Here’s an overview of the most important developments around the world today.
1. US, Russia seek more diplomacy amid tensions over Ukraine
Top US and Russian diplomats have agreed to continue talking in the deadlock over Ukraine, though their meeting failed to move in the crisis in which Moscow has massed tens of thousands of troops at the border and the West has ramped up arms deliveries to Kiev.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Secretary of State Sergey Lavrov feared an invasion of Ukraine that ran rampant and seemingly intractable demands. Expectations were low and there was no breakthrough.
2. Inquiry underway into death of four Indians, smuggling operation
Studies are underway into the death of a family of four Indian citizens, including a baby, along the US-Canada border and in a larger people-smuggling operation as seven other Indians, believed to be from Gujarat and illegally present in the US, have been arrested.
On Thursday, a lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the District of Minnesota against 47-year-old American citizen Steve Shand, who has been charged with human smuggling.
3. Latin America, Asia last hit by a microwave wave
In Costa Rica, officials are encouraging those infected with the coronavirus to skip voting in the upcoming national elections. On the other side of the world, Beijing is shutting down residential communities as the country anxiously awaits the start of the Winter Olympics on February 4.
In Latin America and Asia, where the omicron variant is making its last appearance, some countries are imposing such restrictions, while others are reluctant to put new limits on populations already depleted by previous restrictions. In Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia and Peru, infections are increasing and hospital admissions are increasing in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. In Asia, infections are also increasing, including in the Philippines, where the worst outbreak of the corona virus has been in recent weeks.
Brian Laundrie Admitted to Killing Gabby Petito in a Notebook, FBI Says
‘s boyfriend murdered cross-country traveler Gabby Petito admitted to killing her in a notebook found near his body in a Florida swamp, the FBI said Friday. It was the first time authorities have completely shifted the blame for Petito’s death to Brian Laundrie, even though he had been the prime suspect all along.
Investigators, meanwhile, disclosed that Laundrie, 23, had sent text messages to intentionally mislead people that Petito, 22, was still alive after he beat and strangled her in late August, according to a statement from the FBI in Denver.
Myanmar court sentences 2 prominent activists to death
Two prominent political activists in military-ruled Myanmar have been sentenced to death for alleged involvement in terrorist activities, an army television station reported.
Myawaddy TV said on its evening news broadcast Friday that Kyaw Min Yu, better known as Ko Jimmy, and Phyo Zeyar Thaw, also known as Maung Kyaw, had been convicted under the country’s counter-terrorism law. The two are among the most prominent activists sentenced to death since the military seized power in February of last year from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.