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Reuters World News Summary

19 Sep 2020 / 20:59 H.

    Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

    Taiwan scrambles fighters as Chinese jets again fly near island

    Taiwan's air force scrambled jets for a second consecutive day on Saturday as multiple Chinese aircraft approached the island and crossed the sensitive midline of the Taiwan Strait, with the island's government urging Beijing to "pull back from the edge." Taiwan's Defence Ministry said 19 Chinese aircraft were involved, one more than in the previous day, with some crossing the Taiwan Strait midline and others flying into Taiwan's air defence identification zone off its southwest coast.

    Belarus warns EU against inviting Lukashenko's rival to meeting

    The foreign ministry in Belarus said on Saturday that it saw the possible participation of opposition politician Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya in an EU ministerial meeting as an interference in domestic affairs, the Belta state news agency reported. Tsikhanouskaya has led the biggest challenge to President Alexander Lukashenko's 26-year rule in Belarus.

    India parliament session may be cut short as COVID-19 cases among lawmakers rise - sources

    India's parliament session that began this week is likely to be cut short after 30 lawmakers were found infected with the coronavirus, two senior parliament officials said, as the number of cases in the country rose to 5.3 million. The Indian parliament met for the first time in six months on September 14 and was to function until Oct. 1, but the two officials said its duration could be reduced by a week.

    Explainer: U.S. says U.N. sanctions on Iran to be reimposed Saturday. What does that mean?

    U.S. President Donald Trump's administration says that on Saturday (2000 EDT Sunday) all United Nations sanctions on Iran have to be restored and a conventional arms embargo on the country will no longer expire in mid-October. But 13 of the 15 U.N. Security Council members, including long-time U.S. allies, say Washington's move is void and diplomats say few countries are likely to reimpose the measures, which were lifted under a 2015 deal between world powers and Iran that aimed to stop Tehran developing nuclear weapons.

    Ethiopia files terrorism charges against leading opposition activist

    Ethiopia has filed terrorism charges against a prominent media mogul and opposition politician from the Oromo ethnic group, Jawar Mohammed, the attorney general's office said on Saturday. Jawar, founder of the Oromiya Media Network and a member of the Oromo Federalist Congress party, was arrested in June amid the widespread unrest that followed the assassination of popular Oromo musician Haacaaluu Hundeessaa.

    Kremlin critic Navalny posts photo of himself walking

    Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny was seen walking down the stairs in a photo posted on his Instagram feed on Saturday, five days after a Berlin hospital said he had been taken off a ventilator and could breathe independently. Navalny, the leading opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, fell ill in Siberia last month and was airlifted to Berlin. Germany says laboratory tests in three countries have determined he was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent, and Western governments have demanded an explanation from Russia.

    UK's Labour ties with Conservatives for first time since 2019, YouGov poll finds

    Britain's opposition Labour Party has caught up with the governing Conservatives for the first time since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister in July last year, a YouGov opinion poll showed. Data released late on Friday showed the Conservatives and Labour both on 40% support, based on online polling of 1,618 adults conducted on Sept. 16 and Sept. 17.

    Lebanon's army finds firework cache at devastated Beirut port

    Lebanon's army said it had found 1.3 tonnes of fireworks during a search of Beirut port, which was devastated last month in a huge blast that was blamed on a large quantity of chemicals kept in poor condition. The army said in a statement, released on its website on Friday, that 1,320 kgs of fireworks were found in 120 boxes in a warehouse during a search of the port. It said army engineers disposed of them.

    New UK lockdown likely sooner rather than later, ex-advisor warns

    Britain is likely to need to reintroduce some national coronavirus lockdown measures sooner rather than later, a leading epidemiologist and former senior government health advisor said on Saturday. Neil Ferguson, a professor of epidemiology at London's Imperial College, told the BBC the country was facing a "perfect storm" of rising infections as people return to work and school.

    Biggest Thai protest in years targets government and monarchy

    Around 20,000 people protested in Thailand's capital on Saturday against the government of former coup leader and Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, with many demonstrators also calling for reforms to the monarchy. "Down with feudalism, long live the people," was one of the chants at the biggest demonstration in Bangkok since Prayuth took power in a 2014 coup.

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