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Following is a summary of current world news briefs. Navalny demands EU crackdown on oligarchs close to Kremlin

Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny called on the European Union on Wednesday to take tough action against oligarchs close to the Kremlin as he continues his recovery in Germany after being poisoned by a nerve agent in the banned Novichok family. Germany said on Tuesday it was discussing with its partners what action to take after the global chemicals watchdog confirmed Navalny had been poisoned with a new and undeclared variant in the Novichok family. Pompeo uses Tokyo visit to slam China, seek Asian allies’ support

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Japan on Tuesday to rally support from Washington’s closest allies in Asia, calling for deeper collaboration with Japan, India and Australia as a bulwark against China’s growing regional influence. The East Asia visit, Pompeo’s first in more than a year, coincides with worsening tensions with China. Yet the call for a united front against Beijing is a sensitive subject for Washington’s allies, which are reliant on China for trade. Kidnapped French aid worker’s son cautious on word of her release in Mali

The son of a French aid worker kidnapped in Mali said on Tuesday that the family remains cautious over news of her release, despite a relative saying on France’s BFMTV that she has already been freed. Malian and French authorities have neither confirmed nor denied that Sophie Petronin and abducted Mali politician Soumaila Cisse, have been released, or that talks about their potential release were ongoing. UK’s Raab: U.S. wants to see leadership from Europeans

The United States wants to see leadership from Europe in relation to issues like Belarus, rather than relying on the U.S. to move first with sanctions, British foreign minister Dominic Raab said on Tuesday. On Sept. 29, Britain and Canada imposed travel bans and asset freezes on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, his son and other senior officials. Exclusive: ‘Big progress’ in Brexit talks leaves EU seeing trade deal closer – sources

Britain and the EU are closer to agreement on reciprocal social security rights for their citizens after Brexit, two diplomatic sources said, with one describing talks last week on an elusive trade deal as “one of the most positive so far”. The European Union diplomats said Brussels was now gearing up to negotiate until as late as mid-November – rather than cutting talks off at the start of next month – to avoid a damaging “no-deal” scenario when Britain’s standstill transition with the bloc ends on Dec. 31. U.N. extends probe into possible crimes against humanity in Venezuela

The United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday extended by two years the mandate of investigators who have documented executions, disappearances and torture in Venezuela that they say may amount to crimes against humanity https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN2671UQ. It condemned “widespread targeted repression and persecution” by security forces and called on the government of President Nicolas Maduro to cooperate with a preliminary examination opened by the International Criminal Court (ICC). Black hole discoveries win 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics

Three scientists who unravelled some of the deep mysteries of black holes, the awe-inspiring pockets of the universe where space and time cease to exist, have won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics. Britain’s Roger Penrose, professor at the University of Oxford, won half the prize of 10 million Swedish crowns ($1.1 million) for his proof that black holes are a direct consequence of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity. COVID-19 vaccine may be ready by year-end, says WHO’s Tedros

A vaccine against COVID-19 may be ready by year-end, the head of the World Health Organization said on Tuesday. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for solidarity and political commitment by all leaders to ensure equal distribution of vaccines when they become available. State funeral held for former Canadian Prime Minister John Turner

A state funeral was held on Tuesday for former Canadian Prime Minister John Turner who passed away last month at the age of 91. Turner, who served the Canadian Prime Minister for just 11 weeks and led his Liberal Party to a massive electoral defeat in 1984, died in his Toronto home. Russia warns that Nagorno-Karabakh could become Islamist militant stronghold

The Kremlin issued a new appeal for an end to hostilities in and around Nagorno-Karabakh on Tuesday after Moscow’s foreign intelligence chief said the mountain enclave could become a launch pad for Islamist militants to enter Russia. Moscow expressed alarm after the deadliest fighting in more than 25 years between ethnic Armenian and Azeri forces entered a 10th day, though the French news agency AFP later said Armenia had offered concessions only if Azerbaijan was ready to do so.

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