Yahoo Finance Live's Akiko Fujita discusses the explosion that left 17 dead in Ghana, the meeting between Secretary of State Antoni Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov over Ukraine, and what to expect when President Biden meets with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to deepen ties between both governments.
AKIKO FUJITA: In our "Worldview" today, at least 17 people have been killed and dozens injured in a mining explosion in Ghana. The deadly incident played out in the country's western region when a truck carrying explosives to a gold mine collided with a motorcycle. The truck exploded about 15 minutes later as residents gathered at the scene of the crash.
The impact from the blast flattened roughly 500 buildings and left a massive crater in the ground, leaving nearly 400 people without their homes. Authorities are investigating the cause of the explosion to determine whether companies involved followed proper regulations. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met in Geneva today to lower the temperature on a growing standoff over Ukraine.
The two sides reported no breakthroughs in their 90-minute meeting, with Blinken standing firm and rejecting Russia's demands to reduce NATO's presence in the region. Lavrov called the talks constructive and useful, saying the US did agree to provide written responses to Russia's demands next week. Moscow has amassed roughly 100,000 troops along its border with Ukraine leading to fears of an invasion. The Kremlin has denied those plans.
And President Biden is meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida today in the first virtual bilateral talks since Kishida took office. The two leaders touched on economic and regional security issues, with special focus on recent provocations from North Korea and ongoing security concerns stemming from China. The meeting comes as Japan beefs up its own defenses near Taiwan following China's growing military aggression there. The two sides also expected to touch on ongoing efforts to curb COVID-19 and Russia's encroachment on Ukraine.