National Newswatch

Coronavirus outbreak not yet pandemic – World Health Organization

Feb 4 2020 — — The deadly coronavirus outbreak that has spread from China does not yet constitute a “pandemic”, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said. Sylvie Briand, head of WHO’s Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness, also stressed the importance of tackling unfounded rumours about the virus.

Iran plane downing: Tehran ends co-operation with Ukraine

Feb 3 2020 — — Iran has ceased co-operation with Ukraine in its investigation into the downing of Ukrainian passenger jet PS752 by Iranian missiles last month. It comes after leaked remarks suggested Iran knew immediately that it had struck the plane. Ukrainian TV aired an exchange between air traffic control and a pilot who was landing as the jet […]

Coronavirus: Britons on Wuhan flights to be quarantined

Jan 29 2020 — — It comes as British Airways suspended all direct flights to and from mainland China because of the coronavirus outbreak. Australia, Japan, the US and the EU are also repatriating citizens. The virus has caused more than 100 deaths, spreading across China and to at least 16 other countries.

Harry and Meghan: No other option but to step back, says duke

Jan 19 2020 — — The Duke of Sussex has said he is “taking a leap of faith” in stepping back from his life as a member of the Royal Family but said “there really was no other option”. Speaking at an event on Sunday evening, he said he wanted to make it clear he and Meghan were “not walking […]

Iran plane downing: ‘Several people detained’ for shooting down airliner

Jan 14 2020 — — Several people have been detained in Iran over the accidental shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger plane with a missile, the country’s judiciary says. Spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said investigations into the incident were continuing, but provided no details. President Hassan Rouhani said the probe would be overseen by a “special court”.

Queen and Prince Harry to hold talks over Sussexes’ future

Jan 11 2020 — — The Queen and the Duke of Sussex are to hold talks at Sandringham on Monday to discuss the future roles of Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex. Palace officials have also told the BBC the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge are expected to attend the meeting. The Sussexes say they plan […]

Prince Harry and Meghan: Royal Family ‘hurt’ as couple begin ‘next chapter’

Jan 9 2020 — — The Royal Family are said to be “hurt” at the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s announcement they will step back as senior royals. Prince Harry and Meghan did not consult any senior royal about making the statement, it is understood. Buckingham Palace was “blindsided”, said BBC royal correspondent Jonny Dymond, as talks about their future […]

Sir Rod Stewart charged over Florida hotel ‘punch’

Jan 4 2020 — — Sir Rod Stewart has been charged by police after allegedly punching a security guard at a hotel in Florida. A police report says the altercation occurred after the singer and his companions, including his son Sean, failed to gain access to a private event on New Year’s Eve. Sean allegedly pushed the security guard and […]

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu comfortably wins party leadership challenge

Dec 27 2019 — — Mr Netanyahu secured 72.5% as opposed to his rival Gideon Saar, who polled 27.5%. Mr Saar admitted defeat, saying he would now back Mr Netanyahu in a general election due in March. The internal party vote was seen as a test of Mr Netanyahu’s hold on power at a time of mounting difficulties. Mr Netanyahu, […]

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu in party leadership challenge

Dec 26 2019 — — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is being challenged for the leadership of his party in what is seen as a test of his hold on power. He is facing long-term rival Gideon Saar in internal Likud party elections. Although Mr Netanyahu is expected to win, it comes at a time of mounting difficulties for the […]

Prince Philip taken to hospital as a ‘precautionary measure’

Dec 20 2019 — — The Duke of Edinburgh has been admitted to hospital as a “precautionary measure”, Buckingham Palace has said. Prince Philip travelled from the Queen’s Sandringham Estate in Norfolk to the King Edward VII Hospital in London on Friday morning. In a statement, the palace said it was for observation and treatment in relation to a pre-existing […]

Pope scraps pontifical secrecy rule over sex abuse

Dec 17 2019 — — Pope Francis has abolished a Vatican rule which forbade anyone who reported they had been sexually abused by a priest from talking about it. The rule, known as pontifical secrecy, is also lifted for those who testify in a Vatican trial over clerical sexual abuse. Church leaders called for the rule’s abolition at a February […]

Pervez Musharraf: Pakistan ex-leader sentenced to death for treason

Dec 17 2019 — — General Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s former military leader, has been sentenced to death at a special court hearing in Islamabad. The three-member court sentenced him over a high treason charge that has been pending since 2013. Gen Musharraf seized power in a military coup in 1999 and served as the country’s president from 2001 to 2008. […]