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Reuters World News Summary

Reuters logo Reuters 10/24/2021

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

At least 25, including minors, died in illegal refinery blast in Nigeria

At least 25 people, including some minors, were killed in an explosion and fire at an illegal oil refinery in Nigeria's Rivers state on Friday, a local leader and a resident told Reuters on Sunday. "The casualties involved are very high ... we are counting 25 bodies," Ifeanyi Omano, a community leader, told Reuters, adding: "We aren't certain of their identities yet," he said, adding that the dead included some minors.

U.S. envoy urges N.Korea to end 'provocations', accept offer of talks

North Korea's recent ballistic missile tests https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/nkorea-says-it-conducted-successful-missile-test-submarine-kcna-2021-10-19 were "concerning and counterproductive" for efforts to reduce tensions, and Pyongyang should instead engage in talks, the U.S. envoy for North Korea said on Sunday. Speaking to reporters after meeting with his South Korean counterpart in Seoul, Special Representative Sung Kim https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/us-nuclear-envoy-visits-skorea-amid-nkorea-missile-tension-stalled-talks-2021-10-23 said the United States is committed to exploring "sustained and substantive diplomacy" with North Korea.

Erdogan's critics say expulsion call is diversion from economic woe

President Tayyip Erdogan's political opponents said on Sunday that his call to expel the ambassadors of 10 Western allies was a bid to divert attention from Turkey's economic difficulties, while diplomats hoped the expulsions might yet be averted. On Saturday, Erdogan said he had ordered the envoys be declared 'persona non grata' for seeking philanthropist Osman Kavala's release from prison.

Container ship fire off British Columbia smoldering, no longer spreading

A container fire that broke out on Saturday on a cargo ship carrying mining chemicals off British Columbia is smoldering and appears to be under control, Canadian Coast Guard officials said on Sunday. Sixteen crew members were evacuated from the MV Zim Kingston on Saturday, while five remained onboard to fight the fire.

Moscow decries U.S. move to call Russians 'homeless' for visa purposes

Russia on Sunday condemned a decision by the United States to add Russians seeking U.S. visas to a list of "homeless nationals" who can apply for visas in third countries. The move allowed Russians to apply for U.S. visas in Warsaw instead of their home country after the American Embassy stopped processing most visa applications in May due to Moscow's ban on employing embassy staff in Russia.

Colombia's most-wanted drug lord told armed forces: 'You beat me' when caught -government

The man Colombia describes as the world's most dangerous drug trafficker told security forces: "You beat me" when he was captured during an operation this weekend, the government said on Sunday, pledging to extradite him swiftly to the United States. Dairo Antonio Usuga, known as Otoniel, was caught https://www.reuters.com/article/us-colombia-drugs-otoniel/colombia-nabs-otoniel-drug-kingpin-and-gang-leader-government-idUSKBN2HD0KF by Colombia's armed forces during an operation in a rural area of Colombia's Uraba region, Antioquia province, which involved more than 500 members of Colombia's special forces and 22 helicopters, officials said on Saturday.

Australia looks to roll out COVID-19 booster shots soon as curbs ease

Australian officials plan to roll out COVID-19 booster shots soon to prevent a resurgence of cases, as residents in the two largest cities of Sydney and Melbourne begin to enjoy more freedoms after months-long curbs. Australia has ditched its COVID-zero strategy in favor of suppressing the coronavirus, after largely stamping out infections for most of this year, and is now aiming to live with the virus through higher vaccinations.

Mali tells U.N. it will confirm post-coup election date in December

Mali's interim authorities will confirm a date for post-coup elections after national reform consultations in December, a representative of a U.N. Security Council delegation said after talks on Sunday. The timeline is a further sign that Mali's military leadership is likely to extend an 18-month transition to constitutional rule that it originally promised would culminate in presidential and legislative elections on Feb. 27, 2022.

UNICEF warns Haiti fuel shortages put hospitalized women and children at risk

Fuel shortages in Haiti are putting the lives of hundreds of women and children at risk as hospitals run low on supplies for electricity, United Nations children's agency UNICEF said on Sunday. Fuel supplies to the capital Port-au-Prince have been severely disrupted in recent weeks by a wave of kidnappings, including the abduction this month of a group of American and Canadian missionaries. Transport industry leaders say making fuel deliveries is too dangerous for drivers who are at risk of kidnapping or hijacking.

Israeli official says reopening of U.S. Palestinian mission in Jerusalem may not happen

Israel's deputy foreign minister said on Sunday that the Biden administration may shelve its plan to reopen a U.S diplomatic mission for Palestinians in Jerusalem after Israel voiced opposition to such a move. The Jerusalem consulate was subsumed into the U.S. Embassy that was moved to the contested city from Tel Aviv in 2018 by the administration of former President Donald Trump - a reversal of U.S. policy hailed by Israel and condemned by Palestinians.

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