News in Brief
News ID: 69538
Date: 20 August 2019 - 21:20
MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Russia told an agency that verifies a ban on nuclear tests that a military test accident in the country’s north this month was none of its business and that handing it any radiation data was voluntary, Interfax news agency reported on Tuesday.
The Vienna-based Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) said on Monday that two Russian monitoring sites closest to the mysterious explosion went offline days after the blast, soon followed by two more, fuelling suspicions that Russia tampered with them.
The CTBTO said on Tuesday the radioactive-particle sensors of at least one of the four Russian monitoring stations in question were transmitting again.
Russia’s state nuclear agency, Rosatom, has acknowledged that five of its nuclear workers were killed in the Aug. 8 explosion during a rocket engine test near the White Sea in far northern Russia. Two Russian military personnel were also reported to have been killed.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The United States has not returned to the negotiation table with North Korea as quickly as it had hoped, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday, but he added that Washington knew there would be ‘bumps on the road’ in the denuclearization talks.
Speaking in an interview with CBS, Pompeo said Washington was concerned about North Korea’s firing of short-range missiles. "I wish they would not,” he said, referring to the tests.
The latest of the missile tests by North Korea was carried out on Friday as Pyongyang fired two more short-range projectiles into the sea off its east coast.
Denuclearization talks have been stalled despite a commitment to revive them that was made at a June 30 meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
LONDON/BRUSSELS (Reuters) -- Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s demand that the European Union reopen the Brexit divorce deal was rebuffed on Tuesday by the bloc, which said Britain had failed to propose any realistic alternative to an agreed insurance policy for the Irish border.
After more than three years of Brexit crisis, the United Kingdom is heading towards a showdown with the EU as Johnson has vowed to leave the bloc on Oct. 31 without a deal unless it agrees to renegotiate the divorce terms.
The bloc has repeatedly refused to reopen the Withdrawal Agreement, which includes a protocol on the Irish border "backstop” that then-prime minister Theresa May agreed in November.
MADRID (Reuters) -- The Spanish government said on Tuesday it was sending a navy ship to the Italian island of Lampedusa to escort the Open Arms rescue ship to Spain, in a bid to bring an end to an ordeal that has seen migrants stranded in the Mediterranean for 19 days.
"The Audaz will depart this afternoon at 5 p.m. and will sail for three days to Lampedusa, where it will take charge of the people hosted by the Open Arms and escort the boat ... to the port of Palma in Mallorca,” the Socialist government said in a statement.
The Open Arms ship, run by a Spanish charity of the same name, was still unaware of the plan. Earlier on Tuesday the charity described the situation onboard as "out of control,” and said that at least ten people had jumped overboard in a "desperate” attempt to swim to Lampedusa.
JAKARTA (AFP) -- Riots broke out and a local parliament building was torched in Indonesia's restive Papua region on Monday, as thousands protested against the weekend detention of dozens of Papuan students.
Demonstrators took to the streets of Manokwari, the capital of West Papua province, bringing the city of some 130,000 to a standstill as its civic building was nearly reduced to ashes.
Some protesters set fire to shops and vehicles, knocked down street signs, and threw rocks at government buildings, according to an AFP reporter at the scene, who estimated several thousand demonstrators were present.
Indonesia's security minister Wiranto, who goes by one name, appealed for calm and said there would be an investigation of the incident that triggered the unrest in Manokwari as well as protests in several other Papuan cities on Monday.
"This has clearly disrupted our unity as a nation," he said.
The riots marked the latest flashpoint in a region hit by a decades-old insurgency against Indonesian rule and allegations that its security forces committed widespread rights abuses against its ethnic Melanesian population.
OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) -- The Burkina Faso military said 24 soldiers were killed in an attack by unidentified militants on an army unit on Monday, updating a previous death toll of 10.
In a statement on Tuesday, the army said it was continuing a land and air operation, launched in response to the attack in northern Burkina Faso, which has been overrun by Islamist violence this year. Seven other soldiers were wounded and five are still missing, it said.