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World News Roundup: Iran says pause in nuclear talks could create momentum for resolving remaining issues; Putin sees “certain positive shifts” in talks with Ukraine and more | Science Environment

The following is a summary of current world news briefs.

Iran says pause in nuclear talks could create momentum for resolving remaining issues

Iran’s foreign ministry said on Friday a pause in talks with world powers to revive Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal may create a momentum for resolving any remaining issues. “Pause in #ViennaTalks could be a momentum for resolving any remaining issue and a final return. The successful conclusion of talks will be the main focus of all,” ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Twitter. “No external factor will affect our joint will to go forward for a collective agreement.”

Putin sees “certain positive shifts” in talks with Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday there had been some progress in Moscow’s talks with Ukraine, but provided no details. “There are certain positive shifts, negotiators on our side tell me,” Putin said in a meeting with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko, adding that talks continued “practically on a daily basis”.

UN rights office says it has credible reports of Russian cluster bomb use in Ukraine

The UN human rights office said on Friday it had received “credible reports” of several cases of Russian forces using cluster munitions in populated areas in Ukraine, adding that indiscriminate use of such weapons might amount to war crimes. The UN agency has dozens of monitors in the country and more are expected to arrive once a commission established by the Geneva-based Council to probe possible war crimes is operational. It has been confirmed at least 549 civilian deaths in Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on Feb. 24, although says the real figure is likely higher.

Turkey sentences journalist to prison, ruling she insulted Erdogan

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A Turkish court on Friday sentenced journalist Sedef Kabas to more than two years in prison after ruling that she insulted the president, despite a ruling by Europe’s top rights court that the relevant law should be amended to safeguard free expression. Thousands of people have been tried and convicted under the law covering insults to the president in Turkey, including pro-Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtas, one of the most prominent opposition figures.

London police unlawfully used COVID rules to bar vigil for a murdered woman – court

London’s police acted unlawfully when they used COVID-19 social-distancing rules to force campaigners to cancel an outdoor vigil for a woman who was raped and murdered by a police officer last year, a London court ruled on Friday. Hundreds of people mostly women, including Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, gathered peacefully in defiance of the ban in a park on Clapham Common, which ended with police using heavy-handed tactics to arrest several women.

Russia regroups after setbacks; Ukraine says psychiatric hospital hit

Russian forces bearing down on Kyiv are regrouping northwest of the Ukrainian capital, satellite pictures showed, in what Britain said could be preparation for an assault on the city within days. Ukraine accused Russian forces of hitting a psychiatric hospital near its eastern town of Izyum on Friday, in what the regional governor called “a brutal attack on civilians”. Emergency services said no one was hurt as the patients were already sheltering in the basement.

North Korea accused of testing ICBM system and restoring nuclear test site

North Korea used what would be its largest ever intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system in two recent launches, and appears to be restoring some tunnels at its shuttered nuclear test site, US and South Korean officials said on Friday. The reports are the latest to suggest the country may soon follow through on threats to resume testing long-range ICBMs or nuclear weapons for the first time since 2017.

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Ukraine says Russian forces hit psychiatric hospital but no one hurt

Ukraine accused Russian forces of hitting a psychiatric hospital near the eastern Ukrainian town of Izyum on Friday but emergency services said no one was hurt. “All 30 staff and 330 patients were in a bomb shelter at the time of the strike,” Ukraine’s State Emergencies Service said in a statement.

Eastern Europe’s aid effort under strain as Ukraine refugees keep arriving

Eastern Europe’s volunteer-driven aid effort to help Ukrainians was showing signs of strains of Friday, with some cities running out of accommodation as the number of refugees passed 2.5 million and fierce fighting continued unabated. Relief work in frontline states – Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary and Moldova – has mainly been shouldered by ordinary citizens volunteering to drive, cook or house refugees, with the help of non-governmental organizations and local authorities.

Kharkiv metro is a ‘city’ where hundreds of shelters from bombardment

Deep under the streets of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine hundreds of people are sheltering from fierce Russian bombardment, occupying the Heroiv Pratsi metro station where they do what they can to get comfortable. From tiny babies to the elderly, residents sit or lie on mattresses and blankets arranged on the ground beside ticket machines, on platforms and inside trains halted alongside.

(With inputs from agencies.)


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