World News in Brief: March 14

Thursday, 2019-03-14 15:15:19
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Myanmar is deliberating to form coast guard in order to strengthen maritime security, Deputy Minister of Defense Rear-Admiral Myint Nwe said.

* Troops of India and Pakistan on March 13 exchanged heavy fire and targeted each other's positions on the Line of Control (LoC), dividing Kashmir region, officials said. The two sides exchanged fire in Poonch district, about 180 km southwest of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.

* German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated on March 13 Germany's interest in an "orderly withdrawal" of Britain from the European Union (EU) following Tuesday (March 12)'s rejection of the Brexit agreement in the British Parliament.

* The black boxes from the crashed Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 arrived in Paris on Thursday but are not yet in the possession of France's BEA air accident investigation agency, a BEA spokesman said. The flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder will be handed over to the BEA later in the day.

* US-backed fighters besieging Islamic State's final shred of territory in eastern Syria said they had pushed further into the enclave following clashes and air strikes by the US-led coalition.

* US lawmakers on March 13 urged their country to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan, the longest conflict in US history.

* Kenya and France on March 13 signed four partnership deals, aimed at boosting bilateral ties in areas including skills and talents, universities, research and professional training, education and strategic infrastructure projects in Kenya.

* Brunei's Ministry of Defence (MinDef) has proposed a budget of BND589.9 million (US$434.9 million) for the 2019/2020 fiscal year, a 6 percent increase from the previous year as it looks to enhance operational capabilities and defence diplomacy.

* The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said in Yerevan on March 12 that the organization will do everything to help find a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

* The Maltese parliament will be voting to approve the nomination of former Foreign Affairs Minister George Vella as the next president on April 2. The decision was made on March 13 during a meeting of House Business Committee.

* Austria is to tighten its immigration procedures at airports in order to identify Islamic State (IS) fighters returning from the Middle East, Interior Minister Herbert Kickl has announced.

* Relief efforts are underway in southern Africa after recent rains caused at least 60 deaths and affected nearly 843,000 people in Mozambique and Malawi, a UN spokesman said on March 13.

Xinhua, Reuters