Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised to investigate a crush at a crowded religious festival that left dozens of people dead. At least 45 people were killed and 150 were injured at the all-night Lag B’Omer festival, which attracted tens of thousands of Orthodox Jews. It is unclear what triggered the crush. The prime minister said the “terrible disaster” was one of the worst in the country’s history.
The first US emergency aid to India has arrived as the country battles a devastating surge in Covid-19 cases which has overwhelmed hospitals and crematoriums. A Super Galaxy military transporter carrying more than 400 oxygen cylinders and other hospital equipment and nearly 1m rapid coronavirus tests landed at Delhi’s international airport on Friday. India set another daily record rise of cases, with 386,452 new infections.
The Zulu royal family has announced “with deepest shock and distress” the sudden death of its queen weeks after she was named interim leader of South Africa’s largest ethnic group of about 12 million people. The unexpected loss of Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu, 65, has thrown the nation into flux only a month after the death of her husband, Goodwill Zwelithini, who ruled for almost 50 years.
Amazon’s profit in the first three months of 2021 came in at $8.1bn – more than triple what it was in the same period last year. Since the pandemic began, the business has posted four consecutive record quarterly profits, attracted more than 200 million Prime loyalty subscribers, and recruited more than 500,000 employees to keep up with the demand.
US President Joe Biden has laid out a sweeping investment plan for jobs, education and social care in his first speech to a joint session of Congress. Delivered on the eve of his 100th day in office, the Democrat pitched some $4 trillion in spending – the largest overhaul of US benefits since the 1960s, analysts say. He called it a “once in a generation investment in America itself”.
Turkey is bracing itself for its first national coronavirus lockdown as infection rates continue to climb in the country, now the highest in Europe. The lockdown will begin on Thursday at 7 p.m. local time (12 p.m. ET) and will last through the remainder of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and over the Eid al Fitr holiday. It is scheduled to end at 5 a.m. local time on May 17.
Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “naked, thieving king” on Thursday, looking gaunt but defiant in a courtroom video link from prison, his first public appearance since ending a hunger strike last week. His remarks on a blurry video piped into a Moscow courtroom came amid new legal pressure on Navalny and his movement.
A tenth of the world’s mountain glacier ice will have melted by the middle of this century even if humanity meets the goals of the Paris climate agreement, according to figures compiled exclusively for the Guardian. The loss is equivalent to more than 13,200 cubic kilometres of water – enough to fill Lake Superior. The compiled results are considered the most accurate estimate yet of how mountains will lose their white snow-caps and blue ice-rivers.
Government and industry officials confronting an epidemic of ransomware, where hackers freeze the computers of a target and demand a payoff, are zeroing in on cryptocurrency regulation as the key to combating the scourge, sources familiar with the work of a public-private task force said. In a report on Thursday, the panel of experts is expected to call for far more aggressive tracking of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) unveiled updated guidelines on Tuesday detailing activities that vaccinated people can safely resume, including attending small outdoor gatherings without the need to wear a mask. The new “interim public health recommendations” detail a variety of situations in which individuals who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can forgo wearing a mask.