Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

Trump tells Sisi U.S. to pursue efforts for deal on Ethiopia dam: Egypt presidency

U.S. President Donald Trump told Egyptian counterpart Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi on Tuesday that Washington will keep up efforts for a deal among Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan over a dam Ethiopia is building on the Nile, Egypt's presidency said. The three countries had expected to sign an accord in Washington last week on the filling and operation of the $4 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), but Ethiopia skipped the meeting and only Egypt has initialed the deal thus far.

Trump, Taliban leader talk as prisoner feud threatens Afghan peace

U.S. President Donald Trump spoke by telephone with chief Taliban negotiator Mullah Baradar Akhund on Tuesday, the first known conversation between a U.S. leader and a top Taliban official, as a dispute over a prisoner release threatened a U.S.-led effort to bring peace to Afghanistan. The call, announced on Twitter by a Taliban spokesman and then confirmed by Trump, came three days after Baradar and U.S. Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad signed an agreement in Qatar for a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

Netanyahu leads in Israeli election, but still lacks majority

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu led on Tuesday in Israel's third national election in less than a year but was short of a governing majority, nearly complete results showed. Netanyahu claimed victory in Monday's vote over his main challenger, former armed forces chief Benny Gantz of the centrist Blue and White party, after exit polls projected the conservative leader's Likud party had come out on top.

Exclusive: EU fumes at Turk migration 'blackmail', mulls more money for Ankara

European Union ambassadors voiced outrage at a meeting this week over what they see as an attempt by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to "blackmail" the bloc by allowing migrants to mass at Greece's border, diplomatic sources said. Some envoys conceded, however, that Erdogan has the EU in a bind because its member states cannot agree how to deal with refugees and - to avoid a replay of the 2015/16 migration crisis - believe the bloc will have to cough up more money for Turkey to go on keeping a lid on arrivals in Europe.

Libya shifts flights from Tripoli to Misrata amid heavier bombing

The only functioning airport in the Libyan capital said late on Tuesday that it was shifting all flights to the town of Misrata due to shelling in the area following an escalation in fighting over recent days. Rocket fire and shelling towards the airport ramped up late last week as a United Nations effort to bring the warring sides together in Geneva failed to make headway. On Monday, the U.N. special envoy Ghassan Salame said he was resigning.

U.N. nuclear watchdog admonishes Iran for denying access to two sites

The U.N. watchdog policing Iran's troubled nuclear deal with major powers admonished Tehran on Tuesday for failing to answer its questions about past nuclear activities at three sites and for denying it access to two of them. Reuters first reported on Monday that the IAEA planned to issue a second report in addition to its regular quarterly update on Iran's nuclear activities, rebuking Iran for less than full cooperation in general and for failing to grant U.N. inspectors access to one or more sites of interest.

Chinese cybersecurity company accuses CIA of 11-year-long hacking campaign

Chinese anti virus firm Qihoo 360 said CIA hackers have spent more than a decade breaking into the Chinese airline industry and other targets, a blunt allegation of American espionage from a Beijing-based firm. In a brief blog post published on Monday in English and Chinese, Qihoo said it discovered the spying campaign by comparing samples of malicious software it had discovered against a trove of CIA digital spy tools released by WikiLeaks in 2017.

Witness says no women arrested in case of 47 Nigerian men charged under homosexuality law

No women were arrested in a 2018 police raid that led 47 Nigerian men to be charged with displays of affection with members of the same sex, a witness said on Tuesday, in a case that tests a law criminalising homosexuality in Africa's most populous country. In November the men pleaded not guilty to the offence which carries a 10-year jail term and resulted from legislation introduced by former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014.

Planned mass women's strike in Mexico like 'Cinderella' dream come true, organizer says

Activist Arussi Unda knew many across Mexico shared her fury over violence against women and impunity for the perpetrators, but she was still surprised when her vision of women staging a national one-day strike took off beyond her home state. In many towns and cities, women next Monday will skip school, work and other activities to show how public life looks without them, delivering a critique of the violence that has led to a surge in femicides, or gender-motivated killings of women.

WHO warns of global shortage of medical equipment to fight coronavirus

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday warned of a global shortage and price gouging for protective equipment to fight the fast-spreading coronavirus and asked companies and governments to increase production by 40% as the death toll from the respiratory illness mounted. Meanwhile, the U.S. Federal Reserve cut interest rates on Tuesday in an emergency move to try to prevent a global recession and the World Bank announced $12 billion to help countries fight the coronavirus, which has taken a heavy toll on air travel, tourism and other industries, threatening global economic growth prospects.