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Reuters World News Summary

Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs. Support for Australian government rises ahead of election

Support for Australia's conservative government edged higher over the last two weeks, a widely watched poll showed on Tuesday, boosting Prime Minister Scott Morrison's reelection prospects less than four months out from the next election. The Newspoll published in The Australian newspaper showed the Liberal-National coalition government trails the main opposition Labor party by a margin of 53 percent to 47 percent on a two-party preferred basis under Australia's preferential voting system, where votes from minor parties are redistributed. U.S. sanctions Venezuelan state oil firm, escalating pressure on Maduro

The Trump administration on Monday imposed sweeping sanctions on Venezuelan state-owned oil firm PDVSA, the toughest U.S. financial challenge yet to the country's embattled socialist president, Nicolas Maduro. The sanctions ratchet up pressure against Maduro to step aside and turn over power to Juan Guaido, the Venezuelan opposition leader who proclaimed himself interim president last week and was immediately recognized by the United States and a host of other countries. U.S. does not seek permanent Afghan military presence: official

A senior U.S. government official said on Monday that the United States was committed to a withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan after 17 years of war. The official, who declined to be identified, described "significant progress" in talks last week with the Taliban in Qatar on a foreign troop pullout, but more negotiations were needed on a ceasefire. Israel's Netanyahu to eject foreign observers in flashpoint Hebron

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday he would eject a foreign force set up to help safeguard Palestinians in a flashpoint city in the occupied West Bank, accusing the observers of anti-Israel activity. "We will not allow the continued presence of an international force that acts against us," Netanyahu said in a statement announcing that the Temporary International Presence in Hebron's (TIPH) mandate would not be renewed. Cameroon's main opposition leader Kamto arrested for protest

Cameroonian authorities arrested opposition leader Maurice Kamto on Monday, his lawyer said, after weekend protests that security forces dispersed with live bullets, wounding six people. Kamto has been mobilizing dissent against President Paul Biya since losing what he says was a fraudulent election in October. Kamto declared himself winner at the time of the poll and has since challenged Biya's win in the African Union court. U.S.' Mnuchin expects progress in 'complicated' China trade talks

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Monday the United States expects significant progress this week in trade talks with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, but the two sides will be tackling "complicated issues", including how to enforce any deal. The talks, scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday in Washington, will include a meeting between Liu and U.S. President Donald Trump and take place amid worsening tensions between the world's two largest economies. Brazil eyes management overhaul for Vale after dam disaster

Brazil's government weighed pushing for a management overhaul at iron ore miner Vale SA on Monday as grief over the hundreds feared killed by a dam burst turned into anger, with prosecutors, politicians and victims' families calling for punishment. By Monday night, firefighters in the state of Minas Gerais had confirmed that 65 people were killed by Friday's disaster, when a burst tailings dam sent a torrent of sludge into the miner's offices and the town of Brumadinho. EU has Brexit message for May: Decide what you want

The European Union has a message for Prime Minister Theresa May as she plots a path out of the Brexit impasse: Britain needs to decide what it really wants but the negotiated divorce deal will not be reopened. With less than nine weeks until Britain is due by law to leave the European Union on March 29, there is no agreement yet in London on how and even whether to leave the world's biggest trading bloc. Canada foreign minister says ex-envoy's Huawei comments made job untenable

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Monday that Canada's former ambassador to China had been fired because his comments on an extradition case involving an executive of telecommunications firm Huawei had made it untenable for him to stay in the job. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Saturday he had removed John McCallum for saying that Huawei Technologies Co Ltd Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou could make a strong argument against being sent to the United States. Mexico teachers block railway lines, food shortages feared

Mexico could soon face a shortage of staple foods such as corn flour and wheat flour as railways remain blocked after two weeks of teacher protests in the western state of Michoacan, railroad operator Ferrocarril Mexicano (Ferromex) said on Monday. Teachers from the National Committee of Education Workers union began blocking the railroad tracks on Jan. 14 to protest labor demands. That has hampered the distribution of supplies for various industries, including hydrocarbons and grains such as corn, a staple of the Mexican diet, Ferromex spokeswoman Lourdes Aranda said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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