Below is a summary of the current world news briefing.
Ukraine says Russian troops made progress in frontline city of Bahmut
Russian troops had achieved some success in the eastern frontline city of Bakhmut, Ukrainian military officials said late Wednesday, adding that their fighters were still holding out in months of fighting. In southern Ukraine, the head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog said he was shelving plans to create a safe zone around the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia power plant so he could come up with specific protections acceptable to both Moscow and Kiev.
Pope to spend ‘several days’ in hospital due to respiratory infection
The Vatican said in a statement on Wednesday that Pope Francis had a respiratory infection and needed to be treated in hospital for “several days” out of concern for the 86-year-old’s condition. The pope was taken to Rome’s Gemelli hospital after complaining of difficulty breathing over the past few days, the statement said. It added that tests showed he had the virus but not COVID-19.
Australian government introduces Aboriginal referendum bill in parliament
The Australian government took the first formal steps on Thursday, holding a referendum to recognize Indigenous peoples in the constitution and creating an Indigenous “parliamentary voice” to advise lawmakers on matters affecting their lives. Introducing the bill in parliament, Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said the October-December referendum would be an opportunity to acknowledge history and help Australians come together “for a more reconciled future”.
Erdogan says Putin may visit Turkey in April to inaugurate power plant
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin may visit Turkey on April 27 to attend the construction of the country’s first nuclear power reactor by Russia’s state nuclear energy company Rosatom inauguration ceremony. “Maybe there is a possibility that Mr. Putin will come on April 27, or we can connect online to the inauguration and we will take the first step in Akkuyu,” Erdogan said in televised comments on private broadcaster ATV.
China condemns U.S. Congress for hosting exiled Tibetan leader
On Wednesday, China accused the U.S. Congress of interfering in its internal affairs and actually hosted the head of an Indian group called the Tibetan Government-in-Exile to speak at a hearing earlier this week. Speaking to the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Committee on China via video link on Tuesday, Pemba Tsering, known as the Sikyong of the Central Tibetan Administration, said Tibet was “slowly dying” under Chinese rule.
Top expert resigns from Vatican committee against child sexual abuse
Father Hans Zollner, one of the leading members of the Vatican’s committee against child sexual abuse, said Wednesday he had resigned from the group, citing concerns about how it was run. Zollner was one of the founding members of the Commission for the Protection of Minors established by Pope Francis in 2014 to combat a decades-long pedophilia scandal within the Roman Catholic Church .
Taiwan president begins sensitive U.S. stop; China warns against meeting
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen arrived in New York on Wednesday, stopping at a sensitive U.S. stopover, vowing not to let outside pressure keep Taiwan from engaging with the world after China threatened retaliation if she met with U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy . China, which claims democratically ruled Taiwan as its territory, has repeatedly warned U.S. officials not to meet Tsai Ing-wen, who is making her first stopover in the United States since 2019, in what she sees as support for Taiwan’s desire to be seen as an independent nation.
CIA Deputy Director Rarely Meets with Paraguayan Abdo
CIA deputy director David Cohen met with Paraguay’s President Mario Abdo to discuss increased security cooperation ahead of the South American nation’s tight election, Abdo said . Abdo said on Twitter on Wednesday that he met Cohen in Paraguay, but did not say when the previously unannounced meeting took place.
Mexico’s blame game over migrant deaths heightens tensions in presidential race
A fire at a Mexican migrant holding center has killed dozens, sparking recriminations inside and outside President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s government, exposing his party’s potential for next year’s presidential election previous tensions. Thirty-nine people died at the facility in Ciudad Juárez, a border city across from El Paso, Texas. Lopez Obrador initially said the blaze was sparked by detained migrants protesting their impending deportation.
Nashville mourns school shooting victims, governor speaks of ‘need for hope’
First Lady Jill Biden visited Nashville on Wednesday to attend a memorial service for the three children and three adults shot and killed at a Christian day school this week, including two education workers for the Tennessee governor’s wife By. The outdoor ceremony was scheduled to begin about 90 minutes before sunset in a park in downtown Nashville, the state capital and largest city in Tennessee, a few miles from the site of Monday’s massacre.
(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and was automatically generated from a syndicate feed.)