World News in Brief: September 20

Friday, 2019-09-20 10:36:17
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An earthquake measuring 6.1-magnitude rocked Indonesia's western East Java province on Thursday (September 19), but was not potential for tsunami, the meteorology and geophysics agency said.

* Malaysian authorities conducted a third round of cloud seeding on Thursday in an attempt to provide temporary relief to the public as the persistent haze has resulted in poor air quality.

* China's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Zhang Jun said Thursday that China has to vote against a Security Council draft resolution on Syria as the text missed the essence of the humanitarian issue and failed to address China's core concerns.

* The Thai Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) confirmed on Thursday that 20,620 victims in four northeastern provinces are still awaiting evacuations from floods caused by tropical storms that have so far killed 34 people.

* Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez on Thursday slammed the US expulsion of two Cuban diplomats in the United Nations as "unjustified." The US State Department on Thursday required the departure of two members of Cuba's mission to the United Nations, citing their alleged "attempts to conduct influence operations against the United States."

* Two Tu-160 strategic bombers of Russia conducted a 7-hour scheduled flight over the neutral waters of the Baltic Sea on Tuesday, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

* The German cabinet on Wednesday adopted a mandate to prolong the deployment of German soldiers to train Iraqi security forces until the end of October in 2020.

* Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha met with Song Tao, head of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on Thursday and they agreed to enhance cooperation between ruling parties for further development of bilateral ties.

*Several people were shot in northern Washington D.C. late Thursday night, according to a local media report. Their injuries are unclear.

* The European Union (EU) should take charge of repatriation of migrants who reach Italy and other European countries but are not entitled to asylum, Italian President Sergio Mattarella said after holding talks with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Thursday.

*Yemen's President Abdu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi on Thursday announced a cabinet reshuffle, naming new foreign and finance ministers to lead the key state institutions in the war-torn Arab country.

* The Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Hakim on Thursday held a phone call with the Arab League (AL) Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit to discuss regional issues and confronting terrorism.

* Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned Thursday that a possible military strike on his country will lead to an "all-out war" in the region.

* Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Hakim held Thursday a phone call with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif to discuss regional security amid rising tensions in the Gulf.

* Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's main rival, centrist Benny Gantz, claimed on Thursday victory in the closely-fought parliamentary elections. After 97 percent of the votes in Israel's parliamentary elections have been counted on Thursday morning, Gantz's Blue and White party was shown to win 33 seats. Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party won 31 seats.

* The Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday said that Iraq will not join any force or coalition tasked with the protection of the waterways in the Gulf, the state-run Iraqi News Agency reported.

* Syrian air defenses destroyed an unidentified drone near the capital Damascus on Thursday evening, state TV reported.