Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
1: Israeli police catch two of six Palestinian jail escapees
Two Palestinian militants who were among six who broke out of a maximum security Israeli jail this week were caught on Friday on a biblical hilltop in Israel’s northern city of Nazareth, police said, drawing rocket fire from the Gaza Strip. The other four escapees were still at large amid a massive manhunt by Israeli forces across northern Israel, where the Arab city of Nazareth sits, and the occupied West Bank.
2: Taliban have their work cut out to win hearts and minds in Kabul
After 20 years of fighting, the Taliban have tried to present a conciliatory face to the world. Afghanistan’s new rulers have a problem closer to home: winning the hearts and minds of their own people, starting in the capital. Since the group entered Kabul on Aug. 15, armed members have roamed the streets in battlefield dress, often with no obvious chain of command. Many city dwellers are not used to the sight, and heavy-handed security tactics have not helped.
3: ‘Ms Nord Stream 2?’: Germany’s Merkel makes difficult last visit to Poland
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Poland on Saturday, part of a goodbye tour of Europe for the continent’s longest serving leader, risks being overshadowed by tensions over a gas pipeline and questions over her legacy in central Europe. Having grown up in East Germany near the Polish border, Merkel, 67, was seen by some observers as a chancellor who could relate to the post-communist states of central Europe.
4: Canada’s Trudeau, trailing in polls, defends early election call
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, facing possible defeat in a snap Sept. 20 election, on Friday defended his decision to call the election early and said his main rival would undermine the fight against COVID-19. Trudeau, who heads a minority Liberal government that needs opposition support to pass legislation, had hoped Canadians would reward his handling of the coronavirus pandemic with a majority in the House of Commons.
5: Brazilian truckers’ Bolsonaro sympathy strike fizzles out
A protest by Brazilian truckers loyal to President Jair Bolsonaro had largely fizzled out on Friday, a relief for industries that feared supply shortages. Brazil’s infrastructure minister said in a statement early Friday that there were protests along highways in three states – Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and Rondonia – but no roads were blocked. That compared with 16 states that had registered highway protests earlier in the week.
6: ‘We have no choice’: migrants undeterred by UK threat to send boats back to France
Mustafa Suleiman, 21, is resolute in his determination to reach Britain and won’t be deterred from London’s threats to intercept boats illegally carrying migrants in the Channel and send them back to France. Suleiman, who fled Sudan’s Darfur region in 2019, has tried to make the perilous journey through some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes twice in the past year. Both times, he was thwarted by French police before making it off the beach.
7: U.N. chief urges China, US to keep bilateral spats out of climate fight
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the United States and China on Friday to prevent any problems between the superpowers from harming cooperation to combat climate change ahead of the U.N. COP26 climate change conference next month. Ties between the world’s two biggest economies have been languishing at their lowest point in decades over issues ranging from human rights to transparency over the origins of COVID-19.
8: Lebanon agrees new government to tackle economic collapse
Lebanese leaders agreed a new government led by Sunni Muslim tycoon Najib Mikati on Friday after a year of feuding over cabinet seats that has exacerbated a devastating economic collapse, opening the way to a resumption of talks with the IMF. The breakthrough followed a flurry of contacts with France, which has led efforts to get Lebanon’s fractious leaders to agree a cabinet and begin reforms since last year’s catastrophic Beirut port explosion, senior Lebanese political sources said.
9: White House says Biden, Xi discussed origins of COVID probe
U.S. President Joe Biden discussed the investigation into the origins of COVID-19 during a call on Thursday with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, according to the White House. “They did discuss a range of trans-national issues including COVID-19, and understanding its origins is of course a primary concern for this administration,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday. “Yes, it was a topic raised, but I’m not going to go into further detail.”
10: Prince Andrew has been served with sex abuse accuser Giuffre’s lawsuit -court filing
Britain’s Prince Andrew has been served with a lawsuit by a woman accusing him of sexually assaulting and battering her two decades ago, when she asserts she was also being abused by the financier Jeffrey Epstein, according to a Friday court filing. In an affidavit filed with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Cesar Sepulveda, identifying himself as a “corporate investigator/process server,” said he left a copy of Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit on Aug. 27 with a police officer guarding the Royal Lodge in Windsor, England, a property Andrew occupies.