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Reuters World News Summary

23 Nov 2020 / 07:52 H.

    Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

    Netanyahu urges no return to Iran nuclear deal

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in an apparent message to U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, said on Sunday there should be no return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal abandoned by President Donald Trump. Biden, who takes office on Jan. 20, has said he would rejoin the accord if Tehran first resumed strict compliance, and would work with allies "to strengthen and extend it, while more effectively pushing back against Iran's other destabilising activities".

    Burkina Faso holds election under looming threat of violence

    Polls closed in Burkina Faso on Sunday after a presidential and parliamentary election dominated by the threat of Islamist violence that prevented voting in hundreds of villages. Polling stations were closed across swathes of the north and east where groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State operate. Some that had planned to open were shut because of threats, the electoral commission said.

    Germany may start COVID-19 vaccine programme in December: health minister

    Germany could start administering shots of COVID-19 vaccines as soon as next month, Health Minister Jens Spahn was quoted as saying. "There is reason to be optimistic that there will be approval for a vaccine in Europe this year," Spahn said in an interview with publishing group RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland. "And then we can start right away."

    Brazil signs letter of intent to purchase five COVID vaccines

    Brazil's health ministry said on Sunday it will sign non-binding letters of intent to purchase coronavirus vaccines from four companies and Russia's sovereign wealth fund, adding that any purchase will depend on the approval of the nation's regulators. According to the ministry, officials met last week with representatives of Pfizer Inc, India's Bharat Biotech, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Moderna Inc and Janssen, a unit of Johnson & Johnson.

    An heiress, a judge and a job: France's Sarkozy goes on trial for corruption

    Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy goes on trial on Monday accused of trying to bribe a judge and of influence-peddling, one of several criminal investigations that threaten to cast an ignominious pall over his decades-long political career. Prosecutors allege Sarkozy offered to secure a plum job in Monaco for judge Gilbert Azibert in return for confidential information about an inquiry into claims that Sarkozy had accepted illegal payments from L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt for his 2007 presidential campaign.

    G20 says it will strive for fair global access to COVID-19 vaccine

    Leaders of the 20 biggest economies vowed on Sunday to spare no effort to supply COVID-19 drugs, tests and vaccines affordably and fairly to "all people", reflecting worries that the pandemic could deepen divisions between the world's rich and poor. The pandemic and prospects of an uneven and uncertain economic recovery were at the centre of a two-day online summit under the chairmanship of Saudi Arabia, which will hand the G20 presidency to Italy next month.

    Biggest Australian states reopen borders as coronavirus cases ease

    Australia's two most populous states reopened their borders on Monday after more than four months, as Victoria stamped out a second coronavirus wave, raising prospects of a quicker return to normal and speedy economic recovery. New South Wales and Victoria closed their borders in early July, the first time in more than a century, to contain a COVID-19 outbreak in Melbourne, Victoria's capital city. The borders were last shut in 1919 during the Spanish flu pandemic.

    Putin says ready to work with any U.S. leader, wants formalities settled

    Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday he was ready to work with any U.S. leader and would congratulate whoever emerges the winner of the U.S. presidential election once all the legal formalities are settled, Russian news agencies reported. Putin has withheld comment, while President Donald Trump has been taking legal action to try to overturn his Nov. 3 election defeat to Democratic President-elect Joe Biden.

    U.S. Navy admiral makes unannounced visit to Taiwan, sources say

    A two-star Navy admiral overseeing U.S. military intelligence in the Asia-Pacific region has made an unannounced visit to Taiwan, two sources told Reuters on Sunday, in a high-level trip that could vex China. The sources, who include a Taiwanese official familiar with the situation, said the official was Rear Admiral Michael Studeman. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity.

    Ethiopia PM gives Tigray forces 72 hours to surrender regional capital

    Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed gave Tigrayan regional forces 72 hours to surrender before the military begins an offensive on the regional capital of Mekelle. "We urge you to surrender peacefully within 72 hours, recognising that you are at the point of no return," Abiy said in a message posted on Twitter on Sunday evening.

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