World News Roundup: Iraq counts votes after lowest ever election turnout; Austria's Schallenberg sworn in as chancellor after Kurz quits and more
Navalny said on Instagram that he had been summoned before a commission which voted unanimously in favour of the change of status. N.Korea's Kim calls for improving people's lives amid 'grim' economy North Korean leader Kim Jong Un urged officials to focus on improving citizens' lives in the face of a "grim" economic situation, state media reported on Monday, as he marked the anniversary of the country's ruling party.
Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Iraq counts votes after lowest ever election turnout
Vote counting was underway in Iraq on Monday, a day after a record low turnout in a parliamentary election, reflecting what many Iraqis said was a loss of faith in the country's democratic process and political class. The turnout in Sunday's election was 41%, the electoral commission said. The lowest turnout was in Baghdad, with between 31% and 34%.
Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg was sworn in as chancellor on Monday after fellow conservative Sebastian Kurz stepped down as Austria's leader in the face of corruption allegations to keep the ruling coalition with the Greens alive. Schallenberg was sworn in at a ceremony in President Alexander Van der Bellen's office along with his successor as foreign minister, Michael Linhart, who like Schallenberg is a career diplomat and had been serving as ambassador to France.
China says it carried out beach landing drills in province opposite Taiwan
China's military said on Monday it had carried out beach landing and assault drills in the province directly across the sea from Taiwan, though it did not link the exercises to current tensions with Taipei. Democratically ruled Taiwan, claimed by China as its own territory, has complained of stepped-up military and political pressure from Beijing to force it to accept Chinese rule, including massed air force incursions into Taiwan's air defence identification zone.
Sydney's cafes, gyms and restaurants welcomed back fully vaccinated customers on Monday after nearly four months of lockdown, as Australia aims to begin living with the coronavirus and gradually reopen with high rates of inoculation. Some pubs in Sydney, Australia's largest city, opened at 12:01 a.m. (1301 GMT Sunday) and friends and families huddled together for a midnight beer, television footage and social media images showed.
German SPD expects to lead new coalition this year as talks deepen
Germany's Social Democrats began in-depth exploratory coalition talks on Monday with two smaller parties and expressed confidence the three would form a new government this year following an inconclusive national election. The centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) narrowly beat the conservatives, whose outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel has governed since 2005, in the Sept. 26 federal ballot, but did not win a majority.
Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny says his prison has designated him a terrorist
Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny said on Monday that a prison commission had designated him an extremist and a terrorist, but officially no longer regarded him as a flight risk. Navalny said on Instagram that he had been summoned before a commission which voted unanimously in favour of the change of status.
N.Korea's Kim calls for improving people's lives amid 'grim' economy
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un urged officials to focus on improving citizens' lives in the face of a "grim" economic situation, state media reported on Monday, as he marked the anniversary of the country's ruling party. Art performances, galas, and a fireworks show were held in Pyongyang to celebrate the 76th anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party of Korea on Sunday, but no large military parade, which are sometimes held on such occasions, was reported.
Britain's new aircraft carrier the HMS Queen Elizabeth made a stop in Singapore on Monday, part of a move to reassert itself globally and boost its military presence in Asia amid rising competition among major powers. The Queen Elizabeth led a British carrier strike group in exercises with Singapore's military at the weekend, including naval maneuvers and simulated combat training with F-35B stealth fighters and F-16 jets.
Nobel economics prize goes to 'natural experiments' pioneers
Economists David Card, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens won the 2021 Nobel economics prize on Monday for pioneering "natural experiments" to show real-world economic impacts in areas from minimum wage increases in the U.S. fast-food sector to migration from Castro-era Cuba. Unlike in medicine or other sciences, economists cannot conduct rigidly controlled clinical trials. Instead, natural experiments use real-life situations to study impacts on the world, an approach that has spread to other social sciences.
The United States said on Sunday the first face-to-face meeting between senior U.S. and Taliban officials since the hardline group retook power in Afghanistan was "candid and professional" and that the U.S. side reiterated that the Taliban would be judged on their actions, not just their words. State Department spokesman Ned Price said the U.S. delegation at the weekend talks in Doha, Qatar, focused on security and terrorism concerns and safe passage for U.S. citizens, other foreign nationals and Afghans, as well as on human rights, including the meaningful participation of women and girls in all aspects of Afghan society.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)