Reuters World News Summary
Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Left-wing German Social Democrats lobby against Merkel alliance
Left-wing German Social Democrats lobbied party members on Saturday against joining Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives in a re-run of their 2013-2017 alliance, a week before delegates are asked to back a coalition blueprint. The push-back from the left wing of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) came a day after its leaders urged members to swallow their doubts and endorse a deal to renew a "grand coalition" with Merkel's conservatives for another four years.
Iran lifts block on Telegram app imposed during unrest: report
Iran on Saturday lifted restrictions on the messaging app Telegram, the state news agency IRNA said, after blocking the popular service as security forces sought to contain the most widespread public protests in the country since 2009. "An informed source announced that the filtering of the Telegram messenger has been ended and it is being used by users," IRNA reported.
Hundreds of Poles protest against proposed abortion restrictions
Hundreds of Poles gathered in front of the parliament building in Warsaw on Saturday evening to protest against proposals for tight restrictions on abortion debated by lawmakers this week. On Wednesday the lower house decided to take up work on a bill that would ban abortions in the case of irreversible damage to the fetus, removing the main legal recourse Polish women have to obtain a termination.
Guatemala congressman arrested, accused in murders of two journalists
The Guatemala attorney general's office confirmed on Saturday the arrest of congressman Julio Juarez Ramirez, who is accused of plotting the murders of two journalists in 2015. Prosecutors and investigators with the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala said the politician orchestrated an attack on journalists Danilo Efraín Zapón López and Federico Benjamín Salazar Gerónimo, who were killed in March 2015.
U.S. probes video apparently showing shooting of Afghan civilian
U.S. military authorities are investigating a video widely circulated on Afghan social media that apparently shows a U.S. service member firing into a civilian truck driving along a road in Afghanistan, a spokesman said. "The video in question is not official, not authorized and does not represent the professionalism of the service members of U.S. Central Command," Air Force Col. John Thomas, a spokesman for the U.S. military Central Command, said in an emailed statement.
Russia deploys more surface-to-air missiles in Crimean build-up
Russia deployed a new division of S-400 surface-to-air missiles in Crimea on Saturday, Russian news agencies reported, in an escalation of military tensions on the Crimean peninsula. Russian annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, triggering economic sanctions by the European Union and United States and a tense stand-off in the region.
Anti-Trump demonstrators march in Swiss capital
Anti-globalization demonstrators took to the streets of the Swiss capital on Saturday to protest against a planned visit by U.S. President Donald Trump to the World Economic Forum this month. Trump announced last week that he would attend the WEF in Davos, an annual meeting of global business and political leaders.
U.S. ultimatum on nuclear deal, new sanctions draw Iran threat
Iran said on Saturday it would retaliate against new sanctions imposed by the United States after President Donald Trump set an ultimatum to fix "disastrous flaws" in a deal curbing Tehran's nuclear program. Trump said on Friday he would waive nuclear sanctions on Iran for the last time to give the United States and European allies a final chance to amend the pact. Washington also imposed sanctions on the head of Iran's judiciary and others.
New U.S. sanctions attempt to influence Russia before election: Tass
A new round of U.S. sanctions expected against Moscow is an attempt to influence Russia's domestic affairs ahead of a presidential election, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying on Saturday. Washington is expected to impose fresh penalties against Russia as soon as early February for its alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential vote. Russia has repeatedly denied this.
U.N. willing to send more aid for Venezuelans in Colombia
The United Nations is willing to send more resources to Colombia to help the Andean country care for hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans fleeing food shortages and economic devastation in their homeland, Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Saturday. Guterres is on a two-day visit to Colombia to discuss the progress of its peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels and ongoing peace talks with smaller guerrilla group the National Liberation Army (ELN), which recently re-started attacks after a months-long ceasefire.
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