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Reuters World News Summary

Reuters logo Reuters 7/31/2021

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

U.S top diplomat Blinken to court Southeast Asia in virtual meetings next week

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet virtually with Southeast Asian officials every day next week, a senior state department official said on Saturday, as Washington seeks to show the region it’s a U.S. priority while also addressing the crisis in Myanmar. The top U.S. diplomat will attend virtual meetings for five consecutive days, including annual meetings of the 10 foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and other nations and separate meetings of the Lower Mekong subregion countries Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand.

'This is like a nightmare': Thousands displaced as floods hit Bangladesh Rohingya camps

Heavy monsoon rains triggered landslides and flash floods in refugees camps displacing thousands of Rohingya Muslims in southeastern Bangladesh this week, U.N. and other officials said on Friday, with further heavy rainfall expected. At least six Rohingya, including three children, died in landslides and flooding while 15 Bangladeshis were killed and more than 200,000 stranded by flooding in Cox's Bazar, said Mamunur Rashid, the district administrator.

Ukraine law enforcement agencies clash as wanted judge resurfaces

Ukrainian law enforcement agencies traded barbs on Saturday after a judge who disappeared in mysterious circumstances while facing a corruption investigation resurfaced and contacted the authorities from a village. Judge Mykola Chaus left Ukraine for neighboring Moldova in 2016 while facing bribery charges which his wife, Svitlana, says were fabricated. He disappeared in April this year in what Moldova's government said was a kidnapping.

Tunisia's Ennahda puts off party meeting amid crisis

The head of Tunisia's biggest party, the moderate Islamist Ennahda, on Saturday postponed a meeting of its highest council after senior members called for his resignation over his handling of the political crisis, party sources said. Rached Ghannouchi, who is also parliament speaker, has played a critical role in Tunisia's democratic crisis this week after quickly accusing President Kais Saied of a coup when he declared he was seizing executive authority.

Thousands protest against COVID-19 health pass in France

Thousands of people protested in Paris and other French cities on Saturday against a mandatory coronavirus health pass for entry to a wide array of public venues, introduced by the government as it battles a fourth wave of infections. Protesters injured three police officers in Paris, a police spokesperson said. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Twitter that 19 demonstrators were arrested, including 10 in Paris.

Russia reports pressure drop in space station service module

The head of Russia's Roscosmos space agency said on Saturday that pressure in a Russian service module on the International Space Station had dropped as a result of an air leak. Pressure had fallen over a two-week period before a Russian research module, the Nauka, threw the station out of control when its engines fired shortly after docking on Thursday, but Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin said the two events were not linked.

U.S. issues new Cuba sanctions, Biden promises more to come

The United States imposed sanctions on the Cuban police force and two of its leaders on Friday in response to the Havana government's crackdown on protesters, and President Joe Biden promised Cuban-American leaders more actions were coming. The U.S. Treasury Department said the sanctions, which appeared to be largely symbolic, were a reaction to "actions to suppress peaceful, pro-democratic protests in Cuba that began on July 11."

Mastermind behind deadly 2019 Kashmir attack killed in shootout -Indian police

The mastermind behind a 2019 attack that killed 40 Indian paramilitary troops has been killed in a shootout with security forces, Indian police in Kashmir said on Saturday. Mohammad Ismail Alvi, the commander of militant organization Jaish-e-Mohammad was killed south of the regional capital Srinagar, Vijay Kumar, the police chief of Kashmir told Reuters.

COVID-19 surge hits Asia; Tokyo, Thailand, Malaysia post record infections

The Olympics host city Tokyo, as well as Thailand and Malaysia, announced record COVID-19 infections on Saturday, mostly driven by the highly transmissible Delta variant of the disease. The surge in Delta variant cases is rattling parts of Asia previously relatively successful in containing COVID-19, such as Vietnam, which will from Monday impose strict curbs on movement in several cities and provinces.

Turkish wildfire leaves charred home and ashes, as blazes spread

Days after a raging wildfire in southern Turkey drove his family from the home they lived in for four decades, Mehmet Demir returned on Saturday to discover a burnt-out building, charred belongings and ashes. Bedsprings, a ladder, metal chairs and some kitchenware were the only things left identifiable after some of the worst fires in years tore through the region, with several still burning four days after they erupted on Wednesday.

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