More than 2,000 U.S. troops will be withdrawn from Iraq this month, the commander of U.S. Central Command said Wednesday. “In recognition of the great progress the Iraqi forces have made and in consultation and coordination with the Government of Iraq and our coalition partners, the United States has decided to reduce our troop presence in Iraq from about 5,200 to 3,000 troops during the month of September,” said Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie.
AstraZeneca Plc on Tuesday said it has paused global trials, including large late-stage trials, of its experimental coronavirus vaccine because of an unexplained illness in a study participant. The vaccine, developed with the University of Oxford, has been widely seen as one of the leading global candidates against the coronavirus, and the suspension of the trial dims prospects for a potential year-end rollout its lead developer had signaled earlier.
The US is to block key exports from China’s Xinjiang region due to allegations that they are produced using forced labor. The proposed bans include cotton and tomato products which are two of China’s major commodity exports. The Trump administration has been ratcheting up pressure on China for its treatment of Xinjiang’s Uighur Muslims. The law is aimed at combating human trafficking, child labor and other human rights abuses.
More than 12,000 people are in need of emergency shelter after fires tore through Greece’s largest refugee camp. The blazes broke out after midnight at the overcrowded Moria camp, which was originally meant to house about 2,000, on the island of Lesbos. The site was “probably totally destroyed”, according to a migration ministry official who said the government was struggling to find alternative shelter for the migrants gathered on streets outside.
The Oscars are raising the inclusion bar for best picture nominees, starting with the 96th Academy Awards in 2024. In a historic move, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Tuesday laid out sweeping eligibility reforms to the best picture category intended to encourage diversity and equitable representation on screen and off, addressing gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity and disability.