Thousands protest in Belgrade against the Western-backed Serbia-Kosovo deal

BELGRADE, March 17 (Reuters) – Several thousand people gathered in Belgrade to protest a Western-backed deal to normalize ties between Kosovo and Serbia, which they see as recognition of Kosovo’s independence. The Serbian constitution considers Kosovo to be an integral part of its territory, even though it declared independence in 2008 with support from the … Read more

Credit Suisse meets to weigh options, under pressure to merge with UBS

March 18 (Reuters) – Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN.S) embarked on an all-or-nothing weekend after some rivals became cautious in their dealings with the bank as regulators urged the bank to pursue a deal with Swiss rival UBS AG (UBSG. S). Credit Suisse Chief Financial Officer Dixit Joshi and his teams will hold meetings over … Read more

ECB watchdog sees no contagion of Europe after US and Swiss bank rescues

March 17 (Reuters) – European Central Bank regulators see no contagion for eurozone banks from the recent turmoil, a source said Friday, after US lenders First Republic Bank (FRC.N) tossed a $30bn lifeline and record amounts from the Federal Reserve. To book. Major US banks stepped in on Thursday to bail out the San Francisco-based … Read more

Concerns about Indo-Pacific friction ‘alarming’, US admiral says

SINGAPORE, March 16 (Reuters) – The current friction in the Indo-Pacific is alarming and “a trend in the wrong direction”, but the US presence was not an attempt to contain or eliminate conflict with China invite, a senior US admiral said Thursday. Admiral John Aquilino, commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command, said an “AUKUS” partnership … Read more

China’s answer to ChatGPT? Baidu shares tumble as Ernie Bot disappoints

Ernie’s launch comes as Google, Microsoft step up AI game Baidu shares tumble as CEO gives short video presentations Analysts say scripted event, pre-recorded videos disappointed Ernie can do math, write poems, generate images and video BEIJING/HONG KONG, March 16 (Reuters) – China’s Baidu on Thursday unveiled its long-awaited AI-powered chatbot known as Ernie Bot, … Read more

Survivors in shock as Cyclone Freddy toll passes 300 in Malawi, Mozambique

BLANTYRE, March 16 (Reuters) – The last thing Lukia Akimu remembers is the wave of floodwaters that hit her village near Mount Soche earlier this week as Tropical Cyclone Freddy swept through southern Malawi. The next thing she knew, she woke up in the hospital, her head wrapped in bandages and her neck in a … Read more

Taiwan warns Honduras of ‘poison’ from taking aid from China

TAIPEI, March 16 (Reuters) – Taiwan on Thursday warned Honduras not to be tempted by the “poison” of aid from China, no matter how deeply indebted it was, and ruled out getting involved in a bidding war for diplomatic allies with its mainland rival. Honduran President Xiomara Castro said on Tuesday that she had asked … Read more

Malawi buries cyclone victims as death toll rises

More than 270 dead in Malawi, Mozambique and Madagascar Over 16,000 affected in Malawi – UN Malawi’s president is calling on the international community for help BLANTYRE/MAPUTO, March 15 (Reuters) – Malawian families gathered on Wednesday to remember and bury the victims of Tropical Cyclone Freddy, with President Lazarus Chakwera calling on the international community … Read more

As Russia looms, the US seeks influence in West Africa’s fight against Islamists

DABOYA, Ghana, March 15 (Reuters) – US commanders leading annual counter-terrorism exercises in West Africa have urged coastal countries to depend on each other to contain a spreading Islamist insurgency, rather than of non-Western powers, after Mali received Russian mercenaries last year. Relations between Russia and the US have become more hostile since Moscow invaded … Read more

North of Bakhmut, another major battle tests Ukraine’s defenses

There is also heavy fighting in the front line north of Bakhmut Small profits from Russians around Kreminna come at a high cost The Ukrainian battalion says the attacks have intensified Commander defending the front sees danger of encirclement He expects a Ukrainian counter-offensive in April NEAR KREMINNA, March 15 (Reuters) – From a small, … Read more