Reuters World News Summary
Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
White House asked for options to strike Iran: source
The White House's national security team last fall asked the Pentagon to provide it with options for striking Iran after a group of militants aligned with Tehran fired mortars into an area in Baghdad that is home to the U.S. Embassy, a source familiar with the matter said on Sunday. The source said that the Pentagon drew up options in response to the request, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal and which originated from the White House National Security Council led by John Bolton.
Pompeo: Saudis assured me of accountability for Khashoggi murder
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday that Saudi leaders assured him everyone responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi would be held accountable, as Riyadh tries to resolve its biggest political crisis in a generation. Pompeo told reporters he had also raised a number of human rights issues with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, including women's rights activists who have been detained for months and some allegedly tortured.
U.N. calls for 'rapid and unimpeded' aid access to Myanmar's Rakhine
The United Nations called on the Myanmar government on Monday to allow “rapid and unimpeded” humanitarian access to Rakhine State, where fighting between government troops and autonomy-seeking rebels has displaced thousands of people. The Rakhine State government issued a notice last week blocking non-governmental organizations and U.N. agencies from traveling to rural areas in five townships in the northern and central parts of the state affected by the conflict.
Indonesian divers find crashed Lion Air jet's second black box
Indonesian authorities on Monday said they will immediately begin to download contents of a cockpit voice recorder (CVR) from a Lion Air jet that crashed into the sea near Jakarta more than two months ago, killing all 189 people on board. The crash was the world's first of a Boeing Co 737 MAX jet and the deadliest of 2018, and the recovery of the aircraft's second black box from the Java Sea north of Jakarta on Monday may provide an account of the last actions of the doomed jet's pilots.
China says detained former Canadian diplomat does not have diplomatic immunity
Former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig, being held in China on suspicion of endangering national security, is not entitled to diplomatic immunity, China's foreign ministry said on Monday. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday chastised China over the detention of two Canadians following the arrest of a senior Chinese executive at the request of the United States.
Trump threatens Turkey with economic devastation if it attacks Syrian Kurd militia
U.S. President Donald Trump threatened Turkey with economic devastation if it attacks a U.S.-allied Kurdish militia in Syria, drawing a sharp rebuke from Ankara on Monday and reviving fears of another downturn in ties between the NATO allies. Relations between the United States and Turkey have long been strained by Washington's support for the Kurdish YPG, which Turkey views as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that is waging a decades-long insurgency in Turkey.
Brexit is in peril, UK PM May warns ahead of vote on her deal
Prime Minister Theresa May warned on Monday that Britain's planned exit from the EU could be derailed, a last-ditch effort to win over Brexit-supporting lawmakers who have repeatedly said they will vote down her divorce deal. The fate of the United Kingdom's March 29 exit from the EU is deeply uncertain as parliament is likely to reject May's deal on Tuesday evening, opening up outcomes ranging from a disorderly divorce to reversing Brexit altogether.
Chemical weapons agency agrees to ban Novichok nerve agents
The OPCW global chemical weapons watchdog will add Novichok, the Soviet-era nerve agent used in an attack last year in Salisbury, England, to its list of banned toxins after its members adopted a proposal on Monday. The 41 members of the decision-making body within the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) adopted a joint proposal by the United States, the Netherlands and Canada, member states said.
Russia says disagreements still hampers peace talks with Japan
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday there were still significant points of disagreement with Japan standing in the way of a push to sign a peace deal to end a decades-old territorial dispute. Speaking to reporters in Moscow after talks with Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono, Lavrov said it was hard to expect progress in peace talks without Japan first recognizing Moscow's sovereignty over disputed island territories, RIA news agency reported.
Military cargo plane crashes in Iran, 15 killed
A Boeing 707 military cargo plane crashed in bad weather on Monday west of the Iranian capital, killing 15 out of the 16 people on board, the Iranian army said. A flight engineer survived and was taken to hospital, the army said in a statement carried by the semi-official Fars news agency. The aircraft's black box - a cockpit voice recorder (CVR) - had been recovered at the crash site, Fars said.