Below is a summary of current world news.
Paris shooting suspect expressed ‘hatred of foreigners’, prosecutor says
The suspect arrested in the killing of three Kurds in Paris told investigators of his “hatred of foreigners,” the Paris prosecutor said Sunday. The 69-year-old man was arrested on Friday after he shot and killed two men and a woman at a Kurdish cultural center and a Kurdish cafe near the 10th arrondissement of Paris.
The world is dying of peace, says Pope Francis in his Christmas message
Pope Francis called for an end to the war in Ukraine and other conflicts in his Christmas message on Sunday, saying the world is suffering from a “hunger for peace”. Delivering the 10th Christmas blessing “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and to the world) and the message of his pontificate, he also urged people to look beyond the “pure glitter of the holidays” and help the homeless, immigrants , refugees and the poor in the midst of their search for comfort, warmth and food.
China conducts ‘strike drills’ in Taiwan, citing provocation
China’s military said on Sunday it had conducted “strike drills” in the sea and airspace around Taiwan in response to an unspecified “provocation” by the democratically-ruled island and the United States . Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory, has complained about repeated Chinese military activity nearby over the past three years or so as Beijing tries to pressure Taipei to accept Chinese sovereignty.
Ukraine gives the all clear after air raid alarms
Air raid sirens wailed in Kyiv and across Ukraine’s regions on Sunday morning, but no new Russian attacks were reported, officials said. Later the all-clear was given. Unconfirmed reports on Ukrainian social media suggested that the sirens may have been activated after the Russian planes took off in the sky over Belarus and that the flare was sounded after the planes returned to their bases.
China’s Zhejiang has 1 million daily cases of COVID, which are doubling
China’s Zhejiang, a large industrial province near Shanghai, is grappling with around one million new daily infections from COVID-19, a number expected to double in the coming days, the provincial government said on Sunday. Despite a record surge in cases across the country, China reported no deaths from COVID on the mainland in the five days to Saturday, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said on Sunday.
‘Where else can I go?’: Migrants face icy Christmas at US-Mexico border
Hundreds of migrants prepared to camp out in the cold on Mexico’s northern border over Christmas, hoping for a quick reversal of US immigration restrictions as they brace for the bite of a winter storm ravaging the US . After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week that the restrictions known as Title 42 could temporarily remain in place, many migrants face a Christmas weekend of what Mexico’s weather service called a “mass of arctic air”.
Kurdish protest over Paris shooting turns violent
Clashes erupted for a second day in Paris on Saturday between police and Kurdish protesters angry over the killing of three members of their community by a gunman. Cars were overturned, at least one vehicle was burned, storefronts were damaged and small fires were lit near Republic Square, a traditional rally site where Kurds had previously held a peaceful protest.
The Taliban ban female NGO staff, jeopardizing aid efforts
Afghanistan’s Taliban administration on Saturday ordered all local and foreign NGOs to stop their female employees from working, in a move the United Nations said would affect humanitarian operations just as winter takes hold a country that is already in economic crisis. A letter from the economy ministry, confirmed by spokesman Abdulrahman Habib, said female employees of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) could not work until further notice because some had not adhered to the administration’s interpretation of the code Islamic clothing for women.
At least 3 dead and 4 missing in Spain after bus plunges off bridge into river
At least three people were killed and four were missing after a passenger bus veered off a bridge and plunged into a river in northwestern Spain, local emergency services said on Sunday. Two survivors, the driver of the vehicle and a passenger, have so far been rescued from the Lérez river, where a strong current and high flow due to the heavy rains that swept through the Galicia region made search and rescue difficult, they say the authorities.
Putin says Russia is ready to negotiate on Ukraine
Russia is ready to negotiate with all parties involved in the war in Ukraine, but Kyiv and its Western backers have refused to engage in talks, President Vladimir Putin said in an interview broadcast on Sunday. Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine has sparked the deadliest conflict in Europe since World War II and the biggest confrontation between Moscow and the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
(With contributions from agencies.)