Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

U.N. Security Council members stress Al Aqsa mosque status quo

U.N. Security Council members voiced concern on Thursday and stressed the need to maintain a status quo at the Al Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, days after Israel’s new far-right security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir briefly visited the site. The decades-old status quo allows only Muslim worship at the compound, a site also revered by Jews, who call it the Temple Mount. An Israeli official said Ben-Gvir complied with the arrangement that allows non-Muslims to visit but not pray.

New Arab allies face quandary as Israel shifts hard-right

Israel’s sharp tilt to what is likely to be the most hard right government in its history puts its new Arab allies in the awkward position of having to deal with ultra-nationalists while trying to do more than just pay lip service to the Palestinian cause. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet, sworn in last week, includes hardcore rightist parties who want to annex occupied West Bank land where Palestinians have long sought to establish an independent state.

Prince Harry’s memoir sheds light on bust-ups among British royals

Britain’s Prince Harry says his older brother and heir to the throne Prince William knocked him to the floor during a 2019 argument over Harry’s American wife Meghan in his much-awaited memoir which went on sale days early in Spain on Thursday. In his book “Spare”, Harry also discloses how the brothers, the sons of King Charles, had begged their father not to marry his second wife Camilla, now Queen Consort, and that he had taken cocaine as a teenager.

Japan minister calls for new world order to counter rise of authoritarian regimes

Japan’s trade and industry minister said on Thursday post-Cold War free trade and economic inter-dependence had bolstered authoritarian regimes and the United States and like-minded democracies should counter them with a “new world order.” “Authoritarian countries have amassed tremendous power, both economically and militarily,” Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yasutoshi Nishimura said in a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Mexico arrests Ovidio Guzman, son of ‘El Chapo,’ city engulfed by violence

Mexican drug cartel leader Ovidio Guzman, a son of jailed kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, was arrested, unleashing a violent backlash by gang gunmen on Thursday that shut the airport in the city of Culiacan as authorities told residents to stay indoors. Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval told a news conference that security forces had captured the 32-year-old senior member of the Sinaloa Cartel. The arrest comes three years after an attempt to detain him ended in humiliation for the government.

China defends its COVID response after WHO, Biden concerns

China defended on Thursday its handling of its raging COVID-19 outbreak after U.S. President Joe Biden voiced concern and the World Health Organisation (WHO) said Beijing was under-reporting virus deaths. The WHO’s emergencies director, Mike Ryan, said on Wednesday that Chinese officials were under-representing data on several fronts, some of the U.N. agency’s most critical remarks to date.

Hardline Republicans dig in against McCarthy’s House speaker bid

Hardline Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives rejected Kevin McCarthy’s speakership bid for a ninth time on Thursday even after he offered to curb his own clout, raising questions about the party’s ability to wield power. After failing to put a majority behind the Republican McCarthy’s candidacy, the House reached a level of dysfunction not seen since 1859, when it took 10 votes to select a leader in the turbulent run-up to the Civil War.

Putin’s call for Orthodox Christmas truce in Ukraine greeted with scepticism

Russian President Vladimir Putin called on Thursday for a 36-hour ceasefire in Ukraine to mark Orthodox Christmas, a move rejected by Kyiv which said there could be no truce until Russia withdraws its troops from occupied land. The United States and Germany made a joint announcement to supply Ukraine with armoured combat vehicles, a boost for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy who has urged Western allies to provide his forces with armour and heavy weapons for months.

Germany and U.S. agree to send combat vehicles to Ukraine

The leaders of the United States and Germany on Thursday announced they were sending armoured fighting vehicles to Ukraine, ramping up military support for Kyiv to repel Russian forces after a similar move by France earlier this week. In a joint statement after a call between President Joe Biden and Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the United States said it would provide Ukraine with Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles while Germany would provide Marder Infantry Fighting Vehicles.

Facing pressure over border crossings, Biden steps up migrant expulsions

The United States will expand Trump-era restrictions to rapidly expel Cuban, Nicaraguan and Haitian migrants caught illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, President Joe Biden said on Thursday in his first major speech on border security. At the same time, the United States will allow up to 30,000 people from those three countries plus Venezuela to enter the country by air each month, Biden said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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