World News Roundup: Russia accuses U.S. of direct Ukraine war role, but says it's open to potential talks; Spain's PM sent letter bomb similar to device that injured Ukraine embassy official and more
The appeal represents a 25% increase on 2022. Ukraine says Russia pulls back forces from river towns opposite Kherson Ukraine's military said on Thursday Russia had pulled some troops from towns on the opposite bank of the Dnipro River from Kherson city, the first official Ukrainian report of a Russian withdrawal on what is now the main front line in the south.
Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Russia accuses U.S. of direct Ukraine war role, but says it's open to potential talks
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the United States and NATO of playing a direct and dangerous role in the Ukraine war and said Washington had turned Kyiv into an existential threat for Moscow which it could not ignore. Russia's top diplomat, speaking on Thursday during his annual news conference in Moscow, also accused the United States and NATO of trying to ratchet up tensions in the South China Sea and of trying to subvert any regional bodies designed to promote dialogue, such as the OSCE in Europe and ASEAN in Asia.
Spain's PM sent letter bomb similar to device that injured Ukraine embassy official
Spain has stepped up security at public and diplomatic buildings after a spate of letter bombs, including one sent to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and another to the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid, where an officer suffered minor injuries. The Interior Ministry revealed on Thursday that an "envelope with pyrotechnic material" addressed to Sanchez had been received on Nov. 24 and disarmed by his security team.
Analysis-Mexican president's electoral gambit breathes life into the opposition
The Mexican president's determination to carry out a contentious electoral overhaul has helped unite a fractured opposition ahead of the last major elections before the country chooses a new leader in 2024. On Nov. 13, tens of thousands of Mexicans took to the streets to protest President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's plan to slash funding for the National Electoral Institute (INE) --which oversees elections in Mexico -- and reorganize the body in a way that could give him more control over it.
UN seeks record $51.5 billion for 'shockingly high' humanitarian aid needs
The United Nations and partners on Thursday appealed for a record $51.5 billion in aid money for 2023, with tens of millions of additional people expected to need assistance, testing the humanitarian response system "to its limits". The appeal represents a 25% increase on 2022.
Ukraine says Russia pulls back forces from river towns opposite Kherson
Ukraine's military said on Thursday Russia had pulled some troops from towns on the opposite bank of the Dnipro River from Kherson city, the first official Ukrainian report of a Russian withdrawal on what is now the main front line in the south. The statement gave only limited details and made no mention of any Ukrainian forces having crossed the Dnipro. Ukrainian officials also stressed that Russia had intensified shelling across the river, knocking out power again in Kherson where electricity had only begun to be restored nearly three weeks after Russian troops vacated the city and fled across the river.
Myanmar democracy leader says 2,000 dead fighting junta, urges military aid
At least 2,000 pro-democracy fighters have been killed in Myanmar battling a military junta that seized power last year, the head of a parallel civilian government said in an interview aired on Thursday, urging allies to provide military aid. Duwa Lashi La, acting president of the National Unity Government (NUG), comprised of remnants of the administration of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi and others, was speaking to the Reuters NEXT conference from an undisclosed location in Myanmar.
China set to loosen COVID curbs after week of historic protests
China is set to announce an easing of its COVID-19 quarantine protocols in the coming days and a reduction in mass testing, sources told Reuters, a marked shift in policy after anger over the world's toughest curbs fuelled widespread protests. Cases nationwide remain near record highs but the changes come as some cities have been lifting their lockdowns in recent days, and a top official said the ability of the virus to cause disease was weakening.
Islamic State leader Quraishi blew himself up after being surrounded -sources
Islamic State (IS) militant leader Abu al-Hassan al-Hashemi al-Quraishi, who was killed in mid-October in Syria, blew himself up after he and his aides were surrounded by local fighters in the town of Jasem, fighters involved in the clash told Reuters. The U.S. military said on Wednesday he was killed in an operation carried out by the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) in the southern Deraa province.
China mourns former leader Jiang Zemin with bouquets, black front pages
Chinese newspapers turned their front pages black on Thursday and flags were put at half mast in mourning for the death of former president Jiang Zemin, while well-wishers laid piles of bouquets outside his childhood home. Jiang died in his home city of Shanghai just after noon on Wednesday of leukaemia and multiple organ failure, aged 96.
S.African president's spokesman says announcement imminent after misconduct report
South Africa's presidency will make an announcement imminently, President Cyril Ramaphosa's spokesman said on Thursday, a day after a panel report found preliminary evidence that Ramaphosa may have violated his oath of office and committed misconduct. The inquiry centred on the theft of an estimated $4 million from the billionaire president's farm in 2020, which only came to light in June. The theft has raised questions about how Ramaphosa, who took to power on the promise to fight graft, acquired the cash and whether he declared it.
(With inputs from agencies.)