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Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Parties to Iran nuclear deal to meet on Sunday – EU
Parties negotiating a revival of the Iran nuclear deal will hold a formal meeting in Vienna on Sunday, the European Union said on Saturday. Iran and six world powers have been negotiating in Vienna since April to work out steps for Washington and Tehran to take. The United States withdrew in 2018 from the pact, under which Iran accepted curbs on its nuclear programme in exchange for a lifting of many foreign sanctions against it.
Saudi air defences intercept 17 Houthi armed drones – state TV
Saudi Arabian air defences late on Saturday destroyed six armed drones launched by Yemen’s Houthi movement towards the kingdom, bringing the total it intercepted during the day to 17, state TV cited the Saudi-led coalition as saying. The Houthi military spokesman had said earlier in the day on Twitter that one drone was launched at a military base in Khamis Mushait.
Khamenei protege wins Iran election amid low turnout
Ebrahim Raisi, a hardline judge who is under U.S. sanctions for human rights abuses, secured victory as expected on Saturday in Iran’s presidential election after a contest marked by voter apathy over economic hardships and political restrictions. With all 28.9 million ballots counted, Raisi was elected with a tally of 17.9 million, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said on state TV.
Mexico posts 3,964 new coronavirus cases; 192 more deaths
Mexico’s health ministry on Saturday reported 3,964 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country and 192 more fatalities, bringing the total figures to 2,475,705 infections and 231,151 deaths. The government has said the real number of cases is likely significantly higher, and separate data published in March suggested the actual death toll is at least 60% above the confirmed figure.
Brazilians protest Bolsonaro’s role in half a million COVID-19 deaths
Thousands took to the streets across Brazil on Saturday to protest against President Jair Bolsonaro’s pandemic response, blasting the leader for not acquiring vaccines fast enough and for questioning the need for mask-wearing. Brazil surpassed 500,000 deaths from COVID-19 on Saturday, according to the Health Ministry, the world’s highest death toll after the United States.
Exclusive-U.S. triples vaccines for Taiwan with 2.5 million-dose shipment
The United States shipped 2.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan on Saturday, more than tripling Washington’s previous allocation of shots for the island, which has faced increasing political and military pressure from China. Washington, competing with Beijing to deepen geopolitical clout through so-called “vaccine diplomacy,” initially had promised to donate 750,000 doses to Taiwan but increased that number as President Joe Biden‘s administration advances its pledge to send 80 million U.S.-made shots around the world.
Winner of Iran presidency is hardline judge who is under U.S. sanctions
Ebrahim Raisi’s record of fierce loyalty to Iran’s ruling clerics helped explain why the senior judge had been expected to win Friday’s presidential election, a contest the authorities limited almost exclusively to hardline candidates like him. The win for Raisi, 60, an implacable critic of the West whose political patron is Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, burnishes his chances of one day succeeding Khamenei at the pinnacle of power, analysts say.
As Iran veers right, ties with Gulf Arabs may hinge on nuclear pact
Gulf Arab states are unlikely to be deterred from dialogue to improve ties with Iran after a hardline judge won the presidency but their talks with Tehran might become tougher, analysts said. Prospects for better relations between Muslim Shi’ite Iran and Sunni Gulf Arab monarchies could ultimately hinge on progress to revive Tehran’s 2015 nuclear accord with world powers, they said, after Ebrahim Raisi won Friday’s election.
Airlines, holiday companies ramp up pressure on Britain to ease travel rules
Britain’s airlines and holiday companies are planning a “day of action” on Wednesday to ramp up pressure on the government to ease travel restrictions, with just weeks to go before the start of the peak summer season. Travel companies, whose finances have been stretched to breaking point during the pandemic, are desperate to avoid another summer lost to COVID-19. But with Britain’s strict quarantine requirements still in place that now looks likely.
Brazil passes half a million COVID-19 deaths, experts warn of worse ahead
Brazil’s death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 500,000 on Saturday as experts warn that the world’s second-deadliest outbreak may worsen due to delayed vaccinations and the government’s refusal to back social distancing measures. Only 11% of Brazilians have been fully vaccinated and epidemiologists warn that, with winter arriving in the southern hemisphere and new variants of the coronavirus circulating, deaths will continue to mount even if immunizations gain steam.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)