Australia's east coast declares state of emergency amid 'catastrophic' fire threat

SYDNEY - Authorities in Australia's Queensland and New South Wales states on Monday (Nov 11) declared a state of emergency as the country's eastern region prepared for "catastrophic" fire conditions. Fires in northern New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland over the weekend killed three people and destroyed more than 150 homes. While Australia's mos

Billionaires' wealth falls for the first time in a decade

ZURICH, Switzerland - The world's richest people became a little less well off last year, according to a report by UBS and PwC, as geopolitical turmoil and volatile equity markets reduced the wealth of billionaires for the first time in a decade. Billionaires' wealth fell by US$388 billion (S$527 billion) globally to US$8.539 trillion, the UBS/PwC

Lost pup in Australian backyard turns out to be rare purebred dingo

SYDNEY - He's furry, playful, and has puppy eyes. It's little wonder Wandi was mistaken for a dog when he was found in an Australian backyard - but DNA testing has confirmed he's a rare 100 per cent dingo. The pup was discovered whimpering and alone in a country town in Victoria in August with talon marks on his back, leading to speculation he cou

Disaster averted: Cat prevents baby from tumbling down stairs

Dogs may be man's best friend, but hey, cats are not too shabby either. For people who have grown up with family pets, their furry friends may have acted as stand-in babysitters on occasion. One such kitty in Argentina took its duty seriously, and prevented its young charge from getting injured on Oct 31.

Cyprus to revoke passports 'mistakenly' granted to investors, including Jho Low

Cyprus' President has pledged to revoke any of his island republic's passports found to have been "mistakenly" granted to wealthy overseas investors under a controversial cash-for-citizenship programme. After it was reported that fugitive financier Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, got a passport of the island state back in 2015 as international investiga

Seas to rise dramatically even if greenhouse gases are curbed

WASHINGTON - Just as an oil tanker steaming ahead at full speed cannot stop immediately, so the dramatic rise in sea levels will continue even if the world manages to slash greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2030, experts warned in a study published Monday (Nov 4). Emissions between 2015, when the Paris climate change accord was thrashed out, and

Vietnam arrests 8 in connection with UK truck deaths: State media

HANOI - Police in Vietnam have arrested eight people in relation to the discovery of 39 bodies in a truck near London last week, state media said on Monday. "Based on what we learn from the suspects, we will actively launch investigations to fight and eradicate these rings which bring people illegally to Britain," said Nghe An province police chie

Airbnb bans 'party houses' after deadly US shooting

Airbnb's boss announced Saturday that the online platform, which offers private homes for rent for short periods, is banning "party houses" after a deadly shooting at a Halloween event in California. Five people were killed and others wounded in a Thursday night shooting in Orinda, California, in a house that had been rented on Airbnb. More than

Britain calls on Hong Kong protesters to 'end the violence'

Britain has called on anti-government protesters in Hong Kong to "end the violence", while also asking police to "be proportionate" in their handling of demonstrators. It also noted that the nature of the protests had changed and stressed that the violence of a "hard-core minority cannot be condoned".

Yugoslavia's brutalist relics fascinate the Instagram generation

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia - Genex Tower is unmissable on the highway from Belgrade airport to the centre of the city. Its two soaring blocks, connected by an aerial bridge and topped with a long-closed rotating restaurant resembling a space capsule, are such an unusual sight, the 1977-build tower has become a magnet for tourists despite years of neglec

300 million people at risk of rising seas: Study

PARIS - Coastal areas home to 300 million people will be, by 2050, vulnerable to flooding made worse by climate change, no matter how aggressively humanity curbs carbon emissions, scientists said. By mid-century and beyond, choices made today will determine whether the coastlines remain recognisable to future generations, they reported in the jour

Latest Australia shark attack sparks tourism concerns

SYDNEY - Tourism operators want aerial shark patrols to be introduced in Australia's Whitsunday Islands as they try to stem falling visitor numbers following a spate of attacks along the Great Barrier Reef. An English tourist is recovering in hospital after his foot was ripped off by a shark on Tuesday (Oct 29), while another had his leg mauled in