World News Roundup: Ukraine crisis: what next after a week of talks and tension?; UN rights office decries Ethiopia air strikes, says 108 killed this month and more | Science-Environment

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Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

Ukraine crisis: what next after a week of talks and tension?

A burst of East-West diplomacy this week produced no breakthrough on the Ukraine crisis and tensions are arguably higher than before, with Ukraine suffering a massive cyberattack and Russia rehearsing troop movements. But the talks have clarified areas for possible negotiation, albeit on a far more limited set of topics than Russia has demanded.

UN rights office decries Ethiopia air strikes, says 108 killed this month

The U.N. human rights office (OHCHR) on Friday expressed alarm at “multiple, deeply disturbing reports” of air strikes in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, saying at least 108 civilians had been killed since the start of January. Liz Throssell, an OHCHR spokesperson, described numerous attacks, including on a private minibus, an airport and a camp for displaced people, saying that at least 59 people died in the camp strike, making it the most lethal one.

Syria’s rebels hail ex-officer’s conviction, want justice to go higher

Syrian rebel and opposition groups said Germany’s conviction of a former Syrian intelligence officer for crimes against humanity this week was welcome but was only a step towards holding to account President Bashar al-Assad and his top aides. The conviction nL1N2TT0MJ of Anwar Raslan, who defected to Syria’s opposition in 2012 before securing asylum in Germany, marked a landmark ruling related to state-backed torture committed during Syria’s decade-long civil war.

Tunisia police fill city centre ahead of protest

Hundreds of Tunisian police surrounded a central area of the capital on Friday ahead of a planned protest against the president called in defiance of COVID-19 restrictions. Opposition parties including the moderate Islamist Ennahda are protesting against President Kais Saied’s suspension of parliament, assumption of executive power and moves to rewrite the constitution, which they call a coup.

Johnson’s office apologises to Queen Elizabeth for party on eve of funeral

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office apologised to Queen Elizabeth on Friday after it emerged that staff had partied late into the night in Downing Street on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral, at a time when mixing indoors was banned. Johnson is facing the gravest crisis of his premiership after almost daily revelations about a series of social gatherings during COVID-19 lockdowns, some held when ordinary people could not bid farewell in person to dying relatives.

‘Keep the defender guessing’: Russia’s military options on Ukraine

Russia’s deployment of tens of thousands of troops to the north, east and south of Ukraine is fuelling fears in Kyiv and Western capitals that Moscow is planning a new attack. Russia denies any such plans. Western military analysts have suggested Russia cannot keep such troops deployed where they are indefinitely for financial and logistical reasons and would need to pull them back by summer.

‘Be afraid’: Ukraine hit by cyberattack, Russia moves more troops

Ukraine was hit by a massive cyberattack warning its citizens to “be afraid and expect the worst”, and Russia, which has massed more than 100,000 troops on its neighbour’s frontier, released TV pictures on Friday of more forces deploying in a drill. The developments unfolded hours after talks wrapped up with no breakthrough between Russia and Western states, which fear Moscow could launch a new attack on a country it invaded in 2014.

Quake strikes off Indonesia’s Java island, felt strongly in capital

A powerful 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck off Indonesia’s Java island on Friday, the meteorology agency said, prompting some residents in the capital Jakarta to flee from buildings in panic. Indonesia’s meteorology agency (BMKG) said the earthquake hit 52 km (32 miles) off Banten province at a depth of 10 km, but did not trigger a tsunami warning. The magnitude was initially reported at 6.7 but downgraded to 6.6.

Exclusive-Poland asks EU to hold off fines for disciplining judges – letter

Poland asked the European Union’s executive to hold off fines for undermining judicial independence, saying it is working to dismantle its contentious disciplinary chamber for judges, according to a Jan. 10 letter seen by Reuters. Warsaw currently owes 70 million euros for failing to halt immediately all work by the chamber pending a final verdict by the EU’s top court on a scheme widely criticised for enabling the government to sideline judges who question its policies.

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi hit by five new corruption charges – source

A court in military-ruled Myanmar has announced five new corruption charges against ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a source familiar with the proceedings said on Friday, adding to a slew of cases against her. Suu Kyi has been on trial since June last year and in recent weeks has been sentenced to a combined six years in detention by a court in the capital Naypyitaw, in legal proceedings derided by the international community as a sham.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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