Imran Khan: Pakistan’s prime minister tests positive for Covid

Khan probably caught virus during engagements last week before having vaccine, says information minister

Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan, has tested positive for coronavirus and is self-isolating, according to the country’s health minister.

Khan, 68, a former international cricketer, has been holding frequent meetings lately, and addressed a security conference in the capital, Islamabad, that was attended by a large number of people, according to Reuters.

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China’s first local Covid case since February had been vaccinated – state media

The hospital worker had received two doses of an unspecified vaccine, report says, as much of France re-enters lockdown

China’s first local coronavirus case since February was a staff worker at a hospital who had received two shots of a vaccine between end-January and early February, state media has reported.

The patient, identified by her surname Liu, had been working in the quarantine area of a hospital in Xian city since 4 March, and was mainly responsible for collecting samples from quarantined people for coronavirus testing, the Health Times reported on Saturday.

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Leaf blowers and beating branches: the fight to stop India’s forest fires

Thousands of blazes in Similipal national park threaten indigenous peoples and wildlife such as tigers, elephants and orchids

As the flames move fast, snaking quickly upwards in the treacherous terrain of Similipal national park and turning everything on the ground to smoky ash, the women are in hot pursuit. Throwing their dupattas over their shoulders, sweat dripping from their foreheads, they vigorously whack the flames with leafy branches to extinguish them. Nearby, a forest department official armed only with a leaf blower works to move the leaves fuelling the fire out of the way.

Finally, as the hills of Similipal, in the Indian state of Odisha, become too steep, the women fall back. “It’s very smoky and hot, but for the past two weeks, we have been helping put out the fires in any way we can,” says Sanjukta Basa, chair of local environmental NGO Sangram.

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Thailand’s empty beach resorts hope vaccines will put them back in the sun

Plans to reopen to vaccinated tourists include short quarantine in popular holiday spots like Phuket and Koh Samui

Thailand’s Phuket island used to vibrate with life. Before the pandemic, March was part of peak season and the resort’s long white beaches were packed with tourists from Europe, Australia, North America and China. At night, backpackers would flock to beach-front bars and on the hills stretching inland wealthy tourists would eat at five-star restaurants.

Today, Phuket is a ghost town. The shockwaves of Covid-19 have reduced daily visitor numbers from up to 50,000 down to just hundreds. But there is hope that plans to bring tourists back could change the fortunes of the beach town, and the country.

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‘This is what we feared’: how a country that avoided the worst of Covid finally got hit

Papua New Guinea has seen coronavirus cases skyrocket, with fears it could push the health system to breaking point

When Papua New Guinea recorded its first Covid case in March 2020, the country held its breath.

There were acute fears about its on the country’s already overwhelmed and under-resourced health system, which has roughly 500 doctors to serve a population of around nine million, and was already struggling to deal with outbreaks of measles, drug-resistant tuberculosis and polio.

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Trudeau condemns closed-door espionage trial of Canadian in China

Michael Spavor has been detained in China since 2018 in apparent retaliation for Canada’s arrest of a Huawei executive

Justin Trudeau has reacted angrily to the closed-door trial of a Canadian man detained in China for more than two years on espionage charges, dismissing it as “completely unacceptable”.

Businessman Michael Spavor, whose hearing finished after less than three hours on Friday, is one of two Canadians detained, in apparent retaliation for Canada’s arrest on a US extradition warrant of the Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, and formally charged last June with spying.

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Will a chilly meeting in Anchorage set the tone for US-Chinese relations? | Emma Graham-Harrison

Openings of summits are often dull affairs, but the tense exchanges in Alaska hint at turbulent times ahead

In a protracted, unplanned public spat in Anchorage late on Thursday, China and America’s top diplomats traded barbs for over an hour in front of astonished journalists.

The openings to diplomatic summits are usually dull and carefully choreographed, a showcase for the world’s cameras before the doors close and the real talks begin.

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