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World News Roundup: U.S. designates Chinese body a foreign mission, quits local cooperation agreement; Two sentenced to death in Mali and more

An explosion hit a distillation unit at the 645,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) plant on Tuesday, people familiar with the matter said, though there were no reports of injuries.

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 29-10-2020 09:01 IST | Created: 29-10-2020 05:25 IST
World News Roundup: U.S. designates Chinese body a foreign mission, quits local cooperation agreement; Two sentenced to death in Mali and more

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

U.S. designates Chinese body a foreign mission, quits local cooperation agreement

The United States said on Wednesday it was designating a U.S. branch of a Chinese government-controlled organization as a foreign mission and withdrawing from an agreement to promote local-level cooperation between the countries. The moves announced by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were the latest to curb Chinese activity in the United States in the run-up to next Tuesday's presidential election, in which President Donald Trump has made a tough approach to China a key foreign policy theme.

Two sentenced to death in Mali over hotel, restaurant attacks

A Malian court handed a death sentence to a suspected jihadist and his co-defendant on Wednesday, his lawyer said, after he pleaded guilty to shooting five people to death in a 2015 attack and planning two other attacks targeting Westerners that killed 37. In a court appearance in Bamako on Wednesday, Fawaz Ould Ahmed described in detail how he carried out the attack on La Terrace restaurant in March 2015.

Germany does not believe Thai king has breached state business ban: source

Germany does not believe that Thailand's king has so far breached its ban on conducting politics while staying there, a parliamentary source said on Wednesday, after lawmakers were briefed by the government. Thai protesters asked Germany on Monday to look into whether King Maha Vajiralongkorn, 68, had conducted state business, such as the signing of royal commands and the annual expenditure act while he was on German soil.

American jailed for attempt to overthrow Vietnam government says he was 'kidnapped'

A U.S. citizen sentenced last year to 12 years in a Vietnamese jail for "attempting to overthrow the state" spoke of his 27-month detention at a Zoom news conference on Wednesday, after he was released and returned to his home in California last week. Michael Nguyen, who was born in Vietnam in 1964 and lived in the United States since childhood, was detained in July 2018 on suspicion of anti-government activities, including alleged incitement of protesters to attack government offices with Molotov cocktails and slingshots, state media reported at the time.

Police warn of tougher action as thousands join abortion protests in Poland

Thousands took to the streets across Poland on Wednesday for the seventh day of protests against a court ruling that further limits the country's highly restrictive abortion laws. Police warned demonstrators not to target churches again after some services were disrupted and buildings defaced in an earlier protest.

Turkey hits at 'crusades' against Islam in cartoons row with France

Turkey's leader said on Wednesday that Western countries mocking Islam wanted to "relaunch the Crusades", heightening a confrontation with France over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad that have stirred anger in Muslim-majority countries. In a speech to lawmakers of his AK Party in parliament, President Tayyip Erdogan also said that standing against attacks on the Prophet was "an issue of honor for us", suggesting Ankara may be digging in for a prolonged standoff.

Renewed shelling claims lives in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Azerbaijan and Armenia accused each other of killing civilians by shelling cities in and around Nagorno-Karabakh on Wednesday, in an escalation of a month-long conflict over the mountain enclave that has defied three ceasefires. Azerbaijan said 14 people were killed when Armenian shells hit the town of Barda, northeast of Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenian-backed officials in Nagorno-Karabakh said Azeri shells had fallen on the enclave's two largest cities, killing one person.

Venezuela's Maduro says Amuay refinery was hit by a 'terrorist attack'

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday said the country's Amuay oil refinery was victim of a terrorist attack on Tuesday that involved a "powerful weapon", but said the country had gasoline reserves equivalent to 20 days of consumption. An explosion hit a distillation unit at the 645,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) plant on Tuesday, people familiar with the matter said, though there were no reports of injuries. The incident came while output at the plant was halted, though workers were attempting to restart some production.

Trump administration sets record low limit for new U.S. refugees

The Trump administration has slashed the number of refugees it will allow to resettle in the United States in the coming year, capping the number at 15,000, a record low in the history of the country's modern refugee program. President Donald Trump finalized his plan in a memo overnight and said the ceiling for fiscal 2021, which started this month, includes 6,000 unused placements from last year "that might have been used if not for the COVID-19 pandemic.

" France and Germany thrust into lockdown as second COVID-19 wave sweeps Europe

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel ordered their countries back into lockdown on Wednesday, as a massive second wave of coronavirus infections threatened to overwhelm Europe before the winter. World stock markets went into a dive in response to the news that Europe's biggest economies were imposing nationwide restrictions almost as severe as the ones that drove the global economy this year into its deepest recession in generations.


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