Reuters World News Summary

17 Sep 2020 / 07:55 H.

    Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

    Chileans urged to be 'prudent' during independence day celebrations

    Chile's health minister has urged Chileans to celebrate the country's independence day holiday on Friday "prudently" amid fears that a special permit allowing people to hold and attend family gatherings could result in a spike in coronavirus cases. The day is normally marked by exuberant communal fairs to which Chileans flock in large numbers to watch horseback displays and traditional dancing, while consuming large quantities of barbecued beef, stuffed 'empanada' pastries, and alcohol.

    U.S. plans to enforce U.N. sanctions on Iran with its own action

    The United States said on Wednesday it plans to impose sanctions on those who violate a U.N. arms embargo on Iran, which Washington says will now stay in place instead of expiring in October as agreed under a 2015 nuclear deal. U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela and Iran Elliott Abrams said Washington could deny access to the U.S. market to anyone who trades in weapons with Iran, which President Donald Trump's administration accuses of seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

    Turkish, Russian officials nearing deal on Libya ceasefire, political process: minister

    Turkey and Russia have moved closer to an agreement on a ceasefire and political process in Libya during their latest meetings in Ankara, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told an interview with broadcaster CNN Turk late on Wednesday. Ankara and Moscow are the main power brokers in Libya's war, backing opposing sides. Russia supports the eastern-based forces of Khalifa Haftar, while Turkey backs Libya's internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA). The GNA and the leader of a rival parliament to the east called for a ceasefire last month, but Haftar dismissed the move.

    Erdogan told Germany's Merkel: Turkish drill ship did not end operations in east Med

    President Tayyip Erdogan told German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a video call on Wednesday that the docking of Turkey's Oruc Reis seismic survey vessel for maintenance does not mean its operations in the eastern Mediterranean are done, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said. Oruc Reis returned to waters near Turkey's southern province of Antalya on Sunday for what Ankara called routine maintenance, a move Greece said was a positive first step in easing tensions over offshore natural resources in the eastern Mediterranean.

    Russia accuses U.S. of promoting revolution in Belarus, toughens stance

    Russia on Wednesday accused Washington of trying to foment a revolution in Belarus, where it sent its defence minister for talks on military ties, in a sign that Moscow's support for embattled Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko was hardening. Mass protests since an Aug. 9 election marred by vote-rigging allegations have posed the biggest threat yet to Lukashenko, and the Kremlin's backing has become vital for his chances of extending his 26-year rule.

    Russia says Navalny sanctions talk is affecting its borrowing plans

    Russia said on Wednesday that talk of possible sanctions over the case of Alexei Navalny was affecting its plans to borrow money on international markets, acknowledging the risk of harmful economic fallout from his poisoning. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Moscow was waiting for an opportunity to tap the Eurobond market, but would not do so with the threat of sanctions hanging over it.

    U.S. prosecutors indict two Iranians over alleged hacking spree

    U.S. prosecutors on Wednesday announced two Iranians had been indicted on allegations they were hackers connected with a string of cyber intrusions at U.S. and foreign universities, a Washington-based think tank, non-profits, and other organizations. The Department of Justice said in a statement that Hooman Heidarian, 30, and Mehdi Farhadi, 34, both of Hamedan, Iran, stole hundreds of terabytes of data, including national security intelligence, aerospace data, unpublished scientific research, and "non-military nuclear information."

    Bolivia election poll suggests outright victory for Morales' candidate

    Luis Arce, the candidate for the party of Bolivia's former socialist president Evo Morales, could win next month's election in the first round, with opposition to him fragmented among rival parties, an opinion poll suggested on Wednesday. The large-scale Jubileo Foundation poll, carried out by universities and media organizations, found 40.3% of Bolivians would vote in the Oct. 18 general election in favor of the Movement towards Socialism (MAS), whose presidential candidate is Arce.

    Chances of Brexit deal fading every day, EU Commission chief says

    The head of the European Commission said on Wednesday the chances of reaching a trade deal with Britain were fading by the day as the British government pushes ahead with moves that would breach their divorce treaty. The British government announced draft legislation last week which it acknowledges would violate its international legal obligations and undercut parts of the divorce deal it signed before Britain formally left the European Union in January.

    Syria says U.S. sanctions behind acute fuel crisis

    Syria is experiencing worsening gasoline shortages as a result of tougher U.S. sanctions disrupting crucial fuel imports, its oil minister said on Wednesday, the latest crisis to hit the war-devastated country's crumbling economy. The Caesar Act - the toughest U.S. sanctions which came into force last June prohibiting foreign companies trading with Damascus - had disrupted several imported shipments from undisclosed suppliers, Bassam Touma told state television.

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