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World News Roundup: Bolivia's interim government charges Morales with sedition and terrorism; Israel's Netanyahu faces calls to quit but is defiant in crisis

Reuters | Updated: 23-11-2019 05:32 IST | Created: 23-11-2019 05:24 IST
World News Roundup: Bolivia's interim government charges Morales with sedition and terrorism; Israel's Netanyahu faces calls to quit but is defiant in crisis
Image Credit: Twitter (@orlygogo)

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

Security forces reopen Iraq's Umm Qasr port: port sources

Iraqi security forces dispersed by force on Friday protesters who had been blocking the entrance to the country's main Gulf Umm Qasr port near Basra and reopened it, port officials told Reuters. Employees were able to enter the port, the entrance to which protesters had been blocking since Monday, but operations had not resumed yet, the sources said.

China envoy warns of 'very bad damage' if Canada follows U.S. lead on Hong Kong

China's new ambassador to Canada on Friday warned Ottawa not to follow the U.S. lead and formally back protesters in Hong Kong, saying such a move would cause "very bad damage" to already poor ties with Beijing. Canada, locked in a trade and diplomatic dispute with China, has repeatedly expressed concern about the safety of its 300,000 citizens in Hong Kong, hit by five months of mass demonstrations for more democracy and autonomy.

South Korea pulls intelligence deal with Japan back from the brink

South Korea on Friday made a last-minute decision to stick with its critical intelligence-sharing deal with Japan, a dramatic reversal after months of frigid relations complicated by painful, wartime history. The decision, announced by South Korea's presidential Blue House, was welcomed by Washington. The United States has pressured its two Asian allies to set aside their feud and maintain the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), seen as linchpin of trilateral security cooperation.

Protesters left on besieged Hong Kong campus weigh options

At least eight protesters who had been holding out at a trashed Hong Kong university surrendered on Friday, while others searched for escape routes past the riot police surrounding the campus. The siege at the Polytechnic University on the Kowloon peninsula appeared to be nearing an end with the number of protesters dwindling to a handful, days after some of the worst violence since anti-government demonstrations escalated in June.

Exclusive: U.S. Navy secretary backs SEAL's expulsion review, despite Trump objection

U.S. Navy Secretary Richard Spencer said on Friday a Navy SEAL convicted of battlefield misconduct should face a board of peers weighing whether to oust him from the elite force, despite President Donald Trump's assertion that he not be expelled. "I believe the process matters for good order and discipline," Spencer told Reuters, weighing in on a confrontation between Trump and senior Navy officials over the outcome of a high-profile war-crimes case.

Bolivia's interim government charges Morales with sedition and terrorism

Bolivia's interim government filed a criminal complaint on Friday against former President Evo Morales for alleged sedition and terrorism, the interior minister said, as authorities began probes of his allies that they accuse of corruption and fomenting unrest. Interim President Jeanine Anez, a former senator and opponent of Morales, has faced a wave of demonstrations by his supporters since taking office in a power vacuum last week.

U.S. imposes sanctions on Iran's information minister

The United States imposed sanctions on Iran's information minister on Friday for his role in "widescale internet censorship," a reference to a five-day-long nationwide shutdown meant to help stifle protests against fuel price hikes in Iran. The internet blockage, which Iran said on Thursday it had begun to roll back, made it difficult for protesters to post videos on social media to generate support and also to obtain reliable reports on the extent of the unrest.

Israel's Netanyahu faces calls to quit but is defiant in crisis

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced calls to resign over a corruption scandal on Friday, as senior government colleagues publicly declared support after some signs of cracks in party loyalty. Netanyahu said he would not step down after he was indicted on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust by Israel's attorney-general on Thursday night.

Ex-CIA officer sentenced to 19 years in prison for conspiring to spy for China

A former CIA case officer was sentenced by a federal judge in Virginia on Friday to serve 19 years in prison, after he pleaded guilty in May to conspiring to become a spy for China, federal prosecutors announced. Jerry Chuan Shing Lee, 55, left the CIA in 2007 and moved to Hong Kong. A few years later, in 2010, he was approached by two Chinese intelligence officers who offered to pay him $100,000 and to take care of him "for life" for information he had acquired as a CIA officer.

Argentine health chief quits in abortion fight with conservative president

Argentina's health secretary resigned on Friday after a protocol he signed the day before, aimed at making abortion more available, was revoked by conservative President Mauricio Macri, less than a month before he is to leave office. "Unfortunately, the repeal of the protocol forces me to resign my position as the nation's secretary of health," Adolfo Rubinstein said in his resignation letter, a copy of which was seen by Reuters.


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