Climate, malaria highlighted as Commonwealth leaders meet

KIGALI, Rwanda — Leaders of Commonwealth nations were meeting in Rwanda’s capital Friday to tackle climate change, tropical diseases and other challenges deepened by the COVID-19 pandemic. The summit for Commonwealth heads of state in Kigali is the culmination of a series of meetings this week that officials said yielded some success in efforts to … Read more

Hong Kong officials test positive for Covid, casting doubt over Xi’s potential visit

Hong Kong CNN — Two top Hong Kong officials have tested positive for Covid-19, potentially derailing any chance of an official visit from Chinese leader Xi Jinping next week to mark the 25th anniversary of the city’s handover to China. Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang and director of the Chief Executive’s Office … Read more

Covid-19 vaccinations begin for US children under 5

CNN — Dr. Sarah Schaffer DeRoo described in one word how she felt after getting her 7-month-old son vaccinated against Covid-19: thrilled. Her active baby boy sat in her lap at a vaccine clinic hosted by Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC, while receiving his first dose of Covid-19 vaccine. The shot was administered in … Read more

Beyoncé’s new song unleashes Great Resignation vibes

New York CNN — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell wants to increase joblessness in the US in order to save the economy. But Beyoncé may beat him to it. The multi-hyphenate artist’s latest single, “Break My Soul,” which dropped late Monday, begs listeners to “release” themselves from their 9-5, saying “I just quit my job, … Read more

Japan PM’s cautious course sets up potential long-term rule

TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida did not look like he’d last long when he took office eight months ago. He was seen as nice, but indecisive and subservient to party heavyweights. Many believed that, like his short-lived predecessor, he was not up to the task of winning over a public battered by months … Read more

WHO to share vaccines to stop monkeypox amid inequity fears

LONDON — The World Health Organization said it’s creating a new vaccine-sharing mechanism to stop the outbreak of monkeypox in more than 30 countries beyond Africa. The move could result in the UN health agency distributing scarce vaccine doses to rich countries that can otherwise afford them. To some health experts, the initiative potentially misses … Read more

US failed to stop fraud in COVID loan program, Clyburn says

The US government failed to take basic steps at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic to prevent fraud in a federal aid program intended to help small businesses, depleting the funds and making Americans more vulnerable to identity theft, the head of a congressional panel examining the payouts said Tuesday. Democratic Rep. James Clyburn blamed … Read more

Polish leader OKs judicial law changes deemed insufficient

WARSAW, Poland — Polish President Andrzej Duda has signed into law regulations replacing the controversial body disciplining judges with a new accountability panel in the hope it will persuade the European Union to release billions of euros in pandemic funds frozen over Poland’s political control of the judiciary. Duda signed the changes into law late … Read more

China major city apologizes over COVID-19 lockdown response

BEIJING — The major of a northeastern Chinese city on the North Korean border that has been under lockdown for more than 50 days has apologized for failures in his administration’s work amid widespread — but often disguised — dissatisfaction over the government’s heavy-handed approach to handling the pandemic. Dandong Mayor Hao Jianjun gave no … Read more

Virus cluster at nightclub sets off new Beijing clampdown

BEIJING — China’s capital has put school online in one of its major districts amid a new COVID-19 outbreak linked to a nightclub, while life has yet to return to normal in Shanghai despite the lifting of a more than two-month-long lockdown. China has stuck to its “zero-COVID” policy requiring mass testing, quarantines and the … Read more