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World News Roundup: Poland weighs new curbs as coronavirus cases hit fresh record; Biden risk looms for Turkey's Erdogan and beleaguered lira and more

As part of a wide diplomatic push from major global powers, the Azeri and Armenian foreign ministers also flew to Moscow for talks with Russia, which has brokered two ceasefires but failed to end clashes killing hundreds of people in the last month.

Reuters | Updated: 21-10-2020 18:47 IST | Created: 21-10-2020 18:28 IST
World News Roundup: Poland weighs new curbs as coronavirus cases hit fresh record; Biden risk looms for Turkey's Erdogan and beleaguered lira and more
Representative image Image Credit: ANI

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

Spanish grandma, 99, gets back to computer games after beating COVID-19

When 99-year old Florentina Martin caught the coronavirus in September, her grand-daughter's greatest fear was not that the disease would kill her, but that she would end up alone on an emergency ward. "I always thought loneliness would finish her off before the virus because she's afraid of being left alone, especially in the hospital," Noelia Valle said.

Gunmen take up to 20 hostage in Georgian bank, demand $500,000

Unidentified gunmen took up to 20 people hostage in Georgia on Wednesday, in a branch of the commercial Bank of Georgia in the town of Zugdidi, police said, according to the TV channel Mtavari. Negotiations were under way and the gunmen were demanding a sum of $500,000, the channel reported.

Global powers push to end Nagorno-Karabakh fighting

Armenia's president headed to Brussels for talks with the European Union and NATO military alliance on Wednesday in a renewed drive to end the heaviest fighting since the 1990s over the mountain enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. As part of a wide diplomatic push from major global powers, the Azeri and Armenian foreign ministers also flew to Moscow for talks with Russia, which has brokered two ceasefires but failed to end clashes killing hundreds of people in the last month.

France bans Islamist group after killing of teacher: government spokesman

France will ban an Islamist group named after the late Sheikh Yassin as part of a crackdown on militants following the murder of a French schoolteacher last week, government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday. Samuel Paty was beheaded on Oct. 16 by an 18-year-old of Chechen origin seeking to avenge his victim's use of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad in a class on freedom of expression. Police shot the attacker dead.

Poland weighs new curbs as coronavirus cases hit fresh record

Poland is considering new restrictions, including moving some primary students to distance learning, after its total of coronavirus infections doubled in less than three weeks. On Wednesday, it announced a new daily record of 10,040 new cases, taking its overall total past 200,000, as the lower house of parliament held an emergency session to discuss a bill to help an overwhelmed health system.

Iraqi leader battles pressure from friends and foes in security crackdown

It was a series of intercepted phone calls on a tense night in June that made Iraq's new prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi fully realise how few friends he had. During one call, a senior Iraqi leader with strong ties to Iran instructed the security chief for Baghdad's fortified Green Zone, which hosts government buildings and foreign embassies, not to stand in the way of militiamen who were storming the area, two Iraqi security officials said.

Analysis: Biden risk looms for Turkey's Erdogan and beleaguered lira

Turkey stands to lose more than most other countries if Joe Biden is elected president since he is expected to toughen the U.S. stance against President Tayyip Erdogan's foreign military interventions and closer cooperation with Russia. Investors and analysts say the beleaguered Turkish lira is especially vulnerable if a Biden White House pulls the trigger on long-threatened sanctions over Ankara's purchase of Russian S-400 missiles, which Washington says compromise NATO defences.

Surviving the pandemic: blind Cuban piano tuner struggles to make ends meet

Flora Villareal, 67, part of a cohort of Cubans who graduated from an experimental piano tuning program for the blind and visually impaired in 1970, is still plying her trade half a century later. But this year has been hard because of the pandemic. She usually works for Havana's recording studios and performance venues, which had to close down for many months during Cuba's coronavirus lockdown.

EU tells Britain to make up its mind as Brexit deal 'within reach'

The European Union told Britain on Wednesday to make up its mind on Brexit, putting the onus back on London to unlock trade talks as the bloc's chief negotiator said an agreement was still within reach with 10 weeks to go. A frustrated European Union and piqued Britain both exhorted each other this week to compromise to avoid a disruptive finale to the five-year Brexit drama that would add to economic pain from the coronavirus crisis.

G20 women's forum urged to press hosts Saudi on rights

Rights groups want participants in a G20 women's meeting starting in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to seek the release of detained female activists and call out the kingdom for its record on rights. As current chair of the Group of 20 major economies, Riyadh has tried to improve its image after global outrage at the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Kashoggi at its Istanbul consulate.


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