Reuters World News Summary
Biden unveiled the goal to cut emissions by 50%-52% from 2005 levels at the start of a two-day climate summit kicked off on Earth Day and attended virtually by leaders of 40 countries including big emitters China, India and Russia. 'Unnecessary sadness': Inside Ontario's strained intensive care units Over the course of a single shift last week, critical care physician Laveena Munshi saw her intensive care unit (ICU) at Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital fill with pregnant and post-partum COVID-19 patients.Reuters | Updated: 23-04-2021 05:26 IST | Created: 23-04-2021 05:26 IST
Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
U.S., other countries deepen climate goals at Earth Day summit
The United States and other countries hiked their targets for slashing greenhouse gas emissions at a global climate summit hosted by President Joe Biden, an event meant to resurrect U.S. leadership in the fight against global warming. Biden unveiled the goal to cut emissions by 50%-52% from 2005 levels at the start of a two-day climate summit kicked off on Earth Day and attended virtually by leaders of 40 countries including big emitters China, India and Russia.
'Unnecessary sadness': Inside Ontario's strained intensive care units
Over the course of a single shift last week, critical care physician Laveena Munshi saw her intensive care unit (ICU) at Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital fill with pregnant and post-partum COVID-19 patients. During that week, the ICU doubled the total number of pregnant COVID-19 patients it had previously seen throughout the entire pandemic. Swamped with patients with complex medical needs, one day Munshi ended up pulling a 36-hour shift.
Russia orders troops back to base after buildup near Ukraine
Russia announced on Thursday it was ordering troops back to base from the area near the border with Ukraine, apparently calling an end to a buildup of tens of thousands of soldiers that had alarmed the West. The currencies of both Russia and Ukraine rose sharply after the announcement, signalling relief among investors just hours after Russia also ended war games in Crimea, the peninsula it occupied and annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
Canada's Ontario grapples with third wave, blame piled on its premier
Ontario Premier Doug Ford, facing backlash over his government's handling of the pandemic, resisted calls to resign on Thursday as Canada's most populous province grappled with a third wave of COVID-19 infections that critics said could have been prevented. With pressure building on hospitals, Ottawa is sending federal healthcare workers to help. Ontario had 3,682 new infections on Thursday and 40 deaths, the highest of any province.
Iran cuts number of centrifuges enriching uranium to 60% purity, IAEA report says
Iran has reduced the number of centrifuges enriching uranium to up to 60% purity at an above-ground plant at Natanz to one cluster from two, a report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog seen by Reuters indicated on Thursday. Iran announced the shift to 60%, a big step towards weapons-grade from the 20% it had previously achieved, in response to an explosion and power cut at Natanz last week that Tehran has blamed on Israel.
Canada's government said it would temporarily bar passenger flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days starting on Thursday as part of stricter measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus. The center-left Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acted after prominent right-leaning politicians complained Ottawa had not done enough to combat a third wave of infections ripping through Canada.
Saudi-led coalition intercepted two Houthi explosives-laden drones: state TV
The Saudi-led coalition intercepted two Houthi explosives-laden drones fired at the kingdom's southern region and the city of Khamis Mushait, state TV reported early on Friday. A military coalition led by Saudi Arabia intervened in Yemen against the Houthis in 2015. The movement has stepped up cross-border drone and missile attacks on Saudi cities.
Foreign leaders arrive for Chad leader's funeral as rebels threaten advance
Foreign leaders arrived in Chad on Thursday for the funeral of slain president Idriss Deby as France backed the new military leaders in the face of rebel threats to resume an offensive on the capital N'Djamena. French President Emmanuel Macron, Guinean President Alpha Conde and several other African heads of state arrived in N'Djamena despite warnings from the rebels that foreign leaders should not attend Friday's funeral for security reasons.
U.S. weighs anti-graft task force for Central America
The Biden administration is considering creating a task force of officials from the U.S. Justice and State Departments and other agencies to help local prosecutors fight corruption in Central America's Northern Triangle countries, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday. Ricardo Zuniga, U.S. special envoy for Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, also told reporters the U.S. government has authority from Congress to craft lists of Central American officials involved in corruption, revoke their travel visas and impose financial sanctions on them.
The legal war between the Saudis and their former spymaster
The family of a former top Saudi intelligence official who is living in exile and locked in an international feud with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman say they have become pawns in the kingdom’s efforts to bring the spy chief home. A Saudi court jailed two of Saad al-Jabri’s adult children late last year for money laundering and conspiracy to escape the kingdom unlawfully, charges they deny.
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