Reuters World News Summary
European Union countries bracing for further cuts in Russian gas supplies on Tuesday approved a weakened emergency plan to curb demand, after striking compromise deals to limit consumption reductions for some countries. Don't 'play with fire' over Taiwan, China's Xi warns in call with Biden Chinese leader Xi Jinping warned against playing with fire over Taiwan in a call with U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday, highlighting Beijing's concerns about a possible visit to the Chinese-claimed island by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Brazil's Lula maintains big lead over Bolsonaro ahead of October election -poll
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's lead over incumbent far-right President Jair Bolsonaro slipped one percentage point from 19 to 18 points ahead of the Oct. 2 election, a survey by pollster Datafolha showed on Thursday. The leftist leader drew 47% voter support in the poll against Bolsonaro's 29%, compared with 47% and 28%, respectively, in June.
Who are the Americans held captive abroad?
The plight of Americans detained by foreign governments has moved into the spotlight with the case of U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner, who is on trial in Moscow on drug charges.
Since she was arrested in February, U.S. President Joe Biden has faced increasing pressure to bring home detained Americans. Although the U.S. government does not provide figures, there are more than 60 such detainees, according to the James Foley Foundation, named after an American journalist abducted and killed in Syria.
Colombia and Venezuela to appoint new ambassadors, reopening diplomatic relations
Colombia's incoming government and Venezuela will appoint ambassadors to the two countries' capitals after years without diplomatic relations and will work to boost security along their shared border, officials said on Thursday. The plan to appoint ambassadors was outlined in a joint declaration made by Venezuela's Foreign Minister, Carlos Faria, and Alvaro Leyva, the designated foreign minister of Colombia's next president, Gustavo Petro, following a meeting in the border city of San Cristobal.
Integrated Mideast defence system still only an idea, says U.S. official
A senior U.S. administration official said on Thursday that there was no framework yet for an integrated Middle East air and missile defence system but that the United States believes there is potential for a multilateral regional approach for security. President Joe Biden raised the matter during a visit to Saudi Arabia earlier this month where he held a summit with leaders from nine Arab states following a trip to Israel, but left with no public Arab support for a regional security axis.
Police identify victims of British Columbia shooting
Canadian police on Thursday identified the two men killed in a shooting spree in British Columbia earlier this week, which prompted the province to issue a rare public safety alert. Three people, including the suspected gunman, were killed and two others were wounded in the incident that started at around midnight and continued until the morning on Monday in the city of Langley, a suburb of Vancouver.
Protest over 15th-century land grab doctrine interrupts papal Mass in Canada
Indigenous activists unfurled a banner demanding Pope Francis rescind 15th-century papal edicts justifying colonialism at a Mass he presided over Thursday, thrusting the doctrine to the forefront of his apology tour of Canada. Two Anishinaabe cousins unfurled a large banner protesting the doctrine of discovery which effectively gave Europeans moral justification for taking indigenous lands.
Ukraine bombs Russian forces in drive to retake south
Ukraine stepped up its drive to retake Russian-controlled southern Ukraine by trying to bomb and isolate Russian troops in hard-to-resupply areas. In a Thursday night address, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy once again signalled that Ukrainians would not be intimidated by the Russian invasion, which began on Feb. 24 and has had economic and other consequences far beyond Ukraine's borders.
Poland wants right to block EU plan to reduce gas demand, PM says
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Thursday that a possible decision on a compulsory reduction in gas consumption in the European Union must be made unanimously, not by a qualified majority vote. European Union countries bracing for further cuts in Russian gas supplies on Tuesday approved a weakened emergency plan to curb demand, after striking compromise deals to limit consumption reductions for some countries.
Don't 'play with fire' over Taiwan, China's Xi warns in call with Biden
Chinese leader Xi Jinping warned against playing with fire over Taiwan in a call with U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday, highlighting Beijing's concerns about a possible visit to the Chinese-claimed island by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "Those who play with fire will perish by it," China's foreign ministry quoted Xi as telling Biden in their fifth call as leaders. "It is hoped that the U.S. will be clear-eyed about this."
U.S. says talks took place with Taliban officials on central bank reserves
A U.S. delegation discussed with Taliban officials efforts to enable the release of billions of dollars from Afghan central bank reserves, the State Department said on Thursday. The meeting, involving Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West and Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson, took place on Wednesday, the State Department said in a release.
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