World News Roundup: Chile was a regional role model. Now voters want change; Exclusive-ASEAN states object as China lobbies for Myanmar junta to join summit: sources and more

Reuters | Updated: 18-11-2021 18:43 IST | Created: 18-11-2021 18:30 IST
World News Roundup: Chile was a regional role model. Now voters want change; Exclusive-ASEAN states object as China lobbies for Myanmar junta to join summit: sources and more
Representative image Image Credit: ANI

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

Chile was a regional role model. Now voters want change

Chile, stretching along the copper-rich Andean mountains down South America's Pacific coast, has something of a reputation among its neighbors: steady and almost staid in a region embroiled in regular political upheaval and economic crises. That identity is now at stake as the country heads for a polarized election on Sunday with candidates on the far-right and hard-left leading in the polls, driven by voters who have been demanding change since widespread protests two years ago and could now force Chile's sharpest political shift in decades.

Exclusive-ASEAN states object as China lobbies for Myanmar junta to join summit: sources

A Chinese envoy has lobbied Southeast Asian nations to let Myanmar's military ruler attend a regional summit being hosted by China's president next week but has met stiff opposition, diplomatic sources said on Thursday. Myanmar's standing as a member of the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been thrown into the spotlight by a Feb. 1 coup, when its military ousted the elected government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, sparking bloody turmoil.

Exclusive-Monkey-brain study with link to China's military roils top European university

A Chinese professor at the University of Copenhagen conducted genetic research with the Chinese military without disclosing the connection, the university told Reuters, in the latest example of how China's pursuit of military-civilian technology is tapping into Western academia in the strategically sensitive area of biotechnology. The professor, Guojie Zhang, is also employed by Shenzhen-based genomics giant BGI Group, which funds dozens of researchers at the university and has its European headquarters on the university's campus.

Cuban dissident says government cut off his communications to silence him

Cuban dissident Yunior Garcia said on Thursday in Madrid the government on the Caribbean island had allowed him to leave for him not to become a symbol of protests and that authorities had cut off all his communications before his departure. "The regime needed to silence me, convert me into a non-person," he told a news conference. "All I have is my voice, I couldn't stay silent. That's why I came to Spain," he said, adding that he wished to return to Cuba at some point.

Japan looks to accept more foreigners in key policy shift

In a major shift for a country long closed to immigrants, Japan is looking to allow foreigners in certain blue-collar jobs to stay indefinitely starting as early as the 2022 fiscal year, a justice ministry official said on Thursday. Under a law that took effect in 2019, a category of "specified skilled workers" in 14 sectors such as farming, nursing care and sanitation have been granted visas but stays have been limited to five years and without family members for workers in all but the construction and shipbuilding sectors.

New Pakistan law allows chemical castration of serial rapists

Pakistan has introduced chemical castration as a possible punishment for serial rapists under a law that also calls for faster trials of suspected sexual offenders, a government official said on Thursday. Parliament passed the law on Wednesday and it came into effect immediately, government official Waqar Hussain said.

U.S., Canada, Mexico set to donate vaccines, unveil new methane curbs

Leaders of the United States, Canada and Mexico are set to agree to new methane curbs and COVID-19 vaccine donations when they meet for the first time in five years on Thursday, according to senior Biden administration officials. The U.S. officials expect the three North American countries to agree to cut methane emissions in their oil-and-gas sectors by 60% to 75% by 2030, as the countries work to curb the potent greenhouse gas.

Kremlin says security call was part of preparation for new Putin-Biden talks

The Kremlin said on Thursday that a phone call this week between top U.S and Russian security officials was part of preparations for talks between presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden, the latest in a series of signals that Moscow is keen for a second summit between the two leaders. Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan discussed cybersecurity, Ukraine and the migrant crisis on the Belarus border in their phone call on Wednesday, the Kremlin said.

Hope for border crisis easing as Iraqis fly back home from Belarus

Hundreds of Iraqis who had camped for weeks at Belarus's freezing borders with the EU checked in for a flight back to Iraq on Thursday, the first such flight in months amid a stand-off between the West over Minsk over the fate of migrants.

It was not immediately clear if the repatriation flight was a sign the crisis was easing, or just a temporary reprieve.

Philippines tells China to 'back off' after South China Sea standoff

The Philippines on Thursday condemned "in strongest terms" the actions of three Chinese coast guard vessels that it said blocked and used water cannon on resupply boats headed towards a Philippine-occupied atoll in the South China Sea. Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin said no one was hurt during Tuesday's incident at the Second Thomas Shoal but the Philippines boats, which were transporting food to military personnel based there, had to abort their mission.

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

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