Reuters World News Summary
By citing Israel’s right to defend itself against a rocket barrage from the Hamas-ruled enclave and only nudging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu toward a ceasefire, Biden has effectively given Israeli forces more time to press their offensive against Palestinian militants there. Lebanese president seeks to avert crisis with Gulf over minister's comments Lebanon's president said on Tuesday that critical comments made by the foreign minister about Gulf states did not reflect official policy, seeking to avoid further strain on ties with countries that have been Lebanon's allies and donors.
Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
UK's Johnson announces urban renewal plans after promise to "level up"
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday announced a series of urban renewal projects worth 830 million pounds ($1.2 billion) in towns and cities away from London as part of his promise to "level up" the country's economy. Johnson, who won a 2019 election thanks largely to voters in struggling regions of England and is facing pressure from nationalists in Scotland and Northern Ireland, also said more than 3,000 interior and business ministry jobs would move to Stoke-on-Trent in central England, Edinburgh and Belfast by 2025.
How Myanmar's military moved in on the telecoms sector to spy on citizens
In the months before the Myanmar military's Feb. 1 coup, the country's telecom and internet service providers were ordered to install intercept spyware that would allow the army to eavesdrop on the communications of citizens, sources with direct knowledge of the plan told Reuters. The technology gives the military the power to listen in on calls, view text messages and web traffic including emails, and track the locations of users without the assistance of the telecom and internet firms, the sources said.
Spain vows to restore order after thousands swim into Ceuta from Morocco
A sudden influx of migrants swimming into the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in northern Africa is a serious crisis for Europe, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Tuesday, vowing to re-establish order promptly amid heightened diplomatic tensions with Morocco. Spain deployed troops to Ceuta to patrol the border with Morocco after around 8,000 migrants, many from Sub-Saharan Africa and including 1,500 minors, entered the enclave on Monday and Tuesday by swimming in or climbing over the fence.
Analysis: Biden sticks to Israel-Gaza playbook, irking progressives and allies
With his muted response to the Gaza conflict, President Joe Biden is largely sticking to a time-worn U.S. playbook despite pressure from progressive Democrats for a tougher line toward Israel and from America’s allies for a more active role to end the violence. By citing Israel’s right to defend itself against a rocket barrage from the Hamas-ruled enclave and only nudging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu toward a ceasefire, Biden has effectively given Israeli forces more time to press their offensive against Palestinian militants there.
Lebanese president seeks to avert crisis with Gulf over minister's comments
Lebanon's president said on Tuesday that critical comments made by the foreign minister about Gulf states did not reflect official policy, seeking to avoid further strain on ties with countries that have been Lebanon's allies and donors. Mired in its worst economic crisis since a 1975-1990 civil war, Lebanon has lost the financial backing of wealthy Sunni Muslim Gulf states, which resent the rising influence of Hezbollah, a Lebanese group backed by regional rival Shi'ite Iran.
Pelosi calls for U.S. and world leaders to boycott China's 2022 Olympics
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday called for a U.S. diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, criticizing China for human rights abuses and saying global leaders who attend would lose their moral authority. U.S. lawmakers have been increasingly vocal about an Olympic boycott or venue change, and have lashed out at American corporations, arguing their silence about what the State Department has deemed a genocide of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in China was abetting the Chinese government.
Ceasefire still elusive in Israel-Gaza conflict
Israel bombarded Gaza with air strikes and Palestinian militants kept up cross-border rocket fire, with no firm sign on Wednesday of any imminent ceasefire despite international calls to end more than a week of fighting. Israeli leaders said they were pressing on with an offensive against Hamas and Islamic Jihad, but an Israeli military spokesman acknowledged that with an estimated 12,000 missiles and mortars in the groups' Gaza arsenal, "they still have enough rockets to fire".
U.S. warship again sails through sensitive Taiwan Strait
A U.S. warship has again sailed through the sensitive waterway that separates Taiwan from its giant neighbour China, at a time of increased tensions between Taipei and Beijing. The U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet said the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur conducted a "routine Taiwan Strait transit" on Tuesday in accordance with international law.
Indonesian LGBT+ magazines find a second life online
"Suddenly it felt like I was a part of something bigger than myself," said Ais, 29, who does not want to reveal his full name due to the sensitivity of the matter, of his discovery of the zines. "Turns out I have a history."
Following the release of a U.S. government list of allegedly corrupt Central American politicians, El Salvador's president on Tuesday played up his close ties with China, praising it for offering grants with no strings attached and COVID-19 vaccines. A U.S. State Department report released by the office of U.S. Rep. Norma Torres on Tuesday lists a close aide of Bukele and his former security minister among those "credibly alleged" to have engaged in corrupt acts.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)