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World News Roundup: Pope plans Indonesia trip; China virus toll rises as Chinese markets set to reopen and more

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 03-02-2020 18:40 IST | Created: 03-02-2020 18:25 IST
World News Roundup: Pope plans Indonesia trip; China virus toll rises as Chinese markets set to reopen and more
File photo Image Credit: ANI

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

Pope plans Indonesia trip to promote inter-religious dialogue

Pope Francis will promote inter-religious dialogue this year during a trip to the world's biggest Muslim country Indonesia and make the first papal visit to mainly Catholic East Timor since it won independence from Jakarta, diplomatic sources said. The trip, which will also include a visit to Papua New Guinea, is likely to take place in September, the sources said. The Vatican has not yet announced the trip.

The recording shows Iran knew immediately it had shot down plane: Zelenskiy

A leaked audio recording of an Iranian pilot talking to the control tower in Tehran shows that Iran knew immediately it had shot down a Ukrainian airliner last month, despite denying it for days, Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said. On the recording, played on a Ukrainian television station late on Sunday, the pilot of another plane can be heard saying he saw "the light of a missile" in the sky before Ukrainian International Airways flight 752 crashed in an explosion.

Pressure over French detainees will bring no results: Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman

Pressuring Iran over two detained French citizens will not achieve results, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Monday, according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has urged Iran to free the French nationals, held in prison since last June, noting that they were both unwell. One of them is a Franco-Iranian dual national.

Irish housing crisis derails Varadkar's re-election bid

Nine years after a devastating crash in property prices catapulted the party of Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar to power, a housing market recovery too rapid for many threatens to dump it into opposition at this week's general election. The property recovery under Varadkar's center-right Fine Gael party helped lay the foundation for Ireland's transformation from bailed-out basket case in 2010 to the fastest growing economy in Europe for the past five years.

Erdogan says Turkey hits back after Syrian shells kill Turkish troops

Turkey said on Monday it struck dozens of Syrian government targets after five of its soldiers were killed in northwest Syria's Idlib region, an incident that could test ties between Moscow and Ankara. President Tayyip Erdogan said initial indications showed 30-35 Syrians were "neutralized" in Turkey's response to what it called intense shelling of its soldiers in Idlib, the last major Syrian rebel stronghold after nearly nine years of war.

Organization of Islamic Cooperation rejects Trump peace plan: statement

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation said on Monday it rejects U.S. President Donald Trump's Middle East peace plan. The 57-member organization which held a summit to discuss the plan in Jeddah said it "calls on all member states not to engage with this plan or to cooperate with the U.S. administration in implementing it in any form".

Britain vows tougher rules for terror convicts after the latest London attack

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out tougher rules for terror convicts after a man released early from a jail term for Islamist-related terrorism offenses injured two people in a stabbing spree in south London. Sudesh Amman, who was jailed in 2018 for "Islamist-related terrorism offenses" but released halfway through serving his 3-year sentence, was shot dead by police when he began stabbing people on a busy London street.

China virus toll rises as Chinese markets set to reopen after the holiday

The death toll from the new coronavirus in China's Hubei province rose by 56 to 350 on Monday, Chinese state television reported citing official figures, as investors braced for volatility when Chinese markets reopen after the Lunar New Year break. There were another 2,103 cases detected in Hubei, the epicenter of the outbreak, taking the total in the province to 11,177 as of Feb. 2, state television reported.

Jailbreak in the 'city of blood': Brazil's drug gangs overrun Paraguay

Luis Alves da Cruz awoke around 3 a.m. to a commotion in the Paraguayan prison he called home. A small-time Brazilian drug smuggler, da Cruz saw fellow inmates dressed head-to-toe in black. "We're breaking out," one of them told him. "Are you coming?"

Uzbekistan resists as the U.S. seeks to rally Central Asians against China

Uzbekistan on Monday gently resisted Washington's efforts to rally China's central Asian neighbors against Beijing over its treatment of Muslim minorities, a contentious issue for the region which has close economic ties to China. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in the region to discuss the issue with Beijing's neighbors who have so far refrained from any criticism of Chinese policies.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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