A Wuhan doctor who attempted to warn authorities about a potential new coronavirus outbreak died on Friday from the infection, as the number of virus-related deaths continued to rise taking the total in China to over 600. As of Friday morning, number of confirmed cases globally stood at 31,420, with more than 31,000 of those in mainland China. The number of cases in China grew by 3,143, or around 11%, on the previous day. In total there have been 638 deaths, all but two of which were in mainland China, with one in the Philippines and one in Hong Kong. At the time he was warning about a SARS-like virus spreading in the city, officials were still downplaying the outbreak and its danger.
February 07, 2020 02:26 UTC
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa departs to New Delhi today on a state visit to India on the invitation of his Indian Premier Narendra Modi from February 7 to 11. This is the first foreign visit by Rajapaksa after assuming duties as the Prime Minister in November last year. During the visit, the Prime Minister will engage in high-level bilateral meetings with Indian President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and other senior government officials, according to government sources. Prime Minister Rajapaksa also expects to finalize the discussions on the USD 450 million fresh line of credit, that the government of India announced for Sri Lanka during the state visit of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in November last year. Following the talks, Prime Minister Rajapaksa is scheduled to visit historic religious sites in Varanasi, Sarnath, Bodhgaya and Tirupati.
February 06, 2020 19:41 UTC
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel urged the expansion of friendship and cooperation relations with Sri Lanka, highlighted today the Caribbean country's foreign ministry site. In a message to his counterpart Gotabaya Rajapaksa, on the 72nd anniversary of Sri Lanka's independence, Diaz-Canel congratulated him for the event, according to the letter posted on the Foreign Ministry's website. Sri Lanka was the first country in Asia to recognize the Cuban Revolution. Both established links in July 1959. A statement from the president's office said that both countries have maintained ties in the sectors of education, health, culture and sports.
February 06, 2020 09:41 UTC
A passenger plane landing at an airport in Istanbul has skidded off the runway and broken into three parts, killing three people and injuring more than 170, officials say.The Pegasus Airlines jet was carrying 171 passengers and six crew members from Izmir province in the west when it crashed at Sabiha Gokcen airport.The Boeing 737 was trying to land in heavy tailwinds and rain.The airport was closed and flights diverted after the accident.The majority of people on board were Turkish, but local media quoted the airline's records as saying there were 22 foreign passengers from 12 other countries. A small number of children are believed to have been on board.Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya said: "Unfortunately, the Pegasus Airlines plane couldn't hold on the runway due to poor weather conditions and skidded for around 50-60m [164-196ft]. "He said the plane then fell between 30 and 40 metres off the end of the runway.The airport has since reopened, while prosecutors have opened an investigation into the crash.Video footage showed passengers climbing through one of the large cracks to escape via one of the wings, and dozens of rescuers working around the jet.Other footage on social media showed a blaze inside the aircraft, which was later put out by firefighters.Transport Minister Mehmet Cahit Turhan said authorities had not yet been able to speak to the pilots, a Turkish national and a South Korean, who were believed to have been injured in the accident. (Source: BBC News)
February 06, 2020 09:22 UTC
President Donald Trump won impeachment acquittal Wednesday in the U.S. Senate, bringing to a close only the third presidential trial in American history with votes that split the country, tested civic norms and fed the tumultuous 2020 race for the White House. A majority of senators expressed unease with Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukraine that resulted in the two articles of impeachment. But the final tallies — 52-48 favoring acquittal of abuse of power, 53-47 of obstruction of Congress’ investigation — fell far short. Two-thirds “guilty” votes would have been needed to reach the Constitution’s bar of high crimes and misdemeanors to convict and remove Trump from office. The outcome Wednesday followed months of remarkable impeachment proceedings, from Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s House to Mitch McConnell’s Senate, reflecting the nation’s unrelenting partisan divide three years into the Trump presidency.
February 06, 2020 08:37 UTC
Speaker Karu Jayasuriya met with the Ambassador of China to Sri Lanka Cheng Xueyuan at the Speakers Official residence yesterday. The Ambassador briefed the Speaker on the prevailing situation regarding the corona virus epidemic in China and the steps taken by the Chinese Government and authorities to curb spread of the virus. The Speaker assured the ambassador that the Parliament will stand firmly with China at this hour to overcome the challenge they are faced with.
February 06, 2020 06:33 UTC
Fourteen high ranking police officers, including three Senior Superintendents of Police (SSP) and Two Superintendents of Police, six Assistant Superintendents of Police and Three Inspectors of Police were transferred, according Police Headquarters. The transfers were made based on service requirements, with the approval of the National Police Commission
February 06, 2020 04:41 UTC
The number of confirmed cases globally stood at 28,256 as of this morning, with more than 28,000 of those in China. The number of cases in China grew by 3,694, or 15%, on the previous day. There have been 563 deaths so far, all but two of which were in China, with one in the Philippines and one in Hong Kong. Hong Kong announced a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all people entering the semi-autonomous city from the Chinese mainland, including residents. At least three of those cases did not travel outside of Hong Kong during the incubation period, which suggests there may be community transmission taking place, Lam said.
February 06, 2020 02:26 UTC
Saman Rathnapriya Silva was sworn in as a Member of Parliament today in the presence of the Speaker of Parliament KaruJayasuriya, the Parliament Communication Department said. The General Secretary of the UNP, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam had informed the Elections Commission to appoint Saman Ratnapriya Silva for the vacant position following the resignation of the UNP MP Jayampathi Wickramaratne. Accordingly, a special gazette notification was issued with regards to this appointment on the 27th of January 2020 by the Election Commission. Saman Ratnapriya Silva is a trade union leader holds a Nursing Diploma and is a past pupil of Revatha Central College, Balapitiya.
February 05, 2020 09:22 UTC
The Parliament will meet at 1.00 pm. It is reported that one CD which has recorded Ranjan Ramanayake’s phone conversations has been handed over to the Hansard department and a special party leader's meeting will be convened to discuss regarding Ranjan Ramanayake’s phone conversations
February 05, 2020 05:37 UTC
The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in China rose to 490 as of Tuesday, after Hubei, the province where the virus is thought to have originated, reported 65 people had died from the flu-like infection. China's National Health Commission said on Wednesday the number of confirmed infections in the country rose to 24,324 after an additional 3,887 people were diagnosed with the virus. (Source: AlJazeera)
February 05, 2020 01:18 UTC
President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has pardoned 512 prisoners serving time around the country for minor offences, on the occasion of National Independence Day. Presidential pardon was granted according to the powers bestowed to the president by Article 34 of the Constitution and on the recommendation of Justice, Human Rights and Legal Reforms Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, Issuing a statement President’s media division said. 512 prisoners who have been convicted for minor offences under the Penal Code, have been granted Presidential pardon and were released from prisons around the island. The statement further mentioned that pardon would apply only to those prisoners who were in remand from 31 January this year and it will be in effect from this morning.
February 04, 2020 10:18 UTC
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa today addressed the nation at the 72nd National Day celebrations held at the Independence Square. The Independence Day celebrations got underway at the Independence Square this morning under the patronage of President Gotabaya Rajapksa and Prime Minister Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapksa, other local and foreign invitees attended the celebrations. I pay tribute to all Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Malay and Burgher leaders who dedicated themselves to achieving and ensuring this Independence. We will always ensure their right to think freely, hold independent opinions, and express themselves without any hindrance. An efficient and corruption- free Public Service is essential for the development of a nation.
February 04, 2020 09:56 UTC
Oil prices extended their losses on Monday, dragged down by worries about lower demand in China, the world’s largest oil importer, following a coronavirus outbreak there. Brent and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell for a fourth week in a row last week after airlines canceled flights to China. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 24 cents to $51.32 a barrel, after earlier hitting a session low of $50.42. China’s measures to support its economy might help put a floor under oil prices in the short term, even though the outlook for oil demand remains bearish, said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)and its allies could bring forward a March meeting to February to discuss the impact on oil demand from the virus flare-up.
February 03, 2020 05:48 UTC