Reuters World News Summary
Authorities scrambled a search and rescue operation north-west of the island of Paros, in what was thought to be the third shipwreck this week involving migrants in Greek waters. Iran says war games in Gulf were warning to Israel War games conducted this week by Iran in the Gulf were intended to send a warning to Israel, the country's top military commanders said on Friday, amid concerns over possible Israeli plans to target Iranian nuclear sites.
Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Look beyond the lights and remember the poor, pope says on Christmas eve
Pope Francis, leading the world's Roman Catholics into Christmas, said on Friday that people who are indifferent to the poor offend God, urging all to "look beyond all the lights and decorations" and remember the neediest. Francis, ushering in the ninth Christmas of his pontificate, celebrated a solemn vigil Mass in St. Peter's Basilica for about 2,000 people, with participation restricted by COVID-19 to about a fifth of the size of pre-pandemic years.
Brazil infrastructure minister to run for Sao Paulo governor
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Friday that Infrastructure Minister Tarcisio Freitas will run for governor of Sao Paulo state in next year's elections. In televised remarks to journalists outside the presidential palace in Brasilia, Bolsonaro said Freitas would run on the ticket of the center-right Liberal Party (PL), which Bolsonaro joined in November https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/bolsonaro-join-center-right-pl-party-take-leftist-lula-2021-11-08.
Satellite images show Russia still building up forces near Ukraine
New satellite images captured by a private U.S. company show that Russia has continued to build up its forces in annexed Crimea and near Ukraine in recent weeks while pressing the United States for talks over security guarantees it is seeking. Reuters could not independently verify the latest images from U.S.-based Maxar Technologies. The Kremlin reiterated on Friday that it reserves the right to move its own forces on Russian territory as it sees fit and that Western countries were carrying out provocative military manoeuvres near its borders.
Greece reports third migrant shipwreck in days, survivors sought
At least two people died and 57 rescued when their boat overturned off the Greek island of Paros in the central Aegean Sea on Friday, the country's coastguard said. Authorities scrambled a search and rescue operation north-west of the island of Paros, in what was thought to be the third shipwreck this week involving migrants in Greek waters.
Iran says war games in Gulf were warning to Israel
War games conducted this week by Iran in the Gulf were intended to send a warning to Israel, the country's top military commanders said on Friday, amid concerns over possible Israeli plans to target Iranian nuclear sites. The Revolutionary Guards' war games included firing ballistic and cruise missiles. State television showed missiles flattening a target which resembled Israel's Dimona nuclear reactor at the conclusion of the exercises on Friday.
Thousands of flights canceled globally as Omicron mars Christmas weekend
Commercial airlines around the world canceled more than 4,300 flights over the Christmas weekend, as a mounting wave of COVID-19 infections driven by the Omicron variant created greater uncertainty and misery for holiday travelers. Airline carriers globally scrapped at least 2,366 flights on Friday, which fell on Christmas Eve and is typically a heavy day for air travel, according to a running tally on the flight-tracking website FlightAware.com. Nearly 9,000 more flights were delayed.
Exclusive-U.S. to lift travel curbs on eight African countries - White House
The Biden administration will lift travel restrictions on eight southern African countries imposed last month over concerns about the fast-spreading COVID-19 Omicron variant, the White House said Friday. Foreign nationals who are barred from the United States because they have been in one of the eight countries within the prior 14 days will again be allowed on U.S.-bound flights leaving after 12:01 a.m. ET on Dec. 31, a senior official said, confirming a Reuters report.
Unfazed by pandemic, supply chain woes, Santa Claus readies for annual flight
Undaunted by pandemics, supply-chain woes and labor shortages plaguing Earth-bound commerce, Santa Claus was set to launch his reindeer-powered sleigh on Friday to deliver Christmas gifts to good girls and boys worldwide, according to military officials tracking his flights. "Santa's been doing this for centuries, he's a professional," said Canadian Army Captain Alexandra Hejduk, a spokesperson for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
Western powers say Libya's interim government still valid
Western powers said on Friday they would continue to recognise Libya's interim government after its presidential election was delayed, but called for a new polling date to be swiftly set. The fate of the interim Government of National Unity (GNU), which was installed in March as part of a U.N.-backed peace process has become a main source of disagreement in the fallout over the collapse of the election.
Ukraine lawmaker says prosecutor seeks arrest of former president Poroshenko
The Ukrainian Prosecutor General's office has asked a court to arrest former president Petro Poroshenko on suspicion of high treason and financing pro-Russian separatists, a lawmaker from Poroshenko's faction in parliament said on Friday.
"On Christmas Eve, the Prosecutor General office confirmed the information ... that the Prosecutor General had approved a motion to arrest Poroshenko with the possibility of bail set at 1 billion hryvnia ($37 million)," Iryna Gerashchenko said on Facebook.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)