Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

Former Belgian-Nicaraguan political prisoner calls for probe into Ortega government

Nicaragua's best known former political prisoner, Amaya Coppens, is calling for international organizations to investigate alleged abuses by the government of President Daniel Ortega. Coppens, 25, a Belgian-Nicaraguan dual national, was a key figure in the anti-government street protests that swept across Nicaragua in April 2018 before being quelled by police and paramilitary forces. About 325 people died in the unrest.

eases restrictions on land mine use by U.S. military

President Donald on Friday relaxed Obama-era restrictions on the U.S. military's use of anti-personnel land mines, arguing that the previous policy could put American troops at a "severe disadvantage." The move was criticized by arms control proponents and underscores the administration's willingness to upend policies set by 's Democratic predecessor, in the face of concerns about the dangers such weaponry poses to civilians long after conflicts end.

Pompeo pledges support for Ukraine as impeachment trial rumbles

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo emphasized Washington's support for Ukraine on a visit to Kiev on Friday, as both countries sought to smooth over relations buffeted by the impeachment trial of President Donald . Ukraine was thrust into a domestic political battle in Washington last year as faced allegations he pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate the son of his Democratic rival Joe Biden.

Brexit at last: Britain leaves the EU as champagne corks fly

The United Kingdom finally cast off from the European Union on Friday for an uncertain future, with Brexiteers claiming victory and popping champagne corks for an "independence day" they said marked a new era for the country. In its biggest shift since losing its global empire, the United Kingdom slipped away at 2300 GMT, turning its back after 47 years on the post-World War Two project that sought to build the ruined nations of Europe into a global power.

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U.S. envoy warns Palestinians against raising opposition to U.S. peace plan at U.N.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft warned the Palestinians on Friday that bringing their displeasure with the U.S. peace plan to the world body would only "repeat the failed pattern of the last seven decades." Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will speak in the U.N. Security Council in the next two weeks about the plan, Palestinian U.N. envoy Riyad Mansour said on Wednesday, adding that he hoped the 15-member council would also vote on a draft resolution on the issue.

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Delhi shooter was quiet teenager who pushed Hindu cause online

The 17-year-old boy left his home in a small north Indian town on Thursday morning after telling his grandfather he was going to school. Instead he turned up 80 km away in New Delhi, where he pulled out a gun and shot an anti-government protester. The incident, captured in dramatic pictures on Thursday, was the first time a civilian had opened fire on protesters in the capital, raising fears that more Indians would take the law into their own hands as sometimes deadly protests rock the country.

U.S. ramps up anti-coronavirus measures at border as impact spreads

The United States ramped up its response to the coronavirus epidemic on Friday, declaring a public health emergency and saying it would halt entry to foreign nationals who had been to China within the 14-day incubation period. That measure followed on from an earlier travel advisory that warned Americans not to travel to China and angered Beijing.

Cold and humiliated, Syrians displaced yet again by new Assad campaign

Khaled Sabri and his family huddle in the makeshift shelter in northern Idlib, still shell-shocked after fleeing the sudden bombardment of their rebel-held town earlier this week. They are part of an exodus that has shaken northwest Syria, the last rebel redoubt in the country's nine-year civil war, as hundreds of thousands push toward Turkey to escape a sudden and fast-moving advance by government forces.

Firefights, blocked roads in Mexican city after senior cartel leader detained

Armed men blocked roads, burned cars and there were reports of shootouts in the city of Uruapan in western Mexico after a senior leader of the Los Viagras cartel was detained, local media and a source from the prosecutor's office said. Luis Felipe, also known as "El Vocho", was captured earlier in the day in the western state of Michoacan, which has long been convulsed by turf wars between drug gangs and where unrest is not uncommon after the detention of senior cartel figures.

's expanded travel ban targets Nigeria, five other countries

U.S. President Donald will issue an expanded version of his travel ban on Friday that targets prospective immigrants from Nigeria and five other countries, U.S. officials said, a move that could affect thousands of people and reignite debate over whether the policy is discriminatory. Of the six countries added to the ban, four are African nations, leading to outcry from critics that the administration is bolstering a policy they claim was originally designed to target Muslim-majority nations.

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