World News Roundup: EU president says Ukraine has unconditional support ahead of summit; France extends mandatory COVID tests for Chinese travellers until Feb 15 and more
Following is a summary of current world news briefs. EU president says Ukraine has unconditional support ahead of summit European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said ahead of an EU-Ukraine summit next week that Ukraine had unconditional support from the bloc and that the country needed to prevail against Russian attacks to defend European values.
Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
EU president says Ukraine has unconditional support ahead of summit
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said ahead of an EU-Ukraine summit next week that Ukraine had unconditional support from the bloc and that the country needed to prevail against Russian attacks to defend European values. "We stand by Ukraine's side without any ifs and buts," von der Leyen said in a speech on Saturday at an event of her party, the Christian Democrat CDU, in Duesseldorf, Germany.
France extends mandatory COVID tests for Chinese travellers until Feb 15
France has extended mandatory COVID tests for travellers from China until Feb. 15, a government decree published on Saturday showed. While Chinese officials have said infections have peaked, some global experts have warned about the possibility of a rise in cases in rural areas less equipped to deal with them as millions of Chinese travel for family reunions during the Lunar New Year holiday.
Spanish police seize cocaine worth $114 million from cattle ship
Spanish police seized 4.5 tonnes of cocaine with an estimated street value of 105 million euros ($114 million) after raiding a cattle ship off the Canary Islands earlier this week, a statement said on Saturday. The ship had stopped at ports in about a dozen countries before Tuesday's raid, and police said drug smugglers had started using livestock ships because it was more difficult for police to trace their illicit cargo.
Israeli army reinforces in West Bank after synagogue shooting
Israel's military said it was boosting its forces in the occupied West Bank a day after a Palestinian gunman shot dead seven people on the outskirts of Jerusalem, and another shooting attack in the city on Saturday wounded two people. The attacks come towards the end of a month of growing confrontation and follow an Israeli raid in the West Bank that killed nine Palestinians, including seven gunmen, and cross-border fire between Israel and Gaza that heightened fears of a spiral in bloodshed.
Russian Antarctic vessel docks in South Africa as green groups protest
A Russian research vessel which has been prospecting for oil and natural gas in the Antarctic docked in South Africa on Saturday following protests by green campaigners who say its operations in the region violate a treaty banning mineral exploration. Several members of the Extinction Rebellion environmental group held banners reading "Hands off Antarctica" as the polar explorer ship Akademik Alexander Karpinsky arrived as scheduled in Cape Town's port during the morning.
Congo revivalist churches draw in Catholics
Congolese event organiser Deo Malela was born to Roman Catholic parents and identifies as such. But like more and more Catholics in the central African nation, 28-year-old Malele also regularly attends an evangelical church where he says he finds solutions to everyday problems.
In Beijing's backyard, U.S. demonstrates its military might
Over a few hours under grey skies, dozens of combat planes and helicopters roar on and off the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Nimitz, in a demonstration of U.S. military power in some of the world's most hotly contested waters. MH-60 Seahawk helicopters and F/A-18 Hornet jets bearing pilot call signs like "Fozzie Bear", "Pig Sweat" and "Bongoo" emit deafening screams as they land in the drizzle on the Nimitz, which is leading a carrier strike group that entered the South China Sea two weeks ago.
Exclusive: Top U.S. Treasury official to warn UAE, Turkey over sanctions evasion
The U.S. Treasury Department's top sanctions official on a trip to Turkey and the Middle East next week will warn countries and businesses that they could lose U.S. market access if they do business with entities subject to U.S. curbs as Washington cracks down on Russian attempts to evade sanctions imposed over its war in Ukraine. Brian Nelson, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, will travel to Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey from Jan. 29 to Feb. 3 and meet with government officials as well as businesses and financial institutions to reiterate that Washington will continue to aggressively enforce its sanctions, a Treasury spokesperson told Reuters.
Italy's Meloni expected to sign major gas deal as she starts Libya visit
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni flew to Tripoli on Saturday where she is expected to agree a major gas deal aimed at boosting energy supplies to Europe despite the insecurity and political chaos in the North African country. Meloni is meeting Mohamed al-Menfi, the head of Libya's three-man Presidency Council, and Prime Minister Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah, head of the internationally recognised Government of National Unity (GNU) in Tripoli.
Trump heads to New Hampshire, South Carolina in bid to jump-start campaign
Former U.S. President Donald Trump will swing through New Hampshire and South Carolina on Saturday in the first two stops of a presidential campaign that has largely idled since he launched his new White House bid in November. Trump will speak first at the New Hampshire Republican Party's annual meeting in Salem before heading to Columbia, South Carolina's capital, where he will unveil his leadership team in the state.
(With inputs from agencies.)