Published: January 12, 2020
Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Both sides accuse each other of violating ceasefire in Libya
Both of Libya's warring factions accused each other of violating a ceasefire proposed by Turkey and Russia, as fighting continued around the capital, Tripoli, on Sunday. The Turkish and Russian presidents had called for the ceasefire to start on Sunday, more than nine months into an offensive on Tripoli by the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Haftar.
Thousands join Thai anti-government run, while rival camp pushes back
Thousands of Thais joined a run in the capital on Sunday in what appeared to be the biggest show of dissent against the government of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, although he also drew a big show of support at a rival event. Police estimated more than 12,745 runners and supporters gathered before sunrise at a park in Bangkok, wearing athletic outfits and colorful shoes, to participate in the "Run Against Dictatorship" event.
Protests erupt again in Iran after military admits it hit plane
Protesters piled pressure on Iran's leadership on Sunday with demands for top authorities to quit after the Iranian military admitted it had mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian airliner at a time when it had feared U.S. strikes. "They are lying that our enemy is America, our enemy is right here," dozens of protesters outside a university in Tehran chanted, according to video clips posted on Twitter. Scores of demonstrators were also shown gathered in other cities.
Friends and foes gather in Oman to mourn Qaboos
World and regional leaders, many at odds with one another, met Oman's new ruler on Sunday to offer condolences for the death of Sultan Qaboos whose quiet diplomacy during five decades in power helped calm regional turbulence. The rulers of Qatar and the United Arab Emirate, which are locked in a protracted dispute, were among those who visited the royal palace in Muscat as was the foreign minister of Iran, which is an arch-foe of U.S.-allied Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
China says won't change position on Taiwan after landslide election
China will not change its position that Taiwan belongs to it and the world will only ever recognize that there is "one China", Beijing said on Sunday after President Tsai Ing-wen won re-election and said she would not submit to China's threats. China's ramped up efforts to get democratic Taiwan to accept Beijing's rule under a "one country, two systems" model, as well as anti-government protests in Chinese-ruled Hong Kong, dominated the election campaign.
Relatives of massacre victims torn over future in Mexico as most flee
Two months after tragedy struck, beefed-up security has helped calm the holdout residents of a tight-knit community of U.S.-Mexican families of Mormon origin. But with only a few families staying put, at least one village is being hollowed out. The gangland ambush by cartel gunmen in November on a dusty road in northern Mexico left three mothers and six children dead, their charred vehicles riddled with bullets, and a once-strong faith deeply shaken in the picturesque hamlets the families have called home for generations.
Irish foreign minister says EU will not be rushed in post-Brexit negotiations: BBC
Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney said on Sunday the European Union would not be rushed in negotiations with Britain to thrash out their post-Brexit relationship. "The European Union will approach this on the basis of getting the best deal possible - a fair and balanced deal to ensure that the UK and the EU can interact as friends in the future - but the EU will not be rushed on this," he told the BBC.
Israeli education minister implies homosexuality is unnatural
Several Israeli school districts held impromptu tolerance classes on Sunday after the country's education minister, an Orthodox rabbi, angered LGBT campaigners by implying homosexuality was unnatural. The furor over the remarks by Education Minister Rafael Peretz - who last year spoke favorably about gay "conversion therapy", a widely discredited method - reached into the Israeli cabinet, one of whose members is openly homosexual.
Restive Philippine volcano prompts evacuation of thousands of residents
A volcano south of the Philippine capital Manila spewed a giant ash plume accompanied by rumbling sounds and tremors on Sunday, prompting authorities to raise the alert level and order the evacuation of about 8,000 residents. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology raised the alert level at the rumbling Taal volcano to "level 3", indicating "magmatic unrest" that could lead to a "hazardous eruption in weeks". The highest alert is level 5, hoisted when magmatic eruption is underway.
Australian PM proposes high-powered inquiry into bushfires response
After weeks of criticism over the handling of the bushfires scorching Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Sunday he will propose a national review into the response to the disaster, as the fires claimed another firefighter's life. The Australian bush has been burning for nearly three months and the fires have killed 28 people, claimed 2,000 homes and consumed millions of acres of land and wildlife. The crisis is becoming increasingly political as the country looks at the causes and the government's response.
(With inputs from agencies.)
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