From Lebanon’s power outage to Taliban’s non-cooperation with US: 5 overnight developments from around the globe

Good morning! Begin your day with five key overnight stories from around the world.

Here is a round-up of the top developments around the world today.

Taiwan won’t be forced to bow to China, president says

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Sunday said that her country will continue to strengthen its defence capabilities to ensure that it is not forced to follow a path laid by China, which does offer neither freedom nor democracy.  Tsai reiterated that Taiwan will not “act rashly”, however there should be no illusions that the Taiwanese people will bow to pressure.

This comes as China continues to claim the country as its own territory and force its military and political influence, including repeated Chinese air force missions in Taiwan’s air defence identification zone, to international concern. Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday vowed to have a “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan and did not directly mention the use of force.

Taliban say they won’t work with US to contain Islamic State

The Taliban on Saturday ruled out cooperation with the US to contain extremist groups in Afghanistan, ahead of the first direct talks between the former foes since America withdrew from the country in August.

Taliban political spokesman Suhail Shaheen told The Associated Press there would be no cooperation with Washington on going after the increasingly active Islamic State group affiliate in Afghanistan. IS has taken responsibility for a number of attacks, including a suicide bombing that killed 46 minority Shiite Muslims and wounded dozens as they prayed in a mosque.

Senior Taliban officials and US representatives are to meet Saturday and Sunday in Doha, the capital of the Persian Gulf state of Qatar.

At least 20 people killed after gunman opens fire in Nigeria

In another deadly incident, at least 20 people were killed in Nigeria’s Sokoto state when gunmen attacked a market and torched cars. This comes as armed gangs continue to wreak havoc in the northwest part of the country.

Northwestern Nigeria has since last December witnessed a wave of kidnappings of school children and villagers for ransoms by bandits, disrupting everyday life for millions of citizens.

Idriss Gobir, special advisor to the Sokoto police affairs minister, said the armed bandits rode on motorcycles and shot sporadically, killing several people. “The bandits in large numbers killed at least 20 people that we have seen and counted and set nine vehicles on fire,” he told Reuters.

Lebanon left without power as two main state power plants shut down, outage to last several days

Lebanon was left without electricity, plunging the country into darkness as its two main power plants were forced to shut down after running out of fuel, the state electricity company said Saturday.

The power grid “completely stopped working at noon today” and was unlikely to restart for several days, a government official told Reuters.

The outage comes as the country is already is grappling with a crippling energy crisis made worse by its dependency on fuel imports. Erratic power supplies have put hospitals and essential services in crisis mode. Blackouts that used to last for three to six hours could now leave entire areas with no more than two hours of state power a day.

Pakistan’s Islamic parties push for Taliban recognition in Afghanistan

Powerful Islamist factions in Pakistani politics have started putting pressure on the Imran Khan government to officially recognise the Taliban government in Afghanistan. Fazlur Rehman, head of the Islamic political party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI), recently demanded that Islamabad officially recognise the theocratic Taliban government in Afghanistan.

Although the Taliban have been courting governments around the world for international recognition of its “Islamic Emirate” in Afghanistan, no country officially recognises their rule.


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