Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

U.S. savages WHO as it promises pandemic review, but China pledges $2 billion

The World Health Organization said on Monday an independent review of the global coronavirus response would begin as soon as possible and it received backing and a hefty pledge of funds from China, in the spotlight as the origin of the pandemic. But the WHO's chief critic, the U.S. administration of President Donald Trump, decried an "apparent attempt to conceal this outbreak by at least one member state".

Amid 'some calm', U.N. envoy urges U.S., Russia push for Syria peace

The United Nations Syria mediator urged the United States and Russia on Monday to make the most of "some calm" in the war-torn country and talk with each other about a push for peace. A crackdown by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on pro-democracy protesters in 2011 led to civil war, with Moscow backing Assad and Washington supporting the opposition. Millions of people have fled Syria and millions are internally displaced.

U.S. envoy to press Taliban, Afghan officials on peace talks

A senior U.S. envoy left for Doha and Kabul on Sunday to press Taliban and Afghan government officials to open peace talks that the United States hopes will allow it to withdraw from Afghanistan, the U.S. State Department said. The U.S. special representative for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, left one day after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah signed a power-sharing deal that could help lead to peace talks to end the country's long-running war.

Coronavirus deaths in Latin America exceed 30,000: Reuters tally

Deaths from the coronavirus in Latin America have surpassed 30,000, a Reuters tally showed on Monday. The figure represents 9.61% of all deaths worldwide, according to data compiled by Reuters.

Cafes and churches open in Italy and Greece; Spain eyes summer reboot

Italian shops, restaurants and churches reopened their doors to spring sunshine on Monday, Greece welcomed visitors back to the Acropolis - and Spain hoped for tourists to return in summer in cautious steps to ease coronavirus lockdowns. Italians could once again sip their morning cappuccino at the bar, albeit at a distance from one another, in what Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte admitted at the weekend was a "calculated risk" in rolling back the curbs.

Rocket falls inside green zone in Baghdad, no casualties

A rocket landed on an empty house inside the heavily fortified green zone in Baghdad without causing any casualties, military statement said on Tuesday. The rocket was launched from an eastern district of Baghdad, according to the statement.

Libyan forces aligned with Tripoli government capture key air base

Forces aligned with Libya's internationally recognised government took control of an air base south-west of Tripoli on Monday after a sustained assault, in what could be their most significant advance for nearly a year. Watiya air base, 125 km (80 miles) from the capital, has been an important strategic foothold for forces loyal to eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar, who launched an offensive to capture Tripoli in April 2019.

As Catholics mark 100 years since birth of John Paul, shadows remain

The Catholic Church on Monday marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of Pope John Paul II but questions remained about whether he did enough against sexual abuse. John Paul was in 1978 elected he first non-Italian pope in 455 years, becoming Poland's most famous son in modern times.

U.S. Supreme Court heaps more damages on Sudan in embassy bombing cases

The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a legal setback to Sudan on Monday, ruling that the African nation cannot avoid punitive damages in lawsuits accusing it of complicity in the 1998 al Qaeda bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people. Siding with hundreds of people hurt and relatives of people killed in the bombings, the justices ruled 8-0 to throw out a lower court's 2017 decision that had freed Sudan from punitive damages awarded in the litigation in addition to about $6 billion in compensatory damages. Justice Brett Kavanaugh did not participate in the case.

Israel linked to cyberattack on Iranian port: Washington Post

Israel appears to be behind a cyberattack earlier this month on computers at Iran's Shahid Rajaee port that caused massive backups on waterways and roads leading to the facility, the Washington Post reported on Monday. Citing unnamed U.S. and foreign government officials, the Post said the May 9 disruption of Iranian computers was presumably in retaliation for an earlier attempted cyberattack on rural water distribution systems in Israel.