World News Roundup: Italy’s former PM Conte accepts task of trying to revive 5-Star Movement; UK earmarks a further $2.3 billion for its COVID vaccine push and more
"Considering the recent actions and statements by the United States and three European powers, Iran does not consider this the time to hold an informal meeting with these countries, which was proposed by the EU foreign policy chief," Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said, according to Iranian media.Reuters | Updated: 01-03-2021 10:56 IST | Created: 01-03-2021 05:25 IST
Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Italy's former PM Conte accepts task of trying to revive 5-Star Movement
Italy's former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, a technocrat who had previously refused any direct party affiliation, on Sunday took on the task of reviving the fortunes of the 5-Star Movement as it struggles to find a way out of a political crisis. 5-Star, the largest group in parliament thanks to its triumph at a 2018 election when it won 32.7% of the vote, has seen its support shrink steadily and is now polling at around 15%.
At least 18 protesters killed in Myanmar in worst violence since coup
Myanmar police fired on protesters around the country on Sunday and at least 18 people were killed in the worst violence since a Feb. 1 military coup, the United Nations said, calling on the international community to act to stop the repression. Crowds of demonstrators came under fire in various parts of the biggest city of Yangon after stun grenades, tear gas, and shots in the air failed to break up their protests.
Families wait as Nigerian security forces search for 300 abducted girls
Relatives of more than 300 girls abducted by gunmen from their boarding school in northwest Nigeria endured an agonizing wait for news amid rumours that they had been released, while security forces continued their search on Sunday. An armed gang kidnapped 317 girls from the Government Girls Science Secondary School in the town of Jangebe, in Zamfara state, at around 1 a.m. on Friday.
UK earmarks a further $2.3 billion for its COVID vaccine push
British finance minister Rishi Sunak will announce an extra 1.65 billion pounds ($2.30 billion) to fund the country's fast vaccination rollout as part of his annual budget statement on Wednesday, the finance ministry said. "Protecting ourselves against the virus means we will be able to lift restrictions, reopen our economy and focus our attention on creating jobs and stimulating growth," Sunak said in a statement.
At least two killed in skirmish at Chad opposition candidate's house
At least two people were killed after security forces went to arrest Chad's opposition candidate Yaya Dillo at his home on Sunday morning, Dillo and the government said. Dillo, who plans to run against President Idriss Deby in a presidential election in April, told Reuters he was attacked at home by members of the presidential guard and that five family members were killed, including his mother.
U.S. calls on African Union to exert pressure over worsening crisis in Ethiopia's Tigray
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday called on the African Union and other international partners to help address a deepening crisis in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region as he condemned alleged atrocities in fighting there. Blinken's statement suggested growing frustration with the response so far from Ethiopia and neighboring Eritrea to what America's top diplomat described as a "worsening humanitarian crisis."
'How many dead bodies?' asked Myanmar protester killed on bloodiest day
The day before he was killed, internet network engineer Nyi Nyi Aung Htet Naing had posted on Facebook about the increasingly violent military crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Myanmar. "#How_Many_Dead_Bodies_UN_Need_To_Take_Action," he wrote, in reference to the United Nations.
Iran dismisses the idea of talks with EU and U.S. to revive 2015 nuclear deal
Iran on Sunday ruled out holding an informal meeting with the United States and other major powers to discuss ways to salvage the unravelling 2015 nuclear deal, insisting Washington must first lift all its unilateral sanctions. "Considering the recent actions and statements by the United States and three European powers, Iran does not consider this the time to hold an informal meeting with these countries, which was proposed by the EU foreign policy chief," Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said, according to Iranian media.
Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has been transferred to a penal colony outside Moscow to serve his prison sentence, a public commission said on Sunday, weeks after he returned to Russia after being poisoned. Navalny's whereabouts had been unknown since Thursday when his allies learned that he was transferred out of one of Moscow's most infamous jails to an undisclosed location.
Taking COVID-19 vaccine will not alter your DNA, Ghana president says
Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo urged citizens of the West African state on Sunday to ignore conspiracy theories surrounding coronavirus vaccines ahead of the launch of its nationwide inoculation campaign against the virus on Tuesday. "Fellow Ghanaians, I know there are still some who continue to express doubts about the vaccine, others have expressed reservations about its efficacy, with some taking sides with conspiracy theorists who believe the vaccine has been created to wipe out the African race. This is far from the truth," Akufo-Addo said in a nationwide address on Sunday night.
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