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Reuters World News Summary

Updated: 20-01-2019 18:27 IST
Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs. Two dead in fire at French ski resort of Courchevel

Two people died and twenty were injured after a fire broke out early on Sunday in a building in the French ski resort of Courchevel, local authorities said. Around 70 firefighters were at the scene. The cause of the fire was not immediately clear. Two arrested over Northern Ireland car bomb, New IRA suspected

Northern Ireland police have made two arrests in relation to Saturday's car bomb in Londonderry and their main line of inquiry is that the New IRA militant group was responsible for the attack, officers said on Sunday. The Irish nationalist New IRA is one of a small number of militant groups opposed to a 1998 peace deal that largely ended three decades of violence in the British-run province. They have carried out sporadic attacks in recent years. U.S. is aware of need to protect Kurds: French minister

The United States is increasingly aware of the importance of protecting its Kurdish allies even as it withdraws from Syria, French defense minister Florence Parly said on Sunday. U.S. President Donald Trump said in December that Washington would withdraw the roughly 2,000 U.S. troops it has in Syria, raising fears for the fate of its allies among Kurdish forces who are seen as enemies by neighboring Turkey. Syria says repels Israeli air attack, Israel says downs Golan rocket

Syrian military air defenses thwarted an Israeli attack on Sunday, shooting down several missiles in the south of the country, state media said. "Our air defense systems thwarted ... an Israeli air aggression ... and prevented it from achieving any of its goals," a military source told state news agency SANA. It gave no further details. Rheinmetall plans to sue Germany over Saudi arms embargo: Spiegel

German weapons maker Rheinmetall plans to sue the government over its decision to stop all arms exports to Saudi Arabia after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Spiegel Online reported on Sunday. Citing a letter to the Economy Ministry, Spiegel said Rheinmetall intends to sue the German government for loss of revenue if the export suspension continues. Do not hijack Brexit, minister warns Britain's parliament

Parliament cannot be allowed to hijack Brexit, Trade Minister Liam Fox said on Sunday, in a warning to lawmakers who want to take more control over Britain's departure from the European Union. With just weeks to go before Britain is due to leave the EU, Prime Minister Theresa May will return to parliament on Monday to set out how she plans to try to break the Brexit deadlock after her deal was rejected by lawmakers last week. Russian crowd defends ownership of Kuriles before Abe visit

A crowd gathered in Moscow on Sunday to defend Russia's ownership of a chain of islands captured by Soviet troops from Japan during the final days of World War Two. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, due to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Tuesday, is pushing for a treaty for the islands, known as the Southern Kuriles in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan. Russia said on Monday that its sovereignty over them was not up for discussion. Afghanistan's Ghani launches bid for second presidential term

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday entered the 2019 presidential race after forging an alliance with a staunch critic to challenge his former governing partners at a time when the Taliban has shut him out of talks to end more than 17 years of war. Ghani, 69, is seeking a second term amid the war with the hardline Islamic militants and ongoing peace talks between the United States and the Taliban, in which his government complains it has been sidelined. At Arab summit, Lebanon's Aoun calls for Syrian refugee returns

Lebanese President Michel Aoun urged world powers on Sunday to step up efforts for Syrian refugees to return home, regardless of any political solution to the war there. Aoun told an Arab economic summit in Beirut that Lebanon had suggested solutions for safe returns for the meeting to agree. Lethal pipeline blast sharpens focus on Mexico fuel theft plan

A blast at a gasoline pipeline in Mexico that killed at least 73 people has put renewed attention on the government's strategy to stop fuel theft, with some relatives saying fuel shortages stemming from the plan led people to risk their lives. Fuel thieves punctured the Tula-Tuxpan pipeline a few miles from one of Mexico's main refineries on Friday. Up to 800 people flocked to fill plastic containers from the 7-meter (23-ft) gasoline geyser that ensued, officials say. A couple of hours later, it exploded.