Editor’s Note: This listicle is part of a weekly series by The Ball State Daily News summarizing five stories from around the world. All summaries are based on stories published by The Associated Press.
France accuses Britain of delaying post-Brexit talks, Australia’s deadliest day of the pandemic, obstacles to reopening schools in France, riots in Sweden and a strike leader detained in Belarus make up this week’s five international stories.
On the cusp of a crucial month of negotiations on a post-Brexit trade deal between the European Union and the United Kingdom, France has lambasted the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson for what it sees as deliberate stalling and for harboring unreasonable expectations. The 27-nation EU and the U.K. remain deadlocked in their talks on future trade ties after a transitional divorce period ends on Dec. 31.
Australia recorded its deadliest day of the pandemic Monday as the government urged hot spot Victoria state to announce its plans to lift a lockdown on the country’s second-largest city. Victoria’s health department reported 41 deaths from COVID-19 and 73 new infections in the latest 24-hour period. While the deaths were a state and national high, the tally of new infections was Victoria’s lowest since 67 new cases were recorded on June 30.
Not all French classrooms can safely reopen Tuesday, the country’s education minister acknowledged Sunday, as a persistent rise in coronavirus infections jeopardizes the government’s push to get France’s 12.9 million schoolchildren back into class this week. Like many governments around the world, France and Britain want to reopen schools starting Tuesday to reduce the learning gaps between rich and poor students that were worsened by the virus lockdown this spring, and to get parents back to work and revive the ailing economy.
Far-right activists burned a Quran in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, sparking riots and unrest after more than 300 people gathered to protest, police said Saturday. Rioters set fires and threw objects at police and rescue services Friday night, slightly injuring several police officers and leading to the detention of about 15 people. The violence followed the burning Friday afternoon of a Quran, near a predominantly migrant neighborhood, that was carried out by far-right activists, according to the TT news agency.
Belarus’ authorities on Monday detained the organizer of a strike at a top industrial plant, part of a methodical effort to stifle weeks of protests demanding the resignation of the country’s authoritarian leader of 26 years after an election the opposition denounced as being rigged. President Alexander Lukashenko has dismissed the protesters as Western puppets and rejected the European Union’s offers of mediation.