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The logo of Swedish retailer Ikea (L). (Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP)

Ikea shoppers in Shanghai panic after security locks down store on Covid risk

Health authorities in the financial hub said that they imposed “temporary control measures” at the store, after they found out that a close contact of a 6-year-old boy with an asymptomatic Covid infection had been there. They didn’t say when the close contact was in the store.

This combination of photos provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office in Minnesota shows from left, former Minneapolis police Officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao.

Ex-cop who kneeled on George Floyd’s back gets 3.5-year term

The former Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on George Floyd's back while another officer kneeled on the Black man's neck was sentenced Friday to 3 1/2 years in prison. Kueng appeared at the hearing via video from a federal prison in Ohio. When given the chance to address the court, he declined. Floyd's family members had the right to make victim impact statements, but none did. Kueng kneeled on Floyd's back during the restraint.

Washington has previously condemned Iran-Russia security cooperation, but on Friday described an extensive relationship involving equipment such as helicopters and fighter jets as well as drones, with the latter items resulting in new US sanctions.

US sounds alarm over 'harmful' Iran-Russia military partnership

The United States on Friday expressed alarm over a "full-scale defense partnership" between Moscow and Tehran, describing it as "harmful" to Ukraine, Iran's neighbors and the world. Iran stands accused by Western powers of supplying drones to Russia -- which rejected the US allegations -- as Moscow batters Ukraine's energy infrastructure in search of an advantage in the bloody conflict.

US President Joe Biden.

US President Joe Biden to announce support for African Union joining G20

US President Joe Biden next week will announce U.S. support for the African Union's admission to the G20 group of the world's largest economies as a permanent member, a White House official said on Friday. White House adviser Judd Devermont said the move, first reported by the Washington Post, comes after requests from African Union Chair and Senegalese President Macky Sall and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. South Africa is the only G20 member from Africa.

People ride on a subway during evening rush hour, after the government loosened coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions, in Beijing, China. (REUTERS)

Worry, caution among citizens as China pivots from zero-Covid policy

Social media platforms and messaging apps on Friday were buzzing with frantic users exchanging information on the pandemic's spread in China and the requirements for positive patients as Beijing continued its dramatic turnaround from implementing the world's strictest Covid-control norms, under its 'zero-Covid' policy, to easing most rules. Media issued detailed guidelines on what families should do if a member shows symptoms of the infection.

Russia's president Vladimir Putin attends the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council meeting at the Congress Hall in Bishkek on Friday.

Vladimir Putin warns of possible production cuts over $60 oil price cap

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that Russia could reduce oil production in response to a $60 price cap on its oil exports agreed by Western nations over Moscow's Ukraine offensive. "We will consider a possible reduction in production if necessary," Putin told reporters at a press conference in Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek following a regional summit, calling the price cap a "stupid decision" that is "harmful to global energy markets".

Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant generates about a third of the country's electricity. (image for representation)

Bulgaria's only nuclear power plant to shut down reactor after radioactive coolant leak

Bulgaria's only nuclear power plant will shut down one of its reactors on Saturday -- its third stoppage so far this year -- after a leak of radioactive coolant was discovered. Two previous incidents including generator malfunctions at Kozloduy's reactors, located in northwest Bulgaria on the Danube River, have triggered shutdowns in June and October. It added that there was "no change in the radiation situation in the working areas and at Kozloduy's site".

More media workers were killed covering the war in Ukraine – 12 in total -- than in any other country this year, according to the IFJ.

30% spike in number of journalists killed doing their work in 2022 over previous year

Elon Musk on 'citizen journalism' and 'oligopoly on information' in fresh tweet More media workers were killed covering the war in Ukraine – 12 in total -- than in any other country this year, according to the IFJ. Most were Ukrainian but also included those of other nationalities such as American documentary filmmaker Brent Renaud.

Screen grab of 21-year-old murder victim Pawanpreet Kaur from a video update released by Peel Regional Police. (BY ARRANGEMENT)

Canada police continue investigation into killing of Indian-origin woman

Canadian law enforcement on Thursday located a bicycle that was used by the suspect in the search for the killer of a 21-year-old Indo-Canadian woman, authorities said in a video release. Kaur was identified as Pawanpreet Kaur, a resident of the township of Brampton in the Greater Toronto Area.

EuroMillions Lottery: A woman fills out a grid of a lottery ticket for EuroMillions.

'Christmas gift': Belgian village's 165 people win $151 million in mega lottery

A group of 165 people, belonging to a Belgian village, won a collective jackpot of $151.18 million in the EuroMillions lottery. Belgian National Lottery, each resident won around ?868,000 ($9,17,967) in the lottery. Read more: Don't miss: Three brutal Prince Harry digs at royal family in Netflix docuseries The residents from Antwerp province's Olmen had made equal payments for purchasing the tickets at their local newsagent as Tuesday's draw saw more than 27 million entries.

The announcement came just as the federal police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), suspended a contract for radio frequency (RF) equipment over the company’s links to Beijing (REUTERS/ REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)

Canada looks to update FDI laws amid China concerns

The Canadian government on Thursday tabled a bill to update security measures for foreign direct investments into the country, even as it cancelled a contract with a telecommunications company over ties with China. Amendments to the Investment Canada Act were moved in parliament, the most significant review in over a decade meant to address ?evolving national security concerns,? according to a release from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.

Airfares Hike: An aeroplane prepares to land at an airport.

Are you planning international travel next year? How much airfares may rise

Air travel costs will increase significantly next year all over the world, a report said. The Airfares will increase by as much as 12 per cent on Europe-Asia routes and 10 per cent for America-Asia flights, a report by American Express Global Business Travel said. The report also said that one of the biggest airfare rises will be for business-class tickets within Australia, which are forecast to rise by about 19 per cent.

Russia-Ukraine War: A man carries brushwood for a wood stove to an apartment house basement used as a bomb shelter.

Russia shells eastern front, Ukraine says, as war aims appear to shift

Russian forces have shelled the entire front line in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian officials said, part of what appears to be the Kremlin's scaled-back ambition to secure only the bulk of territory it has claimed. Five civilians were killed and two wounded in Ukrainian-controlled parts of Donetsk over the previous day, the region's governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said early on Friday.

Dalai Lama: Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama at the Main Tibetan Temple in Dharamsala.

'Genuine compassion is the best weapon': Dalai Lama on world peace

People are spending a lot of money on weapons which is "totally wrong", Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama said on Friday as he underlined the need for creating a peaceful world. Genuine compassion is the best weapon to defend oneself, he said at the inaugural session of a two-day conference, 'SEE Learning: A Worldwide Initiative for Educating the Heart and Mind', here. Read more: These are world's strongest passports in 2022.

Passport offices will attend to applicants for both ‘Normal’ and ‘Tatkaal’ categories. (HT Photo)

These are world's strongest passports in 2022. India's rank is…

Passport Index 2022 published by Arton Capital ranked the world's strongest and weakest passports. Read more: Don't miss: Three brutal Prince Harry digs at royal family in Netflix docuseries India ranked 87 in the world's strongest passport list, while UAE ranked first in the rating of passports for 2022. The Passport Index is based on the 139 members of the United Nations and six territories were considered for the list.

A Canada flag flies in Hamilton, Ontario.

Canada adds sanctions on Russia, Iran, Myanmar over human rights

Canada on Friday imposed fresh sanctions on Russia, Iran and Myanmar, citing alleged human rights violations by their governments. The measures included sanctions against 33 current or former senior Russian officials and six entities involved in alleged "systematic human rights violations" against Russian citizens who protested against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Canadian foreign ministry said in a statement.

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