Tuesday May 3 2022: A selection of news briefs from around the globe
Tanker strike worsens fuel woes in crisis-hit Sri Lanka
A strike by owners of fuel tankers over the weekend renewed Sri Lanka’s long queues for diesel and petrol yesterday as pumps ran dry, compounding the island nation’s economic and energy crisis.
Sri Lanka is in the grip of a pandemic-spurred economic freefall which has led to shortages of food and other essentials.
Petrol prices have increased by 90% while diesel has gone up by 138%. Fuel tanker operators are demanding an increase to their prices to ferry the petrol across the country.
The energy ministry said it needed at least three more days to restore the supplies. AFP
Non-stop flight from Sydney to London
Qantas has announced it will launch the world’s longest non-stop commercial flight, with passengers to spend 19 hours in the air travelling from Sydney to London, by the end of 2025.
After five years of planning, the airline said it was ordering 12 Airbus A350-1000 aircraft to operate the “Project Sunrise” flights to cities including London and New York. Non-stop flights will start from Sydney by the end of 2025, it said, with long-haul trips later planned to include Melbourne. Singapore Airlines operates the world’s longest non-stop commercial flight from Singapore to New York, covering 1 670km in under 19 hours. AFP
Worshippers clash with Ethiopian police
Addis Ababa: Ethiopian police using tear gas briefly clashed with young Muslims in Addis Ababa on Monday during prayers to mark the end of Ramadaan, reports said.
The incident occurred outside the international stadium in the heart of the capital, where prayers were scheduled to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr holiday at the end of the Muslim holy month.
Unable to gain access because the stadium was full, some worshippers began to pray outside in Meskel Square.
The Addis Ababa High Council of Islamic Affairs said that the cause of the confrontation was unclear. A policeman fired tear gas at the crowd but “it was unintentional”. AFP
Israel lashes Russia over Hitler remark
Jerusalem: Israel denounced Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday for suggesting that Adolf Hitler had Jewish origins, accusing him of spreading anti-Semitism and belittling the Holocaust.
“Such lies are intended to accuse the Jews themselves of the most horrific crimes in history that were committed against them,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said.
Lapid said to claim Hitler was of Jewish descent was like saying Jews had killed themselves, and accusing Jews of being anti-Semites was “the basest level of racism”. There has been some speculation that one of Hitler’s grandfathers might have been Jewish. Reuters
Apple hit with EU anti-trust charge
Brussels: The EU accused Apple on Monday of blocking rivals from its popular “tap-as-you-go” iPhone payment system, opening a fresh battlefront between the US tech giant and Brussels.
The European Commission, the bloc’s competition watchdog, charged the iPhone maker with preventing competitors trying to enter the contact-less market “from accessing the necessary hardware and software ... to the benefit of its own solution, Apple Pay”.
The battle comes as tech giants eye personal finance as a new moneymaker, with Google, Amazon and Facebook owner Meta also seeking ways to replace credit cards or the need of carrying a wallet. AFP