World News Briefs — February 18, 2021


Reuters: Texas energy freeze stretches to sixth day, raises Mexico's ire
HOUSTON (Reuters) – Texas’s freeze entered a sixth day on Thursday, as the largest energy-producing state in the United States grappled with massive refining outages and oil and gas shutins that rippled beyond its borders into neighboring Mexico.
The cold snap, which has killed at least 21 people and knocked out power to more than 4 million people in Texas, is not expected to let up until this weekend.
The deep freeze has shut in about one-fifth of the nation’s refining capacity and closed oil and natural gas production across the state.
The outages in Texas also affected power generation in Mexico, with exports of natural gas via pipeline dropping off by about 75% over the last week, according to preliminary Refinitiv Eikon data.
Read more ….
MIDDLE EAST
‘Positive signals’ needed to save JCPOA, Merkel tells Rouhani.
Iran nuclear deal hangs in balance as Tehran turns screw on US.
France to host European-US talks on saving Iran nuclear deal.
U.S. vows consequences for group behind Iraq rocket attack.
Saudi-led coalition in Yemen moves troops to Marib to repel Houthi assault – sources.
Lebanon judge removed from Beirut blast probe: judicial source.
'Friendly’ first call breaks ice between Biden and Netanyahu, but Iran still rankles.
Israel to bar unvaccinated people from some jobs, says health minister.
Jerusalem sees first snow in six years.
ASIA
Top Bhutan general, judges detained in alleged overthrow plot.
Nearly 500 detained in Myanmar, hackers target military websites.
UK and Canada impose sanctions on Myanmar generals after coup.
Blinken tells Ghani U.S. supports Afghanistan peace process – statement.
Taiwan suggests China to blame after deal for 5m Covid vaccine doses is put on hold.
US charges three North Korean computer programmers in $US1.3 billion hacking spree,
Facebook imposes Australia news blackout.
Australians outraged after Facebook blocks news to protest revenue-sharing law.
Japan’s ruling party invites women to meetings – but won't let them speak.
Seiko Hashimoto named Tokyo Olympics chief after sexism row.
AFRICA
WHO to send over 11,000 Ebola vaccines to Guinea amid outbreak.
Nigeria hunts school kidnappers as families call for help.
Nigeria minister: Don't be 'cowards' when attacked.
Egypt's Sisi offers support to Libya's new PM.
I.Coast minister to meet ex-president Gbagbo to discuss return.
Ugandan soldiers jailed for assaulting journalists.
One in two S.Africans infected by Covid: study and estimates.
South Africa: President Ramaphosa takes the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
EUROPE
EU records 450,000 excess deaths between March and November.
Macron proposes vaccine plan as UK prepares to host G7.
Covid infections in England fall by two-thirds but spreading fastest among young.
Georgia prime minister resigns over opposition leader arrest plan.
EU to impose sanctions on Russians over Navalny by March summit, diplomats say.
Russia slams European rights court’s ‘unlawful’ order to free Navalny.
Russia to present new concept of national digital currency – Central Bank.
Belarus jails Belsat TV journalists for filming protest.
Kyiv begins marking anniversary of deadly shootings during Euromaidan protests.
EU takes legal steps against Hungary over NGO law.
Pablo Hasél protests: Violence in Spanish cities over rapper’s jailing.
AMERICAS
Biden to focus on COVID-19, China at G7's Friday meeting – White House.
Democrats to unveil Biden's US immigration reform bill.
Donald Trump has accused Joe Biden of either lying or being 'mentally gone' after the president on Tuesday night said his administration arrived to find no COVID-19 vaccines available.
Texas power outages below 500,000 but water crisis persists.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz reportedly flies to Cancun as millions of Texans freeze in the dark.
Coronavirus: US life expectancy falls by a year amid pandemic.
US jobless claims unexpectedly rise to 861,000 amid chip shortage.
Mexico president calls for reduced electric consumption.
Ecuador election: Tension rises over delayed result.
Former US presidential candidate Bob Dole has lung cancer.
Puerto Rico issues LGBTQ emergency declaration amid violence.
TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR
Killings surge in Syria camp housing Islamic State families.
Trial opens in Algeria jihadist beheading of French mountaineer.
French minister warns of ‘Islamo-leftism’ in universities.
ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS
Wall Street slips as tech slide resumes, jobless claims rise.
Texas’s big freeze pushes oil prices to 13-month highs.
Crypto mania! Bitcoin leaps past $52,000 for the first time.
Imprisoned Samsung chief banned from company for 5 years.Original Article

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