World News Roundup: Iran, China sign landmark 25-year cooperation agreement; Building collapse in Cairo leaves five dead and moreDevdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 27-03-2021 18:55 IST | Created: 27-03-2021 18:29 IST
Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Iran, China sign landmark 25-year cooperation agreement
Foreign ministers from China and Iran, which are both subject to U.S. sanctions, signed a landmark 25-year cooperation agreement on Saturday. "Relations between the two countries have now reached the level of strategic partnership and China seeks to comprehensively improve relations with Iran," China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi was quoted by Iran's state media as telling his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Lebanon's largest Christian bloc warns against sidelining president
Lebanon's largest Christian bloc, the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), warned prime minister-designate Saad al-Hariri on Saturday against sidelining President Michel Aoun and other parliamentary blocs in talks over forming a cabinet. Hariri and Aoun have been at loggerheads over the cabinet for months, dashing hopes of a reversal of Lebanon's deepening financial meltdown. Hariri has said Aoun's party is trying to dictate cabinet seats in order to gain veto power.
Australian lawmaker's online bullying leave Morrison fighting political fires
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, already under fire over his handling of rape accusations in the ruling party, reprimanded one of his lawmakers on Saturday for downplaying an apology for bullying two women constituents. Morrison ordered Andrew Laming to do an empathy course, and change his behavior after he posted frivolous comments on Facebook that raised doubts about the sincerity of his apology. If Morrison expelled Laming, his ruling coalition would be reduced to a minority government.
Building collapse in Cairo leaves five dead
Five people were killed and 24 injured when a Cairo apartment building collapsed in the early hours of Saturday, Egyptian state news agency MENA reported. Witnesses told Reuters many people were still trapped under the rubble of the 10-story building.
UK's Johnson criticises 'disgraceful' attacks on police at protest
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson strongly criticized Saturday what he called "disgraceful attacks" on police officers after protests in Bristol, western England, against a new policing bill turned violent, resulting in 10 arrests. Local police said a demonstration involving more than 1,000 people on Friday afternoon had been largely peaceful, but a minority had shown hostility to police later in the evening.
Salvager hopes to free ship blocking Suez Canal by start of next week
A giant container ship grounded in the Suez Canal could be freed by the start of next week if heavier tugboats, dredging, and a high tide succeed in dislodging it, a Dutch firm working to free the vessel said. The 400-meter (430-yard) long Ever Given became wedged diagonally across a southern section of the canal amid high winds early on Tuesday, disrupting global shipping by blocking one of the world's busiest waterways.
Belarus warns demonstrators of criminal charges as fresh protests brew
Belarus authorities warned on Saturday that anyone participating in protests is liable to criminal prosecution, as armored vehicles and police buses moved into the center of Minsk ahead of an expected new round of protests. Opposition figures, who have led demonstrations against President Alexander Lukashenko since an election they deemed rigged in August last year, have recently called on the public to ramp up protests once again, after a two-month lull.
India begins voting in two eastern states in key test for Modi
Voting began in Assam and West Bengal on Saturday in state elections that will show how support for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is holding up following a coronavirus-stricken year, and months of protests by farmers against his agricultural reforms. Re-elected for a second five-year term in 2019, Modi's grip on power is under no threat, but the elections in the two eastern states are the first since the farmers launched protests that have been mainly in the north, around the capital Delhi.
UK's Johnson says no reason to change COVID-19 unlocking plans
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday said he saw nothing in the COVID-19 data to change his plans for a piecemeal easing of lockdown in England, with the next major steps due to take place next month. Johnson said he looked forward to getting his hair cut and having a pint of beer in the garden of a pub, among the activities permitted if stage two of his unlocking plan proceeds on April 12. All non-essential shops are also due to reopen from that date.
More than 90 killed in Myanmar in one of bloodiest days of protests
Security forces killed more than 90 people across Myanmar on Saturday in one of the bloodiest days of protests since a military coup last month, news reports and witnesses said. The lethal crackdown came on Armed Forces Day. Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the junta leader, said during a parade in the capital Naypyitaw to mark the event that the military would protect the people and strive for democracy.
(With inputs from agencies.)