Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
- U.S. border camp cleared of Haitians, thousands more on the move
An impromptu border camp that roiled the U.S. government was cleared of thousands of Haitian migrants by Friday, with most remaining in the United States for now and others expelled on deportation flights or returned to Mexico. Reuters witnesses said the jumble of makeshift shelters and tents had all but disappeared from Del Rio, Texas, with workers removing the last debris along the border with Mexico. State troopers lined the banks of the Rio Grande to discourage new crossings.
- World’s youth take to the streets again to battle climate change
Young people around the world took to the streets on Friday to demand urgent action to avert disastrous climate change, in their largest protest since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The strike takes place five weeks before the U.N. COP26 summit, which aims to secure more ambitious climate action from world leaders to drastically cut the greenhouse gas emissions heating the planet.
- Ecuador’s Lasso proposes economic reforms to reactivate the economy
Ecuadorean president Guillermo Lasso on Friday proposed new labor regulations and tax reform targeting some $700 million in new revenue as part of a broad economic growth plan that will require approval from a skeptical legislature. The oil-exporting nation’s economy has for years struggled under low crude prices, and the pandemic left 5.8 million people without permanent employment. Lasso this year renegotiated a $6.5 billion financing agreement with the International Monetary Fund in order to speed up disbursements.
- ‘Quad’ leaders meet at White House as China looks warily on
Leaders of the United States, Japan, India, and Australia presented a united front on Friday at their first summit and stressed the need for a free and open Indo-Pacific region amid shared concerns about China. The two-hour meeting at the White House of the Quad, as the grouping of the four major democracies is called, will be watched closely in Beijing, which criticized the group as “doomed to fail.”
- Myanmar will not address world leaders at U.N., Afghanistan will
No representative from Myanmar is scheduled to address the annual high-level U.N. General Assembly, a U.N. spokesman said on Friday, amid rival claims for the country’s U.N. seat in New York after a military coup ousted the elected government. Competing claims have also been made on Afghanistan’s U.N. seat after the Taliban seized power last month. The ambassador for the ousted government is set to give his speech on Monday.
- Get up, stand up: Barbados leader invokes Marley to goad U.N
An impassioned Barbados prime minister on Friday sought to spur meaningful action from the 193-member United Nations on crises from climate and COVID-19 vaccines to poverty and education, invoking singer Bob Marley: “Who will get up and stand up?” “If we can find the will to send people to the moon and solve male baldness … we can solve simple problems like letting our people eat at affordable prices,” Mia Amor Mottley told the annual gathering of world leaders in New York.
- Malala pleads with world to protect Afghan girls’ education
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan as she left school in 2012, pleaded with the world on Friday not to compromise on the protection of Afghan women’s rights following the Taliban takeover. As countries and organizations take the first steps to engage with the hardline Islamist group, the 24-year-old Yousafzai said she worried the Taliban would act as they did when they were in power 20 years ago despite a sharp increase in work and education opportunities for Afghan women since then.
- S. condemns Taliban’s reported plan to reinstate executions, amputations
U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Friday that Washington condemns in the strongest terms reported comments by a Taliban official who said the group would restore the use of amputations and executions as punishment in Afghanistan. Responding to Taliban leader Mullah Nooruddin Turabi’s comments to the Associated Press, Price said the acts would constitute gross abuses of human rights.
- Vigils held for teacher murdered in London as suspect released
Emotional vigils were held on Friday for a teacher who was found murdered in a London park last week, highlighting again public anger over violence against women, while police said a suspect had been released under investigation. Sabina Nessa, 28, left her home in south London on the evening of Sept. 17 to make the short walk through a local park to a bar where she was due to meet a friend. She never arrived and her body was found in the park the next afternoon.
- Exclusive-UN migration body asks Brazil to receive Haitians on US-Mexico border – sources
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has formally asked Brazil to receive some Haitian migrants camped along the U.S.-Mexico border hoping to enter the United States, according to two sources with knowledge of the request. The petition from the IOM, a United Nations agency, comes as U.S. President Joe Biden faces mounting pressure to resolve yet another migration dilemma. Crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border have jumped to their highest levels in 20 years in recent months, sparking political headaches and logistical obstacles for the United States and Mexico.
- Pakistan premier calls for global dialogue on Islamophobia
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday called for global efforts to counter the rising tide of Islamophobia, mitigate the surging coronavirus threat, and a resolution to the lingering dispute in Kashmir. Addressing the 76th session of the UN General Assembly session in New York through video link, he also encouraged incentivizing the Taliban to get the group to honor commitments to the international community.
Khan asked the UN Secretary-General to convene a global dialogue on countering the “rise of Islamophobia” to save the world from another kind of terrorism in the name of the rising phenomenon. He also accused longtime rival India of toeing the “worst and most pervasive” form of Islamophobia by unleashing a reign of fear and violence against India’s 200 million-strong Muslim community.
- UN updates Syria war death toll, says 350,000 ‘certainly an undercount’
More than 350,000 people have been killed in over 10 years of conflict in Syria, but the tally is “certainly an undercount,” the United Nations human rights chief said on Friday. “We have compiled a list of 350,209 identified individuals killed in the conflict in Syria between March 2011 to March 2021,” Michelle Bachelet told the UN Human Rights Council.
This was the UN rights office’s first update on the Syrian conflict’s death toll since August 2014, when the tally stood at 191,369. “But it is not – and should not be seen as – a complete number of conflict-related killings in Syria. It indicates a minimum verifiable number, and is certainly an under-count of the actual number of killings,” said Bachelet. Over one in every 13 was a woman – 26,727 in all – almost one in every 13 was a child – 27,126 children, to be exact, she said.