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Reuters World News Summary

18 Oct 2020 / 10:08 H.

    Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

    Australia's COVID-19 hotspot records two cases ahead of plans to ease lockdown

    Australia's coronavirus hotspot of Victoria recorded two cases of the illness on Sunday ahead of the expected state government's announcement later in the day on how it plans to ease socialising and movement restrictions. Melbourne, Victoria's capital, has been under a strict lockdown for more than 100 days. Retail and restaurants operate only on take-away or delivery orders, while people can exercise or socialise outdoors for a maximum of two hours, staying close to home.

    Armenia and Azerbaijan agree new Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire

    Armenia and Azerbaijan said they had agreed on Saturday to a new humanitarian ceasefire from midnight (2000 GMT) in fighting over Azerbaijan's ethnic Armenian-controlled enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. Both sides had accused each other earlier of fresh attacks in violation of a week-old Russian-brokered truce that had failed to halt the worst fighting in the South Caucasus since the 1990s.

    New Zealand's Ardern to take time to decide on coalition after historic election win

    New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will take her time to decide whether she will go alone or include coalition partners in her next government, after a thumping election win on Saturday. Ardern delivered the biggest election victory for her centre-left Labour Party in half a century, which allows her to govern alone. It is the first time any party has had enough support to be a single-party government since New Zealand adopted a proportional voting system in 1996.

    No Saturday night party for Parisians as curfews kick off

    The streets and terraces of Paris and eight cities in France emptied on Saturday night as people were asked to stay home to stem a second wave of the coronavirus that caused a record daily number of infections in the country. French President Emmanuel Macron last week ordered nightly curfews in cities where the coronavirus was the most active, saying it was spreading at parties and private gatherings and action was needed or else hospitals risked being overwhelmed.

    French police arrest nine after teacher beheaded in street

    French police have arrested nine people after a suspected Islamist sympathiser beheaded a school teacher on the street of a Paris suburb on Friday, police sources said. Investigators were trying to establish whether the attacker, who was shot dead by police, had acted alone or had accomplices. French media reported that he was an 18-year-old of Chechen origin.

    Police given access to details of people told to self-isolate by UK government's system

    British police forces have been granted access to details of people who have been told to self-isolate under the government's 'test and trace' system, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said late on Saturday. A spokesman for the department said it agreed with the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) that officers could have access on a case-by-case basis to information on whether a specific individual has been notified to self-isolate.

    Lobster facility fire in Nova Scotia 'suspicious,' Canadian minister says

    Canadian Public Safety Minister Bill Blair on Saturday said a fire that destroyed a lobster facility in southwest Nova Scotia was "suspicious", adding that he has authorized more Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to keep peace in the region where fishery tensions have escalated. "I am deeply concerned about the suspicious fire and confident that investigators will find the answers they need to hold those responsible to account", Blair said in a statement.

    Iran sees no arms buying spree as it expects U.N. embargo to end

    Iran said it was self-reliant in its defense and had no need to go on a weapons buying spree as a United Nations conventional arms embargo was due to expire on Sunday despite strong U.S. opposition. "Iran's defense doctrine is premised on strong reliance on its people and indigenous capabilities ... Unconventional arms, weapons of mass destruction and a buying spree of conventional arms have no place in Iran's defense doctrine," said a Foreign Ministry statement carried by state media.

    China warns U.S. it may detain Americans over prosecutions: WSJ

    The Chinese government has warned Washington it may detain Americans in China in response to the Justice Department's prosecution of Chinese military-affiliated scholars, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday. The newspaper, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter, said Chinese officials had issued repeated warnings through multiple channels to U.S. government officials.

    Global coronavirus cases rise by one-day record of 400,000

    Global coronavirus cases rose by more than 400,000 for the first time late on Friday, a record one-day increase as much of Europe enacts new restrictions to curb the outbreak. Europe, which successfully tamped down the first surge of infections, has emerged as the new coronavirus epicentre in recent weeks and is reporting on average 140,000 cases a day over the past week.

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