World News in Brief: February 13

Wednesday, 2019-02-13 15:40:36
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Libyan Coast Guards on February 12 announced to have rescued 132 illegal immigrants a day earlier, including women and children, off the coast of the city of Khoms, some 120 km east of the capital Tripoli.

* The Australian government has suffered an historic defeat, losing a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives for the first time since 1941. The Opposition Australian Labor Party (ALP) joined forces with the Greens and independent Members of Parliament (MPs) to pass the medical evacuations bill by 75 votes to the governing Liberal-National Party coalition (LNP)'s 74.

* Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on February 12 against US intervention in the internal affairs of Venezuela, including the use of force. Lavrov made the remarks in a phone conversation with Pompeo at the initiative of the US side, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

* Uruguayan Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa on February 12 reiterated his country's commitment to a "negotiated solution" to the existing crisis in Venezuela as well as its refusal to recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as the "interim president."

* US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Polish Foreign Affairs Minister Jacek Czaputowicz discussed the presence of US troops in Poland during their meeting in Warsaw on February 12.

* A UN official on February 12 expressed disappointment over the lack of progress in the situation in eastern Ukraine, particularly the failure to implement the Minsk agreements.

* Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu departed on February 12 night to Poland to attend the Warsaw Conference on the Middle East. Some 80 countries, including about 11 Middle East countries, have confirmed their participation in the conference which will be held on Feb. 13-14. Lebanon and Iran have condemned the meeting as an "anti-Iran circus."

* The US Department of Defense said Tuesday that acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan held talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi in Baghdad on a broad range of defense issues.

* The European Parliament adopted on February 12 by an overwhelming majority the new fisheries deal between Morocco and the European Union (EU), Morocco's official MAP news agency reported.

* To enable "rapid market access to LNG in Germany", economics minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) presented a draft paper for a change in energy industry law at a conference on the development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) import market with US representatives on February 12.

* Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on February 12 warned Iran that Israel has missiles that could reach the Islamic republic.

* The US public debt has reached a record high of more than US$22 trillion, according to data released by the US Treasury Department.

* At least three people were injured Tuesday by a car bomb which hit a border gate between Turkey and Syria, the governor of Kilis province said.

* Wildfires have destroyed 41,200 hectares of forest land in southern and central Chile, the country's National Forestry Corporation (CONAF) said on February 11.

Xinhua