World News in Brief: July 15

Monday, 2019-07-15 13:59:02
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A 7.2-magnitude earthquake jolted Indonesia's eastern North Maluku province on Sunday (July 14), but was not likely to trigger tsunami, Prio Subandi, an official at the meteorology and geophysics agency said.

* China's GDP expanded 6.3 percent year on year in the first half of 2019 to about CNY45.09 trillion (about US$6.6 trillion), data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed Monday (July 15). The growth was in line with the government's annual target of 6-6.5 percent set for 2019.

* A Philippine Navy strategic sealift vessel with 300 sailors and marines on board will leave for Russia's Vladivostok on Monday to participate in the naval parade during the Russian Navy Day celebration. A send-off ceremony for the contingent is scheduled on Monday morning, the navy said, adding this will be the second time that a Philippine Navy vessel will visit Russia.

* Malaysia's population this year is estimated to rise 0.6 percent year-on-year to 32.6 million, slower than its annual growth rate of 1.1 percent last year, a government agency said Monday.

* India has postponed its second Moon Mission "Chandrayaan-2" due to a technical snag in the launch vehicle system, which were scheduled to be launched on Monday. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said that the new launch date would be announced later.

* Indian and Pakistani officials held the second round of talks Sunday on the modalities of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, a pilgrimage corridor for the members of India's Sikh community. The talks were held at Wagah in Pakistan, near the Wagah-Attari Border. It is expected that the much-awaited pilgrimage would begin in November.

* Leaders of France, Germany and Britain, European signatories of Iran 2015 nuclear agreement, on Sunday said they are "extremely concerned" by the fuelling tension in the Gulf region, which they said likely to put the accord at risk unless the concerned parties join the same table of talks.

* Israel's Air Force received from the United States two new F-35 stealth fighter jets on Sunday, a military spokesperson said. The two jets landed in the Nevatim Air Base in southern Israel, joining the country's growing F-35 aircraft array.

* The European Union (EU) opened the headquarter of its mission in Kuwait on Sunday. The EU is a key partner in trade, investment, energy, education, health and many other sectors with Kuwait.

* Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman on Sunday denied that Iran has recently held some negotiations with the United States over mutual issues. He dismissed some media reports that Iran has been in talks with U.S. officials through Russian mediation.

* Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened on Sunday to deal a "crushing blow" to Lebanon, a day after the Lebanese-based militia's leader said it is capable of destroying Israel.

* The talks scheduled for Sunday between Sudan's Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the opposition Freedom and Change Alliance were postponed again, official SUNA news agency reported. The talks failed to convene for the second time because the opposition delegation did not arrive, SUNA said.