Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

U.S. warns Taliban that level of violence 'not conducive' for peace process

The United States warned the Taliban on Tuesday that the current high level of violence by the insurgents was "not conducive to advancing the peace process" as the United Nations Security Council backed a U.S.-led push to end Afghanistan's 18-year war. The United States signed an agreement with the Taliban last month. It calls for a phased withdrawal of U.S.-led foreign forces if the Taliban keeps its commitments and for the start of talks between the insurgents and an Afghan government delegation on a political settlement to end decades of conflict.

Venezuelan police halt protest march led by opposition leader with teargas

Venezuelan security forces used teargas on Tuesday to stop protesters led by U.S.-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido from marching on the national legislature, which pro-government lawmakers seized control of in January. The march, attended by several thousand opposition demonstrators, advanced only a few blocks towards the congress in downtown Caracas before a phalanx of riot police barricaded the road and began firing teargas to disperse the crowd.

Turkey defies EU pressure to shut border, says to host migration summit

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday he would not stop migrants trying to cross Turkey's border into Greece despite EU pressure to do so, but he also announced a summit next week in Istanbul with European leaders to seek a solution to the crisis. Tens of thousands of migrants have been trying to get into Greece, a European Union member state, since Turkey said on Feb. 28 it would no longer keep them on its territory as part of a 2016 deal with Brussels in return for EU aid for the refugees.

Putin approves changes allowing him to stay in power until 2036

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday opened the door to constitutional changes that would allow him to remain in power until 2036, but said he favored term limits once the country became politically "mature". Putin, who in January unveiled a major shake-up of Russian politics and a constitutional overhaul, is required by the constitution to step down in 2024 when his second sequential and fourth presidential term ends.

Italy wakes up to deserted streets in unprecedented coronavirus lockdown

Italy woke up on to deserted streets in an unprecedented lockdown on Tuesday after the government extended quarantine measures across the entire country in a bid to slow Europe's worst outbreak of the coronavirus. The measures, announced late on Monday by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, widen steps already taken in the rich northern region of Lombardy and parts of neighboring provinces, clamping down on movement and closing public spaces.

Trump has told Russia he cannot visit for Victory Day in May, says Kremlin

The Kremlin said on Tuesday that the United States had told Moscow that U.S. President Donald Trump would not travel to Russia to mark Victory Day on May 9. Putin presides over an annual parade on May 9 to commemorate the Soviet Union's World War Two victory over Nazi Germany and uses the occasion to show off the country's military hardware.

Xi visits Wuhan, signaling tide turning in China's coronavirus battle

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday made his first visit to Wuhan since a coronavirus outbreak forced a lockdown of the city of 11 million people, in a sign that authorities' efforts to control the virus are working. Xi's arrived on the same day that Wuhan shut the last of 14 temporary hospitals that had been opened to manage a surge in coronavirus patients, news website The Paper reported..

Honduras suspends deportation flights from Mexico on coronavirus fears

The Honduran government suspended deportation flights from Mexico on Tuesday, a senior official said, citing coronavirus fears and a lack of public health capacity for potential cases of infection. Deputy Foreign Minister Nelly Jerez told reporters that the migrant flights will be stopped since the country does not have a designated area to quarantine people who may be infected arriving at the airport.

Exclusive: Afghan government to release 1,500 Taliban prisoners from jails - decree

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is set to release 1,500 Taliban prisoners in coming days to pave the way for direct talks with the insurgent group aimed at ending the 18-year-long war in Afghanistan, according to a copy of the decree seen by Reuters. The two-page decree - which was signed by Ghani and will be made public later by his office - said that all released Taliban prisoners will have to provide "a written guarantee to not return to the battlefield."

Turkey says U.S. offering Patriot missiles if S-400 not operated

The United States has offered to sell Turkey its Patriot missile defense system if Ankara promises not to operate a rival Russian system, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said, in what he called a significant softening in Washington's position. Two Turkish officials told Reuters that Turkey was evaluating the U.S. offer but that Ankara had not changed its plans for the Russian S-400 systems, which it has said it will start to activate next month.