World News in Brief: September 14

Saturday, 2019-09-14 09:56:38
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China will exempt some agricultural products from additional tariffs on US goods, including pork and soybeans, China's official Xinhua News Agency said Friday (September 13), in the latest sign of easing Sino-US tensions before a new round of talks aimed at curbing a bruising trade war.

The United States and China have both made conciliatory gestures, with China renewing purchases of US farm goods and US President Donald Trump delaying a tariff increase on certain Chinese goods.

* Morocco and Indonesia agreed to seek ways to promote legislative ties and broaden their cooperation, according to the statement of Moroccan parliament Friday.

* France, Britain and Germany, the European parties to Iran's nuclear accord, on Friday expressed deep concern at Tehran's violations of the 2015 deal and urged it to cooperate with the U.N. nuclear watchdog.

* British Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed Friday that he will hold a crucial meeting in Brussels on Monday in his latest bid to win a Brexit deal.

* Venezuela's state prosecutor's office said on Friday it would open an investigation into Juan Guaido after the interior minister presented photos on state television showing the opposition leader in the company of two suspected members of a Colombian drug-trafficking group.

* Russian-Chinese relations are so strong that they simply cannot be harmed, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with the Russian newspaper Trud published on Friday.

* The Finnish Finance Minister Mika Lintila said on Friday the European Union should block imports of beef from Brazil, and also consider a suspension of soybeans import to put pressure on the Brazilian government to counter wildfires in the Amazon.

* Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will travel to Turkey to attend a trilateral meeting on Syria on Sunday, official IRNA news agency reported on Friday. In the meeting, Rouhani and his Russian and Turkish counterparts will discuss the current situation of Syria as well as the prospect of their cooperation on international issues.

* Morocco will participate in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Extraordinary Summit on Terrorism scheduled on September 14 in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou, an official statement said on September 13 night.

* Austria and Croatia plan to join forces to push for a European Union (EU) expansion further into the Western Balkans, the foreign ministers of the two countries said at a press conference in Vienna on Friday, according to an APA report.

* A total of 98 refugees have been resettled from Libya to Italy by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Italy and Libya, according to the Italian embassy in Libya on Friday.

* Finnish President Sauli Niinisto on Friday denied that Finland and Ukraine had agreed on increasing the military cooperation. Niinisto made the remarks when responding to questions in a press conference to Finnish media, aired by Finnish national television.

* Preparedness for hybrid threats and the financial impact of the climate change were key themes during Friday's informal meeting of EU countries' ministers for economic and financial affairs in Helsinki.

* South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will cancel the trip to attend the 74th United Nations General Assembly on September 23-26 to address the pressing issues affecting the country, said the office of the Presidency on Friday. South Africa currently faces the challenges of weak growth rate, xenophobic attacks, femicide and crime in general among others issues.

* The value of US goods exports to China in 2018 totaled US$118 billion, down 7 percent from the previous year, according to a report released on September 12 by the US-China Business Council (USCBC).

* Brazil's Foreign Affairs Minister Ernesto Araújo said on Friday that the United States' offer to help in the Amazon appears to be a more effective cooperation than former European efforts in that area.

* The US State Department has approved a possible sale to Morocco of missiles and F-16 ammunition at an estimated value of US$985 million.

* The Afghan government forces managed to retake a district which was captured by the Taliban militants days ago in Afghanistan's western Farah province, a provincial police spokesman said on Friday.

* At least five people have been killed and some 3,500 evacuated in two days of torrential rains in southeastern Spain, with many roads, railways and an airport closed on Friday and emergency services rescuing people stuck in flooded highway tunnels.

* Bahamian education officials are scrambling to find classroom space for up to 10,000 students displaced by Hurricane Dorian after the Category 5 storm ravaged two of the archipelago’s northern islands, destroying many school buildings.

* At least 25 people were killed and wounded when a car bomb went off in Syria's rebel-held Afrin city in northern Syria on Friday, a war monitor reported.