Global News Summary
Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
1. Libya’s eastern-based parliament speaker on Thursday signed a law allowing a presidential election to take place in December, though another body of state rejected the move, saying the legislation was flawed. Parliament speaker Aguilah Saleh has sent the law that would allow the Dec. 24 presidential election to other political bodies and the United Nations, the chamber’s spokesman said.
2. The leaders of Russia and Belarus on Thursday agreed to set up a unified oil and gas market and to deepen economic integration in the face of what they regard as unjustified Western sanctions on both their economies. The agreement, reached after Kremlin talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, is likely to be seen as the latest show of support by Putin for Lukashenko who last year used force to break up huge protests against his rule.
3. The Spanish police said on Thursday it had arrested the former head of Venezuela’s military intelligence unit, Hugo Carvajal, who had been in hiding since a Spanish court approved his extradition to the United States almost two years ago. “Arrested tonight in Madrid “Pollo Carvajal”, fugitive from justice and wanted for extradition to the US,” the Spanish police said in a tweet, which included a video of the detention.
4. Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and other members of the royal family support the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, a senior representative of Buckingham Palace told Channel 4 News in an interview. Ken Olisa, the first Black Lord-Lieutenant of London, told the channel he had discussed the topic of racism with the royals in the aftermath of protests triggered in the United States following the death of George Floyd.
5. Kabul on Thursday saw the departure of its first international commercial flight since last month’s chaotic Western airlift, but hopes for a return to order were offset by U.N. reports of rising restrictions on women and a looming humanitarian disaster. The flight marked an important step in the Taliban’s efforts to bring a degree of normality back to the country after they seized power last month. But U.N. Special Envoy on Afghanistan Deborah Lyons told the Security Council the country was in danger of “a total breakdown of the economy and social order” without an infusion of money.
6. The United Nations warned on Thursday that the freezing of billions of dollars in Afghan assets to keep them out of Taliban hands would inevitably spark “a severe economic downturn” and could push millions more Afghans into poverty and hunger. U.N. special envoy on Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons, said a way needed to be found to get money quickly flowing to the country “to prevent a total breakdown of the economy and social order” and with safeguards to ensure it is not misused by the Taliban.
7. U.S.-bound migrants, mostly from Central America and the Caribbean, said on Thursday that a Mexican government crackdown was keeping them “prisoner” in the south of the country. The migrant comments contrasted with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s promises of humane treatment ahead of Thursday’s high-level meeting between Mexican and U.S. officials in Washington, where the two countries agreed that the development of poor regions was a long-term solution to slow migration north.
8. Angela Merkel said on Thursday nobody in her conservative bloc ever doubted that they faced a tough battle to hold the chancellery after her 16 years in office, declining to speculate on the outcome of Germany’s Sept. 26 national election. “That after 16 years one does not automatically … return to the chancellery, that was clear to everyone in the CDU and CSU,” she told a news conference, adding she anticipated a closely fought election.
The small right-wing People’s Party of Canada (PPC) expelled one of its local officials on Thursday over allegations he threw gravel at Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier this week, a party spokesman said. Trudeau was hit by a handful of gravel on Monday, television images showed while campaigning in London, Ontario, ahead of the Sept. 20 election. He was making his way back to his campaign bus past a crowd shouting their opposition to COVID-19 vaccines.
9. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday said he never intended to attack any branch of the government, comments that boosted markets as he sought to defuse a dispute with the Supreme Court. On Tuesday, as pro-Bolsonaro marches took place across Brazil, the president called on Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes to step down and said he would no longer comply with his rulings, deepening a rift with the judiciary.
10. Five military groups operating under the Syrian National Army (SNA) in northern Syria united Thursday as the Syrian Liberation Front. The Syrian Liberation Front will have around 20,000 soldiers and will be comprised of the Hamza Division, Mutasim Division, and Sultan Suleyman Shah Division as well as the 20th Division and North Falcons Brigade. Mutasim Abbas, the general commander of the newly formed military body, said five brigades were merged into a single unit and they will continue operations against terror cells, adding the front would fulfill its duties under the umbrella of the SNA.
11. About 1.3 million Nigerian children have been affected by attacks or abductions at schools in the last academic year, according to UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Edward Kallon. “Children are traumatized; parents are scared; teachers and school administrators are afraid; attacks on schools are gradually spreading to areas not known to insurgents. With education under attack, the collective future of Nigeria is under threat. This must stop now,” said Kallon.“Across the northeast region alone, over 600,000 children remain out of school and some 1.1 million need educational support to stay in school. This has all been compounded by the setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
12. The US said the Taliban were “businesslike and professional” after they allowed the first charter flight carrying foreigners, including American nationals and permanent residents, to depart the country on Thursday. The Qatar Airways flight “has safely landed” in Doha, according to National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne. She said it marks a “positive first step” with the group the US had been at war with for two decades.
13. Pakistan has rejected the allegations alluding to its involvement in the Panjshir valley of Afghanistan. Foreign office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar while responding to questions about motivating stories carried by certain segments in the international media termed it part of a mischievous propaganda campaign.
14. The Foreign Minister of Spain, Jose Manuel Albares is arriving in Islamabad today (Friday). He will hold talks with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to discuss the latest developments in Afghanistan. Bilateral relations will also be part of discussions during the delegation-level talks.
15. CIA Director William J. Burns met on Thursday Pakistan’s army chief Gen. Qamar Bajwa to discuss the latest situation in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s military said. According to the ISPR, the army’s media wing, the meeting took place in Rawalpindi, a garrison city adjacent to the capital Islamabad. Lt. Gen. Faiz Hamid, the head of Inter-Services Intelligence, Pakistan premier intelligence agency, who recently visited Afghanistan, was also present.
“Matters of mutual interest, regional security situation, and current situation in Afghanistan were discussed,” a brief statement said. “It was reiterated that Pakistan remains committed to cooperating with its international partners for peace in the region and ensuring a stable and prosperous future for Afghan people.”
16. The international community should be engaged in dialogue with the Taliban after they took over Afghanistan, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in an interview “We must maintain a dialogue with the Taliban, where we affirm our principles directly – a dialogue with a feeling of solidarity with the Afghan people,” he said. “We have to extend our solidarity to a people who suffer greatly, where millions and millions risk dying of hunger.”