World News Roundup: Japan and U.S. vow more defence cooperation to counter Chinese threat; Former Malaysian PM Mahathir hospitalised for elective medical procedure and more
Putin immediately committed Russian paratroopers on Thursday as part of a peacekeeping force from former Soviet states requested by Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who is facing the most dangerous wave of unrest since the Central Asian nation won independence from Moscow in 1991. Kazakh president gives shoot-to-kill order to quell protests Security forces appeared to have reclaimed the streets of Kazakhstan's main city on Friday after days of violence, and the Russian-backed president said he had ordered his troops to shoot to kill to put down a countrywide uprising.
Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
The United States and Japan on Friday voiced strong concern about China's growing might in unambiguous terms and pledged to work together against attempts to destabilize the region. The comments from the two allies, in a joint statement that followed a virtual meeting of their foreign and defense ministers, highlight how deepening alarm about China - and growing tension over Taiwan - have put Japan's security role in focus.
Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, 96, has been admitted into hospital for elective medical procedure, the National Heart Institute said on Friday. It is the second time in as many months that Mahathir has been hospitalised at the institute. Mahathir, who has a history of heart problems, was admitted on Dec. 16 before being discharged a week later.
Insufficient testing for COVID-19 and a data blackout caused by hackers have left Brazil in the dark as it grapples with a wave of infections from the Omicron coronavirus variant, health experts warn. Brazilians with COVID-19 symptoms are facing long lines to get tested due to the lack of kits in a country without a comprehensive testing strategy since the start of the pandemic.
South Korea casts doubts on North Korea's 'hypersonic missile' claims
South Korean military officials cast doubts on Friday on the capabilities of what North Korea called a "hypersonic missile" test fired this week, saying it appeared to represent limited progress over Pyongyang's existing ballistic missiles. On Wednesday, North Korea launched what its state media said was the country's second hypersonic missile, which are usually defined as weapons that reach speeds of at least five times the speed of sound - or about 6,200 kms per hour (3,850 mph) - and can maneuver at relatively low trajectories, making them much harder to detect and intercept.
UN: Air strike kills three in Eritrean refugee camp in Ethiopia
An airstrike hit a refugee camp in northern Ethiopia's Tigray region, killing three Eritrean refugees, including two children, the United Nations said on Thursday. The strike on Wednesday hit Mai Aini refugee camp near the southern Tigrayan town of Mai Tsebri, the United Nations said.
Talks between U.S. and Russian diplomats begin in Geneva on Monday after a weekslong stand-off over Russian troop deployments near its border with Ukraine, with veteran envoys on each side trying to avert a crisis. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, the No. 2 official at the U.S. State Department, will face Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. The two combined have more than half a century of diplomatic experience.
France sees progress in Iran nuclear talks, but time pressing
Progress has been made regarding the Iran nuclear talks although time is running out, France's foreign minister said on Friday. Indirect talks between Iran and the United States on salvaging the 2015 Iran nuclear deal resumed on Monday.
Analysis-Bad timing: Kazakhstan intervention presents unwelcome distraction for Putin
The sudden and violent crisis in Kazakhstan has caught Russian President Vladimir Putin at a moment when his attention was firmly focused elsewhere and forced him into a military intervention that carries potential risks. Putin immediately committed Russian paratroopers on Thursday as part of a peacekeeping force from former Soviet states requested by Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who is facing the most dangerous wave of unrest since the Central Asian nation won independence from Moscow in 1991.
Kazakh president gives shoot-to-kill order to quell protests
Security forces appeared to have reclaimed the streets of Kazakhstan's main city on Friday after days of violence, and the Russian-backed president said he had ordered his troops to shoot to kill to put down a countrywide uprising. A day after Moscow sent paratroopers to help crush the insurrection, police were patrolling the debris-strewn streets of Almaty, although some gunfire could still be heard.
French schools "overwhelmed" by COVID-19 and contact tracing
Less than a week has gone by since French schools reopened after Christmas, but at the Jean Renoir high school in Boulogne-Billancourt, just outside of Paris, one in four teachers and nearly 50 pupils are already sick with COVID-19.
With new testing and contact tracing rules introduced at the start of this term, the headteacher, Aristide Adeilkalam, now faces a huge challenge.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)