Extreme piercing cleanses souls at Thai vegetarian festival

Taoist devotees had body parts pierced with objects ranging from skewers and swords to a model ship on Tuesday as Thailand's Vegetarian Festival returned from a two-year pandemic hiatus.. The return of the event is a welcome boon for Thailand's Covid-battered tourism industry.

Rare protest in China tech hub over Covid lockdown

Dozens of people have taken part in a rare protest in the southern Chinese tech hub of Shenzhen, social media footage shows, after officials announced a snap lockdown over a handful of Covid cases.. Shenzhen, a sprawling tech hub that neighbours Hong Kong, had just emerged from strict Covid restrictions that saw schools and entertainment venues closed for weeks in early September.

Singapore dressed up to party like it's 2019 for F1 return

With tickets selling fast and party suites costing up to $70,000 a night, Singapore is putting the pedal to the metal when it hosts Asia's first Formula One race this weekend since the pandemic.. "There's a lot of pent-up demand for those race enthusiasts looking forward to come back to Singapore," said Marcus Hanna, managing director of Fairmont Singapore and Swissotel The Stamford. - $70,000 party suite - For many, the socialising is as important as the racing.

China gifts World Cup giant pandas to Qatar

China announced Monday that it will give Qatar two giant pandas to mark the World Cup being held in the Gulf state.. "This is a gift presented by the 1.4 billion Chinese people for the Qatar World Cup, and will surely become a new symbol of China-Qatar friendship," the envoy said at a reception.

Pfizer files for US approval for Omicron booster for kids

Pfizer and BioNTech have asked United States health officials to authorize their Omicron-targeting Covid booster vaccine for children aged 5 to 11, the companies said Monday.. This new generation of anti-Covid vaccines targets both the original strain of coronavirus and the BA.4 and BA.5 lineages, the subvariants of Omicron that are causing more than 90% of infections in the United States. 

Milan Fashion Week gripped by 90s nostalgia

Technicolour cargo pants, leather lumberjack shirts and guest stars such as Paris Hilton, Carla Bruni, Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss -- nostalgia for the 1990s swept over the just-ended Milan Fashion Week which channelled hits by Haddaway and Alizee on the runway for the spring/summer 2023 collections.. Paris Hilton click-clacked down the runway in a shimmering pink dress with matching veil and Carla Bruni and Naomi Campbell flaunted trench coats for Tod's.

Cuban voters back liberalized family code

Cubans voted to legalize same-sex marriage and adoption as well as surrogate pregnancies in a referendum over the weekend, the communist country's electoral officials said Monday.. The new code permits surrogate pregnancies as long as no money changes hands, and legally recognizes same-sex adoptions, as well as several fathers or mothers in addition to the biological parents.

Canada announces end to Covid border restrictions

Canada will suspend Covid-19 border restrictions in October, the country's public health agency said Monday.. "We are announcing that the Government of Canada will not renew the order in council that expires on September 30 and will therefore remove all COVID-19 and border requirements for all travelers entering Canada," Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos said.