World News Roundup: Russia condemns U.S. lawmakers' proposal on 'nonrecognition' of Putin; Dozens of Palestinians use Barcelona layover to seek asylum in Spain and more
The accusation by Poland suggests an apparent change of tack this week by Minsk has not resolved the border crisis, which has spiralled into a major East-West confrontation. U.S. announces sex-trafficking charges against Duterte's spiritual adviser U.S. prosecutors on Thursday announced sex-trafficking charges alleging that girls and young women were coerced to have sex with the founder of a Philippines-based church who is a friend and adviser to President Rodrigo Duterte.
Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Russia condemns U.S. lawmakers' proposal on 'nonrecognition' of Putin
The Kremlin denounced as "absurd" on Friday a resolution proposed by U.S. lawmakers to stop recognising Vladimir Putin as Russia's president if he stays in power after 2024, and described it as U.S. meddling in Russian affairs. Putin's term as president is due to end in 2024 and he can seek two more terms under constitutional amendments made during his presidency. Under the previous constitutional limits, he would have been barred from running again.
A group of 39 Palestinian passengers on a flight from Egypt to Colombia used a layover at Barcelona airport to demand political asylum in Spain, a government spokeswoman said on Friday. After landing in Barcelona from Cairo on Monday, the passengers were scheduled to board another plane to Colombia and Ecuador but instead sought out authorities in the airport to make the asylum request, the spokeswoman for the central government's regional office said.
When asked about the three days she spent in a Nicaraguan prison in 2018 for protesting against President Daniel Ortega, Tania Cadena pointed to white scars on her arm and forehead, then pulled aside her lips to reveal a missing molar. "It felt like three thousand years," said the 24-year-old former medical student, who is now living in exile in the Costa Rican capital of San Jose.
Poland says Belarus trucking migrants back to the frontier despite clearing camps
Poland accused Belarus on Friday of trucking hundreds of migrants back to the border and pushing them to attempt to cross illegally, only hours after clearing camps at the frontier. The accusation by Poland suggests an apparent change of tack this week by Minsk has not resolved the border crisis, which has spiralled into a major East-West confrontation.
U.S. announces sex-trafficking charges against Duterte's spiritual adviser
U.S. prosecutors on Thursday announced sex-trafficking charges alleging that girls and young women were coerced to have sex with the founder of a Philippines-based church who is a friend and adviser to President Rodrigo Duterte. A 74-page indictment charges Apollo Carreon Quiboloy, founder of a church called Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name (KOJC) and other church officials, including two U.S.-based church administrators, with running a sex-trafficking operation that threatened victims as young as 12 with "eternal damnation" and physical abuse.
Chile's centrists, overshadowed in election, could yet play kingmaker
Chile's centrist presidential candidates are lagging behind the polarized favorites on the right and left ahead of Sunday's election, but could play roles as kingmakers in an expected second-round run-off. Yasna Provoste, 51, a former teacher, sits in third place in opinion polls for the powerful center-left Christian Democratic party, behind hard-right front-runner Jose Antonio Kast and leftist former student protest leader Gabriel Boric.
India's Modi backs down on farm reforms in surprise victory for protesters
In a surprise announcement on Friday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he would repeal agriculture laws that farmers have been protesting against for more than a year, sparking celebrations for what farmers called a hard-fought victory. Modi's decision is a significant climb-down for the combative leader and comes as state elections in politically important grain-belt states loom.
Austria will become the first country in western Europe to reimpose a full COVID-19 lockdown, it said on Friday as neighbouring Germany warned it may follow suit, sending shivers through financial markets worried about the economic fallout. A fourth wave of infections has plunged Germany, Europe's largest economy, into a national emergency, Health Minister Jens Spahn said. He urged people to reduce their social contacts, warning that vaccinations alone would not reduce case numbers.
Syrian doctor Kassam Shahadah settled in Poland as a war refugee three years ago and now volunteers on its border to help desperate Middle East migrants trying to enter after a perilous trek through freezing forest. He feels lucky to have won residence through asylum. And though he understands the same aspirations to life in the European Union in the new wave of migrants, he has seen enough in his volunteer work to advise them: Don't do it this way.
Market in China's Wuhan likely origin of COVID-19 outbreak - study
The first known COVID-19 case was a market vendor in the Chinese city of Wuhan, not an accountant who appeared to have no link to the market but whose case contributed to speculation the virus could have leaked from a lab, according to a U.S. study. The origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 remains a mystery and a major source of tension between China and the United States.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)