Tuesday, August 9
Updates

Is Japan open to travelers? It’s where Singaporeans want to travel

Some 49% of Singaporeans say they are considering Japan for their next vacation abroad, according to the market research firm YouGov.Interest may be even higher among young citizens. Some 68% of Singaporeans aged 16 to 24 years old indicated they are considering Japan for their "next vacation," compared to 37% of those aged 55 and older, according to research published in May.Japan was the top choice among survey respondents by a good margin, with the second choice, Taiwan, garnering interest from 39% of those surveyed. Some 26% indicated interest in vacationing in Malaysia, according to the results, but this may have been affected by the survey question, which specifically asked about travel plans "by air."Still, Wanping Aw, CEO of the Tokyo-based travel agency Tokudaw said her compa...
Updates

Zawahiri’s ghost fades in a Kabul threatened by Daesh

A week after the United States assassinated Ayman Al Zawahiri in the Sherpur neighborhood, the Al Qaeda leader is a forgotten ghost in an Afghan capital where the red and black religious flags of the minority Shiites dwarf the white ensigns of the 'emirate'. You have to move away from Sherpur, where the press continues to be unwelcome by the Taliban, heading west to reach the Shia stronghold, a sect to which the Hazara ethnic group belongs. Ashura is commemorated here amid strong security measures since "about 120 people have died and been injured in the explosions that have occurred in recent days," according to the United Nations. The jihadist group Daesh (Islamic State), an enemy of the Taliban, has claimed responsibility for these attacks that occurred in mosques such as Imam Baq...
Europe

Kentucky model dies from fake prescription pill laced with fentanyl

A day after 23-year-old Wyatt Williamson laughed and joked with friends during a hike, he collapsed on the floor of his Louisville apartment.The former University of Louisville student had recently signed a modeling contract in Los Angeles and was looking forward to the move. Then, suddenly, her life was slipping away.His mother, Julie Hofmans, and his friends say Wyatt wasn't addicted to drugs, yet on April 5, 2020, doctors pronounced him dead from an accidental overdose after he took a pill deceptively designed to mimic a prescription Xanax tablet.Wyatt and his girlfriend ate dinner, sipped on wine and were watching a movie when he took what turned out to be a fatal dose of fentanyl, which has become America's deadliest drug. His death from him was one of more than 93,600 in 2020 th...
Updates

Russia suspends US inspections of its nuclear weapons arsenal | nuclear weapons

Russia has suspended an arrangement that allowed US and Russian inspectors to visit each other's nuclear weapons sites under the 2010 New Start treaty, in a new blow to arms control.Mutual inspections had been suspended as a health precaution since the start of the Covid pandemic, but a foreign ministry statement on Monday added another reason Russia is unwilling to restart them. It argued that US sanctions imposed because of the invasion of Ukraine stopped Russian inspectors traveling to the US.“There are no similar obstacles to the arrival of American inspectors in Russia,” the statement said. “The Russian foreign ministry raised this issue with the relevant countries, but did not receive an answer.”The US state department did not immediately respond to the claim that the sanctions ...
Updates

Germany allows farmers to grow more grain

The German Minister of Agriculture, Cem Ozdmir, has announced its intention to suspend EU regulations on set aside and rotation of land to allow farmers to plant cereals on land that should fall fallow this year. Özdemir, who belongs to the Greens party, wants to enable German farmers to use agricultural land for food production for longer, in view of shortages in grain markets as a result of the war in Ukraine. As confirmed by the Ministry, a compromise proposal presented by Özdemir last Friday foresees that the planned additional species protection areas do not come into force until at least 2024, when they should be in force from 2023. According to this regulation, part of the agricultural land must be used for the protection of species and it would be prohibited to grow the same p...
Espanol

FBI searches Trump safe at Mar-a-Lago club, former president says

Former President Donald Trump said Monday that the FBI had raided his Mar-a-Lago estate.“My beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents,” Trump said in a statement released through his political action committee, Save America.The FBI declined to comment on whether it had conducted a search of the former president’s property.A person familiar with the investigation said agents were conducting a court-authorized search as they probe the potential mishandling of classified documents that were shipped to Mar-a-Lago.Investigations of Donald Trump: What you need to knowSuch a move — a court-ordered search of Trump’s property to look for possible evidence of a crime — is deeply unusual for a former president. ...
Updates

FAO food price index fell sharply in July but the respite may not last

Farmers harvest a wheat field near Melitopol in Ukraine. Wheat, soybean, sugar, and corn futures have fallen from their March highs back to prices seen at the start of 2022.Olga Maltseva | Afp | Getty ImagesFood prices dropped significantly in July from the previous month, particularly the costs of wheat and vegetable oil, according to the latest figures from the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization.But the FAO said that while the drop in food prices "from very high levels" is "welcome," there are doubts about whether the good news will last."Many uncertainties remain, including high fertilizer prices that can impact future production prospects and farmers' livelihoods, a bleak global economic outlook, and currency movements, all of which pose serious strains for global...
Espanol

Cubs planning to release Jason Heyward after 2022 season

The Chicago Cubs are planning to release outfielder Jason Heyward following this season, president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer told reporters Monday. Heyward is currently on the injured list with knee inflammation and will not play again this year. The Cubs will then release him after the season. Heyward is owed $22 million in 2023, the final year of his eight-year, $184 million contract.  "Given where we are as an organization, trying to give guys like ((Nelson) Velázquez and (Christopher) Morel and give guys like that playing time -- and there will be more guys like that we want to give playing time -- we felt like it was the right thing to do given where we are as an organization," Hoyer told reporters (vid...
Europe

Mar-A-Lago, Florida home of Donald Trump, raided by law enforcement

Former President Donald Trump said Monday evening that law enforcement agents have raided his home at Mar-a-Lago in South Florida, in what appears to be an unprecedented escalation in one or more of the various criminal investigations into his activities.Trump did not say why the agents appeared to be at his Florida property but, in an emailed statement, added that "this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate."Trump is under investigation by the Justice Department for removing presidential records from the White House and storing them at Mar-a-Lago for up to a year, a potentially serious violation of the law if the records were classified. Trump has denounced that investigation, saying he was entitled to take the records.Capitol attack:Pressure campaigns, predicta...
Europe

Ashton Kutcher says rare disease left him unable to see, hear, walk

Ashton Kutcher said he is "lucky to be alive" after his experience with a rare disease that affected his ability to see, hear and walk.Kutcher talks about his struggle with vasculitis, a condition involving inflammation of the blood vessels, in an episode of the television show "Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge," which airs Monday night on National Geographic.Video from the interview, first reported by "Access Hollywood," shows Kutcher discussing how the illness has affected him. ("Access Hollywood" is produced by NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News.)In the episode, Grylls asks Kutcher where his strength comes from. Kutcher says: "Two years ago, I had this weird, super rare form of vasculitis that, like, knocked out my vision. It knocked out my hearing. It knocked...