World News in Brief: December 8

Saturday, 2018-12-08 15:33:38
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The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Non-OPEC oil producers on December 7 agreed to jointly cut the crude production by 1.2 million barrels per day (bdp), to be implemented in January 2019 for an initial period of six months.

* Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in Beijing on December 7, calling for more efforts to advance the long-term, healthy and steady development of bilateral relations.

* Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was elected new chairperson of Germany's ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU) at the party's 31st national congress here on December 7, succeeding Chancellor Angela Merkel who has led the party for 18 years.

* The Republic of Korea (RoK) and the United States will hold the 10th round of negotiations next week on how to share costs for US troops stationed in the RoK (about 28,500 soldiers), RoK's foreign ministry said Friday. The negotiations will last for three days from December 11 in Seoul to strike a deal on the cost-sharing for the stationing of the US Forces Korea (USFK).

* Russian President Vladimir Putin and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on December 7 discussed extending the Russia-Turkey gas pipeline to Greece and connecting it to another pipeline to reach Italy and beyond.

* At least six people were killed and more than 100 others injured on December 8 in a stampede during a concert in central Italy, local media reported. Around 1,000 people gathered at the nightclub at the time of the incident.

* Brazil's President Michel Temer said on December 7 he had reached an agreement with Roraima state Governor Suely Campos for a federal "intervention" in Roraima - the state that borders Venezuela.

* The Italian government on December 7 comfortably won a confidence vote in the Chamber of Deputies on its expansionary 2019 budget, which the European Commission has said breaches EU public finance rules.

* UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on December 7 called for US$1 billion donation to Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).

* At least 33 Palestinians were shot and wounded by Israeli soldiers' gunfire during clashes with Palestinian protesters in eastern Gaza Strip, close to the border with Israel, medics said.

* Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua and French Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire said in Paris on December 7 their countries are willing to enhance bilateral cooperation in various fields.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko have agreed to meet before the end of the year to discuss the price of Russian natural gas supplies, the Kremlin said Friday (December 7).

* The RoK and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) held a vice-ministerial-level meeting Friday at the inter-Korean liaison office in the DPRK's border town of Kaesong.

* The construction of Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline is proceeding according to an agreed schedule, chairman of the board of directors of Russian energy giant Gazprom said Friday.

* US President Donald Trump on December 7 signed a two-week spending bill to extend federal government funding, averting a partial government shutdown and delaying an expected partisan fight over the proposed US-Mexico border wall.

* The Swiss government said Friday it wants public consultations before deciding on a draft treaty outlining the ties with the European Union (EU) aimed at locking in future relations between the two.

* Mongolian parliament speaker Miyegombo Enkhbold on December 7 submitted an official demand letter to the country's prime minister, asking to stop boycotting plenary sessions of the parliament.

* The US Treasury Department said on December 7 that it has decided to extend the deadline for implementing sanctions on three Russian companies for two more weeks. The sanctions have been delayed several times since its announcement in April.

* US President Cyril Ramaphosa said on December 7 that the National Minimum Wage (NMW) bill, which he signed into law late last month, will take effect from January 1, 2019.

* Greek authorities have returned a total of 11,945 migrants to their home countries so far this year, according to an e-mailed press statement released by Greek police on December 7.

* The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has fined Facebook with two penalties worth €10 million (US$11.3 million) overall for improper use of its subscribers' personal data, the authority said in a statement on December 7.

* A Yemeni government official said on December 7 that a number of conditions should be set for the re-opening of the Sanaa International Airport.

* At least 11 people were killed and 19 others injured Saturday (December 8) after a bus carrying them skidded off a mountainous road and fell into a gorge in Indian-controlled Kashmir, police said.