World News Roundup: Sweden puts Austria, Liechtenstein on safe travel list; Belarus says police detained more than 1,000 protesters overnight and more
U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo defends Saudi arms sales after watchdog report U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday his department did everything by the book in regards to arms sales to Saudi Arabia in 2019 after a government watchdog found the risk of civilian casualties in Yemen was not fully evaluated.Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 12-08-2020 18:35 IST | Created: 12-08-2020 18:27 IST
Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo defends Saudi arms sales after watchdog report
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday his department did everything by the book in regards to arms sales to Saudi Arabia in 2019 after a government watchdog found the risk of civilian casualties in Yemen was not fully evaluated. His comments came after a State Department Inspector General report earlier this week concluded the state department did not fully evaluate the risk of civilian casualties in Yemen when it pushed through a huge 2019 precision-guided munitions sale to Saudi Arabia.
Germany's foreign minister said on Wednesday that Lebanon needed a government that can fight corruption and enact reforms as he toured Beirut port, scene of the devastating explosion that has triggered protests and led the government to resign. Last week's blast at a warehouse storing highly-explosive material for years killed at least 171 people, injured some 6,000 and damaged swathes of the Mediterranean city, compounding a deep economic and financial crisis.
Outspoken ice cream maker Ben and Jerry's turns fire on UK migration rhetoric
The British government has become embroiled in an unlikely row with ice cream maker Ben and Jerry's over its approach to migrants arriving by boat from France, after the brand criticised ministers' increasingly bellicose rhetoric. More than 500 migrants have arrived on British beaches in recent days, with many fleeing poverty, persecution or war in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.
Defectors say South Korea investigations threaten N.Korean 'Underground Railroad'
A combination of coronavirus border closures and an unprecedented pressure campaign by a South Korean government keen to engage with North Korea may destroy networks defectors have long used to start new lives, activist groups say. South Korea's Unification Ministry said last month it will "inspect" 25 defector-run NGOs, citing their failure to file necessary documents, and check if 64 others are following conditions to stay registered. On Wednesday, the ministry expanded the investigation to a total of 289 organisations.
India is considering offering young Kashmiri militants an escape from a life of violence by temporarily resettling them in more peaceful parts of the country, according to the top military commander in the Kashmir Valley. Lieutenant General B.S. Raju revealed the plan for a new scheme to offer a way out of militancy during a telephone interview from his headquarters in Srinagar, Kashmir's main city.
Serious injuries after train derails in Scotland, first minister says
A number of people were seriously injured in a passenger train derailment on Wednesday morning on the east coast of Scotland, first minister Nicola Sturgeon said, as she declared a major incident. Television footage showed dark smoke billowing from a woodland area near Stonehaven, just south of the oil city of Aberdeen, after the ScotRail train derailed following heavy rain overnight.
Belarus says police detained more than 1,000 protesters overnight
Belarusian police detained more than 1,000 protesters on the third night of protests on Tuesday that broke out over a contested election handing a new term to President Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian Interior Ministry said on Wednesday. The ministry said 51 protesters and 14 police officers were hurt during the protests overnight.
Sweden withdrew its recommendation to citizens not to take unnecessary trips to Austria and Liechtenstein on Wednesday, but kept in place warnings over travel to the United Kingdom and several European states amid an upturn in COVID 19 infections. Sweden had already withdrawn advice against unnecessary trips to countries like neighbours Denmark and Norway and a number of other destinations in Europe, such as France, Germany and Spain.
Turkey says it wants to resolve dispute with Greece through dialogue
Turkey wants to resolve a dispute with Greece over energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean through dialogue, Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said on Wednesday, but added that Ankara would defend its "rights and interests" in the region. Turkey and Greece, NATO allies, are vehemently at odds over overlapping claims for hydrocarbon resources in the region, and tensions have risen since Ankara launched exploration operations in a disputed area of the Mediterranean on Monday.
A majority of Scots support independence from the United Kingdom, a YouGov poll found on Wednesday, with support for nationalists bolstered by a much more positive view of how they have responded to COVID-19 compared with London. The poll for the Times newspaper found that 53% of people would vote for Scottish independence in a referendum, up 2 percentage points from January and the highest level of support for independence recorded by YouGov.