World News in Brief: September 13

Friday, 2019-09-13 10:49:22
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Chinese and US economic and trade teams have maintained effective communication and the working groups of the two sides will meet soon to conduct consultations and make full preparations for the next high-level economic and trade consultation between the two sides, an official said Thursday (September 12).

* Members of the Russian Parliament investigating interference in the country's internal affairs may form a joint contact group with Facebook and Google, a statement by the Federation Council upper house said Thursday.

* The German economy was only expected to grow by 0.5 percent this year instead of the previously forecast 0.6 percent, the institute for economic research (ifo) announced on Thursday.

*US President Donald Trump said Thursday that he will not ask Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to assume a dual role of being his fourth national security advisor after the ouster of John Bolton.

* French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Thursday pledged to take the time needed to reform the country's pension system, proposing more dialogue about how to change the existing regime.

* Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave his first public response on Thursday in the row over the suspension of the British Parliament, insisting he did not lie to Queen Elizabeth II.

* China on Thursday said it welcomed the positive signals from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on resuming talks with the United States, calling on the US side to take practical measures to ease tensions and promote talks.

* The risk of a nuclear war in modern times exists due to the policy of some Western countries, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Thursday.

* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday that Kiev planned to hold the Normandy Four leaders meeting in September.

* Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has urged the United States to lift its sanctions against Iran before holding any possible talks, Press TV reported on Thursday.

* Palestinian Presidency Thursday announced Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud discussed through a phone call about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's intention to annex more West Bank territory.

* Lower taxes for pensioners, a higher guaranteed pension rate, and more spending on services for the elderly are three of the initiatives announced on Thursday as part of Sweden's 2020 budget.

* Turkey and the United States held the fourth joint flight on Thursday over the planned safe zone in northern Syria.

* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto agreed on Thursday in Kiev to increase military cooperation and work towards reaching peace in east Ukraine.

* Tunisian Interim President Mohamed Ennaceur on Thursday met with European Parliament Vice-President Fabio Massimo Castaldo, who heads the European Union Election Observation Mission (EOM), said a presidency statement.

* Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said that relations between Minsk and Brussels have become much warmer in recent years.

* Egypt is dissatisfied with the prolonged period of negotiations with Ethiopia over the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) built on their shared Nile River, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry expressed in a statement on Thursday.

* Nabil Karoui, a candidate for Tunisian presidential election, has started a hunger strike inside the prison, the private television channel Nessma TV reported Thursday.

* The UN Security Council on Thursday renewed the mandate of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) for another 12 months. By adopting Resolution 2486, the council extended the integrated special political mission's mandate until September 15, 2020.

Xinhua