Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Ethiopia pushes toward Tigray capital, rebuffs African mediation
The Ethiopian government said on Saturday its forces had seized another town in their advance on the rebel-held capital of northern Tigray region, and rebuffed an African diplomatic push to mediate. More than two weeks into Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's offensive, his government said Tigrayan forces were digging in and using bulldozers to plough up roads around the regional capital Mekelle, home to about half a million people.
Tibetan political leader visits White House for first time in six decades
The head of the Tibetan government in exile has visited the U.S. White House for the first time in six decades, a move that could further infuriate Beijing, which has accused the United States of trying to destabilise the region. Lobsang Sangay, President of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), was invited to the White House to meet the newly appointed U.S. Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, Robert Destro, on Friday, the CTA said in a press release.
Violence erupts in Brazil after Black man beaten to death at Carrefour store
More than 1,000 demonstrators attacked a Carrefour Brasil supermarket in the southern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre on Friday after security guards beat to death a Black man at the store. The killing, which has sparked protests across Brazil, occurred late on Thursday when a store employee called security after the man threatened to attack her, cable news channel GloboNews said, citing the Rio Grande do Sul state military police.
Rockets hit Afghan capital Kabul, at least eight killed
Several rockets hit residential areas in the early rush hour in the Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday, killing at least eight civilians and wounding 31, police officials said. The explosions, some close to the diplomatic enclave, sent warning sirens blaring from embassies and it comes two days before a major donor conference for Afghanistan in Geneva.
Prime Minister calls allegations of Australian atrocities in Afghanistan 'disturbing'
Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Saturday that the findings of a report that the country's special forces allegedly killed 39 unarmed prisoners and civilians in Afghanistan were "disturbing and distressing". The report, published on Thursday after an inquiry into the conduct of special forces personnel in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2016, found that senior commandos forced junior soldiers to kill defenceless captives in order to "blood" the troops for combat.
Thousands attend Pakistani cleric's funeral despite COVID-19 curbs
Tens of thousands of mourners attended the funeral of a hardline Pakistani cleric in the eastern city of Lahore on Saturday, defying a government ban on large public gatherings in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases in the country. Khadim Hussain Rizvi, 54, died of cardiac arrest on Thursday, just days after leading a violent protest march to the capital, Islamabad, against the publication in France of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.
Thai school students protest against government, demand reform
Thousands of people joined a protest led by high school students in Bangkok on Saturday to call for education reforms as well as the demands of a broader movement pushing to remove the government and curb the powers of the monarchy. It was the first major protest since Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said on Thursday that police would use all laws against protesters, who have become the biggest challenge to the establishment in years.
Five Lebanese prisoners die in accident following mass prison break-out
Five escaping prisoners died on Saturday when their car hit a tree after more than 60 detainees broke out of a Lebanese detention centre outside the capital Beirut, Lebanon's Internal Security Forces (ISF) said in a statement. The ISF statement did not say how the 69 prisoners had escaped from the facility, which a security source said holds pre-trial detainees and is part of Baabda district prison near Beirut.
Families of detained Hong Kong dozen protest on island near Chinese prison
Relatives and supporters of 12 Hongkongers, detained in China after trying to flee the city by speedboat, protested on Saturday on an island near the Chinese prison where they have been held virtually incommunicado for nearly three months. The 11 men and one woman were captured by the Chinese coastguard on Aug. 23 aboard a speedboat believed to be bound for Taiwan.
Exclusive: Mexico agreed with U.S. Attorney General Barr to arrest drug capo in deal for general - source
Mexico has committed to the arrest of a high-level cartel leader under a deal with U.S. Attorney General William Barr to drop U.S. drug trafficking charges against a former Mexican defense minister, a senior Mexican source told Reuters. The United States dropped the case against retired General Salvador Cienfuegos this week citing "sensitive and important" foreign policy considerations that outweighed interest in pursuing the charges.