Two trains collided near Barcelona early Wednesday, injuring 155 people but none seriously, Spanish officials said. Emergency services for Catalonia said that although three people were taken to medical centers none of the passengers was considered seriously hurt. Read more: Meghan Markle says she was 'ashamed', 'didn't want to live' when in royal family Officials say that the collision occurred on a train line in Montcada i Reixac, a town just north of Barcelona.
China's foreign ministry has denied attaching political strings to its loans to developing countries, worth $240 billion over the past two decades. Spokesperson Mao Ning said the country has never compelled countries to take such loans and has never sought political self-interest.
The UN has called for the Taliban to clarify the arrest of Matiullah Wesa, a prominent Afghan girls? education activist. Wesa has advocated for girls? education in conservative rural areas and his organisation, Pen Path, has held meetings with tribal elders. The Taliban has barred most girls from high school and universities, but officials have said they are working to reopen schools. Wesa has said his work is free of political interference and impartial.
Scientist Florence Débarre stumbled upon Covid genetic data from swabs taken at the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan, China, confirming the presence of animals susceptible to Covid. She faced threats after the publication of the data, but said that she found it while searching on a virology database. Raccoon dogs, which are highly susceptible to coronavirus infection, were found in the data. The data was later removed, and collaboration between her team and the Chinese scientists was offered but not accepted.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said energy exports to "friendly" countries needed to be increased, citing a 22-fold increase in Russian oil supplies to India in 2021. Revenues from the energy industry accounted for 42% of the federal budget in 2022 and Novak said it was sustainable despite Western sanctions.
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that the H-1B visa cap for the financial year 2024 has been reached. All successful applicants have been notified and petitions may be filed from April 1, 2023. The annual regular cap is set at 65,000, with 6,800 set aside under the terms of the US-Chile and US-Singapore free trade agreements.
After an altercation outside a Starbucks cafe in Vancouver, British Colombia, 37-year-old Paul Stanley Schmidt was fatally stabbed, with 32-year-old Inderdeep Singh Gosal charged with second-degree murder. Witnesses and cell-phone video are being sought by police, who believe the victim and suspect did not know each other. The incident has sparked criticism of the law and order situation in the city, with filmmaker Aaron Gunn tweeting, ?Things are not getting better. They are still getting worse.?
King Charles is reportedly working with Queen Consort Camilla to bring together a major plan for the royal family after the coronation, which includes cutting back on inefficiencies, reducing the number of working royals and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle being "requested to vacate" Frogmore Cottage. The master plan is said to be about getting the best value for money from those on the payroll and royals who cannot afford to live where they are, should "cut their cloth".
China has provided $240 billion in bailout loans to 22 developing countries, mostly BRI nations, over the past two decades to avoid default and service their debts, a new report by AidData, World Bank, Harvard and Kiel Institute said. Beijing's rescue loans have increased in recent years, with 80% of the total given out since 2016. The loans come with an average interest rate of 5%, higher than the usual 2% rate on IMF loans. Beijing has targeted a limited set of potential recipients, mostly low- and middle-income BRI countries with significant debt to Chinese banks.
China plans to clamp down on malicious online comments damaging the reputation of businesses and entrepreneurs. Shen Yue, an official with the Cyberspace Administration of China, said false information affects the brand image of enterprises and their normal production and operation, resulting in economic losses.
Xi Jinping spoke with Saudi Arabia's Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, discussing topics such as further talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and supporting each other on issues involving their core interests. Xi recently mediated a deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia to restore diplomatic ties, and said China and Saudi Arabia will work together to promote peace, stability and development in the Middle East.
Pakistan is facing an acute shortage of life-saving medicines due to a controversial pricing policy and depreciating local currency. The country is already in an economic crisis with high external debt and dwindling foreign exchange reserves. The shortage is due to vendors stopping their supplies due to dollar-rupee disparity, with most oral medicines produced locally and majority of biological products imported. The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan has imposed a three-year restriction on applying for price adjustment, leading to the importer's inability to supply the medicines.
Russia's defence ministry said its missile ships of the Pacific Fleet fired Moskit cruise missiles at a mock target in the Sea of Japan, hitting it with a direct hit from two missiles. Japan's foreign minister condemned the move and called for Russia and Belarus to stop plans to station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.
Former Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou visits China for the first time since 1949, amid heightened tension as Beijing pressures Taiwan to accept Chinese sovereignty. Ma praised Sun Yat-sen's contributions and said people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait are descendants of the Yan and Yellow Emperors. Ma hopes for peace between both sides and offered to revitalise China, but is not scheduled to meet with any Chinese leaders.
France faces nationwide strikes and protests on Tuesday amid anger over President Macron's plans to delay retirement age. Police fear "Black Bloc" anarchists may cause further violence, with 13,000 police assigned to the rallies. Train and flights will be disrupted, schools closed and energy sector hit, while Macron refuses to withdraw or pause the pension bill.
Ukrainian authorities reported that Russian drones were shot down near Kyiv on Monday, resulting in a fire at a non-residential building. No casualties were reported, with Ukrainian forces destroying 14 of the 15 Iranian-made Shahed drones launched by Russia. Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said the fire was contained, with no casualties. Air raid alerts were declared across half the country's regions but the all clear was given for Kyiv.