Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

Child drowns at sea off Greece in first fatality after Turkey opens border

A young Syrian boy died on Monday after being pulled from the sea when a boat capsized off the Greek island of Lesbos, Greek officials said, the first reported fatality since Turkey opened its border last week to let migrants reach Europe. Separately, two Turkish security sources told Reuters a Syrian migrant had died from injuries on Monday after Greek security forces intervened to prevent migrants crossing from Turkey into Greece, but Athens branded the claim "fake news."

British police arrests two in prison attack incident

British police said on Monday they have arrested two men in connection with an attack on a prison officer at Whitemoor prison in eastern England in the beginning of the year. In January, five prison staff were assaulted including one prison officer who sustained injuries to his head and neck at the maximum security jail in Whitemoor. (

Netanyahu ahead in Israeli election, but still seeking governing majority

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu led on Tuesday in a cliffhanger election in Israel, but was still short of a governing majority in a third national ballot in less than a year, exit polls showed. On the basis of initial projections by Israel's three main television channels, Netanyahu, head of the right-wing Likud party, claimed victory in Monday's vote over his main challenger, former armed forces chief Benny Gantz of the centrist Blue and White.

Coronavirus spreading fast outside China, airports to increase screenings

The new coronavirus appears to now be spreading much more rapidly outside China than within, and airports in hard-hit countries were ramping up screening of travelers. World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said almost eight times as many cases had been reported outside China as inside in the previous 24 hours, adding that the risk of coronavirus spreading was now very high at a global level.

Trump administration to cap number of employees at Chinese media outlets in U.S

The United States on Monday said it was slashing the number of Chinese employees permitted to work at the U.S. offices of major Chinese state-owned media outlets to retaliate against Beijing over its "long-standing intimidation and harassment of journalists." Citing a "deepening crackdown" on all forms of independent reporting inside China, administration officials said Beijing's attack on free speech was worse than it was a decade ago, comparing it to that of the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War.

Taliban rule out taking part in Afghan talks until prisoners freed

Taliban militants will not take part in intra-Afghan talks until the Afghan government releases about 5,000 of their prisoners, a spokesman said on Monday, presenting a major possible barrier to ending the war. The statement came as a reduction of violence period came to an end, and the Taliban said a resumption of operations against Afghan government forces could now take place.

Exclusive: U.N. nuclear watchdog plans alert on Iranian stonewalling - diplomats

The U.N. atomic watchdog policing Iran's nuclear deal with major powers plans to issue an imminent rebuke to Tehran for failing to provide access to one or more sites that are of interest to it, several diplomats who follow the agency said on Monday. The International Atomic Energy Agency overseeing the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement, which lifted international sanctions against Tehran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear activities, issues quarterly updates on Iran's atomic program to its member states.

Beach bummer: Half of world's sandy coastlines may vanish this century

Half the world's sandy beaches may be wiped away by the end of the century due to rising sea levels and other climate change effects, with Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico, China and the United States among the hardest hit, researchers said on Monday. Many beaches that attract frolicking vacationers may be turned into rocky remnants as rising seas, changing weather patterns and other factors erode sandy shorelines that now account for more than a third of global sea coasts, they added.

North Korea leader Kim oversees long-range artillery drill: KCNA

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw a long-range artillery drill on Monday, state media KCNA said on Tuesday. "The men of long-range artillery pieces on the front participating in the drill proudly demonstrated the accurate marksmanship which they had improved in their training," KCNA reported.

Syrian government forces re-enter strategic town, Turkey vows to keep up strikes

Syrian government forces entered parts of a strategic rebel-held town on Monday, and Turkey said it would keep hitting President Bashar al-Assad's troops after ramping up operations in its biggest intervention yet into the Syrian civil war. Turkey and Russia, which have come closer than ever to direct confrontation in Syria in recent days, traded threats over air space after Turkish forces shot down two Syrian government warplanes and struck a military airport.