New COVID variant concerns
A new coronavirus variant in South Africa is triggering falls in global stocks and energy markets. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei is down by a staggering three percent. European stock markets plunged more than three percent at the start of trading. In the US, the S&P 500 futures sank one percent. Oil prices are also experiencing a shock, with US crude oil futures falling 2.7 percent. The shaky markets come in reaction to South African scientists, announcing a new COVID variant with many mutations, a day earlier. They’re blaming the new variant for the rapid growth in infections. The European Union is now considering a travel ban on the South Africa region, with several member states already imposing restrictions. Several Asian countries have also tightened border controls. The World Health Organization will meet later on Friday to discuss the new strain.
France-UK migrant row
A diplomatic spat escalating between Paris and London, with France’s Interior Minister canceling an upcoming meeting with British Home Secretary. The meeting scheduled for the coming days, has been called off in response to a letter the British Prime Minister sent to French President Emanuel Macron. In that letter, Boris Johnson demanded that France take back the migrants who have managed to cross the English Channel. Paris is calling the request a disappointment and criticizing the British authorities for making the letter public. The dispute was triggered by the tragic drowning of 27 migrants as they were attempting to cross the Channel, that separates northern France from southern England. The migrants had been put on that boat by human smugglers.
Saudi Yemen war coverage
Yemen's Prime Minister has paid honor to Press TV for its major role in supporting the impoverished nation of Yemen since the beginning of the Saudi-led war on the country in March 2015.