World News in Brief: December 6

Thursday, 2018-12-06 15:41:53
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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has approved "in principle" the recommendation of the security forces to place Philippines's southern Mindanao under the martial law for another year, the Philippine defense chief said on December 5.

* Indonesian President Joko Widodo on December 5 ordered the military and police to arrest those responsible for the recent killing of construction workers and a troop in Papua province. Widodo reiterated the trans-Papua project would continue despite deadly challenges from insurgents.

* An F/A-18 fighter jet and a KC-130 tanker plane belonging to the Marines collided and crashed off Cape Muroto of Japan's western coast early on December 6, with six of the seven crew members still missing, the Marines and Japanese Defense Ministry said.

* Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on December 5 said Turkey may call for an international probe if a deadlock is reached on the Jamal Khashoggi case, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

* Chinese President Xi Jinping's latest trip to Europe and Latin America boosted China's ties with cooperation partners and steered global economic governance on the right path, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro on December 5 that he condemns actions of terrorist nature and attempts to change the situation in Venezuela by force.

* Afghanistan's Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) has invalidated all votes cast during the October 20 parliamentary elections in Kabul constituency, an ECC official said Thursday.

* Brazil's President-elect Jair Bolsonaro on December 5 said pension reform will be a priority of his government in the first half of 2019.

* The Republic of Korea (RoK) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) have agreed to verify the pilot withdrawal of guard posts in the inter-Korean border area, the RoK's Defense Ministry said on December 6. The verification will be conducted through on-site visits on December 12 by sending seven-member teams to guard posts, which were subject to the pullout.

* Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on December 5 that Pakistan is always keen to have China to be a part of efforts for the Afghan peace process, and he is glad that China is playing a more active role for Afghan development and reconstruction.

* China and Cuba on December 5 signed two agreements to promote economic cooperation during the 14th session of the bilateral business committee, where companies from both nations explored new trade and business opportunities.

* UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on December 5 expressed her concern over the situation in Syria's Deir-ez-Zor Governorate, saying that civilians continue to pay the highest price in the conflict.

* Albania will manage the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Chairmanship in 2020, Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) reported on December 5. According to ATA, the news was announced in Italy which is chairing OSCE in 2018.

* The Maltese government and the British High Commission in Malta signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the fight against human trafficking and modern slavery on December 5.

* UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on December 5 that corruption costs at least US$2.6 trillion, or 5 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP).

* The expected peace talks on Yemen will take place on December 6 in Sweden, and will last for about a week, UN official source confirmed to Xinhua on December 5.

* Greece has raised €1.66 billion (US$1.88 billion) in a 26-week treasury bills auction, the country's Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA) announced on December 5.

* Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said in Islamabad on December 5 that his government will launch a comprehensive campaign to control the alarming growth of population in the country.

* Ongoing face-to-face meetings between South Sudan's rival armed groups with the army have boosted peace efforts by reducing tension and hostilities among the foes in the country's five-year-old conflict, top military officials said on December 5.

* The French government would look at reimposing wealth tax on the rich if the measure deemed not to be working, government spokesperson Benjamin Griveaux said on December 5, as France is bracing for nationwide blockades and protests on Saturday, for the fourth weekend in a row.

* Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena assured on December 5 that the political crisis in the island country would be solved in seven days. The assurance comes after the new government appointed by the president has been temporarily suspended by a Sri Lankan court.

* The British government on December 5 published Brexit legal advice in full, one day after MPs found it in contempt of the British parliament. In the documents, the Attorney General Geoffrey Cox said the proposed backstop arrangement with the European Union (EU) to prevent a hard Irish border could "endure indefinitely."

* Russia opposes the withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) and it will respond "in an appropriate manner," Russian President Vladimir Putin said on December 5.

* At least 19 Taliban militants, including a local Taliban leader, have been killed and seven others wounded after NATO-led coalition forces launched airstrikes in western province of Farah, a local official said on December 6.

* A new China-Europe freight train line has been launched, linking Suzhou, East China's Jiangsu Province, with Duisburg, Germany.

* Turkish police has seized more than one ton of heroin in the eastern Turkish province of Erzincan, the governor said on December 5.