Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

Migrants clash with Greek police at border after Turkey opens floodgates

Greek police fired tear gas to repel hundreds of stone-throwing migrants who tried to force their way across the border from Turkey on Sunday, with thousands more behind them after Ankara relaxed curbs on their movement. The Greek government called the confrontations a threat to national security. "Do not attempt to enter Greece illegally - you will be turned back," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Twitter after a security meeting on the situation.

Recession, record violence hit support for Mexico president: poll

Record levels of violence and an economic slump are taking an increasing toll on support for Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, an opinion poll showed on Sunday. The Feb. 20-26 survey of 1,000 Mexican adults by pollster Buendia & Laredo showed the president's approval rating had slipped to 62% from 67% in late November. In February 2019, backing for the veteran leftist stood at 85%, the poll said.

Coronavirus deaths rise in Italy, government prepares economic support

The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy has risen to 34, five more than a day earlier, officials said on Sunday, as the government prepared to boost spending to help the fragile economy. The head of Italy's Civil Protection Agency said the cumulative number of confirmed cases of the virus had jumped to 1,694 from 1,128 on Saturday, virtually all of them coming to light since Feb. 20 in the worst such contagion in Europe.

Diaspora has big role as Somalia rebuilds economy, global ties: finance minister

Somalia's 2-million strong diaspora has a huge role to play as the Horn of Africa country rebuilds its economy and resets ties with major international institutions after three decades as a "failed state," Somalia's finance minister said. Long saddled with $5.3 billion in debt, Somalia is in the process of inking debt forgiveness deals with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other big institutions after nearly three decades of clan warfare, famine and sporadic terror attacks by al Qaeda-linked militant group al Shabaab.

Iraqi prime minister candidate Allawi quits as vacuum looms

Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Mohammed Allawi withdrew his candidacy for the post on Sunday, accusing political parties of obstructing him, deepening a domestic crisis and threatening an unprecedented power vacuum. His move came hours after parliament failed for the second time in a week to approve his cabinet amid political infighting in the oil producer, where mass protests and deadlock between lawmakers are delaying Iraq's recovery from years of war.

No need to involve U.S. to resolve bilateral issues, Pakistan tells Afghanistan

Any reservations Afghanistan has with Islamabad should be resolved bilaterally rather than involving the United States, Pakistan’s foreign minister said on Sunday, in reference to part of a joint U.S.-Afghan declaration on peace efforts. The declaration was announced on Saturday by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, U.S. Defence Secretary Mark Esper and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at a ceremony to coincide with the signing in Doha of an agreement between the Taliban and the United States.

Nicaraguan poet and priest who criticized president dies at 95

Nicaraguan poet and priest Ernesto Cardenal, a strong critic of President Daniel Ortega, died on Sunday at the age of 95 in Managua due to heart and kidney problems, a close relative said. Three days of national mourning were declared for Cardenal, who rose to fame in 1983 when Pope John Paul II refused to acknowledge the kneeling priest due to his refusal to relinquish his involvement in politics. He was later suspended by the church for more than three decades over his political activism.

Turkey strikes Syrian planes and airports, escalating Idlib fight

Turkey shot down two Syrian warplanes over Idlib on Sunday and struck a military airport well beyond its frontlines in a sharp escalation of its military operations following the death of dozens of Turkish soldiers last week. Ankara has ramped up its attacks, including drone strikes, against the Russian-backed Syrian forces since Thursday, when 33 Turkish soldiers were killed in an air strike by Damascus.

Gatherings banned, travel restricted as coronavirus cases grow worldwide

Leaders in Europe, the Middle East and the Americas rolled out bans on big gatherings and stricter travel restrictions as cases of the new coronavirus spread around the world. The United States on Saturday reported its first death from the disease, a man in his 50s in Washington state, where officials said two of the state's three cases have links to a nursing home with dozens of residents showing disease symptoms.

Study casting doubt on Bolivian election fraud triggers controversy

A study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology experts that called into question the alleged election fraud that drove Bolivian President Evo Morales to resign has triggered sniping between left and right-leaning governments in Latin America. The analysis by two researchers in MIT's Election Data and Science Lab, made public last week, stated that an Organization of American States (OAS) finding that fraud helped Morales win was flawed and concluded that it was "very likely" the socialist president won the October vote by the 10 percentage points needed to avoid a runoff.