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News ID: 90135
Publish Date : 11 May 2021 - 21:45
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OSLO (Dispatches) -- A nuclear-powered American submarine has docked at a civilian port in northern Norway, sparking concerns among protesters, who say the deployment would turn the city into a bomb target in the event of a war. The USS New Mexico submarine arrived in Tønsnes municipal harbor, in Tromsø city, on Monday. The Norwegian government imposed a no-fly zone over the port, strictly guarding access to the harbor area under tight security. People gathered at the port to protest the submarine’s arrival and the government’s failure to "take adequate preventive measures to avert a possible nuclear catastrophe.” They held banners that read, "US Army out of Norway” and "No nukes in Tromsø.” The leader of Norway for Peace said Norwegians fear that Tromsø will become a bomb target if there is a war. "The contingency plan doesn’t address whether there are nuclear weapons on board the vessel,” said Ingrid Schanke.
 
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JOHANNESBURG (Dispatches) -- South Africa’s president has warned of "vaccine apartheid” as millions of people in poor countries are dying of the coronavirus with no access to vaccines and wealthy countries are hogging shots.  President Cyril Ramaphosa wrote in a weekly newsletter that COVID-19 vaccines should be "a global public good.” "A situation in which the populations of advanced, rich countries are safely inoculated while millions in poorer countries die in the queue would be tantamount to vaccine apartheid,” the president added. Ramaphosa made the remarks as his country along with India have been pushing for a waiver on some intellectual property (IP) rights for vaccines and medicines at the World Trade Organization (WTO). The U.S. and the European Union are bickering over whether to waive COVID vaccine patents as a way to increase supply. Even if they do, it would take months to make a deal on producing the jabs in other countries.
 
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MOSCOW, May 11 (Reuters) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday submitted legislation to parliament to formalize a Russian exit from the Open Skies treaty, a pact that allows unarmed surveillance flights over member countries. The United States left the Open Skies arms control and verification treaty in November in one of Donald Trump’s final acts as president. Washington accused Russia of violating it, something Moscow denied. Russia said in January it would also withdraw from the treaty. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday said one of the reasons behind Russia’s planned withdrawal was that the United States was still able to receive information acquired through the Open Skies treaty from its NATO allies. Putin on Tuesday submitted a document to the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, proposing that Russia exit the treaty, filings on the Duma website showed. For laws to be enacted, they must pass through the Duma and the Federation Council, the upper house of parliament, before being signed by the president.
 
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BANGKOK (Reuters) -- A court in Thailand on Tuesday granted bail to two leaders of anti-government protests who have spent weeks in pre-trial detention on charges of insulting the country’s powerful king. The court agreed to the release of Parit "Penguin” Chiwarak, 22, and Chaiamorn "Ammy” Kaewwiboonpan, 32, with conditions that they remain in Thailand, attend court hearings when summoned, refrain from damaging the monarchy and activities that create unrest, the court said in a statement. The pair have been denied bail several times on charges related to protests last year, during which taboo-breaking calls were made for reform of the monarchy. Chaiamorn is being prosecuted for lese majeste or insulting the monarchy, a crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison for each offence, and is accused of burning a portrait of the king in February. Parit was hospitalized two weeks ago due to deteriorating health caused by 46 days of hunger strike. He is accused of various violations, including sedition and insulting the monarchy.

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ROME (AFP) -- Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has been readmitted to hospital, a source close to his Forza Italia party said Tuesday. It will be the third time since March, and the fourth this year, that the 84-year-old billionaire and media tycoon has been admitted to hospital. His latest admission to the San Raffaele hospital in Milan is related to the after-effects of Covid-19, which Berlusconi contracted in September, a second source with knowledge of the matter told AFP. Berlusconi, who had open heart surgery in 2016, was most recently released from the same hospital on May 1. The politician is currently facing trial in the latest installment of his long-running "bunga bunga” sex scandal, but hearings have been repeatedly postponed due to his health.  

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BEIJING (AP) — China on Tuesday said it will add all synthetic cannabinoids to its list of banned drugs, in what it described as a first in the world, to curb their manufacturing, trafficking and abuse. It is the second time that Chinese authorities have imposed a class-wide ban on a substance, after all fentanyl-related drugs were controlled in 2019. Synthetic cannabinoids are human-made chemicals that act on the same brain receptors as the main active ingredient in marijuana. However, they can be toxic and cause "serious side effects that are very different from those of marijuana,” according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The United States says China is a key source of synthetic drugs which are then shipped to users in the U.S.

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