World News in Brief: May 14, 2019

Tuesday, 2019-05-14 14:53:31
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Stevo Pendarovski has been sworn in as North Macedonia's new president, pledging to heal the social divide and start negotiations on the country joining the European Union.

* China's Foreign Ministry has issued an announcement confirming its stance that it would never surrender to external pressure, as the US continues to threaten to raise tariffs on all imports from China.

* US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has arrived in Belgium to meet EU leaders, before heading to Russia's Sochi city to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

* The Republic of Korea's Defence Ministry has announced it will continue to strengthen its missile defence capacity to better cope with security challenges, including the Democratic People's Republic of Korea’s short-range missiles.

* According to the Election Commission of India (EC), 63.48% of Indian voters went to the polls to cast their votes in the 6th phase of the House of the People (Lok Sabha) elections on May 12.

* The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed to provide a US$6 billion bailout package to help Pakistan boost its economic growth.

* Speaker of House of Elders (Mesherano Jirga) of the National Assembly of Afghanistan, Fazel Hadi Muslimyar, has criticised the US decision to cut US$600 million to aid the security forces of Afghanistan to build border walls with Mexico.

* According to the Indian authorities, China and South Africa’s officials are interested in India's proposal to protect the right to reserve special provisions for developing countries in the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

* New Zealand has opened a judicial investigation of the shootings in the city of Christchurch in March, to determine the possibility that police and intelligence agencies could have prevented the attacks.

* Swedish prosecutors have announced the reopening of the 2010 investigation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of alleged sexual abuse.

* According to Experia Events, defence spending in the Asia Pacific is set to rise to US$515 in 2019, lower than that in North America and higher than EU countries.

* The Turkish Navy has launched the "Sea Wolf" 2019 military exercise in the province of Mugla, involving more than 130 warships, 90 warplanes and helicopters, and over 25,000 military personnel.

* Afghan officials have said that Taliban had attacked security checkpoints in the northern province of Sari Pul, killing at least seven security personnel.

* Iraqi security forces have destroyed 10 hideouts of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) and killed three suicide bombers during a campaign in the central province of Salahudin.

* The Libyan Navy has saved 147 illegal immigrants in two rescue operations off the country’s west coast.

* Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that the country had chosen a place in the Golan Heights to build a new settlement and named it after US President Donald Trump.

* The Nigerian army has confirmed that they had rescued 54 people, who were taken hostage by Boko Haram, in the northeastern state of Bono and destroyed rebels’ camps.

* Health authorities in the Australian state of South Australian have said that since the beginning of 2019, there have been 12,339 people infected with influenza in the state.

* Death toll by Storm Fani in India and Bangladesh in early May increased to 77, while millions still live in power outages and lack of clean water.

* Panama authorities have confirmed that at least five people were injured after a 6.1-magnitude earthquake shook an area near the border with Costa Rica.