The Russian leader said the two had "agreed to start consultations on cybersecurity" but suggested the United States had as big a problem with hacking and cybercriminals as Russia. Washington has long complained of what it says is persistent and combative Russian cyber activity, namely meddling and interference in elections, that it says have been carried out either by Russian security services or hackers with links to the Kremlin. Putin said the US had requested information on 10 separate cybersecurity incidents from Russia, and that Washington had received "exhaustive" answers in all cases. "Russia sent 45 such requests to the United States last year," he said, "and 35 this year". "And we have not received a single answer," he said, claiming that: "The largest number of cyberattacks in the world are carried out from the US space." Biden's administration brought sanctions against Russia in April in response to the SolarWinds cyberattack that targeted federal organisations and more than 100 US companies. Biden had also vowed to raise pressure on Russia for harbouring cybercriminals who have been blamed in major attacks on a US oil pipeline and a meat supplier. Putin also said that as the leading nuclear powers the two countries have "special responsibility for strategic stability in the world". He said Biden had made a "responsible decision" in February to extend the New START nuclear treaty, the last remaining arms reduction pact between Russia and the United States. "The question is what comes next. We agreed that consultations will begin... between ministries of foreign affairs and defence."
Boris Johnson described his health secretary as 'hopeless,' according to former aide
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson described his health minister as "totally f**king hopeless" during the early days of the pandemic, text messages published by his disaffected former chief adviser revealed on Wednesday.
Face to face: Biden, Putin meet for long-anticipated summit
US President Joe Biden and Russia's Vladimir Putin have arrived on Wednesday at the lush lakeside Swiss mansion for their highly anticipated summit, a moment of consequential diplomacy at a time when both leaders agree that relations between their countries are at an all-time low.