Reuters World News Summary


Reuters | Updated: 01-12-2021 05:23 IST | Created: 01-12-2021 05:23 IST
Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

Austria extends COVID-19 lockdown by 10 days

An Austrian parliamentary committee on Tuesday, as widely expected, approved a decree extending the country's COVID-19 lockdown by 10 days, bringing its total duration to 20 days, which the government has said is the longest it will last.

Faced with surging daily coronavirus infections, the conservative-led government introduced the lockdown on Monday of last week, the first country in Western Europe to reimpose a lockdown this autumn.

The race is on to trace the new COVID-19 variant

Governments around the world are urgently scouring databases for recent cases of COVID-19 infections, screening travellers and decoding the viral genomes of the new variant as they try to measure how far it has spread. The pace of the work highlights the pressure on governments and public health authorities to decide quickly whether they need to take unpopular, economically damaging steps to curb Omicron's spread.

Officials offer vaccine reassurance; WHO advises against travel bans

The World Health Organization warned countries on Tuesday not to impose blanket travel bans over the new Omicron coronavirus variant as governments and scientists try to determine how much protection current vaccines would offer against the strain. Financial markets fell sharply after the head of drugmaker Moderna said existing COVID-19 vaccines would be less effective against the Omicron variant. MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 1.39% a day after broad declines in Europe and Asia.

Commonwealth nations face hurdles to follow Barbados' republican path

Barbados' declaration of a republic on Tuesday may fuel fervor in other Commonwealth countries to follow suit, but experts say removing the queen requires overcoming political hurdles that have for decades stymied republican initiatives. Barbados inaugurated President Sandra Mason as its head of state on Tuesday to replace Britain's Queen Elizabeth in a ceremony attended by Prince Charles, marking a cordial severing of ties to the monarchy.

Putin hits back as NATO warns Moscow against attacking Ukraine

Russia would pay a high price for any new military aggression against Ukraine, NATO and the United States warned on Tuesday as the Western military alliance met to discuss Moscow's possible motives for massing troops near the Ukrainian border. President Vladimir Putin countered that Russia would be forced to act if U.S.-led NATO placed missiles in Ukraine that could strike Moscow within minutes.

Ecuador to keep land border with Peru shut to try stop Omicron spread

Ecuador's foreign ministry said on Tuesday that it would keep the country's border with Peru closed in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus' Omicron variant. Peru announced that as of Dec. 1, it would open its land border for residents and non-residents coming from Ecuador and Chile, complying with the protocols of the country's health authority.

Honduras' ruling party concedes presidential election to leftist

The ruling National Party of Honduras is conceding defeat in Sunday's presidential elections, a senior party figure said on Tuesday, leaving leftist candidate Xiomara Castro poised to become Honduras' first female leader. Kilvett Zabdiel Bertrand, executive secretary of the National Party, told Radio America that its presidential candidate Nasry Asfura will soon hold a news conference to confirm the party's 12-year stint in power is ending.

U.S. delegation met with Afghan Taliban representatives in Qatar -State Department

A U.S. delegation led by the special representative for Afghanistan, Thomas West, held talks with senior Afghan Taliban representatives in Qatar on Monday and Tuesday, the U.S. State Department said. The two sides discussed the international community’s response to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, and the U.S. delegation pledged to continue to support U.N. efforts to address the situation, the State Department said in a statement on Tuesday.

Tired and broke, migrants in caravan turn back to Mexico's southern border

Hundreds of mostly Haitian migrants, broke and exhausted, turned back to the city they had left a day earlier on Mexico's southern border, having failed to persuade authorities to move them to other parts of the country, caravan organizers said. Entire families carrying their belongings began the return trek to the southern city of Tapachula, after authorities said they would not be taken to other parts of Mexico immediately, despite pressure from migrants who set up road blocks.

U.S. in hypersonic weapon 'arms race' with China -Air Force secretary

The United States and China are engaged in an arms race to develop the most lethal hypersonic weapons, the U.S. Air Force secretary said on Tuesday, as Beijing and Washington build and test more and more of the high-speed next-generation arms.

"There is an arms race, not necessarily for increased numbers, but for increased quality," Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall told Reuters during an interview in his Pentagon offices. "It's an arms race that has been going on for quite some time. The Chinese have been at it very aggressively."

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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