World News in Brief: August 14

Wednesday, 2019-08-14 14:28:04
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The death toll from monsoon landslide in Myanmar's Mon state rose to 65 as of Tuesday (August 13) afternoon, according to latest figures released by the Myanmar Fire Services Department.

* Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chief of the Chinese side of the China-US comprehensive economic dialogue, held a phone conversation at request with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin late Tuesday. The two sides agreed to hold another phone conversation in two weeks.

* Tough actions by law enforcement agencies to curb public unrest are absolutely justifiable, the Kremlin said Tuesday, after massive detentions of anti-government protesters in Moscow.

* The Chairman of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un has issued an order to promote the military rank of 103 scientists for their contributions to national defense research, the official Korean Central News Agency reported on Tuesday.

* Two Russian Su-27 fighters drove away an F-18 aircraft belonging to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which attempted to approach the plane carrying Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Tuesday. The Russian Defense Ministry's Zvezda broadcasting service said the incident took place over the neutral waters in the Baltic Sea.

* Thousands of Brazilians gathered Tuesday in at least 72 cities to protest against federal cuts in education spending. It was the third national protest by student unions and other organizations after the government announced a 30-percent cut to university funding and stopped all forthcoming post-graduate scholarships.

* Venezuela's Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez led on Tuesday the signature drive among members of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB) to protest US economic sanctions.

* Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, leader of the rightwing, anti-immigrant League party, told the Senate on Tuesday that he is willing to vote on a reform that would reduce the number of members of parliament as long as this is followed by an immediate snap election.

* The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) announced Tuesday that the country's low-grade enriched uranium stockpile has exceeded 360 kilograms, Tasnim news agency reported.

* Despite recent stepped-up violence in Aden, Yemen, the United Nations "has remained focused on staying and delivering essential life-saving programs," a UN spokesman said on Tuesday.

* President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed a new law Tuesday which allows the privatization of non-agricultural land for the first time in the country's history. The law was approved in May by the Senate, and will come into force on March 1, 2020.

* The final orbit raising manoeuvre of Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was successfully carried out earlier on Wednesday, according to a statement of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Earlier, the spacecraft's orbit was progressively increased five times during July 23 to Aug. 6, 2019, ISRO said.

* Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on Tuesday urged for resistance against "plots" to split Yemen, official IRNA news agency reported. Khamenei made the remarks in a meeting with a visiting delegation from Yemen's Houthi movement in the capital Tehran.

* The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali security forces will intensify joint military operations to liberate regions still under the control of al-Shabab, the AU senior envoy said on August 12 evening.

* Iran's Ports and Maritime Organization announced Tuesday that Britain is expected to release the confiscated Iranian oil tanker soon, state TV reported. On July 4, British Royal Marines in the Strait of Gibraltar seized Iranian oil tanker Grace 1, which, it said, was heading to Syria "in breach of EU sanctions."

Xinhua