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Reuters World News Summary

22 Nov 2020 / 07:56 H.

    Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

    Ethiopia rejects African mediation, pushes toward rebel-held Tigray capital

    The Ethiopian government rebuffed an African effort to mediate on Saturday, saying its troops had seized another town in their march towards the rebel-held capital of northern Tigray region. More than two weeks into Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's offensive, the government says Tigrayan forces are bulldozing roads and destroyed bridges to hold up the advance on regional capital Mekelle, home to about half a million people.

    England will end COVID lockdown with stricter tiered system

    England will end a national COVID-19 lockdown on Dec. 2 and move into tougher tiered regional restrictions than before, with more areas facing severe constraints to prevent the virus from reigniting, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's office said. Johnson ordered England in to a month-long lockdown in early November after infection cases and deaths started to rise again, angering businesses and some of his own political party over the economic consequences.

    As they repair Iota's damage, Colombian survivors vow to rebuild

    When Category 5 Hurricane Iota roared over the small Colombian island of Providencia in the early hours of Monday morning, Yeisler Chamorro and his wife hunkered down underneath a mattress in their bedroom. Nearly all the infrastructure on the island of some 6,000 people, near the coast of Central America, was damaged or destroyed by the storm, which sent rubble raining down on top of Chamorro, 29.

    Israel welcomes end to convicted U.S. spy Pollard's travel ban

    Israeli leaders on Saturday welcomed the U.S. decision to end parole restrictions on Jonathan Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence officer who served 30 years in prison after being convicted of spying for Israel. The U.S. Justice Department's parole commission decided on Friday to allow a travel ban on Pollard to expire. The move was seen by some as a parting gift from the Trump administration to its ally Israel.

    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.

    Saudi Arabia confident Biden will pursue regional stability, foreign minister says

    Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said on Saturday he was confident that Democrat Joe Biden's incoming U.S. administration would pursue policies that help regional stability and that any discussions with it would lead to strong cooperation. Riyadh is bracing itself for a new U.S. president who pledged on the election campaign trail to reassess ties with Saudi Arabia, a state he described as a "pariah" in 2019.

    Nigerian general dismisses bloody Lagos protest videos as fake

    A judicial panel investigating claims that Nigerian soldiers shot dead peaceful protesters in Lagos viewed videos on Saturday appearing to show people hurt or saying that they were being fired on, but an army general dismissed the footage. Brigadier General Ahmed Taiwo, who heads the army's 81st Division in Lagos, also said soldiers had been deployed to the protest with both live rounds and blanks, having previously told the panel only blanks were used.

    G20 leaders pledge to fund fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines: draft statement

    Leaders of the world's 20 biggest economies on Sunday will pledge to pay for a fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, drugs and tests around the world so that poorer countries are not left out, and to extend debt relief to them, a draft G20 communique showed. "We will spare no effort to ensure their affordable and equitable access for all people, consistent with members' commitments to incentivize innovation," the leaders said in the draft G20 statement, seen by Reuters. "We recognize the role of extensive immunization as a global public good."

    Mexican president urges G20 to avoid debt, bailouts in pandemic

    Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Saturday urged fellow leaders from the 20 biggest world economies (G20) to steer clear of debt and bailouts in the efforts to handle the COVID-19 crisis that has caused a global recession. From the start of the pandemic, which has claimed at least 100,000 lives in Mexico, the government has eschewed taking on debt to fund bailouts for businesses or cash payments for workers - a different approach from many other nations that have sought to cushion the economic blow.

    Thousands protest against French bill to curb identification of police

    Several thousand people protested in Paris on Saturday against a bill that would make it a crime to circulate an image of a police officer's face with the intention that they should be harmed. Supporters say police officers and their families need protection from harassment, both online and in person when off duty.

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