Reuters World News Summary

Reuters | Updated: 02-12-2021 05:25 IST | Created: 02-12-2021 05:25 IST
Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

EU allows Poland, Baltics to trim migrant rights at Belarus border

The European Union proposed on Wednesday curtailing some rights of migrants at its frontier with Belarus, a gesture towards member states Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, even as Brussels acknowledged border tensions were easing. The EU says Belarus has flown in migrants from the Middle East to push them to cross the border, accusations Minsk calls absurd. Rights groups say at least 13 people have died as migrants have camped in freezing conditions at the border.

U.N. chief slams COVID-19 'travel apartheid' as unacceptable

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday that travel restrictions imposed over COVID-19 that isolate any one country or region as "not only deeply unfair and punitive - they are ineffective." Speaking to reporters in New York, Guterres said the only way to reduce the risk of transmission while allowing for travel and economic engagement was to repeatedly test travelers, "together with other appropriate and truly effective measures."

Exclusive-World Bank backs using $280 million in frozen aid funds for Afghanistan

The World Bank's board has endorsed transferring $280 million from a frozen Afghanistan trust fund to two aid agencies to help the country cope with a faltering economy following the Taliban takeover and the U.S. withdrawal, two sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday. The 31 donors to the World Bank-administered Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund must approve the transfer before the funds could flow to the World Food Program and UNICEF, the sources said, saying the donors were expected to meet on Friday.

Brazil's Senate approves Bolsonaro's Supreme Court pick

Brazil's Senate on Wednesday approved President Jair Bolsonaro's "terribly Evangelical" pick for a spot on the Supreme Court, adding a conservative voice to the 11-member panel to represent the views of the country's vast religious right. The Senate voted 47 to 32 to approve Andre Mendonca, the former attorney general and a conservative ally of the president. The appointment, which was pushed by Evangelicals and other conservative Christians, will not reverse the overall progressive lean of the court after years of left-wing and centrist rule, but could begin to shift its politics back right.

Madagascar food crisis caused more by poverty, natural weather than climate change - study

Poverty, poor infrastructure and natural weather variability are bigger contributors to Madagascar's food crisis than climate change, according to a study released on Thursday by international research collective World Weather Attribution.

But the crisis still highlights vulnerabilities that will only worsen as global temperatures continue to rise, scientists for the organization said.

Omicron rapidly dominating in South Africa; U.S. reports first case

Heavily mutated Omicron is rapidly becoming the dominant variant of the coronavirus in South Africa less than four weeks after it was first detected there, and the United States on Wednesday became the latest country to identify an Omicron case within its borders. The first known U.S. case was a fully vaccinated person in California who returned to the United States from South Africa on Nov. 22 and tested positive seven days later.

N.Korea's Kim warns of 'very giant struggle' next year to boost economy

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has said the country must be prepared for a "very giant struggle" next year to continue to make progress in areas including defence, agriculture and construction, state media reported on Thursday.

Kim made the remarks on Wednesday at a meeting of the central committee of the ruling Worker's Party's politburo, which decided to hold a plenary meeting of the committee next month.

Tennis-WTA suspends tournaments in China over Peng Shuai worries

The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) said on Wednesday it will suspend lucrative tournaments in China immediately due to concerns over the treatment of former doubles world number one Peng Shuai and the safety of other players. The decision, which was applauded by many current and former tennis players, could cost the U.S.-headquartered WTA hundreds of millions of dollars in broadcasting and sponsorship.

Honduran president-elect's party hopes for narrow majority in Congress

Honduran President-elect Xiomara Castro and her party were awaiting results on Wednesday from tight legislative races to see if they would gain control of Congress, a day after her main rival conceded defeat in the presidential race. Castro, a former first lady who will be the Central American nation's first female president, had built a commanding lead after Sunday's vote. The National Party's Nasry Asfura warmly congratulated her on the victory on Tuesday, even though results were incomplete. As of Wednesday morning, only 53% of the preliminary votes had been counted.

Lithuania mulls state of emergency on Polish border to stop migrants

Lithuania's government said on Wednesday it would ask parliament to declare a state of emergency on its border with Poland from Dec. 10 as part of efforts to prevent the smuggling of migrants. The state of emergency would include border checks focusing on "suspicious vehicles", Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite said.

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

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