World News in Brief: August 22

Thursday, 2019-08-22 10:18:01
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The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) warned Thursday (August 22) that "dangerous and unusual military moves" by the Republic of Korea and the United States would trigger a new cold war on the Korean Peninsula.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin said in Helsinki on Wednesday (August 21) that Russia would like to see its relations with the European Union (EU) to "return to a fully-fledged basis". Putin made the remarks at a joint press conference after meeting Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.

* Stephen Biegun, US special representative for the DPRK affairs, said Wednesday that his country was ready to engage in working-level talks with Pyongyang for the Korean Peninsula's denuclearization.

* Italian President Sergio Mattarella began talks with political parties on Wednesday, a day after Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte's populist government collapsed.

* US President Donald Trump Tuesday signaled support for inviting Russia back into the Group of 7 (G7), restoring the bloc as the Group of 8 (G8). Trump's remarks came days before he is set to travel to France for this year's G7 summit.

* Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reiterated Moscow's support on Wednesday in Moscow to Venezuela in countering external pressure.

* Joint naval forces from Egypt and China have carried out a drill on Wednesday in the Mediterranean Sea “to support ongoing cooperation between the Egyptian and Chinese naval forces”, Egyptian armed forces said in a statement.

* King Abdullah II of Jordan on Wednesday underlined the need to step up efforts to achieve just, comprehensive and lasting peace on the basis of the two-state solution between Palestinians and Israelis.

* The current ceasefire in Ukraine's eastern region of Donbass is the most effective one, an envoy of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said on Wednesday. Over the past 30 days since the truce entered into force on July 21, the number of ceasefire violations was much lower than before and no civilian was killed in shelling.

* US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that his administration is seriously considering an executive order to end birthright citizenship.

* Over the past seven years, the German government supported US troops stationed in Germany with EUR243 million (US$269.8 million), according to a response by the Ministry of Finance to an inquiry by left-wing Bundestag member Brigitte Freihold on Wednesday.

* Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame have signed on Wednesday, in Luanda, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to cease the hostolities between the two central African states.

* US President Donald Trump said Tuesday a scheduled meeting with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has been postponed after she stonewalled his unofficial bid to purchase Greenland. The visit to Denmark would be the first for Trump since he took office.

* Turkey has extended the deadline by two months to Oct. 30 for unregistered Syrian refugees to leave its largest city Istanbul, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told Haberturk TV late on Tuesday.

* Brazil and Britain on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding in Brasilia to boost trade between the two countries, Brazil's Economy Ministry said.

* Israeli warplanes attacked Hamas posts at midnight on Thursday in the Gaza Strip in response to an earlier rocket attack on southern Israel, security sources and eyewitnesses said. No one or group has claimed responsibility for the rocket attack which was the third one this week.

* Sudan's newly-appointed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said on Wednesday that the priority of his government would be to achieve peace and build a strong national economy.

* The death toll has risen to nine after heavy downpours and mudslides battered Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China's Sichuan Province, local authorities said Thursday. As of Wednesday night, 35 people remained missing, according to the emergency management bureau of Aba. Search and rescue efforts are still underway.

* The death toll of a suicide bomb explosion which struck a wedding hall in the Afghan capital of Kabul has risen to 80, authorities confirmed on Wednesday. The Islamic State (IS) terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.

* The damage from forest fires in Russia since the start of this year has reached RUB7 billion (US$105 million), said Mikhail Klinov, acting head of the Russian Federal Forestry Agency on Wednesday.