World News in Brief: February 9

Saturday, 2019-02-09 08:38:03
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The US Special Representative for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Stephen Biegun held three days of talks in Pyongyang to prepare a Feb. 27-28 summit between President Donald Trump and DPRK leader Kim Jong-un and plans to meet again with his counterpart head of that meeting, the US State Department said on February 8.

* Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn on February 8 moved to block his elder sister's surprise bid to run for prime minister in March, calling her candidacy for a populist opposition party "inappropriate" and unconstitutional.

* Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on February 8 rejected a document issued a day earlier in Montevideo, Uruguay, by the International Contact Group on Venezuela. At the same time, Maduro invited the group's envoy to Venezuela for talks.

* Venezuela should resolve its own matters itself via peaceful talks and China supports the international community's efforts in this regard, the Chinese foreign ministry said.

* The United States is holding direct communications with members of Venezuela's military urging them to abandon President Nicolas Maduro and is also preparing new sanctions aimed at increasing pressure on him, a senior White House official said.

* Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on February 8 said he believed "a deal can be done" to avoid a disorderly British exit from the EU, after a meeting with a key ally of British Prime Minister Theresa May that he said went very well.

* The Saudi-Led coalition in Yemen launched a targeting operation in the Houthi-held capital, Sanaa, Saudi state TV reported on February 9. The operation targeted a location for storing and preparing drones and launch vehicles in Sanaa.

* After holding up its admission for years, Greece became the first nation on February 8 to ratify Macedonia's membership of NATO after the two states resolved a decades-old name dispute last month.

* A fire at a football club training center in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro early Friday left 10 players dead, all minors aged 14 to 16, the fire department said. Officials are investigating the cause of the fire, including a possible short-circuit.

* At least one person died and 95 injured on February 8 following the collision of two trains between Manresa and Sant Vincenç de Castellet in east Spain, the state-owned railway infrastructure manager ADIF said in an official statement.