World News in Brief: September 7

Saturday, 2019-09-07 15:39:58
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Chinese President Xi Jinping met with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Beijing on Friday (September 6). The two sides exchanged in-depth views on bilateral relationship and major international issues and reached a broad consensus.

* The British House of Lords on Friday approved a bill designed to block a possible no-deal Brexit, paving the way for it to become law. The European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill passed un-amended in the House of Lords. It now requires royal assent before it becomes legislation.

* The Russian central bank on Friday slashed its key lending rate by 0.25 percentage point to 7 percent, citing a continued inflation slowdown. Year-on-year consumer inflation declined to 4.3 percent in August from 4.5 percent in July, which showed that the most sustainable price movements are close to 4 percent, it said in a statement.

* The 16th meeting of the China-Russia Energy Cooperation Committee was held in Beijing on September 6, and the two sides reviewed the outcomes of energy cooperation and reached consensus on future energy cooperation.

* Iran said on Saturday it was now capable of raising uranium enrichment past the 20% level and, while it had no immediate plans to do, so the clock was ticking towards the point where a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers could not be salvaged.

* Hundreds of people fled the Bahamas island of Great Abaco by boat and plane on Friday and thousands more lined up to get on a cruise ship leaving neighboring Grand Bahama to escape the catastrophic aftermath of Hurricane Dorian. Hundreds, if not thousands, are still missing in the country of about 400,000 people, but the official death toll stands at only 43, according to news media reports late on Friday, including the Washington Post and NBC.

* The 28th World Economic Forum on Africa ended here in Cape Town, producing numerous notable outcomes. After three days of intensive discussion, the meeting launched an action plan to tackle the crisis of gender-based violence in Africa, particular South Africa.

* Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne said in Helsinki on Friday that the European Union (EU) is not prepared to re-open the Brexit agreement, which has been negotiated with the UK last year.

* Hungary decided to extend the "state of crisis" which it first declared in 2016 in connection with the mass migration, in the interest of protecting the country's security and borders, the government said Friday in a statement.

* Turkey and China have signed two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) on Friday in a joint trade forum to boost bilateral trade. The agreements were concluded on the China-Turkey Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum held in Turkey's Aegean city of Izmir.

* The American government intends to provide a 250-million-dollar security assistance fund to Ukraine, US senators Ron Johnson and Chris Murphy said in Kiev on September 5.

* At least two Palestinians were killed and 76 wounded on Friday afternoon during clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli soldiers near the border between eastern Gaza Strip and Israel, medics said.

* The Turkish coast guard on Friday captured a total of 236 illegal migrants trying to sneak into a Greek island, local media reported.

* In a report which once again highlights the impact of global warming and climate change, the Spanish Meteorological Agency (AEMET) informs that August 2019 saw an average temperature of 24.8 degrees centigrade in Spain, which is 0.9 centigrade higher than the average for the period 1980-2010.

* A US ballistic missile submarine has tested four life-extended Trident II D5 missiles to validate their performance, the US Navy said in a statement on Friday.

* Mexico does not expect the United States to threaten to put tariffs on its goods when it holds talks next week with US officials about its efforts to curb migration from Central America, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Friday. Ebrard said Mexico had reduced the flow of undocumented migrants crossing the country toward the US border by 56% between May and August.

* US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday that he thinks the Trump administration will unveil its much-delayed Israeli-Palestinian peace plan in the coming weeks.

* Twenty-five civilian staff members, 43 peacekeepers and four UN police officers have died on duty so far this year, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Friday.

* The US Department of Defense on Friday applauded Denmark's decision to deploy troops in Syria, in assistance to the US military presence there.

* Turkey's indigenous, bunker-busting and long-range cruise missile SOM-B2 has completed its preliminary firing test, Turkish Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank said on Friday.

* Sudan's Foreign Ministry on Friday welcomed the decision by the African Union Peace and Security Council (AU-PSC) to lift suspension of Sudan's membership at the African Union (AU).

* One refugee lost her life, one was missing and 12 other refugees and migrants on board a boat were rescued off the coast of Greece's Samos island on Friday, Greek national news agency AMNA reported.