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Sunday, October 24, 2021

World news today: 5 overnight developments from around the globe

Good afternoon! Begin your Sunday with five key overnight stories from around the world.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: September 26, 2021 12:01:04 pm
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and North Rhine-Westphalia State Premier, Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party leader and candidate for chancellor, Armin Laschet, attend a rally ahead of the September 26 general election, in Aachen, Germany, September 25, 2021. (REUTERS)

Here is a round-up of the top developments around the world today.

1.Quad message to China: ‘Undaunted by coercion’

In a clear signal to Beijing and its growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region, leaders of the Quad grouping said Saturday that they “recommit to promoting the free, open, rules-based order, rooted in international law and undaunted by coercion, to bolster security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and beyond”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden, Australian PM Scott Morrison and Japan’s outgoing PM Yoshihide Suga met for about two hours and pledged to ensure a “free and open” Indo-Pacific which is also “inclusive and resilient” at a time when China’s assertiveness is growing in the region.

Washington: President Joe Biden walks to the Quad summit with, from left, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, to the East Room of the White House, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, in Washington. AP/PTI(AP09_25_2021_000004B)

Other matters discussed: Afghanistan and the growing issue of human rights, assistance to Afghan nationals in need of safe havens, to deepen their cooperation in South Asia, ways to fight against terrorism, coordination to built better infrastructure in the region, vaccine supplies and trade among other things.

2.Germans vote in close election to decide Merkel successor

Germans will vote in a national election on Sunday that looks too close to call at the moment, with the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) mounting a strong challenge to retiring Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives. Merkel has been in power since 2005 but plans to step down after the election, making the vote an era-changing event to set the future course of Europe’s largest economy.

In this year’s elections, more than 60 million Germans over the age of 18 are eligible to vote. Voting will come to an end at 16:00 GMT on Sunday, thereby giving some indication of results.

3.At least 3 killed, 50 injured as train derails in US

At least three people were killed and 50 others injured on Saturday after an Amtrak train derailed in north-central Montana, the New York Times reported.

In this photo provided by Kimberly Fossen an ambulance is parked at the scene of an Amtrak train derailment on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, in north-central Montana. Multiple people were injured when the train that runs between Seattle and Chicago derailed Saturday, the train agency said. (Kimberly Fossen via AP)

As of now, people trapped aboard soon after the derailment have all been taken off the train, said the official of the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The cause of the incident was not immediately clear.The Empire Builder train had about 147 passengers and 13 crew aboard when five cars derailed near Joplin, Amtrak said.

4.Canadians, Chinese executive return home in prisoner swap

Michael Kovrig, centre right, waves to media as his wife Vina Nadjibulla, centre left, and sister Ariana Botha, left, after his arrival at Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021. (AP/THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn)

China, the US and Canada completed a high-stakes prisoner swap with joyous homecomings for two Canadians held by China and for an executive of Chinese global communications giant Huawei Technologies charged with fraud, potentially bringing closure to a 3-year feud that embroiled the three countries.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hugged diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor on the tarmac after they landed in Calgary, Alberta early Saturday. The men were detained in China in Dec. 2018, shortly after Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer and the daughter of the company’s founder, on a US extradition request.

5.Rwandan genocide ‘kingpin’ Bagosora dies in Mali prison: sources

A former Rwandan army colonel who is accused of masterminding the slaughter of 800,000 people during the 1994 genocide has died in prison in Mali, Malian officials told Reuters on Saturday.

Former Rwandan army colonel Theoneste Bagosora sits before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha December 18, 2008. (Reuters)

Theoneste Bagosora was currently serving a 35-year sentence after being found guilty of crimes against humanity by the then International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). His sentence had been reduced from life in prison.

“He was over 80 years old, he was seriously ill, with heart troubles. He was hospitalised several times and had three surgeries. He died today in a clinic,” a source in Mali’s prison administration who sought anonymity told Reuters.

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