Reuters World News Summary
Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
New Year celebrations muted by Omicron, but South Africa offers hope
Although farewell celebrations to the pandemic year of 2021 were almost as muffled as those that ushered it in, news that the Omicron variant wave appeared to be starting to recede brought hope for a happier New Year. The Australian city of Sydney was one place where the New Year charged in with something like full swagger, as spectacular fireworks glittered in the harbour above the Opera House.
Biden says he warned Putin of 'heavy price' over Ukraine
President Joe Biden said on Friday he told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that a move on Ukraine will draw sanctions and an increased U.S. presence in Europe, where tensions are high after Russia's military buildup at the border.
The U.S. and Russian leaders exchanged warnings over Ukraine in a 50-minute call on Thursday to address Russian military actions.
France says Iran's space launch "regrettable" amid nuclear deal talks
France on Friday condemned Iran's satellite rocket launch and said it was "all the more regrettable" as nuclear talks with world powers were making progress, echoing concerns expressed by the United States and Germany. Iran said on Thursday it had used a satellite launch rocket to send three research devices into space, as indirect U.S.-Iran talks take place in Austria to try to salvage a 2015 nuclear deal.
Iran space launch fails to put payloads into orbit, official says
Iran's space launch on Thursday failed to put its three payloads into orbit after the rocket was unable to reach the required speed, a defence ministry spokesman said in remarks carried on state television on Friday. The attempted launch, which came as indirect U.S.-Iran talks take place in Austria to try to salvage a 2015 nuclear deal, drew criticism from the United States, Germany and France.
U.S, EU condemn decision to shut Russian human rights group Memorial
The United States, the European Union, Australia, Canada and Britain on Friday condemned Russian court decisions to shut the country's oldest human rights group Memorial and its sister organisation, the Memorial Human Rights Center. "For more than three decades, Memorial has fulfilled a unique role in documenting historical crimes and recovering for posterity the memory of the tens of millions of victims of political repression in the country," the countries said in a joint statement issued late on Friday.
N.Korea's Kim talks food not nukes for 2022
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un capped off his 10th year in power with a speech that made more mention of tractor factories and school uniforms than nuclear weapons or the United States, according to summaries by state media on Saturday. North Korea's main goals for 2022 will be jump starting economic development and improving people's lives as it faces a "great life-and-death struggle," Kim said in a speech on Friday at the end of the 4th Plenary Meeting of the 8th Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), which began on Monday.
Activists hail legacy of South Africa's Tutu as they pay last respects
Young activists hailed Archbishop Desmond Tutu as a role model for fighting global injustice as they waited in line on Friday to pay their last respects to the anti-apartheid hero whose body lay in state at St George's Cathedral in Cape Town. Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize winner widely revered across racial and cultural divides in South Africa for his moral rectitude and principled fight against white-minority rule, died on Sunday https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/tears-tutu-giant-struggle-neighbour-who-brought-round-groceries-2021-12-29 aged 90.
Canada to resettle female Afghan judges, families living in limbo
Canada will take in female Afghan judges and their families who have been living in limbo, primarily in Greece, since their evacuation from Afghanistan in the fall, a spokesperson for the immigration minister said Friday. In addition to the judges and their families, a group totalling about 230 people, Canada will also resettle an unspecified number of Afghans from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities who had been referred by a third-party aid organization, the spokesperson said.
UK honours COVID scientists and medics, Bond actor Daniel Craig
Britain recognised the scientists and medical chiefs at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19 in Queen Elizabeth's annual New Year's honours list, while James Bond actor Daniel Craig was given the same award as his famous onscreen character. Craig, who bowed out from playing the fictional British spy after five outings following the release of "No Time to Die" this year, was made a Companion in The Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to film.
Biden says he made it clear to Putin that Russia cannot move on Ukraine
U.S. President Joe Biden said on Friday he made it clear to Russian President Vladimir Putin in their call a day earlier that he cannot "move on Ukraine."
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