Australia cancels Djokovic’s visa…again
Australia has revoked tennis star Novak Djokovic’s visa for a second time in a row over his right to remain in the country unvaccinated. The decision by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke means Djokovic now faces being deported. However, the 34-year-old Serbian can still launch another legal challenge to remain in the country. The men’s tennis number one was scheduled to play in the Australian Open, which begins on Monday.
Prince Andrew ‘throne out’!
All British national newspapers focus on the news that Prince Andrew’s military titles and royal patronages have been returned to the Queen. The Duke of York, 61, will also stop using the style ‘His Royal Highness’. Metro says Prince Andrew has effectively been “booted out” of the Royal Family as it distanced itself from his sexual assault lawsuit in the US brought by Virginia Giuffre. The Daily Mail reports Prince Charles and his son, Prince William, were understood to have been “instrumental” in forcing Prince Andrew out, frequently described as the Queen’s favourite son. According to The Daily Telegraph, Andrew has said he would continue to defend the civil case after a US judge ruled on Wednesday that the case brought by Ms Giuffre could continue. The prince had tried to have it dismissed.
‘Two Downing St parties on eve of Prince Philip’s funeral’
British Prime Miniser Boris Johnson is under further pressure to resign after fresh claims emerged that two parties were held in Downing Street the night before Prince Philip’s funeral last April – while the UK was in a period of public mourning and coronavirus restrictions were in force. Johnson was not at Downing Street that day; he is said to have been at the Chequers. Amid a furore of national anger, four senior Conservative MPs have publicly called for the Johnson to resign.
China denies interfering in UK politics
China has denied interfering in UK politics after the British security service warned an agent of that country had infiltrated Parliament. The MI5 said Christine Ching Kui Lee “established links” for the Chinese Communist Party with current and aspiring MPs. She is then alleged to have given donations to politicians, including Labour MP Barry Gardiner, who received more than £420,000. The Chinese Embassy in London accused MI5 of “smearing and intimidation” against the UK’s Chinese community, adding, “China always adheres to the principle of non-interference in other country’s internal affairs.”
Hungary’s green light for the fourth dose
Hungary is making it possible for anyone who requests it to receive the fourth dose of the vaccine against COVID, thus becoming the first country in the EU to start such a campaign for all. Greece and Denmark have only given the green light for the vulnerable. Outside Europe, only Israel and Chile have already started administering the fourth dose.
Portugal in top gear for election
The only televised debate between the leaders of Portugal’s two main parties has taken place ahead of the general election at the end of the month. Outgoing prime minister Antonio Costa has appealed to voters to give his party the majority it previously lacked. As Portugal now shifts into pre-election mode, Costa is hoping voters will punish the hard-left parties for triggering the crisis and give the Socialists the absolute majority they missed by eight seats in 2019. No single party has won a parliamentary majority since 2005.
Bob Kennedy’s killer remains in jail
Sirhan Sirhan, Robert Kennedy’s killer, remains in prison. California Governor Gavin Newsom denied granting him probation, despite the California Parole Board’s recommendations and despite Kennedy’s two sons, Robert and Douglas, having expressed a favourable opinion. The rest of the Kennedy family remains opposed. Sirhan, 77, a Jordanian of Palestinian origin, has been in prison for 53 years. Bob Kennedy, brother of President John F. Kennedy, was killed in March, 1968 in the kitchen of the Hotel Ambassador in Los Angeles after an election campaign event. Birhan was initially sentenced to death, but the penalty was converted to life imprisonment in 1972 after the California Supreme Court declared the death penalty unconstitutional.
Guterres asks Talibans to protect women’s rights
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has appealed to the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan to “recognise and protect the fundamental human rights of women and girls”. He explained that “across the country they have disappeared from offices and classrooms, a generation of girls are seeing their hopes and dreams shattered”, adding that “no country can prosper while denying the rights of half its population”.
$50,000 for joining the US Army
Shortage of recruits has led the US military to put a $50,000 bounty for those who choose a military career, on condition of remaining in the Armed Forces for at least six years. It is the first time that such a high incentive has been offered. So far it had reached $ 40,000. The Army is trying to find people to cover about 150 sectors both as active duty and as a selected reserve. Personnel is mostly needed in training centres.