World News Roundup: Firefighters struggle to extinguish fire on luxury car ship off Azores islands; Queen Elizabeth catches COVID, experiences mild symptoms and more

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Here is a summary of current global news briefs.

Firefighters struggle to put out the fire on a luxury car ship off the Azores

Firefighters are struggling to put out a fire that broke out on Wednesday on a ship carrying thousands of luxury cars, which is adrift off the Portuguese Azores islands, a port official said, adding that he was unclear when they would succeed. The Felicity Ace vessel, carrying around 4,000 vehicles including Porsches, Audis and Bentleys, some of them electric with lithium-ion batteries, caught fire in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday. The 22 crew members on board were evacuated the same day.

Queen Elizabeth catches COVID and has mild symptoms

Queen Elizabeth, the world’s longest-reigning monarch, tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday and has mild symptoms but plans to continue her light duties this week, Buckingham Palace said. The health of the 95-year-old Queen, fully vaccinated against coronavirus, has been in the spotlight since she spent a night in hospital last October for an unspecified condition and her doctors advised her to rest.

Australia accuses China of ‘act of intimidation’ after laser aimed at plane

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has accused Beijing of an “act of intimidation” after a Chinese navy ship aimed a laser at an Australian military surveillance plane last week. A P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft was illuminated Thursday as it flew over the northern approaches to Australia by a laser beam from a People’s Liberation Army-Navy (PLA-N) ship, potentially setting lives at risk, the Ministry of Defense said.

Nepalese police fire tear gas and water cannons to break up protest against US ‘gift’

Kathmandu police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse protesters opposing a US-funded infrastructure package that was presented to parliament for ratification on Sunday, witnesses and police officials said. Nepalese capital. Some protesters were injured in the clashes, they said.

Passenger found alive on Greece-Italy ferry after fire, 11 still missing

Firefighters battling a blaze on a ferry sailing from Greece to Italy discovered a survivor in the stern of the vessel still aflame on Sunday, the Greek coastguard said, rekindling hopes that other passengers carried disappeared can still be found alive. Rescuers managed to get at least 281 of the 292 passengers and crew to safety after the Italian-flagged Euroferry Olympia burned down early on Friday, but 11 people are still missing, according to the Coast Guard and the ferry operator.

West could reduce access to US dollar for Russian companies, says Johnson

The United States and Britain would cut off Russian companies’ access to US dollars and pounds if the Kremlin ordered an invasion of Ukraine, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday. The United States and Britain have repeatedly warned that Russia is about to invade Ukraine, a step that Washington and London say would spark the biggest conflict since the end of World War II. . Russia denies plans to annex Ukraine.

Canadian police make last-ditch push to end week-long protest in capital

On Sunday, Canadian police are making perhaps the last effort to rid the capital of protesters who have crippled it by parking and camping in the streets for more than three weeks in protest against pandemic restrictions. Police have made 170 arrests and towed 53 vehicles since they began efforts to end a protest on Friday morning that forced Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to invoke rarely used emergency powers.

Ethiopia lights up the turbines of the giant Nile hydroelectric power plant

Ethiopia on Sunday began generating electricity from its Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), a multibillion-dollar hydropower plant on the Nile that neighbors Sudan and Egypt fear will cause water shortages downstream. After flipping a digital switch to turn on the turbines in the first phase of the project, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sought to assure these nations that his country did not wish to harm their interests.

Russia and Belarus extend military exercises in northern Ukraine

Russia and Belarus are extending military exercises that were due to end on Sunday, the Belarusian defense minister said, in a step that is further intensifying pressure on Ukraine as Western leaders warn of an imminent Russian invasion. The Belarusian minister said the decision was made “due to increased military activity near the external borders” of Russia and Belarus and due to rising tensions in the Donbass region, in eastern Ukraine.

Hong Kong in ‘all-out fight’ to contain COVID outbreak with China’s backing

Hong Kong is in an “all-out fight” to contain a surge in coronavirus cases, the city’s number two said on Sunday, with the ramping up of community isolation and treatment units aided by construction crews from mainland China. . Scenes of people lying outside public hospitals in the rain and cold weather shocked many in the global financial hub, leading to an apology from authorities. Authorities have now organized facilities to shelter patients amid falling temperatures as health facilities are overwhelmed.

(With agency contributions.)

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