Reuters World News Summary
Daniel Kritenbrink, the assistant secretary of state for East Asia, will be in the region from Saturday until Dec. 4, a State Department statement said. WHO names new COVID variant omicron, cautions against travel measures The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday classified the B.1.1.529 variant detected in South Africa as a SARS-CoV-2 "variant of concern," saying it may spread more quickly than other forms.
Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
U.S. says 'all options' on the table over Russian troop buildup near Ukraine
All options are on the table in how to respond to Russia's "large and unusual" troop buildup near Ukraine's border, and the NATO alliance will decide on the next move following consultations next week, the State Department's top U.S. diplomat for European affairs said on Friday. "As you can appreciate, all options are on the table and there's a toolkit that includes a whole range of options," Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Donfried told reporters in a telephone briefing.
Iran wants the verifiable lifting of economic sanctions it is under, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on Friday, three days before nuclear talks resume in Vienna. Monday’s indirect talks between the United States and Iran, with the participation of major powers, aim at bringing the two countries into full compliance with a 2015 deal. Washington abandoned the accord in 2018 and reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran.
At least 19 killed in bus crash in central Mexico
At least 19 people were killed and 20 more injured on Friday when a passenger bus traveling on a highway in central Mexico crashed into a house, authorities said. The brakes on the bus, which was heading to a local religious shrine in the state of Mexico, failed, according to local media reports. State authorities did not disclose the possible causes of the accident.
WTO postpones major meeting after new variant outbreak
The World Trade Organization (WTO) became the first major diplomatic casualty of the new coronavirus variant on Friday when it postponed its first ministerial meeting in four years due to the deteriorating health situation. Ministers from WTO members were due to have gathered next week for a meeting widely seen as a test of the WTO's relevance.
The discovery of a new coronavirus variant named Omicron triggered global alarm on Friday as countries rushed to suspend travel from southern Africa and stock markets on both sides of the Atlantic suffered their biggest falls in more than a year. The World Health Organisation (WHO) said Omicron https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/what-we-know-about-covid-19-variant-detected-south-africa-2021-11-26 may spread more quickly than other forms, and preliminary evidence suggested there is an increased risk of reinfection.
Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko told migrants stranded at the border with Poland on Friday that his country would help them to return home if they wanted but would not force them. Thousands of migrants are stuck on the European Union's eastern frontier, in what the EU says is a crisis Minsk engineered by distributing Belarusian visas in the Middle East, flying them in and pushing them across the border.
The top U.S. diplomat for East Asia will visit Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand from the weekend after President Joe Biden pledged stepped up engagement with Southeast Asia, a key battleground in his contest for influence with China. Daniel Kritenbrink, the assistant secretary of state for East Asia, will be in the region from Saturday until Dec. 4, a State Department statement said.
WHO names new COVID variant omicron, cautions against travel measures
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday classified the B.1.1.529 variant detected in South Africa as a SARS-CoV-2 "variant of concern," saying it may spread more quickly than other forms. Preliminary evidence suggested there is an increased risk of reinfection and there had been a "detrimental change in COVID-19 epidemiology," it said in a statement after a closed meeting of independent experts who reviewed the data.
U.S. to revoke terrorist designation for Colombia's FARC, add breakaway groups
The United States will revoke its designation of the Colombian group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia as a foreign terrorist organization on Tuesday while designating two breakaway groups as such, a senior State Department official said on Friday. A review of the terrorist listing - required every five years under U.S. law - found that the leftist organization known by the Spanish acronym FARC should no longer be listed, The official said.
'We need to work': Hundreds of migrants form new U.S.-bound caravan in Mexico
Hundreds of Central American and Haitian migrants formed a new caravan on Friday in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, near the Guatemala border, and began walking north toward the United States. The migrants said they wanted to leave Chiapas as they had not been given humanitarian visas promised by Mexico or transferred to other parts of the country where they would have better living conditions.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)