World News Roundup: Southeast Asian leaders discuss Myanmar crisis; French PM calls killing of police worker an attack and more
Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired dozens of rockets into Israel on Saturday drawing retaliatory airstrikes, the Israeli military said, after nightly Ramadan clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police had resumed in Jerusalem. The pre-dawn exchange of fire broke months of relative quiet on the Israel-Gaza frontier, though it did not appear to signal a wider escalation after the military said it was not imposing any safety restrictions on Israelis living near the border.
Southeast Asian leaders began a crisis meeting on Myanmar on Saturday aiming to persuade Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, who led the military takeover that sparked turmoil in his country, to forge a path to end the violence. The gathering of leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Jakarta is the first coordinated international effort to ease the crisis in Myanmar, an impoverished country that neighbors China, India, and Thailand. Myanmar is part of the 10-nation ASEAN.
French PM calls killing of police worker an attack on nation
The killing of a female police employee in a Paris commuter town on Friday was an attack on the French Republic, Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Saturday. The attacker, a French resident of Tunisian origin, stabbed the police administrative worker, a mother of two, at a police station in Rambouillet, just south of Paris. The attacker was shot dead by police.
Astronauts arrive at space station aboard SpaceX Endeavour
A four-astronaut team arrived at the International Space Station on Saturday aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule Endeavour, NASA said, after becoming the first crew ever to be propelled into orbit by a rocket booster recycled from a previous spaceflight. The Endeavour capsule, also making its second flight, was launched into space on Friday atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. SpaceX is Elon Musk's commercial rocket company.
Indian hospitals turn away patients in COVID-19 'tsunami'
Overwhelmed hospitals in India begged for oxygen supplies on Saturday as the country's coronavirus infections soared again overnight in a "tsunami" of disease, setting a new world record for cases for the third consecutive day. Max Healthcare, which runs a network of hospitals in north India, tweeted that it had less than two hours of oxygen left while Fortis Healthcare, another big chain, said it was suspending new admissions in Delhi.
Merkel urges Germans to stick to stricter coronavirus rules
Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday called on Germans to stick to tighter coronavirus restrictions imposed in areas with high infection rates over the weekend, saying the step was needed to break the third wave of infections. Both chambers of parliament approved the amendments to the Infection Protection Act earlier this week to give the federal government more powers to fight the third wave in the pandemic.
UK opposition calls for standards commission after PM criticised by former top adviser
Britain's opposition Labour Party on Saturday called for an independent commission on ethics and standards in government after Prime Minister Boris Johnson's former top adviser criticized the UK leader's integrity. On Friday Dominic Cummings, who left Johnson's staff suddenly late last year having previously been his most influential adviser over Brexit and the 2019 election campaign, denied reports he leaked Johnson's private communications over the sourcing of COVID-19 ventilators.
EU audit finds Czech PM Babis in conflict of interest
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis breached conflict of interest rules over his control of trust funds linked to his Agrofert business empire, according to a European Commission audit, piling pressure on the billionaire ahead of fall elections. It means all European Union subsidies awarded to the company after February 2017 -- when a local conflict of interest law came into force -- are considered irregular and should be returned, the auditors said in a final report.
Rescuers find debris thought to be from missing Indonesian submarine
Search teams have recovered debris believed to be from an Indonesian submarine missing for days in the Bali Sea, defense officials said on Saturday, as hopes dwindled for the 53 crew who were expected to have run out of oxygen in the early hours. Indonesian Navy Chief of Staff Yudo Margono said the exact location of the 44-year-old submarine was unknown but its presence had been detected and the search would continue.
EU rejects Russian decision to label media outlet Meduza as 'foreign agent'
The European Union on Saturday rejected Russia's labeling of independent news site Meduza as a "foreign agent" media organization, saying its media restrictions contravene its international obligations and human rights commitments. The designation issued on Friday requires Meduza to label itself as such, subjecting it to increased government scrutiny.
(With inputs from agencies.)