New Zealand ends isolation rules for vaccinated travellers from Australia as transmission rates soar

Change comes as NZ, virus-free for much of pandemic, records some of world’s highest transmission rates amid Omicron surge

New Zealand has ended its self-isolation requirements for vaccinated travellers arriving from Australia, as the country’s Covid transmission rates soar to among the highest in the world.

From Wednesday, vaccinated travellers will no longer need to self-isolate but will still be required to undergo a Covid-19 test on arrival and on day five or six, prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Monday.

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‘They were fooled by Putin’: Chinese historians speak out against Russian invasion

An open letter written by five historians denounced the war and called on Beijing to make its stance clearer

For Xu Guoqi, a Chinese historian, Beijing’s reluctance to denounce Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is alarming. “I’m a historian of the first world war. Europe sleep-walked into a huge conflict over 100 years ago, which also had had enormous consequences for China,” Xu said. “The world may be at the point of no return again”.

But looking at how Chinese diplomats are responding to it, and how Chinese people have talked about it on social media in the past week, he said, “I’m afraid it seems we still have not learned the lessons of the past tragedies. As a historian I’m very disappointed.”

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North Korea says latest missile test part of building satellite surveillance system

Eighth rocket launch this year looked to be fired from area near Pyongyang international airport

North Korea says a test conducted on Sunday was for the development of a reconnaissance satellite system, state media reported a day after a missile launch was detected from the country.

The report from state news agency KCNA did not elaborate on what type of rocket had been used in the test, but authorities in South Korea and Seoul said it appeared to be a ballistic missile fired from an area near Pyongyang where its international airport is located.

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Indonesia earthquake death toll climbs to 11 after more bodies recovered on Sumatra

Rescuers still searching for four villagers believed to have been buried in mud after magnitude-6.2 quake

Rescuers on Indonesia’s Sumatra island have retrieved more bodies after a strong earthquake two days ago, raising the death toll to 11 while another 400 were injured and thousands displaced.

The body of the latest victim was recovered on Sunday from the rubble of homes toppled by the magnitude-6.2 earthquake that shook West Sumatra province on Friday morning, said National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesperson Abdul Muhari.

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The student, the Penguin and the king: elite Thai university roiled by dissent

Head of student union forced out as debate on monarchy intensifies

Just a few years ago, student activism and protests were a rarity at Chulalongkorn University – considered Thailand’s most elite and staunchly conservative campus. Yet Thailand’s oldest university, named after King Chulalongkorn, has since become yet another battleground for debate over the role of Thailand’s monarchy and political system.

On Saturday, the head of the student union, Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal, said he had been removed from his post by the university, which accused him of activities that damaged its reputation, undermined public order and were incompatible with Thai culture.

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Reviled, harassed, abused: Narenda Modi’s most trenchant critic speaks out

The Indian journalist Rana Ayyub speaks about the campaign to silence her that has led to charges of sedition and ‘defaming Hindus’

When I talked to the journalist Rana Ayyub in her Mumbai home last Wednesday she was calmer than she was when I had spoken to her three days earlier. But that is not saying much. Last Sunday her words were jumbled, her voice on edge. She said she had not slept. That she could not eat or keep food down. That she had had thoughts of self-harm.

“I was on a plane yesterday and I said to my brother, ‘Can you feel me sitting next to me?’ And he said, ‘Have you completely lost it?’ And I said, ‘No, I’m just not sure I’m sitting next to you. I feel like I’m in a dream.’ And afterwards, I spoke to my psychiatrist and she said, ‘You’re dissociating. You’ve had a traumatic experience –that’s your brain shutting down.’”

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