World News Roundup: Iran and Saudi Arabia agree to resume ties, re-open embassies; Xi clinches third term as China's president amid host of challenges and more
The 35-year-old, a German citizen and former Jehovah's Witness, used a semi-automatic pistol he had legally owned since December in the shooting on Thursday evening, a Hamburg state prosecutor said at a joint news conference with police.
Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Iran and Saudi Arabia agree to resume ties, re-open embassies
Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed on Friday to re-establish relations after a seven-year diplomatic rupture which has fuelled tensions in the Gulf and deepened conflicts from Yemen to Syria. The agreement was reached after talks in Beijing between top security officials from the two rival Middle East powers.
Xi clinches third term as China's president amid host of challenges
Xi Jinping secured a precedent-breaking third term as president of China on Friday during a parliamentary session in which he tightened his control of the world's second-largest economy as it emerges from a COVID slump and diplomatic challenges mount. Nearly 3,000 members of China's rubber-stamp parliament, the National People's Congress (NPC), voted unanimously in the Great Hall of the People for the 69-year-old Xi in an election in which there was no other candidate.
Georgia's parliament drops 'foreign agents' bill
Georgia's parliament on Friday dropped plans for a "foreign agents" bill that had triggered a political crisis and threatened to derail the country's bid for closer ties with Europe. Lawmakers voted against the legislation in the second reading on Friday after the ruling Georgian Dream party pulled its support for the bill.
Ukraine says Bakhmut battle pins down Russia's best units
Ukraine has decided to fight on in the ruined city of Bakhmut because the battle there is pinning down Russia's best units and degrading them ahead of a planned Ukrainian spring counter-offensive, an aide to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said. The comments, by Mykhailo Podolyak, were the latest signal of a shift by Kyiv this week to continue the defence of the small eastern city, site of the war's bloodiest battle as Moscow tries to secure its first victory in more than half a year.
Factbox-Jehovah's Witnesses: some facts about their history and community in Germany
Here are some facts about the Jehovah's Witnesses and their community in Germany, shaken by a mass shooting at a Jehovah's Witness hall in Hamburg on Thursday. - The Jehovah's Witnesses are an international Christian denomination that was founded in the United States in around 1870. They have around 8.7 million active followers in 239 countries worldwide, according to the denomination's website.
Boat packed with 500 migrants needs rescue off Sicily - charity
About 500 migrants need to be rescued from a boat off the coast of Sicily, the Alarm Phone charity said on Friday, amid a dramatic increase in sea arrivals to Italy and a recent deadly shipwreck. The charity, which picks up calls from migrant vessels in distress, said on Twitter it had alerted "competent authorities" and urged them: "Don't waste time: send help immediately!".
After tough years, France and Britain tout post-Brexit reset
The leaders of France and Britain met on Friday to iron out differences over migration and deepen military ties after years of bickering over Brexit. Rishi Sunak, who became Britain's prime minister in October, is hoping to capitalise on renewed goodwill with Emmanuel Macron and, as he arrived in the Paris, said he wanted to start talks with the European Union on a deal that would eventually allow it to return migrants arriving on British shores.
Biden to host Australia and Britain to reveal details of submarine pact to counter China
U.S. President Joe Biden will meet leaders of Australia and Britain in San Diego on Monday to announce a way forward for Australia to receive nuclear-powered submarines in Canberra's biggest-ever defense project. The three countries announced the so-called AUKUS plan in 2021 as part of efforts to counter China in the Indo-Pacific region.
Russia says it's still in contact with US over nuclear treaty, but prospects dim
Russia said on Friday it was still in contact with the United States over their last remaining nuclear arms treaty, despite suspending it last month, but held out little prospect of returning to it. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted by RIA news agency as saying he had no expectations for significant progress from contacts between Moscow and Washington over the New START treaty.
German gunman kills 7 including unborn child at Jehovah's Witness hall - police
A gunman in Germany shot dead seven people including an unborn child before killing himself at a Jehovah's Witness worship hall in the city of Hamburg, police and prosecutors said on Friday. The 35-year-old, a German citizen and former Jehovah's Witness, used a semi-automatic pistol he had legally owned since December in the shooting on Thursday evening, a Hamburg state prosecutor said at a joint news conference with police.
(With inputs from agencies.)