REUTERS WORLD NEWS: Fear of New Rus Ukraine Assault, Canada Mass Shooting, Several Air Passengers Injured by Turbulence, World Cup Wrap

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Reuters

The Reuters Daily Briefing

Monday, December 19, 2022

by Rossalyn Warren

Hello

Here’s what you need to know.

Putin flies to Belarus amid fear of new ground offensive against Ukraine, China reports its first COVID-related deaths in weeks, and South Africa re-elects a President.

Today’s biggest stories

A police officer walks with a weapon after a fatal mass shooting at a condominium building in the Toronto suburb of Vaughan, Ontario, Canada December 19, 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio

WORLD

Russian President Vladimir Putin heads for Belarus on Monday, fuelling Ukrainian fears he intends to pressure his ally to join a new offensive, as Russian drones attacked Kyiv in the latest assault targeting key infrastructure, Ukrainian officials said. Belarus allowed its territory to be used as a launchpad for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, but has not joined the fighting directly.

Five victims and one suspect are dead following a shooting at a condominium in Canada’s Vaughan city, just north of Toronto, local police said. Another victim is hospitalized in a serious condition. The police were called to a residential building on Sunday evening for a report of an “active male shooter who had shot several victims.”

China reported its first COVID-related deaths in weeks on Monday amid rising doubts over whether the official count was capturing the full toll of a disease that is ripping through cities after the government relaxed strict anti-virus controls. Meanwhile, vaccine hesitancy lingers even as China COVID cases surge.

The British government is “resolute” it will not budge on nurses’ pay, a senior minister said, ahead of a planned second nationwide walkout by the profession over an average pay offer of 4% while inflation runs at more than 10%. An estimated 10,000 NHS nurses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland plan to walk out again on Tuesday.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has been re-elected leader of the governing African National Congress (ANC) at a party leadership contest, an ANC official said on Monday. South Africa’s rand, banking stocks and local sovereign bonds made gains after Ramaphosa’s win.

U.S. President Joe Biden disembarks from Air Force One at Delaware Air National Guard Base, December 15, 2022. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

U.S.

This week, the House of Representatives committee probing the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol by Donald Trump supporters moves to wrap up its work with what could be as many as three criminal referrals against the former president.

A leader of the anti-abortion movement, and a strong supporter of former president Donald Trump, has been dismissed from the Catholic priesthood for “blasphemous” social media posts and disobedience to bishops. The Vatican defrocked Father Frank Pavone in a letter sent to bishops from its ambassador to Washington.

Some three dozen people were injured, 11 of them seriously, when a Hawaiian Airlines flight to Honolulu was hit by severe turbulence last night. Emergency responders treated 36 patients, with 11 people taken to local hospitals in serious condition, local media reported.

Both Republican and Democrat lawmakers pressed President Joe Biden to take action to manage an expected wave of asylum seekers at America’s southern border when COVID-era restrictions are set to end this week.

Basketball star Brittney Griner says she would work to help bring other detained Americans home and planned to resume her basketball career. U.S. officials secured her freedom from Russia in exchange for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, after she arrested at an airport outside Moscow for carrying vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage.

Klaus-Dieter Maubach, CEO of German utility Uniper, addresses the media in Duesseldorf, Germany, September 21, 2022. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

Klaus-Dieter Maubach, CEO of German utility Uniper, addresses the media in Duesseldorf, Germany, September 21, 2022. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

BUSINESS

Insurers are denying or limiting coverage to clients with exposure to bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, leaving digital currency traders and exchanges uninsured for any losses from hacks, theft or lawsuits, several market participants said.

After setting aside almost half a trillion dollars to date tackling its energy crisis, Germany is also poised to take on the risks associated with 216 billion euros ($229 billion) of derivatives built up by energy giant Uniper. Germany is nationalising Uniper in what is the biggest corporate bailout in the country’s history, after Russia’s move to choke off gas threw Europe’s biggest economy into chaos.

Wealthy Chinese individuals are paring holdings of local securities and are increasingly looking at assets in the United States and elsewhere overseas – a trend that is set to gather pace in 2023, fund managers and industry sources said.

Finally, Elon Musk launched a poll on Sunday asking: “Should I step down as head of Twitter?” He added, “I will abide by the results of this poll.” You can see the final result here.

WORLD CUP

Former players described the World Cup final in Qatar as one of the best ever after Argentina beat France on penalties following a pulsating 3-3 draw.

FULL COVERAGE

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