Reuters World News Summary
China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke by phone with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Beijing said it wanted all sides to remain calm and "refrain from doing things that agitate tensions and hype up the crisis." Anti-vaccine Canada truckers roll toward Ottawa, praised by Tesla's Musk Canadian truck drivers determined to shut down central Ottawa over a federal government vaccine mandate rolled across the country toward the capital on Thursday, boosted by praise from Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk.
Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Navalny activist flees Russia as top aides report threatening letters
An activist ally of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny told Reuters on Thursday she had fled Russia to avoid jail, while two of his top aides said they had received letters with threats to themselves and their families. Violetta Grudina, 32, who was barred from standing for election last year in the Arctic port city of Murmansk, said she fled with her 11-year-old son and her dog in December. She declined to reveal her location and said only she was in Europe.
A study by the RAND Corporation think-tank released on Thursday faulted the U.S. military for "considerable weaknesses" and inconsistencies in its review of allegations of civilian casualties, and the Pentagon announced a broad review. The U.S. military is under intense scrutiny over its procedures to guard against civilian casualties following a high-profile, mistaken drone strike in Kabul on Aug. 29 that killed 10 civilians, including seven children.
Xiomara Castro was sworn in as Honduras' first woman president on Thursday, with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris in attendance, as her government faces tests over a sharply divided Congress, rising debt and relations with China. Castro, flanked by her husband, former President Manuel Zelaya, and their children, was sworn in at a packed open-air soccer stadium, her supporters dancing and shouting. She smiled broadly as the blue and white presidential sash was draped across her chest.
N.Korea confirms latest weapons tests as Kim visits 'important' munitions factory
North Korea conducted tests of an upgraded long-range cruise missile and a warhead of a tactical guided missile this week, as leader Kim Jong Un visited a munitions factory producing a "major weapon system," state media KCNA said on Friday. Tension has been simmering over North Korea's series of six weapons tests in 2022, among the largest number of missile launches it has made in a month, which triggered condemnation and a new sanctions push from the United States.
UK PM Johnson has not been interviewed by police over party investigation -spokesman
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has not been interviewed by the police about their investigation into alleged parties in his Downing Street residence during coronavirus lockdowns, his spokesman said on Thursday. Asked if Johnson had been interviewed, the spokesman said: "No."
Venezuela electoral commission says Maduro recall cannot move ahead
Venezuela's national electoral council said on Thursday opponents of President Nicolas Maduro had not collected enough signatures for a recall vote against him to proceed. The council gave promoters of the vote 12 hours on Wednesday to collect a minimum of 4.2 million signatures, in spite of protest by opposition figures who said it was not feasible and efforts to get the decision reviewed by the country's top tribunal.
Amid pandemic and protest, Olympics return to a changed China
The Beijing Winter Olympics kick off in a week, putting sports at centre-stage following preparations that have been clouded by diplomatic boycotts and the COVID-19 pandemic that has forced the Games into a tightly sealed bubble. Beijing will become the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Games, and some venues from 2008 will be re-used, including the Bird's Nest stadium, where the opening ceremony will again be overseen by famed Chinese director Zhang Yimou.
Russia said on Thursday it was clear the United States was not willing to address its main security concerns in their standoff over Ukraine, but both sides kept the door open to further dialogue. The United States and NATO submitted written responses on Wednesday to Russia's demands for a redrawing of post-Cold War security arrangements in Europe since it massed troops near Ukraine, prompting Western fears of an invasion and new U.S. pledges of defense support.
The United States on Thursday called on China to use its influence with Russia to urge a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/russia-sees-some-room-dialogue-after-us-security-response-2022-01-27, but policy experts doubted Beijing would back Washington in the standoff. China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke by phone with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Beijing said it wanted all sides to remain calm and "refrain from doing things that agitate tensions and hype up the crisis."
Canadian truck drivers determined to shut down central Ottawa over a federal government vaccine mandate rolled across the country toward the capital on Thursday, boosted by praise from Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk. The protesters are unhappy that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government has imposed a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for cross-border truck drivers.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)