World News Roundup: Indonesia bans sex outside marriage in new criminal code; Beijing drops COVID testing burden as wider easing beckons and more
The government, backed by AU troops and clan militias, said it has killed around 700 members of al Shabaab and recaptured scores of settlements as part of a months-long campaign to loosen the al Qaeda-linked group's control over large swathes of the country. Seven killed in north Afghanistan as blast hits vehicle with oil workers At least seven people were killed in Afghanistan on Tuesday when a blast hit a vehicle carrying oil workers in the northern province of Balkh, while another blast in the eastern city of Jalalabad injured six people.
Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Indonesia bans sex outside marriage in new criminal code
Indonesia's parliament approved a new criminal code on Tuesday that bans sex outside marriage with a punishment of up to one year in jail, despite worries the laws may scare away tourists from its tropical shores and harm investment. The new code, which will apply to Indonesians and foreigners alike, also prohibit cohabitation between unmarried couples. It will also ban insulting the president or state institutions, spreading views counter to the state ideology, and staging protests without notification.
Beijing drops COVID testing burden as wider easing beckons
Residents of China's capital were allowed into parks, supermarkets, offices and airports without a negative COVID-19 test on Tuesday, the latest in a mix of easing steps nationwide after unprecedented protests against a tough zero-COVID policy. "Beijing readies itself for life again," read a headline in the government-owned China Daily newspaper, adding that people were "gradually embracing" newfound freedoms.
Argentina's VP Cristina Kirchner faces corruption trial verdict
Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Argentina's powerful but divisive vice president, could be handed a 12-year jail sentence and be disqualified from holding public office, with judges expected to rule on Tuesday in a high-profile corruption case. The judgment is though likely to be appealed and spend years winding through higher courts even if it goes against the former two-term president, who commands rock-star crowds of supporters.
EU seeks to reassure Western Balkans on accession amid fears of Russian influence
European Union and Western Balkans leaders met in the Albanian capital Tirana on Tuesday for a summit meant to reassure the region of a future in the wealthy bloc amid fears of rising Russian and Chinese influence. The leaders of the six Balkan countries of Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia have long expressed disillusion that negotiations have not started or are stalled, years after being promised eventual EU membership.
Iran arrests 12 people linked to overseas agents - state media
Iran's Revolutionary Guards on Tuesday arrested 12 people accused of being linked to overseas agents and planning "subversive action", the elite force said in a statement, according to state media. "The members of this network, under the guidance of anti-revolutionary agents living in Germany and the Netherlands, were intending to carry out subversive action by procuring war weapons and acting against national security," the Revolutionary Guards' statement read.
Somali forces, clan militias capture major town from al Shabaab
Somali forces and allied militias have pushed al Shabaab fighters out of a strategic town in central Somalia that the Islamist group has controlled for six years, officials and the African Union (AU) said on Tuesday. The government, backed by AU troops and clan militias, said it has killed around 700 members of al Shabaab and recaptured scores of settlements as part of a months-long campaign to loosen the al Qaeda-linked group's control over large swathes of the country.
Seven killed in north Afghanistan as blast hits vehicle with oil workers
At least seven people were killed in Afghanistan on Tuesday when a blast hit a vehicle carrying oil workers in the northern province of Balkh, while another blast in the eastern city of Jalalabad injured six people. "Today at around 7 a.m. a blast took place in ...Balkh on a bus which belonged to Hairatan oil employees," said Mohammad Asif Wazeri, police spokesperson for the northern province.
Ukraine appears to expose Russian air defence gaps with long-range strikes
A third Russian airfield was ablaze on Tuesday from a drone strike, a day after Ukraine demonstrated an apparent new ability to penetrate hundreds of kilometers deep into Russian air space with attacks on two Russian air bases. Officials in the Russian city of Kursk, located close to Ukraine, released pictures of black smoke above an airfield in the early morning hours of Tuesday after the latest strike. The governor said an oil storage tank there had been set ablaze but there were no casualties.
Al Jazeera files suit at International Criminal Court over journalist's killing
Al Jazeera on Tuesday said it has filed a lawsuit at the International Criminal Court against Israeli forces over the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot during an Israeli raid in the West Bank in May. The lawsuit following an investigation by the television news network's legal team, Al Jazeera said on Twitter.
Mongolians clash with police in protest against inflation and graft
Mongolian protesters clashed with police as they tried to storm parliament after thousands gathered in freezing temperatures to demonstrate against soaring inflation and government corruption. The protests began in the capital Ulaanbaatar on Sunday, triggered by allegations that surfaced two months ago of government officials profiting from illegal sales of coal to China, independent broadcaster TenGer TV said.
(With inputs from agencies.)