International

EU unveils $220bn plan to ditch Russian energy


Brussels: The European Commission has announced a 210 billion euro ($220bn) plan to end its dependency on Russian fossil fuels in a span of five years and speeds up its transition to green energy. The move comes as the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Europe’s top gas supplier, has prompted the EU to rethink...

Russia signals annexation of seized Ukrainian territory


Rebutting Turkey, Biden lauds NATO bids of Sweden, Finland G7 to launch Global Alliance for Food Security Kyiv: Fresh from its triumph over the last armed Ukrainian resistance in the devastated city of Mariupol, Russia appeared to be laying the groundwork Thursday for annexing swaths of southeast Ukraine, described by a high-ranking Kremlin official as having...

French President appoints Elisabeth Borne as new PM


New York: French President Emmanuel Macron has named Elisabeth Borne as the country's new Prime Minister. Borne, 61, is a former Minister of Transport, Ecology and Labour. She is the second woman to hold the position after Edith Cresson (1991-1992) under President Francois Mitterrand. She succeeds Jean Castex, who had led the French Cabinet since July 2020....

Covid-hit Shanghai likely to reopen on June 1


New Delhi: China's financial hub Shanghai will reopen gradually and resume “normal life” from June 1 after stamping out its Covid-19 infections from 15 of its 16 districts, media reports said. At present, the number of people living in "closed management areas" has dropped to no more than 1 million, and the epidemic has been effectively...

Russia, Ukraine peace talks on hold


Russian and Ukrainian officials have said that negotiations on a solution to the ongoing war have been suspended as the process is mired in a stalemate. "The talks are not going on. Ukraine has actually withdrawn from the negotiation process," Xinhua news agency quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko as saying to reporters. "Today the...

Ukrainian troops surrender in Mariupol steel plant: Russia


New York: Russia said that 265 Ukrainian soldiers, including several dozen wounded troops, surrendered at the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Ukraine’s port city of Mariupol. “Over the past 24 hours, 265 militants laid down their arms and surrendered, including 51 heavily wounded,” the defense ministry said. The ministry added that those in need of medical care...

Turkey threatens to block Finland, Sweden NATO bids


New York: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has restated his opposition to Finland and Sweden joining the NATO, just hours after they said they would seek membership of the military alliance amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. Erdogan said Turkey opposed the two Scandinavian countries' bids to join NATO, describing Sweden as a "hatchery" for terrorist organizations,...

Nepal, India sign 6 MoUs during PM Modi’s Lumbini visit


Kathmandu: Nepal and India signed six Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) during the day-long visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha. One of the major takeaways of the visit is the joint development of the Arun-4 hydroelectricity project between the two neighboring nations. India's Sutlej Jala Vidyut Nigam (SJVN), and Nepal...

Sri Lankan PM to sell airline, print money to pay wages


Colombo: Sri Lanka's new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe plans to sell the state-owned Sri Lankan Airlines to stabilize the island nation's finances amid the ongoing economic crisis. In a televised address to the nation, Wickremesinghe said: "I propose to privatize Sri Lankan Airlines which is incurring extensive losses. The loss for the year 2020-2021 alone amounts...