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World News Roundup: Pope expresses support for detained fishermen in Libya; Thai protesters take to streets in new show of defiance and more

Senior PLO official Erekat taken to Israeli hospital after COVID-19 condition worsens Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Israel on Sunday for treatment of a worsening case of COVID-19, the Palestine Liberation Organization said.

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 18-10-2020 18:38 IST | Created: 18-10-2020 18:27 IST
World News Roundup: Pope expresses support for detained fishermen in Libya; Thai protesters take to streets in new show of defiance and more
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Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

Pope expresses support for detained fishermen in Libya

Pope Francis expressed support on Sunday for 18 fishermen held in Libya, weighing in on a standoff between Italy and the administration of Khalifa Haftar, one of the North African country's two rival leaders. "I want to say a word of encouragement and support for the fishermen who have been held in Libya for more than a month, and for their families (who) are hoping to be able to embrace their dear ones soon," Francis said at his weekly blessing in St. Peter's Square.

Thai protesters take to streets in new show of defiance

Hundreds of Thai anti-government protesters demonstrated in Bangkok on Sunday, again defying a ban on protests against Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and the powerful monarchy. Demonstrations have persisted despite the arrest of dozens of protesters and their leaders, the use of water cannon and shutdowns on much of Bangkok's metro rail system in a bid to quell over three months of street action.

Armenia and Azerbaijan accuse each other of violating new ceasefire agreement

Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other on Sunday of violating a new humanitarian ceasefire in fighting over Azerbaijan's ethnic Armenian-controlled enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. The truce came into force last midnight (2000 GMT).

Bolivians hope presidential election will restore political stability

Bolivians began voting on Sunday in a presidential election many hope can restore stability to a nation that was plunged into turmoil after a fraught and eventually voided vote last year, leaving the country in the hands of an interim president. Frontrunners in the election are Luis Arce, who champions a return to the socialist and pro-indigenous policies of former President Evo Morales, and Carlos Mesa, a centrist who served as president in the early 2000s.

Tribute planned for beheaded teacher in France; 11th person arrested

An 11th person was detained on Sunday, police said, as authorities investigated the murder of Samuel Paty, a history teacher who was beheaded by a suspected Islamist in an attack that stunned the country. Satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, whose offices were attacked in a mass killing five years ago, was among groups organising a tribute to Paty in Paris in the afternoon.

Senior PLO official Erekat taken to Israeli hospital after COVID-19 condition worsens

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Israel on Sunday for treatment of a worsening case of COVID-19, the Palestine Liberation Organization said. Witnesses said Erekat, 65, was on a stretcher when he was placed inside an Israeli ambulance outside his home in Jericho, in the occupied West Bank. Erekat, who is also secretary-general of the PLO, disclosed on Oct. 8 that he had contracted coronavirus.

Britain's Gove says door not closed on EU deal talks

British senior minister Michael Gove said on Sunday the door remained "ajar" for talks on a post-Brexit trade deal to continue if the European Union changed its approach. "I think the EU effectively ended the current round of talks last week. It was the case we were making progress but then the EU retreated from that," he told BBC TV.

Analysis: Pandemic biggest hurdle for New Zealand's Ardern after 'tectonic' election

Jacinda Ardern's landslide election win gives her a mandate for the transformational change she has been promising New Zealand for three years, but the COVID-19 pandemic may limit what she can actually do. The prime minister's signature achievement in all but eliminating the new coronavirus from the Pacific island nation through strict lockdowns propelled her to victory on Saturday. But this approach may also hinder the recovery New Zealanders are hoping for and the progressive policies Ardern champions.

Israel sends treaty delegation to Bahrain with Trump aides

An Israeli delegation accompanied by the U.S. treasury secretary arrived in Bahrain on Sunday to formalise nascent relations and broaden Gulf cooperation that Washington has promoted as an anti-Iran bulwark and potential economic bonanza. Bahrain followed the United Arab Emirates in agreeing last month to normalise ties with Israel, stunning Palestinians who had demanded statehood before any such regional rapprochement.

Swiss tighten measures to combat spike in COVID-19 cases

Switzerland announced tighter restrictions on Sunday to tackle the recent spike in coronavirus cases, including a national obligation to wear masks and a ban on large scale public gatherings. Gatherings of more than 15 people in public places will be banned from Monday and masks must be worn in all indoor public places, the government announced following an extraordinary meeting.


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