World News in Brief: September 16

Sunday, 2018-09-16 08:14:03
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Iraq's parliament elected Sunni lawmaker Mohammed al-Halbousi as speaker on September 15, marking an important step towards establishing a new government four months after an inconclusive national election.

* India's finance minister said on September 15 that the government is confident of meeting its fiscal deficit target of 3.3 percent of gross domestic product in the current fiscal year, a day after outlining a number of measures to bolster the falling rupee.

* Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on September 15 that he will address the upcoming UN General Assembly on issues causing suffering to Palestinians.

* Iran would increase uranium enrichment if the European Union (EU) fails to implement its obligations following the US withdrawal from the Iranian landmark nuclear deal, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on September 15.

* Spanish Maritime Rescue services have confirmed that 258 immigrants have been rescued from the waters of the Mediterranean in the first 12 hours of Saturday (September 15).

* The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan on September 15 discussed with his visiting Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi regional issues and ways to enhance bilateral cooperation, UAE state news agency WAM reported.

* Syria's air defenses responded to an Israeli attack near the international airport of the capital Damascus on September 15 evening, state TV reported. The exact target of the attack is still unknown.

* Tropical Storm Florence dumped "epic" amounts of rain on North and South Carolina of America as it trudged inland on September 15, knocking out power and causing at least eight deaths as flood waters that have devastated many communities kept rising.

* Iran and India traded 4.71 million tons of non-oil commodities worth US$2.18 billion during the first five months of the current Iranian fiscal year from March 21 to August 22, Eghtesad online news website reported on September 15.

*The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Libya on September 15 revealed that Germany will provide €2 million (US$2.33 million) to election programs across the country between 2018 and 2020.

* Fresh fighting has broken out in South Sudan just days after the government and several opposition groups inked a peace deal in neighboring Ethiopia. Both government and opposition have blamed each other for the latest fighting in parts of Kajo-Keji and Lainya Counties respectively.

* Afghan president Mohammad Ashraf Ghani met with visiting Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on September 15. The two sides exchanged views on matters related to mutual interests including the Afghan peace process, stability and joint cooperation in the war on terror.

* The European Investment Fund (EIF) announced earlier this week that it will invest US$20 million in Israeli clean-tech fund Israel Cleantech Ventures (ICV).

* Algeria will cooperate with China in building a phosphate plant worth US$6 billion in the northeast region of Algeria, said Youcef Yousfi, Algerian minister for industry and mines, late on September 14. This project aims at exploiting the rich high-quality phosphate resources in Algeria.

Reuters, Xinhua