Chile withdraws from hosting summits after protests

A demonstrator with a Mapuche indigenous flag and a mask reading

A demonstrator with a Mapuche indigenous flag and a mask reading"No more death protests against the Chilean government's economic policies in the surroundings of La Moneda presidential palace in Santiago on Oct 29 2019

USA and Chinese negotiators were racing to have the text of an interim trade agreement ready in time for Trump and Xi to sign at the meeting.

Violent riots have left large parts of Santiago shut down, with the metro transport system suffering almost $400 million in damages.

The White House released a statement acknowledging Chile has cancelled plans to host the APEC summit next month. "A president needs to put its people above anything else". The official said Washington learned about the decision from news reports and is seeking more information.

The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum was scheduled to bring together 20 world leaders, including the United States and Chinese presidents on 16-17 November.

The protests have left 20 dead and hundreds injured and have damaged businesses and infrastructure around Chile.

Trump and White House aides had counted on the APEC meeting and expected Trump-Xi signing to give the American leader a win amid House Democrats' impeachment inquiry and increasing public support of the probe - and even his removal by the Senate. The two leaders were set to sign an interim trade deal next month at the summit. Some 7,000 people have been arrested and at least 18 deaths have been reported, with dozens more maimed in clashes with police.

14 killed by security forces in Iraqi city of Kerbala
Karbala, as other cities in Iraq's predominantly southern region, has been gripped by a wave of deadly anti-government protests. Karbala's health department chief however said 122 people were injured, including 66 members of the security forces.

Chile has been rocked by protests for 12 days, with demonstrators demanding greater economic equality and better public services, according to the AP.

Pinera also said Chile wouldn't host the global United Nations global climate gathering planned for December 2-13 "thanks to the hard circumstances that the country has seen in recent weeks".

The UN is looking for a new venue for the conference after Mr Pinera spoke with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres by phone on Wednesday to inform him of Chile's withdrawal, a UN spokesperson said.

"This has been a very hard decision that causes us great pain", Pinera said in a televised address.

The city has been the scene of waves of protests and riots that have stretched security forces. Pinera also informed Patricia Espinosa, head of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is organizing the conference.

The talks were due to see hundreds of countries around the world descend on Santiago to negotiate the next steps for fulfilling the ambitions of the Paris Agreement, the global climate change treaty signed by nearly 200 nations to limit average temperature rise to 1.5C or "well below" 2C.

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