News from around the world.

Philippines reimposes ban on workers deploying to Kuwait

The initial ban came following accusations the emirate covered up the killing of a maid in 2018.

Sri Lanka ex-minister held over phone recording scandal

Much of the leaked conversations suggests political interference in cases against senior members of old govt.

Russia’s Lavrov calls for US-Iran de-escalation

Foreign minister says the downed Ukrainian jet is a sign everyone needs to start working together.

After Amazon snub, Modi’s party slams Bezos-owned Washington Post

BJP member says there are a lot of problems with the newspaper's coverage, but did not cite examples.

Hong Kong airline made woman take pregnancy test

The airline apologised and suspended the practise pending a review.

Khamenei to lead Friday prayers amid Iran tumult

The last time the supreme leader led Friday prayers was in February 2012.

Ukraine PM offers resignation after leaked recording

President Volodomyr Zelensky's office has received the letter of resignation and will consider it.

Rain brings joy for Australian firefighters, farmers

However the rains have not hit where many of the worst blazes are raging.

Japanese suicides decline to lowest in over 40 years

No reason for the decline was given, but an improving economy has undoubtedly helped.

US indicts Malian over deadly 2016 attacks in Ivory Coast, Burkina...

Mimi Ould Baba assisted the planning and preparation of the 2016 attacks in Burkina Faso.

China birth rate hits lowest level since 1949

The decline is expected to continue by 23% by 2050.

China’s Xi jets to Myanmar in billion-dollar charm offensive

Xi is expected to ink a series of trade schemes as part of China's global Belt and Road Initiative.

7 Weinstein jurors picked as model Gigi Hadid is excused

Judge James Burke reminds potential jurors trial is not a referendum on #MeToo movement.

Trump puts in request to Pentagon for 435km border wall

The disclosure of the request sets up another showdown with Democrats in Congress.

Sanders climbs popularity ladder, now tied with Biden

20% of registered voters said they would back Sanders over 11 other candidates.

Thailand denies outbreak as Chinese virus claims second victim

Authorities ramp up checks on Chinese visitors ahead of Lunar New Year holidays next week.

Surge in gang violence caused more bomb blasts in Sweden last...

Govt stats paint grim picture as police look to rid streets of explosives and guns.

Trump announces Puerto Rico quake disaster

US president boosts aid a day after placing tougher restrictions on relief.

350,000 Syrians have fled Russian-led assault in Idlib

Schools bombed by jets are being used as shelters for people fleeing violence.

Russia’s parliament backs Putin’s pick for PM after ‘January Revolution’

Changes seen as giving Russia president scope to extend grip on power once he leaves office in 2024.

Christopher Tolkien, son of Lord of the Rings author, dies aged...

His death in southeastern France was confirmed by his brother-in-law.

US warship sails ‘ordinary mission’ in Taiwan Strait

Taiwan's anti-China president won reelection less than a week ago.

Historic Trump trial kicks off with senators vowing ‘impartial justice’

Articles of impeachment against president were read out on Senate floor earlier.

Senate welcomes ‘bipartisan win’ in passing N. America trade deal

Canada still needs to approve the deal before it can take effect.